Hol18: Villach – Austrian surprise.

This part of the trip was a bit unplanned.  Trying to get a cheap train north from Ljubljana resulted in a few nights staying in Villach, a town in the Gailtal Alps in southern Austria on the river Drau.  I hadn’t heard of until I checked the direction of the railway line on Google Maps.  And it turned into quite a nice stopover.  We got a good value AirBnB in a residential area overlooking the town and spent a nice 48 hours around the river, churches, statues, squares, beer and food.

A bit like Ireland, there’s no shortage of places to go for a drink.  Villach has its own brewery  – Villacher beer – and a splendid Brauhof.

Villach Brauhof
Villacher Brauhof

 

Villach Brauhof 2
and Biergarten

Also like Ireland, there’s the church for each bar.

Villach St Jakob side
Church of St Jakob
Villach St Jakob
Church of St Jakob
Villach rathaus fish
On the site of the old Rathaus, there is a commemorative fish..
Villach Centre
the main shopping street has a splendid fountain

And there’s a statue of the most famous Villacher – painter and sculptor Hanns Gasser

Villach Gasser
Hanns ‘Two N’s’ Gasser

Down by the river, you can get a splendid 2 hour beer cruise with a nice backdrop of bridges and mountains

Villach River 3
River Drau
Villach river 2
River Drau

Kit – Ricoh KR5 and Fomapan 100

Hol18: Slovenia – Ljubljana 2

Away from the crowds and walking tours there are many quieter streets and walks in the centre of Ljubljana to indulge in a bit of street photography and to try and capture the look and feel of the city, even around the Triple Bridge when it isn’t so crowded..

 

Ljublijana  river
The river – Ljubljanica

 

Franciscan Church Ljublijana
The old Franciscan church 

 

 

 

Ljublijana church
Ljubljana cathedral spires

 

Ljublijana kiosk
European cities excel in their wee kiosks

 

 

 

Ljublijana Library
The stand out stone work of the city library

 

ljubljana bridge
One of the Triple Bridge (s)

 

 

 

Ljublijana market
government offices..  and the main market
Ljublijana morris column
Morris Column and scooter – staples of all smart European cities

 

Ljublijana  statue
Valentin Vodnik –  poet, journalist and priest
Ljublijana street scene
a quiet street in the cathedral area

 

 

Ljublijana street scene
an overcast street in the cathedral area
Ljublijana street scene
residential arches

 

 

Ljublijana  slovenians on a bridge
more Slovenians on another bridge
Ljublijana  sign
Union Beer – Slovenia’s finest

All shot using the Ricoh KR5 and Fomapan 100

 

Hol18: Slovenia – Lake Bled 2

It’s not all about the lake.  Bled has some good walks and viewpoints around the lake, although it is prone to changes to the weather.  I never made it up to the castle – it was wet and the light was going, but there it was nice to see the area away from the crowds at the lake.

bled parish house
The Old Parish house, Bled
bled pub
A pub.  since 1903.  Bled
bled rustic pizza
translated – rustic Pizza (is that movie?)
bled shrine
Shirne at the Parish house
bled island shop
old shop front
bled church2
St Martin’s church
bled church1
St Martin’s church
bled church
St Martin’s church


bled skyline
View from the hill – away from the lake

Photos shot on the Ricoh KR5 and Rollei RPX25

Hol18: Slovenia – Lake Bled 1

It’s on many bucket lists of places to visit and Lake Bled didn’t disappoint.  From Ljubljana you can get a direct bus or the more civilised option – the train to Lesce Bled and a short bus ride to the Lake.

lesce bled
Lesce Bled station – one hour from Ljubljana

Once at the Lake – the customary things to do are take a walk along the lakeside, hire a rowing boat, head over to the island and back, and then take a walk up to the castle. All very predictable no doubt but no less of an experience.
I didn’t get the usual shot from the high vantage point of the lake and island – the day became a bit overcast, wet with some bright spells and the Church of the Assumption on the lake was covered in scaffolding for renovation work.  As it’s such a great place to visit, sometimes the photos have to take second place to the experience, even with some Fomapan100, Rpx25 and a wee bit of digital on the Fuji X20.

lake bled view
View of Lake bled (Fuji X20)
lake bled 2
cheesey lakeside pose

Having rowed to the island, there was a wedding to crash – complete with piper.

piper
Piper – colour digital (Fuji X20)

With the Ricoh loaded with the extremely slow Rollei RPX25, I managed to get a shallow depth of field in a pre-rain sunny spell – and hardly any grain.

piper bled
Piper  – 25 ISO film
wedding crashers, Lake Bled
the Bride and Groom
wedding 2
Bridesmaids
wedding reception bled
about to nick the champagne

 

lake bled island
the walk up to the church
bled church1
Door of the Church of the Assumption
bled church2
Church of the Assumption and some scaffolding..

 

After a few hours on the lake and island, it was time to head inland and up.

Kit:  Fuji X20, Ricoh KR5 with Rollei RPX25

Hol18: Pula, Croatia

Pula was an hour’s bus ride from Rovinj and is a great spot for a day trip with a bustling old town, Roman ruins and plenty to point the Ricoh at.

pula tourism
Tourist info – Pula

Pula has its own amphitheatre, a wee colosseum.

pula ampitheatre 3
Pula Amphitheatre
pula ampitheatre
Pula Amphitheatre
pula wall
old building with 3 owners embedded
pula rain
refuge from the rain – it can get wet

Croatia of course has a fascinating recent history, particularly during the second world war where as well as being occupied by Nazi Germany, it had its own collaborating dark side – the fascist Ustaša which was resisted and subsequently defeated by anti fascist Yugoslav movements.  There are a number of memorial to anti-fascism and Pula has a large memorial garden alongside the main harbour.

pula antifacist memorial
Anti-fascist memorial
Pula Tito
Tito
Pula memorial
anti-fascist memorial
pula petrovic
Ruza Petrovic – partisan blinded by fascists

Back in the old town the town-hall is on a old Roman site
Pula ruins

pula bar
some old buildings of course become bars

And various remnants of old walls and portals into the old city

Pula archway 2
archway into old town

 

pula James Joyce
and of course, there is the Irish presence – a James Joyce bar

Shot on Rollei RPX25 and Fomapan 100.

 

 

Hol18: Rovinj, Croatia (Hrvatska)

My first moments in Croatia (I find Hrvatska a bit difficult to pronounce) were getting off the ferry in Rovinj,  and Rovinj is very, very easy on the eye.
It’s got a very nice town square.

Rovinj town square
Rovinj town square

It’s got very pleasant bars – all decked out with the very recognisable flag.

Rovinj Monte Carlo
The Monte Carlo bar
Rovinj steps
with seating down to the sea

In its old town centre, there is a baroque church overlooking the bay – the Church of St. Euphemia (she was from Byzantium, apparently)

Rovinj church 2
Church of St. Euphemia
Rovinj church
Church of St. Euphemia

Around the town, there’s no shortages of places to have a drink or to photograph.

Rovinj taverna
 Taverna, Rovinj
Rovinj ruins and house
House among some ruins

 

Rovinj old town
Old town
Rovinj at the Copa Pizza
At the Copa..  View from the bay

While I was here, I tried for the first time some Rollei RPX25 film, it was pretty bright after all.  And the RPX25 is the most grain-free film I’ve shot. 

roving coastline
Rovinj in the evening
window man rovinj
Man in window of pizzeria.  It’s like a basic advent calendar
window rovinj
decorative house, Rovinj

Rovinj was nice introduction to Croatia and a base for a relaxing few days.  It’s not the most dynamic of places, but a good entry point travelling by ferry from Italy.

Camera:  Ricoh KR5 with Fomapan 100 (the grainier shots) and Rollei RPX25 (no grain)

Hol18: Venezia 2. Giudecca

Giudecca is the longish island that lies opposite the main island of Venice and you can get to it by vaporetto from St Marks.   One of the main attractions is that it’s relatively quite and peaceful.  Being mainly residential, most tourists don’t go across, but it’s a delightful place with some magnificent churches, views and cafes.  En route the vaporetto also stops at San Giorgio Maggiore, the little island with the landmark church everyone photographs from across on the main island.

 

San Giorgio Maggiore
Church of San Giorgio Maggiore
San Giorgio Maggiore
Church of San Giorgio Maggiore
Church of the Santissimo Redentore, Giudecca
Church of the Santissimo Redentore, Giudecca
cool bloke, Giudecca
Giudeccan..  nice hat.
Giudecca
residential area, Giudecca
Vaporetto stops, Giudecca
Vaporetto stop, Giudecca
venice giudecca
Giudecca waterfront
Selfie.  Giudecca
along the waterfront, there is a set of mirrors.  For the Venetian selfie

Kit: Ricoh KR-5 and Oriental Seagull.

Hol18: Arrivederci Roma

Rome was everything I thought it would be – magnificent in its ruins, churches, history and people.  I’ll go again, maybe in autumn when the heat isn’t as crazy.  The sites, streets, piazzas are all undeniably photogenic and maybe in less tourist-heavy seasons, I’d take a more measured photowalk round the numerous easily walked.  Here’s some random shots of Rome.  Shots taken on the Ricoh KR5 and Lomography Earl grey 100 film.

rome along tiber 05 rome along tiber 06

rome castel san angelo 2
view of  Castel San Angelo
rome castel san angelo
Castel San Angelo
Rome Catharine Siena
Catharine of Siena
Rome fountain
a rather ornate fountain
Rome Happy Hour
Happy Hour
rome street scene 2
Street scene
rome street scene 3
Ornate Building
rome street scene
Roman Street


rome along tiber 03
Cafe along the Tiber
rome Trattoria
Trattoria
rome trevi 4
Tat at the Trevi Fountain
rome kiosk
A kiosk selling Kodak

 

HOL18: No Place Like Rome 2

Romans  – the current ones, not the ancients – are more often than not a stylish lot as are many of the tourists, at least not the sweaty football shirt-wearing middle-aged Irish ones.    And like Paris, it’s easy to snap a more flattering street shot when you’re in such beautiful and iconic surroundings.

rome along tiber 01
Just like the banks of the Seine

 

Rome busker
Roman Busker – I suspect more aged than his youthful demanour
rome cafe
Roman cafe – bloke inside
Rome, Girl in a cafe
roman cafe – girl outside
rome trevi 3
Capturing the magnificence of the Trevi Fountain
rome fountain 1
Drinking water freely available

Photos shot on Ricoh KR5 with Oriental Seagull 100

Ueno Park, that’s where I’ve been

what did you do there? I took photos

km400_tokyo_uenopark1
Kaneiji Temple, Ueno Park

Ueno Park is a large green space in central Tokyo and a great place for a walk around the city with the camera. There’s temples, museum, a zoo, entertainment – including Taiko drumming blogged here, flea markets and plenty of people. It’s also beside a large shopping area, the Ameyoko Shopping Street so you can easily fill a day here. And like Tokyo there’s any number of JR and metro stations in the area to get here.

km400_tokyo_kimono_park2
Another Kimono photo
ktx_ameyaykocho
Ameyoko shopping
ktx_tokyo oul lads
Oul lads, Ameyoko
km400_tokyo_uenopark_plantgirl
Blind among the flowers
km400_tokyo_uenopark2
Oul lad in the park
km400_tokyo_uenopark5
Strange cabbage-like plants, Ueno Park
km400_tokyo_uenopark3
Flea Market bargains
km400_tokyo_uenopark4
Seller of weird shit, Ueno Park

All shot on the Nikon F60 and Kentmere 400 or Kodak Tri-X