Saturday, June 28, 2014

At the Crater's Edge

From the city of Ponta Delgada on São Miguel island - one of nine islands comprising the Portuguese archipelago, the Azores - it's a seventy-five minute bus ride to the hamlet of Sete Cidades and the start of the hike along the extinct volcano's crater edge.

It started to rain heavily the moment I disembarked from the bus.  I decided to have a long, drawn-out coffee in hopes of favourable weather. The heavy rain did indeed subside and I set out on the 11 km hike amidst a gentle drizzle. Before long, the rain stopped, the clouds and fog began to dissipate, and the sight of two stunning crater lakes and the Atlantic Ocean blew me away. 


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Mosterio de Santa Maria

Portugal is completely mad with World Cup football fever. In the little medieval town of Alcobaça however, one can easily be transported into a world far removed from this action. Stepping into the 12C monastery, it doesn't take long for one's awareness to be drawn within and into a more contemplative, timeless space.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Sacred Landscape

The Budhist mantra, The Jewel Within the Lotus reflects the mystical union between the self and the cosmos. A representation of this interweave between nature and self is strongly felt at the astonishingly beautiful Bled Island, amidst Slovenia's Julian Alps. It's no wonder there has been a place of worship here since the 9th century. Deep ecology indeed.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Setting Sun. Rural Peacock.

The area surrounding the remote hamlet of Hrastovlje, Slovenia is locally well known as a truffle growing region.  Enjoying a superb dish of handmade pasta in the setting sun, the atmosphere was suddenly altered by the shrill call of a stunning peacock.