samedi 26 mars 2011

Weekend travel in Marrakech

I have been to Morocco too many times in a so short time space. I have to say this this country fascinates me: its exotic architecture, the people, the food, the somehow medieval atmosphere of many areas of the old parts of most Moroccan cities.

I took the chance of getting a very cheap ticket to Marrakech on with the Ryanair air company. So, I live in Braga, north Portugal, just 53km away from Porto, the city now serving really cheap flight to Marrakech. So, paying around 30 Euros round trip, I went to Marrakech to photograph.

I love to make pictures of Marrakech and its exotic tiny streets, the main square Jemaa el Fna and this time, I took the chance to make pictures and to walk through a very unique Marrakech district called Mellah - the Jewish district of Marrakech.

I stayed in a different place time time. in terms of accommodation I stayed one night in Riad Paula, a nice 6 room private guest house Marrakech. it seems this Moroccan riad is brand new and was totally renovated. Very nice place and fully equipped. The riad staff Rachid and Nadia were also very nice. I had a great time there.

Why not to profit from the nowadays low ticket prices and explore the world? I deeply advise on leaving home even if for just 2 days - 1 night. Its not the same. Go and travel!

mercredi 5 mai 2010

My Camera Canon EOS5 - Canon Eos 5 Review

For about 2 years I own a fantastic Canon Eos 5. It's one of those photo cameras that one get very attached with since it practically functions as a part of you, following your photographic mind, reaching the right image at the right time.

I travel a couple of times per year, and while traveling I tend to put my camera to hard tests. This camera always worked perfectly and never gave sound of malfunction.

Some Canon EOS 5 features include: full-frame 12.8 Megapixel CMOS sensor combines with Canon's DIGIC II Image Processor, a high-precision 9-point AF system with 6 assist points, and "Picture Style" color control to deliver images of superior quality with enough resolution for any application. With its wide-angle capabilities, 2.5 inch LCD and magnesium-alloy body, the 5D is the perfect addition to the Digital EOS line.

Tips for Travel and Photography
  1. Bring along 3 extra batteries that will always be fully charged for days where you will not have access to electricity.
  2. Bring extra memory cards, I have about 30 Gigas in Memory cards.
  3. Buy memory cards not more than 4 Gigas, this will make your camera take less energy from your battery, since bigger card will need lots of energy just to read inside thousands of photos. 4 Gigas cars will be easier and fast.
  4. Buy a protection filter called skylight, and, if anything happens to your lens, well, you can just replaced it, so, why not have an extra ready skylight in your bag? just in case you brake that one.
  5. Watch out with sand, in places with sand like deserts, where sand in very thin, it will go inside your lens very fast and ruin everything. Protect your camera with a plastic bag and tap.

mardi 4 mai 2010

Russian Parallel Cinema Part 3 of 3

This is the 3rd and last part of an interesting documentary made by

For 60 years, Russian film was dominated by the state-approved imagery of Socialist Realism: stark scenes of the proletariat; working, farming and soldiering. Making movies outside this milieu meant risking life and limb at the hands of the KGB. When the Soviet Union collapsed, and that threat diminished, Russian filmmakers released six decades of pent-up creative energy. The films that emerged were an insane mish mash of booze, violence, surrealism, and insanity. Thus Parallel Cinema was born.

Riad Marrakech, Riad Hotels Morocco

During my trip to Morocco, I found out a new accommodation concept. Well, at least new to me since this type of a private hotel is running already for a few years now.

I'm talking about RIADS, which consist on a house inside the Medina (old city), rebuilt to receive tourist within a quiet and private ambiance since most Riads have no more than 7 or 8 room, but the average number should be around 5 rooms per house, providing great privacy.

The main center of riad houses in Morocco is in Marrakech but you can also find them in other cities like Fez, Essaouira and Ouarzazate.

(foto of Riad Jona Marrakech)

Best Riad Marrakesh
This is a very good website with a few selected riads in Marrakech, also other ideias to travel in Morocco and search hotel around the country. | Click here: Riad Marrakech

Ahhh Marrakesh… I LOVE IT!
This website has some nice ideas about on what to do while in Marrakech, inclusively, how to walk around Marrakech. A walk tour in Marrakech Medina - Morocco. | Click here: Marrakech Medina

samedi 1 mai 2010

Auberge du Sud - A Magical Journey in Sahara Desert

During my travel to Morocco I end up going to the desert. At the start, I wasn't about to go there but as soon as I got to Marrakech I end up changing my travel plans and headed south to Sahara Desert after I stayed a couple of days in Ouarzazate.

I stayed at this magnificent place called Auberge du Sud, locate right on the edge of the dunes and completely isolated from other houses - just desert.

Auberge du Sud, Hotel Merzouga Dunes in Morocco
Photo copyright from Auberge du Sud

My first difficulty was to get to Erg Chebbi dunes, but after I got a normal bus from Ouarzazate to Erfoud, someone from the hotel was waiting me up at the bus station. I called them when I got out of Ouarzazate in order for them to know when I arrived.

First contact the the guy driving a 4x4 was great, and he took me along off-road into the dunes. He had been buying groceries for the hotel in Erfoud market, so its was me, nice local Berber music, him - a very nice guy with little words in English, just French, and lots of bags and goods for the hotel.

As I arrived to the hotel its was fantastic, just orange dunes! Can you believe that sand here is just orange color?

I stayed in a room very well decorated and very exotic materials. Music in the evening is great to enjoy Sahara desert drum sounds, I recorded some of them on my cell-phone, I still can listen to it often.

I payed 25 Euros for a room - breakfast and diner included.

Auberge du Sud, Hotel Merzouga Dunes in Morocco
Photo copyright from Auberge du Sud

Auberge du Sud
  • Ras el Erg, Merzouga, Sahara, Morocco
  • +212.661602885 (Hamid) Hamid Noughou
  • +212.661216166 (Moha) Moha Noughou
  • +212.661934481 (Youness) Youness Noughou
  • | Click here: Hotel Morocco

Statue of Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro Brazil

Since 1931, the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer has towered over Rio de Janeiro, its outstretched arms seen by many as a testament of the warmth of the Brazilian people.

Standing 125 feet (38 m) high, and located at the peak of the 2,300 (710 m) Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park, the statue is the work of the sculptor Paul Landowski, to a design by local engineer Heito da Silva Costa.

It is a truly inspiring site, with panoramic views of one of the word's most exciting and beautifully situated cities.

Statue of Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro Brazil

jeudi 29 avril 2010

Biggest Rivers in the World

Rivers are always a fantastic feature of Nature. Some of Earth's rivers are really big and actually pass through several different countries. I'll make a quick list with the World's biggest rivers.

Amazon River (world biggest river)
  • Length (km): 6,937.08
  • Length (miles): 4,300
  • Drainage area (km²): 6,915,000
  • Average discharge (m³/s): 219,000
  • Outflow: Atlantic Ocean
  • Countries in the drainage basin: Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guyana

Nile River (world second biggest river)
  • Length (km): 6,650
  • Length (miles): 4,132
  • Drainage area (km²): 3,349,000
  • Average discharge (m³/s): 5,100
  • Outflow: Mediterranean Sea
  • Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Egypt, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Yangtze River (world third biggest river)
  • Length (km): 6,300
  • Length (miles): 3,917
  • Drainage area (km²): 1,800,000
  • Average discharge (m³/s): 31,900
  • Outflow: East China Sea
  • Countries in the drainage basin: China

Mississippi – Missouri River (world forth biggest river)
  • Length (km): 6,275
  • Length (miles): 4,300
  • Drainage area (km²): 2,980,000
  • Average discharge (m³/s): 16,200
  • Outflow: Gulf of Mexico
  • Countries in the drainage basin: United States (98.5%), Canada (1.5%)

Yenisei – Angara – Selenga River (world fifth biggest river)
  • Length (km): 5,539
  • Length (miles): 4,300
  • Drainage area (km²): 2,580,000
  • Average discharge (m³/s): 19,600
  • Outflow: Kara Sea
  • Countries in the drainage basin: Russia, Mongolia