Gulliver Park – Valencia

While I was exploring a Google map of Valencia, preparing our visit, I came across what appeared to be a giant man laying on the ground.

I showed it to Cynthia and she told me she had read about it one of our guide books and told me it was Parque Gulliver (Gulliver Park). A giant playground built in the shape of Gulliver of Gullvier’s Travels.

It’s a pretty cool space and even cooler that I went from viewing it from a sattelite photo to sitting in Gulliver’s hand…

Two in the hand

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Two in the hand

I am such nerd for this kind of thing!

Fireworks

There are nightly fireworks displays that occur around 1:30 am each day. We decided to take a nap and get up and go see one.

After waking up we found a nice little Italian restaurant and had dinner with a bottle of one of the local wines. It was quite tasty.

After dinner we headed out to see the fireworks.

A large group of people gathered on one of the bridges that goes over the dry riverbed very near the hotel so we staked out a spot about an hour in advance.

Cynthia wanted photographic evidence that she was actually out after midnight.

Cynthia after dark

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Cynthia after dark

There was a very cool group of drummers getting the crowd worked up

drummers drumming

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drummers drumming

As it turned out, it was a good thing we got there early as the fireworks started abut 20 minutes ahead of schedule.

ohhh, pretty

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ooooh, pretty

Walking back there was a near miss as someone from down in the riverbed was lobbing fireworks up on to the sidewalk from down below. Not just the splody kind. They were like bottle rockets only bigger…and flying randomly. It was actually a bit frightening.

Folklore Parade

The Folklore Parade is an event that shows off the rich cultural heritage of Valencia. Lots of traditional costumes and pageantry.

The parade was supposed to start at 10:30 pm. It ended up starting close to 11:30. The crowds were massive and we ended up staking out a spot where the lighting was not so good but still had a great view of the event.

Only a few shots as processing these images on the MSI Wind is challenging

Ninot Exhibition

A few samples of the ninots from the exhibition. Each one is about the size of a person and is only a small part of the entire fallas, of which there are nearly 300 scattered about the city after the planta which is today.

Cynthia was, as those who know might imagine, quite delighted to find a giraffe ninot…

This gives you an idea of the workmanship that goes into these things.

Hard to imagine that these will all be burned at the end of the festival.

In Bruges (in HDR)

Canal In Bruges
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Canal In Bruges

Bruges Windmill

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Bruges Windmill

Bridge Over Canal In Bruges

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Bridge Over Canal In Bruges

Clock Tower In Bruges

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Clock Tower In Bruges

One of the things I promised myself is that I would photograph this trip to the best of my ability. I would strive to utilize not only my skills and knowledge, but also fully exploit my hardware. This included shooting some extended exposures like the ones I shot in Brussels which required me packing my sturdy Manfrotto tripod and lugging it around the city.

I also wanted to shoot some HDR, and while I should have shot those with a tripod, I ended up shooting them handheld. The results (I think) are very good.

Built in image stabilization is my friend.

Brussels – Wrapping It Up

Today is our last day here. What a wonderful trip it has been. We’re a bit weary, but our spirits remain high. Tomorrow we go to the airport and make the long trek back to America.

Cynthia and William on the subway

We decided to catch the Metro to go out to the Cinquantenaire Arch in Jubelpark.

Arch

The sky was overcast for the first time on this trip, but no rain.

Connected to the arch are three museums, two of which were open so we decided to check them out.

Automobile Museum

The first was the Autoworld, an automobile museum that has a VERY impressive collection of cars and motorcycles.

Automobile Museum

There were some unbelievable cars on display. I bet Joe Linbeck could easily identify most of them.

William Artillery

The other museum was the Royal Army and Military History Museum which has a collection of military memorabilia that spans 10 centuries of military and technological history.

Military Museum

A huge hangar filled with military aircraft is the absolute highlight of the collection.

Military Museum

After we were done with the museums we caught the metro back to the hotel and then headed out to take care of one last thing.

Zippy Feather

Cynthia came up with the idea of starting a new tradition. We are going to take one of Mr. Zippers feathers with us whenever we travel and let it fall from the highest point we can get to.

We took the feather she was carrying to the top of Place Poelaert and let it go. Fly high Mr. Zippers!

That’s about it for this trip. We are going to take it easy this evening and forego the New Years festivities. We’ve got an early flight in the morning.

Fly high, Mr. Zippers!