Hello fellow Americans, Did you know that Morocco was the first foreign country that recognized the newly-formed USA? This picture is of the second-floor-plaza level of the first embassy and also the first American public property outside the United States. You can go there too, for free. Donated at the time by a grateful Muslim government. I was there in 2008 when I perused the archives for my own amusement while my local guide stayed in the lobby under guard. This building is filled with historic documents and photos of our American past, but its in Africa. Its an amazing place.
Personal-Travel-Photo-Review: observing the symmetry of temple structures in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Xi’an, China, 2010.
Personal-Travel-Photo-Review: the defensive wall of Xi’an, China, 2010. If you ever get the chance to bike the 8.5 mile wall of Xi-an, do it. (That’s me on the bike) Originally constructed in 618 – 907ce, (modified 1368-1644) it is one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world with elegant corner guardhouses. They have an annual festival on its ramparts consisting of colorful cartoon characters. Inside the wall is a mix of modern and ancient neighborhoods, including ancient temples and one of the oldest Muslim quarters in China because it was on the silk and spice roads. Xi-an is also the home of the Terracotta-Warriors. Fascinating place!
The China tourism bureau had just completed the new Disneyland-like attraction outside Xi’an when I arrived to see the terra-cotta warriors in 2010. There are three airplane hanger size enclosures to view the site, as well as a large museum. The site is not fully explored, and there is much to do to preserve what’s left. Most notably, the warriors brightly colored paint fade immediately upon contact with air, so the archeologists only excavate sections at a time while they test new preservation methods. The amazing thing is, that there are many other burial sites like it nearby. Like
Cairo Egypt and the Giza Plateau, it is an area of oversize funeary complexes, and ancient history we in the west barely comprehend.
Whenever I travel I make sure to visit spiritual sites. These sites often have spectacular ceilings that I like to photograph. While doing so I have witnessed a desire among humans to represent the spiritual experience through architecture. These structures share a common thread regardless of faith or geo-location. They are meant to impress and to inspire the spirit. Although not immediately evident they also share stunning similarities in mathematics, and fractal design, in a coded language that seeks to induce a transcendence of space-time.
This notion is evident when composite photographs of these spaces are layered with partial transparency. Regardless of faith, architectural ethnicity, or structural scale, a kaleidoscopic symmetry is made manifest. Combinations appear infinite. Hinting at deeper meaning of human spiritual depth.
The above ceiling combinations are from Rome Italy, Seville Spain, Granada Spain, Beijing China, and Hangzhou China.