If you are at Rice, and studying art, and have the opportunity to do this program, do it! By the way, he showed us a church outside of Ancient Matinea (I think) that's probably the most amazing building I've seen in my life. (Well, I'm not so sure, now that I've seen Aya Sofia.) Here's a teaser:
More about the church. I photographed a panoramic view of the village. Here's the composited panorama. More about the panorama
After the program, I travelled north through Greece on some white-knuckle bus rides, through Olympia, and Patras, and visited Kalambaka and Meteora, the site of large sedimentary monoliths that remain from when the plain was flooded before history. Here's a glipse:
In the 13th century, Byzantine monks founded a total of 26 monastaries atop
these giant things. Somehow they would climb up and managed to build
entire monasteries. There are few distractions that high up.
After that I took the ferry from Igoumenitsa to Brindisi, Italy, got stuck in a train strike, went to Florence for a couple of days, and went to Rome. Wow. Rome is an amazing city, and here is my super-condensed Rome-in-a-single-photo. It includes the Roman Forum (from the days of the Empire), the Capitoline Hill (designed in its current state by Michaelangelo), and the Vittorio Emmanuel (?), a remnant of post-unification Italy.
Also, I went with some friends to Yosemite. We hiked up half dome (10 miles
each way, 4800 feet up, 11 hours total.) Here we are at the top:
Left to right: Jafe, me, Obie, Geoff, Ted. Jafe is so much more fashionable now.
I also worked at my job.
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