|Photographing St. Basil's without any scaffolding showing wasn't possible.|
Friday, March 6, 2015
Travel Abroad and View ... Scaffolding
I still remember the first time I saw the Reichstag in Berlin. There wasn’t much too see. It was swathed in scaffolding. East and West Germany had been reunited five years before, and the German Parliamentary building of old was being renovated to once again be the seat of government.
I was again in Berlin in 2002. This time the Reichstag sparkled, but it didn’t count for much. As a member of a group tour for just that day, I was reduced to a drive-by shooting, which doesn’t tell much about the historical building. The most common sight in Berlin was the construction crane. The eastern half was rebuilding and sprucing up after forty-four years of drab communist rule and a world war before that.
On the same cruise in 2002, I visited Moscow. Communism had fallen twelve years previously. Breathing Russia’s formerly red-tainted air was a peculiar feeling. The six buses of our tour group had a police escort from the time we left the airport until we returned. The godless government of the Soviet Union was based in Red Square, which boasts six churches. Of course, they weren’t used for religious services.
A highlight of this one-day tour was St. Basil’s Cathedral. The colorful structure looks like a refugee from a fairy tale, or perhaps the Candy Land board game. Alas, it was benefiting from a facelift. Half of the church was swathed in, yes, scaffolding.
Fast forward to 2009. This time I cruised the Med and visited Athens. The Parthenon has been around for centuries. No small wonder that it requires extensive upkeep. It’s not swathed in scaffolding as much as stuffed with it.
I spent twenty years of my younger days globe-trotting, until the money ran out. Now I spend my “vacations” attending ACFW annual conferences. This past September, the eastern end of the St. Louis Arch was blocked off for a bit of detailing, but that didn’t hinder the view. I’m waiting for one of the hotels to be arrayed in scaffolding.
What have you traveled to see, only to find it dressed up in scaffolding and tarps?