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Five Colours from Plus Ultra

Erica from Kizzling Around has kindly nominated me to join the Capture the Colour photo competition run by The idea is to publish a post with five original shots from your travels, each one representing the colours blue, green, yellow, white and red. Tag five other bloggers and link back to TravelSupermarket on Facebook or Twitter (with the tags @travelsupermkt and #capturethecolour).

If you don’t have an account on either network, simply email your entry to capturethecolour[at], complete with your name, address and phone number. Note that anyone can join in – you don’t need to be nominated to take part in the competition. The deadline for submitting your entry is August 29th, so get the word out before it’s too late!


A glimpse of old China

While the sun evaded us on a pre-dawn trek up the pinnacle of Lao Zhai Hill, what we saw from the summit outweighed the lost hours of sleep and the risk of being eaten alive by a swarm of hungry mosquitoes. From our lonely perch high above the town of Xingping, we finally grasped the quiet magic that had inspired poets and painters for nearly a thousand years.


Lantern in Victoria Park

Green is not usually a colour associated with Hong Kong, but look a little closer and you’ll find it just about everywhere: painted across the lower deck of the Star Ferry, applied on hawker stalls, and characterising the vast swathes of cloth mesh draped over its signature bamboo scaffolds.

As thoroughly modern as it all seems, Hong Kong takes its Chinese traditions very seriously. This elaborate peacock was put in place to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, when families greet the full moon with lanterns, feasting and all manner of calorific mooncakes.


Wat Xieng Thong, the “Golden Temple”

May is the hottest month in Luang Prabang, but while the scorching heat sent us scrambling for shade and the comfort of an air-conditioned space, this was compensated by the distinct lack of visitors to the old royal capital. Late one afternoon, fellow travel blogger Bama and I were one of a small handful inside the grounds of Wat Xieng Thong, observing the sun’s rays reflecting off the temple’s glass mosaics and gilded reliefs. Though quiet moments are not hard to come by in Laos, this one was a true spell of solitude.


A watchman’s view of Cádiz

Climbing to the top of the Torre Tavira, an 18th century maritime watchtower, I encountered a sea of white houses studded with flecks of earthy pink, gleaming under the Andalusian sun. Cádiz – perhaps the oldest city in Western Europe – was an intoxicating combination of sheer history, deep-fried seafood and lazy afternoons sipping cocktails above the beach. One week before Easter, it felt as though summer had already arrived on this corner of the Costa de la Luz, Spain’s Atlantic “Coast of Light”.


Up in smoke, Las Fallas

La Cremà, “the burning”, is the culmination of 21 days of madness that take place in Valencia each spring. What began as a feast in honour of St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters, is now a raucous, eardrum-busting fiesta known as Las Fallas. Despite my tired, sleep-deprived state by the end of the festival, I distinctly remember savouring the heat on our faces and dodging the falling embers of La Cremà.

And now, the list of my five nominees:

Bama from What an Amazing World!

Madhu from The Urge to Wander

Meredith from The Wanderlust Gene

Nicole from thirdeyemom

QQ from the second time around

Good luck to all!

36 Comments Post a comment
  1. Great photos! I think I know everyone who has been nominated for this.

    July 19, 2012
    • Thanks Debra! I can see why you had a hard time narrowing your choices down to five – they were all such interesting options!

      July 19, 2012
  2. Impressive pictures! Good luck for the competition 🙂

    July 19, 2012
    • Thank you Andreas! I’m not expecting any prizes but I’ll keep an open mind. 😉

      July 19, 2012
  3. I like this post and that combine colors to cities. Enjoyed reading it.

    July 19, 2012
  4. James, you’ve chosen some of the most stunning photographs – each a special moment in colour. I was spellbound, often transported – as I was to the revelation of Las Fallas in 1972 when, under the watchful eyes of Franco’s minions, the streets erupted in mirth and fervent enthusiasm to the sly political parodies described in many of the floats. I’m honoured, and terrified, by your nominating me – I’ll do my best, and thank you:)

    July 19, 2012
    • What a story, Meredith – to be attending Las Fallas in the waning years of the Francoist era! I do love how the floats are so playful and often flagrantly subversive, it is such a fitting contrast to their cartoony appearance. There’s no need to be terrified at all, I’m sure you will have some fabulous photos in store for us!

      July 20, 2012
      • If I could plug the other end of a PDF cable into my brain, I would have access to images galore, James! My problem is I travelled for so many years without a camera at all, or with little print film automatics that my catalogue of digital shots is really very limited. But I have found a few new ones that might scrub up ok.

        Back to Las Fallas – I think it was there, watching that subversion, that I fell in love with Spain. For a couple of years I toyed with going to live there, but Franco, and catholic Mamas … thought I’d best keep wandering!

        July 20, 2012
      • It’s funny how we both fell in love with Spain under such similar circumstances! I too had that “aha” moment two years ago at Las Fallas; it was my experience there that really propelled me to spend those nine months in Salamanca (and launch this blog)!

        July 20, 2012
      • Serendipitous, James!

        July 20, 2012
  5. Thanks James! This is so interesting and different. I think I’ll do this over the weekend.

    July 19, 2012
    • You’re welcome Bama! I’m looking forward to seeing your final five. 😉

      July 20, 2012
  6. Absolutely stunning photos! The blue is so beautiful, while the red was downright shocking. I couldn’t read the description fast enough to see why you were in a fire- and taking pictures instead of running away!

    July 19, 2012
    • Thanks again for the nomination, Erica! Reading your comment made me grin – I was at a relatively safe distance from the inferno so that shot was taken with my camera’s powerful zoom. I think you would probably have done the same!

      July 20, 2012
      • Absolutely! I have to admit, though, that it was mainly from my selfish desire to see more of your photos 🙂

        Haha you know me too well!
        My current lens doesn’t have zoom so I’d actually be running toward the flame if it meant getting a great shot. I really need think about getting another lens.. for safety reasons.

        July 20, 2012
  7. QQ #

    Oh man, good thing I decided to log-in to WP today. I shall have to troll through all my vaca photos.

    July 19, 2012
    • No doubt you’ll have many to choose from. Good luck!

      July 20, 2012
  8. Simply beautiful! Love the blue and green choices especially.

    July 20, 2012
    • Thank you Sarah – those two were the easiest ones to pick!

      July 20, 2012
  9. Stunning captures James, and each one so unique! You have managed to represent the mood of each colour from the serene blue to the excitement of the red! Well done. Thank you for nominating me. Its going to take a lot of effort to equal this 🙂

    July 20, 2012
    • Thanks Madhu! I was hoping to put a street scene in there but none of them seemed to fit the overall look. I’m sure you have more than enough content to create an inspiring photo journal!

      July 20, 2012
  10. I am new to WordPress and just stumbled upon your blog–what a great eye and so many great moments caught beautifully. (I am thoroughly intimidated–but inspired too!)

    July 20, 2012
    • Thank you for the kind words. I remember feeling the same way when I first started out – just keep writing and soon enough you’ll accumulate a lot of material!

      July 21, 2012
  11. Reblogged this on cheysethavydotnet.

    July 21, 2012
  12. I really like your choices for this post! So glad you were nominated for this 🙂
    Hong Kong is so lovely, we stayed in the New Territories, quite far away from the buzz in the city, and it was just surrounded by woods and there was a beautiful calm lake-like bay and so many people were going trekking! I wish I could have stayed longer to do that! 🙂

    July 28, 2012
    • Thanks Sophie. 🙂 Not many people who come here know of the New Territories – it’s so good that you got to experience that greener side of Hong Kong! I will have to cover more of it in my future blog posts. 😀

      July 31, 2012
  13. I love your entry James! It is fabulous especially the lanterns and China pic. Thanks for nominating me too! I happened to be ninated a day before you nominated me by another blogger. Thanks again and love your submission!

    July 29, 2012
    • Thank you Nicole! I only realised that you too were nominated after I posted this – that and you posted your entry just before mine!

      July 31, 2012
  14. Fabulous, what a weblog it is! This website provides valuable data to us, keep
    it up.

    December 25, 2015

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Capture the color « Traveling Susie Caught in Brazil
  2. My World In Five Colours « The Urge To Wander
  3. The World in Five Colours « The Wanderlust Gene
  4. My World In Five Colours – 2013 | The Urge To Wander

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