Walking with the Romans: Part 2

Roman Bridge over the River Guadiana. Merida Sapin

Roman Bridge over the River Guadiana. Merida Sapin

Merida is not a large place, with a population of around 64,000 people. A pleasant place, it is not different from many other Spanish towns, with friendly people, many bars and restaurants with one exception, that being that as being one of the Roman Empires capitals in the Iberian Peninsula it is home to some of the best preserved Roman Ruins in Europe. As a result in 1993 it was established as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.The town was founded in 25 BC, with the name of Emerita Augusta which means discharged soldiers – of the army of Augustus, who founded the city; the current name Mérida was derive from this, changed and altered by its conquest by the Muslims and other down through history. Its main purpose for all these conquers was to protect a bridge over the River Guadiana.

The path of the Camino Pilgrim will take you over this bridge with 64 granite arches that remain intact and in use to this day as a pedestrian walkway and is one of the longest Roman bridges remaining in existence.  At the end of this bridge stands the Alcazaba a fortress that was initially built by the Romans, but later occupied by the Moors. Over it main gate you will find a reference dedicating it to Allah.

from the Alcazaba in Merida Spain.

from the Alcazaba in Merida Spain.

In more recent history it was taken and occupied by Napoleon, and both opposing side of the Spanish Civil Wars, such was its strategic importance. Further into the town you will find sitting side by side, a Roman Forum and Theatre. The former similar to that found in Italica, was use for gladiator fights and as you proceeds down the stairs into the ring it offers life-size mock ups of the different types of gladiators, their specific armour and who they would normally fight. However of the two the theatre is the most spectacular. While breathtaking as a tourist attraction, it is still used for plays and festivals by the local population.

Roman Forum, Merida Spain

Roman Forum, Merida Spain

Roman Amphitheater, Merida Spain

Roman Amphitheater, Merida Spain

Equally as spectacular is the Temple of Diana. Surprisingly this building is surrounded by a simple fence low fence to protect it from errant tourists, is located close to the centre of town on one of Merida many pedestrian walkways, such that hundreds of working Spaniards walk by it ever day on the way to and from work.

Temple Diana, Merida Spain

Temple Diana, Merida Spain

more great stories and architecture tomorrow….

Text by W.E.Foreman Photos by JMeyersForeman

Love Locks Pont de Arts, Paris France

Love Locks, Pont de Arts, Paris France

Love Locks, Pont de Arts, Paris France

Padlocks inscribed with lover’s names are locked to the bridge of Pont de Arts in Paris France, the key is then thrown into the river to symbolize their everlasting love. The padlocks began to show up on European bridge in the early 2000′s the source or inspiration varies depending on the city.  An increasing trend not only around Europe, but it is spreading around the world.  According to Wikipedia, the first padlock is said to have been locked to a bridge in Serbia before the World War ll over a betrayed love! Just a little ironic don’t you think?

There has been much controversy over the locks, for some it is an eye sore and considered a distraction from the heritage.  To others a romantic symbol of everlasting love in one of the most romantic cities in the world. The Pont de Arts Bridge in Paris France has this wire mess much like a chain link fence. From a distance the brass locks looking like shimmering brass leaves.  Up close we could see the locks that come in many shapes and sizes, some sold by the vendors just steps away, and inscribed with a permanent marker, while others are likely brought somewhere else and inscribed with an engraver.

We first encountered the locks in Florence Italy a couple of years ago, another wonderfully romantic city. Where have you seen them?

For more stories and images of this beautiful city:  Paris

JoAnna and Jeff, a quiet time after the wedding

JoAnna and Jeff, enjoying a quiet moment after the wedding…..

Jeff and JoAnna enjoy a quiet moment after the wedding ceremony.  Earlier in the day it looked like it might rain, but the afternoon was beautiful and warm, a little breezy, but no mosquitos! It was a beautiful day for a wedding. The bridge is too high to actually dangle your feet in the water, but it is a nice place to sit. The kids were close by watching and waiting, you can see the shadows on the left.


Center St. Bridge and Downtown Calgary

Another beautiful view of downtown Calgary,  just off Memorial Dr. and just below the Center Street lower deck.  I will have to admit that I didn’t take this yesterday morning…………my alarm clock, aka Bill, slept in! yes you heard it hear.  Bill had a late meeting (8am) at another office and rather than go to his office at the usual  7am he decided to sleep it.  But didn’t tell me – so I too was running late and didn’t get out for photos before heading on my own round of appointments.

Tomorrow is a new day – there will be another sunrise – and I plan on seeing it.

Pedestrian Bridge, Princess Island to downtown Calgary

This is a quiet little pedestrian bridge on the east side of Princess Island Park, that it seems, very few people know about. Princess Island park is linked to Eau Claire and downtown Calgary with three bridges.  There is currently one bridge connecting Princess Island to Calgary’s northwest communities and Memorial Drive, but that is soon to change.

It was a great fall morning, water was still and the clouds were perfect! You know that when your day starts like this it is going to be a good day.

Calgary Center Street Bridge at Sunrise

I love to see the sunrise, I just hate getting out of my warm bed to do it, but when I do, it really seems to pay off….

Here the sun is just coming over the Center Street bridge, and all was quite this morning! The trees are turning color, lots of the trees have lost their leaves, it was beautiful.  The hard part about photographing the sunrise here is Calgary you either have to get up really early,or you are freezing.   When I say early I mean early, like 4:30 as sunrise happens around 5:30 am. This time of the year the sunrise is about 8:13 am, which is a very reasonable hour. The temperature this morning was about 5 celsius, which is also quite reasonable.  As the fall turns to winter and the rise is later in the day, the temperatures can and will get much colder.

It doesn’t matter either I have to wake up early, or I have to be cold, most times I am rewarded with a great sunrise and glad I made the effort, seeing the sunrise is a great way to start the day.

Dubrovnik Tintype

One the way home from the Renassance workshop in Dubrovnik I watched a video presentation by Robb Kendrick sponsored by National Geographic.  I found the video presentation on itunes and had downloaded it before going on holidays.  I have some training in the old fashioned dark room, but many, many moons have pasted since I have used any of the skills, but I was inspired to try and recreate a tintype photo in my digital darkroom, aka photoshop!!!!

I think it turned out pretty good,  leave a comment, let me know what you think or if you have any tips for re-creating this type of image………………