Category: churches

The Disgruntled Lions of Italy

On a recent trip to Orvieto, Rome, Venice, and Bologna, I noticed that lions work hard holding up buildings, showing scrolls, and spitting water in fountains. Most of these creatures look unhappy, resentful, embarrassed, sad, anxious, or resigned to duty that they never dreamed would be theirs for eternity. Here are some photos of the kings of the jungle in their reduced circumstances. I added captions that expressed what they might be thinking. If they weren’t made of stone.

For other Italian photos, some lovely, some bizarre, please see my album on flickr: https://flic.kr/s/aHskBveufg

High in the air among the gargoyles, the lion looks like he's stepping off into space, and he's not happy about it.
Oh crap, it must be four stories to the ground. That’s a long way, even for a cat with wings. (Basilica, Orvieto)
This building is heavy.
Get me down from here so I can eat some more Christians. (Rome)
Piazza del Popolo Fountain, Rome
It’s my job to spit water all day. Sigh. (Piazza del Popolo, Rome)
Natural History Museum, Venice
I’m a hunting trophy from the 19th century. Bite me. (Museum of Natural History, Venice)
Salute Basilica, Venice
Yeah I got a black eye. You should see the other guy. (Salute Basilica, Venice)
Salute Basilica, Venice
Oy oi oi, I’m not even Catholic. (Salute Basilica, Venice)
Venice
If these wings worked, I could fly away. (Venice)
Bologna
It was worse before they put up the pigeon spikes. (Bologna)
Bologna
This is not the worst job in Bologna. Really.
Rome
If I could get down from here, I’d show you who’s king of the forest.
Rome
You wonder why I look demented? I have to spout water all day. (Rome)
Rome
My brother over there is demented. I just need a cigar. (Rome)
Rome
I just think of it as puking on you. (Rome)
Rome
Where’s my incisor? (Rome)
Rome
Ack. (Rome)
Rome
No, I’m fine. Really. Yep. Really. Happy lion. More meds, please. (Rome)
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Cholula, not the hot sauce, and Puebla

In Last Vegas, pathetic retirees Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, Kevin Kline and Robert DeNiro run off to gamble and flirt. Why are terrible movies so good on the ADO buses in Mexico? It’s not the dubbing into Spanish–terrible Mexican movies are great on the ADO, too. We took the four-plus hours and two-plus movies bus from Oaxaca to Puebla before the New Year to meet our East Tennessee friends Ann and Bill. A few days later we moved to Cholula nearby, site of a giant, mostly unexcavated pyramid with a church on top.

Kite flying atop the Cholula Pyramid.
On New Year’s Day, dozens of people flew kites on the side of the Cholula pyramid. On top is the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios.
Princess balloon on church ceing.
Looking up at the ornate ceiling in one of the beautiful churches in Puebla, I noticed a pink princess balloon had floated up and nestled against a princess of the church. 
Ann, Steve and Bill, in Puebla doing what they do a lot. Ann taking pictures, Steve waiting, Bill exploring.  They're at a museum/restaurant/jazz club near the zócalo. Is it the only jazz club with a tomb and skeleton? Well, outside of New Orleans?
Ann, Steve and Bill, in Puebla doing what they do a lot–Ann taking pictures, Steve waiting, Bill exploring.
They’re at a museum/restaurant/jazz club near the zócalo. Is it the only jazz club with a tomb and skeleton? Well, outside of New Orleans?
In a Puebla church, a statue with a distinguished face, a lace veil, beautiful light.
In a Puebla church, a statue with a distinguished face, a lace veil, beautiful light, mournful, matched what happened next–Ann had the flu, Steve caught it, then I caught it. So did 4.4 % of the population of Puebla. Steve called it PueblEbola.We are better now, thanks. 
Ann Bill
Bill never got sick. 
Popocatopetl at sunset
Sunset over Popocatopetl, the active volcano near Cholula. There’s a little puff of sunset plume emerging from it in this picture.