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Alex Stoen
32,777 followers -
World traveler, explorer & photographer
World traveler, explorer & photographer

32,777 followers
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La Maquina del 53 (Gibara, Cuba 2012)

The first impression you get when you land in Cuba, is that time froze decades ago, from the old classic cars to the decaying colonial architecture, but thanks to the resilience of its people, life goes on. Yank tank or máquina are the words used to describe the many classic cars present in Cuba with an estimated 60,000 of them still driving the roads today. I captured this beauty in the small fishing village of Gibara, on the eastern side of the island.

© 2017 Alex Stoen - www.alexstoen.com / http://instagram.com/alexstoen
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La Ville des Huîtres (Cancale, France 2015)

Cancale is two towns in one with a traditional village on the hill and Port de la Houle below where most of the fishing activity takes place. Boulangeries and patisseries are on the hill; hotels and restaurants are down below. This port town is most famous for its oysters, with its origins going all the way back to Roman times when the soldiers of Julius Caesar ate them. The same oysters are now a national delicacy, so much so that the town square proudly displays a statue of women washing oysters in baskets located in front of Eglise Saint Méen.

© 2017 Alex Stoen - www.alexstoen.com / http://instagram.com/alexstoen
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The Awa Odori Dancer (Tokushima, Japan, 2015)

The Awa Dance Festival is held every summer as part of the Obon festival in Tokushima, on the island of Shikoku in Japan. Awa Odori has a history of about 400 years, and is one of the largest festivals in Japan, attracting over 1.3 million tourists every year.

This is a portrait of an Awa Odori dancer wearing a traditional amigasa hat in the Kaikan Hall, where the dance can be enjoyed throughout the year.

© 2017 Alex Stoen - www.alexstoen.com / http://instagram.com/alexstoen
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Bete Giyorgis (Lalibela, Ethiopia 2014)

The Church of St. George is one of eleven monolithic churches in Lalibela in northern Ethiopia. The church was carved from solid rock in the shape of a cross. It's among the best known and last built of the eleven churches in the area. Lalibela, King of Ethiopia, sought to recreate Jerusalem and structured the churches' landscape and religious sites in such a way as to achieve such a feat. The churches are clustered in two major groups, one representing the earthly Jerusalem, and the other representing the heavenly Jerusalem. Located directly between them is a trench representing the River Jordan.

I timed my visit to coincide with Meskel, The Finding of the True Cross festival in late September. I captured this environmental portrait of the main priest, posing at the entrance of Bete Giyorgis.

© 2017 Alex Stoen - www.alexstoen.com / http://instagram.com/alexstoen
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The Nunnery (Sagaing Hill, Myanmar 2013)

In the Sagaing Hills, 12 miles from the ancient capital of Mandalay are hundreds of pagodas, stupas, monasteries and nunneries which form a focal point of worship for Buddhism in Burma.

As lunch was being served at the ThaKyaDiThar nunnery, a silent procession took place with the girls neatly leaving their sandals before entering the main hall.

When girls and women enter the monastic life, they shave their heads, take ordination vows and practice meditation and reading scriptures just as male monks do. They don’t perform ceremonies though or travel overseas, and they carry only ten precepts, the ethical rules in Buddhism, the same number for novice monks.

© 2017 Alex Stoen - www.alexstoen.com / http://instagram.com/alexstoen
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Discovering Jabreen Castle (Bahla, Sultanate of Oman 2017)

As I explored the interiors of Jabreen Castle, this wooden balcony inside one of the palace internal courtyards really caught my attention, contrasting against the mudbrick walls, the warm light coming in from above and the cool shadows below. I captured this portrait of Maria from the another balcony, on the opposite side.

Jabreen Castle is one of the most beautiful castles in Oman. What makes it so unique is that it was built during a time of peace, constructed as a palace by a ruler who was passionate about science and art and that made it the most beautiful historic castle in the Sultanate. The castle is three stories tall, features two towers, numerous receptions halls, dining areas, meeting rooms, a courtroom, a library, and classrooms. The interior design of the castle features decorated windows, wooden balconies, arches with inscribed Arabic calligraphy, and breathtaking ceiling artwork.

© 2017 Alex Stoen - www.alexstoen.com / http://instagram.com/alexstoen
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Regent’s Canal (London, United Kingdom 2017)

The Regent’s Canal is one of London’s best-kept secrets - a peaceful haven often hidden by the surrounding buildings. Today it is well-loved by boaters, walkers, and cyclists all looking to escape the capital’s busy streets. I explored a small portion of it this weekend, walking along the canal from Kensal Town to Little Venice, in Maida Vale. Colorful scenes like this one dotted the path, making me want to discover more of these canals!

© 2017 Alex Stoen - www.alexstoen.com / http://instagram.com/alexstoen
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Symbiotic Relationships (Alicante, Spain 2011)

Spring is still a couple months away, but sometimes it feels it's right around the corner. It's an interesting time to be on the lookout for even the smallest details (macro photography). I captured this moment while exploring an old railroad track in Spain, reconverted into a hiking trail. It reminded be of the importance of symbiotic relationships. Can bees survive without flowers? Where would flowers be without bees?

© 2017 Alex Stoen - www.alexstoen.com / http://instagram.com/alexstoen

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The Meat Market (London, United Kingdom 2016)

I captured this in Borough Market, an incredible place that has existed in one form or another for over 1,000 years. The market’s stalls, shops, and restaurants reflect London’s status as a truly global city, with traditional British produce sitting alongside regional specialties from around the world. It's a riot of colors, smells, and human engagement, fascinating to explore, socialize and a perfect place to get some amazing food!

© 2017 Alex Stoen - www.alexstoen.com / http://instagram.com/alexstoen
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The Miao Elder (Guizhou, China 2016)

The Miao live primarily in southern China's mountains, in the provinces of Guizhou, Hunan, Yunnan, Sichuan, Guangxi, Hainan, Guangdong, and Hubei. The small village I visited organized a welcoming ceremony, along with the traditional Lusheng dance, after which I managed to make a few portraits of very friendly villagers. Traveling off the tourist track can be so rewarding!

© 2017 Alex Stoen - www.alexstoen.com / http://instagram.com/alexstoen
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