Archive | June 2012

The Lion of Belfort, Paris.

This majestic statue can be found at Place Denfert-Rochereau, previously known as Place d’Enfer, in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, France, in the Montparnasse district. Many roads meet at this place.

The Lion is cast in bronze and it is a one-third-scale replica of the Lion of Belfort statue by Bartholdi, which is made from red sandstone and remains in Belfort below its castle. Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi was a French Sculptor (1834-1904] who also created the famous Statue of Liberty in New York.

The lion symbolizes the heroic French resistance during the Siege of Belfort, a 103 days long Prussian assault (from December 1870 to February 1871). The city was protected from 40,000 Prussians by merely 17,000 men (only 3,500 were from the military) led by Colonel Denfert-Rochereau.

This impressive statue is surrounded by traffic… I have yet to find out the significance of the arrow (being an archer, I notice such items.)

St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery, Kiev, Ukraine

Kiev is a fascinating European city and I would recommend anyone to plan a weekend stay there.

The tower in the foreground is the St Michael’s Monastery‘s bell tower. Beyond it lies the enormous Cathedral church which is open for visitors to look around, or to light a candle in, and it is part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

It is a working monastery that dates back to the 12th Century but which was destroyed during the Soviet era. Surprisingly, it was rebuilt in 1997-98 after Ukraine regained its independence in 1991! You can read more about its history on Wikipedia or elsewhere.

It lies to one end of a wide open space (used as a parade ground in the Soviet era) and is faced, on the opposite side of the square, by the equally imposing but beautiful buildings of Saint Sophia’s Cathedral (now a museum.)

I love the clouds in this photo and the fact that it feels so different to anything you see in England.

London

London by Webminkette
London, a photo by Webminkette on Flickr.

I love the effect of these flags in Old Bond Street (one of the more exclusive shopping streets) in London.

They make a change from the bunting that went up in so many places to celebrate the 60 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. Somehow, even the grey sky seems to add to the atmosphere in this photo!

Budapest

Hungarian Parliament by webmink
Hungarian Parliament, a photo by webmink on Flickr.

The Hungarian capital, Budapest, is a city I’ve visited a few times. Each time I have been charmed. It has managed to avoid the tourist infestation that’s taken Prague, while still becoming interesting and accessible to the visitor.

This is the Hungarian Parliament building, seen just after sunset across the river Danube from the walls of the castle.

Tenaya Lake

Tenaya Lake by webmink
Tenaya Lake, a photo by webmink on Flickr.

Another shot of Yosemite National Park that’s not Half Dome! This is Tenaya Lake, near the summit of the high country in Yosemite just a few miles from the east entrance to the park at Tioga Pass. Even late in the year there’s snow visible at this altitude.

The lake is right beside the road, so no trouble finding it – but do turn off and walk in the woods too. Pack breakfast on your day excursion to Mono Lake, Bodie or Bishop and picnic here after you’ve spend the hour or so it takes to drive up from the valley floor. The Tioga Pass Resort just outside the entry station also does a great breakfast if you prefer not to picnic, and you’ll be surprised how good the deli inside the Chevron station at the foot of the hill just outside Lee Vining is – make sure you eat there at least once!

Royal Topiary

Royal Topiary by Webminkette
Royal Topiary, a photo by Webminkette on Flickr.

In England and the Commonwealth, everyone is celebrating our Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. It is a great time to be in London and, even if you missed the the main weekend of celebrations, there are still plenty of interesting extra touches to see that make me smile.

This photo is but one example. It is in St James’ Park, just off The Mall (that leads to Buckingham Palace); I thought it was wonderful and hope you enjoy looking at it too.

Yosemite High Country

Crossing the Tuolomne River by webmink
Crossing the Tuolomne River, a photo by webmink on Flickr.

If you’re heading to Yosemite National Park this summer, don’t forget to visit the high country. There’s year-round tundra in Tuolomne Meadows, wonderful walks along the Tuolomne River, fewer visitors, more granite domes and the opportunity to skip across Tioga Pass to visit Mono Lake and maybe even Bodie ghost town.

Putrajaya

Putrajaya Panorama by webmink
Putrajaya Panorama, a photo by webmink on Flickr.

Malaysia has an evolving purpose-built administrative capital, called Putrajaya. It’s rising from what was jungle, complete with artificial lakes and enormous official buildings. This picture gives a view of the new mosque and the prime minister’s house, but there’s much else to see in the area.

There were so many fish!

There were so many fish. by Webminkette
There were so many fish., a photo by Webminkette on Flickr.

This is just a few of the many fish in the pond at Hillier’s Gardens.

It was such a very bright day that I could not see the image on the view finder. However, the shot was worth the risk because there were so many fish that I could not work out how I could fail to capture some of them on the photo.

Usually, I find fish hard to take photos of. By the time the shutter has responded to being pressed the fish have moved and ruined a well set up picture. This one was not well set up, I blindly held the camera high above the water and pressed the button (unable to see anything.)

My instincts were correct! When the photos were transferred to the computer, there were the shoals of fish. I hope you enjoy this image; better still, go and see them for yourself.

Padstow

Padstow Harbour by webmink
Padstow Harbour, a photo by webmink on Flickr.

Cornwall, the part of England that’s the far south-western point of the country, is a rubbed land dominated by fishing and historic industry. The town of Padstow nestles on the coast around a delightful harbour, and has become a gastronomic destination since chef Rick Stein has set up shop there in several places.

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