Monday, 30 July 2018

A Mural in Marseille

A Mural in Marseille



I came across this wonderful mural in Le Panier district of Marseille. One painting on the back of a wall, yet it shows all that Marseille has to offer - the old town, the cathedral with the golden Madonna who beckons sailors to return home safely, a magical harbour, and a bounty from the sea.

Most importantly, the figure of the fisherman dominates. Marseille began life as fishing port under the Greeks, and it has been on the back of these fishermen and sailors that the city grew and thrived.

And from the fishermen - and their wives - came bouillabaisse.

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Friday, 27 July 2018

The Bikes of Vietnam



Just what I would see on a bike each day in Vietnam was amazing. After all, just how much garlic does one man need? How he got it all on there is beyond me.


Six on a bike was my record. I like the way the kids on the back all have their faces turned away from the traffic and exhaust fumes.


I really hate to think how cold this guy's were by the end of his trip. I would have loved a before and after shot, to see how much the ice had melted.


A bride and groom. Of course. What better way to get to (or leave) your wedding?



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Friday, 20 July 2018

These Boots Were Made for Walking - in Prague



Prague is a city for walking. At every turn, something to discover, a hidden, a wonderful view, a cafe beckoning me within. An art gallery or museum filled with wonders, a vineyard in the middle of the city.

I'm not sure how these worn and mismatching boots ended up hanging from a ceiling, but that is Prague. The unexpected. Art and contemplation in an everyday object.

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Thursday, 12 July 2018

Dragons and Giants in Spain




Dragons and Giants in Spain


I stumbled across a festival in the village of Terrassa in Spain. It proved a serious business. Some people must take forever to get their makeup ready. Or perhaps they've been standing in the summer sun a little too long.

Dragons and Giants in Spain


Finally they all gathered, and the dancing began. I lost count of how many bride and grooms paraded before us, swishing skirts and slapping knees.

Dragons and Giants in Spain

If you arrive a little late, it helps if you tower over everyone else so you can see over the crowds. It also makes for a spectacular entrance.

Dragons and Giants in Spain


Finally the king and queen make an appearance. It always takes giants a little longer to get ready, before they can go dancing and join in the festivities. A stately dance, so neither crown will slip.

Dragons and Giants in Spain


Then, once the royalty have given their blessings to all, the sparks start flying.



 Dragons and Giants in Spain



The cause of the sparks is the dragon. What is a festival without a dragon? An hour out of Barcelona, and a dragon appears.



Dragons and Giants in Spain


But the dragon is perfectly safe, for he's guarded by pirates.

As I said, festivals in Spain are a serious business.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

The Streets of Vietnam



The Streets of Vietnam


Ah, the streets of Vietnam. Never a dull moment. The vibrancy of Saigon - now known as Ho Chi Minh - where the sounds of motorbikes fill the air from dawn till well after dusk.


The Streets of Vietnam


I saw this lady taking a moment amongst the chaos. A morning coffee, a moment of stillness as bikes whizzed past in all directions. What I at times found overwhelming she had seen so many times.



The Streets of Vietnam


In the delightful streets of Hoi An, where push bikes almost outnumber the motor bikes, I captured a bride and groom cycling past, photographer in tow. Of course. And the bride managed it all in high heels.




The Streets of Vietnam



I love these road markers. They are all over Vietnam, adding a nostalgic touch as they spell out distances.




The Streets of Vietnam



What other way to transport goods? I saw motor bikes carrying many things, from blocks of ice to baskets filled with chickens.



The Streets of Vietnam



Six on a bike was not an unusual sight. Or else elegantly dressed women in heels sitting side-saddle behind their boyfriends.




The Streets of Vietnam


A common site through Vietnam. Often stirring words and music came from the loudspeakers, but unfortunately I found no one to translate for me. At other times it sounded like Vietnamese muzak.



The Streets of Vietnam



Bikes need to be parked somewhere. How the riders remember where their bikes lie amongst the sea which fill the streets borders on a minor miracle.




The Streets of Vietnam



Yet there are always quiet spots, such as the side streets in Hoi An.



The Streets of Vietnam


And then there is the coffee. Find a road-side stall, sit on plastic chairs at a rickety table, sip on a coffee laced with condensed milk, and watch the world go by. Ah, the streets of Vietnam.






I love this photo I took of Florence largely because it's not instantly recognisable. Hercules battling the Nemean lion down by th...

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