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Monday, January 28, 2013

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Footbridge on the Cherwell

Oxford, England ~ February 19, 2010

The Cherwell joins the River Thames a few yards from here, but you would hardly recognize London's thoroughfare as it meanders small and lazy like the Cherwell past the playing fields of Oxford's Magdalen College.


My Web Page: tapirback.com

Friday, January 25, 2013

More Windows, Oxford

Oxford, England ~ February 18, 2010

These lovely windows that seem to combine Gothic and Baroque (?) elements can be found near the corner of Merton and The High Street, although the main facade is on the other side of the building.

My Web Page: tapirback.com

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bright Windows, Oxford

Oxford, England ~ February 18, 2010

It would be easy to do a magnificent series of windows and doors without leaving The High Street in Oxford. Much of the outstanding architecture in Oxford is either Gothic or Baroque.

My Web Page: tapirback.com

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Windows and Doors on the Via del Corso

Rome ~ April 13, 2004

Whether a building is pretentious or unassuming, its windows and doors give owners, architects, builders, or artisans, a canvas for self-expression. There is endless variety in windows and doors. I think that's why I love them. 

My Web Page: tapirback.com

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Half-timbered Tudor

Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England ~ February 17, 2010
Garrick Inn

Stratford-upon-Avon is known not only as the birthplace of William Shakespeare, but also for its remarkable half-timbered buildings. The Garrick Inn pub probably dates from the mid 1500s, depending on who you read.


My Web Page: tapirback.com

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Who's Real?

London, February 20, 2010
Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum

I admit, I loved Madame Tussaud's and could have gone through it a second time. The line took a staggering two hours, or close to that, and I remember the admission being pretty steep, but I thoroughly enjoyed seeing figures from then and now. Some looked so real, others looked blatantly fake. For some reason I'm always startled to see that some of the most famous people are or were not very tall.

My Web Page: tapirback.com

Monday, January 14, 2013

Rusty Hull, Syracuse Harbor

Syracuse (Siracusa), Sicily, Italy ~ April 27, 2004
Island of Ortygia 

Like everything else we encountered on Ortygia in 2004, this boat had seen better days. Also like everything else, it seemed worthy of a photo. We are looking across the narrow harbor to the mainland of Syracuse.


My Web Page: tapirback.com

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Art Nouveau in Ortygia

 
Syracuse (Siracusa), Sicily, Italy ~ April 27, 2004
Island of Ortygia

I am always taken with Art Nouveau's graceful plant-like curves, and this discovery among the Baroque and Classical arches and columns of Ortygia was unexpected. Doesn't it look like just the place to settle in and write your own Alexandria Quartet? Like the rest of the island, this building had seen better days in 2004, but since then someone has replaced the boarded windows, and you can rent an "airy loft" for less than a stay at a Holiday Inn Express. 


My Web Page: tapirback.com

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sicilian Plumed Horse

Syracuse (Siracusa), Sicily, Italy ~ April 27, 2004
Island of Ortygia 

Sicily's colorful carts and plumed horses are famous. I wish I'd found a better background for this shot.


Today the horse was pulling a rubber-tired wagon filled with tourists. Earlier on this blog I showed a photo of a more traditional horse and cart, albeit a mural.

When my grandmother visited Sicily in 1911 with her parents and siblings, one of them wrote in a journal:

"We made it through customs without any trouble, and found the horses all dressed up with peacock feathers and pulling painted carts. The carts here were like boxes set up on high wheels, the boxes and wheels alike painted with figures of men, women, etc. in very bright colors. The horses wore tall red headdresses like dusters, and another 'duster' was fixed in the middle of their backs."

See the link above for a taste of what they might have seen.

My Web Page: tapirback.com

Friday, January 11, 2013

Very Baroque

Syracuse (Siracusa), Sicily, Italy ~ April 27, 2004
Island of Ortygia

The Cathedral of Ortygia is very Baroque, and is dedicated to the Madonna.


My Web Page: tapirback.com

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Piazza Archimede

Syracuse (Siracusa), Sicily, Italy ~ April 27, 2004
Island of Ortygia

Taken by an animal motif as usual, I may not have known we had stumbled upon a piazza and fountain dedicated to the great scientist and mathematician Archimedes, who lived and died in Syracuse (287-212 or 211 BC).



My Web Page: tapirback.com

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Flavor of Ancient Egypt

Syracuse (Siracusa), Sicily, Italy ~ April 27, 2004
Island of Ortygia
Fontaine d'Aréthuse, Papyrus

One of the coolest things about hot Syracuse was its flavor of ancient Egypt. Syracuse is the only place in Europe where papyrus grows "in a natural setting," as I read on this site. Scroll past the gigantic hotel ads and you can read more about papyrus in this Mediterranean city that seems to be part Europe and part Africa. We missed the papyrus museum, which may be on the mainland, and it appears that there is an opportunity for a career move if anyone should take a photo of it. I couldn't find one. There was a thriving papyrus industry in Syracuse at one time. 

Papyrus grows in the refreshing Fontaine d'Aréthuse with its resident white ducks and long, dark fish.


My Web Page: tapirback.com

Monday, January 7, 2013

Gothic on Turquoise

Syracuse (Siracusa), Sicily, Italy ~ April 27, 2004
Island of Ortygia

This canal separates the Island of Ortygia (far side) from the rest of Syracuse. The water really is an amazing shade of turquoise. The canal doubles as a harbor. Most visitors park in the large lot behind me and walk across the bridge, the Ponte Umbertino. Ortygia really is a wanderer's paradise. There is so much to be attracted by even in this small corner before my lens. Besides the boats and the colors, I was especially intrigued by the red Venetian Gothic building. Someone posted a shot on Flickr that shows its detail. I've already blogged a favorite photo of this scene taken from the bridge, and this link will take you to a map showing how Ortygia joins the "mainland" of Sicily.

My Web Page: tapirback.com

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Dilapidated Beauty

Syracuse (Siracusa), Sicily, Italy ~ April 27, 2004
Island of Ortygia

After 2,500 years surrounded on three sides by seas and salt breezes, historic Ortygia is falling apart. Neither my old camera nor my skills with it were up to capturing some of the details I always love. In trying to lighten the shadows in Photoshop, I burned the sky into something less than its original pure blue. Such will be some of my pix from Syracuse, a magical city while it lasts.

My Web Page: tapirback.com

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Square on the Island

Syracuse (Siracusa), Sicily, Italy ~ April 27, 2004
Island of Ortygia

All of  the photos of Syracuse have been taken on the Island of Ortygia. I would have called it a peninsular part of the old city, but I see others calling it an island. The connections between Ortygia and the rest of Siracusa are man-made. I couldn't tell you which square this is.

On a web site, I found: 

Ortigia - Syracuse's island heart

"The best way to see the island of Ortygia is just to wander. It’s difficult to get lost (it measures just 1km by 500 metres), but packed with over 2,500 years of history. Architectural styles vary widely, encompassing Greek and Roman remains, Mediaeval Norman buildings and a great deal of (relatively) understated Baroque. Restaurants, trattorias and bars abound and it is especially nice to sit out on the western side in the late afternoon, warmed by the sun and with a view over the lagoon."

Most of my detail photos of Ortygia did not come out well, but I will show them to you anyway over the next few days. This is truly a special place.


My Web Page: tapirback.com

Friday, January 4, 2013

Narrow Street with Sicilian Flags, Syracuse

Syracuse (Siracusa), Sicily, Italy ~ April 27, 2004
Island of Ortygia


This may more properly be an alley rather than a street, I can't say for sure, but with a business sign, lamp, flags, and pedestrians, it may be a street after all.

My Web Page: tapirback.com

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Lunch in Syracuse

Syracuse (Siracusa), Sicily, Italy ~ April 27, 2004
Island of Ortygia

I think I'll do a short series on this delightful ancient city surrounded by seas. I've already posted a few shots of the harbor, the sea wall, and an old-new take on the meaning of horsepower. Now, let's see what else I can find. We spent a memorable day walking through the old city, stopping for a "Why-can't-I-get-this-at-home?" fish lunch under one of those umbrellas. That's Lee with the red backpack, getting hungry.

My Web Page: tapirback.com

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

On a Magical Winter Day

December 26, 2009 ~ Bend, Oregon

On December 26, 2009, freezing fog in Bend turned trees and plants into a frosted world where everything seemed quiet and time stood still. I've heard from Lee that the same thing happened today in Bend. You can see another photo of that day in 2009 right here, and you can see this traffic-circle sculpture of mama deer and her fawn among late spring foliage here.

My Web Page: tapirback.com

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

From the Belvedere, Ravello

Ravello, Italy ~ April 19, 2004

I think this is a good picture to begin the year: a far horizon, romance, more than a hint of adventure, and a lot of clean, blue space for dreaming.

Photos from Italy 2004 are dated about one day off starting with some of my posts in 2012. This is due to a problem with the date stamp in the JPG file. It was taking too long to figure it out each time, so I've gone with the date on the photo. In case this should ever matter.

My Web Page: tapirback.com