Sunday, May 18, 2008

Noto Infiorata

Yesterday Les and I made the drive down to Noto for Infiorata, the spring flower festival. It didn't seem like there was as much going on this year as there was last year, but the flower mosaics were still beautiful. Here are some of the pictures from the day:

The Duomo in Noto

And the flower mosaics (very different style from last year):

It was pretty warm yesterday so we headed for granite (like a slushy) as soon as we finished walking the road with the mosaics.

Peeking down a street in Noto

We didn't stay in Noto for very long. Just a couple of hours. Les was tired and not feeling too well. I think it had something to do with the heat and not enough water.

On our way home we stopped in Siracusa and did a bit of shopping. I finally found a camera backpack that I love! Not too big but holds all of my gear. The only thing I wish it had were straps for a tripod, but I think I can rig it up to work.

Overall Les and I had a wonderful day. It was sooo nice to get out of the house for awhile and take a break from studying...which is has been taking up most of my time.

Now playing: Sarah Brightman - Gloomy Sunday
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Spring Fest

This weekend was the Spring Festival (aka "County Fair") on base. I spent Friday and Saturday nights at the Photography Club booth selling my pictures. So much fun and a great confidence boost! I sold 4 prints (3 matted and framed!!!) as well as a bunch of original artwork note cards! I definitely made back my investment in the booth and paid for my supplies for the cards and prints. I even have a little bit left over to play with! To top it all off I took one of my photo note cards (grapes at the Gambino Winery) to the Gambino Winery booth to show them. They were so touched that I took a picture of their grapes and gave them the card that they gave me two bottles of wine!! I was blown away! :) I'm just so glad they liked the picture! I can't wait for another opportunity to show my work. This experience really filled me with inspiration. I need to finish my homework for the day so I can play with my pictures some more.

PS - I have a few of my note cards left from the festival that are still for sale. $5 each or 3 for $10. If you are interested let me know and I'll email you proofs of the pictures so you can choose!

Saturday, May 03, 2008


Tindari has been on my Sicily "to-see" list since I read about another blogger's visit to the area a couple of months ago. Les had the day off yesterday and I have a few precious days left of freedom before I start my next class, so we made the 2 1/2 hour drive north to Tindari, about 30 minutes west of Messina.

We found our way to Tindari pretty easily. The GPS tried to lead us astray a couple of times, but we didn't buy it. I think it was trying to help us avoid toll roads, but we really didn't mind getting there sooner rather than later!

The Tindari area is closed to traffic except for residents so we had to park and take a bus up to the top. The bus dropped us off and we found our way into a piazza with a massive church... a structure that we had seen in the distance in the distance as we wound our way up the steep hill.

A beautiful mosaic inside the Santuario della Madonna Nera

The Sanctuary of the Black Madonna was very new, compared to many of the churches we have seen in this neck of the woods. It was built in the late 1970s/early 1980s. While it was new with modern touches, it payed tribute in style to the older churches with beautiful paintings and mosaics.

After walking through the church we headed down the hill a bit toward the archaeological park. After paying for our tickets I took a good look at my surroundings. It was gorgeous and peaceful. Not too crowded. Beautiful view of the sea. I felt a bit like I was in La Jolla, maybe around Torrey Pines (with Greek and Roman ruins instead of Pines).

The ruins at Tindari include a Greek Amphitheater, a Roman Villa, and a Basilica.

Teatro Greco

Looking toward the sea from the Teatro

A Gnarled-looking Olive Tree

One of the mosaics inside the ruins of the Roman Villa

The columns are all that remain of the terraces of the Roman Villa

The Basilica

Looking down on the sea and a sandbar

This is what I saw while I was eating lunch. Gorgeous, right?

After a long leisurely lunch we made our way back down the hill to the car and started the long drive home. It was so nice to get out and do some more sightseeing. These past two weeks have been filled with adventures. I start class again on Tuesday (uff). Hopefully I can do a better job at balancing "work" and fun and continue to explore the island.