PhotoPOSTcard: Colorful Street Art in Krakow

Most of the old protective wall that once encircled Krakow’s Old Town is now gone, but a small section still remains on either side of the Florian Gate. Here, the old wall acts as an outdoor gallery for local artists displaying their colorful canvases. Each morning the artists use ladders to hang their creations, filling all the available vertical and horizontal wall space. An ever changing collage of street art in Krakow.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

 

PhotoPOSTcard: A Study in Contrasts

As we were touring the  Sultan’s Palace Museum in Stone Town on the island of Zanzibar, a group of local students were also visiting on a school field trip. They were all dressed in what was clearly a school uniform – the boys in grey slacks and yellow polo shirts and the girls in ankle length grey skirts and yellow head scarves. I was struck by the contrast of the girls with their simple head coverings as they were studying one of the displays in the museum, and the painting behind them of a very elaborately dressed Empress Elizabeth of Austria. The painting was given as a gift when Zanzibar’s ruler, Sultan Barghash bin Said, signed a treaty with Austria-Hungary’s Emperor Franz Josef in 1888.

Thanks for visiting

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: Sasik Women’s Cooperative in Stone Town, Zanzibar

The narrow alley like streets in Zanzibar’s historic Stone Town are filled with stores and vendors that all seem to sell the same carved wooden masks, kaleidoscopic lion paintings and made-in-China t-shirts. There was one store that I discovered though that was different – Sasik. This is a non-for-profit women’s cooperative that makes beautiful applique cushion covers and wall hangings based on Arabic designs. The proceeds from the sales go back to the women and their families.

If you visit Stone Town, make sure to check out and support Sasik.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

 

 

PhotPOSTcard: A Zanzibar Sunrise

We ended our tour of East Africa with two days on the island of Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania. After almost two weeks of driving through game parks and seeing so much wildlife, sitting on the beach for a day felt like I had been transported to a different world, even though it was just a short flight away. I love to watch sunrise and sunset on a beach. Since our hotel was on the island’s east coast, in this case it meant getting up early to see the Zanzibar sunrise. Definitely well worth the early morning wake up call.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: A Baobab Sunset

We were treated to a spectacular sunset on our last evening on safari in Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park. One of the things that made this park unique from the others we had visited was not the animal life, but rather, the plant life – the baobab trees to be specific. The distinctly wide and bulbous shaped tree trunk stores water for the tree so that it can survive drought conditions, thereby its other name “Tree of Life”.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: Yes – It’s Hippo Porn

Sex in the jungle. Can’t say I really ever thought much about how hippos procreate – that is, until I saw it happen in the Ngrongoro crater in Tanzania. Hippos are mammals, but spend most of their time in the water so it seems natural that mating should occur there as well. This large group of hippos was hanging out in this, muddy, smelly, swampy watering hole, mostly submerged. All of a sudden, a big male lifted himself up, dragged himself on top of the nearby female, and grunted there for a few minutes, with the smaller female trying to keep her head above water the whole time. Our guide told us that the hippos can stay under water for up to six minutes, but that sometimes females can end up drowning during this “romantic” interlude. Eventually the male rolled off back into the murky mess, only to start all over again a few minutes later.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: A Nursing Zebra

We saw many zebras throughout our safari in the various East Africa parks, and many baby animals, but this was the first very young zebra that we saw on the whole 10 day trek. Mom waits patiently as he gets his fill nursing. This was inside the Ngorongoro crater, where the animals do not migrate and have to make do with whatever food is available year round.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: No Privacy in the Savanna

It’s World Lion Day today, so I have to share another lion photo from our African safari – this time in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This mating lion couple had gone off quite a distance from the rest of the pride to….well….mate. They were a couple of hundred yards away from the road, and even at that distance it was easy to see how much bigger the male was than his female companion. The lighter colored female blends into the surrounding grass well which makes hunting easier for her. The much darker and bigger male is an imposing sight for his job of protecting the pride.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: Here Kitty Kitty

Our game drive leaving the Serengeti National Park passed through Cheetah country. Once again, we were fortunate to see this beautiful cat, and to have a close encounter with this elegant creature. Actually, it ended up being a very, very close encounter. At one point, this cheetah climbed onto the spare tire on the back of our Land Cruiser. Since the top was up, she could just as easily have tried to climb into the car. But fortunately for us, she just continued on her way. With every step, you could see her grace and power. So beautiful.

Thanks for visiting.

Rose

PhotoPOSTcard: Our Special Leopard Sightings

Our game drive day in Tanzania’s Serengeti was capped off with a third leopard sighting. Most people count themselves fortunate to see just one leopard. But with luck and an extremely skilled and sharp eyed guide, we caught sight of three separate leopards as they rested in the crook of a tree. Seeing them definitely required sharp eyes and a knowledge of their preferred habitat because they blended in so well with their environment. Driving by a tree, I would easily have assumed that I was seeing a hanging branch and not the tail of a big cat. It was definitely the highlight of our day and one of the many incredible highlights of the whole trip.

Thanks for visiting

Rose