Friday, January 30, 2009

Day 7

La Gomera
(Canary Islands)

Green beyond imagination. I dare say only Ireland rivals this place. Wild and tamed, gem in the casket, cold shiver of a humid wind.

Here you physically touch the eternal process of creation, from raw matter to lush beauty.
Here you witness the tide of time, the overwhelming force of innumerable water droplets in the foggy wind.

It all started in the volcanic park of Lanzarote, the timid process turning black rocks and dust into pale green. La Gomera shows us what became of those rocks after hundreds of thousands of years.

And then there is the biggest forest of Laurisilva. An ancient tree, precious relic of the Pliocene subtropical forests. Once covering the whole Europe, it is now reduced to a relatively small forest on this gorgeous island. A marvel into a marvel, walking among these descendants of a primordial history.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Far and near

I recently received a friendly request from a reader of this blog. Her wish did make my day and I am happy to comply.
Let my kind and scrupulous readers voice their talent on this new image. Your and my curiosity will be satisfied not sooner than Monday, February 9th.
As usual, you are all invited to participate. Newcomers please read the "far&near" collection early posts for details.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Day 6

(Canary Islands)

Characteristic, crowded, tasty, rotten, dry, green, hot... and so many other adjectives I could use to describe this place. Perfect for the lazy, attractive to the gourmand, mysterious for the adventurous.

Green canyons are embroidered with small villages, the happy sound of the Spanish language echoes among color patches and a perfect weather welcomes us on this island. And.. did I already mention the excellent food?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Day 5

(Canary Islands)

This place was a surprise. It felt as if a veil was lifted off my senses. Everything was bright and clear and crisp. The eagerness to jump into my trekking shoes, finding only a handful of people (seven all together!) were participating to this particular tour in the heart of the Timanfaya volcanic park.
Nothing cleans your mind better than a walk in a desert. And a splendid desert it was.
The apparent desolation of the seemingly never ending lava field gave way to the awe of a more careful examination. Not only the landscape was beautifully changing everywhere I looked; life was showing itself in the most basic ways.
Lichens of at least 3 different complexity were slowly, delicately but steadily mutating the black and reddish rock into a garden. All the raw forces of nature at work there. It was like walking on a primeval world on the eve of a great changing.

The harsh land turning into a paradise. These two b&W pictures are but a pale reminiscence of the real beauty they try to capture.

Finally, let me indulge in this distant cousin of Uluru. Yes, after having been before the original in Australia, this one is really not impressing. But when I saw it I liked it so much that I "officially" renamed this place 'my little Australia'. ;-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Day 4 [afternoon]


A wealth of colors in the gloomy gray
assembled like they looked for warmth
they tell a story in a smelly way
with feeble voice in a windstorm.

Now I know we truly are the dangerous species.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Day 4 [morning]


You all know I am not keen on portraits and I know I should practice more this particular aspect of photography.
I offer you these four attempts.
I should confess I took all them without the subject being aware I was shooting (thanks to my brand new 100-300 mm). So they are not fake poses.
The reason I share them is their link with the particular atmosphere of that place and I hope they can communicate the feeling to you as well.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Day 3 [afternoon]


As if someone had heard my unspoken wish, there the Kasbah glowed with dark blue patches, art and life, reviving the group attention and strength (well, at least that happened to most of the group).

A kind reader of this blog recently commented on my inclination to keep cruises to the status of "one is fine, thank you". I would be too hard on you if I told you all that happened during those 14 days and in addition I would deprive you of the subtle pleasure to experience it on your own.
Suffice it to write some remarkable notes here and there.
During this third day, an oldish woman on the bus complained she came along (i.e. the Casablanca/Rabat trip) ONLY to buy cheap illegal copies of expensive branded purses and demanded the tour guide to stop in a suitable shopping area. A murmur that followed on the bus wasn't exactly a reprimand for her demand and I sadly realized she wasn't alone... Ouch!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Day 3 [morning]


Smells: indistinct, sweet, penetrating, spicy, malevolent.
Noises: the turbolent whirl of life crying through a thousand horns in the traffic.
Eyes: some staring at us, some ignoring us, some following our path. Looking at us passengers in our golden carriage, the mechanical bubble which smuggles 43 intruders through their sight.
While our guide recites his litany he betrays only a hint of disgust for us, often masked by the proudness with which he speaks of his country.
We, an opulent herd flocked out of a steel floating paradise. The coach screens us from the outside reality, flowing before our eyes like an old black and white movie already fading in our memory.

Eastern architecture: jewels in the mud,
colors on the city gray canvas.

and the awareness to be before a compelling beauty engraved in stones, only glimpsed by the casual visitor.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Day 2

At sea, heading to Casablanca.

Innumerable lights
elegantly flow
hushing us all,
speaking to a few.

Simple details often manifest
our most stubborn reluctance.

Colors and shapes on the ship.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Day 1 [afternoon]


its architecture,

its colors,

its history.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Day 1 [morning]

At sea, heading to Barcelona.

Back from the sea

Thank you all, dear friends, for your constant support, thoughts and comments. I am now back from this cruise experience and (sadly) back to work again.
Much could be said about this journey. For start, let me only tell you I am not likely to book a cruise again.
I have briefly visited some awesome places, above all the Canary islands. I only scratched the surface in this two weeks journey, yet memories remain which are worth sharing with you. Without further ado, let me begin the tale ...