Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Colourful Porto – city highlights

June 24th, 2015 | No Comments

One of Europe’s liveliest annual street parties, Festa da São João do Porto (Festival of São Jão), took place yesterday and ended today in Porto, Portugal, with it’s traditional attractions of outdoor music, dancing, festive food and drink delights and fireworks by the river entertaining the thousands of visitors who attended.

 

Entertainment on the embankment of the river Douro - Porto, Portugal

Entertainment on the embankment of the river Douro – Porto, Portugal

 

Porto was not listed on our earlier post this year outlining some of the destinations to travels to in 2015, but having recently returned from there, it should have been! The city has plenty to offer a discerning traveller with it’s historical sights, colourful buildings, cultural activities and gastronomic experience.

The focal point of Porto is the  Dom Luis I bridge and the banks of the river Douro which provide a hive of activity and entertainment. The top tier of the 19th century steel arched bridge provides a scenic overview of the historical part of Porto and the river Douro as it heads both inland and out to the Atlantic Ocean.

 

View of the historic old town of Porto from the Dom Luis I bridge - Porto, Portugal. The historic old town of Porto has been declared by UNESCO as a world heritage site.

View of the historic old town of Porto from the Dom Luis I bridge – Porto, Portugal. The historic old town of Porto has been declared by UNESCO as a world heritage site.

 

Porto is probably most famous for its production of port wine and visitors have ample opportunities to sample and taste the various tipples on offer at bars, restaurants and directly via the producers who run tours of their cellars in the district of Vila Nova de Gaia on the south bank of the river Douro opposite the main city of Porto. Some of the producers also run cruises in traditional wooden boats to the Douro Valley along the river to see where the port wine comes from.

 

Old style wooden boats (Rabelos) moored on the river Douro by Cais de Gaia overlooking the the historic part of Porto, Ribeira and the Ponte Luis I, Portugal. Rabelos are typical vessels of the Douro River which once traditionally carried barrels of Port wine from where the vineyards are located to Vila Nova de Gaia - Porto, where the wine was stored and then distributed.

Old style wooden boats (Rabelos) moored on the river Douro by Cais de Gaia overlooking the the historic part of Porto, Ribeira and the Ponte Luis I, Portugal. Rabelos are typical vessels of the Douro River which once traditionally carried barrels of Port wine from where the vineyards are located to Vila Nova de Gaia – Porto, where the wine was stored and then distributed.

 

Other principal sites of interest in Porto include the old and the new, the new modern design building of Casa de Música where concerts and cultural events take place and the Bolhão market, a traditional and old looking market which sells local produce from dried cod fish to meats, sweets and of course wine.

 

Side view exterior of the Casa de Música building - Porto, Portugal. The Casa de Música is a uniquely designed and engineered concert hall and cultural venue in Porto. It was designed by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and was opened by the Portuguese President on 15 April 2005.

Side view exterior of the Casa de Música building – Porto, Portugal. The Casa de Música is a uniquely designed and engineered concert hall and cultural venue in Porto. It was designed by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and was opened by the Portuguese President on 15 April 2005.

 

Colourful exterior of delicatessen, A Pérola do Bolhão - Porto, Portugal. The local grocery store is situated on Rua Formosa in downtown Porto in the district of Bolhão by the market. It stocks local Portuguese produce including wine, cheese, meats, sweets and dried cod (hanging by the door in the image).

Colourful exterior of delicatessen, A Pérola do Bolhão – Porto, Portugal. The local grocery store is situated on Rua Formosa in downtown Porto in the district of Bolhão by the market. It stocks local Portuguese produce including wine, cheese, meats, sweets and dried cod (hanging by the door in the image).

 

To see more sights and attractions of Porto, visit our stock image library and browse the ‘Europe’ collection or type ‘Porto’ in the search field. Images located there can also be downloaded, purchased and licensed for use with prints also available for non-editorial only images.

Below is a brief timelapse video, captured with the Olympus OM-D EM-1 camera, which illustrates life by the Dom Luis I bridge and the banks of the river Douro in Porto. To see the video in HD, click on ‘HD’ on the video player interface and it will take you to vimeo.com.

 

 

 

 

Top 5 travel destinations for 2015

March 5th, 2015 | 1 Comment

With 2015 now in full swing and the Easter and Summer holidays soon upon us we’ve compiled our top 5 travel destinations to travel to this year drawing on suggestions from the websites of respected travel publications such as lonelyplanet.com, roughguides.com and theguardian.com. No doubt people will have other suggestions too.

1. Málaga, Spain

 

Malaga - Spain

Malaga – Spain

 

This spring the renown Pompidou Arts Centre will open it’s first venue outside Paris in the revamped marina of Málaga. The ‘Centro Pompidou de Málaga’ is scheduled to open on 28 March 2015 adding to the city’s impressive range of museum and art attractions. Málaga already houses the Museo Picasso, the Centro de Arte Contemporañeo with the Museum of Fine Arts and Archaeology also opening in the city later this year.

As well as being a cultural city-break destination, Málaga provides an excellent hub to travel to other cities like Granada, Seville and to the resorts of the Costa del Sol such as Marbella. Flights to and from the sun filled destination are plentiful and transport links are good.

 

The 'Damas' Tower in the Alhambra - Granada, Spain

The ‘Damas’ Tower in the Alhambra – Granada, Spain

 

2. Milan, Italy

 

Canal in Milan

Canal in Milan

 

Milan, Italy’s second largest city, is hosting the next world fair EXPO Milano 2015 which gets underway on 1 May and takes place until 31 October 2015. The theme for the event is ‘food’ with fair trade, sustainability and ‘feeding the planet’ the key issues. Over 20 million visitors are expected to attend the EXPO to experience the various activities that will be on offer at the fair.

Aside from the gastronomic delights, Milan is a centre for fashion and shopping with the Galleria Vittoro Emanuelle II precinct the place for a stylish shop.

 

Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle shopping centre - Milan, Italy

Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle shopping centre – Milan, Italy

 

3. Cuba

 

Vintage car in Cuba

Vintage car in Cuba

 

With diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba underway and with the recent growth in private sector enterprises being allowed by the State the old, nostalgic charm of Cuba may soon be a thing of the past. The capital Havana, with it’s mixture of colourful, grand, colonial and run down appearance provides an idyllic and sultry setting for visitors whilst this year the southern city of Santiago de Cuba celebrates it’s 500th anniversary on 25 July 2015 with a week of carnival style partying.

 

Old town of Havana - Cuba

Old town of Havana – Cuba

 

4. The Alps

 

The Alps in Switzerland

The Alps in Switzerland

 

Often thought as a winter sking or climbing destination, the Alps, situated across several European countries also provides plenty to do in the summertime too with trekking, mountain walks, cycling and outdoor events in much more agreeable temperatures. 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the first successful, but tragic, ascent of the highest mountain in the range – Matterhorn.

The towering peak which rises above the Swiss town of Zermatt was summited first on 14 July 1865 but four of the party of 7 climbers perished on the descent after their rope break. Activities are planned to mark the anniversary in Zermatt.

 

Man checks out the view of the Alps

Man checks out the view of the Alps

 

5. Toronto, Canada

 

Canoeing on Lake Ontario by CN Tower - Toronto, Canada

Canoeing on Lake Ontario by CN Tower – Toronto, Canada

 

Toronto, one of the most multicultural cities in the world is set to be particularly vibrant in 2015 as an estimated 250,000 visitors are set to come to see the Pan American (Pan Am) Games which kick off on 10 July 2015. Apart from the multitude of Pan Am Games events (essentially a mini-Olympics for North, Central and South America member countries) dotted across the region, visitors can experience the diverse culinary delights and vibrant night life.

The CN Tower is probably Toronto’s most notable attraction with an observation deck 356 metres up in the sky, whilst a ferry ride back on ground can whisk you to Toronto Island for leisure activities, some beaches and the best views across the city skyline.

 

Toronto Island Park - Toronto, Canada

Toronto Island Park – Toronto, Canada

 

‘Red sky at night, Photographer’s delight!’

September 15th, 2014 | No Comments

Sunsets when travelling are always eagerly anticipated, they seem to provide a sense of natural joy and visual wonder. The sky can become illuminated with lovely warm red, orange or pink hues as the sun descends into the horizon which can transform the surroundings you see.

 

Red sky and sea at night - Krabi, Thailand

 

Our resident photographer and director, Mehul Patel, took the above photograph during a “wonderful” sunset on a beach in Krabi, Thailand. The image was recently selected from thousands of images as one of the top weekly pics from stock image site Picfair.com. It has already had over 400 views on the site within a couple of weeks of being uploaded!

The site is a relatively new facility in the stock image market , launching only last year, but already has a following of thousands of photographers from around the world. Photographers can upload their stock images to the site and select themselves the price they wish to charge for potential image buyers to license their images.

Picfair charge a small commission on top of that price to image buyers and purchasers can then download the image and license within a couple of clicks.

Using stock images of nice sunsets could be a great way of illustrating an emotion, destinations to visit or as visual note to end articles, presentations or video, particularly as photograhping sunsets is not always easy. Cloud cover may quickly extinguish a potential sunset colour display and cameras may not always accurately capture what you are seeing.

If you do need to shoot a sunset yourself try and use a low iso and warm white balance such as ‘cloudy’ or ‘shade’ which should warm up the orange, red or yellow tones that you see.

For further stock images of sunsets, Thailand and other parts of the world, visit our ‘reelmonkey’ stock image library where you can search, preview, download a high-resolution or lower resolution image sizes and order a print or license the image you require for your purpose within a few clicks.

 

reelmonkey stock sunsets