The temples of Angkor.

Angkor Wat is a huge temple complex in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Angkor is the largest religious monument in the world and a UNESCO world heritage site. It was originally founded as a Hindu temple for the Khmer Empire but over many years it gradually transformed into a Buddhist temple.

Siem Reap and the temples of Angkor were voted no2 in the top twenty-five destinaions in the world by Trip Advisor

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Portraits

I was asked by Karen Ward Make-Up Artist to take some photos for her make-up students over the weekend at The First Floor Hair and Beauty Studio. Here is a selection of shots from the day.

300 years on Lough Derravaragh

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The legend says that the children of Lir spent 300 years on lough Derravaragh.

Jealous Aoife, king Lir’s second wife and who was his dead wife’s sister plotted to get rid of his children. She used a magic spell to turn his children into swans for eternity. And for 300 hundred years the swans ended up on Derravaragh, 300 years in the Sea of Moyle, and 300 years on the waters of Irrus Domnann Erris. To read more visit here.

Lough Derravarragh is large lake in Westmeath and is fairly popular for angling and camping trips, the lake itself is supposed to have a massive amount of pike and trout. There is a large caravan park located at Donore, Multyfarnham and is open from March to October. The caravan park is on the edge of the lake and has a shop, small cafe, childrens play area, hot showers and for angling there is boat hire and fishing tackle for sale. You can find out more about the caravan park here.

Tonle Sap – Siem Reap

Tonle Sap Lake is the largest fresh water in South East Asia. It usually varies in size and depth depending on the monsoon or dry seasons. Tonle Sap is filled by water flowing from the Mekong. The lake itself is a massive resource commercially for Cambodia as it will provide more than half of its fish. It is also a massive tourist attraction with tour boats visiting every 30 minutes or so.

The lake itself boasts over 300 species of fresh water fish. It is home to snakes, crocodiles, tortoises, turtles and otters. There are more than 100 avian varieties including storks and pelicans.

The floating village has a school, basketball court and even a crocodile farm which can all be visited on the tour.

The boat tour lasts about two hours and costs twenty dollars per person. Not so good in the dry season but I can imagine it would be well better when the water is much deeper.

Robam Tep Apsara

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Robam Tep Apsara is a traditional Cambodian dance that was created by the Royal Ballet of Cambodia during the middle of the twentieth century, around the 1960s. The Apsara who is played by a woman, wears traditional Khmer dress.

The Apsara’s graceful, curving gestures narrate classical myths and old religious stories. This mystifying performance is a popular go-to for foreign tourists who are visiting Cambodia. Most shows are accompanied by a meal where you can have some traditional Khmer food. The duration of the evening is generally around two hours and feature many traditional stories from Cambodia. While in Siem Reap you can go to the free evening viewing of the show at The Temple on Pub Street.

The Sistine Chapel.

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The Sistine Chapel is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope, in the Vatican City. It is originally known as the Cappella Magna, the chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who restored it between the years 1477 and 1480.

The Sistine Chapel ceiling was painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, is a fine example of Renaissance art. The Creation of Adam is the most well-known part of the chapel.

Long-tailed Macaque at Phnom Sampeau, Cambodia.

A photograph of a long tailed Macaque at Phnom Sampeau just outside Battambang in Cambodia. The Long-tailed Macaque are fairly common in rural and suburban areas in South East Asia. They can usually be seen in troupes waiting around to be fed by locals and tourist.They are quite tame but don’t be tempted to bring a bag of your own food near these as they will quickly take it off you.

Long Beach, Koh Rong, Cambodia.

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On the west side of Koh Rong is Long Beach. It is an empty and fairly un spoilt area of the Island. The beach itself is probably the best area on Koh Rong to catch the sun set.

To get to long beach you need to hike for one hour across the island through a jungle. There is a small bit of climbing involved but it is worth it as the beach is quite spectacular.

If you are feeling lazy though you have an option to squeeze into an over filled water taxi that will take one hour and cost roughly five dollars.

Horn Head – Donegal

In August I took the long four hour drive to the north of Ireland to catch a glimpse of the northern lights. There wasn’t much solar activity nor was there much clear skies.

Theses two pics were the best we could get during the brief twenty minute or so clear sky.

 

Horn Head is a peninsula in Donegal, North West Ireland, close to Dunfanaghy.

Bramante Staircase – Vatican Museum

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The Bramante Staircase in the Vatican Museum, Rome.

The original Bramante Staircase is not open to the public in the Vatican. The one pictured above is actually a replica that is located upon leaving the vatican museums. This one was designed and built in 1932 by Gioseppe Momo and the original was designed by Dono Bramante in 1512!! It was originally designed to let Pope Julius II get to his room while still in his carriage He didn’t walk because of the strenuous daily climb several floors in his papal vestments.