Thursday, February 15, 2007

My next trip... Lao People's Democratic Republic

Laos, one of the world's few remaining communist states, is one of east Asia's poorest countries. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 it has struggled to find its position within a changing political and economic landscape.
  • Full name: Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Population: 5.8 million (via UN, 2006)
  • Capital: Vientiane
  • Area: 236,800 sq km (91,400 sq miles)
  • Major languages: Lao, French (for diplomatic purposes)
  • Major religion: Buddhism
  • Life expectancy: 53 years (men), 56 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit: 1 new kip = 100 ath
  • Main exports: Clothing, timber products, coffee
  • GNI per capita: US $440 (World Bank, 2006)
  • Internet domain: .la
  • International dialling code: +856

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Selection of pics from Morocco

"Joga Bonito" in the region of Merzouga Desert. Nov '06

Overview of the "stadium" with a breathtaking view of the desert. Nov '06

Donkey's at the well known village of Ouarzazate. Nov '06

Musician playing a traditional instrument in the hills of Ouarzazate. Nov '06

Inside the famous village of Ouarzazate, scenery for movies like "Lawrence of Arabia" by David Lean, among others. Nov '06

Another "stadium", this one near the Dades Gorges. Nov '06

Land, village and mountains all together for the perfect scenery. Nov '06

Bricks used all around Morocco, for house construction. Nov '06

Morocco, Nov '06

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Medersa Ben Youssef - Madrasa - Royal Tomb


The Medersa Ben Youssef was a koranic school and dates from 16th century. The picture above represents the central courtyard, used for all the washing before praying. The school was built by the Saadians and named after a 12th century Almoravid sultan.

Arcades, doors, ceilings are decorated with geometric decorations.

Tiles, carvings and wood engravings are all over the place.

Some decorations have words in arabic with coram references.

In Islamic countries it's forbidden to use representations of human beings.

Student room's are situated up stairs and they are very basic cells, used only to pray and to sleep. There are two kinds of rooms with capacity for 1000 students.

The Dar M'Nebhi Palace was built in the 19th century and hosts a collection of moroccan art.

The palace is one of the jewels of Marrakech.

Like in the Medersa, the palace's walls and ceilings are richly decorated .

The huge room is covered by domed tent supported with columns.

Detail of the columns tiles.

Another view of the unique columns.

The granite floor keeps the palace's vibes fluid.

Door detail.

One of the palace's washing rooms.

Zoomed in view of the room.

Tiles macro view perpective.

The Royal tomb.

Inside of the royal tomb.

The royal tomb is situated in the Marrakech museum.

Photography by Nuno Goncalves. Marrakech, Morocco 2006.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Moroccan friends!

Photography by Nuno Goncalves. Marrakech, Morocco Nov. 2006