Archive for the ‘Tours’ Category

The final trek of the Red Line took us to a public garden: Jardin des Arenes which was created over the 1st Century Amphitheater of Vesunna in 1875. 

Map of the Red Line

 The Amphitheater could seat 18,000 people and its façades were 3 times higher than the houses that surround it today.  

In the 4thCentury the Amphitheater was incorporated within the High Wall with the openings being walled up and towers built to reinforce it.  Around 1150 the Count of Périgord had his castle built here.  Today there are still signs of the Amphitheater circling the garden and play areas.  The floor of the Amphitheater lies 21 feet below (see above).  The castle was destroyed in the early 1400’s.

Unfortunately, we did not have time to explore the final point of interest: the first Cathedral of Périgueux:  Église Saint-Étienne-de-la-Cité.  We wanted to head into the city center (next post) and explore there as well as see the new Cathedral.  Périgueux is a city that we plan to return to.  Not only is there more to see but it is also close to other towns that have their own stories to tell.

Domes of Église Saint-Étienne-de-la-Cité

Read Full Post »

The Château Barrière was built in the 12th century on top of the lower part of a 4th century tower and wall.  Later a second noble man’s home was built beside it.  This wall/castle was burned down during the 1577 French Wars of Religion.  Some of the upper floors were restored, though, in the early 20th century and used by the Historical and Archeological Society of Périgord.

small6026 copysmall_wallmap6096small6119It’s a beautiful example of medieval architecture that can be enjoyed from across the railroad tracks at the Vesunna Gallo-Roman Museum and then following the Red Line and crossing a bridge one can walk around the ruins and enjoy finding both Roman and Medieval carvings.

Always a cat or two

Read Full Post »

In 1959 a Roman home, Domus de Vésone, was discovered during a construction project near the Tour de Vésone.  This home is from the 1st century A.D. and was perhaps an official palace.   The Vesunna Gallo-Roman Museum was built over it and opened in 2003.  Wooden walkways allow visitors to stroll thru what was once a grand home of ancient luxury and beautiful gardens.  Glass displays show common everyday items such as weaving tools, medical supplies, toiletries, etc.   It had a central heating system that ran hot air under the floors of the home called hypocaust and a central garden with a fountain.

small6040 copy

small6042 copy

The entrance is on the left side where there is also what seems to be a rectangular pool.


View of the central garden from above.


View from below showing the gallery floors above.

Top: garden. Middle: dining room Bottom: looking down on the bath.

This is an excellent museum for understanding the workmanship and ingenuity of a Roman home…Yes…a rather wealthy Roman home.

Read Full Post »

Ha'Penny BridgeHa’Penny Bridge on the River Liffey

Night photography is more about color and light than the sunlight we work with in daytime photography.  At night we work with different spectrums of light giving off various colors that both lights our subject and reflects off of the environment around it.  Photographs taken at night show off the light in so many different ways because it is contrasted against the dark so much more and because there are so many different types of light coming at us.


O’Connell Bridge & Aston Quay

 At night I see so much more with the light than just illumination.  The colors, glare, contrasts, reflections, and textures:  photographing at night, for me, is more abstract.  It brings out the rebel in me.  I always love the opportunity for night photography.  Yet I have few opportunities because, well, it’s at night and walking around with a camera, passing dark streets and alleys is not a really safe thing to do–especially if I am not familiar with the city.


Grand Canal Dock

So with this in mind, I was thrilled when I found out that there was a guided Night Photography Tour of Dublin offered by www.Dawn2Dusk.ie.  Not a workshop where someone would be teaching me what to do—no—rather a tour where the guide would take me and others out into a central area of Dublin and show us the best spots to take photos of different points of interest.

DublinConvention Center Dublin Convention Center


Ha’Penny Bridge

The tour takes place by the River Liffey, where one can take advantage of the reflections and textures of the river.  Another plus that we had that night was that it was raining.  Rain adds to the mood of the photos with reflections on the streets and pavement.  It saturates the environment.  A raincoat to protect yourself, an umbrella to protect your camera and a soft cloth to wipe it down if it does get a bit wet are all you need.  I have a water resistant camera that can take some dampness.  I also used a tripod.  It’s a must if you don’t want camera shake and want to experiment more with exposure.


Graffiti on U2 Studio

The Dublin by Night Guided Photography Tour is the brainchild of David Cooke and Yvonne Costello of Dawn2Dusk that offers various photography tours throughout Dublin.  They began the night photography tour in the beginning of 2013 and have done a lot of footwork looking for the best spots for great photo shoots of the different bridges and buildings that are along the River Liffey.  David also gives interesting historical information about the areas that the tour stops at.


Reflection on Bord Gais Energy Theatre

Dublin has a lot to offer with its long history and development to what it has become today.  This Night Photography Tour is a plus giving visitors the opportunity to take night photos of this interesting and vibrant city.

Samuel Becket Bridge

Samuel Becket Bridge


Read Full Post »

The visual arts relate to the “state of mind.”  First what it means to the artist and then to the observer.   Art is personal.  No one can ever truly understand what the piece means to the artist and each individual looking at the art work will have a different understanding and relationship with it.

Most art is meant to be removed from the space of its creation and placed in a new space, which can give it a whole new meaning as it interrelates with the environment around it.  Graffiti Art is meant to stay where it was created having been created in the environment that it relates too.  It is also understood that with the elements and human interaction it will not last forever.


                       A Graffiti Art Tag

Wait…Graffiti Art?  Isn’t graffiti something that gangs use to designate territory?  No…not really.  Graffiti began as a way of “tagging” a name—a way to be noticed.  Many see this as vandalism.  It makes a neighborhood look cheap and messy.   In answer to this a few years ago the city of Toronto declared a war against graffiti.  When a war is declared a battle ensues.  No one was winning (or maybe the City was loosing) so a “treaty” was finally made between the city and the street artists.  Graffiti was categorized into two areas:  Graffiti art, which is created with permission, and graffiti vandalism, which is not done with permission.  Property owners are responsible for removing the graffiti vandalism if there is a complaint or they will be fined.   Property owners can also hire local graffiti artists to create an art piece on their building.  As a result to this Graffiti Art has grown and developed in the back allies and streets of some of the neighborhoods of Toronto—these back allies and streets have become an outdoor gallery for all to discover and hopefully enjoy.

Image    Image

               Commissioned art work for Capra. 

               It was spayed with wax to keep any one from writing over it.

Walking down these passageways with our Toronto Tour Guy, Jason Kucherawy of TourGuys.ca, was both inspiring as well as educational on the history and culture behind the street art.  This art is alive—it interacts with its environment.  The artists take advantage of their canvas and integrated anything that is there:  burnt wood, metal ladders, wires, material on chain-linked fences, barred doors, etc. into the art piece.  The artwork glows in vibrant colors sprayed on using special spray cans and spray tips to get the right affects.  Looking down an alleyway one sees the flow of the artwork from one piece to another.  Jason helps with detailed information of the background on the history and culture of Graffiti Art as well as a better understanding of the artists and their “state of mind.”


                                       Jason Kucherawy of http://www.tourguys.ca

Graffiti is about community:  The relationship of the artists with the neighborhood.  Most artists are young, in their teens, many are boys but girls are involved too.  They live in the area and can give something creative to their neighborhood.  Some artists even continue into adulthood, having had a chance to explore and develop their art as youths and gain respect as a serious artist who now receives commissions.

Graffiti is communication.  What the artist’s political view is, their likes, a special “tag” or even telling another artist off for not following the rules of Graffiti etiquette.   For example: painting over someone else’s art or using stencils that were created in a studio instead of creating the whole piece on the street.  It even has its own vocabulary:  tag, rack, piece, throw-ups, bombing, buff, toy . . . and so on. *


 “Stay Off Real Graf” on a stenciled piece

Walking down these alleyways and looking at the art as though one was in a gallery:  sunlight or shadow hitting the vibrant colors and forms—a new appreciation to this grassroots art develops.


Photos by http://www.MarciaGutierrezPhotography.com

Tour by http://www.TourGuys.ca


Tag:  a simple written name

Throws/Throw-ups:  a name written in bubble letters in two colors.

Piece:  More than 2 colors are used.  The city recognizes this as art.  The more elaborate the piece the more respect the artist has.  Also the higher up the wall the work is done the more respect.

Rack:  stealing spray paint

Bombing:  painting

Buff: Cleaning graffiti

Force Line:  a bright line around the piece that creates a boundary.

Bitter:  copying someone else’s style.

Toy:  someone who copies or sprays over someone else’s work.

Slaps:  Sticker tags.

Special Thanks to Jason Kucherawy of www.tourguys.ca,  Tourism Toronto, Ontario Canada, and TBEX Toronto 2013.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: