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Monday, October 7, 2013

My Fav Places -- Madrid, Spain; Salamanca, Spain; Umbria, Italy;Venice, Italy

My Favorite Places by Robert Glenn Ketchum

Next year is the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act. As I am one of the few photographers that has actually helped create a lot of wilderness, I am doing a number of lectures and exhibits. The first is a lecture at the international WILD10, The 10th World Wilderness Congress, from October 4-10, 2013 in Salamanca, Spain! (www.wild10.org).  These delegates meet every four-years, and in 2005 we created iLCP at that conference.

Tonight, Madrid...

Nightlife begins as the evening fades. Just off Plaza de Santana.  This is the street below my hotel. The city of Madrid has been sporadically shut down as austerity protestors (50,000) marching. I've never seen such a forceful police response.

Riots or not, EVERYONE goes out.

Lots of street performers, but these guys were one of the best.

And then there is gardening Madrid-style.  Quite amazing!  This is a Vertical Living Wall by French botanist and ecological engineer Patrick Blanc. Although Blanc did not invent the vertical garden concept, he is responsible for modernizing and popularizing the garden type. This is a wall of living plants at Caixa Forum near Atocha Station in Madrid.

Public art.

Older public art.

Just an amazing bistro / market. This is the Iberian ham specialty store.

Here is one of the fresh fish stalls.  All the walls are glass.


There is an apartment in the tower. Prices are sky-high, thus the protests.

This stained glass dome / cupola is in the Westin Palace Hotel over the dining area, built in 1912. On Sunday's they offer an "Opera Brunch" with a full operatic performance under the dome.

Tonight we (iLCP, International League of Conservation Photographers) staged a 100+ person flash mob wolf howling in Salamanca's central plaza! It was VERY fun AND funny! All of the iLCP photographers are in the foreground...

One of several churches. This is not THE main one...


Back patio corner leading to studio of house in Umbria.

The house is over 100 years old.

View from cocktail terrace. On hill in the distance is the 13th Century walled city of Todi. The Tiber River is in the valley to the right. It was there that Caesar attacked Northern Italy on January 10, 49 BC, stating, "Alea iacta est." ("The die has been cast.")

Beam ceiling in kitchen. The house is over 100 years old.

Outside summer dining patio under a grape arbor. The main house is to the left, with an equipment shed on the right.

The Cathedral of Orvietoa large 14th century Roman Catholic cathedral situated in the town of Orvieto in Umbria, central Italy.

The Orvieto Cathedral is amazing! Marble stripe layers cover the entire main building.

The facade of the Orvieto Cathedral on the central plaza. Gilt gold and painted murals are designed to reflect the setting sun.

The streets of Orvieto, which is a walled city built at the summit of a mountain.

A column design on the Orvieto Cathedral. Many have intricate gold work and highly detailed designs.


This is the inside of the taxi that picked me up at the Venice railway station.

Venice. Lots of boat traffic. Lots of bridges.

Ancient walls of Venice canals. Now the rising tides reach higher than ever anticipated. The orange stain at the bottom of the photo is iron rust from saltwater, damaging the base of building structures.

Views along the Grand Canal, Venice, Italy.

The approach to my hotel on the Grand Canal.

This is the 'doorman' at my hotel. He's watching the sunset while waiting to call water taxis for guests.

Moonrise over the Grand Canal, Venice, Italy.

Evening view from the hotel dock.

This is available for sale in a store with many unusual animal paintings!

Masks for sale for the annual Venetian Carnival. During the 40 days of Lent, parties were off-limits—and so was eating foods like meat, sugar, and fats. As a result, people would try to get rid of all of their rich food and drink (and get their partying out of the way!) before Lent. Hence… Carnival. (In fact, the word Carnevale may come from the Latin words carne and vale, meaning “farewell to meat”!). According to tradition, Venice’s Carnival got its start in 1162, when townspeople celebrated a victory over the Patriarch of Aquileia. By the 16th century, Venetians were celebrating Carnevale in style!

Architectural layer cake, San Marcos Square.

I'm here during the 55th Venice Biennale, the world's most prestigious art fair, featuring national pavilions from 88 countries, 10 presenting work for the first time – including the Vatican. No official theme ties together the pavilions, but several ideas are emerging as favorites, including greed, collective actions and the boundaries of the physical world.

So most high-end retail stores are featuring haute couture:

This is a Versace suit, and with the exchange rate it's a fair penny!

Prada gingham platform stilettos...

The couture is wild!

Stiletto heels encrusted with jewels...

More heels encrusted with jewels...

Gondolas in the canals at night...

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