As I walked through Quebec on the afternoon I arrived, it was so cold and damp that I thought it felt like Christmas (in the northern hemisphere…). Just as I began to think this, I turned the corner and saw this ‘Boutique de Noël’ opposite the basilica.
Empty ski-lifts • The ski-lifts at Morzine were empty for an extended period of the day we were there—I was impressed at how many people there seemed to be in spite of the poor weather. I came to realize that they were determined to make the best of their skiing holidays, which had presumably been arranged months in advance.
Dog • A very wet dog runs past during the heavy rain at Sukhothai Historical Park. Fortunately I was able to shelter under a roof, which I had spied out beforehand since I was certain the rain would come.
Rain • This coconut was forced off the tree during the forty-five minutes of heavy rain at Sukhothai Historical Park. Fortunately I was able to shelter under a roof, which I had spied out beforehand since I was certain the rain would come.
Shokokuji Temple • One of the satellite buildings of the extensive Shokokuji temple, a Zen Buddhist temple which administered many other temples in the locality. I wasn't allowed to photograph the interior of the main temple.
Imperial garden-parties • The second garden we were shown at the Imperial Palace in Kyoto was apparently regularly used by the Emperors to throw garden parties. This painting, in a room facing onto the garden, depicts such a party in full swing.
The Imperial Palace, Kyoto • The entrance to the ‘main’ hall of the Imperial Palace. We weren’t even allowed to go into the courtyard in front of the hall. The Chinese consider nine to be a ‘lucky’ number—there are eighteen steps leading up to the hall to provide a double dosage of luck!
Tigers frolicking • A painting on a wall panel at the Imperial Palace, Kyoto. The guide told us that the painter would never have seen a tiger (they’re not, after all, native to Japan), and so would have had to rely on other paintings and his own imagination.