Sunday, November 29, 2009

Alkmaar II


Another shot of Alkmaar in the Netherlands. I liked this little town for its quietness, nice streets and laid back lifestyle. The building you see at the end is not a church, but a Cheese museum!
In front of it is held the famous Alkmaar cheese market.

It was also a special day as it's quite rare to have a nice blue sky in a country where it rains all the time!


Friday, November 27, 2009

La Flute


"To him no vain regrets belong
Whose soul, that finer instrument,
Gave to the world no poor lament,
But wood-notes ever sweet and strong.
O lonely friend! he still will be
A potent presence, though unseen,
Steadfast, sagacious, and serene;
Seek not for him -- he is with thee."

~ Louisa May Alcott ~

(Photo taken in the Jardin de Luxembourg in Paris - France).

Thursday, November 26, 2009

French Icon


When we hear "Paris", one of the first images in our head is: The "Tour Eiffel".

This 324m (1063 feet) high tower is the tallest standing structure in Paris and is the most visited single paid monument in the world. It was built in 1889 for the Exposition Universelle and was supposed to be destroyed in 1909. As it has been used by the army and by a radio station (an antenna is on the top), the city of Paris gave permission for the tower to stand longer and it later became one of the icons of the city of Love.

It is also a great idea to visit the tower at night as it is all lit up (different colors depending on the occasion). Every hour, it starts sparkling for a few minutes. Don't miss it!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009



One of the icons of the Netherlands are windmills (along with tulips, cows, canals and red light district).
There are over a 1000 windmills all over the country and where built to power a complex system of pumps to keep the water levels under control. I also learned that mill keepers would position the blades of the windmill (when in resting position) to announce important news like a birth, a death or help
Some are open to the public for visit but I did not get the chance.

Where is Don Quijote when you need him?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Alkmaar - Netherlands


Alkmaar.. A beautiful little town north of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
I came to visit a friend (howdy Eva!) who lives here and we got the chance to walk around, along the "canals", the windmills, the small neighborhoods with their little gardens, the red light district at night (oh baby!) and all the little shops here and there.

A very lovely town where I could almost see myself living in!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Is Hope gone?



Hope never abandons you, you abandon it.
Even when everything seems to be going down the drain, even when you feel like you are in the gutter, it's always a cycle where things will turn out to be good if you continue believing.

Obstacles and problems are needed for our growth.

"I will love the Light for it shows me the way, yet I shall endure the Darkness for it shows me the stars"
~ Og Mandino ~

Monday, November 9, 2009



On a foggy morning, I encountered many beautiful spiderwebs covered with dew.

I began to wonder: Those little tiny spiders spend their time building these webs and it can be destroyed the next morning because of water droplets, just like a flood.
And yet... They still continue weaving a web the next day, and again, and again.. Because these spiders know their purpose. They know why they are here, they know that no matter what, they need to weave a web in order to capture their meal.

They do not sit and weep because their efforts have been destroyed, they do not give up.
We humans tend to give up too soon, too often. And we often ask ourselves: What is my purpose? I have to find my purpose..

"Do not look for your purpose.... Be it! "

Saturday, November 7, 2009



Barcelona is truly a beautiful city with an amazing atmosphere.
One of the places I loved is "Montjuic", the "Hill of the Jews". Located on a Hill in the city, it overlooks Barcelona in all its glory.
There is a beautiful fortress located on top of it (see pic) that served for many inglorious purposes during the war. It was a prison for political prisoners as well as the site of many shady executions.

Later it served as the site of the International Exposition in 1929. It also hosted the Spanish Grand Prix, an Olympic Stadium, a National Museum of Art de Catalunya, a botanical garden and a cemetery.

It's really a place to visit when in Barcelona, and chill in the many parks located there overlooking the city.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Morning Treasure


The most beautiful things in Life can be found right in front of us, at our feet. And yet, we insist on looking for beauty elsewhere, on the other side of the fence where we can hardly reach.

I spent a good few days of the Camino on the ground, focusing my attention on details, capturing little moments of life, of Nature. I left my wide angle lens in my bag and concentrated only on macro photography.

One of my favorite pastimes was taking photos of droplets hanging on spider webs or clovers.
Speaking of clovers, I heard a beautiful story on the way:
"Most people know what 4 leaf clovers represent: Luck. It is very hard to find and yet most people look for it. In Korea, 3-leaf clovers also represent Happiness! So... too many people spend their time looking for Luck while being surrounded by fields of happiness at their feet..." That leaves a lot to ponder! (Thanks a lot Eun Ju).

Enjoy the present moment, open your eyes, look for details and be happy.

"There is no way to Happiness... Happiness IS the way"

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mind Fog


While traveling, people tend to fall out of their routine, and experience the NOW, enjoy the present moment.

The mind stops the endless and useless chattering that blocks us and nothing matters anymore. The only plans made are the daily plans.

This is when, after a long period of time the mind fog starts to clear up and you actually start enjoying and LIVING instead of planning the future or remembering the past.

This shot was taken in Barcelona, along the beach. It’s a long exposure (25 seconds) and makes the sea look like a creamy foggy substance.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Town of Cee


Usually, most pilgrims end the Camino de Santiago in the town of Santiago de Compostella, in front of the Cathedral where supposedly lie the remains of St. James.
But the Camino doesn't really end here, it continues up to Finisterra, the "end of the World" where they say a shepherd found the body of St. James. It is also called the "Pagan route", as it was a pilgrimage route way before Christianity.

On my first Camino, I stopped in Santiago due to lack of time. On my second pilgrimage, I decided to go all the way to Finisterra.. And I did not regret it.
The way is really beautiful with amazing sceneries along the Atlantic Ocean and many towns perched on the hills, bathing under a beautiful sun.

This is the town of Cee, about 12km before "point 0", the end of the world. It's a fairly quiet and peaceful town with many fishermen of course.

For all who walk on the St. James way, my advice would be: Go all the way to Finisterra, it's only 3 more days walk and it's an amazing place to be.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Villafranca del Bierzo


It's a very enchanting feeling when you start walking early in the morning in the fog and suddenly when it all clears up on top of a small hill with Nature offering you a beautiful view.

This was one of those foggy days when you could hardly see 10m ahead of you. I was walking with a Korean friend and chatting about happiness.. This is when it all started to clear up and a beautiful rainbow appeared just to answer her question.. Yes, we all should remain happy.

Villafranca del Bierzo is a small town on the Camino de Santiago, a very beautiful place to live in, not big, not small. It is surrounded by vineyards and beautiful green mountains.

Definitely a place I'd like to visit again.
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