Sunday, September 11, 2011

tuscany aug 2011 - poppi and stia

castle dei Conti Guidi in Poppi

covered streets of Poppi

Poppi walkway

a tuscan view from town of Poppi

inside Poppi's castle, castle is datable back to 1191 and possibly much earlier as the Guidi family dates back before that time.

great staircases and loggia in castle, castle was never sacked or ruined

Poppi Castle from a distance

lovely medieval church in Stia, dating to mid 12th century

Byzantine capital in church

pretty town of Stia which is known for its wool. 
Had the good fortune to spend some more time in the casentino valley in Tuscany in August at the invitation of a good friend. I was able to explore the lovely towns of Poppi and Stia which are well worth spending time in.  Stia was known from the 14th century for its wool trade. the wool mill and factory have now been turned into a museum. Town itself is quite charming.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Back to a different world -Doha, Qatar June 2011

all the pieces are from the Islamic Museum of Art in Doha

no more kangaroos!

an iranian ceramic cat from the 1200's

wonderful bird plate

Egyptian hanging mosque lamp 1200's

Islamic Art Museum, designed by I.M Pei

wonderful fruit drinks

We were lucky enough to have a 20 hour layover in Doha. We landed at 6 a.m from Melbourne, took a taxi to Matthew's house, and got ready to go to museum. We had slept fairly well on the plane so we enjoyed our museum morning and lunch at the souk. We had been to the museum before but it is well-worth numerous visits. The inside of the building is beautiful to the eye, sleek modern designs, lots of glass, light, flowing water, views of downtown Doha. All very pretty. Was a bit tough hanging on till 2 a.m. when we left for Rome. Great to be able to see our two sons in one (?) day on two different continents, especially when we live on a third continent!

National Gallery of Victoria and the Ian Potter Center, Melbourne

long-necked turtles and camels in the aboriginal art collection

fabulous colors and designs

there were explanations of the meaning of the art, think the white here was water

they were so much fun to look at

camels and warriors

stained glass ceiling of the National Gallery with glass imported from France and Belgium

A Burne-Jones stained glass
We visited the Ian Potter Center at Federation Square twice while in Melbourne. The first time the entire first floor, which included the whole Aboriginal collection, was being changed. We enjoyed the other galleries that time but we were lucky enough to be able to come back at the end of our visit to Melbourne when the Aboriginal gallery had been reopened. The Aboriginal art falls into certain categories depending on where in Western, Southern or Northern Australia it comes from. There is much meaning to the paintings which most often tell a story. The colors and designs were stunning. The last two photos are from the National Gallery, which is located close to the Potter Center just on the opposite side of the Yarra River. This gallery holds their international art and it is a very nice collection, includes canaletto, tiepolo,monet, turner, picasso,rembrandt  and many more. Being our last day in Melbourne we couldn't do it justice but we enjoyed what we saw and would gladly return. Both museums were free which was also a big plus.

last days in Melbourne

St James Old Cathedral (Anglican). Melbourne's oldest church, corner of Batman and King Sts.

view of melbourne from St. Kilda beach

Fitzroy Gardens

St Patrick's Cathedral (Catholic)

Inside St Patrick's, built roughly from 1858 and consecrated in 1897

Victoian Artists Society

Princess Theatre, opened 1n 1886, very lavish inside and out
On our last day in Melbourne we explored the East Side a bit more after touring the National Gallery of Victoria (next post). The architecture was always fun. Old St James Cathedral was started in 1839 before the Gold Rush. It was next door to where Christopher was staying (small building on left side of photo) and on the other side of the church was Flagstaff Gardens. A strange coincidence was that once a week Scott's cousin, Rob, a doctor in Melbourne worked at the refugee center in this church.

Bird/Ducks and more of Tasmania

in hobart, tasmania


back at "home" in melbourne with the great stella and goyo
some more interesting creatures we saw in tasmania