I couldn’t resist. I had to go to Times Square to see the touristy highlight of the city with all the lights and advertisements to try some long exposure shots..
Finally I made it to a Robbie Williams concert. It took a few years and well, Robbie, you’re not the same as you once were. Then again, no one in the audience was ;)
A bit older but still lovely! In about 2 seconds after appearing on stage the entire O2 was singing/ screaming along to ‘Let me entertain you’. Even after he left the stage everyone in the audience kept on singing (less screaming at this point) ‘Angels’. The night was amazing if only for the atmosphere in the audience. And face it, almost every song came with some good memories from amazing times over the last 10 years. One of my friends starting the night with a comment: ”I’m not a big fan, I don’t really listen to his music that much”. Every time I looked to my right she was singing along word to word though ;)
Apart from all the well known songs we heard two songs from the new album, ‘Take the Crown’. I have to admit I wasn’t the biggest fan of the first song, ‘Candy’ but I did like ‘Losers’.
Great concert and a great night!
Let Me Entertain You
Should I Stay or Should I Go? (The Clash cover)
Let Love Be Your Energy
Old Before I Die
The Road to Mandalay
She’s the One
Life Thru a Lens
A while back we stayed at the County Arms Hotel in Birr for a nice spa break. My colleague and I figured it was a good idea to get away from the city and from work. Turned out we both had to work on a presentation the entire weekend! Luckily the hotel had a lovely garden with this apple tree for us to work in and enjoy the rare sunshine.
The pictures are taken with my Canon 500D and my new 50MM lens.
I visited a real Irish haunted castle! Charleville Castle was built in late 1700 by Charles William Bury, Earl of Charleville and was designed by Francis Johnston, one of the leading architects of the day. When you drive towards Tullamoore in County Offaly in the Irish Midlands you see the castle in the distance but no signs on how to get there. Later we discovered that even though the castle is owned and maintained by one person, the grounds still belong to a distant relative of the Earls who used to live there. The dear old man keeps removing all the signs the owner of the castle puts up.
We found ourselves on a dirt road to a farm at first but eventually we found the road through the dense, old forest that forms the estate. The forest is quite dense, very green and the further you follow the road the more you feel isolated and like you are entering a special place. After passing the old broken gate you see the castle in front of you.
To enter we had to ring a bell on the door, we heard some noise inside but no one opened. The place started to feel a bit scary.. Eventually a nice Romanian girl opened the door and let us through the castle and told us about the history and the alleged ghosts.
Two of the Earls of Charleville were Grandmasters in the Freemasons of Ireland and hat the towers are designed with an eight point star construction . The castle was purposely built on Electro Magnetic Ley Lines.
I’m not sure about the ghosts but I did get a chance to see the ley lines in action. We visited the two towers and when the girl told us that objects would move when holding them above the line or the center I was a bit skeptic so decided to prove her wrong using my own necklace. In the first tower the necklace started to move a bit. I was still convinced this was my own doing. We went on towards the other castle via the hallway where the Earls daughter had died by falling down the staircase. Over here my camera wouldn’t focus. According to our guide it was the ghost. Maybe it was something else though ;)
In the second tower my necklace started to move around rather actively! Not sure what to think of it but it seems odd to me. Maybe it is a special place.. Anyways, they are always looking for volunteers and I’m considering to sign up, just to find out if all the scary stories about nightly visitors are true. At least the place is a lovely photography spot!
Below a bit of history from the Charleville website:
In the 6th century, these lands were part of an ancient monastic site of Lynally, which itself was an ancient Durrow monastic settlement.
Later, in the early days of Ireland’s colonization, when the city of Dublin felt threatened by the wild tribes of the West, these lands became the focal point for the first Stuart, and later more violent Elizabethan, plantations.
Charleville Castle stands in an ancient Oak-forest site on lands that were once part of an estate which began to be assembled following on from a gift of 1,700 acres to the Moore family, made in 1577 by the Queen Elizabeth I.
A member of the Moore family was raised to the Earldom of Charleville, but the title lapsed in 1764 due to the lack of heirs in the direct male line. The lands, however, were eventually inherited by the six-month old infant Charles William Bury, born into Co. Limerick land-owning family, who was importantly, also a grand-nephew of the last Earl.
Tullamoore in these times was a village generally featuring thatched roofs and was largely destroyed by fire in 1785 as result of an hot-air balloon being mismanaged during the 21st birthday celebrations of Charles William Bury. The rebuilding of Tullamoore on an improved plan and scale, with wider streets and more substantial buildings, was sponsored by the trustees and estate of Charles William Bury.
Charles William Bury was created Baron Tullamoore in 1797, and, as a man of considerable wealth, joined into a fashion of castle building by engaging the services of the renowned architect Francis Johnston in the planning of castle to be built near Tullamoore.
The construction of Charleville Castle commenced in 1798 and over the subsequent fourteen years, some fourteen hundreds man-years were involved in the building of what many consider to be the finest neo-Gothic castle in all Ireland. The wonderful craftsmanship involved being mainly due to the skills of Irish people.
Charles William Bury was raised to the restored Earldom of Charleville, as first Earl of the second creation, in 1806.
In 1833, Tullamore, having expanded greatly in population and wealth due to being a terminus of the Grand Canal, was recognised as the county town of the then King’s county in preference to Philipstown which had performed that role since the times of Philip and Mary. The Charleville Estate extended to some 24,000 acres at its zenith but changing fortunes and changing times brought with them new ownership for most of these lands. Amongst the refurbishments to the castle which took place in later years were the addition of stenciling, designed by the celebrated William Morris, to the dining room in the 1890′s.
The Earldom lapsed again for want of heirs in 1885 with the estate passing to the ownership of a niece – Lady Emily.
On Lady Emily’s marriage some years earlier, the family took the name Howard-Bury to comply with certain terms in the title deeds of the Estate they seemed due to inherit. Colonel Charles Kenneth Howard-Bury, a son of this marriage, was notable as an explorer and amateur botanist in the Himalayas. Colonel Howard-Bury, who had twice escaped from prisoner of war camps during the recent “Great War”, was sufficiently recognised as an explorer, linguist and diplomatist, to be appointed leader of the first expedition which set out to climb the Mount Everest in 1920-1921.
Whilst Colonel Howard-Bury was not himself actively involved as a climber, George Mallory and other members of the expedition team reached some 23,000 feet without benefit of oxygen cylinders or other more recent sophistication’s in equipment.
This expedition, which received an enormous public following, effectively provided survey information invaluable to subsequent expeditions and established the North Col route as the route of choice for several early attempts on Everest.
The surname Howard-Bury is reflected in the Latin name of a plant brought back from the Himalaya region by the Colonel. A room in the Royal Geographical Society in London is named in honor of Colonel Howard-Bury.
Following on from this expedition to the Himalayas, the Colonel won a seat in the House of Commons. A later attempt was made at involvement in political life in the Irish Legislature.
Although Colonel Howard-Bury inherited Charleville Castle on his mother’s death in 1931, it was left with only a nominal caretaker staff. Indeed, some years earlier, the Colonel had inherited the smaller and more manageable, but exquisite, Belvedere House near Mullingar – in later years, the Colonel also spent most of his time on an estate he had purchased in North Africa.
Upon the Colonel’s death in 1963, the castle became uninhabited and even has its roof deliberately damaged as a device for the avoidance of paying high local property levies. Given the condition of the roof, the authorities agreed to deem the castle as being a ruin.During the later 1970′s, the long term lease of the castle was taken up by persons who deplored the state into which the castle was falling and a move was made towards turning the tide of neglect and disrepair. Modern day Irish craftsmen with traditional skills have subsequently been involved in a gradual and loving restoration. Fortunately, some of the finest features of the castle (The Gallery, The entrance Hall, Main Staircase and Landing, The Library, The Morning Room and The Dining Room) did not suffer critical damage in the interim.
I couldn’t resist. I’ve posted pictures (and a story in Dutch) of Hampi before but today I edited these two again using Photomatix Pro and Snapseed. These aren’t HDR, at the time (2009) I wasn’t aware of this option but I ran the photo’s through Photomatix for the tonemapping features.
Hampi is a small ‘holy’ village in Kartataka, India. The surroundings are amazing between the vivid green rice fields and the red rocks scattered throughout the landscape. There are a lot of abandoned and used temple’s surrounding the village what once was the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire.
What Wikipedia says about the Vijayanagara Empire:
The Vijayanagara Empire referred to as the Kingdom of Bisnaga by the Portuguese, was an empire based in South India, in the Deccan Plateau region. It was established in 1336 by Harihara I and his brother Bukka Raya I. The empire rose to prominence as a culmination of attempts by the southern powers to ward off Islamic invasions by the end of the 13th century. It lasted until 1646 although its power declined after a major military defeat in 1565 by the Deccan sultanates. The empire is named after its capital city of Vijayanagara, whose ruins surround present day Hampi, now a World Heritage Site inKarnataka, India. The writings of medieval European travelers such as Domingo Paes, Fernão Nunesand Niccolò Da Conti, and the literature in local languages provide crucial information about its history. Archaeological excavations at Vijayanagara have revealed the empire’s power and wealth.
The empire’s legacy includes many monuments spread over South India, the best known of which is the group at Hampi. The previous temple building traditions in South India came together in the Vijayanagara Architecture style. The mingling of all faiths and vernaculars inspired architectural innovation of Hindutemple construction, first in the Deccan and later in the Dravidian idioms using the local granite. Secular royal structures show the influence of the Northern Deccan Sultanate architecture. Efficient administration and vigorous overseas trade brought new technologies such as water management systems for irrigation. The empire’s patronage enabled fine arts and literature to reach new heights in the languages of Kannada,Telugu, Tamil and Sanskrit, while Carnatic music evolved into its current form. The Vijayanagara Empire created an epoch in South Indian history that transcended regionalism by promoting Hinduism as a unifying factor.
The things that go down on the Irish countryside.. Roadtrips never get boring!
We were driving through Connemara and on our way home we were compelled to stop after seeing signs for a ‘Sheep Race’ taking place that day. I’ve been to the horse races and the dog track around Dublin but this was new to me.
Be amazed ;)
There is this lovely spot South of Dublin in Dun Laoghaire, Forty Foot Bathing Place. I only made it there once before on a gorgeous january sunday, but this time there were some more swimmers. Indeed, MORE, implying that there was indeed someone brave enough to swim here in the middle of winter!
People have been swimming on this spot for some 250 years. It used to be a male only nude bathing spot until a group of female equal rights activists decided it was time to change and took a dive there.
I was a little bored yesterday. So I got a black garbage bag and put some glasses in sink. See here the result! Someday I’ll set up a proper installation with good lighting so I can increase the shutter speed some more :)
On Sunday June 3rd Bavaria organized a Formula 1 demonstration in Dublin city center. There were several demonstrations but the popular attraction was of course Jenson Button in a formula 1 car. I have never seen this many men turn in to extremely happy, smiling boys by one car passing by (2 seconds..)
Some of the pictures I took yesterday!
Don’t get me wrong, I am happy that I have a job. It makes is so much easier to pay for rent and other nonsense. But every now and then I think back at my 5 week backpack trip and I would like to do that once more. A bit longer maybe.
My little brother calls me a hippie every now and then. I’m not really sure why or when he started doing that. I personally don’t get why (I wash my hair and sell IT stuff in a respectable company. I also usually wear shoes.) but I do have to admit I felt at home at the spot in the picture. Maybe it’s because the view is better than the one from my cubicle?
Ijust added this picture to my ‘about me’ page. One of the things that makes blogging interesting that you’ll manage to find those people who have the exact same interests as you do. And you can talk to them about whatever that is!
Granted, I should go out searching and commenting more. Not just spreading quick likes over all your blogs like we’re all tempted to do ;)
The picture is taken at the first edition of The Confluence in Leh in 2009. I think it is a good idea to enter a festival with that message in mind!
I took this picture a wile back in Ladakh, India. I took it with a simple Canon Powershot but it is one of my favorite pictures! Every now and then I think about printing some of my pictures to hang them up but for some reason I never get there. This one has made it into a frame at my past 3 addresses though :)
Sometimes a plan doesn’t work out. So you’re forced to come up with a better idea!
I’ve been wanting to join my boyfriend for one of his tennis matches, figuring it could make a good bloggable subject (I believe thinking like that is a sign of addiction.) I’m saving my original idea for another time..
For now I used the perfectly sunny day and my position up on the terrace to take some pictures of the interesting shadows the players provided. I’m not sure who the man with the white shoes is. In case you recognize your own, thank you for modelling!
Can’t. Help. Myself. More. Beach. Photo’s….
I always wanted to live near the sea. It seemed like such a luxury to me, to be able to go out on a sunday morning and take a stroll on the beach. Enjoying the wind and the waves. You can guess how often I’ve done that since I moved to Dublin more than 9 months ago? Indeed, not often enough!
I took these pictures at Killiney beach. Killiney is a small town south of Dublin. The area is amazing to get lost (a little, as far it’s possible over there). We ‘Europeans’ had a bank holiday on Monday. Since it wasn’t a day off for the Irish we managed to find some empty spots. Officially we were heading for another place but we couldn’t resist once we spotted this gem through the trees. After a few dead ends and dodgy roads we managed to park the car close to the beach and we even took a (short and cold!) dip in the sea. It was quite windy and some dark clouds were steadily moving in on us. What do you think of the ‘dreamy’ look of the images? And which one do you like better? The horizontal of vertical perspective?
As I said yesterday, I was too busy with sunbathing, beach visits and a barbecue. Dublin, and the Irish coast for that matter, absolutely transforms when the sun comes out and we reach outrageous temperatures of 23 degrees Celsius. Imagine ;)
After the beach I was invited to a barbecue on a rooftop in Spencer Dock, one of the Oracle employee infested (sorry, occupied) buildings in the city. I lived there myself for a short wile, but I was nine floors down from that particular spot. It’s not that I’m complaining about our current view, but this terrace is the best I’ve seen in this city until now. If anyone thinks they can beat it, please let me know so I can come over and take some pictures!
Tom, once again, thank you for the invite and I hope you enjoy these as a reminder when you leave the apartment!
I recently discovered that Ireland every now and then does look like a real tropical Island. Along the west coast there are a few beautiful white beaches with turquoise, Chrystal clear, blue water. Sadly the temperatures didn’t really match my ideal of spending some time there ( Enjoying the warm sun, cocktail in hand) but that meant I could put some energy in taking photographs :)
Maybe I should dedicate a post to ‘the places my car goes’ it seems I am collecting pictures taken from the drivers seat of my car looking out over a beautiful view. Every now and then I let go of the urge to see as much as possible on two or three days and leave my car to take a nice walk.
We walked (partly ;) ) up Diamond hill in Connemara national park. Beautiful sights!
When I moved to Ireland I brought my car from The Netherlands. That was such a good decision! Dublin is a nice place to stay for a while but Ireland gets really beautiful once you leave the city and explore small country roads.
Luckily it is not too hard to move a car around within the EU, I have a few more months before I’ll have to sort out how to officially import the car and see to it that I get an Irish licence plate. I briefly looked into it before and somehow it reminds me of Indian bureaucracy… To be continued!
For now I get to plan the next road-trip starting tomorrow, towards Connemara national park. We have some visitors so it’s time to explore the West coast further. The pictures below were taken along the N71 in the South of Ireland between Cork and Kenmare, we might have been on our way to The Ring of Kerry but the route there was at least as amazing as the destination!
Around Dublin there are quite a few restored mansions. Powerscourt house and estate is one of them. The house was rebuilt in 1731 and at time the gardens were remodeled as well. The second big change happened in mid 1800 when the garden was ‘updated’ according to Italian Renaissance standards.
I edited the images with Snapseed.
One of my favourite destinations in India is Hampi. It is by far not the most spectacular place I’ve visited but it made quite an impression on me. I went there twice, once in spring it was absolutely dry and hot. The second time the rice fields were being harvested.
There are a lot of Unesco Herritage sites scattered around the town, and the landscape consist of seemingly random placed gigantic rocks. If you take 700 steps up a hill you get to a temple with the nicest priests and a bunch of monkey’s living up there. It is an amazing place to watch the sunset, and as we later learned even more beautiful when you’re invited by those priests for a sunrise yoga session!
When I flip through my photo’s of the place I mostly notice the beautiful and friendly people around….
Today I’m sharing again two foto’s my mom took on our trip, this is along the coast on the Ring of Kerry. Well worth a drive! The drive in county Kerry is about 180 KM’s long and takes you through different kinds of landscapes. We started out in the lovely small town of Kenmare and drove via the coast up towards Killarney and back through the Gap of Dunloe.
This weekend I took some more days off to explore the south of Ireland. Credits to the picture below go to my mom, I would like to call it a creative collaboration ;)
I have lots of pictures from Cork, Kenmare, Killarney and all the gorgeous places between those towns but sadly I had to go back to work this morning. A little iPad processing in between for now….