KILLARNEY NATIONAL PARK (Part 1)

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These are photos from The Killarney National Park area, which I visited recently.  It was a couple of  years since I was there, so Killarney’s lovely forests, lakes and mountains made a nice change from the beaches of the Dingle Peninsula. It’s not too far to drive from home, I really should go more often.

Killarney has long been a popular tourist spot, even my parents honeymooned there, soooo many years ago.

I and 2 friends set off in my van, having three seats in front at least we could all get a good look around, besides I can get travel sick in the back seat of a car. So we of course wore masks – three masked women in the front seats of a van!  I joked that we looked like we were out on a heist!

So I hope you will enjoy joining us on our trip.

Our first stop was Muckross Park. where we passed through the gardens and woodland before moving on to Torc Waterfall, where there was more woodland, so my woodland pics got a bit mixed up.

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Torc Waterfall. The place was teeming with people. Social distancing was not easy here.

 

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This waterfall is 20 metres (66 ft) high, falling a distance of a 110 metres (360 ft) cascade, formed by the Owengarriff River as it drains from the Devil’s Punchbowl corrie lake at Mangerton Mountain.  You cannot see all of it at once, and there is a steep walk up a path to get to see it on another level.

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Above is the first level, and below is the higher level, after the steep walk up the hill.

 

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On the way back to the car park we came upon this delightful little cottage, looking like a gate lodge to some place – I don’t know where. The garden was overgrown and the house looked un-lived in, although fitted with a security alarm.

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We stood there for a while and enjoyed trying to identify the flowers, and one person even hopped in and collected a few seedheads.  Seems we were on a heist after all!

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Thanks for joining us.  I have several more photos to show of the lakes, mountains and the Gap of Dunloe. Please re-join me for the rest of the trip, within the next few days.  Here’s a taster:

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More photos of the South Kerry region and the Killarney National Park area on my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c87-photographs-of-the-iveragh-peninsula-and-killarney

 

MIZORAM, SOLOMON’S TEMPLE

Back to Mizoram again in this post, with still so many photos to show after my December / January trip.

There are church buildings all over the place in Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram, a state in North East India (which is 87% Christian),  and very large impressive  buildings they are too, but Solomon’s Temple is considered a ‘must see’ for tourists. It’s a huge building with a seating capacity of 3000 inside, and a lot more could be seated in the porch or canopied area all around the exterior of the building.

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The architect and leader of the Church Dr LB Sailo, claims that God showed him the design in a dream, so he set about attempting to get this church constructed.  It took more than 20 years to build, and it was built largely on voluntary labour. I found that the name of the religion was hard to grasp, as I was given different answers when I enquired about it.  ‘A cult’,  ‘Born again Christian’  ‘Kohhran Thianghlim’ (meaning Holy Church) were some answers. Whatever, it is, it is the largest Church building in Aizawl.  I don’t know how full it might be on a Sunday.  It’s open to tourists with a caretaker there to show you around.

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The walls of the building are covered in white busleara marble, and the floor is of red sandstone. The winter afternoon sun gives the walls a warm tint in some of these photos.

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Mizo Church goers do seem to enjoy their singing and this is generally accompanied by enthusiastic drumming.

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The building inside is just one open space. The ceiling is highly polished which enables the light from the windows to be reflected, giving extra light in the building.

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Notice the Star of David, generously applied as ornamentation around the building. They named this building after the original Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, (currently the site of the Al Aqsa Mosque) and see it as some kind of replacement for the First Temple.

Just for a little balance, I have included a few photos of other church buildings I happened to see as I walked around. I haven’t got the names of all of them

I would just like to say that I am not at all religious and have no religious beliefs whatsoever. I’m just an observer.

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Chaltlang Presbyterian Church, above and below (with Christmas lights).

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A Christmas tree street decoration below, outside a church building.

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Thanks for visiting my post. I might return again to Mizoram in another post.

I can be contacted via my website.

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c51-india

MIZORAM, INDIA

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I have been quieter than usual for some time now, because I was doing some travelling and visiting some different countries. My main focus was the beautiful state of Mizoram, India. Up to a couple of years ago I was completely unaware of this place, and I find most other people are just as unaware. Over the Christmas period a family event enticed me to visit Mizoram, and it was a very interesting trip.

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I stayed in the state capital, Aizawl, and most of my photos are of this city which is built haphazardly and mostly with very basic resources on these very steep slopes on the top of several mountain peaks. I managed a couple of trips outside of the city but not nearly as much as I would have liked.

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Generally, I am more attracted to landscape and seascape photography, which offers opportunities for capturing beauty, or what I see as beautiful. In Aizawl I felt challenged in my attempts to find beauty in the narrow, noisy streets, with motor bikes, taxis, buses and private cars creating such a level of pollution that many people have taken to wearing masks. Skeins of electric wires, looping, coiling and dipping around the streets would definitely challenge the temptation to edit them out of the picture, as I might do at home! I made the decision that in this city I would focus mainly on capturing the character of the place, I would even make a feature of these tangled wires and untidy buildings! So not all my photos would be about beauty, but I tried to embrace the beauty when I found it, and there was a lot of it there.

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Viewed from my balcony on Christmas morning, an out of hours electrician works on the electric connections. Power cuts are frequent, but not usually too long lasting.

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HIV/AIDS infection affects 2% of the population. Mizoram is one of the poorest states of India which must make it even more difficult to deal with the problems and needs that this poses. These posters are a very common sight here.

Although economically poor, Mizoram is very rich in culture and tradition, and have at the heart of their society a great sense of community and caring for others. They come from South East Asian tribes and became converted to Christianity around the end of the 19th Century. Almost 90% of the population of 1.5 million is Christian, Presbyterianism being the most common. Perhaps because of this they do seem in many ways more western than the people in mainland India. They manage to combine the western Christian lifestyle with strong cultural traditions of their own.

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Below, houses appear to be tumbling down the mountainside.

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Along Hospital Road, opposite the hospital, I couldn’t believe how many pharmacies there were. Almost every shop was a pharmacy, with a few other medical or dental services thrown in between. I was told that each one has its own specialisation.

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Most buildings appeared to have these corrugated metal roofs.

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The above painting was on the wall of a house or block of flats, see building below.

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Colourful graveyards appear to be integrated into residential areas.

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As it was Christmas time, these poinsettias were flowering everywhere – outdoors!

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There are many beautiful views from around the city.

Please take a look at my other Mizoram posts:

https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/2020/02/04/mizoram-india-up-in-the-mountains/

https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/2020/03/10/mizoram-closer-copy/

Also, There are several photos on my website. Please visit.

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c51-india

Thanks for viewing my post.

STAVROVOUNI 2

 

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Here is Part 2 of this post with some more photos taken around the area of the Stavrovouni Monastery and the mountain of the same name, in Cyprus.  Many people visit the  area because the monastery is an interesting and important religious site, but here are also amazing walks around the area and the views are just gorgeous. it’s well worth the trip for the amazing landscape here.

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There are many more photos of Cyprus on my website. Do please pay it a visit:

http://helene-brennan.com/c857-cyprus

 

 

 

THE MAGIC OF LIGHT

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Many times I have taken photos of the same subject, and each one is so different. Every photographer knows this. How the light quality can change the colours, the hue, the mood, temperature, and often the beauty and attractiveness of an image!

In these photos of boats at Zygi Harbour in Cyprus, A dramatic stormy sky combined with the golden light of a late winter’s afternoon offered wonderfully vivid photographic potential. The Cypriot fishing boats, which are very colourful subjects, gave added intensity to the images.

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Lots more photos of Cyprus on my website: 

http://helene-brennan.com/c857-cyprus