Charles Engelke's Blog

June 28, 2006

Pisa

Filed under: Vacation 2006 — Charles Engelke @ 2:29 pm

Today we saw Pisa, famous for its leaning tower:

leaningtower.jpg

But the tower isn’t alone. It sits on a stunning green “Field of Miracles” with three other beautiful buildings. One of them is a cathedral (the Duomo) right next to it:

cathedral.jpg

Galileo went to church here, and got bored during the service. The chandelier in this picture is a replica of the one that was there in Galileo’s day, and it was swaying as he watched it:

pendulum.jpg

He timed the period of the sway by counting his pulse, and started working out some laws of motion. You can’t see it in this picture, but there’s a cable halfway down the chandelier support, anchoring it to the wall. Sure, it might just be for electricity, but I think it’s to keep it from swaying and inspiring another troublemaker like Galileo.

June 26, 2006

Pantheon

Filed under: Vacation 2006 — Charles Engelke @ 3:59 pm

On our last full day in Rome, we saw the Pantheon. It was built over 2000 years ago, and rebuilt only slightly more recently. It looks interesting from the outside:

outsidepantheon.jpg

Inside, it’s more impressive:

insidepantheon.jpg

But it’s the dome with an opening at the top that blows you away:

pantheonopening.jpg

This was the largest dome ever built anywhere until 1960 (so says the tourist guide, anyway). It’s the prettiest for sure. The light from the opening illuminates different sections throughout the day:

brightpantheon.jpg

So I made Laurie pose in the light. It’s a bit dazzling, but a pretty nice picture:

laurieinpantheon.jpg

Colosseum

Filed under: Vacation 2006 — Charles Engelke @ 3:41 pm

On our first full day in Rome took a tour. The tour wasn’t very good because the guide rarely told us anything about what we were seeing. (When in Rome, don’t deal with Vastours.) But what we saw was fantastic. The highlight was the Colosseum.

As you enter, you can look through the arches into the interior:

intocolosseum.jpg

Once you’re inside, the view through the arches outside is beautiful:

outofcolosseum.jpg

Though the structure was plundered over and over again for materials, there’s still plenty standing, and it’s plenty impressive:

insidecolosseum.jpg

We ended our tour on top of the Capitoline Hill, looking over the ancient city, with the Colosseum in the background:

fromcapitol.jpg

The Appian Way

Filed under: Vacation 2006 — Charles Engelke @ 3:28 pm

There’s a new Appia Way in Rome, but the original, 2300 year old one is still there, and still used. I walked a tiny bit of it today. (I would have done more, but it is hot here right now!)

This sign isn’t original, of course. They didn’t used to call it “Antica” after all.

appianwaysign.jpg

They’ve excavated some of the original paving stones in this stretch.

appianway.jpg

But to get a sense of what it might have been like long ago, you have to look off to the side of the road:

appianview1.jpg

appianview2.jpg

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