Monday, November 28, 2011

Volcanic Vegetables

The rich volcanic soil on the banks of Lake Batur in Bali beneath the active volcano, Gunung Batur, provides a rich and fertile base for the growth of local vegetables. As you drive round the lake you can see many local farmers in the vegetable fields tending to their crops.

One of the best and most simple meals I had was right here in the middle of the vegetable fields where a small restaurant served up local rice along with fresh vegetables from the fields and fish caught from the lake .... washed down with the local Bintang beer of course!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

St. Heinrich Church, Beckenried

This is the St. Heinrich Church in Beckenried on the banks of  Lake Lucerne in Switzerland. Beckenried is a municipality in the canton of Nidwalden in Switzerland. The first settlers in what would become Beckried were from Alamanni tribes that moved into the area over 2000 years ago. During the Middle Ages the region was part of extensive estates that were shared between Engelberg Abbey, Murbach-Lucerne and Steinen, Switzerland. The two tower houses in the village (named: Retschrieden and Isenringen) were built in the 13th century for two local, influential families. In 1262 the village is mentioned in an agreement over a nearby pasture. In 1314 it is mentioned as Beggenriet.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


The Chapel Bridge (German: Kapellbrücke) is a covered wooden footbridge spanning diagonally across the Reuss River in the city of Lucerne in central Switzerland. Named after the nearby St. Peter's Chapel, the bridge is unique since it contains a number of interior paintings dating back to the 17th century, although many of them were destroyed along with most of the centuries old bridge in a 1993 fire. Subsequently restored, the Kapellbrücke is the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe, as well as the world's oldest surviving truss bridge. It serves as the city's symbol and as one of Switzerland's main tourist attractions.

Lucerne is a city in north-central Switzerland, in the German-speaking portion of that country. Lucerne is the capital of the Canton of Lucerne and the capital of the district of the same name. With a population of about 76,200 people, Lucerne is the most populous city in Central Switzerland, and a nexus of transportation, telecommunications, and government of this region. The city's metropolitan area consists of 17 cities and towns located in three different cantons with an overall population of about 250,000 people.
Due to its location on the shore of Lake Lucerne (der Vierwaldstättersee), within sight of Mount Pilatus and Rigi in the Swiss Alps, Lucerne has long been a destination for tourists. One of the city's famous landmarks is the Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke), a wooden bridge first erected in the 14th century. Lucerne was voted the fifth most popular tourism destination in the world in 2010 by Tripadvisor.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Tavern

The Tavern Bar in the Aryaduta Hotel, Jakarta used to be a real hot-spot but as you can see from this i-phone panoramic shot the place is now very quiet. It was famous for it's pub food, particularly the hot-stone steaks and the resident band who were invariably from Philippines. With all the new hot-spots in Jakarta it looks like the crowd has moved on leaving The Tavern more spacious but with little atmosphere now.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Bridge Over The Inn

Innsbruck is the capital city of the federal state of Tyrol in western Austria. It is located in the Inn Valley at the junction with the Wipptal (Sill River), which provides access to the Brenner Pass, some 30 km (18.6 mi) south of Innsbruck. Located in the broad valley between high mountains, the Nordkette (Hafelekar, 2,334 metres or 7,657 feet in the north, Patscherkofel (2,246 m or 7,369 ft) and Serles (2,718 m or 8,917 ft) in the south. It is an internationally renowned winter sports centre, and hosted the 1964 and1976 Winter Olympics as well as the 1984 and 1988 Winter Paralympics. It is to host the 1st Winter Youth Olympics in 2012. The word bruck comes from the German word Brücke meaning "bridge" which leads to "the bridge over the Inn".

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

When The Jungle Takes Over

Jungle Sounds Cambodia by HighlanderImages

Ta Prohm  is the modern name of a temple at Angkor, built in the Bayon style largely in the late 12th and early 13th centuries and originally called Rajavihara (in Khmer). Located approximately one kilometre east of Angkor Thom and on the southern edge of the East Baray near Tonle Bati, it was founded by the Khmer King Jayavarman VII as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery and university. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Ta Prohm has been left in much the same condition in which it was found: the photogenic and atmospheric combination of trees growing out of the ruins and the jungle surroundings have made it one of Angkor's most popular temples with visitors.

The design of Ta Prohm is that of a typical "flat" Khmer temple (as opposed to a temple-pyramid or temple-mountain, the inner levels of which are higher than the outer). Five rectangular enclosing walls surround a central sanctuary. Like most Khmer temples, Ta Prohm is oriented to the east, so the temple proper is set back to the west along an elongated east-west axis.

The outer wall of 1000 by 650 metres encloses an area of 650,000 square metres that at one time would have been the site of a substantial town, but that is now largely forested. An inscription at Ta Phrom indicates that that 12,460 people serviced this temple.

There are entrance gopuras at each of the cardinal points, although access today is now only possible from the east and west. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dragon Guardians

Wat Chiya Mangalaram is a Thai Buddhist temple and was built in 1845, making it one of the oldest temple in Penang... The main attraction of the wat is the reclining Buddha statue which was built in 1957... It stretches 33m long and 10m high making it the largest in Malaysia and the third largest in the world... The temple entrance is guarded by a few colourful statutes of mythical creatures, including two seven-headed serpents while two beautiful dragons “guarded” the two side entrances... Within the walls of the wat are drawings of the life story of the Buddha designed and sculptured by Thai skill articians... There are about 30,000 Buddha images inside the wat and also iconography of ancient Buddha and Bodhisatta images of various types from many Buddhist countries including Cambodia, China, Japan, Laos, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.