Weekly Photo Challenge – From Above

I’m a big fan of a view from above. It puts everything in perspective and let’s you see the full picture.

View from 124th floor Burj Kalifa

The view from the 124th floor of the Burj Kalifa in Dubai is something else. All urban, city and man made.

Banked Turn Over Muskoka by marktravel

The view from above in a moving object- a small plane in central Ontario, Canada. An adrenaline rush. All rural.

Auschwitz 2 - Berkenau from the Main Gate by marktravel

The view from above the main gate at Auschwitz 2-Berkineau in Poland. Over 1 million people entered this death camp and never came out. Numbing. Perspective is everything.

Capture the Colour

Here’s a bit of a different post based on colours. Thanks to Julie @redheadtravels for the kind words http://www.theredheadedtraveler.com and for nominating me to participate in “Capture the Colour”. It gave me a chance to go through my photo library and look at a few pictures from a different perspective.

RED – Westminster Abbey, London

Last November, I was walking through the City of Kensington (London), looking for shots. The Palace, Green Park, Horse Guard, Big Ben, etc. Got those photos and then some. I walked up to Westminster Abbey and was taken aback by the poppy display on the grounds. The annual Field of Remembrance has over 350 plots with each cross and poppy representing a fallen soldier from the British Armed Forces. An unfortunate showing of red. (I’m returning to London in September and will be doing a series of posts later in the month).

YELLOW – The Burj Al Arab Lobby, Dubai

The Burj al Arab Hotel in Dubai is striking for its design and color. The morning light in the lobby brought out its vibrant colours and the yellow in particular. Between severe jet lag and the crazy buildings, Dubai is surreal. The photo was taken from the 4th floor in the morning after a very long sleep. My Post: Dubai- New & Old was picked for “Freshly Pressed” https://markstraveljournal.me/2012/08/07/dubai-new-old/ and appeared on August 9th.

GREEN – A Canal View of Amsterdam

I’ve been to Amsterdam 3 times (so far). On a recent trip to Amsterdam, I started out by staying in a boutique hotel near the Rijksmuseum. It was a totally different experience from the crowds of Dam Square and had me exploring the city like a local. There’s not very much park area but considering the cityscape, they do have a lot of trees lining the canals. I love the light and water reflection in this early evening shot. My Blog has an Amsterdam Series (4 posts). My favorite is about the Canals: https://markstraveljournal.me/2012/07/07/the-amsterdam-series-part-4-the-canals/

BLUE – Muskoka, Canada

A jet boat ride on Muldrew Lake in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada started out at a frantic pace and then slowed down at dusk. The light started changing rapidly as night began to fall helped by some influence from the northern lights. My Post talks about Muskoka and the tradition and legendary cottage vibe that it has: https://markstraveljournal.me/2012/07/29/muskoka-canada-cottage-country-and-then-some/

WHITE – The Church in Seefeld, Austria

Seefeld, a 20 minute train ride north of Innsbruck, is one of my favorite places on earth. With the mountain views all around, you feel like you are in heaven. This white church, the Seekirchl, dates back to 1629, and is one where my father prayed in World War 2 (prayed for the end of the war). (Blog Post coming soon).

I’ve seen some great photos and entries but I’m not sure (via Twitter) who has already entered and who hasn’t. So, here’s my 5 nominees – it’s a bit of fun, do it if you want (or love to see your entry):

Jamie @LivenTravel http://liventravel.com/

Ally @allyinlondon http://brilliant-london.com/

Richard @ur http://richardpowell.wordpress.com/

Hayley @xXFlutterbyXx http://lifeasabutterfly.com/

Paris by Photo @parisbyphoto http://www.parisbyphoto.com/blog/

Thanks for reading!

Muskoka, Canada – Cottage Country and then some

If you’ve got the money, I’ve got the place. Muskoka – a few hours north of Toronto, Canada. It’s beyond beautiful with more trees and lakes than you can imagine. A fantastic place for a vacation or weekend in the summer. If you like snow and ice (ice fishing, snowshoeing, skating, snowmobiling) then you would like it here in the winter too.

Muskoka is bigger than the state of Rhode Island and contains more than 1,600 lakes. It’s also the home to 7 Provincial Parks and the famous Algonquin Park for campers. 20 golf courses and top resorts like Taboo, Deerhurst, Grandview, Clevelands House, and JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort.

It’s been the place to go for the well heeled for many years. Tourists flock here from Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world to see Muskoka’s natural beauty. Many Torontonians, some Americans and others have cottages, chalets and/or country homes here. Bryan Adams, Goldie Hawn, Martin Short, pro hockey players and more own some of the more fabulous summer homes. My sister (not famous) has owned a regular cottage for years. My brother-in-law owns a float plane and will fly the rich from their cottage to dinner at a resort for $350 and up. Here’s a chance to take a quick ride on their ski boat:

There’s a few places that have an aura about them in Muskoka. Bigwin Island in Lake of Bays. Now a private island with club and full 18 hole top rated golf course. (As a world golfer, I can tell you that the 18th hole is one of the prettiest in all the world. The longest hole on the course, it sweeps down to the right from an elevated tee towards the lake and clubhouse). Years ago, Bigwin played host to big bands like Tommy Dorsey, Count Basey and others at the Pavilion. The “Kee to Bala” dates back to 1942 but still has musical acts like Matthew Good, Blue Rodeo and The Tragically Hip coming out. Mix in some great bakeries, diners and burger joints through the area and traditions stay strong. It’s the longed for Muskoka cottage lifestyle that keeps them coming back.

If you’re convinced that this is the place for you, check out this website for a cottage for sale- asking $4.95 million http://www.muskokacottageonline.com/

Seriously, Muskoka is worth the trip- and then some!