Salzburg Christmas Markets open today

Salzburg Austria; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

Salzburg Austria; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014 

We have been in Salzburg for a couple of days, visiting the Cathedral and the Abbey. It has been cool and rainy, with the cloud cover this time of year it is dark early, and by 4 o’clock the street lights are coming on. Salzburg Christmas markets open today, and everything has been decorated for the event, it is all quite magical especially when the church bells start to ring.

St. Charles Bridge, Prague at Sunrise

St. Charles Bridge, Prague Hungary at sunrise; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

Charles Bridge, Prague Hungary at sunrise; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014 

We haven’t been getting up for sunrise very often lately, we wanted to see Charles Bridge in the early morning before it was filled with people. Sunday and there was at least a dozen photographers with tripods, and another dozen or so people walking around with cameras at 6 am! It was cloudy so there wasn’t much of a sunrise, but it was worth getting up early because by 7 am there bridge was starting to get busy, by then we were ready for our morning coffee and croissant.

Friday in Venice Italy

love locks, Iron railing, bridge, Venice Italy, gondola on the canal in the background, copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

Love Locks on a bridge in Venice Italy; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

We spent Friday in Venice Italy, yes it is unfortunate that we had only one day to see this lovely city, but we made the best of it. We have been to Venice before, so it was a day to visit some of the lovely spots we hold in our memories, and catch glimpses of the Venice in the autumn light.  One of the new things we noticed this time, Love Locks are starting to appear on some of the bridges!  It could be that I have been too busy looking at the scenery to notice them before.

Lots of boats in the canals, but with the number of visitors to the city there are only a  few places to sit quietly, and enjoy the sunshine.

Lucy, a boat, a person, a canal in Venice Italy, copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

Lucy, at the side of a canal; Venice Italy; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

Of course there are beautiful masks hanging on every stall waiting to be picked up and taken home by a tourist.

white Carnival mask with white feathers, copyright jmeyersforeman

Venice Italy, Carnival mask; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

A view from the bell tower in St. Mark’s Square at sunset. We had not visited the top of the bell tower before, so this was a new view for us, and of course the best time to go is at sunset, as the lights come on in the city.

A view of Venice from the bell tower at St. Mark's Square; copyright jmeyersforeman

A view of Venice from the bell tower at St. Mark’s Square; copyright jmeyersforeman

One of the favourite places to visit is the Rialto bridge. Even though both the canal and the bridge are crowded with people, it is a lovely spot to watch the sunset.

Grand Canal, night, Rialto Bridge, Venice Italy, copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

A view of the Grand Canal at night from the Rialto Bridge; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

It was a long beautiful day, we are off to Vienna Austria………….

 

 

Bird’s Eye View of Florence and Sienna Italy

Cathedral of Santa Maria; Duomo di Firenze

Cathedral of Santa Maria; Duomo di Firenze; copyright jmeyersforeman

Cathedral of Santa Maria; Bell Tower

Cathedral of Santa Maria; Bell Tower; copyright jmeyersforeman

Piazza del Campo; Siena Italy; copyright jmeyersforeman

Piazza del Campo; Siena Italy; copyright jmeyersforeman

It has been a busy couple of days walking up many many stairs to get the bird’s-eye view of Florence and Sienna. Up and down the cupola and the bell tower of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore for some of the most famous views of Florence Italy. The next day we travelled to Siena and while we were there I headed of the tower to see the view of Siena and the Piazza del Campo.

It hasn’t been all hard work, we found a great gelato shop and had some tasty cinnamon and chocolate gelato as a reward for all the walking!

Rainy day in Italy

Rainy Day Ravenna red umbrella jmeyersforeman

Rainy Day in Italy; copyright jmeyersforeman 

We have had a few rainy days, or at least rainy afternoons while visiting Italy, but the rain has not slowed down our sightseeing. The tables and chairs go unused but they are a great inspiration for street photography. The beautiful line of tables and chairs forming a leading line through the photo, to the windows, and the reflections of people and umbrellas. I think the red umbrella is the perfect example of the story coming together in one simple photo. Rain or no rain, it was another great day.

Ravenna Italy; Art and Architecture

Basilica Di S. Vitale; copyright jmeyersforeman

Basilica Di S. Vitale; copyright jmeyersforeman

We took a short train ride from Bologna to visit Ravenna, during our day we managed to see 4 of the 8 UNESCO designated sites in the city. Pictured above is the Basilica Di S. Vitale, described in our guidebook as “The most glorious example of Byzantine art int he West”  Instead of the traditional three naves of Gothic architecture it is octagonal in shape with a central dome supported by eight columns and arches.

Basilica Di S. Vitale; copyright jmeyersforem

Basilica Di S. Vitale; copyright jmeyersforem

Basilica Di S. Vitale; copyright jmeyersforem

Basilica Di S. Vitale; copyright jmeyersforem

Not far from there the Neonian Baptistery, the oldest of Ravenna’s ancient monuments, while it is a simple octagonal building, built with the short flat brick a traditional feature of the architecture in Northern Italy. The mosaic art were made in mid 5th century.

In the cupola of the Neonian Bapistery, the Mosaic "Crhistening of Jesus

In the cupola of the Neonian Bapistery, the Mosaic “Christening of Jesus

A closer view of the centre art piece

In the cupola of the Neonian Bapistery, the Mosaic "Crhistening of Jesus

In the cupola of the Neonian Bapistery, the Mosaic “Christening of Jesus 

We also went to see the Basilica Saint Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna Italy, first built-in the mid 5th century, the interior has been modified several times. The ceiling was last modified in the 17th century.

Basilica Saint Apollinare Nuovo

Basilica Saint Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna Italy; copyright jmeyersforeman 

some of the detailed mosaic work of the Basilica Saint Apollinaire Nuovo.

 

The Magi_Basilica of S. Apollinairs Nuovo

The Magi_Basilica of S. Apollinairs Nuovo 

The mosaics are frescos are amazing, the photos hardly do them justice! We only had one day in Ravenna, it would be quite easy to spend 3 or 4 days enjoying the art and architecture, as well as the cafes and street life.

Now we are off to Florence for a few days!

 

San Petronio seen from the Piazza Maggiore

San Petronio, Bologna Italy, copyright jmeyersforeman

San Petronio, Bologna Italy, copyright jmeyersforeman

San Petronio, Bologna’s most famous and impressive church. It is the sixth largest church in Europe. Its size is impressive: 132 metres long by 66 metres wide by 45 metres tall with the facade reaching a height of 51 metres. Construction of the basilica began in 1390, the basilica should have been the largest in the world, but things didn’t go well: the pope didn’t approve of the idea of a church larger than St. Peters. The construction of the Basilica was put on hold for a long time, partly due to lack of funding and the technical challenges of achieving the very high Gothic vaults

Last day in Verona; foggy, rainy, but warm and worth the visit!

Ponte Scaligero, Verona Italy; copyright jmeyersforeman

Ponte Scaligero, Verona Italy; copyright jmeyersforeman

One of the many bridges of Verona, and just one of the many places we visited during our three days in the city!

Despite the weather we enjoyed our visit, and we are now off the Bologna, a short 1 hour train ride south of Verona, and with one more good night sleep I will, hopefully, be over the jet-lag, and have something interesting to tell you about our visit!

Verona Italy, River Adige and the

Verona, River Adige and Ponte Pietra; copyright jmeyersforeman

Verona, River Adige and Ponte Pietra; copyright jmeyersforeman 

The Ponte Pietra is a Roman arch bridge crossing the Adige River in Verona Italy. It had been cloudy with spots of rain all day, so we didn’t think there would be much of a sunset! Lucky for us the clouds broke ever so slightly and there was a little bit of pink showing through. Using a long exposure so there is a softness to the clouds and water.  The second image is taken from the other side; the water has nothing to ripple over and the long exposure enhances the reflection. 

Verona Italy, River Adige and Ponte Pietra; copyright jmeyersforeman

Verona Italy, River Adige and Ponte Pietra; copyright jmeyersforeman 

It is getting dark earlier and the street lights are coming on earlier. We have been suffering a little jet lag so our days and nights a little confused and more than a little tired, but that is expected I guess.

We are off to Bologna today, just a short train ride from Verona.

On Saturday I am going to participate in the Scott Kelby World Wide Photo Walk tomorrow, so I am looking forward to meeting up with some fellow photographers and seeing the lovely Bologna Italy! How about you, are you participating in the photo walk?

I hope your friday is a good one.

 

Verona Italy and the mythology of Romeo and Juliet

photos with Juliet

photos with Juliet; copyright jmeyersforeman 

The House of Juliet, where the real-life Cappello family once lived, is a mob scene. The tiny, courtyard is a spectacle, with visitors from all over the world posing on the balcony and taking snapshots of each other rubbing Juliet’s bronze breast, and hoping to get lucky in love.  The walls are covered with love notes and pennies stuck to the wall with gum.

love notes on the wall

love notes on the wall; copyright jmeyersforeman 

gum and pennies

gum and pennies; copyright jmeyersforeman 

and of course there is a tourist shop selling the usual tourist items, and love locks.

love locks and love letters

love locks and love letters; copyright jmeyersforeman 

Verona has so much more to offer, in the way of historical sites, wonderful quaint wine bars and beautiful piazzas, but everyone who visits the city stops here in this tiny courtyard, a pilgrimage of sorts, to great love story.