Tag Archives: Lake

2817 – Viaggi e Miraggi VII

It’s hard to choose. I like both images of today. The cloister is in a former monastery in Voltorre near Varese. It almost has been rebuilt, only on one side the original structure seems to be more or less intact, the other sides have been reconstructed in concrete, with fragments of original pillars embedded. Obviously the cloister has been in very bad shape.

We couldn’t visit the small church, because it was closed for reconstruction and through a gap we could see how it was full of tools and scaffolding.

It would have been easy to be disappointed with what’s left of the former monastery. The ruins of church and monastery had been integrated into a small village, almost dissolved among humble rural architecture. At the same time this is also interesting. It’s no Disneyland and no Neu Schwanstein, it is a piece of history that was saved just before it could vanish entirely.

The second image is a look through a window on the ferry across the lake. I don’t know why, I like it. It’s also a good match for our Song of the Day (week?).

2816 – Viaggi e Miraggi VI

Our day at Isola Bella was exceptionally beautiful and I made more images than I’d care to trow into a single post.

Let me wrap it up with a selection of a few leftovers that I wouldn’t like to omit.

We begin with some pavement in front of the main entrance to the palace on Isola Bella. It is made of small black and white pebbles, polished smooth by the tread of countless feet. It’s a beautiful visual indication of age.

When we got back to Stresa (the place with Hemingway’s hotel, remember?), we decided to buy some souvenirs, and while we went through the less luxurious parts of town, I saw a garage and a pillar with a colorful, blue pattern of stripes, lit by gorgeous afternoon light.

And then there is an image that I took on the ferry to or from the island. Just a triangle of metal, painted blue, and then the water of the lake. If the image looks posterized on your monitor, start worrying, because it’s your monitor, not the image. It looked good at home and now on my laptop it looks horrible indeed 🙂

None of these images became Image of the Day. The one that did somehow was my favorite. It’s a fancy piece of fence at the pier where the ferry departs to the island. In my mind it is tied to a relaxed sense of expectation, to the certainty of beautiful things ahead. You see, my choice is personal 🙂

You know the Song of the Day.

2815 – Viaggi e Miraggi V

Some places are beyond real. Isola Bella is one of them. This is one of the three Borromean Islands between Verbania and Stresa.

Basically the island is not much more than a palace and a garden, but what a palace this is, and the extravagance of the garden puts it high on the list of attractions you must have seen.

We were lucky. Weather was fair, the sky was blue and only graced by a few scattered clouds.

The Image of the Day is one of the few that I made inside the palace, immediately before I was told that photography is forbidden. Well, sometimes it helps to ask whether a photo permit is available for some extra money, but in this case it was not. It’s a little petty-minded given the steep price they asked at the entrance, but then, it’s private property, unfortunately they can do as they want.

Well, the inside was not overly interesting anyway. Lots of people and most parts of the rooms not accessible, the furniture mindlessly arranged in a way that makes no sense at all, much of it covered under cheap looking plastic foil. I mean, yes, it’s probably effective to prevent children from climbing into 400 year old beds, but even if the purpose is preservation, I have the feeling they could have done it in a more tasteful way.

Anyway, the most interesting part of the island is the park. There you have exotic plants, lemon trees with lemons bigger than you ever thought a lemon could be, fountains, white peacocks, rich sculptures in a lavish paradise garden, and everywhere you see the word from the Borromeo family’s coat of arms: Humilitas. Go figure 🙂

By the way, the last image shows the Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromees. This is where Hemingway stayed and, well, we didn’t 😀

The Song of the Day is “Viaggi e Miraggi” by Francesco De Gregori.

2626 – Above The Clouds II

Here’s one more image from Lake Ossiach, this one slightly more abstract. Of course this is also an image that I couldn’t easily have taken with my Nikon D300. Live view and a tiltable back LCD sometimes make all the difference.

The Song of the Day is again “Above The Clouds” from Cyndi Lauper’s 2005 album “The Body Acoustic”. Hear it on YouTube.