Temples, an’ stuff…

Yeah, that’s the title.

Had no idea what to do the first full day I had in Bangkok, so following my tried and tested tradition of “walking around for a while”, off I went.

I love these overhead cables, and I’ve no idea why. They go everywhere. Also, bus. I took a route from my hostel around and down to a river that, on the map, looked like it had some interesting things to see on the way. First thing was a huge fort I came across.

Couldn’t go inside or anything, but I had a walk around the outside. After that I ended up going slightly off track and walking through road after road of street markets selling little amulets and charms, and then pretty much everything else. So many unidentifiable foodstuffs that might’ve been delicious, they certainly looked it, but I wasn’t going to risk it.

I ended up coming to a temple called Wat Po (or Pho, depending on where you look). Had really no idea what it was, but since the entry fee was 100 baht, I wasn’t too bothered about having a look. Suddenly, a face.

SOON

SOON

The temple actually turned out to house a pretty famous statue, the Reclining Buddha. Here’re a couple of proper pictures as well. For a size frame of reference, that fence is shoulder height.

The temple complex, all 20 aches of it, was incredible pretty and a joy to walk around. Somehow I managed to enter through the non-main entrance (har har, children) so the first while I was walking around the place was seemingly deserted. Then I hit crowds, which was a shame, but I was pretty much done by then. Oh, and Thai statues sometimes wear top hats. Because classy.

After the temple I started walking back to the hostel, as I’d been walking for six hours in the sun so I figured a rest was due. On the way I came across a large alleyway / small street with some more awesome wires, and a huge temple in the background, which I felt kinda felt summed up Bangkok for me completely. Even has the obligatory tuk-tuk.

Advertisements

Bangkok…

 

So I’m away again. I landed in Bangkok a couple of days ago. It’s very, very warm. Thank FSM for air-con.

Bangkok airport is awesome. Well, no, it’s just a regular airport, but it does have some awesome things in it. Firstly, please observe not only escalators that’re stairs, not only escalators that’re conveyor belts, not only escalators that’re sloping, but ALL OF THE ABOVE AT ONCE.

I took a train from the airport to, well, a train station somewhere. Apparently this was the closest place to where I was staying to then get a taxi from. Waving down a taxi driver who spoke and read enough English to understand the address I was going to was a challenge in the middle of rush hour traffic, but I got one in the end.

The next thing that struck me about Bangkok’s dealing with traffic was the incredible traffic lights. They have timers on them to tell you how long the red light has left until it changes, and the same for the green. I’m sure this isn’t exclusive to Bangkok, but it’s the first time I’ve noticed it anywhere. It also really reduces the frustration of sitting waiting at a red light if you know when it’s gonna change, even if that is in three minutes.

I arrived at my hostel and checked in, made my way up to my room and crashed out on the bed after something like 20 hours of travelling. The plane journeys were not conducive to sleeping, so that didn’t really happen.

Since my body now had no idea what time it was, it being about 8pm local time and 2pm English time, it was kinda hungry. It’d been many hour since I last ate on the first plane journey, so kinda understandable. Now, see, I’m not a huge fan of eating food if I don’t know what it is. This made getting food here somewhat of a challenge. I wandered the streets for a while until I found something that resembled something I recognised and got a dish of that. Turned out to be delicious.

So, that was my first day in Bangkok. Onwards (and a fight with jet lag)!

 

Some brief admin stuff…

Yello everyone.

As the title says, this is going to be brief, and adminy.

First of all, I’m now using Instagram as a kind of photo diary along with this blog and PotLRtN, so if any of you have Instagram, follow my over there too. The username is lrtnowhere. They can also be viewed online HERE. Most pictures there won’t be posted on here or PotLRtN, so do take a look.

If you don’t want to do that but still want to see the pretty pictures et al, you should follow me on Twitter instead / as well, as they’ll auto-post there each time. LRTNowhere.

The Two Photos a Day site I have with a friend of mine is more likely to become a semi-photo diary now that I’m travelling again, so keep an eye on that one or you may miss out on pictures that won’t be posted anywhere else!

I think that’s it for admin stuff for now. Now onto actual content…

Plitvice Lakes, Croatia…

While I was in the capital of Croatia, Zagreb, I saw some leaflets for tours to a national park a few hours away. I spoke to the lovely girl who ran the hostel I was staying in and she very highly recommended I spend one of my few days in town visiting the Plitvice Lakes national park. So I did.

Plitvice Lakes at Pictures of the Long Road to Nowhere

France on foot…

The first three stops (two if you don’t include the day in León) of my trip were spent in southern(ish) France, in Clermont-Ferrand and Grenoble specifically. Slightly off the normal touristy beaten path, they presented some excellent photographic opportunities. Check out the gallery linked below.

France on Foot at Pictures of the Long Road to Nowhere

London in Monochrome…

Does it count as travel if it’s in your own country? I think it does, even when the UK is tiny comparatively speaking.

I went to London for a few days with a friend. We had no plans for what to do at all, so we spent the time walking around anywhere that looked or sounded interesting, sitting on the Underground, and being jostled by rush hour crowds.

For instance, there was the gentleman in Covent Garden market wearing a multi-coloured, sequinned hat and a technicolour dreamcoat who was manning a camera stall and shouted at me for daring to point my camera in that general direction saying “It’s not a side show, you know.” Well actually, if you dress like that, you kinda are, but I didn’t even want to take a picture of you – I wanted one of all the antique cameras.

Exploring Leicester Square was entirely underwhelming due to the whole thing being boarded and fenced off because of roadworks (I am yet to be whelmed). Trafalgar Square was slightly more impressive, though I did have the impression that Nelson’s Column would be substantially larger than it was (har har).

One of the pods from the London Eye was missing from the wheel and just kinda… sitting in the waters of the Thames below where it should’ve been attached, so this wasn’t overly confidence-inspiring as to the safety thereof. I’m sure it was fine…

As usual my camera was pretty much attached to my hand and I came away with a few pictures I really like. Take a look at the gallery over at Pictures of the Long Road to Nowhere.

London in Monochrome gallery

Lithographic Italy…

I was playing around with a lithographic effect in Photoshop and by happenstance tried it on one of my pictures from Italy. It came out really well, so I had the idea to do a whole set of pictures from the various places in Italy I visited using this effect.

After all, while I didn’t necessarily love Italy while I was there (I dunno, perhaps it looked at me funny that day), the place itself is incredibly beautiful all over. I hope the pictures in the gallery give you a feel of that.

Lithographic Italy gallery at Pictures of the Long Road to Nowhere