Thursday, July 22, 2010

Walking Tour of Rome

I have walked and walked and walked the city of Rome.  I have visited 5 times now and each time fought with that map and the horribly crooked streets that are hard to follow.  But I was determined to see as much as I could in the short time that I had.  And I did.  I loved it all. 

I loved the Spanish Steps, at the Piazza de Spagna.  I would love to just sit at the steps with someone and "hang out" for a while.  But there is always such limited time and I have to hurry to get to the next site. 

The Fontana de Trevi is the most famous and arguably the most beautiful fountain in all of Rome. I could spend hours shooting that architecture.

The Trevi Fountain is a little difficult to find on your own.  The surrounding streets are crooked and not all of them appear on the map.  I am not that great with a map in the first place, and have no sense of direction.  But suddenly you turn a corner and there it is. 

The figures in the fountain tell a story.  The water at the bottom of the fountain represents the sea.  Legend has it you will return to Rome if you throw a coin into the water.  (I emptied my purse).

Continuing on to Castel Sant'Angelo, the cylindrical building that used to be a fortress, now a museum.  Once used as a prison, the Popes turned it into a castle.  This castle is connected to St. Peter's Basilica (The Vatican). 

I've also visited the Pantheon, the most complete ancient building in Rome.  It is absolutely worth it to take the time and go inside.  The dome is amazing.  Michelangelo studied this dome before beginning his work on St. Peter's Basilica. 
Also steeped in history is the Colosseum.  Capable of seating 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum was used for gladiator contests and public spectacles. 
I love every bit of Rome and can not wait to go back sometime and walk the city again. 

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Waterways of Venice

Venice is such a beautiful city, full of photographic charm.  I was here in the fall of 2006 and was barely into photography.  I got a couple of nice shots, but would love to go back and get a few thousand more. 

One of the highlights is the sail into Venice - you go though miles of picturesque waterways and can see St. Mark's Square from the deck. 

St. Mark's Square is a fun place to just walk around and shop.  You have to purchase some Murano glass...  and you can not leave hungry!
Pizzas, pastas - all kinds of wonderful Italian cuisine - but most of all, the gelato. There's nothing like it.

There's also nothing like a gondola ride through the waterways of Venice.  Truly one of life's pleasures.

I would love to go back again.  And again.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Santorini, Greece

Santorini has one of the most spectacular landscapes in Greece.  The villages are built on tall cliffs, offering a breathtaking view over a submerged volcano.  I went to the village of Oia, which has some of the most incredible views - and shopping!


Bell towers and blue domes - the signature of Greece. 


 Colorful pastels and Mediterranean charm.  I was here in August, 2008.

Tiny paths, whitewashed buildings, narrow walkways - and the blue Mediterranean waters.  It is such a picturesque place.  The shopping was a lot of fun.  A lot of symbols of Greece - jewelry and many other items with the symbol of infinity. 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Taormina, Italy

Taormina, Italy is a quaint little town to just walk around on your own. You start on one end and walk all the way to the other, until you reach the grand theater. I spent most of my time at the theater because it offered spectacular views of the blue mediterranean waters with the ship drifting peacefully in the background. 

This is an nice view of the theater from the back. 

I did a lot of climbing up and down those steps!  I tried to shoot from all angles and had to work around the sun - and the ship drifting.  I was there in August of 2008 and it was very hot.

Little shops line the streets to and from the theater.

Love the blue hues of the Mediterranean.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Barcelona - Park Guell

Park Guell in Barcelona is an amazing place.  I had one day to spend in Barcelona and something had happened to my Canon Rebel so I only had my point-and-shoot camera.  I knew I had limited time and limited battery.  I did what I could!

Park Guell was designed by Antoni Gaudi and all the mosaic is so hard to describe unless you have actually been there to see it.  The two buildings (above) on either side of the entrance bear a striking resemblance to the houses from the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel.  I was dying for my other camera and a good zoom lens, these buildings were so fun to photograph. 

I wish I could have spent more time in the park, but my battery ended things for me.  I also had to get back to the hop on hop off bus to get back on the route that picked me up and dropped me off in front of my hotel.  One day is not enough in Barcelona.

In the park "marketplace" there are 86 columns, with mosaic rosettes of suns and moons in the ceiling. 

Barcelona - La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona was the project to which Antoni Gaudi dedicated the last 43 years of his life.  His sole objective was to make La Sagrada Familia the perfect temple.

I had one day to spend in Barcelona and I specifically wanted to see La Sagrada Familia.  I had been on a cruise and made a detour on the way home to spend one night in Barcelona.  I had one day to see as much as I could.  I was having camera problems and had to rely on my point-and-shoot with it's limited battery.

The detail on this building is absolutely amazing.  I could have stayed there all day and photographed this beautiful place, it was stunning.
 The inside of this building is also stunning.  This is the view looking up - the vaults in the ceiling and the amazing stained glass. 
I was fortunate enough to have gotten an upgrade on my hotel room on my one night in this amazing city.  Unfortunately, I was by myself - because that room was more like an apartment - and included a wonderful bottle of champagne.  But I had a wonderful time on my one day in Barcelona despite my camera problems and limited time.  I plan to go back whenever I can.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dubrovnik, Croatia

The walled city of Dubrovnik is also known as "the Pearl of the Adriatic".  The Old Town of Dubrovnik is a neat place to just stroll through at leisure.