Monthly Archives: March 2012

New York City in the rain

Walking to the Met in the rain

I love this scene.  This could be on any one of a number of grand boulevards in Europe.  But it isn’t. It’s in New York City.  We were spending a few days there with our cousins who flew in from Italy for a week.  And what a time it was.  We had planned to go to the Met on Saturday because we heard that it would rain and it might be a good idea to be indoors.  That’s exactly what happened.  When we got out the rain had stopped and we went for a nice walk in Central Park.  New York is a great city with lots to do.  This photo was taken in April, 2010.

Posted in travel, United States

Venice Lagoon with Gondolas

Gondolas waiting for hire in the lagoon

This is taken from the quayside of the Piazetta in Venice.  It’s the only place where you can take a photo without people in it because it’s at the water’s edge and looks out across the lagoon to San Giorgio Island.  I have a photo of this scene in black and white which I was going to post, but I felt the scene needed some colour to add interest.  For me Venice never ceases to amaze even with the huge crowds of summer.  This is a high dynamic range photo

Posted in Italy, travel

By the shores of Lake Como

Sitting on a park bench in Bellaggio on the shores of Lake Como, Italy

Here are two very fortunate people looking out onto Lake Como in Northern Italy from the beautifully located city of Bellaggio.  This is the real Bellaggio that the Vegas hotel was named after.  The one in Vegas is nice but I think I like the setting of this Bellaggio better.  It is located at the north end of a peninsula which runs up the middle of Lake Como with the result that both arms of the lake wrap around it.  The city itself is quite attractive and as some might know, George Cluny purchased a villa nearby.  The town is not only surrounded by the lake but by the majestic Alps.  Boats ply the waters taking tourists and residents from one small town to the other.  Because the mountains descend almost to the shoreline, the lake is protected and enjoys a very mild climate considering it is so far north and hardier species of palm trees are not uncommon.  This was taken in August 2008.

Posted in Italy, travel

Stormy Superior

A stormy day along the shores of Lake Superior north of theTrading Post

I like this picture for several reasons including in particular, the stormy sky.  There are a number of places along the shore of Lake Superior that have nice rock outcrops like this.  It’s interesting to walk along the shore and climb some of these stones.  As I’ve said before the stretch of highway 17 north of Pancake Bay is pretty eerie because often especially outside the summer season there is not a soul around.  Occasionally if you are close to the Highway you can hear the sound of a truck or two pass and then nothing but the wind blowing through the trees and the surf.  This was taken in October 2009.

Posted in Northern Ontario, travel

My night at the Museum and searching out my faourite white wine.

I. M. Pei's Pyramide at the Louvre in Paris

I have been to the Louvre many times over the years but the night I took this photograph was the most memorable experience I have ever had at this magnificent place.  It was late November 1997 – it was windy with a cold driving rain.  I was walking around near the base of the Eiffel Tower when I got talking to a local who alerted me to the fact that on Thursday evenings, the Louvre is open until 10 PM and there is no admission charge.  I jumped on the “Metro” and made my way to the Louvre.  Those of you who have been to the Louvre and have had to endure the endless line ups and huge crowds may not believe me but that night, I had the museum virtually all to myself.  In some of the rooms there wasn’t even a guard present.  In fact, at times,  particularly  in the more remote corners of the museum it even felt eerie.  This photograph of I. M. Pei’s addition to the Louvre (completed 1989), was taken from a second floor window off a corridor leading between rooms.  It still brings back vivid memories of the wind lashing against the windows and making them rattle.  At that moment I felt safe and warm, and rather than a large cavernous building, in my mind, the Louvre was reduced to a cosy “well decorated” country home that I was privileged to visit.  I doubt whether I will ever be able to replicate that experience particularly given today’s security.  And I don’t think I want to.  The magic of that night lies in the fact that it was so particular and that it can’t be repeated.  This is not a great photograph of the Louvre Pyramid but for me it has the ability to  instantly take me back to that night where for a brief few hours I had the Louvre and its treasures to myself

A fork in the road in Burgundy

Well talk about a fork in the road and making a tough decision.  I was staying in Macon in southern Burgundy.  That morning I decided to take a drive along one of many wine routes in this area.  Some of you may be familiar with the wines having labels that say “Macon Villages”.  Well this is where they come from.  But I was more interested in seeking out the source of one of my favourite white wines – Pouilly Fuisse.  Little did I know when I set out that this wine comes from the area in the vicinity of two little villages – Pouilly and Fuisse and that’s where it gets its name.  After mulling the signs for a little while and taking in the stillness of the countryside, I decided to follow the road to Pouilly.  I ended up coming across several large farms growing what I’m sure were grapes that go into making this excellent wine.  By the way you can buy a bottle of Puilly Fuisse at the LCBO for about $ 32.00 a bottle – it’s great with fish.

Posted in France, travel

Lake Superior Moose siting


Sunset on Lake Superior on April 2

This was taken in a remote stretch of beach near Pancake Bay, on Lake Superior on April 2, 2010.  As you can see there is still a bit of snow lingering.  The most remarkable thing about that evening was when I was returning home.  About 10 Km south of this place I came across 5 moose, in two groupings very near the side of the road.  One group consisted of a mother and two calf and the other was a mother and one calf.  I wasn’t able to get a good photo of either group but the memory is quite vivid

Camera:  Canon 30d
Shutter speed:  4 sec.
Aperature:  f22
ISO:  100
Focal Length:  17 mm

Posted in Northern Ontario, travel, Uncategorized

Comment on the Spanish Pyrenees

Street in Torla Spain

Torla is a small town in the foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees near the base of Mount Mondarruego.  I had researched this place before going and was captivated by its setting from the photos I had seen.  Torla is a well-known ski resort with the Spanish but in summer it is the gateway to the Valle de Ordesa national park.  I arrived in Torla after a spectacular drive from Ainsa, parked the car and walked around this charming village.  There are so many beautiful little streets like this one but after a few hours, I headed out by car to the Valle de Ordesa.  Shortly after leaving town, I noticed this cyclist about 50 years old heading the same way as I was.  I would drive about 10 minutes up some pretty steep climbs and stop to take some photos.  Sure enough this guy would catch up and pass me.  This happened at least 4 times as I wound my way up some pretty steep mountains on my way to the park.  I don’t know what impressed me more – the scenery or this fellow on his bike.  In any event it was a great day.  I got some good hiking in and I got to see an Ibex.

Posted in Spain 2009, travel