Reconciliation Express
Volume 4 Book 4 of
Living in the Bonus Round
(Part 2)
Portofino Italy
Portofino Italy.

[ Book 4-3 ] -- [ Pt 1 ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ] [ Pt 5 ] [ Pt 6a 6b ] [ Pt 7 ] [ Pt 8 ]
[ Pt 9 ] [ Pt 10 ] [ Pt 11 ] [ Pt 12 ] [ Pt 13 ] -- [ Book 4-5 ]

June 1-4, 2005.
Portofino Photo Album.
After appearing as Bishop Brochu it was obvious that God got pissed about it because Jim came down with an upper respiratory infection and has been lying as still as I can keep him (which is NOT easy.) Still, on Friday night, he performed the show with verve and gusto, pausing only a few times to cough -- and the audience was right with us the whole way.

Also, Paul and Murphy signed the agreement to option The Big Voice for New York, so the fundraising has begun! It's not easy getting a show into New York these days, but we have a willing theatre and producers who are emotionally invested in the material. Can't beat that. In fact, they even bought new chairs and a table for the set here, and erected a beautiful curtain behind us. We're looking like a show!

So, with Jimmy downstairs resting and drinking lots of fluids, I thought I'd take us back on the cruise and show you one of the most beautiful places I think I've ever seen: Portofino Italy.

May 11, 2005.
In Praise of Portofino.

Early on, we anchored off the coast of a forested shoreline in the Mediterranean. I could make out buildings on the shore along with some amazing stone Roman-era roads right along the coastline. But I wasn't sure what it was Portofino had to offer, having never been there and knowing very little about it.

Portofino shoreline
Portofino from the ship.
Notice the old Roman-era road.

The Italian Riviera. I had heard of it my whole life and now I was seeing it. Soon, our tenders were released and we began motoring down the coast, around a bend, past some beautiful buildings, all tucked into little inlets...

Portofino Italy

...or perched up on hillsides, overlooking stone roads and forests.

Castle in Portofino.

Finally, we rounded a bend and entered the most beautiful Italian village one could imagine. If you had asked a Hollywood designer to create it from scratch, there's no way he or she could have matched this. It was truly breathtaking. After we landed I walked to the center of the little town and turned back toward the sea. This is what I captured:

Portofino Italy

I stood there with my video camera just holding the shot for at least five minutes, not believing the sheer beauty laid out in front of me.

Portofino Italy

The sunbleached buildings curved majestically around the bay as the forested hills rose above them.

In the above close-up of the old walls, see the stone decorations around the windows? Those are painted on. In reality, these walls are completely flat.

Streets of Portofino.

We walked around the cove and I took the above shot looking back into the center of the little town.

Portofino Italy.

Back over behind the center of town, we saw a beautiful church painted with stripes standing halfway up the hill.

Cathedral in Portofino

May 12-13, 2005.

It's the last day of our cruise. I've been gone from the ship so I didn't finish up yesterday's log. We were just on a walking tour of Firenze, also known as Florence. Funny how much I don't know about Italy. Have I said that a lot? I have.

It was incredibly moving in some weird way to see the hills where Leonardo da Vinci grew up. To see the rolling evergreen landscape with those tall cypress trees -- the ones that turn up in the background in most of his paintings. I stood there imagining what it must have felt like to be understanding perspective for the first time, the idea of a three dimensional image, something we take for granted. It must have been like seeing the world for the first time.

Firenze/Florence was it's own city-state at one point, having seceded from both the German Empire AND the Vatican. What must it have felt like to be truly free of the grip of theocrats, for the first time, I can only imagine. And then to promote beauty as a way of touching God.

And look what it created. The greatest art imaginable.

I like the idea of all these people competing to create the most beautiful things imaginable. There's something really right about it.

Monte Carlo. And frankly, though Monte Carlo is really beautiful from the ship, it's not exactly my favorite spot to travel to.

We basically bussed to the center of town, walked around a little, and then went back to the ship. Jim is having feet problems and it's just too painful for him to do much walking, which is not a good thing when you're touring around..

[ Book 4-3 ] -- [ Pt 1 ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ] [ Pt 5 ] [ Pt 6a 6b ] [ Pt 7 ] [ Pt 8 ]
[ Pt 9 ] [ Pt 10 ] [ Pt 11 ] [ Pt 11 ] [ Pt 12 ] [ Pt 13 ] -- [ Book 4-5 ]

© 1996-2005 by Steve Schalchlin.
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