Thursday Doors, 14/12/17. Door hearts…

One from the road. Sending some seasonal greetings to all….

At Mahout, Al Wusta governorate, Oman.

Linking with Thursday Doors

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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…

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…

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…

Thursday Doors, 10/8/17. To Apostolos Andreas Monastery, Cyprus…

 

Cyprus has been a divided island since 15 July 1974 when a coup d’état was staged by Greek Cypriot nationalists and elements of the Greek military junta in an attempt at enosis, the incorporation of Cyprus into Greece.

This action precipitated the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, which led to the capture of the present-day territory of Northern Cyprus the following month after a ceasefire collapsed, and the displacement of over 150,000 Greek Cypriots and 50,000 Turkish Cypriots.

A separate Turkish Cypriot state in the north was established by unilateral declaration in 1983; the move was widely condemned by the international community, with Turkey alone recognizing the new state. These events and the resulting political situation are matters of a continuing dispute.

The Green line divides the North from the South, supervised by UNFICYP. Turkish Cypriots are in the North, Greek Cypriots are in the south and whilst the Turkish regime opened up several crossing points in April 2003 to allow movement across the Green line for both sides, the situation today remains unresolved, despite many years of negotiations to open up the island to joint rule.

Apostolos Andreas monastery is situated just below the tip of the Karpass peninsula in Northern Cyprus. The monastery is dedicated to Saint Andrew and is an important site for the Cypriot Orthodox Church. It was once known as “the Lourdes of Cyprus”, served not by an organized community of monks but by a changing group of volunteer priests and laymen. Both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities consider the monastery a holy place. As such it is visited by many people for votive prayers.

Now the Green line crossing points are open to all, the roads are vastly improved and the journey much easier. On my last visit 6 years ago, I found it sad to see the monastery in such a dilapidated state but there has been renovation funding from Church of Cyprus, EVKAF Administration and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the buildings are now under a restoration program which appears to be partially completed.

Linking with Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton. Pop on over and check some more doors today…

Thursday Doors, 20/7/17, Stonetown, Zanzibar, a little taster…

Eid 2017 holiday break, a time to visit Zanzibar and Tanzania.

Adjusting the holiday plan on the fly, the delights of the north of the island of Zanzibar had been covered in two days and a third night was overdoing it, so we added in a night in Stonetown, the old capital, and hub of the island.

I would have left Zanzibar with huge regrets if we hadn’t made the change.We are really not sun bed loungers at our age, I want to see it all whilst I can and recover once back home!

There is so much history in Stonetown which connects with the Middle East, in one way that is, thankfully, now not part of modern life. Zanzibar was famous worldwide for it’s spices and it’s slaves.

During the 19th century, Zanzibar was known all over the world as “A fabled land of spices, a vile center of slavery, a place of origins of expeditions into the vast, mysterious continent, the island was all these things during its heyday in the last half of the 19th century.”

A chequered past, Portuguese rulers from 1503 for two centuries, then in 1698 Zanzibar became part of the overseas holdings of Oman, falling under the control of the Sultan of Oman.

A lucrative trade in slaves and ivory thrived, along with an expanding plantation economy centering on cloves. With an excellent harbor and no shortage of fresh water, Stone Town (capital of Zanzibar) became one of the largest and wealthiest cities in East Africa. Of all the forms of economic activity on Zanzibar, slavery was the most profitable and the vast majority of the blacks living on the island were either slaves taken from East Africa or the descendants of slaves from East Africa.

The slaves were brought to Zanzibar in dhows, where many as possible were packed in with no regard for comfort or safety. Every year, about 40 to 50, 000 slaves were taken to Zanzibar. About a third went to work on clove and coconut plantations of Zanzibar and Pemba while the rest were exported to Persia, Arabia, the Ottoman Empire and Egypt.  Tippu Tip was the most notorious slaver, under several sultans, and also a trader, plantation owner and governor. Zanzibar’s spices attracted ships from as far away as the United States, which established a consulate in 1837.

The United Kingdom’s early interest in Zanzibar was motivated by both commerce and the determination to end the slave trade. In 1822, the British signed the first of a series of treaties with Sultan Said to curb this trade, but not until 1876 was the sale of slaves finally prohibited. Under strong British pressure, the slave trade was officially abolished in 1876, but slavery itself remained legal in Zanzibar until 1897.

The British Empire gradually took over; the relationship was formalized by the 1890 Heligoland-Zanzibar Treaty, leading to independence in 1963, but a revolution in 1964 created the People’s Republic of Zanzibar and Pemba. Several thousand ethnic Arab (5,000-12,000 Zanzibaris of Arabic descent) and Indian civilians were murdered and thousands more detained or expelled, either their property confiscated or destroyed.

On 26 April 1964, the mainland colony of Tanganyika united with Zanzibar to form the United Republic of Tanzania. Zanzibar remains a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania.

This is my kind of place, history around every corner, lives being lived in amongst the faded glory and, what was so nice, to stumble across and be a part of such fun Eid celebrations. So many happy people, out and about, dressed up in such vibrant outfits and enjoying the holiday. We were welcomed everywhere, but more on that another day, another post.

The doors of Stonetown are famed and fabled. It was yet another door heaven, every step revealed one that couldn’t be passed by. Delving into the the door history of Stonetown, it appeared the greater the wealth, the greater the doors to show it off. But there is so much detail, too much to add here without the reader’s eyes glazing over. This link from the Stonetown Heritage society is well worth a read if you would like to know more about this fascinating city of doors.

Enjoy these glorious doors from Stonetown’s past….please hover over the photos for captions.

 

This is only the first night’s door collation. There are more to come.

Apparently, there are 800 worthy Stonetown doors. I think I found a few that won’t be included in any official concatenation, but the rest of my shots are saved for those days when my Thursday has few doors…

Grateful thanks to Wiki and a variety of links for the condensed (really, it is whittled down) history of Zanzibar I have inserted. If you a serious door lover, it’s well worth googling “Doors of Stonetown” as there are numerous links and images.

Adding my offering into Norm Frampton’s excellent Thursday Door challenge… pop on over, hit the blue button and see doors from a multitude of places, plus some interesting backgrounds…

Thursday Doors, 15/6/16, Tomar, Portugal….

My visit to Portugal in April 2017 encompassed some time in Central Portugal and a few days in Lisbon. My dear friends, who live in the center of this beautiful country took me to visit some of the most wonderful places in this region of Portugal, one of which was the town of Tomar in the district of Santarem.

The doors of Tomar town, of which there are many worthy of inclusion in a door post, were a delight to find as we walked through the narrow, Calcada or mosaic, paved streets, traditional all over Portugal. Tomar was established in the 12th century within the walls of the Castle and Convent of Christ, which sits high above the town. The centre of town is the Praça da República (Republic Square) and Paços do Concelho (17th century Town Hall).

Entering town, this striking church needed to be caught for posterity…

And then, doors to catch on every side of the narrow cobbled streets…

and then into the main square, cobbled, lined with old buildings and the 15th/16th century Church of São João Baptista in the middle. The bronze statue represents Gualdim Pais, founder of the town.

 

This flower-bedecked headress is worn during The Festa dos Tabuleiros (Festival of the Trays). This festa is one of the most important religious festivals in Portugal. Held every 4 years during June or July in the town of Tomar, the tabuleiros, which the girls carry in the procession are decorated with symbols of the Holy Spirit: on top of the tray there is a pigeon and the crown, and from the top to the bottom, 30 loaves of bread, colourful paper flowers and ears of corn

 

and after the admiration of the square and church, a little stroll down the main street, some traditional tiled buildings to add into the visual feast…

 We needed a little refreshment in the square before heading up to Tomar Castle and Convent of the Order of Christ (saved for a future post). I needed to buy my dear friends a big drink after their graciousness in indulging my door mania and where better to sit than this cafe in the main square, surrounded by beautiful doors, windows and pigeons! 

 

And to end today’s post, how could I resist this opportunistic finale as we headed back to the car…

Linking with Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton. Pop over, hit the blue button and check out some of the other doors on display today…

 

 

Thursday Doors, 1/6/17, door paintings…

At the moment, I’m back in Cyprus, with the intention of clearing “stuff” from my house.

You know, that stuff that accumulates through your life, sentimental, inherited, from hobbies and just, well, stuff.

I decided to tackle my art folder. Art has followed me around all my life. Somewhere in Uk, there is even my Art college work, but that’s in my sister’s loft, so can wait, it’s not in Cyprus, so it isn’t current stuff.

Whilst trawling through old art pads I came across these door paintings I did in 1997 and 1998, 3 doors from Malta and one from Nicosia. I’ll save the Cretan door poster I bought in 1982 ( honestly) for another week!

Even then, all those years ago I was a door girl 🙂  Continue reading

Thursday doors, Pombal, Portugal, 25/5/17…

Whilst I was on my travels in Europe in April, I also headed off to Portugal to connect with some dear friends from the Middle East who have chosen to settle in Central Portugal. (Cue to use a poppy photo from Central Portugal as my featured image, trying to sneak them in!) Continue reading

Thursday Doors, Amsterdam, Part 1, 18/5/17…

When you read “Part 1”, you just kind of know it’s going to portend multiple posts. Yes, frankly, it will. Amsterdam is just utter door heaven.

Instead of substance ecstasy, I was maybe unique in having door ecstasy during my weekend in town.  Continue reading

Thursday Doors, Streetside in Hue, Vietnam, 11/5/17.

It’s been a while since I’ve put words into WordPress. Travel and a tragedy removed my focus from the weekly challenges and my fingers haven’t felt like hitting the keyboard.

But it’s time to get back into the swing of things and whilst trying to be more organised with my photo library, I have unearthed some more doors from my trip to Hue in Vietnam last November. Continue reading

Thursday Doors, a little Konia door, Cyprus, 23/3/17…

Its a short little door post this week. My (not-so) trusty computer is still in rehab.

In my Cyprus village I pass a lovely little door most days, one of the old iron-work doors that were so popular on the island, probably during the 1950’s to 60’s.

I’m so noticing doors now, since I joined this weekly event. Previously I flashed past it on my way to somewhere, but this morning I stopped, shot and admired.

I received some sideways glances, but smiles all around when I indicated that I was admiring. It’s nicely kept too…

Linking with Thursday Doors, a weekly event hosted by Norm Frampton. Pop on over, hit the blue button and check out some more of today’s doors…

Thursday Doors, strolling around Bath, 16/3/17…

During my January sojourn to Uk, visiting the darling daughter (DD) in Bristol, a trip to Bath was inevitable, it’s a place we always enjoy, part of Britain’s heritage and not too far down the road to visit.

It’s a beautiful city with such elegant houses, carefully restored and maintained and every street has a unique feel. The houses, built in Bath stone, are carefully preserved and the doors and windows fit so perfectly with the Georgian architecture. Continue reading

Thursday Doors, Qurun, Oman, 9/3/17…

The small village of Qurun on Oman’s east coast, lies just below Al Ashkharah, which is a town in the Ash Sharqiyah region.

Qurun is a sleepy little settlement on the edge of a salt flat area, and the bay beyond is where the local fishermen bring in their catch. If we head up this coastal road on visits to Oman, we always have a quick stop at Qurun. The beach often turns up some shell surprises and it’s a lovely place to take a break and stretch your legs walking down its long shoreline.  Continue reading

Thursday Doors, at the Shaniwar Wada, 2/3/17…

Shaniwarwada (Śanivāravāḍā) is a historical fortification in the city of Pune in Maharashtra, India. Built in 1732, it was the seat of the Peshwas of the Maratha Empire until 1818, when the Peshwas lost control to the British East India Company after the Third Anglo-Maratha War. Following the rise of the Maratha Empire, the palace became the center of Indian politics in the 18th century.

The fort itself was largely destroyed in 1828 by an unexplained fire, but the surviving structures are now maintained as a tourist site.

As part of my walking tours in Pune, we visited this huge site within the city. Magnificent spiked doors command the entrance, the spikes were to repel elephants.As the sight is a big attraction in the city, it’s impossible to get a shot without people in it, however, the people give a great size comparison to these magnificent doors. Continue reading

Thursday Doors: Pune, India, streetside, 23/2/17…

Walking around the city streets of Pune, so many interesting doors to frame in my shots.

Streetside catches with some cheerful people happy to smile for my camera.

Much disrepair surrounding the streets, the buildings a throwback from the much earlier days of the city construction, but colorful, chaotic and teeming with life. Continue reading

Thursday Doors: Raj Bhavan, Pune, 16/2/17

Last weekend I ended up in Pune, India.

My very first trip to India, sadly only for three days and I now wonder why I hadn’t taken the India plunge far earlier. It’s easier now, with the advent of the Indian e-visa, but travel in India certainly needs some patience. Continue reading

Thursday Doors, 2/2/17…

On my January UK trip, I made time to visit Oxford and its dreaming spires, for a flying visit.

What an incredible place. I visited many years ago but didn’t respect the architecture then. I was far too young and foolish to appreciate this beautiful town. Continue reading

Thursday Doors:12/1/17

Oman stories…

Bahla, (Arabic: بهلا‎‎), is a UNESCO World Heritage Site town, located 40 km away from Nizwa, and about 200 km from Oman’s capital Muscat which lies in the Ad Dakhiliyah region of Oman. It is notable as the home of one of the oldest fortress in the country, the 13th century Bahla Fort and for the town’s pottery.

On our November/ December trip to Oman, during the long 10 journey from Duqm to Dubai, I marked Bahla as a stopping point for a break from the endless roads. Continue reading

Thursday Doors: 22/12/16

Travelling in Oman in September this year, on the road from Mahout to Sur, you pass along a sleepy coastline.

Fishing and camel and goat farms seem to be the livelihood in this region. Hemmed in by the vast Wahiba sands to the West and the Indian Ocean to the East, travels along this coastal road are rather like being in the land time nearly forgot.  Continue reading

Thursday Doors: 24/11/16

Huế’,Vietnam, November 2016.

Huế’s Imperial city is surrounded by a moat and thick walls. Building started in 1804 in the reign of Emperor Gia Long. Until the demise of the Emperors in the mid-1900’s, more moats and building were added. During the Vietnam war, due to Huế’s religious and cultural status, US troops were ordered not to bomb or shell the city, for fear of destroying the historic structures.  Continue reading