don’t forget to tip your driver

sanctuary of aphaia

A quick chat with a taxi driver let us in on the fact that the Temple of Aphaia is Aegina’s major archaeological site, and before you know it we found ourselves driving at breakneck speed through fields of pistachios trees and toward the northeastern corner of the island. I’m glad we took his advice – and his cab – as the ruins were certainly impressive: a Doric temple has stood on this spot since the 5th century BC. Legend has it the temple forms an isosceles triangle with the Parthenon and the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, which makes for a great story, whether or not it holds true. On a clear day it feels like you can see forever, or at least all the way to the port of Piraeus. Click the panorama below, then click again for greater detail. And don’t forget to tip your driver.

aphaia panorama


live blog: into the volcano

Santorini is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece. The croissant-shaped island is dominated by the caldera, a volcanic crater on which the capital of Fira appears perilously perched. Getting there is half the fun. From the small port of Skala visitors have three options to the top: a quick lift in the cable car, a ride on a donkey, or an arduous walk on foot. (I chose the cable car, thank you.) From a vantage point 1,000 feet above the sea the largely pedestrianized town boasts panoramic views over the submerged – yet still very much active –  volcano.


even higher than the eiffel tower

I don’t know anything about Gilles Vidal except that he’s a Paris-based photographer who somehow managed to get a panoramic camera up above the Eiffel Tower.  The result: crazy and amazing birds-eye views of the City of Light. Check them out HERE.


panoramic perspectives

Of course, I couldn’t resist – despite the limitations of not only the medium but also my technique. Click each panorama – then click it a second time in the new window – for a sense of scale far greater than I would have thought possible.


experiments in panorama

Without a professional camera it’s well nigh impossible to capture the breadth and scope of Africa’s imposing terrain. So instead I attempted a few experiments in panoramic photography utilizing the Photosynth software for iPhone – free from Microsoft, by the way. Be sure to click each image individually, then click it again for a vastly greater, if somewhat skewed, detail – and enjoy the view.


wishlist: top of the world, ma

Located at the very top of the International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong, the newly opened Ritz-Carlton looks to be taking luxury to new heights in every sense of the word.  Occupying floors 102 to 118, it’s the tallest hotel in the world – set in the world’s fourth tallest building – with breathtaking views of Victoria Harbour and the iconic Hong Kong skyline at every turn.  Of the hotel’s six restaurants the jewel in the crown looks to be tapas-inspired Ozone on the 118th floor, which also has the distinction of having the world’s highest al fresco terrace.  The indoor infinity pool on the same floor – another world’s highest? – features an LED ceiling for anyone grown weary of the constant panoramic views.  And since you’re not exactly worried about privacy 1,600 feet up in the air, the floor-to-ceiling windows at Spa by ESPA promise to create an urban sanctuary unlike any other. Smack in the heart of the city, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong looks like it might very well be not only the tallest hotel in the world, but also one of the best.


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