Life's a journey, not a destination Wanderlust 2016

A photo journal of this year's travels by Steve Brookwell

DUBAI

It started with a bang! New Year's Eve. A sixty four story burning inferno, the worlds tallest building exploding with fireworks, and a live interview on BBC TV Breakfast News

Dubai is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates It is located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf and is the capital of the Emirate of Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the country. Abu Dhabi and Dubai are the only two emirates to have veto power over critical matters of national importance in the country's legislature

Burj Khalifa
Burj Al Arab
Sheikh Zayed Road

A security guard bribe was needed to gain access to the roof overlooking downtown Dubai

Abu Dhabi

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque's design and construction "unites the world", using artisans and materials from many countries including India, Italy, Germany, Morocco, Pakistan, Turkey, Malaysia, Iran, China, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Republic of Macedonia and United Arab Emirates. More than 3,000 workers and 38 renowned contracting companies took part in the construction of the mosque.

The design of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque has been inspired by Persian, Mughal and Moorish mosque architecture, particularly the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan and the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco being direct influences. . Its archways are quintessentially Moorish and its minarets classically Arab. The design of the mosque can be best described as a fusion of Arab, Persian, Mughal and Moorish architecture.[

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

fishing across the river

The project was launched by the late president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who wanted to establish a structure that would unite the cultural diversity of the Islamic world with the historical and modern values of architecture and art

The mosque is large enough to accommodate over 40,000 worshipers. The main prayer hall can accommodate over 7,000 worshipers. There are two smaller prayer halls, with a 1,500-capacity each, one of which is the female prayer hall

from the inside

Abu Dhabi Emirati pronunciation is the capital and the second most populous city of the United Arab Emirates (the most populous being Dubai), and also capital of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the largest of the UAE's seven emirates

call to prayer at a local mosque in Abu Dhabi

The beautiful colours of the mosques contrast against the warm evening skies

China

Guilin Xingping Town, Fishing Village, Guangxi

Xingping Fishing Village

Lying on the east bank of the Li River upstream from Yangshuo, the fishing village has a history dating back more than 500 years. Founded during the Ming Dynasty in 1506, this picturesque village is infused with typical Lingnan or southeastern Chinese provincial culture.

Chinese selfie
Yangshuo
Yulong River
Yulong River
Lijang River

Cormorant fishing is a traditional fishing method in which fishermen use trained cormorants to fish in rivers. Tying string around the birds neck prevents them from swallowing the larger fish.

Cormorant fisherman on the Yulong River.

The Phillippines

From the congested streets of Manila to the quiet beaches of Puerto Galara. A quick visit to the sex capital of the world to a weekend escape on a tropical island only 2 hours out of the city.

Manila Yacht Club
Puerto Galara beaches and ferry

New Jersey

One of the most memorable of places on the New Jersey Shoreline. A derelict waiting room where thousands of emigrants disembarked for the first time, stepping foot into the New World.

My favourite photograph of 2016

Manhattan from Liberty State Park

The names of those who were lost during 9/11 inscribed on the 2 memorial walls in view of the Freedom Tower, in Liberty State Park

Memorial Park , NJ

New York

First time driving around Manhattan, through the Lincoln and Holland tunnels from New Jersey

Times Square is a major commercial intersection and neighborhood in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue, and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets. Brightly adorned with billboards and advertisements, Times Square is sometimes referred to as The Crossroads of the World

Manhattan views
Little Italy street art
Grand Central Station

Boston

Clam chowder in bread bowls, Irish Pubs and tales of kicking out the British Government

One of the oldest cities in the United States, Boston was founded on the Shawmut Peninsula in 1630 by Puritan settlers from England. It was the scene of several key events of the American Revolution, such as the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston

Boston Harbour Bridge

Rockport and Gloucester, Massachusetts

Miami

Miami Beach

Miami Beach is a coastal resort city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. It was incorporated on March 26, 1915.[4] The municipality is located on a variety of natural and man-made barrier islands between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay, the latter of which separates the Beach from Miami. The neighborhood of South Beach, comprising the southernmost 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2) of Miami Beach, along with downtown Miami and the Port of Miami, collectively form the commercial center of South Florida.[

Memorial Weekend on Ocean Drive

Urban Beach Week is a hip-hop festival held in Miami's South Beach over the Memorial Day weekend since the 1990s. Urban Beach Week has been likened to a de facto continuation of Freaknik's cultural activities. The event has become known for its over-the-top parties and fashions.

Black labor played a crucial role in Miami's early development. During the beginning of the 20th century, migrants from the Bahamas and African-Americans constituted 40 percent of the city's population.

Downtown Miami

Orlando

Kayaking through the mangrove swamps. Inbetween all the commercial Disneyland attractions and tacky tourists lies a network of natural rivers. A refreshing outdoor activity that is a million miles from the Mickey Mouse crowds with beauty and tranquility in abundance. No alligators got hurt on the journey.

Cape Canaveral

It is part of a region known as the Space Coast, and is the site of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Since many U.S. spacecraft have been launched from both the station and the Kennedy Space Center on adjacent Merritt Island.

A turkey vulture soars over Cape Canaveral

Los Angeles

Sunset over the Hollywood Hills

Views over LA from Griffiths Observatory

The Hollywood Hills

Griffith Observatory is a facility in Los Angeles, California sitting on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood in Los Angeles' Griffith Park. It commands a view of the Los Angeles Basin, including Downtown Los Angeles to the southeast, Hollywood to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. The observatory is a popular tourist attraction with an excellent view of the Hollywood Sign,

Downtown Los Angeles

Hermosa, Manhattan & Redondo Beaches

The city is located in the South Bay region of the greater Los Angeles area and is one of the three Beach Cities. Hermosa Beach is bordered by the other two, Manhattan Beach to the north and Redondo Beach to the south and east.

The city's beach is popular for sunbathing, beach volleyball, surfing, paddleboarding and bars. The city itself extends only about 15 blocks from east to west and 40 blocks from north to south, with the Pacific Coast Highway running down the middle. Westerly sea breezes lessen what can be high summertime temperatures in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the county and help keep the smog away 360 days of the year.

Hermosa Beach
Manhattan Beach

Venice was founded in 1905 as a seaside resort town. It was an independent city until 1926, when it merged with Los Angeles. Today, Venice is known for its canals, beaches, and the circus-like Ocean Front Walk, a two-and-a-half-mile pedestrian-only promenade that features performers, mystics, artists and vendors.

Venice Beach

San Francisco

As the coast was permanently smothered in sea mist, it was practicably impossible to capture the area during this visit. A trip to Bodega Bay where Hitchcock filmed The Birds and a ride out to Santa Cruz passed the time.

Golden Gate Bridge
Santa Cruz

An attempt to replicate a photo by Ansel Adams, Church and Road, Bodega, California c. 1953

Mont-Saint Michel

Le Mont-Saint-Michel is an island commune in Normandy, France. The tides can vary greatly, at roughly 14 metres (46 ft) between high and low water marks. Popularly nicknamed "St. Michael in peril of the sea" by medieval pilgrims making their way across the flats, the mount can still pose dangers for visitors who avoid the causeway and attempt the hazardous walk across the sands from the neighbouring coast.

Sometimes, landscape photography comes with it's dangers. Caught in a sudden flush tidal bore, less than an inch of water became up to my neck in fast flowing water. My passport, wallet, camera, lenses and memory cards all submerged and damaged. I lived to to tell the tale, unlike the average 3 drownings a year.

before the tidal bore
the new bridge

One of France's most recognisable landmarks, visited by more than 3 million people each year, Mont Saint-Michel and its bay are on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

Jersey & Guernsey

By far the BEST TRIP I HAVE EVER HAD

A hybrid bike, set of panniers, camera and tripod and a one man tent plus sleeping mattress and lightweight sleeping back. A cheap , fast ferry between Poole in Dorset and St Malo in France, stopping at both islands. No plans , no return ticket, sleep anywhere you can, fantastic weather and amazing beaches. Living the dream !

Cobo Bay
Cobo Bay, Guernsey

The Channel Islands are an archipelago in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. They include two Crown dependencies: the Bailiwick of Jersey, consisting of Jersey, the largest of the islands; and the Bailiwick of Guernsey, consisting of Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and some smaller islands. They are considered the remnants of the Duchy of Normandy, and although they are not part of the United Kingdom, it is responsible for the defence and international relations of the islands. The Crown dependencies are not members of the Commonwealth of Nations nor of the European Union

St Peter Port, Guernsey
Le Braye, Jersey

Dorset

Shaftesbury, Kimmeridge Bay & Lulworth Cove

An annual pilgrimage to the Dorset Coast and neighbouring inland towns

The Somme, Picardy, France

The north central area of the Somme was the site of a series of battles during World War I. Particularly significant was the 1916 Battle of the Somme. As a result of this and other battles fought in the area the department is home to many military cemeteries and several major monuments commemorating the many soldiers from various countries who died on its battlefields.

A visit to Ypres , Belgium was also on the itinery

Friends living in France can come in handy

South Africa

Johannesburg , Soweto, Pretoria & Sun City

Johannesburg also known as Jozi, Joburg and eGoli) is the largest city in South Africa and is one of the 50 largest urban areas in the world

Soweto Towers - a 4 hour guided cycle tour detailing the apartheid riots and a visit to Nelson Mandela's and Desmond Tutu's houses

Sun City proved to be an incredibly beautiful resort, It's distant past of segregation now a thing of the past.

not my photo!
The Palace of the Lost City

Pilanesberg Game park

Borrowing a tent and sleeping bag from a Joburg colleague, camping outside the game park and self driving proved the best, cheapest and most rewarding option.

Pilanesberg Game Park

White Rhino

Dubai

A bucket list trip to watch the Dubai Rugby 7s and an opportunity to explore and capture this unique city

Downtown from Dubai Creek Harbour
Downtown from Business Bay
JBR - Jumeirah Beach Resort
Burj Al Arab
Burj Al Arab
JBR

and then there is always next year...................................

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