Photo Friday: Prambanan Plain (Indonesia)

Asia, International Travel, Photography

Prambanan Plain is home to an incredible array of temples and palaces from the 8th and 9th centuries. The centerpieces of the complex are the three temples that occupy the central courtyard, dedicated to the Hindu gods of Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva. It is believed that the site was abandoned some 300 years ago, when earthquakes reduced many of the structures to rubble. Only 18 of the original 240 temples have been rebuilt.

Photos taken June 2011.

Photo Friday: Vardzia (Georgia)

Europe, International Travel, Photography

Established by King Giorgi III in the 12th century as a stronghold against the Turkish Sultanate, Vardzia was subsequently developed by his daughter, Tamar, who created a cave monastery that became a center of Georgian culture. This network of caves above the Mtkvari river is rumored to have once numbered 3,000, with up to 19 tiers in some places. Much of it was destroyed after a huge earthquake in 1456 and only 550 caves have been discovered spread over 13 tiers. There are numerous churches, meeting halls, refectories and wine cellars, all interconnected by tunnels and stairways.

Photos taken June 2010.

Photo Friday: Marken (Netherlands)

Europe, International Travel, Photography

Marken is a former island that today connected to the North Holland mainland by a causeway that is well known for its characteristic wooden houses. For some time during the later 19th and early 20th centuries, Marken and its inhabitants were the focus of considerable attention by folklorists, ethnographers and physical anthropologists, who regarded the small fishing town as a relic of the traditional native culture that was destined to disappear as the modernization of the Netherlands gained pace.

Photos taken September 2012.

Photo Friday: Medina of Fez (Morocco)

Africa, International Travel, Photography

The Medina of Fez is a modern-day labyrinth–delve deep enough and one can probably still find a Minotaur. Filled with compact, windy streets, indescribable scents, and cries of “Balak! Balak!” when an unyielding donkey is approaching, it is reminiscent of the Amazon in that it is nearly impossible to be put in to words–it really needs to experienced. From tanneries to rug shops, you can find it here, though be aware that religious sites are for Muslims only.

Photos taken June 2009.