Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Intermission, Entry 12

Intermission Entry 12, October 27th, 2011, 12:54am (GMT +0)

I learned a valuable lesson yesterday – don't drink below the waterline with the night shift. They will always prevail. We took a break for breakfast and then went back down three decks to carry on . . . I ended up losing most of today.

From the notebook, October 12th, Notre Dame, Paris

The cathedrals of Europe have amazed me with their variety of architectural styles. Palma is all rough-hewn stone and intense vertical reach. Barcelona's old cathedral is black and heavy with Gothic ornamentation, while Gaudi's masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia, is a bizarre stone forest. St. Peter's, in Rome, exudes wealth with its multicolored marbles and ubiquitous gold leaf. Palermo's cathedral is a long, low building of sand colored stone, reminding me of North Africa. In France I've been able to add two more to my list, both of them as unique as all the others.

In both the Rheims and Notre Dame cathedrals I have seen small candle holders mounted to the pillars. They are on every other pillar and there is a small circle painted above each one. Purely for illumination, or some other purpose? Notre Dame has round columns with Corinthian caps the become more Gothic as they pass the first level. There's more stained glass, and it is darker than the cathedral in Rheims. Also, the second level porch is very wide, pushing the alcoves even farther out.

I like cathedrals They smell like old, worn stone and warm dark woods, and are filled with stories of passionate people searching for truth. People trying to figure “it” out, whatever “it” is.

I just realized that Napoleon was crowned emperor here. Holy crap.

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