Slavka’s Over-arching: West Coast Love | California and Oregon, USA

My lovely and inspiring friend Slavka is not only my constant and gracious host in Barcelona but she’s also a great teller of stories and – I’m happy to say, she’s become a kind of regular contributor to this blog.

Her latest installment of photos is from her trip around the West Coast of the US this summer and it’s a true feast for the senses, if I ever saw one. Thank you, Slavi! :)

Ornithology-obsessed, lovely Sacramento airport.

Good morning, San Francisco!: white fire escape flirting in white nightgown. Marie’s apartment building.

Pavement patchwork love: Ocean Beach, San Diego

The chasing game: Pacific waves in San Francisco and Oregon.

B(L)EACHED DAYS: The white sun of South California

Hollywood Blvd Walk of Fame: Superman Love and an unsung Yellow Superhero

No Dumping: Prosaic Reminders in LA and Poetic Ones in SF.

1920’s San Francisco: Madame Marie plasters her name all over a property that she was denied legal ownership of, out of fear it’ll turn into a brothel.

***This post is the fourth and final one from a week-long series of photos from around the world, sent by friends and family, and part of The Ground beneath their feet series.***

Mayon swims in the ocean, cilmbs mango trees and walks on “jamblons” | Réunion, France / Africa

Last May, Mayon sent me a few photos from Réunion Island, which – as I learned when I met her, is located in the Indian Ocean, off the East coast of Madagascar (but is actually a part of France). The images and her comments are really making me want to go there….

“Here, we’re in “winter” (like 22 degrees in the night), and it’s still hot, and we’re still going to the beach, yeah !!!! Like always I would say! At Saint Leu, Reunion Island! White & Black sand!”

“Toma&Me on a mango tree at Manirou!”

“Toma, the twins, & me! And.. lots of ‘jamblons’ on the ground ;-) Maniron, Reunion Island!”

… so, Réunion has now been added to my long list of places to visit.

***This post is the third from a week-long series of friends’ photos from around the world and part of The Ground beneath their feet series.***

Gaby goes on the Camino de Santiago | Logroño, Spain

Earlier this fall, my friend Gaby walked along the ancient pilgrimage route, Camino de Santiago, and she sent me this photo from Logroño – the capital of La Rioja, which she says has “great wine and tapas (as well as being a lovely city)….”

So, I’m making a note to go and visit when I get the chance.

***This post is the first from a week-long series of friends’ photos from around the world and part of The Ground beneath their feet series.***


Silvia and Alexander**: Walking on water | New York City, US of A

Silveto and Alexander walking on the Brooklyn Bridge over the East River

Even when they are on the other side of the Atlantic, they can't seem to stay away from the Black Sea

**This is part of a week-long series of photographs sent in by friends standing on, over or above exciting places around the world**

Albena**: Over the Channel | Atlantic Ocean between France and England

Albena's feet hanging over La Manche, on the side of Bretagne, France

**This is part of a week-long series of photographs sent in by friends standing on, over or above exciting places around the world**

Wanderlust: with a little help from my friends

This week, I’ll be traveling vicariously by posting photos sent to me by my wonderful, exciting and inspiring globe-trotting friends from near and far.

Here’s what you can look forward to (links will become active as I publish them). Enjoy!

Monday: Albena over the English Channel

Tuesday: Silvia and Alexander walking over rivers and seas in New York City

Wednesday: Agnes being blown by the wind in Lisbon

Thursday: Marion, Adeline and Emeric enjoying some snow in the Pyrénées

Friday: Pink traces, as seen by Slavka in New York City

The ground beneath his feet | Lisbon, Portugal

Remember Tiago – my Brazilian friend, the contagious enthusiast, the tireless dancer and musician, the modern nomad and the ceaseless charmer? He also turns out to be quite the perceptive photographer. Just as I was starting to really miss him (and trying to hold him up to his promise to come back to Sofia in April – in print for those of you who speak Bulgarian), he sent me several beautiful pictures of the ground (and in one case, the sea) beneath his feet taken in Lisbon. (Hi, Tiago!)

This post also goes in the “wishful thinking” category, as Lisbon is in the top of my wish list of places I’d like to visit (another one being Stockholm). The complete, ever-changing list is here.

The ground beneath his feet | Sofia and Perperikon, Bulgaria

When I first met Tiago at the end of the summer, I was immediately drawn by this Brazilian’s high energy levels, though it took me a while to find out how far they really stretched. The man is a machine: in addition to the official reason he came to Sofia – to teach Spanish to high school kids in the crazy suburb of Luylin (which he endearingly calls Luylin de Janeiro), Tiago plays the guitar, the drums and the pandeiro (Brazilian tambourine) – in parks, in bars and in concerts, sings and dances like there’s no tomorrow, speaks in a crazy mixture of Spanish, Portuguese, French and Bulgarian, makes a mean mojito and seems to know more people in Sofia from the six months he spent here than some who’ve lived here their whole lives.

Tiago’s fans range from one-year-olds mesmerized by his guitar-playing on the street, through high school girls who gush at the mere thought of him, his drum-circle friends and Sofia’s hipsters drawn by his South American spirit, to ladies from our parents’ generation smitten by his charming ways. Oh, and, of course, me (hi, Tiago!).

Among all the teaching and the playing and the charming, he even managed to take a couple of pictures for this blog. The top one is an apple frozen in a puddle. The one below is from Bulgaria’s most famous archaeological site – the ancient Thracian city of Perperikon (you can read more about it here, in a story I wrote a few years ago).

I was sad to see Tiago leave Sofia to go back to Spain and I’m going to miss his contagious energy and his unending enthusiasm. But most of all, I’ll miss his ability to have a good time in any situation, which made him an ideal sidekick for running around night-time Sofia and making the best out of all the unpredictable situations it presented. I’m sure he’ll find his way back before too long and that, in the meantime, he’ll have plenty of interesting and exciting grounds beneath his itchy feet.