Bath England

The Pulteney Bridge over the River Avon, Bath England.

The Pulteney Bridge over the River Avon, Bath England. 

Before heading to Caerphilly Wales to visit cousins we stopped for a night in the beautiful city of Bath England. This is probably one of the most famous views of the Pulteney Bridge and the River Avon with its crescent shaped weir.

Considered to be one of the most beautiful and romantic bridges in the world, is one of a handful of bridges with shops built into it.

Salamanca; Just before Sunrise

Salamanca; Just before Sunrise

Salamanca; Just before Sunrise

I love sunrise, it is a quiet beautiful time of day. I will admit that in my youth I was more apt to witness the sunrise as a close to a beautiful evening! But now, a little older, I awake to see the sunrise, and it is the beginning of a new day. Today, we headed out to photograph the Roman Bridge, and Salamanca Cathedral, but there was not much of a sunrise, it was cloudy and dark, the streets were wet with rain.  This was the best shot of the morning, I decided to give it a textured, painted quality and processed it using one of Kim Klassen’s beautiful textures.  Continue reading

Walking with the Romans: Part 2

Roman Bridge over the River Guadiana. Merida Sapin

Roman Bridge over the River Guadiana. Merida Sapin

Merida is not a large place, with a population of around 64,000 people. A pleasant place, it is not different from many other Spanish towns, with friendly people, many bars and restaurants with one exception, that being that as being one of the Roman Empires capitals in the Iberian Peninsula it is home to some of the best preserved Roman Ruins in Europe. As a result in 1993 it was established as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.The town was founded in 25 BC, with the name of Emerita Augusta which means discharged soldiers – of the army of Augustus, who founded the city; the current name Mérida was derive from this, changed and altered by its conquest by the Muslims and other down through history. Its main purpose for all these conquers was to protect a bridge over the River Guadiana.

The path of the Camino Pilgrim will take you over this bridge with 64 granite arches that remain intact and in use to this day as a pedestrian walkway and is one of the longest Roman bridges remaining in existence.  At the end of this bridge stands the Alcazaba a fortress that was initially built by the Romans, but later occupied by the Moors. Over it main gate you will find a reference dedicating it to Allah.

from the Alcazaba in Merida Spain.

from the Alcazaba in Merida Spain.

In more recent history it was taken and occupied by Napoleon, and both opposing side of the Spanish Civil Wars, such was its strategic importance. Further into the town you will find sitting side by side, a Roman Forum and Theatre. The former similar to that found in Italica, was use for gladiator fights and as you proceeds down the stairs into the ring it offers life-size mock ups of the different types of gladiators, their specific armour and who they would normally fight. However of the two the theatre is the most spectacular. While breathtaking as a tourist attraction, it is still used for plays and festivals by the local population.

Roman Forum, Merida Spain

Roman Forum, Merida Spain

Roman Amphitheater, Merida Spain

Roman Amphitheater, Merida Spain

Equally as spectacular is the Temple of Diana. Surprisingly this building is surrounded by a simple fence low fence to protect it from errant tourists, is located close to the centre of town on one of Merida many pedestrian walkways, such that hundreds of working Spaniards walk by it ever day on the way to and from work.

Temple Diana, Merida Spain

Temple Diana, Merida Spain

more great stories and architecture tomorrow….

Text by W.E.Foreman Photos by JMeyersForeman

Walking the Meseta, Camino to Santiago de Compostela

Walking the Meseta; cool fall morning on the Camino

Walking the Meseta; cool fall morning on the Camino

I remember this morning very well, the day before had been rainy and wet, so we were happy to see the sun. It was a cool morning, and we had started just before sunrise. From this little creek we climbed to the top of Alto de Mosteleres.

Many of the people we met thought I was a little crazy, because I carried a full size DSRL camera with a couple of lenses. But having the camera with me, meant that as I was looking for images, I was more aware of my surroundings, rather than just walking along, lost in my thoughts.

I found that walking with my camera, thinking about how to show our trip to family, friends and blog readers, I was more aware of how the light changed during the day, as well as how the landscape, and our surroundings changed as we walked. I thought about how best to tell the story of our journey. I also tried to learn more about the places we were visiting, so I could pass along some of the stories.

Since being home I have found a couple of extra benefits to carryin my camera. The first is the friends that I made through the blog.  But the most unexpected benefit is having images for the stock photography. The image above is just one of the many images submitted to Alamy, and one of several images that have sold since adding them to the site. It is always rewarding when someone chooses one of my images to accompany their writing and or publication.

Yes the camera was extra weight, and there were days that were tougher because of that weight, but I am glad I had the camera with me.

 

one year ago today

calgary peace bridge_IMG_2647

Calgary Peace Bridge, a study in symmetry 

one year ago today I eas talking about my visit to the, then, newly opened Calgary Peace Bridge! This weekend looks like it is going to be another great weekend to wander the pathways of Calgary, maybe we will see you out there.

I hope you have a great weekend.

Love Locks Pont de Arts, Paris France

Love Locks, Pont de Arts, Paris France

Love Locks, Pont de Arts, Paris France

Padlocks inscribed with lover’s names are locked to the bridge of Pont de Arts in Paris France, the key is then thrown into the river to symbolize their everlasting love. The padlocks began to show up on European bridge in the early 2000’s the source or inspiration varies depending on the city.  An increasing trend not only around Europe, but it is spreading around the world.  According to Wikipedia, the first padlock is said to have been locked to a bridge in Serbia before the World War ll over a betrayed love! Just a little ironic don’t you think?

There has been much controversy over the locks, for some it is an eye sore and considered a distraction from the heritage.  To others a romantic symbol of everlasting love in one of the most romantic cities in the world. The Pont de Arts Bridge in Paris France has this wire mess much like a chain link fence. From a distance the brass locks looking like shimmering brass leaves.  Up close we could see the locks that come in many shapes and sizes, some sold by the vendors just steps away, and inscribed with a permanent marker, while others are likely brought somewhere else and inscribed with an engraver.

We first encountered the locks in Florence Italy a couple of years ago, another wonderfully romantic city. Where have you seen them?

For more stories and images of this beautiful city:  Paris

Ile de cite, Paris France and the image that inspired it

Ile de la cite, Paris France, and the evening river cruises

I am a big fan of Henri Cartier-Bresson, there is so much to be learned from studying the work of someone you admire. While most of us do not want to just copy someone else’s work, there are lessons to be learned by walking through the process the photographer  might have used to capture an image.  I believe that as much as you might try to copy someone’s work that our equipment, the processes that are available to us, our skill level and our personalities will all show in the images and separate your work from the original.

Take this image for example, the original inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson taken in 1952 would be difficult to copy today, yes with Photoshop it could be accomplished, but what is to be gained by that, except well, to improve or show off your Photoshop skills.  I have my own memories of Paris.  Memories of  Paris of today, with the river cruises, the grey skies, the yellow and orange leaves of autumn. This is the Paris I want to capture in my images. But I did pick this spot to take picture not just because it was beautiful but because I had seen Henri Cartier-Bresson’s images, and loved it. I purposefully choose early evening because I wanted to show some of the city lights, and I choose a slow shutter speed to show how the River Seine is now a very busy place.

So while my image was inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson it is quite different, and meets my objectives for the images.

A new day, and new city, Oct 20, 2012 in Paris France

We arrived in Paris late last night, no time for seeing the sights. Today was very much an orientation day, finding our way around, getting some groceries, doing laundry and yes catching up on rest. It wasn’t until late in the afternoon that we took a walk to just wander near the Seine River, and while it was a little misty at times, the rain was nothing to concern us .

Eiffel tower_ in the clouds

our first sighting of the Eiffel Tower, the top was just barely visible through the clouds, and while the forecast is for rain tonight, and light rain tomorrow the rest of the week promises to be sunny, we will keep our fingers crossed.

boats on the seine river, pont neuf, paris france

A view of the Seine River, and Pont Neuf; the river cruises were busy tonight. Late in the season, the tourists flock enjoy the view of Paris from the river despite the cool and rainy weather.

rainy evening in Paris_Louvre,

The apartment we are renting while visiting Paris is not far from the Louvre, we passed by just after sunset, the city lights were just starting to come on, there were beautiful reflections in the puddles!

Day 38 on our Camino to Santiago

Rock Bridge, Galicia Spain

We left Palas de Rei just after 8 am, it was still dark, but there was enough light to see where we were going. The sky was cloudy, so it stayed darker longer than we anticipated, and there was no beautiful sunrise.  We had a long day planned and wanted to get out the door early

We have see several of these stone bridges, a place for pilgrims to pass when the creeks fills with water, and I am sure it does during the raining season.

We arrived in Melide around noon, this is about ½ way for the day. Bill’s ankle seemed to beholding up quite well. Melide is famous for the pulpa (octopus) dish and one of the pilgrims we know pointed us in the direction of the most famous restaurant so we could give it a try. The restaurant was quiet when we went in, but given it was lunch time it didn’t take long to fill with pilgrims and locals like.  The pulpa was okay, tasty enough, a little chewy, and obviously very popular.

red flower along the camino

Back on the road again, the clouds had cleared and the sun was shining, about 18 C, it was great for walking. The path in residential areas are lined with flowers and in one place a rosemary shrub ran for about 50 feet, about 2 ½ feet high, it was starting to bloom.

One place I noticed an older farming couple unloading the wagon, beside it with huge wheel barrow of Kale.  We have seen it growing very large garden patches, the plants about 6 feet high, with all but the top few leaves picked. I don’t know anyone who would eat that much Kale, so I am wondering what else it is used for…….

farmers with a wheelbarrow of Kale, Galicia Spain

Today we covered about 32 k, 4 big hills to go up and down, all in the last 8 k, so by the time we arrived at the hotel we were exhausted, and after the shower, and daily laundry we had a nap until dinner, which was at 8 pm.

Two more days to reach Santiago, we plan to walk about 36k over the next two days, so we are hopeful that things will be easier, but as I type this it is raining hard, so I am not sure, well at least it isn’t a cold rain! See you tomorrow!

Day 36, Sarria to Portomarin 22.5 k

we have reached the 100 k marker, Camino de Santiago de , Spain

We are back on the road again, Matt has joined us for the final stage, and we passed the marker that told us we have less than 100 kilometres to walk to get to Santiago de Compostela. Breakfast at the hotel was served at 8 am, so we were a little late getting started for the day, Bill’s ankle/shin is a little sore so he is not marching ahead as he might have been, and as you might know I stop for lots of pictures, so we took a long time to get to Portomarin (the spanish spelling for Portomarin is Puertomarin). It was around 4 pm when we arrived.

The morning was misty or more foggy, no rain, so that was a good thing, we didn’t need our ponchos. The mist hung in the air and clung to the plants and spider webs. Days like this I miss my macro lens and my tripod!

wet spider web

Delicate drew drops hanging on the web.

Just outside of Sarria we crossed the Ponte de Aspera, a small “romantic style” bridge built sometime in the 12 century.

A Ponte da Aspera_Sarria Spain

about 1:30 the clouds broke, the fog lifted and we had sunshine to walk into Portomarin.  It was another great day, on the camino, Santiago de Compostela is almost in sight! I have noticed that some of the town names are spelled differently when I go to look up accommodation or weather conditions, Portomarin = Puertomarin is just one example. This can make internet searches very complicated and or interesting! I am slowly getting this worked out, and it is something I am going to keep in mind when travelling in the future.