Sunday, 24 November 2013

A rooftop visit and a glimpse of the Tsars

Throughout this trip have not read the guidebooks ahead of time. Someone said to me before going that you are more alert and more observant if you don't take maps, if you aim to get lost. I wonder if this is true in an emotional sense too.
Go back to the courtyard in front of the Holy Sepulchre and climb up to the rooftop monastery of the Ethiopians. This is a very peaceful place. The cupola covers the chapel of Saint Helena below. There is poverty here, somehow - it is clear - compared to the wealth below.
Climb down to vast underground cisterns.
Water was crucial to the project - always. The priest tells me that Saint Helena found this water and therefore built a church.

Reading and watching

  • Foot by Foot to Santiago de Compostela/Judy Foot
  • The Testament of Mary with Fiona Shaw at the Barbican
  • The Testament of Mary/Colm Toibin
  • Schwanengesang/Schubert - Tony Spence
  • Journals/Robert Falcon Scott
  • Fugitive Pieces/Ann Michaels
  • Unless/Carol Shields
  • Faust/Royal Opera House
  • The Art of Travel/Alain de Botton
  • Mad Men Series 6
  • A Week at The Airport/Alain de Botton
  • The Railway Man/Eric Lomax
  • Bright Lights, Big City/Jay McInerney
  • Stones of Venice/John Ruskin
  • The Sea, the Sea/Iris Murdoch
  • Childe Harold/Lord Byron
  • All The Pretty Horses/Cormac McCarthy
  • Extreme Rambling/Mark Thomas
  • Story of my Life/Jay McInerney
  • Venice Observed/Mary McCarthy