This little bridge is a landmark in Hoi An, Vietnam. The first bridge was constructed here in 1590 by the Japanese community to link them with the Chinese quarters on the other side of the river.
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.
Failed trip into the Alps!
It seems like wherever I go, my first attempt to really strike out and take some photos failed. In Iceland it was trying to get to the most westerly point in Iceland, to photograph puffins, in one night. Today, it was an attempt to drive up a valley in the alps to see some snow-capped mountains. We set out too late, despite our careful sunset calculations and barely made it into the mountains as the sun began to drop. A great opportunity presented itself, a castle atop a hill lit beautifully by golden light but we couldn’t get off the highway to get down to it. By the time we came to an exit we decided we were too far along. By the next exit we decided to hop off and drive on the smaller roads so if any opportunities presented themselves we could actually stop. This meant guessing which roads to take. I guessed wrong and we began winding our way up a mountain with no easy way to turn around. Eventually, we got turned around and back down into the valley. By now the sun was on the verge of disappointing and panic had set in. We dashed back to the original castle. Trying to find a vantage point we parked in a town. Just as we were headed to a good view it was like a light switch had been flicked and the castle was blanketed by the shadows of the mountain. It was still a great drive, it’s just a bit disappointing coming back without a single photo!
Today’s Photo: Alice Bel Colle
My morning was much more successful. The hotel has a handy guide with a brief summary of all the surrounding towns. Alice Bel Colle caught my eye for its purpose built mound with a 360 degree view of the surrounding landscape. We rose early and made our way there. Once atop the mound we weren’t disappointed by the view, though the heavy cloud cover wasn’t ideal.
I spotted a rift in the clouds with a bit of pink light coming through and realized I could frame it up just behind this church. I shot 3 exposures at -2, 0 and +2 which was plenty to cover the range in the scene as the clouds dampened the light considerably.
Elora Gorge, located just West of Toronto is a really cool little place. It’s got a real small town, friendly vibe with a good bit of quirkiness stirred in. Everyone there seems really happy and friendly. I wound up chatting to a lot of people while I was setting up for photos. There’s a lot of interesting buildings scattered about through town. Color is applied liberally and odd nick-knacks hang from the facades. I thought this one was particularly interesting. It’s the exterior wall of a locksmiths, made entirely of doors.
I posted an image of the coastline of False Bay last week. This shot is taken just a few steps further down. Walking along the coast was interesting. We’d hopped off the train with an hour to kill before the next one arrived and our group split. Cameron and I took off up the coast towards a vantage point I’d spotted from the tracks. The others went down to the beach. One of the most striking things about walking along here was the huge numbers of mussels hugging the rocks, as well as the piles of shells of the unlucky ones.
The train journey to Simon’s Town has to be one of the most memorable in the world. We heard it was a picturesque trip. But for the first half we were doubtful as the train trundled through interesting but far from beautiful suburbs of Cape Town. This portion was kept interesting by the various vendors jumping on and off the train.
Then, all of a sudden we were next to the ocean, the tracks running meters from the breaking waves. The view was incredible. We passed small towns as we weaved around beaches that were dotted with colorful huts and surfers making their way to the water’s edge. Birds of all sorts flew over or rested on the rocks and occasionally a seal or two came into sight.
I decided to hop off on our return journey as the sun was setting. We got off the second last train of the day without a lot of time before the final one was scheduled. I walked up the coast a little ways and shot this picture looking back across the bay at Simon’s Town in the distance.
This is the entrance to the Old Town of Prague. It’s called the Powder Gate because this is where gunpowder was once stored. This intersection may be one of the worst designed in the world. There’s three one-way roads filing into one single lane, and from what I could see no one has the right of way.
On my last night in Prague, nearing the end of my five-hour stroll, I decided to make my way to Charles Bridge from the Old Town Square. I didn’t want to take the same route I had in the past and took off in what I was sure was the general direction of the river. Luckily, I was right. On the way there, I stumbled across this building and a very busy intersection in front of it. At the time I had no idea what the building was, but decided I definitely had to stop and take a photo. As I stood there shielding my camera from all the foot traffic, it was situated about a foot off the ground, the van driving politician cruised through with his music still blaring.
Since getting back home, Google Maps has informed me that this is the Czech Philharmonic at Rudolfinum, which I think is a great name for a building.