Auschwitz

Hello friends and family, and thank you so much for your patience!
I apologize that I didn’t post this sooner, but we had a bit of technical difficulties the past few days due to a crazy storm the other night, and of course probably the sloowwwwweesssssstttt internet you can imagine, BUT I have FINALLY managed to get all my pictures uploaded!

Obviously you can assume these are all pictures from my trip to Auschwitz, one of the largest death camps around during the Holocaust.

The first half of my photos were actually taken at Auschwitz II, also known as Birkenau.

Get ready for a little history folks: (thanks to what I learned on the tour and also with a little help from auschwitz.org)

Birkenau was the largest camp in the Auschwitz area. It, initially, was intended to be a camp for POWs in 1941; but, by 1942 it opened as a branch of Auschwitz and it’s sole purpose at the time was a center of Jew extermination. And by 1944, it eventually became the place where prisoners were sent before being transferred to labor in the German industry.

Birkenau covered about 175 acres and was designed to hold up to 200 thousand prisoners, and was adjacent to a 2 large gas chambers where prisoners would be sent to die.
The majority of the victims of Auschwitz died in Birkenau. (approximately 1 million people) not only jews, but more than 70 thousand Poles and about 20 thousand Gypsies, as well as Soviet POWs and other prisoners from various nationalities.

IMG_0035IMG_0101

After the creation of the first Auschwitz camp, the Nazi group had decided to build a set of train tracks to stop within the camp to make the transfer process more efficient. Sadly they would stuff hundreds of people, and their belongings, into these tiny cattle cars where they would travel for days or weeks not knowing where they would be headed. To which many died of suffocation, illness, or starvation.
The first group of jews to arrive in Auschwitz in the spring of 1944 were Hungarian.IMG_0050IMG_0097

Upon arrival they were thrown out of the cars, and instructed to toss their belongings into a pile (which would later be sorted and reused by the Germans) and then told to split into two lines: Women&children.. and the men.
IMG_0052IMG_0051
The women and children were immediately sent to walk this long road, to their unsuspecting deaths, in the gas chambers.
The men who were left behind were put through a selection process of who could work, and who would be sent to death.
More than 80%  of the people who arrived at Birkenau were murdered at once, most of those who lived past the selection process eventually died due to starvation, ill treatment, disease, or overwork.

IMG_0092

 

(Photos of women and children walking this exact road to their death)IMG_0090IMG_0040IMG_0053IMG_0064IMG_0063IMG_0059IMG_0058IMG_0066
(the living corridors of those who survived the selection process)IMG_0070IMG_0074IMG_0081IMG_0079IMG_0077
These little wooden cubbies are where people slept, on hard wood slats you could find anywhere from 6-10 people squished onto each level.IMG_0075IMG_0094IMG_0095IMG_0098

During the liberation of 1945, the Germans attempted to destroy evidence of the crimes committed by the camp by creating bonfires to burn documents, and to destroy the crematoriums that were created to dispose of millions of prisoners bodies.

 

The next set of pictures are of Auschwitz I.

I do want to post right off the bat that there were three places within this camp that we were not allowed to photograph out of respect for the people who suffered at Auschwitz.
The three rooms were:

1. A room with a display of a massive pile of hair from all the women who’s heads were shaved after death in the gas chambers.
2. Block 11 cells, or “death block” which was the, “prison within a prison” where those who were punished for various (rediculous) were sent. (I will give a description of the prison cells with the selection of photos I do have.)
3. Inside the gas chamber.

 

IMG_0115

“Arbeit Macht Frei” or “Work makes you free” (lies lies lies)
This sign is a replica of the original sign that used to be here.
In 2008 the original sign was stolen and later found in 3 pieces, which eventually will be re attached together and placed in a display in the museum rather than out front.

 

IMG_0130 IMG_0132 IMG_0133IMG_0136 IMG_0137 IMG_0138
Ashes of the victims of Auschwitz

IMG_0139 IMG_0145

A photograph of the separation of women and children, and men.IMG_0146

The next photo is an example of the selection process, our tour guide told us that the man you see dressed in the officer’s (looking) uniform was the camp’s physician. If he determined a person was not fit for work and should be sent to death, he would tilt his thumb to the right to the left if they could still work. So as you can see in the photo, he is sending the old man in the front of the line to his death.

IMG_0147

The next two photos are a model replica of what the gas chambers/crematorium looked like.
The underground section was the location of the gas chambers, where they would force the people to strip naked, and would then (from vents above) dump cans of white pebbles laced with Cyclone B. After they were killed, selected prisoners whose job was then to drag each body out one by one, shave the women’s heads, then remove any remaining personal belonging (ie. jewelry, gold teeth, metal fillings, etc.) and then burned in the crematorium, or in piles outside.

IMG_0152IMG_0150  IMG_0155 IMG_0157

IMG_0162
Glasses

IMG_0166
Prayer robes

IMG_0167
Pots & pans, dishes, etc

IMG_0173
personal suitcases with the names of the victims written on the outside.IMG_0178IMG_0181IMG_0182

Children’s shoes

IMG_0186

Thousands and thousands of pairs of shoes.IMG_0193IMG_0194IMG_0195

Brushes, shaving accessories

IMG_0196
Shoe polish

IMG_0199

IMG_0203

Many of the prisoners slept on hay on bare floors during the camp’s first opening and use.IMG_0204
IMG_0205
A hallway lined with hundreds of “mugshots” of some of the first prisoners at Auschwitz. Eventually pictures were no longer taken, and instead prisoners were tattooed with their “number”IMG_0207IMG_0209IMG_0216
washrooms

IMG_0219IMG_0224IMG_0226IMG_0232

There were normal cells in block 11 where prisoners kept that had windows that were partially bricked up from the outside, and the inmates could sleep on wooden bunks.

But 3 of the more cruel cells we were shown were

1: Dark Cells: Where prisoners slept on a bare floor, and would be confined here for several days or weeks, depending on what satisfied the SS in charge. Instead of windows, these cells had vents covered on the outside by metal screens with air holes punched in them ):

2: Starvation Cells: The same setting as a dark cell, but prisoners here were kept for weeks until they starved to death.

3: Standing Cells: There were 4 of these “cells” Measuring about 3feet by 3 feet, where 4 people would be held. Their only source of air was a 5 X 5 cm opening covered by a metal grill. To get into these horrible cells, the only entry was a small opening at floor level that prisoners had to crawl to get into. These prisoners would stand all night and then be forced to work all the next day. Prisoners held here were, again, held from days to weeks.

IMG_0227

The next three photos are of the Block 11 courtyard where many prisoners were taken, stripped naked, and then shot to death.

IMG_0234IMG_0235IMG_0236

There are a total of 22 buildings at the Auschwitz site, which was initially used as a barracks for Pole military, then was changed into a concentration that served as a “slow death” camp, where many died of starvation.

IMG_0249IMG_0256

The little wooden structure in the above photo was a post for the officer in charge of roll call during adverse conditions. Next to this structure was a post where many prisoners were hanged on a  daily basis to make an example of those who attempted to escape/ help others escape.

IMG_0260

The next building pictured served as a pub for the soldiers (downstairs), and an infirmary for these soldiers (upstairs)IMG_0262

 

The figure above the lamp is a man on a barrel.IMG_0265IMG_0268IMG_0267

The next picture is of the outside of the gas chamber/crematoriumIMG_0277IMG_0279

It was a definite worthwhile experience for me.

To see where so many people suffered brought to light the reality of what happened and the cruelty of that time.
To me it was an important experience to see this historical site,  to acknowledge every person who ever suffered here, and to give voice to a generation of people who’s lives were cut so short by the cruelty of others. It’s important to remember instance like these, so history will never repeat itself in this manner. And value the importance of life, and family, and all that we can be thankful for.

Thank you for viewing my more melancholy post.

I promise the next post to be more lighthearted(:

Until next time,

Love-

Brenna

Advertisements

Krakow, Poland

So I’ve changed my mind about two posts today, and I’ve decided to make three instead.
Partially because I have SO many pictures to post,
and partially because I believe my second post is important enough to have it’s own entire page.

This weekend I decided to take a (group advertised trip) to Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. Our previous plans for going to a spa in Slovenia were cancelled, (the second trip cancelled with ITT on base) so I decided to try a new group travel and joined this adventure.
This trip advertised that she (the host) only makes two trips a year to Auschwitz, so I decided to take the plunge and go before I missed the chance and never made my way over.
Because this wasn’t a trip my husband was too interested in, he decided not to waste the money and stay home to catch up on his levels in Destiny.
Scary!
My first post is a collection of photos I took in the city of Krakow, Poland where we would be staying.

Krakow has a population of about 750,000 people, and is only about 40miles away from Auschwitz.
So you can be certain there were a few advertisements of tours to see Schindler’s factory, the jewish ghetto, Auschwitz, and more.

Krakow is about 600miles away from the city of Aviano, so late friday evening we loaded onto a bus for a good 10hours of driving.
Thankfully I slept most of the way there, and they had a mini tv to play movies for the times I wasn’t sleeping.

It was a really fun experience, being in Poland; because, unlike living in the states, you drive a few hundred miles here and you’re in an entirely different country. Different styles, different food, different language. It’s a whirlwind of new atmosphere.
I even managed to hear people from Italy, Ireland, the UK, and even some Germans!

We arrived in Krakow at about ten in the morning on Saturday morning, and had a few hours to spare before our tour at the Auschwitz museum at 3pm. Our host pretty much gave us free time to do whatever we wanted and set up a meeting point when we were ready to go to Auschwitz.
I was pretty nervous, not knowing anyone on the trip and being somewhere I had NO  idea how to navigate through.
I followed the host, like many others, to Wawel Castle to look around.
I apologize in advance that there aren’t many cool pictures of the castle, because we were not allowed to take pictures of the interior rooms.

But I managed to see the treasury/armory room (so cool!), and a site called dragon’s den. (According to medieval legend, there was a dreadful dragon who lived on Warwel Hill where the castle was built and was eventually slain by a man named Krakus. It was basically a winding staircase that led to an underground cave. Which then led outside to a fire breathing sculpture of said dragon.)

So here are some pictures of Krakow!
ENJOY!

IMG_0001IMG_0003IMG_0007IMG_0008IMG_0024IMG_0026IMG_9810IMG_9814IMG_9826IMG_9830IMG_9833IMG_9835IMG_9836IMG_9839IMG_9847IMG_9849IMG_9852IMG_9853IMG_9855IMG_9864IMG_9865IMG_9869IMG_9873IMG_9874IMG_9879IMG_9880IMG_9881IMG_9894IMG_9904_edited-1IMG_9909

(this is the castle below)

IMG_9891

(the entrance)

IMG_9896

(entrance into main lobby)

IMG_9913IMG_9914

(the next few are various buildings within the castle courtyard)IMG_9926IMG_9927IMG_9928

(fire breathing dragon!)

IMG_9975

IMG_9931IMG_9979IMG_9981IMG_9987IMG_9988IMG_9996IMG_9997IMG_9998IMG_0030

Hang in there for my last post about Auschwitz 🙂

Love

-Brenna

Rawlinson Family

Hello lovely folks!

Today I will have two posts for your viewing pleasure, full of tons of pictures!

For my first post, I’m excited to share with you family pictures I took for the Rawlinson family!

Saturday morning I had the pleasure of working with Kimberly, Steven, and their adorable son Jackson.
This couple was so patient and kind towards me after an embarrassing moment when I had forgotten my battery pack at home. Thankfully my wonderful and loving husband raced over the pack so that I could ACTUALLY take pictures. (Still feeling so embarrassed)

Our shoot took place in the town of Pordenone (maybe you recognize the background from my previous posts?)
We used the wonderful architecture of this town in our background so you could really get the sense that, these were in fact photos taken in Italy. 🙂

This was my first time using my new 50mm 1.4 lens, and I am SOOO in love with the outcome of the photos, it made a HUGE difference in my portraits and I am so excited to start practicing with this new treasure of mine!
(Basically this lens puts the subject in focus and beautifully blurs the background)

Luckily we were able to get some really great shots in the midst of an ever-growing-tired toddler who was ready for a snack and some nap time.

ENJOY!

IMG_9602IMG_9620IMG_9636IMG_9647IMG_9666IMG_9673IMG_9686IMG_9682IMG_9695IMG_9715IMG_9721IMG_9731IMG_9791IMG_9743

 

Stay tuned for my next post of my adventure in Poland!

Love,

-Brenna

Boy or Girl?

Hello again family!

I am feeling so upbeat and excited about these shoots that I get to take part of! And I’m so glad you’re here to view them!

Today I got to work with the wonderful Herman family! Shyan, her husband Kyle, and their adventurous daughter Kaylee are a swell little family who are fun and wonderfully conversational! It provided a great atmosphere for a fantastic, warm day!

At the beginning of our shoot we had planned use the local train tracks as our backdrop, (me being under the impression it was going to be a cloudy day), but low and behold it was SO SUNNY, which I normally wouldn’t complain if it were an exploration sort of day. But too much sun and so little clouds make for a washed out photo.
BUT
I am so glad that is was sunny because we wouldn’t have found the gem of a tree grove where we actually took the pictures.

It was a wonderfully serendipitous moment, because we had only drove a short way to find a shady part of the track when we stumbled upon a gorgeous, warmly-lit, grove of what may have been walnut trees?

It provided a great atmosphere (and great shade) for this family’s GENDER REVEAL!

Can’t you tell I’m so excited about babies and taking pictures for these families??
I MAY HAVE BABY FEVER
(but no worries, we’re not at the baby stage yet here in ye old Butterfield abode)

I am SO excited about the outcome of this shoot!

I hope you enjoy my favorites of the following to help the Herman family announce that they are having a baby..

BOY

Yes, little Thomas Blake Herman is expected to greet the world on January 2nd, 2015!

IMG_9310IMG_9380IMG_9320IMG_9376IMG_9353IMG_9449IMG_9500IMG_9502IMG_9486IMG_9471IMG_9327IMG_9405IMG_9417

Quick Life Update:
Guy bought me a new lens that I look forward to receive in the mail soon! (It’s gonna make my portraits SOOOO NICEEE)
I’ve purchased Rosetta Stone to up my Italian speaking skills! (also waiting for it to come in the mail)
We are possibly going on a spa trip next weekend! AND the weekend of the 18th! Woohoo!

I do have a family photoshoot this upcoming Saturday too!

Guy has been busy playing Destiny and Shadow of Mordor and will be looking forward to Midshifts this week! (ew… 11pm-7am, I do not like)

Until next time my lovely family!

Love,
-Brenna!

Baby Johnson 2015!

Hello folks! Are you ready for some new pictures?
I sure am ready to show you!

Yesterday I had the opportunity to work with the awesome Johnson couple!
They are the second couple I’ve been able to work with since offering my services, and they were a blast!

Libby and Robert are an absolutely wonderful couple, and I had so much fun taking pictures for them! They were such a warm and welcoming couple that I couldn’t help but feel in  my comfort zone right away to capture their fun and adorable ideas to help them announce that…
THEY ARE HAVING A BABY!

Oh I just love babies! How exciting that I could be a part of this little family’s announcement that they will be bringing a cute little bundle into this world April 2015!

I hope you enjoy my favorite’s from this shoot, incorporating a football and their, oh-so-energetic, black labs!

IMG_9071IMG_9074IMG_9086IMG_9092 copyIMG_9150 copyIMG_9145 copyIMG_9196IMG_9177IMG_9228IMG_9234IMG_9250IMG_9246

 

Until (later today) next time!

I get to shoot another gender reveal!
Wish me luck!

Love

-Brenna!

It’s a… (Gender Reveal!)

This last weekend I had the absolute pleasure of photographing Kaitlyn Flinchum and her husband Dustin in a super fun “gender reveal” themed shoot!

It was my first shoot since I offered my free services to the military families here in Aviano. Admittedly, I was really nervous, not having much skill or practice in this sort of thing I wasn’t sure how to get a good flow of pictures going. But, I suppose, lucky for me Kaitlyn was totally prepared with poses props and all! It totally helped me relax a bit, because she almost didn’t even need me! But it definitely gave me good experience to have poses in mind in the future!

Kaitlyn and Dustin are such an easy going, fun couple. It was such a fun experience to see two, obviously good friends, relax and have fun while a stranger, like me, snapped some fun shots! I thoroughly enjoyed being able to take these pictures for them!

Without further adieu, I would like to finally post that they are having a boy!

Yes, little Teegan Kase Flinchum will be expected February 9th 2015! How exciting for these two!

I hope you enjoy my favorites of this shoot as much as I did while taking them!

 

IMG_8527 copy

IMG_8618 copyIMG_8533 copy_edited-1IMG_8542 copyIMG_8555 copyIMG_8564IMG_8599 copyIMG_8635 copyIMG_8688 copyIMG_8712IMG_8718 copyIMG_8677IMG_8733IMG_8736 copyIMG_8742IMG_8745IMG_8813IMG_8798IMG_8838 copyIMG_8864 copyIMG_8868IMG_8872IMG_8880IMG_8900 copy

 

This weekend, I have 3 more photoshoots (whew!) so wish me luck and look forward to the next photos that I post!

Until next time,

Love
-Brenna 🙂

Enter, If You Dare!

Hello friends and folks!

Yesterday my good friend Kadie and I decided to take advantage of the lovely fall weather and take a stroll around our little town of Marsure to see what we could find.

I absolutely love the feeling of fall, the balance of heat from the sun and the cool breeze to keep you a comfortable lukewarm.
It’s amazing what kind of scenery I’ve been missing out on in my own little hometown.
We passed some wonderfully colored houses with great landscaping, large fields full of corn, and abandoned snail shells.

IMG_8292 copy IMG_8376 copy IMG_8347 copy IMG_8337 copy IMG_8328 copy IMG_8309 copy IMG_8306 copy

IMG_8393 copy IMG_8434 copy IMG_8429 copy IMG_8426 copy
We found ourselves at the edge of the suburbs where the houses became more scarce and spread out.
At one end of a cornfield we stumbled across a honey-orange colored house, that upon closer inspection, was entirely abandoned. Overgrown with ivy, and placed next to a railroad track that had obviously not been used in sometime.

IMG_8443 copyIMG_8491 copyIMG_8499 copy IMG_8496 copy IMG_8494 copy
It was an incredibly eery atmosphere as we rounded the building looking for an entrance, that I half expected a zombie hoard to overtake us.

This building had been locked up, but obviously broken into much later, as some the lock on the entrance we went into was busted. And many of the windows shattered as well.

The first floor was scattered with beer bottles, random furniture, and clothing adding to the eeriness of the large house. We held our breaths entering to make sure there weren’t previous adventurers, like ourselves, listening for any noise to indicate otherwise. Apart from the kitchen, whose windows had not been forced open, we explored the entire 6 of 8 rooms in the house. Ventured our way upstairs past the mass of spiderwebs, and overlooked the cornfield below.
Probably one of the more creepy decisions in my life, but overall very satisfying.

IMG_8490 copyIMG_8485 copyIMG_8448 copyIMG_8475 copyIMG_8461 copy

IMG_8465 copyIMG_8468 copyIMG_8455 copy

 

As for updates, I find myself very excited and very nervous.
I have decided to offer free services of taking pictures for the spouses and and families on base.

Primarily to take up my free time and practice my skills;) But also to feed my creativity!
I really enjoy taking pictures, especially of people! So I am thoroughly looking forward to having new faces to take pictures of!
So wish me luck on my endeavor to give people some good pictures! (today being my first shoot!) *internally freaking out*

And this evening my hubby and I are heading out to Günzburg, Germany… TO LEGOLAND!

I am so beyond excited and I cannot wait to post fun pictures of our trip!

Until next time!
Ciao!

-Love, Brenna

Fall!

So once again I’ve let time slip past my fingers and I’ve been lazy on updating and writing new things for you.
As far as excuses go, there hasn’t been too much exciting news to share,
maybe I should start posting when I make tasty food from scratch or something.

I wish I could kick my butt into high gear and get in the swing of things, THIS SHOULD BE MY CREATIVE OUTLET. But I’ve kinda had a brain fart and never find myself in a situation where I’d say “Man this is SO interesting, I should totally post it!” haha, okay okay, maybe I should be more open to posting fun things, I’m always striving to do creative things anyway.

Gosh Brenna, get it together!

Well since the last time I’ve posted here, my hubby was, once again, pulled away from me to another country for a good month an a half. I tell ya what, sometimes it stinks being a military spouse, I don’t really find it to be all that fun to be alone so much. But hey, if it helps me grow as a person, and helps my heart grow fonder? Then so be it, if it’s God’s will, then it will be. HAH!

So now my hubby is home and we have had so much fun being couch potatoes for some time! (Thanks to Guy’s new purchase of a PS4, goodness me. THE GAMES! THE GAMES!) But really, it’s been a lot of fun growing as friends these past few weeks, learning how to treat each other and finding a good foundation of comfort. I love this Guy, he’s as sweet as a can o’ peaches!

BUT! HAVE FAITH MY FRIENDS!
Because we have trips planned soon!
We’re going to Legoland (in Germany) next weekend! How cool is that going to be? and I PROMISE, to post some pictures.

As for pictures today I have some fun pictures of Guy and I to greet the new season! (and possibly I will ACTUALLY SEND SOME HOME AS SEASONS GREETING CARDS… I was so lazy last year… [insert shame here] but family I promise to send them this year!)

We took a little hike up a mountain near our house and had some fun (once I caught my breath and let the sweat dry from my forehead HAH! Oh, I’m out of shape)

I hope you enjoy!

IMG_8197 copy IMG_8199 copyIMG_8202 copyIMG_8207 copyIMG_8210 copyIMG_8213 copyIMG_8224 copyIMG_8232 copyIMG_8240 copyIMG_8242 copyIMG_8250 copyIMG_8256 copyIMG_8259 copyIMG_8269 copyIMG_8284 copy

-Love Brenna

 

 

Verona; Turandot!

Hello my wonderful friends, family, and other miscellaneous viewers!

Today’s post I write to you filled with so much glee and absolute adrenaline!

 

This weekend I made one of the most spontaneous decisions ever! My friend Berea and I, after previous plans fell through, decided to take a little drive to the city of Verona!

Now if you aren’t familiar with the city name, another popular name that might ring a bell is “Romeo & Juliet”, this famous tragedy takes place in the city of Verona. Now, I’m not entirely sure… because I was under the impression that this was entirely fictional, but I was recently told it was based on real people? I don’t know…

or if that’s too old for you, “Letters to Juliet” had also taken place in the city of Verona too…
Regardless, there is a house in Verona that is popularly “Juliet’s House” that you can visit.
Sorry folks, I didn’t visit the home of our famed tragic heroine, BUT I’ve got a better sight-seeing story for you!

Verona is a two hour drive from the city of Aviano, and it is the furthest distance I’ve ever driven in Italy. I was totally scared and HATED driving with all these crazy Italians. But overall, I handled it well and made it there and back in one piece (thank God!).

After a lengthy drive and (LUCKILY) finding a parking spot, Berea and I took a walk to the town square.

I tell ya peeps, I can’t get over Italy’s structures and colors and overall atmosphere. It’s entirely surreal to be in such a different and beautiful city that most Italians probably don’t think about, because it’s their everyday life. SO WEIRD AND AWESOME.

Could you just imagine saying, “hmm let’s take a train ride to (Venice, Florence, Budapest, France, Austria, etc. etc. etc.) this weekend.” Like, WHAT? Man, weekend trips at home were never this cool.
Once we reached the main square we decided to check out the Arena which was smack dab in the middle of the place, it was really hard to miss. haha

IMG_7696

 

 

IMG_7666IMG_7674IMG_7676IMG_7682IMG_7683IMG_7687IMG_7691IMG_7693IMG_7695

IMG_7698IMG_7700IMG_7701IMG_7703IMG_7705IMG_7706IMG_7709IMG_7710IMG_7712IMG_7715

So the arena kind of looks similar to the Roman Colosseum, but upon research I’ve found that they were used for entirely different scenes. I did think this Verona Arena was a colosseum until I looked it up.
Unlike the Roman Colosseum, the Verona Arena has only ever been used for Operas or ballets since the renaissance era, not gladiator battles. Which accounts for the structure on the interior of the Arena.

So Berea and I figured, “Hey let’s see if there’s an Opera tonight” and BAM there was!

According to online sources, the Verona Arena popularly has Operas during the summer months of June-August. So HEY PERFECT TIMING.
And we had no prior plans so we bought our tickets. You can either purchase tickets for the padded, floor seating in the middle (the more expensive choice) OR buy the cheaper tickets to where you can sit on the ACTUAL arena stone steps. HOW COOL. Of course if that’s too uncomfortable, they have padded cushions for purchase;)

So all in all it was about 40euro for the both of us for the higher up seats. Not a bad price, I think. After our purchase we went for dinner until the Opera started.

IMG_7717IMG_7723IMG_7727IMG_7733IMG_7735IMG_7736IMG_7737IMG_7740

 

 

Arco della Costa (arch of the rib)

So I was really intrigued by the next two pictures, because I was so confused to see this large bone hanging over an archway in the square where we ate. I had to come home and google it (thank heavens for google) because both Berea and I were confused and had no idea what or why this bone was there.

The origin of the bone itself is unknown, wether it was a beached whale, or so. But, apparently it has been hanging in the archway for over 1,000 years and according to legend:
The whale (rib) bone, will fall and break when someone who has never told a lie before walks beneath it)

So cool right??

 IMG_7741IMG_7742

 

 

 

IMG_7746IMG_7748IMG_7749IMG_7751IMG_7752IMG_7758IMG_7759IMG_7754IMG_7757IMG_7760IMG_7761IMG_7765IMG_7771IMG_7772IMG_7773IMG_7774IMG_7775IMG_7750IMG_7779IMG_7783

 

 

 

So I apologize ahead of time for the very few pictures I have of the inside of the Arena, you really weren’t supposed to take pictures. And although most people didn’t follow that rule (lots of camera phones and flashy fancy cameras) I didn’t wanna risk getting in trouble. haha

But once the play ended I did try and snap a few so you could see how ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS the set and things were.

I have to say I have a lot of admiration for these actors? (is that what you call opera singers?) because they had NO sound system whatsoever and had to rely solely on their own diaphragms and the construction of the arena to carry the sound. What power houses!

Same to the musicians!

So I’m sure you’re curious of the Opera story!
We saw the particular Opera titled: Turandot (pronounced too-ran-doh) written by  Giacomo Puccini. (pronounced gee-ah-coh-moh poo-chee-nee)
If you aren’t familiar with the Persian fairytale I’ll try and give you a brief synopsis:

Turandot (name meaning: daughter of Turan. Turan being a region in of Central Asia that used to be apart of the Persian Empire) is the gorgeous Persian Princess who refused to be ruled by men like her ancestor Lo-u-Ling, (who was a quiet and joyous empress who resisted the dominance of men and unfortunately was later brutally taken over and murdered by a foreign prince. Who Turandot thus claims to have the vengeful spirit within her).
SO, because she is so full of anger and refuses to let any man dominate her, she thus claims that any suitor who wants to attempt to pursue her must answer her riddles to succeed and marry her. But if they fail, they must be beheaded.

So of course, MANY have failed (heads on spikes strewn across the stage and all).

So during the announced fail and preceding beheading of the Prince of Persia, as the crowd attempts to gather toward the gates (to see the beheading) an old man is shoved to the ground [enter Timur] by imperial guards, and upon his servant [Liu] crying out for help the Prince of Tartary[Calaf] discovers, “WHOA THATS MY DAD” and reunites with him. [Not entirely sure why they were separated in the first place… but you know… vague haha]

Anyhow, as the Prince of Persia is led to his death, the crowds screams for blood eventually turn silent as they see how kind and beautiful this guy. And the begin to beg Turandot to let him go, because, you know he’s just so handsome and nice looking. Turandot comes out, and like the stoic lady she is, waves her hand as to say “I don’t care, kill him anyway”
Well of course, wouldn’t you know it? The Prince of Tatary sees her, and IMMEDIATELY without skipping a beat wants to marry, wants to take her challenge and everything because she’s so gosh darn beautiful he will stop at nothing to have her!

So for the remainder of the first act everyone, and I mean EVERYONE (his dad, Liu [because she’s secretly in love with him] priests,) are trying to stop this guy. And he will have none of it, he loves her so much. So he bangs the gong 3 times (which let’s Turandot know, he’s ready for the challenge)

And for the remainder of the play (so this doesn’t become TOO long winded) he actually solves the three riddles, and she becomes frightened to be his, begging her father to not allow it. But he’s so sick of the death he tells her he can’t go back on what was made law. So because the Prince of Tartary [Calaf] and decides to give her a chance, he tells her that because he has never told her his name before if she answers correctly, as to what his name is, he will die. But if she answers wrong, she has to marry him.
DUN DUN DUN
lots of drama, Turandot tries to torture Timur and Liu to find out his name, Liu kills herself because she loves Calaf so that Turandot will not find out his name because she wants him to be happy even if that means marrying Turandot. (and is apparently the only one who know his name) and then BAM song about how much Calaf loves Turandot and how he’s gonna kiss her and she’s gonna love him back, all the while she sings “don’t touch me! Get away” BAM he kisses her. She instantly realizes she loves him, he gives her his name and says “My life is in your hands because I know you love me”
Next morning, she says “HIS NAME IS LOVE”
HAPPILY EVER AFTER NO MORE MURDER THE END.

*whew*

Overall, it was great and beautiful, and probably one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had… especially for my first opera ever!

IMG_7787IMG_7786IMG_7791IMG_7796IMG_7798IMG_7799

 

 

Anyhow! thanks for sticking with my long post!

 

Until next time friends!

 

Love
-Brenna!

 

Cabin Fever

So I have another quick post for you (expect two more after this!)

I finally took some time to go through the pictures I took while my husband and I took a four week vacation home.
This collection of pictures is from our overnight stay at Guy’s grandparent’s cabin (maternal grandparents).

It was a cute, rickety, old little building located in Twin Lakes.

And pretty much the only ways to get to the little teal home is either by boat, 1hr hike, or 4 wheel drive.
(I was to frightened I’d drop my camera from the dinky little fishing boat we took to get there) so unfortunately no water pictures, but it was just so dang cute!
After we docked it was a short hike to the cabin itself.

Guy’s parents, sister, aunt, cousins, himself and I all stayed the night for one evening enjoying the great outdoors.
Grilling, making smores, shooting guns, the works!

It was soooo much fun and exciting for my inner mountain (wo)man! I absolutely enjoyed myself(:

So without further adieu, some pictures from that little excursion!

IMG_7421 copyIMG_7430 copyIMG_7442 copyIMG_7487 copyIMG_7466 copyIMG_7365 copy_edited-1

IMG_7472 copyIMG_7371 copy_edited-1IMG_7389 copy_edited-1IMG_7394 copy_edited-1IMG_7399 copyIMG_7424 copy_edited-1IMG_7436 copyIMG_7445 copy

IMG_7448 copy

IMG_7455 copyIMG_7470 copyIMG_7481 copyIMG_7493 copyIMG_7495 copy

Til Next time!
-Love Brenna