Stambul

For someone brought up on Christian churches, East or West, Orthodox, Roman Catholic, or Protestant, the simplicity of the great Islamic mosques of Istanbul can be both over- and underwhelming. We’re reminded of a church Across Market in San Francisco, where the saints’ statues crowd the aisles as […]

Ghetto Novo

The word “ghetto” might have been the name of a pair of foul-smelling foundries located in the outer reaches of Cannaregio, a key Sestiere, or district, of Venice. When the Doge Leonardo Loredan and the Serenissima exiled their 700 Jews there on 29 March, 1516, the moniker stuck. From […]

Poses

You would have thought you were on a movie set. We followed a dowdy, middle-aged couple all the way down to the Library of Celsius in the Ephesus ruins, as the husband juggled his over-sized camera and barked staging and posing directions, while the wife shoved her airspace […]

Acropolis

As the King of the gods, Zeus controlled the thunderbolts and could do just about anything he wanted. But on the subject of his compulsive womanizing, he ran in terror from his wife Hera. After one particular tryst with the brainiac Mitas, he grew so concerned that he naturally swallowed her (don’t […]

Dubrovnik

Mention the Pietà, and most people think of Michelangelo’s delicate 1499 masterpiece in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The Virgin Mary holds the crucified Jesus in an embrace that is equal parts sadness, beauty, and piety. But there are dozens of Pietàs across Europe, all evoking similar emotions. […]

Tourists

My favorite lame travel joke used to be: “If it’s Tuesday, this must be Belgium.” On the current voyage, the new one is: “If you’ve seen one Acropolis, you’ve seen ’em all.” Except… The Greek word technically refers to the summit of a hill, with or without a […]

Talking to Zeus

Something about the lone Adonis on this precipice atop the Temple of Zeus on the Athenian Acropolis seriously intrigued me—to the point that I took 20 shots in uncooperative lighting to get the photo. There was no visible means of access to his perch, which only added to […]