Sunday, 19 October 2014


The Church of Panagia Kapnikarea (Greek: Εκκλησία της Παναγίας Καπνικαρέας) or just Kapnikarea (Greek: Καπνικαρέα) is a Greek Orthodox church dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and is one of the oldest churches in Athens. The church is located in the centre of the modern city of Athens, right in the middle of the high-traffic shopping area of Ermou street, at the edge of the Plaka district.

It is estimated that the church was built some time in the 11th century, perhaps around 1050. As it was common with the early Christian churches, this was built over an ancient Greek pagan temple dedicated to the worship of a goddess, possibly Athena or Demeter.

It appears that the Kapnikarea church may have originally been the katholikon of a monastery. Presently, the building is formed by a complex of three different units attached together; these units were built in succession:
a) the largest south church dedicated to the Presentation of Mary to the Temple;

b) the chapel of St Barbara on the northern side, and;
c) the exonarthex with the propylon, which are today on the western end. The larger of the two churches, the south one, is a domed complex, cross-in-square, has been dated (on the basis of morphological criteria) to just after the middle of the 11th century.

This post is part of the Spiritual Sundays meme,
and also part of the inSPIREd Sunday meme.

Saturday, 18 October 2014


High Street in Northcote, Melbourne, Australia is undergoing a renaissance. This traditional, 19th century shopping strip went into a decline in the 80s, but then slowly, it began to be revivified as a quirky, trendy place to be. Nowadays, High St boasts a most interesting and eclectic mix of retailers, bars, pubs, cafés and restaurants.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Weekly TopShot meme.

Thursday, 16 October 2014


Kennedia nigricans (Black Kennedia or Black Coral Pea) is a species of flowering plant in the family Fabaceae, endemic to the south-west of Western Australia. It is a vigorous climber which can spread up to 6 metres in diameter or 4 metres in height and has dark green leaflets that are about 15 cm long.

Distinctive black and yellow pea flowers are produced between July and November in its native range. The species was first formally described as Kennedya nigricans by John Lindley in 1835 in Edward's Botanical Register, where it was also labelled as Dingy Flowered Kennedya. A cultivar known as Kennedia nigricans 'Minstrel' was registered with the Australian Cultivar Registration Authority by Goldup Nursery of Mount Evelyn, Victoria in September 1985. This cultivar was selected from a batch of seedlings in 1983 and has a pale colouration instead of the yellow, which appears almost white.

This plant is noted for its vigour and can be used to cover embankments or unsightly structures. The species is adapted to a range of soils and prefers a sunny position. It is resistant to drought and has some frost tolerance. The species can be propagated by scarified seed or cuttings of semi-mature growth, while the cultivar requires propagation from cuttings to remain true to type.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014


Naupactus or Nafpaktos (Greek: Ναύπακτος, formerly Έπαχτος; Latin: Naupactus; Italian: Lepanto; Turkish: İnebahtı), is a town and a former municipality in Aetolia-Acarnania, West Greece, Greece. It is the third largest town of Aetolia-Acarnania, after Agrinio and Missolonghi. Naupactus is situated on a bay on the north coast of the Gulf of Corinth, 3 km west of the mouth of the river Mornos.

The harbour is accessible only to the smallest craft. It is 9 km northeast of Antirrio, 18 km northeast of Patras, 35 km  east of Missolonghi and 45 km southeast of Agrinio. The Greek National Road 48/E65 (Antirrio - Naupactus - Delphi - Livadeia) passes north of the town. The Rio/Antirrio bridge (2,880 m long) allows an easy crossing from the Peloponnese up into mainland Greece.

The 1571 Battle of Lepanto, in which the navy of the Ottoman Turks was decisively defeated by a coalition of European Christians, is named for Nafpaktos under the Italian form of its name.

This post is part of the Waterworld Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014


Spring has sprung in Melbourne and the roses have begun to bloom in our garden. We are having some changeable weather at the moment (32˚C maximum, sunny and fine last Sunday, then 15˚C maximum yesterday, with rain overnight), but that does not deter the blooming.

This post is part of the Nature Footsteps Floral Macros meme,
and also part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme.

Monday, 13 October 2014


City Baths, in Melbourne, Australia, is a historically and architecturally significant building. Located at 420 Swanston Street, it is an instantly recognisable Melbourne landmark.The Melbourne City Council opened the first Melbourne City Baths on 9 January 1860, which housed public baths. The objective was to stop people from bathing in the Yarra River, which by the 1850s had become quite polluted and the cause of an epidemic of typhoid fever which hit the city resulting in many deaths. However, people continued to swim and drink the water.

The Baths were leased to a private operator, but lack of maintenance resulted in such deterioration of the building that the Baths were closed in 1899. New baths designed by John James Clark were opened on 23 March 1904. Strict separation of men and women was maintained, right down to separate street entrances. Two classes of facilities were maintained, with second class baths in the basement and first class baths on the main floor. The popularity of the swimming pool increased with the introduction of mixed bathing in 1947.

The Baths now house a swimming pool, spa, sauna, squash courts and a gymnasium. To cater for all types of swimmers, the swimming pool is divided into four lanes: an aqua play lane, a medium lane, a fast lane and a slow lane (or 'aquatic education', when swimming lessons are given).

The first photo is as it came out of the camera. All the others are photoshopped from this original one.

This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Mandarin Orange Monday meme,
Nature Footsteps Inspiring Photography meme.