Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Vicki Archer of French Essence is having a fantastic French celebration

Good morning everyone

I am taking a break from photo-blogging about the Amalfi Coast with some news.  Please see the link below for details.

I have followed Vicki's journey for a number of years now.  She has two beautiful photo books about her home in Provence and her Petit Bijou is now open for business.

Here are some more photos of the interior:

Isn't it lovely?

Below is one photo I took in St Remy a few years ago:

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Capri: La Scala Fenicia

To go between Capri and Anacapri you have a few choices.  You can take the bus.  You can take a convertible taxi.  Or you can do like everyone else did before there were cars on Capri, and walk.  Luckily the "Phoenicians" (allegedly really the Greeks) came before you and carved steps into the side of the cliffs and so you have a path.  I recommend DOWN which is what I did.  Why make things harder than they need to be?  I understand there are fewer than 1000 steps to walk.

You will find these steps if you visit Axel Munthe's Villa San Michele.  Just keep walking past his villa (after your visit) and you can't miss them.  The first two photos were taken as soon as I started walking down.  First, the view ahead to Capri harbor and the Sorrento/Amalfi Coast peeping out from the left, and then, a glance behind me which gave me a stellar view of Villa San Michele and the mysterious Sphinx.

Down I walked...  trudge trudge.  In a few places, the steps are somewhat awkward in that they are spaced just enough that you can't do a one-two step down them, alternating feet like you normally would on stairs.  You step down, the other foot comes forward, then you reach the next "down" which means the same foot is going down.  That doesn't sound like a big deal until you do it for a while!  I stopped frequently for photos so it wasn't a big deal.

The beams you see below support the roadway to Anacapri.  They are huge.  This is only a part of them.  Later as I update this blog I will point them out in other photos.  They are very distinctive and are a frame of reference.  There are not many roads on the isle of Capri. 

Below is an example of the steps I mentioned above  - your opposite foot just reaches the end when you are walking normally.  You can either take mincing steps to keep your left-right rhythm going or just alternate once in a while.  Interesting!  I imagine there were many a donkey on these steps over the years. 

What a gorgeous day it was.  This was my first visit to Capri but if this is indicative of May weather, that's the time to go in my opinion. 


Now, do you see what I mean about those beams?  I am not even all that far away, either.  I'm finally down to where the houses are...

You can see the beams on the right.  I came from up there (and even higher).

I passed homes with grape vines or lemons in the gardens...  see the mainland peeping through?

I veered off the path in that I did not walk all the way to the harbor to take the funicular back up, opting instead to walk back up towards Capri.

Tada.  Back to the roadway in Capri.  I still had a ways to go up, up, up to get to the main square and then my hotel, but I'm back in Capri.  I hope you enjoyed your walk with me!

If you want to see the rest of my photos from this little hike, here are the all of them in a slideshow.  There are only 22, but the slideshow is out of order, FYI:

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Reflections of travel

Good morning!

Taking a small break from poking around my recent Italy photos.  As usual, I took entirely too many. 

Below are various photos I've taken of reflections - sometimes on purpose, sometimes a happy accident.

This first one, taken in Venice, is my all time, most viewed, most-tumblred photo ever.  Tumblr via my Flickr page.  If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  At least some of the tumblr folks link back to my own page.  Sigh.  It was taken with a (now old) P&S Canon.  For all the nice equipment I have now, this one is my most popular.  Go figure.

Below, Florence in winter.  Also taken with the same tiny P&S.

OK, now this below is not Italy, in fact it's Algonkian Park in Virginia.

More Italy, more Venice...  I think I have Italy on the brain...

Waterfowl in Annecy:

Me, reflected in a Harley, in Assisi (Italy):

One of my favorite reflections.  Tulips in Keukenhof.

Changing of the Guard:

More Venice.  Maybe it's Venice I have on the brain...

More Venice:

And more Venice.  Yes, there is a reflection, it's in the shiny glossy gorgeous black wood:

Sunglasses.  Beach glass.  Wrought iron balcony.  Lake Como (Lenno).


More Venice (yes, that is a reflection):


Meadowlark Gardens in Virginia:


Last but not least, a grand piano in the huge sitting room of the Hotel Excelsior in Naples.  It was not far from the window and you could see the monument outside very clearly on the sleek glossy black wood of the piano.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Capri: an early morning stroll on Via Krupp

Good morning!

This set of photos was taken early one morning in May.  It was the morning I had to catch the ferry back to the mainland to continue on with the Amalfi Coast portion of my trip.  I had exactly one hour for one last exploration from the time I walked out of the hotel after breakfast until I walked back in to collect my personal items and head to the funicular to take me down to the harbor.  The hotel porter had already taken my luggage that morning.  Off I went.

At this point I hadn't even heard of Via Krupp.  My destination was going to be the Giardini di Augusto to see if it was open.  They are a five minute walk from the hotel and I admired the views of them from the hotel balcony each morning. 

During my stroll I saw the village kitty whom I had petted the night before.  I wandered down the lane towards the gardens and saw that they were 20 minutes from opening.  The path continued past the entrance, through an archway, and once I crossed through the archway look what I saw!

(Yes I think that is probably my hand and camera.  I left it in because it made me giggle).

Via Krupp, all pictured below, was built at the dawn of the 20th century by German industrialist Friedrich Alfred Krupp.  According to Wiki (take that for what it's worth) it was a path he built between his hotel the Grand Hotel Quisisana and the Marina Piccola where he apparently had a marine biology center.  I also just learned that he did not enjoy his path for very long, sadly, he committed suicide in 1902.  A reminder that we all carry burdens, many of them unseen. 

What I did know, at that moment in time, is that I was almost alone but for a few other walkers coming the other direction from Marina Piccola, the weather was crisp, clear and just perfect, the sun wasn't very high in the sky, the waves were crashing below and the seagulls were keening as they circled.  I walked down its loop-di-loop path about 2/3 of the way to the bottom and just watched and listened (while I took these photos).  Had I known about this path before the morning I was leaving I would have walked all the way to Marina Piccola.

How many delights can such a small island hold?  What else will I find on my next visit?

These last two were actually taken from the Gardens of Augustus. 

Friday, May 31, 2013

Capri: a pleasant stroll to lunch below the Faraglioni

Good morning

Another round of photos from my recent trip to a beautiful part of Italy.  My first time to Capri - three nights which really should have been doubled.  Another visit is necessary.

After a morning spent visiting the very top of the island (Monte Solaro, reached from chairlift from Anacapri), I had lunch at the very bottom of the island - at the base of the Faraglioni.  These are some photos from my stroll and lunch at Da Luigi ai Faraglioni.

Starting down the hill:

Fontellina Beach:

Da Luigi:

A villa overlooking the Faraglioni:

Another villa overlooking the Faraglioni.  I think I want to live here.


Wandering around after my meal:

Ahhhhhhh...  bliss!

What a fabulous day.  If I were stuck in the movie Groundhog Day, THIS would be one of the days I'd like to repeat. 

Enjoy your weekend!
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