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Posts tagged ‘Photos’

Discovering Mallorca: Botanical Soller

Were I forced to choose between a beach and a garden, I would take a garden any day. For as enticing as the charms of a beach may be, it is the dappled shady paradise created by a sunny, richly planted garden which for me represents earth’s most sublime elysium. While the island of Mallorca may be famous for its beaches, the proportion of gardens is far lower. Having paid a visit to pretty much all of those beautiful gardens which do exist, amongst them the lush Renaissance terraces of the Raixa, and the arabic tilled patios of the Alfabia Gardens, I had one left on the list to enjoy – the Botanical Gardens in the citrus rich mountainous valley of Soller.

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Soller’s Botanical Gardens did not disappoint. Created in 1985 as a centre for the conservation, study and understanding of Mediterranean flora, the garden is carefully split into diversely collected plant zones, from the cacti of the Canaries to local Balearic fruit varieties. And while many consider the Spring as a perfect time to make a visit to a garden, the autumn turned out to be a fine alternative, blessing our visit with an exquisite caramel light, and enabling for the enjoyment of a ripe harvest of shiny pink apples, ruby red peppers and yellowing citrus.

Surrounded by the dramatic landscape of the Tramuntana mountains, and benefiting from the coverage of numerous tree varieties, the garden was filled with both inspirational views and sun dappled corners made for meditative enjoyment. My favourite corner had to be the wetlands area, where a pond full of bountiful waterlilies was alive with the diving dance of dragonflies, whose rare and occasional pause on a leaf or bulrush enabled a truly unique appreciation of this fragile and elegant creature.

As ever, a garden proved that in life, the best moments are those which enable us to pause and appreciate the beautiful little things that occur naturally all around us.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at www.delacybrown.com

A two-hour trip to Valencia

If there was to be a definitive demonstration of the term jet-set, a 2 hour trip from Mallorca to Valencia and back again would surely be it. And today that is exactly what I did. Flying from our sunny isle, over the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean to one of Spain’s sunniest cities, just for a quick work meeting and then back again. Happily, amongst my work responsibilities, I was able to fit in a few minutes to stroll around the city. For Valencia’s old town’s is surely one of the most stunning in all of Spain and well worth a full weekend’s exploration. Nonetheless, with only 20 minutes to spare before my flight, I made the most of the time available to me, shooting these photos which I now share.

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The photos mainly focus on the picture-worthy Plaza de la Reina, and its sister plaza – de la Virgen, both sandwiching the beautifully quasi-baroque Valencia Cathedral between them. While the Plaza de la Reina is very much the bustling centre of the old town, where cafés spill over onto sunny pavements, taxi drivers meet for a chat, and residents wait for the city’s many buses, the Plaza de la Virgen is a grander affair with the Romanesque arches of the cathedral its backdrop and a magnificent fountain with a grandiose Neptune at its centre.

As my photos perhaps suggest, I couldn’t get enough of that stunning fountain which never fails to enchant me, whenever I am lucky enough to visit this marble clad urban space. But also evident from this little selection of photos is the purity and strength of the colours. Just look at those rotund oranges, and that amazing blue sky; that sun dappled yellow wall and those white and blue dazzling fountains of water. They are the colours which made Spain so utterly seductive to me, and the reason why eventually I found myself moving here permanently. Adios for now…

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2015 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

2014: My year in photos

It has become something of a tradition on The Daily Norm to spend the last day of the year looking back at photos capturing the 364 days before it, reflecting on all of the splendid and captivating sights which have made up the year. And perhaps more than any other that has gone before, 2014 has been a year which the camera has loved. For when I look back at my photos of the last 12 months, I am met with an overwhelming body of diverse and beautiful shots which encapsulate a year overflowing with incredible sights and experiences.

I count myself very lucky to have seen and experienced all that has passed in a single year. From the quaint dark streets of Barcelona in February, my travels took me to the incredibly unique medieval citadel of Dubrovnik, the jaw-droppingly beautiful Amalfi Coast (including Positano, Ravello and Capri), the inspiringly-vertiginous mountain town of Ronda in Southern Spain, the vine-rich planes of coastal Tuscany, the floral festival of Pilar in Zaragoza, and the much applauded Czechoslovakian beauty that is Prague. And travels asides, it was the year when I held my first solo art exhibition in 6 years – a huge amount of work which dominated the first half of the year, but a wonderfully satisfying artistic and commercial success which will mark out this year as a creatively significant one.

The famous clock of Capri's main piazza

The ultimate ripples, Palma de Mallorca

Paradise on earth - Capri

Floral walkway, Positano

Colour profile, Marbella

Grape harvest in Castagneto Carducci

Beach umbrellas, Positano

However, appearances can be misleading, and when I look back on these photos, in particular those taken while travelling around Europe, I remember those holidays as escapes into unreality, moments of happiness snatched and nourished in between a stark reality which was becoming more and more difficult to endure. Once my exhibition was over, I found myself faced with a career which failed to inspire me, a city which made life a daily grind, and my partner feeling increasingly depressed for the same reasons. And it was this realisation, and a very unique opportunity that came from it, which triggered perhaps the most significant of all experiences that 2014 brought: our move to Mallorca. A life changer on so many levels; a bundle of new experiences which have only just begun.

And so it is sitting here in sunny Mallorca that I make this review, delightedly gathering up my memories of the year full of the positivity which has accompanied our move to a new life in Spain. Fast forward 365 days, and I look forward to telling you all about it.

Happy New Year to you all!

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2014 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.