Category Archives: Photo Essays

Last Week In Instagram Pictures

I was pretty much absent on the blogging front last week. Roll-call would have come up with silence. I was taking photos though so that I’d be able to report back to you that last week consisted of a wonderful trip to Cape Town. For work, off course. Any trip to Cape Town, even a work one is pleasant because, well, Cape Town. I have proof of this assertion…in the photos below. Take a look…

As the plane came in to land this is what greeted me. As you can see it was breathtaking so much so that I quickly switched on my phone to capture it before landing. How gorgeous is that?

#capetownwelcome #capetownsunsets🌅 as the plane was coming in to land. A minute later it dipped below the horizon.

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Then this was the view that greeted me when I woke up the next morning.

Imperfect pic of a perfect setting #viewfrommywindow

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And this one too.

A ship in harbour is safe but that is not what ships are built for. John A. Shedd #kalkbayharbour #quoteandsayings

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And on my return to the Airbnb from a yummy food outing this is what I found.

And a couple more pics before driving to the airport to catch the plane back home to Jhb.

It was a beautiful and cold day in #capetown today

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And this one too.

This cape is the most stately thing and the fairest cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth. – From the journal of Sir Francis Drake, on seeing the Cape for the first time, 1580. 

 

Mercado Da Ribeira aka Timeout Market Lisbon

If you’re a foodie, you simply have to visit the Mercado da Ribeira. It’s across from the Cais do Sodré train station, so an easy walk from anywhere in downtown Lisbon. It reminds me of the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv but about 5 times larger.

I met my friend, Cristina, and we took a slow walk down the Rua do Alecrim to Cais do Sodré. I knew about this market but had never thought to visit. I was surprised at how the space had been so smartly converted into what it is now – the Time Out Market – combining the best of fresh produce, flowers, artisanal goods, an organic market, fresh fish, meat, a concert space, a start-up hub upstairs, and off course, all the eating places. You simply have to go and experience it for yourself.

©2017 Regina Martins

According to the Project For Public Spaces (PPS) “great public spaces are those places where celebrations are held, social and economic exchanges occur, friends run into each other, and cultures mix.” They go on to say that “when theses spaces work well, they serve as the stage for our public lives.” The Mercado da Ribeira and Time Out Market certainly lives up to this premise.

©2017 Regina Martins

Like most public spaces in Lisbon, history and culture is inextricably intertwined with food, wine and convivio (Portuguese for being together socially) – the things that characterise Portuguese culture.

©2017 Regina Martins

This market can trace its roots back to the 13th century and was once one of the most famous fish markets in Europe. In 2010 the Lisbon City Council began the process of rehabilitation and renewal into what it is today (you can read more about it here).

©2017 Regina Martins

The photo above and the one below show some of the original tiled murals which have been preserved over the centuries. They are intricate and beautiful. These murals have been recreated in some other places in the mercado as wallpaper or painted on.

©2017 Regina Martins

You can eat food created by high profile chefs who have established concept stalls of their restaurants in the food court.

©2017 Regina Martins

There are “24 restaurants, 8 bars, a dozen shops and a high-end music venue, all with the very best in Lisbon (the best steak, the best hamburger, the best sushi and the best live performances, amongst others)” – info taken from the Mercado’s official website.

©2017 Regina Martins

This is one of the many living heritages of the city of Lisbon.

©2017 Regina Martins
©2017 Regina Martins

The space includes a concert venue and a cooking academy.

©2017 Regina Martins

The Mercado also houses Second Home Lisboa, a workspace for start-ups, entrepreneurs and social impact organisations. For more info see here. I didn’t go up to take a look, something to do next time I am there.

©2017 Regina Martins

Cristina and I could not leave the Mercado without sampling pasteis de nata from Manteigaria, with coffee, off course. Doesn’t it look good? It tasted delicious!

©2017 Regina Martins

This was a wonderful find and I wish I had more time to explore it. I love the concept. When you are in Lisbon, you simply have to visit it. To whet your appetite even further, take a look at the concept video.

Heritage.

 

Photo Essay: Munich in Action

I haven’t posted all my pics from Munich. I hope you enjoy the gallery of this bustling city. Some of the photos were taken from atopHop On Hop Off bus hence the elevated angle and reflection from the window glass 🙂

It’s a large gallery. Click on any photo to scroll through the large version of the photos.

Atop.

 

WordPress Weekly Photo: Lisboa Wishing…

This week’s weekly photo theme is wish, and it’s apt for me at this time of the year, as I yearn to be back in Lisbon, wandering through it’s historical streets.

 

Photo Essay: Four Hours In Barcelona

I’ve written previously that I can’t really say that I’ve been to Barcelona. In that post I mentioned that I did manage a four hour walking tour of the city.

It was pleasant and unexpected and we were not prepared for it. So we made the best of it.

Even though it was only four hours I did take loads of photos. Like I am wont to do. Because that’s just what I do. Take loads of photos.

Firstly though I want to introduce the intrepid walkers, my companions on this excursion. I enjoyed the company of my colleagues Ebru and Amy. Here is a photo of our feet. And our faces 🙂

But I am getting ahead of myself. Having spent the whole week 30kms away in a small hill town, we arrived in Barcelona in STYLE! On a yatch. After winning a regatta. See medals below to prove it.

I was surprised to find, among all the trendy hotels ringing Port Olympia, the stainless steel sculpture of El Peix, dominating its entry and exit. It changes shape depending on which angle you see it. We didn’t spend any time looking at it because we had other priorities.

El Peix ©2016 Regina Martins
El Peix, ceated by Canadian architect Frank Gehry for the Olympics in 1992
©2016 Regina Martins

First stop had to be the Sagrada Familia, so we found a taxi who took us right there. I’ve posted a whole lot of pics of the outside of this beautiful structure in another post. We so wanted to have a tour of the inside of it. I went online to find some tickets but none were available for that day. That experience is in itself a subject for a different post.

Sagrada Familia ©2016 Regina Martins
Sagrada Familia
©2016 Regina Martins

With a tour of the Sagrada Familia off the table, we debated whether to take one of the open topped busses. This was scrapped when we saw the queues for tickets. Time was ticking and by this time we had three hours left before having to make our way back to the Port.

Plaza Catalunya became our next target. We stopped a few locals for directions and started walking.

To take a bus or not to take a bus? Across the road from the Sagrada Familia ©2016 Regina Martins
To take a bus or not to take a bus? Across the road from the Sagrada Familia
©2016 Regina Martins

Without a travel guide street signs became something we looked for but they have a tendency of not being consistent. We followed this sign, came to the Arc de Triomf and got half-way to the Parc Cuitadella when we got the feeling that we were not going in the right direction. And not a street sign to be found at this point. So we backtracked to this sign and found another local to ask directions of.

Walking around Barcelona without a city guide, relying on street signs ©2016 Regina Martins
Walking around Barcelona without a city guide, relying on street signs
©2016 Regina Martins

But not before coming across this beautiful church.

A church, beautiful architecture ©2016 Regina Martins
A church, beautiful architecture
©2016 Regina Martins

And coming across this inviting facade to restaurant Sant Joan. It was closed, alas.

Lovely art work facade restaurant San Joan ©2016 Regina Martins
Lovely art work facade restaurant Sant Joan
©2016 Regina Martins
Close up of the art work inviting people into the restaurant. It was closed when we walked past though... ©2016 Regina Martins
Close up of the art work inviting people into the restaurant. It was closed when we walked past though…
©2016 Regina Martins

It was at this time that a taste for coffee and patatas bravas called and we stopped at a sidewalk tapas bar for some sustenance. It’s hard work walking, looking for elusive tourist landmarks. And food and coffee is a priority in my book.

No walking tour is complete without a cup of some local coffee ©2016 Regina Martins
No walking tour is complete without a cup of some local coffee
©2016 Regina Martins

I love the symmetry and balance of this monument. I wonder why the water wasn’t running.

Monument to Bartolomeu Robert, Catalan doctor and politician ©2016 Regina Martins
Monument to Bartolomeu Robert, Catalan doctor and politician
©2016 Regina Martins

Look carefully…can you see the bicycle precariously balanced on the balcony in the photo below?

A building... ©2016 Regina Martins
A building…with a bycicle precariously balanced on one of the top balconies
©2016 Regina Martins

Walking to the Arc de Triomf...

Walking... ©2016 Regina Martins
Walking…
©2016 Regina Martins

…with coconut ice-cream in hand after the coffee because walking is hard work.

Refreshing coconut icecream... ©2016 Regina Martins
Refreshing coconut ice-cream…
©2016 Regina Martins

The Arc de Triomf. The Barcelona one. I don’t know the people in the photo but it adds to the fun of it don’t you think?

It was built as the main access gate for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair by architect Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas. The arch presides over Passeig de Lluís Companys, a wide promenade leading to the Ciutadella Park. It is located at the top of the promenade, where it meets Passeig de Sant Joan. Hence the restaurant named Sant Joan along the same boulevard (wikipedia).
Arco de Triunfo ©2016 Regina Martins
Arco de Triunfo
©2016 Regina Martins

Such a gorgeous walk.

Parque Lluís Companys ©2016 Regina Martins
Parque Lluís Companys
©2016 Regina Martins

Soap bubble blower at Parque Lluís Companys entertaining the kids and other passerbys.

Parque Lluís Companys ©2016 Regina Martins
Parque Lluís Companys
©2016 Regina Martins

Beautiful mosaic’d dome of a church, don’t know which, but it makes a nice photo doesn’t it?

Beautiful mosaic'd dome of a church, don't know which, but it makes a nice photo doesn't it? ©2016 Regina Martins
Beautiful mosaic’d dome of a church, don’t know which, but it makes a nice photo doesn’t it?
©2016 Regina Martins

And finally, after a few twists, turns and a shopping spree for swimsuits at Women’s Secret, we arrived at the Plaza Catalunya, the city centre. Some of the city’s main streets meet here.

Fountain at the Plaza Catalunya ©2016 Regina Martins
Fountain at the Plaza Catalunya
©2016 Regina Martins
Beautiful flowers at the Plaza Catalunya ©2016 Regina Martins
Beautiful flowers at the Plaza Catalunya
©2016 Regina Martins
Plaza Catalunya ©2016 Regina Martins
Plaza Catalunya
©2016 Regina Martins
Plaza Catalunya ©2016 Regina Martins
Plaza Catalunya
©2016 Regina Martins
Plaza Catalunya panorama ©2016 Regina Martins
Plaza Catalunya panorama
©2016 Regina Martins
Plaza Catalunya, such a shiny floor ©2016 Regina Martins
Plaza Catalunya, such a shiny floor
©2016 Regina Martins

And after a wonderful day and all that went with it, the day capped off with a beach braai on the shores of the Mediterranean.

Sunset over the Mediterranean ©2016 Regina Martins
Sunset over the Mediterranean
©2016 Regina Martins

This was a rather long post. I hope you’ve enjoyed the photos and thanks for reading.

Regina