Wild Horse Mountain – well worth the stop

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Just off Bruce highway is this, the smallest of the Glass House Mountains just inland on Queensland’s  Sunshine Coast this lookout built as a fire lookout for the surrounding bush and forestry presents a 700 metre climb from the carpark to peak and surrounding views. Well worth the stop that created an opportunity to add to my Australian landscapes. 

Surrounded by plantation forestry pines and natural bush the 360 degree views are spectacular.

I venture, most visitors to these spectacular views just drive right by these threes on the way in and out.

So, to help you, if you are one of those, to catch up;

See what you might have missed?

For more click on my Australia gallery.

Tauranga Photos ++

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Stock photos, digital downloads across all genres at prices you find find anywhere for less.

Take a look and see if I’m right, see if you can challenge my claim, for top quality photographic images. I love a challenge so if you can let me know. http://www.brianscantlebury.com

As a Tauranga photographer my gallery of Tauranga photos and Mount Maunganui photos covers the bases and is continually growing. New Tauranga and Mount Maunganui photos are added continually expending the range and quality of available stock photos.

Economical images, no credit purchase required, just pay as you use, or get a 12 month subscription.

 

 

                   Images for as little as $5.95 per image.

To obtain 12 month http://www.brianscantlebury.com subscription please email photo@brianscantlebury.com for details.

 

But that’s not all, you’ll find most of New Zealand covered too.

 

For backgrounds and abstracts or global travel images there are also great selections, and all at pricing you won’t have seen before!!

 

Why Namibia? – more just than a few reasons.

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That’s the question, why Namibia?

Have just returned from a three week tour with World Photo Adventures of this startlingly stunning country and through the images shared here hope to give you more than a few reasons.

With the thousands of images I have returned with, it will be quite a while before I get through them all. So, this will be an evolving blog. It will be updated progressively.

And back to the “more than a few reasons;

Landscapes, I’ll bet you’ve never seen anything like what Namibia has to offer;

Sossusvlei dunes are breathtaking. Dead Vlei and Hidden Vlei are so immense and stunning

Touring photographers cast shadow on golden sand dunes.

Then there’s the Quiver Tree Forest with it’s unworldly aloes  scattered randomly across a rugged rocky terrain;

    

Wildlife, big cats, Lions and cheetahs in particular, there’s more to come of these;

And birdlife;

   

Great white pelican portrait

                                       Secretary bird 
The diminutive long-tailed or paradise whydah

Rosy-faced lovebird

 

 

 

 

 

Pale chanting goshawk on top of acacia bush.

Flight of the flamingos at Swakopmund as sun sets over wetland

We came across these lions, him & her, not long after they had made their kill. Here feasting happily together. We went back next morning and watched him take charge and drag the rest of the carcass away from her. She then left the scene and headed to a water hole about a kilometer away, as the crow flies, where we came across her again.

All creatures great and small;

 

Small desert adapted lizard and a shy palmato lizard poking its head out of the sand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What about the people;

Portrait of traditional tribal woman holding child.

Dancing in the tribal way. The Himba people in their small remote village and woman sitting outside shack (below)

And finally some birds in flight, Southern Yellow Hronbill, pale chanting goshawk and lilac breasted roller below.

More to come, check back please. and large digital images are all available at www.brianscantlebury.com The Namibia images are in the travel folder, Africa library.

 

Wellington new stock images New Zealand

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New Wellington stock images to show some of the vibrant creative capital city recently added to http://www.brianscantlebury.com stock photo library

Wellington is a cosmopolitan city with an energetic personality. Please click on the images here to link through to these and more similar Wellington stock photos.

Windy Wellington sign on hillside at Miramar

Windy Wellington sign on hillside at Miramar in white corrugated iron mounted on side of hill to look like it is blowing away with Weta Cave tourism sign below.

The city is surrounded by wonderful scenic bays

Evans Bay panorama from Shelly beach Road Wellington

Evans Bay from Shelly beach Road Wellington

Titahi Bay, Wellington, New Zealand

Titahi Bay, Wellington New Zealand

Rocky foreshore at Breaker Bay  at entrance to  Wellington Harbo

rocky foreshore at Breaker Bay at entrance to Wellington Harbour

Some with classic old beach or boat sheds

Titahi Bay boatsheds Wellington, New Zealand

Titahi individually leased and painted boat-sheds along the beach Wellington New Zealand

Coastal road around Wellington harbour Lowry Bay with bright col

Coastal road around Wellington harbour Lowry Bay with bright coloured boat shed.

Skerrett Boat Shed

Skerrett Boat Shed Lowry Bay Eastbourne Wellington white weatherboard construction with olive green door owned by Hutt City Council in February 2016

 

Titahi Bay, Wellington, New Zealand

Rufus, the owner of this homely shed had just returned from his morning paddle in Titahi Bay, Wellington New Zealand

And the city waterfront is constantly busy and interesting whter is people watching, the coastal scenery, the public art trail or old architecture one can spend hours there and still miss so much

Summer day on Wellington waterfront

Summer day people enjoying Wellington waterfront strolling along the esplanade watching and relaxing in warm coastal public space.

Mooring ropes lying on dock Oriental Bay Boat sheds  and boats a

Mooring ropes lying on dock Oriental Bay Boat sheds and boats across bay Wellington New Zealand

Old white weathered warehouse buildings Shelly Beach Road, Miram

Old white weathered warehouse buildings Shelly Beach Road, Miramar, Wellington New Zealand

Markets like the Porirua Market enable a visitor to share some of the life and cultures

 

 

Like any cosmopolitan city, there are the characters and street scenes that captivate too

Wellington street car window washer Willis Street cleans windscr

Street scene of bare backed with spiky hair Wellington street car window washer Willis Street cleans windscreen of car stopped at intersection lights

Wellington architecture

Wellington wooden architecture old shop building now coffee outlet and Fidel’s cafe

Wellington architecture Shepherd's Arms Hotel in Tinakori.

Wellington architecture Shepherd’s Arms Hotel in Tinakori Road dates from around 1870, this laid-back hotel in the historic Thorndon suburb .

 

Red car in front vintage effect cottage in Tinakori Street, Well

Red car in front vintage effect cottage in Tinakori Street, Wellington

 

Outdoor cafe patrons on Evans Bay,Shelly Beach Road Wellington

Outdoor cafe patrons enjoying the activity and warmth on Evans Bay Shelly Beach Road Wellington

 

Inside the historic Railway Station

 

Night scenes around the spectacular harbour enthrall anyone taking a walk after dark.

City lights across bay Wellington New Zealand

City lights across Oriental BAy to boat sheds and city buildings Wellington New Zealand

City lights across Jervois Road with The Rugby World Cup Celebra

Hectic night scene of buildings, streets, lights tram lines and power poles across Jervois Road with The Rugby World Cup Celebration sculpture in small park Wellington New Zealand

Te Aho a Māui split pyramid sculpture with path through leading

Light effects created by zoom blur through Te Aho a Māui split pyramid sculpture with path leading to Civic Square and city lights and scenes Wellington New Zealand

And there is so much more – Wellington

 

Running out of photo storage space is a risk I am warned, as I head for Lady Elliot Island.

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Lets see if that plus what the world is being told about the pending ruination of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef are both true. I’m excited as we fly from Hervey Bay.

Landing, birds are everywhere, nearly tame too, very reminiscent of Galapagos Islands.

Noddys like the white capped noddy and terns and their nests  surround the terminal and landing strip 

 

We are to spend the next 5 days at Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort. Every night at this time of the year turtles of three varieties come ashore to lay eggs, usually returning to sea before dawn. However, sometimes the leave their run too late and get left high and dry. The next high tide is then required to enable them to make their escape.

water returns and lets them dip their heads in to cool by cycling it through their body.

A colourful inhabitant of the island is one of the smallest.

The Strawberry Hermit Crab carries his home high of the sand.

It’s nesting season, and everywhere you turn there are birds like this white capped noddy carrying nesting material.

Roseate tern chick waits for it’s next feed.

Below are three of the ground and shore birds found on Lady Elliot.

 Speckled gold-and-black migratory Golden Plover

Buff banded rail

Ruddy Turnstone

Nature can be so gruesome and cruel.

Naturally beige coral surrounds the island and we are advised is very healthy.

The sunrises and sunsets are worth hanging about for too.

The island’s iconic and historic lighthouse.

Well, all in all the birdlife was amazing, learning about the turtle populations and breeding  informative and snorkeling was fun.

I did use a lot of photo storage, but thankfully didn’t run short.

 

Another book project completed

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Had some real fun putting together another book project in Aussie on the Gold Coast.

A private home with the feel of comfort and relaxation but also one the most amazing collections of memorabilia, antiques and Australiana ever put together presented a little challenge that resulted in what I hope is an outcome to be proud of.

It was a real pleasure to spend 2 – 3 hours photographing for this book.

 

http://bit.ly/briansphotobookstore

A couple of images from the book.

Ford Tickford and Datsun Fairlady, note the number plates.

 

Items and collections can be found in all parts of the garden strategically placed, around and throughout the home.

I’m often told photography is a wonderful way the preserve memories and recollections of places, activities or properties that we have and that we’d love to share or retain as memories for our families, or even a wider market.

Whilst photo books can be reasonably easily put together these days, a professionally photographed and composed book will present those lasting memories in a light to be proud of. Or for marketing, of course, displays and sells in the best light.

If, for private or public consumption, you’re wanting to get yourself noticed, sell more product or service or really just want to leave something a professional photographic book will do it.

To see some of my other book projects & travel books or check out; http://bit.ly/briansphotobookstore 

Enquires; brian@brianscantlebury.com

http://www.brianscantlebury.com

 

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Another book project completed

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Had some real fun putting together another book project in Aussie on the Gold Coast.

A private home with the feel of comfort and relaxation but also one the most amazing collections of memorabilia, antiques and Australiana ever put together presented a little challenge that resulted in what I hope is an outcome to be proud of.

It was a real pleasure to spend 2 – 3 hours photographing for this book. and then putting it together over the next day or two. Hope you like the outcome as much as I do.

 

http://bit.ly/briansphotobookstore

A couple of images from the book.

Ford Tickford and Datsun Fairlady, note the number plates.

 

Items and collections can be found in all parts of the garden strategically placed, around and throughout the home.

I’m often told photography is a wonderful way the preserve memories and recollections of places, activities or properties that we have and that we’d love to share or retain as memories for our families, or even a wider market.

Whilst photo books can be reasonably easily put together these days, a professionally photographed and composed book will present those lasting memories in a light to be proud of. Or for marketing, of course, displays and sells in the best light.

If, for private or public consumption, you’re wanting to get yourself noticed, sell more product or service or really just want to leave something a professional photographic book will do it.

To see some of my other book projects & travel books or check out; http://bit.ly/briansphotobookstore 

Enquires; brian@brianscantlebury.com

http://www.brianscantlebury.com

 

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There’s something in the Aussie air right now.

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Flying into the Gold Coast I was (as was everyone arriving lately) mindful of the serious bush wildfires wreaking havoc and destroying property through large swathes of NSW and to a lesser extent, Queensland.

There was something different in the air.

A quiet week on Gold Coast with a couple of short journeys. Firstly, to the Broadwater and Spit for a coffee and quick look, also had a wander around the brightly coloured apartment village that was originally for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

 

Then to Byron Bay and the lighthouse before heading off to Hervey Bay to start the Lady Elliott Island experience.

Travelling north the wide Queensland landscape becomes viewable from the lookout on Wild Horse Mountain.

 

Black and white photo-art, 4 images that just beg your comments!

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http://bit.ly/fineartstockphotos

Red Shed, Rye Nature Reserve. Actually black walls , white windows and red roof, this shed is a standout feature of the nature reserve.

Rye Nature Reserve in monochrome. Thistle heads and grass bent in wind with Red Shed and people on walk.

Rye street scene through architectural arch

Stunning White Cliffs of Dover with bold white beach stones contrasting with darker rock and seaweed.

 

More Fine art Photographic images at;  http://bit.ly/fineartstockphotos

http://www.brianscantlebury.com

 

 

Tauranga customised photo tour

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Tauranga customised photo tour starts today (Sept 18) with airport collection about midday.

I have designed a personalised tour focusing on landscapes and night shoots commencing in Rotorua for the first afternoon then shifting to Tauranga.

Forest floor and mossy dead tree trunk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, a little culture at Ohinemutu on the way out.

A stop in bottom of Pyes Pa Gorge Road on way to Tauranga for some long exposure shots round off the afternoons shooting.

 

Morning beach sunrises, bush walks, waterfalls, and evening harbour and night lights shoots will follow over 4 days. We’ll throw in travelling in a vintage Ford Model T for a visit to a kiwifruit orchard, its pruning season, so not most interesting time but expect to see workers in action, and a cruise across, and around, Lake Rotoiti in a vintage boat with fish and chips lunch.

So here’s a little summary of the tour. It’s fair to say it went really well. We covered a lot of territory in the days available, we were able to share photography techniques, see some new ones tried and in the evenings look into expanding the use of Lightroom by a better understanding of some of its features.

Early morning, blue hour at Mount Maunganui;

 

 

Lex sets up for a shot of stream while Lex and Eric take in the view.

The afternoon sees us head to Te Puna Quarry. A chance to build on our botanical collections. Bright Maori carving above stands over entrance to one of the Quarry paths.

Spinifex, large highway sculpture makes a striking image against sky just before sunrise as we head to Papamoa for a sunrise beach shoot.

 

 

Lex lines up a log and casts a                              long shadow.

 

 

 

Then off to see a kiwifruit orchard in 1930’s Ford. Stopping by the orchard outhouse for workers.

 

From the orchard to Otaramarae and the vintage “Cappy” for a small geese call and trip trip across Lake Rotoiti for lunch.

Lex and captain John tuck into a lunch of fish and chip on back of the boat.

Lex

Crossing the lake.

Mount Maunganui-31

Before leaving the harbour, container cranes under a sunburst.

 

At the Bridge Marina for our last dinner together when we caught this little tacker on a scooter.

 

 

 

 

 

Last shoot, Okere Falls en-route to Rotorua Airport and return home.

Four days, a great range of photo opps, and the chance to utilise a range of photographic techniques – a great few days.

These and a selection of other images can be seen at www.brianscantlebury.com

Tauranga images              Rotorua images      enquiries; brian@brianscantlebury.com

 

 

 

 

 

To some Greek Islands, and a day to remember on Naxos

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A rushed drive from Delphi to Athens, deliver the car and and get to airport to fly to the island of Skiathos started our time heading for our Greek island experience.

In all we will spend near three weeks on the three “postcard” islands of Skiathos, Santorini and Naxos.

First Skiathos, a typically Greek/Mediterranean  island, (really, the second of the 4 for us including a short visit to Hydra), is a relaxed and popular place for tourists.

As always there are some thrills, some issues and some fun and lots more of photographic images to share than can be included in these blogs.

Walking the streets, lanes and beaches of these islands provides lots of photographic opportunities.

A few facts, Skiathos is one of the northern Sporades group in the Aegean with a current population of abut 8,000, is recognized as a party island with tourist numbers said to reach up to 70,000 at a time. Its known for its beaches, olives and is very green compared to the mainland.

Walking the streets for a meal you’ll come across large trays of whole fish packed in ice, ready for your selection for dinner. This was along waterfront restaurants on Skiathos.

Cafes, shops and tiered buildings in Skiathos opposite the new port.

The streets are deserted at 6.00 am, peacefully awaiting the jostling hordes. The high point and church though looking distant here are only a short walk and climb.

From the hill with Church of Saint Nikolas, the town can be seen laid out below with it’s characteristic terra-cotta tile roof tops and whitewashed buildings.

Lights of Skiathos Town reflect along the water’s edge.

Streets of Skiathos

Though some of these shots show empty streets, July & August are the hot months, both from point of view of tourists and temperatures which have been well up into the 30’s.

Colourful quaint boats in Old Port at Skiathos

The sky’s have never had a cloud in them and the sunrises and sunsets are intense, especially on Santorini. The Greeks are on holiday too, and swelling the numbers of tourists and those returning home from the mainland, so hectic is the way here at this time of the year. Many heading to the beaches to hire a deckchair and umbrella, bare some flesh and darken their skin a little as well as bathe in the luke warm Mediterranean water and sipping the odd cocktail in between.

While on the subject of baring some flesh, see if you can read this fruiterers sign above the nectarines!

Dining on these islands offers great variety. From the rip sh.. and bust fries with everything including your Greek salad (excuse the mild exaggeration)to really lovely “fine dining” restaurants.

Luckily we spent our time here with a group of great friends who ensured we dined in splendor.

Our hotel at Santorini, our next stop, deliberately chosen to be out of the two main touristic hotspots of Ia and Fira is just the best. The Ampelonas Apartments, it turns out is situated at the highest point of Santorini. And it it is a lovely comfortable and well run property. Sunsets and sunrises without moving (other than to wait 10 hours and turnaround that is), quite unique.

And turnaround – 10 hours later;

Another Santorini sunset, with silhouetted thistles

This is an island in the Cyclades group. Has a resident population around 16,000 before tourists arrive. Grow grapes and olives and is comprised essentially of the 2 cities (Ia and Fira or in their alternative spelling Oia or Thira) built on the caldera.

From our hotel in Imerovigla its only about 20 minutes walk to Fira, one of the 2 postcard style towns and the capital of the island, and about 30 minutes bus or taxi (a story about this later) ride to Ia (or Oia).

Probably the most photographed church on Santorini, The church and Three Bells of Fira, with sailing cruise ship in bay below. But there is so much more photographically in this town.

As well as the over-exposed whitewashed buildings, there’s the fascinating  walkways and staircases seemingly ending nowhere and everywhere

The classical Oia hillside shot.

 

Busker at top of the 230+ Oia steps to Ammoudi Bay below.

Mules, waiting to carry tourists up, in the heat can’t even keep their eyes open standing at bottom of Ammoudi Bay steps 

Octopus drying by restaurant at Ammoudi Bay

So to Naxos on the ferry. Hell just getting on and off this this thing is an experience. The mayhem of Greek organisation seems at it peak in this exercise. No signage for the hordes to work out when or where to move, just people shouting unintelligible instructions, men in uniforms blowing whistles and waving their arms while the aspiring travellers rush about in some form of unmitigated confusion and chaos. Somehow most seem eventually to make it. A bit like the bus timetables, a lower level of chaos, but then often the bus will depart 5+ minutes early, so don’t arrive bang on time and expect to be on. That it seems to me is high -risk strategy.

Trucks, cars and poorly informed tourists all jostling to get aboard a Greek ferry leaving Santorini for Naxos.

Like the others the island of Naxos comprises historic buildings and not so historic presented for the tourists, separated by narrow stone paved lanes with those white painted mortar patterns.

Tourists traipse up the low climb to experience a sunset at another Temple of Apollo, this time at Naxos.

Along with the flowering bougainvillea, the oleanders, the wild figs and olive plantations cats abound. Little wonder there’s no birds or wildlife to speak of. They are everywhere and if you look, they are usually in multiples.

 

 

But our find in Naxos was in form of a very pleasant and helpful guide, Stuart Thorpe,

And here’s some shots from the day.

 

There’s little sign of any industry that’s not tourism or olive related, but this old abandoned industrial building just out of Chalki (or Halki) caught my eye as we walked between a couple of villages with Stuart.

We had to shift a modern wooden and iron bench seat placed for locals to rest on in front of this irresistible old wall. We did put it back! Other than a locked church and a few homes there was little else here in Kaloxilos, the next village

 

Byzantine era church of Agios Apostolos which although we didn’t see them has frescoes inside dating its construction back to 12 or 13th centuries.

Only standing part ot these stone remains in the countryside, an arch through which there’s a landscape of olive trees and in the distance, the methodologically named Mount Zeus, highest peak on Naxos

Ancient olive trees are the dominant landscape feature around here.

Couple of men in small town of Filoti, doing what old Greek men do best. Sit, drink and endlessly hour after hour philosophise.

Thanks to Stuart, we got to out of the way villages, a Byzantine church in a paddock somewhere and an authentic lunch up in the hills at a family run taverna. The owners quickly prepared a range of dishes we shared. All the produce was grown on their own small farm. A great experience and one to be recommended if you are seeking a bit more than the typical tourist.

Open sign on the only food place for miles, a family run restaurant in Moni in the hills of Naxos where all the produce is grown on their own small farm. An experience to stop for, and another we’d have totally missed without Stuarts guidance.

Below, the remains of our multi course meal.

Inside another small church next to where we stood to take the photo below at a spot known as Stavros Keramotis.

View to coast from the only spot on Naxos where you can see both coasts, by turning around off course, Stavros Keramotis.

A couple of cheese makers selling their artisan cheeses on the street in Filoti. Generously they cut sizable slices for us to try.

 

We had the opportunity to spend 4-5 hours with Stuart, a photographer and guide.
Stuarts contacts are;
Would have to say this was probably the best value for money spent while here on Naxos.
Stuart’s knowledge and taking us to places we wouldn’t have made it to if we’d hired a car, which was the option we considered, was simply excellent.and cost effective too.
So, over 5,000 images, a number instagram posts and many to publish to my website there’s plenty more if you are interested, now we are about to complete our journey and head home to get stuck into processing all these images. Perhaps we’ve shared some travel inspiration and ideas through our experiences over these blogs.

Greek road-trip continues north to Meteora then back to Athens

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I am progressively loading images to my site. Also some on instagram at “briansphotography”  if you use that.

Stopping at seaside village for a coffee as one does, this sign offering free shower caught my eye.

Light and shadows  and design, crossing Rion-Antirion Bridge

Later we turn left off the Rion-Antirion bridge and before long we are in Nafpaktos. Nafpaktos is built around a tiny fortified medieval harbour. Beautiful.

Boats moored in amazing little Nafpaktos Harbour

Bronze statues of I don’t know who on both sides of harbour entrance.

This town has a castle on the hill overlooking it, which we drove too before leaving only to find it was closed until 10.00. Didn’t want to wait so missed that, though did get some great views of the town and harbour below while up there.

From the castle hill looking down to Nafpactos, the little fortified harbout barely descernable in centre below flag.

From there we head to Arta as a stop off point en-route through the mountains of west Greece. Heading off we set the GPS for the back-roads as normal, but bugger me, somehow we get directed to the motorway with it’s multiple tollgates and boring vistas. And naturally, once you are on it, it hard to get off. But fast I guess.

Arriving in Arta we stop to find accommodation. Found something that looked ideal, booked it then tried to GPS it. Could not find it on the GPS anywhere. Reviewed our booking on the mobile and noticed we had somehow been directed to Arta, sure, but this one was in the Balearic islands, Spain. Ha.  The GPS was of course set for Greece. Thats travel.

After a night in our re-booked lovely  country hotel on the outskirts of the town we head off early through the mountains. The previous days mountains were interesting, small villages, mostly left behind by the passage of time, rugged roads and only reasonable scenery. Enough to make she who must be obeyed say “boring”. Would not go that far myself, but there you are.

One of two ancient stone arch bridges we see today.

Today was about to be a revelation. Some of the highest hills in the country, some of the windiest roads anywhere, and so many little and not so little groups of red roofed homes scattered among the trees.

GPS showing whats immediately ahead. Fun to drive these roads and well spectacular.

One of the cafe groups of card players. The grey bearded man tells me no work, so they play cards.

But spectacular scenically understates it. What a drive. One not to be missed if you are ever doing a road trip through this country. But, your GPS wont take you there automatically. There is a new toll motorway that Lonely Planet says is also pretty good, but they missed this one.

Have I mentioned the Greek Orthodox churches, shrines and memorials that almost out-number the population?

Brand new, a million miles from anywhere, high in the hills this little beauty stands out beside the road. Unfortunately locked, so we couldn’t enter but I’ll bet there was only room for about 5 or 6 chairs. The smallest we’ve seen had 2 chairs.

I later learn they are rarely, sometimes never used in prayer!

Gradually we make our way to Kastraki hotel. This is a beauty, getting to it another story in our excuse for a car. The wee Micra struggles on hills, its 2nd gear often doesn’t realise its being employed. I have never driven so far in 1st gear, but the revs drop and you may as well push. Bloody hopeless is another understatement.

So through the little lanes that double as streets and to bottom of a rise between houses  almost less than 1 car with in parts and uphill. The Micra took several hill starts to make to the top. But we did it. And it was worth it.

Looking out of our room

Couple of sunset shots. We did a sunset tour on our first night in an effort to orientate ourselves. These are from the favorite spot for tourists at sunset. While waiting for the sunset we were taken to the main church in Meteora, We’re filling in time, our guide is explaining every part of every picture. As you’ll know, there is no part of a wall or ceiling that in not artistically painted and turns out they all have meaning. Talk about tedious, so we sat down. And as we do crossed out legs. Not long after a priest came bustling through, was past us when he realised our legs were crossed and in Greek launched into what I’d call a tirade about our legs. Not being sure what was going on I uncrossed mine, no good reason, just a reaction, but Anne didn’t. Well we nearly needed rescuing. Still don’t know what that’s about, but there’s a word of advice there if you are visiting Greek Orthodox churches. Anne does get caught out in these ways. On another occasion we are in a nunnery (monastery that’s been taken over!!). No hats. Anne, wandering around feels a tap on the shoulder, is about to react as she does when I do that, but just in time sees a rather severe nun on her shoulder. Nun points to cap and shakes head, message received, cap removed. A little while later instinctively returns cap to head, just in time for another shoulder tapping and head shaking. We only went into 2 of these monasteries.

Two of the dozen or so monasteries of Meteora.

A couple of days driving the Meteora hills and visiting a couple of the bluff-top monasteries has been a treat.

Kastraki is a quaint wee town that comes to life at night with diners and drinkers.

As well as tourists and the dining scene other businesses closed during the day come to life. A butcher works his meat!

 

Then from Meteora via the scenic route, across the cropping plains of Greece and through 3 mountain ranges. the the ancient town of Dephi, I’m just told the ancients regarded this as the centre of the earth. Clearly, they’d never been to New Zealand!

Travelling Greece by road is full of surprises, from the small churches and monuments to wild goats or cattle on the road there seems to be another point of interest around most corners.

AS we drive through the cropping plains of mostly nondescript crops an area with fields of sunflowers stands out

Then back up into the winding hill roads, a shell of what once was in middle of nowhere.

And around next corner, something Hitler would have been proud of.

Roadside rug shop on its own, caught in my rear-vision mirror.

Eventually to Delphi.

From our hotel room, view over Delphi roof-tops to town of Itea in Corinthian Gulf way down there.

The view the ancients had about 500 BC from the Temple of Apollo.

 

Itea, on coast of Corinthian Gulf below Delphi. #itea

So tomorrow, off to join the rest of the group on Skiathos, followed by some rime on a couple of other islands. Until then, keep in touch.

Highlights and impressions from Greece

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Kalimera, ruins and museums, most peoples take on this city, but there is more to see and do.

More images from our experiences can be seen at https://www.brianscantlebury.com/Travel/Greece/

What can you see in three days in Athens before heading off to other parts of the country and a few of its islands. That,s what we’ve got – 3 days, this is some of what we did.

Mount Lycabettus is a great first spot to get to. From the top, all the Athenian known landmarks can be seen and their relationship to the rest of the city. You can walk to the top, but most of the year you might find that a bit hard going. I did see a few sweating it out. A taxi made the job easy. Gets you to just a few metres from the top, still need to climb a few steps though.

Pano of city of Athens from Mount Lycabettus.

Cold drinks vendor and church at Mount Lycabettus summit.

Temple of Olympian Zeus archaeological ruins in the city and below the iconic acropolis.

 

Pomp and ceremony, or just Monty Pythonesque silly walks. Guards outside Greece parliament building. Could they actually guard anything?  Funny to watch though.

Across the street and down in the Plaka, interesting and hectically touristic district with its photogenic narrow streets lined with souvenir shops and restaurants.

All this antiquity, but still everywhere you turn, graffiti.

The Acropolis, the centre of antiquity. A citadel comprising ancient structures and theatres under restoration including the most significant Grecian structure the Parthenon.

Then off to pick-up the promised Polo that somehow mysteriously morphs into a Micra….. So, onwards and starting our Greek road-trip to the Peloponnese Peninsula,  Nafplio and other interesting places.

Avoiding motorways and highways wherever possible, through mainly countryside, olive tree plantations interspersed with the citrus orchard or grape vine. The travel takes longer but exposes us to landscapes, villages and other experiences that would be missed by using highways.The roads are lined with rubbish. Scattered through the fields are small old deserted/derelict crumbling buildings normally adorned with graffiti. Not many flat vertical space in this country are left un-graffitied.

Napflio, what a find.

Dining to backgound of this duo and Greek music.

 

Ermioni, further down the Peloponnese coastline,another tourist seaside tourist spot and a great drop-off point  for a short ferry trip and few hours on Hydra. for a night.

 

 

 

 

 

Next morning after delightful breakfast at Mourayio Bed and Breakfast (the place to stay in this part of country) to Nemea.

Inside and view across promenade from Mourayio B & B

Hydra, panorama of Hydra town at night as long exposure blurs passing water taxi.

A girl and her horse in an alleyway on the island.

Never heard of this ancient site until we were nearly there. Nemea was worth the visit, if only because it pre-dates everything else we have seen to date (500BC) and is accessible.

Though a lot smaller than say the Athens acropolis, it is never-the-less worth a visit.

Looking up Nemea Temple of Zeus  columns from below.

Crossing the stunning Rion-Antirion Bridge to head north and missive 3.