We started our journey in Cairo two weeks ago, where we stayed at the Sofitel Nile El Gezirah for three nights. The hotel is located directly at the southern bank of the Gezirah island in the middle of the Nile river. It has a beautiful outdoor pool and a large terrace looking directly up the river. Our trip through and around the crowded metropolis led us to the Egyptian Museum, Coptic Cairo, the Mosque of Muhammad Ali, and the narrow alleys of the traditional but very busy Khan el-Khalili bazaar. A bit further away from the city, we visited the pyramids of Dahshur and Saqqara, and the pyramids of Giza. On day four of our trip we took a flight to Luxor to visit the legendary Valley of the Kings where the tombs of pharaohs Tutanchamun, Ramses I and II, Seti I and II, and others can be seen. Here we stayed in the Steigenberger Resort Achti where we had a Junior Suite with a balcony towards the Nile river. More trips around Luxor led us to the Madinat Habu Temple and the famous Karnak Temple. One day we took a ride to the city of Qena where we visited the beautiful Dendera Temple. Four days later, we crossed the desert between Qena and Safaga and stayed our last week in the beautiful Kempinski Resort in Soma Bay. It appeared to us on most locations that the pandemic is still keeping most people from travelling, and therefore you can enjoy photos with unobstructed views of cultural highlights.
We visited Venice for a couple of days. It was extremely hot and sunny, but that didn’t keep us from doing some extensive exploration walks. Venice is such a historic city where every corner exudes the charm and atmosphere of an old Italian port town. We tried to capture this historic feeling by a black and white set of photos, as if they had been shot with an old monochrome film camera from 1900.
Finally, here are some interesting facts about Venice:
Again I spent a week in Dubai to escape the cold weather in Germany. The Emirates are heavily preparing for the EXPO that is due to commence this year. There are still numerous construction sites all over the city, and over the last year many new hotels and resorts have opened. Among these new places, the BVLGARI Hotel and Resort Dubai is one of the most incredible and unforgettable locations I have ever seen. Check out my gallery below for some insights.
A few weeks ago, I spent two weeks in New York City (again). Using the time for some extensive photo walks, I focused on some of the beautiful art deco elements that can be found all around the city.
Right on time when the cold season begins in Germany, I spent a week in Singapore. Although having expected hot weather, both temperature and humidity were beyond compare with anything I have experienced before. In fact, it was so hot and humid that walking through the streets for an hour at noon felt like a hard workout. Due to Singapore’s geographic location, temperatures don’t really change over the year. For that reason, life in Singapore mostly takes place inside the numerous dining halls, malls, hotels, residential buildings and offices. Despite the heat, I spent a lot of time outside to create a new photo collection of that impressive, modern and clean city.
I spent a few days in Venice, Italy.
Venice and its neighboring islands are located in the Venetian Lagoon in the northeast of Italy. The city itself is situated across 100+ islands that are separated by canals and linked by 420+ bridges. Venice is famous for the beauty of its setting, its cuisine, the gondolas, and especially for its architecture which is pretty unique across the world.
The entire city is built on closely spaced wooden piles. These piles had been driven deep into the marshy soil (a softer layer of sand and mud) until they reached a much harder layer of compressed clay. Plates of Istrian limestone was placed on top of these piles, and this layer served as the footing to construct buildings of brick and stone on it. Submerged by water and isolated from oxygen, the wooden piles did not decay as rapidly as on the surface, and therefore most of the piles are still intact after centuries of submersion. Most of these stakes were made from trunks of alder trees, a wood noted for its water resistance.
Rainwater cisterns were the only source of fresh water. The cisterns were built underneath the squares where several manholes collected rainwater. The underground cavity was filled with sand filtering the rain to prevent the valuable waterfrom being contaminated. Draw wells were used to access the water reservoir. Today, the cisterns are sealed at the top but are still decorating the numerous squares and open spaces.
The origins of Venice date back until 421 A.D. where refugees from Roman cities near Venice such as Padua, Aquileia, Treviso, Altino and Concordia and from the undefended mainland were fleeing successive waves of Germanic and Hun invasions. The Venetian Lagoon was a swamp, and therefore difficult to access, which helped the original polulation of Venice to protect themselves from the invadors.
Its beautiful palazzi, churches, bridges, restaurants, squares, art galleries, and more, make Venice a UNESCO World Heritage Site today. Of course, I brought my camera, and here are a few impressions: