Weekly Photo Challenge: Thresholds

The weekly challenge this week is an interesting one, depending on the interpretation you choose to take on it, and it is also one that I can easily relate to.

This year, for me, was one in which I experienced a few of life´s major thresholds. All of which were natural transitions of live, waves (or in some cases tidal waves) of change that we all have to ride on at some point. These waves of change bring up so many emotions that you never knew you could have. Emotions such as hope, anticipation, fear, uncertainty and apprehension.

However, whatever emotions these changes stir up, one thing is for sure: change is necessary. It alters our paths and, while sometimes we may begrudge it at first, the sooner we learn to roll with it, the better.

As I stand at a pivotal threshold in my life; one in which I learn to accept and embrace the changes that have occurred, I can´t help but smile. That´s the great thing about thresholds – as you learn to put your best foot forward, learn to take the plunge in the right direction – you slowly begin to leave your loss, your fear and the past behind you. The unknown awaits you, whether it´s good or bad, and that´s exciting.

So, here´s to stepping over that threshold. Here´s to the change that awaits us. Here´s to the thresholds that lead us to discovery, awareness and awakening. And here´s to having the courage to walk through that door.

So, with that said, here are my offerings for the weekly photo challenge. I hope you like them and my interpretation of the theme. Enjoy.


So, there you have it, my humble entry into the weekly challenge this week. If you liked it, and would like to see some more, check out these entries:

1. http://ubecute.com/2014/04/05/thresholds/

2. http://theeternaltraveller.wordpress.com/2014/04/06/weekly-photo-challenge-threshold/

3. http://mhdriver.wordpress.com/2014/04/06/weekly-photo-challenge-threshold/

4. http://sued51too.wordpress.com/2014/04/06/weekly-photo-challenge-threshold-ii/

5. http://shoot2blog.wordpress.com/2014/04/05/weekly-photo-challenge-threshold/

Or click here to be brought to the challenge page.

Hope you all are having a great day.

Thank you for reading and I will talk to you in my next post.

Giana xoxo

A little Sunday Drive: Novelda, Spain.

A few weeks ago, on a Sunday, my mum and I were a little restless. The sun was glorious, little Betsy (our car) was ready for some action and my growing list of places worth visiting was burning a hole in my pocket. Everything was pointing us in the direction of a little adventure – and what an adventure it was.

Men Hard At Work.

We got our things together and set off on a little road trip – destination: Novelda. Novelda is a sweet little town tucked away in the Valle del Medio Vinalopó, about 241 meters above the sea. It´s a town which is rich in modernist heritage. It boasts many magnificent squares, which are full of character, lots of beautiful parks and a lovely market place. What I liked about it though, even more than the architecture, was the people. They were all conjugated in the copious squares basking in the evening sunshine while catching up on the day´s gossip.


While the town itself is quite special, filled with charm, its biggest surprise is located roughly 3km from the town centre; St. Mary Magdalene´s sanctuary. This modernist building was designed in the 19th century by José Sala Sala, who was born in Novelda, and took his inspiration for its design from Catalonian Modernism.

image

I have to say that, while the town itself was delightful, nothing could have prepared me for the beauty that awaited me at the sanctuary. I had heard a lot about this place, both from my mum and several guidebooks I have read. However, despite this, I was totally caught off guard by sheer beauty that unfolded before me. Located at the top of a steep hill, overlooking the Vinalopó Valle, the setting truly is picturesque. The upward trek is astonishing with the rich colours which spread out across the mountainous countryside serving as a backdrop to this breathtaking building decorated with modernist motifs, ceramics and bricks. I have to admit: it´s hard not to be blown away by what the area has to offer.

By the time I reached the sanctuary I felt exhilarated and quite excited to see what this enticing building was like up close. I am delighted to say that I wasn´t disappointed in the slightest! Its authenticity and originality added to its character. I found myself completely lost in the splendour that surrounded me, every minute uncovering a new beauty.

It´s easy to see why this hidden gem is the symbol for the town. While writing this post I came to a startling realisation. That realisation being: pictures fail and words let you down when it comes to sharing the beauty of this place, you need to see it in person to really appreciated it. José´s design is out of this world and it couldn´t have been built in a more complimentary area. If you haven´t yet visited Novelda, and you happen to be in the area, I suggest a visit. You won´t be disappointed.

I hope that you enjoyed reading about my little Sunday trip and that you´ve all had a fantastic weekend.
Thank you for reading and I will talk to you in my next post.

Giana xoxo

Travel theme: Statues

So, it´s that time of the week again: time for Ailsa´s travel theme. This week the theme, if you hadn´t already guessed from the title, is statues. I have to admit that I found this weeks challenge a little more difficult than I had anticipated. I spent hours going through the copious amounts of photos I have accumulated over the last few years and, to my amazement, very few of them were of statues.

The vast majority of my photos are of street life or fashion. I seem to just love capturing moments as they unfold before me. I just get caught up in the beauty of life, flaws and all, and, I have to admit, I love aging beauty: the older the better. To me age is beauty; whether it´s a dilapidated old building which is bursting at the seams with history or an older person who, through the wrinkles on their face, you can tell has a story to share. I guess what I´m trying to say is that I find everyday life more intriguing than still life.

That said, I did manage to dig up some statues for this week´s theme. Each one of them coming from Cartagena in Spain. It´s funny, if you read my post on Cartagena, you may recall that I found Cartagena to be a bit of a let down. While I enjoyed my trip there; I found it lacked the usual charm that Spanish cities are filled with. However, I must have loved the statues there as I took quite a few photos of them during my trip.

So, all that remains now is to share them with you. I hope you enjoy my humble offerings to this week´s theme.

If you would like to get involved in Ailsa´s travel theme challenges then here is all the information you need:

If you would like to join in (everyone’s welcome!) here’s what to do:
•Create your own post and title it Travel theme: statues
•Include a link to Ailsa´s page in your post so others can find it too
•Get your post in by next Thursday, as the new travel theme comes out on Friday
•Don’t forget to subscribe to her page to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes.

If you would like to see some more of this week´s offerings then check out the links below.

http://geriatrixfotogallerie.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/palacio-de-mateusportugal

http://esengasvoice.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/travel-theme-statues/

http://browsingtheatlas.com/2014/03/28/wave-to-the-mermaid/

Thank you for reading and I will talk to you in my next post.

Giana xoxo

Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life

If your read my post yesterday, Photowalk: Alicante, you will know that I´ve rekindled my love for photography. As I mentioned: I´m not particularly talented or anything, I just enjoy the experience of taking photos.

During the Photowalk through the streets of Alicante on Saturday I became very snap happy indeed, taking near to three hundred photos – as I said : snap happy. In yesterday´s post I  shared a mere 50 photos out of this vast quantity but, when I saw this weeks photo challenge, I was inspired to share a few more!

With that said, in keeping with the theme street life, here are a few more of the beauties I took on Saturday. I hope you have as much fun looking through them as I had while I was taking them!

So, there you have it, my humble entry into this weeks challenge. If you liked it, and would like to see some more, check out these entries:

1. http://dragoneystory.wordpress.com/2014/03/29/daily-post-weekly-photo-challenge-street-life/

2.http://chrisbreebaart.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/weekly-photo-challenge-street-life-oort-bridge/

3. http://shoot2blog.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/weekly-photo-challenge-street-life/

4. http://ledrakenoir.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/street-life/

5. http://myincatrailchallenge.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/weekly-photo-challenge-street-life/

Hope you all are having a great day.

Thank you for reading and I will talk to you in my next post.

Giana xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photowalk: Alicante

If you read my post last Sunday, “Time to make my return to writing”, then you might recall that I mentioned a new found love for photography. During my absence from the world of blogging I sought pleasure and comfort in photography. I found that photography opened up a new world for me. It allowed me to focus on the beauty and joy that surrounded me.
That said, I started learning about editing photos and then, after humming and hawing for at least a month, I took the plunge and opened an Instagram account. I started off slowly, uploading maybe one picture a week, but as I got more involved in the community I got braver and started uploading one a day. Suddenly I was addicted, my passion for photos and photography had been ignited again.
So, on Saturday, I took this addiction to a new level, did something I had never done before and went along to a photo day in Alicante. The photo day was fantastic. There were some talks in the morning which covered everything from different techniques and editing software to how to make the most of social networks. Fascinating, especially for someone like me; ignorant to the world of social media.

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After these talks the photo walk commenced. It covered all the main tourist areas of Alicante. The idea was to apply what you had learned from the talks and, basically, snap to your hearts content. And then, to finish off the day, there was a prize giving ceremony in a winery! What more could you ask for?
To make the day even better they are holding a competition for the best photo taken on the day. So not only did I learn about photography, make some new friends, experience a fantastic day looking at the beauty of Alicante but, I get to enter a competition! Fantastic!
So, still filled with the joy of yesterday, I decided to share some of my photos with you all. Bare in mind I’m not a professional, nor do I believe I have the talent required to be a professional, but it’s something that I enjoy doing; it brings a smile to my face. Therefore, I wanted to share my joy with you. I hope you enjoy the photos!

Hope you all have had a fantastic weekend.

Thank you for reading and I will talk to you in my next post.

Giana xoxo

Travel Theme: Pink.

So, as you might remember, if you think dare to think back to over a year ago, I got involved in Ailsa´s travel theme in September 2012. I loved the concept of this weekly challenge as it combined my three loves – writing, travel and photography. It also gave me the opportunity to interact with so many people who shared my passions. It was fantastic. Ailsa herself was very welcoming and encouraging, which is always so nice. Then, as we all know, life got in the way and sadly, after only two posts, I had to walk away from the challenge.

As I was scrolling through my reader on Monday morning I spotted this weeks challenge. There it was, staring at me ever so boldly, luring me in. Right there and then I vowed that no matter how chaotic my work week got I would find a way, somehow, to fit this weeks challenge in. So here I am, over a year later, finding the time to squeeze this weeks posts in. Let´s face it, doing this challenge is way more rewarding than correcting that pile of corrections sitting on my desk (don´t worry all corrections will get done, no one will suffer for the sake of my joy!)

This weeks challenge is designed to welcome in one of my favourite seasons: Spring. Spring has always been a season that has filled me with joy, apart from those nasty allergies that it brings with it, I love everything about Spring. I love how everything starts to come to live again. The sun is shining brightly, the flowers are dancing in an attempt to show off their amazingly vivid colours and there is a hum of happiness in the air as people take to the street again in celebration of the end of winter.

Ailsa made a great point in her post as she offered up this weeks theme: pink, “It’s a colour you either love or hate, but if you look closely, there’s an awful lot of it around.” And it´s true, the streets are filled with this vivacious colour, there´s no escaping it. So, here is my offering for this weeks challenge. Humble as it may be, I hope you enjoy it.

Welcome to Spring.

Welcome to Spring.

Welcome to Spring

Welcome to Spring

Welcome to Spring.

Welcome to Spring.

Welcome to Spring

Welcome to Spring

Welcome to Spring

Welcome to Spring

Welcome to Spring

Welcome to Spring

 

If you would like to get involved in Ailsa´s travel theme challenges then here is all the information you need:

If you would like to join in (everyone’s welcome!) here’s what to do:

  • Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Pink
  • Include a link to Ailsa´s page in your post so others can find it too
  • Get your post in by next Thursday, as the new travel theme comes out on Friday
  • Don’t forget to subscribe to her page to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes.

To check out some other entries, click on the links below:

http://pathsunwritten.com/2014/03/21/travel-theme-pink/

http://esengasvoice.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/travel-theme-pink/

http://windagainstcurrent.com/2014/03/21/travel-theme-pink/

http://loganbruin.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/travel-theme-pink/

http://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/travel-theme-pink/

 

Thank you for reading and I will talk to you in my next post.

Giana xoxo

Threshold

Time to make my return to the world of writing

If you have been wondering where I suddenly disappeared to after posting my last piece, then wonder no more. I´d like to reassure my readers, some of whom have kindly been leaving me messages during my rather lengthy departure, that I´m still alive and that, more importantly, I´m back. This time for the long haul.

That said, I feel it´s only fitting that I fill all you lovely readers in on what I´ve been up to the past few months. I smile to myself as I type the words “few months”, realising that next month marks my year long absence. Once the dedicated little blogger, accustomed to posting once, maybe twice a week, I became quite disloyal to my followers, I hope you do forgive me.

Right, time to get the ball rolling and answer that big burning question: why has my absence been so lengthy? I won´t bore you with all the details, just introduce you to the wonderful new journey I have found myself on.

I moved
As you might remember, if you can cast your minds back to almost a year ago, I was living and working in Córdoba. An idyllic city that managed to steal my heart from the very moment I stepped foot on it´s narrow, little streets and, if I´m honest, still hasn´t given it back to me!

Well, brace yourselves. I know this will be hard to believe, considering how much I raved about Córdoba, but I no longer live in the dreamy city I grew to call my home. I made a tough decision in May of last year. After a rather gruelling period of weighing the pros and the cons of living in Córdoba. I did it, I made the decision. I decided to move nearer to my family in the Valencian region. After a difficult year I decided that being near my loved ones would be the best move for me, even if it meant leaving a part of me behind.

So I did it; packed up my things, handed in my notice and started applying for jobs. Such a daunting experience. I had become so comfortable in my surroundings, both in work and my social life, that the sheer thought of change terrified me. However, I stayed strong, did what had to be done and, guess what, I´m still here to tell the tale!

Some very wise people, who these people are I will never know, have said that a change is as good as a holiday. And, while it hasn´t all been a bed of roses, I´m inclined to agree with them. Change brings up so many experiences and emotions that you never knew you could have, and they´re not always positive.

Having made a huge move before, when I left my beautiful home country to come to Spain, I thought that I had it down. I naively thought that all it involved was moving my mass of possessions from one part of the country to the other. Oh, how foolish of me.

Instead of being filled with hope and anticipation, like I had experienced in my last move, I was filled with a mixture of fear, uncertainty and apprehension. I was leaving behind a life that I absolutely loved and diving into the unknown without the ability to swim-terrifying. However, this time I knew that, unlike the last time, I had my loved ones around me to mop up the puddles of tears and kick my ass into gear when it needed to be.

That said, I´ve finally started to raise my head above the water again. After what seemed like an eternity, but in reality was only a mere three months, I´m settled. The puddles of tears have dissipated, the fear has subsided, the uncertainty – gone. In its place, thank god, lies a new love, going by the name of Murcia, and a new found hope and happiness. At last, I´ve come out the other side and, you know what, it might even be better than the life I have left behind.

So, that´s it. That´s all I have to offer you as an introduction to what comes next.

You may be wondering, what exactly have I achieved since my last post, apart from bettering the economy with the amount of tissues I needed to mop up the tears. Well, that´s easy: happiness, peace and hope.

I left behind a city I loved, friends who supported me through the toughest time in my life, a job I loved and security but I´ve gained so much since. I´ve gained a new found love for yoga, a passion for photography that I always knew was there but never gave myself the time to pursue, a wonderful new job and a bunch of great colleagues to go along with it, love and support from my family, some new friends, new activities and adventures and lots of visits and Skype chats with my friends.

Córdoba will always have a strong hold on my heart. The beauty of the city, the amazing adventures I had and the fantastic friends I made and miss terribly. However, now I´m ready to let go of my feelings for it ever so slightly to make room for the new adventures I´m about to embark on.

Where does that leave my blog? Well, I´m excited to be back writing again. It´s amazing how much you miss writing when you have to take a break from it. I´m filled with a new found enthusiasm for my blog again. I also have a lot of exciting adventures coming up which I can´t wait to share with you all. So, for now, to give myself a chance to get back into the swing of things, learn how to write again and all that jazz, I will only be posting once a week.

Welcome to Murcia

I want to thank you for your continued support and understanding during my absence. I look forward to sharing my journey with you and to reading about yours.

Thank you for reading and I will talk to you in my next post.

Giana xoxo