Thursday, August 21, 2008

Relaxation & Inspiration

My family and I just returned home a few days ago from our Mediterranean cruise and it has taken a few days to recover from the jet lag (which is why I haven't posted earlier!) We had a such a great time. We flew to Rome which is where we were to get on the ship. Before we went to the dock we did a little site seeing. We stopped at the Coliseum (below), the Vatican and Trevi Fountain (below) where we took a break to eat gelati and coronetti (an Italian pastry recommended by my Italian friend who lived in Italy most of her life), and some other sites before we had to get on our ship.

Below is one of my favorite photos that I took of the artwork inside St. Peter's. It is amazing how much detail is in it and it is painted in a dome on the ceiling.

Once on the ship our first stop was Sicily, Italy where we toured the town of Taormina (below).

It's a beautiful old town with lots of shops and the ruins of a very old open air Greek-Roman Theater. the theater is located on a hill where you can see the volcano, Mt. Etna, in the distance. Even though the theater was partially destroyed events are still scheduled there in the theater today. Our tour guide told us how he attended a concert there once when Mt. Etna erupted. How cool that would have been to be watching your favorite band and having red hot lava shooting up over the stage in the background! (The photo below is of the stage with the volcano in the background. You can't really see the top of the volcano that well due to the clouds.)

Our next stop was Athens, Greece. And no stop in Athens would be complete without going to see the Acropolis.

We also saw the ruins of the Temple of Zeus and the first Olympic Stadium called the Panathinaiko Stadium. It was were the very first modern Olympic games took place in 1896. (below)

We also spent a day in Kusadasi, Turkey. There they have the ruins of the City of Ephesus. It is an entire city buried in a bunch of mountains that they have been excavating for about 50 years. And in that time they have only discovered about 15% of what they think is buried there. In the museum they have a lot of the artifacts that they found and one of the items was this necklace.

Did you know that jewelry was the first art? Before people used clay to make vessels to carry water, store wine, etc. they used the clay to make jewelry to decorate themselves. Just a little fact I thought I'd share with you since I am a jewelry artist and all!

We also did some shopping in Turkey. The funniest thing were these signs. Turkey is known for their fake brand name items and it seems like they are very proud of this fact! These signs were everywhere!

Our last port was the Greek island of Crete. We saw the Minoan ruins of the royal palace of Knossos that was destroyed by earthquakes. It was very interesting to see all the "modern amenities" they had. Running water, sewage system, etc. This photo is of the inside of one of the rooms in the palace. The chair against the wall is the king's throne.

All in all it was a great trip and and I was very inspired by all that I saw and experienced. I plan to take some of that inspiration and turn it into new pieces of jewelry in the near future!

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