"Gargoyles & Graffiti"chronicles architectural elements that I find interesting or unique in my travels. Gargoyles are my passion, but today graffiti (which I hate but am learning to love as it is everywhere) is as much a part of architecture as the gargoyles and decorative railings that thrill me.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Panoramas at Monaco A and B

Panorama Monaco A

Panorama Monaco B
These two photos are very similar but not exactly the same. Which one do you like better?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

In Heaven at Monaco

Lovely Pascal,our guide, on the left

From the Holland America Eurodam, I did a tour of Monaco, Eze and Nice. We drove along the Corniches and went to three amazing places. I don't know what took me so long to report on Monaco, which I adored. I also loved our guide, Pascal. She is so beautifully French, with swept up hair and a lovely way of flipping her shawl. Her style and grace made our day just magical. She was polite but firm under pressure, and taught us so much about the area.


The views from up top by the Cathedral where Grace Kelly is laid to rest are incredible. Monaco, including Monte Carlo, is a fairy tale place. What's not to love? But if I came back, I would have to stay at the Hotel de Paris, which I believe would set me back a pretty penny. Had to laugh when I saw Hugh Hefner's Girls Next Door attending a TV event in Monte Carlo, and they stayed at the Hotel de Paris. More information on this hotel can be found on their website here.

View from the top at Monaco

Archtectural detail at Monaco

When we were there, they were setting up for the Gran Prix, so they had moved the ever present Yellow Submarine from in front of the Aquarium to a back lot. A giant baby had taken its place. Too bad I can't find the photo of the baby. If I do, I will post later!

Found the Yellow Submarine

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Passing Through Rapallo II

Hotel Stella at Rapallo
I couldn't resist snapping this photo of a dog standing outside the Hotel Stella at Rapallo. He just looked so cute, like either he was waiting for somebody or reading the sign. 

Rapallo is a small town not far from Portofino. As reported in "Passing Through Rapallo I," it doesn't have the charm of either Portofino or Santa Margherita Ligure, but it is a pleasant town chock full of lovely architectural details.

Window frame detail

Rapallo, Italy
It appears that there are some really wonderful things to see in Rapallo if you can actually get off the bus. I did some research for this blog post and am intrigued. For some great photos of Rapallo, click here. This area of Italy I believe is often overlooked, and I really loved it. The region is Liguria and it is just beautiful.

Nautical-themed curtains

Almost everything in this part of Italy revolves around the sea. You can see a nautical theme in almost everything, including the curtains shown above. I also love all the metal roll down protectors that they use against the afternoon sun. You can see them rolled up here.

Roman bridge

Italy is always fascinating, because no matter where you go ... there is a reminder of the past. Rapallo is no exception. There is a Roman bridge that we went under driving through town.

Next time I want to do more than pass through Rapallo. I want to stop and enjoy its sites.

Passing Through Rapallo I

Rapallo, Italy
On our bus ride from La Spezia to Santa Margherita Ligure, we went through a town called Rapallo. It was not nearly as charming as Santa Margherita or Portofino, but there were some amazing architectural features. The basic home style is quite like all of Liguria, with the sherbert pastel colors. 

Architectural detail of Rapallo
The buildings were quite whimsical and I liked the size of the town. More information on Rapallo can be found here. Wikipedia estimates the town size at about 34,000 inhabitants. We just passed by twice, once on our way and one coming back. It stuck in my memory for some of the great features.

Rapallo railing
Rapallo recycling
Throughout Italy, recycling is everywhere. I thought that was great. As you can see from the above photo, there are four different types of containers for recycling. The streets were clean. There was an ever present layer of grime from all the buses and cars, which seems to be pretty much throughout Italy until you get in to the countryside.

My favorite photo of Rapallo

My favorite photo of Rapallo is above, a boy pretending to kick his friend as they wait for the bus (I assume.) There is just something so universal about this photo. Boys being boys!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tunis: Rue de La Kasba

Rue de La Kasba

Our tour group from the Holland America Eurodam took an early morning stroll along Rue de la Kasba by the Medina at Tunis. It was quiet, almost nobody about. The only thing we heard was the sound of a few shopkeepers moving display cases around, and we smelled the ever present aroma of dust and cigarettes. 

Ever present beautiful blue doors

Minaret of Al-Zaytuna Mosque
Our group

Our feet ... could not resist!

I love how the street signs are in Arabic and French. The name of the street is also a great combo ... Rue de la ... Kasba. More information on this lovely area can be found here.