Gondola Ride in Venice

This is just a short video I took out of my hotel window.

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Beautiful Sunset Denton, Texas

My friend from New Zealand took these pictures while she was in the US visiting.  These aren’t retouched photos at all. The sunset takes your breath away.  It’s as if the sky is on fire.

 

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All Blacks Haka

Ok so one of my favorite places I’ve traveled to is New Zealand.  I think it’s safe to say this tiny country has one of the best rugby teams out there.  It’s definitely a huge sport in New Zealand and every kiwi supports their team.

They just beat Australia  in the semi-final world cup and they play France this Sunday.  This video is the Haka dance they do before each game.  The Haka is a traditional ancestral war cry, dance or challenge from the Māori people of New Zealand.

I have to say I would be intimidated by the war cry if I were on the other team.  In the words of my friend from New Zealand who sent me this link it’s “fearsome”. Best of luck to the All Blacks this Sunday.  Even though I’m not from New Zealand I’m rooting for them to win!

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Mother Ganga’s Birthday Live

At this point in the trip my video camera was fried with no hopes of being fixed –believe me I tried everything to fix it and so many others tried to help as well.  Such is life and sometimes one has to improvise.  I started taking video clips on the canon eos rebel which actually provided me with some great shots.  The filming is a bit choppy but I think it’s a great way to experience Varanasi.  All the pictures and video I was able to take was because Chase Bray let me use his camera.  A very special thank you to him because this trip wouldn’t have been possible without him.  Enjoy the videos!

 

 

 

 

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Varanasi- The Holy City of India

Varanasi is a place not meant to be forgotten after you visit.  It is considered one of the holiest cities in India. It’s also the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. Varanasi is located on the banks of the Ganges river which is consider a holy river in the Hindu religion.

The ghats on the river are where many people flock to from all over.  Both life and death intermingle on the banks of the Ganges.  People come to take a dip in the river to absolve their sins but people also come to this holy city to die.

I saw many people swimming in the river to wash their sins away but I also saw burning bodies along the banks.  The bodies are surrounded by pieces of wood so it resembles that of a coffin.  At first I was concerned about seeing bodies being cremated along the river but it wasn’t anything like I thought it would be.  All you see is fire burning up the wood without seeing the bodies.  I didn’t take any pictures of this out of respect for the families saying goodbye to their loved ones.  It’s not something you can capture in a picture anyways but more of something that needs to be experienced first hand.

Waiting in a train station to go to Varanasi. Seeing cows in the train station is a very normal thing.

Out on the Ganges river. The ghats, or steps leading down to the river, are in the background.

Many Indians living in Varanasi make their living by rowing tourists up and down the river to see all the ghats.

You will also see many children selling flowers and candles. This little girl was precious and of course I bought a candle from her.

The flowers and candles represent the prayers of the people. This was my first candle to send off and my new friend helped me and showed me how it was done. (photos with me in them were taken by Chase Bray)

We each said a prayer to ourselves and then lit our candles.

Our candles and prayers floating off into the river.

When the sun has gone down the river is full of flickering flames.

He worked hard rowing up and down the river.

Touring the Ghats.

Across the river two boys swimming to get clean. People take baths in the river as well as do their laundry.

Water Buffalo walking up the ghats.

A woman selling vegetables on the streets of Varanasi.

The main street in town.

I happened to be there on a very special celebration. It was the Ganga Puja which means the birthday or descent of the mother Ganges.

People gather every morning and every evening for a ceremony to say good morning and good night to the river.

This evenings ceremony was particularly crowded because of the holiday.

People surround the priests both on land and in the river.

All throughout the ceremony the priests are singing and there are bells ringing.

Even though I couldn't understand the words the chanting and singing was beautiful.

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The stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of India.

I’ve never seen a more beautiful night sky than what I saw in India.  I was lucky enough to be traveling through the Himalayas while there was no moon and most of the time no light pollution ( villages in India lose power all the time). Star gazing and searching for constellations is one of my favorite things to do.  All photos are unedited.

The Big Dipper

Nako, India is a small mountain village in the Himalayas.

Another shot of the big dipper.

Prayer flags in Nako, India.

Scorpio. The larger red star in Scorpio's tail is a binary star. Most of the time you can only see the white star but this particular night you could see both the red and white star twinkling.

A better shot of Scorpio in Kaza, India.

Different exposure, same picture.

No I did not see the aurora borealis in India but I was shining a green laser pointer in the sky while the shutter was open resulting in this.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

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The Many Faces of India

This is a compilation of photos I took of the people as I traveled throughout India. Unfortunately the quality isn’t as good as I hoped it would be after I uploaded the video. I’m on a learning curve and this is the first video I’ve posted. So I hope you enjoy!

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