Category Archives: photography by joyce meyer

Oh, Paris… What a loss.

My daughter calls with urgency in her voice,“Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire!” I quickly turn the TV on to see the tragic flames as the spire goes down. Immediately, I feel grateful that our trip to hike the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain involved a flight to and from Paris, France. Having a couple of days extra before flying home we decided to hit some of the sights of Paris which included one of the most famous buildings in the world, Notre Dame Cathedral.

The building of the cathedral was completed over the course of 200 years; it was started in 1163 during the reign of King Louis VII and was completed in 1345.

In its history, Notre Dame has endured destruction and subsequent restoration in many periods. However, much of the facade and interior still are true to the original designs. In the 16th century, both the Huguenots and the French king vandalized and changed a lot of the cathedral’s contents. A lot of the features on the cathedral’s exterior were removed because they were considered to be idolatrous, and tombs and stained glass windows were destroyed in the name of modernization. The cathedral was converted into a storage warehouse for food, during the French Revolution, and the heads of many of Notre Dame’s statues were removed.

The Cathedral was at one time in a stage of total disrepair and close to the point of being demolished, but was later saved by Napoleon who himself was crowned Emperor in 1804 inside the Cathedral.

Between 1845 and 1870, a first attempt at restoration took place. A good portion of the previous century’s damage done to the cathedral was repaired, and new additions were built. Most recently, a new restoration program was started in 1991 and has gone on for 20 years with a focus on cleaning up facade’s and sculptures. ~notredamecathedralparis.com

Today’s event has caused quite a step backwards, I’d say…

Below are some of the images I was able to capture during our visit in 2014:

This Notre Dame beggar (Gypsy?) working the line will need to find a new location. Maybe, she’ll try her luck at Sacre Coeur.

“Tis the Season

Guess what I’ve been doing lately? Yep, designing grad cards. Graduation will be here before we know it!

Photography and design by Joyce Meyer.

Two images blended using Photoshop CC and topped off with Topaz Studio “Dreamy Day” action.

Got a Minute?

“Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time Stephen Wright

Joan, Randy & Joyce ~ Porto, Portugal to Santiago, Spain

Caminho Portuguese: Bonus Round #3

Any Portuguese town looks like a bride’s finery – something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.  – Mary McCarthy

August 23-24, 2019

Using old school maps we walk along the metro line in Matosinhos until we need to go away from it to find our hostel for the next two nights. (Actually, Randy and Joan read maps and I just follow.) We manage to wind around neighborhoods, a large hospital, and cross crazy traffic until Randy spies a tiny sign in front of the building – Oportocean Hostel.

A metro line stop is practically in our back yard, so off we go to the old section of Porto, to take advantage of a free Porto Walking Tour advertised. Look for the orange umbrella for a tour in English. The tour guide is fabulous, taking us all around the old city centre, along the Douro River, while pointing out interesting landmarks and sharing a tremendous amount of history for two full hours. This young lady will do very well in life and we make sure to tip her accordingly.

Shame on people that ditch a tour when it is almost over to avoid tipping. Rant over.

Caminho Portuguese: Bonus Round Day #2

Don’t count the days, make the days count. ~Muhamed Ali

Wednesday, August 22, 2018: 12+ kilometers

Short YouTube video of Bonus Round Day #2:

We exit Oporto Brothers Hostel in Porto, Portugal to make our way along the tile covered sidewalks along with a throng of tourists and locals.

Don’t be fooled by Google Map’s estimated time for walking. It’s not an easy task to navigate the narrow streets, alleys and steep steps to reach the River Minho. Let’s just say we like to make things more of an adventure.

First stop is to locate Sao Bento Railway Station (for later reference) and we find it to be an amazing sight to behold. Large azulejo “paintings” representing historical events in Portuguese history line the walls. There are approximately 20,000 azulejo tiles, dating from 1905–1916, composed by Jorge Colaço, an important painter of azulejo of the time.

We continue up the hill to the Porto Cathedral which seems to have been a work in progress for some time as it displays three major historical styles: Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque.

Image from Visit Portugal. No copyright infringement intended.

Construction began in the 12th Century and continued to be a work in progress into the 18th Century which explains the different architectural styles. It is the largest place of worship in Porto and one of the oldest historical monuments.

Now its time to follow the yellow arrows through the maze of narrow streets and find our way to the Minho River.

Fishtail Hostel, our home for the night just a few blocks from the beach.

Camino Portuguese Day 14 ~ Santiago, here we come…

Sunday, August 19, 2018 | Albergue Cruces Inn to Santiago de Compostela, Spain | 21 K

Reservations have been made at Seminario Menor (school, seminary and pilgrim hostel) in Santiago so we allow ourselves time to enjoy breakfast and plan for a leisurely walking day with no worry of racing to score beds. Really? Truth is, we are pretty excited to arrive in Santiago so it seems we keep a steady pace throughout the day.

We enjoy random encounters with friends made along the trail along with interesting conversations with new friends on this final hiking day. This is accompanied with a twinge of sadness knowing, most likely, we will never see them again. But, alas, this is the Camino. We experience a little piece of life together and move on. My hope is that they think of us as honest, decent, and kind human beings.

Thank you to all who took the time and energy to smile, laugh, converse and share experiences as we walked the same pilgrim path for this short while. Truly, the best thing about the Camino is the Camino.

Camino Portuguese Day 13: Night Hiking, Mausoleums and the “Squid.”

Saturday, August 18, 2018: Caldas de Reiss to Cruces Inn, Escravitude, Spain|26 K

We bid farewell to the Lotus Palace (Does the name sound like it should be located in Asia?) at 5:25 a.m. hoping to put in a longer day thus reducing the distance tomorrow as we enter Santiago de Compostela. The past few days have been alongside the freeway N-550 so it is assuring to know we are not lost if we occasionally hear the busy traffic.

It’s always fun to visit with young people as we walk and Randy enjoys learning and sharing special handshakes, such as “The Squid,” with some of the young men we meet. Laughter is also shared along with the handshake.

We cross the bridge and enter the city of Padron which is the legendary starting point of St. James’ ministry in Spain and also the subsequent return of his mortal remains following his martyrdom in Jerusalem. We spend some time exploring the church and find it well worth the stop.

Challenge of the day is finding our destination of Cruces Inn (a new albergue) located past Padron and Escravitude, but asking directions and the prominent signs posted here and there lead us right to the door.

We locate the friendly owner in his office, check in to our lower bunks and explore the grounds. Cute, clean albergue rooms with storage units, bathroom/showers in two locations and a storage shed used for pilgrim overflow. Apparently, no kitchen so delicious food is ordered and delivered from town, while beer and wine is always on hand. Highly recommend Albergue Cruces Inn. Plus, we are promised coffee and breakfast in the morning ~ double hooray!!

These days of hiking have flown by… Santiago tomorrow!!