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Saturday, 21 July 2007

"University" Dance Ensemble, Tbilisi, May 2007

More of those motion-blurred dancers. How else can one show the movement in a still image? (There is a technique which uses both slow shutter speed and flash together in one frame, for blur AND sharpness. I haven't tried much of that yet; it's a future challenge.)

Friday, 20 July 2007

Dearest Mom,

Happy Birthday!

Thinking of you from across the world. Hope you have a good one.

All my love,

"University" Dance Ensemble, Tbilisi, May 2007

I've posted some motion-blurred shots of Georgian dance on the blog earlier - near its beginning. This concert, however, was the first time I had unfettered access to the whole show, freedom to shoot as much as I wanted. Next time I hope to attend a rehearsal and be in the wings, among the dancers, above them, and in other odd places. Shutter speeds: 1/8-1/2 second. More to follow.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Cyprus, July 2007

I'm setting up my computer today in new digs; until things get up to speed with internet, &c, here are a few more from the beautiful island.

From the bottom up: Cavo Greko, Latsi, Paphos.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

the W()RD: Georgians in Cyprus

Before we abandon Cyprus altogether, here are a couple of links to it from the country where I live.

- A number of Cypriots told me that they knew of large numbers of Georgians living in Cyprus. Most of these, it turns out, are Pontic Greeks, described here:

- The free monthly English newspaper The Paphos Times reports, in its January 2007 issue, p. 5, "Discovery of [ruins of] medieval monastery in Paphos forest". It dates back to the 10th century, and consists of a three-aisle domed church from that century, and a second, smaller church, from the late 11th-early 12th century, with renovations at the beginning and end of the 13th. In the 16th century the monatery was looted, its floors dug up and it was blown up.
Surprise, it's all Georgian, sponsored by and dedicated to that brilliant monarch, Queen Tamar (called "King Tamar" by the Georgians in honour of her greatness). So the Georgians' reach at the height of their Golden Age was not inconsiderable.

Monday, 16 July 2007

Cyprus, July 2007

Before leaving Cyprus, however, here are are a few more random shots from the island, as with all on this trip, unedited cellphone pictures. From the bottom up:

Salt lake shadow, Larnaca
Grinning house, Larnaca
Bathing my nephew, Larnaca
"Cow bell" doorbell, Tsada
Wind-operated woodcutter, Tsada

The "feet on location" portrait seems to have become a staple of mine on this journey, originating actually with some video shots I made of my feet walking on the recent trek through Svaneti.
I saw enough of Cyprus to realise that there is vastly more to explore - for future visits. In the meantime, here's hoping and praying that this divided island with its tragic and complicated history will come to reconciliation and peace. Now that would be a miracle.

the W()RD: Talking Turkey again

July 14-16, 2007

Time to make the long trek home from south Cyprus to Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. This required:

- a multi-user taxi from Larnaca to the border crossing in Nicosia;
- a walk of about 1 km with my luggage through the border to a bus stop;
- the 1/2 hr bus to the ferry terminal at Kyrenia;
- the 2 1/2 hr ferry to Tasucu, Turkey (not for the weak of stomach, which fortunately I am not; the 2nd most expensive part of the journey, at about US$42);
- a 2 hr bus to Mersin;
- a 22 hr bus to Trabzon (slept better this time than on the outward journey; this was the most expensive leg of the trip at about US$50);
- a 3 1/2 hr bus to Hopa;
- a 1/2 hr minivan to the Tr-Ge border at Sarp;
- crossing the border on foot;
- a 1/2 hr minivan to the centre of Batumi, Georgia;
- a 15-minute minivan to the Batumi Railway station;
- an 8-hour train to Tbilisi, at least with a bed in a 4-berth cabin.

Amazing what complications a cheapskate traveller with only his own comfort to consider will achieve! This was conceivable only because I could carry my luggage for the walking bits.

More notes from Turkish signs:

- Dagwood and Blondie used as men's/women's WC signs at a gas station in central Turkey;
- Turkish petrol station chains named Starpet and Yuropet (at least there was no Carpet or Housepet);
- the question on all of Turkey's mind: Can Batman baris? (See picture...)