Aurora Australis

13 07 2013

2013. Not a good year for me posting on my blog. But a very good year for the Aurora Australis. I’m told we are right at the high activity point of a 13?? year cycle, and that 2013 is going to be a strong one for aurorae.

Well, they are correct.

Aurora Australis

Finding a good spot seems to be key. Too much light pollution and its hard to make them out. Too boring a scene, well, it’ll simply be a boring photo with colourful sky lights.

So far we’ve come up with a few good spots. Near the Battery in Bellerieve, Taroona Beach, and the old Battery in Tinderbox.

Aurora Australis

Aurora Australis

Lots of experimentation to be done. Shutter speeds, aperture, focus etc. All result in a card full of dodgy images and the occasional gem.

Aurora Gun

Seems to be simply a trial and error thing. Harder is trying to predict where and when they might show. A few times we’ve turned up to find people telling us we should have been there 10 mins ago. Grrrrr. Still, sit back and wait it out. It might happen again.

Hobart Sky




Petronas Towers

22 09 2012

Lets dig through the processed pics and see what we find. Back to the Petronas towers it is. These things are huge. So huge you need to go up the KL tower to get the best view.

KL Tower SunSet

Strangely the Petronas towers are hard to get up. It’s a first come, first served on the tickets with only limited availability each day. Damn expensive too. The KL tower on the other hand, much cheaper, you can just rock up, and the view is spectacular.

Twin Tower Tips

Some more pics of the towers, taken from the base.

Twin Towers

Petronas Towers

And my favourite. The pic with the little girl. She didn’t seem to be posing for anybody, but just doing that thing kids do. Very cool.

Twins and One

Some more random pics of the latest trip coming soon. However they are of course on my flickr page already. See the last few pics to the right, or click the flickr link at the top of the page.





The Squid of Samcheok

20 09 2012

Lazy again. So bad. And I’ve had so much going on. Oh well. Another attempt to at least post regularly.

For no reason really I’ve been missing Korea lately. A few house related drama’s here as well as change of jobs has me maybe missing the more simplified existence that was living in Korea. Simplified but oh so great. Even 30 months after leaving I still miss the place (and my students) daily.

So, photos from Korea. This time around it’s from a beach around Samcheok, Gangwon-Do. This was approx 1 hour drive from Taebaek but a stunning beach.


Screen Shot 2012-09-20 at 9.15.39 PM.png

Depending on time of year, you can encounter squid drying in the sun. They are caught at night on one of the many squid boats and then hung up to dry. The pictures speak a thousand words, so please enjoy.

The Squid of Samcheok
The Squid Wench
The Squid of Samcheok
The Squid of Samcheok
The Squid of Samcheok
The Squid Lady
The Squid of Samcheok
The Squid of Samcheok
The Squid of Samcheok

The squids themselves are delicious. My favourite way to eat them is lightly grilled and served with ice cold beer. It makes the perfect bar snack.

Just looking at these pics again brings back so many happy memories. Such a magical country.





Le Puy-en-Velay

21 07 2011

This was really our starting point in France. The ancient town of Le Puy-en-Velay. Took me a good few weeks after having been there to be able to remember its name. Why did we end up in Le Puy? No idea other than it was a few hours drive from Lyon where we picked up Felicity (Peugeot 207).

We started the day in Lyon having arrived the night before. Lyon itself, no idea. We spent the night in an airport hotel in order to pick up Felicity first thing the next morning. We were very pleasantly surprised by Felicity. Brand spanking new, we got her through the Peugeot Open Europe lease program. So cheap for a new car. Fantabulous.

So, Lyon to Le Puy as seen below. Of course, we had some quirks driving in France for the first time. Excitement was had all around.

Lyon-Le-Puy.png

What is Le Puy-en-Velay famous for? Its old cathedral and the chapel on top of a rock. As well as the statue of the Virgin Mary overlooking the town.

Look, lets have some pictures. They are more fun than me waffling.

First, an overview of the town.

Le Puy-en-Velay

Our Lady and the Cathedral

The old Cathedral

Cathédrale Notre-Dame du Puy

Cathédrale Notre-Dame du Puy

The Chapel on the rock, the Saint Michel d’Aiguilhe.

Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe

Chapel on the Rock

And the Statue of the virgin Mary. Its hollow, and you can climb the whole interior, right into the head. Scary but fun.

Notre-Dame de France

All in all, a really interesting, historic and fun place to start a road trip through South West Europe.





Veliko Turnovo

23 09 2010

Veliko Turnovo (aka Veliko Tarnovo). First real (new) stop on our returning home trip. Starting off in Istanbul we caught the overnight train up into Bulgaria and onwards to Veliko Turnovo, at one point the Bulgarian Capital.

The trip was eventful. Fun and games with the train conductor trying to assign us a shared birth cabin rather than the private 2 berth we paid for. Still, with the train mostly empty all worked out. Having eaten before embarking, we anticipated some sleep before arriving into Bulgaria. What wasn’t anticipated was the 1am wake up call to get off the train and visit immigration and customs. From the Turkish. Pyjamas and all we clambered out into the snow (lots of snow and still snowing), down onto the tracks, back up onto the next platform and into a queue of, well, us. A quick stamp and all done.

The conductor had other ideas. Feeling like he had done us a favour by giving us a private cabin, I found 30 Euro’s thrust into my hand and a request for duty free cigarettes. 4 cartons it was. Turns out that as an conductor he’s not allowed to buy duty free at the border, so he gets passengers to do it for him. My new best friend 🙂

The Bulgarian customs and immigration was much more civilised. They came onto the train allowing us to stay warm. They had computers and seemed surprised to find and Australian on board. Didn’t quite know what to do with the passport. 5 mins and all done.

Unfortunately we were cold. Very cold. As in middle of winter with no train heating cold. They stuffed something up while changing engines, and we ended up wearing all the clothes we could find.

Arriving into Veliko was magical. Rustic, clean fresh snow everywhere. And out ride nowhere to be found. Staying with the absolutely fantastic Hostel Mostel (very very highly recommended to all), they provide a lift from the station. Unfortunatly being low season there was only one girl working so she advised us to take a taxi. Easier said than done. A local “archeologist” took pity on us and in return for us paying his way got us into a taxi and moving. Still, we arrived and were made to feel more than welcome.

Veliko is a town built on a river. Not just any river but an amazing bend on the Yantra River.

Veliko Tarnovo

Its an old communist city used as a resort of sorts. Check out the hotel (middle of picture) for a great example of amazing communist archetecture. Its a massive image so load it up and look around.

Veliko Turnovo Panorama

One of the highlights of any visit to Veliko is the old fortress of Tsarevets.

Tsarevets Panorama

To enter you need to cross a bridge guarded by 3 gates and the famous Lion of Tsarevets.

Welcome to Tsarevets
Lion of Tsarevets

The church on top was somewhat of a surprise. Rebuilt by the communists in 1986 (from memory) it was decorated in a modern abstract communist method. Quite a shock. Due to the snow we were the only ones there (except for the lady working there) so had the place to our selves. Lots of interesting pics.

Ascension of Christ, The Patriarch Church
Ascension of Christ, The Patriarch Church
Ascension of Christ, The Patriarch Church
Ascension of Christ, The Patriarch Church
Ascension of Christ, The Patriarch Church
Ascension of Christ, The Patriarch Church

Other really cool stuff in Veliko includes the Monument of the Assens, a memorial to Bulgarian kings made of a giant sword and 4 horsemen.

Monument of the Assens

A bridge crosses from the hotel to the monument, Stambolov’s Bridge.

Stambolov’s Bridge

Crossing the River

The Dark River

Other fun sights we found, an old woman shovelling snow next to the war memorial using a shovel made from an old sign.

Sign of the Times

And some cool graffiti down near the hostel.

Red Head Graffiti

Overall an amazing place. Highly recommended to visit. Amazing food, friendly people and cheap cheap cheap.





Gadling photo of the day

1 08 2010

Woo Hoo, success, again!

I follow and read the Gadling travel site and often submit my favourite photo’s from my travels. Today was my 2nd “Photo of the Day” winning entry, so I’m stoked.

The story behind this one is more being lucky and right place right time. We were wandering the markets of Chichicastenango (go there, its amazing) and noticed all the locals gathered around laughing and pointing. We of course joined in and it was this dog stuck in a plastic stool. It seems to be enjoying the whole experience and wouldn’t let anyone close enough to help. It kept running off. I was lucky enough to snap off a few frames before it disapeared with its stool. We only saw it for maybe 10 seconds before it was off.

Fun fun fun.

So, thats 2 winners so far. I really should get around to entering some more real competitions. Still overall very happy just to have people looking at, and enjoying my photo’s.

On that note, I also got approached for one of my pics to be used in a elementary school textbook in Argentina. Having seen the quality (not good) of existing textbooks (in Korea at least) it was an emphatic YES. Can’t wait to see it.





Wow, I’ve been SkyScraperCitied

17 04 2010

Wow,

Checking thru my photo stats from Flickr I noticed a huge amount of traffic (by my standards at least) for one particular photo.

Lake Pichola Panorama

Seems it was snagged as a banner image for yesterday at SkyScraperCity.

As of the moment its got a 3.83 rating and some great positive feedback. I’m extremely happy. No idea how they got my pic, and they did crop out the watermark, but at least they attributed it back to me, so all is good.

Nice when it happens.