Monday, December 5, 2022

Palermo

 Today we wandered around Palermo.  Lots of great stuff to see.  First up, the Fontana Pretoria, also known as the Fountain of Shame.  The fountain, made of Carrara marble, was crafted in 1555.  

From Rick Steves' Best of Sicily book:  The nickname “Fountain of Shame” comes from the nude figures—considered quite racy in conservative Sicily. To make things worse, the fountain was assembled right under the windows of the Dominican convent of Santa Caterina.  Local folklore claims that the nuns tried dressing the figures, but to no avail. Eventually, they slipped out of their convent—chisel and hammer in hand—and chipped away some of the offending parts. The iron fence was added in the 19th century to prevent further “remodeling.”

 








Just up the street from our hotel is the Piazza Bellini.  This tiny square is surrounded by three of the city’s most famous churches.  La Martorana,  ...


San Cataldo, ....



(more on these later) and Santa Caterina—with a boisterous Baroque interior that’s a feast for the eyes (Rick).









Santa Caterina also has some vestments with excellent goldwork.






And an amazing pastry shop.




Saturday, December 3, 2022

Folkestone, England

We are visiting our friends in Folkstone, England, before our latest Rick Steves Best of Sicily tour. Today we took a 3 mile walk along the beautiful England Coast Path.  



From Wikipedia:  The England Coast Path is a proposed long-distance National Trail that will follow the coastline of England. When complete, it will be 2,795 miles (4,500 kilometres) in length.  

 

 

Along the way we went by the Sandgate Castle, an artillery fort originally constructed by Henry VIII in Sandgate in Kent between 1539 and 1540. It formed part of the King's programme to protect England against invasion from France.

 


We will be flying to Sicily on Sunday.

 

Friday, July 22, 2022

Reykjavik, Iceland

 There is a lot of street art, both on the street ...









.... and on the buildings.

















And that's it for this trip!

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Reykjavik, Iceland

 Houses in Reykjavik have some interesting architecture.  They range from small houses with corrugated steel sheet siding to some impressive concrete (stucco?) houses.  Many (most?) of them have several curious features:  

a very plain unassuming front door,

on the side of the house,

with several steps leading up to it, and  

with little or no protection from the weather.

 











I thought this one was awfully cute.



And this one has a lot of potential.







Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik has several nice looking churches.  This first is, Fr√≠kirkjan, "The Free Church".




This is the Catholic Church, Landakotskirkja.







This is Hallgr√≠mskirkja, the Lutheran church.







While wandering we noticed this rather long queue forming (also notice the range of clothing from puffy jackets, hats and scarves to t-shirts) so we went to investigate.





Turns out, this was the hot dog stand made famous by President Clinton.


Turf roofs are still popular.



The Sun Voyager is a sculpture intended it to convey the promise of undiscovered territory, a dream of hope, progress and freedom.  It is located along the waterfront.