Thursday, May 18, 2017

CORNWALL 2017: The Facebook Preview

Let's take a break from our Venice/Verona trip!

We just got back from Cornwall late last night, minutes before midnight, and are now up and at it in getting settled back in.  You know how that it.  It's always good to get back home.  Astrid even went back to work today after maybe 4 hours of sleep.  What a trooper!

What you are about to see is a learning curve for me away from the laptop and PhotoShop!  We took only our iPads for this 6-day trip, so I learned how to make collages with the Live Collage app, figuring out every new day how to tweak images the way I wanted there as well as in the Photos app.

So, here goes:

Friday, May 12:  Arrival in Exeter

As soon as Chris and Pauline picked us up at the airport, Pauline said she had a surprise for me!
We think it represents the  Red Arrows from the Royal Air Force aerobatic display team,
even though they usually fly in teams of 9.
Ironically, it was the only weathervane we found the entire trip, other than a couple of arrows.
But it more than made up for the lack elsewhere.

We ate out at a pub that day but that was basically it, before driving home near St. Austell.

Saturday, May 13:  Mevagissey Fishing Port and the Spit Cliffs

Pauline and Chris racked their brains for us on what to see and where to go each day.
But they found out it doesn't take much to make us happy!
 So we first went to the fishing port of Mevagissey, 16 km away.
Lucky for us, we were there during low tide.
Do beached boats enthrall you like they do us who never see them??!!

After eating lunch back at home, we three girls went out to take a walk along the Spit cliffs.
Actually, Chris dropped us off at the beginning and then picked us up at the end in Charlestown.
 During the 4 miles, with the English Channel on one side and a golf course on the other, 
we had intermittent rain but didn't care a hoot.

Sunday, May 14:  Tintagel Castle and King Arthur's Birthplace

When Astrid and I found out there was a legendary birthplace of King Arthur 39 km away,
we made it absolutely clear that THAT would be a highlight of our trip!
So we picked the best weather day to go, which was Sunday.
OMG.  Wait till I show you more later...but for now, that's the statue of Merlin with Astrid, 
overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on the north Cornwall coast.

Monday, May 15:  St Mawgan and St. Eval Parish Churches

After Sunday's gorgeous, sunny day on the north coast, it rained the rest of our time!
Rain limits what you can do, of course, but it didn't stop us from going out to do something.
We didn't need much, especially after the full day on Sunday.

So off we went to see two parish churches, both from the 13th century:
St. Mawgan (top row) and St. Eval (bottom row).

This time on the inside, St. Mawgan (top row) and St. Eval (bottom row).
I love these wee parish churches almost more than the cathedrals, to be honest.
I always think of my preacher dad loving and choosing them for his pastorates.

Tuesday, May 16:  Looe

Knowing we love the seaside ports, Chris and Pauline came up with our final adventure, 42 km away.
We actually arrived while the tide was still in but, after first eating lunch, we got lucky.
Look at that.  Pure magic for us!

Wednesday, May 17:  Exeter Cathedral (and home)

Wednesday started off with a 2-hour train ride to Exeter for our flight back to Amsterdam.
Dear friend, Lisl (from Bath), came by train to join us (including Pauline) for the rest of the rainy day.
After a lovely, leisurely lunch, we walked to the nearby cathedral and had a peek.
No time for a good look that came with an entrance fee, so we did just peek.
For me it was enough...or at least better than nothing.
A great way to end a good week with friends!

You know me...this is but the skeleton to which I will add the flesh in the days to come.
The good news is that we have no further trips on deck till America in October,
so there's a nice, gentle sigh being released as I take my time, now, going forward.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

VERONA 2017: Piazza Erbe and the House of Juliet

Let's mix things up a bit and go back to Verona!  Specifically, let's go to the center of Verona's commercial and administrative life:  the Piazza Erbe.

I love this map because it shows the most important landmarks of the city, all of which we saw.
But today's post is centered on the red numbers 2-5.

We'll start with the Piazza Erbe (#5), which was the town's forum during the Roman Empire.
Today it is a bustling market square with hawkers selling their wares.

It has 4 major landmarks:
Colonna di San Marco (1528) topped by St. Mark's Lion, symbol of Venetian rule (bottom-left).
The Fountain (1368) topped by the Madonna of Verona, symbolizing Commerce (bottom-right).
The Capitello (13th century) for ceremonies, called Tribune (top-right).
The ornate carved Aedicula (shrine) from 1410 (bottom-center).

Of the 4 landmarks, the fountain is the center-point of attraction.
The Madonna statue on top is a Roman sculpture dating to 390 AD.
We actually sat at the nearby Capitello to take it all in.

Just a wee walk away from the last column, the Aedicula shrine, we found Juliet's House (#2).
In Italian, it's the Casa di Giulietta, connected to Shakespeare's tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.

Upon passing through the gateway/entrance, you enter the courtyard.
And yes, that's the balcony of legend and fantasy...where you can even get married!
And no, we didn't even try to make it through the crowd to go up.

The real darling of the courtyard was Juliet herself.
Older men and women, all the way down to young boys and girls, wanted to touch her.
No one seemed at all embarrassed to have their turn, a good-luck ritual for the unmarried.

Did you notice the gum door behind Juliet?  Even the tree was gummed!
And, of course, there were enough love padlocks to sink the entire place.
How can you not have intrigue for such a place of Love and Tragedy!

From Juliet's House we walked back to the Palazzo della Ragione (#4), the Palace of Reason.
The medieval palace features an elegant Renaissance staircase, 
leading from the exterior courtyard to the magistrates' offices above.
The Lamberti tower attached to the palace, begun in 1172, is 275 ft. tall (top-center).  
The clock was added in 1779. and for €1 were could take the lift to the top.

How fun to zoom in on all the Piazza Erbe landmarks from above...

to say nothing for all the other landmarks we had already seen or would see later
(covering all the blue and red numbers in the map above).

You know how I always say we learn much about a people/culture from their cemeteries.
I often think the same about their rooftops!

Outside the Palace of Reason we spotted the Dante statue from 1865 (bottom-right). 
He was the medieval poet who was a guest of the Scaliger family during his exile from Florence.

Speaking of cemeteries and the Scaliger family, and last but not least...
we stood in awe of the Scaliger Tombs from the 14th century, high and lifted up.
They're a group of 5 Gothic tombs celebrating said Scaliger family.

This didn't end our day but it does end this post.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Tomorrow Astrid and I fly to Cornwall, England, for 6 days of mini-vacation with friends.
You know what that means...a gazillion more images to wade through.  HA!
The things I have to put up with!