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Showing posts from February, 2020

Bordeaux, the City by the Garonne

Forest bathing in Bordeaux Bordeaux, dubbed the Pearl of Aquitaine, seems to have everything. It has a historic center which is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. It has bold, new architectural spaces juxtaposed with soaring 15th century bell towers and Gothic cathedrals. It is one of the great wine producing regions in France that has quenched man’s thirst since the Roman era. It has expansive squares and gardens with flourishing trees that cool down the summer heat. There’s much to see, taste, smell and learn in this old and “new” city in southwestern France.
Church of St. Croix (Holy Cross) There was a church on this spot since the 11th century and it was modified over time. The current asymmetrical façade of Saint Croix is from the 18th century renovation when a new tower was added. Identical columns frame the second to fourth floors of the towers but the arched windows are of different styles and count. An interesting sculpture of St. George slaying the dragon plays above the red si…

Your Kiss Is On My List

The Kiss, Gustav Klimt “It’s the way you love me
It’s a feeling like this 
It’s centrifugal motion
It’s perpetual bliss
It’s that pivotal moment
This kiss, this kiss (it’s unstoppable)“
This Kiss, Faith Hill

What’s in a kiss? More than touching lips, chemistry and feel good vibes, these artists (whom I’ve featured here) have immortalized the kiss visually and through music, the language of love.

The image of The Kiss (above) was taken from the Atelier des Lumieres digital exhibition, Gustav Klimt and Hundertwasser, in Paris in 2018. The original painting is in the Austrian Gallery Museum of the Belvedere Palace in Vienna.

Artist Unknown, Bologna, Italy ”Because your kiss, your kiss is on my lips
Because your kiss, your kiss I can’t resist
Because your kiss is what I miss
When I turn on the lights”
Your Kiss is on my List, Daryl Hall & John Oates

Kissing the War Goodbye, Victor Jorgensen  “I wanna kiss a girl 
I wanna hold her tight
Maybe make a little magic in the moonlight”
Kiss a Girl, Keith Urban

T…

Excerpts from The Prisoner of Chillon

Chateau de Chillon There are seven pillars of Gothic mould, 
In Chillon's dungeons deep and old,  There are seven columns, massy and grey,  Dim with a dull imprison'd ray,  A sunbeam which hath lost its way,  And through the crevice and the cleft  Of the thick wall is fallen and left;  Creeping o'er the floor so damp,  Like a marsh's meteor lamp:  And in each pillar there is a ring,  And in each ring there is a chain;  That iron is a cankering thing,  For in these limbs its teeth remain,  With marks that will not wear away, 
Lake Leman Lake Leman lies by Chillon's walls:  A thousand feet in depth below  Its massy waters meet and flow;  Thus much the fathom-line was sent  From Chillon's snow-white battlement,  Which round about the wave inthralls:  A double dungeon wall and wave  Have made—and like a living grave  Below the surface of the lake  The dark vault lies wherein we lay:  We heard it ripple night and day;  Sounding o'er our heads it knock'd;  And I have felt the winter'…

Ulrich Zwingli at Eye Level

“I ask Christ for this one thing only, that he will enable me to endure all things courageously, and that he break me as a potter’s vessel or make me strong, as it pleases him.” Ulrich Zwingli
For the 500th anniversary of Swiss reformation leader, Huldrych (Ulrich) Zwingli, fifteen plastic statues of him were cast from the model of the bronze original found on the Wasserkirche (Water Church). One of these statues was included at a festival parade in Zürich and twelve of them were installed in each of the twelve districts of the city. Both the main train station and the airport each had a statue on display as well. Ten of these Zwingli figures were later moved to the Limmatquai to stand under the shadow of the Grossmünster Church overlooking the river. According to Christoph Sigrist, pastor of Grossmünster, the goal of the celebration is to bring Zwingli to the people, at eye level, thereby inviting dialogue and spreading the reach of the Church beyond its walls.
The eco-Zwingli in mirro…

Naantali, the Sunshine Town

The steeple of Naantali Church rises above the harbor and is the first thing you see on approach to the popular summer destination of Finland. It is the only remaining building from the convent of the Bridgittine Sisters built after the building permit was signed in 1443. The establishment of the Vallis Gratiae (Valley of Grace) convent coincides with the founding of Naantali. Both convent and town prospered from trading rights and privileges until the 1500s when Protestantism was introduced and adopted in Finland and the convent was closed. Naantali’s fortunes suffered with the closure and it was soon forgotten.

The discovery of therapeutic waters of Viluluoto Spring in Naantali in the 1700s helped the town get back on its feet with the initiation of spa activities. This was further developed in 1863 and established Naantali as a spa destination. Today, Moomin World Theme Park in Kailo draws the most visitors to Naantali. Children have the most fun meeting their favorite Moomin family…