Olympia and Katakolon

Today I’m in Katakolon, Greece. As a port, it’s not particularly interesting, but about 30 minutes away is the site of the first Olympic Games, called Olympia.

For those following this blog, you’ll notice I did a few cruises in April, but never posted the photos, and now I’m finally getting around to it. Today my only plan is to sit in a cafe and use the internet, but back in April, myself and some other entertainers from the Prinsendam went on a mini-adventure to Olympus.

Three cruise ships in the harbor.
Three cruise ships in the harbor.

I didn’t take a horse and carriage ride.
I didn't take a horse and carriage ride.

On the train.
On the train.

You’re not allowed to take bags into the Olypus site.
You're not allowed to take bags into the Olypus site.

Blossoms and rocks.
Blossoms and rocks.

Columns.
Columns.

Photo opportunity!
Photo opportunity!

More columns.
More columns.

The olympic arena.
The olympic arena.

Me on the start line.
Me on the start line.

Lining up for a race…
Lining up for a race...

Just for the photo.
Just for the photo.

We never did have a race.
We never did have a race.

Piles and piles and piles of rocks. I mean ruins.
Piles and piles and piles of rocks. I mean ruins.

I got a video of me juggling here. Before being told to stop by the security guards. In fact, if you did ANYTHING other than walk and look, they told you to stop.
I got a video of me juggling here. Before being told to stop by the security guards. In fact, if you did ANYTHING other than walk and look, they told you to stop.

A bit of this column is missing.
A bit of this column is missing.

It was great to visit so early in the season, as there were very few other tourists. On a day like today it will be heaving with humanity.
It was great to visit so early in the season, as there were very few other tourists. On a day like today it will be heaving with humanity.

Then I had no more rocks to photograph, so I switched to photographing people.
Then I had no more rocks to photograph, so I switched to photographing people.














Long exposures in Dubrovnik

Back in April, after spending a week in Istanbul, I flew out to Croatia to join another cruise ship. I had to spend a night in Dubrovnik, which has a beautiful old town surrounded by high castle walls. I’ve only ever visited during the day, when it is packed with tourists, but now I had chance to explore when it stood empty.

I decided to try some long exposure photography, both in the streets, and at the sea. The smokey water effect is a nice one, but I’d never really experimented with it before. As the lighting faded, I tried out lots of different settings.

In this photo, the sun set a while before, but the still-visible clouds means it could pass for an overcast day. The problem here is that the water isn’t moving enough, so it looks fake, but not in a pleasing way.
In this photo, the sun set a while before, but the still-visible clouds means it could pass for an overcast day. The problem here is that the water isn't moving enough, so it looks fake, but not in a pleasing way.

The main street.
The main street.

Looking back at the castle.
Looking back at the castle.

Reflections of street lights add to the effect… though I got a bit wet in this spot.
Reflections of street lights add to the effect...  though I got a bit wet in this spot.

More smokey waves.
More smokey waves.

It’s right on the limit here, as the street lights are overpowering the remaining light from the sky.
It's right on the limit here, as the street lights are overpowering the remaining light from the sky.

A cathedral.
A cathedral.

Steps.
Steps.

Me.
Me.

While none of these photos are particularly interesting, when I find that perfect spot at the perfect time, and I need to capture flowing water with a long exposure, I’ll probably be able to get it right first time.


Photos from Istanbul

Istanbul

I just visited Istanbul! I didn’t take any photos though, as I was only there for a few hours, and just visited the juggling shop. But back in April? Due to volcanic ash clouds, I was stuck in the city for a week.

In that week I did loads of tourist things, and took loads of photos. For some reason I never got round to posting them on my blog. So here we go…

Day 1. After going to the airport and back, I had an evening and a night on the Prinsendam. I took a look around the city, thinking I might get a flight home in the morning.
Day 1. After going to the airport and back, I had an evening and a night on the Prinsendam. I took a look around the city, thinking I might get a flight home in the morning.

Overlooking the Bosporus.
Overlooking the Bosporus.

Lovers in the park.
Lovers in the park.

My fellow adventurer from the cruise ship.
My fellow adventurer from the cruise ship.


Fountain at sunset.
Fountain at sunset.

The Blue Mosque.
The Blue Mosque.


Ugliest statue ever?
Ugliest statue ever?

Haja Sofia, once the biggest cathedral in the world.
Haja Sofia, once the biggest cathedral in the world.

Spice market.
Spice market.

The Taksim area of the city. Shopping, food, bars, clubs, etc.
The Taksim area of the city. Shopping, food, bars, clubs, etc.

I went out to eat with a friend I made at last year’s Turkish juggling festival. Then we saw a movie as part of a film festival (Life During Wartime, including a Q&A with the director). Then we saw a band.
I went out to eat with a friend I made at last year's Turkish juggling festival. Then we saw a movie as part of a film festival (Life During Wartime, including a Q&A with the director). Then we saw a band.


Day 2. I managed to time my strandedness perfectly! It just so happened that on the Sunday, all the organizers of the Turkish juggling festival got together to discuss the 2010 festival. I popped over for the pre-meeting-party on Saturday. Deniz has a cool studio apartment in Istanbul, perfect for a juggling party.






Day 3. While the turkish jugglers made plans for the festival, I visited the city once more. My destination? The Haja Sofia. The history of this building is incredible, and I’m not going to recount the stories here. Check out Wikipedia. Or better yet, listen to the podcast called 12 Byzantine Rulers. It’s very entertaining, and very educational, and one of the reasons why I’ve wanted to visit Istanbul for the past few years.

It’s fucking huge. Just huge.
It's fucking huge. Just huge.

I mean huge.
I mean huge.










There are two bridges across the Golden Horn, a spur of water that separates two parts of Istanbul. There are always hundreds, maybe thousands, of people fishing from the bridge. It’s quite impressive, especially as in all the many times I crossed these bridges and took photos, I never saw anyone catch or land a fish.
There are two bridges across the Golden Horn, a spur of water that separates two parts of Istanbul. There are always hundreds, maybe thousands, of people fishing from the bridge. It's quite impressive, especially as in all the many times I crossed these bridges and took photos, I never saw anyone catch or land a fish.

The spice market again.
The spice market again.

I got back in time to watch more organizing by jugglers.
I got back in time to watch more organizing by jugglers.

Day 5. What happened to day 4? Well, I didn’t take photos every day. By now I was staying on couches in different parts of Istanbul. Actually, mainly with Sinem and then PJ.

However, I wanted to look around the royal palace and harem. Again, quite an interesting place.

All these courtyards and rooms were once filled with beautiful women and testicle-less men.
All these courtyards and rooms were once filled with beautiful women and testicle-less men.


Me, in a mirror. I have testicles.
Me, in a mirror. I have testicles.





No photography allowed.
No photography allowed.

A model of the palace grounds. It is now purely a museum.
A model of the palace grounds. It is now purely a museum.

Day 7. I suspected I didn’t have much longer to in the city, so wanted to tick off the last few tourist sites and sights. First, I had a turkish massage. It was pretty awesome.

Of course, I didn’t take my camera into the massage place, but this was just outside. It’s the pillar which all roads and measurements were taken from during the Byzantine empire. This was the center of the empire, in one way.
Of course, I didn't take my camera into the massage place, but this was just outside. It's the pillar which all roads and measurements were taken from during the Byzantine empire. This was the center of the empire, in one way.

Istanbul, or Constantinople as it was called back in the day, was besieged many, many times. To make sure they had a water supply, the various rulers created cisterns under the central squares in the city.
Istanbul, or Constantinople as it was called back in the day, was besieged many, many times. To make sure they had a water supply, the various rulers created cisterns under the central squares in the city.

Now the cisterns are mostly empty of water, and serve as tourist attractions.
Now the cisterns are mostly empty of water, and serve as tourist attractions.

One pillar has a hole in it. Inserting your thumb and twisting your hand brings good luck. Or so I presumed, as people lined up to do it.
One pillar has a hole in it. Inserting your thumb and twisting your hand brings good luck. Or so I presumed, as people lined up to do it.

I did it too.
I did it too.

The cisterns are old, but they were made from even older building materials. There’s just so much history in Istanbul, it’s piled on top of itself.
The cisterns are old, but they were made from even older building materials. There's just so much history in Istanbul, it's piled on top of itself.


A cat.
A cat.

The inside of the Blue Mosque. It’s about as big as the Haja Sofia.
The inside of the Blue Mosque. It's about as big as the Haja Sofia.

My final stop in Istanbul, the old city walls. These repelled all invaders for centuries, and still look imposing today. Unfortunately I didn’t feel comfortable taking many photos. The entire length of the walls seemed to contain nothing but a massive sleeping area for homeless people. I found it rather depressing, and only stayed for a few minutes.
My final stop in Istanbul, the old city walls. These repelled all invaders for centuries, and still look imposing today. Unfortunately I didn't feel comfortable taking many photos. The entire length of the walls seemed to contain nothing but a massive sleeping area for homeless people. I found it rather depressing, and only stayed for a few minutes.

That wraps up the photos from Istanbul!


Lublin Juggling Festival 2010

Lublin Carnival of Magicians! Actually a juggling convention, tightrope convention, street show festival and carnival all in one city at the same time. What a concept, and what a success! This is the same city and team who are hosting the EJC in 2012, so now I’m super excited for that too.

I performed in the Saturday Gala show, plus two street shows. I also took part in the Juggling Battle, taking third place (I was robbed!), and won the combat and coin juggling in the games on Sunday.

More importantly for this blog, I took loads of photos! High resolution versions of these photos will be along in a few days time.

I took the train. My first time in Poland, too.
I took the train.

A massive rain storm on the first day made me worried.
A massive rain storm on the first day made me worried.

Info tent.
Info tent.

Volunteers needed!
Volunteers needed!

Rain…
Rain...

Rain…
Rain...

Tight rope walking between buildings in the old city center.
Tight rope walking between buildings in the old city center.

Fire night on Thursday.
Fire night on Thursday.

More fire spinning.
More fire spinning.

Declan and Jeff sharing tricks.
Declan and Jeff sharing tricks.

Kids area.
Kids area.

More tight rope walking.
More tight rope walking.

Pol and Freddy.
Pol and Freddy.












Getting ready for the Friday Night Gala.
Getting ready for the Friday Night Gala.

House of Intrika.
House of Intrika.









John Daniel Fricker.
John Daniel Fricker.

Jan Frisch.
Jan Frisch.


Frida Odden.
Frida Odden.




Argentinian aerialists Paramo Cero.
Argentinian aerialists Paramo Cero.

Feet.
Feet.

Morgan.
Morgan.


Mr. Toons.
Mr. Toons.


Finale.
Finale.

Juggle Battle in progress.
Juggle Battle in progress.

Winner and second place in the Juggling Battle.
Winner and second place in the Juggling Battle.

Pol and Freddy in the gala show.
Pol and Freddy in the gala show.



Marion.
Marion.


Audrey.
Audrey.





Live music from the show.
Live music from the show.


Emilia Tau and Leo Cristiani
Emilia Tau and Leo Cristiani


Awesome act by Alessandro Maida!
Awesome act by Alessandro Maida





When I sat down to eat in, a fire breather started performing across the street. I’ve never taken photos of fire breathing before, and I didn’t leave my table…
When I sat down to eat in, a fire breather started performing across the street. I've never taken photos of fire breathing before, and I didn't leave my table…

Not bad shots though.
Not bad shots though.

Juggling games! I could only take this photo because I’d just won the previous round of combat, so I was already through to the final. Which I won, of course.
Juggling games! I could only take this photo because I'd just won the previous round of combat, so I was already through to the final. Which I won, of course.

Tossup!
Tossup!

Declan performing in the city center.
Declan performing in the city center.



Pol and Freddy wait for the distraction to walk away before starting their show.
Pol and Freddy wait for the distraction to walk away before starting their show.




Video: Work It Out Yourself

A step along the way to a full length, three person theater show that takes place entirely in this one room. I’ve still got a long way to go, but after two years of working I had to share something!

This video is not representative of the final show, but just something I worked on for a few weeks.

You know, just a few weeks, after thinking about it for a few months, based on a few years of work that are in turn based on a few decades of ideas and practice…

Download the music here (mp3, music only released under a creative commons 3.0 license).

If you want to know how I made the video, click here.