Ed’s Sunday Stills: Billboards

This week’s challenge, Billboards and Road Advertisements, is quite a fun one. I have lots of pics of signs, although very few which would qualify as billboards.

I did spot these in London, and I thought this McDonalds one was quite good.

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I might have hoped that this one was referring to me, until I saw the tall, blonde and gorgeous potato chips. 😦

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This road sign in San Pedro looked quite promising.

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That was until we saw the restaurant. 😦

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If you happen to be looking for a majestic hotel in Bolivia, you’ve come to the right place. It looks like they have electricity. 🙂

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New York City has billboards plastered all over the place,

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and Times Square must be the ultimate billboard paradise, commanding the highest prices in the world for advertising there. Last year, Dunkin’ Donuts paid $3.6 million for one digital sign there.

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I think the most iconic and well known billboard has to be the Hollywood sign, which was designed by an Englishman and constructed in 1923. It was originally meant to only last for 18 months until the lots for a new real estate development called ‘Hollywoodland’, were all sold. It’s undergone many changes and improvements over the years, and today, has its own trust fund and a ton of security which involves razor wire, infrared technology, 24 hour monitoring, motion sensors, alarms and helicopter patrols.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my billboards for Ed’s Sunday Stills Challenge. It’s open until next Sunday, so why not do your own billboard post?

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Cee’s FFC: Sand and Dirt

This week, Cee has asked us for some pics showing sand and dirt.  Here are a few that I’ve found to show you.

This one was taken in Morocco, where there was quite a lot of sand and dirt underfoot. These two guys obviously didn’t want to get their feet dirty.

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I think this is a rather funny pic of me in Peru. It looks like a standoff between me and the local women. They took this opportunity to try to sell their wares, and were actually quite formidable, not taking no for an answer.

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There was beautiful white sand in San Pedro, and also lots of bicycles.

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A sand sculpture  still under construction on my beach in Umhlanga Rocks, with an important hastily written message for passers-by.

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It’s quite strange how people get the urge to dig when they get to the beach. I bet he’s not nearly as keen in the garden at home. 🙂

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These white lions are well camouflaged against the sand and dirt of the South African Game Park.

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This is my favourite way to see the sunrise, as a beautiful backdrop to the sand and the sea.

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To see more entries for this week’s Fun Foto Challenge, just click Cee’s badge.

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Sunday Stills: Shorelines from my travels.

Ed’s Sunday Stills challenge this week, is ‘Shorelines’, and the rules are that the pics must have the sea, ocean, lake or pond and land. Quite simple really, and of course there is always my blog header, which is the shoreline of the idyllic island of Bora Bora in French Polynesia. 🙂

Here are a few more shorelines that I’ve enjoyed on my travels. I’ve tried to include something interesting on each shoreline. You can click on the photos to get the bigger picture.

Elephants on the shoreline of lake Kariba in Zimbabwe.

Elephants on the shoreline of lake Kariba in Zimbabwe.

Pelicans on the shoreline of San Diego.

Pelicans on the shoreline of San Diego.

The windswept shoreline of San Pedro, Belize.

The windswept shoreline of San Pedro, Belize.

Windmills on the shoreline of Kinderdijk, Holland.

Windmills on the shoreline of Kinderdijk, Holland.

The fabled Lorelei Rock on the shoreline of the Rhine River.

The fabled Lorelei Rock on the shoreline of the Rhine River.

An Aloe 'candelabra' on my home shoreline in South Africa.

An Aloe ‘candelabra’ on my home shoreline in South Africa.

The shoreline viewed from the cliffs in Cornwall, England.

The Atlantic Ocean shoreline  viewed from the cliffs in Cornwall, England.

The shoreline of New Jersey, as we flew home this week.

The New Jersey shoreline, as we flew home this week.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my take on Ed’s theme. To see more entries, just click here.

WPC: The Sea

“The Sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”
~ Jacques Cousteau

In January we had to leave the USA for a few days in accordance with our visitors visa requirements, so we took a week’s vacation in San Pedro, a town on the southern part of the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize. As you will see from my pics of the sea and its lovely beach, it wasn’t such an imposition and gave me seven blissful days in paradise.

The first permanent settlers of San Pedro who arrived between 1848 and 1849, were farmers and fishermen. Here  is one of the original Mayan canoes carved from a single tree trunk.

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Fishing isn’t only done by  the fishermen. These brown Pelicans are to be seen everywhere.

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The fish here must have a really tough battle for survival.

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Sun, sea and sand is the recipe for a really relaxing holiday.

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Even when the sky isn’t so blue, at the seaside there is beauty all around.

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At times it was really breezy and the palm trees waved most enthusiastically. My hair did the same. 🙂

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It’s a veritable kite-surfer’s paradise.

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Being at the seaside, offers so many recreational possibilities.

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You can even dive down into it for a closer look.

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At times the ocean can be rather treacherous,

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but mostly, it’s calming influence has a wonderfully renewing effect on the soul.

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Is it any wonder that we love to spend our summer holidays close to the sea?

To see more interpretations of the WordPress Photo Challenge, just click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Word a week challenge: Metallic

Sue, of  ‘A word in your ear’ blog’, has a new challenge. This time the word is “Metallic”.

My first image, taken through a coach window, is of one of Spain’s most famous bulls, the ‘Osborne Veterano’. These enormous black metal bulls are named after the fiery Spanish brandy they were originally erected to advertise. Each bull weighs four tons, stands 38 feet high, and has a surface area of more than 150 square yards. In 1988, a law was passed banning advertising hoardings on public highways. When the government ordered that the bulls be removed, there was a public outcry, and a ‘Pardon the Osborne Bull’ campaign was put into action. The result was that the iconic bulls were allowed to stay in place, but with no advertising. Over time, the five hundred bulls have diminished to only ninety-seven, and are now considered to be part  of Spain’s cultural and artistic heritage.

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In Bangkok is the ‘Wat Phra Chettuphon Wimon Mangklaram Ratchaworamahawihan’ temple which happily is more commonly known as ‘Wat Pho’. The temple which is home to a thousand Buddha images, is one of the largest and oldest in Bangkok, and is covered in gold. It’s a really spectacular sight.

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Taking up most of the space inside the temple, is the statue of ‘The Reclining Buddha’ which is 46 metres long and 15 metres high, and is covered from head to toe in solid gold plate. He’s pretty impressive, but there isn’t enough space to step back in order to take a full-length photo, so this is the best shot I’ve got.

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From the sublime to the ridiculous now. I couldn’t resist posting my pic of the blingy manicure which I spotted on a flight from Lamanai to San Pedro. The Belizean lady proudly informed me that the safety chains were necessary because her ‘pinky’ nails were crafted from solid gold. 🙂

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my metallic photos. To see more bloggers’ interpretations of the theme, just click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: In the Background……sort of

The latest Weekly Photo Challenge, ‘In the background,’ isn’t as straight forward as I at first thought. I looked out a few pics with something interesting in the background, like this one of Table Mountain in Cape Town,

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and one taken from our hotel balcony in Rio, with Sugar Loaf Mountain in the distance,

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and one taken across the Hudson River, with the Twin Towers rising above Lower Manhattan.

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Then there is this one taken on our long-boat canal tour, showing Bangkok coming into view.

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What about this one of a country market in Ecuador, with a giant yellow blow-up ‘Pilsener Light’ beer bottle and the smoke from a volcano in the background?

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and this one taken on a boat off the coast of San Pedro in Belize, with hubby and his dive buddy bobbing around in the background.

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I also love this smiley one of little Sienna, with a shark in the background.

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Then as my teachers at school used to tell me, I thought, “Let me read the question again.”

In the Background: The places that we pass through day after day, or even once in a lifetime, leave in their small way, echoes and traces of themselves upon us. But so often when taking self portraits or pictures of friends, the places themselves become a soft blurred mush of indistinct semi-nothingness, the limelight stolen by our smiling faces. In today’s challenge, let’s turn the tables. Take a picture of yourself or someone else as a shadow, a reflection, or a lesser part of a scene, making the background, or — as in the example above — the foreground, the center of attention.

Well this was a different kettle of fish entirely, and all I could come up with, was this one taken by hubby during our kitchen renovations in Florida. 😀

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my pics of foregrounds and backgrounds nevertheless, even if I didn’t keep strictly to Michael Pick’s guidelines. 😳

Lines of San Pedro, for Cee’s Challenge.

Cee’s Fun Foto challenge this week is all about lines, and I have chosen a few pics I took whilst in San Pedro earlier this year. Belize seems to be full of lines, whether it’s looking out towards the azure sea,

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or walking around the back streets of the town.

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Lines of washing are very plentiful,

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as are the wooden picket fences of different hues.

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There are extremely untidy power lines hanging around everywhere.

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I even found ‘Paradise’ hiding behind some of them. 🙂

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Hope you enjoyed my lines of San Pedro. To see Cee’s great lines, and links to other bloggers’ interpretations of the theme, just click here.

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Window seat please.

Marianne’s CBBH Photo Challenge this month, is ‘View from an aircraft‘.  I always try to get a window seat, more for the view than any other reason. For me, the flying experience is enhanced when I can watch the sunrise, sunset, or just see the fluffy white clouds passing by. I guess some people don’t want the constant reminder that they’re sitting in a long metal tube, about 30,000 feet above the ground, or the sea, and would rather pretend they’re on a train or a bus, so sit in the middle, and there are those that have to keep getting up to use the toilet, so prefer to sit on the aisle. Not me though; I revel in the fact that I’m actually high above the earth, flying effortlessly and at great speed, towards my destination. Quite often, I forget to take the camera out of my cabin bag, and by the time we take off, it’s too late to get up and grab it, so some of my pics are taken with my iPhone. I guess if it’s on airplane mode, that’s permissible, but I’m never sure, so try not to do it when the stewards are close by.

Here are a few of my in flight pics:

Coming in the land at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok.

Coming in to land at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok.

Taking off from Phuket International airport.

Taking off from Phuket International airport.

Taken from a helicopter over Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

View from a helicopter over Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

Victoria falls in the distance.

Victoria falls in the distance.

Flying towards Belize.

Flying towards Belize.

Flight from Belize.

Fluffy clouds.

Looking down at the swamps.

Looking down at the swamps.

Smooth landing at Belize City.

Smooth landing at Belize City.

First sighting of Belize City.

First sighting of  San Pedro.

Getting cloer to the ground.

Getting closer to the ground.

This was only a 10 seater plane.

This was only a 10-seater plane.

Miami next stop.

Miami next stop.

Back to Miami.

Coming in to land at Miami International.

Sometimes my attention is distracted from the view out of the window, and I’m more interested in what’s for dinner.

Welcome view on the airplane.

Very welcome view on the airplane.

Stop looking out of the window and eat.

Stop looking out of the window and eat.

Yummy raspberry mousse cake.

Yummy raspberry chocolate mousse cake.

To see more views from airplanes, just click here.

According to the rules of Marianne’s challenge, I have to introduce you to two of the blogs that I’ve commented on in the past month.

First up is my South African blog friend, Adeeyoyo, who writes beautiful poetry which really touches one’s soul.

Then there’s the artistically talented Poppytump, who advertises her blog thus, “PhotographyBooksArtyStuffAndPlentyOfOtherNiffNaffAndTriviaToIgnore.”

Please pop over and visit them both. I promise that you won’t be disappointed.