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Today’s pictures are from Cyprus which also figured a couple of weeks back on Facebook when I wrote up my visit there in 2015. But again I have lots of pictures of that trip on this computer so I hope these are not on that post.

The first five pictures are from the fantastic museum in Nicosia, and then I move to the other cities I visited, but also include a picture with Dindy Drury, whose husband worked for the British Council in Colombo.

They became great friends and I visited them in Poland in 1991, but then only saw her again in Cyprus where she had remained after Jamie died suddenly while on assignment there. I am very glad I saw her then for she too died a couple of years later.

Today’s pictures are from Sikkim, and I apologise to those who saw pictures of Sikkim six weeks ago on my Facebook page. But this computer has plenty so I hope there are no repetitions.

In addition to richly decorated monasteries and fabulous scenery, including the Himalayas at sunrise from Pelling, I also saw an old archaeological site and stayed in lovely little hotels.

Today’s thematic pictures in fact go beyond rivers and lakes, for I begin with two waterholes in Yala, seen on my last trip there in June last year.

Then there are six from India, the last two from Assam, then two from Angola from the central area and then the Kwanza River just before it reaches the sea.

Two rivers in Uganda follow, including the lake at the source of the White Nile, and then the Zambezi just above Victoria Falls.

We move then to Armenia for two views of Lake Sevan, and then Azerbaijan, followed by two rivers in Argentina, the first the Parana up in Santa Fe. Finally there are rivers from Luxembourg and then Kazakstan, the beautiful Charyn Canyon.

These pictures were taken in 2018 when I finally got to Honduras after a false start because the visa took a long time to print and I missed my flight. But I was determined to get there so paid whatever extra was needed, but then did take in more of Spain on my way.

The pictures alternated between Tegucigalpa which had a great range of sights starting with its elegant Presidential Palace and the magnificient Mayan site of Copan.  Then I have a picture of the entry to Copas Ruinas followed by two elegant hotels I stayed in to get and be there.

I then headed north to the Caribbean coast for a swim and a super sunset, and then back down to Comayagua a lovely colonial town for my last night, in a beautiful hotel with a courtyard with fountains for breakfast.

And I end then with three more pictures of the Mayan monuments, the last in situ on a smaller site away from the main one.

 

 

Today’s pictures are from one of the most fascinating countries I visited. When I went to Azerbaijan, in 2015, I had no idea what to expect. I thought Baku, on the Caspian, would be interesting but nothing prepared me for the splendour of its sights, from the Maiden Tower to the elegant buildings of the first oil book. There were mud volcanoes nearby which we went to on our first morning, quite extraordinary. Then there was Shaki where we stayed in a beautiful old caravenserai converted into a hotel and saw the most exquisite palaces. We also took a plain to Nakchivan cut off from the rest of the country, with its hill monuments. And on the last day we had a cruise on the Caspian to look back on the flames above the city of an idiosyncratic contemporary building.

 

I come back to Africa today, for my third post about the country after Angola and the Sudan. These are from the most recent trip I took, in February, though I got back well before the world fell apart.

We went to two parks, the Kruger and the Pilasenberg which is in a crater, and also saw a bit of Pretoria. In between two splendid safaris in the Kruger we were taken on the Panorama Route which had waterfalls , rapids and spectacular views.

On the way back from Johannesburg I spent a day in the Seychelles, where my guesthouse had a balcony overlooking the sea which was a joy at sunrise, and a lovely beach.

Today being Monday the pictures from my journeys cover a theme rather than a country. As I was told on my last trip, not everyone shares my passion for sunrise and sunset, and I fear these are only a small sample of what I have collected over the years from several countries – though I begin with four from Angola of different perspectives.

Then we have two each from Armenia and Assam, one each from Bolivia and Ecuador, two from Istria though I cannot remember whether these were Slovenia and Croatia which I moved between over four days. Then Lesotho, Macedonia and Malacca, two from Malta, and Norway, Paris and the Sudan.

I enjoy looking over them for the memories they bring, but I hope that the views themselves are interesting.

 

Today’s pictures are from the one before last journey I undertook, at the end of January. A meeting I was due to attend was cancelled, and a smaller video conference arranged, but I thought I needed to be present in person, so I paid for the ticket and saw the friend I had already arranged to stay with. And then on February 1st I went to Nimes and had a few days seeing places in France I had not been to previously, before getting to Paris for the meeting.

I begin here with Arles which I went to after Nimes, but the facade of the cathedral was I think the most beautiful sight on this trip. I had registered it in childhood and recognized it when I was checking on what I should see.

The first ten pictures are from Arles including its amphitheatre and the cathedral cloister. Then there is sunrise from the train there from Nimes, with pictures of its amphitheatre and other classical sites. I end with a picture of the hotel in Narbonne where I had some time changing trains and went out to find the place I stayed in way back in 1977. I think this was it, opposite the station, with the trees outside I remember watching as they waved in the wind on a sleepy afternoon.

I come back to India today, having posted pictures of Sri Lanka and Nepal earlier to represent South Asia. These pictures are from a wonderful visit to Rajasthan in 2015, just after I had resigned as State Minister of Higher Education. It was sad for the system that I could not stay on, but I suspect I could have done nothing given the lethargy and greed and vindictiveness of the government.

I have long known that one can do anything if one has the confidence and support of one’s superiors, and nothing can be achieved without that. But having given up on that unequal struggle to achieve something, I was glad that I could pursue my own personal goals.

I begin with Jaisalmer out near the desert, which was quite stupendous, the night out near the sands when I rode a camel at sunset, the wonderful merchant villas in town, my hotel in the palace walls where I had dinner and breakfast on the roof with excellent service and a bird caught in the sunset; the palaces at Jodhpur and Bikaner and the temples and lakes en route; and finally the great city of Chittorgarh with its magnicient towers.

Today being Friday I will not concentrate on a country, but instead look at a range of religious iconography.

The three Greek Gods are Praxiteles’ Hermes in Olympia, possibly the most beautiful of statues, Apollo from the Cyprus museum, and a stunning Greek River God Olganos up in Greek Macedonia, not heard of previously, whom I saw by chance in the little but lovely museum in Veroia.

But first are four depictions of Christ from Armenia and Azerbaijan, and then after Hermes four Buddha statues from Polonnaruwa and Budhuruvayaya and an exquisite one from Mulkirigala. Then after Apollo are depictions of Christ from Ecuador and Spain, and finally after the River God three Buddha images from Orissa.

Rajiva Wijesinha

May 2020
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