erynn: Gaelic merman image (Ganesha)
I took Garuda down to the garage today and got his 120,000 mile maintenance (he's at 129,000 at the moment, but I was too busy with Europe this summer to take him before this). While that was happening, I went over and finally got my hair cut and bleached so I could re-dye it. Now it's lovely and short but that means my head is cold, and that'll take a while to get used to again. Hats, my friends. They keep my head warm.

While I was there, I looked into getting the windshield replaced. It's cracked almost all the way across, and has been for quite a while now. They said they could do it, and quoted me a lower price than the windshield replacement people who did it last time, so I said yeah, let's go for it. This means I'll be back at the garage tomorrow about 1pm for a while, while they replace the glass.

When I got home, I got the rest of my beta back from [livejournal.com profile] random_nexus. The britpicker did some work today, but I haven't seen anything back from her yet. I did talk to her for a bit on skype text chat, though. She was going to work on it today, too, and I'm hoping I'll have her notes back by the end of tomorrow.

I'd been hoping to go dancing with [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor today, but the pulled muscle in my thigh from yesterday was still achy, so no joy there. I stayed home and finished up the beta edits so that I can deal with the rest of it when it arrives.

I uploaded a few photos from Prague, so here are four of them for you to have a peek at!

Prague )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (lotus)
When I got down to Seattle Center today, I swooped in and snagged [livejournal.com profile] nancyblue for lunch. We found ourselves at a Brazillian restaurant at the place that used to be Cafe Minnie at 1st and Denny, and I showed her the photos I'd taken last night of the Golden Section Order papers that I had. She'd seen newsletters from Ithel Colquhoun's collection in the UK last time she was there, but hadn't seen any of the documents I have, so we talked about that for a while.

When we got back to the conference, I found [livejournal.com profile] meddevi, who was there to look at the art and the books. I picked up a few more books that I'd been interested in, including a catalogue of an Austin Osman Spare exhibition from 2010, along with a dvd of his work and life that comes with the volume. I'm very much looking forward to looking through it and watching the dvd. While perusing the books section, I spoke for a while with the folks from the School of Spagyric & Alchemical Arts, who were offering tiny samples of some of their spagyric work with rose, gold, amber, and gold/frankincense/myrrh, all of which were very nice stuff. By the end of the day, Taylor had sold all the copies of both of my books that he'd brought with him, which pleased all of us. He said he would probably have been able to sell a few more of them pretty easily.

I talked to Taylor about the essays and articles I have in the various Immanion anthologies and he said that yes, the contracts have all specified that all authors maintain all rights over their work, and that if I wanted to publish them in an anthology of my own work, they were fine with that. So I need to check with a couple of other publishers to make sure that it would be okay to reprint those, as well, and I might be able to get a collection published of the material I have scattered in a dozen books so that folks can get everything in one volume. That, I might take to Immanion for publication as well -- I haven't thought too much about a publisher yet.

I got the new grimoire from [livejournal.com profile] aion131 today and am looking at getting one of the ceramics pieces he exhibited at the conference this year. He's taking them over to Gargoyles next. While I was talking with Craig I realized that I might be able to get some of my photos from Prague and Kuntá Hora into Gargoyles as an exhibit and maybe sell some prints of them if any of them are good enough. I was given an old photograph/art printer a few years back and a bunch of photographic print paper, so all I need is someone to help me get things set up and make sure I have the proper ink cartridges for things, and to make sure that some of these things are of good enough quality to actually do this. A few of the photos from the Sedlec Ossuary would need to be slightly cropped to get bits of living people out of them, but I do have some pretty cool stuff and it would be right up Gargoyles' gothy alley. As would the gargoyle photos from St Vitus's Cathedral at Prague Castle.

The after-party was fun, and the Queen Anne Masonic Lodge was decked out like a swanky goth club for the evening with a pretty spiffy open bar. There were some excellent conversations at the party before I headed home again with [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht, who will be heading back to Anacortes tomorrow morning.

For me, the next few days are going to be trying to catch up on a little sleep and poking at the fic I'm writing. Once that's done, I'll take a breath and start outlining some of the Brigid book.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Tibetan chant)
This and the nearby cathedral were the only things we did today. Traffic out was a miserable bitch due to road construction on the only road out there; I think it took almost an hour longer than we expected. It was a warm, sunny day out there, though less warm and sunny in the city of Prague. The ossuary was really amazing. It was a little smaller than I thought it would be, due to having seen some stuff about it on TV in the past -- one gets the impression it's immense -- but it was still extremely impressive. What does one do with the bones of 40,000 people, after all? (I think it was forty thousand and not just four thousand, if I'm recalling the note from the booklet correctly.) I mean, really. It's mind-boggling.

The little cathedral nearby had access to some of the places in the upper storeys, and I got some cool photos of a spiral staircase, as well as some very different angles on statuary that I couldn't get from St Vitus's or Our Lady of the Snows in the city here. Once done with our day's tour, we grabbed some dinner here in the city and then parted company with [livejournal.com profile] tdancinghands and her husband. Thanks to both of you for your generous hospitality!

Tonight's my last night in Prague and I'm at the hostel with the sib. We're sitting in the little pub downstairs. I'm having a pear cider. The olympics are on (in German). There's free wifi. I'm happy. Tomorrow morning, fairly early, we set out for Salzburg, Austria. I'm on the last leg of the journey and looking forward to the road trip to Italy, then the voyage home. Can't wait to see the DoDC+3, my sweetie [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor, and all my friends again! Tomorrow should only be a few hours on the road, then hanging out in Salzburg. The next day will be equally slow paced for travel and sightseeing.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Tibetan chant)
This and the nearby cathedral were the only things we did today. Traffic out was a miserable bitch due to road construction on the only road out there; I think it took almost an hour longer than we expected. It was a warm, sunny day out there, though less warm and sunny in the city of Prague. The ossuary was really amazing. It was a little smaller than I thought it would be, due to having seen some stuff about it on TV in the past -- one gets the impression it's immense -- but it was still extremely impressive. What does one do with the bones of 40,000 people, after all? (I think it was forty thousand and not just four thousand, if I'm recalling the note from the booklet correctly.) I mean, really. It's mind-boggling.

The little cathedral nearby had access to some of the places in the upper storeys, and I got some cool photos of a spiral staircase, as well as some very different angles on statuary that I couldn't get from St Vitus's or Our Lady of the Snows in the city here. Once done with our day's tour, we grabbed some dinner here in the city and then parted company with [livejournal.com profile] tdancinghands and her husband. Thanks to both of you for your generous hospitality!

Tonight's my last night in Prague and I'm at the hostel with the sib. We're sitting in the little pub downstairs. I'm having a pear cider. The olympics are on (in German). There's free wifi. I'm happy. Tomorrow morning, fairly early, we set out for Salzburg, Austria. I'm on the last leg of the journey and looking forward to the road trip to Italy, then the voyage home. Can't wait to see the DoDC+3, my sweetie [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor, and all my friends again! Tomorrow should only be a few hours on the road, then hanging out in Salzburg. The next day will be equally slow paced for travel and sightseeing.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Mercurius from Harmonia Macrocosmica)
We spent so much time at Prague Castle (the "short" tour of only four of the locations) that we didn't get to the alchemy museum today. It won't happen because we just don't have enough time in town, but I can't in the least even imply that I missed anything by missing it, because I could have spent hours more at the castle. My feet hurt like crazy, but it was so very worth it. I took a ton of photos and hope that some of them come out. The lighting in places was at angles that made it nearly impossible to get a proper shot of some things that I wanted. I do think I got some really good gargoyle photos from the outside of St Vitus's Cathedral.

We bought a ticket for the Old Royal Palace (couldn't take photos inside because we didn't realize we needed to pay another 50 Ckr for the privilege), St George's Bascilica, St Vitus's Cathedral, and Golden Lane (where Kafka once lived). My dear but somewhat jaded sib was pretty impressed by St Vitus's. I was just plain overwhelmed. There was so much there that it would be impossible to actually see everything in less than a week, if one has a sense of art in even one cell in their body.

For a bit it looked like it might rain, but it simply stayed overcast for a while. It was hot and stuffy inside the Old Royal Palace, but there wasn't much ventilation. The other areas were all much more moderate. We came in through the gardens at the Royal Summer Palace, which was being restored, and walked along the garden above the Orangery, entering via the bridge over the moat. This isn't one you can actually see water in - it's a ravine that probably had water in it at one point but now is apparently largely public gardens. The entry led us into a huge courtyard, but we stopped immediately to buy tickets for the short tour. Four of the seven sites you have to pay to enter are on that ticket.

A lot of the buildings were in various states of restoration, both inside and out, but it was all just incredible to see. Everything from the medieval to the modern could be found there. The cathedral has a glass window painted by Mucha amid the huge collection of stained glass. St George's Bascilica feels a lot older and more simple inside (I haven't looked at dates and all), but is still quite impressive in its own way. I'm finding myself at a loss for words to describe all this and only hope that my photos will do it some small justice.

By the time we got out of there, it was about 4:30pm, and we weren't sure of the actual location of the alchemy museum (insufficient research had been done the night before) and figured by the time we found it (assuming we could with minimal information and lack of net access) it would likely be closed anyway. And besides, my feet hurt way too much to walk very much further.

This morning, we got a lovely start. The sib met us here and we had breakfast at the Cukarna Alchymista, a little cafe down the street from [livejournal.com profile] tdancinghands's place. They have the most spiffy tea and coffee cups ever, and I've bought a lovely cup and saucer from them, while the sib got two little espresso cups with their saucers. I'll have photos of the one I got sometime soon. The cafe had its own little central courtyard garden and came equipped with a black cat strolling about; he probably owned the place.

Plans have been made for tomorrow. I'm too tired to really write more right now. Not only did I have an immensely long day on my feet, but I woke up this morning at 4:30am and was completely unable to get back to sleep. I'm hoping I'll sleep okay tonight. Tomorrow we'll be out of here at about 10am for Kutna Hora, a small town outside of Prague famous for its silver mine and its alchemical connections.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Mercurius from Harmonia Macrocosmica)
We spent so much time at Prague Castle (the "short" tour of only four of the locations) that we didn't get to the alchemy museum today. It won't happen because we just don't have enough time in town, but I can't in the least even imply that I missed anything by missing it, because I could have spent hours more at the castle. My feet hurt like crazy, but it was so very worth it. I took a ton of photos and hope that some of them come out. The lighting in places was at angles that made it nearly impossible to get a proper shot of some things that I wanted. I do think I got some really good gargoyle photos from the outside of St Vitus's Cathedral.

We bought a ticket for the Old Royal Palace (couldn't take photos inside because we didn't realize we needed to pay another 50 Ckr for the privilege), St George's Bascilica, St Vitus's Cathedral, and Golden Lane (where Kafka once lived). My dear but somewhat jaded sib was pretty impressed by St Vitus's. I was just plain overwhelmed. There was so much there that it would be impossible to actually see everything in less than a week, if one has a sense of art in even one cell in their body.

For a bit it looked like it might rain, but it simply stayed overcast for a while. It was hot and stuffy inside the Old Royal Palace, but there wasn't much ventilation. The other areas were all much more moderate. We came in through the gardens at the Royal Summer Palace, which was being restored, and walked along the garden above the Orangery, entering via the bridge over the moat. This isn't one you can actually see water in - it's a ravine that probably had water in it at one point but now is apparently largely public gardens. The entry led us into a huge courtyard, but we stopped immediately to buy tickets for the short tour. Four of the seven sites you have to pay to enter are on that ticket.

A lot of the buildings were in various states of restoration, both inside and out, but it was all just incredible to see. Everything from the medieval to the modern could be found there. The cathedral has a glass window painted by Mucha amid the huge collection of stained glass. St George's Bascilica feels a lot older and more simple inside (I haven't looked at dates and all), but is still quite impressive in its own way. I'm finding myself at a loss for words to describe all this and only hope that my photos will do it some small justice.

By the time we got out of there, it was about 4:30pm, and we weren't sure of the actual location of the alchemy museum (insufficient research had been done the night before) and figured by the time we found it (assuming we could with minimal information and lack of net access) it would likely be closed anyway. And besides, my feet hurt way too much to walk very much further.

This morning, we got a lovely start. The sib met us here and we had breakfast at the Cukarna Alchymista, a little cafe down the street from [livejournal.com profile] tdancinghands's place. They have the most spiffy tea and coffee cups ever, and I've bought a lovely cup and saucer from them, while the sib got two little espresso cups with their saucers. I'll have photos of the one I got sometime soon. The cafe had its own little central courtyard garden and came equipped with a black cat strolling about; he probably owned the place.

Plans have been made for tomorrow. I'm too tired to really write more right now. Not only did I have an immensely long day on my feet, but I woke up this morning at 4:30am and was completely unable to get back to sleep. I'm hoping I'll sleep okay tonight. Tomorrow we'll be out of here at about 10am for Kutna Hora, a small town outside of Prague famous for its silver mine and its alchemical connections.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (lynx at first glance)
I want to try to list some of the things we did today while I can still remember the bits. There was an awful lot. I took photos inside one of the churches/cathedrals there, which was open for photos unless a service was in progress. We walked along Wenceslas Square when we came out of the underground. Walking along that way, we went to the Franciscan Gardens. There was a passage where we saw a very cool stained glass tribute to Tesla radio. From there we went into the Old Town Square and saw the astronomical clock and an immense amount of amazing architecture. I wish I could list all the cool stuff we saw, but I don't even know what most of it was. At the edge of the Old Town Square was Kafka Square, where we got a little lunch of good food for a pretty reasonable price. I had half a roast duck, some yummy garlic soup, and some of the wheat dumplings (as opposed to potato ones) with gravy. It was really tasty. The sib and I picked up little touristy replicas of the face of the astronomical clock. I think they're actual clocks you can hang on the wall (the extra touristy bit is that they say "Prague" on them). I got a little ceramic plate as well. Probably the most touristy things I've got on this whole excursion so far, even counting the two t-shirts.

After lunch we cruised down some narrow cobblestone streets, most of which were pedestrian-only. Eventually we came to the Charles Bridge and I took a whole bunch of photos there. That took quite a while, and it was bright, sunny, and hot today, so I was pretty pleased except for the glare in my eyes. Descending from the Charles Bridge back into the city, we wandered along some more narrow cobbled streets, looked into an English language bookshop (not much of interest, though it did have a section of Czech-interest stuff in English), and then sat and had a little something cool to drink in the courtyard of the Kafka Museum.

We walked to the garden in the grounds of the Czech senate, which has a really weird fake cave wall up against one wall, in which they also keep a collection of owls. Pretty odd stuff. By that time, exhaustion had pretty much caught up with most of us.

After dropping the sib at the trolley, we headed back to chez [livejournal.com profile] tdancinghands, where we caught a little rest and I previously posted. About 7pm, we walked over to the Nad Kralovskou oborou, which is a game restaurant, where we indulged in Czech versions of different wild meat. I had the wild roast boar with a rose-hip sauce, which was absolutely excellent. Once done with dinner, we walked across the street to the old king's hunting grounds, which the restaurant is named after. We walked down to the hunting lodge (not what you are imagining from the US, as in "small cabin in the woods." I got a few photos of the lodge in the sunset, and of some kind of spherical sundial or sight of some sort, marked with astrological engravings. I'm going to have to try to figure out what that was.

Tomorrow will be Prague Castle, the Jewish quarter, and the alchemy museum.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (lynx at first glance)
I want to try to list some of the things we did today while I can still remember the bits. There was an awful lot. I took photos inside one of the churches/cathedrals there, which was open for photos unless a service was in progress. We walked along Wenceslas Square when we came out of the underground. Walking along that way, we went to the Franciscan Gardens. There was a passage where we saw a very cool stained glass tribute to Tesla radio. From there we went into the Old Town Square and saw the astronomical clock and an immense amount of amazing architecture. I wish I could list all the cool stuff we saw, but I don't even know what most of it was. At the edge of the Old Town Square was Kafka Square, where we got a little lunch of good food for a pretty reasonable price. I had half a roast duck, some yummy garlic soup, and some of the wheat dumplings (as opposed to potato ones) with gravy. It was really tasty. The sib and I picked up little touristy replicas of the face of the astronomical clock. I think they're actual clocks you can hang on the wall (the extra touristy bit is that they say "Prague" on them). I got a little ceramic plate as well. Probably the most touristy things I've got on this whole excursion so far, even counting the two t-shirts.

After lunch we cruised down some narrow cobblestone streets, most of which were pedestrian-only. Eventually we came to the Charles Bridge and I took a whole bunch of photos there. That took quite a while, and it was bright, sunny, and hot today, so I was pretty pleased except for the glare in my eyes. Descending from the Charles Bridge back into the city, we wandered along some more narrow cobbled streets, looked into an English language bookshop (not much of interest, though it did have a section of Czech-interest stuff in English), and then sat and had a little something cool to drink in the courtyard of the Kafka Museum.

We walked to the garden in the grounds of the Czech senate, which has a really weird fake cave wall up against one wall, in which they also keep a collection of owls. Pretty odd stuff. By that time, exhaustion had pretty much caught up with most of us.

After dropping the sib at the trolley, we headed back to chez [livejournal.com profile] tdancinghands, where we caught a little rest and I previously posted. About 7pm, we walked over to the Nad Kralovskou oborou, which is a game restaurant, where we indulged in Czech versions of different wild meat. I had the wild roast boar with a rose-hip sauce, which was absolutely excellent. Once done with dinner, we walked across the street to the old king's hunting grounds, which the restaurant is named after. We walked down to the hunting lodge (not what you are imagining from the US, as in "small cabin in the woods." I got a few photos of the lodge in the sunset, and of some kind of spherical sundial or sight of some sort, marked with astrological engravings. I'm going to have to try to figure out what that was.

Tomorrow will be Prague Castle, the Jewish quarter, and the alchemy museum.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Book of Dreams)
There was so much happening today that I'm not going to try to write it up before dinner. I'll do that as best I can before I go to bed tonight (and try to write it in my journal as well). We went into the main part of the city to see some of the various squares, including the old town square, and watched the astrological clock ring the hour. We also went across the Charles Bridge today. It was brilliantly sunny for the most part, and quite hot, but gods have I needed that! I may, however, need to put some bandaids on my feet tomorrow before I get blisters, as we are going to Prague Castle, the Jewish quarter, and the alchemical museum tomorrow.

More later, when I have had foods!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Book of Dreams)
There was so much happening today that I'm not going to try to write it up before dinner. I'll do that as best I can before I go to bed tonight (and try to write it in my journal as well). We went into the main part of the city to see some of the various squares, including the old town square, and watched the astrological clock ring the hour. We also went across the Charles Bridge today. It was brilliantly sunny for the most part, and quite hot, but gods have I needed that! I may, however, need to put some bandaids on my feet tomorrow before I get blisters, as we are going to Prague Castle, the Jewish quarter, and the alchemical museum tomorrow.

More later, when I have had foods!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
Couchsurfing is always such an interesting experience. With [livejournal.com profile] eydimork, I stayed in a village of ten people. Here in Prague, I'm staying in an apartment block with an inner courtyard in a huge city that goes back for maybe a thousand years or so. It's a walk-up flat on the 5th floor, not far from a trolley stop, in a neighborhood with a lot of little corner stores, bars, and restaurants. The two experiences couldn't possibly be further apart.

The sib had arrived in Prague about 3pm and checked into his hostel, but was having trouble calling or texting anyone until he'd received one from that same number. We did successfully get together for dinner after [livejournal.com profile] tdancinghands got home from work. He has left his car in a locked and guarded lot, and has picked up a 5-day transit pass (we will be here maybe 4 days), and I'll be doing that too. I know I used the hell out of my Manx transit pass and I expect I'll be doing the same here.

Everywhere you look here, there are different styles and periods of architecture blended and mixed from building to building. An unassuming cement shaft leads down into a 500 year old aqueduct system below the ground. Domes dot the skyline of the city when you look up. And this is just in one of the regular-people neighborhoods, not the tourist areas of the old city, which we will be going to see part of today. There are enough borrowed/modified words on the buildings here that I can take a rough guess at the businesses inside, whether they are medical, technological, or restaurants, that sort of thing.

This looks as different from the other places I've been as England looked from France when I was flying. So many terra-cotta-red roofs here, and the shapes of the house roofs are different than either of the previous places. This, I suspect, is going to be a lot of fun.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
Couchsurfing is always such an interesting experience. With [livejournal.com profile] eydimork, I stayed in a village of ten people. Here in Prague, I'm staying in an apartment block with an inner courtyard in a huge city that goes back for maybe a thousand years or so. It's a walk-up flat on the 5th floor, not far from a trolley stop, in a neighborhood with a lot of little corner stores, bars, and restaurants. The two experiences couldn't possibly be further apart.

The sib had arrived in Prague about 3pm and checked into his hostel, but was having trouble calling or texting anyone until he'd received one from that same number. We did successfully get together for dinner after [livejournal.com profile] tdancinghands got home from work. He has left his car in a locked and guarded lot, and has picked up a 5-day transit pass (we will be here maybe 4 days), and I'll be doing that too. I know I used the hell out of my Manx transit pass and I expect I'll be doing the same here.

Everywhere you look here, there are different styles and periods of architecture blended and mixed from building to building. An unassuming cement shaft leads down into a 500 year old aqueduct system below the ground. Domes dot the skyline of the city when you look up. And this is just in one of the regular-people neighborhoods, not the tourist areas of the old city, which we will be going to see part of today. There are enough borrowed/modified words on the buildings here that I can take a rough guess at the businesses inside, whether they are medical, technological, or restaurants, that sort of thing.

This looks as different from the other places I've been as England looked from France when I was flying. So many terra-cotta-red roofs here, and the shapes of the house roofs are different than either of the previous places. This, I suspect, is going to be a lot of fun.

Prague!

Aug. 7th, 2012 05:55 pm
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
I have arrived safely in Prague and was picked up at the airport by the husband of [livejournal.com profile] tdancinghands, who is expected to arrive here about 7pm. Allegedly the sib will be here around 6pm and I have a text in to him to see if he expects to be on time and if we should await him for dinner. Nothing yet.

Warm and muggy here, but rather better than tons of rain have been of late.

More when I have time, as I'm using their computer. I think that wireless = hacking the neighbor's network...

Prague!

Aug. 7th, 2012 05:55 pm
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
I have arrived safely in Prague and was picked up at the airport by the husband of [livejournal.com profile] tdancinghands, who is expected to arrive here about 7pm. Allegedly the sib will be here around 6pm and I have a text in to him to see if he expects to be on time and if we should await him for dinner. Nothing yet.

Warm and muggy here, but rather better than tons of rain have been of late.

More when I have time, as I'm using their computer. I think that wireless = hacking the neighbor's network...
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
I'm at my gate at Charles de Gaulle airport waiting to board for Prague. I'll be met at the airport there, then public transit back to [livejournal.com profile] tdancinghands home and should be there about 7pm local time. I hope food will be in order shortly thereafter.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
I'm at my gate at Charles de Gaulle airport waiting to board for Prague. I'll be met at the airport there, then public transit back to [livejournal.com profile] tdancinghands home and should be there about 7pm local time. I hope food will be in order shortly thereafter.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Have you seen this wizard?)
Today started out with a drive through the town of Josselin, where they have a really beautiful castle. I took some photos from above the town, where there was a good view, and then from below the castle on a little bridge, where many photos of the structure are taken. Because of the time of day, the sun was behind the towers above me and I had trouble getting a photo from that angle that didn't have any Jesus beams all over it. I'm not sure how it will turn out, but we'll see.

We headed out after that to Merlin's Tomb, a very small megalith structure that is surrounded with a vaguely paved circle of modern stones. The place was crawling with tourists and many people had left offerings and notes of different sorts there. I did get a few photos without a lot of people in them, but all the sites we went to today were quite busy. I suspect a good deal of it was because it's the high season, and because it was a really nice, mostly sunny and fairly warm day today. The "tomb" was on a four kilometer loop trail, but was very near the beginning, so we didn't have to do the whole trail. Close by was a "fountain of youth" which, contrary to what you might think, was a well where infants and young children were bathed for their health, not a place where adults could get eternal youth.

After this, we went to an ancient oak tree, estimated to be about 1,000 or so years old. Of all the places I've encountered in Brittany, this one actually felt the most sacred, was the most quiet, and had a sense of reverence in the people visiting. It was quite different from the other places with a lot of people at them. We took quite a few photos here, but didn't stay very long, because we had a fair bit still to do during the day. I would have loved to stay longer and sit, but I find it difficult to meditate with a bunch of other non-affiliated people around, and my hosts were being very patient with me as it was.

Once we got back to the car, we went out searching for the fountain where Merlin met Viviane. The GPS kept trying to send us down closed private roads, or down roads that no longer exist, so we gave up on it for a bit and went to the Arthurian center instead. This was a kind of cool place in a partly ruined castle. Rather than being a museum, as I suppose I had expected, it was a center filled with Arthurian fantasy art, informational placards, and life-sized dioramas of various incidents in the lives of Arthur, Merlin, and others from the Grail cycle. Although everything was in French, I noted they had material there about Lí Ban and a figure that is apparently similar to her in Breton folklore. They also had a story about a madman who was associated in some way with the ancient oak we had just visited, and had some information about the location of the fountain/well we were searching for. Though the place was a touch cheesy, it was obviously lovingly done, and no expense was spared in collecting art or setting up the tableux.

As we drove, [livejournal.com profile] eydimork was telling me about a local legend that Merlin was not actually buried in the tomb we'd visited, but that he had climbed a tree and ascended from there into heaven, never to return. I thought that was rather interesting in light of both the whole poets ascending the tree motif, and of the association of Suibhne with flight and perching in trees. She said she'd find me some references for some of this, even though most of it was just online and probably local oral tradition in origin. If I can find any kind of documentation at all, it will be useful for my geilt and filidecht research, I think.

All of this stuff is said to be in the forest of Broceliande. Very beautiful area. When we stopped for lunch, the restaurant had placemats with tourist maps of local legendary sites and points of interest, which showed us the approximate location of the fountain we were looking for and, armed with that and the name of the village the fountain was near, we were finally able to find it at last.

This was also an approximately 4km loop trail, but the well was pretty much right at the midpoint, so we did do the whole walk. The trail was fairly muddy, and some of it looked rather like a logging road. There were some stacks of felled trees along the side of the trail, marked with numbers, obviously for shipping out later. Still, the area was largely peaceful, even though there were literally tour busses of children who had been hauled out to the site. We managed to get out to the well, get some photos, and move along before it was swamped with noisy kids.

Tonight for dinner, I had the local scallop dish that I was told about (which name escapes me), and it was quite tasty. Certainly worth having! Tonight I'll be off to bed soon -- tomorrow morning I have to catch the train for the airport near Paris, then fly off to Prague. The sib has already started his trip up there and will be spending the night tonight in Germany. Tomorrow I'll see him, [livejournal.com profile] tdancinghands, and her husband. I can't wait!

[livejournal.com profile] eydimork and Magnus have been wonderful hosts, even though I have spent a fair bit of the time here in kind of lousy shape. They have been kind and patient and taken me to ludicrous lengths to see piles of rocks and water coming out of the ground. And a parade, which we didn't actually see much of. Magnus gave me a copy of his heavy klezmer cd, which I had him sign. I will have to play it for certain of my friends who will appreciate both the music and the irony. ;)

I'll try to post something before I head out in the morning. Happy happy, y'all!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Have you seen this wizard?)
Today started out with a drive through the town of Josselin, where they have a really beautiful castle. I took some photos from above the town, where there was a good view, and then from below the castle on a little bridge, where many photos of the structure are taken. Because of the time of day, the sun was behind the towers above me and I had trouble getting a photo from that angle that didn't have any Jesus beams all over it. I'm not sure how it will turn out, but we'll see.

We headed out after that to Merlin's Tomb, a very small megalith structure that is surrounded with a vaguely paved circle of modern stones. The place was crawling with tourists and many people had left offerings and notes of different sorts there. I did get a few photos without a lot of people in them, but all the sites we went to today were quite busy. I suspect a good deal of it was because it's the high season, and because it was a really nice, mostly sunny and fairly warm day today. The "tomb" was on a four kilometer loop trail, but was very near the beginning, so we didn't have to do the whole trail. Close by was a "fountain of youth" which, contrary to what you might think, was a well where infants and young children were bathed for their health, not a place where adults could get eternal youth.

After this, we went to an ancient oak tree, estimated to be about 1,000 or so years old. Of all the places I've encountered in Brittany, this one actually felt the most sacred, was the most quiet, and had a sense of reverence in the people visiting. It was quite different from the other places with a lot of people at them. We took quite a few photos here, but didn't stay very long, because we had a fair bit still to do during the day. I would have loved to stay longer and sit, but I find it difficult to meditate with a bunch of other non-affiliated people around, and my hosts were being very patient with me as it was.

Once we got back to the car, we went out searching for the fountain where Merlin met Viviane. The GPS kept trying to send us down closed private roads, or down roads that no longer exist, so we gave up on it for a bit and went to the Arthurian center instead. This was a kind of cool place in a partly ruined castle. Rather than being a museum, as I suppose I had expected, it was a center filled with Arthurian fantasy art, informational placards, and life-sized dioramas of various incidents in the lives of Arthur, Merlin, and others from the Grail cycle. Although everything was in French, I noted they had material there about Lí Ban and a figure that is apparently similar to her in Breton folklore. They also had a story about a madman who was associated in some way with the ancient oak we had just visited, and had some information about the location of the fountain/well we were searching for. Though the place was a touch cheesy, it was obviously lovingly done, and no expense was spared in collecting art or setting up the tableux.

As we drove, [livejournal.com profile] eydimork was telling me about a local legend that Merlin was not actually buried in the tomb we'd visited, but that he had climbed a tree and ascended from there into heaven, never to return. I thought that was rather interesting in light of both the whole poets ascending the tree motif, and of the association of Suibhne with flight and perching in trees. She said she'd find me some references for some of this, even though most of it was just online and probably local oral tradition in origin. If I can find any kind of documentation at all, it will be useful for my geilt and filidecht research, I think.

All of this stuff is said to be in the forest of Broceliande. Very beautiful area. When we stopped for lunch, the restaurant had placemats with tourist maps of local legendary sites and points of interest, which showed us the approximate location of the fountain we were looking for and, armed with that and the name of the village the fountain was near, we were finally able to find it at last.

This was also an approximately 4km loop trail, but the well was pretty much right at the midpoint, so we did do the whole walk. The trail was fairly muddy, and some of it looked rather like a logging road. There were some stacks of felled trees along the side of the trail, marked with numbers, obviously for shipping out later. Still, the area was largely peaceful, even though there were literally tour busses of children who had been hauled out to the site. We managed to get out to the well, get some photos, and move along before it was swamped with noisy kids.

Tonight for dinner, I had the local scallop dish that I was told about (which name escapes me), and it was quite tasty. Certainly worth having! Tonight I'll be off to bed soon -- tomorrow morning I have to catch the train for the airport near Paris, then fly off to Prague. The sib has already started his trip up there and will be spending the night tonight in Germany. Tomorrow I'll see him, [livejournal.com profile] tdancinghands, and her husband. I can't wait!

[livejournal.com profile] eydimork and Magnus have been wonderful hosts, even though I have spent a fair bit of the time here in kind of lousy shape. They have been kind and patient and taken me to ludicrous lengths to see piles of rocks and water coming out of the ground. And a parade, which we didn't actually see much of. Magnus gave me a copy of his heavy klezmer cd, which I had him sign. I will have to play it for certain of my friends who will appreciate both the music and the irony. ;)

I'll try to post something before I head out in the morning. Happy happy, y'all!

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