Weekly Photo Challenge: Montenegro Mirror

Montenegro Mirror

This week’s challenge is all about landscapes, which are some of my favorite things to photograph during my travels. This was especially true for the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro, which is a serious contender for the most peaceful, serene place I’ve ever visited. Geographically speaking, this was the furthest I’d ever been from home. It’s still unspoiled by heavy tourism, but that’s not going to last once word gets out of how beautiful it is. Just look at that water! A larger version is viewable here.

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.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mediterranean Afterglow

Mediterranean Afterglow

This week’s challenge is all about harmony, and I instantly thought of my last day at sea. The cloudy skies, the colors, the chill of the open Mediterranean…it all came together for an unusual – but utterly gorgeous – moment in my adventure. 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.

Bernini Fountain At St. Peter’s Square

Bernini Fountain At St Peter's Square

One of the two fountains at St. Peter’s Square, which is part of Vatican City. Also one of the highlights of my trip! Amazing how much history is contained in one small space. A larger version is viewable 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.