View from the Park Hyatt Hotel bar in Tokyo. This picture is hosted on Flickr
The Park Hyatt Hotel bar has been of course been made world famous by Sofia Coppola’s movie Lost in Translation with Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. The picture above was taken in 2013 during my last visit to Japan and visiting the bar was a must when staying in Shinjuku with my wife.
In December I will revisit Japan, this time with the whole family and with a more expanded view, visiting not only Tokyo, but also Hiroshima and Kyoto. I am really exited and am looking forward to a new adventure.
The flights have been booked, the basic itineraries have been planned, so now the details have to be fleshed out. But the places which I will visit will certainly include Hiroshima, Kyoto, probably Nara and Tokyo.
Until it was abolished in the 17th century by parliament, English Common Law foresaw the possibility of a sanctuary, that is a place of freedom from prosecution. To use the sanctuary, the person being sought after had to reach the door of the cathedral and request sanctuary using the sanctuary knocker. Once inside he has safe (for some time at least) from his prosecutors. Monks were tasked to watch out for sanctuary seekers and take them in, cloth and feed them. The sanctuary seeker received a special black gown indicating the seeker someone granted sanctuary. His crime with date and place and in the case of murder of manslaughter the instrument and circumstances, was recorded. He then had to possibility to negotiate with the prosecutors or to seek excile(1).
This picture is hosted on Flickr.
Harajuku Beauty Waiting at a Pedestrian Crossing
During a visit to Japan I spent a morning in Harajuku, the — probably still — hip and fashionable place to be, at least when you are under 25. There are tons of characters walking around the street with the most astonishing hairstyle, clothes or outfit. One of those characters was the girl in the picture standing at a pedestrian crossing, waiting to cross the street, looking at her mobile phone.
Photo hosted on Flickr
Cobblestone Road in Montalcino, Italy.
Montalcino is a village in the hilly heart of Tuscany. It is famous for its Brunello wine which is considered to be one of Italy’s best red wines. The village itself is small with only about five thousand inhabitants. It is a picturesque town with lots of cobblestone roads. The one shown is located a little off the main tourist attractions and goes steeply uphill.
Photo hosted on Flickr.
A waterfall and small creek in Styria(Austria).
This waterfall is located in the Gesäuse natural park in Styria. The natural park is situated along a river of the same name. It is a wild romantic region, with lots of woods, forests, creeks and rivers which give it a feeling of being in a fairytale country. Green is the dominating colour, an intense, saturated green, as can be seen in the picture.
Photo hosted on Flickr
The Jetty in Versoix at night
This picture was taken while having to kill some time in Versoix, a small town at the border of the canton of Geneva. Versoix is located on Lake Geneva (Or Lac Léman) and the picture was taken just after sunset with the blues really vibrant and string. The jetty is the one use by ships stopping on their way to Geneva Or Lausanne.
Photo hosted on Flickr
Light Blue Bridal Shoes
At the end of a wedding, the bride has removed her shoes and left them on the wooden floor of the restaurant where the reception was taking place. The elegant blue of the shoes contrasts lovely with the somewhat rough, almost rustic brown floor.
The shoes also tell a story of the wedding, of a day full of elegance, beauty and festivity. A day which is the culmination of weeks of planning, full of the stress of all the preparations that went into it. This day is now over, the formal ceremony has passed. The reception was a success. Now that most guests have left and only the closest friends and family hold out, everybody can relax. So the bride unwinds, takes off her shoes and sets them down, almost carelessly on the floor and puts up her feet on a chair and reclines.
Hosted on Flickr.
A small passenger boat crossing the Geneva harbour
Geneva is situated on both sides of Lake Geneva, where the lake flows back into the river Rhône. Four ferry services conveniently connect the left and the right bank of the city and allow to cross a large part of the town without having to go around the lake. These little ferry boats, which are for passengers only, are called Mouettes and have a distinctive yellow colour making them visible from far away. Contrasted against the blue of the lake, the Mouettes stand out intensifying their golden colour.
The golden light of the setting sun enhances the yellow, and the blue of the lake intensifies the yellow of the boats even more with a perfect complementary colour contrast.
The photo is hosted on Flickr
The bust of Le Corbusier in Roquebrune Cap Martin, where he lived and died.
The world famous Franco-Swiss architect Le Corbusier spent some time in his later years in a small self-designed vacation cabin at the Mediterranean Sea in Roquebrune Cap Martin, just a few kilometres away from Monaco. The bust is located not far from this cabin and from where he was presumably found dead after a swim in the morning in the Mediterranean Sea in 1965.
The area around Roquebrune Cap Martin is very scenic, and I took several excellent photos of the shore and the sea with the spray and rough shore making for a dramatic background with rich saturated colours. The picture of the bust of Le Corbusier on the other hand, taken in the early morning, expresses a calmness and quality, that very much improves from being shown in black and white, supporting the texture and simplicity of the composition.
Hosted on Flickr
The Cloudgate in Chicago early in the morning
The Cloud Gate. By the British sculptor Anish Kapoor (see Wikipedia page) in Chicago is a really impressive sculpture in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Nicknamed the Bean due to its shape it destorts anything relfected by the perfectly polished stainless steel it is made of.
Of course this sculpture is a major tourist attraction and it is almost impossible to get a picture without a crowd of people in it. But one of the main attraction is to run around and see the distorted reflections of the crowd that are with you and the surouding cityscape.
But with the help of a decent amount of jetlag I was able to get up early and take a number of pictures with almost anybody in the shot. But even at 6 o’clock in the morning, there were already plenty of tourists (probably also jetlagged) and two girls trying to do a fashion shoot in front of the bean. They posed in the front part of the sculpture and tried various poses, trying to incorporate the reflections into the shoot. So I was relegated to the back side of the bean and tried to take a picture of the cityscape in the reflection. It is a spectacular sight and worth a visit of Chicago alone.
Hosted on Flickr.