Mar 062017
 

On my last trip to Marrakesh I finally made it out to the Atlas mountains, or the foothills at least. To make this even more interesting we traveled through the foothills of the Atlas mountains on camels. It was definitely an exciting experience with camels going rogue to eat cactus, refusing to walk in the mud, and one even falling down with one of my colleagues perched precariously on top.

Once we survived this adventure, we were on our way back to Marrakesh when our guide pulled the car over so we could see this small Berber village in the Asni valley.

berber village with mosque in asni valley between marrakech and atlas amountains

Mar 042017
 

On my second day in Venice, I went to the island of Burano. When you walk onto the first canal, you feel like you’ve walked into a movie set. I got the same feeling as I entered the town center of the tiny French town called Ventabren.

The drive there was pretty nerve racking though. The road is not wide enough for two cars but is two-way and almost always hugs a cliff edge. Once you add in the numerous blind corners you start to sweat!

While I was in Ventabren I stumbled across a Michelin starred restaurant of all things. It’s called Le Table De Ventabren and had just been refurbished and reopened by the chef Dan B. You can find their website here… though it doesn’t include any pictures of the restaurant, just Dan B.

I came back with my whole family (having booked a couple of drivers to take us this time) and it was a great experience. They time the dinner service so that you can sit atop the cliff watching the sunset over the Provence countryside.

town center of Ventabren Provence France clear blue sky

Mar 032017
 

This is actually the first photo I took in Venice while wandering, completely lost, in the general direction of the Rialto. I wound up combining two different photos so that I could have the gondola, and the flag with the lion of Venice unfurled in the same photo.

I’m back in London now, Bermuda on Sunday.

Gondola under bridge with lion flag above on a Venice canal.

 

Mar 012017
 

I’m in Venice his week. This afternoon I spent a bit of time watching the activity on the Grand Canal from a little wooden dock. On the way to Venice I saw a lot of photos where the tied up gondolas were blurred with the movement of the water. I decided to give this effect a try.

gondolas-on-the-grand-canal-vencie-motion-blur

Feb 282017
 

You can see a loaded ferry seemingly on a collision course with the rocks in this photo of Manarola’s harbor. What’s actually happening is people are boarding as the ferry is nosed up to the “ferry dock”. I put the ferry dock in quotes because it’s less a dock than a rocky coastline with a couple of cleats on it. The ferry noses up to it, and the crew roll out a gang plank for people to climb aboard as the boat pitches and rolls with the waves.

Manarola harbour with ferry at dock and village on hillside

Feb 272017
 

The focal point of the citadel in Sisteron is the chapel sat just below the upper ramparts. Unfortunately, it was bombed in the second World War and has had to be completely restored.

To the left of the chapel you can see a tower which is actually built on the top of the bridge. On the front you can see a very small window. This marks the room Prince Jean Casimir Vasa, future king of Poland, was held captive for a whole year. The winter spent up there must have been brutal.

the chapel and a sentry post in sisteron in front of a clear blue sky

Feb 232017
 

I figured that after yesterday’s photo of Moorish architecture in Spain it made sense to followup with ornate architecture from Morocco. This is a facade of one of the interior courtyards of the Ben Youssef Madrasa which is in an old Islamic school located in the Medina.

carved facade in the central courtyard of the ben youseff madrasa with blue partly cloudy sky

Feb 222017
 

The Moorish influence on the architecture of Seville is incredible. Even the giant Gothic Cathedral relies heavily on the original mosque on the site for one of its wings. When I go to post photos from this city, I often have to pause and figure out whether they were taken in Spain or Morocco.

the central courtyard of the alcazar of seville with reflecting pool and detailed carved arches

Apr 202012
 

After climbing up the stairs at the rear of Prague castle, you are confronted by two armed guards flanking the entrance to the citadel. Their stern expression making it unclear whether it’s accessible so long after dark. As you move closer, they don’t react so you stroll casually past. Suddenly, you realize you’re inside the normally crowded castle, surrounded by silence. As you approach the back of the St. Vitus Cathedral it looms ominously, in Gothic glory. As you take it in, a couple breaks the silence strolling through the courtyard and out the other side.

Progressing around the cathedral you find a small, late night tour group of 4 or 5 people. The guide speaks quietly with no need to strain to be heard over the bustle of the daytime crowds. Soon, you’re at the intricately sculpted doors of the building, now closed to visitors. The lack of tourists allows you pause to soak in the scene. Snowflakes begin to fall around you, appearing from the dark sky and disappearing as they contact the paving stones. The silence is broken once more. This time, by the rhythmic sounds of four soldiers, stepping in time, as they exit through the archway behind you.

After making your exit, you enter a smaller courtyard. In here a lone soldier patrols. Marching in a tight square, right in your path. You carefully time your walk so you don’t interfere with his. As you exit the compound the city opens up in front of you and you make your decent.

Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral were not where I planned on ending up this night. I set out for a panorama of the city. In my search, this is where I arrived. It was well worth the trip. Having it to yourself, as opposed to surrounded by the tourist hordes really is a great experience. The absence of people also allowed me to attempt to capture the grandeur of the church’s original doors, below.

Grandeur of St. Vitus Cathedral's original doors in Prague