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28/02/2009

Angry

27/02/2009

Surfing, Perranporth (Porthpyran), Cornwall


This photo was taken in Perranporth, a popular surfing tourist destination on the north coast of Carrick, Cornwall, UK. The village, and its large sandy beach, face the Atlantic, with hundreds of miles of uninterrupted fetch producing large waves, making it one of the most popular surfing destinations in Britain, along with neighbouring breaks at Newquay, Chapel Porth and Porthowan.
The village's name is Cornish for "Saint Piran's cove". Saint Piran is the patron saint of Cornwall and his white-on-black cross features on the county's flag. It is believed that Saint Piran founded the church near to Perranporth (the "Lost Church") in the seventh century. Buried under sand for many centuries, it was unearthed early in the twentieth century, but again left to the mercy of the sands in the 1970s. Plans are now afoot to make it accessible once more.
Perranporth hosts a popular inter-Celtic festival each October, Lowender Peran, drawing people in from all six of the Celtic nations (Scotland - Alba, Ireland - Éire, Isle of Man - Ellan Vannin, Wales - Cymru, Cornwall - Kernow, Brittany - Breizh).

26/02/2009

The keffiyeh (كوفية)


This photo was taken in the street and I did some heavy post editing in photoshop.
The Keffiyeh also known as a (ya)shmagh, ghutrah, or mashadah, is a traditional headdress for Arab men made of a square of cloth (“scarf”), usually cotton, folded and wrapped in various styles around the head. It is commonly found in arid climate areas to provide protection from direct sun exposure, as well as for occasional use in protecting the mouth and eyes from blown dust and sand. Its distinctive woven check pattern originated in an ancient Mesopotamian representation of either fishing nets or ears of grain. Many Palestinian keffiyeh are a mix of cotton and wool, which lets them dry quickly and keep the wearer’s head warm. The keffiyeh is usually folded in half, into a triangle, and the fold is worn across the forehead. Often, the keffiyeh is held in place by a rope circlet, called an agal. Some wearers wrap the keffiyeh into a turban, while others wear it loosely draped around the back and shoulders. Sometimes a taqiyah is worn underneath the keffiyeh, and, in the past, it has also been wrapped around the rim of the fez. The keffiyeh is almost always of white cotton cloth, but many have a checkered pattern in red or black stitched into them. The plain, white keffiyeh is most popular in the Gulf states, almost excluding any other style in Kuwait and Bahrain.
The black-and-white keffiyeh is a symbol of Palestinian heritage. The red-and-white keffiyeh is worn throughout these regions as well as in Somalia, but is most strongly associated with Jordan, where it is known as shmagh mhadab. The Jordanian keffiyeh has cotton decorative strings on the sides. It is believed that the bigger these strings, the more value it has and the higher a person’s status. It has been used by Bedouins throughout the centuries and was used as a symbol of honour and tribal identification.
The keffiyeh, especially the all-white version, can also be called a ġutrah, particularly in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain (where the skullcap is confusingly called keffiyeh), but is also known in some areas as shmagh or ḥaṭṭah.
Traditionally worn by Palestinian peasants, the keffiyeh became a symbol of Palestinian nationalism during the Arab revolt of the 1930s. Its prominence increased in the 1960 with the beginning of the Palestinian resistance movement and its adoption by Arafat. The keffiyeh would later become a trademark symbol of Palestinian politician Yasser Arafat, who was rarely seen without a distinctively-arranged black-and-white scarf. Arafat would wear his keffiyeh in semi-traditional manner, around the head and wrapped by an agal, but he also wore a similarly patterned piece of cloth in the neckline of his military fatigues. Early on, he had made it his personal trademark to drape the scarf over his right shoulder only, arranging it in the rough shape of a triangle, so resembling the outlines of the territory claimed by Palestine. This manner of wearing the keffiyeh in turn became a symbol of Arafat as a person and political leader, and it has not been imitated by other Palestinian leaders.

25/02/2009

Church of Panagia (Virgin Mary) Paraportiani, Mykonos (Μύκονος), Greece


This is the photo of the Church of Panagia (Virgin Mary) Paraportiani, Mykonos (Μύκονος), Cyclades, Greece. The Church which dates back to 15th century, is the most famous church in Mykonos. Its strategic position on a promontory facing the sea shows off its unique architecture. The church is the most important element of the “kastro” or the castle area which is considered to be the most antic part of the town.
The church received the name “Paraportiani” because it can be reached by the side door that belonged to the medieval castle of Mykonos.

23/02/2009

Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi), Rome, Italy


This is a photo of the famous Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi) in Rome, Italy. Standing at 25.9 meters high and 19.8 meters wide, it is largest Baroque fountain in the city. The Trevi Fountain was finished in 1762 by Giuseppe Pannini, who substituted the present allegories for planned sculptures of Agrippa and "Trivia", the Roman virgin.

22/02/2009

British Roadside Wall Post Box


In 1653, the first post boxes are believed to have been installed in Paris, France. By 1829, post boxes were in use throughout France.
In Britain the first pillar post boxes were erected in Jersey in 1852. In 1853 the first pillar box on the British mainland was erected at Botchergate, Carlisle. The first boxes to be painted red were in London in July 1874, although it would be nearly 10 years before all the boxes had been repainted. Roadside
wall boxes first appeared in 1857 as a cheaper alternative to pillar boxes, especially in rural districts. These first wall boxes were manufactured by Smith & Hawkes and erected in 1857 in Shrewsbury and Market Drayton; minor changes in design have been made over the years but essentially today's wall boxes are little different to those of the 1930's. In the 1950's there was much complaint about the small posting apertures of the smaller wall boxes, as a result most of these boxes of Victoria, Edward V11 and George V were modified and received a wider slot.
In the UK, former Colonies and in many former British Empire countries, wall boxes usually bear the initials of the reigning monarch at the time the box was made. Coming to the throne in 1952, Queen Elizabeth II has had the longest reign of any British monarch since the invention of the post box. Hence there are more EIIR boxes on the streets of the UK and Commonwealth countries than of any other monarch.

20/02/2009

Traditional Housing, Cambodia


This photo was taken between Angkor and Banteay Srei, Cambodia.
This wood building is typical of traditional housing construction : its thatched roof is lightweight, waterproof, and renewable, while the raised open-platform floor catches the breeze and elevates living quarters above the rain. Below the floor is shady space for storage, animals, or retreat during the heat of the day.

18/02/2009

Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière, Lyon, France


The Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière is a basilica in Lyon, France. It was built with private funds between 1872 and 1896 in a dominating position in the city, as a mark of the triumph of Christian values over the socialists of the Lyon commune of 1870, like the similarly-inspired Basilique du Sacré-Cœur in Paris. Its design, by Pierre Bossan, draws from both Romanesque and Byzantine architecture, two non-Gothic models that were unusual choices at the time. It features fine mosaics, superb stained glass,and a crypt of Saint Joseph. The basilica, which offers guided tours and contains a Museum of Sacred Art, receives 1.5 million visitors annually.

17/02/2009

The Maple Leaf & L'Unifolié - Pierre Granche's Canadian War Memorial, London


This is a close-up of Pierre Granche's Canadian War Memorial, dedicated to the memory of Canadian soldiers who served in the two world wars, and which stands in London's Green Park on a site close to the Canada Gates and to Buckingham Palace.

16/02/2009

Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, Tower Of London


This is a photo of Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower Of London (and historically as The Tower). The Tower of London is often identified with the White Tower, the original stark square fortress built by William the Conqueror in 1078. However, the tower as a whole is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat.
The tower's primary function was a fortress, a royal palace, and a prison (particularly for high status and royal prisoners, such as the
Princes in the Tower and the future Queen Elizabeth I). This last use has led to the phrase "sent to the Tower" (meaning "imprisoned"). It has also served as a place of execution and torture, an armoury, a treasury, a zoo, the Royal Mint, a public records office, an observatory, and since 1303, the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.

15/02/2009

Muro Alto Beach, Ipojuca, Pernambuco, Brazil


Photo of a sunset at Muro Alto beach (Ipojuca, Pernambuco, Brazil), named because of the typical huge sand dunes of the region which are full of coconut trees.

13/02/2009

The Almsgiving Ceremony, Luang Prabang, Laos


This photo was taken in Luang Prabang in Laos, and shows a scene of the very picturesque Alms giving ceremony : monks at dawn, collecting alms of rice from kneeling villagers.

12/02/2009

Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya (พระนครศรีอยุธยา), Thailand


This is a photo of the ruins of the old city of Ayutthaya, in Thailand. The city was founded in 1350 by King U Thong, who came here to escape a smallpox outbreak in Lop Buri, and proclaimed it the capital of his kingdom, often referred to as the Ayutthaya kingdom or Siam. Ayutthaya was named after the city of Ayodhya in India, the birthplace of Rama in the Ramayana. In 1767 the city was destroyed by the Burmese army, and the ruins of the old city now form the Ayutthaya historical park, which is recognized internationally as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

10/02/2009

Old Post Office, Tintagel, Cornwall, England


This is a photo of the Old Post Office of Tintagel, Cornwall, England. The 600-year-old traditional Cornish Longhouse is an historic building run by the National Trust.

09/02/2009

Southern Ostrich, Etosha National Park, Namibia


This photo was taken in Etosha National Park in Namibia and shows two ostriches. The Ostrich Struthio camelus is a large flightless bird native to Africa. It is the only living species of its family, Struthionidae, and its genus, Struthio. Ostriches share the order Struthioniformes with the Emu, kiwis and other rarities. It is distinctive in its appearance, with a long neck and legs and the ability to run at speeds of about 74 km/h (46 mph), the top land speed of any bird. The ostrich is the largest living species of bird and lays the largest egg of any bird species.

08/02/2009

Sénanque Abbey (Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque), France


This is a photo of Sénanque Abbey (Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque), a Cistercian abbey, with its famous lavender fields, near the village of Gordes in Provence, France.

07/02/2009

Santo Antônio Church, Recife, Brazil


These are photos of the Santo Antônio church in Recife, the fifth largest Metropolitan area in Brazil and the capital of the state of Pernambuco.

04/02/2009

Mont Ventoux, Provence, France


This photo shows the top of Mont Ventoux, a mountain in the Provence region of southern France. The top of the mountain is bare limestone without vegetation or trees. The white limestone on the mountain's barren peak means it appears from a distance to be snow-capped all year round (its snow cover actually lasts from December to April).
It is the largest mountain in the region and has been nicknamed the "Giant of Provence", or "The Bald Mountain". It has gained notoriety through its use in the Tour de France cycling race.
As the name might suggest (venteux means windy in French), it can get windy at the summit, especially with the
Mistral; windspeeds as high as 320 km/h have been recorded. Mont Ventoux, although geologically part of the Alps, is often considered to be separate from them, due to the lack of mountains of a similar height nearby. Its isolated position overlooking the valley of the Rhône ensures that it dominates the entire region and can be seen from many miles away on a clear day. The view from the top is correspondingly superb. There will be soon some photos posted on this blog to demonstrate this !

03/02/2009

Plumeria Alba (White Frangipani)


Plumeria (common name Frangipani) is a small genus of 7-8 species native to tropical and subtropical Americas. The genus consists of mainly deciduous shrubs and trees and it produces flowers ranging from yellow to pink depending on form or cultivar. From Mexico and Central America, Plumeria has spread to all tropical areas of the world. They are now common naturalised plants in southern and southeastern Asia, and in local folk beliefs provide shelter to ghosts and demons. The scent of the Plumeria has been associated with a vampire in Malay folklore, the pontianak. They are associated with temples in both Hindu and Buddhist cultures, though Hindus do not use the flowers in their temple offerings. P. alba is the national flower of Nicaragua and Laos.

01/02/2009

Naousa, Paros (Πάρος), Cyclades (Κυκλάδες), Greece


This photo was taken in the small town of Naousa, Paros (Πάρος), an island of Greece in the central Aegean Sea. Paros is the second largest island of the Cyclades island group; it lies to the west of Naxos, with which it is separated by a channel about 8 km wide. Today, Paros is one of the most popular European tourist hotspots. Paros also became known for its fine white marble which gave rise to the term Parian which is used for China and fine marbles worldwide.