zaterdag 23 juni 2018

Friday, 22 June 2018: going home.
This time the route was from Ravenna to Alto Adige, through Austria and Germany.

Stop at Elena Walch (fav wine) shop at Alto Adige for 'lunch' and to buy wines. We loved it. Great idea to have a stopover here 👍


arriving at our home for this evening in Germany at Gasthof am Berg

German dinner (schnitzels with frites & a beer) at the hotel, where we joined a bus load of old girls and guys, who stayed at the hotel too.

in front of the hotel: wrapped in green


Saturday, 23 June 2018: more travelling

After a good night sleep, we explored a bit of the surrounding of the  hotel, which is situated on a 'berg' (hill) and on one of the many tracks that lead to Santiago de Compostela.
When we wanted to take a shower last evening we saw a notecard that informed hotel guests the shower shouldn't be used after 22 hrs. Arghh, of course we did take a shower, but mmm this is a place for old people and early rising hikers for sure. The surroundings are beautiful though, very quiet and in the middle of nature, AND you don't notice the A8, which is close. A good overnight stay when travelling.

crispy morning, lovely view and sunshine

photo made from inside the car: the front screen is dirty

brrrr too cold for a nice lunch stop

when arriving home we received this cool gift from unknown sender(s).....

It was a super trip, loved this holiday. Wished it would never end.

donderdag 21 juni 2018

Italy 2018 - Ravenna on bike

the three magi; Balthassar, Melchior & Caspar in the Basilica di Sant'apollinare nuovo

Thursday, 21 June 2016 is our last day in Italy, which we spent in Ravenna. Tomorrow we will start our trip home 😭
It's bloody hot today; 30 degrees and hardly any wind. So glad we didn't have to walk like yesterday because .... 
we rented bikes today from O-Bike, which truly is a cool system, easy and user friendly. Here's us on bikes:

me cycling piazza del popolo

breakfast opposite the tomb of Dante

Today we visited the following historical sites (on bike): 
  • Baptisterium of Ariani
  • Basilica Sant'Apollinare nuovo
  • Baptisterium Neoniano
  • Archiepiscopal Museum 
ceiling of the Baptisterium of Ariani

The baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist, with on the left a white-haired, old man in a green cloak, holding a leather bag. He is the personification of the river Jordan. Christ is shown  as a young man without a beard. 

From what we learned from wikipedia this Arian belief (nontrinitarian christological doctrine) was condemned by the Orthodox a few decades later. Yes we learned a lot today about the different christian beiefs in the 6th century. When you are interested see wiki 😏

This arian church was erected by Ostrogoth King Theodoric the Great as his palace chapel during the first quarter of the 6th century.

It was reconsecrated in 561 AD, under the rule of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I, suppressing the Arian cult, the church was dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours, a foe of Arianism. According to legend, Pope Gregory the Great ordered that the mosaics in the church be blackened, as their golden glory distracted worshippers from their prayers. 

Mary with Jesus flanked with angles

Jesus WITH beard (Arian) and flanked with angles



The most ancient monument remaining in Ravenna, it was partly erected on the site of a Roman bath. It is also called the Orthodox Baptistery to distinguish it from the Arian Baptistery constructed on behest of Ostrogothic King Theodoric some 50 years later.

The ceiling mosaic depicts John the Baptist baptizing Jesus (with beard) standing waist high in the Jordan River. A procession of the twelve apostles proceeds around the center mosaic in two directions, ending with Saint Peter meeting Saint Paul.


The Archiepiscopal Museum was todays last site we visited, however, no photos allowed. 
The most striking items were:

the mosaic of Jesus as a young man surrounded by 99 species of birds in the  chapel of Sant Andrea.

The marble rosette on the facing wall is a Paschal calendar of the 6th century. Its purpose was to fix the movable feast of Easter in such a way that it might be celebrated everywhere in Christendom on the same day - no easy matter when East and West were using different calendars: the Eastern Church used the Hebrew lunar calendar, while the Western church followed the sun's cycle. Despite the decrees of the Council of Nicea in 325 AD and the tables of Theophilus, in this, as in all matters of faith, people followed their own loyalties. This calendar follows the eastern lunar cycle. 

Time for an icecream:
At our temp home we worked on this blog post and enjoyed the coolness of the appartment (our fridge 👍).
For dinner we cycled back into town on our o-bikes and had a lovely bite at Ca'de Ven

a popular place with lots of Italian families visiting

mix and share

Tomorrow morning we have to be up early, pack, make breakfast and move to .... Alto Adige.
We decided to make a small detour and visit the Elena Walch winery tasting.
Sooo our holiday isn't over yet 😋

woensdag 20 juni 2018

Italy 2018 - San Marino - Ravenna

Mausoleum di Galla Placidia

20 June 2018: leaving our room in Gradara and driving to Ravenna with a stop at the Republic of San Marino, which is situated on a rock. 
Not much to see there, besides a nice view, a lot of tourist from all over the world (Chinese, Russians and a lot of Italians), who buy perfumes, watches, expensive bags and perfumes, all articles are cheaper here than in Italy coz of the lower tax in San Marino.

what people do in San Marino

buying goodies: these are mine 👍

Arriving in our home for the next 2 nights. A lovely, tastefully decorated and spacious apartment at the south west side of the historic centre of Ravenna. 
Let me show you a few photos of Open Space Martina apartment.

We decided to visit this afternoon only 2 of the major points of interest in Ravenna; the Basilica di San Vitale and the Mausoleo di Galla Placidia, otherwise we were afraid to get overloaded with too much artworks.

Here are some photos of both sites,starting with the Basicila di San Vitale, which dates back to 548 AD and which is one of the most important monuments of the early Christian art. The eastern influence has a dominant role. The mosaic decorations of the aps with the extraordinary representation of the Byzantine imperial couple Justinian and Theodora are impressive (text from Wikipedia):

the outside

Jesus Christ seated on a blue globe in the summit of the vault, robed in purple, flanked by two angels, with his right hand offering the martyr's crown to Saint Vitale. On the left, Bishop Ecclesius offers a model of the church.

Panel showing Empress Theodora solemn and formal, with golden halo, crown and jewels, and a group of court women as well as eunuchs. The Empress holds the Eucharistic vessel for wine, and her panel differs from that of Justinian in having a more complex background, with a fountain, cupola, and lavish hangings.

Mosaic depicting the East Roman Emperor Justinian I, clad in Tyrian purple with a golden halo, standing next to court officials, Bishop Maximian, palatinae guards and deacons. The halo around his head gives him the same aspect as Christ in the dome of the apse, but is part of the tradition of rendering the imperial family with haloes. Justinian himself stands in the middle, with soldiers on his right and clergy on his left, emphasizing that Justinian is the leader of both church and state of his empire. The later insertion of the Bishop Maximian's name above his head suggests that the mosaic may have been modified in 547, replacing the representation of the prior bishop with that of the Maximian.

mosaic floor

Next building we visited is the small but impressive Mausoleo di Galla Placidia
It is unknown what the building was intended for when it was built. The most common story is that the structure was built by Galla Placidia, who was a well-known patron of the arts, to be used as a mausoleum for her and her family. There seems to be no evidence to prove or disprove Galla’s connection to the building.

The lunette over the south wall is thought to depict St. Lawrence standing next to a flaming gridiron. On the opposite side of the gridiron a bookcase is shown with four books, each inscribed with the name of an evangelist.

The lunette over the north entrance shows a mosaic of Christ as the Good Shepherd tending his flocks. He holds an imperial staff joined to the Christian cross, symbolizing the combined earthly and heavenly domains.

We had gotten thirsty after all this art and had drinks at a relaxing terrace (music by Ella F.). Afterwards we strolled the city and had dinner at a nice restaurant. It's still very warm in the city. 

prosciutto crudo with and without melone

Piazza di Poppolo Ravenna (passing by on our way home)

The airco worked well and our home is cool. We had drinks on our roof terrace, but fled inside after a while to write this blog post, write a message to our host asking for info about bike renting AND enjoy the coolness 😉

Tomorrow we hopefully will find rental bikes to cycle the city.
More mosaics to admire.