Five Shots: Rome

Colosseum at Night

The first time I went to Rome was a decade ago and it was 105 (40c) degrees Fahrenheit. It was hard to appreciate much of anything while squinting through the haze and rubbing shoulders with a thousand tourists. Still, the Sistine Chapel made me cry, and the Colleseum lived up to the hype. It’s a beautiful structure and worth any aggravation to see it. Why? It’s one of those rare antiquities where you can actually touch it, wrap your arms around it, feel the history seep in, and no one will shoot you for doing so.

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On one of the seven hills surrounding Rome.

This time, I was shocked with pleasure at how cool was Rome. There were a couple afternoon drizzles (very unique for we Arizonians) and a breeze followed us around in 67 – 75-degree temperatures. Our group split up and we walked at our leisure from one side of Rome to the other, rambling through side streets and neighborhoods with energy and fascination. We frequently stopped to have a drink and people watch. We consumed pizza and pasta, and for the fashion conscious pair in my life, I bought Italian shoes for my son and designer sunglasses for my daughter-in-law. I was surprised how much fun I had in Rome.

Here are a few shots of our four days there. Which one do you like best?

Experiencing the quiet at the Roman Botanical Gardens
Ponte Garibaldi view of the Tiber River
bridges
Ponte Sisto super Fiume Tevere

Looking Up
Inside the Colleseum
Halls in the Vatican to the Sistine Chapel
School of Athens fresco (A dream come true!)
A maiden in the School of Athens
Raphael wearing the black hat
Roman Fountain
Jim and Cindy
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Pizza (again) for Lunch
Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain
At the Forum–that’s what I call a door.

Five Shots: The Colors and Patterns of Spain Part I

1. Basement of the Alcázar of Seville, a royal palace in Seville, Andalusia, Spain, originally developed by Moorish Muslim kings

Traveling to Madrid, Toledo, Seville, and Barcelona was filled with heat (35-44c), bright colors, fun food, and boundless patterns everywhere. Here are some pictures highlighting the colors and patterns from the trip. You decide which is the best shot.

2. The Plaza Mayor was built during Philip III’s reign (1598–1621) and is a central plaza in the city of Madrid, Spain.
3. Joan Enjoying Anchovies at Plaza Mayor

 

4. Flamenco performance in Seville
5. The Casa de Pilatos, Pontius Pilate’s house, Seville
6. Pontius Pilate’s House, downstairs courtyard
7. Inside looking out at Pilate’s House

 

8. The Great Mosque of Cordoba, two hours south of Madrid, was a Visigoth, Christian temple converted into a Mosque when Muslims ruled in the late 8th century.
8. Toledo Castle
9. Corpus Christi celebration, Toledo
10. Santa María la Blanca is a museum and former synagogue in Toledo, Spain. 1180.

 

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11. Cold tomato soup, Sangria, and a fan to keep the face cool.

 

Five Shots: Walking around Santorini

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Okay, last photo post about Greece and the islands. Thank you for allowing me to share them with you. It’s a magical place and none more so than the island of Santorini. Someone on the trip said that in 2014, Santorini was voted “The prettiest place on Earth”. I’ll let you decide. Here are some of the pictures taken on this volcanic island in the southern part of the Cyclades Islands in the Aegean Sea.

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Smooth rounded domes and cube-styled white-washed buildings. The sun accentuates the layers.
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Santorini is loaded with Catholic churches–Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic. The crosses contrast with the blue sharply. The paint colors of doors and railings make it a truly unique place.
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A splash of sunlight tips the monochromatic blues.

 

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archways and crossroads

 

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A bolt of red in the white.

 

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When you explore the cobbled alleyways, you will stumble upon churches with their bells that ring on the half hour.

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The largest church of Santorini is the Orthodox Cathedral. It was founded in 19th century and in close distance is the Catholic Cathedral dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. During the Byzantine times was built the famous church of Panagia Episkopi that has survived many invasions and is well-preserved up to this day. The Dominican Convent is inhabited by 12 nuns. We found a chapel where mass was about to begin. They are behind the curtain behind the altar. We sat and listened to them sing.DSC02862

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Take a stroll and watch the sun think about setting, changing the landscape colors every five minutes.
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The view looking out from the top of the island.
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A panorama of the west side of the island top of Fira.
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A hazy day, but the blue water is still magnificent to behold.
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The ironed railings and vibrant painted doors are everywhere.
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Doors are always fun to take pictures of. The paint jobs are impeccable.
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Laid out in all her beauty.
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Even the old doors make cool shots.

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Time to head back to the ship.

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Despite her popularity, I didn’t feel crowded there at all.

 

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There are 588 steps down the side of island and 3 ways to get there. Walk. Take a cable car. Or ride the donkeys down.

 

 

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The sunset turns the volcanic brown gold.

 

Which shot do you like best? 

One last picture of a meal. My favorite. The authentic Gyro! 

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