Discussions (225)

What I Did in 2007

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RobW_ says:

How Do You Do?
Hi there! I am accepting the challenge of producing and posting a picture a day, every day of 2007, starting from tomorrow. I hope I can stick to it, and I hope I produce something of interest, to me and to others. I look forward to following many of your stories, too. I've met a few interesting people already, just from reviewing all these stubs. Good luck all my fellow-voyagers.

=======QUICK LINKS========
The Most Recent Post

January: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
February: 1 2 3 4 5 6-12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
March: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
April: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
May: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
June: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
July: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
August: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
September: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
October: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
November: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
December: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Quick Link to My 2007 Daily Photo Diary Set
Watch the slideshow here

==========================
(I copied this idea from Samrag in Iceland, with his permission. Thanks!)
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RobW_ says:

Friday, 2 February 2007
Wind and Waves at Oudekraal


Wind and Waves

After a 2-week break, I am posting to my diary again. Read on and discover why I have been away so long. I have a good excuse. And I'm really sorry to have missed YOUR diaries while I have been absent. I'll do my best to catch up.

So, on this Friday, I left the Hermanus/Walker Bay area, where I had spent a few days, and drove back to Cape Town via the very scenic coastal route through RooiEls and Clarence Drive, on the shores of False Bay.

I had a couple of appointments, then headed back to the V&A Waterfront to visit a wifi hotspot and work on Flickr. I spent several hours there, had a marvellous lunch of seared tuna steak, ogled a pretty girl in a panama hat at the next table, then headed down the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula to the beautiful seaside village of Llandudno, where I was to spend a few days with my friends David and Jean. On the way there, I stopped at a bay called Oudekraal, where the prevailing southeaster was blowing briskly, and sending plumes of spray back from the breaking surf.
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RobW_ says:

Saturday 3 February 2007
Yoga on the Beach


Yoga on the Beach

So, Saturday morning, I went down to Llandudno Beach with Dave and Jean. We walked up and down the beach several times (the water is too cold for comfortable swimming), and observed all the people and acivities of a quiet Saturday morning at the beach, looking at the luxurious houses perched on granite rocks overlooking the beach, children exploring the rocks, and this group of ladies doing yoga exercises on the beach.

Later I drove from Llandudno, over the famous Chapman's Peak Drive to Noordhoek, where I had lunch with my friends Pete and Ellie in their pub, the Nag's Head. I then drove the few kilometers across to the other side of the Peninsula and the quaint fishing village of Kalk Bay, had a little photo-walk there, before returning to Llandudno via the Constantia Valley.
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RobW_ says:

Sunday, 4 February 2007
Strelitzia Close-Up


Strelitzia

Still in Llandudno, (this was the view from my bedroom in Dave and Jean's house), my photo of the day is this close-up of an exotic Strelitzia flower in Dave and Jean's garden.

The Strelitzia, like many other common plants (eg geraniums, agapanthus) is native to South Africa, although it is now grown all over the world.
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RobW_ says:

Monday, 5 February 2007
Sea Point Swimming Pool


Sea Point Pool

On Monday morning I went with Dave and Jean (who are fitness freaks) to the outdoor seaside pool at Sea Point, where we swam 20 lengths of the 50 metre pool. I felt good after that, since I do a lot of swimming in Zakynthos, and I have been trying to get fitter and lose weight on this holiday.
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RobW_ says:

6-12 February 2007
Things Went Black


My Heart Attack

Shortly after leaving Dave and Jean at Sea Point, after our swim, and driving towards an Internet Cafe to upload the weekend's pictures, I suffered a Myocardial Infarction, better known as a heart attack, behind the wheel of my rental car. Fortunately, I had just left a freeway and was driving slowly, and even more fortunately, the guy in the car behind me was a trained paramedic who saw what happened, pulled me out of the car, and performed CPR on me, so vigorously that several ribs were broken.

I was taken to the trauma unit of Groote Schuur Hospital, famous as the place where the first heart-transpant operation was performed in 1967. After a few days in the cardiac ICU, I was transferred to a private hospital, and discharged on Tuesday, February 13. I didn't have a camera with me, hence no photos for those days, although if I had there were some interesting things to be shot.

I am now well-recovered, except for the discomfort and inconvenience of broken ribs. No surgery was necessary, and there is no permanent damage to my heart, the blockage was in a narrow branch of an insignificant artery, so narrow they could not even put in a stent.
I have started cardiac rehabilitation exercises, and I am on medication, beta-blockers and statins and blood pressure control.

So, after that short break, I am back to posting to this diary.
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Яick Harris says:

Your Feb 4 is inspiring / lovely / perfect. Stay well.

After reading Feb 12, I uttered a small prayer -- hope you don't mind.
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sunshinecity says:

*gulp*!!!
Wow, can't say you're not having an interesting journey huh??

Seriously, be well... hope you get well soon!

~ sunshinecity,
a picture, a story

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RobW_ says:

Thank you Rick - prayers are gratefully accepted. And I am recuperating well, back at The Hydro, receiving therapies every day which help in relieving trauma, working out every day with a biokineticist, and losing weight, which is what I need to do. A wake-up call is not a bad thing.
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RobW_ says:

Tuesday 13 February 2007
A Little Shaken, but Not Stiirred


A Little Shaken, Not Stirred

Well, here I am, on the day I was discharged from the Kingsbury Hospital, relaxing on a garden bench in my brother's garden, glad to be alive, looking a little pale and shaky, with pain from broken ribs. I'm a lot better now.
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RobW_ says:

Wednesday, 14 February 2007
Clifton Beach and the Twelve Apostles


Clifton Beach and the Twelve Apostles

Here is a famous piece of Cape Town scenery, photographed from an oil painting in my brother's dining room (I wasn't getting out much at that time, so scratching a little for subjects).

Clifton is perhaps Cape Town's best-known beach, four coves of fine, pure-white sand, separated by large granite boulders, and backed by the series of hills going back from Table Mountain, and flanking the Atlantic coast.
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msspider66 says:

Happy to hear that you are doing better. I am looking forward to seeing more of your pictures, light and bright.

[Ms Spider66]
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CollardGreens says:

Man ! That was your wake up call indeed !! You had your own paramedic in tow - imagine... Ribs a small price to pay for another chance to look through the viewfinder. I'll bet you dollars to donuts (you shouldn't be eating them in any case) that the eye that looks through your camera will see things a little differently now. I (we all) wait for the results. Keep well - listen to the docs - play like a good boy and you'll see 100 ! I'll be back.

CollardGreens: Oops!
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RobW_ says:

Thursday, 15 February 2007
Old Family Photograph


Family Photo

I found this old family photo on the wall of my brother's house, where I was staying, and which I had never seen before. It shows my late father Reggie (right), with his family in Scotland, circa 1935, before he set off on his international career in mining engineering, which eventually led to him living and dying in South Africa.

My grandfather, Robert Catherwood Wallace MBE, was a marvellous man, the village doctor in Limekilns/Charlestown on the Firth of Forth for over 60 years, and decorated by King George VI with the MBE in 1946 for service to the Royal Navy at Rosyth in both World Wars. I was privileged to attend his funeral (and wake) in the village in 1974, where I heard many stories of his life, and came to understand how loved he was.

Also in the picture is my grandmother Agnes, and aunts Jean and Marjorie, both sadly died childless, so I don't have any Scottish first cousins.
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RobW_ says:

Friday 16 February 2007
Main Road Claremont


Main Road Claremont

Nothing special about this picture, except perhaps to illustrate how the mountains are ever-present in the city of Cape Town. This is Main Road. Claremont, one of Cape Town's Southern Suburbs, on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain and Devil's Peak. That is Devil's Peak which dominates the skyline in this picture, the middle slopes heavily forested, with beautiful walking paths through the forests, and up the mountain.

Ritsa and I were in Main Road that day because I was visiting my doctors, one at the Kingsbury Hospital close by, and the other in Main Road itself. We were walking from one to the other when I took this picture.
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RobW_ says:

Saturday, 17 February 2007
Rope Decoration


Rope Decoration

We were having lunch in my sister's garden in Monte Vista, Cape Town, when my eye was drawn by this rope decoration on the wall of her wooden garden shed.
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RobW_ says:

Sunday, 18 February 2007
Romantic Kiss at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens


Kirstenbosch Kiss

On this Sunday, our friends Theo and Paula picked us up and took us for breakfast and a stroll to the nearby Kirstenbosch National Botanic Gardens, 528 hectares spread across the lower slopes of Table Mountain, a showcase for the indigenous plants of South Africa, many of them known all over the world, and a paradise for a photographer who loves plants and flowers.

It is also a good place for people photography, like this pair of lovers sharing a tender kiss on the lawns not far from our bench.
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Loca.... says:

Just came today, hope you are better now, with no more pain from the broken ribs.

Those lovers never knew you were there.
Hope everything goes smoothly for you.
:))


Loca
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RobW_ says:

Monday, 19 February, 2007
Back at The Hydro


Evening Walk

We are back at the High Rustenberg Hydro, outside of the historic and picturesque university town of Stellenbosch for another week of pampering. Although originally booked mainly for Ritsa's benefit to allow her to detox and destress, it is also a great environment for me to recuperate and continue my rehabilitation.

We took a short walk in the evening before dinner, next to the fruit orchard on the left (the Hydro is situated on a working fruit and wine farm), with the towering Simonsberg mountain ahead of us.
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RobW_ says:

Tuesday, 20 February 2007
Picking Roses


Picking Roses

Today, we awoke to the animated sounds of farmworkers harvesting Merlot grapes from the vineyard just below our room.

However, in order to include a bit of feminine beauty, today's photo is of Marilyn, one of the cuter Hydro kitchen staff picking roses in the rose garden between us and the vineyard, in order to decorate the dining room tables. I had earlier, on my way down to the vineyard, photographed a particularly beautiful rose, with the dewdrops still clinging to it.
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RobW_ says:

Wednesday, 21 February 2007
Cactus Ear


Cactus Ear

Still at The Hydro, and they keep us very busy, having treatments, going for walks, working out in the gym, and of course, eating. There is also a health-related lecture every evening, so there is not much time for taking photos, and not much variety in subjects.

So, on this day, i offer you a close-up of one of the cactus plants next to our bedroom.
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RobW_ says:

Thursday, 22 February 2007
Evening Mountain View


Mountain View

Once again, dinner time arrived at The Hydro, and I had yet to take my daily photograph. So, I grabbed my camera, and headed for the dining room via a different route, pausing at the parking area overlooking the forest where we have our morning and evening walks. The Drakenstein Mountains were standing clear in the evening light, with the vineyrds of Tokara Winery in the middle distance.
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sunshinecity says:

Your photographs are simply gorgeous.
I'm glad you're out and about and feeling a bit better.
Let's hope al your aches and pains are all gone ASAP..

Love the cactus macro and the rope on that blue wall!!

sunshinecity
~ a picture, a story
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RobW_ says:

Friday, 23 February 2007
Rose Garden and Vineyards


Rose Garden and Vineyards

Another day where it was difficult to take original pictures, so on the way to dinner I captured this evening shot of the view from our bedroom, of which I never got tired.
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RobW_ says:

Thanks Alex for your visit, your wishes and compliments. I am busy ploughing through your diary, trying to catch up with your interesting life, but you attract a lot of comments on your diary, so it takes time.
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RobW_ says:

Saturday, 24 February 2007
Raymond Jones


Raymond Jones

Saturday evening was a very special occasion for me, and I met a very special person in my life: this is Raymond Jones, who was driving behind me when I suffered a heart attack behind the wheel of my rental car, blacked out and crashed. He performed CPR on me, restarted my heart, and saved my life. How much more special can you get? Raymond and his wife Melinda came out to have dinner with us at The Hydro, and it was quite an emotional meeting. My own special Good Samaritan.

I had quite a varied day on Saturday, so it might be an idea to look at the outtakes of this day. You might see me working out on the treadmill in the gym with Russell, the biokineticist. I also went into Stellenbosch to pick up another rental car, and took a few pictures of this beautiful old town, with its plethora of Cape Dutch buidings and student life.
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RobW_ says:

Sunday, 25 February 2007
Cape Dutch House, Stellenbosch


Cape Dutch House, Stellenbosch

I left the Hydro on Sunday, spent a few hours wandering around the streets of historic and beautiful Stellenbosch. Apart from the many fine Cape Dutch houses, I spent a little time in the small but quite gorgeous Botanical Garden of Stellenbosch University, a treasury of indigenous and some exotic plants and trees.
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RobW_ says:

Monday, 26 February 2007
Walking in Newlands Forest


Walking in Newlands Forest

Monday morning, my first day back in Cape Town, and I headed for the familiar territory of Newlands Forest for a morning walk. After getting stuck in the morning traffic, within minutes I was in a pristine forest environment, with many ladies and dogs walking at that time of the morning. After ten minutes walk, you don't hear the traffic any more, and it is possible to walk to the top of Table Mountain or Devil's Peak from here. And yet the parking lot from which these ladies are setting out is just 50m away from the traffic-clogged major route we saw above. It is one of the things that makes Cape Town such a special place to live.
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RobW_ says:

Tuesday, 27 February 2007
Rotary Club Meeting


Rotary Club Meeting

Tonight I attended the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club I used to belong to when I lived in Cape Town, a very fine group of people, the Rotary Club of Claremont.

Apart from the joy of seeing old friends, and listening to a particularly interesting speaker, it was a special meeting for me because my Good Samaritan Raymond Jones, was presented with a Rotary Vocational Service award for his actions in saving my life. A shelter for battered wives and children, with which his wife is closely involved through their church, will also benefit from a donation from the Rotary Club, which I will match with a similar amount.

Here I am, addressing the meeting from the podium, with Raymond on my right, and the Club president on my left.
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RobW_ says:

Wednesday, 28 February 2007
Waterfront Waitress Naomi


Waterfront Waitress

I had a fairly busy day; spent an hour in the Fitness Centre, visited the Groote Schuur Hospital, and in particular the Christiaan Barnard Cardiac Centre, where I had been initially hospitalized after my heart attack, to meet and thank the doctors, nurses and admin staff who had cared for me and my family; I also reclaimed the clothing I had been wearing when admitted. Before setting out on a multitude of chores in the afternoon, I stopped off at the V&A Waterfront for lunch, where I met the delightful, warm and sexy Naomi, the epitome of a Cape Town girl, pictured above.
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James KEZMAN Photo says:

Rob-

Your diary is excellent, stunning photos and story! I am very happy to hear that you have made a full recovery from your MI!!! Please keep shooting!!! :D

-Jim
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RobW_ says:

Thanks Jim.
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Ladybadtiming is a group administrator Ladybadtiming says:

LBT says hi !

[LadyBadTiming / snapshooting my life away, day after day, after day, after day]
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Loca.... says:

Loca says hi too, just came to have a quick look at your photos and storys.
I'm glad you meet Raimond...
:))

Loca
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RobW_ says:

Hello ladies - I am busy catching up on both of your diaries. Thanks for coming by.
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RobW_ says:

Thursday, March 1 2007
"Physical Energy"


Physical Energy

This is an equestrian statue by GF Watts, at Rhodes Memorial, on the lower slopes of Devil's Peak in Cape Town.

This landmark memorial, which we could see from our bedroom window when we lived in Cape Town, was designed by the famous architect Sir Herbert Baker in memory of the arch-colonialist and imperialist Cecil John Rhodes.

1 March 2007
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RobW_ says:

Friday, 2 March 2007
March Lily


March Lilies

This beautiful flower is called Amaryllis Belladonna, also called the March Lily, growing wild at this time of the year among the dry remainders of the Spring Watsonias, next to Union Avenue, below Newlands Forest, and above the suburb of Newlands.

I photographed these on the roadside after my morning walk in Newlands Forest
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eelend says:

you have great shots here
:)

i'll be back


eelend's 2007
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RobW_ says:

Saturday, 3 March 2007
Groot Constantia Manor House


Groot Constantia Manor House

Today I met some friends for breakfast at a restaurant just outside the gates of the famous Groot Constantia wine estate, founded by Simon Van Der Stel in 1685. I arrived a few minutes early, and popped into the estate to capture a few pictures of the famous buidings and vineyards on the estate.

In the picture is the Manor House at Groot Constantia, one of the most famous Cape Dutch houses in South Africa, now housing a museum of early Cape furniture.

3 March 2007
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BellaGaia says:

I'm so happy to see and hear that you are doing better. life is fragile and it's important to "see" what's around us while we can. Your experience certainly makes me a little more grateful for my good health and is a reminder to never take it for granted. Good to have you back, Rob

" BellaGaia (Living with BellaGaia) "
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lramiro520 says:

Just stopping by to catch up...and it looks like I missed alot. I am so sorry to hear about your MI and very happy to hear that you are recovering well. How fortunate to have had Raymond driving right behind you. The world would be so cold without people like him.

Good to hear that you are on your feet again, Rob! Stay well and welcome back!

The Other Side Of The Fence
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eelend says:

what a nice place

eelend's 2007
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RobW_ says:

Sunday, 4 March 2007
Evening Light on the Hottentots Holland Mountains


Evening Light on the Hottentots Holland

Another mountain shot for Sunday. I was on the move again today, first driving 60km from Cape Town out to Stellenbosch once more, this time to attend a tasting of fine Champagne with the Cape Town Chapter of the International Wine and Food Society at the olive and wine farm of fellow-members of the society, followed by a delicious lunch of poached Norwegian salmon.

After lunch, I had an appointment in Somerset West, and when I emerged from my hostess' house, the nearby Hottentots Holland mountains were lit up by the setting sun.

4 March 2007
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RobW_ says:

Monday, 5 March 2007
Grinning Mannequin


Grinning Mannequin

I have seen several of these Chinese mannequins in Zakynthos and elsewhere. this one was snapped in a shopping arcade in Hermanus yesterday. You just have to love her gleeful expression.

5 March 2007
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Sexy Swedish Babe says:

browsing through your whole diary now, and OOOH! it feels like going on vacation, basking in the sun, feeling reinvigorated.

and i am glad you're doing better, rob
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RobW_ says:

Tuesday, 6 March 2007
Sacred Ibis Landing on a Rock


Sacred Ibis Landing

I have been staying with friends these last two days, in the seaside village of Vermont (named after the Green Mountains which overlook it). this morning, I took a morning walk (with camera) along the coastal path along the seaside. There are lots of birds to photographs, gulls, herons etc. Here is a en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_ibis
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RobW_ says:

Thanks so much to the visitors above, Bellagaia, Iromira, Eelend, and the divine Sexy Swedish Babe, I appreciate your good wishes. I am rushing back to Cape Town now; I have an awful lot to do in my last three days, before I fly back to Athens on Friday (Spring in Athens, watch this space)! I hope I'll have lot more time for visiting YOUR diaries when I get back.
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Sexy Swedish Babe says:

i'll check your athens pictures ... after all, that's the cheapest kind of travel I can do, right?
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RobW_ says:

Wednesday, 7 March 2007
Constantia Nek Vineyards


Constantia Nek Vineyards

A late afternoon view of vineyards at Constantia Nek, on the route between the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town and Hout Bay and Llandudno.

7 March 2007
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RobW_ says:

Thursday, 8 March 2007
The Classic View of Table Mountain


Bloubergstrand Panorama

My 8-week holiday in and around my old home town of Cape Town is nearly complete. I fly back to Athens via Frankfurt this morning (Friday, I am uploading in the departure lounge of Cape Town International Airport). I hope you have enjoyed my pictures from this beautiful city and region. I certainly have enjoyed myself. After Athens, we will soon be back to the island of Zakynthos, to get ready for the new season at Freddie's Beach Bar, and a new crop of beach girl photos.

For my final image from Cape Town, here is the classic view of Table Mountain across the bay from Bloubergstrand, on a hot summer's day. Panorama by Autostitch.

For those who have been concerned about my health, I have a couple of intensive sessions with doctors and other therapists before my departure, including blood tests and a stress ECG. The good news is that my cholesterol level has never been so low, as a result of the medication I am on, as well as the clean living I have been doing since I have been out here (I have lost 13Kg!), and there is no damage to my heart muscle, I can tolerate exercise very well, and my energy levels are up. So, let's just call it a wake-up call, an opportunity to clean up my act and be more careful about my health.

8 March 2007
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msspider66 says:

Wondeful news about your health!

Beautiful pictures. Yes, I do love the "glee" of 05 March.

[Ms Spider66]
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RobW_ says:

Friday, 9 March 2007
Airport Sunrise


Airport Sunrise

I'm posting bright and early today, courtesy of a very early arrival at Cape Town International Airport, and the availability of wifi connection in the departure lounge. I shot this picture through the reflections in the windows of the departure lounge about an hour ago - a rosy sky above the Hottentots-Holland mountains, which I have seen so often, from so many angles, on this, and other holidays.

This evening, I will be in Frankfurt, and tomorrow in Athens - see you there!

9 March 2007
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RobW_ says:

Saturday, 10 March 2007
Arrival in Athens


Arrival in Athens

This was the only photo I took on Saturday, and that was at 01:30 in the morning, after 22 hours of travel, outside the arrivals terminal at Athens airport. Note how "Schengen" is spelt in Greek.
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RobW_ says:

Sunday, 11 March 2007
Spring Blossoms


DSC_2496

A sign that Spring has arrived in Athens, are these wild pear blossoms on a very scraggly tree planted in a box outside the front door of our apartment in Athens; a bit of delicacy amid the concrete jungle.

11 March 2007
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RobW_ says:

Monday, 12 March 2007
Urban Olive Tree


Urban Olive Tree

Another day when we were too busy to take photographs, so I snapped this olive tree growing in an unlikely urban setting, on the pavement of an Athenian street, where I parked my car today.

Behind the tree, they are building a new house to replace the one which collapsed into the street a few years ago.

Somehow, the olive tree survives all the rough treatment it gets during these operations.
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RobW_ says:

Tuesday, 13 March, 2007
Dora Stratou Theatre, Philopappus


Dora Stratou Theatre

On Tuesday, I took an evening walk on neighbouring Philopappus Hill, a source of constant delight and an oasis of greenery in a very congested, concrete city. On this evening, I visited the Dora Stratou Theatre, the home of traditional Greek dancing, which has performances every night in the summer months, and should not be missed by visitors to Athens.

13 March 2007 (with acknowledegments to Loca-Bandoca for another good idea).
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sunshinecity says:

wow!!! So much to catch up on!!! What a beautiful country you live in!!

I love the mannequin! Kinda spooky-freaky at the same time too! I'd see that being a great prop for a horror movie!!

sunshinecity
~ a picture, a story
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RobW_ says:

Hmm, listen who's talking! I'm still trying to catch up on yours, with all the discussion and chat! You have one of the busiest diaries I've seen.
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RobW_ says:

Wednesday, 14 March 2007
Approaching Zakynthos Port


Entering Zakynthos Port

On Wednesday, we drove from Athens to the port of Kyllini, on the coast of the Pelopponese, south of Patras, a four hour drive, mostly following the southern shore of the Gulf of Corinth on a glorious Spring day, before taking the ferry boat Ionian Star across to the Ionian island of Zakynthos, a further one and a quarter hours. We arrived in Zakynthos harbour as the sun was setting behind the western mountains and the light was soft and gentle.

14 March 2007
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RobW_ says:

Thursday, 15 March 2007
Fishing Boat, Zakynthos Harbour


Fishing Boat, Zakynthos

So, here we are in Zakynthos for a few days, a little earlier than planned, but an opportunity to do a few things which need doing. The most important reason we came over, was that we had a call from a friend who is keeping an eye on our closed and locked business premises, to tell us that there had been a break-in at the bar, and that our hi-fi set and other electronic kit had been stolen. So, this morning, we had to go to the police station to file a report, and to the insurance company, who naturally find sufficient small print not to pay us. It was old kit, which I was going to replace anyway this year, so no great loss, but we will need to replace the broken door, and fit a metal external gate.

Apart from that, it was glorious waking up this morning, on a bright, sunny morning, to see our grounds filled with a riot of wild flowers and colourful weeds, and to hear the sound of the sea again. Springtime is in full swing in Zakynthos!

A lot of interesting photos to choose from today (see the outtakes below), but I settled on this shot of a fishing boat in Zakynthos harbour, decked out in the Greek colours of blue and white, moored right opposite the police station, where I had parked our car by the waterside.

15 March 2007 (30 Photos Uploaded)
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satrina* says:

As sunshinecity said, there's a lot to catch up on, thanks for sharing your amazing photographs, they are really beautiful!

Glad to know your health is better!

Satrina: av meg
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Friday, 16 March 2007
Friday Evening Bubbly


Friday Night Sparkling Wine

I was inspired by Collard Greens' picture and discussion about the virtues of drinking Champagne on a Friday evening. Since it was 6:30pm on a Friday, I went down and unlocked Freddie's Beach Bar (closed for the winter), took a bottle of Greek sparkling wine (CAIR, from Rhodes), and enjoyed the first sip looking out over a deserted beach to the Ionian Sea. Since there was a chilly wind blowing, subsequent sips were enjoyed indoors.

16 March 2007
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Saturday, 17 March, 2007
Gypsy Artichokes


Artichokes

On our visit to the Chora (Zante Town) this morning, we passed, and stopped at a roadside gypsy vendor with a truckload of fresh artichokes. Guess what's for lunch today or tomorrow. Simply steamed, with a dipping sauce of olive oil and lemon juice. A Mediterranean treat!

The outtakes from 17March2007
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RobW_ says:

Now, I'm off to a St. Patrick's Day shindig. On a Greek Island? Lots of expatriates, and any excuse for a shindig. I've looked in my wardrobe (closet) and the only thing green I have to wear is a South African replica World Cup cricket shirt. That should go down a bomb with all the English folks (England lost badly to New Zealand last night - ho-hum), while South Africa won spectacularly (against that great cricketing nation, Holland).

All you Parisians and North American types, please forgive the digression. My sympathies to any English readers, and congraulations to the "Black Caps".

I'll be back later, hopefully with some St. Patrick's Day photos.

(BTW, thanks to SunshineCity and Satrina for your visits - I appreciate it, wih all of the competing attractions on this group. So many diaries, so little time!)
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CollardGreens says:

Bravo Rob !! Really - sipping a few bubbles in front of the sea...how nice ! We love Greece and come to visit every year....now we have a new venue to point towards. It is well noted in our agendas to make a stop at your hole in the wall. Lots of good photos here - and catching up is a delight.

CollardGreens: Oops!
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RobW_ says:

I have to report that the St. Patrick's Day party was a little disappointing - no Irish people, just the usual English suspects, no particular excitement, although the McFarland Beer (no Guinness available on the island!) and Magner's Cider were reasonably priced, and it was good to meet and talk to a few friends and customers.

The Irish cricketers came up trumps by beating Pakistan, and the Welsh played their Celtic part by beating England at Rugby.
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Sunday, 18March 2007
Garden Wall By Night


Garden Wall

It was late yesterday evening that I realised I had not taken a daily photograph (I knew there would be days like this), so I stuck my head out of the front door into the cold night air, and photographed this corner of the garden wall around our daughter Jacqui's cottage on our beachside property, where we are staying at the moment (our own cottage is too damp, mouldy and cold in winter to stay in).

What you see in this picture is the traditional brickwork employed in building the columns and the low wall. The small half-bricks are called "touvlettes" and are fired in the quaintest brickworks you have ever seen, from local clay. I went and fetched them myself, in the boot (trunk) of our car, over several trips. We used the same bricks (touvlettes) in the construction of the bar, and the same Albanian artisan, Andreas (whose real name in Albania is Idris).
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*sweet coffee* says:

Great artichokes pic!
*sweet coffee* Candy for the eye
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Monday, 19 March 2007
Golden Gazania


Golden Gazania

Today's photo should perhaps have been of the new iron security gate that we installed today, outside of the repaired and reglazed kitchen door of Freddie's Bar, following our burglary of past week. However, this does not make for a terribly exciting photo, so I settled instead for this perfect and colourful Gazania growing in our rockery, perfectly confident that summer is on its way.

I love these flowers, they are part of my upbringing in the hot areas of South Africa and Zimbabwe, where my father was posted in his mining career, and we always seemed to have them in our garden. Like so many other plants which do so well here in the Mediterranean, and which we have planted in our seaside garden, they are originally a South African plant, now known all over the world.

19March 2007
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CollardGreens says:

Wow Rob - just walked through your garden - Very Nice Indeed. You have built a little paradise - good stuff !

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satrina* says:

I just can't chose between the sip of bubbly in front of the sea or the lovely colorful Gazania...

I guess the Gazania wins, it's really beautiful and I like the little touch of purple there.

Must try the artichokes with olive oil and lemon -today I ate lettuce with olive oil and lemon

Satrina: av meg
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Ladybadtiming is a group administrator Ladybadtiming says:

I dont have much time
but I come checking on you
gorgeous artichokes by the way !

[LadyBadTiming / snapshooting my life away, day after day, after day, after day]
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RobW_ says:

I've been offline for a couple of days, thanks for your visits, and I shall reciprocate as soon as I get my uploading and email under control.
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pedrogamavieira says:

What a beautifull garden!
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sunshinecity says:

Wow, would you look at that flower!!??!!
Stunning shot! love all the shots!
And those artichokes look really yum!

How are you feeling these days?

sunshinecity
~ a picture, a story
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RobW_ says:

Thanks Alex, I'm feeling fine, and before I left Cape Town, the doctors were very pleased with my condition. Next week I will consult a cardiologist here in Athens.

You eat and enjoy artichokes in italy also, don't you?

A few belated daily photos coming up.
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Tuesday, 20 March 2007
Tsilivi Cloudscape


Tsilivi Cloudscape 20Mar2007

This was the scene on our beach at Tsilivi, on the Ionian island of Zakynthos, as we locked up and left to get the ferry across to the mainland and on by road to Athens. Grey storm clouds were scooting across the sky, and the sea was restless. By the time we reached the harbour in Zakynthos Town, facing the weather, there was a force 10 gale blowing, the sea was crashing over the breakwater, and all ferry departures were cancelled. So, back home we went. Fortunately, the wind had dropped by morning, so we made a belated departure on the 8am ferry, driving through continuous rain to Athens.

I have taken many pictures from this spot, of cloudscapes, sunrises, and moonlight, many of them, like this one, using the HDR technique of taking three separate shots with slightly different exposures, and then blended with Photomatix software to produce a more natural, or less natural, view of the scene.

In a few weeks our tourist season begins, and the now-deserted beach will be covered with sunbeds and people.

20March2007
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Wednesday, 21 March 2007
Oh, Dear!


Oh Dear!

On Wednesday we left Zakynthos early on our weather-delayed trip back to Athens. We crossed over by ferry to the mainland, stopped on the road for petrol and a walk, and reached Athens in time for Ritsa to do some supermarket shopping, which gave me some time to indulge one of my hobby-horses by recording advertising billboards. And how about this innovative ad on the back of an ice-cream truck?

Finally, we parked up the road from our apartment, where we were greeted by the shocking sight of this burnt-out motorcycle and Smart car. Who knows what happened, a bit of carelessness with a cigarette, arson, or the revenge of a jealous wife?

21March2007
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Thursday, 22 March 2007
Pavement Coffee and Conversation


Pavement Friends

I went down the road to draw money from the bank, and saw this very typical Athenian scene, two old friends enjoying coffee and conversation at an improvised pavement cafe, a single table on the sidewalk, outside a hole-in-the-wall coffeee shop.

22March2007
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CollardGreens says:

Two "Six word Stories" (à la Hemmingway)

22MAR "One lonely table, two comfortable friends"
21MAR "two wheels, four wheels, hot time"

good stuff here - CollardGreens: Oops !
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RobW_ says:

Friday, 23 March 2007
Rooftop Washing Line


Rooftop Washing Line

I spent a little time up in the roof of our apartment block today, while a technician was installing a new satellite dish and TV antenna for us. While there, I took a few photos of the Friday street market, the Laiiki Agora, in Zacharitsa Street below us, our view of the Acropolis, but most of all, the picture I have been waiting months to capture, ever since Loca-Bandoca's very first picture of the year, of Ritsa hanging the washing with the Parthenon in the background.

23March2007
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RobW_ says:

Thanks Ted, your six-word summaries perfectly describe those pictures! Brevity is the soul of wit, someone said.
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ItinerArts says:

Laundry and the Acropolis! Great juxtaposition.

I plan to go to Greece next year-- can't wait.

www.flickr.com/groups/2007/discuss/72157594528937014/
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Saturday, 24 March 2007
Elegant Street Cleaner


Elegant Street Sweeper

Athens must have the most attractive group of street cleaners anywhere. Many of them are blonde Eastern European ladies, economic migrants, rather like the Greeks of 40-50 years ago, who were guest workers in Germany and Switzerland, and did this kind of work. How the world changes!

This was a particularly cute one this morning, cleaning on Dionysiou Areopagitou Street, below the Acropolis, with her iPod earpieces plugged in, neat and clean in her personal appearance, and doing a terrific job of cleaning up.

One can't help but say "Bravo!" and wish her well.

24March2007
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RobW_ says:

Welcome, ItinerArts. If there is anything I can do to help plan your trip to Greece, let me know, but I think Matt Barrett has done it all already!
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Loca.... says:

WOW, Rob, nice windy day you got with your clothes. You also got a great view from your roof, mine isn't nice, just the clothes. Didn't know you were waiting to take this shot. I do take clothe lines shots often, really like the way they look.
Great shot.
Will come soon to read the other entrys i?ve missed.
:))

Loca
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RobW_ says:

With respect to my last posted picture, and a recent news item, I'm surprised that no-one has left the obvious comment here, that possibly this is a supermodel doing community service?

See the Video
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Sunday, 25 March 2007
Greek National Day


National Day Parade

March 25 is Greece's National Day, commemorating the day on whch the War of Liberation against the Ottomans began in 1821. A large military parade takes place in central Athens. Last year I was there to observe close-up; this year we watched on the TV, although I was able to shoot the Air Force fly-by from our balcony.
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sunshinecity says:

Oh absolutely, we are very much "in" to artichokes!! There are also two very distinct Roman recipes you must try out... I'll tell you about them some other time though.... off to work now!

Great pics!

~ sunshinecity,
a picture, a story

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RobW_ says:

Monday, 26 March 2007
The New Acropolis Museum


New Acropolis Museum, 26March2007

I happened to walk past the New Acropolis Museum yesterday evening; the building progresses, and the poster outside advises that the temporary exhibition, which I visited last year, has been extended to end-September of this year. I think another visit is indicated, before we disappear to Zakynthos for the summer.

26March2007
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satrina* says:

LOL at the supermodel doing communitiy service comment

That building looks great, is it not finished yet?

Satrina: av meg
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Tuesday, 27 March 2007
Pouring Concrete in our Neighbourhood


Pouring Concrete

The difficulties of building in a densely-populated city (not to mention inconvenience to the neighbours and other road users).

In the tiny sidestreet facing our apartment they poured concrete for the second-storey slab of a new house yesterday. All day the building labourers became traffic wardens, preventing motorists from parking in the surrounding streets, so that the succession of large vehicles could have access. Even so, it was a problem fitting them into these tiny narrow streets, and around the tight corners (the kerbstones have been thoroughly destroyed). The little olive tree suffers the abuse and indignity with fortitude.

All this happens about once a fortnight, and is taking place just over a year after the neighbouring house was constructed, and two years after another one up the hill from us, and before that, the new apartment block across the road, which took away our view of the Acropolis, so it has been virtually a continuous process for the last six years.

27March2007
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RobW_ says:

Hi Satrina, it must be early in the morning in Mexico? The museum building is not complete, it will be some time this year, although it was originally hoped that it would be complete by the time of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. Sadly, a number of controversies and court cases intervened, and further, when excavating, they discovered the remains of an ancient neighbourhood underneath, so the architecture had to adapted to accommodate these remains, and to display all the findings.

When finished, I believe it will be a fantastic experience, and especially the new glass gallery on top, which will house the Parthenon Marbles.
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sunshinecity says:

Wow, that reminds me of certain situations that occur here in Rome! You should see the garbage truck trying to get through my street!!

sunshinecity
~ a picture, a story
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Loca.... says:

Poor olive tree, it seems to be so old but bended to be able to grow.

Loca
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RobW_ says:

Hello ladies! Yep, that hardy olive tree has survived neglect, lack of sun, construction vehicles, snowstorms and all.
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satrina* says:

Thanks for the explanation Rob, I also think that the glass gallery will be really awesome.

That street is really narrow, I agree with Loca, poor olive tree!

Satrina: av meg

oh, and it was more like 1 am when I posted the comment :)
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CollardGreens says:

Hey Rob - seems you are drawing quite a crowd - Bravo ! Construction - a necessary evil... good stuff here.

CollardGreens: Oops!
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RobW_ says:

Wednesday, 28 March 2007
Head of a Kouros


Head of a Kouros

I picked up a friend visiting from South Africa today, had a quick seafood lunch at the coast with him (it was a grey, windy and miserable day, so no pictures there), then I dropped him at Athens International Airport for his return journey. Outside the entrance of the Departure Terminal, I snapped a picture of an Ancient Greek Kouros, probably a plaster copy of a museum piece, gravely standing guard.

So that's a bit of Greek Culture for today, especially for the Sexy Swedish Babe.

28 March 2007
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satrina* says:

Might be a plaster copy but looks great!
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Thursday, 29 March 2007
Practical Archaeology


Practical Archaeology

Earlier this week, a new archaeological exhibit was opened at the Monastiraki Metro Station in central Athens. During construction of the new section of the station, extensive remains covering all periods from the 8th century BC onwards were uncovered. In particular, the river bed of the Eridanos River, much mentioned in classical sources, was uncovered, including a vaulted brick covering erected at the time of the Emperor Hadrian (117-138AD), and surrounding buildings.

A glass walkway leading to one of the platforms allows one to look down at the remains below your feet, and in fact, you can hear the water of the river rushing through the channel. Artifacts and ornaments excavated during the work are displayed elsewhere in the station, while work on a Metro extension from Monastiraki to Aegaleo, in western Athens, has unearthed many more ancient relics which will be displayed at three new stations, due to open in May 2007.

29 March 2007
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