Tag Archives: photo challenge

Not so Royal Seal Anymore

Former Seal of the Sultan

The inscription above is the seal of the Sultan of Ottoman Empire, or Tughra. Each Sultan has its own Tughra, but generally follow the same pattern as in the picture. The symbol is actually the Sultan’s name, written in a beautiful calligraphy. Each line depicts one or more words, as seen in below animation.


Baba66, Tugra Mahmuds II, CC BY-SA 3.0

You will find a lot of different Tughra in Topkapi Palace, the palace of Ottoman Empire. Nowadays, I think the symbol is used as the mark of Ottoman Empire and Turkey in general, just like the restaurant where we ate.

Written in response to WordPress Photo Challenge: Names

Nostalgia of First Overseas Trip

By being the closest sovereign country from Jakarta, Indonesia, Singapore has been the destination of overseas trip for many Indonesian live in Jakarta, including myself.

Before the advent of low-cost carrier, overseas trip for Indonesian has been very expensive. In addition to prohibiting airfare, Indonesian need to pay the exit tax each time we went overseas, which added to overall cost. While it wasn’t really out of reach for our middle class family, it was definitely not one of the priorities.

So, my first overseas trip only happened after I graduated, and started working for multinational company. I got a chance to attend a conference in Singapore for my first overseas trip, with all expenses paid by the company.

It was a mixed feeling of happiness and anxiety. With young blood flowed in my vein, I was so happy with the adventure to foreign country. At the same time, I was also anxious of speaking another language than my mother tongue, of finding direction (while google already exist, goggle map was not even in the pipeline), of using foreign currency, any many more.

Singapore Flyers at Night

Of course, over the year, the facade of Singapore has changes significantly. The most notable one is in the Marina Bay area, dominated by Singapore Flyer and Marina Bay Sands. Still, each time the plane touch down at Singapore Changi Airport, it always feel like my younger self going overseas for the first time.

This post is written in response to WordPress Photo Challenge: Nostalgia

Edge of the Sea

From the top of Pasumpahan Island, the ocean that separate Pasumpahan and main land look swim-able. Especially in such clear sky and pollution free sky of West Sumatra.

Edges of the Ocean

However, don’t be deceived by it. Look at the hut on the left, and the boat mooring in between. It is actually some serious strait to swim. Especially if you take into account the current.

Not something that is not swim-able though…..

This post is made in response of WordPress Photo Challenge: Edge

The Beach Reflection

With black instead of white sands, Parangtritis beach in South Yogyakarta might not qualify as picture perfect beach. It is also a bit dirty from natural and human made garbage. However, the gentle sloped beach allows the wave and surf to reach quite far inland, washing away some garbage. And in the perfect evening sunlight, the sea water turns the black sands into a mirror.

Beach Reflection

This post is made in response to WordPress Photo Challenge: Mirror

Pine Forest of Bantul, Yogyakarta

Just in case you are wondering, the picture below is not some fungi viewed through a microscope.

Not Under Microscope

It is actually the peak of Pine Tree, pictured from its base on the ground.

Tall Pine Trees

The Pine Forest (in Bahasa Indonesia: Hutan Pinus) of Yogyakarta is located in Bantul, around 1 hour driving from Keraton (Palace). It has been lately major destination for people who just want to chill out, visitors who want to take good selfies, and amateur as well as professional photographers who do photo sessions, including pre-wedding.

And finally, just to give some perspective on how tall those Pine Trees are, look at the background of our picture below. Beware of falling pine.

Us and Pine Tree

This post is created for WordPress Photo Challenge: Look Up