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30/06/2008

Street Portrait


29/06/2008

"So wild, so free, yet so calm"


This photo was taken in the NamibRand Nature Reserve in Namibia, a gemsbok standing on a fairy circle.
- Fairy circles as explained in an older post, are some very enigmatic barren patches found in the grasslands, and not yet entirely explained by scientists. See also this article Enigma of Namibia's 'fairy circles' to know more...
- The gemsbok or gemsbuck (Oryx gazella) is a large African antelope, and also one of emblem of Namibia (on the coat of arms for example as you can see below)

28/06/2008

55 Broadway, London Underground's Headquarters, London


This a a photo of 55 Broadway, London, a notable building designed by Charles Holden. Finished in 1929, it was the new headquarters building for the London Electric Railway Company (LER), the main forerunner of London Underground. The building continues to be occupied as the organisation's headquarters.

27/06/2008

Pelourinho, Salvador de Bahia, Brazil


This a photo of the old houses of the historic centre of Salvador de Bahia (São Salvador da Baía de Todos os Santos, i.e "Holy Savior of All Saints' Bay"). Salvador is the capital of the Northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia and known as as Brazil's capital of happiness due to its easygoing population and countless popular outdoor parties, including its street carnival. The first colonial capital of Brazil, the city is one of the oldest in the country and in the New World. The city of Salvador is notable in Brazil for its cuisine, music and architecture, and its metropolitan area is the wealthiest in the northeastern region of the country. Over 80% of the population of metropolitan region of Salvador is of Black African origin, and African influence in many cultural aspects of the city makes it the center of Afro-Brazilian culture. The historical center of Salvador, frequently called the Pelourinho, is rich in historical monuments dating from the 17th through the 19th centuries and has been declared World Heritage site by UNESCO. See also salvadordabahia.org.

26/06/2008

Peyrepertuse Cathar Castle, French Pyrénées


This is a photo of the Peyrepertuse castle (Cathar castle), located in the French Pyrenees. Settled in the high reliefs of the Hautes Corbières, Peyrepertuse peaks at 800 metres altitude, surrounded by the garrigue and overhanging the little village of Duillac. From the high head-land, the lanscape shows the next castle, Quéribus, at 5 kilometrres from there. It was built on a strategic location along the French/Spanish border of that time, until the castle lost importance as a strategic castle when the border of the two countries was moved to its present place in 1659 (Treaty of the Pyrenees).

24/06/2008

The Springbok, the Camelthorn Tree and the Fairy Circles, Namibia


This photo was taken in the NamibRand Nature Reserve in Namibia, and show 4 emblematic subjects you can find in the area : the red sand dunes, a Springbok, a lost Camelthorn Tree (Accacia Erioloba) and less commonly known some Fairy Circles which are some very enigmatic barren patches found in the grasslands, and not yet entirely explained by scientists. See also this article Enigma of Namibia's 'fairy circles' to know more...

22/06/2008

Paris


This photo was taken from the top of the Centre George Pompidou, by looking at the details, you will recognise :
  • the Bourse du Commerce at the foreground : this is the round building; it was built in the 18th century, and later modified in the 19th. The site however has been occupied for the last 800 years. Called the Hôtel de Nesle, during the 13th century, then it became the Hôtel de Bohème, then Hôtel de Orléans. The mother of St. Louis, Blanche de Castille, died in the Hôtel de Nesle in 1252. Later, Louis XII lost the building to his chamberlain in a cribbage game. He in turn converted it to a convent for wayward women. In 1572, Catherine de Medici moved the convent out, and had Delorme and Bullant construct the Hôtel de la Reine, later called the Hôtel de Savoy. The present rotunda built in 1889 replaced a wheat market build during Louis XVI's reign.
  • the Colonne Médicis at the foreground next to the bourse du Commerce, is a vestige (from 1574) of the Hôtel de la Reine, and thought to have been used by the astrologer Ruggieri as an observatory.
  • the Colonne Vendôme on the right hand side, located at the centre of the Place Vendôme and erected by Napoleon to commemorate Battle of Austerlitz.
  • the Saint-Augustin church's dome / coupole, just in the alignment of the Grande Arche
  • the Arc de Triomphe on the left hand side
  • La Défense at the background

21/06/2008

Red Centre Way, Australia


This photo was taken during the journey between Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon) and West MacDonnell National Park, on the 4WD Red Centre Way, Northern Territory, 1240km shouth of Darwin, Australia.

19/06/2008

Santorini, Cyclades, Greece


This is a photo taken from one of the roof of the many Santorini houses built on the edge of the caldera. You can know more about Santorini and the Cyclades looking at following links Cyclades and Santorini.

17/06/2008

Château-Chalon vineyard, Jura, France


This photo was taken from the wonderful little town of Château-Chalon in Jura (region of Franche-Compté, France) which has an amazing setting on the hill overlooking this plain... The vineyards of the Jura are spread over 1 850 hectares, spread over four geographical Appellations d'Origine Contrôlée (Arbois, Côtes du Jura, l'Etoile, Château-Chalon). Château Chalon is the oldest and most famous of the Jura AOCs. This single hilltop of just 50 hectares is home to the unique Vin Jaune ("Yellow wine").

15/06/2008

Hartmann's mountain zebra, Namibia


This photo was taken in the northwest part of Namibia, and shows some Hartmann's mountain zebras (Equus zebra hartmannae). Like all zebras, it is boldly striped in black and white and no two individuals look exactly alike. The stripe can be black and white or dark brown and white. Their stripes cover their whole bodies except for their bellies. The Mountain zebra also has a dewlap. The black stripes of Hartmann's mountain zebra are thin with much wider white interspaces, while this is the opposite in Cape mountain zebra. Mountain zebras live in dry, stony, mountainous and hilly habitats. They prefer slopes and plateaus and can be found as high as 2,000 meters above sea level, although they do migrate lower in the winter season. Their diet consists of tufted grass, bark, leaves, buds, fruit and roots. They often dig for ground water.
The Cape mountain zebra and the Hartmann's mountain zebra are now allopatric, meaning that their present ranges are nonoverlapping. They are therefore unable to crossbreed. This is a result of their extermination by hunting in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. Historically Mountain zebras could be found across the entire length of the mountainous escarpment that runs along the west coast of southern Africa as well as in the fold mountain region in southern South Africa.

14/06/2008

Sydney Opera House


This is a photo of the Sydney Opera House, New South Wales, Australia. Designed by the Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the project was built in three stages : 1959–1963 consisted of building the upper podium; 1963–1967 saw the construction of the outer shells; 1967-1973 consisted of the interior design and construction. It was formally opened in 1973 by Elisabeth II, and in 2007 was made a UNESCO World Heritage. To know more about it, please refer to following Wikipedia web page Sydney Opera House.

11/06/2008

Kata Tjuta / Mount Olga, Northern Territory, Australia


This photo shows a sunset over Kata Tjuta (also known as Mount Olga or The Olgas) located in the southern part of the Northern Territory, central Australia. It only shows a few of the 36 domes, composed of conglomerate, a sedimentary rock consisting of cobbles and boulders of varying rock types including granite and basalt, cemented by a matrix of sandstones. The highest point, Mount Olga, is 1066 m above sea level, or approximately 546 m above the surrounding plain (i.e 203 m higher than the more famous Uluru). You can also see a superb photo showing a panorama of Kata Tjuta (which cover an area of 22 km²) as seen from its viewing platform in the middle of the day on following Wikipedia Kata Tjuta page

08/06/2008

Les Toits de Paris


This photo was taken from Montmartre Hill (la butte Montmartre), and shows typical rooftops and red chimneys from France capital city.

01/06/2008

Whitehaven, Whitsundays Islands, Australia


This photo was taken in the Whitsunday Islands, which are a collective of 74 continental islands of various sizes off the coast of Queensland in Australia. More precisely, taken from Hill Inlet on Whitsunday Island, and showing Whitehaven Beach at the background. Whitehaven Beach is almost 6km long and consists of a very fine dazzling white sand that is 98% pure Silica! The sand is minute powder-size grains of quartz and has been assayed at 99.89% pure, well above the minimum requirement for glass-making and suitable for the finest glass for optical lenses for binoculars etc. Its origin is not known definitely but geologists say it does not have a local origin as rocks of the Whitsunday area are quartz-poor. They think the most likely explanation is that it is the result of a longshore drift system which brings sand from the south along the Queensland coast, very evident in the Gold Coast/Fraser Island area. The Whitehaven sand is so pure it indicates that during the drift all heavy mineral sands and other impurities have been winnowed out leaving the quartz sand. Probably there is an eddy effect in Whitehaven Bay which causes the sand to drop out and accumulate there. See Whitsunday Tourism to know more about the Whitsundays.

This photo has been selected Photoburst Photo of the day on 28th Aug 2008