Weekly Photo Challenge: Bay Of Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor Bay, Montenegro

This week’s challenge is all about one love, so I thought I’d skip ahead of my writing and share a photo that best portrays my love of travel. This is the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro. It’s easily one of the most serene and peaceful places I’ve ever visited; its raw beauty hasn’t been spoiled by tourism yet. In geographical terms, this was the furthest I’ve ever been from home (even more so than Hong Kong), and I loved every moment of it. Exploring the world, learning new things and cultures, seeing faraway shores, finding places that are more beautiful than you thought possible… all with the wind and sun at your back. A larger version is viewable here.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Pompeii Forum

Pompeii Forum

This week’s photo challenge is all about time, and there’s nothing that captures it quite like the city of Pompeii. It was famously destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius (seen looming in the background) in 79 AD. It was completely wiped off the map, and it wasn’t until 1599 that traces of it were unearthed. It wasn’t properly rediscovered until 1748, and it’s been a major archaeological site ever since. Its preserved remnants – victims and their culture, forever frozen in time – are both beautiful and tragic. A larger version is viewable here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Arriving At Villefranche

Arriving At Villefranche

This week’s challenge calls for something vibrant, and I immediately flashed back to the waterfront in Villefranche-sur-Mer. It may not have been the most epic part of the trip, but it was the most colorful. A larger version is viewable here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sun On Salerno, Italy

Sun On Salerno, Italy

This week’s challenge is all about optimism, so I thought I’d skip slightly ahead of my travel log and give you a preview of what’s coming next. This is the city of Salerno, which is part of Italy’s world-famous Amalfi Coast. On the morning I took this, the sky was dull and overcast; I was worried our tour to Pompeii might be canceled due to bad weather, and started planning accordingly. After a little while, however, the sun broke through the clouds and illuminated the city like a spotlight. It grew brighter as the clouds drifted slowly – but inevitably – down the coast. Not all problems can fade away like that, but a little patience goes a long way. A larger version is viewable here.

A Taxi Ride To Vatican City

When I was in Europe, I did a self-guided walking tour of Rome. While I made it from St. Peter’s Basilica to the Colosseum, I realized that I wouldn’t have enough time to walk back to the shuttle meetup point in time. So I took a taxi from Piazza Venezia back to Vatican City. Thanks for the fast ride, Alessandro!

Piazza dei Miracoli, Pisa

Piazza dei Miracoli, Pisa

Piazza dei Miracoli, the location of the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. We weren’t allowed inside the Duomo because there was a funeral service being held at the time. Still gorgeous, though! A larger version is viewable here. And if you recall a couple of months back, something about this should seem familiar…

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.