Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #124: Then and Now

Viking Sky

Oh, what a difference a year makes! In this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Amy invites us to share what we were doing “then” as opposed to what we are involved with “now.” And it probably goes without saying that pre-pandemic days, especially around a holiday as notable as Thanksgiving, are very different “now.”

One year ago to the day (November 23, 2019), we were on Viking Sky (above) enjoying the Cities of Antiquity and The Holy Land cruise — fine dining, superb personal service, and lectures and entertainment every night. We missed Thanksgiving with family, but it was an opportunity to go places we’d only dreamed of before. This year, even our traditional turkey dinner will be different!

Palace of the Grand Masters, Rhodes
Palace of the Grand Masters, Rhodes

THEN: We strolled the cobblestone Street of the Knights in Old Town Rhodes, marveling at medieval construction, flags of various ruling countries, and heavy, handmade doors.

NOW: With news of rising coronavirus cases in Knoxville, we’re preparing for a quick drop-in visit from family members on Thanksgiving Day, afraid to serve a full-blown meal in the close quarters of our dining room!

THEN: We took in the sights of the Palace of the Grand Masters, noting artfully detailed floors, vaulted ceilings , and carefully articulated art representing tales of the ancients.

NOW: We’re vacuuming our condo, dusting tables and chairs, and setting out platters and boards for finger food to be eaten at safe distances.

THEN: We moved in more closely to look at Medusa, a central figure on a mosaic floor in the Palace of the Grand Masters that was, no doubt, painstakingly wrought by a talented artist of the 14th century.

Medusa in Palace of Grand Masters, Rhodes
Head of Medusa in Palace of the Grand Masters

NOW: I’m thinking that 8 months of quarantine has me looking a bit like Medusa (Yikes!), and the only representations I’ll allow on Thanksgiving are quick photos taken with an iPhone!

THEN: Bert toasted the morning with his beverage of choice — black coffee, strong and hot — on the Aegean sea, no less.

Bert drinking coffee on Viking ship deck

NOW: At home, it’s the same, but he’s lucky to get a cuppa joe in a souvenir mug from the kitchen cabinet above the sink!

Yes, you guessed it. We’re home now. Staying in. Staying safe. But remembering what THEN was like last November!

Travel when you can,

Rusha & Bert

If you want to read more entries in this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #124, head over to Amy’s blog The World Is a Book. And if you want to participate, link your post to hers and be sure to include the tag Lens-Artists.

30 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #124: Then and Now

  1. David

    Isn’t the detail in the mosaic amazing? It just came from the vision of the artisan who pieced it together without a template or pattern of any kind. I think if we even have a “Happy Ending,” it’ll take awhile before people feel comfortable to do the everyday or travel without worry.

    Stay well, stay safe. 🙂

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      Thanks so much. We loved touring that place. So much detail. It makes me wonder about the lives of craftsmen back then. Not sure they did much but work. The result is beautiful, however. Thanks for taking a look.

      1. Oh, the Places We See

        You’re too kind. I love taking pictures but wish I would be more patient to take them better. I snap quickly, then wish I had more clear , precise shots. New Year’s resolution maybe.

  2. Sylvia Bacon

    Rusha, I enjoyed seeing pictures from your cruise. Know you both have great memories from your trips on shore to the accommodations on board. Hopefully things will be such that you’ll be able to travel again before too much longer. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Miriam Hurdle

    What a lovely cruise and the visit of Holy Land, Rusha. So many of our friends have gone to Holy Land and we haven’t gone so far. Beautiful memories from your trip. It surely is different for the Thanksgiving this year. So glad your family would come by for finger food, even though it won’t be a sitting down dinner. Enjoy your Thanksgiving with your family.

  4. pattimoed

    It’s so different this year, Rusha. I really enjoyed your photos from your cruise. Definitely a trip of a lifetime. Enjoy your micro Thanksgiving! It’s an adjustment, but it’s better to be safe, for sure. Take care and stay well.

  5. maristravels

    We are lucky to have such lovely memories. I treasure my photographs and guard them as I never did before as I finally realise how important they are when travel may be something we may not be able to indulge in for some time to come.

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      So true. But I hate to believe it. We have friends who have booked cruises for next year already. Although we’re anxious to travel, we haven’t done that. Am hoping, though, for these vaccines to kick in soon!

  6. Toonsarah

    This really brings home to me how much I’m missing travelling! Let’s hope the recent positive news about vaccines lets us all get out and about again some time next year!!

  7. Curt Mekemson

    Have to say, very appropriate, Rusha. We were out playing in the Southwest. And then we were off to celebrate the holidays with our kids in Florida and Virginia, traveling via Amtrak. Sigh.

  8. Steven and Annie

    What fun to read your post and then find where we were last year at Thanksgiving – Punta Arenas, Chile ending a short cruise through Patagonia after an Antarctica trip. Sure seems like much longer than a year ago.
    Would love to visit Rhodes, Crete and Cyprus one day. So much to see, so little time.
    Be safe. Happy Thanksgiving.

  9. gallivance.net

    Rusha, I love your take on Then and Now. Wow, things sure have changed in 12 short (or interminably long) months! I know how you and Bert are longing to be back at sea – maybe 2021 will be the year. We too, are staying in for Thanksgiving, but we’re taking the opportunity to try out some new recipes and plan to Zoom with all the family. Hopefully if we can all just get through the next few months, we’ll see a glimmer of hope soon. Stay safe, healthy, and have a wonderful (albeit strange :)) Thanksgiving. <3 ~Terri

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      Thanks for relating to my woes. We’re not alone. But we will make the best of it. Best wishes to you both for a grand Thanksgiving even if it’s just the two of you. (And I’ll add a comment on your Beatles post. We both loved it!!)

  10. Amy

    Oh the places you have seen! Thank you for the fabulous tour of the Street of the Knights Palace of the Grand Masters. That is a luxurious and an enjoyable cuise tour you had. Great photos, Rusha. 🙂

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      Thanks! I hate sometimes that I’m on a tour because I can’t stand still and really take a great shot. But for the most part, it’s just a glimpse that everyone wants anyway. And, as you can tell, there is much to see in Rhodes! Appreciate the comment.

      1. Amy

        I get frustrated when I’m on the tour, especially the cruise excursions. I hope to see Rhodes in the near future. 🙂

  11. Tina Schell

    Well done Rusha. Yes what a difference a year makes indeed, and for sure travel when you can. Who knew we’d be home bound for a year!!! Beautiful images of what looks like a wonderful trip

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      It really was a wonderful trip. I haven’t written much about it since so many people are having a hard time of staying home, not working, etc., and I don’t want people to think we are “in their face” with a luxury cruise. It was a great time, though. We learned soooo much and soaked up the culture in that part of the world. More to come.

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