I can’t believe I haven’t posted in a month! My apologies to everyone who follows my blog. Nick and I have just returned from Sicily where we had terrible internet access. Now that I am back on our Canadian WiFi, I really appreciate just how fast it is.
While we were in Sicily we were fortunate enough to be offered a friend’s apartment in Ortigia for a few days. (Thank you Linda!) Ortigia is a very small island immediately off of Siracuse. (see the map at the bottom of the post). It is a lovely island. Linda and her husband Bruno told us that Ortigia is the place where many of the celebs park their yachts – Steven Spielburg, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tom Cruise, Steve Martin – and of course many anonymous millionaires and some billionaires. We looked and looked and saw no celebs but did see some pretty amazing yachts from the Grand Cayman Islands and a few other places.
This is an island made for photographers. One of my favourite places there to take pictures was the duomo or cathedral. The photo at the top was one of the pillars at the entrance to the cathedral. It was so tall that it seemed made for taking the shot looking up. Here are a few more shots of the cathedral.
Ortigia was a wonderful place to visit – baroque architecture everywhere. However, the parking on the island is crazy and the tourists (including us) are everywhere. I don’t think I would want to live there but I am very glad we had the opportunity to see it!
After our voyage around the Mediterranean, our ship sailed north and docked in Southampton. It was a short drive to Stonehenge in a bus full of exhausted teenagers. We had spent the previous night up all night having a very tame but late party in our dormitory. No booze, and of course no drugs, but lots of giggling. We pulled off on the side of the road and walked along the pathway to the henge. Back in 1974, you could still walk in and around the giant stones. You would think that a bus full of teenagers wandering around would not make for a peaceful experience. In fact, a number of my compatriots chose to stay on the bus and so there were only a handful of us. I was just 13 when I was there, but I still remember the peace and solemnity of the place. The wind blew across the fields, just like you might hear on the Canadian prairie. There are a few places that I have been that have exuded a feeling of spirituality: Wenaskawin buffalo jump on the prairies, Sanjusangendo Temple in Kyoto, Lynn Canyon in Vancouver, Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island, sitting in the Louvre before the Impressionist’s work that I studied in university and admired from before that, and, of course, Stonehenge. It is sad that vandals made it impossible for people to continue to be able to walk between the stones and feel the power of the place.