Old Town Dubrovnik – The Low Down

While walking the wall above Old Town Dubrovnik is certainly quite impressive, there is much to see and appreciate at ground level.

If entering at the Pile Gate (west entrance), one of the first iconic destinations is the Large Onofrio’s Fountain designed by Onofrio della Cava and Pietro di Martino dating back to 1438.

Interestingly, the fountain still services this section of Dubrovnik by providing potable drinking water.

Each of the fountain’s 16 sections is decorated with a detailed “mask” and a spigot coming from the mouth. A number of tourists used the fountain to fill their drinking bottles.

During earthquakes and through aging, the fountain sustained damage. Although the reconstruction was not quite as ornate as the original, it is still impressive. Kučak, the fountain dog, suffered severe damage, but was finally restored in 2016.

You can read about Small Onofrio’s Fountain HERE

The approximately 300 meter long limestone main street in Old Town is referred to as the Stradun. This is where a number of main attractions can be found.

Dubrovnik’s Bell Tower is a major landmark dating back to the 15th century. It is pictured below with Mt. Srd in the background. Two metal figurines known as “The Greens,” strike the bell every day at noon alerting those in and around Luža Square.

Read more about the interesting history of the Bell Tower HERE

There are many side streets which invite tourists to stroll down to explore the variety of shops and restaurants.

Don’t forget to look up to appreciate the architecture that does not appear easily in view.

The Church of St Nicholas Bell Tower

Of course not all is old. What tourist area would not benefit from a candy store? This particular version is quite different.

Needless to say, there are also numerous gelato venues. A somewhat unique shop offered toy rubber ducks. Perhaps they have duck races from time-to-time in and around Old Town.

In a fashion similar to that of St. Mark’s Square in Venice, pigeons have found a welcome home in Old Town. There are holes in the walls (aka “bird hotels”) used to erect scaffolding when work needs to be done and the birds have turned these niches in to nesting places.

At the far end of the main Stradun, near the Ploce Gate (east side), is an entrance to the Dominican Monastery showing amazing architectural grace and beauty.

It is easy to understand why Old Town is a tourist favorite with so much to see and explore! Scroll down for a few quick takes…


Luža Square with the Church of St Blaise

Administrative buildings, such as the Rector’s Palace show incredible detail and craftsmanship.

National and county flags decorate a number of the office buildings.

A statue of Croatian writer Marin Držić receives nose rubs from passersby.

As we departed Old Town for the last time, we noticed (among the replica cannon balls) a cat eying a pigeon only a foot away. Both bird and cat seemed pretty laid back in the moment. Apparently all was peaceful this day in Old Town.

See previous entries in this series of posts:

Dubrovnik, Croatia – Pearl of the Adriatic

Old Town Dubrovnik – Above it all


Next stop – Dubrovnik viewed from the Adriatic and above!

Have Icon, Will Travel

Someone has done some interesting thinking to help travelers in a clever and unique way. If you have ever visited a foreign country where you had no understanding of the language, this might be just the item for you.

Why not wear a shirt with icons representing cultural places in a specific country and other items that might be universally understood?

Just to give you an idea, here is a world edition T-Shirt.


To locate a bus stop, you could politely stop someone on the street and point to the icon of the bus. Most people, I believe, would get the idea and assist you.

Picture courtesy of PetaPixel


Below is a shirt targeted specifically to those who will be stopping in Paris (Notice the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe).


The company has a video to add a bit of levity to their sales pitch.

If you visit the ICONSPEAK website, you can see that they have a variety of styles, colors and targeted countries.


Read more miscellaneous stories on JBRish HERE


All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2020 — JBRish.com

Photography: My Shot – The Alhambra from the Hill of the Sun

The Alhambra palace and fortress in Granada, Spain is one of those locations that is so monumentally beautiful and interesting that it defies description. Not only is the ancient architecture magnificent, the castle grounds and gardens are also magnificent.

The photograph below was captured looking back at the Alhambra from the Generalife gardens located on the Cerro del Sol (Hill of the Sun). We toured the facility for three hours or more and there remains more I would like to have seen.

Perhaps one day we shall return!

The Alhambra palace as viewed from the Hill of the Sun.
“The Alhambra palace as viewed from the Hill of the Sun”

Photography enthusiasts who visit the Alhambra be warned: You will not be able to stop taking pictures. One scene is prettier and more captivating than the last!

NOTE: A complete pictorial essay of the Alhambra will be published on JBRish.com in the near future!



File Name: DSC_3226.NEF
Capture time: 1:38:34 PM
Capture date: May 17, 2018
Exposure: 1/320 sec @ f/9
Focal Length: 18mm
ISO: 100
Camera: Nikon D3300
Lens: 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
Edited in Lightroom


Check out Jeff’s Instagram account for more interesting photos!

Read more photography posts HERE



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com

Seville, Spain – The Alcazar

We were excited to begin our second day in Seville because our walking tour was going to take us to the Alcazar, one of the oldest palaces currently in use by monarchs. Spain’s royal family resides there when duties call them to Seville or nearby towns. The Alcazar has also gained a bit of notoriety as the setting for some episodes of The Game of Thrones.

The Alcazar first served as a fort and was later used as a palace for the leaders of the cultures dominating the area. As noted in prior posts, centuries-old buildings contain vestiges of the societies that claimed ownership of them over time and the Alcazar is no exception.

Tourists will note elements reminiscent of the Renaissance and Baroque periods as well as architectural influences of the Arab and other cultures. The main entrance is through the Lion’s Gate adjacent to the Plaza del Triunfo which is just one of the first of many interesting sights visitors will see.

The Lions Gate of the Alcazar

Here is a close-up of the lion inlay.

The Lions Gate of the Alcazar

Picture by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas
via https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41790903

Visitors pass through an archway to arrive at the Patio de la Montería (The Hunting Courtyard).

Entrance archway to the Hunting Courtyard.

This is a photograph from the other side showing the manicured hedges and roses as well as other garden and architectural accents. The stonework is old and it looks its age!

Entrance archway from inside the Hunting Courtyard.

There are many notable characteristics of the Alcazar, but the numerous courtyards creating outdoor and indoor rooms must be high on that list. As the name implies, the Hunting Courtyard is where the royalty would gather those participating in the hunts. It currently serves as an entrance to the Royal Palace of Seville.

 Royal Palace of Seville.

The striking facade of the Mudejar Palace, or Palacio del Rey Don Pedro, located inside the Alcazar was constructed around 1360.

the Mudejar Palace

Notice the intricate patterns which I found remarkable considering the time in which it was built.

intricate patterns - facade of the Mudejar Palace

Other buildings framing the palace entrance were vibrantly colored which does not show as well in this shaded area.

vibrant colors of the buildings

The Dolls Courtyard (Patio de las Munecas) in the Alcazar had incredible structural details. The name is derived from the small abstract stucco faces that decorate some of the arches. I did not know about this “hidden” feature at the time, but the Internet has come to the rescue!

One of the dolls
A close up picture of one the dolls heads, a “hidden” architectural element in the Dolls Couryard of the Alcazar.
Photo courtesy of https://www.bluffton.edu/homepages/facstaff/sullivanm/spain/seville/alcazar/alcazar4.html

Square skylight dome of the Dolls Courtyard

The square domed skylight of the Dolls Couryard (above) allowed filtered light to fill the area which enabled the play of light and shadow to accentuate the detailed stucco work (below).

Dolls Couryard with intricate carvings

The Ambassador’s Hall (Salón de Embajadores – below), sometimes referenced as the Throne Room, was a very important area of the Alcazar because it was used for public events and affairs. The arches were beautifully decorated with shades of blue. The pronounced curves have been referred to as “horseshoe arches.”

The Ambassador’s Hall

Here is a closer picture of some plaster details!

Arch details and colors

If this was not enough, a stunning dome made of gilded wood in the Ambassador’s Hall added an even more decadent accent.

Golden Dome Ceiling of the Ambassador's Hall

The Courtyard of the Maidens (Patio de las Doncellas) has a reflecting pool which would be integral to a Moorish design. The name refers to the legend that the Moors demanded 100 virgins every year as tribute from Christian kingdoms in Iberia. [1] Recent research indicated that the sunken garden was an original feature and thus was recently restored replacing a marble courtyard with center fountain.

Courtyard of the Maidens
<p>Additional plaster artwork among the arches of the Alcazar</p>
<p><img style=

When visiting a building of such historical importance and magnificence, it is really difficult to appreciate all it has to offer in the moment. In addition to all of the beautiful architecture and artwork mentioned thus far, the tile work along the walls was impressive.

The colorful tile below contains portraits of Charles V and Isabel of Portugal. [2]

Beautiful tile work with portraits of Charles V and Isabel of Portugal

Tile work pattern with blues, green and brown

Beautiful tile work

And then there was this wooden, door-like panel with a Moorish design…

Wooden panel with Moorish patterns

Once again, much like a child in a candy store, there was almost too much to take in at one time as we came to displays of beautiful tapestries. This tapestry was hanging above a doorway in the hall of Charles V.

Coat of Arm Tapestry

Here is a better picture of the entire hallway and notice the tiles and additional tapestries along the wall.

In the Sala de los Tapices (Room of Tapestries) the walls are covered with tapestries depicting various explorations and conquests. The originals were destroyed and these are reproductions. The Tapestry Room had to be built from scratch after the Lisbon earthquake of 1755. [3]

Hall of Tapestries

Don’t forget to look up. The ceilings are also works of art.

Beautiful ceiling with wonderful colors

Another beautiful ceiling

As we walked through the palace, there were some striking rooms that looked out on to the vast gardens.

Sun room overlooking the gardens

One of my favorite spots in the garden was this curved tile bench with a hedge mimicking the outline.

Garden tile bench

There were a myriad of intersecting pathways to explore leading visitors to roses and other beautiful plantings.

Garden paths

Another garden path

Did I mention they have peacocks?

Peacock in the garden

Closer and more colorful picture of the peacock

As we left the gardens we used a beautifully carved portal near the Jardín del Retiro del Marqués.

Intricately carved stonework of the exit portal at the Alcazar's garden

This is one place in Seville where the more time a visitor has, the better. It was hard to see all of it while on a schedule with other planned stops!

[1] – https://globetrottinggardener.com/2015/09/01/sevillas-alcazar-the-courtyard-of-the-maidens/

[2] – http://paulbuddehistory.com/europe/the-hapsburgs-in-the-low-countries/

[3] – https://www.seville-traveller.com/alcazar-seville/


Continue reading about our trip to Portugal and Spain.


Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2019 – JBRish.com

Adventures in Oregon: Hiking at Indian Beach

After our exploration of Warrenton and Seaside our next stop was Ecola State Park located between Seaside and Cannon Beach, OR.

Map showing Ecola State Park

As you will note from the following series of photographs our day at Ecola State Park’s Indian Beach started off with clouds and rain.

Surfers along the stormy beach
Surfers welcomed the waves created by the storm

The rain didn’t bother the surfers who were sure to get wet anyway, but hiking in the rain can create some challenges. We were not to be deterred however.

Other adventurers also wanted to experience the more dour mood the ocean would offer this morning.

We were not the only people intrigued by the rumbling waves
A number of beach lovers were attracted to the stormy shore

And there was enough wind and surf to accomodate those seeking the more somber beach experience.

Dark, craggy rock formations just offshore
The grey day gave a more severe appearance to the rock formations

We decided to investigate the beach area while the rain was only a drizzle as we did not know what the rest of the day would portend. We came across this sign which is not one seen on most of our hikes.

Unusual shark sighting sign
A sign not seen on a normal hiking day

In spite of the weather or perhaps because of it, the beach scene was starkly beautiful.

Stark beauty of the shore and cliffs
The cliffs and shore radiated their stark, stormy beauty

Most of the gulls tolerated the humans and did not scurry until a relatively close approach.

Seagulls gathered along the beach
Seagulls seemed to be enjoying the misty morning on the beach

The sand was covered in a palette of light browns which played well against the darker brown and black rocks.

Sand and rock created a brown palette
The storm induced palette of browns and blacks was attractive

Here the barnacles added texture to the rugged rocks.

Barnacles added texture to the rocky outcroppings
Barnacles added texture to the rocky outcroppings

I can’t say whether or not these anemones would be as pretty on a brighter, drier day, but they were jewel-like in their emerald green tones.

Green anemone among the rocks
Emerald colored anemone among the rocks

After wandering along the beach, we decided to take a seaside hike. The description of the Clatsop Loop sounded appealing with a promise of a potential sighting of the Tillamook Rock Light (lighthouse). While we like hiking in general, the trips we enjoy most are those which have us close to the sights and sounds of nature. We did not realize the the Clatsop Loop trail would take visitors along an access road uphill. The footing was good, but we prefer wooded, non-paved terrain.

The one snap I did take along our hike uphill, was of this radiant fern among the other green vegetation and forest floor mulch.

A radiant fern along the Clatsop trail
A radiant fern seen along the Clatsop Loop Trail

The return part of the loop was much more picturesque as parts were near the shoreline or through the woods. We arrived back at the trailhead and were once again drawn to experience the changeable atmosphere of the ocean on this morning.

PS – The fog and cloudy day precluded any view of the lighthouse from the trail.

A large rock formation lined the ocean's shoreline
An abundance of large rocks along the shoreline

The seagulls continued to take advantage of the wet weather
Gulls continued to enjoy the stormy morning


Read more about Ecola State Park HERE

Read more about the Clatsop Loop Trail HERE


Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 3

Adventures in Oregon: Warrenton to Seaside


Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 – JBRish.com