Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

March 30, 2018

Yucatan Campeche and Chiapas

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 12:11 am

Campeche to Tuxtla Gutierrez.

Well I finally got around to sorting out all my tourist photos. It has been a hectic ride. I was in Merida for two weeks learning Spanish at a school. Then I went to Campeche for a couple of days.

Campeche square
Campeche square

This is a square showing the colourful houses.

Black Christ church
Black Christ

This church had a black christ just above the altar. Pretty amazing. The sign on the church says “Lord Black Christ of San Roman”.

Pirate in gaol
Pirate in gaol

They had this pirate in gaol under the fort. He still has his treasure to comfort him.

Campeche waterfront
Campeche waterfront

In Mexico they call the street along the waterfront the Malecon. This is the Gulf of Mexico.

Mexican Flag
Mexican flag

Campeche’s claim to fame is the Big Flag. But it cannot compete with Goulburn’s Big Merino.

Palenque ruins
Palenque ruins

A maya pyramid at Palenque Ruinas.

Catazaja Laguna
Catazaja Laguna

I got a colectivo here from Palenque. I photographed lots of new birds. Top Spot.

Sumidero Canyon - Chiapas
Sumidero Canyon

Just a short colectivo ride from Tuxtla Gutierrez in Chiapas. The boat ride went for two hours and cost a measly ten bucks.

Sumidero Canyon
Sumidero Canyon

Dark and foreboding.

March 17, 2018

Spain to Mexico

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 9:15 pm

Madrid to Merida.

Now for the tourist stuff. The last photos were from Madrid. I stayed there about four days. Most of the time it rained and all I did was go shopping looking for stuff which was never there.

madrid centro
Madrid centro

Then I flew to Cancun in south-east Mexico. I liked it there. But I avoided all the tourists like the plague. Then I got the bus to Valladolid where I was camping for four days.

Lady selling fruit
Lady selling fruit

On the way back from a day out with my airbnb hosts, we stopped for some indigenous fruit. This nice lady gave me a try but I did not like it much.

Merida streets
Merida streets

The other day I went on an excursion around Merida with my spanish class. We started off in centro and caught a collectivo van to the posh part of town.

Bulls awaiting execution
Bulls awaiting execution

We went in to see the bull-fighting ring. There were a few bulls there waiting for their marching orders. Very sad.

Into the bull ring
Into the bull ring

This is the entrance into the bull ring where the macho bull fighters triumphantly enter.

From the middle of the bull ring
From the middle of the bull ring

This is the view from the middle of the bull ring. My class standing around hoping for a reprieve.

Monument to Mexico
Monument to Mexico

A monument to La Patria, the nationhood of Mexico.

Paseo de Montejo
Paseo de Montejo

The center of town where all the rich toffs used to live.

Sculpture of a jaguar
Sculpture of a jaguar

In the Mayan style. I bet there are not many jaguars left.

Paseo at side of cathedral
Paseo at side of cathedral

Some artworks blocking the pathway through to the next street.

February 27, 2018

Casablanca and Rabat

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 8:42 pm

Probably Last Post From Morocco.

Unless something happens tomorrow. Anything is possible. Today I got my Moroccan phone activated for international roaming and I am going to see how it works in Spain and maybe Mexico. I had to wait for nearly an hour to get served by the burokrats at Maroc Telecom.

Casablanca Beach
Casablanca Beach

I would not recommend going to Casablanca. It is just a city with a beach and that is about it. Nothing much going for it. I spent one night there. That was plenty.

the promenade
The Promenade

I did a Sunday Promenade along the beach. Everyone was doing it. The sun was shining. Kids were skating, lovers walking hand in hand. McDonalds was crowded out. The line-up for the Maccas drive-through was chokkers. Standard suburbia. The same the world over. I had a Burger King over the road. It was not crowded.

Rabat Plage
Rabat Plage

The beach at Rabat on a rainy day. The surf was very small – about a foot and there were two guys out.

Come to ze kasbah
The Kasbah.

I walked up the stairs to the kasbah. It had a nice view over the beach. There were lots of tourists about.

The River
The River

This is the view of the river from the other side. Nice.

Fishing boats
Fishing boats

Today the sun was out. So I walked along the river enjoying the weather.

The Restaurant.
The Restaurant.

A floating restaurant pretending to be a dhow. It did not fool me.

A castle corner
A castle corner

Guns sticking out of the holes. Cannons, I mean.

the souk
The souk.

And back along through the souk to have a cup of tea in the cafe. And back to the hotel for some R&R.

February 22, 2018

From Oualidia to Azemmour

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 7:44 pm

Atlantic Coast Morocco.

I spent a few days at Oualidia and found a few nice birds. These are my tourist photos. Oualidia had a very large lagoon stretching for miles along the edge of the sea.

Oualidia Lagoon Panorama.
Panorama of Oualidia coast.

On a boat ride I spotted some ladies on a donkey on the seaward side of the lagoon. It looked pretty funny to me.

2 ladies on a donkey
Two ladies on a donkey .

They use all these sticks as fences and stack them up when they are not using them.

fence sticks stacks
fence sticks stacks

This morning I got the bus to Azemmour. I waited for more than an hour for a shared taxi. Then a bus came along so I abandoned the poor taxi driver. The bus was so slow, it stopped so many times. I was so frunstrated. Eventually I made it to Azemmour and got installed in my riad.

Inside the Medina.
Inside the Medina.

This is from the roof of my riad. Very nice view.

Medina walls facing river
Medina walls facing river

I think a medina is like a fortified town, maybe like a castle.

Medina corner
Medina corner

Very nice end points for the medina walls.

February 18, 2018

Going North in Morocco

Filed under: General,Surfing — Tags: — admin @ 8:51 pm

Immsouane – Essaouira – Safi

Here are some of the tourist photos that I have taken on the way from Immsouane to Safi. There was nothing else to do in Immsouane. It was a small village on the edge of a barren desert-like landscape. There were two beaches and one of them was very protected from the north wind. And excellent for beginners to learn surfing.

Immsouane panorama
The beach at Immsouane.

I was lucky getting from Immsouane. I bumped into some Canadians in the village and we shared a taxi to the highway. We waited five minutes and then a bus came along. My hostel was easy to find but not very nice. I spent most of my time walking around the old city and the fishing harbour.

Trawler going back out.
Trawler going back out.

Grilled sardines were popular with the tourists. I never seen so many white pasty-skinned Europeans.

Grilling sardines
Grilling sardines

All the fishing boats were painted blue. I have no idea how they knew which was which.

A new trawler
A new trawler

A few trawlers were getting a fit-out.

The blue fishing boats
The blue fishing boats

Fixing the nets
Fixing the nets

This guy was repairing the nets while other dudes were unloading fish.

A trawler coming home
A trawler coming home

Surrounded by a cloud of Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

Surfing some small waves
Surfing some small waves

This morning I caught the bus from Essaouira, glad to escape my horrible hostel. Walked down the road to my luxury hotel with TV and air-conditioning and had a nice hot shower. After that I got a taxi to the beach but the waves were a bit too small. Nevertheless, there were a couple of keen guys out surfing.

Under the cliff
Under the cliff

I walked about a kilometer and got a taxi back to my hotel, had a quarter chicken for dinner and am now sorting out all my photos, watching French TV.

January 29, 2018

Marrakech – Morocco

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 5:15 pm

In the Souk.

I flew from Barcelona this morning at 6:30am. I had to get up at 3:40 in the morning to get my flight. I was not impressed. The airport bus was packed. I had to stand up the whole way. The security at Barcelona airport were nasty. But the overall experience was very efficient.

Sunlight in the Souk
Sunlight in the Souk.

This afternoon I took a walk through the souk, just checking everything out. I did not get hassled at all. I think I must have perfected my 1000 yard stare in India. The sun came out and was streaming through the roof after a cold and miserable morning.

Selling gaudy baubles.
Selling gaudy baubles.

I have no idea what this shop was selling. I asked and it is all Berber wedding jewellery. It was very shiny. I was drawn to it like a Bowerbird.

Golden Lights
Golden Lights

This stall was selling golden light ornaments. More shiny stuff.

Herbs and spices
Herbs and spices

There were quite a few shops in a row selling spices and herbs etc.

fishing for coke
Fishing for coke.

This game was very popular. Five dirhams for ten minutes. You have to get the ring around the neck of the cordial bottle. The ring is at the end of a fishing pole. Fascinating. I was mesmerised by it.

January 24, 2018

Hatay Muze

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 2:57 pm

Antakya Archeological Museum.

Raining again this morning. I got the word to go to the Archeological Museum. I walked down the road and caught the number 15 bus. The bus driver made me sit next to him and yapped to me all the way and let me off right in front. The cost to get in in 15 Turkish Lira, about $5.

Zeus in Basalt
Zeus in Basalt.

They had lots of old statues and stuff.

mosaic
Mosaic of a lady.

I was amazed at the quality of the expression on this lady’s face. There is a lot of depth in this picture.

mosaic work close up
Detail of mosaic work

And here is a close-up of the mosaic work. You can see that the stone chips are quite large. The artistic skill of the workers is very amazing to get such a rendering of this face with such coarse “brush strokes”.

chain mail
Chain Mail

Some chain mail, I think from the Saracen period.

Mushroom Head.
Mushroom Head.

This is a statue of Suppiluliuma, some dude from the Persian period I think. He had all writing on his back.

Skeleton in grave.
Skeleton in grave.

I think this skeleton was from about 3000 B.C.

pointy head
Head binding results.

Thousands of years ago, they used to bind heads to make them elongated because they thought it was cool. People are still doing stupid things because they think it’s cool.

A stellae
A stellae

I think this stellae is from the Persian period. the sun emblem above the head is pretty much Persian.

January 23, 2018

Alanya to Antakya

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 6:01 pm

South-East Turkey.

From Fethiye, I headed to Alanya for a couple of days. The sun was out so I went for a walk along the water-front.

Alanya Beach
The Beach at Alanya

Above the harbour at Alanya there is the remains of the old castle and its walls which snake down the hill.

Alanya Castle
Alanya Castle

from Alanya I headed East to Limonlu, about fifty kilometers from Mersin. It is a small village with a small boutique hotel right near the beach.

Miniscule surf.
Miniscule surf.

The waves were really small but surfable if you were desperate. I did see a decent point break further down the coast while I was going past in the bus.

Turkish Surfers Paradise.
Turkish Surfers Paradise.

They have built all these hideous apartment blocks right on the beach. Mainly empty now that it is winter but I bet it gets crowded in summer. Ugh. All that flabby Euro flesh. “Shudder”.

Antakya's flooding river
Antakya and the flooding river

It has been raining for days and this morning I caught the bus from Adana to Antakya. The countryside is quite different in this part of Turkey. A lot more cultivation and industry.

Antakya Bazaar
The Markets at Antakya

I found the markets so I went for a wander. They go for ages.

Baking pizzas in Antakya Bazaar
Baking pizzas

These dudes were baking bread and turkish pizzas in this wood-fired oven. The fire came out really nice and red.

January 9, 2018

Masts and Snow

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 5:35 pm

Fethiye – South West Turkey.

I was up at 8am this morning. Made my breakfast, packed up and walked down to the bus station (otogar). It was a half-sized bus and went half-way to Mugla. At Mugla I changed buses and made it all the way here to Fethiye.

Schooners and snow
Schooners and snow

You can see snow-covered mountains from the ocean. That is pretty amazing.

Masts and snow
Masts and snow

There is lots of money tied up in boats around here. So many boats.

A new Gulet being made
A new Gulet being made

I happened upon the shipyards where they are making even more schooners. How many do they need? But they are amazing boats. All made out of wood. Gorgeous. Here the ribs have been put together.

A Gulet hauled out.
A Gulet hauled out.

This one was hauled out of the water having some work done.

Another new boat
Another new boat

This one had the skin on. Thin layers of wood, put on diagonally.

Wide view of the shipyards.
Wide view of the shipyards.

There were lots of boats hauled out getting work done.

Cutting some steel.
Cutting some steel.

A couple of guys cutting some steel. It looked like it might be going to fit somewhere on the keel.

Boats in the marina
Boats in the marina.

And this was not the only marina. There were dozens of them.

January 7, 2018

Castles and Trawlers

Filed under: General — Tags: — admin @ 6:57 pm

Selchuk, Pamucak and Bodrum.

After Ayvalik and the rain, I was very happy to get sunshine at Selchuk, about one hundred kilometers east of Ayvalik. The moon was out as well as the sun.

Selchuk Moon
Selchuk Moon

There was a castle on the hill but I did not get to visit it. I looked at it from afar quite a few times but I was too busy looking for birds to get up there.

Castle on the hill
Castle on the hill.

The next day I went to Pamucak, about ten kilometers from Selchuk and on the coast. This trawler was out on the water trying to catch some fish.

trawler at work
Trawler at work.

Most people were out on this jetty trying to get some fish as well. I did not see anyone catch anything. There seems to be two schools of fisherfolk, the bait on the ganged hook brigade and the jiggers.

Pamucak jetty
Pamucak jetty

This guy was on the other side of the inlet going out to sea. I do not think he was catching anything either.

The Lone Fisherman Theory
The Lone Fisherman Theory.

This afternoon I arrived at Bodrum, further east along the south coast of Turkey. This is the pool at the hotel where I am staying. I might go for a swim tomorrow. Nothing but the best for me.

my hotel's swimming pool
Luxury Swimming Pool.

And here is a view from my luxury resort. The view is free, luckily. Bodrum, look out.

bay of bodrum
Bay of Bodrum.

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