Dirt Life implies adventure and Sir Richard Francis Burton said it best. Unearthing the time to travel becomes increasingly difficult with every passing sun so when the wind blows the dust off that world map, often hidden under an itinerary of daily routines, it's best to ride that sweet breath of Zephyrus.
Last week my sister and I embarked on a one-week adventure of two countries and three cities; Barcelona, Florence and Rome. Our journey began from two different parts of the country with a rendezvous in Newark NJ before departing for Spain. We passed the night 30,000 feet above sea level jetting towards the rising sun at 600 miles an hour. Filled with anticipation it was tough to get a wink of sleep, minds racing as our internal clocks had us arriving in the middle of the night.
Neither one of us had been to Spain but we did share one common characteristic to this unknown land; its language, which made our time here somewhat familiar. Like two adventurers setting out on their next journey we shared the duties of navigation however it soon became clear who possessed a command for direction, thanks to that familiar Newtonian gadget.
|El Raval Neighborhood|
|Piazza del Duomo|
It's impossible to visit Florence without a trip to the Galleria dell'Accademia to view a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture. You're greeted to the plaster cast model of The Rape of the Sabines by Jean de Boulogne. Continue on to the main attraction; Michelangelo's David, placed exquisitely at the end of the Hall of the Prisoners, the unfinished project of Michelangelo for the tomb of Pope Julius II della Rovere.
Our last full day in Rome was spent wandering the halls of the Vatican Museum and St. Peter's Basilica. The audio tour was a bit hard to follow so if your knowledge of art is lacking you could find yourself staring at a fresco by Michelangelo by Raphael, if that makes any sense. Of course no one can mistake the artist responsible for the spectacular display in the Sistine Chapel. Recently restored, the colors are as brilliant as the day they were painted. It's remarkable to see how little attention is paid to The Last Judgment on the altar wall. Painted 25 years after the ceiling, The Last Judgment represents a much older and more thoughtful Michelangelo, much to the chagrin of critics within the Catholic Church at the time.
It's impossible to absorb fully the beauty and significance of Barcelona, Florence and Rome in a couple of days and even more difficult in our busy lives to carve out the time to such an endeavor but with a little preparation and a positive attitude, you too will find straunge strondes.