Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…


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Apologies…

The apartment, or I should say chalet, has no wifi after all. Here are a few pictures to tide us over until I can actually blog…
Kanderstag where we are staying…

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Bern…

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Montreux…

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Thun…

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For the most part it has been raining, but we are from California and we relish. We love being…

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Green tags…

I first met TM when he was staying at his parent’s house in Southern California after returning from two years in the Peace Corps in India and while he was waiting to go to law school at Berkeley. I thought he was intriguing because he read the LeMonde newspaper in French and it turned out that during his junior year in college he had gone to the University of Fribourg in Switzerland where he spoke the language for the year and learned it pretty well. In that first year, he taught me about raclette, gherkins  and Fendant wine. (I wasn’t completely backward, I did already know about fondue and Kirsch!) Forty three years later our friends from Pennsylvania, Jan and Dick Crooker invited us to visit them in Italy while they exchanged houses which would put them in Stresa on Lake Maggiore. It would be around the time of our 4oth wedding anniversary, so I thought it would be a perfect time to extend the trip into Switzerland. We will be off to Zurich and then take a train to Kandersteg, Switzerland for two weeks of day trips (we have a rail pass for that whole time) and then to Lugano, Switzerland for three nights. Then we will travel south to Stresa, Italy for four nights with one night in Milan before flying home. That is the itinerary. I need to explain the green tags, however.

The Swiss rail system is so gifted that they give you a tag to put on your suitcase at your home airport. This tag sends your luggage straight through to the train station closest to your apartment. No picking up your bag at the baggage in the airport before your two-hour train ride. You just have to pack every thing you need for the first day in your carry-on. Such efficiency…like clockwork…and I bet the train is going to be on time, too. Our apartment has wifi so hopefully blogging will be efficient and like clockwork, too. See you on the other side!

greentag


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Assisi…

Our trip to Umbria last October included two weeks staying on an organic farm and taking day trips to a variety of towns. Some were very small, but the largest, Assisi, was the last day trip we took before leaving our apartment and driving for six and one-half hours north to Venice for a third week on our trip. Assisi was the largest population-wise but also had the largest geographic footprint. We parked in a structure on one edge of the town and then during the course of the day walked the length of it in order to see the largest Basilica on the opposite side. Unfortunately, for us, the going was downhill and the finding the car again was all uphill. It was an exhausting day, but very beautiful.

With this post I can tie up the strings of this trip (just in time). I actually have tons more photos of Venice. As TM was deleting them from the camera roll he remarked, “Does having 3,000 photos of Venice on a camera roll mean that that is the most picturesque place we have been?” Well, yes…but they will be for another time. I did some blogging about Venice at the time of the trip and that is enough for now.

Here is a short version of Assisi…

From the car park we passed by the rear side of the Romanesque Assisi Cathedral. Started in 1140 and finished in 1253 its entrances are guarded by lions and griffins, some held together by metal splints…

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Making our way downward to the Piazza del Comune and its fountain graced by lions from the 16th century…

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The Torre del Popolo (People’s Tower) from 1305 next to the Temple of Minerva…

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The Temple of Minerva is an ancient Roman building from the 1st Century BC. It currently houses the Church Santa Maria Sopra Minerva. The facade is the ancient Roman building and the interior was renovated in baroque style in the 17th century.

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The stroll through a commercial area…

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To the Basilica di Santa Chiara begun in 1257. This building really fascinated me because its buttresses seemed so modern in their shape, but they are really old.

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The view over the side on this level…

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Then past the Chiesa Nuova from 1615. Built in the Rennaisance style on the site of the presumed birthplace of St. Francis…

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Continuing down the elevation with our stroll…

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I love this…ruins with a tree growing out of the top…what bird dropped that seed?

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At last, the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi completed in 1253…

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Then, back up the hill to find our car…

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This was a day of many Fiats…

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Cute.

That was the trip. Now that it is wrapped up I can go on to the next one. Have emptied all the camera rolls so I won’t run out of space. Have purchased new music for soundtracks from Vimeo so I don’t bore you to tears with my Videos. The laundry is done so the suitcases can be packed. It is almost lift-off…

 

 

 

 


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Perugia…

Our day in Perugia, Italy, last October began in a foggy state but then lightened by noon. Our time there was enhanced by music and chocolate. The town was getting ready for its chocolate festival that would open a few days later. Here is a very short video of our day…to see it full screen click of the screen expansion in the lower right-hand corner.

Perugia has a very nice art museum in the Palazzo dei Priori (Town Hall that includes the Galleria Nazionale) and we saw an inspiring photography exhibit by Sandro Becchetti. Love those black and whites…This is the National Gallery of Umbrian Art in Middle Ages and Renaissance. The Griffin is the symbol of the town.

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The Fontana Maggiore is the medieval fountain between the Cathedral and the Palazzo dei Priori. Built in 1277-78 it depicts prophets and saints, symbols of the months, signs of the zodiac, scenes from Genesis and events of Roman history.

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You can wander the streets and get to the top of the hill for some amazing panoramic views…

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There is an extended walk with escalators from the parking area up to the actual town…just a little spooky…

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I fell in love with the black and white photographs in the museum, so I spent the evening after we got back to our apartment converting some of my images into black and white…

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Since I have been home I also layered some of the images together…

3, LRM, (010_JC_(Perugia)


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Bevagna…

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A small town of 5,000 only 7 km from Montefalco with entry through Roman walls into the Piazza Garibaldi.

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Stairs up to the Chiesa San Francesco lead off of the Piazza…

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This is the interior of the church…

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Walking the streets of the town we came across pillars from a Roman Temple, probably the 2nd century AC, repurposed in a later building…

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Lovely picturesque streets…

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Mosaics in the floor of a Roman Bath…

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In the main Piazza…

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Stands the Chiesa di San Silvestro…

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which contains a very rustic interior…

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Directly across is the Romanesque Church of San Michele Arcangelo…

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The facade of this church has many features reworked from another Roman Temple…

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The interior…

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When we returned to our apartment on our organic farm that evening we got to enjoy another sunset to remember…

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Only two towns left…Perugia and Assisi…

 

 


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Montefalco…

I ran across pictures from two small towns that we visited last October in Umbria. Not far from Trevi and not very far apart, they could be visited on the same day. Lunch in the first one, Montefalco, and gelato in the second, Bevagna. Montefalco with red wine and peregrine falcons, may have been TM’s favorite small town we visited. He came home, anyway, with two posters for his cave (I do not know how he did it…not a single wrinkle). The posters celebrate the yearly wine festival.

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Peregrines were everywhere…the center of the town square, sewer covers, backs of chairs and benches, and shutters…

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Shots of the town on a beautiful, drizzly day, (we didn’t actually spot any real falcons)…

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The beautiful San Francesco church with its frescos from the 1450’s is the town’s museum…

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Hercules…

 

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In the restaurant where we ate lunch the cook created the “mixed grill” right in front of us…I can still conjure up the aroma…

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The next post will be Bevagna with its Roman mosaics.

 


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Favorites…

It is almost time for another trip and I find that I never really wound up the previous one. Last October we went to Umbria and Venice. I was telling the tale here and then the holidays happened, life got busy, there were family complications and I never got back to the thread of the story of our trip. Last week I went back to look at the pictures and decided to pick out a few of my favorites that I had not ever processed in order to apply a few apps to them. I came across a group that symbolized our week in Venice. They are my favorites of the experience of Venice because I took them from our second floor apartment window where we looked across at the Frari Church and down onto the small canal below the window. Every day around 4:00 two gondolas would appear and the gondoliers would discuss their price with customers. On the last afternoon we were there we succumbed and took our own ride. I loved Venice…

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Photos taken with the native camera of my iPhone and then processed with these apps: Snapseed, Waterlogue, Image Blender, Vintage Photo, and Stackables…

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