Edinburgh in autumn The Ramsay Garden by Micah Offman

Edinburgh in autumn

Edinburgh in autumn

Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, is a major tourist attraction.
The number of tourists is one and a half times the inhabitants during the summer festival. In December it is all sold out for Christmas and Hogmanay reveling.
Edinburgh in autumn is a time of respite, in other words, the best time to look around calmly.

I like to take pictures when the sun has just dropped, exactly when the reddish glow of the lights have the same intensity as the sky.

Edinburgh, a view from the North Bridge

This image has of the castle in the background, preceded by the Assembly Hall and Museum on the Mound. It’s my view of Edinburgh in autumn from the North Bridge.

Edinburgh in autumn - Market Street - Micah Offman

On the sidewalk of North Bridge, there is a metal plate with the camera icon and all the Japanese tourists line up their feet for their ministerial shoot exactly that point.
But I’m a renegade, so my pic shows Market Street from the opposite side of the recommended place.

The Ramsey Garden

The most photographed place in Edinburgh is probably Princes Street, nevertheless, original views still can be found.
Only in the fall, we can see the opposite bastion, when the markets are absent, the Ferris wheel has not yet been mounted and the trees are bare.
Princes Street is actually the only public place where the Ramsey Garden is visible, a place that looks like fairytale houses, a place where an apartment costs a fortune.

Edinburgh in autumn - The Ramsay Garden - Micah Offman

These delightful houses are restorations of old buildings in the Castlehill area. They are distinguished by the exterior red and white harled ashlar, and by their prominent position looking at this small valley.

The Scottish Parliament

Edinburgh is a capital, so it has its own parliament. How do you imagine the Scottish Parliament building? Maybe austere and dark? Instead, it is exactly the opposite!
There are many examples in the city of ultra-modern constructions and the parliament is one of the best.

The Thinking Rooms Micah Offman

My photo shows the backside, probably the least known. People call Thinking Rooms this array of small studies. It’s where politicians close themselves to thinking what to do against … the hated English parliament.
This postmodern work is by the Catalan architect Enric Miralles and, personally, I like it very much. I took this picture with the midday sun because I like the flare.

More Pubs than Churches

Venite Adoremus - Micah Offman

Edinburgh is full of churches but the number continues to decline for a simple reason: they are converted into art exhibitions, weird apartments or, more commonly, in pubs.

My photo shows the excellent result obtained in this case. The music is live and the beer flows!

I could not resist adding the phrase in Latin, however, I can testify, Scotland is the best country in the world for beers.

Thank you so much for reading this!

Please don´t forget to visit my galleries to find more real travel photography and imaginary landscape!


25 De Abril Bridge by Micah Offman

Visiting Lisbon – Portugal

Visiting Lisbon – Portugal

I’ve decided to spend some time in Lisbon and by now I learned how this great city lives and breathes.

The Belem Tower

If you visiting Lisbon arriving by the ocean the first thing you meet is this tower.

Belem Tower - Micah Offman
The Belem Tower today, as in the 16th-century when it was built, is a fortress and a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon but, nevertheless, a stunning example of Renaissance architecture style called Manueline, typical of this country.

That evening I decided to wait for the sunset to take pictures. When the tourists leave and the sky is tinged with reddish colors… aware that, having only a T-Shirt, the cold of the night would have cost me a cold.

25 De Abril Bridge

Continuing up the river mouth, to reach the city, we meet the huge bridge of 25 de Abril.
Here people are proud to say that, this bridge has a brother in San Francisco, even though I don’t think they ever saw it.

25 De Abril Bridge - Micah Offman

The weird thing is that they built the railway layers, which is located below the road level, some years after the highway was complete and operative.

The Vertical City

Now we have arrived in Lisbon.
I’ve taken this shot to shows where the castle of Sao Jorge is from the opposite hill. So, now you can have an idea of ​​the pathway.Sao Jorge View - Micah Offman

The city expands on continuous ups and downs, long stairs and steep descents, consequently, I call it the vertical city.
To move around Lisbon, elevators, escalators and other public transports are essential. But if you really want to know what is hidden in these alleys, you have no choice: you have to walk!

However, if you want to reach the Castle there are tricks and this video shows how: https://youtu.be/UB7yJZ3z92E

Thank you so much for reading this! Please don´t forget to visit my galleries to find more real travel photography and imaginary landscape!


Feed Me! - clay pods in Spain

Feed Me!

It may sound strange, but “Feed Me!” came to my mind when I saw this bizarre clay pods, with their big openings pointing toward me.

My husband and I were in Tarragona, Spain – someplace near the Mediterranean Coast, exploring the surroundings.

Feed Me! - surrealistic clay pods in Spain, by Tatiana Travelways

I always thought that Spanish art had a lot of surreal in it, but when visiting the country, I understood why. Hard to explain, but I had the feeling of strangeness even when I was not in an art museum…

These huge pots were lying on the field, practically in the middle of nowhere… No signs of human life around: no houses, no farms, just bushes and small trees. Enigmatic? You bet! Their huge openings were literally big enough to let a person enter inside… Like big mouths waiting to be fed – huh!  I even had some goose-bumps for a second – the whole scene looked a bit threatening…
* I think this was after we visited Dali’s museum and the idea of “bizarre” was still alive in my head 🙂

Well, obviously we couldn’t just continue our driving and ignore them. I absolutely had to take a photo! A fence was separating this field from the highway. I had to climb it to take the shot, and this was helpful, because it gave me a better perspective. The clouds certainly added to the atmosphere too. I kinda liked this non classic sort of still life photo.

After posting this article on Facebook, somebody said that Spanish people were using these clay pots for making/storing their wine. Yes, they are making a lot of wine in Spain… That made me see them less creepy – ha, ha 🙂

This photo is now available in my gallery at Fine Art America as print either for home and wall decor or as accessories, as you can see in the display below. Just click on them for details and prices.

Surrealistic clay pots in Spain - Travel Art prints by Tatiana Travelways

I also thought that this image would look good in black and white, as well, so here it is: “Feed Me!” the surrealistic clay pots in b&w – click on it for more info:

Feed Me! - clay pods in Spain black and white art print by Tatiana Travelways

… And this is how it can look above your living-room sofa:

Feed Me black and white photo print above the living-room sofa, by Tatiana travelways



Europe – River Rhine at Twilight

River Rhine at Twilight

 Watercolor Paintings by Sabina von Arx

Summertime at the River Rhine

The River Rhine (Latin: Rhenus, German: Rhein) is one of the major European rivers, which has its sources in Switzerland. It flows in a mostly northerly direction through Germany and the Netherlands, emptying into the North Sea. The river begins in the Swiss canton of Graubünden in the southeastern Swiss Alps and then flows through the German Rhineland and the Netherlands and eventually empties into the North Sea.

On location painting in summer: At dusk in summertime we have this beautiful glowing twilight transforming the landscape into a miracle of warm pastel colors at the horizon and with dark contrasting colors in the foreground.

Click on this link to visit my Online-Gallery for Art Prints

Autumn at the River Rhine

On location painting in autumn: For my outdoor painting I stood at the same spot again but this time in late autumn. Now we have a very different light situation and another palette. There are warm golden glowing tones of yellows, orange, reds and warm browns. The light is much softer than in summertime and there is a slight haze over the scenery.

Click on this link to visit my Online-Gallery for Art Prints

My Artistic Approach

I do chose a semi-abstract approach for my watercolor paintings. Therefore I change the local color to powerful tones and shades of atmospheric light. So the painting depicts a dreamy world of wonderful holidays. Also see my other Posts with paintings from Europe Provence France – Old Village of Gordes , Italy – Pai Sopra on Lake Garda Greece – Santorini  Switzerland – Cabins in Snow. Art Prints on paper and canvas prints are available in different sizes and qualities. Visit my online art gallery for more travel art.

Evening Sales by Sharon Popek

Street Scenes from Cuba

I have always loved to travel. There are quite a few places on my must go to list and I have to admit that Cuba was never one of them. But several years ago, I had the opportunity to spend a week and half there. I am so glad that I did. I would go back in a heartbeat if given the chance. The people were wonderful and inspired an optimism in me. You can read more about my Cuba experiences here.

Evening Sales in Havana, Cuba

This image was taken after the Cannon Ceremony at La Cabaña fortress in Havana. The crowds of people had vanished and this vendor was looking for one last sale.

Evening Sales by Sharon Popek
After dark street vendor
Bay of Pigs

We had stopped for lunch at a Paladares (a restaurant in a home) at the Bay of Pigs. The ocean views were beautiful. But I was taken with the small houses and the people.

Bay of Pigs by Sharon Popek
Bay of Pigs candid image


The streets are as narrow as you would find in any old city. But the large windows and bright sun shining down created a warm, open feel. The people weren’t in a hurry, never pushing or prodding.

Aire Acondicionado by Sharon Popek
Havana Street Scene

As I said, Cuba inspired me to keep trying and never give up. You can read about how Cuba inspired my Travel Maps here. If you get the opportunity to go, take it!

La Alhambra Palace Granada, Spain a palace, fortress complex

La Alhambra – Granada Spain

La Alhambra Palace Granada, Spain a palace, fortress complex
La Alhambra Palace

La Alhambra is a palace and fortress in Granada, Spain.  Originally constructed in 889 AD, it was largely ignored until its ruins were renovated and rebuilt in the 13th century.  The design of the complex is Moorish and the name comes from the Arabic meaning “the red” and is derived from the reddish color of the outer walls.  The plateau on which La Alhambra is built overlooks Granada’s old city.  The complex contains numerous buildings, each built and decorated with intricate detail.  It was converted into a royal palace in 1333 by Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada.  After the Christian Reconquista in 1492, La Alhambra became the Royal Court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella and was the site where Christopher Columbus received the endorsement for his expedition.

One of the arcades with pool and water feature in La Alhambra

Over the years there were numerous additions to La Alhambra.  Many palace buildings were added, all opening into central courts or newly established quadrangles.  All the additions built by different Muslim rulers who lived in the complex adhered to the consistent theme of “paradise on earth”.  Arcades, fountains with running water and reflecting pools were used to add to the aesthetic and functional appeal of La Alhambra.


A view from one of La Alhambra buildings across to the main complex of buildings.

La Alhambra was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.  Visiting this outstanding historic place was one of the highlights of my trip to Spain.


Bardstown Courthouse by Sharon Popek

Courthouses of Kentucky

When visiting towns and cities, I like to find the local courthouses. I often find that in small towns, they tend to be the biggest, most well kept buildings downtown. Each one is different. While many have similar architectural elements, they are still unique.  Some are now museums or visitor centers, but they all started out as courthouses. These courthouses are located in Kentucky.

The Madison County Courthouse in Richmond, KY is a dominating building in center of the small town. Finished in 1859, the oversized Greek Revival building is impressive with its cupola and clock tower. The white brick is definitely eye catching. The courthouse still serves as the county seat.

Madison County Courthouse in Richmond, Kentucky by Sharon Popek
Madison County Courthouse in Richmond, KY

The Old Courthouse in Bardstown, Kentucky is now a visitor’s center in the small historic town. The cathedral like building was erected in 1892 to look like a cathedral since the majority of the population was catholic.

Bardstown Kentucky historic courthouse by Sharon Popek
The Old Courthouse in Bardstown, KY.

These two courthouses are both located in Kentucky, roughly an hour and a half apart, and erected within 30 years of one another, yet they are so different. This is what I love about small town America. Each town is different and offers something worth visiting. So don’t discount the small towns around you, take a day and go see what they have to offer.

Prints of these images are available. Just click on the image and it will take you directly to the print page. If you would like to see courthouses, from America and around the world, click here.

The Great Wall of China By Aashish Vaidya

The Great Wall Of China

The Great Wall of China By Aashish Vaidya

Section of The Great Wall of China near Beijing

The Great Wall of China in the Juyongguan area lies just north of Beijing.  This area of the Great Wall is especially popular with local as well as foreign tourists.  The construction of the Great Wall of China, according to historic accounts may have started as early as the seventh century BCE.

The History

Constructed to provide defense against invaders, the Great Wall was also used as border control including collection of taxes along the Silk Route.  It also served to control migration of people.  It has been rebuilt, maintained and expanded over many generations and many dynasties, 

Much of the existing Great Wall, was largely built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 CE).  The Great Wall with all its branches, is an impressive architectural feat.  According to some surveys, it measures over 13,000 miles (or over 21,000 km). UNESCO designated The Great Wall of China, a World Heritage Site in 1987.  The New7Wonders Foundation, through a popularity contest, listed the Wall as one of the New 7 manmade Wonders in 2007.  

China Canvas Print featuring the photograph On The Great Wall, China by Aashish Vaidya
China Canvas Print featuring the photograph On The Great Wall, China

Visiting the Great Wall

The Juyongguan section of  the wall protected capital Beijing.  The day we visited, a haze hung around the whole area. It wasn’t quite apparent, if this was natural or if it was the smog.

When visiting the Wall, it is best to dress in layers.  The exertion of going up the Wall makes you uncomfortable even in pleasant mid-60s temperature.  The early and mid-mornings are especially popular time for visitors.  During our visit, we saw see many tourists, packed on the narrow wall, negotiating the steep steps.

Visiting the Juyongguan area of the Wall is a great experience as we witness the beautiful colors of autumn along the mountainside. The watchtowers that dot the mountainside are also a special treat.

Watch Tower on the Great Wall of China

A myth persists that the Wall can be seen from outer space.  Unfortunately, just like other manmade objects, it is only visible in low earth orbit on a very clear day.  Of course, the best way to experience the awesome sight of the Great Wall, is to visit it.

Maybe, the next best way to enjoy it, is through photographic wall art or other objects featuring the artwork. Visit the China Gallery to explore these and other images from China.

The Great Wall of China is impressive to witness, in person. It is marvel of engineering and architecture. And an awesome testament to human labor, and ingenuity that went into building it.

A Listing of this Week’s Photo prompts/challenges Jan 4 – Jan 10 updates

Jan 4 – Jan 10 Listing of this Week’s Photo Challenges

  • Almost ALL accept, and also like paintings! The fact that there are not too many painters around, doesn’t mean that you cannot post 🙂
    * Lens Artists don’t at this time 🙁
  • Some challenges that specify a particular day or week-end go for the whole week. For example: Dutch goes the Photo! Tuesday Photo Challenge – This week: “Slippery” (link inside) – This is a quality challenge!
Donaueschingen Danube River Spring

Donaueschingen Danube River Source

Donaueschingen Danube River Source – A place worth visiting.

The top image of this post features “Donau Quelle” which is the German for Danube River Spring. For those who don’t know, Danube is the second biggest river in Europe, after Volga. It starts in the Black Forest in Germany and ends in the Danube Delta of Romania (and a small part Ukraine). From the source, the river flows for a distance of 2850 km (1771 miles) and goes through Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine.

I always wanted to see the source of it. The time arrived in 2011, when my husband and I went to visit Germany.

Donau Quelle – Danube River Spring

Donaueschingen Danube River Spring

The spring resides on the domain of the Fürstenberg family, where there is also a castle with the same name and a cathedral. The zone is partially under construction and I couldn’t get any decent shots of the castle. Too bad, but my target was to see the source anyway…

The water goes from here to the small river (Breg), which joins another river (Brigach) 1 km farther. From there it becomes the actual Danube.


The closest place to the source is Donaueschingen town. I speak a little German, but not enough, so what I could find out was that the name of the town could be translated as Danube confluence. And this is what it actually was. Here are two pictures of this town’s red roofs, viewed from above.

Red Roofs In Donaueschingen, Germany

Donaueschingen is a very nice old German town with some new updated modern architecture and lifestyle.

Red Roofs In Donaueschingen, Germany

All these pictures are available as art prints for wall and home decor in my Germany gallery. Just click on them to see all the options. If you are like me and want to have the Danube river spring image as a poster in your home, this is how it will look like:
* Upon purchase the images will be WATERMARK FREE. Every purchase includes a money-back guarantee!

Donaueschingen Danube River Source - poster art print

For the fun of challenges:

FOWC with Fandango — Target

Copyrighted Image

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