Weekly Photo Challenge: Circle

In response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Circle

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The prompt this week was ‘circle’ to celebrate the new year but also to be interpreted any which way we liked 🙂 The memory of visiting the temple of Athena at the ancient site of Delphi came to mind. See the circle? Many of these structures found at religious sites have an unknown purpose, making it even more intriguing. Was it an altar? A place of prayer? Was there once a grand statue in the middle? Either way, it makes for a good tourist shot.

(Greece is well worth visiting if you love archaeology!)

Happy New Year Everyone!

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Photo Challenge: Blur

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Blur.”

Two photos for this one, both from my trip to Budapest years ago. I’m not sure if I liked the glaringly bright yellow in the first one or the more subdued tones of the second.

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Both photos are from a nighttime river cruise down the Danube. The one above is Buda Castle (I wasn’t sure then, but I’m pretty sure now).

The glowy building on high in the middle of the picture below is Fisherman’s Bastion.

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Have I mentioned before that travelling is awesome?

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Wall

In response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge

Three photos again for this week’s photo challenge! The first two are the walls of the Ishtar Gates. The original brickwork was removed and reconstructed in the Pergamon Museum (Berlin) in the 1930s.

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It is a brilliant museum. I don’t know how I feel about one country owning another country’s artifacts, but on the other hand, at least this is something ISIS can’t get their hands on. Plus the original bricks will be better preserved in an air-conditioned museum, out of the elements.

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The final photo is from Obidos, Portugal. There are plenty of Roman and medieval towns in Portugal that are confined to an old stone wall that used to keep out invaders; now they attract tourists. I was too scared to walk along it (there’s no barrier on one side!) but Mum did – she’s much more adventurous than I am (which isn’t hard to do, I’ll admit). She walked halfway around and only got down because it was too hot.

DSCN6040Travel photos! Such memories 🙂

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Reward

 In response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe reward for travel and exploration is sights like these. To walk where ancient people walked and see what lost civilisations were capable of. That’s why I travel.

I took this photo in Cambodia, somewhere in the greater Angkor temple complex. There is so much to see in this world! Some people travel to see what nature is capable of too, though I’ll always love temples and monuments.

 

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Scale

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Scale.”

Two photos again, showing off the gorgeous Library in Ephesus in Turkey:

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Can you even see it in the first photo? The ancient town’s main thoroughfare was designed so you could glimpse the Library in the distance as you walk the long marbled road down the slight slope. Well worth visiting!

 

A Memory from Spain – Gaudi Puzzle

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During the Christmas break, me and Mum managed to dig into one of our souvenirs and, lo and behold, we completed it! A one thousand piece jigsaw puzzle beautifully showing off all of Gaudi’s famous architecture in Barcelona!

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It was really challenging at times T-T but we got there! The shadows made things a bit hard, as well as the obscure and irregular designs Gaudi made meant it was difficult to sensibly piece it together. I feel like we really achieved something.

Having said that, I don’t think we’ll be trying it again until next Christmas…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Shadowed

Shadowed

In response to The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.

This is the 13th century Primate Cathedral of Saint Mary in Toledo, Spain, where a very bright (see what I did there?) architect designed a spectacular hole in the ceiling to let natural light pour inside, complete with angels coming down from the heavens.

This photo does not do it justice, not one little bit. It is amazing, but was really frustrating trying to photograph it! The cathedral is so dark and then there’s this tunnel of light and I’m trying to capture all the statues and paintings inside the tunnel and it’s… just… impossible! It’s like trying to photograph the sun.

So kudos to the architect – the work is marvelous. I’m just not going to convince anyone to get there with my photo!

If you’re ever in Madrid, definitely take a day trip to Toledo and visit the cathedral. You won’t regret it!

Haiku: Green Tea and Daggers

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I brought home one thing

from Singapore, nothing else

made it through customs.

I had bought daggers

Thought they were ornamental,

blunt and therefore safe.

On declaration

Customs said they’re actually

illegal weapons.

Daggers. You’re kidding.

Should bust medieval fairs.

They’d find plenty there.

Now green tea flavoured

KitKats just remind me of

Illegal daggers.

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Gaudi in Barcelona

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It is so difficult to get the Segrada Familia in one shot! It’s too tall. And there’s not enough empty space around to back up enough to get a good picture. But it is excellent though. And it’s only about a third finished.

This is what it’s meant to look like when it’s all done:

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Gaudi didn’t believe in straight lines. He also believed in trying to emulate nature in his work. But above all, he wasn’t just an artists or an architect: he was an engineer. His landscapes and houses were designed with practicality. Even the cathedral (which is possibly where we got the word ‘gaudy’ from) is practical in that the belltowers were designed so that the music was directed to the street below, instead of just out into the open air.

Guell Park, Gaudi’s Landscape Art:

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I found it really hard to capture the scope of Guell Park. That, and everyone was spread out lying over everything so their friends/family can take pictures of them. I don’t get posing for pictures. I liked taking pictures of the things I’ve gone to see, but not so much of myself.

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I’m sure they’re a lovely family but all I can think is: GET OUT OF MY SHOT!

Oh! And I saw selfie sticks EVERYWHERE. Have you heard of that? It’s a stick where you put your phone on the end so you can take pictures of yourself from further back.

Sometimes, I feel a little put out that I was born in this generation. Then I remember I grew up with Sailor Moon and I’m happy again.

I love Gaudi’s work, but I didn’t really fall in love with it properly until Casa Batllo. Which I think I will cover in another post because this one has already gotten a little long for me 🙂

A couple of last shots of the Sagrada Familia before I go! What it looks like, and what it’s meant to look like…

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Valencia!

Valencia is a really modern and beautiful city. Of course, it still has its old town as all places in Europe seem to, but after being through so much old stuff I was pleasantly surprised to see something new.

This is the really bizzare science museum / art project that has been built in a dry river bed. Not kidding. Every city should have this sort of ingenuity.

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Then as we drove off I caught sight of this truly fantastic gargoyle just hanging about…

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…and some truly fantastic person tagged its chest…ugh.

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Downtown was your stock-standard Moorish architecture complete with cathedral and minaret-with-a-steeple-on-top-so-it’s-not-a-minaret-anymore-shuddup-it’s-a-bell-tower.

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And the other side…IMG_0669

Aaaand inside the cathedral…

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Okay, let’s eat!

Apparently Valencia is the home of paella. Not being fussed on paella (I’m sorry Spain – I just don’t get it), we found a cute American-style diner for tea. Cheap Spanish wine, caesar salad and nachos. Classy.

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Then we walked through the grounds around the science centre, where all the locals were exercising at 9pm because it had only just started to get cool less hot.

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It was only an afternoon in Valencia before we were off again the next day, to Barcelona!