Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Catching Up on a Rainy Day

It's been raining almost steadily since I returned home from the Balkans this past Monday evening. We had some rain off and on during our travels, but nothing to slow us down.  I made a short video of getting caught in a thunderstorm while shopping in the old quarter of Mostar, Bosnia, but have not figured out how to share videos here. I do love taking photos on rainy days, especially if a lot of umbrellas are involved.  Here are three examples.  The first two are from travels to Nuremberg and Prague back in 2009. The third is a selfie on a rainy day in Slovenia.

In my previous post I mentioned coming across the Mexican architect, Luis Barragan.  Below are other images of his work.  Some quick facts:  He lived 1902 to 1988.  He was considered one of the most important architects in Mexican history.  He won the Pritzker Prize in 1986 for "his commitment to architecture as a sublime act of the poetic imagination".  Here is the link to a New Yorker article I read in August regarding Barragan and conceptual artist, Jill Magid, who removed roughly half a kilo of Barragan's  cremated remains from his entombment.  Her purpose was to turn his ashes into a diamond via a company that specializes in compressing cremated human remains so that they can be worn as jewelry--in this case a diamond.  It's a long story of using the diamond as a bargaining chip in exchange for the return to Mexico of the Barragan archives.   I love these found images.

I'm bursting to share some of my photography and impressions of traveling around the Balkans.  All my days were full of discoveries and good impressions, but I learned quickly from our local guides how fragile the current peace is.  Wounds have not healed from the 1990's war and the religious divide in many cases is made worse by ultra conservative politics.  It's a complicated situation in the Balkans. For the most part, everyone wants to get along, but I don't have to tell you how easy it is to stir up trouble these days.  So, why did I want to visit the Balkans?  It started in the early 70's when all these countries were united as Yugoslavia.  I was too young to know this part of the world by any other name.  I read about the fortress city of Dubrovnik and thought I would have a chance to see it when I resided in Greece during that time.  I saw many places, but not Dubrovnik.  I did have a chance to see the "old city" and walk the city walls in 2009 as part of a cruise.  When the opportunity to travel more extensively in the Balkans presented itself, both Barry and I were excited.  Here is a view from the plane and a few views from the first day--all taken with iPhone 5.

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