Welcome/Willkommen!

Hello and welcome. Hope you enjoy the images I have posted. Please do not reproduce them without my permission. Most are available as note/greeting cards or as prints/enlargements. Thank you for visiting my site and your comments.
Many have asked about the Header image above, which I named 'Eerie Genny'. It was originally shot with film [taken on the shore of the Genesee River near the Univ. of Rochester]. During the darkroom development, I flashed a light above the tray. The process, known as 'solarization', produces eerie, ghostlike effects; some have mistaken this image as an infra-red photo. Some 35+ years later, I scanned and digitized the print, and did a little modern day editing, and, voila.
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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Sicily 13: Taormina (ii) [Sky Watch Friday]

From sea level, one has a steep climb up a winding street until one reaches the heart of Taormina; viz. the Piazza del Duomo. The most striking structure in the plaza is a wonderful early17th century Baroque fountain, which features a Minotaur [half human, half horse]. Depicted as a female holding a scepter and an orb, symbols of power, it has become the emblem of Taormina.



                 Around the plaza are shops and stands for artists, crafts people and vendors of all sorts.






Along the main street, the Corso Umberto I, are a myriad of small shops, cafes, and galleries. Views down side streets offer a different perspective, but the love of flowers was everywhere evident.







Thursday, May 17, 2018

Sicily 12: Taormina (i) [Sky Watch Friday]

Taormina became the center of our activity for the next several days. Originally founded in the 3rd century BC by the Greeks, it was built at the foot of Mt. Tauro on a bluff overlooking the Ionian Sea. Today, Taormina is Sicily’s most famous tourist resort. Among its many attractions is the Greco-Roman theater, the second largest [capacity of ca. 5,000 people] in Sicily [after the one in Syracuse]. First built in 3rd century BC, it was almost entirely rebuilt by the Romans in the 2nd century AD. This was necessary so that it could be used for gladiator fights and ‘wild animal shows’; e.g. the ground level had to be lowered so that the animals could not leap into the stands.
In the images below, note the scenic brick wall, which were fronted by nine granite columns with Corinthian capitals [only the bases of 4 columns are seen here]. 




Later in the day, we took a hike high up above the city for a breathtaking [both literally and figuratively] view. If you look carefully, you can see the theater [ca. 11-12 o’clock].


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Sicily 11: Mt. Etna [Sky Watch Friday]

Taking our leave of Catania, we drove up winding roads to Mt. Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano. The mountain dominates the whole of eastern Sicily. Stopping at ca. 6,000 ft., we opted not to go higher by jeep to ca. 10,000 ft. As it was, the temperature had dropped into the high 30s-low forties. In addition to the black lava landscape, there were wild flowers growing all around.






One could hike up to the ridge of one of the craters, but we were not in warm enough attire. Here, my wife is wind blown....


You can imagine that it was good to finally get back on our warm bus. We then drove on to Taormina, where we would remain for several days.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Sicily 10: Catania [Sky Watch Friday]

From Syracuse we headed north to Catania, situated between the slopes of Mt. Etna and the Ionian Sea. [REMINDER: If you scroll back to the Sicily 1 post, you will see a map of our itinerary.] Yet another UNESCO World Heritage site, its proximity to the volcano is evident from the the unique buildings made from black lava (see below).


Catania was founded in 729 BC by Greek colonists. Having survived earthquakes and eruptions over the centuries, Catania was razed to the ground in 1693. Rebuilt during the 18th century, the city is comprised of broad, straight streets and large unevenly shaped squares, a precaution against earthquakes. One of the highlights for us was the Mercato della Pescheria [fish market], which occupies many street and small squares. It is open mornings on a daily basis. One entrance into the market contains a fountain, Fontana dell’Amenano, which is fed by water from the underground Amenano River. Sculpted in 1867, the fountain is a focal point for meeting.



Entering the market from the fountain, I was stunned to see a huge cross section of a fish of some sort.  (Top image below) I still chuckle over the “conversation” I had with the fellow wielding the knife. I asked if it was a shark, first in English then in German. But, he didn’t understand either. Then, I hummed the theme from the movie Jaws, as the shark began its attacks. It was an ‘Aha moment’.  He burst out laughing, “No signor, tonno (tuna)”.


Also located near the fish market entrance is another fountain, Fontana dell’Elefante (this needs no translation). Sculpted in 1736, it consists of an elephant made of lava standing on a pedestal. On its back is an Egyptian obelisk with a globe on top (not visible in these images). The fountain has become Catania’s symbol.


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Sicily 9: Ragusa & Syracuse (Siracusa) [Sky Watch Friday]

We continued on to visit the Baroque town of Ragusa, yet another UNESCO World Heritage site. As we drew near, the view was not particularly attractive.


However, once we were inside the town and began our walk, we were taken by the Baroque building facades. Some balconies [of now private apartments] were richly adorned.



After a brief stay we drove on to Syracuse [Siracusa], historically a city of significant economic and cultural importance. An archeological site contains several noteworthy attractions. For example, a 5th century B.C. Greek theater, where the tradition of staging ancient Greek plays was revived in 1914 (top image), a less well preserved Roman amphitheater (middle image), and an enormous cave [The Ear of Dionysius] that once served as a prison (bottom image). Numerous caves in this area were originally quarries for extracting stone for building.




 Below are some of our group boarding a small boat for a harbor tour. Our tour leader surprised us with a buffet lunch.



It goes without saying that we visited the archeological museum, strolled through narrow streets (se below), and made sure to check out the local public market.



 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Sicily 8: Caltagirone [Sky Watch Friday]

Next in our itinerary was the hill top town, Caltagirone, another UNESCO World heritage site.



 Caltagirone is the center for ceramic tile manufacturing in Sicily. This becomes evident when one ascends the long staircase connecting the lower and upper towns. Every step is decorated with colorful majolica tiles. The bottom image gives one a sense of the extent and steepness of the climb.





Along the way, I took a number of shots of isolated tiles. All manner of scenes are depicted.