sunday post: sunrise

Sunday, June 3:  Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post challenge this week is Sunrise.  He writes: Sunrise or sun up is the instant at which the upper edge of the sun appears on the horizon in the morning.  The term can also refer to the entire process of the sun crossing the horizon and its accompanying atmospheric effects.

Here are some pictures from sunrise in Varanasi, India.

getting ready to board the boats for a ride on the Ganges

getting ready to board the boats for a ride on the Ganges

the ghats

the ghats

The word “ghat” means step, and the ghats in Varanasi are named after maharajahs. There are 80 ghats that border the river.  Hindu pilgrims flock to the ghats to either wash away their sins in the sacred Ganges or to cremate their dead.

The word “ghat” means step, and the ghats in Varanasi are named after maharajahs. There are 80 ghats that border the river. Hindu pilgrims flock to the ghats to either wash away their sins in the sacred Ganges or to cremate their dead.

along the River Ganges

along the River Ganges

sunrise on the Ganges

sunrise on the Ganges

If you’d like to read about my experience in Varanasi, please visit sunrise boat ride on the ganges, a swindler guru, and cozying up to the cows.

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weekly photo challenge: today

Saturday, June 2: The Weekly Photo Challenge for this week is Today! This week’s theme is a bit different (but you like that, don’t you?) – it’s about TODAY. This day. The day you’re reading and reacting to this post. No rules or guidance on what to post other than the photo must be taken today! Don’t cheat, don’t go into your photo archives on your computer, don’t link to an old post. Get your camera out, right now, and snap a picture to share with everyone!

Here’s my photo for today.  It’s a mosque near Medinat Sultan Qaboos, an area of Muscat, Oman.  I don’t know the name of the mosque.

mosque of the day

mosque of the day

pic-a-day: fruit

Thursday, May 31: Here is the last of the May challenges from Pic-A-Day Challenge: May.  I’m a little late getting to this one, but here are some lemons, not quite ripe, on a farm in Bidbid, Oman.  I know, they look like limes, but my friend Mario, who grew up in a farm in El Salvador, assures me they are lemons because of the shape.

still-green lemons on the tree :-)

still-green lemons on the tree 🙂

travel theme: street markets

Wednesday, May 30:  Ailsa from Where’s my backpack? created a challenge this week on street markets.  She writes: There is something about a street market that makes everything look, smell and taste just a little bit better.

Like Ailsa, I adore street markets and love photographing them wherever I go.  Here are some of my favorites.

fruits & vegetables for sale at a street market in Busan, South Korea

fruits & vegetables for sale at a street market in Busan, South Korea

greens in Busan, South Korea

greens in Busan, South Korea

flower market in Istanbul, Turkey

flower market in Istanbul, Turkey

street market in Delhi, India

street market in Delhi, India

dried fruits in Kyoto, Japan

dried fruits in Kyoto, Japan

Varanasi, India

Varanasi, India

pic-a-day: a passion

Wednesday, May 30:  Everyone knows my passion is travel, but almost all the pictures I post are about travel.  I also have a passion for photography and writing my blog, but everyone in the blogosphere has that.  Thinking along different lines, I thought I might share my passion for textiles.  I love clothes, especially brightly colored or patterned tops; I have a passion for them. My favorite store in the USA is anthropologie.  I can’t get enough of their funky stuff!  I don’t know if people would call my attraction to textiles a passion or an addiction.  Never mind.  Here is a picture of my closet.  As you can see, I’m a little compulsive, as I group them all by color. (Pic-A-Day: A Passion)

colorful tops in the green and blue categories :-)

colorful tops in the green and blue categories 🙂

a-z archive: v! challenge (vietnam)

Tuesday, May 29: This week’s topic for our A-Z ARCHIVE Tuesday’s photo challenge: the letter “V”: introduce one photo of your own archive with a “V” keyword for example VENICE (like FrizzText) or Vietnam, Vampire or Volkswagen, Virgins or Valencia, Vancouver or Videos, about veil duty or V-décolletages, Violence or Valparaiso, Vibraphones or Visitors, a pop song title with the first letter “V” (Valery, Amy Winehouse!) etc.

Here is a little gallery of shots from Vietnam.

I invite you to visit my blog about my trip to Vietnam and Cambodia: rice paddies and papayas.

inside a Buddhist temple in Hanoi

inside a Buddhist temple in Hanoi

selling bananas in Hanoi

selling bananas in Hanoi

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay, Vietnam

floating villages in Halong Bay

floating villages in Halong Bay

pic-a-day: letters

Tuesday, May 29: Today’s Pic-A-Day Challenge: May is letters.  I love calligraphy, especially Arabic calligraphy, but I also love any fancy writing that looks fluid and curvaceous.  Here’s a picture of a book with some letters I love.

I love these fluid and romantic-looking letters… 🙂

 

pic-a-day: eyes

Monday, May 28:  Here are the eyes of some village children in Bidbid, Oman. (Pic-A-Day Challenge: May)

the eyes have it... :-)

the eyes have it… 🙂

Omani eyes

Omani eyes

happy birthday, mom!

Monday, May 28: Today would be my mom’s 80th birthday if she were still alive today.  Happy birthday, Mom!  I love you and miss you.

Mom and Dad in China Lake, California many moons ago

pic-a-day: rainbow of color

Sunday, May 27: Here is my rainbow of color for Pic-A-Day Challenge: May.

rainbow of color on the University of Nizwa campus

rainbow of color on the University of Nizwa campus

pic-a-day: simple beauty

Saturday, May 26: Simple beauty in Misfat Al Abriyyen. (Pic-A-Day Challenge: May)

a lime in Misfat Al Abriyyen ~ simple beauty

a lime in Misfat Al Abriyyen ~ simple beauty

weekly photo challenge: summer

Friday, May 25:  This week’s photo challenge is Summer. Where you live, summer might be arriving soon, or (if you’re in the southern hemisphere), a fleeting memory. But what signifies summer to you?

Last summer, between living in Korea and coming to Oman, my family went to Deep Creek Lake in western Maryland for a week.  These are a few scenes, so evocative of summer in the USA…

Deep Creek Lake from our little dock at Creekside Cove

Deep Creek Lake from our little dock at Creekside Cove

Adam and Alex on the back of the boat

Adam and Alex on the back of the boat

Adam wake boarding

Adam wake boarding

inside the Lakeside Creamery: homemade ice cream!!

inside the Lakeside Creamery: homemade ice cream!!

If you’d like to read more about summer in Deep Creek Lake, see down time with the boys at deep creek lake.

pic-a-day: a favorite place

Friday, May 25:  Here’s a picture of a favorite place in Oman: Misfat Al Abriyyen. (Pic-A-Day Challenge: May)

I love walking around the gardens at this little village not too far from home

I love walking around the gardens at this little village not too far from home

pic-a-day: looking up

Thursday, May 24:  Here’s looking up at the banners hanging along the roof line of the Bait Zubair Museum in Muscat. (Pic-A-Day Challenge: May)

looking up at Bait Zubair

looking up at Bait Zubair

pic-a-day: something old

Wednesday, May 23:  Al Sandouq are wooden chests, ornately decorated with carvings and brass, which served a multitude of purposes. Chests in Oman can be dated back to the 16th century, and the different styles reflect the Sultanate’s rich seafaring heritage, with influences from Persia, Asia and Africa. Chests in Oman are a very important part of the home, and were generally given, full of treasures, to girls getting married as a bridal gift. (Pic-A-Day Challenge: May)

an Omani chest from the 16th century ~ something old

an Omani chest from the 16th century ~ something old

pic-a-day: what’s the weather?

Tuesday, May 22:  The weather today, as always in Oman, is hot, hot, hot.  Today it’s 108 degrees & sunny.  It’s been like this every day since mid-March except when we had some rain here and there.  Here’s a picture of the weather today.  Honestly, it looks like every other day here.  (Challenge created by Sherene of PRINT-SENSE photography & design).

the weather out there is frightful.....frightfully hot!!

the weather out there is frightful…..frightfully hot!!

a-z archive: u! challenge (udaipur)

Tuesday, May 22:  This week’s topic for our A-Z ARCHIVE Tuesday’s photo challenge: the letter “U”: introduce one photo of your own archive with an “U” keyword for example UMBRELLA (like FrizzText) or things which were “unusual” or “unfocused”, something about the U.K. Underground or “UP!”, experiences about “unjust” or “unchain”, about a pop song title with the first letter “U” etc.My pictures are from the city of Udaipur in Rajasthan, India.  It is known as the City of Lakes.  Here are a few shots from the city.  If you’d like to read about my time in Udaipur, check out my post: Udaipur, City of Lakes, the City Palace, a boat ride and the Whistling Teal.

the City Palace in Udaipur

the City Palace in Udaipur

Jagmandir Island

Jagmandir Island

a fancy boat on Lake Pichola

a fancy boat on Lake Pichola

Sisarma Village along the banks of Lake Pichola

Sisarma Village along the banks of Lake Pichola

Saheliyon-ki-Bari, also known as the Princess Garden, or the Garden of the Maids of Honor.

Saheliyon-ki-Bari, also known as the Princess Garden, or the Garden of the Maids of Honor.

pic-a-day: everyday occurrence

Monday, May 21:  Here are two pics-a-day for everyday occurrence.  One is just this week’s calendar with all the happenin’ stuff on it (ha!) and the other is my desk, which has my calendar, my computer, my phone, my iPod Nano and other stuff I use on a daily basis.

my calendar full of everyday occurrences... :-)

my calendar full of everyday occurrences… 🙂

And here’s my desk with my everyday stuff on it.

phone, computer, calendar, journal, books... all stuff I use on a daily basis.

phone, computer, calendar, journal, books… all stuff I use on a daily basis.

pic-a-day: 4-legged friends

Sunday, May 20: Here’s my 4-legged friend for today:

a goat at Wadi Bani Awf

a goat at Wadi Bani Awf

sunday post: pet

Sunday, May 20:  I don’t have any pets in Oman, but back home in Virginia, we have a Border Collie named Bailey. He’s smart and lovable and, nowadays, he’s getting to be quite the old man… 😦  Here are some photos of Bailey.

Bailey and his Frisbee during the blizzard of 2010

Bailey and his Frisbee during the blizzard of 2010

Bailey at Deep Creek Lake in western Maryland, August 2011

Bailey at Deep Creek Lake in western Maryland, August 2011

My youngest son Adam wrestling with Bailey, Christmas 2009

My youngest son Adam wrestling with Bailey, Christmas 2009

Here’s Jake’s explanation of our challenge: A pet is a household animal kept for companionship and a person’s enjoyment, as opposed to wild animals or to livestock, laboratory animals, working animals or sport animals, which are kept for economic or productive reasons. The most popular pets are noted for their loyal or playful characteristics, for their attractive appearance, and/or for their song.

Pets also generally seem to provide their owners with non-trivial health benefits; keeping pets has been shown to help relieve stress to those who like having animals around. There is now a medically approved class of “therapy animals,” mostly dogs, that are brought to visit confined humans. Walking a dog can provide both the owner and the dog with exercise, fresh air, and social interaction.

The most popular pets are dogs and cats, but there are also rodent pets, such as gerbils, hamsters,chinchillas, fancy rats, and guinea pigs; avian pets, such as canaries, parakeets, and parrots; reptile pets, such as turtles, lizards and snakes; and aquatic pets, such as tropical fish and frogs.

52 pick up: motherhood

Saturday, May 19:  This week’s challenge by Sherene of PRINT-SENSE photography & design is Motherhood.

My children don’t live in Oman with me, but my two sons, Alex & Adam, did come to visit me here in January.  So here is a picture of us together at a fruit stand in Salalah.

Alex, Adam and me in Salalah

Alex, Adam and me in Salalah

pic-a-day: around the house

Saturday, May 19: I’ve already taken plenty of pictures of my flat in Oman (Home Sweet Home in the Abu Nooh Building), so I wasn’t too inspired for this one.  This is all I could come up with: a picture of my favorite lamp and the colorful shadow it casts. (This challenge brought to you by Sherene: Pic-A-Day Challenge: May)

i love this lamp!! I wonder if I can bring it back to the USA with me!!

i love this lamp!! I wonder if I can bring it back to the USA with me!!

pic-a-day: reading material

Friday, May 18:  Here is my pic-a-day for reading material (Challenge from PRINT-SENSE photography & design).  It’s a stack of books I’m reading to help me plan and get in the mindset for my trip to Greece beginning August 31.  In addition to these books, I also plan to read several books on my Kindle: Rick Steves’ Greece: Athens & the Peloponnese in Two Weeks, Cafe Tempest: Adventures on a Small Greek Island by Barbara Bonfigli, and It’s All Greek to Me!: A Tale of a Mad Dog and an Englishman, Ruins, Retsina – and Real Greeks by John Mole.  I also hope to read several  more books when I return home to the USA in early August.  A little ambitious you say…? Probably. 🙂

reading for my trip to Greece... :-)

reading for my trip to Greece… 🙂

weekly photo challenge: hands

Friday, May 18:  Hands.  Hands can be instrumental in a photo – they emphasize, they hide, they reveal. They can be the star of the show, or just a prop to help the main attraction stand out better. Share a picture that has a HAND in it with everyone!

Omani hands

Omani hands

Korean hands... My co-teacher at Chojeon Elementary School

Korean hands… My co-teacher at Chojeon Elementary School

Korean colleagues from Chojeon Elementary School

Korean colleagues from Chojeon Elementary School

pic-a-day: jump for joy

Thursday, May 17:  Here’s my pic-a-day for “Jump for Joy.”

Jumping for Joy at Wadi Mistal

Jumping for Joy at Wadi Mistal

pic-a-day: something to remember

Wednesday, May 16:  Here’s a scene I’d like to remember once I leave Oman and go back to the USA.  I don’t think I will ever see camels walking along the road in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. 🙂  (Challenge from PRINT-SENSE photography & design)

camels wandering along the road on my way to work... something to remember :-)

camels wandering along the road on my way to work… something to remember 🙂

weekly photo challenge: blue

Wednesday, May 16:  Here is my entry for this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: blue.

This is the blue city of Jodhpur in India.

the blue city of Jodhpur

the blue city of Jodhpur

a-z archive: t! challenge (torii gates)

Tuesday, May 15: I couldn’t resist another entry for FrizzText’s T challenge for this week.  Looking through my Japan pictures for the Randen Railway line (see my previous post), I found quite by accident the infinite torii gates at Fushimi-inari-taisha Shrine in Kyoto.

infinite torii gates

infinite torii gates

Fushimi-inari-taisha Shrine was dedicated to the gods of rice and sake in the 8th century.  As agriculture’s importance declined, deities were assigned to ensure prosperity in business.   This is one of Japan’s most popular shrines, with these seemingly endless arcades of vermillion torii (shrine gates).  The entire complex consists of 5 shrines and stretches over the wooded slopes of Inari-san.

stone foxes in front of the torii gates

stone foxes in front of the torii gates

I approach the shrine and walk around the complex.  The torii gates aren’t evident at first.  Up some stairs, I finally come across the first tunnel of gates and stroll through the beams of sunlight cutting through the spaces.  I take the 4km pathway up the mountain and it is lined with hundreds of red torii and stone foxes.  The fox is believed to be the messenger of Inari, the god of cereals. Often a fox holds a key in its mouth that represents the key to the rice granary.

torii gates forever

torii gates forever

I keep walking and walking, expecting to eventually come to the end of these tunnels of torii.  As I have a time constraint, I cannot see it through to the end.  I walk quite far up, but as I emerge from each tunnel of gates, I turn a corner only to find another tunnel stretching before me.   I do this too many times to count and I keep looking at my watch to make sure I will have time to get back down the mountain and back on the train to City Hall.  I go through a tunnel and think, surely this must be the end!  And lo and behold, there is another.  To me, it seems these torii are certainly infinite.

a-z archive: t! challenge (train)

Tuesday, May 15:  This week’s topic for our A-Z ARCHIVE Tuesday’s photo challenge: the letter “T”: introduce one photo of your own archive with a “T” keyword for example TRAFFIC (like FrizzText) or TRAINS, TOMATOES and TEAPOTS, TOKYO and THAILAND, the TITANIC or TANKS, TIBET and TRUST, TALKMASTERS or TRACTORS, TRACKS or TEARS, TANGO or TYPEWRITERS etc.

Here’s mine:  a train on the Randen Railway Kitano line at Ryoanji Station in Kyoto, Japan.   It’s an electric railway that connects the center of Kyoto with the western suburb of Arashiyama, and it must be the cutest little train I’ve ever seen.  It’s painted a cheery purple color and consists of only one car, driven by a pressed and uniformed driver with a little conductor hat and white gloves. It makes a clanging noise as it rumbles along the tracks and drops me eventually in the suburb, where I wander down the street, captivated by pretty little thingies in shop windows.

the Randen Railway Kitano line in Kyoto, Japan

the Randen Railway Kitano line in Kyoto, Japan

pic-a-day: prized possession

Tuesday, May 15:  Without a doubt, my prized possession is my Apple MacBook Pro, which keeps me from ever getting lonely in Oman.  I spend countless hours on it writing my blog and playing around with my photos.  Also I talk online to my children and to my best friend Jayne in California.  I don’t know what I’d do without it.

my computer.... absolutely my prized possession

my computer…. absolutely my prized possession

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