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Posts tagged ‘Travel photo Mondays’

Travel Photo Mondays: Nek Chand and the rock garden

I don’t usually read The Economist but yesterday I happened to be leafing through a recent copy and came across an obituary of Nek Chand, who died on June 12th, aged 90. Now unless you are Indian or have been to India you probably don’t know who Nek Chand was.
Nek Chand, originally from Pakistan, was responsible for the creation of a rock garden in Chandigarh, which city is more famous for having been designed by Le Corbusier. Initially, in 1958, he started creating his ‘kingdom of gods and goddesses’ in a forest clearing but this was closed down as illegal. However, city officials decided to encourage him and in 1975 the project was given official blessing and took off from there. Today it draws many visitors, apparently it’s second only in India to the Taj Mahal.
“The earliest constructions in his garden in the forest were modelled on both the village life he remembered and the divine haunts he imagined: winding paths, walls and rivers, terraces and waterfalls, temples and alleyways and fairground formations of dancers, musicians, water-carriers, snake-charmers, revellers, horses, buffaloes and birds”. They were constructed from blocks of stone, concrete, and cement to which he added bits of crockery, broken tiles, electrical fittings, glass beads and bracelets, etc.
We visited his wonderful garden a few years ago (more posts of our Indian trip to follow) and it was indeed a magical place.














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travel photos Monday: Angouleme

Angoulême in western France is France’s most open-minded city when it comes to street art and cartoon comic art. It has a museum dedicated to this art form and there is a special itinerary designed to allow you to visit the best examples of wall art in the old part of the city, murals which have been created by “La Cité de la Création”, an association of artists. In addition, since 1997, over one thousand street-name signs have been redesigned in “speech bubble” format. Even the flower beds had speech bubbles in them!






an electricity fuse box cover

last part of the “reality and the emergency exit” series

enigmatic black metal silhouette

memoires du XXe ciel (memories of 20th century heaven/sky)


Nathacha et le p’tit bout d’chique

a letter box

probably the most famous mural – la fille des remparts (girl on the ramparts)

Angouleme cathedral:
a very ornate organ


one half of the front door

cathedral facade


We had an all-too brief stop there earlier this week – a tantalising glimpse into this world.

out and about in Northern Cyprus

Much of Northern Cyprus is taken up by a mountain range and the flat plain forming the coastal strip is fairly narrow. The main road runs parallel to the coast so you are never very far from the sea.


The coastline is rocky for the most part with a few sandy beaches used by the nesting turtles but the rocks provide some interesting formations both on the beaches and in the cliffs.


A new coastal footpath us currently under construction, providing a walk-with-a-view, accessible to all. Eventually it will run much further than its present couple of kilometres and is supposed to include a sea bridge at some point.


Inland, in the villages there are a number of old Greek churches, sadly abandoned although mercifully not completely vandalised. The cool, whitewashed interiors are devoid of furniture and decoration and only the pigeons and sparrows sing songs there.


the chapel of St Evlalios at Alsancak

the monastery in the occupied zone at Alsancak

interesting lighting, it looks as if it’s spilling down over the mountains

poinsettia in full bloom

a belated sharing with Travel Photo Mondays

Travel photo Monday: postcards of my summer travels

So where I have been the last couple of months, you might ask. Well, I was, of course, travelling; a few days, a few days there as you will see: France, UK, Luxembourg and Austria.

H and C exhibition
A friend of mine, Heather Carroll, and I had a joint art exhibition, held in wine cellars in Ahn on the Moselle. I exhibited some of my textured photos and she exhibited some of her woven wall hangings inspired by the spirit of the sea

Photos from 20140807-Marie-Noelle Fontan exhibition
We visited an exhibition by Marie-Noelle Fontan who incorporates leaves, seeds, seed heads and twigs into her woven wall hangings

Photos from 20140724-France
In France nuits romanes were being celebrated in the Poitou Charente and the sunflowers were at their best

Photos from 2014_08_16-Milton Abbas-Okeford  Fitzpaine-2BA
Dorset is home to the beautiful Milton Abbey with its fabulous stained glass window, featuring a tree of Jesse, by Pugin

Photos from 2014_08_17-Clifton walk-2BA
Walking with my sister and her husband, over from the US, around Clifton Wood, Bristol, brought back memories of our childhood spent there

Photos from 2014_08_19-Salisbury-Mompesson
We drove down to Salisbury to visit Mompesson House where the Victorian artist Barbara Thompson lived and painted. There was an exhibition of contemporary works there which included a dress covered in leaves and butterflies exquisitely executed by Jane Hall.

Photos from 2014_08_19-Salisbury-cathedral
Salisbury cathedral rises above the beautiful cathedral close. The ‘walking Madonna’ is by Elizabeth Frink

Photos from 2014_08_20-Bath-2BA(1)
a few glimpses of Bath and its abbey

Photos from 20140809-Lux-street-art-animation
Luxembourg held its annual street art/animation festival where street performers from far afield come for a weekend to entertain thousands of visitors

Photos from 20140828-Wachau
Last, but not least, we visited friends in Austria, starting in the wine lands of Wachau

Photos from 20140829-Schafberg
followed by a train ride up to the Schafberspitze, from where you can see 7 lakes

Photos from 20140830-Hangar-7-Salzburg
Hangar 7, Salzburg, is home to the private collection of aeroplanes and racing cars belonging to the man who invented the Red Bull drink

Photos from 20140830-Salzburg
Salzburg in the rain – what better argument did we need to seek cover in the Stiegl brewery after looking round the castle and then demolishing a huge slice of Sachertorte in the famous Cafe Sacher. The fence on both sides of the bridge across the river had been adorned with thousands of padlocks, like votive offerings they are signs of love in modern times.

Photos from 20140901-03-Vienna-Schonbrunn-Belvedere
Vienna’s Schonbrunn Palace was still beautiful in the rain. Hungry sparrows, starved for food because of the previous 2 days non-stop rain, hardly gave us a chance to eat our apple strudel in the cafe. The Upper Belvedere gave me the chance to see Klimt’s masterpiece “the kiss” in the flesh as it were. Unfortunately it was too wet to enjoy the gardens to the full although we did walk the length of them

Photos from 20140901-03-Vienna-city-visit
Inner Vienna – the only dry day we had – and a chance to see the inner city from the comfort of a horse-drawn carriage. The architect Loos, whose building the “Loos Haus” (now the Raiffeisen Bank) caused scandal in its time because of its simple lines, described the Viennese as being “pathologically addicted to ornament”. This was evident everywhere. Every facade had faces peeping from them and doors with colonnades on either side sported mythological creatures supporting them. Vienna was indeed a feast for the eyes for those with an interest in architecture.

As I write this the space available to me in my office diminishes daily as we pack up boxes and store them there in preparation for moving house. Breathing space is needed and a new adventure calls…..

weekly photo challenge: street life and travel photo Monday

Weekly photo challenge: street life

Many people living in the big cities in Vietnam, like Hanoi, don’t have much living space and what little they do have may quite often be shared with other families so much of their life is, of necessity, spent on the street. Large numbers of the population work in various ways to feed the rest (kitchens as we know them in the Western world don’t exist as such there). It’s the same in Thailand too. Meals are eaten on the hoof or sitting on one of the ubiquitous minuscule red or blue plastic stools (a Vietnamese speciality).

Inspired by Jon Sanwell’s photos of people in Vietnam I thought I would try my hand at taking some shots in black and white. Please bear in mind these are my first attempts at shooting in black and white.








On the whole I prefer colour photos, especially as Hanoi was a colourful place even in the cold, misty, drizzly conditions we encountered there. So here are a few in colour. I will be posting more photos of our trip over the next few weeks.




one of the very few cats we saw in Vietnam




Did I mention that there are bikes everywhere?

Our last night in Hanoi – even St Patrick got in on the act!

Which do you prefer – black and white or colour?

Also linking up with Travel Photo Mondays no. 38

Travel Photo Monday #19 : Kayaköy and Ölüdeniz

We recently visited the abandoned Greek village of Kayaköy in south western Turkey. This village, like many others in the area, was home to a community of Greek speaking Christians and was handed over to the Turks as part of the “population exchange’, with the inhabitants being forced to go to Greece. It’s a sad and eerie place to visit; so many people forced to give up so much… Dotted among the houses are a number of small chapels and in some of the houses you can see where the original fireplaces were. Unfortunately the two major churches in the village are deemed to be dangerous and are no longer open to the public. Hopefully they will be restored and will re-open at some point in the future. According to an information leaflet we read, the layout of the village and the construction of the houses was designed in such a way that no house blocked the view of another – an idea that modern urban designers would do well to emulate.







the house in the background, with the red Turkish flag, has been restored and is now re-occupied

for the avid texture collector like myself, there was no shortage of aged paint to photograph

the most poignant image of our visit – the little donkey was probably scavenged from one of the houses

The nearby resort of Ölüdeniz is a far cry from Kayaköy. It’s now a major centre for paragliding. While we were there the 14th international Air Games festival was in full swing with paragliders descending on to the promenade (landing strip) every couple of minutes – a photographer’s dream. It’s possible to do tandem descents with a number of companies (the whole descent can be filmed for you) and we were told that the experience was fantastic. One more thing to add to my bucket list.









Ölüdeniz (lit. Dead Sea) refers more properly to the blue lagoon at the far end of the beach. It’s an inshore lagoon more often referred to as the Blue Lagoon. Famous for its beautiful colour and it’s one of the most photographed places in Turkey. Although part of it is now a national nature park there are a number of beach clubs on the far side of the lagoon where it’s possible to spend a lazy day in the sun and swim in the water. Oh how it’s changed since we first visited about 30 years ago when we parked the car under the shade of the pine trees at the top of the beach and Oludeniz was nothing more than a few houses and cafes….

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