Thursday, 13 December 2012

Italy, Venice - Then & Now - Part 2

This is Part 2 in our Venice "Then & Now"series of photos. To see Part 1, which explains more about this project either scroll down or visit -

This image is titled "Rio delle Meraviglie" which is in the Dorsoduro sestiere of Venice. We're not sure where this comes from as every indication shows that this is actually "Rio di San Trovaso". As mentioned in our previous post, we researched the locations of all the images in the "Ricordo di Venezia" book and we found this particular location as one of the most difficult to locate even though the description below describes a "Palace" as being on the right! The Meraviglie on the image & the Meravegie on the back of the image really baffled us. In the end it ended up being not far from the Accademia Bridge. 

Book circa 1930 (image looks older!)

The text at the back of this image in the book is as follows - It actually spells the canal as "Rio delle Meravegie". Not the most descriptive caption in the book!!

"On the right: Contarini Corfu Palace" 

See if you can notice any of the changes between the 2 images and leave us a comment.

Check out Part 3 in the series by clicking on the following link - 

Tuesday, 11 December 2012


Nauru Location
Now, not many people have heard of Nauru. Most Australians have probably heard of it but possibly are unaware of where it is. This tiny island country was used for years as the "Processing Centre" of refugees who attempted to illegally enter Australia by boat. This is where refugees were housed while their refugee status was investigated prior to either being allowed into Australia or deported back to their own countries (they were mostly from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran or Sri Lanka).
The island is only is only 21 square kms and with the world's second smallest population makes it also the smallest Republic. During the 1960's & 1970's, Nauru enjoyed the highest per capita income of any sovereign state in the world due to its rich phosphate deposits. Unfortunately when the countries phosphate deposits were diminished so did the country's wealth. Many Nauruans have now emigrated to either Australia or New Zealand leaving a population of less than 10,000 people. 

The Australian Government brokered a deal that offered aid to Nauru in exchange for use of the island as a processing centre for refugees as mentioned above. This ended in 2008 however there are now talks of re-opening the centre after other re-location solutions to the "boat people" have been unsuccessful.

Beach on Nauru
A beach on Nauru with your very own Japanese WWII bunker
Rock formations on Nauru
Rocky beach  formations
Local Nauruan children
Local Nauruan children
WWII Japanese gun emplacement
WWII Japanese gun emplacement
Phosphate mining has created a lunar landscape on Nauru
Phosphate mining has created a lunar landscape on Nauru
Well, that's a bit of history about the island. Needless to say, very very few travellers or tourists visit Nauru, which is a shame because the island is worthy of a visit. You certainly will get most of the beaches to yourself and the locals are extremely friendly. There are also some Japanese WWII bunkers & gun emplacements on the island which attracts a few veterans and historians. The fishing is stupendous here and it is extremely easy to organise a fishing trip with a local. You can also do an interesting drive across the island and see the bizarre lunar landscape as a result of the years of phosphate mining.  All in all its a great place to visit to get away from it all but expect to mostly create your own entertainment.

You can get to Nauru from Brisbane, Australia flying with 'Our Airline'. The airline currently flies Brisbane - Nauru - Marshall Islands - Kiribati (Tarawa) - Nadi . So if you are island hopping then it is a great way to see some of the more remote islands of this part of the Pacific. Accommodation is available at the Menen Hotel, which is where we stayed however it is a little isolated. Nearer to the main town is the Od-n Aiwo Hotel - nothing  flashy but if you want to be not far from the town centre and facilities then this may be your best bet.

For more information on Nauru please visit the Nauru Tourism website. Most of the images on this site were taken by us when we were commissioned by the SPTO (South Pacific Tourism Organisation). 

Ever been to Nauru? If so, would love to hear your comments. For more images of Nauru visit our website.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Italy, Venice - Then & Now - Part 1

Earlier this year we were fossicking through a small bookshop in the suburb that we live in. The owner specialises in old books and we spent quite a few hours there. We were about to leave with a handful of old travel guides when the owner suggested that we have a look at another box that he had out the back. In this box we found several small old books called "Ricordo di Venezia" & Ricordo di  Napoli". Well, we really wouldn't call them books, they're more like ornate versions of a concertina postcard book (without being postcards!!). Strangely there is no details whatsoever mentioning a date or publisher of these books, however with some research we believe the Venice book is circa 1930 (mind you, we are not sure how old some of the actual photos are). Each image has text in 4 languages (Italian, French, English & German), so they were obviously produced as a souvenir item for travellers. Funny enough, all of the locals we met in both Venice & Naples had never seen them and were fascinated by these books which led to quite a few doors being opened for us in our quest. 

Having been to Venice & Naples several times, these books really got our creative juices flowing. As a result we thought we would do a series of "then & now" style images. How hard could that be? Simple right! Just go to Venice and take the photo from the same spot, a bit of editing and "bobs your uncle"- easy. Well, how naive we were. Many of the shots were now just impossible to do, not because of the crowds but simply because access to the spots were no longer allowed and were at times so frustratingly close yet inaccessible. 

We have tried to get the images as close to the original as possible however this has not always been possible but it gives you pretty good idea of the "then & now" concept. We have used Photoshop to blend some of the original image into the new photo to enhance the concept.

Book circa 1930 (image looks older!)

The text at the back of this image in the book is as follows -

"This Canal is most characteristic and of notable beauty. The <campanile> which is seen - one, of the most stately of Middle Ages - is annexed to the Church of S. Barnaba, and was built by the architect Boschetti in 1749. This church boasts of pictures by Titian."

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Check out Part 2 of this series at -