Posts Tagged ‘candles’

Up a different hill this time

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

It turns out Lyon isn’t the only place in France with an impressive basilica that sits upon a hill and overlooks the city below. Marseille’s version is the Notre-Dame de la Garde, which we set out to visit on a beautiful Saturday morning (after a healthy amount of rest, breakfast pastries and croissants, and coffee, of course). Despite being able to see the basilica from almost any point in the city, we weren’t quite sure how to get to it, so once we were in the right part of the city we simply resolved to keep walking in whatever direction continued our vertical ascent. It was a decent strategy since the basilica sits at the highest natural point in Marseille, and sure enough, it worked!

The basilica itself was beautiful, as were the views of the city (and the sea) that it afforded. It was a bit crowded for my personal church-visiting tastes, and much like the Notre-Dame de Fourvière, the amount of adorning detail covering practically every surface was nearly impossible to visually process, let alone photograph. But, I am very glad we made the trek up all the same! (Plus, I actually don’t think you’re allowed to visit Marseille without paying the basilica a visit.)

Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)
Marseille, France (Nov 13, 2010)

Photos taken in Marseille, France on November 13, 2010.

Up Fourvière one last time

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Something I loved about Lyon was the fact that no matter where you were in the city, you could almost always see the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière looming above. No matter what we were doing, the basilica was there doing it along with us, like a giant sitting on the hillside, a quiet but prominent and persistent friend, watching us play and laughing at our thoroughly un-French antics. (I admit that this illustration may be somewhat influenced by the fact that I am currently reading The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis.)

Lyon, France (Sep 18, 2010)

Photo taken in Lyon, France on September 18, 2010.

So, unsurprisingly, the basilica and the hill upon which it sits was something of a centerpiece of my Lyonnaise life. Due to its general impressiveness and historical and visual allure, as well as my silhouette-inspired interest in the lookout, I visited Fourviere more than any other place in the city. Sadly, since I needed to leave France sometime, there had to be a last trip up the hill for me! Happily though, I was accompanied that last time by Catie and her sister Emma, and the weather we were given was absolutely perfect. We even had a clear view of the alps from the top! (I had practically forgotten those even existed anywhere close to Lyon.)

Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)

Photo taken in Lyon, France on November 11, 2010.

There isn’t much here in Minnesota (where once again I presently temporarily reside) that could now fill the basilica-shaped hole in my life… The IDS Tower? The Mall of America? The Target Center? (I should quit my mocking for a moment and acknowledge that there is the somewhat impressive Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis, but it is definitely not a part of my everyday life like the Notre-Dame de Fourvière was. For one thing, I can not walk thirty yards out my front door in Plymouth and see Saint Mary’s!) I will miss my giant French friend, but for now, when I look up I can be satisfied with the beauty of the snow falling from the cold dark Midwestern sky.

Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)

Photos taken in Lyon, France on November 11, 2010.

Visiting Lyon’s churches

Monday, October 11th, 2010

I am constantly impressed with the cathedrals and churches of France. Lyon is just as impressive in this regard as almost any other French city, and Catie and I have been having a good time seeking out the many religious buildings and admiring their architecture, sculpture, and stained glass. At the end of September we were able to knock a couple more churches off our list – first visits to them, anyway!

Lyon, France (Sep 18, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sep 18, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sep 18, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sep 25, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sep 25, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sep 25, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sep 25, 2010)
Lyon, France (Sep 25, 2010)

Photos taken in Lyon, France between September 18-25, 2010.

Catching up on life in Chittagong

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

As I mentioned in my previous post, a lot has happened in the last couple months. I’m afraid that if I don’t maintain some sense of chronology that whatever I skip will fall into the digital cracks forever (sorry Nepal, but that means you’re going to have to wait a little while), so I thought I’d start off with a general potpourri of our day-to-day lives in Chittagong. Included in the group of images below is the inaugural students vs. faculty basketball game, a surprise birthday party for Michelle Zjhra (the Dean of Undergraduate Studies at AUW), a few street shots, and of course a few of Catie (doing what Catie does best: casting looks, casting spells, and enjoying snacks).

Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 14, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 14, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 14, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 14, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 16, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 19, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 19, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 19, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 19, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 19, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 19, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 19, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 22, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 23, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 23, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Nov 23, 2009)

Photos taken in Chittagong, Bangladesh between November 14-23, 2009.

Candles, kids, and a sacrificial goat

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

We recently celebrated the holiday of Diwali by visiting and spending a couple evening hours hanging out at a nearby Hindu temple. There was plenty to see (including a goat that mysteriously arrived at one point) and though there were a lot of people coming and going, the atmosphere felt very relaxed. We watched visitors to the temple light and place candles on the ground in a space open to the night sky for a while, and then we sat in the center of the temple and did a bit of people-watching. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long for us to be surrounded with people who were far more interested in us than the other way around. Catie, Denise, and Sarah were a hit with all the Bengali kids while I met and talked with a number of men (as it always seems to happen in this country). A few guys sat and spoke with me for quite a long time, and with the exception of a travel agent who would not stop pestering me, I enjoyed the conversation a great deal.

One of the young men I met was named Alpon, and though he couldn’t have been older than I was, it turned out he was actually a priest of the temple. His dad was a priest there as well and his little brother (who was playing “find the two taka bill” with Denise) will be too someday. Hindu priesthood is clearly the family business. Alpon told me about the holiday and explained what some of the celebratory things around us all meant (including the fact that the aforementioned goat would be sacrificed at midnight). He was very nice and extremely generous, offering sodas to us and insisting on paying for a few posters of Hindu gods that Catie and I were looking at on our way out.

I also happened to learn that in addition to his priestly title, Alpon has managed to become the self-proclaimed “pool champion of Bangladesh”. He told me that he’s usually at the billiards club around 4:00 pm, so I’m planning on meeting him there sometime (and taking that priest down).

Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 17, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 17, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 17, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 17, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 17, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 17, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 17, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 17, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 17, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 17, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 17, 2009)
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Oct 17, 2009)

Photos taken in Chittagong, Bangladesh on October 17, 2009.