Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Surreal as you like...

Another highlight of my time in Spain in May (see A Day at the Rock) was a short trip with my son Mike to CadaquĆ©s, a seaside town north of Barcelona (where he and his girlfriend live). 
They often go camping on this coast, and know it well.  

The scenery is stunning, and we had several lovely days there, 
but that's not the reason for this post.


Mike and I are both fans of Salvador Dali's paintings, and we were very keen 
to see the Dali Museum at Figueres, and his house and garden at Portlligat





The Museum and everything in it was designed and conceived by the artist, 
and is considered to be his last great work. 
It was amazing, strange and weird at times, but always brilliant. 

None of the photos I took inside came out well, but I did have a chance to see 
one of my favourite paintings, Galatea of the Spheres:





 The next day we walked over the hills from Cadaques to Portlligat to Dali's house. 
You have to book several weeks ahead to go inside, which we hadn't done, 
but we were able to buy tickets to walk around the garden, 
which I'm sure was far, far better than the house!


 The garden winds its way up to the top of the property. 
Here's the view from a high point:








As you will see, it was all white, with lots of lovely cool trees. 
And an egg theme...








One end of the very inviting swimming pool:








and, along a narrow channel, the other end:



 



There were some Dali-esque oddities, including quite a few 'snakes':









But the overall feeling was of a lovely, calm and peaceful place. 
I'd go back tomorrow, if I could:




Please click on the photos to enlarge them. They look better when they're bigger!

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Day at The Rock

In May, during my time in Spain, I spent a day visiting Gibraltar, which some of you will know is a little piece of Spain which belongs to the United Kingdom.
I knew it would be touristy to the extreme, but I have always wanted to go there.

Here are a few pictures - click to enlarge.


The Rock, from the landward side. 
Formed from Jurassic limestone, it is 426 metres (1,398 ft) high.




The view from the seaward side:




The mosque at Europa Point is clear evidence of how close we are to Africa. 
At the narrowest point of the Strait, it is only 14 km (9 miles) away.




On the far side, the other Pillar of Hercules (Jebel Musa, in Morocco) is  clearly visible:




 Some of the locals, many of whom are British ex-pats. 
What a great climate!




Of course, I had to get a shot of the lighthouse...




Probably everyone who goes to Gibraltar visits St Michael's Cave:




And everyone wants to see a macaque!
There weren't many about when we got to the top of the Rock, 
but this guy managed to grab my friend's water bottle out of her backpack. 
It then sat on the wall chewing the bottle until it managed to bite through the plastic.




Lunch in the central square of the town:



It was an interesting and very enjoyable day - but would you want to live there?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Spontaneous

 Thematic Photographic is here, and this week's topic is 'Spontaneous'.

England, in the grounds of Leeds Castle. 
I was just focusing the lens when s/he turned around to look at me. 
For once, I was quick enough!



Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Morocco - Best Moments

I took so many photos during my recent trip that I could post every day for weeks 
and not run out of shots.

Here are a few more Morocco highlights before I 'move on' to the next country.
(Click to enlarge)

Also linked to Carmi's Thematic Photographic 343: "Far From Home"


In the markets, you could get anything you wanted.

Fresh chicken for dinner:



 and olives to go with the chicken:




You could have dental work:
 


or if it's too late for dental work, some replacements:
 



Elementary schools were in session, and welcomed visitors:

 





Some of the hotels were spectacular/unusual/bizarre



But the scenery was always stunning:
 
 




 and daily life was consistently fascinating:




In Casablanca, we got to have lunch at Rick's Cafe. 
I think it was the most delicious lunch I've ever had.






AND of course, there were always storks:


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Highlights of Morocco: the artistry

Everywhere I went in this astonishing country, 
there was amazing natural beauty.

In this post I have included photos of some of the incredible man-made
craftsmanship and artistry. 

Buildings, gates, arches, windows, towers:
all are hand-carved, decorated, adorned and (my favourite) tiled, often in 
beautiful shades of blue and green.
(Click to enlarge)


Minaret, with storks*




Mosque Hassan II Casablanca



Hassan II Minaret



Bathing Room
















Spot the photographer















Hand-worked Copper









* I became quite obsessed with storks. We don't have them in this part of the world.
Here's another stork picture: