Saturday, June 19, 2010

End Times- Eels

A simply beautiful song. Mark Oliver Everett is amazing.

Maps + Legends: The Summer Aquatic 2010: No Sicilian can refuse a request on his daughter's wedding day.

Messina, Sicily
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Basic Fact Sheet:
*The Port in Messina is considerably noted for bringing the largest flow of tourism to the Island of Sicily, and has thus been nicknamed the "Gate of Sicily"
*Sicilians are known for being extremely proud of their heritage which has been influenced by Byzantines, Romans, Greeks, and even the Turks.
*Organized crime still exists in Sicily, and the island has been infamously portrayed in the Godfather films as the "old country" for all Corleones. In fact Sicilians have been depicted in many films and television shows as being extremely loyal to family members, and for having a sense of time honored tradition.
*Messina stands as the third largest city in Sicily with a population of around 245,000
*Messina thrives on tourism mostly, as do many other ports in the Mediterranean, yet it is known for a large agricultural and wine based economy.

*Some notable sites of interest: 

The Fountain of Neptune:
Designed by Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli, an understudy of the great Michelangelo. 

Built in 1557. 
Overlooks the Harbor.

The Fountain is noted for raising its central figure (Neptune aka...Poseidon) in contrast against the rest of the arrangement, thus signifying the principles dominance and power above all others (others being sea monsters writhing in terror below: Scylla and Charybdis)
You can read about Scylla and Charybdis here: Scylla and Charbydis article
Scylla and Charbydis are divided by the god's power to ward off destruction in protecting the city, and are thus kept in check from destroying approaching ships. 
The two formations within the harbor can still be identified today, and although their personifications as sea monsters has passed, it stands as a unique interaction between mediums of the natural and artificial worlds. Plus, Neptune strangles two monsters simply by walking on them... epic?

Fountain of Orion
According to Sicilian tradition, Orion was said to have been the founder of Messina and the reason for the ports unique geography. Some legends state that he assisted in creating the ports harbor and others claim he pushed Sicily from Italy severing any connection with the mainland to allow ships to pass through the strait. The latter is evidenced in the real world by a terrible earthquake that severed Sicily from mainland Italy, thus creating the mythological tale. Afterwards he settled in this region till he was murdered by a foul creature, and deemed worthy by Zeus to enter the skies as a constellation, guiding sailors to safety. The fountain stands as a reminder of Orion's achievement as he "numbered among the stars of heaven and thus winning for himself immortal remembrance." (Diodorus Siculus iv 85.5)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Summer Aquatic: Intro

So as many have heard, I will be cruising from June 27th till around July 10th; and I must say that until recently it hadn't hit me. I don't know if it was a perpetual delay due to focusing on other areas of life, or a general step by step/ day by day living style that hasn't factored in future events.

Regardless of the reasoning, on June 23rd my siblings and I will be joining 7 other  members of my family in a 14 day cruise/vacation. From San Francisco we will be flying to London, England where we will catch a connecting flight to Barcelona, Spain. I think the film Vicki Christina Barcelona painted an isolated yet intriguing picture of what bohemian lifestyles look like; but I probably won't experience anything like it unfortunately. haha. My family will be meeting up with, well... more of my family haha (the Watermans) touring Europe for the World Cup. So it will be nice to have everyone together for a short time. We will be spending a short time in Barcelona but probably won't see much, although my cousin James will be going to the running of the bulls before we all arrive, so perhaps vicariously I can experience more Spanish culture through him.

The following is a listed schedule with stops, for the next few weeks I will be breaking down my travel blogs in various ways: pre-trip will focus on each stop with some info and links to Google Maps, during the trip I will post reflections as well as some pictures from each place visited, and post trip I will be posting the remainder of my thoughts as well as pictures to my facebook account.

San Francisco (June 23rd-24th)
London/Barcelon (June 25th-27th)
Sicily (Messina) (June 28th)
At Sea (June 29th)
Mykonos, Greece (in the Cycladies Isles) (June 30th)
At Sea (July 1st)
Ephesus, Turkey (Kusadasi specifically) (July 2nd)
Athens, Greece (July 3rd)
At Sea (July 4th)
Naples, Italy (Salerno) (July 5th)
Rome, Italy + Vatican City (state) (July 6th)
Florence +Pisa, Italy (July 7th)
Provence (Toulon) + Bormes les Mimosas (July 8th)
Barcelona, Spain (July 9th)

I will be updating all future travel blogs with the title: "A Summer Aquatic" and including some intro/statement for each individual entry.

So if you don't already, please follow my blog at:

peace, eric