Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Beyond the pale.......

I know I bombarded you with color from the colonial cities of Vietnam. Everywhere was so brilliant in the rain, the yellows and reds so intense, the blues and greens so deep, color saturated every visible surface.

However, there were pastels too. In Hue, while stepping out of the rain under cover, my eyes rested quietly on painted wood, bleached by time............

.........the old wooden rafters trimmed with carved tassels in shades of pink, cream and green, a stairway of greyed green.

............washes of color remain on walls and arched doors, the tiles worn down and faded by thousands of footsteps over hundreds of years.

In this open temple, the stone arches and pillars were carved and painted with dragons, more tiles of grey and pale terracotta.......

.....the colors had faded but were so beautiful.

Speaking of lovely tiles and muted colors - I loved these behind the rusting gate.  An island house on the Saigon River, a gate of iron with perfect patina ............and a sweet but rather skinny cat, who didn't seem to understand me when I called "here, kitty, kitty". 

When/if you travel to other countries, do you notice the domestic animals?  There were dogs everywhere in Thailand and Vietnam - some very strange looking breeds. They were very quiet and stood perfectly still at the busy roadsides, staring into space. Meanwhile, the cats were........well just like cats the world over, independent, laid back, and not ready to befriend people who didn't speak their language!


  1. Beautiful muted shades, I can imagine how vibrant they were originally but I prefer them now.

  2. Lovely photos and such beautiful aged wood.
    Sorry to say Mary the dogs were probably trying very hard NOT to be noticed, if you get my drift :o(
    Rose H

  3. Just as beautiful as the colorful photos....

    I never noticed cats and dogs in other countries....cows and sheep yes :-)

  4. Well, except in Paris....dogs were everywhere on leashes. In restaurants, walking down the sidewalk etc.

  5. These photos are beautiful. I guess I wouldn't have realized the buildings were once painted vivid hues that are now faded with age. What gorgeous carvings too. I hope you have a wonderful day. Pamela

  6. Mary, I love this post!! The architecture is beautiful and so are the muted colors! Just gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Love the brightly colored photos you posted, these are much more peaceful though.

  8. Hi Mary: That most beautiful architecture, has a special charm, I really like the columns.
    An affectionate hug. Manoli

  9. Well now, we all fade with time don't we? I know i'm not a quarter as bright and colorful and sparkly as i was, so i'll just consider myself muted from now on!

  10. You capture the shapes and colours beautifully Mary!

    Sft x

  11. The dragons ! how stunning and other worldly.
    Yes I always notice the animals and the way the people interact or not with them. Almost a subculture going on under the people world.

    Your photos are precious gifts, thank you for sharing.

    xxx Lorraine xxx

  12. Loving all these muted colors Mary. And those beautiful carved tassels!

    I remember the cats in Israel were very long-legged too, like this one. And they had the most awful croaking sounding meows, poor things!

  13. There is beauty wherever we travel in antiquity. This is beauty for sure. The dragon on the pillars just gorgeous. That cat does look a bit wary, but he/her is wearing his heart on his nose.

  14. I love that photo of the arched dooorways and the tiles. - the sense of age and tranquility is immense.

  15. Beautiful weathered tones and yes a real contrast to the bright colours of the other posts. It was lovely catching up on your posts, Australia and your time before coming home.

    I liked your photographs of the people, the characters old and young, and your boat lady in her blue patterned rain poncho. You have such a good eye for a picture.
    Very chilly here. Your walk last week looked like a beautiful spring like day. It is very much Winter here.

  16. The first few shots, I thought I was looking at something here in America...some beautiful walkway of some old structure that I would give my eye teeth to own!!! Then, I thought, no, they remind me of something in Russia. I of course read then that they were in VietNam, and of course the next few shots showed those wonderfully paling dragons on the columns, and the archways, and I could see that this was indeed VietNam, and well, the entire effect was just stunning! Truly beautiful!!!!

  17. Exactly the type of photos I would want to take! Such beauty you have shown us from a country I know little about.


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