"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.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Ainu People: Graffiti-Inspired Tattoos

Ainu woman by Joseph Deniker
The Ainu are a group of indigenous people from Hakkaido, Japan. The cruise I would like to take next year has a tour to visit these wonderful people. Having been an anthropology major for my undergraduate and master's degrees, I love studying indigenous cultures.



In 2008, Japan called upon its people to recognize the Ainu as "an indigenous people with a distinct language, religion and culture". More information on these noble people can be found on Wikipedia here.

One of the most fascinating things about them is their tattoo techniques, which are so graffiti-inspired. 




To me, the most interesting thing is the reasoning for these tattoos and the fact that only women had these tattoos. The last Ainu tattooed woman died in 1998. The reasoning for these tattoos is to dispel evil spirits from entering the mouth. Girls were started with small tattoos when 7 or 8 years old, and then the tattoos were enlarged as they grew older toward child-bearing years. The arm tattoos also were to dispel evil spirits.

One of the best articles I found on this is from Lars Krutak and can be read here. Fascinating!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

North Pacific Crossing


Well it is that time again, when my cruise for this year is getting close. Now down to less than 30 days. So what do I do? Look for the cruise for next year. A month or so ago, I planned to go back to Europe. But with the bombings in Brussels and the fact I have visited so many ports there already, I decided to go to Japan, if all works out. 

I have such an interest in the ports on the North Pacific Crossing, 19 days, from Yokohama, Japan to Vancouver. I am especially interested in a tour that takes us to the Ainu People of Japan. They are definitely both a gargoyle-inspired and graffiti-inspired people, based on their wonderful costumes and their unique tattoos.

Ainu people 1904 from Wikipedia

Saturday, March 19, 2016

4th Year Anniversary of the Costa Concordia Disaster

Photo Courtesy of Jonathan Danko Kielkowski/White Press
Hard to believe it has already been four years since the horrible accident of the Costa Concordia. In this Esquire article, the industrial photographer Jonathon Danko Kieldowski takes us on an eerie journey of what the ship looks like now. It appears to be something right out of a horror movie.


Photo Courtesy of Jonathan Danko Kielkowski/White Press

The recovery process to remove the ship from Giglio Island is considered the most expensive wreck recovery of all time, according to the Esquire article. It sure has a gargoyle-inspired look.


Photo Courtesy of Jonathan Danko Kielkowski/White Press

Now this is a bar I wouldn't want to frequent! God bless those who lost families and friends. The 32 people who died on the Costa Concordia will not be forgotten.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

More About Sardinia

Beautiful Bosa courtesy of www.thejourneycollector.com
I found some amazing photos and tips on a website called www.thejourneycollector.com. The photos on their site are just to die for and the info is extremely helpful. A link for their post on Sardinia is here.

Another of Bosa from www.thejourneycollector.com
I love that The Journey Collector site focuses on great architectural elements, as my blog does. These photos of Sardinia are outstanding. You can read up on their site of the distance between Cagliari and Bosa and Alghero.

Alghero door courtesy of  www.thejourneycollector.com
They even take photos of doors, right after my own heart!



Saturday, March 12, 2016

Cruise to Cagliari

Photo from Cagliari courtesy of www.thejourneycollector.com
There is nothing I like more than crumbling, earth-toned buildings in Italy - or in this case, Sardinia. What's not to love? I haven't been to Sardinia yet. I adore Italy and I have been to Sicily and found it Heaven on Earth. So Sardinia is the next step!

Photo from Cagliari courtesy of www.thejourneycollector.com

Cagliari is the port town where we will dock for my April 2017 cruise I have on hold. Okay I admit it, I even gave a deposit, when the deposit was only $200 dollars. 

Photo of Cagliari courtesy of Royal Caribbean
Up until recently, Sardinia has not been a common port on the Western Med cruise route. But with the unrest in Tunisia, it seems to have been added and it is one of the main reasons I chose this cruise, of course on Holland America, which I love. It is actually (2) seven day cruises back to back leaving from Barcelona, arriving in Barcelona and stopping for one day at Barcelona in the middle. I am psyched.