Park City

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For the second year Automattic held its annual meetup in Park City, Utah. The weather was great most of the time and in one of the breaks we had during the day I ventured out into one of the hills behind the resort and took some pictures. I only brought my 35mm lens which is not suited for scenic photography but still I had to capture the amazing light in that place.

New Orleans

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Back in March my team had a meetup in New Orleans. Like always, we had very intense five days of work, inspiring discussions and wonderful meals. New Orleans is somewhere that I always wanted to go since it’s so frequent to see it in tv and movies.

We stayed in a very nice hotel in the French Quarter, which turned out to be an excellent choice since we were close to everything: nice restaurants, the live street music at Jackson Square, the Mississippi, and of course Bourbon street was right around the corner.

I decided not to take my camera which wasn’t such a great decision, New Orleans is a very photogenic city that deserved a lot more than an iPhone lens. Maybe next time!

Macau

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I always had interest in visiting Macau, some friends lived there and my interest was fuelled by their stories of growing up in this culture clash. I took a ferry from Hong Kong that took about one hour. It was a pleasant journey even though I’m not good on boats. Macau has a different feel from Hong Kong, it’s not as dense but it feels a bit more disorganised.

The mix of old Portuguese colonial architecture and the hap-hazardish contemporary architecture is nothing but jarring, which makes Macau unique but off-putting at times.  Most streets still maintain their Portuguese names but they are no longer used by the locals which makes things interesting when you’re trying to get somewhere.

Dinning in Macau was a challenging but rewarding experience. English is widely spoken in touristic areas but in restaurants not so much. Most tourists in Macau come from mainland China which means most places are catered towards that crowd. It happened more than once to walk into a restaurant and sit whenever there was room and be handed a menu in Chinese. I still ate amazing things, even though the staff was never very friendly they always took care of us.

And then there’s the overwhelming mix of casinos and shopping malls. Casinos are not my cup of tea but I had to check it out. The atmosphere was heavy, stressful and not very welcoming and I couldn’t wait to get out, but I did do some shopping, it’s kind of impossible not to in places like that.

 

Hong Kong

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Back in August I started another summer trip around Southeast Asia (mostly Indonesia) but actually began the trip by spending two days in Hong Kong, which was on my top places to go for a long time.

We stayed in a small room in Kowloon, the peninsula to the north of Hong Kong that is a riddled with neon and window shoppers. The streets are packed with people, even at night, and this is where you find the most interesting shops and places to eat.

I love most Asian food and Hong Kong delivers on the highest note. Most restaurants are very laid back and you can sit whenever there’s room. You pick your food from a menu with check boxes and the food (and the bill) arrives quickly after that. Dim sum was to die for and I ate it all the time, even though it’s considered breakfast food.

From Kowloon you get a great view in to Hong Kong and every night there’s a light show, called the Symphony of Lights, that I found a bit underwhelming.  The view was great though.

On the next day we ventured on to the very organised and efficient Mass Transit Railway and then took a ferry in to the Honk Kong island. Like in Kowloon there’s a lot of shopping to do, but this side of Hong Kong it’s all about the skyscrapers, malls with upscale brands and expensive restaurants. We did find a place with traditional Cantonese cuisine that was packed with business people and had a very interesting meal.

After wandering around for a while we went up to the highest point, very originally called the Peak, to take a glimpse of the city landscape. It is quite the view.

On the end of trip we flew back into Hong Kong and I had the chance to take a few window photos. Hong Kong is nothing but impressive.