Thrownback Thursday: London 2004

Good heavens, I haven’t posted anything for nearly a month. I’ve been away and got my travelogue finally all sorted out and will be starting to post bits and pieces over the next few weeks. In the meantime, here’s a photo I took in London on a trip in July 2004, of the chapel at the Chelsea Royal Hospital.

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Posted in London

Travel Theme: Dogs

Aisla’s travel theme this week is Dogs. Here’s a couple of photos from the archives of my travels. The first little guy was sitting in the shop doorway in Brugges. He doesn’t look to happy. I wanted to hug him! The second photo is from New York City in Greenwich Village. I guessed it might have been a dog walker but perhaps he’s the owner.

A sad little fellow in Brugges

A sad little fellow in Brugges

Dog walker in Soho, NYC

Dog walker in Greenwich Village, NYC

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Posted in Weekly Challenge

Images of Amsterdam (Mesh)

I’m trying out a new site that lets you create slideshows and embed them in a blog or post them to Facebook etc. It’s called Mesh. Seems ok though the photos are only square so you may lose detail on the outer edges of the pic. I think it’s still a work in progress as people use it and pass on feedback. You can apparently do it from your phone as well, but only IOS, not on Android yet.

Here’s one I tried to see what it does, Images of Amsterdam.

Tutorial here. 

Microsoft also has a new app called Sway. It popped in a few weeks ago when I logged into Hotmail. ( When access your MS account, you get Office products online which is handy, a cloud drive, One Note and now Sway. Sway uses set templates so you can add photos, videos, and text.

This is one I did using photos from the Queen concert in Montreal last year.

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Posted in Europe, Netherlands, Photography

Daily Post: Middle Seat

It’s not all too often that the WordPress Daily Post writer’s inspiration is a topic I can relate to travel but this one certainly is travel related from the get go. It’s called Middle Seat and they want to know how you handle a very chatty stranger that you’ve been seated next to en route to your destination.

As it happens, I don’t often seem to get caught with a very chatty seat mate on a plane. I’m a large person and I try to pick a seat that’s next to an empty one, hoping the plane doesn’t fill up. It makes things more comfortable for me and the person beside me. Sometimes I get lucky and the empty seat stays that way and sometimes it’s filled. The odds seem to be about 60/40 in favour of a seatmate on the long haul flights. Never, ever do I sit in the middle seat of a 3 or 4 seat section and in general, prefer the aisle so it’s easier for me to get out.

I do remember one flight where I had a very nervous seat mate. She jumped and squeaked and fretted at ever sound the plane made. She was white, she was fidgety, most definitely a nervous flyer. When the landing gear thumped down into place, I thought she’d lift right out of her seat. I joked, “Ok, if you *didn’t* hear that, we’d be in a lot more trouble !” I chatted to her, make a few jokes, and I think I distracted her enough.

One other time I sat beside a tiny French-speaking nun. She didn’t say too much and her English wasn’t too good. When she did make the occasional remark, mostly I just smiled and nodded because her accent was very strong and I couldn’t make out what she said. My French is very much limited to what I learned in school, 35  to 40 years ago! I can interpret numbers, food, directions but it’s not really up to holding a conversation and I suppose her English was about the same.

The last really enjoyable conversation I got into with a fellow traveler was in the summer of 2014 with my friend. We were heading to Montreal to see Queen in concert. She sat in the row behind me and got into a conversation with her seatmate about music and concerts and drew me in as well. It’s a bit more awkward, trying to talk to someone in the row behind but we managed. He turned out to be a Jimmy Buffet fan of great stamina, belonging to an online fan group whose members follow the singer religiously and travel around to meet up and attend his concerts. I can identify with that in my own way, since I have been known to travel under the same sort of circumstances to hang out with my online friends who are fans of Coronation Street. Fandom has given me lots of travel opportunities and has expanded my circle of friends enormously.

I have had lovely conversations with occasional seat mate but I’ve never got “stuck” with someone that prattled on and on endlessly, annoying or boring me to tears. When I have had  a seatmate that wanted to talk, they were friendly, and congenial. Mostly, though, whoever is beside me in the middle of the three or in the other seat, if it’s a “two-fer”, keeps to themself as do I. I am not a shy person but striking up a conversation under those circumstances seems to bring out the shyness in me more. It’s more than just small talk isn’t it, when you’re on a 6 hour+ flight somewhere. I am, however, pleased if my seatmate does want to talk and it all turns out ok.

I shouldn’t have jinxed myself like that. I’m flying out next weekend to the UK on the overnight flight. If I get a seatmate, it could be a disaster now that I’ve said I am usually lucky! Oh dear.

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Posted in Weekly Challenge, Wordpress Challenge

WPC: Creepy

The WordPress weekly challenge asks us to show something creepy.

The first time I traveled somewhere that affected me was the battlefield of Cullodden in Scotland. I passed through the visitor centre and out on to the area where the great battle between the Highland Scots and the English armies clashed on April 16, 1746. The Scottish were decimated. Many were buried on the fields in mass graves by clans. You can still see the risings in the earth and clan markers for some of them. There’s also a spot called the Well of the Dead, a spring in the earth where a particularly fierce charge through the English line of defence ended with the death of Alexander MacGillivray on this spot. This is a marker to his bravery. While walking around through the paths and looking out on the area, though it likely looks far different now than it did back then, and there’s a road cutting right through the middle of it, you can still feel something, maybe the spirits of the dead, maybe lingering cries of the dying as the wind whispers through the trees.

The Well of the Dead. Culloden, Scotland

Another recent creepy thing that we saw was this death mask in the Tower of London, something that an executioner wore.

Executioner’s mask, Tower of London

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Posted in Scotland, United Kingdom & Ireland, Wordpress Challenge

One website you’ll want to save


It’s not often I’ll blog about a specific website but every now and then I come across one that’s really good and has a lot of useful information for travelers.

map happy is a travel website that’s full of interesting and useful information. It seems to be run by three women (there are three mentioned on the “About” page) but they have a lot of contributors. The site is one where you can spend a lot of time getting lost while browsing the many interesting and informative articles. It’s all good information, tips and tricks, gadgets, and general tech geekery. They aren’t selling anything, either. Also, I think it’s American based so some of the tips are geared towards Americans traveling but for the most part, anyone will find a lot of useful and interesting reading there.

The range of the topics is quite broad, varying from practical advice on passports, public transportation, hotels, rental cars to the mundane but entirely useful like how long a travel sized shampoo bottle might last you, how to say basic numbers in a half dozen or so languages, or how to get Amazon packages delivered while traveling.

You can create a login but that’s really only necessary if you’re going to want to comment on articles. You can read and browse all through the site for free. Note, I don’t work for them and I don’t write for them, and I gain nothing by plugging them, either. I have just spent about an hour happily clicking from one article to another when I should be doing other stuff!

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Posted in Great websites

Travel Theme: Grey

Ailsa’s travel theme this week is “Grey”.

Skies are often grey and foggy when we travel, but also here at home where Halifax often has fog rolling in from the Atlantic.

Foggy view of Halifax Harbour from the MacKay bridge

Aside from the often grey-skies we seem to encounter when I travel, the other “grey” that seems to stand out is sculpture and statues.

Wall frieze in Chatsworth House, UK

And finally, one of my favourite things, classic cars. This collection of grey/silver ones are classic British cars.

Classic British cars


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Posted in Weekly Challenge
October 2015
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Travel and Me

I am unapologetically a tourist. I love to take photos and I enjoy writing about my travels. I love to sightsee, and to wander in museums and galleries. I love cathedrals and churches - the architecture and usually, the art, can astonish me. History fascinates me and architecture draws my camera out time and again.

I'm not an intrepid or adventurous traveler like some, nor does a sunny, sandy resort or luxurious cruise ship attract me.

I envision this blog as a place for my travel memories, my travels as they occur (Yay for laptops and free wifi!), or for chat about travel related things like books, movies, tv shows, websites, magazines, and anything else I think of that might suit! I hope you enjoy it!

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