Château des Baux de Provence is a medieval structure overlooking a valley of farms and vineyards. There is a lot to take in from the scenery to the village and all it contains. This is only halfway up the hill, the fortress and ancient armaments are further up on the left.
For whatever reason I had a lot of energy and limited time. I climbed past this and further up to the very highest tower of the castle ramparts. It was an amazing climb with some sections of the path resembling a ladder. A little winded and heated I was glad for the cool breeze at the very top. I could see for miles in all directions and took a bunch of photos. I then began the climb back down. As I entered the village about halfway down it was warm and people were walking around with ice cream cones. I almost stopped for one but continued down back to the car where my friends were patiently waiting.
There really is no such thing as time when I'm taking photos. It's wonderful for me but maybe not so much if I'm with others. I suppose that's true about most artistic pursuits. Time melts away and the moment is like a bubble that we are inside of. Fortunate for my friends the bubble popped and I showed up in just enough time for the next great adventure.
This sunrise view is from the roof of the Grand Hotel Central Barcelona. I found the hotel somewhat last minute on hotels.com. What caught my eye was the rooftop bar and infinity pool. It's an amazing hotel located in the gothic quarter of the city within walking distance of nearly everything. For me the best part is this rooftop view in the morning. Later in the evening we would sit here with a plate of Tapas and glass of Sangria watching the lights of the city. Not a bad way to spend a few days.
I took this with the camera just above the water so that it takes up half of the frame. I'm not sure what that big building is, though everyone else in Barcelona surely does. That's because there are only a few tall buildings in the city. If I recall this pool was on the 10th floor of the hotel. At that height you can see over most of the rooftops of Barcelona. So much of the population of the central city live in apartment buildings that are no higher than about eight floors. Of course that's a lot of living space regardless.
When I walked around this part of town I was impressed by the eclectic combination of apartments mixed with gothic cathedrals mixed with shops mixed with dabs modern architecture here and there. Everything is close together in neighborhoods that feel distinctly local and reflect values of the residents. At least that was my impression looking at it as an outsider.
I remember taking this because it was on my birthday last December. The conditions looked good and I thought, hey I can do whatever I want today so I headed out and caught this amazing display. Not a bad present.
We get these sunsets quite a bit, the trick is knowing when to show up. Of course there's an app for that, it's called Sky Fire at http://www.skyfireapp.com. Basically it looks at the atmospheric conditions near you and produces a probability of a good sunset or sunrise. I've used it once or twice and it works about seventy percent of the time. Close to home I've learned to read the sky but my own success rate is only about fifty percent. On the road it's a good tool to have especial if you are not familiar with the conditions.
I like living near the water as its become a central theme in many of my landscape images. Most of our planet is covered in water and I think I heard or read somewhere that there is more water below the earths surface than all the oceans. That's mind boggling if it's true. Nonetheless water in an image is a strong element that resonates with me at some level. Maybe its because our bodies are mostly water and there is some elemental attraction. You never know.