Marsha Fouks: Blog http://marshafouks.com/blog en-us (C) Marsha Fouks mfouks@me.com (Marsha Fouks) Fri, 27 Jan 2017 22:42:00 GMT Fri, 27 Jan 2017 22:42:00 GMT http://marshafouks.com/img/s3/v45/u1032532214-o565241165-50.jpg Marsha Fouks: Blog http://marshafouks.com/blog 94 120 Banff National Park http://marshafouks.com/blog/2017/1/banff-national-park On our last full day of the tour, we drove into Banff National Park.  We were headed towards Lake Moraine.  We made several stops along the way to photograph the pretty scenery.

 

 

 

 

 

We finally arrived at our destination, Lake Moraine.   Moraine Lake is a glacially fed lake in Banff National Park, 14 kilometers (8.7m) outside of the Village of Lake Louise, where we had driven the previous day.  Its elevation is approximately 6,183 feet.  

 

 

We spent a couple of hours at the lake before heading back to Canmore.  

The next morning before heading to the airport, we went out to take a few photos in Canmore.

 

 

All in all, it was a wonderful trip.  

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mfouks@me.com (Marsha Fouks) Alberta Banff Canmore National Park http://marshafouks.com/blog/2017/1/banff-national-park Thu, 26 Jan 2017 02:14:46 GMT
Snow at Mount Assiniboine National Park http://marshafouks.com/blog/2017/1/last-day-at-mount-assiniboine  The day before we were leaving Mount Assiniboine we were fortunate enough to wake up to a winter wonderland.

This photo was taken just hiking around the lodge.

 


 

Eventually I made my way down to the lake below the lodge.

 

It started to warm up in the afternoon and the snow started to disappear off the trees.
On our last day in the park, a few of us went on a different hike.  Much of the snow had melted by now. I still thought this pond was very pretty.

 

A photo of our group  in front of the lodge waiting for our helicopter to arrive. 

The morning started out pretty foggy so we were a bit concerned about the ride down but the fog disappeared and all was well.  The lodge was actually closing for the season on the day we left.  I watched the helicopter flying in.

One last look at the lodge before walking over to the helicopter pad.

On the way down, I was fortunate enough to sit in the front seat of the helicopter with the pilot.  Here are a few shots taken from the helicopter.

 

 

Once back on the ground, we waited for the rest of our group coming down on the next helicopter.

After checking into our hotel in Cranbrooke, we headed out to Lake Louise.  We didn't have a lot of time but it was worth seeing the lake.  We then had a fabulous dinner at the Chateau Lake Louise.  

 

 

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mfouks@me.com (Marsha Fouks) Alberta Assiniboine British Columbia Lake Louise Mount Park http://marshafouks.com/blog/2017/1/last-day-at-mount-assiniboine Wed, 18 Jan 2017 01:22:36 GMT
Another Day in Mount Assiniboine National Park http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/12/another-day-in-mount-assiniboine-national-park  

The next morning we were up again very early.  This time instead of hiking down to the lake, we photographed a different pond.

Our group went on a different hike after breakfast.  

One of the cabins in the park.

 


David Muench was one of the leaders of our group.  David is a famous  American landscape and nature photographer and one of the nicest people I have ever met.  

 

Every where I went I saw some spectacular scenery.  

After lunch a few of us went on a different hike.  

In the late afternoon  we did the difficult hike from the previous day again.  This time we left later in the afternoon and for some reason I found it easier.  Maybe I was getting used to the altitude.  

The photographs were similar from the previous day but of course the light was different.  

 

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mfouks@me.com (Marsha Fouks) Assiniboine British Columbia Mount National Park http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/12/another-day-in-mount-assiniboine-national-park Tue, 20 Dec 2016 19:50:29 GMT
Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/12/mount-assiniboine-provincial-park In September of 2015, I joined a group of photographers to  hike in the Canadian Rockies.  Although I grew up in B.C., this was my first time visiting the Rockies.  

I flew into Calgary to meet the group.  .  You can see from the map above where Mount Assiniboine is (#157).  We left the next morning for the Canmore Alpine Heliport which was about 1 1/5 hours from our hotel.  It was my first ride in a helicopter and it was fantastic.  I had been a bit apprehensive about the flight but once we took off I found it to be an exhilarating experience and enjoyed every minute of the flight.  The flight only lasted about fifteen minutes and was over much too quickly.  

As our group was  waiting  for our flight we photographed the arriving group.  

This photograph was taken from the helicopter.  The scenery was absolutely spectacular.  Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park is located in British Columbia.  It is a high alpine backcountry park with no road access.  You can only reach the park by hiking up, cross country skiing or helicopter.  There were some hikers that we met-we were told it takes approximately 9 hours to hike to the lodge from the bottom of the mountain.  

This was my first view of the Mount Assiniboine Lodge.  The main area of the Park is at about 2,180 meters (7,200 feet).  The lodge itself had some rooms upstairs (maybe six or so?) and also many cabins as well as a campground.  Although rustic it had a lot of character and excellent food.  

This was the view of the lake that can be seen from the lodge.  The hike to the lake was only about twenty minutes or so.  However, since there are Grizzly bears in the area it was recommended to never hike by yourself and take certain precautions.  We did hear that the campground had been visited by bears during our stay but I never saw one.

Our group made our way down to the lake once we had settled into the lodge.  Unfortunately, we didn't have the clouds for the sunset.

I was very impressed by the scenery as we made our way back up to the lodge.

We were up early the next morning to photograph the lake.  

We spent about two hours photographing before returning to the lodge for breakfast.  It was quite cold out waiting for the light but it warmed up nicely during the day.  

After breakfast we started off on a hike which proved quite challenging to me.  Along the way we stopped off at a pond to take a few quick photos.

 

One last photo before we continued our hike.  You can see the peak of Mount Assiniboine in the background (the snow covered peak).  

We arrived at our destination after about an hour of hiking.  It was definitely worth the effort.   

I wandered around the area admiring the fall colors.

We took some more photos before heading back down to the lodge.

Much later on  in the afternoon we headed back to one of the ponds to photograph the sunset.  It was very cloudy out but finally some light broke through.  

 

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mfouks@me.com (Marsha Fouks) Alberta Assiniboine British Canadian Columbia Mount National Park Rockies http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/12/mount-assiniboine-provincial-park Thu, 08 Dec 2016 20:34:23 GMT
Wrapping up my visit to Gros Morne, Newfoundland http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/9/wrapping-up-my-visit-to-gros-morne-newfoundland In the last couple of days in Gros Morne, we spent some time exploring Rocky Harbour and re-visited a few places that we had been to.

20150801_Portfolio Photos_000120150801_Portfolio Photos_0001 There was a popular fish and chips stand in Rocky Harbor.  I didn't try the fish and chips here but I did eat them in a pub one night and they were delicious.

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20150801_Portfolio Photos_000320150801_Portfolio Photos_0003 One afternoon we went back to the Noris Point area, outside of  town.  Here we met lots of very nice people living or summering in the area.  

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20150802_Portfolio Photos_001020150802_Portfolio Photos_0010 Our last sunset photos were taken the night before we left Newfoundland.  We went back to the beach south of Green Point (or as we like to call it, No Name Beach).

20150802_Portfolio Photos_001120150802_Portfolio Photos_0011 A long exposure shot towards the end of the evening.

20150802_Portfolio Photos_000620150802_Portfolio Photos_0006 This next few shots were  taken walking around Rocky Harbour.  

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A view of our cabins in Rocky Harbour.

20150803_Portfolio Photos_000120150803_Portfolio Photos_0001 Sunrise on our last morning.

 

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mfouks@me.com (Marsha Fouks) Gros Morne National Park Newfoundland Rocky Harbour http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/9/wrapping-up-my-visit-to-gros-morne-newfoundland Thu, 01 Sep 2016 23:19:57 GMT
Gros Morne, July 31st http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/8/the-tablelands-august-30th We actually got to sleep in this morning and met at 6 AM instead of 5.30!  We were headed to Woody Point and the Tablelands for the day.

20150731_Newfoundland_000220150731_Newfoundland_0002 On the way we stopped to take a few photos.

20150731_Newfoundland_000720150731_Newfoundland_0007 Woody Point is a town located in the heart of Gros Morne National Park.  The town is a registered Heritage District with a population of approximately 280 people

20150731_Newfoundland_000820150731_Newfoundland_0008 Europeans were slow to settle the west coast of Newfoundland.  The British were concentrated on the east coast and the French were on the Grand Banks.  In 1713, the Treaty of Utrecht gave the French some land on the west coast which was extended in 1783 to the entire coast. British settlement also spread and by 1800 the first British settlement in the Bonne Bay area occurred in Woody Point.  When fisherman began to stay during the winter rather than return to England,  a basis for permanent establishment was laid.  By 1904, the French had left the area to pursue fisheries farther up the coast.  By this time Woody Point was bustling.  It was pretty much considered the capital of the area with banking and customs offices, merchants and a harbour full of domestic and foreign vessels.  In 1922, when the town was at its height of commercial success, a devastating fire broke out and 58 buildings were destroyed.  The town never recovered to its  prior bustling state.

20150731_Newfoundland_001020150731_Newfoundland_0010 Our group wandered around the town after breakfast.

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20150731_Newfoundland_001220150731_Newfoundland_0012 The Woody Point lighthouse was built in 1919.

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20150731_Newfoundland_002020150731_Newfoundland_0020 After exploring Woody Point and eating breakfast our group drove to the Tablelands.   If you remember, I took a photo of the Tablelands my first morning in Gros Morne.  Today we actually spent quite a few hours exploring the area.  After driving on the highway, we suddenly came across a desert-like landscape with little vegetation.

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20150731_Newfoundland_002220150731_Newfoundland_0022 The ultramafic rock (peridotite) makes this place look pretty barren.  As mentioned in an earlier blog, the Tablelands is one of the few places in the world where you can see the exposed earth's mantel.  The rock was forced up to the surface millions of years ago during a plate collision and peridotite lacks the nutrients which allow plants to grow.  Apparently because of this, there is virtually no wildlife in this area of the park.

20150731_Newfoundland_002320150731_Newfoundland_0023 There were great clouds today.

20150731_Newfoundland_002420150731_Newfoundland_0024 Jenny walking along the trail.

20150731_Newfoundland_002520150731_Newfoundland_0025 Georgia was another member of our group.

20150731_Newfoundland_003420150731_Newfoundland_0034 A closeup view of one of the waterfalls.

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20150731_Newfoundland_003820150731_Newfoundland_0038 Bruce, another member of the group.

20150731_Newfoundland_004020150731_Newfoundland_0040 A couple of hikers who I met on the "trail".  Half  of our group went back to Woody Point while I stayed  with the other half to do some hiking.  

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20150731_Newfoundland_000120150731_Newfoundland_0001 Georgia and Ivan

20150731_Newfoundland_004720150731_Newfoundland_0047 Heading back to the parking lot.

20150731_Newfoundland_004920150731_Newfoundland_0049 After hiking in the Tablelands we returned to Woody Point.  This photo is of one of the colorful buildings in town.

20150731_Newfoundland_005020150731_Newfoundland_0050 While walking around later in ​the town I came across this "moving play" where actors were reading scripts while walking through the town, something I had never come across before.

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20150731_Newfoundland_005620150731_Newfoundland_0056 On the way back to Rocky Harbour, we stopped at a beach south of Green Point to watch and photograph the sunset.

20150731_Newfoundland_005720150731_Newfoundland_0057 It is all about the rocks in Gros Morne.

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mfouks@me.com (Marsha Fouks) Grow Morne Newfoundland Tablelands Woody Point http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/8/the-tablelands-august-30th Wed, 17 Aug 2016 16:08:35 GMT
Gros Morne, July 29th and 30th. http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/8/gros-morne-july-29th On the morning of July 29th, the sunrise shoot was actually cancelled this morning (the one and only time).  It was raining so whoever had gotten up went back to sleep.  We met later on and went into town and took some photos in the gardens of a restaurant (JavaJack's)

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Panning shot of flowers in the garden.

20150729_Newfoundland_000320150729_Newfoundland_0003 It was cloudy for the day (but no rain) so we were able to head out to the beach for some afternoon shooting.  We went to Hogsweed Beach in the afternoon.  

20150729_Newfoundland_000120150729_Newfoundland_0001 Ivar and Georgia (Bruce in background) taking a break.

20150729_Newfoundland_000120150729_Newfoundland_0001 Alice admiring the rocks.

20150729_Newfoundland_000120150729_Newfoundland_0001 Dorothy hard at work.

20150729_Newfoundland_000120150729_Newfoundland_0001 Natalie reviewing her photographs

20150729_Newfoundland_000120150729_Newfoundland_0001 Rick

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20150729_Newfoundland_001020150729_Newfoundland_0010 An abstract view of canoes at Noris Point.  

20150730_Newfoundland_000120150730_Newfoundland_0001 The next morning we went back to Norris Point and the surrounding area.  

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20150730_Newfoundland_001320150730_Newfoundland_0013 This photo was taken at a beach south of Green Point.

20150730_Newfoundland_001420150730_Newfoundland_0014 Our destination for the afternoon was Western Brook Pond.  Western Brook Pond is a fjord in the Longe Range Mountains, the most northern section of the Appalachian Mountains.  We had tickets for the boat ride through the fjords which meant a 30 minute hike to get to the dock.

20150730_Newfoundland_001520150730_Newfoundland_0015 Some of the scenery along the way.

20150730_Newfoundland_000120150730_Newfoundland_0001 This was the boat we were supposed to take.  Unfortunately, the ride was cancelled due to the foggy conditions.  Oh well an excuse for me to go back someday.

20150730_Newfoundland_001820150730_Newfoundland_0018 We walked back to the vans on the same trail but since there was no rush, I had more time to check out the scenery.

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20150730_Newfoundland_002020150730_Newfoundland_0020 Later on in the day we found ourselves back at No Name Beach.

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20150730_Newfoundland_002220150730_Newfoundland_0022 Our last stop of the day was Green Point Beach.   I think this was my favorite place in the park.

20150730_Newfoundland_002320150730_Newfoundland_0023 When we first arrived it was so foggy that you couldn't see much at all but it got better.  This time,  I spent my time on top of the cliffs looking down at the water.

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mfouks@me.com (Marsha Fouks) Greenpoint Beach Gros Morne National Park Norris Point Western Brook Pond http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/8/gros-morne-july-29th Sun, 07 Aug 2016 00:53:47 GMT
Grow Morne, July 28th http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/7/gros-morne-august-28th 20150728_Newfoundland_000220150728_Newfoundland_0002 Early morning photograph of  the colourful buildings in Rocky Harbour.   ​The harbour was previously known as Small Bay or Little Harbour.  The town is near the entrance of Bonne Bay.  Arrowheads have been found in the area which proved that Micman Indians once lived here.  During the 18th and 19th centuries, the harbour was frequented by  French fishermen.  The first year the town of Rocky Harbour appeared in the census figures was in 1874, when it had a population of 35.  Following the opening of Gros Morne National Park in 1973, the population further increased and services such as an RCMP detachment was added.  In 2011, the population was 979.  

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A shot of the rapids.

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We spent the early morning photographing around the beach in Rocky Harbor.  

20150728_Newfoundland_000820150728_Newfoundland_0008 The Norris Point area.

20150728_Newfoundland_001020150728_Newfoundland_0010 We came across a great little Inn in Norris Point which would have been another great spot to stay in.

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People were very friendly in Newfoundland.  No-one ever had a problem with us trespassing on property to take some photographs.  Sometimes people would even invite us onto their deck.  

20150728_Newfoundland_001220150728_Newfoundland_0012 Richard photographing on the beach.

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20150728_Newfoundland_001420150728_Newfoundland_0014 A pretty classic view of the area.  There were some kids playing in the fields.

20150728_Newfoundland_001520150728_Newfoundland_0015 On the way back to Rocky Harbour, a storm came up.  We stopped the car to photograph just before the rain came.  An observation about Gros Morne was that it could be raining in one spot and a few miles away, the sun could be out.

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20150728_Newfoundland_001720150728_Newfoundland_0017 We had dinner at a local  pub with great fish and chips.  After dinner, I took a couple of photos of the docks of Rocky Harbour.  Lots of storm clouds tonight.

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20150728_Newfoundland_001920150728_Newfoundland_0019 After dinner we drove to the Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse.  The lighthouse was built in 1897, a great place to watch sunsets or crashing waves on stormy days.  The automated light is still run by the Canadian Coast Guard.

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A view from the lighthouse looking out to the ocean.

 

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mfouks@me.com (Marsha Fouks) Harbor Newfoundland Norris Point Rocky http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/7/gros-morne-august-28th Wed, 27 Jul 2016 12:07:58 GMT
Gros Morne Park, July 27th http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/6/gros-morne-park-july-27th

20150727_Portfolio Photos_000120150727_Portfolio Photos_0001 Another early morning.  Today we went back to Green point, where we had been the previous evening.  

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20150727_Newfoundland_000320150727_Newfoundland_0003 Natalie lent me her fish-eye lens (ultra wide angle lens) which was fun to try out.

 

20150727_Portfolio Photos_000320150727_Portfolio Photos_0003 Georgia photographing beside the cliffs.  You get an idea of just how large these cliffs are.

20150727_Portfolio Photos_000420150727_Portfolio Photos_0004 A very close up of the actual rocks.  Great texture and colours in these rocks. 20150727_Portfolio Photos_000520150727_Portfolio Photos_0005

20150727_Portfolio Photos_000120150727_Portfolio Photos_0001 Rick photographing the beach.  

20150727_Portfolio Photos_000120150727_Portfolio Photos_0001 This photo was  taken just before walking down to the SS Ethie Beach   where we spent the afternoon.

 

 

20150727_Newfoundland_001520150727_Newfoundland_0015 Patterns of rocks on the beach. 20150727_Portfolio Photos_000920150727_Portfolio Photos_0009

 

20150727_Portfolio Photos_001020150727_Portfolio Photos_0010 It was a great beach to explore.  It was a bit tricky getting close to the water as the rocks were very slippery.  One of the members of the group did fall in the water but fortunately there was no harm done except for some wet clothes.   This beach was all about the rocks!

 

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A close up view of the textures and colors of the rocks.

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There were huge boulders on this beach.

20150727_Portfolio Photos_000220150727_Portfolio Photos_0002 This photo shows the rusty remains of the SS Ethie at Martin's Point between Cow's Head and Bonne Bay.  Its amazing that some of the boat still remains.  The story is that the boat was tossed by hurricane-ravaged waters until it ran aground  in 1919 and threatened to burst into flames.  There were a few heroic fishermen and a dog onshore desperately trying to save passengers and crew.  There was also a tale of a daring rescue of a baby stashed in an old mailbag dangling from a rope high above the raging sea.  Folk songs have been written about the tale, including "The Wreck of the Ethie".  

20150727_Newfoundland_003120150727_Newfoundland_0031 If you came on this trip, you had better enjoy taking photographs of rocks- fortunately I enjoyed it.

20150727_Portfolio Photos_000120150727_Portfolio Photos_0001 For something different, a closeup photograph of a tree on the beach.

 

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mfouks@me.com (Marsha Fouks) Gros Morne Newfoundland Park http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/6/gros-morne-park-july-27th Sat, 25 Jun 2016 01:41:34 GMT
Gros Morne Park, July 26th http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/6/gros-morne-park-august-26h This morning the group met at 5.30 AM which was our normal starting time in order to see the sunrise.  We had a short drive to "The Pond" as we called it.  This morning we had great fog.

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20150726_Newfoundland_000420150726_Newfoundland_0004 We walked along the shoreline taking photos from different vantage points.  This turned out to be the only misty morning.

 

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20150726_Newfoundland_001020150726_Newfoundland_0010 Eventually we left the pond and headed to Norris Point where we had been the previous morning.  A portion of The Anglican Church in Norris Point.

20150726_Newfoundland_001120150726_Newfoundland_0011 You can see it turned out to be a beautiful day in Norris Point.  People getting ready to go out boating.

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20150726_Newfoundland_001320150726_Newfoundland_0013 We actually saw quite a few Minke whales in Norris Point.  However, I was unable to actually get a good photo of one.  It was too difficult for me to time them coming out of the water as you never knew where they were going to appear.

20150726_Croatia_000120150726_Croatia_0001 Later on we went to Green Point for our night photography.   Green Point is located 12 km north of Rocky Harbour and turned out to be a fabulous place to photograph.  We went here several times during the week and kept discovering new photo opportunities.  

 

20150726_Newfoundland_001520150726_Newfoundland_0015 There was a pretty nice sunset tonight.

 

20150726_Newfoundland_001720150726_Newfoundland_0017 In 2000, the cliffs at Green Point were approved as the Global Stratotype Section and Point for the base of the Ordovician system by the International Union of Geological Sciences.  I really don't know what this means but the cliffs were very impressive.  I did read that the shales represent a 30 million year record of deep-ocean sediments laid in a base-of-slope environment in the lappets Ocean.  The limestone layers indicate periodic avalanches from the shallower waters.  

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There was some nice color on the rocks.

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The light was constantly changing.  

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After the sunset we got some great colors in the sky.  

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It was finally time to call it a night.

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mfouks@me.com (Marsha Fouks) Gros Morne Newfoundland Park http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/6/gros-morne-park-august-26h Fri, 10 Jun 2016 18:16:33 GMT
Gros Morne National Park, July 25th http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/5/gross-morne-national-park On July 24th,  2015 I  flew to Deer Lake, Newfoundland to start my photography tour.  Richard Martin (richardmartinphoto.com) was the trip leader.  I had travelled to Cuba with him before and was really looking forward to meeting up with him again.  I was hopeful that I would be inspired by  his creativity and vision.    There were nine photographers (eight from Ontario and one from New York) plus Richard.     We spent eight days in Gros Morne National Park staying in log cabins in the town of Rocky Harbour.  Initially, I was thinking that it might be too long to spend in one place, however I found that with the constant changing light and weather conditions it was just right.     Even going back to the same place several times, it was always different.  Of course it would have been nice to see more of Newfoundland so I'm hoping that Richard will offer a reunion tour of a different area.

PrintPrint I have included a map of Newfoundland.  Newfoundland and Labrador is the most easterly province in Canada.  The Island of Newfoundland and mainland Labrador has a combined area of 405,212 square kilometres (156,500 sq mi) and a population of approximately 526,000 as of 2013.  Given Newfoundland's size there is no way that you can see the Island in one week.  A former colony and dominion of England, Newfoundland and Labrador became the tenth province on March 31st, 1949.  In 2001, an amendment was made to the Constitution of Canada to change the province's official name to Newfoundland and Labrador.  St. John's is the capital of the province.

I have included a small map showing where the group spent their time.  I flew into Deer Lake which is a non-stop  three hour flight from Toronto.  After arriving at the small and efficient airport, Richard and Jenny each rented SUV's and five of us who had travelled together from Toronto drove to Rocky Harbour.  The drive was only about 45 minutes. You can see that Rocky Harbour is almost in the middle of the park.  We stayed at Gros Morne Cabins, right on the ocean.  Each of the modern cottages contained a fully equipped kitchen, TV's (not that I turned it on) and wireless internet (which worked well).  

 

20150725_Croatia_000120150725_Croatia_0001 The actual tour did not start until dinner time on July 25th but that didn't stop Richard from leading a sunrise shoot at 5.30 AM for anyone who was interested.    This is a photograph of Gros Morne Tablelands taken at the overlook.  The Tablelands is actually one of the few places in the world where you can see the exposed earth's mantle.  I know very little about geography but this is what I was able to find out  from Wikipedia " The interior of the Earth, similar to tother terrestrial planets, is chemically divided into layers.  The mantle is a layer between the crust and the outer core.  The earth's mantle is a silicate rocky shell with an average thickness of 2,886 kilometres.  The mantel makes up about 84% of Earth's volume.  In some places under the ocean the mantle is actually exposed on the surface of the earth.  There are also a few places inland where mantel rock has been pushed to the surface by tectonic activity, most notably the Tablelands region of Gros Morne National Park"  

20150725_Newfoundland_000320150725_Newfoundland_0003 We arrived at Norris Point and spent a couple of hours photographing from the town and the beach.  

20150725_Newfoundland_000420150725_Newfoundland_0004 Norris Point  is located on the northern side of Bonne Bay and is named after one of its first settlers, Neddy Norris, who came to the area with his wife and children between 1789 an 1790.  It was a small town with a few businesses and a very modern marine biology centre.  

20150725_Newfoundland_000520150725_Newfoundland_0005 What I mostly remember about this place was its gorgeous scenery first thing in the morning.

20150725_Croatia_000120150725_Croatia_0001 I hiked up a hill for a different view.  You can see some houses of the town.

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In 1987, the park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for both its geological history and its exceptional scenery.    Eventually the light got too bright so we headed back to Rocky Harbour for breakfast and then a nap.  

20150725_Newfoundland_001120150725_Newfoundland_0011 We met up again in the afternoon.  Richard was making a couple of trips to the airport to pick up other members arriving at different times.  Before heading out to a beach for an afternoon shoot, we noticed laundry  blowing in the wind outside of the laundromat where we stayed.  It was a fun spot to photograph.  

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The cabins were situated on the main road of the town.  I wonder what the people thought as they drove and walked by  of a bunch of people in all different positions taking photographs of laundry.

20150725_Newfoundland_001320150725_Newfoundland_0013 After  leaving the laundry, we headed over to "no-name" Beach.  The light was terrible- very harsh so it was really more of a scouting trip.  The weather was a little cool but sunny.  I ended up taking a few photographs but then I found some really nice comfortable, warm rocks to sit on and just enjoy the ocean.  The photo above is a close up one of one of the rocks on the beach.  Photographing in Gros Morne Park was often all about the rocks.

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20150725_Newfoundland_001520150725_Newfoundland_0015 After dinner the group went on its own.  Richard left for the airport to pick up the last two people in the group while Bruce and I went for a hike in town.  We were hoping to get a great sunset which was going to be a real challenge since there wasn't a cloud in the sky.  There was hike that went past a cemetery and had a great view of the ocean and a lighthouse in the distance.

20150725_Newfoundland_001620150725_Newfoundland_0016 You can see the cemetery in the distance.

20150725_Newfoundland_001720150725_Newfoundland_0017 The next few shots were taken just outside of our cabins.  The Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse is in the distance.

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The last shot of the night.

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mfouks@me.com (Marsha Fouks) Gros Harbour Morne National Newfoundland Norris Park Point http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/5/gross-morne-national-park Tue, 31 May 2016 15:55:12 GMT
Montenegro http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/5/kotar-monenegro On my last day in Dubrovnik, Anna Lisa and I decided to take a bus tour to Montenegro since our flights were not leaving until the next morning.  Technically, my photography tour did not end until mid-morning but I decided that rather than have most of the day free, I would go on a bus tour.  The tour was actually very enjoyable (23 people), however it was more rigid in terms of time than what I was used to.  When you are travelling with a  very small group, there is a lot more flexibility.  Still it was a great day and I got a taste of Montenegro.  I think I will have to go back to really see the country though as there just wasn't enough time in the places we went.

20150529_Croatia_000120150529_Croatia_0001 The bus first stopped at a lookout of the Bay of Kotor.  The Bay of Kotor, is a winding bay of the Adriatic Sea in southwestern Montenegro.  The bay was once called Europes' southernmost fjord but it is actually a ria, a submerged river valley.   The bay is about 28km long from the open sea to the harbour of the city of Kotor and has a shoreline of 107.3 km.  The religious heritage of the land around the bay (numerous Orthodox and Catholic charges and monasteries) makes it one of the major pilgrimage sites of the region.  

20150529_Croatia_000220150529_Croatia_0002 After getting off the bus we all walked to the clock tower in the main square in Kotor to meet our guide.  The guide  took us for a thirty minute tour of the old city.  The Clock Tower, shown above is a three-story building with two clock faces.  On its facade is the crest from the ruling prince of the time.  In front of the tower is a "pillar of shame" where local criminals were once tied up as punishment.

20150529_Croatia_000120150529_Croatia_0001 The main square in Kotor.   Kotor is  one of the best preserved medieval old towns in the Adriatic.    It was fairly busy in off season,  so I can imagine what the crowds would be like in the summer.  The city has a population around 13,000 but in the summer with all of the cruise ships coming in, this could easily double.  

20150529_Croatia_000420150529_Croatia_0004 The narrowest street in the town was shown to us by our guide.  

20150529_Croatia_000520150529_Croatia_0005 Kotor has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the fortifications surrounding the medieval town and its natural beauty.

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The laundry sure added some additional colour to the garden.  Anna Lisa and I were wandering around trying to find the trail that led up the mountain.  The ancient walls stretch for 4.5 km (3mi) directly above the city.  The start of the trail was just on the other side of this house.   We really wanted to do the hike  but we didn't have enough time.   

20150529_Croatia_000720150529_Croatia_0007 We  spent our free  hour   wandering around the streets.

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20150529_Croatia_000120150529_Croatia_0001 In this photograph, you can see the climb up the hill that we wanted to do.  One of the best views of Kotor is from the city's medieval fort walls build during the 9th century.  I read that there are 1,350 stairs and it is 4,000 feet above sea level.  Ideally, you should be starting the hike first thing in the morning as soon as it is open.  The fort walls became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979.  The walls  were built by the Byzantines to protect the city from invaders.  However, the walls didn't actually keep out invaders since Kotor  became under siege by Venetian, Ottoman and even British rule over the centuries.  

20150529_Croatia_000120150529_Croatia_0001 Sveti Stefan (Saint Stephen) is a small islet and hotel resort in Montenegro, approximately 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) southeast of Budva.  The resort includes the islet of Sveti Stefan and the part of the mainland, where the Villa Milocer (hotel) is located.  This islet was an Adriatic playground for the rich and famous from the 1960's to the 1980's.  The hotel is now a 5 star franchise hotel of the international group of Aman Resorts.  It was completed in 2009 and is operating under a 30 year lease.  Just for fun I looked up the cost of the hotel for mid June.  The daily rates ran from 881.5 Euros ($1,203 CND) to 3,356.50 Euros ($4,900 CND)  per night.  I hope  that includes breakfast!  Formerly an Island, all of the buildings were acquired by the Yugoslav government and turned into an upscale hotel during the Tito Regime.  The resort was also a venue for political conferences and an occasional chess venue, attracting top-class players such as Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer.  In the 1990's the break-up of Yugoslavia led to the decline of the resort.  The government of Montenegro proposed to recreate the old charm of the island by inviting international bids for the revitalization project.  The contract was awarded to the Aman Resorts in 2007.  The refurbished resort, completed in 2009 retains the old world charm of its exterior view, with a totally modern, contemporary look for the interior.  The hotel won the Hotel of the Year award from Gallivanter's Guide in 2010.  In July 2014, tennis champion Novak Djokovic married Jelena Ristic at the resort.  

20150529_Ecuador_002720150529_Ecuador_0027 A water taxi in Budva, our next stop on the tour.

20150529_Croatia_000120150529_Croatia_0001  The Venetians ruled the town of Budva  for  almost 400 years, from 1420 to 1797.  The Venetian walls were built to protect the town against Ottoman conquests.  With the fall of the Republic of Venice, Budva came under the rule of the Habsburg Monarchy.  During the Napoleonic Wars, Montenegro forces allied with Russia and took control of the city in 1806 until 1807 when France took over.  In 1813, Budva was ceded to the Austrian Empire which remained in control for the next 100 years.  In 1918, the city remained under Austria-Hungary until after the war when it came under Yugoslavia.  We wandered around the streets of the old town.

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 Montenegro became an independent country in 2006, with Budva as its primary tourist destination.  We wandered through the streets of the old town. In 1941, Budva was annexed by Italy and was liberated from the Axis rule on November 22, 1944 to become part of Yugoslavia.  A catastrophic earthquake struck Budva win 1979.  Much of the old town was devastated, but today there is little evidence of the earthquake as almost all of the buildings have been restored to their original form.

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20150529_Ecuador_003620150529_Ecuador_0036 The beach was not crowded at all in May.

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20150529_Croatia_001720150529_Croatia_0017 I included this photo to show the incredible colors of the crystal clear  water.   The dot in the sky in far right side of the photo is a kite surfer.

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20150529_Croatia_001820150529_Croatia_0018 We left the town around 3.30 to head back to Dubrovnik.  We took a ferry ride in the Bay of Kotor and this was a view from the ferry.  

20150529_Ecuador_004320150529_Ecuador_0043 After getting back to the hotel shortly before 7 PM, I decided to head into Dubrovnik one last time as I hadn't had a chance to take the cable car ride up which overlooks the city.  There was a bus across the street from the hotel and after a twenty minute ride into the city I found my way to where the cable car ride started.  This photo was taken while I was heading towards the start of the ride.

20150529_Ecuador_004420150529_Ecuador_0044 I actually enjoyed the views from the top much more than the photographic experience.  I only had a short amount of time before the last ride down and I really didn't have enough time to explore (about an hour or so).  There is an actual hike that one can take up to the top of Mount Srd with incredible views.   The Dubrovnik cable car began transporting passengers in 1969 but was completely destroyed during the Croatian War of Independence, in one of the fiercest battles (Siege of Dubrovnik)  of the 1991-1995 war.   In the summer of 2010, the cable car rides were restored and took passengers to the top of the mountain.  You can see how the cable car wires got in the way of the photo!  

20150529_Croatia_002120150529_Croatia_0021 Looking down at the rooftops from above.

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A beautiful view of the Adriatic Sea.  

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Mount Srd was once forested with oak trees which locals called dubrava, after which the city of Dubrovnik was named.  The southern slope was once rich with pine forests, but in the second half of the 20th century and during the war, the forest was lost completely gutted from various fires.  

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20150529_Ecuador_004620150529_Ecuador_0046 One of the last shots before heading back to town.  

20150529_Ecuador_005320150529_Ecuador_0053  I wandered into the old town and took a couple of last shots before taking the bus back to the hotel.   

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One last walk through the main street.
20150530_Croatia_000120150530_Croatia_0001 My flight to Toronto (via Zagreb and Frankfurt) was leaving at 7 AM in the morning so I arranged for a cab to pick me up around 5 AM.  The cab driver was happy to stop the cab for me so I could take one last photo of Dubrovnik and enjoy looking at the city for a final view.  The flight leaving Zagreb for Frankfurt was about an hour late which left me practically no time for my connecting flight to Toronto.  If any of you are familiar with the Frankfurt airport you will know that it is always busy and it seems like you always have to walk a long way to get through passport control (with lineups) and to your gate.  Fortunately,  once we landed in Frankfurt, Air Canada arranged for about 5 of us to take a bus from the plane  to near the gate where the flight was boarding.  So we were able to skip passport control and make our connection.  Without the special treatment, there is no way we could have made the flight.   One of the other travelers said that the last time she took this route home, she was not so lucky and had to stay in Frankfurt overnight and fly to Toronto the next day.  So a hectic and very long  last day of travel but of course it is always worth it.  

 

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mfouks@me.com (Marsha Fouks) Budva Croatia Dubrovnik Kotar Montenegro http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/5/kotar-monenegro Tue, 17 May 2016 00:27:36 GMT
Evening in Dubrovnik http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/5/evening-in-dubrovnik 20150527_Ecuador_008420150527_Ecuador_0084 Before our group headed into Drubronik for the evening, I went for a short walk outside of the hotels' grounds.  This photograph overlooking the water was taken from a nearby road.  It didn't matter where I went in Croatia, the water was always pristine. 

 

20150527_Ecuador_008620150527_Ecuador_0086 Anna Lisa and I were practising taking photos with shadows (with Roman's guidance).   Of course watching him take the shot didn't help us that much because we just couldn't master his technique.    Roman is a true street photographer.  He holds his camera in one hand, around  waist  level to take many of his shots.  Then he angles the camera to the correct position, takes the shot and keeps walking.  This way people do not know that their photo is being taken.  I did actually try this in Split and found that I was getting shots that had no people in them and this was not the intention.  So this technique requires a lot of practise and a light camera/lens combination that can be held with one hand.  My shots were taken in the old fashion way- I got down low to the ground.

 

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I loved the colorful clothes this woman was wearing.  

20150527_Ecuador_009220150527_Ecuador_0092 Roman deep in thought while we were eating pizza  in an outside cafe.

20150527_Ecuador_009320150527_Ecuador_0093  After dinner Anna Lisa and I wandered around the town before meeting the rest of the group.

20150527_Ecuador_009420150527_Ecuador_0094 There was some great light on some of the buildings by now.

 

20150527_Ecuador_009620150527_Ecuador_0096 We were taking advantage of the last of the light.

20150527_Ecuador_009720150527_Ecuador_0097 Allan had taken a similar shot in the afternoon so we copied him.

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20150527_Ecuador_010020150527_Ecuador_0100 Hardly any light was left now and we weren't using our tripods but we couldn't resist photographing this cat.  

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20150527_Ecuador_010220150527_Ecuador_0102 Anna Lisa and I had brought our tripods with us so we thought we should actually use them.

20150527_Ecuador_010320150527_Ecuador_0103 This is one of the best times to photograph- the blue hour, after the sun has set and before the sky goes black.

 

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mfouks@me.com (Marsha Fouks) Croatia Dubrovnik http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/5/evening-in-dubrovnik Fri, 13 May 2016 13:21:05 GMT
Boating on the Neretva River http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/5/boating-on-the-neretva-river After leaving Mostar, we headed to the Neretva Valley, where Roman has friends who own a restaurant in a small village.  I had already explored the area as we passed through the town on our way to Dubrovnik but this time we enjoyed a ride on one of the 100 year old wooden boats.  We didn't really have a destination -we just spent an enjoyable afternoon on the Neretva River.  I have to say it was one of the highlights of our trip ( there were many).  In terms of photography it was difficult due to the harsh mid-day light but the scenery was still great.    

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Some lily pads in the river.

20150528_Croatia_000220150528_Croatia_0002 Roman's friend and captain of our vessel.

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Miles enjoying himself as always.  

20150528_Croatia_000420150528_Croatia_0004 Miles and Allen.  The strawberries in the basket  were huge and delicious, however I did not care for the drinks.  I was told that I wouldn't be able to taste the alcohol.  Miles and Allen should have had their cameras ready to catch my expression as I had a drink.

 

20150528_Croatia_000720150528_Croatia_0007 It was a very peaceful couple of hours on the river, absolutely perfect weather.   Again, the water was pristine.

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20150528_Croatia_000120150528_Croatia_0001 An old boat on the side of the river.

20150528_Croatia_001420150528_Croatia_0014 The ducks all lined up nicely for us.

20150528_Croatia_000120150528_Croatia_0001 Another boat on the side of the river.

20150528_Croatia_001620150528_Croatia_0016 One of the many fishing nets we saw.

20150528_Croatia_001720150528_Croatia_0017 Some houses on the side of the river.

20150528_Croatia_001920150528_Croatia_0019 We were  happy to see this fisherman which added a lot of interest.  It was fun to watch him.

20150528_Croatia_002020150528_Croatia_0020 A close up view as his boat came nearby.

 

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20150528_Ecuador_003020150528_Ecuador_0030  A close up photograph of Anna Lisa.

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20150528_Croatia_003720150528_Croatia_0037 Kula Norinska is a monumental fortress from the 16th century.  The tower was built to guard the Ottoman Empire from the Venetian ships on the Neretva River.   Now the tower is neglected as you can see from the overgrown ivy.

20150528_Croatia_000120150528_Croatia_0001 I was wishing that I had brought a long lens with me as there were a lot of birds in the area.  

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20150528_Croatia_004220150528_Croatia_0042 Getting back to the village.

20150528_Ecuador_000120150528_Ecuador_0001 At the end of the day we drove back to Dubrovnik for our final group dinner.

 

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mfouks@me.com (Marsha Fouks) http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/5/boating-on-the-neretva-river Fri, 06 May 2016 00:42:14 GMT
Bosnia http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/4/bosnia Bosnia and Herzegovina, informally known as Bosnia is a country in Southeastern Europe located on the Balkan Peninsula.  It is bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south; Serbia to the east, Montenegro to the southeast and the Adriatic Seat to the south with a coastline of about 20 kilometres long surrounding the city of Neum.  When we drove from Split to Dubrovnik, we actually had to go through Bosnia.   Roman took our group to visit the fifth biggest city in Bosnia, Mostar.  

20150528_Ecuador_000120150528_Ecuador_0001 This was my first view of Bosnia after we got out of the car.  We saw many buildings that had been bombed during the war and have not yet been repaired.  Between 1992 and 1993, after Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence from Yugoslavia, the town was subject to an 18-month siege.  

20150528_Ecuador_000220150528_Ecuador_0002 Fortunately, the views got a lot better.  Mostar is situated on the Neretva River.

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20150528_Ecuador_000520150528_Ecuador_0005 The old section of town where we walked was very busy.  For some reason I thought the place reminded me of Turkish markets although I've never been to Turkey.The whole area was very busy with tourists.

20150528_Ecuador_000620150528_Ecuador_0006 Our first view of the famous Stari Most (Old Bridge).  This bridge was built by the Ottomans in the 16th century and is one of the country's most noticeable landmarks.  The bridge is also considered one of the most exemplary pieces of Islamic architecture in the Balkans.

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20150528_Ecuador_000820150528_Ecuador_0008 Another view of the river and town.

20150528_Ecuador_000920150528_Ecuador_0009 This is the view from the other side of the bridge.

20150528_Ecuador_001020150528_Ecuador_0010 Walking over the bridge led to more shops and restaurants.

20150528_Ecuador_001220150528_Ecuador_0012 The Koski Mehmed Pasa Mosque, was built in 1617.   I'm not sure what the  current demographics are but in 1991, Muslims made up about 35%, Croats 35% and Serbs 19%, however as in many other Bosnia cities, its demographic profile was significantly altered after the 1992-1995 Bosnian war.  

20150528_Ecuador_001320150528_Ecuador_0013 A closer look at the buildings.

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There were many artist and antique shops.

 

20150528_Ecuador_002020150528_Ecuador_0020 A restaurant in the hills.   There were many cafes where you could sit and people-watch for hours without being asked to leave.  Roman took us to a Turkish cafe where I had a taste of the Turkish coffee.  Talk about strong and bitter!  

20150528_Ecuador_002220150528_Ecuador_0022 The town was fortified between the 1520 and 1566 and the wooden bridge was rebuilt in stone in 1566 under the Ottoman rule.  The bridge is 28 meters long and 20 meters high (90' by 64').  The Austro-Hungarian Empire absorbed Mostar in 1878 and ruled there until after WW I in 1918.  During this period, Mostar was recognized as the unofficial capital of all of Herzegovina.  

20150528_Ecuador_002620150528_Ecuador_0026 A photo taken from the ground on the other side of the bridge.  Mostar was named after the bridge keepers (mostari) who in th medieval times guarded the Stari Most (Old Bridge) over the Neretva.

20150528_Ecuador_002720150528_Ecuador_0027 A similar photo in black and white.

20150528_Ecuador_002820150528_Ecuador_0028 The same area but looking away from the Old Bridge.  

20150528_Ecuador_003020150528_Ecuador_0030 Walking back to the car I noticed this graffiti.  I sensed that there is still some unrest in the city not to mention that when we first got out of the car we were approached by a local guide who was not impressed that a Croatian guide was giving us a tour.  There was a series of riots and demonstrations in Bosnia as recently as 2014.  The demonstrations and riots were the most violent scenes the country had seen since the end of the Bosnian War in 1995.  People were fed up with the high unemployment.  I also seem to remember that Roman came close to not bringing us to Bosnia since there were rumors of a demonstration against the United States around the same time that we were in the area.

 

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During the Bosniak-Croat war, the city was divided into a western part, which was dominated by the Croat forces, and an eastern part, where the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina dominated.  Since the end of the wider war in 1995, great progress has been made in the reconstruction of the city of Mostar.  Some of the funding was provided by the World Bank.    Spain, The United States, Turkey, Italy, the Netherlands and Croatia  also donated funds for reconstruction.  The Old Bridge was also destroyed during the  Bosnian war and was rebuilt to its original design.  There are still many abandoned buildings which have not been restored.  

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mfouks@me.com (Marsha Fouks) http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/4/bosnia Thu, 28 Apr 2016 23:44:53 GMT
Durbrovnik, part 2 http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/4/durbrovnik-part-2 As always, it was more interesting to get away from the main areas and see the streets and housing where the people lived in the walled city. 20150524_Ecuador_003320150524_Ecuador_0033

One of the many apartments we came across.

20150524_Ecuador_003420150524_Ecuador_0034 One of the old streets.

20150524_Ecuador_003520150524_Ecuador_0035 Doors and alleyways that we came across on our walk. 20150524_Ecuador_003620150524_Ecuador_0036

 

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There were outdoor cafes everywhere.

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This puppy reminded me of the girls so I had to take its photo.

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Ladies enjoying ice-cream at the end of the day.

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A view of the main street looking at the Bell Tower of the Franciscan Monastery.

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Even in the side streets there were restaurants everywhere.

 

20150524_Ecuador_004920150524_Ecuador_0049 At the restaurant where we ate dinner, we could look directly into these windows.  20150524_Ecuador_005020150524_Ecuador_0050

 

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After dinner, we had a little daylight left so we went for another walk.

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Food in Dubrovnik is fairly reasonable and not nearly as expensive as Paris.  One dollar is worth about 5.5 Kn. 

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Now it was starting to get dark so we headed towards the gate to leave the walled city.  You can see birds everywhere in the sky.  Roman said that was because it was going to rain the next day(and he was correct).

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We saw a display of parrots on our way out.

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mfouks@me.com (Marsha Fouks) http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/4/durbrovnik-part-2 Fri, 22 Apr 2016 00:13:53 GMT
Walking the walls of Dubrovnik, part II http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/2/walking-the-walls-of-dubrovnik-part-ii 20150527_Ecuador_004820150527_Ecuador_0048 A view looking through one of the spaces in the wall.

20150527_Ecuador_004920150527_Ecuador_0049 A soccer  field /basketball court we saw as we were walking on the wall.  This is a great addition for people living in surrounding houses who want to play sports.  

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20150527_Ecuador_005320150527_Ecuador_0053 There were even gardens in the old city.

20150527_Ecuador_005520150527_Ecuador_0055 A view of Stradun Street from above.

20150527_Ecuador_005720150527_Ecuador_0057 Another view of St. Lawrence Fortress.

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At this point we were making our way to the end of the walk.

20150527_Ecuador_006420150527_Ecuador_0064 The rules of a travel photographer written on Roman's shirt  work for me.

 

20150527_Ecuador_006720150527_Ecuador_0067 I'm not sure I would want thousands of tourists walking by my house and laundry every day.

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20150527_Ecuador_007220150527_Ecuador_0072 The "pirate" ship again.

20150527_Ecuador_007320150527_Ecuador_0073 Details of three bells on a church roof.

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20150527_Ecuador_008020150527_Ecuador_0080 Back to Stradun (Placa) Street, the main open urban area of Dubrovnik and the most favoured promenade and gathering place.  Of course this is the busiest area as well in the old city.  This street is the widest and most beautiful street and divides the City into the northern and southern halves.  At the same time it is the shortest route  between the western and  the eastern City gates.  The Placa street was paved in 1468.  The limestone pavement remains polished from use.  As you can see it fairly shiny and bright.  

20150527_Ecuador_008120150527_Ecuador_0081 One of the characters on Placa Street.

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Finally it was time to head back to the hotel.  In the photo, on the left, Miles was posing for me.  Anna Lisa, behind is already on her way up.  

 

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mfouks@me.com (Marsha Fouks) http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/2/walking-the-walls-of-dubrovnik-part-ii Mon, 29 Feb 2016 00:41:44 GMT
Walking the wall in Dubrovnik http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/2/walking-the-wall-in-dubrovnik One of the highlights of visiting Dubrovnik was walking along the city's ancient walls.  Dubrovnik is one of the best-reserved medieval walled cities in the world.  The walk along the old walls was approximately one mile with lots of ups and downs.  The walls were built in the 14th century and served as a defensive structure to protect the city.  We admired breathtaking views of the port and Old Town as well as the beautiful blue colours of the Adriatic Sea.  The city walls have been restored several times in history to resemble their original appearance.  

20150527_Ecuador_000120150527_Ecuador_0001 This photograph was taken in the morning as we made our way towards the old town of Dubrovnik.  Roman found a parking lot that we used for going into the old town.  From there we walked down the hill to the entrance and then back up again each day.  The shot above was an early morning shot overlooking the walled city.  

20150527_Ecuador_000320150527_Ecuador_0003 The city-state of Dubrovnik (Ragusa) was founded prior to the 7th century as a Byzantium carts (plots of land or buildings constructed for use as a military defensive position) on a rocky island named Laus.  

20150527_Ecuador_000220150527_Ecuador_0002 With numerous additions and modifications through their history, they have been considered to be amongst the great fortification systems of the Middle Ages as they were never breached by a hostile army during that time period.  In 1979, the old city of Dubrovnik, which includes a substantial portion of the old walls of Dubrovnik, joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.  

20150527_Ecuador_000720150527_Ecuador_0007 Before going to the start of the walk of the walls, we headed down to the beach area to get a different view of Dubrovnik.  Even though this is a busy port area with lots of boating, the water was crystal clear.  

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20150527_Ecuador_001020150527_Ecuador_0010 It would have been great to have sailed around the old town if we had  time.

20150527_Ecuador_001120150527_Ecuador_0011 This looked like a fun way to see the sights.

20150527_Ecuador_001320150527_Ecuador_0013 Now were were on our way to find the start of the walk along the walls.

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Starting the climb up.

 

20150527_Ecuador_002020150527_Ecuador_0020 One of our first views overlooking the city from the wall.  

20150527_Ecuador_002120150527_Ecuador_0021 The views just got better and better.

20150527_Ecuador_002320150527_Ecuador_0023 The red roofs of the old town.

 

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Looking down at one of the streets.

20150527_Ecuador_002920150527_Ecuador_0029 I did get carried away with taking photos but the views were so beautiful.  You can see all of the people walking on the wall along the water.  It cost around $20 to do the walk which probably discouraged some tourists.  So although it was busy, it wasn't overly crowded.  Yes the water really did look this blue. 

 

20150527_Ecuador_003320150527_Ecuador_0033 St. Lawrence Fortress.  The walls of St. Lawrence Fortress exposed to enemy fire are almost 12 metres (39 ft) thick.

 

20150527_Ecuador_003420150527_Ecuador_0034 A close up view of one of the roofs and windows.

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20150527_Ecuador_004720150527_Ecuador_0047 A view of one of the local islands next to Dubrovnik.  Next up more views from the walls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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mfouks@me.com (Marsha Fouks) http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/2/walking-the-wall-in-dubrovnik Sat, 20 Feb 2016 16:09:51 GMT
The countryside near Dubrovnik http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/2/the-countryside-near-dubrovnik  

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After getting back  from Korcula Island, it was time for a late lunch but first Roman took us for a drive up in the hills so we could get a great view overlooking the Sea.  I'm not sure if Roman unintentionally  or intentionally missed the cutoff to where the restaurant was but I'm sure glad we got see the views.

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20150526_Ecuador_000420150526_Ecuador_0004 One last shot.  Alan was another member of our group.  

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20150526_Ecuador_001420150526_Ecuador_0014 We stopped at a restaurant for lunch where we could sit beside the water.  I'm not sure if this man was one of the owners but he was telling us that he was a musician so perhaps he just worked for the restaurant.  The food was delicious which I found to be the case just about everywhere we went.  That could be because Roman knew where to take us or perhaps all of the restaurants in Croatia are very good.

20150526_Ecuador_001520150526_Ecuador_0015 Roman's friend joined us for our lunch/early dinner and this was their little girl.

 

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After lunch I took a walk along the main street in the town.

20150526_Ecuador_001620150526_Ecuador_0016 On the way back to Dubrovnik we stopped off in the village of Ston.  Solana in Ston, is one of the three salt flats in Croatia.   It is the oldest in Europe and possibly the world.   Salt flats are flat expanses of ground covered with salt and other minerals.  Solana originates from the 14th century and is still functioning today.  It was created after the Dubrovnik  Republic in 1333 bought Ston and was enclosed by a defensive wall in 1360.  

 

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Walking in the streets of Ston.

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20150526_Ecuador_002120150526_Ecuador_0021 An old door in one of the streets.

20150526_Ecuador_002220150526_Ecuador_0022 A reflection outside of the town's entrance way.

20150526_Ecuador_002320150526_Ecuador_0023 Ston was a major fort of the Ragusan Republic whose defensive walls were regarded as a notable feat of medieval architecture.  The town's inner wall measures 890 metres in length, while the Great Wall outside the town has a circumference of 5 km.    This photo was taken outside of the city's walls.  We wanted to walk along the  inner wall but it was closed by the time we arrived.  The Walls of Ston are a series of defensive stone walls that surrounded and protected the city of Ston.  The walls were known as the "European wall of China".  Demolition work began on the walls following the fall of the Republic.   Later the Austrian authorities took materials away from the wall to build schools and communities buildings.  The demolition was halted after WW I.  The wall was completed in the 15th century, along with its 40 towers (20 of which survived) and five fortresses.  

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20150526_Ecuador_002820150526_Ecuador_0028 Some farmers working in the fields.

20150526_Ecuador_002920150526_Ecuador_0029 A couple more reflections.

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20150526_Ecuador_003220150526_Ecuador_0032 On the way back from Ston, we stopped at another small town to photograph this church.  

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20150526_Ecuador_003620150526_Ecuador_0036 We stopped to photograph the Franjo Tudman Bridge in Dubrovnik.  The bridge is 518-metres (1,699 feet) long.  The original bridge design was developed in 1989, however construction was stopped at the beginning of the Croatian War of Independence.  The bridge was named after Franjo Tudman, a Croatian politician and historian.  Following the country's independence from Yugoslavia, he became the first President of Croatia.  

20150526_Ecuador_003720150526_Ecuador_0037 Initially, Hrvatske Ceste who financed the construction of the bridge named the bridge Dubrovnik Bridge.  In 2004, the name of the bridge was officially changed to Franjo Tudman Bridge.

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20150526_Ecuador_003920150526_Ecuador_0039 The last shot of the evening.

 

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mfouks@me.com (Marsha Fouks) Croatia Dubrovnik Franjo Tudman Bridge Salt flats Solana Ston http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/2/the-countryside-near-dubrovnik Mon, 08 Feb 2016 01:09:13 GMT
Korcula Island http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/1/korcula-island Today we took a ferry to Korcula Island.  With an area of 279 square kilometres, it is the sixth largest Adriatic island.  The main settlements on the island are the towns of Korcula, Vela Luka and Blato.  

Approaching the town by ferry.  Korcula Town is the main town on the island, with a population of about 3,000.  

20150526_Ecuador_000620150526_Ecuador_0006 The economy besides tourism, is based on agriculture of grape vines, olives and fruit.  There is also fishing and fish processing.  Shipbuilding still exists although its importance to the total economy has diminished.  

A dog waiting patiently for its family to come out of the museum.

20150526_Ecuador_002520150526_Ecuador_0025 The Kanalevic Tower is also named Bokar or Barbarigo as it was built between 1485 and 1488 under the rule of Augustino Barbarigo, who was the Doge of Venice.  The tower is now called Kula Kanalevic, named after the 16th century poet, Korcula who lived in the house next to the tower.  

20150526_Ecuador_001120150526_Ecuador_0011 An old Catholic Church.

 

Looking up at some old buildings.

I always like photographing old, interesting doors.

 

20150526_Ecuador_001620150526_Ecuador_0016 Canons protecting the city.

20150526_Ecuador_001720150526_Ecuador_0017 The old city is surrounded by walls and the streets are arranged in a herringbone pattern, allowing the free circulation of air but protecting against strong winds.  Building outside the walls was forbidden until the 18th century.

 

Another old door in the town.

20150526_Ecuador_002220150526_Ecuador_0022 Many of the narrow streets had steps.   20150526_Ecuador_002320150526_Ecuador_0023

 

 

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20150526_Ecuador_002820150526_Ecuador_0028 The kids came to claim their scooters and were happy to pose for me.

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20150526_Ecuador_003220150526_Ecuador_0032 Miles, down by the water.  Once again, I noticed how clean the water was.

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Marco Polo (1254 - 1324) was a medieval Venetian merchant but better known for being one of the first Europeans to travel the famous Silk Road trade route, stretching from the Middle East to China.  It is said that Marco Polo was born in Korcula but there is little evidence to support this.  This hasn't stopped the town from using his name.   However, it is certain that he was taken prisoner by the Genoese in the naval battle of Korcula between the Venetian and Genoese states.   

 

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20150526_Ecuador_004020150526_Ecuador_0040 By mid afternoon it was time to head back to the mainland so we walked around the waterfront  while waiting for the ferry.

20150526_Ecuador_004120150526_Ecuador_0041 The Princess Diana motor yacht is 131 feet long, was built in 2011 and had 16 guest cabins.  The boat takes guests island hoping.  It would have been a great way to see the Islands of Croatia.

Some of the local apartments next to the harbour.

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20150526_Ecuador_004620150526_Ecuador_0046 Once we were back on the ferry we had some wonderful scenery heading back to the mainland.  

 

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20150526_Ecuador_005220150526_Ecuador_0052 Back to the mainland again.

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mfouks@me.com (Marsha Fouks) Croatia Korcula Island Marco Polo http://marshafouks.com/blog/2016/1/korcula-island Sat, 30 Jan 2016 15:58:54 GMT