Sao Jorge island early morning.


Northern coast of Sao Jorge island, 5.45 in the morning.





Maciek.

The picture was awarded a front page of www.plfoto.com
and at www.podroze.pl



In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean


The British Aerospace ATP turboprop powered plane over the Atlantic Ocean.



After a short stay at the main Azores island São Miguel, we are finally heading to São Jorge Quinta do Sõa Pedro hotel, a small island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Bamboo Forest - part II


Coimbra botanical gardens ( part I ) continued ...







Maciek

Portuguese Estremadura

A postcard from Estremadura.


Name "Estremadura" means "estremities". Stretching along the Atlantic coast, not far from Lisbon, Estremadura
is the second largest Portuguese wine producing region.

This land contains small lovely towns with white houses and the rolling countryside, where the vines grow and old windmills still clack in the breeze.





Date/time: 2009-07-20 16:38:10
Nikon D80
F-stop: f8
ISO: 100
Metering Mode: Pattern
Flash: Did not fire
Focal length: 17 mm
Lens: Sigma 17.0-70.0 mm
Exp -0.3



Maciek




Half a day in Obidos.

Óbidos is one of Portugal´s top tourist attractions. Two whites to taste: in front white Estremadura from the local Cooperativa de Óbidos producer and white vinho verde from the Northern Portugal.


On our way to Quinta de Chocapalha we stepped in for a couple of hours to the small town of Óbidos. Óbidos is one of Portugal´s top tourist attractions. At this time of the year we expected to find hordes of tourists occupying every inch of that small town. To our surprise the village was quite and charming. "30% less tourists this year" a lady serving us food at Real Taverna restaurant told us. We liked that very much.
So we found a small table at the restaurant and tasted two couples of wine: white Estremadura from the
local Cooperativa de Óbidos producer which had a fine yellowish color and turned out to be also very nice in mouth and compared it to simple couple of white vinho verde from the Northern Portugal.
What a nice lunch we had !

Agnieszka sitting in Real Taverna, Obidos.



Maciek
Monday, 21st of July 2009.

Bamboo Forest



Bamboo forest is always an area full of wonderful mystery and photo opportunities. The short trail we took through the forest gave us a great example of the tropical ecosystem but the noise that traveled over treetops bouncing on the wind made it a little creepy too.

Shot on 20th of July 2009.




Date/time: 2009-07-20 10:24:20
Nikon D80
F-stop: f 20
ISO: 200
Metering Mode: Pattern
Flash: Did not fire
Focal length: 12 mm
Lens: Sigma 10.0-20.0 mm




Maciek.

La Mancha and our Dom Quixote.


Thanks to the Spanish writer, Miguel de Cervantes, La Mancha is famous for its windmills. The most famous photographed site is a group of white windmills located at the Cerro Calderico hills in Consuegra, Spain, about 140 kilometers south of Madrid.


We visited that place on late June 2009. Early that day the spot was completely abandoned. While we were enjoying the views from the hilltop, a red old sport MGB Florida roadster suddenly appeared. For me it was so improbable to meet a lonely man and his strange car at that place, so I rushed for my camera and took a shot. Some scenes from the Cervantes novel started to flash before my eyes: a hot day, windmills, Spanish blue sky and a lonely Dom Quixote in his strange.... car.




Date/time: 2009-06-29 10:51:29
Nikon D80
F-stop: f9
ISO: 100
Metering Mode: Pattern
Flash: Did not fire
Focal length: 18 mm
Lens: Sigma 17.0-70.0 mm
Exp -0.3



Maciek.


The road home



Somewhere in the middle of wastelands of Spanish province Castilla Leon. A small sign on the little road under the beautiful sky shows our way back home. We´ve been wandering a couple of days in the western part of that province along the banks of the Douro/Duero river.





Maciek

15th of July 2009.

Spa overlooking Bornes mountains

Sunset over swimming pool, recreation area and suspended platform with jacuzzi of the Hotel & Spa Alfâdega da Fé, Portugal. View over the Bornes mountains to the west.


On Sunday evening, on our way to Spain we stayed, one night only, in the Hotel & Spa Alfândega da Fé .
Having jacuzzi on the suspended platform with absolutely breathtaking views over the Bornes mountains is like having time of your life.




Shot during our stay in the hotel, Sunday night, 12th oh July 2009.



Maciek.

The Port Wine cellars with friends


The Port Wine cellars are the right place to discover this Portuguese wine and all of its history. Open to the public, they give you the opportunity to taste this precious nectar.


Shot while visiting Porto Graham´s cellars with Kasia, Andrzej, Marcin and Agnieszka on 11th of July 2009.

Maciek.

Beiras province "off the beaten track"









Beias is a semi-deserted region in the Eastern Portugal. When traveling through this mainly rural region, one has a feeling of emptiness and some kind of pessimism.

Harsh climate conditions ( very high temperatures in summer and chilly winters with little rain ) turned most part of the Beiras into agricultural wastelands.

Driving through the scarcely populated villages one can wonder: What are these people doing here ? How do they earn their living ?










Maciek



Shot on 09th of July 2009.


Drinking the OLD wines


Every time I open one of these really, really old bottles of Port wines I am a little nervous. Is the wine still OK ?
Over many years of maturing in oak the wine gains full body but loses its aromatic fruit flavors. The balance between dry fruits, spices and tannins is gone. During the aging, the Ports gradually also lose the full, deep red color of their youth and take on the classic amber and coppery hue, which gives them their name. The old wine has more alcohol percent by volume.








A bottle of 1972 Garefferia Particular from Casa das Torres de Oliveira ( Douro region ) was opened a couple of days ago. We celebrated a long awaited visit of our good friends from London. It was fine, elegant and deeply lingering wine. Very much enjoyed.



Nikon D80
Lens: Nikkor AF 60 mm 2.8


Maciek

Being proud of my son







My son made that very nice HD compilation of many Gears of War 2 trailers with music from Three Days Grace - Animal I've Become.
I saw his hard work during long days to complete this
montage
.
So here it is: my little tribute to Lucas and all his hard work, dedication and passion he showed.

Congratulations Lucas ! I am really proud of you !





PS. I am a bit of fan of this game too. Lucas can often find me as his good gaming companion as we both play Gears of War 2 on our Xbox 360 console.



Maciek.


Midsummer "Festa" time !

June 24 is St. John ´s Day. Saint John the Baptist is Porto´s Patron. Big party is all over the town. This year we celebrated it with a dinner and party on the board of "Cidade Invicta" ship in the middle of Douro River with a big group of friends.

The party ended with a spectacular fireworks and sound-and-light show.


Fireworks over the Douro river.





Shot on midnight 23/24th of June 2009.
Nikon D80.
Maciek.





Harvest time





Photo taken close to city of Jaén in Spanish province od Andalusia on 29th of June 2009.

Maciek.