Breaking free into Goa

Posted in Architecture, History, Travel at 9:12 pm by Warren Williams

Following the awful bus experience, it was a great relief to finally make it into Goa. Despite the traffic still being rather busy, the air was noticeably clearer, and able to see distant objects, rather than thick haze. After hastily getting off the bus in Mapusa, we were whisked away in the great comfort of an air conditioned 4×4. Angus’s father was kind enough to drive us by the scenic areas, including Calangute showing off the apartment we would be spending some time in, before driving through Old Goa. One of the main features of Old Goa is the Basilica of Bom Jesus, which is over 400 years old, making it one of the oldest in India.

Car ferry to St Stephen's
Just beyond Old Goa, along one of the country roads is a small car ferry servic, which took us from the mainland to the island of Jua and the mostly Catholic village of Santo Estevam.

Gomes Residence, Goa
The Gomes residence in Sant Estevam – Great homely large home ūüôā

Sant Estevam
Walking adventure around Santo Estevam

Blue skies of Goa
Clearer blue skies, and clean water!

Sant Estevam Pigs
Got Bacon!

Weathered roof tiles

Two contrasting crosses
Two contrasting crosses

Abandoned house

Abandoned house
Under the still prevalent Portuguese Laws, the historic homes cannot be destroyed. Only passed through the generations, with more recently over the past century many emigrating overseas leaving the houses to slowly deteriorate and add a great feel.

Abandoned house in Sant Estevam, Goa, India
Old furniture through the walls

Old front door

Abandoned house in Sant Estevam, Goa, India
Shooting from the side door which is sitting ajar – this house was simply amazing!

Later in the evening, Angus and I took a walk up the hill of Jua to see the Statue of Sacred Heart / Shine to Christ the King

Statue of Sacret Heart
Waren & Angus atop the monument

Ruins Sant Estevam
Fort Ruins atop the hill of Jua

Jua Sunset, Goa
The Fort of St Francis Xavier – built in 1668

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Louvre in Paris

Posted in Architecture, History, Landscape, People, Travel at 9:00 pm by Warren Williams

After our exercise in front of the Eiffel Tower, Peter and I took a walk along the Seine River, to the Louvre Museum to see Mona Lisa and other various art works and historic artifacts from around the world. Time flew in the expansive museum, and soon it was time to disappear to Montmartre in search of food and a visit into the Basilica of the Sacr√© CŇďur with great views over Paris.

Mona Lisa, Louvre, Paris
Mona Lisa

Artifacts in Louvre

Skull in Louvre

Easter Island Statue

Venus de Milo
Trying to get a photo of Venus de Milo amongst hundreds of people.. fun

Stair Entrance at Louvre
Entrance stairs to Louvre

Basilique du Sacr√©-CŇďur
Basilique du Sacr√©-CŇďur – Montmartre

It was actually my mums’ recommendation to visit here, from her trips she used to do to Paris whilst living in England during the 60’s and 70’s. Well worth the trip up here for a different artistic feel of Paris.

Basilique du Sacr√©-CŇďur Inside
Inside the Basilica

Basilique du Sacr√©-CŇďur Inside

Basilique du Sacr√©-CŇďur

Basilique du Sacr√©-CŇďur

Youri in front of Basilique du Sacr√©-CŇďur
Grand finale, of musician Youri performing some top hits

We met up with our Canadian friend, Ayla who has recently been travelling through the Middle East, Europe and into Paris. We all wandered back down to the Louvre Museum for the approaching sunset, with our cameras in hand.

Leg massage Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel
Pete, the qualified physiotherapist gives Ayla some much needed calf treatment after arriving back at the Louvre

Long drawn shadows at Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel
Long shadows at the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel with Louvre in background

Louvre Pyramid Sunset
Opposite direction from the Louvre Glass Pyramid

Canon 85L Wide Open
The out of focus silhouette of Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel

Ayla & Peter
Ayla & Pete checking their shots out

Louvre Pyramid Sunset with Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel
Another clear evening sunset over the Louvre Pyramid

Symmetry Louvre Pyramid Sunset
Symmetry with the Louvre Pyramid

Louvre Pyramid Twilight
Twilight with Louvre

Still waters Louvre Pyramid

Eiffel Tower at 2am with no lights
Eiffel Tower after 2am, with no lights on

Eiffel Tower Straight Up
Eiffel Tower Straight Up

Eiffel Tower at 6am
From Pont de Bir-Hakeim the following morning at 6am

Ayla Eiffel Tower
Feeling less creative than 24 hours, with no sleep

After a fresh shower in the hotel, the three of us went off to the Bois de Boulogne park for a picnic and relaxation before our returning Eurostar trip to London.

Bois de Boulogne
Bois de Boulogne – The largest park, west of the city, where we enjoyed a great picnic

Under the Trees - Bois de Boulogne

Paris is an amazing city, and surprised I hadn’t visited before, despite only living just across the Channel for the past couple of years. It was also time to say goodbye to Pete in London, who was unfortunate enough to have me as company for the past four weeks. See you soon back in Aotearoa!

Aimee (another Kiwi friend), Peter & Warren say goodbye in Leicester Square, London

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Paris, City of Light

Posted in Architecture, History, Landscape, People, Sport, Travel at 10:30 pm by Warren Williams

Paris has often been referred to as the City of Light, since the early 19th Century, when gas lamps first lit up Champs-√Člys√©es. The weather continued to be great for us, as we strolled along the River Seine, visited Notre Dame, before seeing the final stage of the Tour de France. Following this, we watched the enormous street clean up act of Champs-√Člys√©es, saw a few people brave a Haka, and finally watched a stunning sunset atop the Arc de Triomphe. Another splendid day.

Outside Notre Dame, Paris
Outside Notre Dame

Cross in Notre Dame Paris
Photography friendly rules inside Notre Dame – Thank you!

Notre Dame Stained Glass Window

Notre Dame

Notre Dame Stained Glass Window

Notre Dame

Notre Dame Display

Notre Dame Cross

Beach along River Seine
Sunbathers along River Seine on the hot summer’s day

Jumping at Louvre
Warren, Jason & Peter outside the Louvre

2009 Tour de France Paris
First view of Tour de France riders on final stage

Tour de France Pelaton, Paris

Lance Armstrong - Tour de France 2009 Paris
Lance Armstrong (black helmet) peddling his way to 3rd overall

Tour de France 2009

Empty Champs-√Člys√©es after Tour de France
Empty Champs-√Člys√©es after Tour de France – Sunset behind Arc de Triomphe

Haka at Arc de Triomphe
Haka (Maori traditional dance) next to Arc de Triomphe

Stairwell inside Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe staircase

Sunset over La Defense, Paris from Arc de Triomphe
La Defense from Arc de Triomphe

La Defense Sunset
Wide angle scene of La Defense, and impressive roundabout surrounding Arc de Triomphe

Eiffel Tower from Arc de Triomphe

View down Champs-√Člys√©es from Arc de Triomphe

Poor Kitty Paris

Eiffel Tower from Arc wide angle

Eiffel Tower from Arc de Triomphe twilight

Lights on Eiffel Tower
The 10pm lights come on again for a dazzling 5min display

Eiffel Tower Sparkles
More Eiffel Tower Sparkles

La Defense Light Trails from Arc de Triomphe
La Defense Light Trails from Arc de Triomphe

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Bruges, Belgium

Posted in Architecture, History, Travel at 12:38 pm by Warren Williams

Bruges, located in the northern end of Belgium, is just a short trip from Calais, and a perfect stop off to stock up on those chocolate supplies. It’s a shame we only had an hour to look around, as the architecture, and reminiscing scenes from the hilarious movie In Bruges, starring Colin Farrell, Ralph Fiennes & Brendan Gleeson.

Bruges Euro Flag

Bruges Canal

Bruges Statue

Bruges Belgium Chocolate
Tasty Chocolate

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The Great Divide of Berlin

Posted in Architecture, History, People, Travel at 9:23 pm by Warren Williams

During our two night stay in Berlin, we visited many of the historic venues, starting at the Berlin Wall, Reichstag, Hitler’s Bunker and the Holocaust Memorial.

Berlin Wall Photo
Berlin Wall

Berlin Wall being Painted

Tourist taking a photo of Berlin Wall

Vespa Berlin Wall
Vespa randomly parked next to Berlin Wall

Rachelle – One of the many Ozzies in our group

Holocaust Memorial, Berlin, faces
Holocaust Memorial – load more Ozzies!

Holocaust Memorial, black and white

Expansive Holocaust Memorial

Bugatti Veyron in Showroom
1001bhp Bugatti Veyron in one of the many supercar showrooms

Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral)
Berliner Dom – Berlin Cathedral

Railway line in Berlin

Statue in Berlin

Water Fountain Berlin
Water Fountain

Peter feasting into a Bratwurst

Reichstag Flag

Reflected Runner in Puddle
With the recent Bratwurst energy, Peter went for a run

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City of Dresden, Germany

Posted in Architecture, History, People at 11:35 am by Warren Williams

The city of Dresden has a long history, and is well known for the controversial Allied Forces bombing near the end of World War II. The face of the city drastically changed over the next 40 years during the East German socialist era. Fortunately, since the reunification in 1990, Dresden has re-emerged as a political, cultural and economic centre of Germany.

Dresden Architecture
Beautiful architecture around the city

Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), Dresden, Germany
Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady)
Survived the firebombing during WWII, however burnt out and collapsed the following day. After 13 years of rebuilding, it was completed in 2005, with joint efforts from Germany and UK.

Historic Underground Basement and Frauenkirche, Dresden
Historic Underground Basement and Frauenkirche, Dresden

Statue in front of Frauenkirche, (Church of Our Lady), Dresden
Statue in front of Frauenkirche

Ice Cream Girl in Dresden

Peter gets Married!
Peter gets married!

Frozen Man

85L Wide Open
Walking the many cobbled streets

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Wet in Prague

Posted in Architecture, History, People, Travel, Wedding at 7:56 pm by Warren Williams

Prague is a wonderful, beautiful city. Despite raining for practically every moment of our 36 hours in the city, a few of us keen sightseers braved the weather to explore the historical sites. Prague was also included to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1992, with its great mix of Gothic and Renaissance styled architecture.

Old Town Square at Night, Prague
Old Town Square at Night. There was plenty of lightning going also amongst the rain, but didn’t have the patience to capture it

Prague intersection at night
Beautiful buildings make up all corners of Prague

Prague Castle across River at Night
Prague Castle and Vltava River at Night

Czech Me Out

The following morning, in Old Market Square, the rain continued to pound the cobbled stones – when I noticed a young newlywed couple having a few photos taken. They’re mood was very upbeat, and was great to see another photographer out there in the elements capturing those moments.

Prague Wedding Photographer

Prague Wedding Photographer

Prague Wedding Photographer

Prague Wedding Photographer

Cobbled Street in Prague
Cobbled Street in Prague, on way to the Castle

St Vitus Cathedral
St Vitus Cathedral, in the Castle grounds – Camera was soaked, hence the smudges

View from Prague Castle

Changing of the Guard, Prague
Changing of the Guard

Changing of the Guard, Prague

Prague Castle Guard


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Auschwitz Concentration Camp

Posted in History, People, Travel at 10:30 am by Warren Williams

Photos alone can stir the emotions from this sombre day around the Auschwitz concentration camps. The name Auschwitz was the German name given to the hosting town of Oswiecim. Over one million Jews were killed in the gas chambers, with the pesticide Zyklon B. The camps are kept open as a reminder to the world what atrocities were committed, and hopefully never repeated.

Auschwitz Empty Space

Auschwitz Concentration Camp

Walls and fences of Auschwitz

Victims of Auschwitz

Halt Sign Auschwitz

Block 11 Auschwitz

A-11 Auschwitz

Wash Basin in Auschwitz

Torture Wall Auschwitz

Small stones placed by Jews at Auschwitz

Life at Auschwitz

Security Fences at Auschwitz

Auschwitz Security Barbed Wire Fence

Death Sign Auschwitz

Entrance Gate Auschwitz -

Barbed Wire Fence Auschwitz Birkenau

Toilets in Auschwitz Birkenau

Overcrowded Auschwitz Birkenau

Infamous Railway Entrance Auschwitz Birkenau

Peace Auschwitz

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The History of Kraków, Poland

Posted in Architecture, History, Landscape, People, Travel at 9:30 pm by Warren Williams

The city of Krak√≥w was given World Heritage Site status in 1978 by UNESCO, the same year Karol Wojtyla, archbishop of Krak√≥w, was elevated the papacy as Pope John Paul II . Krak√≥w is also famous for it’s overruling in WWII by the Nazi empire, making Krak√≥w the Capital city of the General Government.¬† The large Jewish population were moved into the Krak√≥w Ghetto, where they were sent to local concentration camps, such as Auschwitz. A German businessman by the name of Oskar Schindler, used his enamelware plant as a way to save many of the local Jews. His story was portrayed in the excellent move, Schindler’s List.

Archbishop of Krakow, Pope John Paul II
Where Pope John Paul II was based

Inside St Mary's Church, Krakow
Climbing the tower in St Mary’s Church, Main Market Square

View from St Mary's Church, overlooking Main Market Square
View from St Mary’s Church tower, overlooking Main Market Square

Snake Handler, in Main Market Square
Snake Handler in Main Market Square

Snake display in Krakow, Main Market Square
Snake Handler

Female Snake Handler, in Main Market Square
Female snake handler in Main Market Square

Jewish Plaque in Cemetery
Jewish plaque in cemetery

Weathered building in alley, Krakow
Weathered building in alley

Singer sewing machine, Krakow
Singer sewing machine, on an outdoors table at a cafe

The infamous stair scene, Schindler's List
The stair scene from Schindler’s List, just past the arch on right

Disused railway near Schindler's Factory
Disused railway near Schindler’s Factory

Krakow Ghetto Building
Worn building in the Krakow Ghetto

Old man walks across the Holocaust Memorial
Walking across the Holocaust Memorial

Holocaust Memorial Krakow, Chairs
Holocaust Memorial – 70 empty iron chairs, representing absence

Michael Jackson and Elvis puppets, Krakow
Lifting the mood, street performer in Main Market Square with puppets of the recently passed Michael Jackson, and Elvis – both kings of music.

Statue at Wowel Cathedral
Statue at Wowel Cathedral

Street Artist Krakow
Street artist at the Castle

View from Krakow Castle over the river
View from the Castle over the Vistula River

The evening was spent back in a lovely restaurant just off Main Market Square, featuring an enclosed courtyard out the back with cheap, large meals. Perfect way to finish off a day.

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Hungary for Budapest

Posted in Architecture, History, Landscape, Travel at 10:00 pm by Warren Williams

The hottest day of our tour involved walking the beautiful streets of Budapest with the temperature creeping over 37¬įC. Budapest was once two cities – Buda and Pest, seperated by the great Danube River which officially combined in 1872.¬† The Buda side is located on the western banks of the Danube, featuring the hilly terrain and historic castles. Across the river on the expansive Great Plain, lies Pest, where much of the style is on 19th century architecture.

Budapest, overlooking the Danube
Buda side

Romantic couple overlooking Danube Budapest
Overlooking the Danube

Terror Museum, Tank, Budapest
Inside the Terror Museum – some disturbing scenes from WWII victims. Featuring photographs from Jewish victims, historic video footage, and torture devices.

Terror Museum, Budapest
Photography wasn’t permitted in the rest of museum, but was worth visiting for harrowing accounts of concentration camps, suffered by Jewish people from the Hungarian region.

St Stephen's Cathedral (St Istv√°n Parish Church)
St Stephen’s Cathedral (St Istv√°n Parish Church) – Is the largest church in Budapest, with building commencing in 1851, but not completed until 1905. This Neo-Renaissance church is often simply known as the Basilica.

Inside of the Basilica, Budapest
Inside the Basilica

Inside the Basilica.

Basilica winding staircase, Budapest
Winding staircase up to the tower

Basilica winding staircase, Budapest
Looking back down the staircase at the Basilica

View from Basilica, over Pest
View from the Basilica, over Pest and the Great Plain

Front view of the Basilica
Front view of the Basilica

Mercedes in Budapest
Mercedes in Budapest ūüėČ

Budapest Parliament Building on Hot Day
Parliament Building on the scorching day

Castle in Budapest
After walking across the Chain Bridge, headed up the hills into Buda.

With the extreme heat and dehydration setting in, Peter, Nic and I ventured into the Labyrinth of Buda Castle, where the temperature is a constant 14¬įC and 90% humidity all year round. Without a tripod, photos were near on impossible due to the dark conditions. Walking down one of the corridors the sweet aroma of wine became apparent, where we found a wine fountain.

Wine fountain, Labyrinth, Budapest
Wine fountain, Labyrinth (ISO 6400)

Stepping back outside created instant stickiness against the still hot and humid conditions after 6pm local time. Once back at our hostel, a quick freshen up and we were back out again with a few others from the tour group to watch the vibrant sunset from the Chain Bridge spanning the Danube River.

Chain Bridge, Budapest
After climbing the bridge supports

Sunset over Buda

A well deserved meal and drinks were rapidly consumed following this physical, but amazing day around this grand city.

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Bratislava, Slovakia

Posted in Architecture, History, Travel at 9:00 am by Warren Williams

En route to Budapest we ventured through the city of Bratislava in the early morning. At just 60km away from Vienna, they’re the closest capital cities in Europe.¬† There is a great mixture of architecture, spanning from medieval towers in the Old Town area, to the splendor of 20th century buildings. Bratislava also spans the Danube river, with the castle prominently displayed on the hill – unfortunately closed at the moment for renovations.

Hviezdoslavovo n√°mestie statue
Statue near Hviezdoslavovo N√°mestie

Michalsk√° Br√°na Hotel
Michalsk√° Br√°na Hotel

BaŇ°tov√° Ulica
Bastova Ulica

Michalsk√° br√°na Hotel

Kapucínsky kostol
Bratislava Church РKapucínsky kostol, and tram lines leading to the Castle

St Martin's Cathedral, Bratislava
St Martin’s Cathedral

St Martin's Cathedral, Bratislava
St Martin’s Cathedral

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Venice – The City of Water

Posted in Architecture, History, Landscape, People, Travel at 9:21 pm by Warren Williams

Exploring the wondrous city of Venice, can only be achieved by water and on foot. Venice is unique in many ways, with endless beautiful detailed buildings perched alongside the water. Capturing the sights from the gondola boat ride, through the twisting passages and underneath low bridges was definitely a highlight and impossible to ignore. Later in the afternoon, took in the spectacular views from atop St Mark’s Campanile, witnessing the sprawl of intricate architecture over hidden islands.

Venice from Rialto Bridge
Grand Canal from the Rialto Bridge

Narrow passage of Venice
Narrow passageways

Venice Wedding Photographer
Wedding photos in St Mark’s Square

View to San Giorgio Maggiore
View to San Giorgio Maggiore

Gondolier in Venice
Venice Gondalier

Pigeon in St Mark's Square, Venice
Pigeon in St Mark’s Square

Pigeons overun Venice
Too many pigeons for my liking

Venice Gondola Top Deck
Gondola Riding – Niki, Pete, Grant, Richie and Warren

Venice Gondola Bricks
Passing old buildings in the narrow canals

Cindy at the Grand Canal
Arriving into the Grand Canal

Having a laugh in Venice
Cindy, having a good laugh

Gondola, Grand Canal, Venice

Venice Gondola Ride

Gondola, Venice

Gonola Ride, under bridge
Riding under one of the 400 bridges

Slow shutter speed on Gondola, Venice
0.6 seconds on a Gondola

San Giorgio Maggiore
San Giorgio Maggiore

View from atop St Mark's Campanile
St Mark’s Square – Notice the water patches from high tide

Endless views over Venice
Endless views over Venice

More views from the Campanile.

Pigeon passes St Mark's Campanile
Yet another pigeons flies by St Mark’s Campanile

Venice Moorings

Thunderstorm approaches Venice
Terrific thunderstorm approaches Venice

Speed boat in Venice
Speed boat, passing St Mark’s Campanile

Venice Thunderstorm
Heavy thunderstorm clouds over Venice

Painting Santa Maria della Salute from Accademia Bridge
Painting Santa Maria della Salute from Accademia Bridge

Slow waters over Venice
Slow shutter speed over Venice

Slow shutter over Venice

Sunset over Venice buildings
Low sunlight over Venice after the thunderstorm clears

Rich buildings in Venice
Rich coloured buildings are always a spectacle

Constitution Bridge, Venice
Ending back at Constitution Bridge after 24 hours

Ready for an early morning departure, over Northern Italy, and into Vienna, Austria.

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Wherefore art thou, Romeo?

Posted in History, People, Travel at 12:00 pm by Warren Williams

O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.

Passing through the historic city of Verona, Northern Italy, our tour dropped by the scene of Juliet’s Balcony.

Romeo & Juliet
Romeo & Juliet Balcony

Many Gelato Ice Cream vendors – much needed in 30¬įC heat!

Funny moment as Richie from Perth has an unexpected visitor

A scene from the movies

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Ancient Rome & Colosseum

Posted in Architecture, History, Travel at 11:45 pm by Warren Williams

Every angle of the streets of Rome is a marvel, with ancient ruins and cobbled streets viewable in every direction.

Foro di Cesare (Forum of Caesar)
Foro di Cesare (Forum of Caesar) – Built between 54 & 46BC

Colosseum in Daylight
Due to the G8 summit, and visiting world leaders including Barack Obama, we were unable to get any closer.

Rome Colosseum reflected
Reflections on Niki

With the hassles of not being able to shoot the Colosseum up close or inside, Peter and I decided to venture off later in the evening once the area was reopened.

Arch of Constantine & Colosseum
Arch of Constantine & Colosseum

Colosseum at Night

Colosseum detail at night with moon
Colosseum Detail with the moon rising

Colosseum and Traffic Trails
Light trails by the Colosseum at which point we had to rush back to catch our last metro and bus around midnight.

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Roman Streets

Posted in Architecture, History, People, Travel at 4:30 pm by Warren Williams

Quickly acclimatising to the Italian heat, Peter and I ventured West of the city of Rome to our start of our action packed 16 day tour. Our first two nights were to be spent at the modern and clean facilities of Camping Roma. Being wary of directions from their website, we found the correct metro and bus connections to arrive just after lunch time. First stop, pizza!

Meeting our exciting tour leader Michelle, and coach driver Billy for the first time we ventured back to central Rome.

Well known shopping street of Rome, with top brands including  Armani, D&G and Prada.

Spanish Steps, Rome
The crowded Spanish Steps

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain amongst more massive crowds

Temple of Hadrian, Rome
Temple of Hadrian

Roman Street

Horse drawn carriage at Pantheon, Rome
Pantheon – incredibly built in 126AD

The open ceiling causing light to filter down from the 142 foot tall roof

Piazza Navona

Street artist in Piazza Navona.

Fontana del Moro, Rome
Fontana del Moro – 1576

Cobbled street in Rome
Cobbled street in Rome

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