Magic and mystery on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland

The Callanish Stones on Lewis predate Stonehenge. Photograph: Kippiss/Getty Images

Lewis is rich in treasures of many other kinds – historic, religious. ..First light at Callanish. This is one of those places where tourists find themselves mesmerized and overwhelmed by unexplained prehistoric formations of huge pillar- like stones displayed in unusual positions.

The stone circle on the Hebridean island of Lewis may be 5,000 years old, but it would not do to keep it waiting. Besides, coming here at daybreak is, from certain perspectives, positively tardy. Emma Rennie, a local photographer, considers 2am the best time to visit. “It’s beyond mindblowing,” she told me, ahead of my journey. “There’s silence, which the world is so short of nowadays, and millions of stars. I feel small and insignificant, and I love it.”

Callanish – or Calanais in Gaelic – comprises 49 standing stones laid out in a shape that, seen from above, suggests a Celtic cross. Despite this resemblance, the site long predates Christianity and, indeed, Stonehenge.

The world famous Calanais standing stones are older than Stonehenge and much more sculptural and beautiful. Erected 5,000 years ago, they were an important place for ritual activity for at least 2,000 years. The main complex contains around 50 stones in a cross formation, with 13 stones and a small chambered cairn in the inner circle.

This is one of the delights of Callanish, and something you can’t get from the photographs – the look of the stones up close, and the tingling pleasure of the way they feel beneath your palm. Swirls, crevices, bright patches of pink granite … each stone offers a drone’s-eye view of some desert landscape. The oystercatchers and swallows, peeping and piping overhead, have the right idea. Don’t get too close: you could get lost in those patterns and never find your way out again.

 The Callanish standing stones. Photograph: Murdo Macleod/The Guardian

What, though, was Callanish for? The idea that this was some sort of druidic temple draws the crowds, especially at the summer solstice. The visitor centre and information panels play it safe with a lot of “perhaps” and “possibly”; the purpose of the stones, they say, remains a mystery. When I visit Callanish expert Margaret Curtis at her home nearby, she offers greater certainty: the site, she believes, was built as a solar and lunar observatory.

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.” (Albert Einstein)

the source (partial) – Wikipedia

Cristina David

One of the most beautiful villages in France

“I travel because it makes me realize how much I haven’t seen, how much I’m not going to see, and how much I still need to see.” 

Apremont sur Allier

Located on the banks of the river Allier, not far from the confluence of this river wih the Loire this little mediaeval village full of charm and surprises, offers an authentic romantic and luring ballad.

The place is not just an old and picturesque village, it displays a magnificent park and one can visit a historic museum, The Stables and Carriage Museum.

Enter into the magic of this garden and let yourself be charmed by the colored and scented festival of the many varieties and species of trees, plants and flowers from all over the world.

The Park – Photo on the internet

The Park has been awarded the “Jardin Remarquable” label by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.

The Park – Photo – the internet

Your fairytale walk will be punctuated by waterfalls, buildings and invitations to travel and to discover the talent of its fanciful designer, the great traveller and nature lover, Gilles de Brissac.

I hope you liked what you have seen in my post and some day you’ll decide to visit this mirific place on the Loire.

Cristina David

Faroe Islands: Middle Earth in the Far North

I love travelling and I did visit many places in Europe, Middle East and America (where I lived for 35 years). However, these countries that I visited were quite easy to reach by plane or train. I often dream of far away places that I would love to see, their history and picturesque scenery attract me a lot. But I am aware that it will not be possible , so I look out for travel articles to read about them, the life of the people that inhabit them, and to admire pictures of wonderful spots taken on location by lucky tourists.

I am determined to write about the nice and interesting places that I did see with my own eyes. I consider it’s worth doing so for the readers who have not have yet the opportunity to see them. But maybe, one day they will…

Today – about The Faroe Islands

In an isolated archipelago bereft of trees and exposed to the harsh elements, we find magic and bliss in its green isles and imaginative cuisine.

It is probably surprising that the mythical Middle Earth can be found in a cluster of 18 islands in the windy North Atlantic Ocean. The Faroe Islands (or the Faroes, as the locals call them) are a cluster of colossal volcanic basalt rocks formed millions of years ago. The top surfaces of these undersea mountains are swathed in heather green and turf. Within their rugged peaks and jagged cliffs lie hidden lakes, small and stoic horses with windswept manes, and a hardy people.

Traditional turf-roof houses are still aplenty in the Faroes

Geographically, the islands are between Norway and Iceland. Politically, they are an autonomous protectorate of Denmark. But locals will tell you that genealogically, they are closer to the Vikings who settled there in the 9th century, while culturally, they are uniquely Faroese with their own traditions and a language that is closer to Icelandic.

Sheep in winter coat

To a frazzled city girl, the Faroes with its natural scenic beauty hold the promise of a refuge from urbanisation and a retreat in peaceful nature. The vast space between the sky and sea and the open land gives the place a sense of magic, and me, a sense of liberation.

A Faroese girl in traditional costume at Ólavsøka, the biggest summer festival in the Faroe Islands

Read more

Cristina David

Confucius – Wise Sayings

Cofucius lived in China a long time ago, (551 bce – 479bce) and was China’s most famous teacher, philosopher, and political theorist, whose ideas have profoundly influenced the civilizations of China and other East Asian countries. The philosophy of Confucius, also known as Confucianism, emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice, kindness, and sincerity.

Confucius is widely considered as one of the most important and influential individuals in human history. His teaching and philosophy greatly impacted people around the world and remain influential today.

His teachings , if understood, and learned, could change the way we see life and therefore they are worth reading and remembering.

Here are just a few quotes containing some of Confucius’ great philosophical ideas about life.

Photo – internet

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

Photo – the internet

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.

Photo – the interne


To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge.

Photo – the Internet

When you know a thing, to hold that you know it, and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it – this is knowledge.

Photo – the Internet

To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage, or of principle.

Photo – the Internet

Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.

Photo- the Internet

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.

One quote that I particularly like:

Graphic Design – my personal archives

It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get.

the source: https://www.brainyquote.com/

Cristina David




The song viewed by over 7 billion people

The catchy tune about a family of sharks – „Baby Shark” – has become so lucrative that the Korean family behind it is now sitting on a rapidly growing multimillion-dollar fortune.

Kim Min-seok co-founded closely held SmartStudy Co. in 2010, and five years later its children’s educational brand, Pinkfong, released “Baby Shark.” His father runs Samsung Publishing Co., which also owns part of the startup. The family fortune, based on stakes held by Kim’s immediate relatives in those two companies, is now about $125 million — much of it thanks to the song.

SmartStudy declined to comment on the family’s wealth.

Kim, 38, hardly set out to write a hit global song. After working at gaming companies including Nexon and developing content for kids at Samsung Publishing, he co-founded SmartStudy to focus on the growing market for educational content for smartphones.

The app-to-video maker’s early days were tough, but eventually grew faster as the Baby Shark video became a sensation, Chief Financial Officer Seungkyu Lee said in a January interview. Last year, the startup’s revenue jumped about 47% to 40 billion won ($34.3 million). The song has amassed more than 3.8 billion views on YouTube and this year reached the Billboard Hot 100 chart. There’s also a concert experience for children, Baby Shark Live!

Amazing, isn’t it? Unexpected things, not regarded as likely to happen, do happen, after all.

the source : time.com

Cristina David

We are what we think and believe

Avicenna, one of the most renowned healers of the antiquity, used to say : „A doctor has three ways to fight the diseases – the word, the plant and the knife”.

Have you noticed? The word is the doctor’s first choice.

Emily Kyao, a psychologist who worked in a hospital in Paris, forced his pacients to repeat (silently or aloud ), ten times the following phrase: „Every day I feel better and better”, three times a day . What do you think the outcome was? Even the seriously ill pacients got well and the ones who needed to be operated on did not need any intervention after one month of practicing the mental exercise.

Our health condition is a consequence of the way we think.

Nobody denies the direct connection between our mental state and the physical condition.

If you think of the worst , you will get ill.

One of the most important laws in psychology says : The verbal expression of love, empathy and admiration intensifies the vital energy of the listener, while the bad words diminish the listener’s energy.

The total number of illnesses associated with ill thinking continues to grow.

In order to face them, we should follow the advice of the wise men of the antique world: ” Enjoy life no matter how hard it may be!”

Therefore, one’s health, life and destiny depend directly on one’s thoughts.

You think positively – expect the good.

You think of the bad happening – the bad will happen.

photo – the internet

What we permanently think of, becomes conviction that this thing should or may happen and this belief leads to a particular event.

In conclusion, think only of good things, hoping for the better.

And never worry about insignificant things ! Take into consideration two rules of Robert Eliot – an American cardiologist:

Rule 1 : Do not get upset over unimportant things.

Rule 2 : All things are insignificant.

The source – the internet

Cristina David