Saturday, July 14, 2007

Vatican City Museum

Visiting the Vatican City Museum was extraordinary. We were allowed to take pictures without flash. There are tapestries on the walls that must be protected. When you walk along the main walkway you are surrounded with exquisite beauty from ceiling to floor. It is hard to comprehend that what you are seeing is centuries old and each piece of art..each and every tapestry..each and every figure and scene.. tells a story...a story many have read or have heard from the time they were little children.

Entrance to the Vatican Museum

The exquisite ceiling in the museum

Closeup of the ceiling...some of the figures I thought were painted are actually sculptures and are three dimensional

Wall tapestry

Wall Tapestry

Unusual statue because it is of an ordinary and weak man and not a politician or emperor

Close up of unusual statue

Graceful statue

A nun who was making beautiful cameos for sale

I would love to have been able to purchase one of her beautiful hand painted cameos. Proceeds would have gone to charity. I just couldn't afford to do it. I loved her gentleness.

Friday, July 13, 2007

From Street Vendors To The Vatican City

As I look at my pictures, I wish I knew more about the things I saw. I hope I don't give wrong information about the pictures, but it is entirely possible that I might. We were given small transistor listening devices for what was called our "whisper tours" I think. We followed a tour guide on each expedition and he/she gave lessons on the historical significance of the sites we were visiting. There were many tours going on and depending on the quality of the reception I am sure there was a lot that was missed. I know that is true for me.

Before doing this post I looked up The Vatican City Rome and learned that The Vatican City is the smallest independent state in the world, ruled by the Pope, Europes's only absolute monarch.

A major part of the Vatican consists of the Basilica St. Peter, Catholicism's most sacred shrine. I will post pictures of St. Peter's next.

Below are some pictures of The Vatican City.

The last picture is where the audience sits when the Pope makes an appearance. The statues on the top of the building are the saints.

Postscript: It has come to my attention that I should let everyone know that the pictures I am posting are pictures I have taken. It seems one of my readers thinks the pictures look professional and he wanted to make sure everyone knew that I had taken them. Thank you, Joe! I love that you appreciate my pictures!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

First Hotel In Rome

I didn't know what to expect in terms of hotel accomodations. Our first hotel was old and one might say the rooms were cozy. It had a certain charm if you are looking at it from the outside and not actually moving in. Cozy charm was quickly translated into "Oh my goodness, where am I going to put anything and still move around." The room was maybe 12 x 12 with two doll size twin beds maybe two inches apart and no real closet. There were two cubby holes that you could hang a few things in, a nightstand beside each bed and a small desk. The bathroom was designed for half a person with a big sense of humor. There was no air conditioning, but there was a nice window that could be opened and I could look out onto my first Rome street which I discovered became the home to early morning street vendors. Now that had some charm!

Christopher really enjoyed the feeling of "cozy welcome" of the early morning street vendors. It would really have been nice to have more time to just meander along the street and look at all the wares being sold.

As I continue to share our experience I think I will be making the distinction between things we saw and moments we experienced. Taking in the early morning scene outside this hotel was a wonderful, romantic and briefly experienced moment. I wanted more of this moment.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Scenes As We Drove Into Rome

I took these pictures through the bus window as we drove from the airport into Rome and to our hotel. I am absolutely amazed at the soft beauty of these beautifully romantic scenes. I sincerely hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

I Love The Sky

Christopher had never flown before. He wanted a window seat and these pictures will show you why. I handed my camera to him and this is what he saw. The sky is a neverending story to me. You took some beautiful pictures Christopher!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Jet Lag

We are home.............I think! I am having significant jet lag plus a slight fever and a cough. Tom, Sarah, Kara and Sam were at the airport to meet us and it was so good to see them. Our plane arrived later than it was supposed to.........midnight rather than the 10:30 p.m. original time. We ran into unexpected delays out of Philadelphia and by that time everyone was very ready to be home. My friend, Joe, tracked our whole flight home online. He knew where we were at any given time. He could see a little plane flying across the ocean. Isn't that amazing? My ankles were so swollen they looked like elephant legs and when the swelling started to go down the itching started. I guess that is what happens when swelling goes down. This is all new to me. I will be posting pictures soon. This afternoon I thought I would take a nap about 4:00. I woke up four hours later at 8:00. I think jet lag still has me in its grips. How are you doing Christopher?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Back on US soil

Tom here reporting in for Judy.

"We're in Philadelphia, back on American soil so I can once again read all the signs." Their departure from Frankfurt was delayed. When they approached Philadelphia they had to circle for 30 minutes or so waiting for a weather system to pass. They had just cleared customs when I spoke to Judy. They leave for Minneapolis in another couple hours. She and Christopher are anxious to be home with family.

On Way Home

Joe here reporting for Judy...11.10am Thursday, Frankfurt time.

Judy and Christopher and their group are on their way home. Although somewhat uncomfortable, they are safely at Frankfurt airport where they have approximately another two hours of their stop over before catching the onward flight to Philadelphia.

When I spoke to Judy, they were trying to find a place to sit down having had to vacate their seats at the departure gate to make way for travellers who were catching an earlier flight.
At least, she is not feeling the cold now as she managed to find a shirt in her luggage.

Well I'm glad to report, that despite their ordeal, they are both in good spirits and looking forward to eventually getting home.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Visit to the Temple of Apollo and Delphi Museum

Judy at Temple of Apollo

Judy and Christopher at Temple of Apollo

Central among the number of imposing ruins that are interspersed on the Southern slopes of Parnassos mountain is the temple of Apollo. It is an imposing temple of the Doric order whose existence was woven through the turbulent history of the site, and endured numerous incarnations before it settled to the ruinous state we find it today, and which dates back to the 4th c. B.C. The temple of Apollo was first built around the 7th c. B.C. by the two legendary architects Trophonios and Agamedes. It was rebuilt after a fire in the 6th c. B.C.. and was named the "Temple of Alcmeonidae" in tribute to the noble Athenian family that oversaw its construction with funds form all over Greece and foreign emperors. This temple was also of the Doric order and had 6 columns at the front, and 15 columns at the flanks.

Temple of Apollo

This temple was destroyed in 373 B.C. by an earthquake and was rebuilt for the third time in 330 B.C. Spintharos, Xenodoros, and Agathon, architects from Corinth. The sculptures that adorned its pediment were the creation of Athenian sculptors Praxias and Androsthenes. It was built to similar proportions and size as the Alcmeonidae version of the temple, with a peristasis of 6 and 15 columns along the short and long edges respectively.
The temple's foundations survive today along with several Doric columns made of porous stone and limestone which is fairly soft material, and have allowed for the temple's advanced decaying. Very little is known about the temple's interior arrangement.

Inside Delphi Museum..large spinhx of Naxos c. B.C. 566

Kouros Statues..Kleobis and Biton c. B.C. 580

Perirrhanterion Tripod and Caryatids

Aged philosopher..280 - 270 B.C.

and Delphic Oracle

Inside Delphi Museum

All above pictures by Judy.

Some Pictures From Judy

Christopher and Gma on board ship

Walls that change colour two days a year

Street in Delphi

Judy and roommate, Tammy



Greek letters

First cloud in Greece

Judy at store near hotel

Hot hot hot in Delphi!

Tom here, reporting in for Judy.

I just got off the phone with Judy, Skype, that is. She was talking to Sarah and Davey via PC to PC. Then Joe appeared on Yahoo messenger so we had quite a party, or at least Judy did. We could not hear the others but Judy could hear all of us.

They were in Delphi today and visited the Temple of Apollo in extreme heat.

"It was 115 degrees here today. It was so hot that we were totally exhausted from all the walking. On the way back to the hotel, I had to keep talking to myself in my mind to find the energy to keep going. I kept saying to all those I love, 'I'm coming, I'm coming' just to keep myself going. I really had to work hard. Happy anniversary!"

From the Associated press.
Europe heatwave leaves 31 dead
Jun 26 11:54 AM US/Eastern
Sizzling temperatures in Greece, Italy and Romania has brought power cuts and brush fires in a heatwave that has led to at least 31 deaths in south-east Europe in recent days."This is the worst day since the heat wave started with 46 degrees (Celsius; 114.8 Fahrenheit) in two towns," Nikos Kanteres of the Greek meteorological service, said.Seven large brush fires broke out on Monday and today in Greece and hundreds of people were evacuated from threatened homes near the southern city of Pyrgos, 200 miles south-west of Athens. The Greek government closed most public services early at noon, as temperatures in the capital reached 43 Celsius (109.4 Fahrenheit).

Tomorrow is a bus tour, resting the feet.

Photos to come later.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Some Pictures From Greece

Picture of Christopher sitting on Mediterranean beach

Picture of me in bathroom mirror

Driving to hotel in Delphi

View from hotel room balcony

Beautiful moon over Greece

Judy at restaurant with nice gentleman that welcomed the group