Saturday, May 30, 2015

Cathedral of Sevilla

The Cathedral of Seville is phenomenal. I spent 4 hours listening to the audio tour and Taking photos. 
I climbed to the top of the Guralda Tower. The enormity of the Cathedral cannot be comprehended in one visit. 

The Cathedral of Seville is the largest Gothic Cathedral in Europe. The total surface area is,23,500 square meters. It is the third largest Church on the world. It is a masterpiece of Almohad architecture. It is a UNESCO site. It has 80 chapels.

It houses the tomb if Christopher Columbus.

1184-1198, Seville's Main Mosque was built using bricks. In 1218, The Mosque was consecrated as a Cathedral.
1131-1517, Construction was begun on the Gothic Cathedral using stone. 1528-1601, During the Renaissance work was carried out in the Royal Chapal. The Main Sacristy. The Chapter house and it's annexes. 
1618-1758, Baroque in the cathedral:the Oarish Church of El Sagrario and two minor chapels.
1825-1928, the last major works in the Cathedral. Three main doors and the southwest corner.

      Main door Door of Assumption

    View from Giralda Tower

Giralda Tower

Bucharest, Romania Part II

At the end of my third week in Bucharest, I have discovered that Bucharest is a safer city than I first thought. I feel quite comfortable walking about. I am staying in a residential neighborhood with mostly elderly people. Within a five minute walk there are grocery stores, a large market, pharmacy, butchers and other stores. The weather has cleared, it is warm and sunny. With the warmer weather many people are out and about. There is also a huge increase in car traffic. It is standard though for cars to stop at crosswalks to let pedestrians cross.

Romania was a communist block country after WW II until the December 1989 National uprising which led to its overthrow. It is now  semi-parliamentary democracy and a member state if the European Union and NATO. 

Most of the elderly being from the communist block country are poor and as described to me by the young are ill. The young have a better quality of life however the average salary is about 400 USD per month. Housing is approximately 300 USD per month. I was told by a young Romanian that decent jobs are available to those who are intelligent and "go getters". 

Romanians are described as friendly, warm and hospitable with a fun-loving nature and innate sense of humor. The young people I met are eager to share their culture and also to ask about your life. Most of the young speak English. I have experienced the warmth and friendliness of the people I met.

Romanian is the Official language derived from Old Latin. It is considered a Romantic language with words from Slavic languages. Supposedly it is easier for English to understand. For me it has not been however the reading is not too bad. 

Bucharest is a very large city with a population of 2 to 3 million. It is a relatively clean city and Inwould describe as safe. There are scams from some people offering tours and taxi scams. As in many large cities there is graffiti which I think is more prominent in Bucharest than other places I have been. There are 150000 to 200, 000 stray dogs in Bucharest. I read that if you do not bother them they will not bother you. Another place I read that they bite about 50 people per day. I decided to cross to the other side of the street to avoid them. The gypsies and beggars are fairly prominent in some areas and they can be annoying. Ignore them and keep walking. 

Bucharest is known for its wide, tree lined boulevards with very large traffic circles at intersecting streets which are helpful for navigating the city. 

A few museums that are worthwhile are:
The Museum of the Romanian Peasant features a large collection of furniture, pottery, costumes, fabrics, and apparel. And religious objects. I took the audio tour lasting 3 hours and found the historical information fascinating. I would visit this museum again. One must pay to take photos so I do not have photos.

The Village Museum is an open-air museum in Herastrau Park that displays 300 buildings that reflect the history and diversity of Romanians rural architecture from all regions of the country. There is no entry to the interior of the structures but there is a written commentary about each structure in both English and Romanian.

The National Museum of Art houses 70,000 works by Romanian artists. The Romanian religious art was beautiful. another museum that you had to pay to take photos. 

Photos of the Village Museum:

Herastrau Park is a large park within the city of Bucharest with a lake, quiet areas, playgrounds, sporting areas, entertainment and restaurants. It is beautiful with lovely walking areas. I have been twice and plan on going again. 
The lake and a restaurant shaped as a boat.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Photo Journal-Paris

Paris is always a good idea. Audrey Hepburn

      Le Lourve

     Institute of France

Tullueries Jardin

Place de Concord

Pont Alexandre III

Place de Concord



Saturday, May 9, 2015

Walk along the Seine, Paris, France

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”
― Ernest HemingwayA Moveable Feast

“I guess it goes to show that you just never know where life will take you. You search for answers. You wonder what it all means. You stumble, and you soar. And, if you’re lucky, you make it to Paris for a while.”
― Amy ThomasParis, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light
      Walk from Musee D'Orsay to Pont Sully along the Seine and through Isle de Louis

      Le Lourve from Pont Carousel 


    Institute de France

Pont de Arts covered with love lockets

Pont Neuf Oldest bridge in Paris

     One of many stands along the Seine

      Norte Dame


      Saint Jean Paul on the side of Notre Dame

           Store Fronts Isle Saint Louis

      Sunny, warm evening in Paris

      Line at the Ice Cream Store

        Cafe overlooking the Seine-expensive glass of Wine

          Bicycles crossing the bridge 

People relaxing in the lovely Jardins behind Notre Dame

         Lovers along the Seine

          View of the Eiffel Tiwer from Pont Neuf