Sunday, February 28, 2010

Notre Dame de Paris


This past year, I have visited many cathedrals during my travels. I always find these worship places quite impressive.
Notre Dame (Our Lady in french) is one of the icons of Paris of course, located not far from the Musee du Louvre. It is one of the most visited places in the city.
Its construction began in 1163 and was effectively completed by 1345 (a 182 years of construction). It is one of the first Gothic cathedrals.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pink Sunrise


One of the most magical sunrises I have ever seen.
I was walking before dawn in the countryside in Spain, chatting with a friend. I remembered one golden rule of photography: "Always keep your eyes open and never forget to look behind you". I turned around just to have a glance of the sunrise and.. Wow!

I just stood there for a while with a huge smile on my face, until the rising sun washed away the colors.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hidden Treasure of Puente la Reina

Sometimes, Beauty can be found in some of the most unexpected places.
While walking on the Camino de Santiago in Spain, we woke up on an early morning, before sunrise, in the town of Puente la Reina, ready to continue our journey.
While walking slowly in the empty streets, a friend decided to enter a bakery and buy some bread for the road. I stayed outside, waiting, and after a few minutes, decided to enter in what appeared like an old small church.
From the outside, it appeared as an old plain building. Except for a signboard next to the old wooden crumbling door, no exterior sign showed it was a church.
When I stepped inside, I stood there amazed. It was as if the inner dimensions of the place completely disobeyed the basic rules of architecture. It felt bigger in the inside than the building itself. The walls were finely and richly decorated and a huge golden altar was erected in a corner of the church.
It was rather surprising to find such a place behind a basic facade. I felt as if I had stumbled upon a hidden treasure of Puente la Reina. It felt awesome!


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Feathers of the Forest

I had the occasion to go through many forests while walking on the Camino in Spain.
I love forests, they seem so full of Life, Wisdom and Peace. I had a great time wandering around at a very slow pace and capturing details.


"It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit".
Robert Louis Stevenson ~

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Koh Samet clouds

One of my favorite things to shoot is: Cloud formation.
I find clouds add so much to a photo, from dramatic moods to the white fluffy happy clouds that enhance the deep blue of the sky. Cloudless skies are often boring and where I used to live, we seldom had any clouds during the year!
This was taken on the island of Koh Samet, in Thailand. The pinkish colors are due to the sunset. We also had a thunderstorm a few days earlier, and that's when I heard the loudest thunder in my entire life, as if it fell right on our bungalow!


Friday, February 19, 2010

Peacock - Chiang Mai Zoo

What bird is more majestic than the peacock? I had the opportunity to meet one beak to face and take a nice portrait while visiting the Chiang Mai Zoo in Thailand.
Trivia: Peacock is the name given to the male, while females are called "peahens". They belong to the Peafowl family. Also did you know that Peahens give eggs with a blue yolk?
The so-called "tail" (it's not really a tail, it's a cover of feathers, the tail is under the feathers) is called a "train". The male flares out its train to attract the attention of the females.

I just love that intense blue!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wine Fountain

On the way to Santiago de Compostella, in Spain, near the town of Estella, the pilgrim, after walking many kilometers feels thirsty and weak.
As soon as he passes Estella, an hour later, he reaches a monastery called "Monestario de Irache". This is where the gods finally listen to his plea and offer him this divine sight: A fountain of Red Wine!
Yes yes my friends, I do not joke. This very fountain here delivers free red wine to everyone that passes by. Just open the tap and drink!
The wine fountain was built in 1991 for the pilgrims. Of course, you can't just go and fill your buckets with wine, there are cameras and probably monks will come and scold you.. Or maybe the gods will cast lightning upon you!
So, next time you happen to be walking near Estella. Just continue a bit to reach the monastery and taste this gift from the winery to the pilgrims.
You can also view a live webcam by visiting the official site of the winery here.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Wat Doi Suthep

Wat Doi Suthep (Wat means temple in Thai) is located North of Thailand, in the city of Chiang Mai, on the mountain carrying the same name (Doi Suthep).
It is the most famous temple of Northern Thailand and a highly respected place among buddhists. It also is home of an Emerald Buddha statue (actually made of jade).
I had the occasion to visit it with a thai person who also showed us how to pray and pay respect to Buddha through various rituals.
From the top of the mountain, there is also a gorgeous view of Chiang Mai city when the weather is clear (which it is most of the time actually hehe).


Friday, February 5, 2010

Ao Phai - Koh Samet

When I visited the island of Koh Samet, I mainly stayed on the beaches of Ao Phai, located on the eastern coast of the tiny island. Most resorts are located on this side.
During weekdays, it is a very calm and laid back island with very few tourists and locals. It might not be as beautiful as Koh Phi Phi but it still remains a little bit of paradise on this earth.
This was taken at sunset, while wandering on the beaches before having a yummy dinner and a bucket of cocktail!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010


In Thailand, no visit is complete without a tuk-tuk ride.
Tuk-tuks are motorized rickshaws, three-wheelers mainly found in South-East Asia. While walking in the streets of Bangkok (or anywhere else), you will ALWAYS bump into someone offering you a tuk-tuk ride or a tour of the city for a ridiculous price. Most of the time in touristic places, it is best to avoid these tours as the driver will just take you to commercial streets where you will be tempted to buy products you don't need (they get commission...).
But tuk-tuks are also a fast and easy way to get around town, if you are not afraid for your Life that is!
So.... tuk-tuk? tuk-tuk? 10 baht!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ao Phrao - Koh Samet

Koh Samet, one of the many islands in Thailand.
Koh Samet is a tiny island where most local people run away during weekends as it is the closest to Bangkok (only about 5-6h away by bus/ferry). It is a very laid back island, with much less tourists then most famous places like Koh Samui, Phuket or Koh Phangan.
This is Ao Phrao. A resort on the West side of the island, and probably the only resort on the west side as most beaches are crammed on the East Coast.
Definitely a place to choose if you are looking a calm, laid back paradise-island. But don't expect wild party nightlife as it is almost non-existent during the weekdays.
Related Posts with Thumbnails