This is the inside of Gaudi’s incomplete cathedral, La Sagrada Familia. It’s a weird structure that will only get weirder as they continue building it.The columns shape was inspired by trees, hence the branches at the top. It was pretty tricky to get this shot as tripods were not allowed.
I haven’t posted a photo in a while as I’ve been preparing for some exams on Monday and Tuesday. It’s time for a break so I spent the evening processing one of the photos from my recent trip to Florence.
This was taken from Michelangelo Plaza overlooking the city. It was about half an hour after sunset and we’d made a quick drive back from the Chianti region to get here while there was still a bit of light about. It was so frantic that when we saw a deer next to the road in amongst the vineyards I, unfortunately, didn’t even think to stop and try to get a picture of it!
Still though, I think this night shot makes up for it. If you click on the image and blow it up you’ll be able to see the first stars streaking across the sky.
San Gimignano is an amazing little place. The town has successfully preserved fourteen medieval towers. These were built for defense and from the top, as you can see below, you could see people coming from miles around. They were built by wealthy families living there. Each time someone built a new tower, someone would begin plans to build a taller one. Apparently towers like this were common in Tuscany but most were lost to war, catastrophe or urban renewal.
I’ve been to San Gimignano a number of times. I remember visiting with my parents on a trip where I insisted on climbing to the top of anything we could climb and dragged them up more than one of the towers.
This time, one tower was enough. We were actually looking for lunch when I spotted a little doorway inviting you to climb to the top of the tower. It wasn’t the usual tower that tourists climb (the tallest one), it had actually been renovated to act as a vacation home. As we entered, I said we’d missed out on our chance to stay in one of these towers, thinking it would be amazing.
It wasn’t long before I changed my mind. Each floor was only big enough for one small room. So, we saw a sitting room, a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, another sitting room, a bedroom, another bathroom, and another kitchen on our way up. I was four flights of tiny spiral stairs in when I concluded that staying there would be absolute torture. Eventually, we burst through the roof into the sunlight, panting for air, and interrupted what appeared to be a romantic moment.
I set about taking photos from the tower. I actually liked being able to look up at the taller tower more than I think I would have enjoyed being up on it. It was full of tourists and after the happy couple descended, we had the place to ourselves. This photo is actually a panorama comprised of five photos to let me show you the whole scene. I actually wasn’t able to see down into the courtyard as the walls were so thick, but I edged my camera and tripod out as far as I could and let it peak over for me.
Once we returned to Earth we went to a little restaurant for a seriously garlic-heavy bruschetta while a man in a tailcoat with a bushy beard and sandals played the flute beautifully, before packing up, hopping on his bicycle and weaving away through the crowd.
The Heineken experience in Amsterdam is pretty cool. It’s located in the old Heineken Brewery. I visited it for the second time on my last trip. You learn about the history of Heineken, how they make it, and then they teach you how best to drink it. Then, you drink more of it.
These are the coppers, it’s where they heat various mixtures at the various stages of beer making.
After leaving Sienna, we plugged a few villages with “in-Chianti” in their names into the GPS so that we’d wind our way through the vineyards as the sun began to dip towards the horizon.
Before going to Tuscany I’d had a special request for those “round-bottomed pointy trees.” So, I was pretty glad when I found this row, lining the road we’d just driven down.
I’m back from my 11 day bounce around Europe. Our last stop was Florence, Italy. From there we drove out into Tuscany to visit Pisa and then Sienna. It wasn’t the most logical route but the journey between the two was beautiful, as was the drive back from Sienna to Florence.
Pisa is famous for the leaning tower, but the inside of the cathedral may be more jaw dropping.
There’s a lot of detail here, so I’ve linked the photo to a larger version… just click it for a better look.
This odd rock was actually the middle of a giant print of a horseshoe. I don’t remember the exact story, but the belief is that one of the gods was riding his giant horse and it stepped here, leaving a giant hoof-print. When I took this picture I had tall cliffs behind me, to my left and to my right. Then, this rock in the middle.
We looked around for ages for this giant hoof-print. It was only when we were leaving that we realised we were actually inside the hoof-print.
I’ve been rationing my few remaining Iceland photos for quite a while now. I really need to get back there. When I took this photo, my travel buddy was still recovering from becoming a quivering mess at the top of Detifoss and decided not to get this close. She claimed she was tired, but I’m pretty sure she was just scared.
When I got this close I started getting a little nervous. I’ve used a wide angle lens so it looks like I was further from the rushing water than I was. The water level here was level with the rock I was standing on. It definitely made me concentrate on where I was putting my feet and my camera.