The Tallest Building in the World – Friday’s Weekly Travel Photo

Black and White Burj Khalifa at Night

Located in the heart of a brutal, nearly inhospitable desert is a shining oasis of water, steel and light.  It’s a place full of wonders…tributes to all that man can accomplish, build and create.    Beyond the indoor ski slopes, ice rinks, and aquariums there’s one feat in particular that quite literally stands above the rest – the Burj Khalifa, more commonly just called the “Burj”. You probably know it simply as the tallest building in the world.  During a recent layover in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai) we made our way to the Burj, ascended to the 124th floor (which is only about 2/3 of the way up) and enjoyed a spectacular sunset.  After watching the fountain and light show below us from the observation deck we headed back down to ground level and spent some time staring skyward.  The Burj is lit at night. The result is a giant shining beacon that is 2,723 feet tall and holds a wealth of world records.  One of the most interesting of which is its 144th floor night club.

I snapped this black and white night shot to capture the moment.  I hope you enjoy it – for me it feels like something straight out of a 1920s or 1930s poster.  What thoughts come to mind for you?

Would you like to see previous Friday Photos? View past travel pictures here. This photo was taken on a Canon T3i (600D) dSLR Camera.

A Hungarian Stairway To Heaven – Friday’s Weekly Travel Photo

Inside Saint Stephen's Basilica

I’ll confess, I can be pretty lazy.  On more than one occasion I’ve looked at a long, winding flight of steps…let out an “oof” and sat down with that, “I’ll see you when you get back” look on my face.  I find this to be especially true in places that like to advertise the number of steps.  Things like, “600 steps to the top!” may seem like great inspiration…but they’re really only good for bragging rights and illiciting the ire of pale-faced friends later down the road. That said, after a few minutes to huff and puff I inevitably find myself trudging up whatever large staircase I’ve found before me.  Some spiral in graceful arcs, others are tight tunnel-like staircases that leave you dreading the inevitable traffic jam when you meet someone heading back down on the same stairs.  Yet others, like in Nafplio zig zag up the exterior of a large cliff face.  Of all these different types I often find the graceful spiral stair to be the most beautiful.  Not because of the view out non-existent windows…never that…but rather, because a glimpse back down the stair’s spiral reminds me of of the swirling shape of a beautiful seashell.

The staircase featured in the photo for this post hails from Saint Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest, Hungary.  The basilica is a beautiful building that offers a commanding view of the surrounding city.  It provides a great opportunity to examine the multi-colored rooftops of nearby buildings, while simultaneously looking across at Buda Castle and the Palatial Hill. Oh, and for those of you who have an even more pronounced hatred of stairs than I do? I’ll confess that there is even an elevator, though I advise you skip it.  The view back down the stairwell is well worth a little added huffing and puffing – besides, it’s good for you…right?

Would you like to see previous Friday Photos? View past travel pictures here.

Friday’s Weekly Travel Photo – Royal Gardens in Denmark

Frederiksborg Castle and Gardens

Located in the heart of the Danish city of Hillerød, the Frederiksborg Palatial complex and gardens offer a wonderful place to relax on a sunny Danish day.  I strongly suggest enjoying a delicious ice cream or afternoon picnic as part of your visit. The Palace sits on a small island in the middle of a large lake, while the gardens sprawl beautifully across the countryside immediately behind the castle. In addition to a variety of blooming flowers the gardens also feature beautifully patterned hedges, carefully manicured and lovingly nurtured.  Frederiksborg palace is hands down my favorite palace in Denmark, and one which I highly suggest exploring!

Would you like to see previous Friday Photos? View past travel pictures here.

Scottish Museum at Night – Friday’s Weekly Travel Photo


Late on a crisp Scottish summer evening I set out to explore the capital city of Edinburgh. As I wandered the city’s storied streets I eventually found myself standing before a beautifully lit Museum. The museum is built and styled in traditional Greek form with beautiful doric columns and white marble. The museum is situated where the old loch once sat which was drained more than 100 years ago. More recently the area has been replaced by beautiful parks, the central train station, and importantly several museums and monuments.

Would you like to see previous Friday Photos? View past travel pictures here.

Friday’s Weekly Travel Photo – Love That Lasts

Exploring Beautiful Orvieto

I recently had the opportunity to spend an afternoon in the stunning hilltop city of Orvieto in the heart of Italy’s Umbria region. Located in the province of Terni, Orvieto rests atop a natural rock mesa with imposing cliffs on all sides.  It is, for lack of a better word, a fortress city.  Over the years this natural advantage allowed the city to thrive and serve as a regional powerhouse that has played a significant role in Italy’s history.  The city is home to wonderful picturesque streets that seem created explicitly for movies and postcards showcasing stereotypical Italy.

As we walked the city shortly before dusk, I managed to catch this couple as they walked down a side street.  Though not easy to see in the photo, they were swaying in sync as they walked. While I can only guess as to their relationship and back-story, I like to think that after a lifetime of walking together, they’ve become so connected that the sway in their steps now lines up perfectly.

Would you like to see previous Friday Photos? View past travel pictures here.

Friday’s Weekly Travel Photo – A Flower in Bloom in Oslo

Oslo Cultural Museum - Oslo, Norway

Norway has a reputation as one of the world’s most beautiful destinations.  The majestic fjords, stunning waterfalls, and inspiring vistas of massive snow capped mountains have come to define the country.  Yet, there is an added richness that goes beyond that – small details which add to Norway’s charm and make it an ideal destination for a variety of other reasons.  This photo captures one of those charming aspects. Taken on the outskirts of Oslo at the Museum of Cultural History, this photograph features a beautiful flower in bloom along an old wooden fence in front of a traditional Norwegian farmhouse.   The museum, which has a large out door component, is home to wonderful old Norwegian buildings, horse drawn carriages, and cultural performers playing traditional music.  It is well worth a visit!

When you think of Norway, what image or memory comes to mind?

Would you like to see previous Friday Photos?  View past travel pictures here.