Chinese bus stop in new york,diecast models cranes,philadelphia to new york city nj transit - Good Point

12.02.2015
Commuters in a southern Chinese city have continued to use a bus stop despite it being covered by rubble from a nearby demolition site.
In a series of dramatic photos published online, the partially destroyed building can be seen looming over the bus shelter in Foshan, Guangdong province, which itself is covered in rubble, scaffolding, and other debris.
According to the Southern Metropolis Daily, the bus stop is located in the city’s Changcheng district. According to the Journal, residents in Shandong and Anhui provinces have also taken to modifying their bus routes, causing confusion for drivers and pitting neighbours against each other as they attempt to get a stop right outside their doors.
Does Hong Kong need a strongman leader like the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte or the US’ Donald Trump?
Should Chinese-only language advertisements be allowed in the city streets of a Canadian city? This is a debate that has been brewing in Richmond over the last few years, in a city where 57 per cent of its resident were born outside of Canada and one in ten do not speak English.
According to the Richmond Review, some residents are taking issue with transit advertisements that feature Crest toothpaste products in exclusively Chinese.
Last year, a group of residents submitted a petition with 1,000 signatures to Richmond City Council that requested them to implement a bylaw that would require a minimum amount of English on any commercial advertisement or building signage.
City Council voted against the motion to follow up on the petition and would instead focus on educating businesses.
Of course, this differs in Quebec where strict provincial language laws require businesses to adopt French-only signage. Up: Crew members of the Harmony of the Seas cruise ship attend the delivery ceremony of the boat in Saint-Nazaire on Thursday. The world's biggest-ever cruise ship, the 120,000-ton Harmony of the Seas, a luxury home on the waves for 8,500 passengers and crew, was handed over by a French shipyard on Thursday after a 40-month engineering feat.
At 66 meters, it is the widest cruise ship ever built, while its 362-meter length makes it 50 meters longer than the height of the Eiffel Tower. The floating town, which cost close to one billion dollars, has 16 decks and will be able to carry 6,360 passengers and 2,100 crew members. The ship was built for US-based Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd by the STX France boatyard in Saint-Nazaire on the Atlantic coast, where a spectacular ceremony marked the handover on Thursday. Among the onboard attractions are "The Ultimate Abyss", a 10-story slide from the top deck to the main deck which RCCL bills as the world's biggest ship-mounted waterslide.
A giant climbing wall, a rope slide, mini-golf, surf simulator, floating jacuzzis, a casino and 1,400-seat theater playing Broadway musicals are among the other attractions. The ship even has its own high street, and a "Central Park" deck featuring 12,000 plant species.
Harmony of the Seas will produce 20 percent less CO2 emissions than the next two largest ships in its class, partly thanks to air pumped into the hull to lighten its load. It took 2,500 workers at STX France around 10 million work-hours to complete the enormous vessel after work began in September 2013. STX has built 120 cruise ships over its 150 years, and has another 11 lined up for the next decade. Several hundred workers were still busy putting finishing touches to Harmony of the Seas before it leaves the port on Sunday, weather permitting, sailing for Southampton in southern England. From there, it will embark on for its official maiden voyage on May 22 to its new home port of Barcelona, after which it will begin regular cruises through to late October. The International Rhino Foundation said the female calf was born on Thursday, weighs about 20 kilograms and looks healthy and active. Only an estimated 100 Sumatran rhinos remain, mostly on the island of Sumatra, and several are in captivity.
The species was rediscovered in the Indonesian part of Borneo through trails and footprints in 2013. But one member of the small population on Borneo died in April after a wound from a poacher's trap became infected. The calf is the second to its mother Ratu, who gave birth to a male named Andatu in 2012, which was the first rhino birth in captivity in Indonesia in 124 years. The foundation said Ratu was given a hormone supplement daily during her pregnancy to help ensure it went to full-term. Brazil's interim President Michel Temer gives a thumb up after the Senate voted to impeach President Dilma in Brasilia on Thursday. Brazil's interim president Michel Temer kicked off his new administration on Friday, seeking to resuscitate Latin America's largest economy and steer clear of the corruption scandal that helped bring down his predecessor.
The former vice-president installed a business-friendly Cabinet on Thursday, just hours after senators voted to suspend his boss-turned-enemy, Dilma Rousseff, and open an impeachment trial against her. The tumultuous transfer of power ended 13 years of rule by the Workers' Party, which helped lift tens of millions of people from poverty but became mired in corruption scandals, recession and political paralysis. But Temer faces many of the same stumbling blocks as his predecessor, plus a few of his own.
Political analysts warned his honeymoon may not even last until he opens the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on Aug 5 - South America's first. He will also face a deeply hostile left resentful of being sidelined in what it calls a "coup". Temer appealed on Thursday for "dialogue" to heal the wounds of the impeachment battle, but stoked opponents' outrage with his cabinet appointments: all 24 of his ministers are white men. And Temer remains exposed to the swirling scandal at state oil company Petrobras, which has snared top members of his party, the PMDB, as well as Rousseff's PT. A one-time guerrilla tortured under Brazil's military dictatorship in the 1970s, Rousseff was suspended over allegations she illegally used loans from state banks to boost public spending and hide the depth of the budget deficit during her 2014 reelection campaign.
She claimed the accounting maneuver, known as "fiscal backpedaling", was commonly accepted practice in Brazil and is not an impeachable offense.
But in the all-night Senate session leading up to the impeachment vote, it was clear lawmakers were holding her responsible for far more than that, as one speaker after another attacked her for presiding over an economic collapse, a multi-billion-dollar corruption scandal and political gridlock.
She lost the vote 55 to 22 - far more than the simple majority the pro-impeachment camp needed in the 81-member Senate. Defiant to the end, she used what may have been her last speech from the presidential palace to condemn the "coup" against her yet again and urged her supporters to mobilize. The International Olympic Committee and Rio 2016 Organizing Committee said on Thursday that preparations for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics will not be affected by the Brazilian Senate's vote to continue the impeachment process against the president. With less than three months to go, the Rio Olympics is facing political turbulence, the Zika virus and the country's economic recession. Carlos Arthur Nuzman, president of Rio 2016 Organizing Committee, said: "We are private, not politics. At a news conference in Tokyo, Masuzoe apologized for causing public concern and said any incorrect balance in payments regarding his expenses claimed from his former political funds body would be returned.
The scandal-plagued governor said the suspicion was caused by the fact that his family were staying at the same hotel at which he was also attending an official conference and said any funds that were mistakenly expensed would be returned. Masuzoe's remarks follow harsh public criticism for his lavish lifestyle which has called into question on Japan's political funding laws and the Tokyo governor's possible misappropriation of funds. Earlier this week, Masuzoe's expenses were called into question by a weekly magazine claiming that he paid $3,400 for a two-day stay at a luxurious resort hotel in Kisarazu, Chiba Prefecture, and expensed them as "conference fees" which were paid through his political fund group called Global Network Kenkyukai.
The Tokyo governor has also been implicated in previous scandals, and spent $82,800 on art which he expensed through his fund group, listing the valuable collectibles as "supplies" and "expenses". Masuzoe, a former upper house member and governor of Tokyo since 2014, has also faced a public backlash this week for using an official car to make private trips to his villa located in the exclusive hot spring town of Yugawara in Kanagawa Prefecture, as well as traveling to a slew of international destinations using business class, and dining at expensive restaurants in Tokyo, including Italian and sushi restaurants.
In terms of the official car, Masuzoe has been found to have used the car 48 times to travel to and from his private villa since May last year, as well as using the car to travel to different work locations. Under Japan's Political Funds Control Law, politicians must report the use of political funds to both the internal affairs ministry and election administration commission. Straining to mend their party after months of chaos, Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan declared themselves "totally committed" to working together after a fence-mending personal meeting on Thursday. The surprisingly fervent show of unity capped a remarkable week that began with Ryan, the GOP's top elected officeholder and its 2012 vice-presidential nominee, turning his back on his party's presumptive presidential nominee just days after Trump had effectively clinched the nomination.
Ryan said at the time he was not yet ready to back Trump, who had succeeded in insulting women, Latinos, disabled people and many conservatives in the course of a brutal primary season.
The two also issued a joint statement in which they pledged to work together to beat Clinton. Pilot Bertrand Piccard boards the experimental solar-powered aircraft before taking off from Phoenix, Arizona, on Thursday. A solar-powered airplane has landed in Oklahoma after taking off from Arizona on the latest leg of its around-the-world journey.
The Swiss-made Solar Impulse 2 took off from Phoenix Goodyear Airport about 3 am on Thursday. It departed from northern California in the early hours of May 2 and landed at the airport southwest of Phoenix 16 hours later. The globe-circling journey began in March 2015 from Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, and has made stops in Oman, Myanmar, China and Japan. After Oklahoma, the plane is expected to make at least one more stop in the United States before crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Europe or northern Africa, according to the website documenting the journey. The newspaper reported the crew likely will have to stay in Tulsa a few days to wait out the weather.
The Solar Impulse 2's wings, which stretch wider than those of a Boeing 747, are equipped with 17,000 solar cells that power propellers and charge batteries. Ideal flight speed is about 45 kilometer per hour, although that can double during the day when the sun's rays are strongest. The plane had a five-day trip from Japan to Hawaii and three-day trip from Hawaii to California's Silicon Valley.
The crew was forced to stay in Oahu, Hawaii, for nine months after the plane's battery system sustained heat damage on its trip from Japan. Project officials say the layovers give the two Swiss pilots - Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg - a chance to swap places and engage with local communities along the way so they can explain the project, which is estimated to cost more than $100 million. The solar project began in 2002 to highlight the importance of renewable energy and the spirit of innovation. With her arms stretched out and her hands elegantly curved, the young dancer stamps her feet with aplomb, defying prejudice.
Her art is reviled by many in religiously conservative Pakistan, where it is often linked with prostitution.
Graceful and poised in her richly colored sari, she practices the odissi form of dance, in which movements of the face and hands are perfectly timed. Dance is deeply embedded in Pakistani culture, in marriages, folk festivals and films - the complex choreography similar to that found in Bollywood. But for women to be seen dancing outside of a family setting, and worse still to perform for money is deeply frowned upon in the Muslim-majority country. Historically, classical dance in the subcontinent was the domain of tawaifs, courtesans of the Mughal Empire, which ruled India for hundreds of years until the advent of British rule in the 19th century. Like the geishas of Japan, they were known as connoisseurs of the fine arts before their status deteriorated, especially under British rule, to mere prostitutes. It is therefore necessary "to create this bifurcation and say that no, this is art also", according to Kazmi. Dance was banned in 1981 as part of an Islamization drive led by military leader Zia-ul-Haq. His directive specifically targeted dancers wearing ankle bells, an essential accessory of the main classical forms which the authorities associated with obscenity and nudity.
The directive exists to this day but its application has eased, though new threats have emerged. Anyone in the audience "who feels that he might get to heaven by killing you can just walk up to the stage and do so," she said. Feriyal Aslam remains optimistic for the new generation, pointing out that these challenges are also an opportunity for innovation as dancers adapt traditional forms to the modern, local context. Pakistani classical dancer Suhaee Abro talks during an interview at her home in Karachi in February.
Neither of the two star lots had ever been auctioned, bearing out the prevailing wisdom that despite uncertain times, top quality works fresh to the market can perform well. Driven in part by what Sotheby's said was its highest-ever number of registered bidders from Asia, the sale saw spirited and competitive bidding both in the salesroom and via telephone.
A record was set for Sam Francis, whose Summer #1 fetched $11.8 million, just shy of its high estimate. Most lots sold for within or above estimates, and Sotheby's officials were clearly pleased.
Sotheby's announced that two lots, including an untitled work by Christopher Wool which sold for $13.9 million and achieved the night's fourth-highest price, were bought by Japanese businessman Yusaku Maezawa. On Wednesday, Christie's identified Maezawa as the buyer who paid a record-setting price for Jean-Michel Basquiat's untitled self-portrait, which soared to $57.3 million against an estimate of about $40 million. The collector also spent heavily on Adrian Ghenie's Self Portrait as Vincent Van Gogh, paying $2.6 million for a work estimated at just $200,000 to $300,000. Other highlights included an untitled Alexander Calder mobile which soared to $8.3 million including Sotheby's' commission of just over 12 percent, more than double its high estimate.
The spring sales wrap up on Thursday with Christie's auction of Impressionist and modern art. Malaysia's government said on Thursday that two more pieces of debris, discovered in South Africa and Rodrigues Island off Mauritius were "almost certainly" from Flight 370, bringing the total number of pieces believed to have come from the missing Malaysian jet to five.
The aircraft mysteriously disappeared more than two years ago with 239 people on board, and so far an extensive underwater search of a vast area of the Indian Ocean off Australia's west coast has turned up empty.
Though the discovery of the debris has bolstered authorities' assertion that the plane went down somewhere in the Indian Ocean, none of the parts have thus far yielded any clues into exactly where and why the aircraft crashed. An international team of experts in Australia who examined the debris concluded that both pieces were consistent with panels found on a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft, Liow said. The jet, which vanished on March 8, 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, is believed to have crashed somewhere in a remote stretch of the southern Indian Ocean about 1,800 kilometers off Australia's west coast.
Investigators are examining marine life attached to the debris to see if it could somehow help them narrow down where it entered the ocean, but haven't discovered anything useful yet. The interior part, identified by its decorative laminate, is a panel from the main cabin and believed to be part of a door closet, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said in a technical report.
But even this interior piece is also unlikely to prove very helpful to investigators, said Dell, the accident investigation expert. The lower Chamber of Deputies voted 372-51 with 99 abstentions to approve legislation already passed in February by the Senate.
Gay rights activists hailed the vote as historic, given that Italy was the last of the European Union's 28 nations to grant legal recognition to civil unions. The legislation grants same-sex couples many of the same rights as married couples: the possibility of having the same last name, inheritance rights, hospital visitation rights and medical decision-making rights. The Vatican, which holds sway politically and socially in overwhelmingly Catholic Italy, maintains that marriage is a lifelong bond between man and woman. A man dressed as a friar speaks out against samesex civil unions outside the Italian Parliament in Rome on Wednesday, as a gay rights supporter, right, tries to drown him out with a bullhorn. Libya has not faced the same risk to its antiquities as Syria and Iraq, though there is evidence Islamic Sate is involved in the smuggling of antiquities, Libyan and international experts said on Wednesday.
The most famous classical sites have remained largely undamaged, though some illegally excavated artifacts are being smuggled out of the country and Islamist fighters have targeted mosques and Sufi shrines, the experts said on the sidelines of conference on how to protect Libya's cultural heritage. Libya is rich in ancient sites, including some of North Africa's finest Roman and Greek ruins as well as prehistoric rock art in the desert region of Fezzan. Islamic State took control of the coastal city of Sirte last year and established a presence in several other parts of the country, leading to fears that it would attack and damage key ancient sites as it has done in Syria and Iraq. Though Islamic State may still try to attack classical sites as they "search for visibility", a bigger risk is from illegal excavations and looting, and illicit construction by locals, said Stefano De Caro, the director-general of the International Center for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property. Ahmed Abdelkarim, head of Libya's department of antiquities, said extremist violence was the top risk one year ago, but that since Islamic State recently lost ground in and around the eastern cities of Benghazi and Derna, preventing illegal building around ancient sites was now the primary concern.
Looting is also a problem, he said, with international mafia-style groups smuggling artifacts through Libya, and security forces had found antiquities last week in the recaptured house of an Islamic State commander in Benghazi. Authorities had recovered artifacts on two other occasions in Benghazi and Derna, Abdelkarim said. Ramadan Alshebani, a senior official from the department of antiquities in Tripoli, said Roman ruins at Leptis Magna and at Sabratha, where local brigades forced out Islamic State fighters after a U.S. But Alshebani said there was a "major problem" with attacks on mosques and Sufi shrines that the militants consider un-Islamic, with more than 20 such sites attacked in the capital alone. Activists say many of the more than 2,200 animals at the zoo in the city of Surabaya are crowded into cages and enclosures far too small for them, and they also face a shortage of proper feed. Zoo keepers attribute most of the deaths to natural causes, and said the tiger's death was still unexplained. An 18-month African lion was found hanging dead in its cage in 2014 and a dead giraffe was found with about 18 kg of plastic in its stomach - rubbish thrown into its cage by visitors. About 45 Komodo dragons, a large species of lizards only found in eastern Indonesia, died in battles they fought against each other in their overcrowded cage. Veterinarians treat Fitri, 35, a female elephant at a Surabaya zooin East Java province on July 26, 2011.
Allen brought his 1930s Hollywood romance Cafe Society, along with stars Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg, to Cannes to kick off the French Riviera festival. No reporters asked Allen about Farrow's column or the decades-old sex abuse allegations at the press conference and Allen's publicist didn't return an email requesting comment on Wednesday. The famed festival is coming six months after the Paris terrorist attacks that killed 130 people and as France remains in a state of emergency.
The United States switched on an $800 million missile shield in Romania on Thursday, a step it sees as vital to defend itself and Europe but which the Kremlin said is aimed at blunting its own nuclear arsenal. To the music of military bands at the remote Deveselu air base, senior US and NATO officials declared operational the ballistic missile defense site, which Washington said is capable of shooting down rockets from countries such as Iran that could one day reach major European cities.
Before the ceremony, Frank Rose, deputy US assistant secretary of state for arms control, warned that Iran's ballistic missiles can hit parts of Europe, including Romania. Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov, chairman of the Russian State Duma's defense committee, called the missile defense site a threat to Russia.
The readying of the shield also comes as NATO prepares a new deterrent in Poland and the Baltics. Poland is concerned Russia may retaliate further by announcing the deployment of nuclear weapons to its enclave of Kaliningrad, located between Poland and Lithuania. The Kremlin said the shield's aim is to neutralize Moscow's nuclear arsenal long enough for the US to strike Russia in the event of war. However, Douglas Lute, the US envoy to NATO, said NATO would press ahead with NATO's biggest modernization since the Cold War.
The US said Russia has ballistic missiles, in breach of a treaty that agreed the two powers must not develop and deploy missiles with a range of 500 kilometers to 5,500 km. The local prosecutor said on Wednesday the young woman threw herself under a commuter train at the suburban Egly station, south of Paris, after claiming she had been raped by her former boyfriend. The teenager, whose name was not released, sent a text message to a friend of her former boyfriend a few hours before she killed herself on Tuesday, prosecutor Eric Lallement said. On Tuesday, the woman spent more than two hours overall on Periscope in five live sessions. The video then cuts to a black screen, and what appear to be the voices of emergency personnel can be faintly heard.
In her own messages, the woman spoke a lot about her life and her difficult relationship with her former boyfriend, Lallement said.
The video has been removed from Periscope, a cell phone live video-streaming app particularly popular among young people. Political leaders and analysts warned tensions could erupt into unrest as the opposition staged rallies across the crisis-hit South American country. Protesters were demanding electoral authorities quickly approve their call for a vote on dumping the leader.
Security forces blocked the street to keep demonstrators away from the headquarters of the National Electoral Board in Caracas.
Democratic Unity Roundtable, the opposition coalition known as MUD, said one of its top leaders, Henrique Capriles, was affected by the tear gas as he led the march.
The Democratic Unity Roundtable blames Maduro for an economic crisis in which Venezuelans are having to queue for hours for rations of basic food and other goods. Maduro has also imposed daily electricity blackouts and has public employees working just two days a week due to power shortages. Thousands of supporters of Maduro also rallied separately on Wednesday in the center of the capital. Maduro also said he was extending the special emergency powers he has to rule by decree on economic policy for the rest of 2016, to "get past the economic emergency". The Democratic Unity Roundtable a week ago handed in 1.8 million signatures petitioning for a referendum. Under electoral rules, the National Electoral Council was supposed to count those signatures by May 1 and then authenticate them within five days before authorizing the opposition to seek a further four million signatures to call a referendum. Venezuela has the biggest oil reserves in the world but its revenues have plunged in line with the price of crude in the past two years, starving the country of dollars to import goods.
Maduro blames the crisis on a plot by capitalists and accuses the opposition of trying to mount a coup against him. An opposition supporter is squeezed between policemen during a rally to demand a referendum to remove President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas on Wednesday. The Kenyan government said on Wednesday that it will close the Dadaab refugee camp, which has hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees and is often referred to as the world's largest camp. Two suicide bombers attacked a police station west of Baghdad on Thursday, leaving two security personnel dead and eight others wounded, police and medics said.
Fourteen people, including children, have been rescued off the Solomon Islands after being lost at sea for more than five weeks, surviving on betel nut skins, reports said on Thursday. Britain's internal security service, MI5, increased the threat level of a mainland terror attack from moderate to substantial on Wednesday.
Artist Randy Barton stands in front of severalmurals he painted inside an Albuquerque, New Mexico hotel room, which he transformed into an installation work he titled All Direction Protection.
Dade Lahar stepped into the hotel room with splashes of electric blue and tepees outlined in neon green before scanning a mural that offered a contemporary take on Native American reservation life.
It's also unique, and part of an ongoing project at Nativo Lodge, a boutique hotel in New Mexico's largest city, to transform guest rooms into spaces that owners say can be considered art pieces unto themselves. In cities from Tokyo to Marseille, France, the concept of commissioning artists to convert guest rooms into contemporary, large-scale installation works has taken hold at a handful of hotels. For New Mexico, where art connoisseurs and collectors may be more likely to hit places like Taos and Santa Fe, the collection of rooms at Nativo Lodge has created a new art stop along Interstate 25 amid a string of mostly chain hotels and businesses. She started recruiting emerging artists to paint rooms at the hotel several years ago with the idea of making contemporary Native American art more accessible to the general public outside of a gallery or museum setting, and at an affordable property, she said.
Guests who want to stay in an artist room can call in and request the room of their choice after viewing options online.
So far, 12 artists - all from New Mexico - have transformed rooms at Nativo Lodge with large-scale paintings and murals.
Scenes in the rooms convey Southwestern landscapes, figures from tribal stories and other Native American imagery.
In one room, Randy Barton, who started out as a street artist, painted a room last year with an abstract study on the 50 arrowheads of the Navajo Nation flag. Estella Loretto, a sculptor and painter from Jemez Pueblo, said she wanted to create a room that reflected on the sun and the "gift of a new day." Behind the room's queen-size bed, a turquoise sun rises against a yellow backdrop in one of several murals in the room.
Last week, the hotel publicly unveiled its four newest artist rooms, which included Loretto's work and the ultracontemporary space that wowed Dade, the 9-year-old, at an open house. A selfportrait by HaitianAmerican artist JeanMichel Basquiat, who died at age 27 of a drug overdose. A huge self-portrait by Jean-Michel Basquiat brought $57.3 million at auction in New York on Tuesday, a record for the late US artist, Christie's said. On Tuesday, an unnamed Asian collector bought the massive two-and-a-half by five meter untitled self-portrait from 1982, painted in Italy. The young Haitian-American artist, who pictured himself in the work with a demonic image among popping colors, died of a drug overdose at age 27 in 1988. Auguste Rodin's Eternal Springtime marble sculpture of lovers fetched more than $20 million on Monday, a record for the French sculptor, at Sotheby's in New York. A statue of Adolf Hitler on his knees was auctioned on Sunday for $17.2 million, a record for a work by the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. Basquiat's large, vibrant, untitled work from 1982 had been estimated to sell for about $40 million but two determined telephone bidders drove the final price to break the late artist's auction record by $8.5 million. The sale took in a total of $318.4 million, well within the pre-sale estimate of about $280 million-$390 million. The Basquiat record was especially significant in the current cautious climate, which follows years of soaring prices. Both Christie's and rival Sotheby's have assembled markedly smaller spring sales this week, with no works carrying estimates much beyond $40 million. With hardship rising due to job cuts and inflation, Argentina has adopted a scheme from Europe's economic crisis: putting food in outdoor "social fridges" for the needy.
So-called social or solidarity fridges, where people leave food for those who need it, popped up in countries such as Spain and Germany in recent years during the recession in Europe. Pondal launched his fridge in February and says there are now at least 50 others around the country. With its countless fields and livestock, Argentina is one of the world's biggest food producers. But with inflation close to 40 percent, domestic prices are soaring and Argentines are finding their salary is not enough to buy the food they need. Researchers at the country's Catholic University estimated in a study that 1.4 million people fell into poverty in the first three months after Conservative President Mauricio Macri took office on Dec 10. Out in the open air during the day and shut up in a wooden cabin at night, the fridge is run by the charity Red Solidaria. A rock flake found in Australia is believed to be from the world's oldest known ax and likely dates from just after humans arrived in the country around 50,000 years ago, scientists said on Wednesday. The fragment, about the size of a thumbnail, was found in Western Australia's sparsely populated Kimberley region and its age indicates that early indigenous technology was novel and inventive. The piece was excavated in the 1990s, but it was not until recently that its significance was recognized and confirmed by new technology.
Hiscock said it was interesting that the earliest appearance of axes in Australia appeared to coincide with the arrival of humans in the landscape. He added that the ax fragment was not the first of its type found in Australia and showed that the nation's indigenous peoples' ancestors were good at creating the tools they needed.
Australian National University professor Sue O'Connor, who found the piece in the 1990s, agreed that it was the earliest evidence of a hafted ax - one with a handle attached - in the world. The piece comes from an ax that had been shaped and polished by grinding it against a softer rock such as sandstone, the university said. The upshot, in virtually every case, has been emotional debate over privacy, personal safety and prejudice.
Many of those who favor limiting transgender rights contend that expanding anti-bias protections to bathrooms and locker rooms raises the risk of sexual predators exploiting the laws to molest women and girls on those premises.
On Monday, the US Justice Department weighed in, suing to overturn North Carolina's new law restricting transgender bathroom access and warning that any similar measures elsewhere in the country could also face challenges on grounds they violate federal nondiscrimination rules. Among those opposing the ballot initiative is John Lovick, former sheriff of Snohomish County.
Bangladesh hanged Islamist party leader Motiur Rahman Nizami on Wednesday for genocide and other crimes committed during the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan, the law minister said, a punishment that risked provoking an angry reaction from his supporters. Nizami, head of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, was hanged at Dhaka Central jail just after midnight, Law Minister Anisul Haq told Reuters, after the Supreme Court rejected his final plea against a death sentence imposed by a special tribunal for genocide, rape and orchestrating the massacre of top intellectuals during the war. Nizami, 73, a former legislator and minister during opposition leader Khaleda Zia's last term as prime minister, was sentenced to death in 2014. But the war crimes tribunal set up by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2010 has sparked violence and drawn criticism from opposition politicians, including leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami, that it is victimizing Hasina's political opponents. Five opposition politicians, including four Jamaat-e-Islami leaders, have been executed since late 2013 after being convicted by the tribunal. Jamaat-e-Islami, which has said the charges against Nizami were baseless, called for a nationwide strike on Wednesday in protest. About 3 million people were killed, the government says, and thousands of women were raped during the 1971 war in which some factions, including the Jamaat-e-Islami, opposed the break from what was then called West Pakistan.
International human rights groups say the tribunal's procedures fall short of international standards. The execution comes as the Muslim-majority nation suffers a surge in militant violence in which atheist bloggers, academics, religious minorities and foreign aid workers have been killed. The number of people internally displaced by conflicts around the world rose last year to a record 40.8 million people, a report out on Wednesday showed.
Outside the Middle East, the countries with the highest numbers of people fleeing were Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, South Sudan and Ukraine. Conflicts and natural disasters made for a total of 27.8 million new internally displaced people last year. Out of the top 10 countries for IDPs, the report found that five - Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, South Sudan and Sudan - have featured on the same ranking every year since 2003. The report also for the first time measured the numbers displaced by criminal violence associated with drug trafficking and gang activity - a problem it said remained "unquantified and unaddressed". India will ask the United Kingdom to extradite business tycoon Vijay Mallya to face charges of money laundering and bank demands that he pay back more than a billion dollars in loans extended to his now-defunct Kingfisher Airline, the Indian finance minister said on Wednesday. Two people have been killed in attacks at a shopping mall and a home in Massachusetts, and the suspect also is dead.
Germany plans to beef up its military by adding thousands of new soldiers to its ranks, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced on Tuesday. Australian police have detained five men suspected of planning to sail a small boat from the far north of the country to Indonesia and the Philippines en route to joining the Islamic State in Syria, officials said on Wednesday. New Zealand has warned hikers and climbers to steer clear of a volcano in a national park whose jagged volcanic rock formations and eerie barren landscapes featured in The Lord of The Rings movies. A hyperloop would whisk passengers and cargo in pods through a low pressure tube at speeds of up to 1,130 kilometers per hour.
Hyperloop One said that it raised $80 million in fresh funding from an array of investors, including GE Ventures and France's SNCF. Pishevar and Brogan BamBrogan founded Hyperloop One, originally named Hyperloop Technologies, in 2013 to make real Elon Musk's well-researched vision of a lightning-fast transport system with the potential to transform how people live. Musk outlined his futuristic idea in a paper released in 2013, challenging innovators to bring the dream to life.
Hyperloop One, one of the startups that picked up the gauntlet Musk threw down, plans a demonstration on Wednesday in the desert outside Las Vegas to show what it has accomplished so far. People gather at the scene of a car bomb attack in Baghdad's mainly Shiite district of Sadr City, Iraq, on Wednesday. A car bomb claimed by the Islamic State group in a Shiite Muslim district of Baghdad killed at least 63 people and wounded more than 78 others on Wednesday, Iraqi police and hospital sources said, the largest attack inside the city for months. Security has gradually improved in the Iraqi capital, which was the target of daily bombings a decade ago, but violence directed against the security forces and Shiite civilians is still frequent. The fight against the IS group, which seized about one third of Iraq's territory in 2014, has exacerbated a long-running sectarian conflict in Iraq mostly between Sunnis and the Shiite majority that emerged after the US-led invasion in 2003. Wednesday's attack in Sadr City could also intensify pressure on Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to resolve a political crisis that has crippled the government for more than a month. A pickup truck packed with explosives went off at rush hour near a beauty salon in a bustling market.
The IS group said in a statement circulated online by supporters that it had targeted Shiite militia fighters gathered in the area. Iraqi forces backed by airstrikes from a nearly two-year-old US-led campaign have driven the group back in the western province of Anbar and are preparing for an offensive to retake the northern city of Mosul. The ultra-hardline Sunni jihadist group, which considers Shiites apostates, has claimed recent attacks across the country as well as a twin suicide bombing in Sadr City in February that killed 70 people.
Like Brazil itself, Dayse Lima's family is deeply split over the political firestorm threatening to force President Dilma Rousseff from power.
Lima, 54, a government worker and staunch Rousseff supporter, got so angry at her son Gustavo for bashing the president that she stopped speaking to him.
Gustavo, 27, an energy analyst who lived with his mother, then decided to leave home and move in with his girlfriend. Brazil, a sprawling country of great diversity and huge inequalities, is a house divided as the Senate prepares to vote on impeaching Rousseff.
And the vitriolic political debate has sometimes played out over kitchen tables and between friends. Often, the fights break out through the screen of a computer or cell phone, and that was how Dayse and Gustavo started their spat. Lima is a fierce defender of the progressive social programs rolled out by Rousseff's Workers' Party, which has governed Brazil for the past 13 years. A few phone calls, and a hurry up shift on the Limo companies part, and we were all in the stretch limo headed for Toronto. We found the second-story, enclosed passageway, that leads from the three airport terminals to the Airport Hilton.We walked its length, passing the rail terminal, where we found an ATM and got some needed Euros. We arose early, the differences in time zones not yet acclimated into our circadian rhythms.


We bought some cappuccino and croissants, in an airport restaurant, and watched the giant aerial behemoths land and take off in this busy airport. We climbed these ancient steps, enjoying the surreal experience of viewing the huge sculptures flanking the stairs headway and wondering at the many who had come this way throughout the ages.
Just up the rise, behind the triumphant arch of Constantine, we could see the now familiar broken circle of the remains of the coliseum. Hunger was gnawing at us, so we stopped at a cute little trattoria labeled a€?planet pizza.a€? We ordered two slices of pizza and continued on, walking the narrow streets as we munched on our pizza. We sat for a time, watching the tourists, and enjoying the sunshine and 62 degree temperatures. After lunch, we walked about the piazza, enjoying the controlled tumult and browsing the artists with their easels and the colorful souvenir vendors.
We were becoming foot weary from the line of march, but headed southeast from the Piazza Navona, in search of the fabled Pantheon. Soon, we turned a corner and stood still for a moment, appreciating the classic lines of the Pantheon, a former pagan temple that had been constructed in 183 A.D. From the Pantheon, we followed our map to the Via Corso and headed back towards that huge monument dominating the skyline, the Vittorio Emmanuel II, in the Piazza Venezia. We walked the small and narrow streets nearby, looking in on the small vegetable and food shops.
The ten oa€™clock bus into Rome looked like the Kowloon ferry at rush hour, so we opted to walk over to the train station to catch the express run into stazione terminal. At Stazione Terminal, we detrained and walked through the large terminal that connects the surface railways with the two principal subway lines which crisscross underneath Roma.
Next, we came upon one of the ancient Italian Monsignors celebrating mass at one of the side chapels.
Even the sophisticated stand here quietly unsure of exactly what they are seeing, but respectful of the idea that the remains of so noteworthy a historical figure lay just a few yards away in plain sight.
We walked up the nearest boulevard to the Tiber, in search of one of the more storied edifices in Rome, the Castle San Angelo.
We emerged into a small courtyard, at the top of the castle, where a statue of St., Michael the archangel, stands ready to protect all with his sword and shield. On our way down, we espied several small exhibit rooms where huge a€?blunder bussesa€? and small cannon of many sorts lay on exhibit.Their fired lead must have cut down many attacking marauders in ages past.
We crossed the Tiber at the Ponte Cavour and walked three blocks over to the Via Corso.We were headed for one of the more spacious and beautiful Piazzas in Rome, the Piazza Del Poppolo.
The Parkland is well cared for and looks like a pleasant spot for Romans to gather on a spring or summera€™s day.
We stopped by a station restaurant and bought some wonderful vegetable paninis (sandwiches) for later. We enjoyed another swim in the hotel pool and then stopped by the hotela€™s atm for another 100 euros. We retrieved our luggage from the bus and stood in line for a brief 20 minutes of check-in procedures. We walked the decks, exploring our ship and enjoyed the lounges, shop areas and the many other nooks and crannies of entertainment and activity spread around the decks. Deck #11 aft holds a smaller restaurant called the a€?Trattoria,a€? and serves Italian food every night. We met in the Stardust lounge on deck #10 and got tickets for our 10-hour tour of the Tuscan Countryside and the fabled walled city of Siena. As the tour bus careened down the highway, we looked at the pastoral scenes, of groves of olive trees and vineyards, dotting the gently rolling landscape.
Marco walked us from the bus parking area to the Chiesa San Domingo where we met our local guide a€?Rita.a€? She launched into what was to be a colorful and informed narrative of the Sienaa€™s history and development. We walked through the narrow, cobbled streets and admired the well preserved walls and quaint shops that appeared around every turn. We walked slowly along the medieval streets, admiring the ancient framing and well preserved architecture. Just next to the Duomo, Rita pointed out an entire area that had been laid out to expand the church. Marco led us to the ancient a€?Spade Fortea€? ristorante, on the periphery of the Piazza, for lunch. We still had time left after lunch, so we walked back to the Duomo and, for 6 euros each, entered the Musee da€™Opera, next to the Duomo. The bus drove by the walled city of San Gimiano and we caught a glimpse of the open gates of what marco called a a€?medieval disneyland.a€? It looked like a great place to wander when the crowds were less intense.
We dressed for dinner this evening in a€?business attire.a€?It was one of the two a€?formal nightsa€? on the ship. The seas were calm that night and we walked topside, enjoying the night air and each othera€™s company.We never lose sight of how fortunate we are to be with each other in these exotic and interesting locales. We passed through Recco, a Ligurian center for cooking, and then exited into the a sprawling town of Rappalo for the coastal ride into Santa Margarita, where we would take a small ferry to Porto Fino, the heart of the Italian Riveria. The Castello Brown is everything your imagination could place it to be, sited on the high promontory over a picture book Mediterranean village. In the quaint village below, we browsed the pricey shops, like Gucci & Ferragamo, noting the breath-taking prices listed in euros. The Canne waterfront surrounds the marina, a central square, filled with Sycamore trees, and replete with several cafes and their ubiquitous outside tables and chairs.
We entered the A-8 Autostrade and drove through Nice and on towards Monaco, some 90 kilometers miles further along the fabled Cotea€™ da€™azur.
From quaint and medieval EZE, we descended to the Middle Corniche Road for the picturesque ride into nearby Nice. From the Palais, Patrick threaded the huge tour bus through the narrow streets, fighting the Easter-morning, Mass traffic.
I thought that I had a pretty good command of French, but at moments like these, it seems to desert you.
Pat and John were accompanied by friend Joanne, a retired teacher, Al and his mother Cora, also from celebration Florida and the Two Australians, Mike and Carmen Harchand. Revelry aside, the injury was throbbing insistently, so we returned to our cabin, with my hand elevated in the a€?French salute but with the wrong finger.a€? The seas were running rough this evening, with ten foot swells and 25 knot winds.
We passed by the entrance to the Las Ramblas, the broad pedestrian promenade that extends into the city, and continued on. The first wonder that we passed is Antonio Gaudia€™s a€?Batlo House.a€? Built in 1906, it is several stories high and has a delightful facade of painted ceramic tiles. Next, we passed the Casa Mila, another Gaudi masterpiece, with its distinctive wavy and flowing, tiled facade.
Then, we came to the sanctum sanctorum of architecture, the Cathedral of the Segrada Familia.
The four seasons and many other symbols are represented in this flowing montage that is more enormous sculpture than architecture. Restless, we wandered the decks, met and talked with the Martins and then found a nice photo of ourselves, taken in Sienaa€™s main Piazza, in the photo gallery. We stopped for a time, in one of the deck ten lounges, and read our books, enjoying the quiet mode of the ship at sea.
We walked topside, enjoying as always the collage of sun, sea and sky, as we knifed through the rolling swells. The Devonshire spread ( as in butt the size of) still engulfed us, so we did another five laps around the deck # 7 promenade. Residents in the small village in Henan province have taken to moving bus stops themselves to make them more accessible, going as far as to pour concrete to secure the signs in their new places. While a campaign with Chinese-only language advertisements in Richmond likely made marketing strategy sense for Proctor and Gamble, it does not sit well for those who believe it should consist of some English as well as it is one of the country’s two official languages.
The charter only requires levels of government to provide English and French language text options – not individuals, private citizens or private property given that it is considered as a form of freedom of expression.
Most recently, language watchdogs even campaigned to have companies with English names to abide to the province’s laws by adopting a French name. They are threatened by destruction of their tropical forest habitat and poachers who kill the animals for their horns. It praised the sanctuary's staff as "topnotch experts" and said the second birth shows that the expertise exists in Indonesia to increase the rhino population.
A recent poll found he would receive just two percent of the vote in a presidential election. However, the IOC and Rio 2016 Organizing Committee show strong support and confidence toward the first Olympics in South America.
Ryan suggested that after initial hesitance, he may well end up endorsing the GOP candidate for president. It landed without incident at Tulsa International Airport around 11:15 pm, the Tulsa World reported.
My heart does not feel anything wrong," said anthropologist and professional dancer Feriyal Aslam, who practices Bharatanatyam, a form from southern India. Those elusive answers lie with the flight data recorders, or black boxes, which may never be found, said Geoff Dell, a specialist in accident investigation at Central Queensland University in Australia. Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said one is an engine cowling piece with a partial Rolls-Royce logo, and the other is an interior panel piece from an aircraft cabin - the first interior part found from the missing plane.
Authorities had predicted that any debris from the plane that isn't on the ocean floor would eventually be carried by currents to the east coast of Africa.
It won't, for example, answer the question that some have raised about whether anyone was still at the controls of the plane at the end of its flight, or whether the plane spiraled uncontrollably into the water after running out of fuel. But they voiced disappointment that the government had sacrificed a provision to allow gay adoption to ensure passage. But their preservation has been threatened by the political chaos and security vacuum that followed the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
But activists point to a string of unusual incidents that undermine their confidence in the zoo, which was founded in 1916.
They say poor staff training and outdated facilities are to blame for the zoo's woeful record. But just minutes before their press conference, a column by Allen's son Ronan Farrow was posted online by The Hollywood Reporter in which he reiterated sexual abuse allegations against his father. Allen has previously denied that he molested Dylan, allegations first leveled in 1992 when Dylan was seven and Allen and Mia Farrow were in the midst of a bitter divorce. Led by Mad Max director George Miller, it includes Donald Sutherland, Kirsten Dunst and Son of Saul director Laszlo Nemes. Moscow said the US-led alliance is trying to encircle it close to the strategically important Black Sea, home to a Russian naval fleet and where NATO is also considering increasing patrols.
In response, Russia is reinforcing its western and southern flanks with three new divisions. Russia has stationed anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles there, able to cover huge areas and complicate NATO's ability to move around.
The last one lasted 29 minutes and seemed to have been recorded moments before she killed herself, he said. The Dadaab camp, with an estimated 328,000 refugees, mostly from Somalia, the government says compromises Kenya's security because it harbors some of Somalia's al-Shabab Islamic extremists and is a conduit for smuggling weapons. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blasts, but they followed the bloodiest day in the city this year that saw at least 93 people killed by Islamic State bombs.
Another woman on their boat died from dehydration and her body was thrown over board, with two of those picked up seriously ill.
MI5 officials cited a threat of Northern Ireland-related terrorism for the change in threat-status. Owners of Nativo Lodge unveiled four new guest rooms they consider art pieces unto themselves. From one end of the wall to the other where the room's television stands, Barton painted lines shooting in nearly every direction to create asymmetrical geometric shapes in hues of beige, orange and brown. Economic hardship has led individuals to set up the refrigerators where food is placed for the needy to take. One is plugged in and operating in the central Plaza de Mayo square in Buenos Aires, in front of the presidential palace.
They say that 18 states and scores of cities have experienced no significant public safety problems linked to their existing laws allowing transgender people to use bathrooms based on the gender they consider themselves to be.
Conservative activists are gathering signatures with hopes of putting a measure on the November ballot that would override state and local protections against gender-identity discrimination in public accommodations and require public schools to restrict transgender students' bathroom and locker room access. The group is called Just Want Privacy, reflecting the view that opposition to the laws goes beyond safety concerns for some.
Previous similar judgments and executions have triggered violence that killed around 200 people, mainly Jamaat activists and police. Calling Nizami a 'martyr', it said he was deprived of justice and made a victim of a political vendetta. Reports said London has made it clear that it cannot deport Mallya for he has entered in the country on a valid passport.
State police said a man stabbed two people at a home in Taunton on Tuesday, then crashed a car through the front of a Macy's store at the Silver City Galleria and stabbed two other people at the mall. Von der Leyen said a personnel increase was "necessary as things currently stand", given the growing responsibilities and new challenges that Germany's armed forces are facing. The men were held on Tuesday after towing the seven-metre boat almost 3,000 kilometers from Melbourne to Cairns in Queensland state, police said. Quake and volcano monitoring service GNS Science raised the alert for Mount Ruapehu, in the North Island's Tongariro National Park, which last erupted in 2007.
Many of the victims were women including several brides who appeared to be getting ready for their weddings, the sources said. Smoke was still rising from several shops hours after the explosion as a bulldozer cleared the burnt-out chassis of the vehicle used in the blast. All passengers casually look up at a large electronic tote board that lists gate assignments. I could see the white cliffs of Dover as we crossed over the English channel and flew across to France.
It seems that they had left an entire baggage cart, from our flight, at Heathrow during one of the a€?beat the clock a€? scenarios. Sounds of French, Italian, Spanish and several other languages swam around our ears as we sat musing about where we were. At the top of the steps, we crossed a small terrace and looked down into the elegant rubble that is the remains of the Roman Forum.
Its several tiers, all filled with open arches, even now reminds me of the many sports arenas we had visited. Then, we set out over the very pricey Via Condotti, browsing the windows of Bvlgari, Gucci, Ferragamo and a score of other trendy shops. We were tempted to enter the a€?Tre Scalinia€? and order a€?Tartuffo,a€? that wonderful roman delight that is a€?fried ice cream,a€? but passed on the opportunity in the interests of fitting into our clothes. We wandered the back alleys, consulting our trusty map and once asking a merchant for directions.The trouble with asking questions in passable Italian is that the hearer assumes you speak the language fluently and rattles off a response in rapid fashion.
We showered and prepped for the day.NCL was putting on a buffet breakfast in the hotel for the early cruise ship passengers. Three hundred and fifty cruise passengers had booked a few days in Rome and were expected this morning. We sought out and found the a€?Aa€? line that would take us up to the Vatican and the Chiesa San Pietro (St. We could see the walls of Vatican city up ahead of us and the huge dome of Saint Petera€™s against the skyline. Petera€™s held a long line of pilgrims, school children on holiday and other penitents from the four corners of the globe. We were debating where we would head next, when we noticed that the line had lessened for St. Petera€? stand in their wooded splendor, for all the world like an outsized throne for some race of giants.
We sat through the mass understanding much and received communion, saying a prayer for Brothera€™s Paddya€™s repose. I said a brief prayer for all of those whom we had lost and moved on to the marbled hallway. It is a circular and high walled fortress that has served in different eras as a castle for the Caesara€™s, a prison, a church and now a stone monument to antiquity. A small pile of stone cannonballs lay next to what must have been the remains of a medieval catapult, used to bomb the attackers with. A few tug boats and a single scull, powered by a lone oarsman, were all that broke the surface of this venerable and storied river. We slowly climbed the winding steps, to its heights, noting the occasional bum sleeping in the park bushes. We walked along the parkway, dodging the odd service truck, and admired the imposing bulk of the Villa Borghese, sitting on a hill above us.
A group of Spanish school kids were singing happy birthday to one of their group amidst much laughter. I signed up for an hour with the hotels internet station ( 20 euros) and sent a number of messages to friends and relatives across the ether of cyberspace. Then, we settled in with paninis, chips,acqua minerale con gassata and a good bottle of Chianti, while we read our books and got ready to join The Norwegian Dream for an itinerary we had long anticipated. On deck #12, aft, we found the a€?Sports Bara€? a small buffet-style restaurant that served all three meals daily. Like all liners, the boat is equipped with motorized, ocean-going tenders that are wholly enclosed and hold up to 128 passengers when full. It was followed with a nice spinach salad, a grilled tuna steak and a delightful cannolli and decaf cappuccino. Its most famous Saint, Catherine of Siena, had been a dominican nun who was a a€?close associatea€? of the reigning pope in Avignon. Then, we walked into the small piazza that holds the most prized treasure in Siena, the Duomo Santa Maria da€™ Assumption. We fell in with and enjoyed the company of two colorful residents of Celebration, Florida, Pat and John McGoldrick, former Beantown (Boston) residents and fellow Irish Americans.
Ensconced within are all of the original statuary and murals from the exterior of the church.As the marble became worn, throughout the centuries, artisans had replicated the original statuary and remounted them on the facade. We elected to choose again the Trattoria for dinner, where we were seated with Ray and Sarah from Atlanta. Geographically, the rocky headland of Porto Fino separates the gulfs of Tivuglio and Paradisio. We enjoyed the colorful front street of nice hotels, shops and restaurants, as we exited the bus in the rain. The harbor area rings a small marina, with wonderful sailing yachts scattered amidst the smaller craft.
Christiana took us through the commercial center of Genoa , stopping at the central a€?Piazza venti septembre, 1870a€? which commemorates the date of the Italian unification.
A light rain and a 42 degree chill greeted us, as we stood topside to watch the Dream get underway. The Mediterranean Sea sparkled a dazzling blue against the bright sun and lighter blue of the sheltering sky.
Francois Grimaldi, the founder of the line, came to the area in 1297, with a small army of soldiers, all disguised as monks. We followed a nicely trimmed walkway to the a€?Rochea€? (rock) area, so named because it had literally been carved from the cliffside rock.
The crenelated battlement of the original castle had been added to over the generations to produce an odd hybrid. Along the roadside, at several intersections, sit scale, bronzed models of Le Mans race cars, denoting the world famous auto race that roars through the streets of Monaco every May.
We skipped breakfast and had coffee topside, admiring the Marseilles harbor and the surrounding mountains, in the bright, Easter-morning sun. It is now the second largest city and largest commercial port in France, with one million people living in the metropolitan area. We set off from the port area, stopping first at the a€?Old Cathedrala€? in the a€?vieux port a€? area of the harbor.
A score or so of fishermen were minding stalls that sold fresh fish, everything from whole squid and lobsters, to eels. The kind and elderly woman, perhaps a nun in mufti, helped clean the wound, put antiseptic ointment on it and dressed it in gauze.
The city had erected three separate, exterior walls, for defensive purposes, as the city evolved over the centuries. Unfortunately , Antonio Gaudi was killed, in a traffic accident, at a young age and construction was interrupted. Built for a 1929 world exposition, this elegant structure and plaza is now an art museum. The theme for the evening was a€?American Presidents and their favorite foods.a€? We chose a Gerald Ford, Norwegian, salmon appetizer.
A Quebec judge ruled against this, but had it passed it would have affected companies like Best Buy, Gap, Costco, Guess, Old Navy and Walmart. In March, investigators confirmed two pieces of debris found along Mozambique's coast were almost certainly from the aircraft.
He said the director of the archaeological site of Medinat Sultan, about 30 km east of Sirte, had told him by telephone about two months ago that it was also intact. Farrow questioned Cannes' continued embrace of Allen and chastised the press, who she said don't ask "the tough questions". Festival president Pierre Lescure says about 500 highly-trained security agents will be on guard around Cannes' red-carpeted headquarters, the Palais des Festivals. Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick also serenaded festivalgoers with an acoustic performance of Cindi Lauper's True Colors in a promotion for the upcoming DreamWorks Animations release Trolls, in which they voice the main characters.
Over the next 10 days, they will screen an especially strong slate of films vying for the Palme, including new releases from Pedro Almodovar, Jim Jarmusch, Asghar Farhadi, Andrea Arnold, Sean Penn and the Dardenne brothers. The Papua New Guineans were attempting to travel between two islands on their country's east coast on April 4 but they had engine problems and ended up "helplessly drifting around parts of the Pacific Ocean", media reported.
The warning means a terrorist attack in England, Scotland or Wales is now "a strong possibility".
Below: A rock flake found in Australia is believed to be from the world's oldest known ax and likely dates fromjust after humans arrived in the country around 50,000 years ago. By now, confrontations have flared across the country over whether to protect or curtail the right of transgender people to use public restrooms in accordance with their gender identity. The move marks a reversal of the shrinking of Germany's armed forces, which has lasted 25 years since the country reunified in 1990. At least two cars were destroyed in the explosion, their parts scattered far from the blast site. We had finished packing the evening before, so we had time to stop at a nearby restaurant and had bagels and coffee, while reading the paper. Traffic was light, at the peace bridge and on the Queen Elizabeth Expressway, so we breezed into Torontoa€™s Pearson airport in 90 minutes, well in time for all of us to relax and check in for our afternoon flights. The plane was a€?sro,a€? every seat was filled.A few of the piccolo mostro (little monsters) squawked a bit during the flight but it went quickly enough.
The neatly outlined farms, of the French country side, flashed below us in a well ordered array.
Once, this small area had been graced with rows of gleaming white marble structures, the business, commerce and affairs of much of the western world had been waged here daily. We dodged their insistent sales pitches and walked out onto the Via Imperiali, walking towards the Vittorio Emmanuel II monument. The fascination of Rome is that you stumble upon these grand and ancient monuments so casually when you turn a street corner.
We were headed in the distance towards the Fiume Tiber and the Piazza Navona, another famous gathering place and site of three majestic Bernini fountains. We smiled, strained to understand and thanked the man for a€?su aiutoa€? (his help) As a parenthetical, I dona€™t know that we have ever found a people as gracious, patient and willing to help as we have the Italians. It has classic greek columns in the front and a large dome that has at its center and open a€?occulia€? that lets light enter the dimly lit church. You got so your ear could hear them approach and you knew you had to run like hell to get out of their way. We relaxed in the room, wrote up our notes and then went for an invigorating swim in the hotela€™s pool. Four blocks over, we spilled into one of the most famous squares in the modern world.The Piazza San Pietro was already crowded with pilgrims by mid morning. We walked about the piazza enjoying the semi-circle of the grand columns with their statues of popes and saints standing atop them. A line was gathered near a tombed figure with an open, glass side, so we stood patiently in line to see what drew the attention. The frescoes on the walls, the gilded and painted windows and the wealth of two thousand years held us in awe. I figured a mass and a lighted candle at the Vatican might give him some juice in the far beyond.
For 5 euros each, we entered and walked around the inside periphery of this two thousand year old castle. Off the courtyard lies a circular verandah that overlooks all of Rome.We sat for a bit and enjoyed the view, then found a tiny cafe where we had a cappuccino with other pilgrims who visiting the fortress.
We retraced our path, down the circular ramp, and exited onto the esplanade along the Tiber, replete with cadres of africans hawking all manner of souvenirs. It is a functioning museum, with a collection of intersting sculptures and art works, but we were tiring with the day and wanted to push on.
A swirl of languages provided an auditory bath for our ears, as we walked amid the crowds, enjoying the life and laughter of so many around us. We had to ask how the Italian key board works, to find the ampersand symbol that is used in e-mail addresses. The lobby was awash with businessmen, attending some conference or other, and hundreds of other cruise-ship passengers wandering about. The surrounding countryside was devoted mainly to agriculture, with many vineyards running along the coast. The papal states took possession of the harbor in the 14th century and it had evolved into the chief commercial port of Rome during unification in 1870. We stood in our orange life vests, with whistle and water activated light, and listened patiently to the crew member assigned to us.
It is our custom, when cruising, to have a drink at the topside bar and watch the ship leave port.
We were seated at a small table for two and ordered a bottle of Meridian Merlot from a Ukranian wine steward named a€?Igor.a€? We exchanged several comments in Russian and enjoyed the conversation with him. Siena is south and east of Florence, a beautiful city of art and culture that we had already visited and enjoyed on a previous trip. We stopped in the Piazza Tolomei, the home of the aforementioned banking syndicate, Monte Dei Pasche.
Finished in the late 1300a€™s, this Romanesque, white and green striped, marble epiphany, with roseate trim, is impressive. A lively lunch, well seasoned with several flagons of the local Chianti, consisted of pasta and mushrooms in sauce, asparagus risotto, (no carne for four), cheese, green beans and salad,finished off with a ricotta cheese desert that was wonderful and accompanied throughout with aqua frizzante. Looking at these originals gives you an appreciation for the odd seven hundred years that the place had been around. A huge, victory-arch framed three floral gardens that are dedicated to Christobal Colon (Columbus) and his three ships on their voyage of discovery to the Americas in 1492. The lights, of the whole amphitheater of Genoa, were twinkling in the dark as we eased from the harbor and set off Westward along the Ligurian Coast. We drove down the grand boulevard, Avenue Crossette and viewed the huge hotels, the site of the international film festival and even a statuesque column to the emperor, Napoleon. They attacked the surprised Genoese defenders and overwhelmed them, taking possession of the area and declaring it the Principality of Monaco. We walked along the Boulevard San Martin, passing two pricey homes that housed the royal daughters, and stopped to visit the Church of the Immaculate Conception. Reluctantly, we left the a€?Rochea€? area, with its palace and fairy tales, and returned to the bus. We parked at another huge garage and took the elevators and escalators up to a small plaza that houses the Monaco Opera house. Parked out front today, were an Aston Martin, two lamberghinia€™s, several Jaguars, the odd couple of lesser Mercedes and a row of other luxury cars, with an attendant to watch over them. Czar Nicholas of Russia, and Queen Victoria of England, and scores of lesser roalty, had been frequent visitors to the area. It is of green and white striped marble construction, like the church in Siena, but much less ornate.
We watched as several fishermen worked around their small fishing dories, cleaning and mending nets. By now, I was recovering a bit and managed to remember enough French to thank her and say that she was a€?very kind for helping me.a€? I kept my hand elevated, in a position of a€?The french salute, but with the wrong finger,a€? as we walked around the grounds of the cathedral.
Was this not the land from whence the phrase had originated a€?waiting for Godot?a€? We stopped by the a€?slop chutea€? for a salad and then sat topside for a bit, admiring the harbor on such a bright and sunny day.
Mary took over the job of transcribing my travel notes and agreed to take notes on the next few days tours, until I could manage to grip a pen well enough to write. Portions of all three still existed and had been added to architecturally over the years in something the guide called a€?architectural lasagna.a€? It is a nIce turn of phrase. The a€?newer sectionsa€? of Barcelona are laid out in a geometrical grid, with broad boulevards and more green spaces.
The streets in the area have ornamental wrought iron lamp posts and the buildings are adorned with ornate metal floral designs.
Originally planned as a 60 residence housing project for the wealthy, only two homes were ever built. It is flanked by a lovely parkland that stretches along the edge of this hillside and looks out over the city and harbor.
We squeezed into a table with two charming Southern Belles from Kentucky, Sandy and JoQuetta.
We were bouncing messages off satellites, all over the world, and in instant communication with friends five thousand miles away.
Lawmakers in the lowerhouse Chamber of Deputies backed a vote of confidence in the government which granted final approval of a civil unions bill.
At that instant, the entire passenger compliment, for that flight, drops what they are doing and sprints for the assigned gate, some as far as a 15 minute walk away. Then, the Italian Alps crowded the skyline.They are hills of the craggy and black granite variety, much like our own Rocky Mountains. The line was long and passengers were annoyed,some engaging in delightful histrionics, replete with loud voices and wild gestures.
My minds eye could picture the parade of legions and cornucopia of other traffic that had passed this way before us in the 2700 years of Romea€™s history. Now, it took an active imagination to look into the dustbin of history and see what once was mighty Rome.
The Coliseum looked majestic, as we looked over our shoulders, like some ancient mirage that would vanish the moment we stopped looking. We were headed to the most famous meeting spot in all of Rome, The a€?Spanish Steps.a€? They are a series of broad stone stairways that lead from the Piazza Espanga to the five-star Hotel Hassler, once the site of the Villa Medici, with its distinctive twin towers.
We sat in a small park on the Piazza Venezia and looked out over the monument with its huge Italian flags wafting in the afternoon breeze. It was busy with flight crews coming and going and scores of other travelers from everywhere.The airport location is ideal for weary passengers arriving from all points of the globe.
We sat down with a couple from Toronto and had a pleasant conversation.He is a retired fire fighter and she works in food service. Long lines waited to get into the Vatican museum and its moist desired visual prize, the Sistina Chapella (Sistine Chapel).
The appeared for all the world like a semi circle of stone hawkers calling forth the faithful to come in and see what was cooking inside. We jumped into line and soon were admitted into the venerable wonder that is the church of St. We scurried over to the entrance to the underground crypt, thankful for the empty bellies of the many pilgrims who now donned the noon feedbag.
A long marble hallway, opened every few yards into a grotto with a marble sarcoughogus that housed the remains of another Pope. The stone work had been mended throughout the years, but reflected differing styles of stones and means of repair from the many eras of its menders.
The ornate facade of the Palace of Justice, just up ahead, looks like something from 19th century Paris, in its dirty-gray limestone majesty. Part of the ancient wall of Rome, with its standing city gate, frames the North side of the piazza. At its peak, we looked out over the Piazza del Poppolo and enjoyed the view of much of Rome.


We found the subway entrance nearby and walked down into the bowels of Rome, to catch the a€?Aa€? train back to the terminal. At 9 A,M, we walked through the lobby and again dined at the buffet breakfast put on by NCL in the hotel. The cabin was compact, but included a small sitting area, sliding doors onto a balcony and a small bathroom and shower.It was to be our home for the next twelve days. If you ever needed this sucker, in an emergency, it might well pay to know how to hell to get on board the craft. The powerful tug a€?Eduardo Roacea€? helped nudge the dream in a 180 degree pivot, so she was bow first and able to steam more ably from the congested harbor area.
He was to be one of several of the mostly Phillipino and eastern European wait staff with whom we were to interact. After dinner, we strolled the decks and now open shops (they close when in port) and enjoyed the comings and goings of the passengers in the lounges. The Pisamonte range hemmed the flat coastal plain into a narrow strip of tillable land, where farmers grew large commercial crops of grapes, sunflower seeds, olives and wheat. She had been so venerated by the church, that when the Sienese wanted her body interred in the Chiesa San Domingo, Rome had only sent her head and a finger to be buried there, retaining the rest of her remains for veneration in Rome. We enjoyed the McGoldricka€™s company and were half lit from the Chianti when we emerged into the central piazza some 90 minutes later. I am not much taken by religious art, but had to admire the pure artistry in stone so casually laid before us. We were high in the hills and caught pictorial visages of the valleys surrounding Siena, San Gimiano and the nearby towns.
Topside, we looked out and viewed the amphitheater of Genoa, that surrounds the busy commercial port. A land road now reaches Porto Fino, but in the early part of the century, it had only been accessible by boat, increasing its attraction for those looking to a€?get awaya€? from it all.
We saw a sign with an arrow for a€?Castello Browna€? and walked the steep and terraced steps leading above the village. It is impressive enough, but the real treasure, for Americans, is to walk by a simple grave stone, amidst ancient Monagasque royalty, embedded in the floor near the main altar.
We were having lunch in a€?La Chaumiere,a€? a picturesque, mountainside restaurant with a killer view of all of Monaco and the mediteranean beyond. Cap Da€™antibe, and the sparkling blue Mediterranean, are things you could look at all day. Along the waterfront, pricey hotels dominate the grand boulevard for a stretch of seven kilometers. We much enjoyed the Martina€™s company and talked long enough for us to be the last ones in the Trattoria.
We had the option of a full day tour in Provence, but had decided that too many full day tours were wearing us a little thin. Byzantine in style, like sacre Coeur in Paris, it sits on the site of a much older church first established there in 1100 A.D. Elaborate gates , with decorative iron works guarded the palais.Three marble lions strode atop the impressive gates. It stands high on the summit of a hill, and features a huge gold tinted statue of a€?Notre Dame,a€? Mary, the mother of Christ. It was the McGoldricks 24th wedding anniversary and we had been looking forward to joining them. My right hand was swollen, black and blue but felt well enough to get through the daya€™s tour.
It is apparently the local custom for Godfathers to purchase ornate cakes for their godchildren on this day. The impression we got was of a very clean and well ordered city, with little graffiti, litter or urban blight. The three other facades of the church are radically different in design, all reflecting the dynamics of the Spanish church and government in different periods of the cathedrals construction.
The ship gathered speed and we reluctantly waived farewell to a beautiful and unique city in Catalonia. Calamari, risotto with shrimp, penne pasta, cannoli and decaf cappuccino all accompanied a Mondavi Merlot.
The stitches and wound looked icky, but the tissue was already showing signs it might grow back together.
I uncorked a bottle of champagne, that the cruise line had given us, and we toasted our good fortune at being here with each other. The Caribbean flights all fly out of Toronto in the early hours of the day and the European flights in the early evening hours. The hills were laden with snow beneath us as we soared over them.They looked cold, jagged and forbidding.
We had decided to eat at the Hotela€™s a€?Taverna,a€? rather than risk ramming around the area when we were this tired.
We collapsed into a dreamless sleep of crowds, noisy children and the other bugaboos of travel crowding our heads. We dressed for the day and walked the half mile over to the airport terminal.Throngs of people were scurrying about.
The remaining spaces are crowded by large brick apartment complexes, stretching all along the train line that runs from the airport to Rome. The painted frescoes and saints statues had replaced the many ancient and pagan deities that had once adorned the niches in the walls. We sat in the Antico cafe and enjoyed a cappuccino, looking out over the ancient Theater Marcello, another gracious ruin where the Caesars had enjoyed theater productions. The train was just about to leave the station, so we sprinted down the track and jumped on board just as the conductor gave the engineer the wave off. Complexes of brick condos and apartments signaled the arrival of the local stations, which we breezed through without stopping. We had already viewed this wonder on a previous visit and were not ungrateful that we didna€™t have to stand in the two-hour long line. He had loomed large in my child hood and now I was here staring at his elegantly clad remains, like some rural Russian first encountering Lenina€™s tomb in Red Square in Moscow. A 60 foot high cliff, with grecian columned buildings, marks the eastern edge of the Villa Borghese and frame much of the remainder of the piazza.
Then, we came upon the top of the Spanish steps and the storied Hotel Hassler and a few other four star and elegant small hotels. The winds were freshening and the waves were splashing high above the seawall, as we glided from port, waving by to Roma until we could return once again. It is from these small range of mountains that the world-famous Cararra marble is quarried. The olive trees took thirty years to mature enough to yield sufficient fruit for a pressing.
Many were small walled villages from the middle ages, replete with castle walls, church and bell tower.
Nearby Florence and the beautiful walled village of San Gimiano also sit on this road and prospered from the pilgrims and commercial traffic that flowed along its length.
It all sounds a bit grisly to us now, but it was the time-honored custom of the medieval church in Italy.
One large center and two smaller flanking triangles, of painted Murano glass, project colorful scenes of the Virgin Mary.
The Piazza is cobbled, and slanted to funnel into a flat area just in front of the Siena City Hall. Oysters Rockerfeller, salad, lobster tails and peach cobbler, with merlot and cappuccino, were wonderful.
The Norwegian Dream would motor 118 miles North, to Genoa this evening, arriving by early morning. The city is shaped like an alluvial amphitheater and carved from the surrounding mountains, like Naples far to the South.
The bus traversed several large tunnels, through the surrounding mountains, in our passage south to the Ligurian coast. The coastal hills rose steeply, behind the narrow strip of road, as we motored past the Porto Fino headland and coasted towards the small harbor area that is Porto Fino. Bougainvillea and other flowers were in bloom here and gave an aura of color and warmth even in the rain.
Flagons of Chianti and a soft, white wine accompanied fried mushrooms, pasta in pesto sauce, seafood lasagna, fried fish cakes (for the vegetarians.) Strawberries in lemon ice, with Decaf cappuccinos finished this tasty repast. It is glass walled and occupies three terraces and the entire rear of the ship on deck # 9. It would be a long day for us, so we headed to the cabin to read and retire from another hard day of touristing. The wholea€? countrya€? is carved from the cliffa€™s side, with terraced sections up and down the mountain.
It reads a€?Gratia Patriciaa€? and houses the remains of Philadelphia-born film star, Grace Kelly. I smiled momentarily, remembering an episode from the Television series, a€?The Sopranos.a€? The main character had unknowingly parroted a remark he hard from his shrink, referring to a€?Captain Tebesa€? as an elegant place to visit.
Across the roadway , from the hotel and along the seaside, run a similar lengthy of beaches. Mary and I reversed course and walked along the marina and haborside, into the main square of Canne. The waiter was too polite to ask us to leave, but I had been thrown out of enough places already to recognize the imminent nature of the a€?buma€™s rush.a€? We made our goodnights and returned to the cabin, to read and relax.
The guide wasna€™t doing any hand flips over the architectural style and there didna€™t appear to be any large crowds around on this, an Easter morning.
Andre Dumas, a native of Marseilles, had written the a€?Man in the Iron maska€? using these prisons as his locale. Strollers, tourists and shoppers were already out and about the small a€?old harbor.a€? The restaurants were open, and the chairs put out, for the coffee drinkers.
My hand was throbbing to beat the band, but hey, no one likes a whiner, so we went and were glad we did. A former Roman outpost, from the first century, Barcelona is now the heart of the Catalonia region of Spain. Gaudi offers a unique marriage of art and architecture that is elegant in composition and a delight to the eyes. The front facade rises in four towering and conical spires of dark brown sandstone, that narrow into tapered and brown-stone, laced pillars. I could write several chapters on this elegant sandstone epiphany, but suffice it to say that it is a conceptual marriage of architect Antonio Gaudi, and painter Salvatore Dali. A large fountain, floral gardens and a well-ordered square complete and compliment this lovely square. I managed, in my best high school German, to tell the Germans that a set of my mothera€™s grand parents had come from Munich and that Buffalo has a sister-city relationship with Dortmund, a mid sized city near Dusseldorf.
It was here that we encountered the curious version of what we were to call a€?beat the clock.a€? Terminal # 1 is the jump site for many of the shorter European flights from London. How the heck the luggage guys can figure this out and bring the right baggage to the quickly assigned gate appeared to be problematic, as we were to find out. We waited resignedly for our turn and then filled out the appropriate forms, with the besieged agent at the desk. We recognized the bleary look in some of their eyes and knew that they had just flown in from far away.
Throngs of tourists, from all over the globe, swirled around us in a multi-cultural sea that was dizzying to the ear. The Romans had staged sea battles, gladiator contests and all manner of spectator sports in these halls.
It was one of those magical moments when you are very glad to be alive and with a loved one.
After our swim, we read our books and soon fell into the arms of Morpheus, where we slept like dead alligators in a swamp, for a blissful eight hours. We crossed over the Tiber River and smaller streams, noting the unique triangular, truss-supports on some of the more rural bridges. We hung on to over head straps and looked out into the gloomy subway, eyes unseeing like the most veteran romans.
We had purchased rosaries on a previous trip and wondered again at the whole a€?blessed at the vaticana€? scam. I looked on amused and amazed at what i was seeing, as the temporal veil of two thousand years of recent history raced through my mind. Inside, we followed the circular walkway that rose gradually up the 90 some feet into the air, to the castles battlements high above us.The ramp was designed to carry popes and caesars in coaches ,high above us, where they could be walled in from besieging marauders. Twin churches on antiquity, now banks, guard the entrance to the Via Corso to the South, and the rest of Rome. Further down the parkway we knew lay the hotel Hassler at the top of the imposing Spanish Steps. We thought about stopping at the Hotel Hassler for coffee or a drink, but were convinced that they would recognize me for a scoundrel and give us the heave ho. We found a spot where we could hang from over head straps and enjoyed the ride back to the Airport. Nazaire France from 1991-1993 for $240 million dollars and originally named the MS Dreamward. After dinner, the stewards would take whatever portion of the bottle of wine that you consumed and save it for you in a central repository where you could call for it from any of the several restaurants on board. Michaelangelo had been a frequent visitor in the quarries, to select blocks of marble for his sculptings.
This treasured fruit would yield 19 kilograms of oil from every 100 kilograms of olives pressed. I dona€™t think we, as Americansa€™ have much of an appreciation for this a€?quiltwork of principalitiesa€? that made up a region, each warring with the other over the ages. The Monte Dei Pasche, a commercial banking syndicate of Siena, had also become the bankers for the papal states and collected both interest on their loans and outstanding debts for the popes for centuries. Around its periphery are a series of hotels, trendy shops and restaurants with awnings and chairs for tourists and Sienans to enjoy the Tuscan sun. A series of large ravines, carved by glacial or ancient river action, were speckled with housing complexes and spanned by lengthy bridges, now loaded with morning traffic. We could see Castello Brown high above the village.It looks like a medieval fortress, but later proved to be but fhe fancy digs of a former 19th century British ambassador. Afterwards, we walked along the narrow harbor path, looking in the various shops and taverns facing the sea. Meridian Merlot accompanied a three-berry compote, a lemon fruit soup, salmon and risotto, with chocolate cake and decaf cappuccino.
Several eighty and hundred-foot power yachts lay at anchor in the upscale marina, attesting to the citya€™s glamourous reputation. The police were cordoning off a route from the Palace to the Church, for the royal family, and clearing traffic from the streets. Several flagons, of a decent , house, red wine, accompanied salad, pasta, cheesecake and cappuccino. We passed on the privilege and watched for a time the ebb and flow of tourists walking in and out. Above the beaches runs an elevated promenade upon which throngs of natives and tourists were walking. It had been a long and enjoyable day, in a fairy-tale setting, that evaporated from our consciousness with the setting sun. Some places were elaborately laid out, with formal tableware, perhaps in anticipation of Easter Brunches later in the morning. The site had been built to commemorate the arrival of water, in underground pipes, to Marseilles. The sight lines, from the elevated promontory, were gorgeous, but our attention was a bit distracted.
The doctor was away from the ship, so she further cleaned and disinfected the wound and wrapped it in sterile gauge. He didna€™t think much of the tissue would survive, but put five stitches along the underside of my ring finger, disinfected the wound, wrapped it in sterile gauze. The entire front facade, beneath them, is engraved with images of the life of the Holy Family, the birth of Christ, the adoration of the Magi, the crucifiixtion and death of Christ and the last judgment. After dinner, we walked the decks for a while enjoying the comings and goings of so diverse a population of passengers. Her English was better than my German, so we talked for a bit about the usual pleasantries.
The Apennines extend down the spine of Italy, appearing like some great skeleton on an exhibit, in a natural history museum. We had some decent Chianti, very tasty caesar salads and bread, with cappuccinos afterwards. We watched amused at the scores of a€?smart carsa€? and compacts scurried in and out of the congestion, jockeying for position in the moving metal stream. I could picture the Romans arriving late, complaining of the heavy chariot traffic, as the sat in their assigned seats, waving at acquaintances and craning their necks to see what dignitaries now sat on the elevated dais. The Spanish Ambassador to Italy had once lived in a villa, just off these steps, giving them their name.
We admired the smooth marble and artistic workmanship and pondered for a time the march of civilizations that had come here to worship throughout the centuries, each praying to a a€?goda€? that they held dear. Then, we were standing in from of a glassed-in sepulcher that reputedly holds the remains of the founder of the catholic church, the rock upon which Christ had built his earthly church, Peter, the fisherman. A tunnel even supposedly exited underground.It ran from the vatican, some blocks over, to the fortress where popes could retreat in times of attack. We sat by the fountain, listening to a musical group playing nearby, and enjoying the whole panoply of activities that swirled around us in this huge meeting place in Rome.
We walked about, enjoying the many artists who were painting alfresco portraits of the tourists, much like the Place du Tetre, behind Sacre Cour, in Paris.
The first pressing is the most valued and usually labeled a€?extra virgin oil.a€? A killing frost had destroyed much of the local trees in the 1980a€™s.
It gives rise to our fascination with castles, moats and the whole medieval mythology that surrounds such areas. The syndicate was so successful that in later years the Siena City council had mandated that 50% of their annual profits were to be turned over to the city for a€?public improvements.a€? The annual rebate now runs to $150 million a year and funds much of the restoration of the medieval town. Each year, on July 12 and August 16th, a colorful horse race is run around the periphery of this wide Piazza, with ten especially trained horses and jockeys representing parts of the city. We laughed a lot, enjoyed the food and each othera€™a€™s company and made a nice day from a soggy one. An interesting collection of brick-faced apartments, all shaped in the form of tan pyramids, caught our eye towards the shoreline.
Directly in front of the casino, and rising upwards to a level of the city some 50 feet above, are a series of terraced fountains and floral gardens all bedecked in colorful flags and pendants. We noticed that many of the stately older villas,along the roadway, were in some state of decline. The beaches sported colorful names like a€?Miami,a€? and a€?Opera.a€? In the Summers, this place must really rock and roll! It was too chilly to sit in the outdoor cafes, so we walked the length of the area, drinking in the sights and sounds of a place that we would never perhaps return to.
A detachment of the French foreign legion had been stationed at this imposing stone edifice.
He told me to a€? take two aspirins and garglea€? and come back in a few days to see how it progressed. The statue was supposedly pointing towards the West and the new world, but somehow, the statues orientation had been turned so he was pointing South.
They do things like that in Europe where centuries are relatively much shorter spans of time than in America. The homes, more Spanish style, Hansel and Gretel-type cottages, also feature elegantly tiled exteriors that are in the Dr.
We sat for a time in the star dust lounge, but the entertainment was just as lame as our previous encounter.
We had had the foresight to pack some essential in our carry-ons and werena€™t too disturbed at the loss of our luggage.
The bus let us off on the Piazza Campodoglio, just behind the Vittorio Emmanuel II monument, that enormous a€?wedding cakea€? that seems to dominate all of the Roman skyline. We wondered again at the many parades of conquering armies that had this way trod, dazed captives, strange animals and other trophies of victory shepherded before them, to the delight of the cheering throngs. The Romans had even engineered a means of stretching a huge canvass across the top of the structure, when the high sun of summer was beating down on the arena.
They set out their chairs, under awnings, and wait for the tourists to come and sit in the Roman sun, dining and watching each other. I wonder if any of then considered the similarities of their exercise rather that the dissimilarities?
The street was awash with people going to work and throngs more, even at this early hour, headed to the Vatican. We had been here twice before, but stood silently in awe of Michaelangeloa€™s white-marble epiphany. As in most situations, when you find yourself overwhelmed by what you see, it soon becomes normal.
We always do a double blink when we find ourselves in places like this, to remind us that we are really here and not meandering in some day dream in a place far away. It was getting late in the afternoon and we were thinking about making our way back across the city to the stazione terminal and the train back to the airport Hilton.
The newer trees were only now approaching the proper maturity to deliver ripe olives for oil pressing. On one hilltop, we espied the village of Monteregione, with its village wall and twelve turrets rising above the skyline.It is an outline much known in Italy and used on their former currency.
A column stood in this piazza, atop which is the form of a she wolf, with two infants suckling her. That was to be the last time we agreed to a€?share a tablea€? with strangers when asked by the various maitre-da€™s. Along the many coastal areas, we noticed the old fishermena€™s homes, that are painted in various bright Mediterranean pastels. We boarded and I stopped by the deck # 9 internet cafe to send a few message into cyber space.
We were now on the a€?middle corniche (cliff) road.a€? Most of the coast, in this area, is a very steep hillside that slopes precipitously towards the Mediterranean.
The population of the Monaco is comprised of 10,000 French, 10,000 Italians, 5,000 Monagasque (natives) and a sprinkling of other nationalities. The sun was shining brightly overhead, the Mediterranean sparkled blue in the distance and a fairy tale changing of the guard was in progress for a fairy tale prince. We walked about the beautiful parkland, enjoying the flowers, the bright colors and the activity in and around the casino. We wandered its narrow alleys, dodging other tourist who had been game enough for the walk.
It was getting late and cooling off, so we walked back to the dock and stood patiently in the long line for the tender ride back to the ship. Looking out towards the fortress, on the very edge of the harbor, is a large stone arch built to commemorate French soldiers killed in the Orient. Across the small plaza, from the Cathedral, sits a more modern building with a huge painting by Picasso, on its facade.
Reliefs of fruits and vegetables, animals and other symbols of nature display a pantheistic overview of God and creation. It is these chance encounters, with people from everywhere, that really make a cruise enjoyable.
It is one of the pitfalls of travel.The airlines are usually pretty good about getting your lost bags to you in the next 24 hours. Now, throngs of people from everywhere come by daily and sit on the stairs, admiring the view and enjoying the throngs that come to sit by them. We sat for a time near the a€?Four Riversa€? fountain and admired the artistry of the Master Bernini. Sadly, I informed them that it existed now but in their memories from that classic chariot race scene in a€?Ben Hur.a€? What was left was now a large rectangular park area, overlooked by the ancient palaces on the Capitoline Hill.
We walked the length of the funeral chamber to its end where thoughtful officials had provided restrooms for the throngs. It is always unnerving to sleep the first night at sea when there are high waves, until you got used to the rhythms of the ship. We stopped at a road side rest station called a€?AGIPa€? where passengers used the facilities and sipped cappuccino for 3 euros each.
The entire effect of the cathedral is to catch your breath, at the artistic array of creations inside.Each had been created to show glory to god.
Custom had dictated this as a means for the fisherman to espy their dwellings as they approached safe harbor and home. By now, we were puffing with the exertion and wondering how the various workmen got up and down these paths every day. It is traversed, from East to West, by three roughly parallel roads called appropriately, the a€?Lower cornichea€? (closer to the sea) the middle corniche ( which we now traversed) and the a€?upper cornichea€?, higher above us. This was a Hans Christian Anderson day-dream flashing before us in the brilliant noon day sun. We found and entered an elegant hostelry called a€?Chateau de la Chevre da€™Or,a€? roughly, the a€?house of the golden goat.
Across the river, on the rise of a hill, stands an old stone palace used by the French Royalty at differing times. A smaller green-bronzed statue, of a maiden with her arms raised was erected, in front of the arch, to commemorate the French soldiers killed in North Africa. The bus driver and a colleague did a credible imitation of the three monkeys, pointing to the church above and saying a€?medicine.a€? We staunched the blood flow with tissues and a few antiseptic hand wipes.
My best guess if that the construction crew screwed up, at the installation, and it had been too costly to correct the error. Gaudi intended his creation to have 18 spires, 12 for the apostles, 4 for the evangelists, one each for Mary and Jesus. This hombre had one fertile imagination, that he was able to sculpt into brick and mortar in structures. We had momentarily mistaken the Capitoline steps for the a€?Spanish Steps,a€? until corrected by a friendly tourist.
We walked out into the Piazza San Pietro and immediately noted the colorful costumes of the Swiss Guard, with their razor sharp pikes, standing before the entrance to Vatican city. Supposedly Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome who had been suckled by a she wolf, had fled Rome and sought sanctuary in Siena. It sure did keep your attention, as Rita commented quietly on the many artistic and cultural aspects of the works that we were observing.
Residents pay no income taxes, thanks to casino revenues, and are generally well heeled, even by Monagasque standards.
I had the presence of mind to think of the huge swelling of tissue to come, and managed to slip the large college ring, from my finger. Unfortunately for us, both the Dali and the Picasso art museums were closed on that Easter Monday. Now, it lay like an ancient and broken sign post pointing faintly to a grandeur that once was Rome.
Throngs of other tourists from everywhere stood around us, as we too pitched coins backwards over our shoulders in hope of returning to Rome yet again.We had done this twice before and returned each time, so maybe the magic works. These hardy warriors are all trained infantrymen from the Swiss Army, who stand ready to rock and roll, with whatever comes their way, to protect the pope and Vatican City. They no longer asked for tips in the loo, they had sliding doors that only opened to admit one, if you inserted .60 euros in a slot . From this port, you can access Florence, Pisa and a bit further out, the medieval, walled city of Siena.
No one had really ever substantiated the claim, but it made for great symbolism and interest both to the natives and the tourists. Christopher Columbus had been born and raised in these environs before he sailed to the new worlds for Espagna.
It was an elegantly manicured parkland from which to stare out over the sapphire blue Mediterranean. We repaired to our cabin to write up our notes, shower and prep for dinner with the Martins.
Perhaps this was because the allies had bombed the port area back to the middle ages during WW II?
I had visions of sitting in an emergency room, at some French hospital, with the boat sailing away for Barcelona without me. Barcelona had been an interesting melange of Moor, Jew and Spaniard until 1492, that pivotal discovery year. We watched and enjoyed the tourists, from many countries, snapping pictures of the fountain and each other.
In past ages, their duty had not been ceremonial in the many times that both Rome and the Vatican had been under siege, from some particularly surly invader bent on plunder and mayhem.
Andrea Doria, a middle ages naval admiral, and figure of note in Italian history, had also lived here. The ship had several of the motorized tenders shuttling passengers back and forth from the shore. As we sipped pricey cappuccino (18 euros),we gazed out over the sapphire blue of the Mediterranean far below. The doctor offered me pain pills, but i advised that I would probably be drinking several glasses of wine for dinner.
Internal religious strife had generated the expulsion of the Moors and the jews from Spain that year. We had an opportunity to stay and visit the Las Ramblas esplanade, but were tiring from today's and the many previous tours we had taken. The buildings all around the piazza are replete with papal insignia and looked impossibly old to us, pilgrims from a land where three hundred years is a long time. We were seated by deferential waiters and ordered, in our best Italian, Minestrone zuppa, pizza, with aqua minerale and cappuccino. The guide mentioned something about him negotiating a treaty with Charles V of Spain, but it was getting a little too deep in Italian history for me to follow.
We entered our boat and waited until the craft filled with passengers, then slowly motored into shore, where our bus was waiting.
Someone with our surname (Martin) must have either been on the ground floor founding this place or donated half of the land for its creation. Mary espied Phillip, our guide, and insisted that I needed some medical attention immediately. We lunched at the four seasons, on deck #9 ,and then repaired to our cabin, for a well earned conversation with Mr. We ate slowly and enjoyed our surroundings and each other, never forgetting who we are and how far we had come to be sitting here under the Roman sun.The tab was a reasonable 40 euros.
He walked me into the offices of the cathedral, turned me over to an elderly woman and skittled away, the weasel.
Fortunately, we had a very brief time to spend and had to leave before we put the money back into the machines. Far below in the village, a small shed houses two donkeys who used to ferry people and luggage to this pricey Inn, in the mountains above Monaco.
I guess it becomes more understandable, of their recent posture towards conflict, in the middle east. It is here, in the village below, that we met and talked to Peter and Julia Martin for the first time.
We had noticed them on a few tours and decided to ask them to join us for dinner this evening. They agreed, perhaps wondering at the forwardness of yankees in soliciting social engagements.
Manners got the better of them though and they agreed to meet us later in the evening for dinner.



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