Showing posts from 2018

Hidden Faces in Angkor Wat

Watching the sunrise over Angkor Wat is truely a magical experience. Even despite the crowds, it is one of those memories which doesn't fade.

A Day at the Széchenyi Baths, Budapest


Images of Mt Fuji

From where I stood Mt Fuji rose majestic and serene against a clear blue sky. The cherry blossoms were still in bloom, a perfect frame against Fuji’s snow-capped dome. I never thought I would see such beauty.

Hong Kong in 10 Photos

Hong Kong is a city of many faces. Although mostly forest, it boasts the most densely populated area on earth; sky-scrappers jostle with the past as the mecca of the free market economy thrives despite Communist rule. Somehow, old religions and traditions thrive.

This is one of my favourite photos of Hong Kong, taken some fifty years ago. Remarkable, really, that I still have it.  I fell in love with the plethora of streets which are steps, covered with stalls which half-hide the side entrances to shops. This shows the junction of Queen's Rd (now Queen's Rd Central) and Pottinger Street. Queen's Street once ran along the foreshore; Hong Kong is an island which rises sheer from the sea. So much of where the tourists walk is reclaimed land.

Ah, moomins. Anything and everything can be bought in Hong Kong, even creatures from the mind of Tove Jannson, a famous Finnish author. Her moomins and their world were the delight of my childhood.

Hong Kong is the old and the new not jus…

Life On The Mekong

To paraphrase Douglas Adams, the Mekong River is big. Really Big. When so much water runs through six countries before spilling into the web of the Mekong Delta, figures becoming meaningless.

Wherever you choose to join the river, it abounds with life: villages to towns to larger cities, isolated houses, cluster of fishermen. Even those stretches where the jungle tumbles down to the water's edge are filled with the drumming of dragonflies and the splash of leaping fish.

The rain, when it comes, is sudden and heavy. At times it can be difficult to see more than a few feet ahead. But then it goes, and the world around me was soon steaming in the lazy heat.

For many, the river is little more than another road. Small boats transport people across this waterway using only the power of oars; floating markets sell all things imaginable. Other boats bring food and drinks to those selling all day at these markets. Many craft sail perilously close to the Plimsoll line.

The petrol stations …

Koya-San, Japan's Holy Mountain.

Koya-San is one of Japan's Holy mountains, revered as the resting place of the Kobo Daishi, who brought Shingon Buddhism to Japan.

Although he has been dead for over 1000 years, monks still bring the Kobo Daishi food twice a day in his mausoleum, the Oko-in. As I walked towards his resting place, the sunlight tumbled through the cypress trees, and midges danced in the sunlight. (Be warned: as the daylight fades, these are replaced by starving mosquitoes!)

Over a million pilgrims and tourists alike flock to Koya-san, to walk hand-in hand with this monk, in the hope he will help lead them to enlightenment. Even the dead line the paths here, waiting for the return of the Buddha of the Future, one of the most esteemed figures in Japanese history.

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All the Fun of the Fair

Ah, all joys of Sydney’s Royal Easter Show! Even the prize chickens and rams get in on the action.

Images of Japan

I passed this lady amongst the tombstones in a shrine in Japan, laying some flowers. She has obviously seen much in her life, and blessed with memories to be carrying flowers for those she still loved.

Staying in a Convent When Travelling in Italy

I've stayed in convents in Venice, Florence and Rome. One was an old palace, another consisted of white-washed walls and perfect coffee. Convents and monasteries make for an interesting alternative when looking for somewhere to stay - perfect locations, historic buildings, and usually much cheaper than hotels in a similar area.

Above is a view from my room onto a shared courtyard; the top photo shows the entrance to a place I stayed in Venice. Naturally there was a gondola stop outside, and the convent was literally less then 200 steps from St Mark’s.

Another offered this perfect view onto the neighbouring apartments. A true Rear Window experience, watching everyone come and go, complete with a grandma cooking all day long. And in the grand hall below my room, a renaissance fresco was being loving restored.

Like my photos? - if you feel like contributing to my coffers, please click the link to buy either myphotos from the micro-stock site 123RF, or products from my store, EnsoCrea…

Images of Venice

Since Venice has floated grandly on the seas for centuries, the best way to approach is via a water taxi. I believe everyone should fly into Venice at least once in their life; then catch the vaparetto from the airport into Venice. This day the city hid behind the mist; I felt alone with the sea, until suddenly the boat arrived at the Piazza San Marco.

Squeri, or gondola repair shops, once filled Venice. A few remain, such as the Squero di San Trovaso. Hidden in a side canal, it is closed to the public, but standing on the other side of the canal I got more than a adequate view of a craft which has been handed down the centuries.

The Doge's Palace can be overwhelming with its sheer opulence, the enormous size of so many of the paintings, and the overall grandeur of the building. After all, it was built to reinforce the splendour of Venice to all who visited, and render mere mortals to feel inadequate. Yet even the tiniest details are exquisite, such as patterns on a marble stairc…

Port Vila in the Rain

A soft rain was falling as I sailed into Port Villa, Efate in the South Pacific. Yet an island paradise it proved all the same.

Why I Love Melbourne.

A building inside a building.

Is there any reason not to love Melbourne?

Dusk in Halong Bay

It is said Halong Bay was created when the Dragon of the Gods plummeted in to the sea. His tail gouged out the limestone cliffs, and the waters rushed in to fill the desolated land.

Whatever the tale, Halong Bay is a place of mystery. At dawn, and again at dusk, the fantastical cliffs and rocks loom into view and then fade away in the soft light. Caves beckon at the water's edge, and birds circle above the pinnacles of limestone.

And somewhere, hidden amongst the magical shapes, sleeps the Dragon of Halong.

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Vintage Drawing of a Dragon of Halong Bay, Vietnam
by EnsoCreations

London in 5 photos

Strangely enough, I found a futuristic side to London. The roofline at Kings Cross Station was stunning. After taking my daughter to Platform 93/4, we sat upstairs on a terrace beneath this roof, and watched the world go by - which was largely watching queueing. the English are impressive at queueing.

Then there's the traditional. Coming out of Paddington Station I was greeted by St. Mary's Paddington. It is a huge hospital complex, with Gothic spires reaching to the sky. The main street is filled with cafes and take-aways, yet just around the corner hide those delightful mews so typical of London.

The Italian Gardens in Kensington Gardens were delightful (especially as Italy was my next stop). Fountains, ponds, statues, marble from Carrara, flowers everywhere.

St. Dunstan-in-the-East proved an oasis. Not far from Monument Station, this ruined church dates back to the Saxons. Burnt, rebuilt, collapsing rebuilt, bombed; finally it was turned into a public garden in the midst of…

Some of My Photography