Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #70: Monochrome
Another week of the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, this time organized by Patti. The theme this week is monochrome. You know, I do a lot of monochrome images. But, not only black and white or greyscale is monochrome. It’s also when only one color is dominating the image.
To distinguish this image from my usual monochrome images, I picked this one from my archive. It’s taken a few years ago on Corfu. When using the tag “corfu” you can find many more impressions from that wonderful greek island.
Throwback Thursday: I see pink
Throwback Thursday: serpentines
Many, many of such windings roads were to drive on the Greek island Corfu.
Monochrome Madness 3-20
This is my contribution to Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole. Look at here site on Thursday (Australian time), to see many more monochrome images created by many other talented photographers.
This week, we have a theme again. It’s “road”.
Several kinds of road came up to my mind, when I read the theme. Several kinds of road images, too. But, here we are in a monochrome challenge. I don’t want to simply have an image converted to bw. I want an image, that ‘works’ in monochrome.
This image is taken in the old fortress of Corfu Town last year. Last week my travel series on Corfu ended. In case, you missed it, have a look. It’s a very nice greek island.
Corfu – a review
καλή μέρα, χαιρετισμός – hello!
For this final post on the greek island Corfu, I picked my top images as an appetizer for your own trip to this beautiful island.
You can go by car and take a ferry from the greek mainland or come by plane. There is an international airport on Corfu, only a few kilometers away from Corfu Town.
At least from Germany, there are no scheduled flights, but carter flights for vacationers. But, I was able to get seats without booking a package holiday. Instead, I booked flight, hotel and rental car separately and everything was fine.
Now, you can enjoy the slideshow at the end of this post as a summary. For those of you, having missed the previous posts, you can find them easily by using the category ‘corfu‘. Each post focuses on one location or aspect of the island and has a gallery of some images at the end.
Next week, I’m starting with another location.
On Corfu we saw many, many cats. Most of them quite shy, others trusting and curious. But, all of them very skinny. You can see easily, they have to work hard to make a living. Surprisingly, I didn’t see or hear any dog.
Not all of the images in the gallery below are mine. Half of them are taken by my company. He is also here at WordPress.
While I was driving our rental car, he was able to take some photos while we were on the road. So, he got the images where the cats are examining the waste bins.
Look in the lower right corner to see, which images he gave me. 🙂 To see some more images from Corfu, you could switch to his blog, too.
Corfu plant collection
Today, I don’t want to write much. Instead, I want to let the plants speak for themselves.
Corfu is very green. The hills are mostly covered over by forests. In my past posts I already showed you some images taken at our hikes through forests. Many different plants are blooming, even outside the gardens and the parks, at the street sides and beside the paths.
Unfortunately, I’m unable to name them. So, enjoy the slideshow below.
Ekklisia Agios Spiridon
The bell tower of Ekklisia Agios Spiridon stands out of the Old town of Corfu Town. It’s a landmark as you can see in the overview image .
Saint Spiridon is defied on Corfu very much, although he never lived on Corfu. He was born on Cyprus, is said being a member of the synod of Constantinople in the 4th century and became a saint after he passed away.
After the fall of Constantinople, his corpse was brought to Corfu in the 15th century, where they built this pilgrimage church. He is said to have saved Corfu several times: from pest in 1630, hunger crisis in 1550, the siege of the Turks in 1716 (Corfu never felt on the Turks, like the rest of Greece) and another pest in 1673. So, he has 4 feasts trough out the year.
Monochrome Madness 3-15
This is my contribution to Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole. Look at here site, to see many more monochrome images created by many other talented photographers.
Ekklisia Spiliotissas ke Agios Vlassis
This is another church in the Old town of Corfu town. I guess, this one is special. It’s decorated very rich with gold and silver. It also has some big byzantine icons.
This church was built in 1577 and thus has some renaissance elements in its architecture. Before, the temple Agios Vasilios for the virgin Spilaiotissa stood in this place. Because of the destruction of the temple, the images were moved to this new church.
In the back of the church you can find the silver coffin with the relic bones of St. Theodora.
Ekklisia Panagias Mandrakiou, Ekklisia Trion Martiron and some more
This are many other churches in Corfu town. Some stand alone, like the Ekklisia Panaceas Mandrakiou in the image above. Others are integrated in the streets, by building houses directly to the church walls. This is especially true in the Old Town of Corfu Town.
In the gallery you can find also inside views from different churches.
Church of Jason and Sospatros
I told you about churches on Corfu in a few of my previous posts. There are many small and tiny churches. But, they are usually closed for the public, when there is no service or an other event. We visited a few of them, when we came along. Some were open, but taking photos was almost always forbidden. Others were open, but a service was running. In these churches we only have had a quick look inside without disturbing the service.
This one was open and no-one was inside. We have had time to look around and so I can finally show you the inside of a greek-orthodox church. This one is quite typical, although others were more decorated than this one. Especially those in the Old town.
Next we arrived in the worst town of our trip: Kavos.
I know, there are a few destinations for party people. I.e Arenal on Mallorca, Benidorm in Spain, Sant Antoni and Santa Eulalia on Ibiza and so on. Some of these towns are the destination for party people from all European countries, while others are primarily for party people from a certain country. Kavos seems to belong to the second category. It seems to be focused on party people from the UK. How can I know? Simply by looking around. You know, Corfu belongs to Greece and in Greece you pay with Euro. But, here many restaurants and shops offered their goods also in Pounds and pence.
Today, the image gallery is a little bit longer as usual. I hope, you enjoy them.
Beside the road to Kavos
On our way from Lefkimmi to Kavos, I was kind of surprised when I saw so many abandoned hotels, supermarkets and restaurants directly beside the main road. I know, there are some economic problems in Greece. These problems might als have an impact on entrepreneurs in the tourist industry. But, these buildings seemed to be abandoned for a quite long time. I don’t know, what happened here. This whole town is closed for a longer time, not only one the winter.
Next stop was the small town of Lefkimmi. Nothing very special.The area around the channel is quite nice. But, that’s all to say about Lefkimmi. So, I only have a very small gallery for you today.
No parking ground. Not an attractive town, but clean. Two tiny cafes, a few tiny tables and chairs beside the street, with a view on the channel. Unfortunately, directly beside the main road. (no, there is not much traffic).
Give it a try, when it is on your track.
A hike along lake Korission
Next, we surrounded the lake Korission with our car. Again, we have had to pass unpaved roads with a lot of street holes. We ended in a place with deep, soft sand. Because of we did non have had an off-road-car, we left the car on the road side at the unpaved road. Luckily the remaining space was broad enough to let other cars passing by. Beside 3 or 4 other cars, we were alone. Despite the beautiful beach here, nearly no one was here. We followed the track along the lake. I wanted to see the tiny river connecting the lake to the sea. On the sea site of the track we passed a few abandoned surf clubs. Unfortunately the fauna along the track was so high, so we weren’t able to see neither the lake nor the sea for most of the time. About an hour after our start we arrived at the river. The fisherman’s hut here was also closed. A very lonesome area.
From the desert to the ocean
The unpaved road led us a little bit further to another unpaved parking ground, much bigger than the one we used for our tiny trip inside the desert. Here, were some more cars parking and a broad sandy track let up the hill. We stopped here, too, and walked up that track. It was quite exhausting because of the heat and the lose sand on the track. When we finally made it up the hill we saw the ocean, the most beautiful beach on Corfu and were surprised by some remains.
Although, no hotel or similar building was visible. Thus, only few people were here enjoying sun, ocean beach and silence – a place lost somewhere in the nowhere. But, it seemed once an open air bath must have been here. We found the remains of a kiosk, an open air shower, toilets and a bleachers. Unfortunately, the last visitors must have been Vandales. All the facilities were hard damaged.
A trip to the desert at lake Korision
Although, Corfu is a very green island, there is a sandy desert located near the west coast.
A lake, parted from the sea by a small land tongue, is surrounded by a sandy desert. This landscape is very different from the parts of the island, we have seen up to now. The ground is covered by a thick layer of sand, similar to a sandy beach. Bushes with thorny twigs and leaves are growing here, as well as some smaller crops, which love dry grounds. Thick, black insects are flying from one blossom to the next, by paying no attention to the visitors. Shady places are very rare here.
It seems, the locals use this area for driving with dune-buggies and quad bikes through the hills. At least we found many skid marks here, implying this.
The lake itself, unfortunately, is surrounded by reeds. These plants are about 2 m high. So, it’s quite hard to get a view to the lake. From some of the sandy hills we were able to see many herons and other big birds standing in the shallow water and on sand banks or swimming around. But, even 1200mm (400mm + 2x tele-converter attached to a camera with an APS-C sensor) were enough to fill the frame. Furthermore, the sand didn’t give a solid ground, to get sharp images. You also have to plan with heat haze, when trying to photograph over such long distances. What a pity.
When trying to come here, pay much attention to the road. The last mile is an unpaved trail with many thick stones and deep road-holes. Here, at our first short stop, is a small parking ground for about 6 or 7 cars.
I guess, I already mentioned Empress Sissi (Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary) used to live some years on Corfu. Here palace Achilleon (called after the ancient greek hero Achill, who died during the Trojan War) is above the cliffs not far away from Corfu Town. Today, it’s a museum. Although, we were quite early (before 10 a.m.) and before the beginning of the main traveling season, the parking ground was extremely crowded. Many, many travel busses with tourists from everywhere and even more rental cars stood in front of the palace. Finally we found a tiny free parking slot and walked up to the entrance. This fact and the high entrance fee held me back to enter the area. You can visit the park and the palace. Despite I guess, it’s interesting, I skipped the visit. Instead, I walked around to find a viewpoint to see the palace from the street, but unfortunately, that’s not possible because of a fence and dense bushes behind the fence.
So, we went back to our car, followed the street downhill and came back to the coast to look for a place to spot the palace from here. Below the palace, there uses to be a bridge crossing the coastal street to connect the palace to the ocean. While the pier is still there, the bridge is gone. We stopped near the pier and tried to see the palace from here. Unfortunately, high palm trees hindered your eyes from seeing the palace from here.
Our first stop on the trip to the west coast was Kanoni, a very picturesque location. A must-to-visit for every Corfu traveller (unfortunately, also the cruise ship travelers know this). It belongs to Corfu Town, but is located some kilometers away from the Old Town. We were here very early: at 9 a.m. right before the first busses arrived. When we left, about half an hour later, we found our, we won’t have got a place for our car, if we only arrive a few minutes later. It’s a very, very tiny parking lot. The busses arrive here, let the people leave the bus and drive at bit further to wait for the tourists to come back. I’d recommend, to be here not later than 8:30 or in the evening.
This is a very iconic view on Corfu, although it’s located in the entry lane of Corfu airport. On the tiny island in the back you can find a cloister. The bigger boats in the foreground are ferries to bring you over to there. We skipped that because of the masses of tourists behind us.
leaving for the west coast
Now, we’re leaving Corfu Town again, heading to the west and following the coast to the south.
We passed several tiny villages with narrow alleys, often too small to let two cars passing each other. Luckily there is not much traffic.
Outside the villages we were able to hike on tiny paths through olive tree forests. Sometimes bright, sometimes darker. But, always a warm, mild wind.
Suddenly, you turn around and stand on top of a cliff. Hearing the sound of the waves and see the turquoise mediterranean sea below your feet.
Enjoy the gallery below.
The new castle of Corfu Town
I guess, you might have expected this weeks topic, when being a regular reader of my blog. Last week I introduced you to the old castle, thus I focus on the new castle this week. Don’t get me wrong. Although, this castle is called the new one, it’s also old. But, it’s newer than the old one.
It’s located ‘behind’ the old town and above the harbor. So, the old town is located between two big, old castles. When walking up, to the castle, don’t forget to turn around. You will have a fantastic view over the old town and the old castle in the back. You also have a good sight overt harbor and the huge cruise ships.
There’s also a small entry fee for adults (minors are free). But, you can use the ticked as a voucher for a drink at the exit. We were up there in the late afternoon, when the setting sun was about to paint the old town golden. Unfortunately, there were lots of clouds that day and it was our last evening. So, there wasn’t a change to postpone the visit. But, after waiting a while I got the image of the old town in the right light. Pew!
The old castle of Corfu Town
I mentioned it before, Corfu town has two big old castles. One of them is way older than other. Today I want to show you some impressions from the older one. It’s very present in front of the old town. Departed by a moat from the Esplanade.
You have to pay an entrance fee, but in the evening (from about an hour before sunset) you can go inside for free. But, the museum and the chapel are closed now. You can go inside for free, because there is a restaurant inside the castle.
Although, it looks big from the outside, it seems to be much bigger, when standing inside. I don’t know, how many soldiers once were living here guarding the town and the whole island. Once, there were 4 castles around the island. We visited 3 of them: Angelocastro, the old castle of Corfu town (this one) and the new castle (next post). The high density of big castles for such a small island might give you an idea of the importance of this island for the Venetian Empire. Corfu was their main source of olive oil. In those times the people needed olive oil for many more purposes than simply for cooking. They made soap from the olive oil and used it for their lamps. It was a very important product.