Friday, October 13, 2017


We travelled recently to 6 different countries:- Japan, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Norway and the UK. ((I won't count Dubai as we just transited through there)

We saw a huge range of buildings - from those different cultures plus covering a range of ages from ancient castles to ultra modern buildings. This is just a taste of the ones that stood out to me - and I was in a position to take a photo of.


Tokyo Tower, Japan

The roof of a museum in Tokyo

Wacoal Kojimachi buidling (or the Cyberman building according the Fixit Guy)

Asahi Brewing company building Tokyo. Its built to represent a foaming mug of beer. Beside it is the beer hall with what is supposed to be a golden flame but has become known to locals as The Golden Turd

Czech Republic 

The roof of the main train station in Prague - it had a beautiful dome with these paintings and statues all around it.

Underground tunnels in the Terzin Fort. Built originally for defence - with moats that could be flooded when attacked. It was never attacked (methods of warfare changed) but served instead as a prison. During the 2nd World War, after Czechoslovakia (as it was then known was invaded by the Nazis, it was used to house political prisoners.

Cobbled streets of Litomorice

Road underpass, Prague


Originally a house, this building has been remodelled into a hotel. Whilst at university studying archietecture our hosts had both worked on the design of the hotel

Dome on the roof of a tower, built in medieval times

Wasserschloss (Water Manor house) was a mill at its earliest times which grew into the Manor house it is today over time. It is still occupied by descendants of the  family who have owned it for centuries. The title has been lost as the last Duke died leaving only daughters. Part of it was open for inspection

The tower at Wasserschloss. The wrought iron stair case is a later addition. Access was formall via a ladder to the small door almost half way up. Once inside the ladder could be drawn up leaving those inside safe from invaders (for as long as the food held out) It is said to have been the inspiration for Grimm's story of Rapunzel.

Hiedelberg's Holy Spirit Cathedral , famous for having existed for centuries as a divided church, with the Catholics in one portion and the Lutherans in the other. (dates in part from the 1300s)


Hermitage Museum Amsterdam. The contents of the museum were spectacular but I was captivated by these windows on the side of the museum


Store house Fredricstad Fort


Mini lighthouse at the mouth of a canal from the sea to a loch

Covesea lighthouse designed by a member of the Stephenson family (Robert Louis Stephenson's uncle) 

Decommissioned Church Glasgow, now 12 flats

 Interior of St Giles Cathedral Edinburgh

Thursday, October 12, 2017


Whilst driving around Scotland on our trip in late August/early September 2017 I became fascinated by bridges. 2 in particular took my interest.

We happened to be in Scotland when the new long awaited and no doubt very expensive Queensferry Crossing Bridge opened.

The 1.7 miles (2.7km) structure is the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world and also by far the largest to feature cables which cross mid-span. This innovative design provides extra strength and stiffness, allowing the towers and the deck to be more slender and elegant. 

The bridge and its opening was mentioned to us by several people whilst we were in Edinburgh and it was pointed out to us from the top of the castle when we were there. Several people told us that their aunt/mother/friend had been lucky enough to get tickets to be pedestrians on the weekend when it was going to be open for pedestrians to walk over. We didn't think much of it. 

On the 30th of August we left Edinburgh heading north to visit FG's cousin in Canoustie. We put the address into the GPS and off we went. What we hadn't realised was that the bridge had actually opened to vehicular traffic that day - as a trial run - before it was closed again for pedestrians to use on the weekend and then be officially opened by the Queen the following week.

 SO.... we got to drive over the bridge on the first day that it opened. The traffic was pretty slow as lots of drivers were deliberately out for a drive that day to cross the bridge. They slowed down to admire the view and so we had to crawl along for some time. 

I snapped away madly as we drove over the bridge

 I love these massive swooping cables and the extended towers. 

The following day we continued north up the coast and near St Cyrus we turned off the road to explore a little by-way. In particular we had spotted a beautiful bridge which turned out to be an viaduct that is now part of a cycle path. The contrast between this old bridge and the railway bridge also visible from there was so very strong

A week or so later we drove across the Humber bridge
Once again I loved the cables stretching up, making their unique patterns agains the sky

At Kralupy, in the Czech Republic during our river cruise we had moored near a bridge built in the 1920s that was inspired by the Bauhaus movement. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Texture and Form: Shadows and Staircases

I am not sure if shadows are really texture but they do make for visual texture and that will do me. Perhaps they are more form. 

On our recent trip I became fascinated by stair cases. Australia is a young country and also a big one. Space is not really a problem, certainly it wasn't when our country was formed and so our houses went out more than up. I loved visiting places in Europe which had the extended stair cases - yes even when it was our hotel and we were on the 3rd floor and there was no lift. 

I also became fascinated by shadows. This might have been because we appreciated it when we got days with lots of sunshine in them. We were blessed by the weather on our trip but not all days were sunny. Just because it wasn't pelting down rain it didn't mean it was sunny. I really appreciated the sunny days and the shadows they bought.

this is my favourite shadow picture. The staircase on the outside of the round Water Castle Tower in Bavaria (purported to be the inspiration behind the story of Rapunzel as the Grimm Brothers were guests here at one time). I love the shadows the ironwork steps cast.

The shutters at the Water Castle aslo cast beautiful shadows

Somehow our shadows are quite as beautiful or intricate as the other ones

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Texture Pavement and stones

Australia is a young country. Most of our roads are bitumen and our footpaths cement. I found the cobbled streets and pavements of the historic cities we visited in Europe endlessly fascinating. The shapes they made, the patterns, their texture. So beautiful (but not so great for riding bikes on or wheeling luggage)

The standing stones we saw in Scotland had a beautiful patterns and features too

I loved the rockwalls that ran up and over the hills and beside the road. Many were crumbling and falling down, with wire fences to keep the stock in built beside them. But there were is a growing interest in reconstructing them in the traditional way and this was in evidence on our travels.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Texture Manhole Covers.

When my children were little, we had a film camera. When we got a film developed my husband would look through them and then would comment if I had taken any that DIDN'T include one of the kids

These days I am far more interested in scenery than  I was when the kids were little. Back then if there was a view to be seen I would stick a kid in front of it. 
The famous Australia Sign at Expo 88 was interesting in itself but much more interesting with Fixit Guy and our oldest 2 kids in front of it.

But these days my kids don't travel with me and like I said... I am more interested in those scenes around me.

Its not just scenery I like but textures. A friend looking at some of my photos on Facebook of our recent trip asked me why I was taking photos of pavements, man hole covers and bricks. And my answer was.... texture. I love the textures. I was originally going to put all the pictures into one post but instead I will spread them out over several days. 

On a guided tour I took once the guide pointed out that Manhole covers are fascinating works of art in themselves with much social history behind them

The Czech Republic seemed to have the most interesting manhole covers.


 Norway had an interesting one as well

Over the years I have had a variety of cameras both film and digital but at the moment I only have my iPhone so that is what I took overseas with us and I was more than happy with the results. I know some people love their big cameras with long lenses and they get some amazing photos but the conveinience of it fitting in my pocket or handbag does it for me.