Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Photo a Day - September - gone with more than a hint of Autumn glory!

Is it just me or do the months in the second half of the year seem to fly
by at a faster speed than the rest of the year?
Hard to believe that we say hello to October tomorrow!

My September finishes with a taste of Germany,
some fresh Autumn colour,
a little bit of The Netherlands,
of course Shanghai makes an appearance or two
 and we even have a little bit of Britain!

The prompt of the day is in red, the photo and description is my take on the prompt.

Horse and his Shadow
Meet the handsome Duke and his shadow!

Autumn in the forest, Frankfurt
News just in, Summer has left the area and Autumn has made a comeback.

Ralph in the forest, Frankfurt, Germany
Me and my camera
...head into the forest every day with Ralph, the locals are used to me,my camera and Ralph by now.

Snowy, Autobahn, Germany
Road Trip
So hard to choose as most of our travel in Europe is done by road. You see so much more and you can stop in the most wonderful places.
One day in January, we hit the road so that I dcould meet up with some fellow photographers in Utrecht, The Netherlands and take some shots. 
Our road trip took a few more hours than we thought...we had to drive through a big snowstorm.
Was a road trip to remember.

Utrecht, The Netherlands
 We made it safely, the weather cleared to a spectacular day
that was enjoyed by all.

Fan of Shanghai, China
You all know that I am a gig fan of here is my Shanghai Fan!

Wisteria, Grey's Court, National Trust,Henley, England.
Secret Garden
Wollow the Wisteria Walk and the secret garden will unfold before your eyes.
Love the National Trust properties in the UK, full of secret gardens.

My live has merged with three different places over the last four years, Shanghai, China, England and my forest in Germany, there will always be a little piece of each in my heart.

Globe of the world
Our world needs more transparency. An openness, communication and
accountability to make the world a better place for all.

Autumn leaf, Forest, Germany
The bold and bright colours of Autumn are filling my forest.

Dressed Dogs of Shanghai
Made you smile never seen a dog with a Ralph Lauren top on backwards before??

September 2015

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Our last minute Summer holiday, a few days in magnificent Devon, England

It was getting to the stage where we thought our Summer holiday wouldn't happen. 
Work trips for the Kiwi kept scuttling our plans and last minute booking in 
Europe is not to be recommended in the height of Summer. 
Logistics did not look good, one husband in the USA, one daughter in England 
and our internet was out of action for three weeks, but I did it!
We booked into a gorgeous little B&B in Lynton, Devon
Picked the Kiwi up from Frankfurt airport as soon as his flight landed, hit the Autobahn and 
headed for the ferry across the channel, up to Oxford to pick up daughter number 2, before hitting the motorway to North Devon. What a day of travel, but so worth it!

Heathrow, M25 England

As we wound our way through the Exmoor National park towards our destination in
 Devon we were astounded at the beauty surrounding us.

Lynmouth, Devon, England

The tide was out at the gorgeous little village of Lynmouth when we arrived. 
It was so good to be beside the seaside in such a picturesque spot after a mammoth drive.

Lynmouth, Devon, England

The National Park we had just driven through stood majestically behind us, 
basking in the evening sun.

Lynmouth, Devon, England

We spent days relaxing, wandered along paths and enjoyed the magnificent views. 
The perfect place to slow the pace of life and breathe in the refreshing sea air.

Lynmouth, Devon, England

Lynmouth, Devon, England

We meandered through paths in the Exmoor National park,
savoured the beauty of the heather filled moorlands.

Exmoor National Park, Lynmouth, Devon, England

Exmoor National Park, Lynmouth, Devon, England

Came across groups of Exmoor ponies and their foals.

Wild Exmoor Ponies, Lynmouth, Devon, England

Wild Exmoor Ponies, Lynmouth, Devon, England

Wild Exmoor Ponies, Lynmouth, Devon, England

Watched the sun set over the water, time spent in North Devon is good for the soul.

Sunset, Lynmouth, Devon, England

Monday, 21 September 2015

UN International Day of Peace 2015

This morning I checked my Facebook page and there was the usual invitation to "See your memories"
I clicked and found this "memory" for 21 September 2014.
My Photo a Day prompt for the day was "favourite word"
and I chose "Harmony" as it was the International Day of Peace.

"The United Nations invites all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities 
during the Day and to otherwise commemorate the Day, 
through education and public awareness on issues related to peace"

So here we are, a year on, the world is still in turmoil in some parts, 
the situation in Syria is chaotic to say the least.
I have seen first hand the dire situation the Syrian refugees are in.

Let us all try and make the world a better place, today indulge in a random act of kindness,
invite the person behind you at the check out to go first,
buy a homeless person some lunch,
donate some clothes to those in need,
send a post card to a friend, 
hold the door open for someone,
put your change in the charity jar,
even just Smile!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Photo a Day - September, moving along

Ahh, another week done and dusted.
A few trips down memory lane, love looking back on things we have done
and look forward to some new adventures to share.

The prompt of the day is in red, the photo and description is my take on the prompt.

Tea cups and pearls
BFF - Best Friend Forever
A BFF will sit, sip tea...or a wine with you, impart pearls of wisdom, 
keep your secrets, laugh loud, create memories, 
provide a shoulder, like family you choose for yourself.

Miao Sister Festival, Guizhou, China
Safely nestled in his snug baby carrier.
Miao Minority Sister Festival, Guizhou, China.

Mauseum, St Goar, Germany
A quirky little "mauseum" entrance for mice on a wall outside a very quirky
toy museum/store in St Goar, Germany

Butterfly and Bee, Lynton, Devon, UK
The garden was alive with fragrant flowers, bees and butterflies!
Lynton, Devon, England

Maypole Dance, England
Spirit of Community
There is nothing like May Day and a Maypole dance in England to bring out community spirit.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Photo a Day - September...why are you running away so fast!

September seems to be flying by at breakneck speed. 
The days are closing in, the leaves are changing colour and starting to fall, there is a chill to the air.
Change is afoot and preparations for our big move home are in full swing. 
So much to do, so little time...the clock is ticking fast!

Enjoy my days of September in Germany, with a few shots from China thrown in.
The prompt of the day is in red, the photo and description is my take on the prompt.

Autumn Leaf
Beauty redefined
A fallen leaf. life at an end but still bringing colour to our world.

Marktkirche, Wiesbaden, Germany
Point of view

Looking up from the front steps of the Marktkirche, a Neo-Gothic church in Wiesbaden, Germany.

St Goar, UNESCO World Heritage, Germany
Begins with 'S'
St Goar, a town on the West bank of the Rhine river, 
surrounded by castles and vineyards and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Australian Wine, Bob's Wine, Hofheim, Germany
Coffee Break
Had such a hectic week, a wine break was more desirable than a coffee break!

Ralph the dog, Forest, Frankfurt, Germany
Close to my heart
My daily walks in my forest with my dog Ralph are very close to my heart.
Wandering through the forest clears my head and my soul, my faithful friend by my side ...
or at least chasing a ball nearby!

Shanghai Skyline 2011
The daily commute in Shanghai, by foot, taxi, subway or ferry, always busy.

Passport to the world
My Aussie passport gives me the freedom to travel the world, live in different places
and return home to our beautiful country.

Vendor, Great Wall of China, Mutianyu, China
Unlikely Hero
Our day on the Great Wall was magical, the girls saw snow for the first time in their lives. 
While other tourists walked the walk, we had a snowball fight and built a snowman.
This kind vendor watched us with a smile, then left his stall to come down and make a 
family photo for us, giving us a precious memory of a fantastic day. Our hero!

This friend of ours likes to consume a carrot or two after a ride.

Monday, 7 September 2015

One place I cannot get out of my head - Yangshou, China

My little family has had one Summer holiday that ticked all our boxes, 
we had scenery, relaxation, history, adventure, great food and fun all wrapped up in one.
We spent two glorious weeks in Yangshou, China.

We stayed in Aishanmen village, about a 20 minute bike ride from Yangshou. 
So peaceful and quiet, the gentle ways of the village a perfect antidote to the high energy, 
fast paced life in Shanghai. We felt the stresses melt away as we
were driven from the airport in Guilin, through the glorious countryside to our home for two weeks.

Aishanmen village, Yangshou, China

This is the view that greeted us on arrival at our guest house, rural and picturesque
amongst rice paddies and Karst mountains.

The Giggling Tree, Aishanmen village, Yangshou, China

We walked into the Chinese Moongate of our home for two weeks, the converted farmhouses 

The Giggling Tree, Aishanmen village, Yangshou, China

The views were beautiful, embraced by the branches of "The Giggling tree"...this was going 
to be a holiday to remember!

Farmer, Aishanmen village, Yangshou, China

We spent days cycling around local villages, watching local farmers work the fields.

Yulong River, Aishanmen village, Yangshou, China

The farmers manned the bamboo rafts for the tourists in the Summer months.

Aishanmen village, Yangshou, China

Went about their daily chores...

Ducks, Aishanmen village, Yangshou, China

Taking produce to market!

The Li River, Yangshou, China

We meandered along the Li river on a boat, cruised by countless Karst mountains
and marvelled at the scenery.

The Li River, Yangshou, China

We did a few cheesy touristy things, held a pole of cormorant fishing birds...

20RMB The Li River, Yangshou, China

Held a 20RMB note above the mountains on the Li river pictured on the note!

The Li River, Yangshou, China

The scenery breathtaking and relaxing.

The Yulong River,Yangshou, China

We cycled by villages, farmlands and markets, had water pistol fights 
as we headed down the Yulong River on bamboo rafts with friends.
We swam in the clean water, ate delicious fresh fish at restaurants on barges
set up in the middle of the river. Glorious summer days!

Bamboo raft, The Yulong River,Yangshou, China

We stopped to take in the beauty surrounding us.

The Yulong River,Yangshou, China

Floated by areas of outstanding beauty.

Bamboo rafts, The Yulong River,Yangshou, China

We sat back and relaxed, enjoyed the ride as the boatmen steered us down the river.

Yangshou cooking school

We went to a cooking school, visited a local wet market and learnt to prepare and cook
five new dishes, then got to sit down with friends, old and new to enjoy our creations. 

Lotus blooms, Aishanmen village, Yangshou, China

We walked through the local villages, discovered a small lotus farm and thoroughly
enjoyed strolling among the beautiful lotus blooms!

The Giggling Tree, Aishanmen village, Yangshou, China

There was always a cold beer in beautiful surroundings at the end of every fun filled day.
The Giggling Tree, serves great value Chinese and western meals and is open all day.

Light Show "Impression Liu Sanjie" Guilin, China

We travelled into Guilin for the spectacular Light Show "Impression Liu Sanjie" 
directed by Zhang Yimou, whose work was featured in the opening ceremony 
of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Light Show "Impression Liu Sanjie" Guilin, China

A breathtaking performance highlighted by the backdrop of the river and Karst mountain setting.

Cormorant Fishing, Yangshou, China

We went on a boat trip at night to see the fishermen and their cormorants at work, 
I was a little worried at first that it might have been a little cruel as the birds have a 
noose around their necks to prevent them from swallowing the fish that they catch.
After watching the relationship between the bird and it's owner, my fears were allayed.
The fisherman usually hand rears the birds from when they hatch and the bond is strong.

Cormorant Fishing, Yangshou, China

The birds get rewarded with a large fish each at the end of each fishing trip.
There are only a handful of these fishermen and their birds still fishing in this traditional manner.

Sunset, Yulong River, Yangshou, China

This is only a sample of the many and diverse things we did and adventures we
went on in our two glorious weeks in Yangshou. 
Yet it was still the most relaxing family holiday we have ever been on, time spent together 
and with friends. So many things to do and a place to chill and refresh at the end of each day.
Two weeks was not enough to fit it all in that the area has to offer. 
We cannot get it out of our head, even four years later...plans are afoot to return in 2016.
The Giggling Tree now has a this space!