About Linda Alberici Eichberg

I am certified fitness professional, promoting a grateful, positive and healthy lifestyle while empowering woman to be the best they can be to fulfill their God given purpose. I'm a motivational speaker and writer along with my sister, Maria Lauren. Both Maria and I sing, entertain and speak about our book - BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS, which we co-authored.

The Earth Laughed in Flowers – Part 2

Spring is the most glorious season to spend time in nature. It was disappointing to have most of the trails close down at the end of April because of Coronavirus. Now that the nature trails are open again, I can once more express my gratitude for God’s awesome creation and give myself the immunity boost that nature provides.1

Beautiful Trails – Late April Through Mid-May

There was a nice showing of Chinese Houses along the Pentachaeta trail in, Triunfo Canyon Park, late April before the trail closures. The colorful blooms usually last through May.

One tiny Silver Puff stood out among green the grasses.

An abundance of Fiesta flowers covered small areas of the Pentachaeta Trail.

Field of Owls clover

Only a few specimens of Blue Eyed Grass were found but they were delightful.

Hiking down the trail, I discovered an arrangement of Seep Monkey Flowers and Miners Lettuce in a moist stream bed.

The birds of spring were singing joyful songs. I was seeing, smelling and hearing the symphony of nature. I turned my walk into a moving meditation by syncing my breath to the rhythm and tune nature was playing.

Tiny, fairylike Whispering Bells made a delicate ground cover and added a fairytale feeling to my experience.

Further up the trail, there were plenty of Fiddlenecks in groupings but I chose to photograph this single plant, getting lost in its detail.

A golden sprinkling of California Goldfields dotted the landscape like magical fairy dust.

Poppies were spreading out, stretching across the trailhead.

I found an unusual plant that I had never seen before, Bur Clover.

Miners Lettuce is edible and used as salad greens. It’s a good source of vitamin C.

I’m pretty sure this is Nakedstem Sunray, Enceliopsis Nudicaulis. It’s also known as Naked-stemmed Daisy.

There were just some of the beauties along the Pentachaeta trail. I also visited the Wendy trail.

THE SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS NATIONAL RECREATION AREA, WENDY TRAIL

The Wendy trail in Newbury Park offered some colorful and stately Lupine flowers.

Purple robe made a lovely spring blanket of flowers.

The Wendy trail is a fairly easy one to walk. My Maltese enjoyed themselves.

The colors were so pretty on this variety of Vetch. Possibly Vicia Americana.

Wild Radish

Enhance the Functioning of Your Body’s Immune System

Keep enjoying nature and the sunshine for good immunity. The sun provides Vitamin D which is excellent for the immune system, so is Vitamin C. “Vitamin C is essential to stimulating the formation of antibodies, which help suppress an over-reactive inflammatory response. In layman’s term, vitamin C can help slow down how fast a virus reproduces and spreads.”2 Stay safe and stay healthy.

With a grateful heart, Linda

So we, Your people and sheep of Your pasture, Will give You thanks forever; We will show forth Your praise to all generations. – Psalm 79:13 NKJV

References:

  1. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150916162120.htm
  2. https://healthycontent.customizednutritionnewsletters.com/CSB/Public/archive.aspx?args=NDM1NDU3NDA%3d&acc=NzU4Mzgz

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The Earth Has Its Day

The world has practically stopped because of the Coronavirus. In our stillness we are allowing the earth to rest and heal. We have been obliged to carry out conservation practices beyond what we have already initiated. I’m easily using a third less paper products than I was before.

Some things have become scarce but everything has become more sacred and appreciated. April 22nd, Earth Day has always been a meaningful day for me and it’s even more so now. Our place on this earth is so apparently fragile.

“Everything in excess is opposed to nature.” – Hippocrates

Keep A Sacred Perspective of Nature

When it comes to helping save the world, everyone has a part to play. I recently saw the movie “The Pollinators”. This important movie from Demand Film, is eye opening. I never envisioned the massive amounts of bees that have to be transported across the country, from field to field, to pollinate our fruits, nuts and vegetables. Because of insecticides, fungicides and other poisons, our bee population is now inadequate and the balance of nature is in a crisis.

Practice Gratitude

When I eat, I usually remember the people who plant and harvest my food, but now, I also think of these outstanding people who keep the bees that preserve our food chain.

I offer massive gratitude to our doctors, nurses, leaders and essential workers who are on the front lines of the pandemic. God bless them for keeping me safe.

Have Self-Compassion

We are at war with COVID-19 but we’re also fighting to not allow it to steal our joy. Better days are coming, but today, it is essential to have compassion for ourselves and focus on God’s daily mercies. By all means boost your immune system with exercise, healthy eating and laughter.

Use your time wisely. Many online learning centers are giving free courses, due to Coronavirus. Learn home repairs. My installing an inexpensive DIY bidet toilet seat attachment was helpful in saving toilet paper.

Spend as much time as you can outdoors exercising, following COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. I am blessed, my home backs up to open space. What a wonderful world!

With all the extra attention they are getting, my dogs have come out as winners in this situation.

We were given stewardship of the earth to use sustainably, not abuse, but that privilege can be taken away from us. God is Sovereign over all. I will leave you with these words from conservationist, Jane Goodall.

“You, as an individual, just have to remember that in your life, you matter, you have a role to play and that every single day you live, you make some impact and you get a choice as to what kind of impact you’re going to make,” she said. “If everyone is making the right ethical choice, whatever religion they’re part of, then we’re going to have a much better world…”

“We haven’t inherited this planet from our parents, we’ve borrowed it from our children. We have not borrowed our children’s future — we have stolen it and we’re still stealing it now, and it’s time we get together, whatever our religion, whatever our culture, get together and start changing the way — changing our attitude — so that we can leave a better world for our children, whom we love.” – Jane Goodall

What will you do respect this Earth Day? Happy Earth Day 2020.

Linda

“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

– Psalm 118:24

The Earth Laughed in Flowers

There is a lovely quote, “The earth laughs in flowers.” I can relate to that. California’s wildflowers bring a smile to my heart. My neighborhood nature walks have helped to keep me joyful during the “shelter at home” order.

Winter on the Pentachaeta trail dissolved into Spring with the last of the fringed Linanthus.

Tiny California golden violets started to make an appearance here and there in early March.

By mid-month Viola Pedunculata were abounding on the Pentachaeta Trail. Have you ever seen a field of Johnny jump ups before. They were stunning!

Walking up the trail, newly born owls clover and California goldfields adorned the edges of the path.

Purple nightshade covered the hills.

All this grows without the help of man. Incredible! My respect for God’s creation and the wisdom of earth increases with every visit to the Southern California open spaces.

Around the bend, a small stream was flowing. Next to the stream were these beautiful yellow and orange canyon sunflowers (Venegasia carpesioides).

Hiking higher, I came across this interesting series of circles with an offering bowl in the center. It made me reflect on the sacredness of nature and our planet. I offered a prayer for healing of the earth.

The flowers on the Fuchia-Flowered Gooseberry shrub were vibrant, alive with color in my Westlake Village community!

The buck brush blossoms that covered the hills in February had dwindled to only a few in early March.

The Indian warrior, also called warriors plume, fascinated me. I took a closer look at its unbranched flower clusters. This is a parasitic plant that feeds off the roots of other plants.

The following week, I headed up the Westlake Vista trail. Indian paintbrush were prolific there also in early to mid March. I was delighted to see my first white nightshade plant on that trail.

The California poppies had multiplied significantly since my last visit. My soul danced to their energy!

Like a butterfly, I moved from flower to flower. Interesting California Everlasting plant.

Dainty ‘red maids’, what a color!

The white bleeding-hearts like the higher elevations.

A menagerie of petite wild flowers with Fiesta flower in the foreground.

Nuttall’s Larkspur in late winter.

Happy, Seep monkey flowers next to a dry stream.

They look as if they’re laughing, don’t they? Yes, I agree with Ralph Waldo Emerson, the earth does laugh in flowers.

With a smile in my heart,

Linda

P.S. These photos were taken when the trails were open. The recent new Corona virus restrictions have temporarily close these trails. Stay safe and healthy.

~~~~~~~~~~~

“For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.'”

Acts 17:28 NLT

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Winter Wildflower Wonderland

California winters provide a surprising variety of colorful flowers growing wild in the hills. Hiking the Westlake Vista trail during February, I spotted these dainty pink shooting stars growing among the grasses.

The shooting star is very striking in groupings. It is a member of the primrose family. I’m pretty sure this variety is Primula clevelandi.

Tall and majestic these white bleeding heart or white ear drops (Ehrendorferia ochroleuca), made quite an impression against the backdrop of the mountains.

Heading up the trail, my companion and I stopped to admired the common stork’s bill or pinwheel (Eurodium cicutarium). It has a very pretty flower but it’s considered a weed. It is not an original California native plant.

The top of Westlake Vista trail overlooks the Westlake Reservoir. It was an exceptional beautiful clear morning.

Fringed linanthus – Linanthus dianthiflorus dotted the rocky soil.

California goldfields spread along the craggy flood plain near the reservoir.

One of the many varieties of Cryptantha perhaps Cryptantha clevelandi.

On the way down from the reservoir my friend and I chose a different path.

The flowers of the deerweed (Acmispon glaber) were lovely!

Purple Nightshade (Solanum xanti) wild flowers were abundant. Could also be Bluewitch Nightshade – Solanum umbelliferum. Both are deadly to humans.

The day was glorious! I was grateful to be able to share California’s beauty with my friend, Sandra, visiting from Germany.

We were excited to see so many varieties of winter wildflowers, like these purple owls clover – Castilleja exerta)

A once majestic burned oak, killed by the Woolsely fire.

Poppies, our beautiful state flower. Who knew February would be such a wildflower wonderland in Westlake Village!

With gratitude, Linda

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” – Ecclesiastes 3:11

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How To Embellish Your Reverse Table Top

– Reverse Table Top Pose also known as Crab Pose, is a tremendous pose for gaining agility and upper body strength. It strengthens the shoulders, arms, core, gluteus maximus, wrists and legs. Reverse Table Top opens the front of the body so it’s an excellent counter pose to Table Top Pose, Forward Fold, Plank and Chaturanga. Since the pose is beneficial in both building up and stretching the muscles that hold us in good posture, it is a good asana for preventing Text Neck.

Working Backwards

This month in my fitness classes, I have been doing a Reverse Table Top challenge. Working backwards challenges the mind and body and it’s great cross-training. Break some old patterns by moving in new ways. Try things that are opposite of what you know. Sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards.

Playing Upside Down

Crab Pose is a wonderful exercise that utilizes your own body weight. If you want even more out of this exercise, there are ways you can add variations. Adding: leg extensions, arm extensions, figure 4 stretch, knee lifts, foot on knee or the crab walk will amplify the intensity and difficulty of the exercise. First, let’s start with a simple Reverse Table.

Playing with my Reverse Table Top Pose

Reverse Table Top Pose Instructions

  1. Begin in Staff Pose or from a seated position; bend the knees bringing the feet flat on the floor hip width apart. Toes and knees are pointing straight ahead.
  2. Lean back into the arms with your fingers pointed towards the buttocks, inhale and lift the hips up towards the ceiling, level with the knees and shoulders. Press into the feet.
  3. Look up at the ceiling or carefully drop the head back. Knees are over the ankles and shoulders are over the wrists.
  4. Squeeze the glutes, engaging Mula Bandha to lift the hips high. Press into the hands and draw the shoulder blades towards each other and lift up through the sternum, keeping the spine straight. 
  5. Hold for 3 to 10 breaths. I tell my students, “Imagine you are balancing a cup of hot tea on your stomach.”
  6. To release the pose, slowly drop your hips to the floor as you exhale.

Tip – As you add on extensions to your pose, work extra hard to keep your hips from dropping by squeezing your glutei and lifting through your hips.

Benefits Of Doing Ardha Purvottanasana (Sanskrit name):

  • Improves posture
  • Strengthens: shoulders, arms, back, legs, neck, glutes and core
  • Enhances the digestive system
  • Good for playing with your kids or grand kids
  • Stretches: chest, abdominals, shoulders and legs
  • Stimulates the respiratory and endocrine systems
  • Improves the circulatory system
  • Increases agility and stamina

Fly Like the Dragonfly

“When a dragonfly flutters by, you may not realize, but it’s the greatest flier in nature, it can hover, fly backwards and even upside down.” – Louie Schwartzberg

Keep training so when things in your life go upside down, you will be ready for the turn, not just in your body, but also in your mind and spirit. Rediscover your strengths and weaknesses. Look deeply into your rooted values and reboot.

Cautions and Modifications

Half Upward Plank Pose is another English name for Reverse Table Pose. If you are a beginner, Upward Plank Pose may be a little easier for you and it shares many of the same benefits. Do not practice Reverse Table if you have carpal tunnel syndrome, or injury to your shoulders, neck, or wrist. Always work within your own abilities. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.

Have fun with your self-discovery!

Best in health, Linda

“The truth of the matter is that the whole world has already been turned upside down by the work of Jesus Christ.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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2020 Vision

– As we come to the close of 2019, I would like to leave you with some positive thoughts that will carry you into 2020. Positive affirmations can help us get to the seed of our soul, the root of our inherent radiance, as designed by our Maker. Prayer, meditation, visualization, and mantra recitation are among the practices that help us reach a sacred space.

When we engage in mantra recitation, we feel a deeper resonance as our souls awaken in this repetition and rhythm of words. Over time, the clutter is stripped away, leading us to the core of our inner truth. We can let hope, blessings and opportunity pound on the door of our hearts or we can open the door and receive them.

POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS

Here are a few of the mantras I share with my yoga students. Repeat each affirmation a few times or more. Feel and contemplate every word as it resonates within your spirit. Speak to yourself as you would speak to someone you dearly love.

For Wisdom: I achieve my goals without compromising my well-being.

For Mental Health: I am connected to Divine truth not other people’s opinions.

For Success: What I want and desire is on its way.

For Heart Opening: I attract the love that I am.

For Healing: The energy and warmth of my smile is welcoming and healing.

For Peace: I desire a peaceful and positive presence.

For Patience: I am patient with my blossoming.

For Energy: I will not waste my precious life force on things I can’t control.

For Bravery: I am not this fear, I am of love. 

For Personal Power: I will have joy; I will not let anything steal my joy.

For Christ-likeness: “Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” – Col. 3:14 NLT

For Attracting Favor: I have passion and magnetism. Opportunity and favor are coming my way.

For godliness: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” – 1Peter 2:9

The scriptures also invite us to ‘eat’ the words within. Chew on, meditate or expand on enlightenment.

Seeing Others Through God’s Eyes

One of my favorite moments of this past year was during my visit to Ikaria, Greece. My friend, Robyn, lives there; I call her “my Greek goddess.” She took me up to the highest point on the island. I thought we were only going to hike and practice yoga but Robyn had other plans. She had brought along a beautiful dress for me to put on and she photographed me.

Perhaps she saw me as a goddess too, a daughter of God. We all have God’s DNA living inside us. We need to remind each other of this grace. We must seek it out, meditate on it and embody it.

I wish you all a happy, healthy and positive New Year! The Divine in me, salutes the Divine in you.

Gratefully yours, Linda

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8

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Is Text Neck Slowly Killing You?

Nothing makes me sadder than to see young people with Text Neck. Also know as Turtle Neck posture or anterior head syndrome, Text Neck is characterized by a rounded upper back and a forward jutting head. I have seen for myself how text neck can cause pain and headaches, as well as respiratory problems and early degeneration of the spine.

PREVENTION

Practice Good Posture

We can’t get away from the necessity of using a computer or cell phone so we have to take extra time and care to work on reversing the effects of our repetitive forward folding motions like texting and watching our mobile devices. It’s easy to help preserve your cervical spine, by prevention. Start out with practicing good posture; track ears over shoulders and draw wing bones together.

Stretch Often

A wonderful stretch, you can do anytime, is a simple standing or sitting C-Clasp Stretch. To begin, clasp your hands behind your back, then expand and lift your upper chest as you pull down with your arms arms and shoulders and lift your chin, looking upwards. Another exercise that can be done sitting or standing, is the Chin Tuck. Do these exercises as often as you can. Set a timer to remind yourself.

As a yoga instructor, I take myself and my students much further, into deeper toning and stretching.

Muscle balance and strength in the neck, chest, back and core is key to good health and healthy posture.

Train Your Muscles

Think about it, your head is like an 11 pound weight. Holding your neck down or forward for extended periods of time creates muscle fatigue and imbalance. The muscles in the front of the neck and chest need to be stretched and built up, to prevent long term physical and mental damage.

Yoga and Pilates moves like: table top, reverse plank, bow, locust, cobra, bridge, fish and camel pose are very good to do. Start with mild backbends. There are even more exercises you can do with weights to improve text neck. Consult your trainer.

Apart from neck pain, Turtle Neck posture can also cause shoulder pain, upper back pain, weight gain and increased thoracic kyphosis. Correcting hyperkyphosis will give you increased energy and better lung capacity. (1) It will also protect your spine from wear and tear. (2) You know the saying, “You are as old (or as young) as your spine.”

So, with that in mind, I celebrated my birthday this month by sharing one of my fast flow yoga combinations. This sequence of inversions and heart openers has multiple health benefits for posture, muscle balance, the cardiovascular system and brain. Just doing this vinyasa a few times on each side, will get your blood flowing and your joints moving to instantly refresh and revitalize. 

Downward Facing Dog Flow – Step by step instructions for an experienced yogini.

  • Start in Downward Facing Dog and lift leg to Three-Legged Dog.
  • Abdominal crunch two times by bringing your forehead to knee & knee to forehead.
  • Open your hip up towards the ceiling and crunch again.
  • Lift leg and lower, lining up feet with baby toes touching and flow into a Side Plank.
  • Bend the knee of your free leg and place your foot on the floor behind knee.
  • Reach back with your free arm and arch into Wild Thing.
  • Return to side and revolve to Plank.
  • Chaturanga down to a Cobra.
  • Firm your core muscles and lift to Up Dog (or Plank).
  • Return to Cobra and repeat again starting with Downward Facing Dog.

How far will you go for good health? My friend sent me this great quote from Abraham Hicks for inspiration.

“You are Beings who intend to come forth and to continue to expand and grow and change. What is the perfect age? Well, it’s the age where I finally understand my freedom, and I finally understand that I am free to create, and it’s the age that I am at my most beautiful.”

“And we say, by whose standards? In other words, who gets to decide the perfect age? And we say, rather than determining what the perfect age is, why not decide what the perfect state of being is—and then discover that you can find the perfect state of being at any age.”

Abraham Hicks (Excerpted from Tarrytown, NY on 5/10/03)

In health, Linda

“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”

Phillippians 4:13

Disclaimer: Please consult your doctor before practicing any new fitness routine.

© Copyright: All materials contained within this blog may not be used without written permission.

References:

  1. Han J, Park S, Kim Y, Choi Y, Lyu H. Effects of forward head posture on forced vital capacity and respiratory muscles activity. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 2016;28(1):128-131. doi:10.1589/jpts.28.128. Kim MS, Cha YJ, Choi JD. Correlation between forward head posture, respiratory functions, and respiratory accessory muscles in young adults. J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2017;30(4):711-715.
  2. Wickstrom BM, Oakley PA, Harrison DE. Non-surgical relief of cervical radiculopathy through reduction of forward head posture and restoration of cervical lordosis: a case report. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 2017;29(8):1472-1474. doi:10.1589/jpts.29.1472.

The Girl in the Mirror

This girl turned 90 years old last week. Our family was fortunate to be able to reunite, gathering from around the U. S. to celebrate her birthday. All 9 of her children and most of her grand children attended the party for this special lady.

My mom, Lillian, is the daughter of Hungarian immigrants. Her mother, Ethel, sewed the dress she is wearing in the photo. She also made dresses and coats for my sisters and me when we were growing up.

The party was hosted by my sister, Alane, in her beautiful home in Berwyn, in S. E. Pennsylvania.

Berwyn, is a stunning suburban community, nestled in a country setting outside Philadelphia.

Mom and I in the entryway – Doesn’t my mother look lovely, especially for 90! She’s so inspiring. She did her own makeup for the party, a beautiful woman in every way.

Lillian’s progeny – a family so big we couldn’t get everyone in a photo. So there’s three group photos and still we missed a couple of people.

Most of the teens and young adults were congregating in another room.

My brother John with my nephews David and Marco.

Mom and I with my sisters, June and Alisa – I helped Alisa prepare one of the cakes.

Mom and Alane in her kitchen – Alane is a superb cook and hostess. She put out an incredible spread! They are both the ‘glue’ that holds our family together.

“Blessed are the happiness makers.” – Henry Ward Beecher

We also had a private celebration at Enoteca Tredici just for mom’s children and their spouses. It’s a fabulous place in Bryn Mawr, with delicious food. first class service and a chic, trendy ambiance.

Highland Orchards

Later that week, some of us explored the rolling hills of Pennsylvania and went apple picking.

Highland Orchards was a lot of fun. There was a great store with delicious treats, fresh apple cider and apple cider donuts. Outside there were fabulous gourds, pumpkins, apples of many different varieties, food trucks and activities for children.


We did some sampling, my favorite apples were the Mutsu, juicy, sweet and delicious! The Mutsu apple (also known as Crispin) was introduced in 1948 and is a cross between the ‘Golden Delicious’ and the ‘Indo’ apple.

My niece, Juliet, liked the Fuji.

My youngest nephews, two cuties!

It was a beautiful fall day, we were able to experience the late October changing of the leaves. My nephew, Jamie, and I enjoyed the greatness of nature.

So gratefulI I could experience Pennsylvania and My mom’s 90th birthday with loved ones!

Wishing you all the best of the season,

Linda

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. – 2 Thessalonians 3:16

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Gibraltar and Monkey High Jinks at the Rock

After an amazing first stop in Cartagena, the second stop on our cruise would be Gibraltar. Unfortunately there was some kind of time zone change that didn’t sync with our iPhones until later, so our alarm woke us up too late for our tour. As a consolation, we received tickets to the Cable Car that goes up to view of the Rock of Gibraltar and St. Michael’s Cave. On the ride up, we caught sight of the infamous Barbary Macaques aka. Barbary Apes, the only free-roaming monkeys in Europe.

It was chilly at the top. The clouds were hovering. The first thing my husband and I did, was to buy some coffee and snacks in the gift shop since we were too rushed to have breakfast. We also purchased T-shirts to keep us warm while we were out on the deck viewing the rock.

The view was stunning but a little bit impaired by the low clouds and fog. Monkeys were everywhere, looking for handouts.

We tried to keep our distance but when I saw this cute mother and child, I couldn’t resist getting closer for a photo.

Monkey Antics

There were some nice trails to roam. It was sweet to see the tailless monkeys interacting with their families.

Then a group of juveniles arrived. It was a crazy scene of monkey high jinks as they jumped on and into cars. They were a gang of little devils, bullying the few drivers that braved the difficult drive to the top of the mountain.

The monkeys were looking for food to steal. One of the Barbary apes grabbed my husband, Steve’s, new T-shirt, still in the package. We tried to get it back but we were not successful. A passing mail man got out of his truck to help. He bribed the mischievous monkey with an apple to give up the shirt.

Another monkey continued the shenanigans and jumped into a van of tourists. While a couple of others jumped on the shoulder of a man and on to a boy who was walking with his family along with us. I think all the pandemonium started because one of the local tourist van drivers, who always has food, showed up. There were plenty of signs that said, “don’t feed the monkey’s.”

Saint Michael’s Cave

Following the trail, we arrived at the cave entrance and a restaurant and bar. The walk was enough excitement for Steve, so he waited at the restaurant while I visited the cave. They were pretty expansive with well lit trails and stairs to accommodate a wide variety of ages and fitness levels.

An ever changing kaleidoscope colored lights, cast different hues on the stalactites and stalagmites. Lively music accompanied the splendid light show.

We spent half a day at the top and the other half walking through the charming town. Gibraltar is unique in the fact that it is attached to Spain but it is a territory of the U. K.

We saw the English influence in the classic phone booths.

We walked a lot and enjoyed the sights in spite of the fact that we missed our ‘best of’ tour. We headed back to the ship, the Royal Princess, to dress for dinner, anticipating another sumptuous meal.

I hope to blog about the next stop on the cruise, Marseille, in the near future.

Happy travels, Linda

See also the previous cruise stop: Cartagena Spain

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” – 1 Corinthians 16:13

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Cartagena Spain

We had an exceptional stay in Barcelona but it was time to head to the port and board our cruise ship. The boarding process in Barcelona was very smooth. The Royal Princess was a mega ship, spectacular inside and out. The first evening, we enjoyed exploring the ship’s elegance and viewed a lovely sunset as we cruised on to Cartagena.

CARTAGENA – City of Ancient Treasures

The next morning we were in Cartagena. Our half-day tour began with a strenuous walk up a hill to the Concepcion Castle. Beautiful peacocks delighted us as we walked. The panoramic views from this 13th century castle were fantastic from the top. We overlooked some ancient Roman ruins.

On another side of the castle, was the harbor. This certainly was a great spot for the ancients to watch and guard the city from invaders. Our ship, the Royal Princess dwarfed the other boats in the harbor.

The Punic Wall and Crypt of Cartagena

At the Punic Wall Interpretation Centre we saw the remains of the original wall the encircled the city during the pre-Roman or Punic period. The Centre also housed the remains of the funeral crypt belonging to the hermitage of Saint Joseph, built during the XVI and XVII centuries. Within its plastered walls there were human bones, which gave an eerie a glimpse of a distant past. 


Inside the City

A wonderful part of our half- day tour was the city center. An outdoor market extended in through the city walls that revealed a bustling square.

The plaza was alive with people, shops and outdoor cafes. It was a hot August day, we were relieved to sit down and have something to drink. At once, we were serenaded by a strolling accordion player. It was very festive.

We were encouraged to try Cartagena’s famous 43 Licor, a secret family recipe made from local citrus fruits and infused with botanicals. It was very sweet. The side streets were also inviting and led the way to some interesting architecture.

One of the most impressive buildings on the Plaza del Ayuntamiento was the Palacio Consistorial or town hall.

From there we made our way to the Roman Theatre and Museum. The tour was fascinating. The theatre is the crown jewel of Cartagena.

The first remains were discovered in 1988; this archeological find put Cartagena back on the map, attracting tourist from around the world! Renovations were completed in 2003.


The Roman Theatre museum had many well preserved artifacts, columns and other architectural pieces from the site.

The Theatre was built between the first and fifth century BC. I took a souvenier photo with the ‘Roman guard’.

My husband and I spent some time there, taking in the theatre’s imposing scale and allowing it to come to life, imaging this world long ago.

It could accommodate over 6,000 people. If there’s only one place you have time to visit while in Cartegena, the Roman Theatre should be it.

Next stop on our cruise – Gibraltar!

Happy adventures, Linda

You can read my previous blogs on Barcelona by following these links.

Barcelona and Park Guell

Barcelona and Sagrada Familia

“You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping.” – Psalm 18:36 NLT

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