Linda's Blog—Travel and Art

  • Egypt: What's New, What Different, Part 1

    Dervish performance at the Wikalet al-Ghouri Egypt: What New, What’s Different, Part 1 A Bit of Background: This November I returned to Egypt after 25 years. It was my fifth visit. I was both excited and anxious, giddy and hesitant. In addition to Egypt, I have been to Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, and Palestine/Israel/the West Bank, so visiting a Middle Eastern/North African country was nothing strange to me. But visiting a country that I was last in 25 years ago, felt strange (I had the…

  • What Do You Mean My Luggage is in New York?

    Travelling in the Soviet Union, Part 1: “What Do You MEAN, My Luggage is in New York?” In December of 1986, I had the rare opportunity to travel with a group of educators to the Soviet Union. It meant I would be spending Christmas in the Soviet Union. And New Year’s Eve. This was because of Mikhail Gorbachev’s policy of Glasnost which began in 1985. I talked it over with my principal, and we decided this was a great trip for me! I would leave the day Christmas break started, and would return t…

  • How NOT to Climb the Dome in Florence

    Climbing the Dome of the Cathedral of Florence—Il Duomo, aka Cathedral di Santa Maria del Fiore As many of you know, my ‘partner in crime’, Brenda Bickerstaff-Stanley, passed away suddenly January 5 (see what I wrote on my website). I have decided the best way to get back into my blog was to write about one of the many travel/art adventures we had together. Climbing the Dome of the Cathedral in Florence Italy. Both Brenda and I had been to Florence before; she just a few years before, I abou…

  • Sketching in the Streets and Alms for the Poor

    TRAVELING ALONE, Part 11— Continuing my story about travel and art in Egypt (finally!): Sketching in the Streets of Cairo: In 1990 I sketched in the Khan el Kahlili, the main bazaar in Cairo, which stretches along the main thoroughfare in the Fatimid section of the city (built about 1000 years ago). The section is also called Medieval Cairo. After I asked permission to lean against his wall, a shopkeeper gave me a bucket to sit on, which was very welcomed (I didn’t NEED to ask, but it was a g…

  • Sunrise Behind the Pyramids

    TRAVELING ALONG, Part 10— The first time I travelled to Egypt it was to meet up with my fiancé there, who was visiting family in Amman, Jordan. More about that later.; this is the story of a group of women traveling to Morocco, then Egypt. My second, third, and fourth trips to Egypt were in 1990, 1991, and 1993. Each trip had its own special story and flavor. 1990 and 1991 were especially good years. In Morocco The 1990 trip began with a visit to Morocco. We were in Marrakesh (which is where…

  • Coffee, Water, and Dinars

    TRAVELING ALONE, PART 9—Coffee, Water and Dinars I am addicted to coffee. There, I said it. I love it, I drink it all day, and when I don’t have it for a while, I get a very bad caffeine headache. So, when I’m traveling, I need to take this into consideration. My solution? Starbuck’s Iced Coffee. Easily dissolves in warm/tepid/cold water. Perfect. One pack will give me at least 3-4 cups. In packing for my trip to Tunisia (and Rome, since I would also be there), I bought 2 boxes. That would…

  • "Where is Everybody?"

    TRAVELING ALONE, Part 8—“Where is Everybody?” The final big event for the 11th Festival of Fine Arts in Monastir was a reception to show off all the paintings done by the artists, in the location at what was hoped to be the future Museum of Contemporary Art in Monastir. We were to meet in the lobby to get on the bus trip to the building, so I went to my room to rest, for just a few minutes. I thought I would lay down for about a half hour. I was exhausted. We were to meet at 5:45, bus to leave…

  • "Even the Sweat has Sweat..."

    TRAVELING ALONE, PART 8—Even the Sweat Has Sweat I should start by saying that it is appropriate that I am writing about my trip to Tunisia, because the 14th Festival ended yesterday, and it has been great fun to see the postings on Facebook. It was a wonderful experience, and the location perfect. Hot in Tunisia: We were on the Mediterranean Sea. The hotel had the original section, and a large new section. The new section had the pool, and more modern conveniences. But the rooms were smaller…

  • How to Control Your Camel

    TRAVELING ALONE, Part 7—How to Control Your Camel I have ridden a camel before, years ago in Cairo. It was an exciting experience. The main thing to remember is that at no time should your driver let go of the reins. Camels have minds of their own, and even though this was quite a few years ago, I distinctly remember calling out, “Whoa, camel, whoa camel!” as we spiraled down the pathway beside the Pyramids. Turns out, you REALLY need to pull back on the reins E-V-E-N-L-Y to stop your camel.…

  • "No, I Will NOT Get Out of this Taxi in the Middle of the Desert!"

    TRAVELING ALONE, PART 6—Getting there from here (alone), and how my trip to Tunisia came to include Rome. (I posted this August 29, 2016 10:32 pm) In 2013 I applied to and was accepted into a two-week art festival for artists from all over the world in Tunisia. This was for the 11th annual International Festival of Fine Arts in Monastir, Tunisia. Then I had to figure out how to get to Monastir from Richmond, Virginia. I could do that. I had booked airline tickets before. How hard could it be?…

  • Getting Through Security. Or Not...

    TRAVELING ALONE, PART 5—Getting Through Security, or Not... Traveling by air has changed a lot over the years. It is harder. Much, much harder. There are more rules, and everything can take a lot longer. This blog is not about comfort (like how crowded the seats are now). It is about security. Security is good. I have no complaints, but I have a lot of stories. When I travel, I have come to expect to be stopped going through Security. Always. However, that has taught me a lot, so here I will…

  • How to Not Fall into a Canal

    TRAVELING ALONE, PART 4—How Not to Fall into a Venetian Canal, Or A Cautionary Tale First, a bit of background: In 2014 I travelled with a group of artists to Italy—Cinque Terre, Florence, and eventually, Venice. The group went home from Florence, while my good friend and painting pal extraordinaire Benda Bickerstaff-Stanley and I went on the Venice to sketch and paint. To visit Cinque Terre (“Five Lands”), many groups stay in La Spezia, which is just a 5 minute train ride away, and has …

  • What Do You Mean My Card Doesn't Work?!

    Traveling Alone, Part 3— MY Credit Card(s) Won’t Work, Money for a Hotel, and a 'Bit' More about Phones… When I arrived in Katwijk, the first thing I needed to do was purchase a shopping trolley to carry my painting equipment down to the beach (a covered vertical grocery cart). Normally I would have brought one, but it would have taken up too much room). The owner of the B and B found a local store (Blokker) very close by that carried them, but when I tried to pay with any of my cards, the…

  • Losing Your Wallet While Traveling

     

    Traveling Alone, Part 2: Losing Your Wallet, Credit Card Companies, AND PHONES… Yes, I lost my wallet, the last day in Amsterdam this past April. Less than 24 hours before I headed home. I loved that wallet. It was turquoise, had a place for everything I needed, was not TOO large, could be used as a clutch purse if necessary. AND it have RFID (Radio Frequency ID) chip blockers . Too bad I didn’t use that cute little strap that came with it… Here is the story, what I did, and how it was not…

  • How I Travel Alone

    I want my blog postings to be about two things I know something about: art, and travel. I like to travel, I enjoy traveling alone, I travel to experience the new and different. Many people have described me as ‘brave’, because I travel by myself. I don’t think of myself as brave, I think of myself as prepared. So what do I do to prepare for a trip, to hedge my bets on being safe and enjoying my trip? Quite a few things, actually. Some are good for all travellers; some are more important for…