Mark Fischer Photography: Blog http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog en-us - mark@fischerfotos.com (Mark Fischer Photography) Thu, 06 Oct 2016 11:02:00 GMT Thu, 06 Oct 2016 11:02:00 GMT http://www.fischerfotos.com/img/s/v-5/u805012594-o409456563-50.jpg Mark Fischer Photography: Blog http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog 80 120 Syrian Monastery - Wadi el Natrun, Egypt http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2016/3/syrian-monastery---wadi-el-natrun-egypt  

I have moved most of my blog entries to a new home on stories.fischerfotos.com.  You can find the expanded version of my original blog post at http://stories.fischerfotos.com/the-syrian-monastery ​

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mark@fischerfotos.com (Mark Fischer Photography) Coptic Egypt Natrun Syrian Wadi monastery http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2016/3/syrian-monastery---wadi-el-natrun-egypt Sat, 12 Mar 2016 14:18:14 GMT
Bait al Safah - al Hamra, Oman http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2015/12/bait-al-safah Bayt al Safa RoomBayt al Safa RoomOne of the rooms in the Bayt al Safa (sometimes spelled Bait al Safa or Bait al Safah) museum in al Hamra, Oman. The museum is located in the quarter of town filled with abandoned mud/clay brick houses and shows daily tasks like producing oil from nuts, grinding flour, and making bread.

I recently had the chance to visit the Sultinate of Oman, and spend a few hours at Bait al Safah (which is sometimes transliterated into English as Bait al Safa, Bayt al Safah, or Beit al Safah).  Bait al Safah, which means "Safah's House" in Arabic, is a living museum of traditional Omani life in the town of al Hamra.  The three story house is about 400 years old and is built using the mud/clay bricks that were the common building material at the time. 

 

 

 

Bayt al Safa DisplayBayt al Safa DisplayOne of the displays in the Bayt al Safa (sometimes spelled Bait al Safa or Bait al Safah) museum in al Hamra, Oman. The museum is located in the quarter of town filled with abandoned mud/clay brick houses and shows daily tasks like producing oil from nuts, grinding flour, and making bread.

Bayt al SaffaBayt al SaffaOne of the guides in the Bayt al Safa (sometimes spelled Bait al Safa or Bait al Safah) museum in al Hamra, Oman. The museum is located in the quarter of town filled with abandoned mud/clay brick houses and shows daily tasks like producing oil from nuts, grinding flour, and making bread.

al Hamra is an interesting village about 2.5 hours from Muscat and 30 minutes from Nizwa, site of Oman's oft-visited fort.  In addition to Bait al Safah, al Hamra is home to Misfat al Abriyyin village, an old village built on the hillside with an ingenious series of waterworks irrigating a set of terraced gardens.

Bayt al Safa RoomBayt al Safa RoomOne of the rooms in the Bayt al Safa (sometimes spelled Bait al Safa or Bait al Safah) museum in al Hamra, Oman. The museum is located in the quarter of town filled with abandoned mud/clay brick houses and shows daily tasks like producing oil from nuts, grinding flour, and making bread.

 

Bayt al Safa DisplayBayt al Safa DisplayOne of the displays in the Bayt al Safa (sometimes spelled Bait al Safa or Bait al Safah) museum in al Hamra, Oman. The museum is located in the quarter of town filled with abandoned mud/clay brick houses and shows daily tasks like producing oil from nuts, grinding flour, and making bread.

The house is decorated with old furniture and decorations and in a room in the back of the house there are village people demonstrating the traditional ways to make oil from local nuts, roast and grind coffee, grind grains into flour, and bake the traditional rukhal bread.  Everyone was very welcoming and we had a great time. 

Bayt al Safa CoffeeBayt al Safa CoffeeOne of the guides demonstrates roasting and grinding coffee in the Bayt al Safa (sometimes spelled Bait al Safa or Bait al Safah) museum in al Hamra, Oman. The museum is located in the quarter of town filled with abandoned mud/clay brick houses and shows daily tasks like producing oil from nuts, grinding flour, and making bread.

 

Bayt al Safa BreadBayt al Safa BreadOne of the guides makes a traditional Omani Rukhal Bread in the Bayt al Safa (sometimes spelled Bait al Safa or Bait al Safah) museum in al Hamra, Oman. The museum is located in the quarter of town filled with abandoned mud/clay brick houses and shows daily tasks like producing oil from nuts, grinding flour, and making bread.

 

Bayt al Safa RoomBayt al Safa RoomOne of the rooms in the Bayt al Safa (sometimes spelled Bait al Safa or Bait al Safah) museum in al Hamra, Oman. The museum is located in the quarter of town filled with abandoned mud/clay brick houses and shows daily tasks like producing oil from nuts, grinding flour, and making bread.

 

We had not originally planned to visit the town of museum, but when we told our guide we were looking to understand what life in Oman used to be like he suggested we come here.  We are very glad he did as it turned out to the highlight of our trip.

 

 

 

Bayt al SaffaBayt al SaffaOne of the guides in the Bayt al Safa (sometimes spelled Bait al Safa or Bait al Safah) museum in al Hamra, Oman. The museum is located in the quarter of town filled with abandoned mud/clay brick houses and shows daily tasks like producing oil from nuts, grinding flour, and making bread.

 

Bayt al Safa RoomBayt al Safa RoomOne of the rooms in the Bayt al Safa (sometimes spelled Bait al Safa or Bait al Safah) museum in al Hamra, Oman. The museum is located in the quarter of town filled with abandoned mud/clay brick houses and shows daily tasks like producing oil from nuts, grinding flour, and making bread.

The museum itself is located in a section of town filled with the old mud brick buildings, most of which are abandoned and decaying.  The area itself is interesting to walk around to get a sense of what life was like in old Oman.

Bayt al Safa RoomBayt al Safa RoomOne of the rooms in the Bayt al Safa (sometimes spelled Bait al Safa or Bait al Safah) museum in al Hamra, Oman. The museum is located in the quarter of town filled with abandoned mud/clay brick houses and shows daily tasks like producing oil from nuts, grinding flour, and making bread.

Bayt al Safa SunlightBayt al Safa SunlightSunlight streams through the palm frond roof of a room in the Bayt al Safa (sometimes spelled Bait al Safa or Bait al Safah) museum in al Hamra, Oman. The museum is located in the quarter of town filled with abandoned mud/clay brick houses and shows daily tasks like producing oil from nuts, grinding flour, and making bread.

 

Click on the links for all my photos of Bait al Safah, al Hamra, and Oman. For more photos and information about Bait al Safah and al Hamra, see Juno Kim's RunawayJuno blog.

If you enjoy my photos, please feel free to browse this web site or my photos on flickr.

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mark@fischerfotos.com (Mark Fischer Photography) Bait al Safa Bait al Safah Bayt al Safa Bayt al Safah Beit al Safa Beit al Safah Hamra Oman al Hamra history museum http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2015/12/bait-al-safah Wed, 02 Dec 2015 08:34:55 GMT
Arlington National Cemetery http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/10/arlington-national-cemetery  

 

Tomb of the Unknown SoldierTomb of the Unknown SoldierA sentinel stands guard in the rain at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

I am (slowly) moving my blog entries to stories.fischerfotos.com.  You can find this one at  Tomb of the Unknown Soldier .

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mark@fischerfotos.com (Mark Fischer Photography) Arlington Cemetery DC National Soldier Tomb Unknown Unknowns Washington memorial of soldier the tomb unknown http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/10/arlington-national-cemetery Thu, 30 Oct 2014 23:01:00 GMT
Letchworth State Park http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/10/letchworth-state-park Within two miles, the glen's stream descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs, generating 19 waterfalls along its course. The gorge path winds over and under waterfalls and through the spray of Cavern Cascade. Rim trails overlook the gorge. - See more at: http://nysparks.com/parks/142/details.aspx#sthash.KyZEqtK6.dpuf

Cavern CascadeCavern CascadeThe Cavern Cascade waterfall in Watkins Glen State Park. Watkins Glen is a well-known park near Corning and Ithaca, New York. The two mile-long gorge features 19 waterfalls falling a combined 400 feet. As a child (and later as an adult), I loved to visit Watkins Glen State Park.  The park is a popular visitor attraction in the Finger Lakes region of New York State and is only 90 minutes from Rochester and Syracuse and 30 minutes from Ithaca.  The centerpiece of the park is the gorge.  Over a run of just more than two miles, Glen Creek descends 400 feet through a series of 19 waterfalls with the cliff walls towering 200 feet above the stream in some places.  A series of trails allow visitors to walk alongside the water to look down into the gorge from a higher altitude.  The park office is at the lower end of the gorge and many people start there and walk up the 832 stone steps to the top.  People who can't ascend that far can take a shuttle bus to the top end and enjoy a leisurely walk down the gorge.

In addition to the gorge, the park features tent and trailer campsites as well as excellent picnic facilities.  The nearby village of Watkins Glen is known for the Watkins Glen International raceway which features a series of automotive races and other events during the year.

Watkins WaterfallWatkins WaterfallA waterfall in Watkins Glen State Park. Watkins Glen is a well-known park near Corning and Ithaca, New York. The two mile-long gorge features 19 waterfalls falling a combined 400 feet. One of the 19 waterfalls on Glen Creek in the park

 

Cavern CascadeCavern CascadeThe Cavern Cascade waterfall in Watkins Glen State Park. Watkins Glen is a well-known park near Corning and Ithaca, New York. The two mile-long gorge features 19 waterfalls falling a combined 400 feet.

The Cavern Cascade waterfall.  The path leads directly behind the falls, leaving visitors covered in spray.

 

Letchworth WaterfallLetchworth WaterfallA waterfall in Watkins Glen State Park. Watkins Glen is a well-known park near Corning and Ithaca, New York. The two mile-long gorge features 19 waterfalls falling a combined 400 feet.

Another of the falls in the gorge

 

Rainbow BridgeRainbow BridgeRainbow Bridge crosses the river in Watkins Glen State Park. Watkins Glen is a well-known park near Corning and Ithaca, New York. The two mile-long gorge features 19 waterfalls falling a combined 400 feet. The Rainbow Bridge carrying visitors over Glen Creek

 

Click on any photo to open it in the gallery where you can download, pin, like, or share it. 

If you enjoy my photos, please feel free to browse this web site. You can also find me on flickr, facebook, pinterest , and twitter.

 

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mark@fischerfotos.com (Mark Fischer Photography) Glen Watkins Watkins Glen gorge park waterfalls http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/10/letchworth-state-park Tue, 28 Oct 2014 18:15:44 GMT
Battle of the Flowers at Carnival in Nice, France http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/10/battle-of-the-flowers-at-carnival-in-nice-france I have moved most of my blog entries to a new home on stories.fischerfotos.com.  You can find the expanded version of my original blog post at http://stories.fischerfotos.com/battle-of-the-flowers​.

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mark@fischerfotos.com (Mark Fischer Photography) Carnival France Nice bataille battle fleurs flowers parade http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/10/battle-of-the-flowers-at-carnival-in-nice-france Thu, 16 Oct 2014 23:01:00 GMT
Kuang Daing Market on Inle Lake, Burma http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/10/kuang-daing-market-on-inle-lake-burma Foggy MorningFoggy MorningTraders arrive by boat in the fog at the local market in Kaung Daing, on the north shore of Inle Lake, Burma.

I am moving most of my blog entries to a new home on stories.fischerfotos.com.  You can find the expanded version of my original blog post at http://stories.fischerfotos.com/kuang-daing-market

 

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mark@fischerfotos.com (Mark Fischer Photography) Burma Daing Inle Kuang Kuang-Dine Lake Myanmar local market http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/10/kuang-daing-market-on-inle-lake-burma Sat, 11 Oct 2014 17:06:01 GMT
Camden Town, London http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/9/camden-town-london  

My wife and I had the chance to spend a few days in London recently. We saw the usual sites like Big Ben and the Tower of London like every visitor to London should.  One afternoon she surprised me by taking me to the Camden Market section of London.  I knew nothing about it and was thrilled to walk through the area.

The heart of Camden, or Camden Town is it is often called, are the markets.  The five main markets in the area are the Camden Lock Market featuring books, clothes and food from around the world, the Camden Lock Village with lots of clothing and other items, Camden Market (originally called Buck Street Market) which focused on fashion, the Inverness Street Market which has clothing, shoes, and souvenirs, and the Stables Market, a maze of permanent stores selling antiques, food, clothes, and decorations.

295_D_S_0345295_D_S_0345

The crowd in the Camden Lock Market

 

Inside the Stables Market

 

In addition to the markets themselves, there are a number of very interesting shops along the streets near the markets and the Camden Town tube stop which serves the area.

 

A giant Chuck Taylor Converse Sneaker in front of Quarter Shoes

 

011Fabio011Fabio

Darkside, a Goth Clothing Store

 

Dark Angel Tatoos

 

Click on any photo to open it in the gallery where you can download, pin, like, or share it.  You can see other photos of Camden Town in my Around The World gallery

If you enjoy my photos, please feel free to browse this web site. You can also find me on flickr, facebook, pinterest , and twitter.

 

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mark@fischerfotos.com (Mark Fischer Photography) Camden Town london market shopping http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/9/camden-town-london Sat, 20 Sep 2014 13:56:45 GMT
Photographers To Know: Frank Horvat http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/9/ptk-frank-horvat  

Paris, Shoe and Eiffel Tower A, 1974

I have recently been reading about the history of photography as part of an effort to broaden my horizon beyond just taking (and posting) pictures.  I am taking a break from my normal practice of writing a blog post that highlights some of my photos to shine the spotlight on one of them that I really like and feel that others should know: Frank Horvat.

I am not an expert on Mr. Horvat and will just quote the introduction to the article on him from Wikipedia before moving on the the good stuff - his pictures!

According to Wikipedia, "Frank Horvat is a photographer born on April 28, 1928 in Abbazia (Italy), now Opatija (Croatia), presently living and working in France. He is best known for his fashion photography, published between the mid 50’s and the end of the 80’, but his photographic opus includes photojournalism, portraiture, landscape, nature and sculpture. In 1988, he produced a major book of interviews with fellow photographers (such as Don McCullin, Robert Doisneau, Sarah Moon, Helmut Newton, Marc Riboud). At the beginning of the 90’s, he was one of the first to experiment with Photoshop. In 1998, he replaced his professional equipment with a compact camera, which he always carries in his pocket, in order to shoot anything, at any moment that seems to him of some interest. In 2011, he put online his first iPad application (Horvatland)." He also has a web site where you can learn more about him.

Jardin des Modes, Paris Metro, 1958

This photo always confuses me, but in a good way. Why do the women in the photo have their mouths open like this? Are they singing? Are they really surprised that the doors have closed? Are they yelling at Horvat to meet them at the next station? Are the complaining because they haven't been paid?

 

Gare Saint Lazare, Paris 1959

This was the first Horvat photo that I remember seeing and I thought it really struck me.  I am a train geek, so being in a train station is always good, but what I really loved was the sense of movement and energy flowing around the few islands of calm.  Having the people standing still really accentuated the movement of the others.  The signs at the top established where the photo was taken and gave it a sense of place.

 

For Vogue France, 1974

I just love the angle of this one and the looks on the faces of each of the men.  Like his photo on the Metro it raises interesting and unanswerable questions for me:  Who the men? What is in the bottle? Where are they?

 

Bar scene, Place Pigalle, Paris, 1956

I have what may be the craziest reason ever for liking a photo: her crushed nose.  The fact that her nose is crushed against his face makes the photo seem (to me, at least) much more realistic and authentic.  It is the way two friends greet each other, not like a staged bizou between two models.

 

If you like these photos, please also see Anthony Luke's blog posting on Mr. Horvat.

Finally, Mr. Hotvat, if you happen to stumble across this blog post, please forgive my totally incomplete and superficial description of your many decades of photography and your substantial influence on the art.

 

If you want to see my photos, please feel free to browse this web site. You can also find me on flickr, facebook, pinterest , and twitter.

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mark@fischerfotos.com (Mark Fischer Photography) France Frank Horvat Photographer fashion http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/9/ptk-frank-horvat Thu, 11 Sep 2014 23:01:00 GMT
Chefchaouen Morocco http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/8/chefchaouen-morocco Chefchaouen StreetChefchaouen StreetA view of one of the many blue-painted streets in Chefchaouen, Morocco.

Chefchaouen is situated in the Rif Mountains, just inland from Tangier. The city was founded in 1471 as a small fortress by Moorish exiles from Spain led by Moulay Ali Ben Moussa Ben Rached El Alami to fight the Portuguese invasions of northern Morocco. It was known as one of the main concentrations of Moriscos (converted Christian inhabitants of Spain and Portugal of Muslim heritage) and Jews who sought refuge in this mountainous city after the Spanish Reconquista in medieval times. In 1920, the Spanish seized Chefchaouen to form part of Spanish Morocco and returned the city after the independence of Morocco in 1956.

A few years ago we were trying to decide where to take a family vacation over Christmastime.  We canvased a number of friends who tend to visit fun and interesting places and a few of them mentioned Morocco.  I like Moroccan food (if you have met me you will know that I like pretty much any food) and it sounded a little exotic so we decided to go.  We hired a driver and did a grand tour of the country, visiting Rabat, Fez, Marrakesh, and Essaouira.  One of our favorite stops was the mountain city of Chefchaouen.

 

Chefchaouen StreetChefchaouen StreetA view of one of the many blue-painted streets in Chefchaouen, Morocco.

Chefchaouen is situated in the Rif Mountains, just inland from Tangier. The city was founded in 1471 as a small fortress by Moorish exiles from Spain led by Moulay Ali Ben Moussa Ben Rached El Alami to fight the Portuguese invasions of northern Morocco. It was known as one of the main concentrations of Moriscos (converted Christian inhabitants of Spain and Portugal of Muslim heritage) and Jews who sought refuge in this mountainous city after the Spanish Reconquista in medieval times. In 1920, the Spanish seized Chefchaouen to form part of Spanish Morocco and returned the city after the independence of Morocco in 1956.

Chefchaouen, sometimes called just Chaouen, is a picturesque town in the northern part of the country best known for its many blue-painted houses.  It also has a reputation for its touts offering locally-grown marijuana to tourists, though I didn't encounter any those salesmen.  Maybe they took some time off over Christmas or maybe I wasn't their target demographic.

 

Chefchaouen StreetChefchaouen StreetA rests while walking up one of the many blue-painted streets in Chefchaouen, Morocco.

Chefchaouen is situated in the Rif Mountains, just inland from Tangier. The city was founded in 1471 as a small fortress by Moorish exiles from Spain led by Moulay Ali Ben Moussa Ben Rached El Alami to fight the Portuguese invasions of northern Morocco. It was known as one of the main concentrations of Moriscos (converted Christian inhabitants of Spain and Portugal of Muslim heritage) and Jews who sought refuge in this mountainous city after the Spanish Reconquista in medieval times. In 1920, the Spanish seized Chefchaouen to form part of Spanish Morocco and returned the city after the independence of Morocco in 1956.

While the town caters to tourists, it had a laid-back feel while we were there and we saw many more locals than other tourists.  The woman in the photo above was walking up the stairs when she decided to sit down and take a break.  Almost everyone who walked up or down the stairs stopped to chat or at least exchange a few words with her. 

 

Door Lock DetailDoor Lock DetailA close-up view of the inside of a hotel room door at the Casa Hasan riad hotel in Chefchaouen, Morocco.

Chefchaouen is situated in the Rif Mountains, just inland from Tangier. The city was founded in 1471 as a small fortress by Moorish exiles from Spain led by Moulay Ali Ben Moussa Ben Rached El Alami to fight the Portuguese invasions of northern Morocco. It was known as one of the main concentrations of Moriscos (converted Christian inhabitants of Spain and Portugal of Muslim heritage) and Jews who sought refuge in this mountainous city after the Spanish Reconquista in medieval times. In 1920, the Spanish seized Chefchaouen to form part of Spanish Morocco and returned the city after the independence of Morocco in 1956.

We stayed at Casa Hassan in the center of the Medina (market area) and very much enjoyed it.  It was rustic and full of character and the staff were extremely polite and helpful. 

 

Chefchaouen StreetChefchaouen StreetA view of one of the many blue-painted streets in Chefchaouen, Morocco.

Chefchaouen is situated in the Rif Mountains, just inland from Tangier. The city was founded in 1471 as a small fortress by Moorish exiles from Spain led by Moulay Ali Ben Moussa Ben Rached El Alami to fight the Portuguese invasions of northern Morocco. It was known as one of the main concentrations of Moriscos (converted Christian inhabitants of Spain and Portugal of Muslim heritage) and Jews who sought refuge in this mountainous city after the Spanish Reconquista in medieval times. In 1920, the Spanish seized Chefchaouen to form part of Spanish Morocco and returned the city after the independence of Morocco in 1956.

There is a great deal of information available on the internet about Chefchaouen, including Wikitravel and Tripadvisor.  Trey Radcliff has some awesome photos of Chefchaouen on his Stuck in Customs web site.

Click on any photo to open it in the gallery where you can download, pin, like, or share it.  You can see other photos of Chefchaouen in my Morocco gallery

If you enjoy my photos, please feel free to browse this web site. You can also find me on flickr, facebook, pinterest , and twitter.

 

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mark@fischerfotos.com (Mark Fischer Photography) Chaouen Chefchaouen Morocco http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/8/chefchaouen-morocco Thu, 04 Sep 2014 23:01:00 GMT
Prasat Bayon http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/8/prasat-bayon  

Bayon LandscapeBayon LandscapeBayon, or Prasat Bayon, is a well-known and richly decorated Khmer temple at Angkor in Cambodia. Built in the late 12th century or early 13th century as the official state temple of the Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII, the Bayon stands at the centre of Jayavarman's capital, Angkor Thom. Following Jayavarman's death, it was modified and augmented by later Hindu and Theravada Buddhist kings in accordance with their own religious preferences.

The Bayon's most distinctive feature is the multitude of serene and massive stone faces on the many towers which jut out from the upper terrace and cluster around its central peak. The temple is known also for two impressive sets of bas-reliefs, which present an unusual combination of mythological, historical, and mundane scenes. The current main conservatory body, the Japanese Government team for the Safeguarding of Angkor (the JSA) has described the temple as "the most striking expression of the baroque style" of Khmer architecture, as contrasted with the classical style of Angkor Wat. - From Wikipedia

I had lived in Asia for a number of years before going to see Ankor Wat and the other sites in Siam Reap, Cambodia.  Maybe it was my fear that it would be overrun by tourists that kept me away.  Once I finally got there I realized that I had been a fool and should have gone much earlier, and probably more than once.  There were many tourists, of course, but our guide knew the ebb and flow of the tour groups and did a great job of bringing us to places when they were mostly empty.

One of my favorite places in Siam Reap was Bayon, also known as Prasat Bayon.  Bayon is one of the most well-known temples and is located in the Ankor Thom complex.  It was built in the late 12th or early 13th century by the Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII and was restored in the early 20th Century by the École Française d'Extrême Orient and has been cared for by the Japanese Government team for the Safeguarding of Angkor (the JSA) since 1995.

Bayon FacesBayon FacesBayon, or Prasat Bayon, is a well-known and richly decorated Khmer temple at Angkor in Cambodia. Built in the late 12th century or early 13th century as the official state temple of the Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII, the Bayon stands at the centre of Jayavarman's capital, Angkor Thom. Following Jayavarman's death, it was modified and augmented by later Hindu and Theravada Buddhist kings in accordance with their own religious preferences.

The Bayon's most distinctive feature is the multitude of serene and massive stone faces on the many towers which jut out from the upper terrace and cluster around its central peak. The temple is known also for two impressive sets of bas-reliefs, which present an unusual combination of mythological, historical, and mundane scenes. The current main conservatory body, the Japanese Government team for the Safeguarding of Angkor (the JSA) has described the temple as "the most striking expression of the baroque style" of Khmer architecture, as contrasted with the classical style of Angkor Wat. - From Wikipedia

The most famous feature of Bayon are the many large faces looking down from the temple. No one is quite sure who the 216 faces represent.  Some people believe they are of Jayavarman while others belong to the bodhisattva of compassion called Avalokitesvara or Lokesvara.  No matter who they represent, the serene, omnipresent faces have come to define and represent the temple.

Bayon ApsaraBayon ApsaraOne of the many Apsara carvings around the Bayon temple in Angkor Thom, Cambodia.

An Apsara, or Tep Apsar (ទេព​អប្សរ) in Khmer, is a female spirit of the clouds and waters in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. Apsaras are beautiful, supernatural women who are youthful and elegant, and proficient in the art of dancing.

Bayon, or Prasat Bayon, is a well-known and richly decorated Khmer temple at Angkor in Cambodia. Built in the late 12th century or early 13th century as the official state temple of the Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII, the Bayon stands at the centre of Jayavarman's capital, Angkor Thom. Following Jayavarman's death, it was modified and augmented by later Hindu and Theravada Buddhist kings in accordance with their own religious preferences.

The Bayon's most distinctive feature is the multitude of serene and massive stone faces on the many towers which jut out from the upper terrace and cluster around its central peak. The temple is known also for two impressive sets of bas-reliefs, which present an unusual combination of mythological, historical, and mundane scenes. The current main conservatory body, the Japanese Government team for the Safeguarding of Angkor (the JSA) has described the temple as "the most striking expression of the baroque style" of Khmer architecture, as contrasted with the classical style of Angkor Wat. - From Wikipedia

If you look beyond the faces, you can find many small, interesting carvings on the pillars and walls of the complex. While not as impressive as the faces, I found them to be very interesting (and photogenic).

 

Bayon ReliefBayon ReliefBayon, or Prasat Bayon, is a well-known and richly decorated Khmer temple at Angkor in Cambodia. Built in the late 12th century or early 13th century as the official state temple of the Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII, the Bayon stands at the centre of Jayavarman's capital, Angkor Thom. Following Jayavarman's death, it was modified and augmented by later Hindu and Theravada Buddhist kings in accordance with their own religious preferences.

The Bayon's most distinctive feature is the multitude of serene and massive stone faces on the many towers which jut out from the upper terrace and cluster around its central peak. The temple is known also for two impressive sets of bas-reliefs, which present an unusual combination of mythological, historical, and mundane scenes. The current main conservatory body, the Japanese Government team for the Safeguarding of Angkor (the JSA) has described the temple as "the most striking expression of the baroque style" of Khmer architecture, as contrasted with the classical style of Angkor Wat. - From Wikipedia

Click on any photo to open it in the gallery where you can download, pin, like, or share it.  You can see other photos of Bayon in my Cambodia gallery

If you enjoy my photos, please feel free to browse this web site. You can also find me on flickr, facebook, pinterest , and twitter.

 

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mark@fischerfotos.com (Mark Fischer Photography) Bayon Cambodia Prasat Reap Siam temple http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/8/prasat-bayon Thu, 28 Aug 2014 23:01:00 GMT
Nuri Royal Cemetery http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/8/nuri-royal-cemetery Karima Pyramid SilhouetteKarima Pyramid SilhouettePyramids near Karima in Northern Sudan silhoutted against the setting sun. These pyramids were built in the 8th Century BCE near the temple known as Jebel Barkal that was built in the 15th Centruy BC by the Egyptian and dedicated to the god Amun.

For most people, the word "pyramid" is synonymous with "Egypt" but northern Sudan is also home to many ancient pyramids as well.  One cluster of pyramids is located at the Kushite royal cemetery at Nuri.  Located a few kilometers from Karima and very near Jebel Barkal and Meroe, the cemetery at Nuri was established in the Seventh Century BC.  The cemetery contains 19 royal tombs, including that of the Napatan king Taharqa.  Taharqa was ruled during the Nubian Dynasty and controlled and area from the confluence of the Nile in Khartoum to the Phoenician ports in present-day Lebanon.

 

Nuri PyramidsNuri PyramidsSome of the pyramids at the royal cemetary in Nuri, near the present-day city of Karima, Sudan. The Nuri cemetery was started about 664 BCE and contains the tombs of 20 kings and 54 queens. The pyramids ranged from about 20 to 40 meters in height.

The pyramids in Nuri are remarkably accessible and you can easily walk among them or even climb up them.  They are not as large as the Great Pyramid in Egypt, but for me, the fact that they are weather-beaten and being consumed by the sand really accentuated the fact that they are over 2500 years old.

There is not much information on the pyramids of Nuri on the internet, most Google results take you to stock photos of the pyramids.  My information came from the very useful Bradt Travel Guide to Sudan.  You can find an excerpt from the book on line in Google Books.  I am very fond of the Bradt Guide, which has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they used some of my photos from Sudan : )

 

Karima PyramidsKarima PyramidsOne of the pyramids near Karima in Northern Sudan. These pyramids were built in the 8th Century BCE near the temple known as Jebel Barkal that was built in the 15th Centruy BC by the Egyptian and dedicated to the god Amun.

Click on any photo to open it in the gallery where you can download, pin, like, or share it.  You can see other photos of Nuri in my Sudan gallery

If you enjoy my photos, please feel free to browse this web site. You can also find me on flickr, facebook, pinterest , and twitter.

Karima PyramidsKarima PyramidsSome of the pyramids near Karima in Northern Sudan. These pyramids were built in the 8th Century BCE near the temple known as Jebel Barkal that was built in the 15th Centruy BC by the Egyptian and dedicated to the god Amun.

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mark@fischerfotos.com (Mark Fischer Photography) Kush Nubian Nuri Sudan Taharqa pyramid http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/8/nuri-royal-cemetery Thu, 21 Aug 2014 23:01:00 GMT
Trolleys in Lisbon http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/8/trolleys-in-lisbon Lisbon TrolleyLisbon TrolleyOne of Lisbon's iconic trolleys. The trolleys are an integral part of the city's transportation network and serve local residents and tourists alike.

When I was young I lived two houses down from the railroad tracks and would walk over, much to my mother's dismay, and watch the trains run through town.  Passenger service along that line was dead long before I started watching trains, but I would watch the freight trains pulling long strings of cars through town going to exotic, faraway destinations like Chicago or California.  My obsession with trains has decreased over the years but I still like riding and watching trains when I get a chance.

That background is a way to explain that one of the reasons I suggested to my wife that we visit Lisbon may have been to see and ride their iconic trolleys.  In the US, the days of large, city-wide networks of trolleys as a normal way of getting around the city are gone.  Some cities have trolley service, but they tend to be new and/or servicing a limited area.

Lisbon TrolleyLisbon TrolleyPassengers board one of Lisbon's iconic trolleys. Trolley line 28 is one of the tourist attractions of the city and takes passengers through a number of different neighborhoods of the city.

For me, there is something special about places like Lisbon where you can ride a trolley that has served as a normal way for people to commute for decades.  There is no better place to ride the trolleys than in Lisbon where they are part of the city's character and have become a symbol for the city.

The first trams in Lisbon began operating in 1870s and were drawn by horses.  Over time they were electrified and by the late 1950s there were 27 (or 24 depending on how you count them) tram lines in Lisbon.  Today that number has dwindled to five, but the trolleys are still an integral form of transportation in the city.

Lisbon TrolleyLisbon TrolleyOne of Lisbon's iconic trolleys. The trolleys are an integral part of the city's transportation network and serve local residents and tourists alike.

The most famous trolley is the Number 28 line which runs from the eastern to the western sides of the city through a number of different and interesting neighborhoods.  Even though almost every travel guide to Lisbon recommends riding the line, it didn't feel like a tourist trap to me.  There were tourists riding it with us, of course, but there were also local people who used it to get to work and go shopping. 

It was off-season (March) when we visited Lisbon so there were not as many tourists as in the summer, but the Number 28 trolleys were still full some of the time.  We discovered a couple of tricks to getting a car that had room to sit down and look out the window.  We walked along the line away from the main tourist areas downtown so that when the car arrived we were not fighting with other people to get on a get a seat.  The second, and more important, trick was to be patient.  The trolleys tended to clump together along the line with one following closely behind the first.  When the first car would arrive everyone would jam on to it, leaving the second car a few minutes later almost empty.  I don't know if these tactics are effective in peak tourist season, but they worked like a charm for us.

Many travel guides warn about pickpockets on the trams. We did not see any, but it is always a good idea to be alert and protect yourself no matter where you are.

Art Inn ArtArt Inn ArtThe interior of one of Lisbon's iconic trolleys. The trolleys are an integral part of the city's transportation network and serve local residents and tourists alike.

The Number 28 line is usually crowded, but it is possible to get photos like the one above of the inside of the car.  At each end of the line all the passengers need to disembark and get on another trolley (usually one that is already at the stop).  The conductor was very kind and let me loiter to take some photos after everyone else got off.  As with most places, a smile and a polite request were effective ways to get the photo I was hoping for.

Trolley TracksTrolley TracksTracks of one of Lisbon's many trolley lines snake up the hill. The trolleys are part of the city's transportation network and attract both locals and tourists.

For more on the trolleys of Lisbon, check out

* Trams in Lisbon - Wikipedia
*
National Geographic's "Top 10 Trolley Rides"
* Frommer's "Getting Around Lisbon"
* "Public transport: tram 28, a ‘must-do’ Lisbon attraction"on The Lisbon Connection

Click on any photo to open it in the gallery where you can download, pin, like, or share it. Click here to see other photos of trolleys in my Portugal gallery.  You may also want to check out my blog postings on the Bica Funicular, the Gloria Funicular, and the Santa Justa Lift in Lisbon.

If you enjoy my photos, please feel free to browse this web site. You can also find me on flickr, facebook, pinterest | twitter.

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mark@fischerfotos.com (Mark Fischer Photography) Lisbon Portugal Streetcar Tram Trolley Trolleys Trollies http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/8/trolleys-in-lisbon Sun, 17 Aug 2014 11:21:07 GMT
Bica Funicular in Lisbon http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/8/bica-funicular-in-lisbon Bica FunicularBica FunicularOne of the cars of the Bica Funicular sits at the top end of the line in the Calhariz district near the popular Barrio Alto section in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Bica Funicular, opened in 1892, was the third of its kind built in Lisbon. It is one of the town’s major tourist attractions, along with the Santa Justa, Lavra and Glória elevators. The Bica Lift consists of two carriages, each with three uneven compartments and independent access, capable of carrying 23 passengers (of which nine seated). Designed by the Portuguese engineer Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, it operated initially by the effect of water balance (the coach who began the descent filled a water tank on its roof and the force of weight coupled with the gravitational force of the slope allowed the tow car to come up). In 1896, this funicular began using a steam engine and was later electrified in 1914, but then a serious accident has kept it stopped until 1923. Like its “brothers”, the Glória and Lavra elevators, it was classified as a National Monument in 2002.

This lift journey begins in an eighteenth century building near the Cais do Sodré (at the point where the Rua de São Paulo meets Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo) and travels 245 meters (800 feet) up the steep slope to Largo do Calhariz, at the entrance of Bairro Alto. The short ride provides a unique view over the river while passing through a popular neighborhood. The Bica Lift works every day of the week from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. On Sundays and public holidays, it only starts operating at 9 a.m.
For me, seeing and riding the funiculars was one of the highlights of our visit to Lisbon.  Funiculars, also called "lifts", "elevators", or "ascensors", are basically short trolleys designed to take people up and down steep inclines.  With its many hills, Lisbon is an ideal place to find not one, but three different funiculars.

 

Bica FunicularBica FunicularOne of the cars of the Bica Funicular sits at the top end of the line in the Calhariz district near the popular Barrio Alto section in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Bica Funicular, opened in 1892, was the third of its kind built in Lisbon. It is one of the town’s major tourist attractions, along with the Santa Justa, Lavra and Glória elevators. The Bica Lift consists of two carriages, each with three uneven compartments and independent access, capable of carrying 23 passengers (of which nine seated). Designed by the Portuguese engineer Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, it operated initially by the effect of water balance (the coach who began the descent filled a water tank on its roof and the force of weight coupled with the gravitational force of the slope allowed the tow car to come up). In 1896, this funicular began using a steam engine and was later electrified in 1914, but then a serious accident has kept it stopped until 1923. Like its “brothers”, the Glória and Lavra elevators, it was classified as a National Monument in 2002.

This lift journey begins in an eighteenth century building near the Cais do Sodré (at the point where the Rua de São Paulo meets Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo) and travels 245 meters (800 feet) up the steep slope to Largo do Calhariz, at the entrance of Bairro Alto. The short ride provides a unique view over the river while passing through a popular neighborhood. The Bica Lift works every day of the week from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. On Sundays and public holidays, it only starts operating at 9 a.m.

Daytime view of the top end of the line at Largo do Calhariz, at the entrance of Bairro Alto

 

The Bica Funicular (in Portuguese, Ascensor da Bica), opened in 1892 and was the third of its kind built in Lisbon. It is one of the town’s major tourist attractions, along with the Santa Justa, Lavra and Glória elevators. The Bica Lift consists of two carriages, each with three uneven compartments and independent access, capable of carrying 23 passengers (of which nine are seated). Designed by the Portuguese engineer Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard (who also designed the Santa Justa Lift), it operated initially by the effect of water balance (the coach who began the descent filled a water tank on its roof and the force of weight coupled with the gravitational force of the slope allowed the tow car to come up). In 1896, this funicular began using a steam engine and was later electrified in 1914, but then a serious accident stopped operation until 1923. Like its “brothers”, the Glória and Lavra elevators, it was classified as a National Monument in 2002.


Bica FunicularBica FunicularOne of the cars of the Bica Funicular sits in the lower station near the Cais do Sodré (at the point where the Rua de São Paulo meets Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo). It is a small building with a sign reading "Ascensor da Bica".

The Bica Funicular, opened in 1892, was the third of its kind built in Lisbon. It is one of the town’s major tourist attractions, along with the Santa Justa, Lavra and Glória elevators. The Bica Lift consists of two carriages, each with three uneven compartments and independent access, capable of carrying 23 passengers (of which nine seated). Designed by the Portuguese engineer Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, it operated initially by the effect of water balance (the coach who began the descent filled a water tank on its roof and the force of weight coupled with the gravitational force of the slope allowed the tow car to come up). In 1896, this funicular began using a steam engine and was later electrified in 1914, but then a serious accident has kept it stopped until 1923. Like its “brothers”, the Glória and Lavra elevators, it was classified as a National Monument in 2002.

This lift journey begins in an eighteenth century building near the Cais do Sodré (at the point where the Rua de São Paulo meets Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo) and travels 245 meters (800 feet) up the steep slope to Largo do Calhariz, at the entrance of Bairro Alto. The short ride provides a unique view over the river while passing through a popular neighborhood. The Bica Lift works every day of the week from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. On Sundays and public holidays, it only starts operating at 9 a.m.

Station at Cais do Sodré

This lift journey begins in an eighteenth century building near the Cais do Sodré (at the point where the Rua de São Paulo meets Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo) and travels 245 meters (800 feet) up the steep slope to Largo do Calhariz, at the entrance of Bairro Alto. The short ride provides a unique view over the river while passing through a popular neighborhood. The Bica Lift works every day of the week from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. On Sundays and public holidays, it only starts operating at 9 a.m.

 

Bica FunicularBica FunicularOne of the cars of the Bica Funicular sits at the top end of the line in the Calhariz district near the popular Barrio Alto section in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Bica Funicular, opened in 1892, was the third of its kind built in Lisbon. It is one of the town’s major tourist attractions, along with the Santa Justa, Lavra and Glória elevators. The Bica Lift consists of two carriages, each with three uneven compartments and independent access, capable of carrying 23 passengers (of which nine seated). Designed by the Portuguese engineer Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, it operated initially by the effect of water balance (the coach who began the descent filled a water tank on its roof and the force of weight coupled with the gravitational force of the slope allowed the tow car to come up). In 1896, this funicular began using a steam engine and was later electrified in 1914, but then a serious accident has kept it stopped until 1923. Like its “brothers”, the Glória and Lavra elevators, it was classified as a National Monument in 2002.

This lift journey begins in an eighteenth century building near the Cais do Sodré (at the point where the Rua de São Paulo meets Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo) and travels 245 meters (800 feet) up the steep slope to Largo do Calhariz, at the entrance of Bairro Alto. The short ride provides a unique view over the river while passing through a popular neighborhood. The Bica Lift works every day of the week from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. On Sundays and public holidays, it only starts operating at 9 a.m.

Top end of the line at Largo do Calhariz, at the entrance of Bairro Alto

 

Click on any photo to open it in the gallery where you can download, like, or share it.  Click here to see other photos of the Bica Funicular in my Portugal gallery.  You may also want to read my blog postings on the Trolleys of Lisbon, the Gloria Funicular, and the Santa Justa Lift in Lisbon.

If you enjoy my photos, please feel free to browse this web site.  You can also find me on flickr, facebook, pinterest | twitter.

Bica FunicularBica FunicularLooking up the hill from the lower station of the Bica Funicular in Lisbon, Portugal. The station is near the Cais do Sodré (at the point where the Rua de São Paulo meets Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo). It is a small building with a sign reading "Ascensor da Bica".

The Bica Funicular, opened in 1892, was the third of its kind built in Lisbon. It is one of the town’s major tourist attractions, along with the Santa Justa, Lavra and Glória elevators. The Bica Lift consists of two carriages, each with three uneven compartments and independent access, capable of carrying 23 passengers (of which nine seated). Designed by the Portuguese engineer Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, it operated initially by the effect of water balance (the coach who began the descent filled a water tank on its roof and the force of weight coupled with the gravitational force of the slope allowed the tow car to come up). In 1896, this funicular began using a steam engine and was later electrified in 1914, but then a serious accident has kept it stopped until 1923. Like its “brothers”, the Glória and Lavra elevators, it was classified as a National Monument in 2002.

This lift journey begins in an eighteenth century building near the Cais do Sodré (at the point where the Rua de São Paulo meets Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo) and travels 245 meters (800 feet) up the steep slope to Largo do Calhariz, at the entrance of Bairro Alto. The short ride provides a unique view over the river while passing through a popular neighborhood. The Bica Lift works every day of the week from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. On Sundays and public holidays, it only starts operating at 9 a.m.
Looking up the hill from the station at Cais do Sodré

 

Bica FunicularBica FunicularOne of the cars of the Bica Funicular sits in the lower station near the Cais do Sodré (at the point where the Rua de São Paulo meets Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo). It is a small building with a sign reading "Ascensor da Bica".

The Bica Funicular, opened in 1892, was the third of its kind built in Lisbon. It is one of the town’s major tourist attractions, along with the Santa Justa, Lavra and Glória elevators. The Bica Lift consists of two carriages, each with three uneven compartments and independent access, capable of carrying 23 passengers (of which nine seated). Designed by the Portuguese engineer Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, it operated initially by the effect of water balance (the coach who began the descent filled a water tank on its roof and the force of weight coupled with the gravitational force of the slope allowed the tow car to come up). In 1896, this funicular began using a steam engine and was later electrified in 1914, but then a serious accident has kept it stopped until 1923. Like its “brothers”, the Glória and Lavra elevators, it was classified as a National Monument in 2002.

This lift journey begins in an eighteenth century building near the Cais do Sodré (at the point where the Rua de São Paulo meets Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo) and travels 245 meters (800 feet) up the steep slope to Largo do Calhariz, at the entrance of Bairro Alto. The short ride provides a unique view over the river while passing through a popular neighborhood. The Bica Lift works every day of the week from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. On Sundays and public holidays, it only starts operating at 9 a.m.

Inside the station at Cais do Sodré

 

Bica FunicularBica FunicularOne of the cars of the Bica Funicular sits in the lower station near the Cais do Sodré (at the point where the Rua de São Paulo meets Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo). It is a small building with a sign reading "Ascensor da Bica".

The Bica Funicular, opened in 1892, was the third of its kind built in Lisbon. It is one of the town’s major tourist attractions, along with the Santa Justa, Lavra and Glória elevators. The Bica Lift consists of two carriages, each with three uneven compartments and independent access, capable of carrying 23 passengers (of which nine seated). Designed by the Portuguese engineer Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, it operated initially by the effect of water balance (the coach who began the descent filled a water tank on its roof and the force of weight coupled with the gravitational force of the slope allowed the tow car to come up). In 1896, this funicular began using a steam engine and was later electrified in 1914, but then a serious accident has kept it stopped until 1923. Like its “brothers”, the Glória and Lavra elevators, it was classified as a National Monument in 2002.

This lift journey begins in an eighteenth century building near the Cais do Sodré (at the point where the Rua de São Paulo meets Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo) and travels 245 meters (800 feet) up the steep slope to Largo do Calhariz, at the entrance of Bairro Alto. The short ride provides a unique view over the river while passing through a popular neighborhood. The Bica Lift works every day of the week from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. On Sundays and public holidays, it only starts operating at 9 a.m.
Inside the station at Cais do Sodré

 

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mark@fischerfotos.com (Mark Fischer Photography) Ascendor Bica Elevador Funicular Lisboa Lisbon Portugal http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/8/bica-funicular-in-lisbon Thu, 07 Aug 2014 23:30:00 GMT
Faces of Bangkok http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/8/faces-of-bangkok Family PortraitFamily PortraitA man and his daughter pose outside a noodle manufacturing shop in the Yaowarat (Chinatown) section of Bangkok.

In my experience, Thais are among the easiest people in the world to photograph. In most cases a smile and friendly "Tie Roop Die My?" ("Can I take a picture") are all it takes to get people to say yes.  Oftentimes they would smile, but some people were comfortable let me take a photo of a neutral, or even scowling, pose.  Below are some of the many portraits I made of people on the streets of Thailand.

I shoot most of my photos in color, but I found that converting them to black and white allowed me to remove a lot of the colorful distractions in the photos and focus on the people and their faces.

Click on any photo to open it in the gallery where you can download, like, or share it. Click here for my other portraits at Flickr or click here to go to the Square Portraits gallery on this web site.

If you enjoy my photos, please feel free to browse this web site. You can also find me on flickr, facebook, pinterest | twitter.

 

HaircutHaircutA man gets his hair cut at the Hua Lamphong train station in Bangkok, Thailand.

A man getting his hair cut at the Hua Lamphong train station in Bangkok

 

Street PortraitStreet PortraitA man on the street in Bangkok's Chinatown area.

A man on the street in the Chinatown section of Bangkok

 

Bus DriverBus DriverA bus driver waits for his next run near Hua Lamphong train station in Bangkok, Thailand.

A bus driver near the Hua Lamphong train station in Bangkok

 

Smoking ManSmoking ManA man enjoys a cigarette while sitting outside a store on Surawong Road in Bangkok, Thailand.

A man enjoys a cigarette while sitting outside a store on Surawong Road in Bangkok
 

Scowling FaceScowling FaceA man poses for a picture on the street in the Chinatown section of Bangkok, Thailand. He was much friendlier and agreeable than suggested by the look on his face.

 

A man on the street in the Chinatown section of Bangkok, Thailand.  He was much friendlier than suggested by the look on his face.

 

Bangkok StreetBangkok StreetA man on the street in Bangkok's Chinatown area.

A man on the street of the Chinatown section of Bangkok

 

Bangkok Street PortraitBangkok Street PortraitA tuk-tuk driver near the Golden Mount temple in Bangkok, Thailand.

A tuk-tuk driver in Bangkok

 

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mark@fischerfotos.com (Mark Fischer Photography) Bangkok Thailand portrait street http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/8/faces-of-bangkok Thu, 31 Jul 2014 23:30:00 GMT
Horses of Mongolia http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/7/horses-of-mongolia  

Horse of the SteppeHorse of the SteppeA horse stands on the steppe at a nomad's camp near Mandalgovi, Mongolia.

 

It is hard to mention the word "Mongolia" without thinking of horses. Horses, and the expert riders that rode them, were the key to Ghengis Khan's Mongol Empire which by the late-13th Century spread from Korea to Eastern Europe - the largest empire in the history of the world.

I had the good fortune to spend a few weeks of vacation in Mongolia and had a chance to see how horses are still an integral part of the Mongolian culture. Children as young as four or five years old are racing competitively over long distances and airag, fermented mare's milk, is a popular drink in Mongolia.

Below are some photos showing some of the horses I encountered in Mongolia. Most were taken during the celebration of Naadam, the annual festival of the "three manly games" (wrestling, horse racing, and archery) held each summer in Mongolia.  We went as part of a tour organized by Ger To Ger (Ger is the Mongolian word for yurt - the traditional round Mongolian house).  I have to say that it was one of the most interesting and memorable trips I have been fortunate to take.  We spent about a week traveling from one family to another along the edge of the Gobi desert.  We went by camel, on horseback, and riding through a torrential rainstorm on the back of a horse-drawn wagon.  We had only our Lonely Planet Mongolian phrasebook and a few pages of vocabulary provided by Ger To Ger, but still found a way to communicate with our hosts.

The Mongolian people were universally friendly and helpful. One night as we struggled to put up our tent in the face of high winds before a storm our hosts motioned us to sleep in their ger for the night.  The four of us and five of them spent the night in their 12 foot diameter ger.  It was not really comfortable, but was a night that I will remember for a long time.

If you get the chance to visit Mongolia, please take it! It is a beautiful and interesting place that is unique in the world.

Click on any photo to open it in the gallery where you can download, like, or share it.  Click here to go to see more photos in the Mongolia gallery.

If you enjoy my photos, please feel free to browse this web site. You can also find me on flickr, facebook, pinterest | twitter.

 

Nadaam BilliardsNadaam BilliardsSome of the pool tables set up outdoors at horse racing venue for the annual Nadaam festival in Ulaanbaataar, Mongolia. Nadaam is the annual Mongolian festival of the "Three Manly Arts" - horse racing, archery, and wrestling - that is celebrated in towns large and small across the country.

People riding their horses up to the outdoor pool hall set up as part of the Naadam Festival in Ulaanbaatar

 

Teenage RiderTeenage RiderA teenager talks on his cell phone while riding his horse through the horse racing venue at the Nadaam festival in Ulaanbaataar, Mongolia. Nadaam is the annual Mongolian festival of the "Three Manly Arts" - horse racing, archery, and wrestling - that is celebrated in towns large and small across the country.

A teenager riding his horse and chatting on his cell phone at the Naddam Festival in Ulaanbaatar

 

Hanging Out At NadaamHanging Out At NadaamA group of spectators socialize at the horse racing venue for the Nadaam festival in Ulaanbaataar, Mongolia. Nadaam is the annual Mongolian festival of the "Three Manly Arts" - horse racing, archery, and wrestling - that is celebrated in towns large and small across the country.

People stopping for a horseback chat at the Naadam Festival in Ulaanbaatar

 

Young Nadaam WinnerYoung Nadaam WinnerOne of the young winners of a Nadaam horse race in Mandalgovi, Mongolia. Nadaam is the annual Mongolian festival of the "Three Manly Arts" - horse racing, archery, and wrestling - that is celebrated in towns large and small across the country.

The young winner of a horse race run as part of the Naadam Festival

 

Nadaam RiderNadaam RiderA young rider races across the finish line in a Nadaam horse race in Mandalgovi, Mongolia. Nadaam is the annual Mongolian festival of the "Three Manly Arts" - horse racing, archery, and wrestling - that is celebrated in towns large and small across the country.

A young rider races for the finish line in a Naadam horse race

 

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mark@fischerfotos.com (Mark Fischer Photography) Mongolia Naadam Ulaanbaatar Ulaγanbaγatur horse rider Наадам Улаанбаатар ᠨᠠᠭᠠᠳᠤᠮ http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/7/horses-of-mongolia Thu, 24 Jul 2014 23:30:00 GMT
Malé, Maldives http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/7/male-maldives Malé BreakwallMalé BreakwallA view of the breakwall on the Western side of Malé, the capital city of The Maldives. Male is the commercial capital of the Maldives and more than 100,000 people live in Male's 2.25 square mile area, making it one of the most densely populated islands in the world.

When most people think of The Maldives, they think of the many luxury resorts scattered along the atolls and reefs of this Indian Ocean nation. The Maldives has an urban side as well. Malé, the commercial and political capital of The Maldives has more than 100,000 people live in its 2.25 square mile area, making it one of the most densely populated islands in the world.

The city is easy to walk around and features many colorful buildings. The port areas, for both passengers and freight, are interesting places to see how goods and people move around this island nation.

Click on any photo to open it in the gallery where you can download, like, or share it.  Click here to go see more photos in the Maldives gallery.

 

Malé FishmongerMalé FishmongerA fishmonger prepares to clean and butcher a pair of large fish in the fish market in Malé, the capital city of The Maldives. Male is the commercial capital of the Maldives and more than 100,000 people live in Male's 2.25 square mile area, making it one of the most densely populated islands in the world.

A fishmonger prepares to clean and butcher a pair of large fish in the fish market in Malé

Night Beach CafeNight Beach CafeThe Night Beach Cafe on the southern side of Malé, the capital city of The Maldives. Male is the commercial capital of the Maldives and more than 100,000 people live in Male's 2.25 square mile area, making it one of the most densely populated islands in the world.

The Night Beach Cafe on the southern side of Malé

 

 

Bringing in the CatchBringing in the CatchFisherman bring a few hundred pounds of fish into the fish market in Malé, the capital city of The Maldives. Male is the commercial capital of the Maldives and more than 100,000 people live in Male's 2.25 square mile area, making it one of the most densely populated islands in the world.

Fisherman bring a few hundred pounds of fish into the fish market in Malé

 

Malé BuildingMalé BuildingSome of the many colorful buildings in Malé, the capital city of The Maldives. Male is the commercial capital of the Maldives and more than 100,000 people live in Male's 2.25 square mile area, making it one of the most densely populated islands in the world.

Some of the many colorful buildings in Malé

 

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mark@fischerfotos.com (Mark Fischer Photography) Maldives Malé street urban މާލެ ދިވެހިރާއްޖޭގެ ޖުމްހޫރިއްޔާ http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/7/male-maldives Fri, 18 Jul 2014 11:27:04 GMT
Quinta da Regaliera http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/5/quinta-da-regaleira The Quinta da Regaliera

The Quinta da Regaliera is a sprawling estate that was the summer residence of the Carvalho Monteiro family in Sintra, Portugal. The estate was built from 1898 to 1912 and was decorated in the neo-manueline style featuring many architectural details. The estate is great fun to explore as it full of towers, tunnels, wells, fountains, and other things to discover.  For a much more detailed description of the estate and its history, see this article on Wikipedia.

Click on any photo to open it in the gallery where you can download, like, or share it.  Click here to see other photos of the Quinta da Regaliera in my Portugal gallery.

If you enjoy my photos, please feel free to browse this web site. You can also find me on flickr, facebook, pinterest, and twitter.

 

Main HouseMain HouseA view of the Main House at the Quinta da Regaliera. This sprawling estate was the summer residence of the Carvalho Monteiro family in Sintra, Portugal. The estate was built from 1898 to 1912 and was decorated in the neo-manueline style featuring many architectural details.

View of the Main House

Regaliera RoofRegaliera RoofView from the Panoramic Terrace of the laboratory, private terrace, and turret on the top floor of the Main House of the Quinta da Regaliera. This sprawling estate was the summer residence of the Carvalho Monteiro family in Sintra, Portugal. The estate was built from 1898 to 1912 and was decorated in the neo-manueline style featuring many architectural details.

The laboratory and private study on the top floor.


Regaliera TowerRegaliera TowerThe Regaliera Tower at the Quinta da Regaliera. This sprawling estate was the summer residence of the Carvalho Monteiro family in Sintra, Portugal. The estate was built from 1898 to 1912 and was decorated in the neo-manueline style featuring many architectural details.
The Regaliera Tower.


Regaliera ChapelRegaliera ChapelThe Chapel at the Quinta da Regaliera. This sprawling estate was the summer residence of the Carvalho Monteiro family in Sintra, Portugal. The estate was built from 1898 to 1912 and was decorated in the neo-manueline style featuring many architectural details.
The Chapel


Chapel InteriorChapel InteriorInterior of The Chapel at the Quinta da Regaliera. This sprawling estate was the summer residence of the Carvalho Monteiro family in Sintra, Portugal. The estate was built from 1898 to 1912 and was decorated in the neo-manueline style featuring many architectural details.

Interior of The Chapel



Portal of the GuardiansPortal of the GuardiansThe Portal of the Guardians at the Quinta da Regaliera. This sprawling estate was the summer residence of the Carvalho Monteiro family in Sintra, Portugal. The estate was built from 1898 to 1912 and was decorated in the neo-manueline style featuring many architectural details.
The Portal of the Guardians


Guardian SculptureGuardian SculptureSculpture in front of the Portal of the Guardians at the Quinta da Regaliera. This sprawling estate was the summer residence of the Carvalho Monteiro family in Sintra, Portugal. The estate was built from 1898 to 1912 and was decorated in the neo-manueline style featuring many architectural details.

Detail of the statue of The Guardians.

 

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mark@fischerfotos.com (Mark Fischer Photography) Portugal Quinta Quinta da Regaleira Regaleira Sintra estate mansion http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/5/quinta-da-regaleira Sat, 24 May 2014 13:08:22 GMT
Gloria Funicular in Lisbon http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/5/gloria-funicular-in-lisbon Gloria FunicularGloria FunicularThe Gloria Funicular (in Portuguese, Elevador da Glória) is one of three active funiculars operating in Lisbon, Portugal. It carries passengers from the west side of the Avenida da Liberdade, in Restauradores Square, to Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, in the barrio Alto section of town.

It was opened on October 24, 1885 and was originally powered by water before being converted to steam in 1886 and finally to electricity in 1915.

For me, seeing and riding the funiculars was one of the highlights of our visit to Lisbon.  Funiculars, also called "lifts", "elevators", or "ascensors", are basically short trolleys designed to take people up and down steep inclines.  With its many hills, Lisbon is an ideal place to find not one, but three different funiculars.

Gloria FunicularGloria FunicularThe Gloria Funicular (in Portuguese, Elevador da Glória) is one of three active funiculars operating in Lisbon, Portugal. It carries passengers from the west side of the Avenida da Liberdade, in Restauradores Square, to Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, in the barrio Alto section of town.

It was opened on October 24, 1885 and was originally powered by water before being converted to steam in 1886 and finally to electricity in 1915.

The Gloria Funicular (in Portuguese, Elevador da Glória) is one of three active funiculars operating in Lisbon, Portugal.  It carries passengers from the west side of the Avenida da Liberdade, in Restauradores Square, to Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, in the barrio Alto section of town.

It was opened on October 24, 1885 and was originally powered by water before being converted to steam in 1886 and finally to electricity in 1915.

Gloria FunicularGloria FunicularThe Gloria Funicular (in Portuguese, Elevador da Glória) is one of three active funiculars operating in Lisbon, Portugal. It carries passengers from the west side of the Avenida da Liberdade, in Restauradores Square, to Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, in the barrio Alto section of town.

It was opened on October 24, 1885 and was originally powered by water before being converted to steam in 1886 and finally to electricity in 1915.

Click on any photo to open it in the gallery where you can download, pin, like, or share it.  Click here to see other photos of the Gloria Funicular in my Portugal gallery. You may also want to read my blog postings on the Bica Funicular, the Santa Justa Lift, and the Trolleys of Lisbon.

If you enjoy my photos, please feel free to browse this web site.  You can also find me on flickr, facebook, pinterest, and twitter.

 

Gloria FunicularGloria FunicularThe Gloria Funicular (in Portuguese, Elevador da Glória) is one of three active funiculars operating in Lisbon, Portugal. It carries passengers from the west side of the Avenida da Liberdade, in Restauradores Square, to Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, in the barrio Alto section of town.

It was opened on October 24, 1885 and was originally powered by water before being converted to steam in 1886 and finally to electricity in 1915.
 

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mark@fischerfotos.com (Mark Fischer Photography) Elevador Funicular Gloria Glória Lisbon Portugal http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/5/gloria-funicular-in-lisbon Sun, 18 May 2014 10:35:42 GMT
Santa Justa Lift in Lisbon http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/5/santa-justa-lift-in-lisbon Santa Justa LiftSanta Justa LiftThe Santa Justa Lift (Elevador de Santa Justa in Portuguese), also called Carmo Lift (Elevador do Carmo) in downtown Lisbon, Portugal. The elevator was designed and constructed at the turn of the 20th Century by the Portugal-born, French architect Raoul de Mesnier du Ponsard (an apprentice of Gustave Eiffel) to connect downtown to Bairro Alto (the lowest and highest points of the city). The elevator was originally powered by steam and was converted to electricity in 1907. The elevator is 45 meters (150 feet) tall and has a lookout on the top offering panoramic views of the city. There are two elevator cabins, each with a capacity of 29 people.

Lisbon is famous for its many hills, as evidenced by its nickname "A Cidade das Sete Colinas", "The City of Seven Hills."  Over the years, the residents of Lisbon have developed different tools to help them overcome gravity and move around the city more easily.  We were fortunate that our hotel (the awesome Art Inn) was very near one of the most interesting ways to get up and down - the Santa Justa Lift.

The Santa Justa Lift (Elevador de Santa Justa in Portuguese), also called Carmo Lift (Elevador do Carmo) is one of the most recognizable landmarks in downtown Lisbon, Portugal.  The elevator was designed and constructed at the turn of the 20th Century by the Portugal-born, French architect Raoul de Mesnier du Ponsard (an apprentice of Gustave Eiffel) to connect downtown to Bairro Alto. The elevator was originally powered by steam and was converted to electricity in 1907.  The elevator is 45 meters (150 feet) tall and has a lookout on the top offering panoramic views of the city.  There are two elevator cabins, each with a capacity of 29 people.

Lisbon at NightLisbon at NightNightime view toward the Castle of Saint George from the top of the Santa Justa Lift (Elevador de Santa Justa in Portuguese), also called Carmo Lift (Elevador do Carmo) in downtown Lisbon, Portugal. The elevator was designed and constructed at the turn of the 20th Century by the Portugal-born, French architect Raoul de Mesnier du Ponsard (an apprentice of Gustave Eiffel) to connect downtown to Bairro Alto (the lowest and highest points of the city). The elevator was originally powered by steam and was converted to electricity in 1907. The elevator is 45 meters (150 feet) tall and has a lookout on the top offering panoramic views of the city. There are two elevator cabins, each with a capacity of 29 people.
Evening View from the observation deck at the top of the lift toward Castello Sao Jorge

Click on any photo to open it in the gallery where you can download, pin, like, or share it.  Click here to see other photos of the Santa Justa Lift in my Portugal gallery.  You may also want to read my blog postings on the Bica Funicular, the Gloria Funicular, and the Trolleys of Lisbon.

If you enjoy my photos, please feel free to browse this web site.  You can also find me on flickr, facebook, pinterest, and twitter.


Lisbon Bird's Eye ViewLisbon Bird's Eye ViewA view of downtown Lisbon, Portugal from the Castle of Saint George (Castelo de Sao Jorge). The Santa Justa Lift (Elevador de Santa Justa) stands at the end of Rua de Santa Justa. Behind it is the large Carmo Convent which was ruined in the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake and currently houses the Carmo Archaeological Museum. The purple building near the top of the photo is the Trindade Theater (Teatro Trindade) a popular venue for plays, concerts, and other events.
View of the Lift from Castello Sao Jorge


Santa Justa LiftSanta Justa LiftThe Santa Justa Lift (Elevador de Santa Justa in Portuguese), also called Carmo Lift (Elevador do Carmo) in downtown Lisbon, Portugal. The elevator was designed and constructed at the turn of the 20th Century by the Portugal-born, French architect Raoul de Mesnier du Ponsard (an apprentice of Gustave Eiffel) to connect downtown to Bairro Alto (the lowest and highest points of the city). The elevator was originally powered by steam and was converted to electricity in 1907. The elevator is 45 meters (150 feet) tall and has a lookout on the top offering panoramic views of the city. There are two elevator cabins, each with a capacity of 29 people.
View of the Lift from Rua Santa Justa


Santa Justa LiftSanta Justa LiftThe Santa Justa Lift (Elevador de Santa Justa in Portuguese), also called Carmo Lift (Elevador do Carmo) in downtown Lisbon, Portugal. The elevator was designed and constructed at the turn of the 20th Century by the Portugal-born, French architect Raoul de Mesnier du Ponsard (an apprentice of Gustave Eiffel) to connect downtown to Bairro Alto (the lowest and highest points of the city). The elevator was originally powered by steam and was converted to electricity in 1907. The elevator is 45 meters (150 feet) tall and has a lookout on the top offering panoramic views of the city. There are two elevator cabins, each with a capacity of 29 people.

View of the Lift at dawn from Rua Santa Justa
 

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mark@fischerfotos.com (Mark Fischer Photography) Carmo Elevador Elevator Justa Lift Lisboa Lisbon Portugal Santa http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/5/santa-justa-lift-in-lisbon Thu, 08 May 2014 22:00:33 GMT
Vientiane, Laos http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/5/vientiane-laos  

Patuxai at NightPatuxai at NightPatuxai is a war monument in the centre of Vientiane, Laos, which was built between 1957 and 1968 and is dedicated to those who fought in the struggle for independence from France.

The monument was built using American funds and used cement that was originally intended to build an airfield during the Vietnam War was used in the structure. The United States had given Laos money to build a new city airport. However, the Laotian government used the money to build the monument instead. As a consequence, the monument is sometimes referred to as the "vertical runway".

Vientiane is the capital and largest city of Laos. It situated just across the Mekong River from Thailand, which can be easily reached via the First Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge.  It was the administrative capital during French rule and is now the economic center of Laos. 

Vientiane is a small city, but hosts numerous interesting tourist sites, including Pha That Luang, Wat Si Muang.  the Patuxai memorial monument, Haw Phra Kaew, Wat Si Saket, and the nearby Buddha Park.

Click on any photo to open it in the gallery where you can download, like, or share it.  Click here to see other photos in my Laos gallery.

If you enjoy my photos, please feel free to browse this web site.  You can also find me on flickr, facebook, pinterest, and twitter.

 

Wat Si SaketWat Si SaketWat Si Saket is a wat (Buddhist temple) in Vientiane, Laos. It is well known for its collection of Buddha images - more than 10,000 of various sizes.

Wat Si SaketWat Si SaketWat Si Saket is a wat (Buddhist temple) in Vientiane, Laos. It is well known for its collection of Buddha images - more than 10,000 of various sizes.

 

Wat Si Saket is a Buddhist temple in Vientiane, Laos that is well known for its collection of Buddha images - more than 10,000 of various sizes.

Patuxai at NightPatuxai at NightPatuxai is a war monument in the centre of Vientiane, Laos, which was built between 1957 and 1968 and is dedicated to those who fought in the struggle for independence from France.

The monument was built using American funds and used cement that was originally intended to build an airfield during the Vietnam War was used in the structure. The United States had given Laos money to build a new city airport. However, the Laotian government used the money to build the monument instead. As a consequence, the monument is sometimes referred to as the "vertical runway".

<a href="http://www.fischerfotos.com/laos">Click here</a> to see other of my photos from Laos.

 

Patuxai at NightPatuxai at NightPatuxai is a war monument in the centre of Vientiane, Laos, which was built between 1957 and 1968 and is dedicated to those who fought in the struggle for independence from France.

The monument was built using American funds and used cement that was originally intended to build an airfield during the Vietnam War was used in the structure. The United States had given Laos money to build a new city airport. However, the Laotian government used the money to build the monument instead. As a consequence, the monument is sometimes referred to as the "vertical runway".

A few nighttime views of the Patuxai monument in the centre of Vientiane, Laos. The monument was built between 1957 and 1968 and is dedicated to those who fought in the struggle for independence from France.

King Anouvong OfferingsKing Anouvong OfferingsFlowers and candles left as offerings at the newly unveiled statue of King Anouvong in Vientiane, Laos. The statue sits in Chao Anouvong Park, created to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the founding of Vientiane.

Flowers and candles left as offerings at the newly unveiled (in 2010) statue of King Anouvong in Vientiane, Laos. The statue sits in Chao Anouvong Park, created to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the founding of Vientiane.

Buddha ParkBuddha ParkSome of the more than 200 statues at the Buddha Park, also known as Xieng Khuan, outside of Vientiane, Laos.
Buddha ParkBuddha ParkSome of the more than 200 statues at the Buddha Park, also known as Xieng Khuan, outside of Vientiane, Laos.

Buddha ParkBuddha ParkSome of the more than 200 statues at the Buddha Park, also known as Xieng Khuan, outside of Vientiane, Laos.

Some of the more than 200 statues at the Buddha Park, also known as Xieng Khuan, outside of Vientiane, Laos.

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mark@fischerfotos.com (Mark Fischer Photography) Laos Viangchan Vientiane Wiangchan เวียงจันทน์ ວຽງຈັນ វៀងច័ន្ទ http://www.fischerfotos.com/blog/2014/5/vientiane-laos Sat, 03 May 2014 19:35:20 GMT