Lens Artists Photo Challenge #38 – Weathered or Worn

Ballcarbery Castle was once the home of the McCarthy family, built around the 15th/16th century.  Now it is being reclaimed by nature, exposed to the weather as well as some tourists and cows.

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It was my favorite of all the ruins we visited in Ireland.  Around every corner there was some new beauty.

Apparently you cannot get this close to the castle anymore, but it is still worth a trip to Cahersiveen in County Kerry to see it.

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You can find more weathered and worn things at the original Lens-Artist challenge.

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Lens-Artists Challenge #36 – Around the Neighborhood

In university, I spent a semester studying abroad in Spain.  I fell in love with the university town of Salamanca, with its history, culture, and of course nightlife.

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I stayed with a host mother in an apartment just a few minutes’ walk from the Plaza Mayor.  I walked with one of my other friends to our classes every day and came to love our little neighborhood.  There was a tobacconist shop, some bars, a salsa dance club, a butcher’s, and many other little shops.  In the winter, vendors sold roasted chestnuts on the street corners.

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The local plaza was under construction while I was there; they made a lot of progress over a few months.

You can find more neighborhoods at the original Lens-Artist challenge.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #35: Architecture

After some close-ups of architecture last week, let’s take a step back.

The cathedral in Palma de Mallorca, called La Seu there, is a classic example of Gothic ecclesiastical architecture.  It was begun in 1229 and completed in 1601.  The interior shows the expected grand nave, pointed arches, and rose window…with a few surprises.

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Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí helped redesign some of the interior in the early 20th century.  Over the altar is a canopy reminiscent of the one at Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

You can find more architecture at the original Lens-Artist challenge.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #34: Close-Up

My cameras and phones have never been really good enough to get good macro shots, so here are some close-ups of architecture: Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona, Spain; the capital of a Corinthian-style column in Venice; a bench wall by the sea in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

And just for fun, I was playing with my phone today, so here is a close-up of my cat Juhani.

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You can find more close ups at the original Lens-Artist challenge.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #33: Nature

One of the best parts about our Vagabond trip to Ireland was getting to see a lot of the country in its natural state.

The famous cliffs of Moher, a natural wonder that forms a “signature point” of the Wild Atlantic Way tourism route.

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Killarney National Park was the first national park in Ireland, created in 1932.  It hosts a wide variety of native flora and fauna, including the island’s last wild herd of red deer.

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We saw many places off the beaten path, including Skellig Michael, a nesting site for puffins and other sea birds.  These birds have very little fear of people and will get quite close to you.  Between the sea, the rocks, the wind, and the birds, on Skellig Michael you really feel close to nature in all its wild glory.  It’s no wonder the ascetic Irish monks were attracted to this place.

You can find more nature at the original Lens-Artist challenge.