Wednesday, February 19, 2014

San Francesco of Assisi

please please please can we not go into another church! this small town of Assisi is jam packed with churches and religious tokens popping out of all the shops.
the visit to the museum was free due to a religious something so we were grateful for that. the town of Assisi is VERY old, very well preserved buildings and art. although there isn't much opulence of the church to preserve in this city because they were the sack and ash kind of christians who shunned all possession.

pretty pot plants. one wonders how one waters them.

the basilica of San Francesco.

no photos allowed... this is the upper church which was built onto of another much older church. both are spectacular, like a fairytale with stars painted on the ceiling and patterns painted everywhere. theres no excessive gold or marble, its just gorgeous.

couldn't take a photo of the lower basilica but it is different and beautiful in its own way. lower arched ceilings and darker, older paintwork it has this dim hushed secret silence. below this is the tomb of San Francesco.

view from Assisi

lots of olive trees growing in every spare space.

another church

view from the castle on the top of the hill. the only thing not maintained that well, maybe because it has nothing to do with religion..

standing on Rocca Maggiore on which is built the castle. translated means major rock

its a nice hike up there

best idea. take a picnic up with you and enjoy the grassy slopes and great view

think about the picnic before you get there because you won't want to walk back up

its one of those old towns where the houses open onto the streets at times, spilling sitting rooms of old Assisians discussing i don't know what they could be discussing.

view of Assisi from the valley below. well this IS a very religious sacred place but a little boring, lovely and quiet for a valentines weekend. but beware they cater for tourists and you won't find any cheap prices here.

A Barcelona Birthday

we went to Barcelona for our birthdays, this is Francescos birthday cake, i gave him a photography class coupon hence the camera (which was his birthday present last year)
Hello Barcelona! we have arrived bright and early from a budget flights 5am wake up call!

there are just buildings strewn around the city that Gaudi made, its their claim to fame

even the sidewalks are paved by him

this is a candle shop! origami candles! genius! il have 100

a big church we were supposed to return to when it was free but that one got away!

back street beauty 
at a fashion show we happened upon, they had all these fiat 500s outside 

would you get a look at all that sidewalk space! heaven for bikers, skateboarders and rollerbladers of which there are many! its great! when you go to Barcelona, don't forget your... rollerblades! check.

and oh yes its a city. but its also on the coast with loads of free coastline for beaching. or drinking when its winter

on the beach in a jacket thats a first. i couldn't twiddle my toes in the same because i had stockings on under my jeans keeping me warm!

this is a large market with an awesome roof. that has so many creases that when it rains inside the market which was not intended.

with great reflections

this is Raul and Francesco having a bite at the market. Raul and his lovely Betania hosted us in their new house and were the most accommodating and entertaining hosts we could have wished for.

these are montaditos. like small delicious bites that you pay 2 euros a piece for. typical of north spain but delicious also in the east!

the traditional pouring of the cider. resulting in sticky floors and flat cider i dont get it.

atop a high place

great views 
one of the harbours

some photobombing tourists

my favourite part of any city

Parc Guell. Gaudi's mansterpiece. mosaic-ed everything. note if you go after 6pm its free in january at least. if you go before 6pm.. you pay 8EUROS!! to walk around the park. note. BARCELONA IS EXPENSIVE

all the sloping walls and rounded angles of Gaudi.

its like a Dr Zeus book, you expect lanky fuzzy birds to be walking around, then theres just Francesco :)

well i liked the mosaics

this is the most delicious seafood Paella i have ever had in my life, hands down. the seat in the middle is for Antonio, the third of the trio of friends. they are toasting to him in his absence.

Betania and i

enter the Sagrada Familia church.

absolute explosion of colour

on reading the origins of the forms used by Gaudi i did understand a little more this weird space of a church i stood in. he  made it to follow nature, to be like a forrest with columns for trees and forms all based on natural theories, shapes, cells science that kind of thing.

the result is incredible. when you're looking and standing in something that your mind says: what are you seeing? does not compute, does not compute, some strange sensation comes over you like you are in a parallel universe of alien colours and forms because it so far from 'normal' brain capacity to create something like that. and that is when you can enjoy the spectacularity of a great artist.

looks like something out of alien

and soooo big

and so beautiful

and so weird. like a large drip castle

Ciao Barcelona we will see you again soon