Readers, Welcome to my blog (formerly Birds, Blooms, Books, etc). I'm entering a new decade taking on the challenge of moving from Maryland after living there 46 years and learning about my new home here in New England in the Live Free or Die state - New Hampshire. Join me as a write this new chapter of my life.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Pennsylvania Capitol

Thursday we traveled to Harrisburg with friends to visit the capitol building, enjoy lunch at an Amish market, explore the Civil War Museum and enjoy a dinner before heading home.

Our friends have as a goal visiting all 50 capitols.  Harrisburg, PA made #11 for them.  In February they are headed to Sacramento.  I think with retirement they have had more time to do this visiting and the number listed will be increasing faster.  We went with them last year to Dover, DE.

The Pennsylvania capitol building was completed early in the 20th century and shows it in its decor.  It is spectacular with 23 k. gold leaf on so many surfaces.

Enjoy the tour.  We did.

Interesting statues in front. 
[post script since two commenters asked: the statue below was titled "Labor and Love/The Unbroken Law" representing humanity advancing through work and brotherhood.
There was a second statue on the right titled "The Burden of Life/The Broken Law" which portrays lives of degradation and spiritual burden.  I didn't take that photo, it was even more X rated.]

The dome over the rotunda.

The floor of Moravian tiles.

Paintings overhead.

Fantastic lamp fixtures.

Another view of dome.

Some of the gold leaf.

From the 4th floor looking down.

The Senate chamber.

The stain glass ceiling in the Supreme Court.

The Delegate Chamber.

Lamps that weigh 4 tons hang overhead.

Tours are conducted on the half hours.  Thankfully neither the court nor the legislature was in session or we wouldn't have be able to get into some parts of the building.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Scotland: Inchmahome Priory

It took two trips to this site in order to visit.  The first time we stopped on our way back from a Loch Lomond circle route but it was closed.  The second time was our last full day in Scotland and a rainy day but it was open.

You take a boat to get to the priory which is another of the Historic Scotland properties so we didn't have to pay.

The ruins of the priory are on an island in Lake of Monteith - the only lake not called a loch.  Guide/boat operator had several reasons for lake v. loch one of which had to do with ownership residing with someone who favored the English not the Scots.

I recognized this from Dunblane Cathedral and was gratified to see below that I was right.

There is nothing in my Lonely Planet guide about this priory.

The Historic Scotland brochures says this:
" Founded around 1238, it was home to Augustinian canons for more than 300 years.  It was visited by Robert the Bruce and Mary Queen of Scots."

There were countless places that Mary was said to have visited!

A very recent burial, 1936, and someone still remembers him with flowers.

Other graves but of unknowns.

Above - now.
Below - then.

It was rather spooky, tragic, depressing, awe-inspiring: all of those emotions, visiting such an ancient place and wondering about the people who lived there.