The Camel Riders

The Camel Riders

Here’s Lenny, Kevin and Eoin (l-r) of Polldaddy fame riding on camels in Marrakesh, Morocco a few weeks ago.

The ride was through wasteland adjoining a rich neighbourhood of Marrakesh where celebrities have their homes. When you hear that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are in town they’re not staying in the Medina, that’s for sure!
The wasteland was surreal. Dusty rubble strewn ground dotted with palm trees and you may see a tractor pulling a water tank for the trees. The houses for the most part are surrounded by tall walls and are gated but from the back of a camel you can look over (and see more palm trees, I guess they like their privacy!)

The camels move at walking pace, and the 3km journey took almost an hour, about twice as long as I’d like it to be but our balloon journey that morning had to be cut short so maybe they were trying to make up for that. No injuries from biting but Chris’s camel did try to take a chunk out of Lenny’s camel a couple of times.

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 21mm
ISO 200
Shutter speed 1/125s

The Construction of The Grand Parade Cork

Grand Parade Under Construction

Six years ago the Grand Parade in Cork was a major building site. I can’t remember how long construction lasted but it went on for quite some time as they tore up and changed the road layout, widened the pavements and generally made the street look a hundred times better than it was before!

I’ve also posted photos of the construction before, with some of these photos appearing in older posts:

Seven years. That’s a long time to be running a blog and still updating it. I’ve been running Holy Shmoly! even longer but this blog is full of the photographic memories of a city and life over that period.
Most of the time taking photographs is a trade off between being there and looking through a lens. If you’re a photographer you’ll know the feeling. You may have attended a significant event but all you’ll remember was the pain of shooting at high ISO in bad light. When I can dig up old photos for a post like this it makes me glad I took my camera that day into town and snapped a few photos!


Aperture ƒ/13
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 20mm
ISO 200
Shutter speed 1/160s

The St Patrick’s Day Parade 2013 in Blarney

St Patrick

Just a few photos from the short but colourful and noisy St Patrick’s Day Parade in Blarney this year. This parade proved more popular than other years as cars parked as far away as the park I live in. I don’t remember that ever happening before!

Well done to everyone who took part!


Aperture ƒ/7.1
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 179mm
ISO 400
Shutter speed 1/250s

To home on the bike

To home on the bike

To say there are many motorbikes in Marrakesh is an understatement. We arrived at dusk and watched shell shocked as small motorbikes wove back and forth between traffic and around corners with little evident care for safety. As a pedestrian here you must have eyes in the back of your head!

With that sorted out and explained the picture above might not be too surprising and it’s a not an uncommon sight to see 3 people on a motorbike. It looks like three generations here: son leaning forward on the handlebars, mother driving and grandmother sitting on the passenger seat.

We haven’t seen any accidents yet but this old post from 2009 says accident rates are rising.

Aperture ƒ/7.1
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 21mm
ISO 400
Shutter speed 1/100s

Hot Air Ballooning over Marrakech

Hot Air Ballooning over Marrakech

Yesterday brought the news that 19 tourists died in Egypt when their hot air balloon crashed. It almost made us rethink our activities today because we were planning to go up in a balloon here in Marrakech! The chance that our balloon would crash just because a balloon in Egypt crashed is minuscule. They’re unrelated events but I guess it was a reminder that the activity is not without risk. Many people did cancel their trips yesterday and our pilot thanked us for not doing the same.

It was a wonderful experience, spoiled slightly by the low hanging clouds but floating through the clouds was surreal for a few moments. Then the wind blew us towards Berber villages as we descended. People watched and children ran as we eventually came to ground. The wind had been carrying us towards the mountains and we’d pass above powerlines that snaked across the valley so the pilot took us down about 200 metres from those cables.

Definitely worth trying out!

Aperture ƒ/4
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 21mm
ISO 200
Shutter speed 1/1000s

Four legged Traffic in Marrakesh

Traffic in Marrakesh

I’m here in Marrakesh, Morocco with the rest of Polldaddy for a week. This photo of a man on a donkey and cart was taken on the streets of the medina during a lull in traffic. After driving here I’m quite certain you could handle driving anywhere as buses, cars, vans, motorbikes and bicycles jostle for the same space in often narrow streets!

Aperture ƒ/14
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 21mm
ISO 400
Shutter speed 1/400s