Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

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

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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 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

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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.

January 2, 2018

A Walk Along the Water-front

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Ayvalik, Turkey.

I caught the bus from Canakkale at 10am and after innumerable stops at every otogar along the way, I arrived at Ayvalik, more than a hundred kilometers east. The weather is overcast today. After checking into my hotel, I had a doner kebab and a turkish coffee. Then came back and got my camera gear and went for a walk along the water-front.

bridge to the islands
A Bridge to the islands.

This bridge goes over to the Ayvalik islands.

Yellow-legged Gull
Yellow-legged Gull

Very few birds about. I was very disappointed. 🙁

rocky hill
A rocky hill

This rocky hill across the bay had some interesting rock structures.

Ayvalik panorama
Ayvalik panorama

A view looking towards the town of Ayvalik.

sunset over the bay

The next bay around from Ayvalik.

Ayvalik bird list

Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochuros)
Yellow-legged Gull (larus michahellis)
Great Cormorant
White Wagtail
Crested Lark
European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

January 1, 2018

A Day At Gallipoli

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Dardanelles Peninsular

Yesterday I took a tour to Gallipoli from Canakkale. There was another Aussie in the hotel and they needed two people to make it viable so I went along. We started at 11:30am and crossed over on the ferry and were met at the European side by a van. Then we drove to the restaurant and had a fish dinner. Very yummy.

crossing the bosphorus
Crossing the Bosphorus

First stop was the museum where we wandered around for twenty minutes. I was most impressed with the dioramas. I love a good diorama.

bayonet charge diorama
Bayonet charge

trencb diorama
Life in the trenches.

Then it was on to Brighton Beach which was nice and flat. I dunno why they did not come ashore here. Lots easier than Anzac Cove.

anzac cemetery
Cemetery near Anzac Cove

Anzac Cove is just ridiculous. There are cliffs right on the beach. It must have been insane landing here with bullets flying and then having to climb a humungous cliff. Utter madness.

Anzac Cove
Anzac Cove

The Anzac Commemmorative site is where they hold the dawn service. It is quite a nice spot right next to the water. It is not real huge but.

Anzac Commemorative Site
Anzac Commemorative Site

Lone Pine
Lone Pine.

We saw the remains of the trenches where the Aussies were dug in. The ridge is really narrow and the hill behind you is super steep. Not a nice place to be.

Aussie trenches
Aussie trenches

To the north the land is really flat. It would have been so easy to land there. Sometimes it is easy to be perplexed at the stupidity of war.

view to the north
View to the north.

And for a bonus, I took a photo of the Trojan Horse this morning at Canakkale. This is the one they made for the movie “Troy” starring Brad Pitt as Achilles. Brilliant casting, that. derrr.

Trojan Horse
The Trojan Horse

December 30, 2017

From Hurghada to Istanbul

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Egypt and Turkey.

I spent a few days in Hurghada on the Red Sea in Egypt. The last two I was sick with a stomach bug so I did not go out.I took a few interesting photos around the hotel. This guy on the bike was the garbage recycler. He would go through the rubbish bins and pick out anything that was of use or value. The cats were very fond of the rubbish bins as well.

local garbo
Rubbish Man.

This camel was tied up on an unused building site. I thought it was an inappropriate place to tether an animal as large as this. It looked mighty strange this ship of the desert tied up in a suburban wasteland.

Camel in not such a nice place.
Camel in Inappriate setting.

I flew to Istanbul, Turkey at 3am in the morning. Luckily I slept most of the flight. Still, I was a bit seedy the next day. The airport was miles away from my hotel and we had to go through all the bumper to bumper traffic to get to the old part of Istanbul.


I went for a walk along the waterfront and met these guys. They turned out to be alcoholics who were being all friendly wanting their picture taken, and then asked me for money. I walked away.

the local alchos
Alcoholics scabbing money

Yesterday I went for a few ferry rides to take some photos of the birds. This ferry came in when we were waiting to leave on our tourist ride.

Bosphorus commuter ferry
Bosphorus ferry boat

This was a commuter ferry and these were the hordes getting off to go to the European side of Istanbul. Maybe they were going shopping or returning home from work.

ferry commuters
Istanbul commuters

It has been raining for about three days. It is pretty miserable. I have bought a new jacket, beanie and umbrella. I am ready for the winter.

December 25, 2017

Al Quseir and Marsa Alam

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Red Sea Coast.

I caught a minibus from Luxor to Al Quseir, where I stayed for a night before heading to Marsa Alam.

al quseir waterfront
Al Quseir waterfront

Marsa Alam is a weird place, it seems mostly deserted. There are half-finished buildings everywhere and no people. It was like walking through a ghost town. The people seemed pretty friendly, no hassles. It is pretty good for divers, the reefs are pretty shallow and the costs are cheap compared to western countries. A Dutch guy I met was paying about twenty euros per dive. And he said the safety was reasonably good.

Marsa Alam - abandoned and lost
Abandoned beach umbrella installations.

After Marsa Alam I caught the Upper Egypt bus to Safaga. I found a really cheap fancy hotel near the sea port but it is a fair way away from the town center. Beaches here are inaccessible. That was disappointing.

Plastic littered the beach
Plastic littered the beach

I am heading to Hurghada today. Let us hope that the beaches are more accessible. But the wind is blowing very hard and it is freezing.

disaster zone
Marsa Alam – ghost town and disaster area.

Caspian Tern
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)

Red Sea bird list

Western Reef Egret
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)
Greater Sand Plover

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