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Island Time

Before this trip the furthest south in the Carribean I had been was Cuba. On this trip two friends and I spent a couple weeks on Virgin Gorda.

Lonely planet described Virgin Gorda this way – Somehow, Virgin Gorda keeps a level head and remains a slowpoke, chicken-dotted destination without rampant commercialism. To the chicken-dotted I would add goats, donkeys and cattle.



I contemplated cancelling this trip due to COVID but then thought at least there I would be staying by myself and being outside most of the time. Actually I felt safer there than at home. Everyone wore a mask, even outside if you were around other people. At a grocery store they took your temperature before you could go in, had to sign a contact tracing form at a restaurant even though we were eating outside and no one else was there, every building you went in had hand sanitizer and if you did not use it they told you to within a few steps of entering. We had to take a test within a few hours of leaving the US and returning.



We flew into St Thomas where we spent the night. We climbed down the 99 Steps, built in the 1700s to make climbing Government Hill a bit easier, this staircase is one of St Thomas’s most famous landmarks. We walked around downtown and had a delicious dinner outdoors at Amalia Café. We didn’t get out of downtown  Charlotte Amalie. There are a couple of nice craft galleries, and of course the dozens of jewelry stores that the cruise ship crowd seems to love. Many local shops have not reopened as of yet, hurricanes Irma and Maria and COVID have kept them closed. Cruise ships have just started to return. We saw one on the way out and 3 in port on the way home.

Then the next day we took the ferry to Tortolla to Road Town and had a private tour of the island. There were beautiful views and the West End and Road Town were interesting. I can’t say I loved either St Thomas or Tortolla, but then I’m sure there are beautiful places on both islands. There is a great bakery on Tortolla called The French Bakery and Deli.


This is part of a mural that is painted on a curve on top of Fahie Hill, Ridge Rd depicting life on Tortola.
 

Virgin Gorda sign on Fanny Hill Road overlooking the North Sound


Once we got to Virgin Gorda I became the designated driver. We had a car with a left hand steering wheel so it didn’t take me long to get used to driving on the left side of the road. I’m not sure it would have been so easy to get used to if the wheel had been on the right – we did see some – or if I was in a panic situation.

Our condos were overlooking North Sound, wow. Thanks to Laurence Rockefeller a lot of the island is a national park. He also created Little Dix, an exclusive resort near Spanish Town where the ferries come in from Tortola. We tried to go for lunch but they were fully booked and not taking any outside guests. It, like many of the resorts, Little Dix was closed for years after the 2017 hurricanes Irma and Maria, which pretty much decimated Virgin Gorda and many other Caribbean Islands..

This is the view I woke up to every morning.

North Sound Virgin Gorda

Up until recently there was a lot of undeveloped land around the north sound. There is still a lot not developed but much of the far end is being developed into an exclusive neighborhood called Oil Nut Bay. We did go there for lunch at the Marina Village which is the part of the development that is open to the public. To get to the rest of the development you have to be an owner or guest of one. What we were able to see of it was beautiful.

It seemed most of our days were centered around lunch! This was the most laid back vacation I’ve been on in years. And certainly the one with the prettiest views out my window.

From Nail Bay

One of the ladies I was on this trip with had lived here for 5 or so years in the 1980s. She and her husband managed Biras Creek Resort, and oversaw the building Tradewinds then ran it. So it was old home week for her. The 2nd lady that was traveling with us had worked for her for a couple of years there. And the place we stayed was owned by another former employee. So it was wonderful to be with folks that knew folks and what to see and do. Where we stayed was just up the hill from Leverick Bay, and we overlooked the North Sound, Saba Rock, Necker, Moskito, Prickly Pear and Eustatia Islands.

North Sound from Hog Heaven

What a view. I never knew much about this part of the Carribbean. For some reason I was thinking they would be flatter like the Florida Keys. The islands in the BVI were all formed by volcanoes, except for Anagada which is the only one of the British Virgin Islands which was formed from coral and limestone so it stands only 28 feet out of the water. The rest are mountainous.

We had lunch at Saba Rock and got a tour thanks to my traveling companion knowing what names to drop.



Bitter End was destroyed and had just reopened a month before our visit. We walked off the end of the property past the staff only signs on the way to Tradewinds and when stopped, my companion told them why we wanted to look and they let us go on. What a mess. some of the buildings are still there, it’s currently being used for staff housing and a staging area for rebuilding Bitter End. They used salvaged wood from the destroyed buildings to build the new resort. It was hard getting any information about Biras Creek, which is closed, so we hired a boat to drop us off there just to see whats going on.

We visited the Baths of course! We did not swim there because it was pretty rough …

… but swam later at Mahoe Bay where you could see offshore how these islands were formed.


Leverick Bay was our “go to” place for lunch, just down the mountain from our condos. The road is a little hair raising, I hate it when you get to the crest of a hill and can’t see what is beyond! And the hairpin turns are a little tricky to navigate.


We saw the ruins of the copper mine and the Sugar Mill at Nail Bay. From what I could find out the Sugar Mill was in operation in the late 18th century. The ruins are on the site of Nail Bay resort. The grounds are well kept and the view is amazing. And the restaurant was delicious and outdoors like most on the island. The Sugarcane Restaurant. One thing I found interesting was that you could use the pool at places like Leverick Bay even though you were not staying there, and in the middle of Mango Bay Resort is a parking lot and beach access.

S

SugarCane Restaurant at Nail Bay.



The ruins of the copper mine were at the bottom of a steep hill so we parked at the top and walked down. Fortunately we had a car that had enough power to go up the hills, this one I was a little nervous about the brakes because they were making a lot of noise and if they quit working we would end up going off a cliff into the ocean. Cornish miners built the ruins that remain today in the 1800s.





There weren’t as many flowers as I’d hoped to see, one reason I was told is that the island is quite dry so unless the flowers are watered you only see cactus.




We got to go see Biras Creek and got a tour by the resident caretaker Bob, who was glad to talk to Pam about what it was like when they were there and they compared notes on mutual friends. Right now the plans are unknown and the only buildings on the property habitable are his house and the house of the project manager. And what a view.

Biras Creek

We spent a couple of nights on Anagada at the Anagada Beach Club which in my opinion was the nicest resort on the island (there are only a handful). There really isn’t much on the island, a lot of scrub, lots of cattle, lots of goats roaming, even some donkeys, it appears to be free range so if you don’t want them on your property you have to fence to keep them out, Virgin Gorda was the same way.

There is a flock of flamingos, maybe a couple hundred and type of iguana that are threatened by ferral cats. They have a “head start program” for the iguanas to let them get big enough so as to not be threatened by the cats. The iguanas are have been around for over 10,000 years. We didn’t see any in the wild, only saw some babies in the cages at the Head Start program.

They were a long way off


This photo is from World Life Expectancy website of the type of Iguana on Anagada.

And the beach goes on forever.

Anagada Beach Club
Anagada Beach Club
Anagada Beach Club
Lobster Trap Restaurant

I’ve never seen so many conch shells or such big ones.

Conch shell mound



Gas Station on Anagada, fill up from the back of this pickup.

After returning home I looked online at the damage done by the back to back cat 5 hurricanes Irma and Maria, and see how far they have come. With the remoteness of the islands and the extent of damage I can see why it has taken so long to recover. We’ve had our share of hurricanes but at least here everything does not have to come in on a boat. Most of the resorts I’ve mentioned on Virgin Gorda do not have roads going to them from the rest of the island. You can only get there by boat.

As far as the photos I saw of Tortola and St Thomas, wow, the devastation was amazing and actually I’m surprised how good they look now.

This trip was certainly an education, and a beautiful one. If I was to go again there are a few things I would like to do. We never went snorkeling or took the glass bottom boat tour. I would visit Prickly Pear Island in the North Sound. On the way to Virgin Gorda I would go to Jost Van Dyke, it’s hard to get back there from Virgin Gorda so need to do it on the way or on the way home. Also Beef Island – try to go to a Full Moon Party – visit the studio of Aragorn to see his fireballs – try to see the Mocko Jumbies, and I’m sure there is more. No matter how much time you have when you travel there is never enough time to see it all. But I do try!

Where to next? A month in Ft Myers and a few days in my favorite spot Key West.




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Road Trip NC to Maine to Cape (part 1)

Since I sold my house and my new house renovations are nearing completion I left on a month long road trip to the NE with 3 other ladies, me in my rv, and the other 3 ladies in 2 trucks pulling trailers. I’m used to traveling by myself so my mantra was “I’ll meet you there”!

Heading north to Virginia I stopped by Hope Plantation the home of former Governor David Stone. The plantation complex offers insights into the late 18th- and 19th-century rural life in eastern North Carolina.

Also on the grounds is The 1763 King-Bazemore House which is a great example of vernacular architecture. It is one of the few remaining examples in North Carolina of mid-eighteenth century “hall and parlor” design. The home has been restored and furnished based on the 1778 inventory of owner, William King.


Virginia

Heading into Virginia the Bacon Castle, is just outside of Surry. It is the oldest brick dwelling in the US, built in 1665 for Arthur Allen. It was originally known as Allen’s Brick House but became known as Bacon’s Castle in 1676 when Nathaniel Bacon’s men occupied it during the uprising that became known as Bacon’s Rebellion.  It is part of the National Park Service.

I also stopped at a neat little shop I discovered on my last trip up that way, in Surry. 

Jamestown Ferry

Our first two nights on the road were spent at Chickahominy Riverfront Park. So I cut off a few miles and avoided the traffic of Norfolk by catching the Jamestown Ferry. It’s just a little bigger than our local ferries, and my timing was perfect, I waited about 5 minutes to board. There has been a ferry running here since 1925.

The campground was perfect too, it’s right on the Capital Trail that runs from Jamestown to Richmond, is on the Chickahominy River. There are trails, fishing, splash pad, horseshoes and other games, and it has an amazing pool. 

The bike ride to Jamestown from the park is about 7 & 1/2 miles and at mile marker 5 is the Spoke & Art, where a cup of coffee and a muffin hit the spot. You can also rent a bike there, even a recumbent trike like mine! The last time I was there they had a trio playing in the outdoor dining area.


It was pretty hot but much of the trail was in the shade and is paved. We rode to the Historic Jamestowne Visitors Center, ducked in to cool off and after riding back to the campground spent a couple hours in the beautiful pool. 

From there I headed west, taking Hwy 5 along the James River and past the James River Plantations. I drove back to a couple of them, just to have a look. Some are grand, some are not! Shirley, Westover, and Berekley are the ones that are most famous but there are many more. Shirley Plantation, settled in 1613, is the oldest plantation in Virginia and the oldest family-owned business in North America, dating back to 1638.

Shirley – photo a little crooked!


I’ve been collecting Virginias LOVE sculptures around the state. I didn’t realize that there is a website listing where most of them are. And that the state reimburses communities and companies that commission a LOVE sculpture as part of the states branding “Virginia is for lovers”. You have to apply for the funding and if approved they state will reimburse you for $1500 towards the cost of construction. What a neat idea. Since, as of this writing there are over 275 LOVE sculptures around the state, it will be a while before I have seen them all. But here are a few that I HAVE seen.

This one is at the Spoke & Art and is designed by my friend and famous sculptor Don Drumm of Akron, Ohio


I drove through downtown Richmond and spotted a few murals I liked and ended up going through a beautiful neighborhood I hadn’t been in before. It always pays to leave early and get there before things get too hectic. It also saves me money because the galleries are not open yet. I still do my best to support other artists wherever I go!


That night we stayed at Natural Chimney State Park. It is the location of the largest Joisting tournament in Eastern US – I’m personally surprised there is more than one anywhere! In fact it was taking place the day we left and has taken place annually since 1821. What the park is most famous for is its natural towers made of limestone dating from 500 million years ago, a time when this area was covered with water. They range in height from 65 to 120 feet above ground level.

Early the next morning I took off and ended up at the Harrisonburg farmers market – very nice. I wanted to go to the White Oak lavender farm but was too early so I was pleased that they had a booth at the farmers market.

I really like driving the “blue highways” instead of the interstate but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet to get somewhere fast. I usually don’t mind driving 81 through Virginia though because its one of the prettiest interstates I’ve driven.


Pennsylvania

All was well and driving was easy until I hit Harrisburg, PA. It didn’t matter if you went straight through town, like my friends did, or took the bypass, like I did, there was at least a hour that we lost with the traffic backup. So I was glad to get off that road for a bit by going to the Hope Hill Lavender farm just outside of Pottsville, since I missed the other one. The view from their mountain top shop was beautiful.

Next stop Lackawanna State Park. Before going there I made a stop in Scranton, there is some beautiful architecture there. And Steam Town! I didn’t stop this time but have in the past. When I was in my twenties I did a lot of railroad drawings and drawing of railroad depots. Some are even in the Western History Collection of the Denver Public Library. Michael and I rode many of the tourist trains across the country and I ride the train whenever I get a chance.

The Lackawanna State Park is lovely but it was a quick overnight stop so we did not take advantage of all that is there.

Then it wasn’t a long drive to Watkins Glen. Route 6 was touted as an artisan trail but I didn’t see much in the way of art but the scenery, the further west you got, was beautiful.


I spotted Trowbridge (the last name I was born with) on the map and had to go see. I thought it was probably a wide spot in the road, and I was right. There was only one house. A lady was mowing her lawn so I stopped to talk to her, she lived in that house and told me Trowbridge was a stop on the railroad, and later the house was an Inn and the trolley ran out there from Elmira. The only indication the area was called Trowbridge was the street sign. Further north and east I saw a town called Conklin (my mom’s side) but didn’t have time to go there.

In Elmira I stopped to see the Carousel. It was built by Looff and not as detailed as the Philadelphia Tobaggon Company ones I’ve drawn, still it is nice to see it preserved and running. The park it’s in is quite lovely with a beach with dragon boats, different rides and a mini golf course. Elmira is where Mark Twain is buried and he spent twenty summers there at his wife’s sisters house. It was in Elmira that Twain wrote portions of some of his most famous books, including “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” 




A quick stop in Montour Falls led me to meet the wife of Magnus Agustsson, a sculptor, and tour their house/gallery. Born in Iceland, Magnus immigrated to the US in the 1950s and became a prominent Pediatric cardiologist and surgeon before becoming a renowned sculptor. His wife is responsible for the beautiful gardens on the grounds. The gallery is the house his wife lives in and every room is full his sculpture. While walking through the house/gallery, (which was packed) I thought to myself, is that going to be me someday??

It was a little shocking to see this waterfall so close behind this house!

New York – Watkins Glen through Ithica

At Watkins Glen we stayed right in town at Clute Park and Campground- there are absolutely no trees in this park and you are park side by side but it was quiet and you were just across the street from Seneca Lake.



We got up early and hiked DOWN the gorge at Watkins Glen State Park. So glad we read that you
could do that because I would not have hiked up the 832 stair steps. You can take the shuttle for $5 and they drop you at the top. The park has a nice swimming pool too.



We went to Corning just to check to see how the downtown was doing and stop in a couple galleries. One I wanted to go into is now permanently closed, I hate seeing that but there were other nice shops like The West End Gallery, Vitrix Glass Studio, Conners Mercantile, and others. Of course if you haven’t been you need to visit the Corning Museum of Glass.

While walking across the street I spotted this metal train sculpture.

Corning Centennial Sculpture

It is part of a historical memorial dedicated to the Corning Centennial.

And you can’t go to the Finger Lakes without going to at least one winery, there are over 100 in the region. The one we chose had outdoor seating with a beautiful view of the Lake.



We headed out and I took a detour to Ithaca. I had been there before and what I remembered most about it was how steep many of the streets are. This visit confirmed my memory! My brake light even came on for a while, I guess they got a little warm, but fortunately it went out again. 

The Botanic Garden at Cornell University is a gem. They have every plant identified so I got a lot of ideas for my new garden.



The Downtown is thriving and there were three American Craft Galleries within 2 blocks, and a Papperie! Two of the galleries are American Crafts by Robbie Dein, Handwork, and there are many more painting galleries I did not make it to.

The other reason for going Downtown was to see the Carl Sagan’s  Planet Walk.    I’ve always been fascinated and dumbstruck reading about our Solar System and the Universe. This walk is a 1 to 5 billion scale model of our Solar System and it really drives home just how big it is. The Moon and Earth were just a few feet from the sun, but Pluto was 3/4 of a mile away! I drove to it instead of walking, glad I went since Pluto is at the Science Museum. I didn’t take time to visit the museum but will next time. Carl Sagan was Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University in Ithaca and this Planet Walk is in his honor.

The bonus of going to the Sciencenter was seeing this mosaic mural. A few years ago I went to Philadelphia to a workshop and helped Isaiah Zagar work on one at St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, this is much the same style with lots of mirrors. Maybe I can find a place at Rhem to do one, I didn’t think I could get away with one on East Front. 

On my way north I saw a sign for Bellows Falls. I remembered that the Erie Canal passes through there so took a detour. What I didn’t remember was the Women’s Rights Museum.

I took a quick break at Auburn to see Harriet Tubmans Home. She was illiterate, but help scores of slaves escape bondage and went on to become a Civil War nurse, a Union spy, the first woman to lead American military forces in combat and a renowned suffragette.





I drove through Skaneateles wishing I had time to stop but instead headed north to Lysander where my great great great grandfather died in 1837. We cannot find where he was buried but his wife and 12 kids headed west to Ohio afterwards. There is a cemetery in the town but I didn’t have time to walk through to look for a grave. I will have to say Lysander is a beat up little town but Sara Smith Schenck thought enough of it to make this cement planter, the only thing indicating that you are in the town of Lysander.

Now I REALLY had to hurry to get to Wellesley Island State Park. It’s a huge park and well done! And just a short distance to the Canadian border.

The park has a nature center, a marina, a beach, a store, and golf course plus 432 campsites that were very spacious. Wellesley Island is one of the Thousand Islands in this part of the Saint Lawrence River. There are actually 1800 islands, and I was told that to be considered an island, a piece of land must stay above water throughout the year and support a living tree. I have passed in the vicinity of the Thousand Islands both on the Canada side and the US side before but never had time to stop. I’ve read about the Boldt Castle for years and was thrilled to finally have a chance to take the boat ride and to visit it.

From afar it’s pretty impressive but you can’t tell how well it is maintained until you get off the boat. The Castle, boathouse, and island all belong to the The Thousand Islands Bridge Authority. Construction began on Boldt Castle in 1900 for millionaire hotel magnate George C. Boldt as a tribute to his wife. Boldt Castle was designed as their summer dream home. The castle rivals those I’ve seen in Europe. the TIBA is painstaking restoring it, It’s probably half done. And the grounds are exquisite. If we would have read about the boat house we would have taken the boat to see it too, but didn’t realize how impressive that looks from the Castle! Before the TiBA acquired the Castle it had sat vacant and unfinished for 70 years. It’s well worth a visit, and the boat ride was fun too, seeing the other grand, and not so grand homes on the other islands.




Back to Wellesley Island, one of the two towns on the island is Fineview. And in Fineview is Thousand Island Park, founded in 1875 as a Methodist Campground, TI Park thrived as a family retreat with a Chautauqua atmosphere of religious, cultural and recreational activities. It is also full of beautiful gingerbread houses! We ate dinner at the Hotel sitting on the huge wrap around porch.


I took a quick trip to Clayton, just down the road. It has lovely shops, is right on the River, and is the home of the Antique Boat Museum and The Thousand Island Museum. What I enjoyed the most was sitting on the river eating lunch and watching the boats go by.


Then it was time to head to Old Forge, but I wasn’t through with the Thousand Islands area yet. On my way out off the island out of the corner of my eye I caught what looked like giant crows in a field. I was going too fast to stop so had to go to the next exit, 6 miles away, and come back to check them out. Yes indeed they WERE giant crows. They are by Sculptor Will Salisbury. I couldn’t find a measurement of them but I’m guessing they are 10-12 feet tall. Pretty cool.

The stop in Old Forge was very interesting. The camp we stayed at, Bald Mountain Colony, is on the grounds of what once one of the resorts you read about that the Adarondiaks were famous for. One of the earliest camps in the area The Bald Mountain House was on Third Lake in the Fulton Chain of Lakes, and there are 8 lakes in the chain. The Bald Mountain House was an early Adirondack resort hotel built in 1893 near Old Forge, by Charles M. Barrett. Designed to accommodate 140 people, the hotel offered luxurious amenities, daily activities, and relaxing mountain air to guests who often stayed for the entire summer season.

Everyone ate at the main building and there was a casino, horses, boating and all other types of sports to be played croquet, tennis, there was a dance hall, a soda fountain, and a bowling alley . The house was finally demolished in the 1960s when the “tent and trailer blue jeaned crowds” arrived. Now the property holds trailers and has 3 sites for transients like us. 


While there we visited The Adirondack Experience, which used to be called the Adirondack Museum. The new name is more apt I suppose because it consists of 20+ buildings. Much like our history center there are interactive things you can do like paddle a canoe, break up a log jam, climb a fire tower and so on.


The View Center for Arts and Culture is in a beautiful building in Old Forge and they were hosting the 40th Annual Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors. The show was pretty impressive.

And lastly we visited Old Camp Sagamore. It was also built by William Durant and was later owned by Alfred Vanderbilt and now belongs to Syracuse University. Like where we were staying at the Colony, you could stay in the main lodge or in rather nice cabins on the property. In fact you can still do that.


I made a quick stop in Saratoga Springs, remembering how neat the downtown was, and still is.


Next stop Arlington, Vermont!

This was a month long trip so it is taking 2 blog posts to cover it.

Part 2 coming soon.

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Road Trip Colorado and Utah

I’ve been making a trip to Colorado every year for the past 4 years. Michael and I lived there in the 80s and I really miss parts of it. It’s so beautiful but like Michigan, where I am originally from, I don’t want to be there in the winter. I visit my friend who was a woodworker and also owned a gallery for 40 + years.

This years trip took us to Glenwood, Aspen, Grand Junction, Moab, Telluride, Crested Butte, Denver, and Boulder.

On the way west I saw this sign during a pitstop in Frisco. It’s really become a neat little town.

VAIL

And we made a quick stop in Vail at the Betty Ford Alpine Garden. It was founded in 1985. And always have to stop at Piece Art Gallery, used to be Pismo when I knew the owner, a beautiful glass gallery. We carried some of the same artists but the main reason I stop there is to see the work of Stephanie Trenchard. She does this amazing cast glass sculpture. Here is an example. I met her years ago at an ACC show in Baltimore. She had this piece that was 6 feet tall of a lady. I’ve never forgotten it. At the time I could not afford it. There have been a few pieces of art I wish I would have gotten through the years and that piece is probably #1.

This is a crevice garden, I’ve been taking photos of these whereever I’ve seen them, like Botanical Gardens in Montreal, the Bronx, Plants Delight and Denver and plan to make one at my new house. I love the way the rocks are on their edge. It’s what we always called a rock garden but the difference is the rocks on edge I guess.
Columbine, the state flower of Colorado

Glenwood Springs

We always start our trips with a soak in the hot springs in Glenwood Springs, it’s probably the part I miss most about our time living there. It was especially neat to go in the winter with snow all around and steam rising off the pool. There used to just be the old springs but in 2015 they opened Iron Mountain Hot Springs. This year we just went to IRON Mountain because it was really hot out and they have shade. They also have 16 small pools, each with a slightly different temperature, and one larger cool pool. AND they have a bar although I can’t imagine driving home after soaking in hot water, in the sun, for a couple hours, and drinking on top of it. We did not partake!

We stayed at Four Mile Creek B and B owned by a jeweler, and a musician. They both owned a gallery with the friend I was traveling with, A Show of Hands in Cherry Creek – Denver. The rooms are full of art, as is the yard, and the food is really good.


Aspen


An afternoon drive up Hwy 82 gave me my Aspen fix, I love that town and enjoyed the 6 years we lived there. A lot was still shut down from Covid but we walked around and enjoyed the beautiful city. I always love seeing the Maroon Bells, just look to the right as you begin to enter town.

Hotel Jerome

But before we got to Hwy 82 we took the back road to Carbondale – thats Mount Sopris ahead, we could see it out our window from Aspen, from the other side of it obviously.



Carbondale

On the way to Aspen we stopped in Carbondale at True Nature Healing Arts. They have an amazing garden, restaurant, and labyrinth. Did you know there is a website that shows the location of labyrinths around the world? They list 6150 worldwide and 166 in North Carolina, including the one Martin made on Guion Street here in New Bern.




We then headed off towards Utah, stopping in a gallery in downtown Grand Junction. It’s been about 35 years since I’ve been there and they have done a lot with their downtown. It’s full of sculpture and thriving businesses. My favorite part is they took their very wide Main street and made part of it into a park on each block, traffic still goes two directions and there is parking but also now trees, shade, benches, etc.

Cisco


On the way to Moab we took US 6 off of I-70 to visit the wide spot in the road, the town of Cisco. It’s a very funky tiny village but seems to have become a tourist attraction, the official population is 4. It was a railroad town but in Eileen Muza started an artist residency. There can’t be more than a dozen buildings and most might best be described as shacks.



From there we passed Fishers Towers, this is where you first get a glimpse of what eventually becomes the Grand Canyon.

This is an amazing area of some of the tallest freestanding towers in North America.

Just before you get to the towers you cross the Colorado River. Up until 2008 there was this neat bridge over the Colorado River called Dewey Bridge.

It was destroyed during a brush fire so just its skeleton is left.

Remains of Dewey Bridge



I generally don’t like bridges but for some reason I liked this one. It was a suspension bridge, one way, and the decking was wood planks that bounced up and down as you drove over them, so disappointing that others don’t get to experience it.


Moab

Moab was next, I usually go west in the fall but this year I went in June, It was 109 degrees the three days we were there! I LOVE Arches National Park but we didn’t hike too much because of the heat but were able to see most of the major arches and just seeing the canyon walls is breathtaking.



The next day we got up at 5 am to drive into Canyonlands National Park, the road to it is almost across the street from Arches. We got up early to see the sunrise at Mesa Arch. It was a fairly short hike from the parking lot, we weren’t the only crazy people to be there that early, there were probably 40 other people there too. A lot has changed in this park since we were there last, the roads were all dirt and the signage was limited, I don’t think there was a visitors center either.



On that trip we were in our 1969 VW bus and were tooling along when three big horn sheep ran in front of our vehicle, they might have been going 10 miles an hour! In unison they came to a screeching halt and turned to look at us.

This year there were some fires so everything was a little hazy. We didn’t actually see a fire or where the smoke was coming from until we headed south out of town. Don’t know what people do that live where there are fires and have respiratory issues, three days was enough for me to be coughing and having a runny nose.

In this photo you can see the plume of smoke.


Telluride

Telluride was our next stop, visiting all the galleries and shops. The beautiful waterfall is Bridal Veil Falls, a 365-foot waterfall at the end of the box canyon overlooking the city. Hiking and off-road trails pass by the falls and it has a hydroelectric power plant at its top. In winter people actually climb up the frozen waterfall. I say NO WAY.

Ophir, Ouray, and Montrose


North of town we drove part way over Ophir pass, as far as the little mining town of Ophir which has a population of 193. The towns elevation is 9700 feet. I was impressed with the flowers on the utility poles in town and I’m sorry I didn’t get a photo of them or the lemonade stand we stopped at. I said to the girls that they probably didn’t get much traffic (dirt road, over a high mountain pass, 11789 feet), but they said they did pretty well! We did drive all the way over the pass years ago when we had an old Land Rover.



We stayed in Montrose, visiting their botanical gardens, THEY have a crevice garden too!. Montrose isn’t all that pretty but it is the shopping hub for the whole area.

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Ouray is another mining town north of Montrose and over the mountain from Telluride. It also has a hot springs. We were going to soak in it but it was too hot, and there is no shade. So we just gazed at it longingly. Lots of nice shops, lots of restaurants and some galleries, all packed with people.


I remember doing a drawing of this Hotel years ago
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A Trip over Red Mountain Pass was hair raising with logging trucks, no guard rails, and steep dropoffs. You pass Yankee Girl mine and a host of others. There are no guard rails because the road is open all winter, the road is narrow, and the snow plows have to push the snow off the edge.

There is a parking lot across from the Yankee Girl that has signboards talking about the history of the mines and the railroads.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Leaving Montrose it’s just a short drive to the south rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. It’s interesting because there is a lot of red rock around but the cliffs in this canyon are black, or at least appear black due to the fact that it is narrow and is in shadow most of the time. This canyon is one of the best exposures of ancient (nearly 2 billion years old) Precambrian-aged rocks in the world.



A quick stop at a coffee shop in Gunnison, the Tributary, kept us going – then we went up the Gunnison Valley to Crested Butte.

Hmmmm

Crested Butte

I used to do an art show in Crested Butte every year. One year I drove the VW bus over Cottonwood Pass, it’s remote and the summit is 12126 feet, only to lose my clutch half way over it. I managed to make it to Crested Butte and some guys helped me find someone to fix it while I did the art show. These were the days before cell phones. Thinking back I had some very interesting experiences roaming the mountains by myself. I could have gotten out of the jams easier if I would have had a cell phone. Of course who knows if I would have had service. I could do a whole blog post about those experiences! Losing the fuel pump in the middle of an intersection in St George after being in the desert alone miles from humanity; blowing a piston through the top of the engine between Grand Junction and Glenwood where there is NOTHING for miles and miles and hitching a ride with a guy with a gun laying on the backseat; helping people get unstuck on Independence Pass at the narrowest section and being the last person to make it down before they closed it for the winter ; then losing the clutch, yikes!

Crested Butte seemed a little more touristy than it used to be but it was still nice to be there. We ate in a great Thai restaurant, Ryce Asian Bistro, visited all the galleries, and stayed at Elevation Hotel and Spa where we swam in the pool and soaked in the outdoor hot tub.

Front Range

Back on the Front Range we went to the Farmers Market in Boulder, visited downtown Louisville, and looked at murals in Denver.

The mural program in Denver is called Crush Walls, it’s been going for a dozen years. Each year they paint over some of the murals. Last year 80 murals were painted. I don’t know how they decide which ones to keep. These are some of my favorites.

Our last treat was to visit the Denver Botanical Gardens. It’s a beauty.



Then I zoomed home to finish cleaning out East Front Street house, work on new house, and get ready for my next RV trip to the northeast in late summer. And get some artwork done – the Artists Studio Tour is coming up the first Saturday of November – my new place will be one of the stops and then I’ll be the featured artist for November at Carolina Creations.

Stay tuned and stay safe!

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Road Trip – Public Art Tour – Chicago

Chicago Wabash Corridor

Chicago turned out to be even better then expected.   I flew in the day before my nieces wedding rented a car and drove to my hotel the Radisson blu AQUA on the Chicago river just a few blocks from the Art Institute.  It was very nice. It wasn’t long before I was snapping photos. Here is the view from my room.

As I walked out of the hotel I could see already one day would not be enough since the first thing I saw was the Architecture Center and I had to pass it up.  I headed for the Bean (officially called the Cloud Gate) and it turned out to be my favorite piece of public art I was going to see in Chicago.  Designed by British artist Anish Kapoor, it is the first public outdoor work installed in the US by the artist. It weighs 110 tons and is forged of stainless steel plates. It reflects the skyline, the sky, and the people standing under and around it.

The Cloud Gate – aka The Bean
Reflections in the Bean – that’s me in my giant coat (it was cold) and hat right in the middle.
More Bean reflections from underneath.

I lived 4 hours east of Chicago from the time I was born until I moved to Colorado in 1983.  Chicago was a weekend trip that I enjoyed many times but haven’t been there since about 1980, not even to pass through the airport.  So the Bean and other things I liked have been in Millennium park for many years, I just haven’t.   

Other things in the park I liked were the Crown Fountains.   Although the water was not shooting out of the persons mouth (it’s turned off in the winter) the changing images were there. Designed by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa the fountain consists of two 50-foot glass block towers at each end of a shallow reflecting pool. The towers projects video images of Chicago citizens, a reference to the traditional use of gargoyles in fountains, where faces of mythological beings were sculpted with open mouths to allow water, a symbol of life, to flow out. 

The collection of faces, Plensa’s tribute to Chicagoans, was taken from a cross-section of 1,000 residents. 

As you can see from the photos it was overcast, typical for locations close to the Great Lakes, you hardly see the sun in the wintertime. And it’s the main reason I don’t ever want to live there again, Summers are beautiful though! The areas surrounding the Great Lakes get a lot of snow due to the “lake-effect.” In case you are not familiar with the term here is the definition. “A meteorological phenomenon in which warm moist air rising from a body of water mixes with cold dry air overhead resulting in (A LOT OF) precipitation especially downwind.”

Skating in Millennium Park with the Bean in the background.

The Ice Rink is sponsored by Hilton. If you show your room reservation you don’t have to pay for skates.

And the Frank Gehry’s BP Pedestrian Bridge is a work of art.  It is 925 feet long and winds from Millennium Park to the Daley Bicentennial Plaza and the entire lakefront park system, across Columbus Drive. It too is made of stainless steel panels. It was completed in 2004. The cost was over $12 million, $5 million of which was donated by BP. Follow the link above to see some aerial views. It’s beautiful.

Then I made a bee line to see Chagalls the Four Seasons mosaic Located in Chase Tower Plaza. The Four Seasons by Russian-French artist Marc Chagall are a series of mosaics that depict the arrival of spring, summer, winter, and fall. It was a gift to the City of Chicago by the Prince Charitable trust.

It is composed of thousands of inlaid chips portraying six scenes of Chicago. The design was created in his studio in France then transferred onto full-scale panels and installed in Chicago with the help of a skilled mosaicist. It was installed in 1974, the roof was added later. This was one of his last mosaics.

Marc Chagall is also well-known in Chicago for his America Windows, which I saw next at the Art Institute.  

While on my way over there  I just happened to pass by the CIBC Theatre where Hamilton was playing and thought I’d step into the box office and see  – “do you have any tickets for tonight?” They had 2 left!  I never thought I’d get a chance to see it. I can’t say enough good things about the cast.  All performed above and beyond expectations.     They were at the end of a 3 year run in Chicago which ended January 5. 

At the art institute I got to see work by some of my favorite painters Monet, Mary Cassatt (I worked with a nephew of hers at the Aspen Times, he was talented too), Van Gogh, and others.  


As a bonus they were having a special exhibit of work by Andy Warhol.    There was an Impressive 400 pieces of his work from sketches to videos to the pieces we all know.   The museum was packed!    

I guess I missed this in art history class but shoes played a prominent role in Warhol’s early career as a commercial artist. “His 1950s advertisements for women’s footwear were well recognized and his fetish for shoes and feet continued throughout his life. “
I was impressed with this gallery at the Art Institute, we knew these folks in Aspen, they were friends
of people we worked for and would come to parties at our house. They were really involved in the Aspen Music Festival, Anderson Ranch and other arts programs.

 I intended to walk the Wabash arts corridor but was beat so got up early the next morning to drive it. 

There are 40 large scale murals along this corridor, I did not see them all but saw quite a few.  “The Wabash Arts Corridor is Chicago’s living urban canvas in the heart of the South Loop neighborhood. Founded by Columbia College Chicago in 2013, WAC has grown to be one of the most expansive, diverse and accessible public art programs in the country. This community driven project weaves the visual, performing and media arts into daily life, immersing residents and visitors into artist-reclaimed public spaces that transform the urban experienceArtists and curators from five continents have left their mark on WAC with murals, performance, installations, actions and large-scale projections that are always free and open to the public..”   to learn more visit. https://wabashartscorridor.org.

This was my favorite of the murals, a whopping seven stories high.

And as I started south I stopped to see Agora (Greek for meeting place), one of Chicago’s most recent installations. It consists of 106 nine-foot tall cast iron headless torsos. The figures are posed walking in groups in various directions or standing still. Internationally renowned artist Magdalena Abakanowicz donated the sculptural group along with the Polish Ministry of Culture, a Polish cultural foundation, and other private donors. Born into an aristocratic family just outside of Warsaw, Abakanowicz (b. 1930) was deeply affected by World War II and the forty-five years of Soviet domination that followed. In her journals, she writes that she has lived “…in times which were extraordinary by their various forms of collective hate and collective adulation. Marches and parades worshipped leaders, great and good, who soon turned out to be mass murderers. I was obsessed by the image of the crowd… I suspected that under the human skull, instincts and emotions overpower the intellect without us being aware of it.” The sculptor began creating large headless figures in the 1970s. Initially working in burlap and resin, she went on to use bronze, steel, and iron. Although Abakanowicz hasfrequently exhibited in museums and public spaces throughout the world— Agora is her largest permanent installation.

On Michigan avenue near the water tower is Starbucks reserve. I like the coffee ok but will never stand in a line longer than 5 people to get a cup of it.   Well LOTS of people in Chicago (and lots of other places will), in fact at this Chicago location they were lined up out the door and half way down a long city block. Turns out this Starbucks https://www.starbucksreserve.com/en-us/locations/chicago just opened this November, is 5 stories high with an open air terrace on the 5th floor, each floor has its own specialty be it beans. brewed coffee a bar a gift shop etc.  NO I DID NOT go in just looked at it from the outside. A pretty impressive sight, 

It’s close to the Water Tower which I’ve always been fascinated with.It’s one of the few buildings that survived the great fire, built in 1869, it held water to regulate the flow in the area and was a water source for fighting fires.

Just before I left Chicago I stopped in the Pullman neighborhood.  I love traveling by train and have done many drawings of locomotives and railroad depots through the years. Pullman of course made railroad cars.    The railroad connection is what got Pullman on my radar but the architecture is what made me seek out the neighborhood.

Hotel Florence, built in 1881, and being restored.

I finally made it out of town and to the purpose of the trip, my great nieces wedding in South Bend.   They make a beautiful couple!  

 I don’t know that I had ever been to south bend so enjoyed looking around the town.  

Notre Dame is there so took a tour of that as well. I had no idea how huge the campus is, they even have their own zip code. 

In the Charles B Hayes Sculpture Garden on campus my favorite piece was by George Rickey who was born in South Bend and has lived all over the world and has sculptures all over the world as well. It’s a kinetic sculpture and moves constantly and very slowly, changing all the time. A note about the park, until this Park was developed this area was a landfill for Notre Dame. George’s son Philip is a stone sculptor and has a large installation about the life of Christ. There is a video where he talks about his sculpture and a little about his father.

Back to Chicago to catch my flight on Monday.   Got there just before dark and had one more thing on my list I wanted to see – the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. Number one, I didn’t know what a Mandir was, number two I know nothing about the Hindu religion, but again, I was intrigued by a photo I saw somewhere. It was beautiful. One of the things I love about traveling and one reason I do it as often as possible is I learn so much. I’ve got a lot of reading in my future after this trip, the Hindu religion, Alexander Hamilton, some artists work I saw at the Art Institute I wasn’t familiar with, and there is more to learn about Pullman.

I was a little nervous- and wondered if I would be there alone in the dark? Well I was met at the gate by a guard a police man and as I entered then I saw that there must have been 2000 other people there as well!

That night I stayed at the Loews which is right beside O’Hare, a convention center, a large mall, and several top named restaurants.  The hotel and my room were beautiful.    I went to the airport really early trying to complete my global entry card. I signed up for it in the spring but anytime I was in an airport that had an office you could be interviewed in my connection was so tight there was no time. 

When I tried to get an appointment at O’Hare before leaving home, the next available one was in March. So I went to terminal 5 to take my chances as a walk-in.  And it worked out, of course people with appointments have priority so you just have to wait, I only sat there about 45 minutes and I finally got it done. I have never been in that airport and was kind of dreading it but the car rental place was great, the best I’ve seen, the air train is out of commission but the busses ran regularly (we even had a singing driver) , and everywhere you looked there was someone asking if you needed help.  The only negative I saw was that it is a long way down the corridors with no moving sidewalks.

So I’m home again and looking forward to the new year and a new decade and my next trip – Key West.

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Ireland – Scotland Part 2

I took this trip in October 2018, just shortly after the hurricane. I have been on several trips since but am just now getting around to finishing this post!

We met up with the rest of the group in Dublin then traveled north to the  Giant’s Causeway, a geological area in Northern Ireland. It’s also where a lot of The Game of Thrones was shot. Then we continued along Causeway Coastal Route to catch our ferry to Scotland, and ultimately the Isle of Iona in the Inner Hebrides, a group of islands off the coast of Scotland.

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Our bus took us to Oban to catch the ferry Craignure on the Isle of Mull. There are mostly single lane roads on this island, but there were lots of places to pull out to let others pass. We headed to Fionnphort to catch our next ferry. This island is the second largest island in the Hebrides, so the one lane road was a surprise since we had to drive about 35 miles on it. Even though it is a large island the population is only about 3000.

Arriving in Fionnphort we got our first glimpse of Iona. A tiny island just a mile off of the Isle of Mull.

This island has been a place of Christian pilgrimage since the 6th century. It’s described as a “thin place” – there are lots of interesting articles about thin places here is one from The New York Times – and another – and one more. What is a thin place? “It is a place where the boundary between heaven and earth is especially thin. It’s a place where we can sense the divine more readily.”

Iona was the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland. St Columba (grandson of the Irish King Niall) arrived there in 563 AD, built a monastery and converted the pagans to Christianity.

The island is home to the ruins of an ancient nunnery, a medieval abbey, and the burial ground of 48 Scottish kings. It’s a tiny island just 3 miles long and 1 mile wide.  Over the centuries the monks of Iona produced elaborate carvings, manuscripts and Celtic crosses. Probably their most famous work was the Book of Kells, from 800 AD, which we saw at Trinity College in Dublin.

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On the hike we crossed the most unusual golf course I’ve ever seen with grazing sheep on it.

We arrived at the beach where St Columba first landed and we picked up green serpantine marble – it is a traditional charm against drowning and the evil-eye. The stone is also called Iona greenstone or St. Columba’s tears. There are lots of different types of rocks on this island – some being the oldest rocks on earth – 3 billion years old. To read more about the geology of the area click here.

There is a rock labyrinth on the beach too.IMG_1574IMG_1557IMG_1555IMG_1541

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Our days on Iona were spent going to a worship service at the Abbey at 9 am and 9 pm each day, visiting the craft shops, reading, hiking and thinking about life. It was a relaxing visit.

While on a hike across the island we saw spray shooting up out of a hole in the top of a cave, our guide said that only happens when there are big swells on the ocean indicating a storm in the North Atlantic, and in this case heading toward Iona, more about that later.

For such a tiny island with a population of only 175 there are about 10 shops, mostly craft shops. They get about 130,000 visitors each year which supports the shops and the few hotels on the Island. You’ll find lots of things made from wool, there is a potter or two on the island, weaving, paintings, and jewelry made from local stone.

The Abbey was beautiful, the few streets on the island were picturesque, and the view of the sound was lovely.
We intended to leave on Sunday but Saturday morning we were told if we didn’t want to stay until Thursday we needed to EVACUATE today!! Evacuating two times, just weeks apart was no fun but it did add to the adventure.

Since our tour guide could not get a bus around on such short notice to pick us up we had to take public transportation to get to Glasgow. That was a trip.

We took the ferry across the sound and waited for the public bus to leave. As we drove across the island we saw 11 individual rainbows!

We took that bus to the next ferry, which took us to the train, except they were working on the tracks so we took another bus to meet the train which took us to Glasgow. By arriving there a day early we got a chance to do a little touring there. I loved the architecture in the city, we went to the cathedral then we got to go to the Kelvingrove Museum.

Then back to New Bern to get back to the cleanup after the flood. To read part 1 of this trip click here.

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Road Trip Southern Italy Part 2 Lecce to Ostuni

Lecce is in the heel of Italy’s boot, with olive trees as far as the eye can see. It is called the Florence of the South because of its baroque architecture. As we found in Bari the shops close from 1-3 for siesta! I don’t remember them doing this in other parts of Italy I have visited. And it might just be in the old part of town that this happens.

While the history of Lecce goes way back the period Lecce is most famous for is the 17th century when the Palaces and churches were built in the Baroque style out of soft local limestone. The Basilica di Santa Croce is the focal point of the old city with its amazing facade. But there are many other fabulously decorated churches in this small space.


You can still see ruins of a Roman amphitheatre which is at the dividing line of the old and new city. The amphitheatre is surrounded by buildings put up by Batista – Fascist architecture – which we saw a lot of in Napoli. It is partly buried because other ancient building were built on top of it. In its day it would hold 20,000. It is still used today for concerts and celebrations. Only the lower tier of seats remain. Near the square theatre there is a pre-Roman necropolis where Messapian inscriptions have been found.

There are a lot of beautiful shops with local art. I don’t recall seeing the pumi before. Pumi are decorative elements in a form recalling a bud that is going to bloom. Symbolizing prosperity and fertility, in the folk culture of the Southern Italy they defend from evil. Deeply rooted in the traditional culture of the ‘heel of the boot’, Pumi are very popular in Puglia, decorating magnificent palaces as well as simple balconies. I could do without the fertility but had to have one to take home.

We had a great time shopping in Lecce, both Bobbi and I met artists and purchased there work. We saw a lot of earthenware sculpture with a white glaze – love it.

This region is also famous for its papier mâché.

Scenes from Lecce.

We went to Otranto for a quick visit, and had a wonderful farm to table meal and wine tasting close by.

We left Lecce the next day and drove to Ostuni – the White City on the top of a hill. Ostuni is located in a region that has been inhabited since the stone age. It is believed to have to been founded by the Messapii, destroyed by the armies of Hannibal during the Punic Wars and then re-built by the Greeks – hence the Ostuni name meaning “new town.”

Its whitewashed defensive walls and houses in the old town with many winding streets, steps and beautifully decorated, colorful window frames can make you think you’re somewhere in Greece. Ostuni’s history is shown predominately within it’s architecture; with many buildings still standing dating back as far as 990 AD when the city was sacked by the Normans and added to it’s own county. The majority of buildings date from 1300 to 1463.

Our guides recipe for limoncello
Translation 1 litre grain alcohol 96 proof
8 organic lemons
1 1/2 pounds sugar
1 litre water
Peel the lemons (use none of the white)
soak the peels in the alcohol for 2 weeks in a dry dark place
strain through a fine linen cloth
make a syrup with the sugar and 1 litre water
———-
for Christmas he adds a cinnamon stick and 16 cloves
strains again
and salute!
It must be drunk very cold – put it in the freezer and drink it from there.
Our lunch spot in Ostuni

As I discovered the last time I was in Italy the further south I got the more I liked the food and the fewer people there were – well once you get away from Napoli.

Next post Road Trip Italy Part 3

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Road Trip Southern Italy part 1

My trip started by arriving in Naples, one of the most densely populated cities in Europe. Before I left home I saw a couple of videos and heard people talk about Naples, or Napoli as we were instructed to say (because Naples is in Florida) they said it’s chaotic, dirty, and crowded. It’s all of that but I’m glad I got to walk the streets. The architecture, the street food, the graffiti, the people, all were wonderful (well maybe not the graffiti). Driving from the airport to our hotel, just off Toledo, made me glad I was not driving, it reminded me of driving around the Arc De Triomph in Paris, or pretty much anywhere in Mexico City. You just go and hope others will not hit you, no street lights, hardly any lane markings through some of the city. You walk that way as well, we were told, cross at the crosswalk and be assertive, just step out and they will stop.

There are 60 museums in the city, we visited the Muse o Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli which has many artifacts found at Herculaneum and Pompeii. Some of our group went to Herculaneum, I had been to Pompeii on a previous trip so chose to stroll the streets.

We only got to see one of the Subway stations but Line 1 and Line 6 of the Napoli subway system have become an open-air museum with masterpieces between the staircases and docks. The stations are filled with colors, mosaics, installations, sculptures and photographs. Architects were chosen from across the globe to design each of the stations and international and Italian artists to provide the art. It has made a significant impact on the surrounding areas of the stations they say. Read more about it.

Not on WW but had to have a sfogliatella – The sfogliatella Santa Rosa was created in the monastery of Santa Rosa in Conca dei Marini in the province of SalernoItaly, in the 17th century. Pasquale Pintauro, a pastry chef from Naples, acquired the original recipe and began selling the pastries in his shop in 1818. Yum!

We left Napoli and drove to the city of Benevento –A UNESCO World Heritage Site . They know the Romans were here in 298 BC, there is a large Roman theatre here and the Arch of Trajann. The Arch of Trajan is one of the best-preserved Roman structures in the Campania (as this region of Italy is called).
The church we visited was built in 760 – The Church of Santa Sofia, it’s circular of Lombard design. It was severely damaged in an earthquake a while back but has been restored. It’s interesting that in the construction they used artifacts as building materials, some from the Roman times. They also have a lot of artifacts from that period on their grounds. The church has a  cloister from the 12th century. The church interior was once totally frescoed by Byzantine artists: fragments of these paintings, portraying the Histories of Christ, can be still seen in the two side aps.

The Appian Way is one of the earliest and strategically most important Roman roads of the ancient republic. And it ran right through this arch.

From Benevento we headed east and stopped at an interesting Castle Castel del Monte  or Castle of the Mountain – built in the 13th-century it sits alone on a hill, no need for a moat because being the highest point in the area you could see the enemy coming, even from the sea. It was built by the Emperor Frederick II, who had inherited the lands from his mother Constance of Sicily. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (one of 54 in Italy – of the 1092 sites worldwide, Italy has the most of any country.

The Between Benevento and Bari were miles and miles and miles of olive trees and vineyards. Bari is on the Adriatic Sea. Again – reading about Bari on the internet people kind of pan it. But we were entralled. The ancient part of Bari – Bari Vecchia – is a maze of narrow alleys. It is fascinating. The homes are tiny and much of their living is on the street.