Monday, June 16, 2014

Day 2-3

The city of Sibiu is a very beautiful and interesting place, with the old mingled with the new...and the decay co-mingling with the restoration.  In the outskirts of the city, there are cement forms of buildings that were started, and just abandoned, and in these pockets of mess, there stands fully developed, new and shiny corporate outreaches like a Home Depot (Romanian style!) and shopping malls.  Very interesting!

Yesterday, I despite my fatigue, I was only able to sleep four hours, so I got up, got dressed, and went out into the neighborhood looking for money exchanges, and some food.  It was Sunday morning, and the local church, very beautiful and ornate, was conducting their services, which was also broadcast out onto the street with a speaker system, so people lounged around the church as well, in their rose gardens, which are very beautiful.  I guess the church does this in hopes of evangelizing the sinners that won't attend?  LOL, either way it was interesting.

When I got back to the complex, some of the other artists were now waking, and itching to get out so we formed a group with our instructor, Iliya, as the head.  He brought us out to the other end of town, where we did go into the Home depot because we all needed a few supplies like lumber for stretcher bars, and I needed duct tape since my suitcase got damaged, then we continued walking through the city to big "farmer's market" where we were able to buy strawberries and cherries to nibble on as we walked around.

We came back and swung back through into the old city, which is absolutely fantastic.  It reminds me of the old romantic fairy tales of Transylvania.  The ancient architecture has a flavor of both Germany in the structure of the buildings, but not quite as austere, and the Mediterranean basin, with the more "frilly" and lavish touches, and the color!  The bright yellow, greens, and apricots reminded me of the French Riviera, and I half expected to see a beach around every turn, instead of the majestic mountains that loom in all directions around us.  The views of the city from the top (the old city is at the top of a "mountain" with the newer parts being built around it circular style, winding down the incline, so from the top, you can see how the city sprawls, and the fellow mountains all around...being in the old town conjures up feelings of being back in the medieval days, with even the local gypsies dress in their strange garb that hasn't changed in hundreds of years...they are the Amish of Romania LOL....the stray dogs wander here and there in the square, and are actually tagged and given their shots by the authorities.  Very interesting indeed.

The "Old Olde Town" as the locals call it, was bustling with activity as there were several street fairs going on.  We meandered through these, enjoying them, entering the ancient and beautiful cathedrals and basilicas to admire the art and architecture, then we had a relaxing lunch in one of the local restaurants, where we discussed our opinions on art (Big Surprise LOL) both old and new, then moved on around the city, walked back home, showered up, walked BACK to the old city (I literally must have walked over 20 miles yesterday) and all met up with Lee and Carmen back in Old Olde Town, and had a big dinner Romanian style again...then watched some amazing fireworks, walked home, and surprise, this time, I was able to get almost 6 hours of sleep!  Hooray.  At least it's getting a little better each night, rather than worse.

So, today is the first day of our work.  We will be in studio in a beautiful ancient building in the thick of everything in Old Olde town, and working from a model from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., then a dinner break, then evening plein air painting.  It's a rigorous schedule, concluding around 11 p.m. every night, with only Sunday off, but that's OK...it's why I'm here.  So, now to grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the hour before heading out...

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