Favorite pictures

Take a look at the selection of my favorite shots from around the world and click through to my extensive galleries on Flickr.

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Destinations around the world

My personal count of visited sites on UNESCO World Heritage list is over a hundred and will continue to grow.

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Travel notes

A separate section of the site contains my personal travel guides. I am no Rick Steves, but you might find something useful there.

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Back from Greece

The quirks of family vacation planning this year conspired to put two amazing trips within a short interval of each other. Less than 4 weeks after returning from France, we went to tour Greece. Going to the country that we have never been to before, we tried to balance our desire of seeing as much

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Saint-Amand-de-Coly

It is probably obvious to anyone by now that our Dordogne itinerary was heavily influenced by the list of the Prettiest Villages in France. Dordogne department has 10 of them, the most of all departments in the country. I admittedly subscribe to the notion that existence of a formal recognition of any kind makes seeing

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Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère

In between exploring prehistoric caves, we made a lunchtime stop in Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère, another of the Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. The little village has about the same population as La Roque-Gageac, but its more “huddled together” topology makes it feel smaller. Its highlights are the 12th-century Romanesque church, a couple of watchtowers at the

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Domme

Domme is the quintessential hilltop village, sitting 250 meters above the river Dordogne. Its elevation gives it a sometime moniker of the Acropolis of Périgord (the latter being the natural region roughly corresponding to the present Dordogne department, so the two names can be almost used interchangeably). A bigger village than Beynac-et-Cazenac or La Roque-Gageac,

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La Roque-Gageac

We have already had glimpses of La Roque-Gageac in a couple of recent posts. The small village nestling under imposing rocks along the bank of Dordogne river has got to be considered picturesque even by the elevated standards of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. Here is another look at it from the Belvedere of

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Jardins de Marqueyssac

Château de Marqueyssac is likely part of the quintet that gives “the valley of five castles” its moniker – it has a commanding position on top of a hill overlooking the river Dordogne. But the castle itself is not the main event on its own grounds. In fact, almost no one makes an effort to

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Beynac-et-Cazenac

Driving along the banks of river Dordogne, it is impossible to miss Château de Beynac. From its perch atop one of the highest hills in the area it presides over the stretch known as “the valley of the five castles”. Here is the main road approach view. And a longer focal-length shot from the same

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Sarlat-la-Canéda

We started our exploration of Dordogne with one of the larger destinations in the area, Sarlat-la-Canéda, or simply Sarlat. Its charming medieval core is a maze of honey-colored buildings, narrow streets and passages, and hidden squares. The most photogenic views, as is frequently the case, are found on the few wider spaces, such as Place

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Back from France

Those who follow my better half on Facebook are well aware that we have just spent over a week in France. Those who don’t know that now as well. We explored for the first time the department of Dordogne and then re-acquainted ourselves a bit with Paris. Walked over 20K steps a day, drove nearly

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A postcard from Vernazza

For me, Vernazza is the most beautiful of the five villages that comprise the incomparable Cinque Terre. It could be because Vernazza was our base when we explored the coast and, subsequently, we got acquainted with it to a larger degree than with any of the other villages. Or it could be because its topology

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A postcard from Zurich

This is one of my favorite pictures from the simpler times when I traveled with a pocket-size point-and-shoot camera. The setting is the banks of the river Limmat near the mouth of Lake Zurich, with the twin towers of Grossmünster providing a recognizable point of reference. Zurich is a nice enough town that is short on

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A few more glimpses of Scotland

While criss-crossing parts of Scotland in search of not yet tasted whisky, we occasionally stopped to admire the surroundings. Here is a collection of glimpses. The first shot can be filed in “in the middle of nowhere” category, but I can very definitively place it in the hamlet of Carbeth, in Stirlingshire. It pays to

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Edinburgh

A day set aside for exploring Edinburgh offered me a chance to see sights that I did not manage to see three years ago, and just to walk around town. On-and-off wet snowfall conspired to make the walk challenging, but I can nonetheless share a few highlights captured in between flurries. Here is the wide

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Stirling Castle

Our trip to Scotland was structured around whisky, but we did not completely neglect the country’s history and culture. Among our non-drinking stops was the majestic Stirling Castle. The storied castle was a main royal center at various points in history, and nowadays offers plethora of educational exhibits on the history of the Kingdom of

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A few Islay impressions

If you start with a middling photographer who is still learning the finer aspects of a new camera, deliberately mix it with scotch, and garnish that with intermittent cold rain, your concoction will not be a tremendous photographic portfolio. I duly tried my hand in capturing the sights of the remote part of a populous

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More from Scottish distilleries

Let us take a few more glimpses of various distilleries visited on the recent trip to Scotland. First, let’s clarify my frequently used “Friends of the Malts” moniker. If you visit any of the 12 distilleries owned by Diageo, you can sign up for being a “friend” of their entire collection. You get a “passport”

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