Streets of Philadelphia

The closest city to where we live is Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  It is an important city in the context of American history as it is where the United States was founded. The city also served as capital before it was moved to Washington, DC. Recently, we had the opportunity to visit the historic district, society hill and Penn’s landing during the fall which provided the opportunity to take some beautiful photographs.

The historic district is where the deceleration of independence, constitution and bill of rights were negotiated and drafted between the founding states. It is also where the first US parliament met for a few years. Society Hill is next to these historic buildings and is a beautiful area with old historic streets and buildings.  Penn’s landing is a harbor area along the Delaware river with some great walking opportunities, some historic ships, museums and just a pleasant place to hang out along the water.

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Fall colors in Pennsylvania

First off, we came to the realization that we have not updated our blog for way too long. To catch you up quickly on the last couple of years: we did move from Switzerland to the US, where we live in a rural area in Pennsylvania.  As usual when moving, time ran a bit away from us and we did therefore not find the time to do much photography let alone update our blog.  We do hope to post more in the future.

A good place to start  is to share some photos of fall foliage in Pennsylvania.  Pennsylvania has one of the longest and most varied fall foliage seams in the world.  Fall is a spectacular time to be here as the diversity of trees show a beautiful display of different colors. It is like an explosion of natural fireworks.  The difficulty is to catch fall at the right moment. The weather heavily impacts when and how long the fall colors are stunning.

This year we had the longest and most beautiful fall we have seen yet.  Coincidentally,  a good friend from Belgium visited just as the fall colors were at it’s peak and with beautiful weather. We therefore had a awesome experience exploring the area and capturing the colors at their peak.  Click on the album for a selection of photos, which also include some photo’s from the inside of Fonthill castle in Doylestown.

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Beautiful Michigan

Beautiful Michigan

A couple of weeks ago, we had the opportunity to visit “up North” lower Michigan. We started in Grand Rapids, went up to Mackinaw City via Sleeping Bear, Traverse City and Charlevoix and returned back to Grand Rapids spending time in Muskegon, Saugatuck and Holland.

Michigan is beautiful in summer with beautiful sandy beaches and stunning sunsets.  Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, the two large lakes we saw during this trip are part of the “Great Lakes”, a series of five huge interconnected lakes in North America. The lakes are so big that they have waves and dangerous weather just like an ocean.  There are also large ships transporting goods on the lakes.

As usual, we took a number of 360 panoramas.  You can find the full set of panoramas here. Below is a selection of panoramas to give you a flavour of Michigan.

Sleeping Bear is a beautiful National Lakeshore  along Lake Michigan with large dunes. This panorama was taken close to sunset when people were gathering in the park. If you look closely you can see people climb the steep sides of the hill:

Sleeping Bear Lakeshore

Sleeping Bear Lakeshore

Explore this panorama by clicking on the image below:

 

In Traverse City there were a large number of Seagulls which were nice enough to pose for the photo:

Seagulls by Traverse City Beach

Seagulls by Traverse City Beach

Have a closer look by looking around this panorama:

 

Along the way, we stook a  stop at Charlevoix, a pleasant town with a nice harbor and lake connecting Lake Charlevoix with Lake Michigan.

Charlevoix Harbor and Round Lake

Charlevoix Harbor and Round Lake

Have a closer look by looking around this panorama:

 

The sunsets in Michigan are amazing.  We witnessed an example of such a stunning sunset in Mackinaw City, while looking at Mackinac bridge:

Sunset over Mackinac bridge

Sunset over Mackinac bridge

Experience the moment yourself by looking at the panorama here:

 

And as if that not enough, very soon after the sun had set, the moon rose on the other side of the straight, resulting in a beautiful combination of a moonrise on  one side and the last sunlight on the other side:

Moonrise in Mackinaw City at Dusk

Moonrise in Mackinaw City at Dusk

Have a closer look by exploring the panorama:

 

There is also some exercise to be had. For example, when you climb these long stairs you end up on a sandy path that takes you to Oval Beach by Saugatuck over mount Baldhead.

Stairs to Oval Beach

Stairs to Oval Beach

Have a closer look here:

 

The beach you reach on the other side is a lovely sandy beach along Lake Michigan:

Oval Beach

Oval Beach

Have a closer look at this panorama here:

 

As with any large body of water, Lake Michigan has a number of lighthouses, including this one in Muskegon which we took a photo of at dusk:

Lighthouse in Muskegon

Lighthouse in Muskegon

Have a look around in the panorama here:

 

For more beautiful photo’s of Michigan you can find the full set of panoramas from our Michigan trip here.

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4 countries in 10 days

Belgium and New York Album

Belgium and New York Album

Last week, I made a business trip to the US for a training session. There are direct flights from South Africa, but in this case, the timing of these flights was such that I would have ended up back in South Africa after the last flight to East London would have left. With other words, I would have been stuck for a night at Johannesburg, which was not a very nice prospect. I therefore opted to fly over London and make a sidetrip to Belgium for a couple of days, visiting family and friends.

The trip was long, covering 4 countries in 10 days. The first night I flew to London and then from there to Belgium. You find some of the pictures of people and places I visited in Belgium in the gallery.

On Saturday, I flew back to London and from there to the US. Sunday was my birthday AND Easter, so a good occasion for doing something special. I went into New York and went to the Easter Parade. At this parade, people wear fancy hats, anything from a nice sunday hat to extreme hats made from real plants. Have a look at the pictures and see!

In the afternoon, I saw the Lion King show on broadway. The show was great: the music was wonderful, the costumes innovative and fascinating and the whole experience amazing. Highly recommended, although very expensive ($120 per seat!). After the show, I visited central park, which was also a wonderful experience as the weather was fantastic.

The following Wednesday, I flew back to the UK (overnight), visited the UK office (during the day) and then flew on to South Africa (overnight).

What a trip … You can have a look at the pictures by clicking here or on the picture on top.

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