Saturday, August 14, 2010

We've moved!

As I post more and more of Meg's photos, I wanted the blog to be ours so we have moved to Catamount Imaging. All new photo posts from both Meg and I will be there and in time I'll retire this blog.

Please join us there!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Siena storefront...

Meg made this wonderful reflective image of an especially busy storefront in Siena. The streets there are filled with small storefront selling panforte, dried meats and wine. The fox and the bird were an added bonus. I was clearly entranced!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Night Statue in Siena.

After stumbling on one of the best meals of the vacation (ossobuco at Taverna di Cecco), we walked home to the hotel. On the way we passed this empty courtyard and Meg made a wonderful late night image which I aggressively converted to black and white.

This is the way the place felt to me. Quiet, extraordinary and alive. We were guests.

One of the wonderful things about the transition from Rome to Siena was the decrease in the tourist quotient. It's not just the number of people (Siena was actually quite popular) but the tourist culture of people hawking everything from camera tripods to umbrellas (they seemed to magically transform when the sky darkened) to the crazy guys in gladiator suits that surround the Colosseum. It just gets tiresome.

Siena didn't seem to have all that and the tourists seemed like us to be drinking deeply from the medieval well of beauty this city has to offer. Sometimes late at night, there was nobody around at all...

Monday, August 09, 2010

On to Siena...

It was time to move on from Rome to Siena and we were traveling by bus. The bus was a somewhat less performant version of the bus that we take from the Upper Valley down to Boston when taking such trips as this. It had the habit of very gently and rhythmically bouncing along the narrow (compared to US interstates) A1 heading north to Siena. I was tired and was resting my eyes but Meg would periodically wake me to show me scenes of classic Italian beauty along the way.

As we neared Siena, we remembered that there were four stops in Siena and suddenly it became import to choose the right one. A very helpful local businessman gave us all the info we needed in perfect English before departing and wishing us a good time in Siena.

We checked in and immediately walked down towards the city center to find out what is meant by a medieval city. Narrow streets with slits of sunlight were everywhere.

We settled at a nice bar in Piazza del Campo, enjoyed an adult beverage, and watched the sun set of city hall reminding us of why the crayola boxes have a burnt siena crayon in them.

Friday, August 06, 2010


Across the Tiber River from Rome proper is the area of Trestavere. It's a charming, funky area and was a favorite on our trip to Rome.

The combination of textures and colors in Italy are completely new to me.

While in Trestavere, we found this alley that led up a hill to a gorgeous old church.

There was a wonderful view back over the river towards Rome from this vantage point. The big white building with the chariots on top is the monument to the King that united Italy Victor Emmanuel II. The immense size and burning white marble of the monument has made it a bit punching bag earning names such as the typewriter and the false teeth. It definitely makes an impression.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Return of Son of Rome...

There are so many pictures to post from our time in Rome, let alone the entire trip to Italy, that it's hard to choose.

That said, ere are a couple more shots from different locales in Rome. The first is of course the Pantheon. Sadly like much of ancient Rome, it's face is marred by reconstruction but this actually did little to reduce it's fundamental awesomeness. A place of worship, for all religions for over two thousand years. This was by far my favorite building in Rome.

The next image is of Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers in Piazza Navona. Piazza Navona was a blast, full of life, art, music and perhaps most importantly cold beer. This amazing fountain is the centerpiece of the piazza.

But perhaps my favorite place/experience in all of Rome was Largo Argentina. These ancient ruins lie in the heart of Rome and continue to be under active excavation. But what makes the place so amazing is that it is home to a cat sanctuary! This group feeds, neuters, and cares for the cats while opening every day, here among the ruins, working to get these cats adopted into good homes.

We wandered by late at night twice and both nights this fellow had staked out his (rather large) area for a good nights sleep. Ruins and cats? How awesome is that?

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

More Rome...

The Roman Forum on a hot Rome afternoon...

This is Capitoline Hill including the Mayor's Palace and the Museum. This square, including these steps and the statues, were designed by Michelangelo.

Friday, July 02, 2010


The Colosseum is just amazing. It's astonishing that something so old looks so familiar to us today and when you discover all the nasty things the Romans did in there, you start to think really deeply about modern television and movies.

Anyway, here are a couple standard shots of the Colosseum. Whatever you think of what happened here, the place is amazing.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Little Cars...

While in Rome, we witnessed this convoy of Fiat's zooming by the Colosseum - we believe it was some kind of World Cup celebration/gesture. We've not seen this behavior in East Thetford before...


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Vatican

We toured the Vatican Museum while in Rome. It is truly amazing, endless, and not a little scary. This nasty little fellow was hanging over one of the doorways...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Łódź Poland

We've been traveling a bit lately and it's time to catch up and post some pictures! I spent a week in Łódź for work and was able to enjoy walking Piotrkowska Street (shown below) which is one of the longest commercial streets in Europe. It is full of cafes and restaurants, many of which are out on the street which is mostly pedestrian.


It is always interesting to see what is similar and what is different when you are in another country. I was certainly taken aback to see a sign, familiar in Vermont, for a snowboard shop!

Some of the older textile factories have recently been reinvented as an upscale shopping and entertainment experience called Manufaktura. The economy in Łódź seems to be booming; there is a surplus of well educated and affordable (compared to me for example) engineers which is attracting many companies to the area.

I really enjoyed my week in Łódź. There is an optimism in the air that I haven't felt here in the US for many years. Things are getting better and though many challenges remain (apparently you cannot safely park your car in Łódź without using a guarded parking lot), people are really enjoying themselves. 

Oh and the food was great! I got to have zurek again for the first time since 1999, I tried beef tongue for the first time and really liked it, and I was able to quench (momentarily) my fondness for Polish beer.

This last shot is from Liberty Square which holds a statue of General Tadeusz Kosciuszko, a military polymath who served as the head engineer of the Continental Army during the American Revolution (responsible for securing Philadelphia as well as West Point from British attack) and whose statue graces Lafayette Square near the White House.