Commute in Toulouse

I have a number of photos of this view as it used to be a part of my daily commute. I remember thinking that particular evening that the sky seemed on fire, and luckily I had a camera in my backpack. I took several shots, one without the tree branch on top. I decided to post the one with the branch. It does create a visual distraction but I sort of like it this way, reminds me of the other side of the river.

Commute in Toulouse

Curves to Tofino

My last trip to Tofino was like a trip down memory lane. This is my most favourite section of the road, with a bunch of deep curves which are an absolute joy on a motorcycle. This time, even in a truck they gave me a funny feeling in my stomach. I stop at this particular spot nearly every time I pass by. Once, I even managed to camp not far from the spot I snapped this photo. Not a bad view to wake up to. There are always lots of cool places to hang if you get off the road and walk a bit. As usual click on the photo to enlarge.

CurvestoTofino

Umm….your fly is open

This is in Kashgar,  one of my most favourite places I’ve been to. It’s a place of incredible contrasts, it’s technically part of China but culturally and geographically it is closer to Baghdad than it is to Beijing. It is where new China is slowly creeping in to the very old Uyghur parts. It’s been a while since my visit and I wonder how many of the old mud houses have been replaced by the architecture. It was a completely foreign place to me but yet very familiar in a very odd sense.

I like the photo of this man with his dirty clothes and a helmet put comfortably aside as a passenger. I chuckled a bit too when I noticed his fly was open. At first I wasn’t sure if the man was wearing a smile or a frown. Probably neither and just squinting from the wind.

I’ve uploaded a small album of several other photos from Kashgar. Click here!

Umm....your fly is open

Saturday ride

Thinking about what to do over the weekend I got in touch with an old friend of mine. He tells me he has a 32 year old collector’s bike in his garage. It’s a funny old bike but with a barely touched 500cc engine. He obviously knew what my response would be. It’s been raining nearly everyday since I’ve been back. Luckily for us it was a clear November day so we took the bikes up north into the mountains, to the roads I can ride with my eyes closed. But why would I close them with breathtaking views like these. I forgot how beautiful these mountains are and riding these curves again is truly surreal. I took the photo on the way back almost in Vancouver with a few wider spots with viewpoints to stop and stretch. Perfect time too with the sunset.

Saturdayride

This could be anywhere in the world

Unlike the title of that rock song this view couldn’t be anywhere else but Vancouver. After several years in Europe and some other places I’m back to British Columbia, the place I know better than any other in the world. I’ve left and come back here many times over the years, this being my longest time away, and it does feel a little weird coming home. Though maybe it’s just the jet lag 😉 There is however always a little nervousness about it, sort of like seeing an old friend. How long will I stay for? I’m not yet sure. For now it’s family, friends and familiar peaks while I decide on my next step. This scene gives me a nostalgic feeling, so I thought it appropriate to post an HDR retroish version of the photo too 🙂

On a side note I’ve been having some technical difficulties with the website. Over the next few weeks I’ll be moving my host and will possibly try some new things. So if the website is down or looks like a 3 year old built it, don’t panic. It’s just me trying to fix things up.

This could be anywhere in the world

This could be anywhere in the world2

Sunset en route to Pamplona

I took this on my way to Pamplona from San Sebastian. It’s been a tiring day and a part of me just wanted to get to bed in Pamplona. Mountain views, even off the highway, were excellent so when the sun started to set down we had to pull over for a break.

Sunset en route to Pamplona

Bright sun over the dunes

This is once again the Gobi desert. This time across the border on the Chinese side. I’ve mentioned in one of my earlier posts how much of a difference that border makes. Sand dunes on the Mongolian side are a challenge to get to and when you do you’re completely alone for what seems like miles and miles. These particular dunes in Dunhuang are a tourist attraction. There’s a bus that takes you to the spot and once you’re there, believe it or not, you pay an entrance fee. I found it completely ridiculous but have folded given the time constraint. Later on my trip I’ve met a number of people who just walked far enough from the “tourist area” and went around the wall/fence to get to the dunes.

Once inside the gates there’s a little oasis with a wealth of activities for tourists to pay for: camels, ATVs etc. You can even rent “sand proof” boots. I felt like the entrance fee had already left a big enough mark on my pocket so I opted for my legs to carry me around. I wanted to get away from the gates as far as possible and see where it’d take me. The dunes were high and even if I thought I knew what was behind each dune I had an idiotic curiosity and urge to see which dune’s higher and what’s behind. En route to the dunes I’ve met 2 Chinese students, and a 70+ year old Dutch traveler on a mission to cover the silk route. The old man was quite a character. He carried his LIDL supermarket plastic bags all over Asia, which he justified as a safety precaution. He thought nobody would rob an old man with a plastic bag. The 2 students gave up quite early but the old man kept following me around the dunes dragging hit plastic bag. He looked exhausted, very out of place but kept going. I tried to convince him to stop but it’s like he was trying to prove something to himself. At some point I thought I should stop before the man collapses, but luckily he went back by himself.

As usual. Click the pic to enlarge, share and like 🙂

Bright sun over the dunes1

Same dune with the guys on top. Bright sun over the dunes2

First Day in Beijing

I had a friend visiting over the weekend. In a matter of days she’ll be moving to China which got us talking about my time there. It brought up a lot of memories and details which seemed lost somewhere in the back of my brain. Naturally, I grabbed my old hard drive to explore the hundreds of pictures left untouched since the trip. I barely made it through a dozen when I stopped on this one. This is from my first day in Beijing. There’s nothing like the first impression a place can make on you. These don’t always hold but they always seem to make their mark. After having spent weeks in the gobi desert that whole day in Beijing felt like an overdose of colours under a dirty and polluted sky. A little bit like this photo.

Firstdayinbeijing

Marseille from afar

I’ve been meaning to post this photo for a while. This is a view of Marseille from the south of the city. This particular spot is where I took the photo of calanque de Sormiou. You can also see the Notre Dame de la Garde (on the hill), where I took the panoramic photo of Marseille.

If you like the photo please like and share 🙂

Marseillefromafar