Posts filed under ‘weekly photo challenge’

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sweet

Welcome Bread
Location: Glogovo, Teteven, Loveč, Bulgaria

Bread and salt is commonly used by a Bulgarian family to welcome guests into their home. Each guest in turn takes a small piece, dips it into salt, and eats it. It’s been said that the tradition goes as far back as to the time of the Thracians in the 4th century.

Lyuba Boyanin
Lyuba Boyanin

When visiting Bulgaria in 2012, we were fortunate to have a tour guide that exemplified this expression of hospitality in human form. Her name was Lyuba Boyanin. She was on the top of her game as she took 14 of us around the country for 12 days. She was sweet, gentle, and caring in attending to our needs. In looking back, we couldn’t ask for a better guide.

In October 2017, we went back to Bulgaria. It was bittersweet revisiting some of the places where Lyuba took us before. It was because she died of cancer in 2016. It was a great loss to Bulgaria’s burgeoning tourist industry. But such is life. Hopefully, many will be as passionate of her native country as she was and follow in her footsteps. May she rest in peace.

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February 16, 2018 at 9:18 am 4 comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beloved

A Walk to Remember the Park

Location: Lake Chabot Park, Castro Valley, California
I chanced upon this couple in their 70s holding hands while walking in the park. Although I consider it intrusive to take pictures of people without their permission, it was such a lovely sight that I had to make an exception.

I find it admirable to see two people grow old together and enjoying each other’s company. They’re living proof that a marriage can last “until death do us part.”

A successful relationship will always be a work in progress. It requires shared commitment and mutual respect in facing life’s challenges that come along the way. It gets easier when a beloved partner is on your side.


a trusted volume
that doesn’t stay languid
on the shelf and gather dust
that’s you, beloved

read cover to cover
i’d known you by heart
still, when i part the pages
you’d come fresh, the fireworks start

a companion on long hikes
and a pillow on my head
as i lay down on the grass to rest
that’s you, beloved

– Plaridel


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February 2, 2018 at 8:54 am 10 comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Variations on a Theme

Belly Dance Customes

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
The Spice Bazaar is one of the popular attractions in Istanbul. When I went to visit, I didn’t expect to see belly dancing costumes in all their glory. They didn’t seem to belong there. But on second thought, I figured they probably did. As you see, belly dancing does provide spice and Turkish delights to its aficionados.

The belly dancing costumes were lovely, displayed beautifully. They were arranged in various sizes and shades of color in such a way to engage one’s imagination and attract potential buyers. Truth to tell, I couldn’t imagine myself wearing one, so I just took a picture while the vendor wasn’t looking, distracted by a customer.

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January 26, 2018 at 10:00 am 12 comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silence

Regensburg, Germany

Location: Regensburg, Germany
When you need to get away, you don’t have to go far. A visit to the local park can provide the break you deserve. Surrounded by trees silently standing guard, it will be a sanctuary. Freed from the noise of city life, it will rejuvenate you and give you peace and let you face the world with a new sense of purpose.

The above picture was taken last November in Regensburg, a college town located about 80 miles from Munich. It was late afternoon and eerie quiet. There was no wind nor chirping of birds. The only sound I could hear were my footsteps on the ground. Did it make me worry of being mugged or robbed especially when I found myself all alone? Nah, not by much. Regensburg is rated as one of the safest places in the world.


GREAT streets of silence led away
To neighborhoods of pause;
Here was no notice, no dissent,
No universe, no laws.

By clocks ’t was morning, and for night
The bells at distance called;
But epoch had no basis here,
For period exhaled.

– Emily Dickinson


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January 20, 2018 at 8:36 am 4 comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Weathered

Shoes Memorial

Location: Budapest, Hungary
Along the east bank of the Danube river, there lies a memorial composed of different sizes and styles of weathered period shoes. Cast out of iron, the 60 pairs were meant to depict the shoes that the men, women, and children left behind on the bank after they were killed by the Arrow Cross militiamen in Budapest in 1944-45. Shot at close range at the edges of the Danube, their bodies fell into the river and carried away by the currents.

Shoes Memorial
Shoes Memorial Shoes Memorial
Shoes Memorial

Click any picture to enlarge
In my travels, it’s one of the most touching memorials that I’d visited. Looking at the shoes, it’s not difficult to imagine the pain and the loss that the victims and survivors of this brutality had to endure.

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January 12, 2018 at 12:13 pm 12 comments

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From The Book Thief

i have hated the words and i have loved them, and i hope i have made them right.

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