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..

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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

 

Favorite Doors – Riga, Latvia

It is impossible for me to visit anywhere without shooting some doors..and, besides Tallinn, Estonia, Riga had had some of the most diverse I have seen..

Flower Pots

From old and faded with age…

Mail Slot in Gold 2 Chairs

 

to stunning…

To the Point

 

Blackheads

Wonderful shapes and colors….

Green Diamonds Bullet to Empty Square

Impressive stone and wood work..

AM 1900 DP E 3.7

Plants and Ivy

2 Potted Plants

Almost All Ivy

Ivy Gate Matching Flowers

and, needless to say,  graffiti and posters ..

Cartoon 33 Joobnud F##K the System F##K the Police

I was in heaven… and while not technically a door..next shot is just cool.. and door related  🙂

41 to 56

and finally..

Coat

What’s around the next corner?  Up the next street?  Something interesting, I bet …

Stay Tuned and Happy Travels!!

Photography as Art                  Travel with Steve

 

 

 

Side Streets – Riga

Narrow Cobblestone Street

I love to walk the cobblestone side streets and back alleys… especially in the early morning when no one is out..or at least, very few people.. There always seems to be the straggling partier from the night before..

The streets are quiet..almost lonely

Galerija Daug

 

I meander aimlessly through the narrow lanes…

 

Cars Not Allowed

 

It’s a great time to shoot doors and windows..

Old Wood and Cobblestone

 

4 Sets of Shutters

or wander into hidden courtyards that are often dead-ends..

Dead End BW

 

Narrow Courtyard

Always something pretty.. always something interesting ..

Bike

sometimes classic..sometimes funny..

Moustache

 

But always something new.. around the corner.. up the next street..

Fashion Street PBW Netted Grated Windows

 

 

Later this week, we will take a look at some of the landmarks and churches.. stay tuned

and always ……… HAPPY TRAVELS!!

Photography as Art                          Travel with Steve

Riga, Latvia – Parks Galore

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I thought I would start stepping away from talking about a city’s landmarks.. When you search online for any city, there will be 1000 pages talking about the iconic landmarks and photos taken from every angle. Now don’t get me wrong..I love to see the landmarks..the sites that make a city famous..the churches and parliament buildings..the museums.. and I love to photograph them as well…

But I also look for places the locals hang out.. and in most cities, especially in warmer weather, that means the parks.. the green spaces..

Park Canal - Riga

 

and in Riga, that means along the canal..

Stone Bridge Over Canal - Riga

Parks like Kronvalda and Bastion Hill … sitting on benches among the flowers and fountains in front of the National Theater

Flower Garden - Riga

There are stone and wooden pedestrian bridges

Stone Pedestrian Bridge - Riga

Shady lanes and broad sidewalks

A Walk in the Woods Walk to Freedom - Riga

 

and, even, boat tours along the Riga Canal..

Canal with Boat - Riga

 

Parks and green space in Riga cover more than 30 hectares.. the fall colors were just beginning in September, and I can imagine the beauty of the changing leaves

A Walk in the Woods

So take the time to see the “Old Town” center.. experience the bars, restaurants, and all the wonderful and historic sights.. But spend a little time walking through the beautiful parks and shaded lanes too.. You will be glad you did..

Next we’ll take a little trip through the side streets and back alleys of Riga… stay tuned 🙂

Happy Travels!!

Photography as Art                               Travel with Steve