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Joshua | profile | all galleries >> Black Sea tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Black Sea

Our trip started in Civitavecchia, the port of Rome, Italy where we boarded our ship where we stayed for 14 days, the Prinsendam. We sailed on the Mediterranean Sea, passing Mount Etna on the island of Sicily, continued on the Adriatic Sea, Ionian Sea and Aegean Sea. Through the Strait of Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara and the Bosporus Strait finally we arrived on the Black Sea, where visited several cities/countries that surrounded that body of water. Of course, we stopped at various cities on the way there and on the way out.

The name could be derived from the dark colored sediment encountered at approximately 200mm, which was deposited under anoxic conditions caused by hydrogen sulfide. The deeper layer of the water doesnít mix with the more oxygen-rich upper waters. Another explanation for this color term may be an ancient assignment of colors to the direction of the compass - black refers to the north and red refers to the south.

The description of each location refers mostly to the land excursion we took. More emphasis is put on the photographic merit rather than documenting a complete travel sequence in the selection of the images. Of course, images of locals make up a sizable portion of the gallery. I took 3 lenses on this trip: Canon 24-105mm f/4.0 IS, Canon 70-200mm f/4.0 IS and Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 (with adapter) on my Canon full-frame DSLR.

Dubrovnik, Croatia
The city is located at the Adriatic Sea in the southern tip of Croatia. Surrounded by a tall wall, the old town of Dubrovnik has been designated as a UNESCOís World Heritage site. The old town is reserved in its entirety for pedestrian and it very touristy. In the second half of September, it was quite crowded. In addition to magnificent medieval buildings, the town is full of restaurants, snack bars, ice cream parlors, souvenir vendors, etc. There are stores and snack establishments even in the narrow alleys that lead up to the mountain side.

Sarande, Albania
We visited archeological ruins at Butrint dating back to the 6th century BC. Throughout its history, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Venetians have inhabited this location. The present archeological site, therefore, contains structures and remnants that represent each period of the city's development.

Argostoli, Cephalonia Island, Greece
We explored this town on our own, just strolling along the seashore near the port and along a bustling pedestrian walkway lined with stores on both sides.

Istanbul, Turkey
We were in this wonderful town for the first time in 2006 and therefore decided to explore this town on our own. First, we took a taxi to the Grand Bazaar, a colorful but dimly lit photogenic spot. We walked to the underground Cistern, a huge water reservoir, a serene and peaceful place underneath the hustle and bustle of the city above. I left the tripod on the ship and had to improvise to capture pictures here. Finally, we spent some time at Hagia Sophia, a huge and an impressive Byzantine church that was later on converted into a mosque but now it is a museum and at Sultan Ahmet (Blue) Mosque. Capturing shots along the Bosporus Strait at dusk is another treat at the city.

Trabzon, Turkey
Here, we visited a former Byzantine church, now a mosque, the house of Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey and the museum of Hagia Sophia, bearing the same name as the one in Istanbul. Too bad we didnít go to the magnificent Sumela Monastery.

Sochi, Russia
Our visit to this Russian city was limited to a short trip to a health spa nearby, called Majesta. The spa is famous for its mineral water.

Sevastopol, Ukraine
This city has a lot of monuments and palaces. We visited two palaces. The first one is Massandra, the palace of emperor Alexander III, and the second one is Livadia, a summer residence of the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II and his family. The Yalta conference of three leading anti-Hitler coalition countries (Stalin from USSR, Roosevelt from USA and Churchill from Great Britain) took place in Livadia Palace in February 1945.

Nessebur, Bulgaria
A small coastal town in Bulgaria and its historic district was placed on UNESCOís list of World Heritage. There are at least 20 medieval churches within a fairly small area and yes, within walking distance from each other in varying degree of preservation. Judging by the numerous German tourists there, no wonder the locals speak German better than English.

Kusadasi, Turkey
The site of ancient Ephesus is very photogenic although the throng of tourists and harsh lighting conditions made it difficult to take really excellent pictures. Since we were here 2 years ago, I tried to take different shots of this wonderful place.




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Underground Cistern
Underground Cistern
Sideway Medusa Head at the End of Underground Cistern
Sideway Medusa Head at the End of Underground Cistern
Upside Down Medusa Head at the End of Underground Cistern
Upside Down Medusa Head at the End of Underground Cistern
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Strolling Together
Strolling Together
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Juxtaposition of Traditional and Modern
Juxtaposition of Traditional and Modern
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