Spicey!

Spicey!

Taken at Damascus Market, Damascus, Syria, in November 2010.

Syria was an amazing country, and I'm so glad I was able to visit it before the war broke out.

I had always wanted to go to Damascus, and although it was very interesting, I did find the city fairly unfriendly - and certainly unwelcoming to women. Maybe tensions were already bubbling when I was there, but I was glad to leave and move on to see the rest of the country.

But we did manage to spend a bit of time in one of the main markets in Damascus. There were many things on sale - but of course, one of the main things: spices!

Conversations in the courtyard

Conversations in the courtyard

Taken in Damascus, Syria in November 2010.

 

This is the main courtyard to the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus. What struck me as slightly at odds with the beautiful building and religious surroundings was the casual conversations that people were having in the courtyard. Young people sat in groups laughing, their voices echoing off the building's facades. It was nice in a way to see the modern take place alongside the old. I suspect it is nothing like this now.

A temple no more

A temple no more

Taken at Palmyra, Syria in November 2010.

 

I am so glad I was able to see Palmyra before it was destroyed. It was a huge ancient site with temples, columns, theatres, marketplaces and more.

This is the Temple of Baal (also known as Bel), which was a wonderful example of a building being reused in its lifetime. It first started as a pre-Roman temple and then was rebuilt and used as a Greco-Roman temple. It then got a new life as a Christian church before finally becoming a tourist attraction.

Cheeky monkeys

Cheeky monkeys

Taken in Palmyra in November 2010.

 

I thought this was a hilarious moment and I'm so glad I captured it. We were walking along the main columned promenade, when this motorcycle came roaring past. The guard standing by the columns just watched as the cheeky monkeys rode past. Well, what could he do?!

Water wheels

Water wheels

Taken at Hama, Syria, in November 2010.

We only stopped for about an hour at Hama to see the ancient water wheels - but it was a glorious afternoon and I managed to take this photo of one of the water wheels along the river.

Hama is one of the many cities that has been badly damaged by the war. I don't think these water wheels exist any longer. I'm glad I got to see them before it was too late.

Rice fields of Bali

Rice fields of Bali

Taken outside Ubud, Bali in June 2014.

While I wasn't that impressed with Ubud (too commercial and overrun with tourists!), the surrounding rice fields were beautiful. It was lovely to see the lush green rice shoots against the blue sky. Very peaceful.

 

 

Indy, where are you?!

Indy, where are you?!

Taken at Petra, Jordan in 2005.

This site is everything you imagine it to be. It really does feel like Indiana Jones could come leaping out from the building! It is definitely one of the most amazing places I have visited.

Let there be light!

Let there be light!

Taken at the Chinese Market in Singapore, in June 2014.

I spent a couple of weekends in Singapore, visiting friends. I really liked Singapore, apart from the heat! I snapped this photo as we were walking through the Chinese Market. A lot of what they sold was tourist junk, but I really loved the colours and designs of these lamp shades.

View from up high

View from up high

Taken in Singapore in June 2014.

 

This is a view of the Gardens by the Bay and the bay beyond from the Marina Bay Sands hotel.

It was quite a humid afternoon but lovely to be up high and look down on the Gardens that we had visited earlier in the day.

Tall Trees

Tall Trees

Taken in Singapore in June 2014.

 

This is a view of the Supertree Grove and the Domes in the Gardens by the Bay.

I love this view because it looks so futuristic and I also love the reflection of the 'trees'.

 

Standing Tall

Standing Tall

Taken in Singapore in June 2014.

 

This is a closer view of the Supertree Grove in the Gardens by the Bay.

Orchids galore

Orchids galore

Taken in Singapore in June 2014.

 

This is a view from within the Cloud Forest Dome at the Gardens by the Bay. There were so many different types of flowers - especially orchids - that can grow in all types of forests. Well worth a visit. And great for photography!

Ships Ahoy!

Ships Ahoy!

Taken in Singapore in June 2014.

 

This is a view of the bay from Marina Bay Sands. Lots of big and small ships out there - the afternoon sun making the white and red of the boats stand out against the blue water.