Tag Archives: churches

A Church Under the Stars

Tekapo is famous for it’s crystal clear night skies so what better place for some astrophotography! The last time I was here was probably about 7 years ago when I worked for a science centre in Christchurch called ‘Science Alive!’. Some of the educators and I did a field trip to the Mt John Observatory, staying a few nights so we could get the full blown astronomy experience. I remember seeing Saturn through one of their telescopes and having my mind completely blown, it was so beautiful! The guy in charge also had the most epic laser pointer, which the 8 year old in me found equally compelling.

Anyway here I was again, this time staying closer to the township so I could take photos of the Church of the Good Shepherd. This is a popular landmark (by New Zealand standards) so there were tourist buses constantly coming and going. It was quieter at night but I was still surprised by the number of people there taking photos, which was kinda fun!…and kind annoying! Haha mostly because of the car headlights, but even they could at times be useful for illuminating the church.

I don’t have a good lens for astrophotography at the moment but the Sony A7s is so freaky fast that I got away with some wide angle shots at f4 over about 20 seconds. Including this one that benefited from some whispy clouds that were lurking that night.

Posted in New Zealand, Tekapo Also tagged , , , |

Hallgrimskirkja on a Wild Morning

I’m staying right across the road from this incredible church here in Reykjavik called Hallgrimskirkja. Other than being impossible to spell correctly, this thing is just amazing! It kind of looks like a spaceship, and on this wild morning of swirling clouds it actually looks like it was blasting off!

Hallgrimskirkja on a Wild Morning

Posted in Iceland, Reykjavik Also tagged , |

Inside Hagia Sophia

I explored Hagia Sophia today and wow what an amazing building! There’s some incredible history here as it was originally a church, then a mosque and now a museum. Tripods aren’t allowed inside of course so I increased the ISO a bit and tried to hold things steady, I didn’t want to lose any of that amazing detail!

Inside Hagia Sophia

Posted in Istanbul, Turkey Also tagged , , , , |

Inside St Saviour Church

One of the first things I saw when I entered the Old Town of Dubrovnik was the Church of St Saviour, it’s around 500 years old and a beautiful space to enjoy. I don’t remember seeing any signs while inside but I couldn’t help but take a quick picture to preserve the memory.

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Posted in Croatia, Dubrovnik Also tagged , |

Red Skies Over St Paul’s Cathedral

There was a thick covering of low cloud over London when I took this shot of St Paul’s Cathedral and after playing around a bit I decided it looked best with a red tint. I thought it was kinda cool but I’ve since been told that it looks like the devil’s work…

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Posted in England, London Also tagged |

Enjoying Barcelona

Outside of Gaudi’s architectural marvels I didn’t take that many photos in Barcelona, that’s either because it isn’t very interesting or more likely because I was too busy enjoying what the city has to offer. I loved Casa Batllo, Sagada Familia, Camp Nou and Palau de la Musica Catalana but there was so much more to Barcelona with it’s unique culture, fantastic restaurants, lively bars and random festivals (see fire jumping iPhone pic). I really enjoyed Barcelona and could definitely see myself coming back for an encore performance some day.

Posted in Barcelona, Spain Also tagged , , , , |

Sagrada Familia

During my time in Japan I suffered multiple bouts of ‘temple fever’ or ‘temple rage’ where I’d seen so many temples and shrines that just the thought of seeing another made me flip out in a fit of rage. It’s nothing against the temples themselves, it’s just that after a while they all start looking a little similar. There was potential for that here in Europe, with churches, cathedrals and basilicas taking the place of shrines and temples but luckily I’ve been saved by a few truly interesting examples such as the Strasbourg Cathedral and now Gaudi’s epic Sagrada Familia. Gaudi’s magnum opus hasn’t been completed yet but it’s close enough that you won’t feel ripped off waiting in line for over an hour. Cranes working on the continued construction of the church dominate the exterior but inside you’ll find a treasure trove of stained glass windows, gorgeous sculptures and unique designs that are unique to Gaudi (there’s also secret magic squares for geeks like me that notice that kind of thing). The columns and roof were apparently designed to represent trees and branches but it made me think of spiders, and no doubt it made other visitors think of something entirely different, which is all part of the fun. If you’re in Barcelona don’t miss the Sagrada Familia, there’ll probably be huge lines but it’s worth the wait.

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Posted in Barcelona, Spain Also tagged , |

Exploring Vatican City

Today I got up bright and early and headed to Vatican City in an attempt to tick off my Dan Brown inspired list of sites with the least amount of time spent in lines as possible. In the end it didn’t go too badly, I was the first person to the top of St Peter’s Basilica (awesome view!) and had a quick look around the square before making my way to the Vatican Museum. It was at this point where I got back to the reality of traveling around Europe in the summer and the outrageous lines that go with it. There was around an hours wait to get into the museum but I’m getting used to in now so it wasn’t too bad. Some of the art and architecture was beautiful and the Sistene Chapel is probably worth the wait by itself. All in all it was a fun morning exploring Vatican City.

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Posted in Italy, Rome Also tagged , , |

St Mark’s Basilica and Campanile

Wow I actually found something in Venice! Good for me. Piazza San Marco (St Mark’s Square) is home to St Mark’s Basilica and the Campanile that towers over it. It’s a nice spot to check out but like most of Venice it’s pretty touristy.

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Posted in Italy, Venice Also tagged , |

Val Gardena – A Sea of Yellow

Today we got in the car and cruised over to Ortisei to check out the legendary Val Gardena. If you’re lazy you can take a gondola up and walk from there and in the end I caved and took that option as there was a lot of hiking left to do and only one day in Val Gardena to do it. It’s gorgeous up in the mountains and the sea of yellow that surrounds you as you walk is truly special. We pushed on through, higher into the mountains past a delightful little church proudly waving the South Tyrol flag and deeper into the forest. It was a tough schedule so the sight of Selva and then St Cristina brought welcome relief as we made our way back to Ortisei. A hiking trip in the Dolomites just wouldn’t be complete without a trip to these parts.

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Posted in Italy, The Dolomites Also tagged , , |

A Church in Bolzano

I’m in Bolzano, Italy for the start of another hiking adventure, this time in the famous Dolomites. To kick things off I’ve been having a look through the city of Bolzano, where I stumbled across this nice looking church, which looks great against a backdrop of swirling clouds.

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Posted in Bolzano, Italy

Strasbourg Cathedral Inside & Out

Let me start by saying that the Strasbourg Cathedral is huge, like seriously huge. It boggles the mind as you stand underneath it, leaning back in an attempt to see the top without straining your neck. While you’re exploring the city you’ll probably find yourself using the cathedral as a point of reference, it’s that big. Also known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg, it was the tallest building in the world between 1647 and 1874. The inside of the cathedral is suitably gorgeous and is even home to a rather famous astronomical clock.

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Posted in France, Strasbourg Also tagged , |

The Beautiful City of Paris

Paris has a reputation of being a beautiful city, and guess what? It is! I really enjoyed my 5 days here and wish it could have been longer. As much as there is to see and do, it’s fun to just find a cafe somewhere and watch the world go by, if you can throw on a beret and carry around a baguette then you’re half way to becoming French. Some of the amazing things I was lucky enough to see were the Eiffel Tower (naturally), the Arc de Triomphe, the Paris catacombs, Notre Dame, the Palace of Versailles, Sainte-Chapelle, The French Tennis Open and other things I can’t think of right now. Here are some of my favourite Paris photos.

Posted in France, Paris Also tagged , , , |

Jumping in Front of Famous Landmarks in Paris

You know what makes photos of famous landmarks better? Jumping in front of them! I took it to all new levels by jumping in front of pretty much everything here in Paris. Notre Dame, the Louvre, you name it, I jumped in front of it.

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Posted in France, Paris Also tagged |

Stained Glass Windows at Sainte-Chapelle

Time to enjoy the beautiful stained glass windows at Sainte-Chapelle. As a connoisseur, 13th century stained glass has always been my favourite.

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Posted in France, Paris