Coliseum and Beyond

After a strenuous climb, a caapucino and gelato, we were ready to continue our walking tour of the city.

Hidden at the Top BW

 

Of course, with so many sites to see near the river, we had to make a couple of little detours on our way to the coliseum.. But not before we did a really touristy thing.. mail a few post cards from the Vatican Post Office..

Vatican Post

 

And some things we saw… not in any particular order

Angel with Cross

 

Altare della Patria

Castel Sant'Angelo Piazza del Popolo Sacro Cuore del Suffragio Temple of Portunus

 

Cool city, huh?

After meandering the alleyways and side-streets for a few hours, we finally arrived at the Coliseum..with the Arc de Constantinople standing right along side..

Collesium 1 Collesium Interior 3 Collesium Interior2

 

AC 1 Arch and Collesium

 

The sites of the Temple of Venus and Roma are right across the street …

Site of Temple of Venus and Roma

 

The Arco di Tito (Arch of Titus) was the inspiration for the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and also stands near by.. Unfortunately, access was closed for the day.. possibly due to the demonstration that was forming at the Coliseum..

It was beginning to get dark, so we headed back to the hotel… early train for Florence in the morning..

Happy Travels!!

Photography as Art

 

St. Peter’s Basilica

551 steps…

From Bridge

 

St.Peter’s Basilica.. One of the highlights of any trip to Rome.. and if you make the climb, one of the best veiws of Rome that can be found anywhere.

Waiting in LineOf course, on the way to the entrance, before you enter the square, you have to deal with the hundreds of of people selling “fast pass” and “skip the line” tickets that range anywhere from 20 to 45 Euros.. The lines ARE usually pretty long but don’t fall for the 2 1/2 to 3 hr wait time they tell you..but be prepared for a 20 minute wait.  The line moves fast and it’s only for security.  The entrance to the actual cathedral is free..

25 Minutes

 

This photo was taken from the end of the line and 22 minutes later we were inside…like I said, it moves pretty fast..

Once you pass security, you have to buy a ticket to the Basilica..the church may be free but the climb up is not.. It will cost 5 Euros to climb all those steps..or 7 Euros to take the elevator to the first level..  Unless you are feeling like you want the whole experience, take the elevator. I have done it both ways and the first 200 steps are pretty boring..nothing to see..just a hall with steps.. a lot of steps..

Up the Stairs

and there are still plenty of steps to enjoy after the lift… My advice.. buy the elevator ticket. Even if you want to climb all the way up, which gives you bragging rights, you can always use the elevator to come back down…

The first level leads up to a walkway around the inside of the dome where you can look into the church below and see the beautiful inside murals on the walls and the dome above. The first time I was here, there was a wire cage that you could actually shoot through.. that has been replaced by plexiglass which was dirty and scratched and darn near impossible to get a shot.. sorry but it’s true.

1st Level Mural 1 Basilica Dome

 

Now the fun part begins.. for the next 100 or so steps… you have the squeeze by people coming down…yep..exit and entrance is the same for this part..

Up More Stairs

 

More Stairs

 

Spiral

 

Eventually…you will make it to the top.. huffing and puffing … but excited ..

From Basilica Dome Piazza di San Pietro

 

 

There is no time limit on how long you can stay and gaze out over the city.. I am not sure if I stayed for 30 minutes because I was captivated by the views or just knew I had to walk back down…probably a little of both..but eventually …..

The second level, on the way down is a broad expanse of flat roof top.. you will find a restroom here, along with a clean water fountain, a small cafe and a gift shop..

and some pretty good views too…

Rooftop of Cathedral Square Curve Rooftop of Cathedral

 

There are also some perfect views of the Basilica itself..

Bottom of the Dome Standing Guard

 

The elevator to ground level is also here..

 

Then down, down, down….

The interior of the cathedral is a work of art… full of paintings and statues and ornate iron and stone work..

After Corridor of Statues Domed Ceiling 1 Entry Hall St. Peter's Gated On the Throne

 

Like I said.. one of the highlights of any trip to Rome..

At the exit is a booth where you can buy tickets to the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museum…both of which, we skipped this trip..

Now time for some pizza, gelato..and my feet are begging me to rest… Still a long walk exploring this afternoon..

HAPPY TRAVELS!

Photography as Art

Rome – The 1st Real Day

Arches

Since we arrived so late in the day, we had just decided to rest and relax (after a few hours of walking and shooting) and get ready for a long day of walking, exploring and enjoying the city..

Spanish Steps

As always, the first stop was the Spanish Steps.. a large plaza and street guarded by the church, Trinita del Monti..

The Trevi Fountain was closed for repair or upgrading.. couldn’t really get the whole story but it was still crowded. The entire fountain was curtained by a 8′ high plexiglass wall so photos were useless..

Then we headed over to the river..I love to walk along the river. The architecture of the buildings found there is amazing..and there all kinds of little side streets and back alleys where you might find a hidden gem of a cafe..

River Scene 2 Stone Bridge with Buildings Down to River Through and Up

 

The winding river paths bring you to the Ponte Vittorio Bridge…

Ponte VittorioCastle Sant Angelo

Castle of the Holy Angel

and Vatican City.. The first look at St. Peter’s Basilica is usually from one of the many bridges crossing the Tiber River..

St. Peter's 1st LookFull Front Square 1

Ok..so we had been walking for about 4 1/2 hours by this time and I wasn’t sure I was up to the climb..  551 steps to the top of St.Peter’s Basilica..which might very well be the best view in Rome.. but still 551 STEPS…

Stay Tuned  🙂

HAPPY TRAVELS!!

Photography as Art

 

 

 

Traveling as a Lifestyle

I never realized how much fun traveling can be.. exciting… mind-bending.. enlightening..

Valley(Pr)

I worked for almost 30 years as an electrician in the USA, mostly in Colorado, but all over really..  I did what most employed people in the States do.. I worked for a whole year waiting to accrue that coveted week-long (sometimes 2) reprieve and get out and go somewhere on vacation. These trips could be as far as the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada or as close as the next city.  Anything and anywhere as long as I was not at work..

Then an amazing thing happened..  I decided to broaden my horizons.. I decided to take a chance. I decided to explore.  Damn the economy..full speed ahead..

Adjoined

I applied for and was hired by a contract company doing maintenance work overseas..at US Embassies, of all places, with a 2 year contract that could be extended up to 2 more years before you have to move to another post.. Currently, I am in Kyiv, Ukraine and having the time of my life..

Andrew's Descent

Andrew’s Descent

It is an easy city to fly in and out of from Boryspil International airport and, for the past 3 1/2 years, cities in Europe (with the occasional trip to Turkey or the UAE) have been calling me almost monthly..

Sophia Hagia-Istanbul (1)

Water Wheel - Prague

There are 196 countries in the world…unless of course you don’t include Tawain.. some countries do and some don’t..so let’s just include for grins..  That’s 196.. at one vacation a year to a new country..well, do the math..That’s right – 196 years to see them all..

As a US citizen and passport holder, I can visit 174 of them either without a visa or a visa upon arrival. It’s actually a little more complicated than that and over time, I will try to explain all the differences..

But for now.. just think..174 countries..  Right now, I am averaging a new country/city a month.. short trips of 3 – 5 days every month..  That’s still 14 years to see all of them.

Parliment Building in Budapest, Hungary from the south side of the river.

Parliament Building in Budapest, Hungary from the south side of the river.

14 years! 

Handlebars BW Red Leaves at Lake

 

Of course, living in Ukraine is a treat as well..and exploring this wonderful and beautiful country is an experience unto itself.. If no “out of country experience” presents itself, I spend weekends strolling through Kyiv or one of the myriad of historic sites in the vicinity.. Babi Yar is here.. Bykivnia Gravesites.. some of the oldest churches in Europe are here..

DSC_8806 Lavra Spring

St. Sophia's

St. Sophia’s

St. Michael's Golden Domed Monastery and Mykhailivska Square

St. Michael’s Golden Domed Monastery and Mykhailivska Square

Lavra

 

My world view has changed… my prejudices are disappearing… Maybe eventually those will be gone completely.

For now.. Rome awaits (2nd time to Rome)…this time with a side trip to Florence and Pisa.. My photography skills have improved so maybe this time the photos will do it justice..

Happy Travels!!

PHOTOGRAPHY AS ART

 

 

Shot for the Day – A little Weird Art

Now I don’t generally believe in digital manipulation.. I use post processing as little as humanly possible..  I think a lot of people tend to overdo it..Only my opinion so please don’t take offense anyone..

I remember when HDR was new and exciting.. I experimented.. I overdid .. the infrared came along.. I experimented..  lately I have been experimenting with contour painting..

Andrew's(Pr)

My first love is still panoramic shots.. followed by doors, windows… everyday stuff that I see while I explore this wonderful world.. But …

Prague - Charles BridgeCWThese are kind of fun.. just a new way of looking at things..

These prints can be found here at Fine Art America

Happy Travels!!

Photography as Art                     Travel with Steve

 

 

Shot of the Day – Out and About in Kiev

Arch at Night

                                                      Arch at Night

The plaza around the “Friendship Arch” is not near as crowded these days.. due in part to what has been happening around the country for the past few months…Still, at night..lit up in rainbow colors, it is a pretty sight.

Andrew's Descent

                                                       Andrew’s Descent

With St. Andrew’s standing guard at the top of the hill, Andrew’s Descent winds down to the Podil district. The narrow cobblestone street is home to a host of vendors selling everything from paintings to antique uniforms..and every souvenir in between..

House of the Weeping Wi

                                 House of the Weeping Widow

Drains flowing into the eyes of face mounted at the top of the building, lets water drain down her face…hence the name.. When it rains..she weeps

Parliment Building

                                                    Parliment Building

The Parliment Building of Ukraine

U41

                                     Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

It never ceases to amaze me. the things you can find just walking around your home town.. Try it.. explore your city.. Let me know what you find..

Happy Travels!!

Travel with Steve                      Photography as Art                   Wall Art and Prints

 

Shot of the Day – Kyiv

President Ukraine Square

 

In honor of the presidential elections in Ukraine yesterday, I thought I would post a shot of the Presidential Administration building and House of Chimera on Bankova Street.. It is a pretty square to visit…especially in late spring when the tulips are in full bloom..

You can learn more about the buildings here and here 

Budapest – Shot of the Day

 

Buda Castle and Chain Bridge ...

                                       Buda Castle and Chain Bridge …

Budapest is wonderful at night… The Chain Bridge and Buda Castle dominate the skyline from the river. This area, close to the Shoe Memorial is easily accesible by foot, tram, or bus from the town center.

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