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1919 – 2005

The angle is not exactly the same. It appears the picture of my grandfather was shot from an elevated position… I also suspect the flag pole was further away from the building in 1919. At least it appears to be when you compare different aspects of the two photos.

Still, I got what I was looking for.
A picture of myself at the same location (St. Mark’s Basillica) as my grandfather in 1919.

Maybe I am a dork, but I think it’s pretty cool.

It’s good to be home

As of 11:00 pm CST Wednesday night we are safely back home.

The plane trip to and from is always the least pleasant part of any vacation.
Still, here we are… a bit jet-lagged but enjoying getting back into our routines.

Coffee is plentiful, refills are free and television is in English.

Processing the experiences, lessons learned and the pictures is going to take time.

Thanks to everyone who took time to comment on the posts I made.
It was nice maintaining a connection back to the states while we traveled.

I do have the pictures uploaded. You can see them in the gallery. http://www.baldheretic.com/gallery
There are some awesome shots from the Keukenhof in the Amsterdam section.

There’s going to be a special “William the Sheep” section as soon as I can get it organized.

Sigh…it’s almost time to come home

Rome has been so great. I was apprehensive when we first set our sights on coming here.
The warnings of crime and hustles, the concern over the crowds and the price all added to our anxiety.

All those things aside, this is a wonderous city. The people have been kind and generous. The weather has been spectacular. The sights have been glorious and the food has been delicious.

We did witness one of the more common scams here in Rome. As we stood in line yesterday for the Vatican Museum and The Sistine Chapel some gypsies were working their way through the crowd begging for coins. As the trio swirled around us we we protected our bags. The tap you and moan and plead. It’s all a distraction. The guy in front of us lost his wallet from a zipped up fanny pack. Fortunatley the gypsy dropped it and he was able to get it back. It’s impressive how smoothly they work.

This morning it was the obligatory trek to the Trevi Fountain to toss our coins in. The legend is that if you toss a coin into Trevi Fountain you will return to Rome. I sure hope that’s true because I want to come back to this magical city again.

Cynthia and I will cherish these memories for a long, long time.

Trevi Fountain

Roma!

One and one half hours by high speed train from Florence to Rome the day before yesterday.
This place is BEAUTIFUL! The weather in Italy has been just perfect.

Here is William at the Leaning Tower of Pisa from our side trip the other day.

William and Pisa

We had time to go to St. Peter’s Square which is right around the corner from our hotel. St. Peter’s Basillica is truly wonderous to behold. The largest church in Christendom, pictures cannot do it justice.

St Peter's

St Peters

St Peters

Today we stood in St. Peter’s square and received a blessing from the Pope. And yes, there is a picture of William and the Pope as soon as I can get it uploaded. He is now a “sacred” sheep.

Fabulous Firenze!

Florence is a magnificnet medieval city. At the heart of the city is the Duomo.
It is a spectacular cathedral and is currently being renovated.

We wandered the streets to take it all in. We made reservations to see Michelangelo’s David at La Academia. It is a HUGE statue. For some reason I did not realize it was so big. I do recall it was sculpted with the intention of placing it at the top of the Duomo…but WOW!

We also stood in line for the Uffizi so we could see Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” as well as several more of his masterpieces. There were also some Leonardo Da Vinci works and numerous other Renaissance pieces that were a treat to behold.

Yesterday was a day trip to Fiesole for the view of Florence from the top of the hill.

Today we took the train to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower of. Sure, it was cheesy. But when will we have this chance again?

Tomorrow we catch the train to Rome. We are beside ourselves with excitement.
On Sunday William is hoping to se Il Papa!

By request

Shefsatyr, look in the gallery (www.baldheretic.com/gallery) for another angle on the grandfather shot.

For the fans of William the Sheep here is a picture of him when he helped me do my laundry in Paris on our last night there. It was quite difficult following the French instructions and purchasing the correct detergent.

It was a successful (if not harrowing) experience. On the upside I have an increased reserve of clean underwear and socks!

Cynthia even composed a poem….

Saturday night
In Paris, France
Washing and watching
Jay’s underpants

William

Amy, tell Arianna that William was found in Scotland when we travelled there two years ago and hope to return one day…but for now he is happy touring the world and seeing things no other wee Scottish sheepie has ever seen. His optimisim and enthusiasm is carrying the day for us when we find ourselves road weary.

I love Italy

Cynthia and I have fallen in love with Venice.
Once you get past the crush of humanity in the main tourist areas you can find small streets lined with pleasant cafes and restaurants intermingled with shops.

Each turn of a corner reveals a scene more picturesque than the last.

Canals

The people here have been very kind and pleasant. You can walk the streets to all hours of the night and be completely safe. We strolled till nearly midnight last night.

The Venetian glass is truly beautiful and the masks are fantastic. As tempting as these items are, we cannot carry any souveniers back with us and the cost of shipping starts at 70 Euros and goes up. We must content ourselves with pictures and memories for the time being.

The one thing that continues to amaze me is that there are no cars, scooters, motorcycles or bicycles here. All the motorized traffice is by boat and the rest of the traffic is by foot.

Tomorrow we take the train to Florence. From all that we have heard this will prove to be equally wonderful.

Pretty Lights

Canal at night

Fire show at St. Marks