stillness

sometimes, even after sunset, hubby and i stay longer.  even if just sitting in the car. taking in the silence.  savoring the peace.

dusk at mallard lake.

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warnemunde and rostock

warnemunde is a little port town in germany, a charming seaside resort known for its quaint beachfront and marina.  from the harbor is the beautiful view of an iconic image, the warnemunde lighthouse.  after a brief sight see, we went to rostock, a neighboring town just a short ride away.  we rode an old, rugged red tram and was captivated by colorful gabled houses that dominate this charismatic town straddling the warnow river on the north coast of germany.

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rostock’s old town square is most picturesque, boasting lovely buildings of early german architecture.  we walked the inner cobblestone streets passing through century-old buildings that gave a feel of an old, medieval town so rich in history.  we meandered through lush gardens that lead us to a thick brick wall enclosing a nunnery founded by danish queen margaret in the 13th century.  the monastery complex includes an abbey that has become a university church and museum in the present day.

from the complex, we exited through a 55-meter high brick kropeliner tor, known as the medieval gate, one of two remaining gates of the old city that led us to the university square.  the square is the liveliest place in rostock. in the center was the joy of life fountain, featuring some of the most interesting and playful sculptures.  the pedestrian street, lined with restaurants, shops, bars and cafes was abuzz.  not too far from the square was the university of rostock, a neo-renaissance structure, the third oldest university in germany.

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a short walk towards the harbor was st mary’s, an old church that i enjoyed the most.  the interior, boasting a stunning gilded high altar, was exquisitely beautiful.  also inside, the main attraction, was the rostock medieval astronomical clock built in the 15th century that is still in working condition today.

capping our tour of rostock was a boat ride back to the port of warnemunde where we enjoyed german lager paired with delicious canapes.

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simple pleasures

spring blooms

scented peonies from the garden

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copenhagen

they say that the best way to explore copenhagen is by bicycle. locals and tourists on two wheels abound and bike lanes, i learned after a near mishap, were not to be taken lightly.  but a visitor like me who stops and takes photographs at every fancy, walking is the best way.  so after a brief tour of dragor havn, four of us went on to explore the city.

from our hotel was a short walk to the central station, the main railway station in copenhagen.  not too far was the tivoli gardens, the second oldest operating amusement park in the world.  then there was the town hall square boasting the stately city hall and other notable buildings.  the city hall is one of the tallest buildings in the city.

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Streets of Copenhagen, Denmark, Northern Europe.

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dark, thick clouds loomed and soon came the rain.  that ended our ambitious walk to nyhavn harbor, a must see.  saved for another day, this copenhagen gem proved to be the best place to see.

the next morning was a short guided city tour.  first stop was christianborg palace, a stately and historic structure that houses the parliament, the danish prime minister’s office and the supreme court of denmark. next to the palace courtyard was the royal library and garden, a lovely oasis in the heart of the city.  in the center was a shallow basin with towering copper sculpture facing a bronze statue of danish philosopher, theologian and poet soren kierkegaard, a familiar figure to our retreat host, fr. sunny.  in front of the palace was the imposing equestrian statue of frederick VIII.

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next stop was amlienborg palace, the home of the danish royal family. four identical palaces make up the octagonal courtyard and in the center is the statue of king frederick V on horseback facing frederick’s kirke, the church named after him which is also known as the marble church.  opposite is the royal fountain by the river where the royal yacht was moored.  across the river is the copenhagen opera house, locally known as the operaen which is among the most modern and expensive opera houses in the world.

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last stop was the bronze statue of the little mermaid, the legendary symbol and landmark of copenhagen that looked tiny to me.  flocked by tourists, it is the number one attraction in denmark.  and before another busload of tourists arrive, we were whisked to the port to begin our scandinavian cruise retreat and adventure.

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happy friday!

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off the beaten path

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we arrived in copenhagen early in the morning and had all day to explore before we embarked on a cruise the following day.  i joined friends for a private tour of dragor havn, an isolated fishing village twelve kilometers away from the city.  rich in danish history, this old little town off the beaten path is so pretty.  the harbor, laid-back and serene, were fishing and pleasure boats, sitting idly that day.

on the waterfront lined small shops, art galleries as well as markets and outdoor cafes.  from afar was a glimpse of the oresund bridge, a combined rail and motorway bridge that connects copenhagen and malmo, an upcoming vibrant swedish city.

picturesque yellow-painted houses with red roofs, some thatched, are tucked in a maze of narrow cobblestone streets festooned with summer blooms.  quite a number of houses are hundred years old so charming and pretty.

dragor havn images swiped from the web

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Father Radley

it was a joyous occasion for the filipino-american catholic church community in chicago witnessing and celebrating the ordination to the priesthood of our dear friend, the new Father Radley.

congratulations Father Radley! we are very proud of you!

so wonderful to see many friends during the ordination especially wilbert and fr mon who flew in from arizona. it was such a blessed day!

Fr. Radley’s diaconate ordination a year ago here.

with Father Radley…

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with Fr. Mon and Wilbert

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spring once again!

the earth comes alive after a dull winter when this part of the world seemed lifeless. the bald trees are now leafy, verdant after so much rain. the dogwoods, magnolias and crabapple trees are simply glorious creating a symphony of color. the ground covered with periwinkle is dotted with tulips, daffodils, bleeding heart and hyacinths. the russian sage is glowing and the gorgeous clematises bring you cheers in the morning.

the earth awakens and the splendor of the season emerges. i give praise and glory to God for once again it is spring!

happy to be back after a long break.  here are some images of spring.

mallard lake

 

bleeding heart

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