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 262017
 

When I took this photo in Phong Na, Vietnam, I was precariously balanced on a rickety bamboo bridge. A little farther on we were stood on one, when it suddenly dropped about a half foot, nearly dumping us overboard.

river rushing aroud a large boulder in phong nha ke bang national park vietnam

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

Feb 202017
 

On my third day in the Cinque Terre, I decided to walk from Manarola to Corniglia. I knew that there would be some walking up involved as Corniglia is on top of the cliffs. I asked at my hotel where the path started and they pointed towards a steep flight of stairs heading up the hill. I asked if that was the extent of the walking up involved and he told me it flattened out at the top of the hill. What I didn’t realise is that you couldn’t really see the extent of the hill until you were at the top of that first set of stairs. It was far higher than I realised!

Still, the uphill walking resulted in a lot of photos as I needed an excuse to catch my breath.

manarola from above with approaching ferry

Feb 032017
 

Setting out for Sisteron, France I wasn’t sure what I would find following the hour and a half drive there. I also wondered what the roads would be like. I was pleasantly surprised as it turns out there is a nicely paved highway running from Aix-en-Provence most of the way to Sisteron. Once we arrived there, it was immediately clear that the drive was worth it. The town is perched on the bend of the River Durance and works it way up the valley walls. At the top is the Sisteron Citadel, which has significantly hindered the efforts of armies trying to enter Provence from Roman times through to the second world war.

What you see here is the Devil’s Sentry, posted high above the valley on an outcrop of rock.  It’s not difficult to understand why it earned this name, especially when you imagine winter winds whipping through the valley and directly into the sentry box.

view of the sisteron devil's sentry with the river mountain and village in the background

Jan 232017
 

If you google Riomaggiore you’ll find photos taken from this spot numerous times. It’s one of the viewpoints that first got me to notice the Cinque Terre and eventually decide to give the area a visit.  While I try not to take the same photos taken by everyone else, I don’t think anyone can disembark from the ferry to Riomaggiore and not stop to take this picture.

riomaggiorie harbour with boats and dramatic sky cinque terre italy

 

Jan 212017
 

I was treated to a wine tasting at a Tuscan vineyard. They took us into a cave where the family has been making wine for a very long time. We were shown how the wine is made and I was surprised to discover that they made white, red, and rosé all from the same grapes. As it turns out, the wine isn’t colored by the color of the grape but by how long the skins are left in the vat.

We were presented with a delicious rosé to start off the day. Unfortunately, I thoroughly enjoyed this and tucked back a few glasses before moving onto the rest of the tasting flight, which was voluminous. We were treated to food pairings for the wine. The owner’s mother appeared as we enjoyed lasagna made in strict accordance with her recipe.

This photo is taken from the spot that I put back the original few glasses of rosé. I, along with most of our group, got a good nap in on the bus ride back to Florence.

barrels of wine stored in a tuscan vineyards cave

Jan 202017
 

I’m on my way back to Marrakech for a quick two night stop before attending meetings in London. We’re making a return to the beautiful Palais Sebban so I thought it was fitting to post a photo of the riad. This trip I’ll be taking some friends on the same amazing food tour we went on last time as well as making a quick morning trip to go camel trekking in the foothills of the Atlas mountains. It involves two hours on the back of a camel, which should be interesting. I’ve wanted to do a multi-day trip through the desert by camel for a while now. This will be a good test of my willingness to spend extended periods of time on top of  a camel.

central courtyard pool at the palais sebban in marrakech morroco

Jan 192017
 

The walk up to the top of this tower was interesting. It was a tower that vacationers could rent, but there is only one room per floor. So as you walked up, you passed through multiple bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms, each on their own floor. By the time I got to the top I was ready to collapse. After catching my breath I took a few picture before making my way down again. We sat in a nearby courtyard and enjoyed the most garlicky bruschetta I’ve ever had. It was delicious.

san gimignano square tower and tuscan countryside