All roads streams interwine into a whip, leaving a loop on crossroads…

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Having pictured Kalapatar under-sunrise, we descended. We felt pretty worn, but we still had Chola Pass pike ahead. Thanks to Papka who judged about our state adequately and cancelled that hard 10-hour pike, and we descended along our old route so that we could turn to Gokyo Ri peak 2 days later and look at magnificent sunset Everest. We were tired and I didn’t even want to take pictures, so I gathered some photos for you from those 2-way-days. Nothing interesting happened. Well, only in the evening when the first shot was made, we met a real Sherpa-alpinist who had made many Everest-ascensions. He was telling stories whole night and his possessive lady-Sherpa was standing beside him and gimlet-gazing at our girls!

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Among mirrors and white walls, among faux flowers…

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I have already wrote about Alberobello here. At any opportunity I get there. And last summer was not exclusion. And for good reason! I don’t know how I could miss such a miracle when I first came here… there is a trullo church in this Hobbit city! And it’s the most unusual catholic one I have ever seen! This time we understood there was no point looking for a hotel in the city which cost African money, i.e. it was easier to find a trullo-house for a 100 euro per nignt, and it was very comfortable an authentic to stay there for a night with my family!

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As a razor the sunrise cut the eyes…

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Sumava is a magic name… As though 2 gentle words combined in it " noise" of mountaneous Warm Vltava which brings forth its waters here and "oakery"- a small forest of fabulous oaks steeped in legends. Coming there one gets into a mysterious world almost untouched by civilization… Awesome mountains, giant silver-fir trees, spruce-fir trees, oaks which are almost six hundred years old. It is not a forest, it is Fangorn etnas. After sunset for the first time here I didn’t "hear" but rather felt with my skin what Dead Silence was. Early morning a bit after 4 am I opened my car’s door. Dense fog covered whole valley as a blanket. And only mountains peaks as though sharp stones peeked out over milky river surface…
Feelings and anticipation of a sunrise Picture made me give Deniska a poke in the ribs and dash off setting up my camera. Right about time! The fog strted moving away from us very quickly towards the forest baring green grass gleaming with morning gold. The sun was inexorably rising… I kept pushing shutter button trying to capture every changing moment of a brand new day birth…

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Embrace me! Open the doors to the temple for me, let me in your Sanctum Sanctorum.

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Monte Sant’Angelo is a magnificent city! As though you traveled across Italy and reached Greece! A mountain, white houses, endless sea below! But the main thing in this city is the temple right inside the cave, in the rock! Legend says, a rich man was pasturing bulls (funny, but that’s what legend says). He lost one of the bulls and went looking for it, and found it on the steps of a cave. He decided to shoot the sullen bull out of a bow. He shot, but arrow turned back and shot the slaughterer in the eye. The guy got that it all was no accident and went to a local churchman. The churchman said 5 prayers, fastened for 3 days and then Michael the Archangel came to him and said that bungalow belonged to him and only people with good intentions were welcome there! If you are interested what happened next, you can google! Well, I believe it is one of the best cities in Puglia, South Italy!

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The Milky Way was crawling along the river… aether was becoming the horizon…

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In one of my entries about Toscana I got a piece of advice to watch a movie “Under the Tuscan sun”. And I did. Movie is typical American one. But the decorations – Cortona city and suburbs sank deep in my heart, and I decided to visit the place at first opportunity. And the day came! I got up long before dawn, as it was a long way to the city. But in the beginning I got into very dense fog, and it was clear I wouldn’t get a chance to see first sunlight in Cortona. At first I got sad, but when the road was emerging from milky lakes surrounding views made me forget about my small sorrows…

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There is no better place in Paradise than mother Katmandu…

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I start saying that one month in Nepal is too much! All normal folks went there for a couple of weeks. And only I and Max went there for a month and made 2 tracks instead of very hard one. I got “fed up with” Nepal. And you may not believe but within 3 months I never opened a photo! And now when all Europe is dumped on snow and cold, it began to “let me go” and I even want to recall warm days in Katmandu, Chitwan, Upper Mustang and beginning of Himalayas track. Well, let’s start Nepal series! It is pretty long and I don’t know if I ever bring myself to writing it all continuously, but next five entries will be devoted to this magic country still full of riddles and revelations…
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Place where the light is so close that you can touch it…

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After shooting Rocamadour I set my alarm clock for 6 am hoping for sunrise and fell asleep. I didn’t sleep well. I always sleep badly when next day shall bring something amazing; I am worried like a boy before the first date. Even before the alarm went off I looked out of the car and sadly realized that there would not be “a sunrise light” as the sky was overcast. I lay down and dozed off. Around 8 am I bobbed up as though stung in the ass. I opened my eyes and saw blue sky among grayish clouds. I took my tripod and camera and ran up to the edge of the steep with the view to the city thinking, “Damn, I slept out Tsushima!” Left of the city an air-balloon was rising fast…

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Stars of the sky, silver of rivers and hot copper of fires…

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We reached Lobuche. It was getting not cold, but fucking damn cold! We were shown rooms for the night. The pension was not that cool! I recalled a cabin I had made for Uta 5 years before… that’s a 5-star hotel comparing to this! The sky was bright; we got to a place to get acclimatized. Each day it became harder and harder physically to get acclimatized, but so far we managed to avoid altitude sickness. We had semi-rotten pea-like jacket potato for dinner. It was easier for guys as they ate meat, but I was at feed. We went sleeping, agreed to wake up by midnight. We didn’t have to as we couldn’t get to sleep. Thermometer showed -6 inside. I wore Polartec underwear, down parka meant for -30 and in sleeping bag meant for -30. I was freezing. After midnight 6 of us got outside. It was -30 outside, but what was the sky…!

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Our family is a strange something…

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You really asked to blend travel and studio shoots, here it is!
Eight years ago in April we decided to make our first family studio photo shoot. We came up to the matter solidly and seriously! We rented real XIX century costumes in Sverdlovsk cinema studio for a hell of money. Talked our friend and best Ekaterinburg visage artist Olechka Stepanenko to rule make-up and style stuff. We had this shooting in Fame-studio. Actually I always have and still do have shootings there whenever I am in E-burg (Vasya, Dima, respect and mother-earth bows to you). Well, actually it was Vasiliy Fetisov who took photos (when he starts a livejournal, and I actually talked him to, I will give you a link, as it will be extremely useful). Sonya was making solo and rocked! I captured her before, but that was me and at home. And it was a studio and some suspicious guys! But real model doesn’t give a thing! Sonya was making fun and got everyone going, even the Granddaddy, for whom it is really easier to cut wood than pose in a photo studio! Well, what should I tell more, you have a look! I was shooting to my first mirror cam 300D!

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My sun is burning across winds, on the border of seven hills…

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Tanyuska and I reached Douro river valley in the middle of the night, in absolute darkness after an hour crisscrossing along serpentine roads. We didn’t plan any particular stay for the night. And having found first empty parking lot at the side of the road we parked and feel into a sound sleep after a long-long day. My alarm-clock is set the way to wake up before sunrise. That’s why when first sunny beams peeked out the mountain in front of us, I had been already standing and murmuring prays to spirits responsible for morning pictures. Somehow the location turned out to be pretty good. And when I saw waking up grapes fields in counter-light I rubbed my hands with anticipation, chuckled in delight, jumped about victoriously, well, did everything reminding joy. The day was a win! But I couldn’t even imagine how many pleasant things were ahead!

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