Selection of Doors – Chisinau

For some reason, I was expecting a greater variety of doors from Chisinau, Moldova…

Tree Shadows and Blue Short Drain

 

Maybe it’s because all the Soviet era buildings were inflicted with a huge case of “sameness” … flat one color metal…

The doors from some of the older buildings were interesting, if somewhat weather-beaten.

Not Used Paper Windows

Double Doors

 

and there were a lot of signs that people were rebuilding..upgrading..repairing…

One New One Old Framed in Red Blocked

 

Nice city for a weekend get-a-way …. a long way to go to be a tourist magnet..  I couldn’t even find a shot glass ( my staple souvenir from trips)

More on the city later this week…

HAPPY TRAVELS!

Photography as Art                           My Fine Art America

2014 Favorites – Cities

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15 countries….21 Cities..  Since my New Year’s resolution in January of 2014 was to visit a new country every month, I can happily say “Mission Accomplished”.. But where do those trips rate?  This is difficult because every trip was awesome.. it just so happens that some places ranked higher on the awesomeness scale..

Athens from Acropolis

                                                     Athens from Acropolis

We started off the year going to Greece.. followed by Cyprus, Spain, the Czech Republic, Austria, Turkey, Sweden, Romania, Poland, Latvia / Estonia, Netherlands, Belgium and Italy… Unfortunately Croatia (at the end of the week) will miss this years cut..

This is where it gets difficult..

#1 – Stockholm, Sweden    <— Past Posts from Stockholm

There are a couple reasons I chose Stockholm..

City Hall DSC_0074

 

The photographic opportunities were amazing.. The city, itself, while being a walking friendly place, has an impressive public transportation system.

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Stockholm is the definition of New Age technology meets Old World charm..

#2  Barcelona, Spain  <– Past Posts from Barcelona

For me, the difference between Barcelona and Stockholm, as a tourist, is negligible. Good food..good people and a wonderful year-round climate, makes it a great city to visit.

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#3  Riga, Latvia   and   Tallinn, Estonia   < —- Past Posts from Riga and Tallinn

What a wonderful trip this was…Able to see two world class UNESCO site filled cities in one 5 day trip.. Needless to say, modern amenities and old world architecture make this an easy choice..

Riga

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Tallinn

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So there are the top 3 from last year…although technically it is 4…

Now the Not Best trip…

Larnaca, Cyprus

To be honest.. it was a good trip. Not one of the best, but a lot of that was my fault for planning a trip in the really really OFF season

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Beautiful scenery..interesting city..but almost no people..and no people meant almost everything was closed for the season.. It was difficult to even find a place to eat..  I will return to Cyprus on another trip..during a different time.. who knows, maybe it will move up the list..

Happy Travels!!

Photography as Art

 

Coliseum and Beyond

After a strenuous climb, a caapucino and gelato, we were ready to continue our walking tour of the city.

Hidden at the Top BW

 

Of course, with so many sites to see near the river, we had to make a couple of little detours on our way to the coliseum.. But not before we did a really touristy thing.. mail a few post cards from the Vatican Post Office..

Vatican Post

 

And some things we saw… not in any particular order

Angel with Cross

 

Altare della Patria

Castel Sant'Angelo Piazza del Popolo Sacro Cuore del Suffragio Temple of Portunus

 

Cool city, huh?

After meandering the alleyways and side-streets for a few hours, we finally arrived at the Coliseum..with the Arc de Constantinople standing right along side..

Collesium 1 Collesium Interior 3 Collesium Interior2

 

AC 1 Arch and Collesium

 

The sites of the Temple of Venus and Roma are right across the street …

Site of Temple of Venus and Roma

 

The Arco di Tito (Arch of Titus) was the inspiration for the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and also stands near by.. Unfortunately, access was closed for the day.. possibly due to the demonstration that was forming at the Coliseum..

It was beginning to get dark, so we headed back to the hotel… early train for Florence in the morning..

Happy Travels!!

Photography as Art

 

Walking around Bila Tserkva – Photos

Just thought I would add some more images from the day trip to Bila Tserkva.. It is a small city about 70 km southeast of Kyiv, Ukraine.. A lovely place to spend a day shooting..  There are several churches of note.. a beautiful river .. parks and memorials …markets and coffee shops..

It is easily reached by marshrutka in about an hour and a half for 30 uah… The mini buses leave about every 20 minutes from near the Palats Ukraine metro station.

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Travel with Steve                     Photography as Art

 

Exploring the City – Getting Started

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You’ve seen them.. the urban explorers.. Huge packpacks..2 cameras hanging around their neck.. walking stick, hiking boots, a battered map in their hand.. The epitome of the modern day adventurer. You’re just waiting to hear them say –

“Livingston, I presume?”

But what are they doing? They are taking the same old picture of the Eiffel Tower …following the same herd to and across the Charles Bridge .. joining the masses in front of the Parliment Building..

Parliment Building in Budapest, Hungary from the south side of the river.

Parliment Building in Budapest, Hungary from the south side of the river.

If you are going to see iconic landmarks in a city, a map is hardly neccesary. Just look for the biggest conglomeration of people with cameras and tag a long.. and make sure it is, at least midday because adventure may wait for no man, but it can,by God, wait until after breakfast..

Arles, France

Arles, France at Sunset

Don’t get me wrong.. seeing the landmarks is one of the reasons we travel to different cities.. Can you imagine going to Paris and NOT seeing the Eiffel Tower..or the Arc de Triomphe .. or the Louvre?  Of course not..  But exploring a city is so much more…

It’s side streets and back alleys.. it’s small hidden cafes and a neighborhood bakery. It’s an open air market with vendors yelling unintelligible things in very loud voices.. It’s watching the sunrise over a new place.. and sunsets with new friends..

Ok..with that being said, there is no “wrong” way to explore during your vacation..some ways are just more right. Let’s go over a few of the different ways you can see what you “must see” and still have a relaxing vacation..

Budapest - Bridge at Twilight

Budapest – Bridge at Twilight

1. Walk.. walk..and walk some more…  Walking, by far, is the most common way to get out and about.. Map or no map, walking allows you to enjoy more of the sights, sounds and even, the smell of your surroundings.. walking gives you total immersion in your enviroment..but it takes the most time and energy..  Granted, you can add the subway or buses to save time, but that’s not really walking ..is it?

2. Hop On/Hop Off Bus Tours …  My opinion, the next best thing to walking… You “hop off” at your destination..take photos..explore the surrounding area (I have been know to walk to the next stop) … and “hop on” the next bus to the next spot.. There is no tour, the bus is just a ride between landmarks.  Most cities have some version and most are fairly inexpensive. Whenever I visit a new city, at least one 24 hour period is devoted to seeing the landmarks..and I usually choose this way to do it.

3. Bicycle … This is another good choice but it takes common sense, a degree of caution and, in most cities, nerves of steel.  It is a fairly quick way to travel that still allows you to enjoy your surroundings, even more so going uphill..which usually morphs from cycling back to just walking.. only this time, walking AND pushing..  My biggest complaint about this is taking care of the bicycle..if you want to go inside a museum or gallery, you have to lock it up.. carry your helmet ..

4. Guided Tours … My least favorite of all ways … They have their place,of course, but just not my cup of tea.  I took a mountain wine tour outside of Batumi, Georgia that was very enjoyable..even though the tour guide spoke only Russian and I understood only one word in 10.. Still, the tour was fun, the other “tourists” were pleasant and a great meal was included.. Still, having to move when everyone else moved, stop when everyone else stopped and, even worse, was having to pass up on great photos because noone else wanted to stop..

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Eiffel Tower — Nightime from a Boat

Packing for a day trip can be as much an adventure as the actual trip .. we’ll talk about what to pack..and why.. next time..

Until then  HAPPY TRAVELS!

Travel with Steve              Photography as Art                       Prints and Postcards

Interesting Entrance to a playground in Kyiv, Ukraine

Interesting Entrance to a Playground

Shot of the Day – Dniper River

Dniper River

                                                           Dniper River

Standing at the observation point near the “People’s Friendship Arch” in Kyiv, Ukraine, gives you a perfect view of the Podil and the Dniper River below.  The Dniper Is Ukraine’s longest river and flows through the center of the city..

Travel with Steve                  Photography as Art                      Prints, Canvas, Postcards

HAPPY TRAVELS!

Prague – Shot of the Day

City View

                                            City View – Prague

299 steps to the top of the Petrin View Tower, and you are rewarded with magnificient views of Prague below.  The tower is a 60 meter high replica of the Eiffel Tower located at the top of Petrin Hill.  It can be reached by funicular or, better yet, a leisurely walk through the beautiful park.

Kyiv – Photo of the Day

Maidan Overlook

The Maidan (Independence Square) in Kyiv, during happier and much cleaner times.. last summer taken from the hill on Institutska Street. It offers a very nice panoramic view of the city below.  The golden domed building in the center is the bell tower at St. Sophia’s Monastery.