Tuesday, 31 March 2015

March 30

Today has been gloriously cold and bloody freezing.  It got down to -4 and then you need to add the wind chill factor.  Brrrrr!  We went back down to an area that we were at yesterday on top of the sea cliffs.  We didn't really go to this particular area though due to the snow storms as it is windy enough without them and you do want to be able to see what is happening below.

As we pulled into the car park, Stuart (one of the guides and drivers) remembered the carpark bigger than what it actually was (it was covered in snow) and took us into a hole, you guessed it, on my side of the car.  Kerin finds the hole again.  I think I am bad luck for Stuart as it was his bed that got drenched when I had my shower yesterday and I think he was laying on it.

As I headed up to the cliffs edge the snow was very deep and I was watching my footing.  Paul (the other pro photo guide) told me I will be fine regarding  holes as the ground was padded underneath.  Two minutes later I found a hole and he was almost speechless and is starting to agree with me that I will locate the holes.

The cliffs were amazing as was the black sand and the sea stacks dotting the coastline.  There were so many birds as well on the cliff face starting to nest.

This photo was taken on the cliffs looking back.  The small structure at the bottom is a troll.

This photo is also in the same place.  It was made famous in the story 'Journey to the Center of the Earth'.  Don't ask me to spell the name.  

Back at the carpark the van was still stuck.  Paul had to use a tow rope and pull it out.  Here is the hole let behind

From here we drove on and found a lovely little church.  It was on private property so Paul asked at the house if we could go photograph it.  Only a kid was home and he said yes.  After we photographed it and were coming back to the cars, the parents turned up.  They weren't happy we were there.  "Too many tourists,"they said.  Oh well we had what we wanted anyway and it's not as if we didn't ask.

From there we went to a small town for lunch and then on wards to find some Icelandic Ponies.  They were too far away so Paul tried to coax one up to us.  One started to come but then decided not to.  It seems like Paul doesn't have any animal magnetism.

We went to a famous waterfall after that.  It is small in comparison to Gullfoss but by no means less beautiful.  I am really starting to get sick of walking in snow that comes up to my knees, even if someone has made a trail before.  Oh and yes I found a hole.  I didn't go down the other side as the snow was deep.  Paul stayed with me most of the way considering my knack of finding holes.  It was a beautiful area and as we headed back to the cars I asked Paul if we could take a shorter route rather than the round about long way we had come and also how the hell do you walk in snow.  I could have hugged him later as I have been trying to walk in snow like you walk in sand.  Now way, it is the opposite way around.  Dig your heal in not your toes.  I made it all the way back to the van in record time, no holes, no slipping and on a fresh trail.  It was wonderful.\\

We made dinner reservations and then headed out to where the bridge we had been two days before where the whales are often seen.  We saw nothing and the wind was so chilly by them it was getting into my bones.  By the time we got to the restaurant where we were having dinner I was totally frozen.  I had finally thawed out an hour later when we were leaving.

We headed back to our hotel on a road that had been closed for 3 days.  We could see why as the snow drifts on either side of the road ranged from 30 cm up to 3m deep.  It was amazing.

Back at the hotel I was given my room key and another.  They didn't want to risk the shower leaking again so I had to go two doors down to an empty room.

Now it is time for bed as we have an early start and I need to pack,  We head to our next hotel tomorrow.

Monday, 30 March 2015

March 28 - Wind, Snow and Flood

This morning was white out conditions almost so we stayed in for the first half of the morning for some computer tutoring.  We are using Lightroom 5 which is really good.  It will be even better once I really know what I am doing.  I have not learnt how to import the photos form light room yet so the ones you will see will be from my phone.

About mid morning we set off for a beach area that also had an interesting church.  Most of us went down to the beach first.  No sooner had I made my way down there and a snow front came in.  It stayed for quite a while.  The wind was strong but we all continued to shoot photos.  If you think of 1 being nice and sunny and 10 being the worst part of the snowfall we had, then the following photo is a 5.

As I headed back up the hill to the church I found myself hip deep again in snow.  If there is a hole, I will find it.

As I got to the top of the hill the sun started to come out and the snow stopped.  Looking out to sea you could see two storm fronts, one going and one coming.  As you can see it made the perfect backdrop for the Church.

About 5 minutes after I took this photo the wind was once again up and the snow was once again falling but thankfully we were all in the cars and on our way for lunch.  Seriously though, walking in snow is not like walking on sand.  On sand your foot might get covered but in snow (and they don't say IN snow for the fun of it), I was dragging my legs through at knee to mid thigh height.  Certainly getting a work out.

Lunch was at a quirky little place.  It is hard to describe.  If you saw it in Perth there is no way you would go in and eat there as it looked run down and like it should be closed.  Inside was just as quirky, but the soup this woman made was absolutely delicious.  I had two servings of lamb soup.  She made it just like my mum does.  Super yummy.

After lunch we went to a lighthouse and another beach.  The waves here were coming in very strong and crashing up against the black pebbly beach.  I am getting wary of where I walk now as I tend to find all the lose rocks and snow covered holes.  It was snowing here again and I was starting to freeze a bit as my gloves were wet.  Once again, walking back to the car, I found a hole that no one else did.

We were going to go to another beach but the conditions on the road were almost white out with the snow falling, so we headed back to the hotel. There was a short break that lent itself to some amazing lighting so we pulled off to the side of the road to get some shots.  Thankfully it was not me who found a hidden hole and who ended up waist deep in it.  All the men did make sure they got photos before helping her out of it though.

Back at the hotel I had a long hot shower.  I had to step up into a small bath to have the shower.  When it came time to get out I looked at the bathroom floor and saw that there was at least a cm of water on the tiles.  The stupid thing is that the drain pipe was up hill to the water so I had to use a towel about 10 times to soak it up and wring it back into the bath.  Just as I had finished there was a knock on the door.  Apparently it was leaking into the room below.  I found out later that the room was where our 2 guides were staying and it was pouring into the bedroom area and onto the beds.  One of the guides happened to be lying on the bed most affected.  They now have a new room.  I wonder if that means I can have a shower again tomorrow?  Nothing overflowed so I don't know how the water got there.

Everyone is on Northern Light Alert at the moment.  It is midnight but very cloudy so I don't think I will be going out even if they do call.

This photo below was taken on my phone yesterday.  For now I am off to bed.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

March 28 - On the Move

We have been on the go all day. Stop start stop start jumping out to get photos.  I have been up since 6:30am and it is now 11:30 pm.  I have just really got to my room in our new hotel.  We are by a beach somewhere.  We got here at 4pm and promptly when outside to do more photography.  By the time I came in I had enough time to download my photos and get my camera ready for the Northern Lights.  The weather has been great for us today so we were hoping for a decent show.  We saw a faint one.  I managed to get something that looks like a green smudge before I started to freeze to death and come inside.  It didn't help that I couldn't find one glove and was using my hat to keep my hand warm.  The wind coming off the ocean was biting.  I also was using the wrong camera so thankfully it really wasn't that big a deal tonight.  It was more of a practice run.

Today was awesome.  I got some great shots and I learnt that walking over snow covered lava fields is not a good thing.  Treacherous more like.  Even when the snow appears to be a fine layer, guaranteed you will end up hip deep as I found out.

Too tired for photos today.  Will see what I can do later.  Night all.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

March 27 - Blue Lagoon

 Imagine the day starting with snowfall.  The wind is biting, but you know you are going to a warm place.  You take a bag of what you will need but don't worry about a jacket or hat.  Your journey is 40 minutes by bus.  The snow and rain continues for the entire journey.  You expect to be let off by the front door.  You soon realise there is no such luck.  The snow is coming down fast and the cold wind is stinging.  You have a 3 minute walk to the entrance but you can not run as the path is slippery with ice.  You just keep saying to yourself "you will be warm soon."

You finally reach your destination.  Your hair and jumper are covered in white, wet flakes.  You open the door to the blessed heat and start to dry out.  You show your ticket and return you get an electronic bracelet and a towel.

You are thankful that the men and women are separated as there is no such thing as privacy.  Each private change room caters for about 20 lockers.  You pull out your bathers and wait for your turn.  Once upon a time you would walked naked around a Korean bath house in Pusan but then you had a body that looked ok.

Once in you bathers you head to the showers.  You have to wash all over with soap.  Too bad if you didn't want to get your hair wet as the shower came from directly over head.

Wet all over you step outside.  It is 1 degree Celsius but no longer snowing.  The sun is out. Going as fast as you can without slipping, you head for the hot steaming water of the blue lagoon and bliss.  The water is full of minerals that are wonderful for your skin.  The silica is what makes it milky.

Despite the cold biting wind the water is so warm you could stay there all day.  You just have to dunk your head every couple of minutes and you are fine.  The water temperature is well into the 30s Celsius.  You can find hot spots and luke-warm spots.  After an hour you start to look like a prune so it is time to get out.

This time you can not be bashful.  You must be dry before you head back to your locker.  The change room is also being used so you give in and hope that if anyone stares at you too long, they will turn to stone or have nightmares as punishment.

The white wall is actually high pressure warm water. It is a full on hydro massage.

On the left hand side is a tiny square building in the water.  You can buy drinks here with your bracelet and pay later as you leave.  Across the bridge on the right is where people who pay extra can hang their robes (you get a robe if you pay extra).  Those of us with towels only had to leave them inside.

The deepest point came up to my neck.

The lagoon is in a lava field.  There is lava everywhere you look.

Aunty Bev, I know you are reading this so let me tell you that you would love that spa.  It will teach you to float, you will have no choice.  If you take both feet off the ground you end up flat on your back floating, or on your front.  The water does it for you.

The bus dropped me off at a different area to yesterday so I was finally able to get a photograph of this sign.  Think I might go there for dinner tonight.  LOL
Tonight I meet up with the tour I am on.  From now on it will be full on. Just hope I can handle it.  I am going to have a shower now because despite my skin feeling nice after the springs, my hair is disgusting and in need of a good conditioning.

Friday, 27 March 2015

March 26 - The Golden Circle

I woke up this morning just as it started to snow.  It came down a lot heavier than it did in Oslo yesterday.  It was still going after breakfast and when I got picked up for the Golden Circle Tour.  I was up the very front of the bus (a coach) and this was the view of the road.  I didn't envy our driver but I suppose he was used to it.

Our guide was quite funny when you could understand his accent.  Apparently there is no Royal Family in Iceland because there are no frogs.  He asked each one of us where we were from as we boarded the bus.  Once we started, he asked us if we wanted to know where he was from and then pointed out the maternity wing at the hospital as we drove passed.  He also told us his name, which was very long and unpronounceable, so he said his friends call him Hussy, however considering in what it means in English told us to call him Hershey like the chocolate because he is sweet.

Our first stop was organically grown greenhouse tomato plantation.  It was snowing heavily and I got quite wet going from the bus to the door 10m away.  I did try a Virgin Mary and it was delicious.  Apparently the hot soup and fresh bread was to die for as well.  Rather than stay and listen to the talk about growing tomatoes I went outside to enjoy the fresh snow.  It had stopped snowing and was relatively warmish. '

I just have to say that I have noticed all the coaches have mustaches on them.  Each coach has a different mustache.  This was my coach.  We have Movember for men's cancer research but hear in Iceland it is Mustache March.  The coaches get a mustache and on the side of the coach is a note saying they support Mustache March.

The next stop was the Geysers.  Here in Iceland they pronounce it like the Japanese women of the night (Geisha).  Quite ironic when our guides nickname is Hussy.  Just a side note here but on the way back to the hotel I noticed there was a rather interesting museum: click here to check it out for yourself.  Don't think I will be going there in a hurry.

Back to the geysers.  There was so much steam around due to the cold that it was difficult to get a photo that actually showed something.  I have had to play around with them a fair bit.

This one blows around every 5-10 minutes.  The first time I saw it blow, it was tiny, the second time it went up about 8m but I chopped the top off it.  The next time was small again.  I had been standing there for a while and only with my pull over on.  It was really starting to get cold as the snow clouds were coming.  I didn't even have my gloves with me as I left them on the bus.  Eventually this one decided to blow and I hoped to God it was in focus because I was not sticking around any longer to freeze.

You can see the steam coming out of the ground here.  There is water in the foreground which runs along side the road and can be anywhere from 80-100 degrees celcius.

The next stop was 10 minutes down the road.  It is called Gullfoss.  Foss meaning waterfall.  The best view was at the bottom of 140 steps. Might I add that they were icy.  The first few steps and the last few were the worst.  The rest were ok.  For those who know me in person, you know that I have a permanent argument with steps.  I either fall up or fall down them.  These ones must not have understood English because I managed to not go for a slide.

This view of the falls is from a look out before you go down the stairs.

This is at the bottom of the stairs.  The water runs into a huge canyon.  It is so deep that you can't see the bottom even from the lookout above.

 If you watch Throne of Thorns then you may recognise some of these next photos as the"wall"is used in the show a lot apparently.  This place is called Parliament (I will explain why later).  You can see that one side is really high and the other side is low and in fact sinking.  This is the fault line between the American and the European tectonic plates.  The American one is pulling west and the European one is pulling East.  The high side is the American plate.

It is this area here that is known as Holy Ground and what gave the area the name of Parliment.  You see due to there being no Frogs and therefore no royalty, the early Icelanders came up with a form of democracy.  Issues were taken to Parliment (this spot) to be heard.  One of the issues to come here was when Icelanders decided to become Christian and leave behind their Pagan ways.  It was decided that only one law could govern the land and Christianity was chosen.  There is more to the story which includes a volcano erupting and so on but I found it interesting that those who were Pagan, agreed and gave up their believes.  There were three conditions though: 1. You could still worship your chosen God but in private; 2. You could eat horse meat (Christians didn't); 3 if a child was born that could not look after itself when it came of age then it was ok to return the child to God.  Yes harsh times but we are talking about 2000BC here.  Anyway the below area has a great echo which is why it was chosen.  It meant that large crowds could be addressed and all could hear.

Of course there is a church on the other side of the river.

At the end of the walk you go up a steep hill to a look out.  It is an amazing view,  In the photos below you can see the differences in height of the two tectonic plates.

Finally to get some much needed rest in time for another adventure at the Blue Lagoon tomorrow.  In the words of some one with good English and a sign I saw in a shop window:

Thursday, 26 March 2015

March 25 Oslo to Iceland

Today has been very interesting, despite the fact that I really only traveled from Norway to Iceland.  Best to begin at the very beginning (according to the Sound of Music that is a very good place to start - yes I think I have gone insane).

This morning as I was packing my bag I happened to glance out of my window and saw that it was SNOWING!  I was so frickin' excited.  I have not seen snow since I lived in Korea and even then it was only once.  It was still snowing slightly as I walked to the train station.  I walked in snowfall for the first time ever!!  Yes I was as excited as a little child.  This photo is a view out my window.

The trains in Oslo are very well kept.  At least the airport one is.  It has a TV so you can watch the news.  Of course all I see is images of a bus going into a sinkhole in the road, going under the road and then out into the river.  No people on board and I have no idea where it was.  The next thing I see is information about the plane crash in the Alps.  Comforting footage when you are on your way to the airport.

Oslo buildings are so colourful.  I tried to get a decent photo out the window of the speeding train.  It really does not do the buildings justice though.

At one stage the train had to stop due to a delay further up the line.  I managed to get this photo of the snow.  Not a very interesting photo but its SNOW!!! :)

I am still not convinced that I am impressed with Oslo airport yet.  There is no early check in for those who are there early so I had to sit for 90 minutes waiting in the check in area.  That was after I asked three people where to check in as there were so many.  Finally the third guy told me about an information board.  When it did finally open there were only 2 operators checking us in.  There were about 10 people in front of me, and I do not lie when I say it took over an hour for them to be checked in.  Seriously I really have no idea what was going on.  I find it ironic that the VIP club is called the Saga club.  No one was going through that line so the called us over.  It really was a saga for some people.

Also I found out that I pretty much take the same amount of weight on board the Icelandic Flight as I could the Qatar.  Qatar allows up to 30kg of checked in luggage and 7kg on board.  Icelandic air only allows 23kg checked in but get this, you can take 10kgs on board!!!  I really had nothing to worry about.

After the check in line there was the line for checking tickets and checking take on luggage.  There were 17 stations and they kept closing them.  I could see this from the check in line and when I finally got to the ticket/x-ray line there were only 8 left open (one was for families only) and there were hundreds of people lined up.  I stood for another hour waiting to go through.  I was grateful that on the side they had mini trolleys for the hand luggage.  Mine weighed over 7kg and was on my back.

I saw this little guy on the way to my gate. Let me just say that by the time I finally got to my gate I had spent 4 hours at the airport and I pretty much sat for 5 minutes before they opened the gate.  Normally you sit and wait forever.

Once again I had to hop on a bus to get to the plane.  While I was waiting for the bus to head off I saw a customs dog.  He was still a puppy and was obviously in training.  I think he was a black Lab.  His handler was with him letting him go to the toilet and have a sniff around. When they went to go back inside, the dog kept jumping up trying to get the guys hand.  Finally the guy handed the pup the hand loop of his leash.  The pup was satisfied then and they walked inside with the leash, attached to the collar, folded in half where the man held onto it and then lead back down to where the pup had the hand loop in its mouth looking so proud of itself, walking itself.  It was sooooo cute.  I wish I had time to get a photo of that.

The flight to Iceland was just under 3 hours.  Here are some aerial views that I took. The airport itself is situated on a lava field so that was a first for me as well.  Going through the airport here was a breeze.  I found my bus and we drove for another 50 minutes before we arrived at the bus port in Reykjavik.  Here I hopped on a smaller bus that took me to my hotel. 

I think the hotel is 2 buildings joined together and it is a bit of a maze.  I am on Level 3.  To get to my room I had to up in the elevator to Level 3, walk down the hallway, turn left and go downhill slightly.  Suddenly you get the feeling that you are on Level 2 even though the slant down was only slight. There is a sign that then tells you to go up the stairs to where Level 3 continues.  In summary it appears that Level 3 in one building is in fact Level 2 in the other, hence the reason why I had to go up another Level.  What gets me is that the buildings are on the same flat ground.

My room is tiny but nice.  I have to be careful because the ceiling is slanted right down to a meter off the floor on one side of the room.  I nearly hit my head a couple of times in the bathroom.  The tap water is divine to drink.  I could drink it all day, and for those who know me, I hate tap water.  Australia has a lot to learn about tasty tap water. 

Well I have an early start tomorrow so I will sign off.  Tomorrow I am doing the golden circle.  Can't wait.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

March 24 Oslo

It was 2 degrees this morning and I loved it.  Breakfast was yum.  It was a full on banquet.  They have a muesli cluster called honey crunch which is divine. 

I had to go back to the Central Train Station area to get my Oslo card (24 hours free travel and admission to certain areas).  I just had to take a photo of this guy.  He is huge.  I would have taken one yesterday but someone was sitting on the curve of his tail, not for a photograph, just sitting.  :)

Oslo's transport is fairly easy if you have the tourist map.  It helps explain the different buses etc.  Don't rely on the bus drivers speaking English though.  I took bus #30 out to the Norsk Folk Museum.  I was there early, which was great because the bus loads arrived about 2 hours after me so I managed to get lots of photos with no people in the way.  Below is a photo of one of the buildings.  I love how the grass grows on the roof, very green.

I got really excited when I saw ice on the ground.  I just had to crack it with my foot.  I was thinking of jumping on it but remembered that ice is slippery and I don't want to break a leg at this early stage in my trip (if ever).

It is recommended that you go to the old church at the Folk Museum.  It is on a hill but hidden by trees.  As you come up the hill you are greeted with this formidable sight.

One kind lady took my photo for me.  She had been waiting there for over an hour for someone to come and open up the church so that you could go in.  Only certain buildings are able to be entered.  They open them at 11am.  I was there at 11:30.  I couldn't be bothered waiting.  There is an out enclosed walk way that allowed you to see most of it and the door was open to the main sanctuary but there was a locked gate, so you could see in but not go in.

I sat went to the cafe for a hot chocolate and nearly died of heat stroke in there.  It was so hot.  Food wise they didn't have much on offer, and what they did have, I couldn't read as it wasn't in English so I just got a drink and a nice danish.  The hot chocolate was luke warm but considering I was warm anyway it was ok.

Let me tell you about the birds in this place.  They are teasers.  They come up close to you and pose so nicely and then when you finally have your camera ready, zoom and they are off.  Little Devils.  I nearly had a gorgeous shot of a yellow brown one that was hanging upside down from one of the old wooden buildings, drinking water that ran off the bark.

From here I went just down the road to the Viking Museum.  I didn't realise how low in the water a Viking ship sat.  I would have hated to be in one in a storm.  I had to get a souvenir so I found a key-ring with a 3D Viking woman in what looks like battle armor. 

Tonight for dinner I am heading down the road to try some Norwegian food.  If nothing appeals I will be headed in the opposite direction to a steak house.  :)

March 22 & 23 The Airports

My flight from Perth to Doha was 11 hours long.  I left at 10:40pm Perth time and was lucky enough to get a window seat.  Off all the Airlines I have flown with this was my first time with Qatar and I must say that I am impressed.  Unlike most others, Qatar has room to move.  I could stretch out my legs (yes I am short so most probably could not) but there was enough arm room for someone of my cuddliness to sit net to someone else and not feel like you were trying to feed them when you ate. 

My only fault with the airline is that the seats go back too far.  It becomes a domino effect.  If the person in front of you decides to lower the seat to its maximum horizontal angle you can either lower your own or risk getting banged in the face by your TV screen on the back of their chair, each time they move. 

This is what I had.  Sleeping on the angle is not something I can do as I seem to end up with a substantial gap between my lower back and the chair.  I either need to lie flat or on a slight angle.  When it came to meal times (there were three), the stewards had to keep asking the guy in front of me to put his chair up and to wait until they removed the trays before he lowered it again.  I nearly wore my first meal because he scoffed his down and then lowered his chair.  Just so you know, there was no one in front of him.

Despite the nearly permanent mark of a TV screen on my face I did managed to get a fair amount of sleep.  I had two lovely old British Gentlemen sitting next to me as well and we swapped stories of where we had been and where we were going.  In the entire 11 hours I only turned the TV on to look at the map and how far we had gone.

I landed in Doha early in the morning.  Outside was nice and warm but inside was getting me into practice for the cold weather.  The airport itself is very large and the boards showing departures are many and confusing.  Thankfully there was someone there who could help you find your gate. There had to be a secret way as to how to read the boards because he found my flight in seconds of me asking.

By the time I went through the transfer check I was looking for two things: free internet and the toilet (I hate the loos on planes, they are not cuddly person friendly).  I found the internet first.  On the third computer not working I nearly gave up, but another kind gentleman was almost finished with his so he kept it going for me. I just hopped on quickly to let everyone know I had got there safe.  As soon as I had finished I turned around and miracle of miracles, there was a toilet.  The cubicles were so large my whole bathroom at home would have fitted into it.

I didn't go look at any of the shops as I am already over weight for my flight in a couple of days.  I need to shed two kilo's somehow.  What did fascinate me was the play area for kids.  They had some amazing and huge play areas, however this early in the morning it seemed to be an adult sleep area.

I sat for at least two hours waiting at my gate for my flight to Oslo.  The seats are set out between two doorways to the tarmac and they were permanently open. The whole area inside was misty due to the mist outside. This was one of those ones where you have to hop on a bus and travel half a kilometer to the plane.  As luck would have it I had 3 seats to myself.  For the next 6 hours of flying to Oslo I could stretch out and I actually watched some movies.

What I did find really cool was how the window shutters (or lack thereof) worked.  There was a button that darkened the windows.  Below are two photos.  The first one is shows one that is only half darkened and the other is open.  The second photo is my window.  It is actually light compared to what it really was.  I had it fully dark because the sun was on my side of the plane and reflecting off the TV screen.  At one stage the flight crew must have darkened everyone's so that people could get some sleep.  It really was amazingly dark in there. 
Flying over Norway was amazing.  You could see all the Fjords from the window and most were still covered in ice.  There is still snow about in places as well.

Didn't see much of the airport other than the luggage claim area.  I stood there for one hour waiting and waiting for my suitcase to arrive.  For some reason they only put two on then wait for 3 minutes then put another 2.  It's not like it was a tiny conveyor belt.  I started to get worried because another flights luggage started to show up.  Finally mine came out.
I bought my ticket for the airport express train and headed into central station.  From there I walked to the hotel (about 2 blocks away).  I was thoroughly enjoying the 7 degrees outside.  I didn't even have my jacket on.
Apart from a frantic "OMG" 10 minutes where I literally threw everything out of my suitcase to locate my power adaptors I finally realized (after an almost tearful prayer) that I had packed them inside a bag with other stuff.  Crisis diverted, onto the free internet, and here I am about to sign off because I am exhausted.  Tomorrow I plan on doing some sightseeing of Oslo.  I have already fallen in love with the buildings here.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Sculptures by the Sea

Every year Cottesloe Beach hosts Sculptures by the sea.  I have gone a couple of times now but this years has been the best so far.  Below are some photos that I took.  I have played around with some of  them a little.  I am self taught so I need get the practice in so that I told look like a total idiot when I get to Iceland.  I use Smart Photo Editor so some of the settings are pre-set but there is a lot that you can manipulate within those settings.
This big guy was right near the crosswalk.  I seriously wanted to take him home.  I have the perfect spot for him in my garden.

Not quite sure what these things were meant to be, but, and by that I mean butt, my mother thought their rears were rather cute.

This piece really got to me.  It was a burnt out tree trunk with faces that appear to have been formed in the burning.  I don't know why but it makes me think of ghosts of the original Australians. 

Just another view.  The second image is more true to the real colouring.  I just liked the way the first one looked when I clicked on this pre-set.

  This dude pops up every time I have gone to this event.  The last time I saw him, he was huge and standing.  This time he was half the size if not a little smaller and laying down.  He is always red, always has a gorgeous smile, and is always displaying his full naked glory.

It looks like there was no one at the beach when I took these but trust me there were thousands. Swimmers, sunbathers, bus loads of pensioners and bus loads of school kids.  The later weren't even there for the sculptures but for a geography class (seriously wrong day to plan an excursion).

Fit balls buried in the sand.  They had to be roped off apparently because kids kept jumping all over them.  I bet a few adults did as well.  I like the original but I like the second image as well.

Nearly missed this one.  It was a small Perspex box buried in the sand with all sorts of nautical looking things inside.  Sand had then been either scattered or blown over it.  I am glad I saw it because it comes up great in the photo.

This one cast a great shadow but the photo I have of the full structure has two large old men in their budgie smugglers (speedo's for those non Aussies) and it just doesn't look good.

The birds, everyone was getting photos of the birds.  They looked great against the white sand and I am shocked that I got a photo with no people.

 OMG the pink bunny.  I love him.
Well I can honestly say the clouds are real, the stars aren't.  They just gave the image more character.

This guy was in a circle with 8 friends all in different poses and all standing on a ball.

Most countries will have a rusty old car somewhere out in the bush/forest.  This is a rust old car with Grass Trees growing out of it.  I think it was called "Revenge or Re-birth."  I would have taken a picture of the full car but to be honest I think the organisers of the even could have put it in a better spot.  It was right by the main road and a carpark.  It really didn't matter which angle, there was always something distracting.  This was taken from the boot of the car looking forward.

I am very happy with this photo.  Not only is it three sculptures in one but I also managed to successfully remove two swimmers and a lady walking.

This one took me ages to manipulate so I am showing you the before and after shots because I am so proud of myself right now.  I would pat myself on the back but I am typing.  LOL.  Ok not funny.

Well I had better get to bed and get some sleep.  It is almost 2:30am here and I am flying out tonight on my trip.  Still have to pack.  Hope I don't forget anything.