Our adventure began with almost two weeks on CRETE.  First we stayed in the Northwest, overlooking a beautiful green valley.

These were some of our neighbors:

We made daytrips to CHANIA:

Although our visit to Crete turned out to feature little Art, our host Sofia is an artist and works in a gallery in Chania named Mitos, once a former monastery.

 Sophia with an old painting.
Sofia with an old painting of hers.

There was historic Art at the archeology museum:

And a show at The Municipal Art Gallery by Pavlos Soamios:

And after getting directions:

we made excursions up into the mountains.

And visited the local residents:

And a few beaches.

Elafonisi Beach

We visited towns like SOUGIA, at the end of the Samara Gorge, and PALEOCHORA, which was celebrating Art Week with work by forty artists in twenty-four locations, including underwater. 

Though we could not see everything due to afternoon closings, what we saw was mostly locally done.  Our favorites were these masks made by Konstantin at Cosmogonia.


We then moved our base to FERMA, just east of IERAPETRA.  Our first stop was a sunset dinner at Robertson's Taverna in KOUTSOUROS.

Drives along the eastern shore to towns like XEROKAMBOS, ZAKROS, and PALEKASTRO turned up a variety of ruins:

And interesting flora:

As well as a little fauna:

We had our own little "clothing optional" beach behind our apartment.

This was the actual view of the olive trees directly in back of our place: 

And this is Marina:

We made a brief visit to Ierapetra during siesta, but quickly felt the comfortable scale of the buildings and the beachfront.  The big business there is boat rides to Chrissi Island, but even that was shut down for a couple of hours.

We changed venues to IRAKLION.  An entirely different kettle of fish.  I have not yet mentioned the extraordinary hospitality we received from not only our hostesses Sofia and Marina, but by most everyone else along the way.  At least in the West, in the South and the East.  Not so much on the North, where the biggest cities are located and populations reside.  Together with all the harshness of a big city, for which we were not prepared.  So after seeing the few sites:

Visiting the ruins at Knossos (which had the feeling of a con-job since all the stories regarding the palace were made up by the man who discovered the ruins):

And then the Archeological Museum, which has all the good stuff from Knossos:

Minoan rhyton, 1600-1450 B.C.
Snake Goddess, 1650-1550 B.C.
Lioness-head Rhyton, 1600-1500 B.C.
Bull-Leaping Fresco, 1600-1400 B.C.

We left Iraklion early and flew to GENEVA for a week in Switzerland.  We were lucky that it was unseasonably warm there.  And it was almost like going to the theatre each time we returned to our apartment in the neighborhood called Carouge, just outside of downtown.  There were all sorts of interesting shops of high quality.  Even found an Art opening.

We came for the Art, and found some immediately at the airport:

Cloud Prototype No. 6 by Inigo Manglano-Ovalle, 2011
Werknummer 1539 by Raffael Benazzi, 1976
And more around town:

Iraklion by Maurice Ruche, 1982
Iraklion by Maurice Rucke, 1982
Alter Ego 1905-1982-3000 by Gerald Ducimetiere aka John Aldus, 1982

134.5 (degrees) Arc by Bernar Venet, 1999
Reformation Wall
La Flamboyante by Antoine Poncet, 1979-82
Construction Spatialle aux Troisieme et Quatrieme Dimensions by Antoine Pevsner
The Earth Awakening  by David Wynne, 1988
Twisted Column by Max Bill, 1966
Colombe de la Paix by Frederic Schmied, 1939
Apres le bain ou Sylvie sortant du bain by Henri Konig, c 1960
Empress Elizabeth of Austria (Sissi) by Philip Jackson, 1998

We took advantage of the public transport ticket to crisscross the lake on these little Mouettes (seagulls)

Poise by Eleanor Cardozo
The Child and the Horse by Heinrich Schwartz, 1978

Since the Museum of Modern Art was closed for a new show, the only place remaining for us was the Museum of Art and History.  Sure there was lots of old stuff:

But we were also introduced to Ferdinand Hodler, the second (probably third) most famous Swiss artist (after Klee and Arp).

autoportrait by Ferdinand Hodler, 1916
Le Lac de Thoune aux reflets symetriques by Ferdinand Hodler, 1909
Vigneron vaudois and Horloger genevois by Ferdinand Hodler, 1895-96

Le Lac Leman et le Mont Blanc a l'aube by Ferdinand Hodler, 1918

And a display of French painters, such as:

Vue d'Auvers avec champ de ble by Vincent van Gogh, 1890
La Maison de Bellevue by Paul Cezanne, 1890-1894
Portrait of Jeanne Pontillon by Berthe Morisot, 1894

plus Renoir, plus Braque, plus Picasso, etc.  But at the end was a surprise sculpture by Jean Tinguely:
Si c'est noir, je m'appelle Jean by Jean Tinguely, 1960

And, of course, Henry Moore:

Reclining Figure-Arch Leg by Henry Moore, 1969-70

Then we were off like a silent bolt of lightening.


Then BASEL, and the Fondation Beyeler's Kandinsky, Marc & Der Blaue Reiter.

Designed by Renzo Piano of Pompidou Centre fame.
The Dream by Franz Marc, 1912
Three Animals (Dog, Cat, Fox) by Franz Marc, 1912
The World Cow by Franz Marc, 1913
Composition VII by Wassily Kandinsky, 1913
view from inside
The Tree by Alexander Calder, 1966


Saying 'goodbye' to Basel.

We began our day early in BERN.


The Paul Klee Center is just outside of town.  Once again, Renzo Piano was called upon to design this museum which is based on a donation by Klee's daughter of 690 pieces or 40% of his work.  As we have found in other Centers, what is being donated is not always the best stuff.  Mostly sketches and studies and photographs.  Items that couldn't be sold.  It opened in 2005 and there were a few people inside.

Glas Fassade by Paul Klee, 1940

The Kunstmuseum doesn't allow photos, but I cheated for this pair of Hodler's:

Der Tag by Ferdinand Hodler, 1899-1900
La Nuit by Ferdinand Hodler, 1889-1890

And then to our final Swiss city, ZURICH.  And look who's there to greet us.

Guardian Angel by Niki de Saint Phalle, 1997

The city has attempted to capitalize on being the birthplace of Dada.

Gallery Gmurzynska had a special interior by Zaha Hadid for a
Kurt Schwitters  show on the actual spot that Dada was founded.
Panzernashorn by John A. Tobler, 1982

Kunsthaus Zurich was having a special show of Francis Picabia.

autoportrait by Francis Picabia, 1940
Idylle by Francis Picabia, c 1925-27
The Three Graces by Francis Picabia, 1925-26
Five Women by Francis Picabia, 1941-43

And a few more Hodlers,

Bildnis Valentine Gode-Darel by Ferdinand Hodler, c. 1912
View to Infinity by Ferdinand Hodler, 1916
Heilige Stunde by Ferdinand Hodler, 1907
Song from Afar by Ferdinand Hodler, c 1917
Jungling vom Weibe by Ferdinand Hodler, c 1903
Der Tag by Ferdinand Hodler, 1904-07

Alberto Giacometti's father's cousin, Augusto:

Das Kreisen der Planeten by Augusto Giacometti, 1907
Die Nacht by Augusto Giacometti, 1903
Steinhauer by Augusto Giacometti, 1913
Contemplazione by Augusto Giacometti, c. 1907
Phaeton in the Constellation of Scorpio by Augusto Giacometti, 1910

But they also had an extraordinary collection of other Moderns.  From van Gogh:

Thatched Sandstone Cottages at Chaponval by Vincent van Gogh, 1890
White cottages at Saintes-Maries by Vincent van Gogh, 1888
Portrait of Patience Escalier by Vincent van Gogh, 1888
The Cypress and Flowering Tree by Vincent van Gogh, 1889

To Rouseau:

Portrait of Monsieur X (Pierre Loti) by Henri Rousseau, 1906

To Alberto's father (Augusto's cousin), Giovanni Giacometti:

Sculptor (Annetta and Alberto) by Giovanni Giacommeti, 1923.
Annetta by Giovanni Giacometti, 1900

Plus many more.  CLICK HERE TO SEE THEM.

The churches have Chagall and Giacometti (Augusto) stained glass, but you have to pay to get in and then you cannot take a photo.  At least there was no charge to see Giacometti's masterpiece at the entryhall of the city police department (began 1923).  Photos were still not allowed, but here are a few that others took:

Here are more shots of Zurich.

Sheep Piece by Henry Moore, 1971-72
Goodbye to Zurich

We then flew to BUDAPEST for a couple of days.  Unfortunately, the Fine Art museum was closed for restoration, as was the Ludwig Museum and the Vaserely Museum, but that was not all the Art tricks the city was holding.  There were, of course, statues:

Little Princess by László Marton, 1989
Dog Girl by David Raffay, 2007
by Andor Meszaros, 1959

And these mosaics from the dome of the Szechenyi Baths (1913):

 The Kunsthalle had two shows.  One called Nature and Art in Hungary 1960-2000.

Gravity by Jaakko Pernu, 2013
untitled by Henrique Oliveira, 2009

The other featured the work of Szervatiusz Jeno:

Ady Endre by Szervatiusz Tibor, 1966
Clowns by Szervatiusz Jeno, 1975

But the real jewel was the Hungarian National Gallery, high above Buda, overlooking the Danube.  The big attraction was a Modigliani show, but we visited the permanent collection first.  Sure there was old stuff.

Cycladic Figure, 2700-2400 B.C.

But I also learned that there was a The Eight in Budapest and some of their work was on display.

self-portrait by Lajos Tihanyi, 1912
self-portrait by Bertalan Por, 1912

Active from 1909 to 1918, the members were Robert Bereny, Dezso Czigany, Bela Czobel, Karoly Kernstok, Odon Marffy, Dezso Orban, Bertalan Por and Lojos Tihanyi.  But there were others:

School of Painters by Vilmos Perlrott-Csaba, 1907
Knight of the Rose by Lajos Gulacsy, 1914-18
Magic (The Garden of the Magician) by Lajos Gulacsy
Morphine Addict by Janos Vaszary, 1930

The Modigliani show had several very nice paintings but, no photos.  That gave us more time for the rest of the museum.  They even had a Cranach and a Gauguin.

We also visited the Kogart Museum. And while we often could not find the sculptures we sought, there was always a couple more.

Sinbad the Sailor by Peter Szanyi, 2013
People Waiting by Imre Varga, 1986

Next stop: VIENNA.  We stayed in what was once the carriage house (1785), then tavern. There is still a tavern downstairs, along with a beer garden, but there was never a problem.  We actually found the surrounding neighborhood more appealing than the historic center of Vienna.

We saw sights we saw before:

The Secession Building, 1897
The Anker Clock, 1912-14
And lots of new:

Ferryman by Tony Craigg, 1997

We were looking forward to the Long Night of Museums where thousands, no hundreds, well maybe a few museums were open until 1 am with special buses and activities.  But everything did not go as planned.  They say this is popular with the locals, and there may be a reason why.  Promised transportation did not have signs for pickup which made it all rather useless to us.  So after Marie did life drawing in a gallery of the Lower Belvedere, surrounded by paintings by Franz von Stuck (I would have taken pictures if I could have), we walked back to the Albertina Museum.

The line was interminable.  One of the locals, who had his whole family in line with him, explained that the ubiquitous rabbit was based on that drawn by Albrect Durer and is found on all art class workbooks, and so familiar to all.  The original is in the Albertina, the only thing they came to see.

Billed as a museum of "Graphic Art," we had only expected to see the special show called Seurat, Signac, Van Gogh-Ways of Pointillism.  What we found, at the end of our long wait, was Art.
White Horse Gazelle by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1881
Promenade in Arcueil by Lyonel Feininger, 1915
 Locomotive with Large Wheel by Lyonel Feininger, 1910
Woman with Blue Eyes by Kees Van Dongen, 1955

There was little else to do.  The stables at the Spanish Riding School were closed.

We took a daytrip to BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA.  The main destination: Danubiana. This involved a long series of trams and buses leading to other buses because Danubiana is more than a half-hour south of Bratislava.  And that's by car.  I didn't time it on the once per hour bus.  Needless to say, our day was used up in traveling.

Built on an island in the middle of the Danube River, the name is self-evident, but the exhibitions are based on the collections of Gerard Meulensteen.   We were delighted to find so many CoBrA artists in the permanent collection (much from the 1960s).

Figure III by Karel Appel, 1958
Tumult of a New Autumn by Corneille, 1969
Ferryman by Pierre Alechinsky, 1962

as well as the special show of Miro and CoBrA

Party at Night by Corneille, 1950
Red Starsun and Ship by Carl-Henning Pedersen, 1951
Head of Apollo by Henry Heerup, 1951
Toy Painting by Asger Jorn, 1945

Outside were lots of sculptures.

Madonna by Richard Hudson, 2004
Danube Portal by Hans van de Bovenkamp, 2006
 Double Torso by Jim Dine, 2008

Back in Old Bratislava:

We found what was being billed as the temporary National Gallery.  There were character heads of Franz Xavier Messerschmidt which he did between 1770  and his death in 1783, and a couple of rooms of religious art.

The Yawner by Franz Xavier Messerschmidt, c 1773

We had dinner at the ancient brewery Bratislavsky Mestiansky Pivovar.  The sign says 1752, but I'm pretty sure the inside is newer than that.  We had big mugs of Bubak (dark) and plates of Bryndzove pirohy and Kanustovy s chrenome.

On Sunday morning we rode the early bus to MARIBOR, SLOVENIA  We got there just in time for the annual harvesting of the Old Vine.

This is the oldest vine in Europe at over 400 years and they have been celebrating for the past thirty.

We drank Most (fresh, unfiltered wine) and ate kraut, sausages, and bread.

This kind young lady watched our bags while we joined in.

Here is some video from the day:

There was still enough light to walk around the old town to reacquaint ourselves from a previous visit.

Took another bus to LJUBLJANA, the capitol of Slovenia.

 Where the Art is where you find it:

Cooperative Bank by Ivan Vurnik, 1921-22
Cooperative Bank by Ivan Vurni, 1921-22

Ljubljana also has what they call an Art District which looks more like Christiania than Greenwich Village.  I didn't have my camera with me when I stumbled upon Metelkova, but here are pics others have posted.

Since it's beginnings in 1993,  Metelkova has been a flashpoint for politics, urbanization, and art.

We took a trip to the Southwest of Slovenia:

Lunch in Sezana
Lippizaner Stud Farm in Lipica
Honey Wagon

And then a trip to the Northwest.

Metal-working town of Kropa.

The Museum of Apiculture is in RADOVLJICA.  When hive keepers discovered that the Carniolan honey bee returned to their hive based on colors and imagery, they (the keepers) began painting various scenes on the face of the hives.  This began in the middle of the eighteenth century and can still be seen today.

Often with religious themes, another favorite involves the fox shaving the hunter.

 BLED, in the Alps:


Radovna River

Bus to VENICE.  Or more accurately, MESTRE, where the hotels are less expensive and just a short train ride away.  Having visited many of the sights in Venice, our main objective was the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, so after arriving, we went directly there.  Or at least as directly as anything is in Venice.

Produce Boat
Beer Boat
Wine Boat

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection.  Too long of a story for me to include here, but one of the great ones in Modern Art history.  She lived there for thirty years and is buried in the garden along with fourteen of her dogs.  She bought the palacio on the Grand Canal in 1949 then opened her home and collection to the public just two years later.

Arc of Petals by Alexander Calder, 1941

Entirely too many for me to post here, but here are a couple by her once-husband Max Ernst:

The Kiss by Max Ernst, 1927
Attirement of the Bride by Max Ernst, 1940

 Across the way:

Other views of Venice:

Grand Canal

The next day we took the vaporettos and visited the glass island of MURANO

Comet Glass Star by Simone Cenedese, 2007

 And BURANO, the colorful fishing island.

And finally, SAN MICHELE, the cemetery island.

Grave of Sergei Diaghilev, founder of Les Ballets Russes
Graves of Igor and Vera Stravinsky

One more bus.  This one to MILAN.  Couldn't get into our apartment until 3, so dragged our bags to the Galleria d'Arte Moderne, where they were well received.  It was, after all, Sunday and museums would be closed the next day.

Not the ambience one might expect for even Modern Art, but if you look at the dates, most of it was at least Impressionist.  Here are a few I liked.

Cavallo al Galoppo by Giovanni Segantini, 1887-89
Cycle Mickael by Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, 1896
Bagnanti by Max Lieberman

We got to the Ippodromo San Siro Milano in time for the second race.  Lots of time between races and there were some kind of stakes racing going on, but we were clueless.  Beautiful place though.  Impossibly long course.  Very elegant. Sparse crowd is being kind.

Leonardo's Horse

I'm afraid I must include the story of Leonardo's Horse.  You see DaVinci was commissioned to create this horse in 1492, but while able to complete a set of drawings, they were destroyed along with models by French soldiers.  In 1977, Charles C. Dent, a United Airlines pilot, began work to complete the unfinished sculpture in Allentown, PA.  Dent died of Lou Gehrig's Disease in '94 but three years later Nina Akamu guided the work to its full 24-foot completion.  It was unveiled at the racetrack in 1999.

 Adventures in Milan.

The Duomo begun 1386
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II by Giuseppe Mengoni, opened 1877
Needle, Thread, and Knot by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, 2000

There was art in the Museo del Novecento.  Difficult to find and tricky to visit all the galleries, but there was lots to see.

The Red Knight by Carlo Carra, 1913
Il Figliol Prodigo by Giorgio De Chirico, 1922

View from the museum:

It was raining when we located the Casa-Museo Boschi di Stefano.  That's Antonio Boschi, an engineer at Pirelli, and Maria di Stefano, an artist.  A childless couple who collected over 2,000 pieces, the collection was donated to the City in 1974.  Only around 300 items can be displayed at one time in their former apartment.

 Both portraits of the couple were done by Remo Brindisi in 1937 and 1951.

Almost all Italian artists, the only ones of note were Giorgio di Chirico and Paula Modersohn Becker (German), though many of the others are very nice.  Includes pottery by Ms. De Stefano.

Nudo sulla spiaggia by Giorgio de Chirico, c 1931
Fanciulla in abito rosso by Paula Modersohn Becker, c 1906

 And a last couple of shots from Milan.

Cavallo Impennato by Aligi Sassu, 1960

From Milan we flew to Cairo and then to Johannesburg, South Africa.  We were met at the airport by Armadillo Tours and we, along with another couple from Chile, began our safari with a couple of hours drive to Kruger National Park.

For the next four days we were driven around this massive park in search of wild animals.  Our guide, driver, cook, and more, Morris, knew where to look.  So we began each day at 6 am, had breakfast and lunch at some parks along the way and returned shortly before dinner (which Morris also prepared).

Morris in the middle.

Our chariot let us see over roadside brush as well as other outfitters, with every comfort.

And we saw animals.

Water Buffalo

For our last days, we went outside the park to see some of the mountains and agriculture.


A traveling marathon ensued, but we made it home just fine.

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