Predawn BromoDawning at BromoDawn at BromoFull daylight at Bromo

I was really tempted to just hit snooze and put off getting up for sunrise until the next day, but I forced myself out of bed and up the short hill to one of the vantage points overlooking Mt. Bromo. Waking up early paid off by being able to witness this incredible  transformation as the sun slowly lit up the caldera before me.

Indonesia, Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge

WPC: Transformation

Australia, Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delta

This week’s photo challenge made me look back at some of my pictures of deltas and these pictures we took in an area near the Gold Coast caught my attention. They show the change that can take place within a short distance. In one area you have waves crashing along the shore and propelling surfers through their wake and just a few feet away you can have almost mirror calm water that makes paddle boarding seem effortless.

Milky wavesSurfersCalmPaddleboard

China, Photography, Travel, Weekly Photo Challenge, Xi'an

Climbing Hua Shan (华山)


Hua Shan

When you follow the Soldier’s Path to the North Peak of Mt. Hua you can’t help but focus on the stairs! They climb on forever and at impossibly steep angles. I did my best to try and capture some of the ridiculous angles you climb on your way up.

Steep climb

Some stairs you almost crawl up

Climbing Huashan

More a carved ladder than stairs

Closed path

These vertical stairs were actually replaced by a more reasonable path


Up, up, up

Myanmar, Photography, Travel, Weekly Photo Challenge

WPC: Focus on the Small Things

Temple spider

While visiting Bagan, in Myanmar, there are endless things that draw your attention, temples, statues, touts; but for this shot, I decided to focus on this unique spider and its web. Luckily for me, it built its home in front of this isolated temple. I think it makes quite the composition, my only regret is only capturing it with my phone.

China, Photography, Travel, Weekly Photo Challenge

WPC: The Long Corridor (长廊)


View down the corridor. You can see that they were repainting, so the left side is perfect, while the right side is waiting for its touch up.

In China you can be overwhelmed by the chaos. The people, the traffic, the shops, but if you look around you can find plenty of order as well. The Long Corridor (长廊) located in the Summer Palace shows off that order. Originally built in 1750, so that the emperor’s mother could walk through the gardens without worrying about the weather, the corridor is over 700 meters long with four pavilions along its path. There are over 14,000 paintings on the corridor, so you could literally spend days appreciating them all. We didn’t examine all 14,000, but we enjoyed some of them while walking underneath the covered walkway. It was a fairly quiet afternoon because the weather was so bad, so we could take the opportunity to sit and soak in all of the elaborate work that went into building this impressive structure.


One of the four pavilions along the corridor

Curved walkway

The path is not completely straight as you can see the curve


New Zealand, Photography, Travel, Weekly Photo Challenge

WPC: Evanescent Aoraki/Mt. Cook

We thought we’d never actually get to see Aoraki/Mt. Cook. When we arrived to the park it was raining. When we woke up it was raining. When we started on the Hooker Valley Track, it had stopped raining, momentarily, but started back up after the first bend.

Hooker Valley

Clouds hanging over the Hooker Valley Track

It was hard not to feel down. Cold and rainy is no way to go through life. However, as we neared the end of our hike, patches of blue started to appear in the sky. We got the slightest peek of the sun while we sat down to cook lunch. However, Aoraki/Mt. Cook remained shy, hiding behind its own blanket of clouds.

Shrouded Mt. Cook

Aoraki/Mt. Cook is behind there somewhere

We continued on with our day. Basking in the ever increasing sunlight. Marveling in the plethora of colors now illuminated for us. We put in a lot of miles hiking, so we decided to splurge on a dinner out. Just as we were leaving the restaurant, what did we spy, but the summit of Aoraki/Mt. Cook shining in all its glory.


Well hello there Aoraki/Mt. Cook

We soaked in this evanescent sight and recalled how just a few hours could change so much. I’m glad that we left the restaurant when we did, because just a few moments later, Aoraki/Mt. Cook put on a cap of lenticular clouds. That was our only chance to see the summit and I’m happy to have that memory, even if it’s fleeting.

Road to Mt. Cook

Road leading to Aoraki/Mt. Cook

Magnificent Mt. Cook

Lenticular clouds forming

China, Guangzhou, Photography, Travel, Weekly Photo Challenge

WPC: Cultural Heritage in Shawan Village (沙湾古镇)

Liugeng Hall Shawancun

Liugeng Hall 留耕堂

While we lived in China we did the best we could to try and see places of interest both near and far. We would spend our days off looking for interesting places to visit and one of the first places we discovered was Shawan Ancient Village. The village was built over 800 years ago during the Song Dynasty and is full of unique heritage buildings.

Liugeng Hall, Shawancun

Liugeng Hall (留耕堂)

Wok handle buildings

Wok handle-shaped roofs, a key feature of Lingnan architecture

We enjoyed meandering through the narrow pathways, discovering something new around every corner. We paused with young students who wanted to take pictures with us, still new to the fame of being a foreigner in China. We sampled delectable bites offered at various restaurants. My personal favorite being Shuang Pi Nai (双皮奶) or double-skin milk, which can best be compared to a warm custard.

It was a great experience during our first few months in China and I’m sad that we never went back with greater appreciation and understanding of our adopted country.

Oyster shell wall

Oyster shell walls built during the Ming Dynasty

Incense coils

Incense coils inside Yuxu Palace 玉虚宫