This and That

Random bits of my life

Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Return to Venice

Posted by Avital Pinnick on November 23, 2016

Venice is one of my all-time favorite cities. I never get tired of it. We went for five days last month and did not manage to see or do everything we wanted. We’ll have to go back again!

Ca’ d’Oro on the Grand Canal. It’s been converted into a museum and does not allow photography, but you can take pictures on the balcony and the areas outside the gallery itself.

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We rented a flat in Campo S. Marghareta in Dorsoduro. I photographed this bubble-maker in nearby Campo S. Barnaba, just across the canal.

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Still-life in the Rialto fish market:

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Manchester Wall Art

Posted by Avital Pinnick on July 3, 2013

Manchester

I know I’ve been neglecting my blog somewhat, although I have been taking pictures! I got derailed by changing jobs within the company and by more travel. I had to go to Utrecht again for a marathon 36-hour work session (I managed 5 hours of sleep in the middle) and I went to Manchester last weekend for a family-related visit. The Utrecht trip was my last sojourn as a technical writer. I’m currently retraining as an Integration and Testing Engineer. The move was approved today. 🙂

Manchester was cold and wet, like Israel in February. I was in the Northern Quarter neighbourhood for a couple hours and took these photos of wall art. The stairs in the first photo had bikes wired to the railing.

Manchester

Manchester

Manchester

 

Steel tree sculpture by David Hyde, on the Afflecks Arcade, Oldham Street, Manchester.

Manchester

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Utrecht Whimsy

Posted by Avital Pinnick on May 8, 2013

Painted arm

Knitted fish spotted in a kitchen window:

Knitted Fish

Wire bicycles with Jakarta travel brochures:

Wire Bicycles

The Pusher’s Apostrophe: I’ve given up trying to tell people how to punctuate  “hash joints”…

Hash and Weed Menues

Colourful metal necklaces

Metal Necklaces

Multi-tasking on the flight from Paris to Amsterdam. He wanted to make a change in the document on my laptop while he was doing his email.

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Utrecht Canals

Posted by Avital Pinnick on May 6, 2013

Oudegracht canal with the ubiquitous Domtor (cathedral tower) in the background.

Canal in Utrecht

Small restaurant on the wharf. Many of these warehouses seem to have been converted into artists’ studios.

Restaurant, Canal

Canal in Utrecht

Water basin:

Sculpture, Canal

Sculpture, Canal

Sculpture, Canal

Canal in Utrecht

Canal in Utrecht

Canal in Utrecht

Sepia view on a rainy morning.

Canal in Utrecht

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Siena Cathedral

Posted by Avital Pinnick on January 20, 2013

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Siena Cathedral, covered in black and white marble, was completed in the thirteenth century. The direction of the church is unusual. Usually the “front” door faces west, with the high altar on the east side, and the main axis of the church running in an east-west direction. Some sources say this cathedral’s axis runs north-south because it was going to be expanded so that the present nave would have been the transept of a church twice the size. I checked a map and the cathedral actually runs at a diagonal — its facade faces south-west, with the high altar on the north-east. This doesn’t mean a whole lot except that I couldn’t use the usual terms like north side, western facade, etc.

The first photo (above) is a close-up of the cupola on top of the dome. As you may have gathered, I love photographing architectural details and sculpture.

The next two photos show the cathedral and its campanile, taken with a wide-angle lens. The piazza in front of the cathedral is not very large, which means that using a normal lens would require stitching several shots together to capture the whole building.

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Siena Cathedral, Italy

View of the cathedral over the wall, part of the unfinished nave:

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Massive open doorway leading from the street to the unfinished nave. There were plans to double the size of the cathedral, but the Black Death and other problems stopped construction, which was never resumed. Now the unfinished nave is used as a parking area.

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Inside of  unfinished nave, with Romanesque arch.

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Close-up of the arch (not easy to get without a tripod because it was roughly the height of the church, but the bright sun helped):

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Facade, viewed from the side of the church:

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Close-up of facade:

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Portico over door facing unfinished nave:

Siena Cathedral, Italy

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Siena Snapshots

Posted by Avital Pinnick on January 9, 2013

Siena, Italy

I call this bunch of photos “Siena snapshots” because they’re quick shots taken while walking from the bus station to the Campo and the cathedral. So I don’t have much background and can’t tell you what most of these buildings are. The building above is a small commercial building with an insurance company inside and a hairdressing salon in front. I liked the Romanesque windows.

Upper stories of a palazzo:

Siena, Italy

Madonna of the alley. I chose to convert it to B/W because it had a more mysterious feel and de-emphasized the trash on the ground.

Siena, Italy

Statue of Romulus and Remus in a courtyard.

Siena, Italy

Fifteenth-century Loggia della Mercanzia (thank heavens for Google!):

Loggia della Mercanzia, Siena

Painted ceiling of the loggia:

Loggia della Mercanzia, Siena

Marble bench in loggia:

Loggia della Mercanzia, Sienna

Sallustio Bandini, 18th century Tuscan economist and priest, gazes down at tourists in front of the Palazzo Salimbeni (now a bank).

Siena, Italy

Siena, Italy

I think I photographed this Romulus and Remus statue in the courtyard of Siena Cathedral.

Siena, Italy

Accordionist playing Mozart near the cathedral’s south portico:

Siena, Italy

Siena, Italy

Bags were quite expensive in Italy. Cheaper to photograph them. 🙂

Siena, Italy

Siena, Italy

Siena, Italy

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Buontalenti Grotto, Boboli Gardens, Florence

Posted by Avital Pinnick on October 26, 2012

Grotto Buontalenti, Boboli Gardens, Florence

Bernardo Buontalenti, the 16th century Florentine stage designer and architect, was also known as Bernardo delle Girandole (Bernardo of the
Fireworks). Sounds like a fun guy! He worked for the Medicis all his life, designing costumes, sets, fireworks displays, palaces, and gardens.

His three-chambered Grotto Grande in the Boboli gardens was built between 1583 and 1588. The grotto is not always open to the public. Times are posted. When I was there it was unlocked every two hours, for about half an hour at a time. Photography is permitted but the darkness of the interior chambers and the presence of crowds make it a tricky site to photograph. We couldn’t go into the third chamber, so I photographed it over the barrier.

The niches on either side of the entrance hold statues of Apollo and Ceres.

The close-up of the facade, below, was taken the first day we visited the Boboli Gardens (hence, the overcast sky and bluish tones). The other photos were taken on our second visit (sunny day!), and we showed up at one of the times when the grotto was open.

Grotto Buontalenti, Boboli Gardens, Florence

The first chamber is very bright because it is illuminated by a circular opening  in the painted ceiling and a large window above the columns, as well as by the columned entrance itself.

The next two photos show the painted ceiling of the first chamber.

Grotto Buontalenti, Boboli Gardens, Florence

Grotto Buontalenti, Boboli Gardens, Florence

The first chamber has carved pastoral scenes, decorated with paint and embedded seashells, on the left and right walls.

Grotto Buontalenti, Boboli Gardens, Florence

Grotto Buontalenti, Boboli Gardens, Florence

The triangular opening in the back wall leads to the second chamber, containing Vincenzo de’ Rossi’s statue of Paris and Helena (1560).

Grotto Buontalenti, Boboli Gardens, Florence

Grotto Buontalenti, Boboli Gardens, Florence

Grotto Buontalenti, Boboli Gardens, Florence

The second chamber is much smaller than the first. It’s also quite dark and difficult to photograph. I had to brighten these photos (ISO 3200!) considerably to show the details.

Grotto Buontalenti, Boboli Gardens, Florence

Grotto Buontalenti, Boboli Gardens, Florence

The third chamber, which we couldn’t enter, contains Giambologna’s statue of the bathing Venus (1565).

Grotto Buontalenti, Boboli Gardens, Florence

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Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence

Posted by Avital Pinnick on September 6, 2012

Sunset over Arno River, Florence

Piazzale Michelangelo, on the south side of the Arno river, is probably on almost every photographer-tourist’s checklist. It’s easy to see why. If the weather is suitable, you can capture amazing views of Florence at sunset.

Duomo, Florence

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Ponto Vecchio, Florence

Ponto Vecchio, Florence

Duomo, Florence

Because the view is free, this site is very popular with backpackers and students. The first night we climbed up, a couple musicians were entertaining the kids on the large staircase.

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Here’s a short video I took with my iPod. The girls playing rhythm instruments and swinging orange tubes are volunteers from the audience.

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Hutzot haYotzer – International Arts & Crafts Fair

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 24, 2012

Corn Dolls

These photos are from the International Pavilion at this year’s Hutzot haYotzer/International Arts & Crafts Fair, held Aug. 6-18, 2012. These colourful corn dolls are from Mexico. They’re made from brightly dyed husks of ears of corn and tied together (the piece of paper says “tiras,” the Hebrew word for corn; I’m glad someone wrote it in English to clarify matters 🙂 ). These are the most exuberant examples of corn dolls I’ve ever seen. The same booth had boxes covered with coloured string, also from Mexico. Although the process is a bit messy, this would be a nice recycling project for kids.

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This year I went twice to Hutzot haYotzer — once with a friend whose husband wasn’t interested in attending (Baruch had just returned from abroad) and the second time with Baruch. Both evenings I spent more time at performances than at the crafts stalls. For the first time I found the crafts a bit disappointing. I always head for the International Pavilion first. This year there seemed to be fewer folk arts and more “designer” crafts (the vivid foam rubber animals from Argentina were cute but not what I was looking for).

There were also fewer artists from abroad. In the Romanian booth a couple women were embroidering and decorating eggs (they were painting directly on the egg, not making resist-dyed pysanky like the ones on the towel, but pysanka-making isn’t a very portable craft).

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The bread underneath the towel is an elaborately braided heart. I’m not sure what it’s significance is. Wedding bread?

Hutzot haYotzer 2012 (Jerusalem International Arts  Crafts Fair)

Young woman playing pan pipes. I was pleased with how this portrait shot turned out, considering how quickly it was taken. She had turned her face to a 3/4 angle and was looking up and the microphone wasn’t in front of her. Also, I think that most musicians, especially wind and brass players, look better when they’re posing with their instrument than when playing.

Hutzot haYotzer 2012 (Jerusalem International Arts  Crafts Fair)

Chinese calligraphers

Hutzot haYotzer 2012 (Jerusalem International Arts  Crafts Fair)

Molas (fairly good quality — fine stitching and neatly worked) cut up and made into absurd little boots and shoes.

Hutzot haYotzer 2012 (Jerusalem International Arts  Crafts Fair)

Woman at the Ghana booth. Not a great photo of her but the best one I could get of her wonderful dress.

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The dancers were quite good but the stage was almost inaccessible because of the crowds and staircase along one side. And whose bright idea was it to put enormous speakers at the same level as the stage, on the left front corner?

Hutzot haYotzer 2012 (Jerusalem International Arts  Crafts Fair)

Hutzot haYotzer 2012 (Jerusalem International Arts  Crafts Fair)

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Florence Cathedral (Duomo)

Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 2, 2012

Duomo, Florence

Places like the Duomo in Florence (Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, or Basilica of St. Mary of the Flower) make me really appreciate a wide angle lens. The baptistry and cafes are so close to the church that I needed a wide-angle lens to get it all into a single shot. In the photo above you can see the entire cathedral, Giotti’s campanile, and the edge of the Battistero di San Giovanni (Baptistry of St. John).

The main structure of the church was completed in 1436, with the dome by Filippo Brunelleschi, who devised some amazing structural solutions. The outside of the cathedral is covered with beautiful inlaid green, pink, and white marble. The façade (front end of the church, in Gothic style) is 19th century. According to Wikipedia, the duomo’s dome is the largest brick dome in the world (it has been surpassed by domes constructed with more modern building materials).

The duomo square is dominated by the cathedral and a huge, separate baptistry, shown below. Its eight sides (eight is a symbolic number for baptism) are covered with colored marble in the Florentine Romanesque style (check out the rounded arches, one of the hallmarks of Romanesque architecture) but the real attraction of the baptistry are the magnificent bronze doors, known as the “Gates of Paradise,” by Lorenzo Ghiberti. The original doors are in the duomo museum. The ones currently adorning the baptistry are modern copies.

Florence Duomo

The photos below start on the north side of the cathedral and end on the south side, the same side as Giotti’s campanile (bell tower).

Florence Duomo

The Gothic facade faces west. Mary, holding a flower, is enthroned, surrounded by Florentine artists and noblemen.

Florence Duomo

Florence Duomo

South side of the cathedral, showing the magnificent dome. You can climb up there, by the way, but it’s a long line and a lot of waiting. It’s also a lot of steps!

Duomo, Florence\

Door on the north side:

Duomo, Florence

I’ve been rather quiet for a while because I had a photo shoot two nights ago. It was a Siyum Shas, the celebration that culminates the 7.5 year worldwide cycle of studying the Talmud, held in Mitzpeh Nevo, where I live. I was asked to shoot both stills and video. Now I have to sit down and edit all those photos and videos.

In addition, I taught a course on Enterprise Architect at work this morning. EA is a UML modeling tool for software design. I was sent to Staines a month ago (remember the Stonehenge shots?) and spent four days learning this program so that I could teach system architects in Israel. Although I had prepared my notes and written the documentation, I was still clicking, clicking, clicking my way through EA last night at 11 p.m. because I found some more cool functionality. I was afraid that I had too much material for a four-hour session but — mirabile dictu — we finished half an hour early! Of course, it didn’t hurt that the ten people in my course are among the brightest in our company. Last night I slept 4.5 hours, because of nerves. Adrenalin and coffee got me through the session, although I was quite tired by the end.

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