Captured Moments

By: Linnor Marie

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Tuesday, 1-Jul-2003 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Introduction to our Travelogue

Europe used to be that faraway place we only saw on television or read in books and travel brochures. Visiting any part of it used to be too grand an ambition for us that we thought of it as something that is attainable only by extraordinary means. It was soon relegated to an item in our very long "wish" list.

However, the good and generous Lord had other plans for us. He sent two earthly angels, in the person of Junnie and Mitzi, who would soon include Europe as an agenda for us in June 2003.

Without any complicated plans, we went through the rigors of processing the travel documents. A few minor hitches here and there. But in no time, we were bound for the trip of a lifetime.

In the next entries, you will be witnesses to our adventures. I suggest that you click first the links on your left screen which says 6/6 - Paris, Fr (our day 1) and so on...Oh, and you are free to leave any comments too.

Bon jour!

Sunday, 29-Jun-2003 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Paris, France, Our Last Day in Europe...

Pity! Notre Dame was all messy that day
We didn't include the garbage in this shot
The ornate portal
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June 22 - Jerry and I badly needed to rest after having spent two consecutive nights on the train to and from Lourdes. On the other hand, we also felt we had to cover the landmarks that Junnie and Mitzi drew out for us as our itinerary.

With determination, we mustered all our remaining energy and tried to rev up our adrenaline as early as 7:30AM and headed for the famous Notre Dame Cathedral. That was after disembarking from the train station and making a short stop at our hotel.

According to a venerable tradition, it was in Notre Dame that the Lady appeared to St. Dominic and revealed the importance and the value of praying the Holy Rosary.

Below are short descriptions of all the landmarks/monuments that we saw.

(- from

Notre Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre-Dame-de-Paris)
This famous cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture on which construction began in the 12th century, stands on the �le de la Cité and is the symbolic heart of the city.

This former jail, which held prisoners during the French Revolution's Reign of Terror, is now open to the public.

Located in the 18th Arrondissement, this elevated rural neighborhood on the outskirts of the city has a collection of upscale shops and cafés and still exudes hints of old village charm.

This Montmartre landmark, a 19th-century basilica built by the French government following the Franco-Prussian War, features a large medieval dome that provides excellent views of the city.

Moulin Rouge
This risqué world-famous cabaret, performed in a 19th-century windmill, has been exciting audiences since 1900.

Musee d'Orsay
This beautiful museum, once a railroad station, now houses a staggering collection of Impressionist art, as well as other items created from 1848-1914.

The Louvre (Musee du Louvre)
Home to Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, the Louvre is considered the world's greatest art museum, with an unparalleled collection of items covering the full spectrum of art through the ages.

River Seine
This famous river flows from east to west through the heart of the city and divides Paris's Left Bank and Right Bank.

Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel)
Completed in 1889, this colossal landmark, although initially hated by many Parisians, is now a famous symbol of French civic pride.)

Well, as in all fairy tales, every story would soon come to an end. The curtains are about to be drawn. Our Europe experience, a story in itself, is about to be concluded in a bittersweet finale. It's not something that's too easy to let go. Europe was home to us for 18 memorable days and it has profoundly affected our lives. We have "formed new memories" enough to last a lifetime. We hope to come back to make more memories with and to pass on to the next generation.

For now, all we could say is "Au revoir!". Till we meet again!

Saturday, 28-Jun-2003 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
A Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Lourdes (Lourdes, France)

Early morning pose at the Basilica of Lourdes
On the way to the baths
The Grotto where the Blessed Virgin appeared to Bernadette
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In Bernadette's day, the Grotto was a dirty, hidden, damp and cold place. The Grotto was literally called the "pigâ??sty" because that was where pigs feeding in the area took shelter. It was there that the Virgin Mary, dressed in white, a sign of total purity, chose to appear. The contrast between this damp and obscure cave and the presence of the Virgin Mary reminds us of the Gospel, the meeting of the goodness of God and the poverty of the human person...

At the ninth apparition, Mary asked Bernadette to scrape the ground, saying to her "Go to the spring, drink of it and wash yourself there." There is only a little muddy water to begin with, enough for Bernadette to drink. At first this water is muddy and dirty then, little by little, it becomes clear. The spring signifies the cleansing of the human heart, wounded by sin yet healed through prayer and penance. Bernadette was asked what the lady said to her. She replied, "Now and again she would say, 'penance, penance, penance, pray for sinners.' " Praying leads us to the Spirit of God. We understand that sin is contrary to the love of God and revealed to us through the Gospel.)

June 21 - Jerry and I joined the line of countless pilgrims who waited for their turn in the baths at 8:00 AM. The weather was actually cool and the thought of bathing in the stream sent cold shivers down my spine. But this was what we were there for and all the faithful who were lined up with us.

It was a blessed feeling for Jerry and me as we were immersed in that icy cold tub of water from the Massabielle. We prayed and kept in mind the message of the Lady to St. Bernadette, and why we were taking that sacred bath... to cleanse our human hearts.

Friday, 27-Jun-2003 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Bon jour Paris!

Hotel des Invalides
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June 20 - The moment we set foot on Paris, we had barely deposited our bags with the hotel and then we were off again.

(Hotel des Invalides
This huge domed structure was constructed in the late 17th century under the direction of Louis XIV to shelter old and wounded soldiers and includes the more recent addition of Napoleon's tomb.

Rodin Museum (Musee Rodin)
Located in this 18th-century hotel where Auguste Rodin once lived, this museum holds an impressive collection of works by this famous French sculptor.

Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg)
These formal gardens, open to only royalty before the French Revolution, now serve as one of Paris's most popular destinations for relaxation.

This ancient church is the resting place for many of France's greatest heroes.

Arc de Triomphe
This world-famous landmark structure has served ever since the days of Napoleon as a symbol of victory for triumphant French troops returning home.

Champs Elysees
Perhaps the most famous street in Paris, this wide, tree-lined avenue is home to the city's chic restaurants, shops and boutiques.

- from

Thursday, 26-Jun-2003 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Celebrating our Last Night in Switzerland

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June 19 - Time really flies fast... Now we are counting the hours before our Switzerland holiday draws to an end. Soon it's going to be "Bye Switzerland and Hello Paris!".

So here are the last Swiss poses we had in Vevey and the sumptuous raclette and cheval dinner with wine that Junnie and Mitzi tendered for us. Oh yes, lest I forget, May too shared in the treat. Though quite reluctantly, she managed to part away about 25 Swiss francs. A feat in itself!

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