Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ferries, Feathers and Flags (of the pirate variety)

October 16th.
My last post had some images from the lough (lock) that is but a few minutes from my apartment. It is a part of the Lagan River, located in what is known as the Belfast Waterfront. It is a great area filled with waterfowl, ships (mostly the touring type) and the scent that only lapping waves can send landward. In that I am in the middle of Moby Dick, that little bit of water calls to me.  My best method of answering that call is by sitting somewhere near the water long enough that I swear I'm in North Carolina.  The slightly less likely method is by saving up all my gold doubloons and purchasing a whaling ship...and finding a crew.
Here is a picture of one of the nicer sections of the won't find nearly as many cutthroat pirates in this area...

As well as the water and seagulls and such, they also have an interesting "art path" running along the water.  Here are some pictures of the art installations (almost all of which are large metal statues) that you would come across if you were to follow that path...

The 17th of October's picture created a cropping conundrum for me.  I will show you the original as well as how I would crop the original were I to do so.  I can't figure out if I should or shouldn't.  The cropped image has great geometric leading lines that take you up and down the image, but the full photo shows a beautiful little town and mountain scene in the background.  If you leave the nice background scene, the geometric lines take your eye from the bottom of the image (if they are even good enough to grab your attention) and drop you off in the middle of the image with no idea of where to go next.  So yes...that is my cropping conundrum.

The uncropped version with the nice background scene.

The cropped version with the strong leading lines that take you by the hand and actually lead you.

The 18th
Tuesday was graffiti day.  There is some positive inspirational graffiti down the street.  Let it inspire you to...

Right next to it you can find less inspirational, but still pretty awesome, graffiti...

October 19th and 20th were both bicycle days.  I try really hard not to have similar content right next to each other....but with the way people dress up their bikes around here, as well as the fact that it was late and I was yet to get my photo for the 20th, I just had to push the shutter button.

At least they aren't that similar...besides the fact that the subjects for both photos are bikes.

The 21st was Friday, also known as market day.  We buy a week's worth of produce every Friday.  We have really gotten the seven days worth of food down...come Thursday we start running out of our peppers and onions and mushrooms.  It's pretty horrible...and then we wake up and go to the market.

If only we had the money to purchase a whole barrel of delicious olives.

We went to Strangford Lough yesterday...a 40 something mile long lough with cute little towns on either side and a ferry that will take you across for £1.  A nice long bus ride got us from Belfast to Portaferry (the closer of the two towns) where we had tea and toast in a bed and breakfast cafe.  It was situated on top of a hill and the walls were made of big glass panes that allowed you to see most of the town and much of the lough.  This was helpful in making sure we saw when the ferry was docking and accepting passengers.  We made our way across and spent much time walking around Strangford (the other of the two towns).  We had lunch in The Cuan, a restaurant and hotel that is celebrating their 200th year this year.  They also won first place for best restaurant in Northern Ireland in 2010.  The food was amazing so I am really not that surprised.  We then continued to meander and after awhile made our way back to the other town where we went to a little cafe and got hot chocolate and cappuccino in order to keep the rain that had just started at bay...

Some of the houses in the two towns were even more brightly colored than usual.  

This door is also pretty bright....but I'm sure it wasn't as recently painted as those houses.

 We saw a few boats.  Oddly enough.

...some more awesome than others.

On a little peninsula-like bit of land (on the Strangford side) you can see this beautiful sight.  Sadly that bit of land was private property.

Today I was lucky enough to get my wife to go for an early morning walk.  Had I not done so I would have been forced to take a picture of the rain or something inside.  It started around 10am and is yet to let up.  
We walked through the Botanic Gardens and came across what looked like the area of an avian battle to the death.  Either that or some bird is molting.  Drops of what could only be rain, dew doesn't have a chance to show her pretty face here, littered a single feather.  Here it is...

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