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Snow-capped mountains

And spring flowers trim the lake.

You are not alone

 

As you pay homage

To a love we’ve both kept warm,

Across time and space.

 

As you re-trace paths

We once walked together,

I am there with you.

 

Your joy is mine too

When your memory recalls

Great times we shared.

 

Just like the seasons

Straddle beneath the bright sun

Our souls do the same.

 

Spring transcends Winter

Each time I see you again.

 

 

 

Last week, my work took me to Rome and I added a day to visit the beautiful Renaissance  city of  Florence. The speed train from Rome took me through the beautiful scenery of Tuscany and by 8.30 a.m. I had a glorious spring day ahead to explore the scenic nucleus of history, art and a tapestry of culture and medieval architecture. Of course one day can not do justice to all there is to see and do here and I would love to  return for a more leisurely visit.

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From the Piazzale Michelangelo, a square with a panoramic view of Florence, I photographed breathtaking views of Florence including the iconic Duomo, a cathedral with a terracotta-tiled dome engineered by Brunelleschi and a bell tower by Giotto. The stories told by tour guides is that Florence was a very competitive space for artists. So after the dome was built by Brunelleschi, he promptly destroyed the plan and no one has been able to recreate the plans even for the purpose of reconstruction or repairs. The
cathedral named in honor of Santa Maria del Fiore is a vast Gothic structure built
on the site of the 7th century church of Santa Reparata.

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Take in the view of the Arno river from the south bank above and the medieval Ponte Vecchio bridge below which has been rebuilt several times due to damage from various floods. It is now also home to jewellery merchants and tradrs of souvenirs.

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Tucked amidst the amazing textures and colours of vegetation are villas of the rich and famous who can best afford living with these panoramic views.

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In the midst of the Piazzale Michelangelo stands a replica of Michelangelo’s “David” Join in a future post to marvel at the original sculpture of “David”

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A closer look at the cathedral displays its intricate artwork carved in a marble facade. You’ll also have a closer view of the dome which has a viewing area if you are fit enough to climb over 490 stairs.

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The Giotto tower stands alongside the Cathedral below.

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Baptistry – Duomo: The Baptistry of San Giovanni below, one of the most ancient churches in Florence, sits opposite the city’s cathedral, the church of Santa Maria del Fiore. Octagonal in plan, it is totally clad in slabs of white Carrara and green Prato marble.

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There are a number of fortresses around Florence and below is a part of one of them.

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Join me in my next post at the Galleria dell’Accademia to take a look at the artwork and some of the great influences of the Medici family.

 

Magnolia

No sign of life, all this time,

your secret– locked inside

your dried and brittle twigs,

grounded in Winter’s chill.

 

A sudden surprise declaration

of love I’d long forgotten,

you displayed a solitary flower

that caught my full attention.

 

A herald to the season’s change,

a reawakening of warm feelings

I thought had died, long forgotten!

You had guarded your secret well.

 

Once again I’m under your spell,

intoxicated by the scented breeze,

infected by your contagious breath

of new love unfurling once again.

Many people I know confuse Montreux with Montreal in Canada. It takes a two hour train ride from Geneva or Zurich to get here. I have many beautiful memories of this scenic destination and thought I’d share this experience with my new readers.  Besides, some of us are caught in freezing cold and others in sweltering heat. I think this is a happy medium.

All of these pictures were taken at the beginning of Spring and were breathtaking in the contrasting remnants of Winter snow and green exuberance of Spring. Notice the beautiful changes in light. The waters of Geneva lake gave me a taste of heaven.

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Montreux on the lake: Chevvy8
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Montreux on the lake: Chevvy8
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Montreux in Spring: Chevvy8
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Heaven descending on Montreux: Chevvy8
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Another shade of light: Chevvy8

My favourite place: a memorial park to Aretha Franklin, the late greats like Miles Davis, BB King, Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles. The destination of Jazz celebrations.

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The Bust of Aretha Franklin:Chevvy8
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Jazz icons: Chevvy8
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Montreux Palace Hotel: Chevvy8