Singing in Spain

This post is the first of several about a vacation we took ten years ago. The Chamber Singers of the University at Albany, an auditioned à capella chorus directed by David Griggs-Janower, were scheduled to go on a tour of Spain and France in 2007. Not enough students could go, so David recruited a few additional singers and groupies to fill… Continue reading Singing in Spain

A Rainy Day in Paris

The morning showed streets shiny from an overnight rain. People were wearing jackets or carrying umbrellas. It was 57°F. Our plan was to stay home until it was time to go to the Opera, for which we had a voucher purchased online. It was June 6, the 73rd anniversary of the invasion of Normandy by the… Continue reading A Rainy Day in Paris

St. Sulpice and the Bistro Maell et Augustin

We walked all the way to St. Sulpice Sunday morning. The church is in fine shape. The scaffolding on the front has come down, revealing a rebuilt facade and towers. The famous murals of Eugene Delacroix have been renovated using a protocol developed by an American professor, Richard Wolbers of the University of Delaware. We… Continue reading St. Sulpice and the Bistro Maell et Augustin

From the Lorenz Church to a Hair-raising Taxi Ride to Frankfurt

Today we wanted to see a bit more of Nuremberg's old town, and then fly to Paris via Frankfurt. Some of this worked out as planned... After a decent breakfast at the hotel, we set out on foot for the old town. Along the way we passed the Café and Bar Celona once more. We… Continue reading From the Lorenz Church to a Hair-raising Taxi Ride to Frankfurt

A Tour of Regensburg

The tour of Regensburg was led by Margit, a local guide with a personalized itinerary that led us past numerous sites of either historical or culinary interest, finishing in front of the Gothic St Peter's church. Peter is seen in a boat under the cross but well above the entry portal (scroll down when external… Continue reading A Tour of Regensburg

Gottweig Abbey – An Active Mission

Our tour on May 29 was to Göttweig Abbey, founded in the 11th century by Blessed Altmann, Bishop of Passau. Our cruise ship "Tor" docked at the small town of Krems, Austria, where we boarded a bus for the short ride to the abbey. To get a feel for this site, it is well to… Continue reading Gottweig Abbey – An Active Mission

Faith vs Fact

Jerry Coyne, Professor of Biology at the University of Chicago, has written a new book, “Faith vs Fact” (Viking, 2015). He explains his reason for writing by noting that, despite copious evidence for evolution, large numbers of people, even when familiar with the evidence; refuse to accept it, essentially for religious reasons. He begins by… Continue reading Faith vs Fact

A Bad Week for Religion

CNN (Feb 17) published a story, "Religion's Week from Hell", about the spate of atrocities, more or less religiously motivated, that took place in the previous week: "Across several continents, including North America, Europe, Asia and Africa, scores of religious believers suffered and died in brutal attacks over the past seven days. Christians, Muslims and… Continue reading A Bad Week for Religion