Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas decorated house

This is the most elaborately decorated house I've come across this Christmas, complete with a moving Santa in the window. It's the Paul Toole Holiday Light Show in Wells, Somerset.

Photo by Caroline Lévesque, as my snaps turned out a bit too shaky to do it justice.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Wonderland

The lights of the Hyde Park Christmas Market are reflected in the waters of the Serpentine.

Another quick snapshot compliments of my little camera.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Winter sunset

Walking through Kensington Gardens earlier this evening with my friend Christine, we spotted the end of a beautiful sunset. Luckily I had my little camera with me, and was able to capture it for posterity.

There's something magical about a clear winter sky, don't you think?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Millennium Dome, take 2

Last Thursday I had another go at talking a picture of the Millennium Dome at night time. It's not the most successful shot ever, but at least you can see the green beam more clearly.

The beam marks the Prime Meridian, i.e. the line at which the longitude is defined to be 0°. The Prime Meridian passes through the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, located on a hill diagonally behind the spot where I stood to take this photo.

Take 1 can be seen here.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Doing the weekly shop

Supermarkets are busy places on a Sunday afternoon. I took this photo at our local Tesco.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I took this picture at the same carnival where I found the young masquerader. It was 11 PM at the time, the floats had been on the road for almost 3 hours, and this young man's float had just been given the much awaited STOP order. I just love the expression on his face! You can click on the photo to enlarge it.

If you'd like to read more about the West Country illuminated carnival, look here and here.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Winter approaching

Last week I returned to Wells, where I'd taken photos of the last of the fallen leaves in late October. The yellows and oranges of autunm are starting to give their place to bare trees and brightly coloured grass. Winter will soon be here.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Young masquerader

This is one of the youngest masqueraders participating at last Monday's illuminated carnival at Weston-Super-Mare in Somerset, SW England.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Autumnal pinks

Proof that autumn isn't just about golden leaves and bare branches.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Christmas fellows

These adorable Christmas fellows are on sale at my local supermarket. I wish I could take them all home!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Last of the fallen leaves

I took this picture two weeks ago in Wells, SW England. After the latest storms hit the west coast yesterday and today with winds of up to 100mph (160km/h), I reckon these were the last of the fallen leaves for this year.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Greenwich by night

These are two photos I took tonight while walking along the river Thames in Greenwich. I only had my little camera with me (the one I keep in my handbag for emergencies) so the photos aren't very sharp. It was drizzling at the time and I was running late for my meeting - not a good combination for successful photography, but still.

The first photo is the view towards the Docklands on the north bank. I love the combination of low-rise traditional housing in the foreground and modern skyscrapers in the background, as well as the reflection of the lights in the water. To me, this view is iconic and sums up London very well.

The second view shows the Millennium Dome, also known as The O2, a large dome shaped entertainment centre originally built for the new millennium. It looks as if it's on the north bank, but it's in fact located on the south bank, just a little further along the river from where I was standing.

The bunch of lights on the left hand side of the picture is a Thames Clipper commuter boat speeding down the river. The short line in the sky on the right hand side is a plane approaching City Airport. The long green line you can just about make out on the left side (click to enlarge if you can't see it) marks the Prime Meridian, i.e. the line at which the longitude is defined to be 0°. The Prime Meridian passes through the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, located on a hill diagonally behind the spot where I stood to take this photo.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Venetian beauty

I love taking pictures of dolls in shop windows. I snapped this one in Venice, Italy, at a shop near the Rialto bridge.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

La Tour Eiffel

The Eiffel Tower is a 19th century iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. It is the tallest building in France's capital and the single most visited paid monument in the world; millions of people climb to the top every year. It was named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, who designed it as the entrance arch for the 1889 World Fair. Since then, it's become both a global icon of France and one of the most recognisable structures in the world.

The tower stands at 324 m (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-story building. Climbing to the top isn't for the faint-hearted, or those with severe acrophobia.

I've only been on it once, on a rainy, windy day, and wouldn't recommend it. The views just weren't worth it. I bet it's a different story in summer though - if you don't mind queuing for ever.

Monday, November 9, 2009


This is a river view of the Docklands, once part of the Port of London, now redeveloped principally for commercial and residential use. I snapped this picture while travelling to Greenwich on a river boat.

The tall building with the pointy roof is Canary Wharf, which I've previously shown you here. You can see a different view of the Docklands here.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy halloween!

I saw lots of pumpkins this year, but the best - and scariest - was this one that I spotted at a shop window in Glastonbury, SW England.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pylos Niokastro - once more

A little while back I showed you the fortress of Pylos in SW Peloponnese in Greece. The photo I posted at the time showed the view from the top of the fortress towards the sea. This photo shows the opposite view, facing inland. I like it because it shows how the wall hugs the land, following the contours of the hills.

Pylos is famous for the naval battle fought on 20 October 1827, during the Greek War of Independence, in the bay of Navarino. In this battle, a combined British, French and Russian naval force destroyed an Ottoman and Egyptian armada. The Battle of Navarino was the last major naval battle in history to be fought entirely with sailing ships.

Friday, October 16, 2009


I took this picture of the recently refurbished Malliaropouleio Theatre in Tripoli, Greece. Having done a quick online search, this is the only information I've been able to find:

Malliaropouleio Theatre opened in 1910. It has an excellent neo-Baroque architecture and striking interior decoration. During the Second Word War it was looted by Italian soldiers. In recent years, many efforts to restore it have been made.

I also looked for old photos of the same theatre, and these are the best ones I came across. The first must have been taken during one of the earlier restoration efforts, maybe 15-20 years ago. I've no idea how old the other one is. I would guess it was taken in the 30's or 40's.

If I had found them earlier I'd have taken a couple of photos from the exact same angles, so we could make before-and-after comparisons. Maybe next time...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Small changes

This IKEA box standing inside Doukissis Plakentias metro station in Athens appears to attract quite a bit of interest from passers-by. It is part of IKEA's "small change, big difference" campaign which promotes their refresh and redecorate range.

The campaign was first launched in Australia in July 2008, but I guess it's still appropriate, considering the current economic climate.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A touch of colour

Spring is still here, but autumn is reportedly round the corner. Better enjoy it while it lasts.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Autumn or spring?

Winter may be approaching, but on days like this, it feels quite a lot like spring.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Early autumn sunshine

These two girls were enjoying a chat on a Greek beach earlier today. It may be autumn, and the sun's not as strong as it was even a month ago, but the weather's still pleasant and it's possible to sit out in your bikini and work on that tan.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Autumn in Athens

Athens has a mild and reasonably dry autumn, as you can see from this picture, taken on 1st October at Syntagma Square in the centre of Athens.

The building in the background houses the Greek Parliament. It was built in 1840 under King Otto and served as the royal palace until 1910, when it was destroyed by fire. It reopened in 1935 as the seat of the National Assembly.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pylos Niokastro

In 1573, two years after the defeat of the Ottoman fleet at the battle of Naupaktos (Lepanto), the Turks built the fortress of Pylos, in order to control the southern entrance to the bay of Navarino, the largest natural harbour in the Peloponnese. The new fortress was called Niokastro (New Castle), to distinguish it from the Old Castle, the Frankish castle on the peninsula of Koryphasion, which had controlled the opposite, northern entrance to the bay up to that time.

Pylos is famous for the naval battle fought on 20 October 1827, during the Greek War of Independence, in the bay of Navarino. An Ottoman and Egyptian armada was destroyed by a combined British, French and Russian naval force. The Battle of Navarino was the last major naval battle in history to be fought entirely with sailing ships.

This is a view from the top of the Niokastro wall. The island in the distance is called Sfaktiria.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ice-cream van

I like this photo as it shows summer in the city - no parks, no beaches, just sleeveless dresses, bare legs and ice-cream purchased from the ice-cream van.

It's been a beautiful sunny day today, so I'm in a summer mood. Here's hoping that the blue skies and warm sun put in an appearance tomorrow too.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Snowy mountain road

It turns out I don't go to the mountains all that often, as I have too few photos of trees and mountain tops. This one is probably the best one in my collection, taken through the car windscreen as we were leaving the Mainalo Ski Resort on New Year's day five years ago. At this point, we're at 1,500 m. above sea level.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Arcadian landscape

This is a typical Arcadian view. High mountains and tiny plains make up approximately 90% of the land in Arcadia, in central Peloponnese.

The colour squares arranged in a line are beehive boxes. Beekeeping is very popular in Arcadia because of the fir blossom pollen which gives a uniquely aromatic honey.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Panigiri at Levidi

During the summer months, there are a number of religious festivals taking place in villages all over Greece. These consist of special church services during the day, followed by merriment in the evening. The merriment bit includes music, dancing, eating and shopping at the open air markets that are set up. The Greek name for this type of festival is "panigiri".

I took this photo at a panigiri in Levidi, in rural Arcadia. This is the village's main square, where tables and chairs were set out for the revellers. On the left of the picture, behind the fountain, you can see there is music and dancing going on.

It was a quarter past midnight when I snapped this, and the celebration was still going strong when we left at 1:30 AM.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Approaching Kardamili

This is the seaside village of Kardamili in the Messinian Mani. The village in the distance is Stoupa. You have to drive down a winding mountain road to get to Kardamili and Stoupa, but the views more than make up for it.

It was very hazy when we were there and the light was strange. I'd love to go back and take the same photo on a clear day.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Butterfly and flower

This is a butterfly I photographed last month in Greece. Having spent ages looking through various butterfly websites, I think this is a High Brown Fritillary, which is quite rare in the UK.

Or it could be a Dark Green Fritillary. Or a Common Leopard (according to hubby).

Anyway, I don't know what it is, but it sure was quite pretty and I'm delighted it stood still long enough for me to snap this photo.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A church on Siros

I took this picture from the boat and had to zoom right in, so it's not very sharp. I like it because it illustrates the crowded architecture of Ermoupoli. I love the way the church is poking through the houses.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Santorini at dusk

Santorini is a small, circular archipelago of volcanic islands located in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km SE of the mainland. They are essentially what remains of an enormous volcanic explosion which destroyed what was formerly a single island, and lead to the creation of the current geological caldera.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Corinth Canal

This photo is really special to me. I've been to the Corinth Canal several times, but this is the first time I've managed to photograph a ship sailing through it.

The Corinth Canal connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. It cuts through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth and separates the Peloponnese from the Greek mainland, effectively making the Peloponnese the largest Greek island.

The Canal was built between 1881-1893, it's 6.3 kilometres long and 24.6 metres wide at sea level. Its construction was planned, organised and supervised by the Hungarian architects István Türr and Béla Gerster. The Canal has been open to traffic since October 1893 and has reduced the distance between the ports of the Aegean and the Adriatic Sea by 131 nautical miles (243 kilometres).

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Early morning Mykonos

I took this photo on my way into Mykonos at 9 AM, a couple of hours before the town comes to life. I love the soft morning light and the sense of calm that comes after another night of partying.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

St Paul's Cathedral

This is a view over the river Thames towards St Paul's Cathedral on a rare sunny summer evening.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Living statue

My favourite living statue in London can be found on the South Bank, near the London Eye.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Holiday snaps

As you can see, the view I showed you in my previous post is very popular with the tourists who make it to the top of Greenwich park.

I stood on the base of the Wolfe statue to take this photo, with the Royal Observatory to my left.

Despite the clouds, visibility was quite good that day. If you look closely, you can even make out the Gherkin, which is located 7 kilometres away in the centre of London.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

From Greenwich Park to the Docklands

This is the view from the top of Greenwich Park, next to the Royal Observatory. The square building with the colonnades is the Queen's House and right behind it you can see part of the Old Royal Naval College, where my friend Pamela's graduation ceremony took place.

On the other side of the river Thames you can see the Docklands, an area where the old docks were located, which has now been redeveloped for commercial and residential use. The building with the pyramid top is One Canada Square, aka Canary Wharf Tower, which I've shown you in a previous post. At 235 metres high, this is the tallest skyscraper in the UK.

I took this photo at 2 PM, so although it looks like dusk, it was actually the middle of a (not so sunny) day.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Marina by night - take 2

I think this photo of the marina is probably a bit better, although you can't see many boats.

What does everyone else think?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Marina by night

This is an attempt at an artistic night shot. I'm not too pleased with the result, but hey, you've got to try.

I took the photo at the Flisvos marina in Piraeus last June. Piraeus is the port of Athens, and there are lots of little marinas dotted around. This is one of the newest and less charming ones.

As you can see, there are plenty of people around, including children, although I took this photo after 10:30 PM. That's Greek summer for you.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Looking up

These are some photos I took earlier in the week, when I attended my friend Pamela's graduation ceremony at the Old Royal Naval College Chapel in Greenwich. I was totally mesmerised by the elaborate ceiling, which was designed by James "Athenian" Stuart and William Newton after the original flat-panelled ceiling was destroyed in a 1779 fire.

This is a view of the Chapel from the main entrance. You can read more about the Chapel here.