When doing research for a trip to Northern Portugal, I looked at a few travel guides for an overview of what the weather was like in December and January. Sure it was Winter, in the North at that time, but Portugal is still a little further South than the Countries that experience seriously cold winters. I glanced over the rainfall stats, not expecting all 14 days of expected rain over the period to happen consecutively over the 10 days I was there :-):-), resulting in a rather rainy Season ūüôā . But, I tried to look on the bright side and took some pictures of the reflections after the rain¬† ūüôā ūüôā .

Season is the prompt on the Weekly Photo Challenge this week, and images of my Rainy Season trip are my response to the prompt…

…………the journey continues…….


Travel theme : Rhythym

This weeks travel theme on “wheres my backpack” is about the rhythym of¬†travel, and the rhythym of the places that one travels to. My last post following the travel theme prompt “street markets” was about umbrella sellers in Napoli. Ironically, my post for this week is a continuation of where the last one finished.

It had been raining most of the morning, and following my “umbrella” incident, I sought shelter in a coffee shop in the vicinity of where I was walking. Not far from there was the station of the funicular which ferried you to the top of the hillside that the Castle ovelooking the City was located on.¬†It seemed like a good idea to get onto the next funicular and head to the top, at least the wait at the station and the short ride up the hill would be¬†completely sheltered from what seemed like unrelenting rain.

A short while later, I emerged from the upper station, pleased to see that the rain had let up a little. So a gentle stroll to the Castle in what was now a light drizzle felt a lot more pleasant than trying to negotiate the downpour below :-). It was still very overcast and grey, with very muted light. The castle has an imposing view over the City, with Mount Versuvius towering over it in the distance. The City looked quite dull and almsot uninteresting in these severely overcast conditions. So, amidst all that grey sky the various rhythyms of the City seemed to be subdued.

And then without any notice or warning, there was an opening in the cloud cover and the sun shone through like a spotlight and just lit up this rather grey scene,  no, no, there wasnt a huge brass band or an orchestra churning out a melodius rhythym at the same time,:-) but all these subdued rhythyms just started emerging from the city below.

………….Rhythyms of blocks, and streets, and cars, and buildings,¬†and colours, and domes, and windows, and doors, and satellite dishes,¬†and all sorts of things¬†that just seemed to emerge when you just looked around long enough.

So the idea of entering the station and taking to the Funicular was a really fortuitous one, for a while it also felt like some sort of just reward for enduring the downpour a short while before

Fortunately, I had my camera with and these are some of the images that represent my interprepation of “rhythym ” ……the journey continues……………


Weekly Photo Challenge : Regret

I guess everybody must be quite relieved with the on time release of this weeks challenge topic :-). Perhaps the WP guys regret releasing last weeks topic late, hence the topic for this weeks challenge “regret”.

I posted recently about a trip to Southern Italy at the end of last year. Well, my interpretation of this weeks topic is about an incident while visiting the city of Naples. Winter in Southern Europe can be a real mixed bag of weather conditions, so anything is possible. The weather forecast had predicted a little bit of rain on this day, and there was a spit and a spot that morning, but all in all it seemed like the worst was over. So while venturing about through the old city in Naples, I noticed quite a few vendors selling umbrellas in the streets. Most people just walked by without really stopping to buy anything. I was approached by one of them, offering me an umbrella, but somehow he just didnt want to tell me the price, other than how wonderful the umbrella was, and that fact that I should really get one!! I figured he was just looking for a quick buck from an unsuspecting tourist :-). So, I fobbed him off and walked off.

As it turned out, not even 15 minutes later, the heavens opened up and there i was in the middle of a rainstorm!! Yes, you guessed it, without an umbrella :-). The irony of the situation is that minutes before you could have had your pick of umbrella sellers, but at that moment when an umbrella seller would have been a godsend, nothing!! They all seemed to just disappear the minute the rain started coming down.

The locals just took it in their stride, and whipped out their umbrellas, opened them up adding a kaleidoscope of colour and wonderful reflections to the otherwise dark, dull and not to mention wet scene. Everyone just seemed to be pretty prepared, and get on with what they were doing.

I of course “regret”ted not listening a little more to the umbrella guy, and sticking around long enough to get¬†one.¬†So, if the umbrella guy is reading this ” You were right, Dude :-)”. I tried to keep my spirits up and¬†decided to take a few shots of the ensuing scenes, (while trying to keep myself and my camera dry:-), perhaps as a subtle reminder that maybe umbrella sellers¬†know a little bit more about¬†rain than a roving tourist ūüôā

Todays¬†images are some of those¬†during my moments of “REGRET” ……………..the journey continues……………………..

and so it rained………….

Yesterdays blog, and another a short while ago, were about the fact that we were supposed to be in winter and how the weather we were experiencing feels completely uncharcteristic for this time. I even noted that some people actually consider this to be the norm, and that it is what happens every year. Somehow I dont seem to remember so few cold and rainy days. Be that as it may, it seems my blog of yesterday, just did the trick. This morning turned out to be pretty overcast with the sun punching through the clouds at every opportunity. Later in the morning, the skies opened up a little giving the sun an opportunity to show itself. But, that was shortlived and it became overcast all over gain, this time the friendly white clouds became a lot greyer and before long the rain arrived. Such a welcome sound when you havent heard it too often. Dont get me wrong, Winters here can be quite unrelenting, cold wet days with icy wind for days on end. Cold fronts arriving one after another like rush hour at Heathrow :-).

As luck would have it the heavens decided to open up as I was driving home. It was shortly before sunset¬†and with the low visibility most cars were driving with their lights one. These were reflected¬†onto the wet road surface. Yes, I had my camera, sadly no tripod, but I was not going to let the opportunity go by, so¬†I pulled over to the side of the road and took some shots.¬†It was raining quite a bit so I didnt venture out of the car, and just shot¬†through the windscreen, probably the cause of the bluish tint. Yes, they’re grainy, and not¬†great images, but they confirmed the fact that shooting in the rain around twilight can create some great shooting opportunities, and another learning opportunity too. There is just about enough light, the car lights are all on, and the wet road creates interestng reflections.

Todays¬†images are some of the¬†shots I took…………..the journey continues…………

double take………………….

Winter is the rainy season for the Western Cape, somehow this year it feels like somebody forgot to tell the rain that it needs to spend some time here. Winters can also get quite intense here, though this hasn’t¬†been the case this year. Sure we do have nice weather during winter, but its more of casual relief from the wintry weather, these really nice days are sometimes referred to as “secret season”. This year it seems the tables have been turned, and we have “secret season” for most of the winter with a few days of “winter weather” thrown in. Of course, I’m probably exaggerating a little, but it certainly feels that way. This changed weather pattern has had quite drastic impact on our rainfall, and come summer, we are probably going to have to deal with water restrictions.

This situation obviously ¬†makes you more aware whenever there is rainfall, ok, maybe it has made me more aware of when it rains, and of course now that I’m always travelling with my camera, I’m looking for shooting opportunities. So a few weeks ago, I was travelling back into the City, fortunately as a passenger, when the heavens opened up, and there was a mighty downpour. The roads were wet, and the afternoon light created some nice reflections, so I took some shots through the windscreen. As I looked around, for other shots, I noticed a rainbow out of my side window, at first¬†I thought I was seeing double, because there were two rainbows!! They say that lightning doesnt strike twice in the same place, not sure if that applies to rainbows though :-). I don’t¬†recall ever having seen two rainbows so perfectly parallel¬†to one another. So, I braved the rain, tried to protect the camera from getting wet, as¬†I opened the window to try to¬†shoot it.¬†There was’nt too much opportunity to worry about composition and correct exposure, I just wanted to take the shots before they disappeared.

As it turned out, they were still there when I got to an elevated position in the City, to try to¬†get a better perspective. Both were still visible though one a lot less distinct than¬†earlier. As I was moving around looking at different angles to try to¬†take the shots, this guy with an “Everysun” umbrella arrived completely on cue, ¬†adding some foreground interest and scale to the shot. Just as well I had the camera with…………………………………… The Journey continues……………………………………………..

Todays images are of the rain, the rainbow, and the umbrella dude ūüôā here’s hoping for some more rain soon……..