I was surprised and excited to find I had received a nomination from fellow blogger Cathy Powell at http://www.anitalophile.com/ for the ‘Capture the Colour’ competition organised by http://www.travelsupermarket.com/c/holidays/capture-the-colour/ .
The rules state that I am to post and provide stories of 5 photographs: BLUE, GREEN, YELLOW, WHITE & RED and at the end of my post nominate another 5 fellow bloggers for the award.
Not such an easy task to pick out pictures that represent a colour and give a new expression to a colour but I will do my very best!
I was working in Turkey and Greece on a luxury sailing yacht and we found ourselves on the little known Greek Island of Kastelorizo. We had heard about a blue grotto that was one of the islands must sees but it was also a very well kept secret by the locals who would charge a fee to those looking to view it. We awoke very early morning around 6am as we had guests on and escaped in search of the grotto. We came across a tiny hole in the cliffs on the western side of the island and wondered ‘could this be it?’. As we approached we doubted out tender could even fit in the gap and we all ducked as we surprisingly managed to enter through the tiny opening. This is the last I saw of the blue grotto as we left after swimming in the azure blue waters – as you can see the white of the grotto walls are very close to the motor of our tender!
While driving through the Champagne region I came across this war cemetery rather unexpectedly. People travel for many reasons, to see and experience other cultures or to see the past and where man has come from. I had no thoughts of visiting War Memorials on my first ever trip to Europe in 2006 however, I was struck by this vista: the perfectly manicured green laws, the perfect symmetry from where the crosses sprouted from the lawns. But most of all I was struck by the sadness of lives lost and grateful for the respect shown to these fallen soldiers more than half a century later.
Also on my first visit to Europe I found myself visiting the ruins of Pompeii, the striking imagery I viewed inside Pompeii of frescoes depicting Vesuvius billowing dark smoke and knowing everyone remained despite this constant threat. Outside you get a sense of WHY the people stayed there, these enormous lemons as big as a man’s head show you the bounty of fresh produce that was available in the area and still today! Lemoncello is an art form as are the lemons grown in the region!
It is difficult to think of anything BUT white in the Greek Islands – but I will always remember looking up this lovely street and seeing a young girl consumed by her own thoughts and fantasies as she goes on her way; perhaps home, perhaps to friends but with a spring in her step and happiness in her heart.
I was torn between two pictures for the colour red – both were taken in Dubai. This one of the local Taxi ferries where for as little as 1 Dirham one could cross from one side of the canal to the other. The rich colours and the oppressive heat blended well together – I was surprised how this particular ferry had so few people on it. My friend and I hopped on one for the experience later in the evening and their was barely enough sitting room for everyone!
So this concludes my colours expozay!
My Nominees for CAPTURE THE COLOUR in no particular order are;
- Toni from http://orvietoorbust.com/
- Emily at http://inspiredinitaly.blogspot.fr/
- Di from http://www.dimackey.com/
- Sam at http://www.lifeinabruzzo.com/
- Pete from http://www.lazioexplorer.com/
I hope you have found this wander down memory lane as enjoyable as I myself have!
On the way to Turkey from Athens in 2009 I was amazed at this enormous Greek Flag ‘painted’ on it’s landscape and visible to the Turks on the mainland near the party capital of Bodrum. It is a reminder of the love-hate relationship that seems apparent in many countries around the world with their neighbours. Relations between Greece and Turkey have always been somewhat tenuous over the centuries although there are still many Greek families living in Istanbul however the dispute over Cyprus still remains.
My very first job on a yacht was as a Sole Stewardess. I was interviewed on the phone by an Aussie captain and soon found myself jumping on a flight to Rhodos Greece then a ferry to Marmaris Turkey to meet people I had never seen to start a job I had never done!
The job had its ups and downs – if you pardon the pun! But I survived the season and managed to see some amazing parts of the world and met some wonderful people even if I didn’t get the chance to explore every place fully.
Marmaris is a clubbers paradise and it was hard to ignore the nightly boom boom boom of the clubs close to the marina where our yacht was berthed. I had my work cut out for me as there had not been anyone looking after the interior for more than a year but I did manage to snatch a day here and there to see where I was in the world.
Locally I decided to jump on a cheesy gullet tour which took me to Turtle Beach, Datça, nearby Lycean tombs and some healing mudbaths. Some weeks later I would learn that the mudbaths no longer held any of the original healing properties as it was shipped in on trucks from goodness knows where to keep the crowds coming back day after day to roll in the black muck and take silly pictures of themselves!
We spent the Summer cruising Turkey as far North as Bodrum and as far South as Antalya. Greece we visited intermittently Santorini, Rhodos, Mykonos, Symi, Nisyros and the Eastern-most Kastelorizo.
Travel is a wonderful way to see other cultures and gain greater understanding of those we share the world with. While much of the Western World has been lead towards a great untruth regarding Muslims I was welcomed warmly into Muslim homes in Turkey and given the love of families with little else to offer except the generosity of their hearts. This is despite the invasion of their countries by foreigners who have little if any respect for local cultures and beliefs.
Apologies for not updating you over this past week as I had an unexpected trip to Paris and returned only yesterday. Be assured there will be an update tomorrow afternoon and another on Friday.
Have a wonderful week whatever you are doing – life is too short not to!
Travel & Me
My first ever trip to Europe was in 2006, I had 5 weeks pre-arranged leave and although I mostly cherished the thought of spending my time in France I thought ‘what if I never make it again in my lifetime?’ And so, I researched a package tour to a few other places to give me an idea of Europe of places I would like to see this encompassed 11 days of my time and then I would spend 3 weeks in France!
The carrot for the tour I decided on was mostly that we would arrive in Paris on my birthday the 10th of June, but aside from that it took in sights of places one romanticized about. Here is the high speed itinerary of the tour;
Day 1; Depart London for the ferry in Dover at the disgustingly unsociable hour of 4am! Catch the ferry to Calais and drive to Brussels for the evening. Then take in the beautiful architecture and cosy atmosphere of an old city.
Day 2; Depart Brussels for Lake Lucerne via insufferably conservative Luxembourg.
Day 3; Wake up to snow on the 2nd June and head up the Stanzerhorn rail car to picture perfect virgin powder snow! Then heading over to Venice and it’s wonders! Arriving in Venice late evening
Day 4; Spend the day exploring Venice – the famous Murano Glass, the amazing architecture, the Gondolas, Gondoliers, Singers, St Marks Square as well as the tranquility and amazing cuisine of the island of Burano!
Day 5; Head to Rome arrive in the afternoon, take in the Spanish Steps and the beautiful Trevi Fountain followed by an entertaining dinner out with theatrical waiters wooing the ladies!
Day 6; Up early to join the queues at the Vatican and enjoy the brief tour culminating in the wonderment of the Cistine Chapel. Then off to explore the Roman Forum and experience the enormity of the Coliseum!
Day 7; off to Naples to the sound of Dean Martin and Arrivederci Roma! Through the impoverished streets of Napoli to the port we take the ferry to the beautiful Island of Capri for a treacherous bus ride up the steep cliffs and to find a panoramic cliff top restaurant with great food and wine for lunch before devouring the sights of Ana Capri. Then back to the town of Capri for unseasonable torrential rain and hail before squishing into the funicular and sheltering in a café while drinking delicious hot chocolate and taking the ferry back to Napoli then checking in at a hotel on the outskirts.
Day 8; Pompeii imagining the inexplicable terror of the eruption, a brief insight into the lives of those in ancient Pompeii and unbelievable astonishment at the size of the local lemons – bigger than a man’s head!! Then off to Florence arriving in the evening having a wonderful meal and propositioned by the exceptionally attentive waiter for a midnight rendezvous (which I declined)!
Day 9; Florence, a wonderful park Piazzale Michelangelo overlooking Florence’s Ponte Vecchio then the Piazza Della Signoria, Uffizi Gallery (and David) and Santa Maria Del Fiore. Then off to Pizza for the Leaning Tower and some great Gelati before nestling into a quite night in Arrezano just outside of Genoa before our next day’s adventure!
Day 10; Early start through the Mont Blanc tunnel and Geneva Switzerland for the night. With fantastic weather paragliders treated us to a show of their daring skills and the Swiss show us their quiet contemplation of chess.
Day 11; My birthday! We are heading to Paris! We arrive in the early afternoon for a date with the Mona Lisa whom we are introduced by our guide Vincent who I think is the doppelganger of Vincent van Gogh fiery red hair and a passion for art! We see an early evening tribute and wreath laying at the Arch de Triumph, go for a river cruise on the Seine, scale the heights of the Eiffel Tower, then watch the light show at 10pm before a few glasses of champagne then bed.
Day 12; The next day my tour group are off to London, we have a quick bus around and they drop me for my next adventure in the heart of St Germaine de Pres – I now have 3 weeks to visit France at my leisure! What fun!!
I am not so sure where to start – I had hoped to post more on my house purchase adventure 2 weeks ago. But I headed down to New Zealand for my Father’s surprise 70th Birthday which we had in Christchurch last Saturday. So with limited time and internet access I decided at least to get a Christmas post out. Then, much to our horror not one but 3 large magnitude earthquakes hit Christchurch and we’ve have had dozens of aftershocks since then.
Christchurch has been forgotten by many since the February 22nd Earthquake that killed 182 people. Christchurch has had several major earthquakes since September 2010 and over 8000 aftershocks. The people here live with a constant fear and heading into Christmas were feeling hopeful that the aftershocks were on the way out and life could and would return to normal. Thousands of homes await demolition and yesterday’s earthquakes have determined the future demolition of more homes and businesses. Rebuilding the City was hoped to commence mid 2012 and it is believed that this will be pushed back further.
While I fly out of Christchurch this afternoon and return to my employment in France the people of Canterbury remain living in uncertainty. Ironically I have chosen to live in another earthquake prone and devastated area that of Abruzzo, Italy. The town and province of L’Aquila is still rebuilding after their devastating earthquake in 2009. But this is my choice and I know the history of this region but for those residents of L’Aquila when the devastating earthquake struck and for those here in Christchurch, New Zealand their residents have limited options for relocation in an area they have grown up in, raised family in and buried loved ones in.
Christmas for me is not as much of a religious celebration but a time for family and friends to get together to laugh, have fun and remember good times. 2011 has been a year of immense tragedy for many parts of the world and many will mourn this Christmas for the family members they have lost in ’Acts of God’ this past year.
I wish you all a safe and happy Christmas – for those of you who have not been affected by any of the tragedies which have plagued different parts of the world and taken loved ones I hope you take the time to be grateful for the year you have had and you look forward to 2012. For those of you who have lost loved ones and have experienced hardship and loss over the year I wish you love and strength and hope that 2012 brings renewed strength, that joy returns to your lives and your memories burn brightly in your hearts
Take care Merry Christmas and a Bright and Loving New Year to you all!