aboutWe are Akila and Patrick. Ourminds (and waistlines) expand as we travel, cook, and eat our way around the world with our two dogs.
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airavatesvara temple

Gopuram in Kumbakonam

Temple in India
Upiliappan Temple Upiliappan Temple

Kumbakonam Adi Kumbeswara and Upiliappan temple interior

"What should we see in Kumbakonam?"  I asked my cousin, as we planned our family excursion through South India.  There would be 13 of us traveling, ranging in age from my 94-year-old grandfather to Amara, our not yet 1 year old, packed in a mini-bus to see the best of Puducherry, Kumbakonam, and Tanjore in one week.   

"Temples, of course," he responded.  Kumbakonam is a town of temples so his answer was no surprise.  Almost 200 temples are packed into this 25 square mile town at the intersection of the Kaveri and Arasalar Rivers, deep in Tamil Nadu, the most southern portion of India. 

Adi Kumbeswara Temple

Detailing on the gopuram of the Adi Kumbeswara Temple

My cousin reeled off the names of temples, each with both historical and religious significance.  But, there was one I found in my Internet research that he never mentioned.  "What about Airavatesvara Temple?" I said, stumbling over the long word. 

"I don't know it," he responded.  He paused for a second and said, "It must not be very important.  It is named for Indra's white elephant --- the steed that carried the Lord of the Devas."  My grandmother whose earliest childhood memories are swimming in the Kaveri River and going to school in Kumbakonam, didn't know the Airavatesvara Temple.  No one in my extended family --- most of whom visit South Indian temples on their holidays --- had heard of Airavatesvara, either.

But, I insisted that we go and visit.  It was listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Wikipedia page made it sound interesting and, after all, it was only a few miles away from our hotel.

Adi Kumbeswara Temple

Elephant blessing at Adi Kumbeswara Elephant blessing me and Amara

Elephant blessing at the Adi Kumbeswara Temple

We reached Airavatesvara after a long day visiting temples, temples, and more temples, each blending into the other.  Amara was tired and annoyed and both Patrick and I were pretty unimpressed by that point. 

There's a difference, you see, between visiting temples for their religious value and visiting, as we did, for purely the aesthetic and archaeological interest. 

Airavateswara Temple sunset

Airavateswara Temple sunset

My extended family is religious in a way that I will never be.  It's something that I think comes with growing up in India whereas growing up in the United States.  Religion in India is not optional.  There is no delineation between church (or temple) and state.  Religion is integral and integrated into every part of every day life in India.

Tanjore Temple
Tanjore Big Temple Tanjore Big Temple
Tanjore Big Temple Tanjore Big Temple

Tanjore Brihadisvara Temple

In Chennai, we woke in the morning to the sound of bells clanging at the temple.  Our auto rickshaw drivers had small pictures of Vishnu, Lakshmi, or Shiva on their dashboards.  Every store has a small shrine in it, as does every home have a puja or prayer room set aside.  My extended family avoids garlic and onions on certain days of the week and avoids meat altogether.  Muslims are equally devout at their mosques as are the Christians at their churches.  It is a country where religion pervades every moment of every day.

And, Indians are passionate about their temples.  At the busier and more important temples, such as the Tanjore Brihadisvara Temple, the packed crowds suffocate me.  One of my earliest memories of India is a frantic devotee pushing my seven year old self to the ground inside the Mysore Chamundi Temple so that she could get a closer glimpse of the Goddess.  Even now, as an adult, though I use my elbows to mark my own space, the press of unwashed, undeodoranted people in the stifling interiors nauseates me.  And for what?  The crowds come together for a momentary glimpse of a tiny statue or figure in semi-darkness.

Amara at the Tanjore Big temple Amara at the Tanjore Temple
Patrick and Amara at the Tanjore temple Patrick and Amara at the Tanjore temple

Patrick and Amara at the Tanjore Temple

Devoutness to the point of fanaticism does not appeal to me, which is perhaps why I have never truly appreciated the large South Indian temples.  I can admire the gopuram, the intricately carved exterior pillar at the top of the temple, and the exterior painting.  But, in most temples, the interior has been built on the original structure, over and over again, so that the ancient beauty of the temple is lost in expansions of cement and ceramic tile.  Others are rarely cleaned, leaving grease marks at the bottom of my feet as I walk through their interiors.

Airavatesvara Temple Airavatesvara Temple
Airavatesvara Temple Airavatesvara Temple

Airavatesvara Temple

But, then, we arrived at the Airavatesvara Temple.  It flew in the face of everything I've ever known --- or thought I've known --- about South Indian temples.  It was built in the 12th century by the powerful Chola empire, who ruled much of present day India and many of the surrounding islands from their headquarters in present day Tamil Nadu.  The Chola empire might hold the record for the longest dynasty in history: this family ruled southern India for almost 1,500 years, beginning in the 3rd century BCE until the late 13th century AD.

The Cholas believed in building, trading, and the proliferation of art and music.  Much of the Hindu art and belief in Southeast Asia, including the adoption of the Ramayana by the Thai, was due to the efforts of traders, artisans, and teachers during the Chola empire.  But, empires crumble and temples disappear.

Airavatesvara Temple

Airavatesvara gopuram

There are three --- only three --- of the great Chola temples still standing and without remodel, reconstruction, or alteration since the days of the Chola kings.  The three temples have been listed together as the "Great Living Chola Temples" as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and include the Tanjore Brihadisvara Temple, the Airavatesvara Temple, and the temple at Gangaikondacholapuram (yes, that's a mouthful) near the Ganges River.  (This has a great list of the Chola temples found in Bangalore though all of these temples have been renovated, refurbished, or repainted, so it is difficult to differentiate what was original versus modern.) 

Airavatesvara Temple

Airavatesvara Temple

Airavatesvara Temple

The steps at the Airavatesvara Temple

The Airavatesvara Temple is the smallest and least important of the three.  Legend has it that a sage cursed Airavata, the white elephant who was steed to the king of the gods, turning Airavata black and mottled.  Airavata bathed in the sacred waters here and prayed to Lord Shiva, who turned the elephant's skin white again.  Unlike the Brihadiswara Temple which was built to celebrate the Chola Empire's communion with Lord Shiva, the Airawatesvata Temple was meant to relate to the populace.

Airavatesvara Temple pillar Airavatesvara Temple

Pillars at the Airavateswara Temple

Pillars Pillars at Airavadesvara Temple

Airavatesvara Temple Pillars

We climbed up the staircase written in ancient Tamil script, flanked by carved elephants and horse-drawn chariots on each side, with the elephant's trunk acting as the bannister.  We stood in a hall of pillars, each pillar carved with scenes of daily life at the time of the Chola Empire.  One pillar showed crowds of people arriving, throwing flowers, and dancing near the king sitting on a bull.  Many of the figures on the stone are no bigger than my thumbnail and the priest inside acts also as our guide, pointing out the intricate details in the temple.  He was clearly proud of this strange, small temple.

Bull and horse in Airavatesvara Temple

Bull and elephant in one figure at Airavatesvara Temple

And, rightly so.  We walked outside and soon fell into conversation with one of Tamil Nadu's archaeological experts, who has been spending a significant amount of time excavating and analyzing the grounds near the temple.  He showed us this beautiful spot where, from one angle, the figure looks like a bull, reaching his head above another animal, and from the other angle, looks like an elephant laying her head on her baby's back, with her trunk spread out before her.

 Airavatesvara Temple

Airavatesvara Temple back

We exclaimed in delight and he showed us more of the temple's features, eager to share his discoveries with others.  Once, he complained slightly under his breath that nobody sees these things.

I got that.  In the hour we spent there, we had the place to ourselves.  Once, we saw a tour group of Westerners who dashed in and out of this place, checking it off their list of India's World Heritage Sites.  There were no devotees pushing, shoving, or clamoring to see the God.  This place was quiet and empty, a rarity (impossibility?) in bustling India, and waiting since the days of the Chola kings for people to appreciate it. 


The Great Living Chola Temples are located around the cities of Kumbakonam and Tanjore (also known as Tanjavur), about 275 kilometers south of Chennai.  Most go directly to see the Brihadisvara Temple in Tanjore which is, admittedly, gorgeous and immense.  But, I think that the Airavatesvara Temple should not be missed, especially for the lover of arts, architecture, and antiquities.

We stayed at Paradise Resort in Kumbakonam which is a cute hotel geared toward tourists and tour groups.  Guests can take a traditional bullock cart (or the much faster golf cart) to get to and from their rooms and there are onsite artisans who produce certain goods, as well as a menagerie of farm animals.  While the rooms were nice, the reason I would recommend this hotel is for the food.  If you want to try authentic home cooked Tamil fare, this is a great place to get your fill.  Their lunchtime thalis were especially good.  Every single person in my group --- most of whom are very critical when it comes to South Indian food --- liked the food here.

08/09/2014 01:52
Stunning temples!
08/09/2014 15:07
Gorgeous! I'm with you on doing anything to avoid the crowds. We recently went to Cambodia and Burma. In Cambodia, since I'd seen the Ankor Wat temples several times now, I did not revisit. Instead, we went 2 hours North and saw several small ruins around Koh ker temple where we were the only people at each.
In Burma, because it was low season, we were the only visitors to many of the temples we saw.
08/12/2014 20:41
That lace looks awesome! I would love to go there and take hundreds of photos.
08/28/2014 15:33
Gorgeous photos! I loved the photo of the little one in front of the temple! :) This post makes me want to venture to South India. Breathtaking.
09/04/2014 10:43
Thank you! South India is an amazing place.
12/13/2014 23:31
Lovely pictures. I was in Kumbakonam and Tanjore a couple of years back, but missed Airavateshwara, although I did get a chance to visit Brihadeeshwara and Gangaikondacholapuram (with my then toddler). Have you visited the temples in Karnataka - Somanathapura, in particular is not so crowded and is stunning and I'm sure many of your readers will love it. [No I'm not getting paid by the tourism authorities, although I wish I were].
12/22/2014 15:33
We haven't visited the temples in Karnataka --- that's the next trip! Lots of places to see in India and so many temples. I'll put these on the list.
05/22/2015 07:06
India Temple Very good Adventure and Lovely Temple Destination.

Day Picnic
05/22/2015 07:06
India Temple Very good Adventure and Lovely Temple Destination.

Day Picnic
06/01/2017 08:44
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08/04/2015 05:08
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08/13/2015 01:29
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09/07/2015 10:54
What a wonderful place...

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acropolis in progress

Acropolis Athens

Acropolis (and partial view of the scaffolding)

I mentioned a while back that Patrick and I weren't all that impressed with Greece.  A large part of that unenthusiasm related to Athens and the Acropolis.  If you'd asked me before I went to Greece what is the number-one-must-see attraction in the country, I would have said the Acropolis of Athens.  Right?  It's the one Greek monument that everyone knows.  It's the one attraction we were most excited to see.

 Acropolis views
 Acropolis  Views from the Acropolis

 Views from the Acropolis

You have to understand that Patrick and I love, love, love ruined architecture.  I can see the place as it once was, so many years ago, with the walls standing, the floors in bright mosaics and tiles. 

Amphitheatre outside the Acropolis

Amphitheatre outside the Acropolis

At Pompeii, we walked amongst the ancient common man, so much like us though long since dead.  At Ephesus, we marvelled at the splendors of the ancients.  And, in the tiny town of Ivailovgrad, Bulgaria, we were amazed by intricate floor tiles created centuries ago.  We love ruins, even when nature takes over, destroying the artistry of man.

Acropolis view
The reconstructed temple View of the Acropolis from the Acropolis museum
Walking up to the Acropolis

Acropolis restoration (note the reconstructed Temple of Athena Nike, with the integration of the original stones)

But, the Acropolis in Athens is no testament to ancient man's work.  Right now, it's very much a work in progress.  Cranes and scaffolding cover most of the buildings and tourists are prevented from entering the interior.  Several of the surrounding temples have been dismantled and are being reassembled.  

Acropolis restoration


Acropolis restoration and scaffolding and a restored temple

There are a lot of issues surrounding the restoration project, not least of which whether or not the Greek government has the funds to finish the work.  So far, the UN has paid for 50% of the restoration project (currently running around $90 million.) 

Friezes at Acropolis Museum

Acropolis Museum Acropolis Museum
Acropolis Museum Acropolis Museum friezes

Friezes at the Acropolis Museum

Half of the great marble friezes at the top of the Acropolis are hotly contested because they're sitting in the British Museum in London.  They're the British Museum's most valuable pieces and the other half of the friezes left at the Acropolis Museum aren't nearly as beautiful.  The Greek government claims that England needs to turn over the friezes, while the British government claims that they were rightfully given from the Ottomans to the British.  And all that means that the friezes on the Acropolis itself --- that is, the pictures most tourists are taking --- are simply replications made in the last twenty years.

Acropolis ceiling

Reconstructed roof

And, then, there are also the aesthetic and theoretical considerations: does it make sense to reconstruct the building, knowing that the reconstruction may not be exactly right?  When the marbles weather at different ages (as seen as above), doesn't the change in color and gradation take away from the beauty of the building?  Is it better to leave ruins as ruins?


Views of the Acropolis

Ultimately, like much of Athens, the Acropolis is in a state of modern-day disrepair, in the midst of 30 long years of restoration with at least another 20 years of restoration left.  The restoration process isn't pretty.  Maybe we'll go back to Athens when we're senior citizens and enoying the retired life to see the Acropolis in its splendor.  But, for now, I wouldn't recommend this ancient ruin.

*I'm writing this, knowing that as I speak, hordes of travel bloggers are converging on Athens for the TBEX conference.  I'll be interested to see how Athens spins its city and its attractions to bloggers.

04/19/2014 20:40
Seems fine to me. I know the sight of scaffolds are off putting, but most of the site as you displayed it seems quite remarkable!
04/28/2014 20:17
Your photos actually make me want to visit more than before - Athens is such a stunning backdrop to the Acropolis :)

I would definitely rather go there without the scaffolding up, though. It spoils the authenticity!
05/09/2014 13:00
Athens is a stunning backdrop to the Acropolis and that part is really nice because so many other ancient ruins are very separate from the modern cities.
06/22/2015 03:04
Its a great and informative post. I am very helpful from this post. Good work keep it up..
09/07/2015 11:06
Wow, I can't wait to see the place.

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humbling pompeii


View of Pompeii Amphitheatre

I've never seen a picture of Pompeii that did it justice.  In fact, before going to Pompeii, I questioned whether it was worth the time and energy to go there.  The architecture looked less impressive than the ancient architecture in Rome at the Pantheon, the Roman Forum, and the Colosseum.  The scenery was less stunning than that of the gorgeous blue and yellow Amalfi Coast.  But, we went because we were staying in Sorrento, were only 45 minutes away from Pompeii, and it seemed foolish to miss one of Italy's most popular attractions. 

Pompeii mosaic Pompeii mosaic
Pompeii walls Akila at Pompeii


Walking through the streets of Pompeii

And, I'll be the first to admit that our pictures don't do this place justice.  What's missing from the photography is a sense of the vastness of this place.  Pompeii was a living, breathing city with a population of around 10,000 people in about five square miles before 769 AD.  To put that into perspective, that's about the population density of New Orleans, Sydney, or Montreal today, and more dense than Miami, Antwerp, and Las Vegas.  Of course, our cities today are much larger than five square miles but, when we went there, we could feel how the city once bustled.

Pompeii baking Pompeii ovens
Oven Pompeii Pompeii oven

Cafe/restaurant; bakery and ovens

We started at the less touristed side of the city, at the point where most of the populace lived, and walked all the way to the main public areas at the far side of the city.  Like New York or Sydney or any major city today, Pompeii had places for worship, markets, government buildings, and public arenas and amphitheatres.  It had more than 33 bakeries with huge lava mills, turned by donkeys to grind the wheat, and ovens in which the bakers brought out thick flat bread, cut into wedges and sold to the citizens.  It had over 200 cafes where Pompeii citizenry --- especially the poor --- sat at long bars to eat from food ladled out of large jars set into the marble counters (kind of like a buffet).

Akila at Pompeii Pompeii streets

Houses in Pompeii

We walked for hours.  Hours and hours.  Into and out of houses.  Into and out of mansions.  Through gardens with fountains.  Through gardens with statues of gods and goddesses at the center.  Through places where there were vineyards.  Into mammoth buildings where judges and politicians discussed and determined the way in which the rest of the Pompeiians should live, while those ordinary citizens went about their business, raising families, improving their homes, and generally living the best lives they could.

Pompeii roads Pompeii fountain

Marble and temples

It wasn't long before we realized that these people --- these people who lived over 1,500 years ago --- weren't all that different from us.



Pompeii Pompeii ruins
Dog at Pompeii Pompeii ruins
Pompeii avenue

Public areas of Pompeii

Pompeii is, ultimately, a lesson in humility.

Gateway Pompeii Pompeii moonlight

Pompeii by moonlight

Patrick and I have seen many, many amazing ruins all across the world: Angkor Wat, Ephesus, and those in Rome immediately spring to mind.  But, Pompeii is unique in that it showed us how the ordinary people --- the people like us --- lived.  In Ephesus and Angkor Wat, we saw the structures built to celebrate the gods.  But, we never thought about the more humble structures necessary for man.  The bakeries, brothels, canteens, and warehouses are lost in those places, tumbled down into rubble and then built over many, many times.

Floor tiles in Pompeii Pompeii tiles
Pompeii Pompeii tiles

Decorations in mansions

These people sold and bought goods at the markets, with products imported from all across the vast Roman empire.  They lived in houses decorated in granite and marble.  They walked streets and stepped carefully over the "speed bumps" built for horse-drawn carriages.

Pompeii Pompeii

As we stood there at ancient Pompeii, looking over the busy city of modern Pompeii, we couldn't help but imagine the tourist of 3,500 AD.  Will they look at our houses, built mainly of the natural materials used for over 2,000 years --- wood, stone, and metal --- and think our architecture is curiously primitive?  Will they stand in front of the remnants of our granite kitchens with gleaming stainless steel appliances and wonder why we would try to preserve our food in such an antiquated mechanism as a refrigerator?  They will surely laugh at our smartphones and computers, and ask how we could build monuments like the Twin Towers with such simplistic devices, in the way that we wonder how Roman architects built huge structures using mental and handwritten arithmetic and an abacus.

It was a strangely humbling place as we realiized that, one day, when we are long gone, the cities and the people of the year 2013 will be ancient in the same way that Pompeii and its citizens are ancient to us.

10/19/2013 05:08
Great post, Akila! Ancient ruins like Pompeii and Villa Almira in Bulgaria do indeed put life in perspective. Mom
10/19/2013 08:41
Thanks for a beautiful, thoughful post on a place often derided as a touristy waste of time. Your photos and words do indeed portray it as far more interesting than I've seen elsewhere - it looks amazing! It's always been on my list, but now it is REALLY on my list. Next time I'm in Italy!
10/19/2013 08:58
Still and always your beautiful writing and carefully chosen words help me see, touch, hear, and smell the wonders of our world right from the comfort of my own home.
10/21/2013 19:02
Chetan Sankar
So well said. I remember when I was young, there was a lot made of
Living during industrial revolution, information revolution etc.
You put history so well in perspective.
10/22/2013 12:27
I absolutely loved this. I've always been fascinated with Pompeii, but you're right about never really seeing photos that do it justice. I haven't been there, so I can't say for sure, but I thought your photos were pretty amazing, and they (along with your description) made me want to go there all the more.
10/31/2013 12:18
I was amazed by your photos. Pompeii looks amazing from your point of you. :) liked it
12/02/2013 03:05
I've never doubted Pompeii, not for a second! It?s almost unimaginable that you can re-live an ancient city like this that is so intact in design. It must have been an amazing place during its most glorious days.. No wonder it was the favorite summer destination of the Rome?s richest.
12/04/2013 08:40
Agreed. Pompeii must have been one of the most beautiful cities in the Roman Empire.
09/07/2015 11:10
Wow, I can't wait to see the place.

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prague in black and white

Prague buildings in black and white

Street in Prague

We don't often do black and white photography largely because I love color.  I love the juxtaposition of bright against light, sky against tree, and strong against weak.  One of my all time favorite photo spreads on our site is this one with the children and balloons, done in black and white, with pops of color, because the color almost springs out of the computer.  And, our penchant for bright and vivid colors is the reason that we're constantly posting about flowers, trees, gardens, and flower festivals.

But, one of the biggest benefits of black and white photography is its timelessness.  If you look at an old photo in color, you can easily determine the decade in which it was taken by the type of color and the use of the lens.  But, the pictures we took recently in Prague in black and white could have been taken a decade ago or longer.  In monochrome, our eyes aren't distracted by the newness or oldness of the camera technology or other camera distortions.  (It's only a small part of the reason why Ansel Adams' gorgeous scenery photographs looks like it was taken yesterday.)

When I started going through our photography for Prague, I realized that I had to do a photo spread in black and white because Prague has this same sense of timelessness.  Buildings and cobblestone streets are perfectly preserved, down to the ruts used for horse-drawn carriage in the Stare Mestro (Old Town).  A little further away, the city becomes stark and square, with odd monuments built to celebrate Communism and the Communist regime.  There are very few buildings (other than the famous Tancici Dum or Dancing Building) that embrace modern steel and glass.  The city seems to have stood still, with parts of it squarely stuck in the 14th century and others in the pre-Cold War era.


Prague building in black and white
Prague cathedral Prague clock tower

Prague black & white

Prague in black and white church Prague fountain
Prague Communist monument
 Prague in black and white
 Prague church in black and white 
Prague in black and white Prague building facade in black and white
prague in black and white Prague in black and white
Prague in black and white
Prague Communist monumet in black and white

09/14/2013 05:40
09/16/2013 04:42
I always argue that it's probably the most beautiful city in Europe. On pics it almost looks unreal: these b& w pics just confirms that. STUNNING!!
09/16/2013 05:27
some great photos! I have never seen this side of Prague before!
09/19/2013 06:50
I was in Prague in early August. I spent so much time taking photos that one hot afternoon my husband threatened to throw my camera in the river.
I love the editing that you've done to these photos. The black and white really brings out the detail.
10/01/2013 18:55
Bianca, that's hilarious! We took WAY too many pics in Prague. It's just that sort of city, isn't it?
09/20/2013 11:48
Gorgeous photos. I've been to Prague too many times to appreciate its beauty. These photos provided a stunning reminder. Thanks for sharing!
09/20/2013 20:25
Thanks Peter!
10/01/2013 12:33
Thanks Peter!
10/15/2013 03:17
Beautiful photography and editing! Prague is a truly beautiful city that you capture well here, even without colors.
10/20/2013 16:20
Thanks Andy!
10/16/2013 07:31
Your black and white photos are amazing. We are definitely in awe of your pictures. Prague is also in our bucket list and we can't wait to start our Euro trip already! Same time next year we will definitely be there.
10/20/2013 17:28
Thanks Hannah! Have an AMAZING trip! :)
11/04/2013 12:23
I have never seen Prague in black and white till now. Gives the city a totally different perspective!
12/04/2013 08:15
11/12/2013 04:15
These are stunning! I couldn?t agree more, black and white palette fits Prague perfectly! Just recently, I?ve read Umberto Eco?s The Prague Cemetery and fell in love with the mystery of this city all over again. History, alchemy, conspiracy..these are the associations that I get when thinking about Prague. Can?t wait to visit once more.
12/04/2013 08:16
Thanks for the suggestion! I need to add that book to my to read list.
12/12/2013 21:49
I especially love the photo of the square and statue with that amazing pattern of dappled cloud above. Much more effective than it would have been in colour.
12/16/2013 03:49
Very impressive and a little bit scaring pictures
01/16/2014 08:41
These pictures just wouldn't have been the same in colour. They are truly timeless. Makes me think of a movie set in a time period of decades ago. What was your favourite spot in Prague to photograph?
05/11/2014 02:25
Beautiful photos! Your shots make Prague look empty! Nice captures :D
07/14/2014 15:26
09/07/2015 11:10
Wow, I can't wait to see the place.

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June 2012

beyond sultanahmet
istanbul's diverse neighborhoods
June 13, 2012

May 2012

intersecting cultures at hagia sophia
with context istanbul
May 29, 2012

portrait of pisa
leaning and straight
May 4, 2012

April 2012

the abbey of san galgano
beauty in ruins
April 27, 2012

opulent opera house
in budapest
April 10, 2012

March 2012

gaudi's personal cathedral
stunning sagrada familia
March 1, 2012

February 2012

casa batllo
gaudi's genius
February 23, 2012

December 2011

the magic of stonehenge
prehistoric secrets
December 6, 2011

September 2011

weekly photo: bonaventure cemetery
in savannah
September 16, 2011

November 2010

crazy politicians
the terracotta army
November 10, 2010

October 2010

when travel sucks
datong to hohhot
October 29, 2010

progress hungers
yungang grottoes and datong
October 7, 2010

September 2010

favorite world expo pavilions
surprising beauty
September 07, 2010

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in shanghai
September 03, 2010

August 2010

arts and crafts
in beijing
August 31, 2010

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August 27, 2010

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August 24, 2010

the locals' route
at the great wall
August 20, 2010

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1 week around
August 10, 2010

July 2010

paper cranes and peace
July 23, 2010

buddha deer
July 18, 2010

12 hours in nikko
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June 2010

kyoto for free
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June 22, 2010

kyoto in photos
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June 15, 2010

rainy days
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June 8, 2010

April 2010

unexceptional wonder
kompong chhnang
April 20, 2010

how to avoid temple fatigue
in 5 easy steps
April 14, 2010

March 2010

art of man, power of nature
at angkor
March 31, 2010

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March 9, 2010

how to not be a stupid tourist in thailand
March 4, 2010

February 2010

sukhothai in sepia
filtered ruins
February 19, 2010

January 2010

unexpected funeral
at wat chedi luang
January 26, 2010

at mahabalipuram
January 22, 2010

December 2009

hobbit hunting
across new zealand
December 29, 2009

July 2009

walking in sunshine
July 16, 2009

June 2009

ready to go
June 9, 2009

the duomo
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June 3, 2009

when the sun goes down
June 1, 2009