Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

My top 5 silhouette shots, in random order:

We aren’t allowed to photograph the original at the Museum, so we have to make do with replicas. Here is one of David at Piazzale Michelangelo, Firenze.

Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi, is best associated with the bustle of traffic around the lake and crowds of people enjoying the breeze. This is a rare sight of people meditating amidst all that chaos:

Buddha is one of those forms that lend itself beautifully to silhouettes. One of my favourites at Borobudur, Indonesia:

Photographing exotic orchids at Singapore’s Orchid Garden can get tiring for the eyes and the feet. Then when I lay down on the ground, exhausted, I had to raise my arms for one more click:

This may not be the best silhouette shot, but it is my absolute favourite, bringing back memories of a wonderful trip to Angkor Wat, Cambodia. A sunrise cycling trip, and we were looking at the wrong side until Souvik decided to walk around the monument, then rushed back to let me catch the view just in time:


Day 12
The last day of our vacation dawned bright and sunny. Souvik went for a run and I took a bus to Piazzale Michelangelo to photograph Firenze in the morning sunshine. It was a super feeling to sip a coffee with the morning sun on my back, and a landscape of red roofs in front of me.
I hiked back to the Duomo to meet up with Souvik, and we shopped some more (a gorgeous leather bag and jacket).

We were comfortably sipping our mid-morning hot chocolate when the sky turned from blue to grey, and without any warning, hail came pelting down! I think we’ve managed to see all weather conditions in one week here, and I can totally do without snow in summer!!!

We set out again in the evening, and came upon some designer cars on display and fashion week parties on the street. Souvik finally ordered meatballs (like in the mafia movies) but wanted to blow someone’s brains out coz the sauce wasn’t tasty enough. Then we hung around the duomo and lamented that the holiday was over.

Coffee, Climb, Coffee, Chianti, Coffee

Day 10
It was cloudy and wet, and after our typical breakfast of capuccini and croissant, we climbed all 463 steps to the top of the Duomo, and admired the roofscape of Firenze. Felt sooooo gooood!
By now, we’ve seen the duomo and piazza at all hours – from the sunny afternoons to the buzzing late hours, office hours (some locals have to work) rush to the quiet mornings when the cafès are open but the streets are being swept. It’s fantastic ambience!

The basilica took 200 years to build. Amazing to think that people planned and built this structure, not so much for themselves, but for future generations! Or maybe they didn’t realize it would take so long? Brunelleschi, who designed and built the duomo is considered the #1 architect of all time. Even Michaelangelo was inspired by the beauty of the dome!
They sell these cute umbrellas with duomo print on the sidewalks at atrocious prices, but that’s another story. . .
We walked around a bit in the drizzle, wondering what to do next. Chianti tour or Siena? Chianti is too far for cycling (for us novices), so we booked a guided bus tour for the afternoon.
Fantastic drive into the Toscano countryside, with lush green trees and rows and rows of vineyards. The villages and farmhouses are so dreamy (sigh!); when we visit again we will rent out a country villa.

A little bit of wine tasting and shopping, a lot of admiring the landscape, and a surprisingly interesting, quirky guide made up the tour. We visited a village – Greve- in Chianti, whose claim to fame is one Verrazzano who explored and discovered New York Bay. We wondered why he left this beautiful place to look for “the new world”! They honor him here as well as in New York, and his contribution to tourism is quite significant!

We had a quiet evening after all the day’s excitement – Souvik with his takeaway hot dogs and football match, me with a book and cough syrup. Hmmm.

Sunday is for rest, and a 10 km run

Day 8
Sad start to the day with both Souvik & I falling Ill, with sore throats. Our Pisa plan got postponed, and we decided to stay close to home instead. Sunday is off for most shops, but the roadside stalls come out in full force.
Strolling in the piazza in the sun felt good, all the leather bags called out to us, and we indulged in some pleasant shopping.
The throngs of tourists guided us to Ponte Vecchio, the only bridge which was not destroyed in WWII. This bridge is lined with gold and silver jewellers, with a great view of the river.

We also passed some awesome pizzerias, then did not pass one, but entered it and pigged.
Like true locals, we had a siesta in the afternoon. Souvik ran 10 km in the evening, and I had a pleasant walk.

We’re thinking of doing a cycling tour of Chianti later this week – let’s see if it comes through!

A change from the usual

Day 7
We decided NOT to go anywhere near the city centre. Headed to the Mercato Centrale instead. It is the market for produce, and nice to see the stall people engaging with the locals, sharingnews, recipes, whatnot. Even a non-shopper like Souvik was impressed with the artistic presentations of vegetables, meats, cheeses, pasta and flowers.

Next stop: Profurmo Farmaceutico, the ancient pharmacy that sells remedies for hysteria and other exotic ailments, as well as beauty stuff for dogs and cats. Adorable!
Living in the city centre means that we can beat the afternoon heat by staying indoors; we take full advantage .
Then a bus ride out of the central area to Piazzale Michelangelo for fabulous views of Florence. This seems to be the prime spot for bride & groom pictures, coz we saw at least half a dozen of those pretty brides in their gorgeous dresses.

And I bought myself a typical hand-painted ceramic platter (for adding a touch of elegance to my desserts). Happy happy 🙂

Home, sweet home, for a week

Day 6
Florence is a dream come true for me, and the apartment we picked was certainly out of a dream! 3 flights up made totally worthwhile by the welcoming cosy house. The owner’s grangparents won it in a lottery, and over the years, decorated it with charming (and now antique) furnishings. Every little nook and corner is elegant and timeless. Reva helped me pick this apartment from the shortlist – good one, Revs!