The Great Lakes National Parks

National parks offer an unparalleled experience for watching wildlife and appreciating the interconnected network of life in and around parks.

“A normal lake is knowable. A Great Lake can hold all the mysteries of an ocean, and then some.” — Dan Egan 

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Photo – internet

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, on the largest and deepest Great Lake, includes cliffs, beaches, waterfalls, and forest for outdoor adventure.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Photo internet

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore encompasses over 40 miles of Lake Superior shoreline. Situated on the largest, deepest, coldest and most pristine of the Great Lakes, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore derives its name from the many sandstone cliffs that dot the shoreline. In addition to the sandstone cliffs, the park includes beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls, lakes and forest.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Photo internet

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Photo internet

As old as continental ice sheets and as young as the 1970 Establishment Act that set aside the lakeshore for preservation and public use, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore offers countless opportunities for discovery. The naturally elevated dunes along Lake Michigan offer visitors spectacular views, all-season hiking trails, pristine rivers for paddling, and a wonderful array of wildlife to explore. 

The most prominent features are the dunes above Lake Michigan, perched atop the already towering headlands. The dune overlooks at the Sleeping Bear, Empire, and Pyramid Point bluffs are about 400 feet above Lake Michigan, and with 65 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and numerous inland lakes and streams, the park is wonderfully water oriented. 

Isle Royale National Park

Isle Royale National Park Photo intenet

Surrounded by Lake Superior, Isle Royale National Park encompasses 850 square miles of natural wilderness, spacious lands, and aquatic life.  

A cool climate, crystal-clear waters, and the wild North Woods forest characterize Isle Royale National Park. The park encompasses a total area of 850 square miles including submerged lands which extend over four miles out into Lake Superior, and 99% of the land mass is federally designated wilderness. The archipelago is composed of numerous parallel ridges, the result of ancient lava flows which were tilted and glaciated.  

Isle Royale Photo internet

Isle Royale has 165 miles of scenic hiking trails and 36 campgrounds for backpackers, paddlers, and recreational boaters. There is excellent fishing, historic lighthouses, and shipwrecks, ancient copper mining sites, and plenty of spots to observe wildlife.  Isle Royale is accessible only by boat or float plane.

Isle Royale Photo internet

While enjoying a Venturing Crew backpacking trip two of the boys decided to sit quietly on the rocks at Sisskiwit Bay on Isle Royale. Even the roudiest of boys can find a little quiet for introspection while on the Island. It is good to see them deprived of their handheld devices for more than a day.

My advice: take some time, relax and plan a 2 week vacation to spend in the picturesque spots I described above. You won’t regret it! And try to remember:

Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”

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

The Black Sea in September

Not a very usual time of year to choose for spending a few days at the shore. The weather was gorgeous, though, we decided that we will go. I ma referring here at the Black Sea, one middlesized body of salty water situated in Europe, the south-eastern part.

Why do they call it the Black Sea? The sea was first named by the ancient Greeks who called it „Inhospitable Sea.” The sea got this reputation because it was difficult to navigate, and hostile tribes inhabited its shores. …

The Black Sea is all colors, but black. Emerald green, sapphire blue, aquamarine, silvery and sparkling gold , all due, in turn, to the particular time of the day . It could also be steel like, restless or stern looking in times of stormy weather.

Actually, I meant to show you something myrific about one particular morning when I happened to go out on the balcony with my coffee. I realized something amazing that one can catch maybe a few times in their life, or none at all .

Photo – Cristina David
Photo – Cristina David
The sun rising slowly in perfect silence slowly….Photo Cristina David
Photo – Cristina David
A seagull welcomes the life giving celestial body

I sincerely wish you had a similar experience, it is breath-taking, literally!

Stay safe and healthy, my friends!

Cristina David

The Sea Secrets

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.     

Jacques Yves Cousteau

Have you ever wondered why the sea has such a magnetic attraction to us?

Its infinity attracts us, our souls dream of boundlessness because they are part of the endless universe.

Looking for hours at the waves and listening to their enchanting, ceaseless, rythmic song we might get a glimpse of ETERNITY.

Cristina David

How to improve our declining vision

More than ANY other sense, we use our vision the most on a daily basis. However, the National Eye Institute reports that age-related vision decline happens to everyone. Small warning signs now can mean devastating problems around the corner.  

Declining eyesight is one of the biggest signs of old age. Perhaps words are getting blurier or driving is getting a bit more scary. Maybe your own children treat you like you’re delicate and fragile, always asking if you should be driving.

Besides vitamins and medical treatments for the eye, there are natural remedies such as carrots in your diet and the simple, decorative plant in your home, called aloe vera!

If you have problems with your eyesight, you might want to watch this video:

Try this, you may be glad you did!

Cristina David

The Garden of Europe

In case you haven’t heard of them, Keukenhof (or commonly referred to as the ‘Garden of Europe’) is one of the world’s great flower gardens. In short, the gardens are renowned for their spectacular tulip displays which draw thousands of visitors in Spring each year. Given present circumstances, that’s not an option unfortunately but the gardens have kindly put together a stunning virtual tour for us all to bask in this year’s majestic display.

The sea of fresh tulip flowers is truly astounding. What’s more, in amongst these delectable blooms, look for an array of daffodils, lilies, roses, carnations, and irises. Floral meditation at its finest.

Due to the malefic Coronavirus, this gorgeous park was closed this year in March, April and May – a period of time in which the most amazing, beautifully colored flowers are blooming all around. Since its opening in 1950, visitors from all over the world- for 8 weeks, actually – had been most welcome to come and enjoy, to take photos, to smell the enchanting parfumes . Not this year.

Violinist Rosanne Philippens embraces the sunrise in Keukenhof – Keukenhof Virtually Open

One single photographer, the Dutch landscape photographer, Albert Dros, was granted a special voucher/permission to go in and immortalize the floral splendor in his pictures. Good for him!

I found an interesting video on youtube that gives you an idea….which premiered in May 2020. Take your time and enjoy!

Cristina David

The Chrysanthemums Mirific World

Some call them mums, others call them chrysanths. By whatever name you call them, Chrysanthemums are a gorgeous genus of flowering plants, with over 40 different species within its family. Not only do they come in a wide variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, they have also had a myriad of uses throughout the centuries. They are native to East Asia and Northeastern Europe. Most species originate from East Asia and we could say that the center of diversity is in China.

These magnificent plants with gorgeous flowers, more than anything, are undeniable symbols of beauty. Just see for yourself, enjoying the abstract rainbow that this single family of flowers has to offer.  

Anastasia Green Chrysanthemum 

Tiger Tail Chrysanthemum 

Spider Bloom Chrysanthemum 

Chrysanthemum Vesuvius 

Chrysanthemum Pacificum 

Indian Summer Chrysanthemum 

Chrysanthemum Sun City 

. Hillside Pink Sheffield Chrysanthemum 

Most people cultivate these gorgeous flowers for ornamental and aesthetic purposes, adding color and fragrance to both public and private gardens worldwide. These flowers have been known for their symbolism, representing everything from death and adversity to honesty and positivity in different nations and cultures. When fall comes in our mundane world, the vividly colored mums are used to decorate the doorsteps of every single house in our neighborhood, mine included, of course. Such a magnificent view!

photo source : the internet

Have a great Sunday and stay safe!

Cristina David

Pandemic activities

The days go by so fast with lots of activities, sometimes short walks. Starting tomorrow the temperature will drop a little so we will resume our strolls. So far we’ve had hot summer days.

We live in a wonderful place where we have wildlife like deer, squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, racoons,groundhogs, etc roaming around.

We often make short trips in places that are not far away from our home, one of these is Batsto colonial Village situated in a state park. The landscapes are absolutely gorgeous, with a huge lake and even a grandiose mansion which attracts lots of visitors irrespective of the season since tha park is open all year round. Since the village is in the open air and one can go inside without paying or anything like that, a repeat trip over there can happen even now during the hideous pandemic that’s restraining so many people from taking vacations. But, as I often use to say, „better inside your home than inside a hospital ward…”.

Hope you enjoyed my short presentation in which I included photos made by me. I just love taking lots of photos wherever I go.

Wish you have a great weekend blessed with wonderful weather!

Cristina David

Enchanting Photos of Blue Dusk

There is a specific magical moment, on the cusp between day and evening, when the remaining light receives a blue glow and everything looks as if it’s the backdrop of a fairytale. German photographer Kilian Schoenberger dedicated a whole photo series to this special time of the day, which he calls the ‘magical border between the rational daylight world and the mystic realm of the night.’

Schoenberger explained further on the significance this blue hour has for him –  ‘it’s far more than just a special light mood. Especially when fog hides the landscape behind a white veil even familiar views turn into fantastic sceneries. Like a visual novelist, I’m trying to capture this daily transformation of the world with my camera.’

Take time now and enjoy the blue dusk views by the talented photographer below.

All these photos are truly breathtaking and dreamlike visions. I admit I did once or maybe twice in my life, notice similar unusual light perception in nature, but so many!!!

Enjoy each one of them and have a great day tomorrow!

Cristina David

Quite Unusual and Very Beautiful Places You Should Consider Visiting – Today : Tropea in Italy

Walk up to the Monastery of Santa Maria dell’Isola in Tropea, Italy

Are you up for a secret getaway? Like literally, a secret getaway. Then pack your bags and head to Tropea, Italy.  Get a good view of this 12th century Norman cathedral Franciscan monastery.  This place is a best kept secret of Italians where they all go to for vacations. (Apologies to the Italians for sharing it with the world!)

Not a lot of travellers know about this place yet. Not only do you get the scenic view of the castle but you can also enjoy an afternoon dip in its warm, turquoise clear water. How can you resist a dramatic coastal cliff view while you’re sunbathing?

Monastery of Santa Maria dell’Isola

The history of Tropea begins in Roman times. Legend says that it was Hercules ho, returning from Spain (Pillars of Hercules) stood on the Coast of the Gods and made Tropea one of his ports. Today it is considered the pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Tropea – eyebird view

Please remember that the Church on top of the cliff is worth the climb, visiting and enjoy the breathtaking view. The rock on which the church stands today was probably inhabited around the 7th century by Greek hermit monks. These, isolating themselves from the world, devoted themselves to a contemplative and ascetic life. Built before the 9th century, the church belonged, at first, to the Basilian monks. In the 11th century, after the arrival of the Normans, it was passed on to the Benedictines, who still own it today.

The Cathedral

In the cathedral there is a picture of Virgin Mary of Romania, of Byzantine origin, dating from around 1330.

Over the centuries, due to the violent earthquakes from 1783 and 1905, the complex has undergone various restorations and renovations, little of the original structure of the sanctuary being preserved until today.

The staircase that runs to the top was built around 1810. The current facade of the church was built after the earthquake of 1905. The last restoration took place in 2010-2011.

This super place on earth would make a good choice for a wonderful vacation in Europe!

Take care and stay safe!

Cristina David