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.

I have so many photos I want to show that I will have to make another post. Please come back shortly to see more.

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

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

Thanks for viewing my post.

A SPRING DAY

It was blooming cold today, considering it’s a Spring day in March. Some of the country is covered in unseasonal snow, and the Dingle Peninsula has a smattering of it on high ground, like here below on Mount Brandon. I braved the cold to take my camera for a walk. Here are some photos taken on Ballyferriter Beach, Béal Bán, and some others in the countryside nearby.

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Thank you for visiting my blog. For more Dingle Peninsula photos It would be great if you would also check out my website:

http://www.helene-brennan.com/c25-dingle-peninsula-photos

STAVROVOUNI, CYPRUS

This is my second post about my visit to Cyprus a few months ago, where I of course took hundreds of photos – as one does.  In this post I am focusing on the Stavrovouni  region.

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The Stavrovouni Monastery is spectacularly built on the top of a volcano shaped mountain, of the same name – Stavrovouni Mountain, in the Larnaca district.  It can be seen from miles away on all sides. The monastery was originally founded by St. Helena in the fourth century AD, and has gone through many changes throughout the centuries. It is one of the oldest monasteries in the world.

The monastery is open to visitors – male visitors, that is. Women aren’t allowed inside – we might be a distraction for the monks! But no matter – the monastery is not the only interesting feature, as the surrounding landscape is truly breathtaking and worth the trip just to experience that alone. I have so many photos it’s difficult to choose which to show – I may do another post to show some more of them.

If you click on the images individually, you should get a clearer, sharper image.

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Please visit my website, with photos from Cyprus and other countries, and also my paintings

http://helene-brennan.com

 

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