Facing City Garden is another of Sofia’s prominent landmarks –
The Neoclassical Building was opened in 1907 and is the oldest and most prominent theater in Bulgaria
Peaceful … Quiet … Serene
Not the words one would normally use to describe a touristy spot such as Old Town Bratislava.. But those words definitely apply if you manage to get out and about in the early morning…
while the cafes and shops are closed – or just being set up for the day…Still waiting for the crowds of people wanting cappuccino or that “must have” souvenir.
The quiet cobblestone street weaving their way through this picturesque capital of Slovakia are oddly quiet in the early morning hours…
Those couple of hours before the hustle and bustle begins are my favorite times in a city…especially one I have never visited before
Even though there are some people out, even early, the city still basks in the quiet… But now it’s time for cappuccino and preparation for the hustle and bustle to follow…
The Victory Memorial and Eternal Flame Park is about a 20 minute walk from downtown…and well worth it..
It’s a beautiful and spacious park built in memory of those fallen during WWII..
The center monument represents 5 rifles and encloses an :Eternal Flame” guarded by an honor guard..
Relief sculptures ring the grounds
Adjacent is the Memorial Cemetery..
A truly “must see” in any trip to Chisinau…
While not a thriving tourist destination yet, there are a few places that are “must see” if you visit this city in Moldova..
The number one, and by far the most well kept, site is the Metropolitan Cathedral “Nativity of the Lord”..
which is located, oddly enough, in the center of Cathedral Park… The original bell tower was demolished in the ’60’s but rebuilt in 1998..
At the main entrance to the the park sits the Arc de Triumf…
The Presidential Palace, towering over the center of the city, is a short walk away…
The main train station is considered by many to be one of the prettier buildings in town.. The guards told us we couldn’t take picture inside..not sure why but, you know how security guards can be..
Like I said before, not a bad place for a weekend get-a-way…
Parks and monuments in Moldova coming soon…
For some reason, I was expecting a greater variety of doors from Chisinau, Moldova…
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.
and there were a lot of signs that people were rebuilding..upgrading..repairing…
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…
Since I started snapping pictures, a LOT of time has passed. I would say somewhere in the neighborhood of 45 years.. Of course, my first camera was not near the quality of the one I use today but I look back and remember that Kodak Instamatic fondly..
What starting me thinking was when I started, and am currently slogging through, deleting 40 -50 thousand photos I have taken over the past 8 to 10 years. As recently as 6 years ago, most of my photos would qualify as simple snapshots. Before that I don’t even count.
No form.. no composition .. no artistry. Heck..why would they have? Just because I had graduated to better cameras didn’t mean my skill level had improved. I just happily clicked away at anything and everything…
I could easily take 300 photos and not have any that I actually liked… not well focused.. center frame composition (I didn’t even know what the rule of 3rds was at the time), exposure off.. what the heck is white balance?
I would look online and see photographs that made mine look like they were still being shot with that instamatic with the 4 shot flash cube.. What the heck was wrong?
The answer is simple.. Knowledge. I needed to learn how to get my camera out of “snapshot mode” – commonly referred to as “auto mode” …. I needed to learn the basic rules of composition… I needed to learn how to properly expose a scene… Oh, and by the way, I learned what white balance is.. 🙂
So I started reading…online articles and magazines and e-books and actual books.. and then I practiced what I read… I still take hundreds of photos but now, I am actually trying to find THE shot..
Like this one
This is one of my absolute favorites from a trip to Kutaisi, Georgia…taken at night on a long exposure… I do post processing now but as minimal as possible.. This one was almost perfect as shot.. white balance was off, as is usually the case with high pressure sodium lamps and there were some small lights in the center of the dark end which had to be cloned out..
This photo was printed on aluminum (32 X 40 inches) and is hanging on the wall in my office at work.
Over the next few weeks I will be posting my favorite photographs from each trip I have taken (or will take) … maybe I will post a few of those “early” photos.. so you can see what I mean.
Maybe not though… lol
About 20 km north of Tbilisi, hidden in a valley, is the town of Mtskheta ….
The small town was once the seat of government for Georgia and, now, most of its monuments and cathedrals are part of the UNESCO world heritage sites.
The most famous (and hardest to get to) is the Dschwari (or Jvari) Monastery. It is located on a rocky mountain top overlooking the city below. The name is translated as Monastery of the Cross.
In the historical center of town there is another well-known cathedral…
This cathedral is known as the burial place for Christ’s mantle, and is the main Georgian church and one of the most venerated places of worship in the country.
The Samtawro Church is best known as the burial place of the famous Georgian monk –Gabriel.
This interesting and old city (one of the oldest continuously populated cities in the world) is easily reached from Tbilisi by public transportation.. Buses run frequently and are very inexpensive..usually from 4 to 7 leira each way. Or you can hire a driver for the day. It will cost from 100-125 leira for the whole day, but is well worth because it makes it easy to get to the mountain top and the Dschwari Monastery..
A wonderful city to visit… even better to shoot.. The weather was crisp and pleasant…
The streets not overly crowded… In fact, some places were practically deserted..
Maybe the time of year had something to do with that… New Year’s Day in Split, Croatia..
A great start to the year