Sunset at the Castle

Today I spent some time with my friends and got a little shopping done (way too much actually but hey, I’m on vacation). It wasn’t until early evening that I decided to hike back up the mountain to Castelo Sao Jorge to catch the sunset and take some night shots of the city. I got a little lost on the way – I didn’t know exactly where the entrance was and ended up on the opposite side of where I should have gone. Luckily for me I arrived just in time for the sunset.

Lisbon Sunset

Lisbon Sunset

The photo above was taken from the viewing area just inside the castle grounds. While there was still light in the sky I decided to explore more of the castle itself. Inside the castle the glow from the sunset reflected off the walls and made everything pink.

A Small Doorway

A Small Doorway

Climbing up to walk on the castle walls I found some beautiful archways to photograph. 

Arch with a View

Arch with a View

As night fully descended and the castle grounds were about to close I was able to get one last shot of Lisbon.

Beyond the Castle Wall

Beyond the Castle Wall

A short adventure today but tomorrow I’ll be getting on a train and heading outside of Lisbon to explore Sintra, the summer playground for the previous kings of Portugal.

The Streets of Bairro Alto & Estrela

I ventured out a little further today to the streets of Bairro Alto and Estrela. I set off just after breakfast to see as much as I could before the heat became too hot to bear. Walking uphill into Chiado and then back down towards Bairro Alto and Estrela I found myself at the Basilica da Estrela. Venturing into the church I snapped a shot of the interior before quickly exiting as it seems that mass was about to begin and I didn’t want to disturb those in attendance.

Bascilica da Estrela Interior

Basilica da Estrela Interior

Across the street from the Basilica is the Jardim da Estrela. This park provides a haven from the sounds of the bustling city just outside its walls. The central point of Jardim da Estrela is the green wrought-iron bandstand decorated with elegant filigree and where, I hear, musicians play during the summer months. Seems I’m a little late to the party (or possibly just too early) as no bands were playing today.

Bandstand in Jardim da Estrela

Bandstand in Jardim da Estrela

The park has numerous exotic plants and trees, ponds and various sculptures for visitors to enjoy. My favourite part of this park was a small pond where a statue of a girl sits in the water. I’m not sure if she is feeding the ducks or just gazing into the water to see her reflection.

Statue in Pond

Statue in Duck Pond

Exiting the park on the opposite side from where I had entered, I headed back downhill (didn’t I already do that?) and continued to explore the streets of Bairro Alto and Estrela. As usual, I find the funniest things when I explore. Today I discovered a door with dog door handles (or possibly wolf?). Where does one get door handles like these?

Door Knocker

Door Knocker

Walking back uphill (does it ever end?) I came across another park, Praça do Principe Real which sits at another high point in the city where you can look out over the rooftops of the city below. In Praça do Principe Real there is a large cedar tree whose branches rest on a trestle and casts its shade on the benches below it. A nice break from the heat the sun beating down on you.

Praça do Principe Real

Praça do Principe Real

There are so many treasures here in Lisbon and just not enough time to see them all. I could spend weeks and months here just exploring. Luckily I still have a few days left to try to see more. Tomorrow I go back to Alfama and explore Castelo Sao Jorge.

It’s That Time Again

It’s June again. “So, what’s so special about June?” you ask. Well…the orchids are back! Every year I make the trek to Tobermory, Ontario to take photographs of a few types of orchids that are usually out in droves. This year with high water levels we were not sure what to expect.

Traverston Mill

Traverston Mill

My friend Nigel has joined me for the journey and as always we decided to take the “long” way. This usually means finding new places to drive through on our way up and not necessarily places that are on the way.

Our first stop is the Traverston Mill, located west of Markdale in the small town of Traverston. The mill was built in 1870 and operated as a gristmill till 1955, it is currently a private residence.

Chantry Island Lighthouse

Chantry Island Lighthouse

After messing around with some infrared photos of the mill we headed north west to the town of Southampton to photograph the Chantry Island Lighthouse. There was a haziness in the air so we didn’t stay long here. When processing the photo I went with a more vintage look to give it a little more character.

River in InfraRed

River in InfraRed

Going off the beaten track we found some little goodies to photograph by the side of the road. One of them was this picturesque scene of a river. I can’t remember where the heck this is but that’s the fun in exploring side roads.

Spring Trees

Taking a different route today on my neighbourhood walk (have to keep things fresh and exciting) I came across this beautiful scene.

Blooming Trees

Blooming Trees

The late spring colours are so fresh and full of life after the browns of late winter/early spring.

Further down this path the willow trees were in full bud mode.

Willow Flowers

Willow Flowers

As I continued my walk I crossed over an old bridge and found this little beetle making its way along the top rail. I have no idea what kind of beetle he is but he was motoring along with a purpose.

Beetle Love

Beetle Love

It still amazes me what you can discover even in a suburban area.

Roadside Astrophotography

Tonight there is no moon so my friend Nigel and I decided to jump in the car and head north to look for some stars. As we headed north towards Luther Marsh things got a little on the cloudy side but not enough to deter us.

Above the Clouds

Above the Clouds

The layer of clouds seemed to hover along the horizon so when we found ourselves a spot to view the milky way part of it was covered. Ah well. You take your chances with weather when you’re out shooting.

City Glow

City Glow

That orange glow in the sky looks like a sunset but its actually the lights from the city of Orangeville located not too far away.

Look Way Up

Look Way Up

A beautiful night out and a good start to a summer season of night photography.