As Blonde and Brunette prepare to embark on our next adventure we hope to bring back memories of food, nature, architecture, horrifyingly inappropriate giggling fits, high falutin’ hotels, nervousness navigating customs out of our comfort zones and fabulous ceilings. Ceilings?
Blonde is a sleeper who would sweep the gold medals if the Olympics included sleeping as a sport. In her daily life she only sees her ceiling as she glares through the unwelcome fog of real world re-entry while valiantly resisting the entreaties of multiple alarms. Would you be interested in waking up to the ceiling shown above (aren’t ceilings always shown above?)?
However, recently Blonde and Brunette were reviewing favorite pictures from previous trips (yet one of many things we have done to avoid actual preparation for the trip that is alarmingly close at hand) and discovered that many of our favorite photos are of ceilings.
How might waking up to one of these ceilings change a person’s perspective on the new day?
Waking up to Gaudi’s ceiling could inspire the awakening sleeper to resolve to master geometry, buy a kaleidoscopic, or quit drinking so heavily before going to bed. Or possibly all three.
If you were Gala, Dali’s wife/muse, this might have inspired hope or fear. Did she think “Oh goody, we’re going to heaven together”or “does this mean he expects me to die with him because I SO didn’t sign up for that” or even “why do we have black feet, are we going to die dirty or in a fire”? More likely she thought it was just another day at the office.
On a trip to Malta several years ago Blonde and Brunette took a side trip to the island of Gozo. The Kempinski Hotel provided us with a car and driver for a tour of the island. The driver told us about a cathedral with a ceiling that creates the optical illusion that it has a great dome. He pulled up in front of a church and discreetly “motivated” someone to let us slip in during mass. We thought “Cool, but let’s get out of here and go see that place with the ceiling that makes you think it’s a dome”.
You may be able to guess the ending of this story. That was the place with the trompe l’oeil painting ( by Antonio Manuele de Messina) which creates the optical illusion that we were looking for the rest of the day. Obviously waking up to a ceiling like that would make you doubt your eyes.
This spectacular stained glass ceiling in the concert hall of the Palau de la Musica was created for the Orfeó Català, a choir founded in 1891 with the aim of promoting and preserving Catalan music. Any Catalan awakening under this ceiling could be forgiven for thinking “We’re so superior to the rest of ‘Spain‘ that we need to end this charade and be our own country immediately”. And, come to think of it, that does seem to be what most of them wake up thinking every day.
Last year we went to the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. We went in feeling more than a little annoyed at the clothing restrictions for women. But even these two smarty pants, extremely Western women were awed by the magnificence of the mosque.
We did hope they’d used really strong Super Glue to put up this two ton chandelier of Swarovski crystals. It seems that waking up under this ceiling might cause a person to be glad merely to have survived the night, to possibly inspire piety or to just be really, really happy to live in such a rich country.
The mosque and Abu Dhabi left such an impression on us that we are embarking on a trip to Qatar, back to Abu Dhabi and then the Maldives. We sincerely hope that we will behave well enough on this trip that we aren’t sharing any photos of the ceilings of jail cells when we return.