Thursday, March 22, 2018

VERONA 2017: The Cathedral

As you may recall, after we spent a week in Venice last year, we took the train to Verona and spent 4 days there.  To be honest, even though very different from Venice, we loved it as much.

We saw so many churches in Verona, I don't even know where to start.  Actually, I did start, by showing its three fabulous basilicas last August.   But some of the other churches are worth their own posts, like the duomo, or cathedral:  Cattedrale Sante Maria Matricolare.  It's not the biggest or the best, but it is the city's main cathedral.

There it sits at the top, on the Adige River.

The west front of the cathedral shows the Sanmicheli bell tower in the background.

The cathedral was consecrated in 1187.

Outside the cathedral near the front door is this angel statue.

You can find myriad stock photos of it but I'm still searching for info on it.

Once inside, I always start with the nave and main chapel, with altar.

You know I always look for the organ (large and/or small) because of my musician mom.

And the chancel and pulpit....because of my preacher dad.

I suppose we were distracted by the renovation going on?

But we saw enough to be glad we had visited.
Here's a good link to much better images, especially of what we missed.

The Sanmicheli bell tower sticks out like a sore thumb, here at the Ponte Pietra bridge.

The next day we saw it from across the river while at the Roman Theater.

Like I said, it's not the best of the Verona churches we saw, but we wanted to see it.
And there will be at least one or more Verona churches to come....

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Venice 2017: The Piazza San Marco

Little by little, I'm coming back to parts of the 2017 Venice trip that have hung in the archives for way too long.  You could say, once again, that this is being resurrected for Astrid and me, lest we forget it!

Of course, you hardly think of Venice without thinking of its most famous square, San Marco, with its St. Mark's Basilica and Campanile.

Here's one of the best views I've found.
[Generali Group, Wiki]

 With this diagram, you can give names to the structures.
[Ed Stephan, Wiki]

Our very first day in Venice, 24 March 2017, we hopped on a vaporetto waterbus up and down the Grand Canal and made a stop at St. Mark's Square on that sunny day.  It was all about getting the lay of the land.

As we approached the square, it was the Campanile bell tower that first appeared.  
It's one of Venice's most famous landmarks.

And because it was sunny, we had our best view of St. Mark's Basilica...her facade.
That's St. Mark, the patron saint of Venice, the St. Mark Lion and the Horses of St. Mark.
But we were not there that day for the basilica.  That came later....

This was the day to get just a smattering of everything by climbing the Campanile bell tower.

 Whenever there's a chance to get a different perspective, it pays!

I don't remember what it cost to take the lift to the top, but it was worth every cent.
At 323 ft. tall, you can see for riles and riles amound.

   In fact, this is what I showed on Facebook after that day.

There are two columns at the waterfront:  St. Mark's Lion and St. Theodore.
How fun to zoom in on them with my magic 1200 mm camera.
St. Theodore was the first patron saint of Venice before St. Mark replaced him in 828.

The Palazzo Ducale, or the Doge's Palace, from 1340, opened as a museum in 1923.
It, too, sits on the waterfront.

 Last but not least of the square's landmarks is St. Mark's Clocktower, from the 15th century.
Two Moorish men strike the hour throughout the day and night.
The clock face itself is huge (top-right), restored in 2006.
And see how close it it to the basilica (bottom-left)?

Most of that above was on our first day.  Two days later we went back when it was rainy.
See how the Campanile bell tower sits alone on its own (right).

How many times have we said nothing rains on our parade!

That was the day we visited inside the basilica, when rain didn't matter, of course.

 Actually, Astrid didn't go inside with me because of some backpack issues (long story).
Not to worry because we were herded through like cattle and were told NOT to take photos.
I don't speak Italian, of course, so slap my hands!
Needless to say, I was not impressed till later when I could see my pics on the big screen.
Even then, my total impression of the place was "too dark and gloomy."
And we weren't even there during peak season, with 10x more tourists!

 It was in the hallway of the side entrance that I most enjoyed the basilica.
It was delightfully lighter.

 Upon exiting, I looked up!

Now, go to our 6th day in Venice when we made our night trip on the Grand Canal and stopped again at St. Mark's Square.

Sun, rain or nighttime, it's always magical.
Lucky for us, there were no crowds!

The Doge's Palace was all lit up.

As were the Moorish men atop the clock tower.

A handful of people were dining out on the square (March 29).
There was even a mini-orchestra playing.

But the colonnades along the square were all but empty.
Were we lucky or what!

As we left to return home, we were short of eyes...and thankful.

We missed hundreds of things to do/see at the square, we know.
We didn't visit the museums or back corners of the basilica, etc.
But it was just enough for us.  We saw what we went to see.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Venice 2017: The Accademia Walk

So, do you really want to know why this wasn't posted yesterday (my normal Thursday posting)?????  (** see below if you really want to know)

Believe it or not, I've always known I'd go back to our Venice trip from a year ago, simply because I hadn't finished it.  Maybe I just needed to move on from it then.  But now that I have the time, I'm inspired again by that place.

On our 3rd day, Sunday, March 26, we took the Accademia walk in our tour book,
starting at the Rialto Bridge at the top down to the Accademia Bridge to the south (red dots).

On Facebook back then I showed this collage.
The Rialto Bridge is top-left.  The Accademia Bridge is bottom-right.

I also showed this collage on Facebook, adding to the "humanity" of the place.

This is what I posted today on Shutterchance, at the Rialto Bridge.
How can you not love Venice!

Facebook?  That may be another story for some of you, right?

Accademia itself is an art gallery, founded in 1750 and moved in 1807 to its present location.
When most tourists hear Accademia, they think art.
But Astrid and I were there on the walk to see everything else except the museum.

Like graffiti, for instance, which is its own art, right?

That particular walk offered up a feast of gable stones.
The Dutch have their own version of such stones, as you know, but these, too, fascinate me.

Sometimes I isolate a particular image for my Shutterchance blog.  That's fun for me.

But see what I mean?  
I'm sure every single one tells a story.

Look at Astrid, straddling one of the alleys.
THIS is the Accademia area.

Full of its own art everywhere you look.

Of course, you could say that's true of ALL of Venice!

But that little boy (above) with his camera, in particular, stole my heart.

Art in all its many forms!

There was so much more, including some of the buildings and churches of the area,
maybe for another day/post.

When we finished the walk, we took the time to hop on a vaporetto to nearby Piazza San Marco.
But that deserves a post all on its own!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

**  Suffice it to say, yesterday I lost an entire folder of images (including everything I processed and their collages!) for this 3rd day of our Venice trip.  LOST.  As in not to be found anywhere (apart from paying for them to be recovered, which I'm too cheap to do).  The FOLDER was NOT lost/moved.  Just the images in it.  A total mystery.

The good news is that I have a backup of all the original photos on another external hard drive, as well as on Picasa.  But it took me till today to figure out that I could refresh my images on Picasa (something it usually does automatically) to find the processed images and collages.  Then it was a matter of getting them back into the (empty) folder for this post.  (sigh)

Oh well, live and learn.  Next time I will back up the processed images to my other hard drive immediately after each folder is done!

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Watercolor Sunday and Saturday's Color: February 2018

It helps when you have a really short month to make the time fly even faster, right?  It also helps to have two weeks of Winter Olympics!  Did you know that the USA won only 3 more overall medals than the Netherlands????  23-20.  That's really saying something about this wee country (whose children are born on skates, as you know by now).

Anyway, I digress.

My Watercolor Sunday posts on Facebook for February 2018:

February 4 (photo manipulation)
"People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy."
--Anton Chekhov

February 11 (photo manipulation)
"You can lead a heart to love, but you can't make it fall."
--George Strait

February 18 (photo manipulation)
"I think the way to become the best is to just have fun."
--Shaun White, American Olympic gold medalist in snowboarding 2006, 2010, and 2018.

February 25 (photo manipulation)
"If men could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us!
But passion and party blind our eyes, and the light which experience gives is a lantern on the stern,
which shines only on the waves behind us!"
--Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

My Saturday's Color posts on Facebook for February 2018:

(finished on 22 January 2018, posted on FB 3 February 2018)
This Vintage Patterns design (on black-background paper) reminds me of my maternal grandmother,
Olive Nelson Bennett, who designed wallpaper for a ritzy company in New York City back in her day.
[Sister, Ruth Hart Mowry, says the wallpaper company was Thibaut, the oldest American
wallpaper company, established 1886.  I have a feeling I owe a LOT to her!]

(finished on 20 August 2017, posted on FB 10 February 2018)
Did you watch the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games?
OMG!  How awesome and spectacular.  
I saw the Olympic Rings all over this Techellations design.
"The Olympic flag has a white background, with five interlaced rings in the centre:
blue, yellow, black, green and red.
The design is symbolic; it represents the five continents of the world, united by Olympism,
while the six colours are those that appear on all the national flags of the world at the present time."

(finished on 13 February 2018, posted on FB 17 February 2018)
So, what do you see!
We're now midway through the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Did you know that there are 38 countries (out of 195) that have a tricolor red, white and blue flag?
You can see the Dutch and French flags here, which are always easy to confuse.
(from my Mindfulness book)

(finished on 16 December 2017, posted on FB 24 February 2018)
We're getting ready to break our coldest record ever for this time of the year here where we live
in the Netherlands (at the same time that we're seeing many signs of spring.)
The canals may even freeze again, finally, for ice skating (and not just at the Olympics!).
(from my Kaleido Color book)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Actually, on that last note, while it's been cold enough, the ice is NOT good for skating because of the winds that have rendered it unsafe...with patches that are too thin next to patches thick enough.  One man has already died from falling through the ice (age 75) and 4 kids also have fallen through.  I learn every day so much from Astrid about these things!