Thursday, November 28, 2013

Meštrović Gallery

Ivan Meštrović Gallery, Galerija Meštrović, is an art museum dedicated to the work of the 20th-century sculptor, Ivan Meštrović.  The gallery is located in Ivan's summer home which is located on Marjan Hill and has spectacular views of the Adriatic Sea.  Ivan Meštrović was Croatia’s most famous sculptor, painter, architect, and writer.  Today his works are exhibited in renowned European and American museums and galleries, including the Vatican. His art has been compared to that of Michelangelo and Rodin.
The gardens dotted with bronze sculptures were just as much fun as touring the house.
Since the sun was shining, we decided to walk to the galleries on November 27th even though temperatures were in the upper 40's and low 50's.  On our way we stopped by a tourist office to pick up a Split card that we had read about.  The Split card is free for people staying more than 3 days in Split and offers discounted prices as well as free admission to many of the museums and galleries in town.   We were pumped about saving money!  We also were able to talk with the staff about planning our trip to Plitvice National Park for sometime before we leave Croatia.

We were the only people visiting the gallery.  We are enjoying having places to ourselves as we have heard the summer months are crowded and busy.  Since we had the place to ourselves, we ended up being really silly (or at least we thought we were really silly).
Liam pointing out body parts on a pair of huge walnut Adam and Eve figures. 
Amelie and Liam trying to mimic Job's pose.
We might need to work on our mimicking ability.
I tried to help Liam squat at one point, but he was determined to roll his ankles.
As I am writing this blog post, I see why.  It's because Job's feet are rolled in.  Funny kid.

Liam posing like the powerful bronze Cyclops sculpture (yes he is holding a rock). 

 We all had an enjoyable time looking at Ivan's works.  We were able to explore without feeling like we were being too loud or too all over the place.
I find myself most drawn to works with the theme of mothers and children.

After touring through the main gallery, we walked up the road to visit the 16th-century Kaštelet, a Renaissance-style summer house on the gallery property purchased and remodeled by Meštrović in 1939 as a showcase for his 28 wooden "Life of Christ Cycle" reliefs. The room-size wood carvings were completed over the course of Meštrović's lifetime between 1916 and 1950, and they line Kaštelet's Holy Cross Chapel.  The Kaštelet itself was really neat, as it served as a family's summer retreat house, but at one time it also served as a defense against the Turks.  In addition, it has been a tannery and lazaretto for plague victims.   Amelie and Liam enjoyed running around the large open space around the well.

Bobby talked through with Amelie what each panel portrayed of Christ's life.
Amelie could clearly identify many of the panels without any explanation.

On our walk to the gallery, we saw a sidewalk directly on the coastline.  We figured out a way down and started walking.  We walked from Jezinac Beach past Zvoncac Beach to the smaller harbor by "our" playground.  It was windy and cold, but it was fun seeing pools formed out of rocks, street art, and spray from the ocean.  The sidewalk was narrow, but that just added to the fun of the adventure.
Here is a map of the peninsula and our walking route of the day.

You can see the steps going down to another pool on the right side of the picture.

We had a fun day.  Eating Pasta-To-Go for dinner was a great way to end the day.  The staff know us and Amelie loves that they remember her and her order (pesto pasta).  Here are a couple of pictures of our walk as we approached our apartment:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Bobby's Sick = Park, park, and more park

Being ill is never fun.  Being ill in a foreign country is even more un-fun.  Bobby was sick for almost a week with Strep Throat.  I had him quarantined to our bedroom for almost the entire time.  If you know Bobby well, you know that being stuck in one place with no one to talk to was excruciatingly painful.  I felt bad for him, but I couldn't really pamper him as I was in single parenting mode for that duration.  I even slept upstairs with the kids.   Thankfully our kind neighbor made Bobby a tray of home-remedies after a couple of days of being under the weather.  He polished off the minced uncooked meat, whole bulb of garlic, freshly squeezed lemon water, hot wine, and whisky; he was so desperate to get better.  He also walked almost a mile to the hospitals emergency room to receive medicine and treatment.  Thankfully, the fever broke and he began to feel better again after a couple of days. 
To keep the rest of us sane, we went to the playground everyday and then to the grocery store of the nearby venetian square after rest time.  I also do not do the cooking for our family.  I laughed a couple of times at my feeble attempts of making dinner.  We ate out the first couple of nights hoping it would pass, but not wanting to break the bank I started making food.  The first night was a disaster as I made some sort of bean, rice, pea, and corn goulash.  It was not good.  Amelie would not stop talking about how disgusting it was.  I remember thinking that I have turned into the man of the family in that I cannot cook food any more.  In my defense, we do not have many food options here.  The following night I redeemed my reputation by making eggs, french fries, and fruit salad for dinner.   Don't worry, I have embraced the fact that Bobby is a much better cook than I am.  :)

I love the walk to the playground.  Going from the old city center to the playground requires a walk along the harbor and Adriatic Sea.  You really can't beat the views!

The weekends bring in cruise liners.
Also, a group of children sail boats in the harbor. We love watching all of the little white sail boats.
Amelie likes to get off the stroller and walk up these steps and play while I walk up the zig-zag ramp.

We've made it to the park!  The harbor is behind us and there are more views of the sea ahead.

Marjan Hill can be seen in the background.
By digging in the rocks, Amelie and Liam found an earthworm.
They enjoyed playing with the earthworm and protecting him from the birds.
They are content with playing with a sand bucket, laundry detergent top, and 2 plastic spoons.
A smaller playground nearby that is next to a smaller harbor.
There are mechanical things to ride but we don't pay the money...they just like sitting on them. :)
They love the spinning chairs!
On Sunday (Nov 17th), after rest time we took our snack to the Riva and watched the sunset.  To our surprise we were also able to watch the cruise liner leaving port.  The lights reflecting on the water with the beautiful sky made me wish I could was so beautiful.  

Watching the cruise liner leave while playing soccer. 

Our apartment is right off this street next to the guys eating sandwiches.
Amelie and Liam enjoy looking in the toy shop window every day.
In the 1400's Split was under Italian rule.  A venetian resident missed Venice so much that they had this square built to remind him of St. Mark's Square.  It opens to views of the sea at the end of the Riva.  We love playing soccer and playing in this wide open space.
Hanging laundry can be really pretty with the right backdrop.  
We all survived.  No one else got sick.  Bobby was happy to rejoin the family again.  It's nice to be a full-functioning family once again. :)