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Northwest Nebraska

It has been almost two months since the trip to Greece and time to get back out and shoot! Star photography, that is why we went to Nebraska.  We stayed in Chadron, visited the Museum of the Fur Trade.  Awesome place - they have tons of artifacts from the fur trade across the US and Canada.  Totally worth a a stop if you find yourself in Chadron, Nebraska.

There is another worth while stop located in the corn fields of Alliance - Car Henge.  Built by Jim Reinders in 1987, a replica of England's Stone Henge, made out of American cars all spray painted gray.  While I was shooting, I immediately envisioned it in black and white.  I love how the photos turned out.

Camera: Nikon D500

The main purpose of the trip was to do some star photography.  We went out to Toadstool Geological Park in the daytime, did some hiking and shooting. It is like a mini Badlands. We picked up a pizza and some warmer clothes and headed back out. We set up the tripods and waited for it to get dark.  Totally a…
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The Rubicon - Idaho Springs, Colorado

Well, I finally did it, I upgraded the Jeep.  We are the proud owners of a Rubicon Unlimited. Love it! There is so much more room for our gear and the ride is smooth, well, as smooth as you can get on an off road trail.  We took it off road on day two after the purchase. Sweet!! We headed up to Idaho Springs for some off roading, nothing to crazy just get out and see what she can do.  Cool thing about Colorado is all the off road trails, and you don't have to go far either.  Plus, there are always abandoned mines and stuff to shoot.

Camera: Nikon D500

Skopje - Macedonia

Skopje is over the top. Looks like Las Vegas in its grandeur.  The 1963 earthquake demolished over 80% of the city. Almost all of the neoclassical building were gone and replaced by plain communistic style architecture. The 2014 plan was to rebuild the city center.  The statues are enormous and many of the people think that the money spent to rebuild in this grandiose style should have been used elsewhere.  One argument is that by rebuilding the city center will bring in more tourism dollars. 
Camera: Fuji XT20

We visited the small Mother Theresa Museum which contained a small chapel on the second floor.  This the same location of the chapel she used to attend services. The site of her childhood home contains a plaque, it was destroyed in the 1963 earthquake. While we were walking in the square we were accompanied by a dog, then another, then another until we had a rather large pack of nine dogs escorting us through the city.  These dogs are strays and the government has them neutered…

Bay of Bones - Macedonia

We took a boat on Ohrid Lake to the Bay of Bones Museum.  The bones that were found were that of animals, not humans.  It is believed that the Neolithic people cremated their dead.  The people built their village on the lake, most likely due to the bears and wolves on the shore.  The village was constructed on top of large tree truck pillars embedded in the lake bottom.  The wood did not deteriorate in the fresh water as it would in sea water so some of the stumps still remain.  The site we visited was a reconstruction of what a typical village would look like.  We had the whole place to ourselves!

Camera: FujiXT20

Ohrid - Macedonia

We have had rain and it was on the chilly side (and windy) in Ohrid.  It is a small picturesque town on the banks of Lake Ohrid.  Our guide arranged a boat ride across the fresh water lake to the Kaneo Church on a cliff.  Fantastic spot and iconic. We walked from the church on the narrow cobblestone streets through town and back to our hotel on the shore of the lake and ventured out on several exploratory walks. Not a lot of Americans come to Macedonia for vacation, primarily folks from Israel. 

Camera: Fuji TX20

A little bit about Byzantine Churches. The churches contain an alter but it is out of view of the congregation.  Frescos were painted inside the entire interior from floor to ceiling, mainly because the people of the time were illiterate and the pictures told the Bible stories.  On the left side of the alter are icons of the saint who the church is named after and Mary with the baby Jesus.  On the right side are icons of Jesus as a man and John the Baptist. No photos inside. 


Triana - Albania

‘The Block’ in the city center housed the government offices.  The central park contains three bunkers and a piece of the Berlin wall.  Some of the bunkers have been turned into interpretive art museums.  The one we visited was five stories underground built in the 1970’s as a nuclear refuge.  Super cool navigating the maze of hallways and rooms.  We got to see the rooms of the dictator and his second in command.  The second in command reportedly killed himself with two bullets, um, yeah right. Pretty sure that was not the case.

Camera: Fuji XT20

Our guide took us through the city center where the old communist building have been painted in lively colors.  There is monumental pyramid that was supposed to be the mausoleum of Enver Hoxha, not looking too good now.  It is very run down.  We walked down between two buildings for another view of communism today in Albania.  In the opening there were several communist statues of Stalin and others, just kind of hiding, you would have to know …