Skywatch Friday…

Sunset across the low dunes of As Sunainah in the Ad Dhahirah Region, Oman. Shot from the road heading back to the UAE border crossing and then to Dubai, 8/12/17…

Linking with Skywatch Friday

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Thursday Doors, 7/12/17. One shot from the road…

I’ve been on the road again, not much time to blog, too much coastline to cover and random wifi opportunities.

I’m sea-shell collecting around the Oman coastline, observing and enjoying the opportunities my camera finds.

This is one of them.

Just one door, all that is needed today, I’m off out for my birthday meal !

Linking with Thursday Doors…

Thursday doors, 23/11/17. Al Lou’aluo’ayyah…

Al Lou’aluo’ayyah is a small town and beach on the East coast of the UAE. It’s on our stop-off list on an East coast day out, as the tidal zone on the beach frequently throws up interesting and unusual shells.

The beach is long and rather beautiful…

Jelly-fish, my first Mitra mitra shell ( I was so pleased) and brittle starfish…

In the small streets behind the beach we had a little poke around and I discovered a whole load of new and slightly different doors. All from older built properties, I hesitiate to guess the era, my gut feel is early 90’s. Metal-work with embellishment, all in need of a good maintenance work-over, but I really like them. Especially the falcon designs, one of the six national symbols of the UAE.

This one is my favorite…

Linking with Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton. Pop on over, hit the blue frog link and check out some more doors today…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Experimental…

Once I have a camera in my hand, I move into an experimental mode. Finally I’m experimenting with my Fujifilm XT20.

Moving from Nikon manual to Fuji manual mode has been a step in understanding a different camera ( No M choice on the dial). I’m still grinding my way through it and “Oh, ok, I get it”  bulbs have satisfactorily been flashing in my head, but I keep heading out to experiment in different scenarios, as you do, when you have a love of the lens.

At the sunset end of a sandstorm the other night, sunset wasn’t anything special. Time to experiment with natural props. Fennel plants dry out in Cyprus during the winter, virtually whole. Roadsides are full of it. It wasn’t to difficult to find an attractive one to shoot the fading sun through.

Then I saw the challenge and thought ok, lets go and be experimental with processing. I often visit some of the online photo editing sites for a bit of fun, this time I went to iPiccy and after embossing, x-raying , choosing a bit of starry bokeh and several other masks produced this little experiment. Whether you like it or not, it’s amazing what you can produce by virtue of a few clicks and dragging sliders.

It whiled away my morning tea moment and I realised I have used the word or variation of Experiment 6 times in 237 words…over-use probably, but all a bit of fun!

Experimental

 

 

 

Thursday Doors, 16/11/17. A door memory….

In 1990 I purchased my first house in Cyprus in a village outside of Paphos. It was an old village house, virtually a ruin. But my dream was to renovate a village house and this was it.

In 1993 we finally moved in. I had, by virtue of lack of funds, chosen the cheapest builder and the promised 8 month renovation time dragged out for 2 years. Close to completion we realised he was spending all our payments for work completed on brandy and after a few incidents we had to find another builder to complete.

The entry to the house was via the street, and through a courtyard. My desire for the street entrance was to find some old Cypriot doors and after searching for a long time, I finally came across a pair strapped to a tree at the back of the local junk dealers courtyard. Price negiotated, we delivered them to the carpenter who renovated them beautifully. Varnished and with brass handles gifted by my father, they were my pride and joy.

But, as the children grew and the village was just a tad too far from our business, we decided to sell. My one lasting regret is that I left the doors.

This morning, having an appointment close by, I decided to go and see whether they still existed.

Yes, they are there, now a funky blue, but still gorgeous. Regrets? Yes…

The street view, just an interesting blue door glimpse on the right…

Aren’t they gorgeous…

And they were mine once! Ah, well, they look cared for and I like the blue…

Linking with Thursday Doors hosted by Norm Frampton. Pop on over and see some of the other doors featured this week…

Thursday Doors, 8/11/17, Small town Oman, doors and herons…

I think that most of you who read my blog, probably know now that I travel a lot in Oman and I also love what I find there. It’s a vast country and on every trip, although, often travelling over previous ground, I find something new.

We cover unthinkable distances on the round trip from Dubai to Salalah to Dubai. If you return up the coast road, a round journey of around 3,000 kms, you don’t get much time to spend poking around as there is always a ticking clock to get back to Dubai for commitments.

But, on occasions, I put my brakes on and insist on time out. Otherwise, we are just burning the same tarmac every time and not seeing “IT” …”IT” being life in the places we flash through. Seeing life, you also see doors!

In October 2017, we had a little overnight break at Al Saqla resort ( this time I’ve inserted a map so you know where I am on this post, blue line A to B, the post features that route)

We were heading to Muscat from Shannah port (A), a 6 hour trip along the coast, which is only serviced by one road through the coastal Ash Sharqiyah governorate. Heading north from Point A ( Shannah), the impenetrable dunes of the Al Wahiba sands are on the left, the Indian ocean to the right, it’s a 4 hour trip to Sur up the coast road, where the motorway to Muscat starts and the driving is easier.

The coast road takes you through towns that are far removed from the larger cities of Oman because of the vast distances. Agricultural ( basic) and fishing life ( main economy) are the lifeblood in this region. It’s run down, poor and traditional, but the life you flash past on the road through is totally fascinating to my eye.

This time I wanted to re-visit some very old doors on the coast road. I took a lovely door shot last year, so we tried to find the doors again. They are gone now, razed to the ground, but back-tracking through the town streets trying to place them, I came across a plethora of Omani doors.

I hope you enjoy my discoveries as much as I did.

The sunset from Al Saqla…

No connection with doors, but the camel upholstery on the room sofa is too interesting to leave out…

The morning view….Yeah, a good day ahead…

Heading into town it was obvious we were in the uptown area for small-town Oman…

But then we found the Gold one, possibly the Arab equivalent of the Jones’s…

Winding through the small streets of town trying to find my old doors, this is what I found, car shots of doors, narrow streets, just all fascinating to my eye…

This one is my favourite…

Heading out of town via the harbour, herons, a couple of feet away from my window, not bothered by my presence, dhows in the harbour, locals taking time out and of course, the mosque…

Time to move on, out of town, heading up the coast again, past the house surrounded by it’s own little forest, you can’t see any doors here!

 

Linking with Thursday Doors, a weekly event hosted by Norm Frampton. Pop on over, click the blue frog link and check out some world-wide doors this week…

Weekly Photo Challenge, Peek…

On our travels, when I’m the passenger in the car, my camera is always ready on my lap, my head swivelling, checking out the surroundings, just in case there is a shot to be had.

On this occasion in October 2017, we were driving fairly slowly down the corniche at Khor Fakkan, UAE in the late afternoon. The corniche traffic is usually slow-moving at this time as families are heading to the cool, tree lined park bordering on the beach, often to picnic in the shade after another long, hot day of the middle eastern heat.

I saw a flash of colour in the sky through the foliage, peeked out of my window and just caught the para-gliders through the gap in the trees as we drove past.

Peek

 

Thursday Doors, 2/11/17. Finding village doors, Akamas, Cyprus.

Last time I posted in Thursday Doors, I hadn’t found any worthy doors in the abandoned village of Theletra, so we carried on to search in more of the villages leading towards the Akamas peninsula, the promentory leading to the northwest cape of Cyprus. There are no paved roads to the cape due to the mountainous nature of the terrain, but some dirt tracks are accesible if you enjoy some offroad adventure and some fabulous views.

This time, with sunset on it’s way, was not the day for being adventurous, so we headed to the end of the paved road via a few of the little villages that dot the landscape and I found a few, traditional doors, worthy of inclusion for this week’s post.

Not quite a village door, but not to be missed…

Post office boxes have doors too..(Pano Akourdaleia)

There is always a church in the village, this time with some unusual doors…(Pano Akourdaleia)

 

Old and very typical doors into a house yard…(Kritou Tera)

I love the handles of this one…(Kritou Tera)

Bright blue on the corner…(Kritou Tera)

And blue on the roadside…(Kato Arodes)

With brown character…(Kato Arodes)

Time for a coffee in a village square( Ineia), the priest, pithary ( traditional pots) and threshing board…

One last wrought iron door in the sunlight…(Ineia)

And a glorious sunset to finish the day…

 

Linking with Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton.Pop on over, click the blue frog link and check out some more doors this Thursday…

Thursday Doors, 19/10/17. Searching hard for doors, Theletra, Cyprus….

I’m now back home in Cyprus for a few weeks and after an intense few days of cleaning and gardening and needing an escape, I linked up with a good friend who enjoys poking around the old villages in our district with a camera and I was very happy to find that she also loves doors!

We headed off to explore the village of Theletra in the Paphos district of Cyprus. The old village of Theletra is nestled half-way up the mountain and the new village is now built above. The old village was abandoned because of an earthquake that made the village susceptible to landslides. The exact date is not verified.

But, I found it difficult to find doors in Theletra, there are frames, with views, but every abandoned house is open to the elements, but I did find one…

Please hover over for the photos for the story captions…

I found the only doors at the village church. The outer doors were modern, unattractive and not worthy of inclusion sadly, but inside, finally a worthy door centrally placed in the Iconostasis ( In Eastern Christianity an iconostasis (plural: iconostases) is a wall of icons and religious paintings, separating the nave from the sanctuary in a church.)

Linking with Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton. Pop on over to his link, click on the blue frog link at the end of his post and check out some gorgeous doors this week…

 

Thursday Doors, 12/10/17. Trying for the perfect door shot, Mirbat, Oman….

In 2016, I visited and photographed doors in the old town of Mirbat, Dhofar, Oman.  An ancient fishing port, the old town is crumbling away. I featured doors from Mirbat last year here. Please feel free to visit, it’s a special place…

I’ve recently returned from another trip around the Omani coastline and once we were back in Mirbat, I made a point to re-visit the old town. Progress in some of the remoter areas doesn’t include renovation of heritage and as I’ve been doing this round route for the past 4 years, I’m recording changes for myself, maybe as a history…

I’m on the road again today so this is a brief post regarding one particular, rather gorgeous, door (in my opinion).

In the 2016 Mirbat visit, we drove around the corner to see the most spectacular door, blocked by a white mini-van and a white truck. In vain I tried to capture it, contorting myself around a lot of wheels, but had to settle for half a door.

2017 saw us winding our way around the narrow streets trying to landmark the door. After a few tense exchanges ( I feel I have better geo-location capabilities than the other half when it comes to doors!) we saw it…

As we drove around the corner the WHITE MINI-VAN was still there, one year later. Was I a bit stompy? Yes! A 1800km drive with this door in mind, fab shot…hmmm… 

So, I’m out of the car trying to exclude it. Ok, this is nice, works for me, a bit of blue sky, the door, and traditional windows…

Let’s make it better, angling and a zoom, it makes a face, on nicely weathered walls…

But… the close-up is special. In my inner heart, I want to rip this door out, strap it to the top of the car, drive it home and renovate it…It’s the “covet” door. 

But, I am a guest in this lovely country and my desire is impractical, so my photos of this door will form a special door place in my heart, but, you know if the owner popped out and said “Yup, I’ll sell”, it would be on my roof rack in a blink! Look at it, the detail, the little inner door… Oh, yes, it’s my door!

For more on Mirbat, clink on this link for some unique Omani windows…

Joining into Norm Framptom’s Thursday Door challenge, come on over, click the blue frog link at the end of Norm’s wonderful door post and check out on what we all found this week…

Weekly Photo Challenge, Pedestrian, Kite Beach, Dubai…

My online dictionary (easier to copy & paste) tells me that, as a noun, Pedestrian is defined as a person walking rather than traveling in a vehicle. 

I was the noun, talking a walk down the back of Kite beach, Dubai, before the weather made it impossible.

Then I came across an event, which was the complete opposite of Pedestrian as defined when the word is an adjective lacking inspiration or excitement; dull.

Pedestrians having fun at a Kite festival, Kite beach, Dubai.

Anything but Pedestrian!

Weekly Photo Challenge, Windows…

Your inspiration this week is windows…..or of a landscape or piece of art that’s like a window to another world for you.

Windows of Mirbat.

A town in Southern Oman that is slowly crumbling away.

Wandering around the streets, there is a shot at every step, but it’s the windows that my lens points towards.

These little wooden, arched and shuttered Omani windows; I wonder at the lives led behind them in the days when old Mirbat was thriving.

Windows on another world…

 

Windows