Sonel’s B/W Photo Challenge: Nature

This week, Sonel has started a new challenge encouraging us to edit some of our nature photos into black and white. I’ve never thought of doing this before, although I’ve admired many such images in other bloggers’ posts. I thought I may as well have a go at it, and was surprised at how relatively simple it is.

Here are the fabulous curves of the Karst hills which line the Li river between Guilin and Yangshuo. The scenery here has been described as “the best under Heaven,” and I can quite believe it. It was as if I had been transported into an ancient Chinese pen and ink drawing. The elegance was just astounding.

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The great Tang Dynasty poet Han Yu (768-824) was inspired to write. “The river winds like a green silk ribbon, while the hills are like jade hairpins.”  Such an apt and beautiful description.

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More than 40,000 hills lie along the two sides of the river, which runs for more than 150 kilometres.  Along the route, there are banyan trees and bamboo, as well as pretty little cottages and fishing boats. The sense of peace one feels whilst cruising slowly past this amazing landscape, is indescribable.

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To see more entries for Sonel’s black and white theme, just click here.

 

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Gallery

Wordpress challenge: Green

This gallery contains 12 photos.

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.  Lao Tzu                                                                                                Click on any image to get slide show. To see more entries for this green challenge, just click here.

Travel theme: Curves

Ailsa’s new travel theme is “Curves,” and if you click on my link, you will see her 3 amazing photos for the challenge.

I was sure I must have something suitable, tucked away in my trusty laptop, and these are what I came up with:

This is the curve in the road where I first set eyes on the most breathtaking sight of Mount Rushmore. It had been a dream of mine to actually witness this amazing spectacle for myself, and I was so excited.

I just love how the curve of this beautiful arch, contrasts with the straight path through the lovely gardens of the 10th century Alhambra Palace in Granada.

Here are the fabulous green curves of the the hills which line the Li river between Guilin and Yangshuo. The scenery here has been famed as “the best under Heaven,” and I can quite believe it. It was as if I had been transported into an ancient Chinese pen and ink drawing. The elegance was just astounding.

 

Here is the beautiful curve of a rainbow at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. I put this one in especially for bulldogsturf, who is an ex Rhodie.


Some of you may have seen this next pic, but it does fit the theme very well. How is this for a curvy staircase? Whilst in Rome last year, we went to the Cabiria Restaurant,where we got the elevator up to the roof deck. After dinner, some of us decided that this was a far more exciting way to get back down to ground level. I counted 186 steps, and although I’d only had two glasses of wine, was quite dizzy by the time I reached the bottom. 🙂

I know that the word “curvy” is often used to describe the well-rounded female figure. When we went out walking along our beach path today, I couldn’t resist taking a pic of this painting for the theme. This artists impression of female curves is quite hilarious, don’t you think? 😀

I hope you enjoyed my curvy pics. If you would like to see what other bloggers have come up with, just click here.

 

 

 

Jake’s Sunday Post: Road

The real winners are not those at the top but those who have come the farthest over the toughest roads. Your victory may never make the headlines. But you will know about it, and that’s what counts. Ernest A. Fitzgerald

Jake’s Sunday Post challenge “Road” had me searching through my photos. Hundreds of roads to choose from, but I’ve chosen a few of those which I remember the best.

Here we were in a busy main street in Hong Kong, one of the best places to shop in Asia, and an added bonus was, no sales tax. 😀

The main road on the French Polynesian island of Bora Bora, was definitely not a shopping Mecca. 😉

I never realized just how wide the Great Wall of China was until we actually walked along it. The section of the Great Wall at Badaling, is about 26 feet high and 23 feet wide at its base, large enough to allow six horsemen to ride along the wall. In mountainous northern China, it served as an elevated highway in ancient times. It was very impressive to see in reality, and we did what tourists do; wandered along it, snapping photos.

Of course we didn’t walk the full length of this road, as it stretches for almost 2,500 miles, from Central Asia to the East China Sea. 😉

At the end of our Li River cruise, we finished up in Yangshuo. As you can see, there’s not a car in sight on the road through this town.

On our way from Las Vegas to San Francisco, we stayed overnight at a place called Bishop in the spectacular Eastern Sierra region of California. The next day, we turned onto Highway 120, the road through Yosemite National Park. You may notice that I wasn’t dressed for the snow. It was the beginning of July, and I’d assumed that being summer in California, it would be really warm.

Another very snowy road, is this one on our way from Thermopolis to Rapid City, on our road trip to Yellowstone Park. We didn’t expect that at the end of May, we would have such wintry weather and with blizzards too.

Driving along the road through Yellowstone, we encountered some rather unusual pedestrians. These Bison thought the road was built for their use. At one stage, we had to wait behind a whole herd, until they decided to move off the road and back onto the grass.

This beach-side road in Bali, yielded quite a few treasures worthy of purchase.

Here is one of the roads through the main shopping area of Phuket. As you can see, once again,  the main mode of transport in this Asian town, is also by bicycle and motorbike.

Well I guess that’s enough roads for one challenge. My post is beginning to remind me of that old Bob Dylan song, “Blowing in the wind………..How many roads must a man walk down…….”

Have a great day everyone, whatever road you may be travelling on.

 

 

 

 

Jake’s Sunday Post theme: Silence

Jake’s Sunday post theme this week, is “Silence.” I thought long and hard over this one. Should I put up one of my many awesome ‘silent‘ sunset photos from far away places, like this one in Tahiti;

or maybe a serene scene taken whilst silently cruising down the Li River in China.

Then I remembered a photo taken on our first of many visits to New York, of the lady with the lips which have been forever silent, but who has never ceased to proclaim a message which has inspired and thrilled so many people across the world, not just Americans who are so proud of her, as she stands there for all to see as one flies or sails into New York City.

The inscription on a bronze plaque, mounted inside the lower level of the pedestal of the Statue, is a sonnet written in 1883 by Emma Lazarus, and reads thus;

“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”