"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.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Holy Terrors: Gargoyles on Medieval Buildings



Doing some research for a nonfiction book I want to write, I stumbled across this book on Amazon.com. The book is by Janetta Rebold Benton. More information on her can be found here. She is a Fullbright Scholar and art historian.

The book that caught my interest is Holy Terrors: Gargoyles in Medieval Buildings. Below is the description from Amazon. Seems like a must read to me for any gargoyle lover.


Book Description

April 1, 1997
The true gargoyle is a waterspout, an architectural necessity that medieval artisans transformed into functional fantasies. In clear, lively language, the introduction to Holy Terrors explains everything that is known about the history, construction, and purposes of these often rude and rowdy characters. The three chapters that follow are devoted to the gargoyles themselves, in human, animal, and grotesque form. Delving into their sometimes funny, sometimes mysterious meanings, Dr. Benton's entertaining text puts these irresistible creatures into the context of medieval life, and she provides a guide to gargoyle sites, so that readers can visit their favorites. This is, amazingly, the first book for adults to provide a full overview of medieval gargoyles, and it is bound to increase the already numerous legions of gargoyle admirers.



Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Fred Boehm & His Amazing Photos

Photo by Fred Boehm of Cozumel beach
I have known Fred Boehm for years. He is our client and friend. He is our neighbor. I know where he works at his day job, but what I didn't know until recently is that he is also an amazing photographer. His work just blows me away. The photo above is so crisp and three dimensional. I just want to jump in and lie down on that hammock!

Fred Boehm sunrise by Mezcalito's
Another amazing shot above. Here are a few more for our enjoyment. And if you want to view his wonderful shots more often, like his Facebook page and get a little shot of wonder everyday at Fred Boehm Photographer.

Black and white by Fred Boem of San Gervasio ruins
One of my all time favorites is below. It is just simply stunning! Like Fred's new Facebook page. We are so lucky to have such a talented guy on Cozumel (and he and Lily are great people!)

Photo by Fred Boehm

Monday, January 26, 2015

King's Lynn I Go

Norwich, UK
My trip has been planned for more than a year. The momentous occasion of my niece Sarah's wedding is in June of 2015. This is the same Sarah that was my traveling companion back in 2007 and 2008. She is the oldest daughter of my brother Tim.


Sandringham


The area where she lives in England is called East Anglia, and most of the buildings are over 500 years old. Above is a photo of Norwich. Sarah actually lives in King's Lynn, not far from the Queen's Sandringham Estate.


Town Hall King's Lynn


Can't wait to walk around and enjoy King's Lynn. It is one of the Hanseatic cities, just like Bergen, Norway. There are quite a few walking tours I am interested in taking while I am there.

On another note ...




Little baby Nicky 3 days old
So far it has proved to be a very exciting year. Sarah's younger sister, Emma, just had her first baby. Of course I think little Nicky is just perfect. Don't you? 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Ephesus & the Terrace Houses

Ephesus, Turkey

Crowded, hot and without sufficient caffeine (as I posted earlier, the coffee guy accidentally made us decaf that morning) ... my niece and I walked around Ephesus. Tour groups just kept arriving which made it hard to enjoy the place. I swear next time I will go in February. I heard it is cool but great then. 


Terrace Houses of Ephesus
But still nothing could stop my excitement when we walked around the Terrace Houses. It is a separate ticket, and it is so worth it. Seeing how the people lived all those years ago is just amazing. 

Wall painting of the Terrace Houses at Ephesus

I really felt as if I was transported back in time when I saw the wall paintings.


Terrace Houses of Ephesus

I love the above photo of the water bottle in some woman's hand. Way cool!

More information on visiting Ephesus and the Terrace Houses can be found here. It is so worth the extra money. The Terrace Houses made Ephesus come alive.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Rome: Always Something New

Rome streets
Rome is a place I can't get out of my head. I have traveled to Rome more times than any other European city other than Barcelona. I love Rome. I love the people. I love the history, architecture and food. I hate the traffic, the crowds and the changes that I have seen in the last 30 years.


Ceiling of St. Paul's Basilica at Rome

Then I come across a Church I have not been to before and once again, I am in love with Rome. This time it was St. Paul's Basilica. I decided to take a bus tour through Rome after my cruise, on my way to the airport. I had never taken an organized tour of the city. While in Rome, I've taken tours to Pompeii or the Amalfi Coast, but I always visited Rome by just walking around. I learned so many new things and even taught our tour guide, a lovely young woman, a thing or two. 


Another ceiling at St. Paul's Basilica


There were tour groups arriving from all over the world. It was interesting to see the different ways and attitudes of each culture. 

Exterior doors of St. Paul's Basilica at Rome



Thursday, January 1, 2015

Reflections and Resolutions



One thing I am certain of is I am not perfect. We all know that none of us are. But the one New Year's resolution I want to make this year is to be more clear of my intentions and hope others can do the same. I will try my best to approach each new hurdle or situation with an open mind. Really a tough one for me.

I never really understand where somebody else is coming from at any given moment. I have unkind words or a horrible email from family, and immediately I get angry. But after a few days revisiting the issue over and over again, I realize that most of what makes me upset or hurt is not really about me, but more about them. This is the kind of stuff I know but seldom practice.

So I approach this new year with a new lesson. Take what I can get and leave the rest. Enjoy my friends and my accomplishments. Take it one day at a time and don't take life so seriously. All the crap will still he here tomorrow. Relax, enjoy and understand that we all have problems. Often when another person is unkind or judgmental, the best thing to do is to let go and let God.

That is my wisdom for 2015! Happy New Year. Feliz 2015!