Mediterranean brilliance hit me like a bolt of lightning; the whole of human life was enacted on a single, fabulous, public stage against a careless backdrop of thousands of years of sublime art. Colours, foods, markets, clothing, gestures, language: everything seemed more refined, more vivid, more vibrant…
Let’s not let March go by without some pictures of Spain…
Marzo no debe transcurrir sin fotos de España…
P.S. I think this will be the last post of Mediterranean Mondays (unless there are howls of protest). It's been running for a long time and I fancy a change. I will still continue to write and post photos about the Mediterranean of course; it just won't be always on Monday. P.D. Creo que esto será el último post de Mediterranean Mondays (a menos que hayan aullidos de protesta). Llevo escribiendo esta serie mucho tiempo y me apatece un cambio. Por supuesto, seguiré escribiendo y publicando fotos del Mediterráneo, es que no será siempre el lunes.
The Azure Window in Dwejra Bay on the Maltese island of Gozo made headlines last week – not for a good reason. The rock formation, one of the most popular tourists sights on the small island, has disappeared without a trace during a storm.
I had the good fortune to see it when it was still there – so for today’s Mediterranean theme, a few photos of the Azure Window in memoriam (click photos to enlarge):
In Memoriam: La Ventana Azul
La Ventana Azul en la bahía de Dwejra en la isla de Gozo en Malta salió en las noticias la semana pasada – y no por una buena razón. Esta formación rocosa, uno de los más populares lugares de interés turístico en la isla pequeña, ha desaparecido sin dejar un rastro durante una tormenta.
Tuve la suerte de verla cuando todavía estaba allí – así que para el tema del Mediterráneo de hoy, algunas fotos de la Ventana Azul in memoriam (haz clic en las fotos para ampliar):
The only photo I remember from my primary school history book is this:
I’m sure you’ve all seen it before: St Paul’s dome standing intact above the ruins, surrounded by smoke and flames, seemingly indestructible, converting into a symbol. Iconic doesn’t even begin to describe it. It was taken on 29 December 1940, the 114th night of the Blitz, by Herbert Mason, a Daily Mail photographer, from on top of the Daily Mail building in Fleet Street. I take my hat off to Mr Mason – quite apart from any other considerations, just for having the guts to stand on an exposed London rooftop during a German bombing raid, taking pictures.
Recently I went on a visit to Hungary to spend time with family and catch up with old friends… and to introduce Young Friend of the Elephants (who caught the photography bug from me) to some of the more prestigious buildings of Budapest. In the course of which we took a copious amount of pictures, most of which proved to be a blurry failure when downloaded to the computer – but of that, more in another post…
Because today I’m contenting myself with nominating some dazzling doors from the Hungarian Parliament in Budapest (the few that came out sharp!) to Norm’s weekly Doors challenge.
You might also like: ⇒ Under Italian Influence: The Queen's House in Greenwich ⇒ Sun-Drenched ⇒ Spain in Black & White III
…like sapphires in colour, only that it is paler and more closely resembles the tint of the water near the sea-shore in appearance.
(Pliny the Elder: Natural History, XXXVII.56)
I don’t know about you but at around this time of the year, I invariably reach the point when I could murder for sunshine, flowers and the ability to go out without a coat.
(Not to mention it’s Monday.)
So what we need right now is a little sunshine:
Wishing you all a happy sunny Monday! (Click on the images to enlarge.)
Many of London’s museums and galleries stay open late into the evening once a week. You might think day or night makes no difference…
But it’s nice to break the daily routine once in a while. Instead of going home after work, I head for Bloomsbury.
The British Museum after six pm is a different place
The lights are dimmed. The crowds are gone; it’s quiet. I relax in the members’ room with my book and a glass of wine before going for a wander.
I can get up close to the most popular exhibits without an elbow fight. I can contemplate. I can read the labels in peace.
I can take pictures.
Till next Friday.
You might also like: ⇒ Made by the Egyptians: A Bust of Amenhotep III ⇒ The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus ⇒ Three Hours at the British Museum
Today I’m going to depart a little from the usual topics to share instead some photos of the Queen’s House in Greenwich – built by one of England’s greatest architects, Inigo Jones. If you wonder why we’re looking at an English building on Mediterranean Monday, it’s because:
- The Queen’s House is the first pure, classical, Italianate building in England – which to English eyes at the time must have looked shockingly foreign
- Inigo Jones was heavily influenced by the classical architecture he saw in Italy in 1613-14, and in particular by the Italian architect Andrea Palladio
- It’s beautiful
The Queen’s House in Greenwich is one of those buildings that I walked past dozens of times each year and never once entered, despite being a member in the Maritime Museum and despite the entry being free in any case. There is so much to see in Greenwich that the Queen’s House always ended up bypassed. I finally went in two weeks ago – to see the so-called Armada portrait of Queen Elizabeth I that the museum had recently acquired and which was about to disappear into a conservator’s workshop for the near future. The building is so stunning I can’t believe I ignored it for years – don’t miss it if you ever visit Greenwich!
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(Click on the images to enlarge. Haz click en las imágenes para ampliar.)
You may also like / Quizás también te gusta: ⇒ Spain in Black & White ⇒ Tales of the Alhambra ⇒ Venice in Black & White This also doubles as my entry to Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge this week!
The Extremadura region (in the west, bordering Portugal) is not a part of Spain that’s particularly overrun by tourists. But although it hasn’t got beaches, it’s still well worth a visit for anyone who’s at all interested in history, in architecture or indeed, for anyone who’d just like to holiday somewhere beautiful and atmospheric without the crowds.
Having visited Venice, Malta and Greece… it’s time for Spain!
Hills are a natural choice as locations for some of the most beautiful structures mankind has ever erected: castles and temples, statues and palaces, lighthouses and crosses – I’m sure you all can think of many stunning examples. Today, in response to Ailsa’s weekly travel theme Hills on her blog Where’s My Backpack, I thought I’d share with you some of the hills I had the good fortune to climb in the Mediterranean. And I chose these particular hills for one reason: what people chose to build on them.
The Old Town of Toledo
The old town of Toledo was built on a hill which is almost fully encircled by the River Tajo. This view shows the Roman bridge across the river with the Alcázar of Toledo topping the crest of the hill. For this view alone, Toledo will always be one of my favourite cities.
Today’s miscellany is in the manner of my Venice in Black & White at the end of May (which was easily one of my most popular photo posts) and it doubles as response to Cee’s Compose Yourself photo challenge on the theme of Black & White: The Basics.
I took these photos when I was still under the impression that photography’s only purpose was to faithfully re-create the colourful, aromatic, tactile reality of the 3-D world around me, less than a year ago, during our holiday on Malta. Only one of the photos was taken with an actual camera, the rest were captured on phone.