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Category: photography

Sleep When You Die #23 – Granada, Spain

Sleep When You Die #23 - Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #23 - Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #23 - Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #23 - Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #23 - Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #23 - Alhambra Castle image

The Granada expedition requires two entries because it was just such a brilliant morning.

After the arduous ascent that I was not entirely prepared for in the early morning hours, I reached the Alhambra gates at 8:40am to find that there was quite a queue already started since the 8:30 opening. Weary with nothing better to do I joined this queue to practice that ever precious virtue, patience. The queue moved slow. Very slow. At 9am I had moved probably a mere 20 paces closer to admission when an announcement come over the P.A. first in Espanol and then English, “The tickets for the Palacio Nueva have sold out for the day. However, you may still purchase admission to the gardens.” There was a collective deflative “umph” from the queued crowd and some people instantly packed it in and headed out. I was rather exhausted and the prospect of walking back to town was not as attractive as simply hunkering down for a bit in a sort of standing repose.

The queue crawled on, and I had pulled out my sketch pad and was putting more time towards an El Greco from El Prado when I was approached by an middle-aged woman along with a her younger colleague. After over-coming the routine language barrier, I came to understand that these two women had an extra ticket to the very recently sold-out palace! They explained that they had booked their admissions 5 months prior, and the third person in their party could not be present. Wow.

Turns out, these two fabulous ladies were in Granada for the weekend to lecture at the local university as they were both doctorates of Philosophy. I made friends with them quickly needless to say, and I ended up spending an entire tour of the castle with these angels. It was a truly amazing stroke of fortune… like Athena herself intervened. That is how patience and I received entrance to one of the most epic displays of geometric pattern-design I will ever witness.

Sleep when you die!

Sleep When You Die #22 – Granada, Spain

Sleep When You Die #22 - Atop Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #22 - Atop Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #22 - Atop Alhambra Castle image
Sleep When You Die #22 - Atop Alhambra Castle image

This morning I awoke and left an hour before dawn in order to hike up a steep foothill that overlooks the majestic Alhambra Castle here in Granada. It was still dark as I scooted across the ancient and empty cobblestone streets to the trail that was to lead my way. After coming across the largest snake I’ve ever seen outside of a cage the prior afternoon on the same hill I was excited but cautious as I snuck through the lonesome, dark woods.

Once out of the woods new cautions came into consideration as the trail at times was either overgrown, really steep upon the rocky slope, or lead up to make-shift shelters that I preferred not to know who was sleeping inside them. The Native American came to the forefront within me. Senses all firing.

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Sleep When You Die #21 – Barcelona, Spain

Sagrada Familia - Gaudí image
Casa Batlló - Gaudí image
Casa Mila - Gaudí image

I was promised loads of sunshine! Well, I didn’t get much of that. I did get some great early morning snaps of a few brilliant buildings that Barcelona holds dear: La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, and Casa Milà. These three buildings were erected by one of the great visionaries in Spanish history: Antoni Gaudí. I stayed right across from the Mariana metro stop in northwest Barcelona so these three were in walking distance as I set out on this gloomy weekday morning to see the city in a much less bustling mood.

No one I talked to in Spain knew who Dr. Seuss was…
but I had to continuously make the comparison: the architectural equivalent of Dr. Seuss has to be Gaudí!

Sleep When You Die #20 – Dublin, Ireland

Sleep When You Die #19 - Dublin, Ireland image
Sleep When You Die #19 - Dublin, Ireland

I flew from San Francisco to Dublin yesterday, and I cannot for the life of me sleep on a plane. Maybe I need better medications in my life.

Before I took the time to calculate how many hours I had been up I was in the pub drinking a Guinness to commemorate the arrival. Needless to say I had no problem catching z’s last night.

This morning I was up at dawn and after sneaking down from my hostel top-bunk I hit the fresh dawn air and headed towards St. Patrick’s Cathedral to snap some photos. Dublin oddly enough reminds me a great deal of Portland for various reasons. There’s pubs everywhere. There’s a lot of bikes coming and going. The city is cut in half by a river. These are obvious.

Less obvious is that there really aren’t spectacular sights to see. You know, as in touristy things to do. Hell, when a brewery (in this case Guinness) is at the top of the list you know there isn’t a whole lot going on. This is actually a nice thing for me because then the culture takes precedence as a main attraction. Simply listening to people’s accents and conversation becomes a great thing to experience. Also, I walked around all morning and saw only ONE dog being walked! That was an amazing realization. I walked probably 5 miles in all and there was no dogs anywhere… let alone dogs on leashes and people talking bullshit about them. Huge win for Dublin!

Sleep When You Die #19 – San Felipe, Mexico

Sleep When You Die #19 - San Felipe, Mexico image
San Felipe Coastline image
San Felipe Geetars image
WIFI in San Felipe image
Dune Buggy in the Sand image

Along with a good friend I found myself in Mexico yesterday. We hauled is dune-buggy for some fun in the sand, sun, and mountains. The first morning I awoke near dawn and was greeted by the sea out back of our little beach bungalow.

I was blown away by the sleepy town on the Sea of Cortez. I’ve never been to a place quite as under developed as San Felipe and it was a paradise of sorts. Visiting a place like that really makes you realize how simple life can be and how complicated we can quickly make it. The Dos Equis went down one after another like water and the street tacos from our main man downtown filled our bellies three times a day. Talk about a simple paradise. I want more.

MoMA Monet

Monet Water Lilies Perspective at MoMA image

Find a Monet, people, and stare into it until you can’t feel your feet, breathing deep and inhaling the luscious colour until you realize an afternoon has passed and you escaped time. There awaits God… or boredom!

Sleep When You Die #17 – Mount Jefferson

Mount Jefferson image

Despite a torrential downpour upon the Mount Hood National Forest, when the pavement ended I rolled the dice. I’ve always had horrible luck with cars… I don’t even own one these days because of it. Perhaps my bad luck is simply bad decision-making : )

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Sleep When You Die #16 – Eel River Return

Sleep When You Die #16

Number 16 takes us down to the Redwood forests of Humboldt County, California, back to the banks of the Eel River for another rising of that great ball of combusting helium. Two years ago this very weekend I was at this rock that will henceforth be known as “Skinny-Dip Rock” as it is custom to name places of custom.

I awoke at 630am after a rowdy night around a campfire with some bay-area mates and after quickly packing a writing utensil and some calories, I headed off down that familiar 15-minute walk hike to the river. As I’ve said before, there’s places on this globe that just feel right to a soul, and this little swimming-hole is one of those. Arriving at this place transforms me into a kid again… without a care or worry in the world.

Patience is a virtue and so I waited for the golden light to finally pour over the tree-tops to set the serene river ablaze in green and aquamarine. When I discovered this place two summers ago, I did not have swimming trunks so I was forced to improvise. This time around, I had brought them but the scene was too tempting to not take the chance at that rare opportunity for complete freedom – haha. So as the light began to reflect and the waters become that much more inviting, I stripped down to my Caucasian bareness and entered the coolness, disturbing the peaceful waters so calm in the freshness.

Exhilaration! Life is good when you feel alive…
and so I say: Sleep when you die!

Sleep When You Die #15 – Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver, BC Downtown Skyline at Sunrise image
Vancouver, BC Downtown Skyline at Sunrise image

I set out as day was breaking and the sky was ripening to that Monet-esque purple that I’ve scene at least 14 times before. I was staying in the West End neighborhood right on the east edge of Stanley Park overlooking Lost Lagoon so I started walking north along the famous seawall up and around Coal Harbour.

As the sun rose I was reminded of how Rome basked at dawn with all of its marble and limestone building materials that shined in the new day light. Being more modern than that ancient city, Vancouver boasts a towering skyline that looks to be nothing but glass at any great distance. And so on the morning of 2015’s summer solstice with little cloud coverage for a filter, the downtown scene dazzled… absolutely dazzled. As if this wasn’t enough, moments later a massive ocean liner entered the bay to add some balance to quite a brilliant panoramic photo-op.

Sleep When You Die #14 – Santa Cruz Edition

sleep_when_you_die_14

A good mate was driving home to Santa Cruz out of Portland, and I was invited to make the trek down. After pushing that gold Kia for 10 hours straight, the ocean was in the air and the clock read 4am. He crashed, but I had other plans.

With only a few days in California I knew my time to see her was limited. Instead of heading off to dreamland in a nice cozy guestroom, I stayed up and in a few short hours headed off to dreamland near the sea. Sleep when you die… kiss the joy as it flies.