View From Castle Hill, Nice

View From Castle Hill, Nice

After spending all day walking around Nice, I realized that it was time to start heading back to the bus and Villefranche. On my way out along the coastline, I came across the Ascenseur du Chateau, AKA Castle Hill. I looked at those stairs with a little trepidation; could I climb this gorgeous landmark and still have enough time to make it back to the meetup? Turns out I did, and the effort definitely paid off…A larger version is available here.

View From Saint Elme Passage, Villefranche-sur-Mer

View From Saint Elme Passage, Villefranche

Now that I’ve written a few days’ worth of entries about my latest trip, I think it’s time that actually showed some of it. The first major stop on cruise was Villefranche-sur-Mer, which is part of the French Riviera. After taking a smaller boat to reach land, it’s possible to climb the nearby hill and ride a local bus over to Nice. Along the way up, I came across this view seen from the Saint Elme Passage. A larger version is viewable here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: St. Peter’s Square Panorama

St Peter's Square Panorama

This week’s challenge is all about gatherings, so I thought I’d jump slightly ahead of my travel writing and give you guys the first glimpse my time in Europe. St. Peter’s Square sees thousands of visitors every day. It’s designed for people to gather and feel embraced; the columns look like open arms, beckoning you to come closer. You don’t have to be religious to appreciate the intricate architecture and sense of scale. This place is much, much bigger than it looks; it took about a dozen tries to get this panorama to work. Just imagine how many people have been here…

Larger version is viewable here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sutro Baths, San Francisco

Sutro Baths

Originally built in 1896, the Sutro Baths were a large swimming pool complex. It was open until 1966, when it was shut down due to limited finances, and a fire destroyed much of the structure while it was being demolished. The ruins are now part of the surrounding National Park. It’s a neat landmark near the western terminus of San Francisco, just downslope from the historic Cliff House. Larger version is viewable here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sutro Beach Panorama

Sutro Beach Panorama

It was a nice day and I had some free time, so I decided to explore a place I’d never seen before. I took the bus to the literal end of the road – Geary Boulevard, specifically – and ended up at Sutro Baths/Point Lobos. This is at the distant northwestern tip of San Francisco, and more remote than most touristy places. Aside from the long ride, it takes a little climbing to get down to this beach. Definitely worth the effort, though! Larger version is viewable here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Pier 7 Reflections

Pier 7 Reflections

Here’s one of the last photos I took during the Global Photo Walk in San Francisco. This section of the waterfront is the other half of the view from Pier 7, long after sunset and most of the other photographers had left. Larger version is viewable here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Waterfront Reflections

Waterfront Reflections

Here’s one of the last shots I took during the 2015 500px/Fujifilm Global Photo Walk in San Francisco. Part of the city’s waterfront has a nice, quiet section decorated with benches and hanging flowers, but few tourists notice it. This was taken on Pier 7, and you can see the top of the illuminated Ferry Building on the left. Larger version is viewable here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Pier 7, After Sunset

Pier 7 After Sunset

In San Francisco, the 2015 Fujifilm Global Photo Walk ended at the iconic Pier 7. However, the group that I was with decided to take things slow; we enjoyed the sights and even had dinner at the Ferry Building. While we didn’t stay with the main crowd, we enjoyed something most of them did not stay for: the view of the gorgeous post-sunset sky from the pier. For reference, you can see the Transamerica Pyramid on the left, and Coit Tower on the right. My group was the first to arrive at the photo walk, and the very last to leave! Thanks for the great time, folks! Larger version is viewable here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Under The Wharf

Under The Wharf

I got to Capitola bright and early, and spent a few minutes walking under the wharf. I like how the morning sun cast shadows across the sand; while the structure itself doesn’t move, the patterns it makes change as the day goes on. Larger version is viewable here.

At Capitola Wharf

At Capitola Wharf

I spent last Saturday volunteering at a coastal cleanup in Capitola, California. It was my first time back there in over 20 years. That beach is always gorgeous, but looked especially awesome in the early, quiet morning. Larger version is viewable here.