WordPress Photo Challenge: Pattern

As Sarah Rosso says,Patterns are everywhere. Patterns are sometimes intentional and sometimes accidental. They can be decorative or merely a result of repetition, and often patterns can be in the eye of the beholder to discover them.”

When I visited Bignor in the centre of the South Downs National Park in England, I was fascinated by the stunning remains of a third century Roman farm and villa. The intricate patterns of the mosaic floors were really pretty.


It’s mind-boggling to imagine all the work that went into creating these beautiful floors. One of the corridors in this sixty-five roomed home, was 79 feet (24 metres) long.


At our holiday resort in Phuket, we were most impressed with the skill and patience this young woman exhibited whilst creating exquisite patterns out of watermelons.


Also in Thailand is some exquisite pattern work at one of the doorways to the ‘Wat Phra Kaew ‘complex, better known to tourists as the ‘Temple of the Emerald Buddha’.


The Mezquita Mosque/Cathedral in Cordoba, dating back to the 10th century has beautifully patterned horseshoe-shaped arches with 856 columns of  jasper, onyx, marble and granite. These were crafted from pieces of the Roman temple which had occupied the site previously, as well as other destroyed Roman buildings,


This beautiful memorial at Kuta in Bali was built on the site of the destroyed Paddy’s Pub to commemorate the first Bali bombing in 2002, when 202 people were killed. The memorial is made of intricately carved stone, set with a large marble plaque, bearing the names and nationalities of each of those killed.


The Balinese are skilled craftsmen and the wood carvings for sale were really amazing. Our guide explained to us that the rooster inside the cage was actually carved through the holes. Wow! No wonder it had a hefty price tag.


Now for something completely different. In downtown Lima, Peru, is the17th century San Fransisco church, which once had a normal graveyard for its members. When space became a problem, the skulls and bones were removed from the graves and thrown into a deep pit.  This pit, over time, became the last resting place for most of Lima’s dead, and today the remains of some 25,000 to 70,000 people are stored at the catacombs. Until 1808, the bones were just heaped up in there, but in 1943, when the place was opened up for archeological excavation, it was decided that the Catacombs would have more ‘appeal’ if the human bones were arranged artistically. They placed some of  the skulls together in a centre pile, with same length arm bones radiating outward, and matching leg bones extending beyond the arms, and then more rings of skulls; a rather grisly sort of pattern, don’t you think?


To see more examples of patterns, just click here.

Junk boat and longtail, across Phang-Nga Bay, in monsoon rains.

Today, the rain finally stopped halfway through the afternoon. I was beginning to think it was going to carry on for the rest of our holiday.

Yesterday morning, we were booked on a “June Bahtra” cruise, which would take us across the Phang-Nga Bay in a traditional Junk boat, from where we would transfer to a long tail, to see the Grotto Cave, Sea Gypsy village and James Bond Island, arriving back at 5-30 in the afternoon.

We rose extra early and had a quick breakfast, dubiously looking out of the window at grey skies and dripping rain. Not very promising at all, but we lived in hope as our mini bus taxi carried us along the road filled with commuters, mostly on motor bikes, and others crowded onto the back of pick up trucks. We saw one motorbike with sidecar, carrying 5 people, one of whom was holding an umbrella aloft. Another one was steering his bike with one hand, and clinging onto his umbrella with the other; a sort of biking Mary Poppins. 😉

As we approached the Marina, the boats all looked very sombre against the grey water and even darker sky. When I saw the photo, I wondered why it was in black and white, but then realised that this was exactly how it had looked.

I hurried towards our boat, hoping to beat the rain which was starting up again.

By the time we got on board, it was teeming down. The leaking roof had been patched with  sticky tape which was coming apart, so that water was dripping onto the table in front of our seat, and splashing all around. I was a bit unhappy about that, but I shouldn’t have worried, as that water was absolutely nothing, compared with what was to follow later. 😉 As you can see, plastic sheeting was rolled down at the sides of the boat. This obscured our view somewhat, but rather that, than get drenched. Beach towels were handed out in case we wanted to go swimming later, and came in very useful to wrap around ourselves to keep dry whilst on board. We soon got under way, and it wasn’t long before the islands loomed up in the grey rainy mist, but even on such a gloomy day, they are still very spectacular.

We sailed up to take a closer look at the caves formed by the sea’s erosion of these amazing limestone formations.

How many images can you see clinging onto the side of this cliff? My  imagination can make out  so very many strange and tortured-looking creatures.

Before we reached the Sea Gypsy Village island, we were each given a thin plastic raincoat with a hood, and told to put it on, together with a life jacket. I realised why, when we transferred to our long tail boat, which was open to the elements. As we cut through the waves at quite a speed, we all got drenched. There was one young couple with a small toddler, who was obviously scared witless, and wouldn’t stop screaming. I felt sorry for them, and also for my ears, as they were sitting right behind me.

As we disembarked, we looked like a band of soaking wet, green plastic apparitions. I was past caring what I looked like, and just wanted to get inside and out of the rain.

Alas, there was no escape, as this medium sized market was absolutely flooded out. We waded ankle deep through the rivers of water which separated the different stalls, whilst rain ran in waterfalls from overhanging tarpaulins.

I couldn’t have been wetter if I’d been swimming the English Channel. I felt really sorry for the stallholders, because none of us was in a retail therapy frame of mind, as we traipsed past the displays of T-shirts, swimwear, and souvenirs.

The only sales they made, were half a dozen pink plastic raincoats at less than a Dollar each, to replace the green ones, some of which had torn already, and were leaking badly. Most of the houses here were mere hovels, but we did see quite a contrast, when we came upon a rich man’s house, alongside his poor next door neighbour’s  leaky cottage.

It was quite a relief when our long boat came back to pick us up, and we were on our way to view the Grotto Cave. Our adventure was by no means over, and I’ll tell you more tomorrow.