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Europe's Inspiration

Posted by Curtis on July 30, 2010 at 2:48 PM

 

We are just back from a nearly three week trip to Europe. Our trip included Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Greece, and Turkey. We spent the most time in Barcelona, Spain.

We gave almost a day to the Picasso Museum in Barcelona. It was a real experience. I did not know that Picasso was so talented that he had a major Paris exhibit when he was only 17 years old. The works in the museum were done during his early years. They were so realistic that I thought some were photographs. He did not get into abstracts until he was in his 30’s.

The beauty of Barcelona made me point my camera in nearly every direction. It all was so beautiful that I could not stop taking pictures of things like windows and doors. As a result, I brought home some images of that might seem strange but are beautiful to my eye. After Spain, we were off on a 12 day cruise of the other countries.

After a stormy night at sea, we awoke the next morning in the harbor of a French city called Villefranche. It is about fifteen minutes from Nice to the west and thirty minutes from Monaco to the east. We chose to go to Monte Carlo the only city in the tiny nation of Monaco. It was as picturesque and beautiful as advertised. Again my camera worked overtime. The result is a different view of one of the wealthiest Principalities in the world.

On day two we were docked in Livorno. This is a city about an hour and a half to the west of Florence. The trip into the city took us through Tuscany with vineyards and olive groves on each side. But the prize at the end of the trip was Florence, Italy. It is one of the most beautifully rich cities from an artistic point of view in the world. We needed to just sit and take it all in. So that is what we did. Door knockers first caught my attention. I started looking for them. They were stunning. So again I could not help but to take as many pictures of them as I could. But to be surrounded by so many master’s work was somewhat overwhelming. I did my best to capture as many images as I could in the time I had. But then there were the bridges, churches and buildings to photography. Well, I did what I could. The result you will see on the site. My only problem is there are too many to display on a site like this one.

The next city was Civitavecchia about forty five minutes west of Rome. Rome is just what everyone has always told you that it was. Vatican City is not to be missed but the rest of the city will leave you breathless. So again I had to concentrate on taking the camera down from my face so I could take it all in. I did and I have lots of memories to rest on that were not captured in my camera. However those pictures that I brought back will speak for themselves. After two days at sea the next port of call was Santorini, Greece. This was, without exaggeration, one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. The cities are atop about a 500 foot cliff surrounded by the Again Sea. The views from the top are breathtaking. One just wants to just sit and look. The deep blue of the sea is highlighted by the white houses randomly toped by sky blue domes. I have posted some pictures on the site but the rest are just as beautiful. It made me want to go back just to take more pictures.

The next day we landed in a city called Piraeus. It is a suburb of Athens. This is a city that grew to importance around the 8th century BC. History tells us that the zenith of Athens was in the 5th century BC. People like Aristotle, Plato and Euripides wrote their masterpieces and debated the fundamental questions of knowledge and understanding.

However what is left is a bustling modern city with overcrowded streets, pollution and modern cement buildings. In 1834 when Athens became the Capital of Greece it had only 6,000 residence. Now it has 4.5 million people living on an area of 165 square miles. What visitors go to see is the Acropolis. It is an architectural masterpiece but it is not well preserved and not easy to visit. Too many people and no focus. I have included some images of the Acropolis and they are beautiful. However, everyone sees something different. You just might like the contrast between the old and new Athens.

The next port of call was Kusadasi, Turkey. Its history dates back to 8,000 years BC. Some thirty minutes inland from Kusadasi is the well preserved ancient city of Ephesus. It is one of the best examples of ancient Roman architecture in the world. Building and amphitheaters line the stone streets. They had running water before most places knew what that was.

Kusadasi is the home of many rug making factories. When you think of Turkish rugs it is this port city where most of them are made by hand. The pictures are again stunning and the time was too short.

After a day at sea we were in the beautiful city of Naples, Italy. Sitting about three quarters down the boot of Italy, it is a gem. Besides being the third largest city in Italy, it lies at the foot of a range of low hills on the west coast of the country. It has been and is now the great center of music and culture of Italy. From Naples you can see the Isle of Capri and Pompeii. So, more pictures of a great city were taken. Many more then I have room for on the site. However if you contact me I can send you some images that you might like.

From Naples we were back to Barcelona and after a day of rest back to Atlanta. The pictures tell the story better then I can.

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1 Comment

Reply Gerry Wood-Taylor
7:14 PM on August 6, 2010 
Curtis, after reading about your great trip to Barcelona and the other cities, makes me more disappointed that were not able to join you. It certainly is something to look forward to, hopefully in the next year or two.