Sunday, November 07, 2010

The vacation and pictures

The pictures are up, in Picasa (1600x1200) and on my own server (full size). There are as usual lots of them, sorted more or less geographically.

I visit Paris quite often, but it was only my second time in Rome, and the first one was rather short. Never been to Chartres or Ostia Antica before.

Paris was, well, Paris. Beautiful, but colder than it should be this time of the year. We rented an apartment in the 6th, Place Saint-Sulpice, and it was lovely, much nicer than any hotel I've ever been in. Been to Louvre, MuseƩ d'Orsay (too many paintings for my taste, but it'd been a while since the last time), Notre-Dame, Palais Chaillot for some modern ballet (I didn't get its name or point, but very much enjoyed the dancing, and was even more impressed with the theater itself, all black and red and huge and vertical), Palais Garnier for the premiere of La Paquita (also quite amazing), and for the first time in many years did not go to Sainte Chapelle, which feels vaguely wrong.

Hmm, now that I am writing this: maybe fewer art museums and more theaters is the way to go for me in general?

Another new thing was the St. Eustache church in Paris. The cathedral in Chartres was amazing; my pictures are unfortunately not worthy.

The one new thing in Paris were the women (my best guess would be Eastern European gypsies) who pretend to find your ring and give it to you; I am not sure how this scam is supposed to work, but on a good day three people can find "your ring" in one block.

Rome was very beautiful too, but somehow not as enjoyable as Paris (few places are). Much warmer, though. The ancient ruins were interesting to see, Piazza Navona and Piazza della Rotonda were lovely, Spanish steps a bit overrated although it was nice to live a couple of blocks from there. Pantheon is incredible in being really ancient without being a ruin.

We'd seen more famous churches than I could imagine possible, and more paintings than I could imagine I'd survive. I even found a Gothic church (didn't know they had any), Santa Maria sopra Minerva.

Among the not-so-touristy impressions were the astronomical amount of bird shit on an embankment one morning, and the astronomical amount of birds over the same embankment in the evening. The flocks were so huge they scared us; it looked like a horror movie.

The annoying scam thing of the season seemed to be men with flowers who give them for free to a woman and then demand money from the man who is with her. They do run away when you yell at them.

From Rome we visited Ostia Antica, the ruins of a fairly large city, abandoned in 4th century AD (fairly common story, it used to be a port and the sea went away). Well worth a day trip. Has Europe's oldest synagogue, too, or what's left of it.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I liked your post, Zhopa. Miss ya a lot, strangely. Going to Colorado for 4 days to canyon lands, should be fun. Call me or e-mail, I'll be back on Sunday.
Anna

Count said...

Now, the $64000 question:

Did your breasts get stuck into anything this time? With, or without frenchwomen involved... :)

Vera said...

Anna: have fun in the Canyon lands, it's beautiful out there! I'll call you on Sunday, or you call me.

Count: I am proud to say that my breasts survived the vacation without getting stuck anywhere at all.

Ironmistress said...

What? So many churches - and not a single shul...? [ducking for cover]

Seriously, it seems your vacation was far less dangerous than ours. We did some quite serious high seas cruising at Baltic on a yacht, and we survived two force 8 gales, two thunderstorms, six rain squalls, four stills, battery dying and losing all electricity aboard, the sole head of the boat getting clogged and almost being rammed by a submarine. But at least the diesel worked just fine.

Now we can always say "we've been through worse" :-)

But the night watch at high seas and navigating by the stars - and seeing the Sun slowly rising and dimming all the other stars but the Summer Triangle (Vega-Deneb-Altair) is an experience not tradeable into anything else.