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Porto or is it Oporto?

16 Jul

I wanted to share some images that I made while I was in Porto – a quick trip I made during my days in Galicia to visit my good Irish friends O & J. So Porto / Oporto. What’s with that? In English and in Spanish it’s called Oporto and in Portuguese it’s Porto. Somehow this seems strange. I mean wouldn’t Porto have worked for all of us? Ok. I’l stop that rant, because that’s pretty much all I could possibly complain about in this lovely city. It’s so gorgeous, it’s ridiculous. It’s crumbly and old and bright and colourful all at once. And the food isn’t bad either. My two new favourite things are included in the photos below.

One. Pasteis de Nata. Custard tarts that are everywhere. We had them everyday! And now I’ve developed an addiction. How can I make these? Anyone?
Two.Pataniscas de Bacalao. These are yummy cod fritters that seem to be a cross between a fishcake and an onion bhajii. Seriously good.
And of course, we must not forget Port. or as the Portuguese call it Vino Porto. But that’s a whole other story. Enjoy!
PortoCollage ©2013 Helena McMurdo

Main Street Typography

24 Apr

With all things, I find I get better results when I have a theme or goal to focus on. Here’s a few shots from a recent photowalk I did with a friend in Vancouver’s Main Street area.  My friend smartly suggested we focus on typography.  I love the mixture and retro feel of some of these typefaces. I wish I knew the names. Anyone? Can you guess the locations?
MainStreetTypography. Photography © 2013 HelenaMcMurdo

Signs of Portland

19 Mar

I’ve always been inspired by beautiful  and interesting signage and architectural details and when I visit somewhere new, inevitably my camera roll will be filled with many pictures of signs. My recent trip to Portland provided lots of interesting examples both retro and modern. I love the strong, masculine and  heritage typographic forms found in many of the classic signs in Portland,but there were lots of fun, modern examples as well. Here are some of my favourites.

What do you think? Do you have any favourites?

Got a tall ship that needs fixing?

2 Sep

As the first British Colonial settlement in Nova Scotia, outside Halifax, Lunenberg dates back to 1753. If like many Canadian children, you ate the odd fish finger or two, you may be interested to know that this is also where Captain Highliner hangs out. Continue reading


8 Jul

When I was in about grade eight, we had a social studies text book and on the cover was a picture of the aqueduct in Segovia. For some reason, I always imagined it to be out in the country somewhere but the reality is that it sits right inside and is part of the fabric of the city Continue reading

Guggenheim & Ysios – Architour

30 Jun

I’ve wanted to come to the Guggenheim for about 10 years now. Although I’ve been in Spain quite a few times in that period, for whatever reason, it has not worked out so I’m thrilled that we are finally going. Continue reading

Come on over to my friend Frank’s…

29 Jun

On the Road Again

It’s Tuesday. We left Barcelona yesterday and now find ourselves in Marqués de Riscal, near the small town of El Ciego. For those of you who have not heard, Frank Gehry designed a small hotel here. Even if you aren’t an architecture fan, you may have seen it if you followed On the Road Again, on PBS. So this is somewhat of a ‘station of the cross’ on our way to the Guggeheim in Bilbao. For me it’s a definite Pilgrimage having been a Frank Gehry fan for some time. Continue reading

La Pedrera

29 Jun

We are leaving for Barcelona this morning so I’m up early – 7:30. The streets are quiet, so I wander around a bit and take a few pics of the Pedrera, or as it is also known, Casa Millá. It opens at 9 so I decide to change my initial plan of bocadillo de jamón and slip in early before the people hit. Continue reading

I am in love…

27 Jun

with a ham sandwich. At Bar Costa Gallega on the Passeig de Gracia. It was my first meal in Barcelona. A gorgeous, greasy, jamón serrano bocadito (mini sandwich) with crusty, bread and a good slather of tomato and olive oil in the Catalan style. Paired with a deliciously smooth cafe con leche this is the taste of Spain, the taste of my childhood. I am in heaven. Continue reading

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