You are protecting your eyes from the blazing sun as you look up toward the fortress on the way up. The museum is distinguishing itself from the centuries-old walls, but again they are almost blending into the background. If someone asked you what color is it you would probably say something like the color of the sky close to the horizon in the early morning. You like the analogy and it helps you conquer the rest of the way to the top.
The entrance is in front of you. The walls are narrowing the way in, almost like showing you where to enter the fortress. In front of you is the sign, right for library and restaurant, left to the museum. First, you will do the museum and then you will eat something, you already planned that before.
The entrance is a new building that rests on the fortress and opens the way to the museum. The white lime plaster is contrasting the stone laid centuries ago. You pass the counter and follow the path through the belly of the fortress. It is a trench that cuts the middle of the fortress, it is dark and cold. The sound of black gravel under you, cicadas and the wind streaming through the openings is the only adequate soundtrack to this space. You look ahead of you and see the walls of the trench with the openings on each side and the path that connects them, above is the sequence of buildings that are framing the scene and reflect the light into this dark setting. The walls are dark almost like charred, and when you take the path through the exhibition it will strike you even more as a dark and cold environment with occasional light shafts. The light is scarce and sacred here, when you come across it you feel it almost as if it is physical, a body of light. You are passing next to the relics of wars and some distant conquests, cold steel and catching and reflecting any light. You think of ingenuity of these object and their malicious raison d'être. You continue the dark path that occasionally takes you across the trench in the middle where you see the stairs to the upper level and the bridges that connect bright buildings. After the last catacomb, you see the stairs under the building that stand at the opposite end of the trench. They are under the building leading into it.
You take the elevator beside the stair and as the door opens you are confronted with the different atmosphere, the air is lighter to breathe and the room is more welcoming. The light is entering from the ceiling and is painting the shadows over the corners and rounded surfaces ending up on the artifacts. The sound coming from the outside is now softer, you still hear cicadas but now mixed with the sound of leaves on the wind. You look outside and see the next building just there, across from the small square with a tree. In it, you see familiar openings and rounded corners but they are arranged in a different manner to stress now different artifacts. On some walls you have only light exhibited, now not imprisoned like downstairs, but free, proudly going over small imperfections of lime plaster. You continue further easily finding the way over the footbridge to the next building on the other side of the trench, passing next to the skylights that were bringing the light down, where you were before. The exhibition shows the other side of the military, depicted through the art; the stories, resistance, liberation, and freedom.
After the last gallery, you are pulled into the shade of a cypress tree, in the space between two white galleries where Mare nostrum opens itself in front of you. You smell the salt in the air mixed with notes of dust and sap. You take a walk along the walls that go around the galleries. You notice how the buildings are reacting to the walls, on times opening themselves to create a flow of movement. It is like they are moving in the awe for the centuries-old fortress. The route is a sequence of galleries and intimate spaces in between them, that defined with a tree, a bench, and white pebbles. You are pulled by one of them where you can see angles and corners of four galleries come together in a composition, where they complement each other as if they are framing imaginative objects somewhere in the air between them. You cannot help yourself at this moment but think about this experience of different worlds, the dark, confusing and cold space and now, here in this space flooded with light, logically connected and with the art that depicts the other side of the military. This dichotomy of necessity and the cruelty of its reality, the absurdness of war, the death in the battle and the pride elders talk about when they talk about the army and many more. The life should smell like here, like a holiday when you were a kid, salt on the skin and a dropped ice cream, that melts on the floor, and not like cold steel in the dark rooms and patina on the stone. You think about two different moods that frame the exhibition, without any glorification or condemnation of the institution of military but rather presentation of the two sides.
You leave the platform as the hunger takes you to the restaurant over the cliffs. Even though it wasn’t the plan, you decide to stay at the hotel down there for the night…