Yeah, I should have brought my laptop along for the trip. The hassle & extra weight would have been worth it, as the hassle at the "internet points" was much more than bringing the laptop. Lesson learned. What happened was that the "points" either had the PCs locked down so much that my U3-Smart flash drive couldn't be used or they'd freak at the very idea of a flash drive, period, so I had to resort to emailing selected pix and didn't have everyone's addresses. I'm not being critical, just that it's probably that way all over anywhere you go. BYO!! Just click the pic for a 640x480-sized version. The originals are 1600x1200.
|The crew...Left to right, front row - Sarah Garton, Susan Nocella, Natalie Dotlich, Joe Jakubowski, Esmerelda Vogt, Rita Steffes, Don Newman. 2nd row, standing - Dayton Garton, Jim Nocella, Kristi Kusnier, Judy Jakubowski, Barb Shimmel, Nancy Clark-Hughey, Annette Ward, Pam Ceo, Carolyn Newman, Milan Dotlich. 3rd row - Louis Kusnier, Bob Shimmel, John Steffes, Jack Ceo, Jason Vogt, Jim Ward. The file size on this is 1mb, so it'll take a minute or two to load via a dialup connection.|
|Day 1, September 16.
I don't include the 15th as a day because it was spent in a plane!
This plane and presumably other Airbus A330s have video displays in each headrest with many freebies including selected movies, music and, in this case, an option to "Follow the plane." I should have used the macro setting on this pic, but it's clear enough to figure out. At this point, we're south of Greenland about halfway to Amsterdam, 4 hours into the flight. The feature croaked about halfway through the return flight, showing, at first, the Linux Penguin logo and failure notice text. Windows?? :) It did, however, display speed, altitude, distance traveled and distance to the destination plus estimated time of arrival. Purty cool!
|Fixer-upper? Seen from the Autostrada (sp?) south of Rome heading to Sorrento, this type of scene is prevalent in Italy. Because they don't use lumber to build their houses, they last a long time after they've been abandoned. Kinda rustic, hey?|
|Also seen from the highway south of Rome is the Monte Cassino Monastery, which played an important role in World War 2 as the Allies were advancing north. Wikipedia has some information here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Monte_Cassino.|
|Day 2, Sunday, September 17.
Pompei (the way it's spelled in Italy) - This is the central forum with Mt. Vesuvius in the background. Our tour leader said that scientists expect an eruption some time soon, maybe before the decade is done.
|One of the many rooms of artifacts viewable through jail cell-type doors, this iincludes one of the many plaster casts of some of 10% of the 20,000 inhabitants who perished in the eruption. They were incinerated by the heat. These casts were made from the impressions left in the ground. Our tour leader said that most who died may have been slaves.|
|A nice view outside the exit of the ruins showing the volcano in the background.|
|A view of Sorrento from the northwest on the ride back from Pompei. Enough of us wanted to get a nice pic that our driver picked the right spot.|
Day 3, Amalfi Coast, headed to Rome. What beautiful scenery! WOW! If you go, be sure to hire a driver, since this road is about a lane and a half wide and the drop to the water is very steep! This pic shows Annette and I and some of the awesome views. Note the graffiti on top of the concrete wall. There's quite a bit of it in many places we visited, kind of like here in the USA.
|This artsy display is in front of a building farther up the walk thru the town of Amalfi's business area. The town caters entirely to tourists, as our bus was one of several dozen parked in the bus lot that day.|
|A hot commodity in Amalfi and many other hillside communities - parking space.|
|An Amalfi vendor with quite an imagination!!|
|Day 4, Rome. Here's a look at the inside of the famous Coliseum. What was once under the "floor" housed people, animals, passages and mechanisms to open doors in the floor and introduce the combatants without having to bring them up stairs. There are probably some web sites detailing this somewhere. The Coliseum now has at least 1 elevator to take tourists to the 2nd floor for a grand view.|
The Arch of Constantine as seen from the Coliseum's second floor.
|The tall brown building on the right was the Roman Senate on whose steps Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by Marcus Brutus on what's now known as The Ides of March, March 14, 44 BC. The arch is The Arch of Septimus Severus, built about 205 AD.|
This is the Altare della Patria, or Altar of the Homeland, which signifies national unity. The center statue is of Vittorio (Victor) Emmanuel II, the first King of a united Italy in the 1800s, and the winged lion chariot drivers on top of each side. We didn't get any closer than this, just not enough time. Here's a link to a web page that provides a viewer-controlled 360-degree view of the area in front of this building.
|Somebody sure did a great job making this motorcycle entirely out of wood! It was at an entrance to a wood products store in Rome, but probably was on loan from somewhere else. Just a guess.|
|The Pantheon. Awesome religious art and statues inside! On the other side of the fountain to the right of this pic, a video production company was filming a commercial for Italian television. We found a crew member who spoke English and she gave us a brief response while working.|
|This must have been an altar? Where are my notes?|
|This opening in the Pantheon's domed roof allows for precise rainwater control and it also signified the autumnal (?) equinox when the sunlight hit a specific spot inside the building. WOW! Imagine the knowledge and engineering that went into building this!!|
|.||That's enough for this page. The next page starts with the awesome Vatican Museum and its fabulous display of religious art which has to be seen to be believed. The pix I took don't do it enough justice. Amazing!!|
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