Monday, April 30, 2012

Standing on the Corner

Vienna tree, just about suppertime.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Spring Arch

Flowery signs of spring decorate a Viennese window.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Red, White and Blue

Would have enjoyed spending more than just a couple of hours, mostly in the dark, in beautiful Mykonos, Greece.  Loved the shades of red, white and blue on the boat, buildings and sky as we walked into town.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Rain on the Rocks

Rain brings forth colorful umbrellas, brightening a hillside pathway between the city walls and streets in old Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Wistful Wisteria

Empress Elizabeth, Austria's beloved Sissi, who suffered from an unhappy marriage, health problems and intense grief at the death of her son, travelled frequently and was especially fond of her palace in Corfu.  The wisteria blooming in the garden entrance to her courtyard may block the view a bit but add a colorful,  fragrant and soothing softness to the scene.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

35 Miles of Cherry and Almond Blossoms

The road from Bari to Alberbello, Italy was lined with blooming cherry and almond trees—35 miles of white, flowery heaven!  We had to stop at one orchard to just get a little closer to the blossom clouds.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Trulli Marvelous

I first learned about the Trulli huts near Alberobello, Italy about a year ago from the blog site, The Essence of the Good Life, and decided I really wanted to see these unusual UNESCO World Heritage dwellings in person one day...and, if possible, stay in one of those stone huts.  When we arrived, we mentioned to the hotel receptionist that we saw lots of Europeans and Japanese visiting Alberobello but wondered why Americans, in general, didn't seem to know about this magical place. He said, "Oh, Americans know about us.  There was an article in National Geographic about our Trulli houses."   Well, I thought, I stand corrected.  We've subscribed to the National Geographic magazine as well as National Geographic Traveler for decades; I must have overlooked or forgotten the article.  "When did that article appear?" I asked.  "February, 1931," he answered.  Hmmm. It may be time for the magazine to revisit.  Then again, it can be our secret.

This prehistoric construction method of dry-stacked stones made use of the abundant limestone on the land and resulted in cleared fields at the same time.  Later, as the story goes, farmers would dismantle their Trulli homes as the taxman approached in order to prove they had no habitable shelter and therefore were exempt from taxes.

Stacked limestone conical roofs is one of the distinguishing features of Trulli homes.

Trulli homes and businesses in Alberbello, Italy. 

The woman hanging laundry on her roof used this ladder to reach her clotheslines.

The Trulli Museum in Alberobello.

In our Trulli hotel room, the stacked stone ceiling is partly obscured by a small wooden mezzanine which was used for storage or as a child's sleeping area.

The whitewashed walls stand in stark contrast to the dark, weathered stone shingles.

The roof cap designs and whitewashed symbols are status and spiritual symbols.

Newer roofs have not had time to age to the dark grays of older roofs.

This Trulli home is in the Puglia countryside.

Trullis near the Grotte di Castellana, near Alberobello.

The view of Alberobello from our Trulli hotel room.

These structures are en route to Bari, Italy.