Sunset over a river with a small boat
Rivers,  Themed galleries,  Writers' Quotes Wednesday

Gallery: the rippling of rivers

Who hears the rippling of rivers will not utterly despair of anything.

Henry David Thoreau
Woman in shorts and t-shirt sitting on a railing by a river
By the Nile in Luxor, Egypt (many years ago!)

There is indeed something magical about the sound of flowing water. Whether tumbling over rocks or moving more sedately, whether young and vigorous or older and more serene, a river has the power either to exhilarate and to calm.

For Marsha’s Writers’ Quote Wednesday, belatedly, I want to simply share some favourite shots of rivers around the world, both close to home and further afield. Some are urban, some rural. Some are slow and wide, others more lively. All are, in their different ways, beautiful.

I also can’t resist including another quote. The House at Pooh Corner may be a children’s book, but as others have observed before me, it contains a lot of wisdom.

By the time it came to the edge of the Forest, the stream had grown up, so that it was almost a river, and being grown-up, it did not run and jump and sparkle along as it used to do when it was younger, but moved more slowly. For it knew now where it was going, and it said to itself, “There is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”

A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
Wide river view with bridges and tall modern buildings

I’m starting very close to home with a shot of the Thames in London. This was taken from the Golden Jubilee footbridge looking towards Waterloo Bridge and the City, one of my favourite views.

Looking inland up a river estuary with buildings on either side

I’ve shared plenty of photos of the Tyne in Newcastle. Here’s a rather different view, looking upstream from the river’s mouth in Tynemouth.

View of elegant city buildings from a boat in a river

Another iconic English city river. Here are Liverpool’s famous Three Graces and Pierhead as seen from a ferry ‘cross the Mersey.

River with small boats and bridge
Two men beside a river with a guitar

I have to include my favourite city river, the Seine in Paris. On the left we are looking towards the Île de la Cité from the Pont des Arts. The right-hand shot is a detail of that typical Seine scene by the Pont Neuf.

Man in a rowing boat on a wide river with city buildings

Another city river, but in a very different city. This is the Taedong River in Pyongyang, North Korea.

Small wooden boat on a wide river

At sundown small boats cruise up and down the Mekong in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Looking down at meeting point of two rivers in a city

My final urban river shot gives you two for the price of one! This the confluence of the Rhine (in the foreground) and the Moselle in Koblenz, Germany, as seen from the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress.

View from stern of boat of large expanse of water in two colours, brown and blue

I’m going much further afield for another confluence. This spot near Manaus in Brazil is known as the meeting of the waters. You can clearly see the dark waters of the Rio Negro on the right flowing into the muddy waters of the Amazon on the left.

Looking down at blue water from dry rocky cliff

Now I’m taking you to Doura Europos in Syria and this view of the Euphrates. It was taken on our 1996 visit to the country when it was a very different place.

River with small islands and rainbow in mist beyond

In this shot of the Zambezi just above Victoria Falls you can see a rainbow in the spray from the falls. My feature photo was taken in the same area, as the sun set.

River lined with palm trees

These boats are drawn up at a village on an offshoot of the Gambia River in the country of the same name.

Turquoise river tumbling over stones

This is a much younger river, the Elwha in the Olympic National Park, Washington State.

Green river flowing between steep rocky cliffs

Also younger, and also in the US, this is the Virgin River in Zion National Park, Utah.

Still river reflecting tall mountains and conifers

My final US offering is the Snake River at Oxbow Bend in the Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

River flowing between mountains

This is the Azusa River in Kamikochi National Park in the Japanese Alps. I took this on the morning we were leaving the park, having seen it in very different conditions the previous day.

River with bridge and misty mountains

I took this shot of the Nam Ou early in the morning, standing on the deck outside our room in a simple hotel in Nong Khiaw, Laos.

River with reflected green bushes and misty mountains

And I’ll finish with one of my favourite ever river shots, also of early morning on the Nam Ou but this time taken from a boat on the river. I’ve shared it before and I suspect may do so again!


  • Wind Kisses

    So much valuable information with the beautiful river photos. I love that you always share knowledge about places you visit. And I agree with Marsha too.

  • Annie Berger

    Marsha’s suggestion was brilliant and could easily be applied to most of your themed posts with photos from around the world. I guess I haven’t been following your blog for long enough to know you’ve also travelled to Syria, although that was a while ago. Where HAVEN’T you gone, Sarah?!

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Oh there are plenty of places I haven’t been, I promise you! Syria was way back, when it was easy and safe to travel there. Unusually for us we did a group tour, combining it with Jordan. I’ve done a couple of retrospective blogs on Syria but not yet written up Jordan – maybe one day!

  • wetanddustyroads

    I grew up next to the longest river in South Africa (the Orange River) where it flows into the Atlantic Ocean … and I only have fond memories of enjoying life next to this river.
    Your river photo’s are all equally beautiful – those of the Thames are lovely, as are the couple in the USA … but I have to agree, that one on Laos (your last picture), is truly outstanding – there’s just a feeling of serenity that is difficult to describe.

  • maristravels

    Yes, wouldn’t it be lovely to have your photos used as a school project and as a way to get children interested in the great big world beyond. Lovely pix, my favourite being your first, the London one, but they are all wonderful.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thank you Mari, I’m glad you liked them 🙂 I’m interested in your choice of favourite as I suspect many people would choose the ‘prettier’ ones!

      • maristravels

        I suspect it may be sentimental as I miss London every day. I missed it from the day I left, many years ago, but that was a decision made between the two of us, my husband a born and bred Londoner, and myself an in-comer who loved the city. At the time, travel back and forth was easy and very affordable, and we both had lots of friends with whom we stayed although we often opted for hotels instead. Now, it’s very different. Friends have dispersed to other parts of the UK, died or returned to their home cities, trains have become more problematic and timetables no longer suit, and hotels are expensive for a few days stay. Plus age has caught up with me, but hasn’t made me more sensible! I still get that buzz when I hit London and my heart sinks as I leave it.

        • Sarah Wilkie

          That view would indeed be enough to lift the heart of anyone who loves London. I cross that bridge quite often but I always have to stop and look for a few minutes. You’re not the first person I know who’s regretted leaving London, and that influences us every time we have the ‘do we want to grow old here or move away somewhere less frenetic?’ conversation. It’s so hard to come back once you’ve left, if you change your mind, whether on a visit or even to move back. So here we stay, and happily so for now at least 🙂 In our case I’m the Londoner born and bred, and my husband the incomer who’s learned to love the city and all it offers.

  • margaret21

    This is a lovely post, and a real showcase for rivers in all their rich variety. Yes, I love the huge contrast between your first and last photos. Both lovely in entirely different ways.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Yes, the difference between the Thames (at least in London) and the Nam Ou is huge, and yet they are both rivers and both lovely in their way, as you say. And while the Nam Ou may be beautiful and I loved my time on and around it, I would rather live where I do, near the Thames!

  • Anonymous

    Wonderful pictures. My favourite the one at Manaus with the distinct coloured waters. The one from Gambia confused me. I thought it was from my homeland!


    Fabulous. And you included one of the most wonderful places we’ve been so far…Nong Khiaw. What a sensational place with mind blowing views. We loved that place, so peaceful yet with such a tortured history. I don’t think we will ever forget looking down on Nong Khiaw from the top of the karst mountain. Great selection of shots, as ever!

    • Sarah Wilkie

      I remember reading your post on Nong Khiaw and seeing your photos of that view! It was so hot the afternoon we spent there that walking up the village street was as much as I felt like doing. And although I loved the views from our hotel, I had bad food poisoning there (probably not their fault, I think it was my lunchtime sandwich at the restaurant by the bridge) so have mixed memories of our stay. But the following day spent travelling on the Nam Ou definitely was a highlight of the trip even though I was still feeling a bit delicate!

  • Marsha

    Your river shots are not only beautiful but an amazing geography lesson. If I were still teaching fourth grade, I’d make slides of these and build an interactive station when students would find them on the globe and on a flat map, then have their own map to create, possibly linking the photos to a point on a digital map. Lots of possible uses. In writing, I’d have them brainstorm differences between the rivers and figure out which one they would like to go see. Wouldn’t that be a fun project?

Do share your thoughts, I'd love to hear from you!