Weekly Photo Challenge – Prolific


Prolific.

One of MB’s favourite cities is Istanbul. With a population of over 15M people, the locals need to be prolific food producers. And they certainly are. The street markets and city food shops are jaw-droppingly spectacular and are not just for shopping. They are for ambling around, gazing, sampling, and enjoying. And for taking zillions of photos of course!

MB could show you zillions of Istanbul food photos, but a gives you just one, of a simple basket of cheeses:

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Story


Story.

If ever a picture could tell a story, then a picture of Reardon’s pub back at the HX crossroads could tell a plethora of them. And that’s an understatement.  Read More

Weekly Photo Challenge – A face in the crowd


A face in the crowd.

The Appearance of Christ Before the People or The Apparition of the Messiah is a famous painting by Russian artist Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov. (1806 – 1858). The painting hangs in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, and MB had to good fortune to visit the gallery and view the painting during his May 2017 trip to Russia’s capital city (where he grabbed a few shots!).

There are many faces in the crowd by the banks of the River Jordan in the famous painting, which depicts many stories from the Bible; John the Baptist, Apostles John, Peter and Andrew, and others. The artist has also included a self-portrait in red headgear sitting not far from John the Baptist who has his hand and staff raised in the direction of Christ. For further info on the painting, take a read of the Wikipedia link.

Herewith: two shots of the painting from MBs trip, both giving a sense of scale and size of the painting which took the artist 20 years to paint.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Ascend


Ascend.
MB has chosen a shot from his May 2017 visit to Moscow for this weeks challenge. The domed spires of the churches seem to ascend to the heavens at Cathedral Square, which lies within the Kremlin complex in Moscow’s historic city centre.

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Foto Friday – Arab


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Sunday Shot – An Irish Evening Sky


Soon be seeing some of these….

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Foto Friday – The Shisha Hut


MB has posted some pics from his August 2014 trip to Sudan in recent posts. For this week’s Foto Friday he gives you one of his favorite pics from that trip.

YSL and friends had just taken MB on a tour of a very poor shanty town (maybe not the correct term but MB can not think of better as he types) on the outskirts of Khartoum called Soba. It was then time to smoke some shisha in a nearby shisha hut. MB is not a smoker. Never was. Never will be. But on this occasion, he puffed some shisha with YSL and friends just to be sociable, and thankful for the effort they had all made.

The shisha hut was just that. A hut with a frail timber frame and some bamboo leaves (or similar on the outside. And some light paper fabric on the inside. The AC was great!

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Experimental


Experimental.

In August 2014, MB found himself in Khartoum, Sudan, for a wedding. Read More

Foto Friday – The Best Days of our Lives


All kids love a tyre! Khartoum, August 2014.

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Foto Friday – The Birds


Sticking with the Alfred Hitchcock theme……………..

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Foto Friday – Homeland


One from the homeland. Lough Gur. June 2012.IMG_3852

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Rounded


Rounded.

Residents of the USA will be familiar with the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas. In Dubai, the fountains of the Dubai Mall, next to the Burj Khalifa (world’s tallest building), are similar, but bigger. The choreographed movements of the water to some great musical pieces are accompanied by flashing lights along the entire length of the Burj K. The fountains, music and light show is a spectacular sight as you dine in one of the many open-air cafes facing the fountain area, or just observe from the piazza.

This shot was taken by MB sometime in 2012 in early-evening. One must, however, see them in the darkness of night to fully appreciate the spectacle.

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Foto Friday


MB recently recommended Ireland to an Arab acquaintance who wants to go on a horse riding holiday.

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Al Hallab Bakery


Abdul Rakhman Al Hallab bakery and coffee shop is a famous Lebanese institution much beloved by the natives. It is producing delicious cakes since 1881. The original ‘mother’ shop is located in Tripoli in northern Lebanon not far from the Syrian border and MB had the good fortune to visit there at end December 2016, when he was in Lebanon for the wedding of a work colleague. MB is now back amongst the Lebanese for another wedding, again that of a work colleague, this time in the ancient habitation of Byblos in the modern day town of Jbail. More on that wedding anon.

Google the city of Byblos, if you will. It’s one of the oldest habitations in the world with human occupation going back some 8,000 years as far as MB is aware. The Roman’s and many other civilisations were here, and the 1,100 year old Crusader castle still stands tall on the Byblos waterfront, one of Lebanon’s major tourist attractions. One can see some of the demolished Roman circular columns used on the lower parts of the castle walls. MB presumes this was a war psychology idea on the part of the Crusaders. Look at us, we are bigger and bolder and better than the Romans. You can see their demolished history at the base of our castle walls – sort of thing. 

The words Bible, and biblioteque (French for ‘library’) amongst others, derive from the Byblos name, as far as MB is aware because the Phonecians, who gave the world the first written alphabet, were also dwellers of the city of  Byblos. 

Archaeologists have managed in the past to decipher the Phonecian script, and when one visits the Crusader castle it is possible to get one of the guides to explain how to write one’s name in the ancient text.

Anyway, MB has digressed. MB was walking along a Byblos street yesterday evening when he had the good luck to stumble across an Al Hallab ‘daughter’ shop. He duly went in and had himself a tasty cake and an espresso.

A picture paints a thousands words, as the old ‘picture paints a thousand words’ saying goes. Herewith, some mouthwatering shots that MB shot off on his phone. Enjoy!

Weekly Photo Challenge – Structure


Structure.

Jen has thrown down the gauntlet to all this week with the word ‘structure’, showing us some impressive leaves. Well, MB is well up for the challenge and steps up to the plate with a mighty structure indeed. The greatest man-made structure on the planet – The Great Wall of China (horns blaring in the background). Read More