mcgillianaire: (Changing Guard London)
...I arrived in London to settle here permanently. The photos below were taken on the night and subsequent morning of that memorable journey. It was my first flight to Blighty in three years - and I only stayed a night on that occasion - so this was actually my first proper visit in nearly four years. I was over the moon, making childhood dreams come true and all that jazz.


With mum at check-in in Muscat (then Seeb) International Airport. Dad had a separate flight that night to attend a conference in Italy. I think my sis was still in India. You can see bits of my Liverpool jersey that I was wearing in honour of the Champions League Final that was taking place as we were flying towards the Continent. The Mighty Reds were taking on The Rossoneri (AC Milan) in Athens. The pilot was kind enough to give us two score updates along the way. Unfortunately, we lost 2-1.

Read more... )
mcgillianaire: (Geetopadesham)


The Highgatehill Murugan Temple was the first Hindu temple that dad visited in England more than thirty years ago. And therefore it has a very special place in his heart. Every time he passes through the city, he pays his respects and last weekend was no different. This is how it looks today after a front extension upgrade giving the appearance of a Tamil abode of worship. Dad (along with many other devotees) paid towards its construction. The two statues in gold colour are of Muruga and Ganesha (the elephant-headed God) who are the sons of Shiva and Parvati. Muruga is often referred to as the God of Tamils and wherever in the world you are, a Murugan temple is the best evidence of a Tamil community in the area. Mounted onto the inner-side of the window, halfway between the two gold statues is the Hindu symbol Om depicted in Tamil. And just above the main entrance are two sculptures of peacocks, the traditional vehicle of Muruga. If you're ever in the area, the temple serves a simple yet delicious free lunch consisting of just three Tamil dishes every day around noon. All are welcome. And here's a cheeky photo I took of the main Muruga idol inside the temple a couple years ago.
mcgillianaire: (Changing Guard London)


I travelled through this station for only the second time since its significant rebuild a few years ago, and it's got the best view from a railway station platform. The platform spans the length of the bridge. St Paul's Cathedral can also be seen from this spot, but just missed out to the left of this panorama. However I did manage to capture: Tower 42, the Cheesegrater, the Walkie Talkie, Cannon Street station, the Canary Wharf skyscrapers, Tower Bridge, the Millennium "Wobbly" Bridge, the Shard and the former Bankside power station that now houses the Tate Modern art gallery. The station itself is a block of concrete.
mcgillianaire: (Changing Guard London)
Following the first snowfall of the winter, London woke up to a gorgeous white blanket yesterday morning. Having missed last winter's snowfall (while preparing for exams in Oman), there was no chance I'd miss out on capturing this weekend's main event. It pays to wake up early, esp on a Sunday!


A panorama of Enfield Chase Green, complete with an Englishman and his dog. [Taken: Yesterday morning around 9am]


Enfield Chase Green is a five minute walk from my flat. And because it was a Sunday, most of it had remained untouched even at 9 in the morning.


Usually, trees like these in winter appear lifeless and somewhat haunting, but all it takes is a coating of snow to make them look beautiful again.
mcgillianaire: (Royal Coat of Arms)

Now that I'm the owner of an iPhone again, it only seemed appropriate to use the device's Autostitch app to create this panorama of Durham Cathedral. Founded in 1093, it is regarded as one of the finest examples of Norman architecture and is part of an UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The two western towers of the cathedral rise up 44m and were built in the early 13th century.

5 More Snaps )
mcgillianaire: (Hooka Pipe)

A photostitch of the exquisite interior of Muscat's new Royal Opera House.

Best buddies from high school.
Beach-side shisha cafes.
Football.
Gorgeous weather.
Home-cooked food.
New "family" members.
Indian satellite TV.
Dinner parties.
Chilled-out badminton sessions.
Bargain-priced new clothes.
Cheap nights out.
Swan Lake by the Mariinsky Ballet in Muscat's new Royal Opera House.

Remind me, what is it about London that trumps all of that?!
mcgillianaire: (Changing Guard London)

That of course is Bill Nighy, eating dinner with his wife(?) at Charuwan, a Thai restaurant near Archway in North London. I was at a friend's birthday dinner and although we didn't bother him while he was eating, one of us did manage to secure a photo of him with our birthday buddy just before he left. I've read somewhere that he lives in the area and this photo sort-of confirms it. He's one of my favourite actors and he seemed a fairly decent chap in the four words that I heard him speak!
mcgillianaire: (Changing Guard London)
mcgillianaire: (Changing Guard London)
mcgillianaire: (Royal Coat of Arms)
Three years ago we made a family trip to Bristol and Bath. I came up with this bright idea to take photos of every bridge I saw enroute. This is a summary of what I came up with. Enjoy! (As per usual, click to see a bigger version)


Pulteney Bridge in Bath was designed by Scottish architect Robert Adam and completed in 1773. It is one of only four bridges in the world with shops across the full span on both sides!


Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and completed in 1864. This picture doesn't do justice to the 214m long, 1500 ton beauty, but believe me, it's one of the modern wonders of the industrial world.

9 More Bridges, Some Remarkably Dull therefore Viewer Discretion Is Advised )
mcgillianaire: (Default)

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior, was built between 1609 and 1616 during the rule of Ahmed I. Like many other mosques, it also comprises a tomb of the founder, a madrasah and a hospice. While still used as a mosque, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque has also become a popular tourist attraction.

10 More Pics )
mcgillianaire: (Hooka Pipe)

It costs 20 Turkish Lira (US$11.2/£7) to visit the museum. We pre-booked a guide for the day which I recommend because they save you from standing in the long queues at each of the main tourist attractions in the old city. The guide we had was very good and he was easy to understand, which cannot be said of many Turkish people speaking English, because he had studied and lived for several years in America and Canada.


The current structure is the third church to be built on the same spot but the marble remains of the second church (415-532 AD) can still be seen next to it, including reliefs showing the Lamb of God. They were part of a monumental front entrance.

15 More Pictures )

Who knew?

Sep. 14th, 2011 06:45 am
mcgillianaire: (Hooka Pipe)
Windows Live Photo Gallery, which comes pre-installed with Windows Vista and Windows 7, has a panoramic stitching feature. Judging by the image below it's bloody good. You can even use the program to upload directly to Flickr and Facebook!


The result using Windows Live Photo Gallery.


The result using Autostitch.
mcgillianaire: (Default)
The Hagia Sophia was the most beautiful building that we visited in Istanbul. A church for more than 1000 years, a mosque for nearly 500 years and now a museum since 1935, a trip to this city would be incomplete without paying your respects to this magnificent structure. And it's huge, so big in fact that it was the world's largest cathedral for over 1000 years until the Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520. Unlike previous photostitched posts, this one is dominated by vertical panoramas.


The Hagia Sophia is located on the European side of Istanbul, on the peninsula that is also home to the oldest parts of the city. The current structure dates from 537 AD but the original cathedral was dedicated in 360 AD.


As usual, click on any of the images to enlarge them.

5 more to give you a complete picture! )
mcgillianaire: (Hooka Pipe)
After the last post you might've been wondering what the Tower actually looks like and how prominent it is within the city skyline. This entry attempts to put the previous one into context. You can click on any of the images to see a bigger version.


Can you guess what it's made of?


In this picture the Tower doesn't look much taller than the buildings around it but...

2 more pics )

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