Posts filed under ‘weekly photo challenge’

Weekly Photo Challenge: Rise/Set

Istanbul Sunset
Location: Istanbul, Turkey

This picture was taken while cruising around the Bosphorus Straight. It was a beautiful sight. I couldn’t help myself singing a song from the Fiddler on the Roof:

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears…

Now comes the question: Sunrise or sunset? Unless you took it yourself, it would be hard to tell. Sunrise and sunset are like two peas in a pod. It’s difficult to tell one from the other.

If you insist to know, though, I can give you a hint: I’m not a morning person.


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March 30, 2018 at 9:08 am 4 comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Favorite Place

Lake Chabot
Location: Castro Valley, California

There’s more to our quiet, tree-covered town nestled in the valley that meet the eye. Its charms remain hidden because it’s referred to as a bedroom community where most people live to sleep and commute to work elsewhere.

Whenever I feel the need to unwind, I go to the nearby regional park about 45-minutes walk from my place.

Lake Chabot

It has a man-made lake where fishing and non-motorized boating are allowed. Built in the 1870s, the lake covers 317 acres. I find hiking around the lake very peaceful and relaxing with birds singing along the way. The length is about nine miles, but it’s all worth it.

It’s as close to nature as you can get, but don’t let its serene beauty lulls you into a false sense of security. Be ever mindful of the sign “Beware of Mountain Lions.”

I’ve been told that lions are shy of people and that they usually hunt at night. But in the event that you encounter one, you should heed the following advice: (1) Do not attempt to run; (2) Do not turn your back; and (3) Try to appear as big as you can be to scare the lion.

The 5,067-acre park also provides picnic areas with barbecue pits, a grassy field area for sport activities, and facilities for group camping and backpacking with advanced reservations required.

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March 23, 2018 at 2:31 pm 6 comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: I’d Rather Be…

Venus de Milo
Location: The Louvre, Paris, France

On our third day in Paris, we went to Musée du Louvre (The Louvre) located on the right side of the Seine river.

It’s one of the largest museums in the world with an area over 650,000 square feet. Its 300 rooms have 35,000 exhibits on display from prehistoric times to the 21st century. These include the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Code of Hummurabi, and Winged Victory.

The Louvre Crowd

The lines were long and too crowded to offer a moment for reflection and even take good pictures, but there was no other place I’d rather be especially on a rainy day.

Our guide said it would be impossible to cover everything in one visit. The best strategy then was to prioritize what you wanted to see and plan on coming back someday.

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March 16, 2018 at 2:42 pm 6 comments

Inside England: In the Land of the Brontës

Brontë Sisters Statue

Location: Brontë Parsonage Museum, Haworth, West Yorshire, England
When I told the man behind the ticket counter where I was going, he looked a little bit amused.

“Haworth? Nothing much to see. It’s a waste of your time and money.”

I assumed he was only kidding, of course.

Haworth is a little village in West Yorkshire, England. It has been one of my dream destination fueled by a constant fascination with the Brontës, most especially Emily Brontë.

Haworth is about 215 miles from London. From London, I took the train to Leeds considered the Silicon Valley of the North. From Leeds, I took the bus to Keighley and then another bus to Haworth.

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March 8, 2018 at 9:07 am 8 comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Out of This World

Capela dos Ossos
Location: Capela dos Ossos, Évora, Portugal

One of the strangest sites that I had visited was Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones) in the Portuguese city of Évora, Portugal. As the name suggests, it’s a chapel whose walls are decorated by skulls and human bones from floor to ceiling.

The main entrance to the chapel bears the inscription, Nós ossos que aqui estamos, pelos vossos esperamos (We, the bones that are here, await yours).

Capela dos Ossos
Capela dos Ossos Capela dos Ossos
Capela dos Ossos Capela dos Ossos

Click any picture to enlarge
It’s been said that sometime in the 16th century, the city’s cemeteries were running out of space. This necessitated removing an estimated 5,000 remains from older graves to make room for new ones.

As a result, the Franciscan monks built a chapel as a final resting place for the exhumed bodies. It was following the common belief among Catholics that the dead would be closer to God if they were kept in a sacred place. Rather than placing the remains in the ossuary, however, the monks decided to put them on display to remind the faithful of the ephemeral and transitory nature of life.

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March 2, 2018 at 8:28 am 10 comments

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