Thursday, July 20, 2017

VERONA 2017: The Castelvecchio Museum and Bridge

One of the beauties of Verona, Italy, is its bridges crossing the Fume Adige, the second largest river in Italy.

There are 6 main bridges, starting from left to right:
Castelvecchio, Vittoria, Garibaldi, Pietra, Nuovo and Navi.
We stood on or crossed all of them in our 4 days there.
[scan of our Verona map/guide]

Sometimes we saw them from tower vantage points.

Most of the time we viewed them from one bridge to the other.
Our favorite was the Castelvecchio (bottom-left), which this post is about...
mainly because it's part of a castle and a museum.

We first saw the castle on our way to visit the San Zeno Basilica on our first day.
This was a pass-by because it was already late afternoon.

Still passing by, while walking to the basilica, we knew we'd definitely come back...

...which we did the next day for a proper look.
The Castelvecchio (castle) is "the most important military construction
of the Scaliger dynasty that ruled the city in the Middle Ages."  (Wiki)

The Arco dei Gavi was commissioned to be built in the 1st century by the Romans.
It stands next to the castle and was used as an entrance gate to the city during the Middle Ages.

From the arch side of the castle (the right side), we had views of the bridge we'd see later.

We decided to see the museum first before ending with the bridge.
The courtyard in front of the museum was its,

and photo op!

We did a quick run-through of what the museum itself exhibits.
Think Romanesque and you've got it covered.

Out the back side of the museum was another courtyard.

Back to the front of the castle, street side, we found the entrance to the pedestrian bridge.
THIS is what we had really come to see, saving the best for last.

Talk about red brick with its upright M-shaped merlons!

And see that church (bottom-right)...that's the San Zeno Basilica we visited the day before.

Later that day, while up the Lamberti tower at the other end of the city,
 I captured the castle from afar.

And the next day, while visiting several churches, I captured the bridge again,
this time from the Ponte della Vittoria bridge to the east of it.

It was our full-circle highlight of one of Verona's most memorable landmarks.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

VERONA 2017: The Arena

So, let's go back to our March/April vacation in Venice-Verona!  Sometimes I feel like I've barely scratched the surface, but truly I have, I know.

You can safely say that after doing all the research before Verona, what we most wanted to see was the Arena.

As you can see, it stands out like a sore thumb...looking like Rome's Colosseum.
[Google image]

In fact, it really is oval in shape, as you see here, like the Roman Colosseum...not round.
Interestingly, the Verona Arena was built in AD 30, before the Colosseum was built in AD 70.
However, the Colosseum is the largest amphitheater in the world, while the Arena is the 3rd largest.
[Google image]

The Saturday we visited Verona's Arena was during their Garden Floridea flower show.
OMG!  What a showcase for such an historic landmark!

Before we went inside, we walked all around its outer perimeter.
The outer ring of white and pink limestone was almost completely destroyed from an earthquake 
in 1117.  But the inner ring you see now is well preserved, considering.

Like Rome's Colosseum, if you've ever been there, you enter via the passageways below.
Look at how tall they are.

Some passageways seemed stunted by comparison, but once you climb the stairs, 
you quickly find the doorways into the actual arena, like baseball stadiums in America!

In earlier years, the Arena was used for gladiator fights, jousts and game tournaments.
Since the 18th century it's been used primarily for opera performances.
In fact, they were setting up for one while we were there.

You can picture it, can't you...attending an opera there.
We have good imaginations and left it at that...picturing it.

The next day, Sunday, as we walked back through town, we had our own free performance.
Apparently Italy is known for its flag-throwing competitions, as part of their Medieval festivals,
so we felt lucky to happen upon this one, against the backdrop of the Arena.

These are the memories you don't soon forget!

Thursday, July 06, 2017

CORNWALL 2017: The St. Mawgan and St. Eval Parish Churches

Believe it or not, this is my last Cornwall  2017 post before I go back to Venice and Verona.  Or did you think I had also finished our Italy trip????  HA!

As you may recall, we had off-n-on rain our entire time in Cornwall except for that beautiful Sunday in Tintagel (King Arthur's legendary birthplace) and Boscastle.  But that didn't stop us from getting out to see something of interest.  And because Pauline knows we love the parish churches, she picked two that are geographically close to each other.

As you can see from the inset, we drove to the north coast of Cornwall, 
approximately 17 miles from our St. Austell home base.

We first went to Mawgan Porth beach where we got the lay of the land...

and the Atlantic Ocean!
(It's also where we ate our lunch that day.)

From the beach we drove 2 miles to visit our first parish church of the the rain.
This is the St. Mawgan in Pydar parish church from the 13th century.

Usually the churchyards are every bit as interesting to me as the church interiors.
There's an old thorn tree associated with the legends of Joseph of Arimathea...

a memorial to the 10 men who froze to death while at sea in 1846 (center-right)...

and a lantern cross carved around 1420 (top-left and bottom-right).
Look at how the gravestones circle the church, from front to back!

It was a Monday when we were there, but there were bell ringers...practicing?

Wouldn't we all love to ring the bells!

We did indeed feel welcomed, even though much of the space was dark, without the lights on.
The font is 15th century, Norman style, made of Pentewan stone.
The pulpit is from 1533, Dad.  And I know you'd love to play that wee organ, Mom.

And should any of us require a kneeler, there are plenty to go around.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

From St. Mawgan we drove the 3 miles to the St. Eval parish church, also from the 13th century.

It happens to sit out in the middle of nowhere, visible for miles around,
surrounded by the disused RAF (Royal Air Force) runways of the WWII command airfield.
See the sundial over the entrance?  "We shall Die."

Besides the church itself, 21 war graves are maintained here by the RAF.
The RAF ties to this church after the war are very strong, as you'd imagine.
It was their church while stationed nearby.

It was another dark church that rainy afternoon, but you can get the gist of it.

The bench end (top-left) is from the mid-16th century.
The "plain" font is also from the Norman times.

Pauline is always on the lookout for green men in these old churches.
These are from the high-up ceiling in bad camera light, but, again, you get the gist.
Besides, Pauline often tells us green men don't like being photographed. :)

Back down on terra firma, there is "World Peace!"

And a reminder that the RAF is covering our back.
In fact, Pauline's dad, from Squadron 612 (top-right), used the base back in the war.
Thank you!

And thus ends this 6-day stint in a very special place:  CORNWALL, England.
We'll never forget it.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Watercolor Sunday and Saturday's Color: June 2017

Once you finish the month of June, it finally is summertime and...on to the end of the year!  How is that possible!

My Watercolor Sunday posts on Facebook for June 2017:

June 4 (photo manipulation):
"Those who do not weep, do not see." --Victor Hugo
"Veni, vidi, flevi.  I came.  I saw.  I cried." --Dorian Cirrone

June 11 (photo manipulation):
"...The world is like an apple whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind!"--Alan and Marilyn Bergman

"The mind is its own place and in itself can make a heaven of hell or a hell of heaven."
--John Milton

June 18 (photo manipulation):
"Small boy's definition of Father's Day:  It's just like Mother's Day only you don't spend so much."

"A man never stands so tall as when he leans over to help a child."
--attributed to Abraham Lincoln

June 25 (photo manipulation):
"The infinitely little have pride infinitely great." --Voltaire

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

My Saturday's Color posts on Facebook for June 2017:

(finished 20 September 2015, posted on FB 3 June 2017)
When your head is reeling out of control from such a "series of unfortunate events!"
(from my Book of Kells Painting Book)

(finished 14 December 2016, posted on FB 10 June 2017)
"In common use, 'mandala' has become a generic term for any diagram, chart or geometric pattern
that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically; a microcosm of the universe."
I suppose that's why I'm drawn to coloring them, while our whole-wide-world 
is attempting to get its sh** together!

(finished 27 February, posted on FB 17 June 2017)
In this Mandala design, I see 8 children Mom and Dad had, of which I am #3.
Bennett (#5) already joined them in the Great Beyond back in the 1990s.
I wonder what they would think of us today, half of us now in our 70s.
Happy Father's Day, Dad!

(finished 11 June, posted on FB 24 June 2017)
Many of you know that June is Pride month for those in the LGBT community
but I wonder if you know how long it takes most of us to actually become proud of who we are?
Let's just say it is not an easy Journey.
For all those around the world who are discriminated against, whether gay, Black, Muslim, Jewish,
etc., may we learn to accept what cannot be changed about ourselves and wear it with pride,
like the Badge of Courage it often is.
(from my Mindfulness book)

And since it's now the day before America's Independence Day,