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    Celeste
    @celestezenn

Images by celestezenn

What was it like to work with just an iPhone 5S for photos & videos? Liberating!
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It’s discreet build made it practically invisible — we were no longer the pesky travellers greedily snapping up whatever we could or waving a clunky DSLR in someone’s face — no, we were just the creepy duo surreptitiously stealing their souls once they looked away.
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In all seriousness though, the locals went about their business as if we weren’t there and that allowed us to collect natural candid shots. When approached, they were a lot friendlier and less intimidated by the little phone we were using. To top it off, we got insanely good at mobile photography on the iPhone, which had a range of really advanced functions we never bothered to find out about before!
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However, it’s a pity that we traded that for lower image quality and the loss of RAW data that would make these photos unprintable. Minor downside: I don’t print my photos anyway and neither do most travellers.
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IMHO, work with what you have and enjoy the process of telling a visual story... and you’d be surprised with what you’ve collected. Just go shoot.
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Background story: What happened to our DSLRs? I left mine behind to reduce weight. Manu forgot the charging cable for his — we couldn’t buy a replacement in Hanoi. D’oh!
What was it like to work with just an iPhone 5S for photos & videos? Liberating! . It’s discreet build made it practically invisible — we were no longer the pesky travellers greedily snapping up whatever we could or waving a clunky DSLR in someone’s face — no, we were just the creepy duo surreptitiously stealing their souls once they looked away. . In all seriousness though, the locals went about their business as if we weren’t there and that allowed us to collect natural candid shots. When approached, they were a lot friendlier and less intimidated by the little phone we were using. To top it off, we got insanely good at mobile photography on the iPhone, which had a range of really advanced functions we never bothered to find out about before! . However, it’s a pity that we traded that for lower image quality and the loss of RAW data that would make these photos unprintable. Minor downside: I don’t print my photos anyway and neither do most travellers. . IMHO, work with what you have and enjoy the process of telling a visual story... and you’d be surprised with what you’ve collected. Just go shoot. . Background story: What happened to our DSLRs? I left mine behind to reduce weight. Manu forgot the charging cable for his — we couldn’t buy a replacement in Hanoi. D’oh!
Breakfast could be a sandwich.... or this! 😋 You’ll be spoiled for food choices in Vietnam, and that remains true even in the northern mountains.
Breakfast could be a sandwich.... or this! 😋 You’ll be spoiled for food choices in Vietnam, and that remains true even in the northern mountains.
We knew that 20 ethnicities share the timeless peaks of Lao Cai, but it still surprised us as the colours, crops and costumes changed as we crossed from peak to peak, like the pages of a book.
We knew that 20 ethnicities share the timeless peaks of Lao Cai, but it still surprised us as the colours, crops and costumes changed as we crossed from peak to peak, like the pages of a book.
Large animal crossings 🐃🐃 like these are common in agricultural northern Vietnam, so slow down — never know what’s lumbering around the corner. 😉
Large animal crossings 🐃🐃 like these are common in agricultural northern Vietnam, so slow down — never know what’s lumbering around the corner. 😉
No pants! 🙊 This is a lousy example. You should make an effort to gear up a little when you’re riding through northern Vietnam. Hairpin turns and bumpy roads make for rough falls, so the least you should have on are pants.
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Route’s on my blog and you know where to find the link. 😊
No pants! 🙊 This is a lousy example. You should make an effort to gear up a little when you’re riding through northern Vietnam. Hairpin turns and bumpy roads make for rough falls, so the least you should have on are pants. . Route’s on my blog and you know where to find the link. 😊
“How do we do this?” he said, as we drank in the confusing bustle outside our murky window. We were about to step off the overnight train, where we’d just lost a pricy USD 1.50 to “complimentary” instant mix coffee. Communication mix up or scam, whatever, the caffeine boost helped us gather the sense to track down the luggage cabin and collect the motorcycle, which we wheeled/paddled with embarrassing inexperience to the nearest restaurant for breakfast. Thankfully, a helpful Vietnamese guy and a nagging Singaporean chick (me) was all it took to awaken Manu’s inner motorcyclist — it’s truly quite a feat. 2 hours of riding later, this view was our reward.
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Lào Cai is that dreamy part of Vietnam that shares a border with Yunnan, China. Mountainous, lush and full of windy hairpins that make this a road-tripper’s paradise. Best place ever to start an adventure!
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Get a head start on your Vietnamese motorcycling trip by checking out my post: How to plan a bike trip from Hanoi. Link in the bio. 😊
“How do we do this?” he said, as we drank in the confusing bustle outside our murky window. We were about to step off the overnight train, where we’d just lost a pricy USD 1.50 to “complimentary” instant mix coffee. Communication mix up or scam, whatever, the caffeine boost helped us gather the sense to track down the luggage cabin and collect the motorcycle, which we wheeled/paddled with embarrassing inexperience to the nearest restaurant for breakfast. Thankfully, a helpful Vietnamese guy and a nagging Singaporean chick (me) was all it took to awaken Manu’s inner motorcyclist — it’s truly quite a feat. 2 hours of riding later, this view was our reward. . Lào Cai is that dreamy part of Vietnam that shares a border with Yunnan, China. Mountainous, lush and full of windy hairpins that make this a road-tripper’s paradise. Best place ever to start an adventure! . Get a head start on your Vietnamese motorcycling trip by checking out my post: How to plan a bike trip from Hanoi. Link in the bio. 😊
Praça do Giraldo, the place to start your exploration of Évora as all the roads lead to this iconic square. Like most major squares, it’s a public space with a good deal of history!
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Check out the link in my bio for this location and others from my 2018 summer trip to Portugal and Spain. 😊
Praça do Giraldo, the place to start your exploration of Évora as all the roads lead to this iconic square. Like most major squares, it’s a public space with a good deal of history! . Check out the link in my bio for this location and others from my 2018 summer trip to Portugal and Spain. 😊
Catedral de Évora, the mysterious facade that we never got behind because we arrived too late. However it’s a highly recommended and historically significant location. Vasco da Gama, the first European to sail to India. Before that landmark voyage, rumour has it that he had the sails of his ship blessed at this cathedral!
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Évora’s a gorgeous small town in Portugal worth stopping in for the day. There’s plenty to do even if you arrive in the late afternoon. Do check out my blog for ideas! Link’s in the bio.
Catedral de Évora, the mysterious facade that we never got behind because we arrived too late. However it’s a highly recommended and historically significant location. Vasco da Gama, the first European to sail to India. Before that landmark voyage, rumour has it that he had the sails of his ship blessed at this cathedral! . Évora’s a gorgeous small town in Portugal worth stopping in for the day. There’s plenty to do even if you arrive in the late afternoon. Do check out my blog for ideas! Link’s in the bio.
Wayyy back in the time of Ebora Liberalitas Julia, this Temple of Diana was probably the heart of the town that happened to be at the aortic centre of some major trade routes. It was destroyed, reconstructed as a medieval stronghouse, then a medieval tower, then embedded into the walls of a medieval building and used as a butcher shop and FINALLY restored to its believed original form through the lens of romanticism.
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What a life!
Wayyy back in the time of Ebora Liberalitas Julia, this Temple of Diana was probably the heart of the town that happened to be at the aortic centre of some major trade routes. It was destroyed, reconstructed as a medieval stronghouse, then a medieval tower, then embedded into the walls of a medieval building and used as a butcher shop and FINALLY restored to its believed original form through the lens of romanticism. . What a life!
Violet jacarandas, pastel yellow highlights and refreshing white walls — Évora in summer is just so palette perfect 💛💜
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Stopped in Évora in the late afternoon during our summer road trip. Things were closing but we found things to do anyway. Check my blog post for ideas! Link’s in my bio.
Violet jacarandas, pastel yellow highlights and refreshing white walls — Évora in summer is just so palette perfect 💛💜 . Stopped in Évora in the late afternoon during our summer road trip. Things were closing but we found things to do anyway. Check my blog post for ideas! Link’s in my bio.
R E D  D O O R
Consider the red door — welcome, auspicious, sanctuary, the symbol of her lost childhood to Daenerys Stormborn. Plenty of symbolic meanings. Here in Évora, it’s one of the gates of the local university that faces out to the old city, like a door to the past.
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Arrived late in Évora? Well, there’s plenty to do anyway. Check out my post for ideas — link’s in my bio! 😁
R E D D O O R Consider the red door — welcome, auspicious, sanctuary, the symbol of her lost childhood to Daenerys Stormborn. Plenty of symbolic meanings. Here in Évora, it’s one of the gates of the local university that faces out to the old city, like a door to the past. . Arrived late in Évora? Well, there’s plenty to do anyway. Check out my post for ideas — link’s in my bio! 😁
B E Y O N D  M E M O R Y
What were these? Were they graves, sacred, shops? As with many Neolithic things, their original purpose have sunk in the river of time. However these cromlechs, numerous and extensive remain behind, testaments to a forgotten memory and are often dubbed the Portuguese Stonehenge by modern guides. Known as the Alemendres Cromlech in the region — yes, after the almond nut. No prizes for guessing why. 🌰
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Wondering how to get to these? Directions and details are in my blog so do check out the link in my profile. Hope to 👀 you ☝️!
B E Y O N D M E M O R Y What were these? Were they graves, sacred, shops? As with many Neolithic things, their original purpose have sunk in the river of time. However these cromlechs, numerous and extensive remain behind, testaments to a forgotten memory and are often dubbed the Portuguese Stonehenge by modern guides. Known as the Alemendres Cromlech in the region — yes, after the almond nut. No prizes for guessing why. 🌰 . Wondering how to get to these? Directions and details are in my blog so do check out the link in my profile. Hope to 👀 you ☝️!
O L D  L I N K
Mérida boasts the longest surviving Roman bridge known and it’s still in use today, 20 centuries later. Roman constructions never fail to amaze me with their ability to withstand the test of time.
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Last day to click the link in my bio for my post about Mérida, Spain — the Spanish town with the most extensive Roman ruins. Next up: Évora, Portugal, where the ruins get older... neolithically older.
O L D L I N K Mérida boasts the longest surviving Roman bridge known and it’s still in use today, 20 centuries later. Roman constructions never fail to amaze me with their ability to withstand the test of time. . Last day to click the link in my bio for my post about Mérida, Spain — the Spanish town with the most extensive Roman ruins. Next up: Évora, Portugal, where the ruins get older... neolithically older.
2000 years ago, someone decided he wanted the sky in his villa. Couple mosaics, a dash of truth-stretching creativity and an unfortunate home fire later, we have this ancient mosaico cosmológico — a colourful depiction of the night sky complete with cosmological elements.
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More location deets in the blog link in my bio. 🤫
2000 years ago, someone decided he wanted the sky in his villa. Couple mosaics, a dash of truth-stretching creativity and an unfortunate home fire later, we have this ancient mosaico cosmológico — a colourful depiction of the night sky complete with cosmological elements. . More location deets in the blog link in my bio. 🤫
A R E N A
From the latin word “harena”, meaning “sand”, of which, you can see plenty in the pit. In a time before vacuum cleaners and Netflix, this served a rather practical purpose: To drink up the blood of those who have died, or are about to die, in gladiatorial combat.
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One of the featured locations in my post on Mérida, Spain – link in the bio. 👀☝️
A R E N A From the latin word “harena”, meaning “sand”, of which, you can see plenty in the pit. In a time before vacuum cleaners and Netflix, this served a rather practical purpose: To drink up the blood of those who have died, or are about to die, in gladiatorial combat. . One of the featured locations in my post on Mérida, Spain – link in the bio. 👀☝️
7  C H A I R S
For the seven Moorish kings that gathered to decide the city’s fate — as immortalised in the local name for this place. These seven seats were all that lay exposed of this Roman theatre before its excavation in modern times.
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Have you seen it? 👀 There’s more info & photos in my blog post on Mérida, Spain — link in my bio. Enjoy!
7 C H A I R S For the seven Moorish kings that gathered to decide the city’s fate — as immortalised in the local name for this place. These seven seats were all that lay exposed of this Roman theatre before its excavation in modern times. - Have you seen it? 👀 There’s more info & photos in my blog post on Mérida, Spain — link in my bio. Enjoy!
M I R A C L E
In Europe, architectural feats are always hailed as either a miracle or the work of the devil (search: devil’s bridges). This Roman aqueduct was referred to as El Acueducto de Los Milagros for that same awe-inspiring reason. 3 stories high, 25m tall and 830m long, it was fed by a stream 5km away from Mérida.
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Currently, it’s home to some white storms and their nestlings. 🐣🐣
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Read more about how we explored/ran through Mérida in under 24 hours in my latest post. Link in the bio! 👆
M I R A C L E In Europe, architectural feats are always hailed as either a miracle or the work of the devil (search: devil’s bridges). This Roman aqueduct was referred to as El Acueducto de Los Milagros for that same awe-inspiring reason. 3 stories high, 25m tall and 830m long, it was fed by a stream 5km away from Mérida. . Currently, it’s home to some white storms and their nestlings. 🐣🐣 . Read more about how we explored/ran through Mérida in under 24 hours in my latest post. Link in the bio! 👆
When your partner goes, “Ladies first,” and secretly snaps your behind.
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Now, on to the smarty-ass history lesson: A prehistoric town with evidence of habitation dating before the Romans, Mérida is better known for its Roman monuments, including the ancient Roman theatre where this was taken. It’s still used for performances today — acoustics are amazing!
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This was one of the location we covered this summer. More in my blog — Link in the bio. 😬
When your partner goes, “Ladies first,” and secretly snaps your behind. . Now, on to the smarty-ass history lesson: A prehistoric town with evidence of habitation dating before the Romans, Mérida is better known for its Roman monuments, including the ancient Roman theatre where this was taken. It’s still used for performances today — acoustics are amazing! . This was one of the location we covered this summer. More in my blog — Link in the bio. 😬