A Photo a Week Challenge – Boats and Ships

Nancy Merrill Photography’s weekly challenge is all about craft that floats in water, boats, ships, tankers,etc.

Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast

Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast, London

Sagres (Brazil)

Tall Ship, Sagres from Brazil. Halifax harbour

 

Maid of the Mist

Maid of the Mist, Niagara Falls

Science Museum model ships

Boston Science museum, model ships

Venice, detail on a gondola

Gondola details, Venice

DP Challenge – Focus

WordPress’s photo challenge this week is Focus.

Temporary exhibition hall

Exhibition hall in Rosenborg Castle, Copenhagen

Daisy view

Indian Harbour, Nova Scotia

 

Notre Dame Blues

Basilica Notre Dame, Montreal

November rain

Somewhere in Salford. November rain.

Who's out there?

Who’s out there!?

Stalking

Is there anything more focussed than a cat stalking it’s victim?

 

Destination: Aveido, Portugal

Aveiro canal and the boats

This morning I stumbled on a travel blog called “Cabinet of Chic Curiosities” by “MessyNessy” about a Portuguese city called Aveiro and I was entranced. The article was written by someone who visited there on their trip to Portugal in 2015. The post is titled “The Candy Colored Venice of Portugal” and is so-called because of the brightly coloured buildings and absolutely wonderfully striped beach houses in the nearby area of Costa Nova. Portugal is a place I’ve long had on my list of countries to visit. I don’t know if I’ll ever get there but you never know!

Aveiro Cathedral

The north of Portugal, around Porto and the Duoro Valley is supposed to be really beautiful. Most people visit Lisbon and the beaches on the south coast but I think perhaps the north might even be nicer. Aveiro is about an hour south of Porto and that’s an easy day trip by train or even bus if you haven’t rented a car. While the tourist information all calls Aveiro the “Venice” of Portugal, it isn’t really. There is a small canal system, with little humped bridges over them, and the boats look a little similar to the vaporetto though are painted in a distinctly Portuguese fashion. The architecture is gorgeous and for us cathedral lovers, they have one of those, too. A few museums, some shops and markets and beaches nearby. It’s got a university and fully one quarter of the population is students.

Striped Beach Houses at Costa Nova, Aveiro in Portugal

Ah yes, the beaches. This is the thing that really caught my eye. The Costa Nova beaches are a little outside of Aveiro and you can get there via public transportation. There’s a lighthouse and long, white, sandy beaches. And along the water front are these small beach houses all painted in bright stripes! I really want to gush and say “how cute is that!?” I’ll settle for saying how different and how very attractive it is. Those bright colours really do suit a sunny beach, don’t you think?

Aveiro canal. You can rent that yellow house through bookings.com. It’s called Caso do Mercado

Aveiro will have some good restaurants, too, where fresh seafood will be featured. For souvenirs, there is the ubiquitous Portuguese ceramics. Also, nearby this area, are salt flats and you can get salt from there. That’ll be a bit different than the usual tea towel or postcard! There’s also a local baked sweet specialty called ovos moles. They look like little oblong pastries, with a crunchy shell, looking almost egg-like in some photos and in others, they are shaped like fish and inside is a golden orangy yellow filling made from sweetened egg yolks. Here’s a recipe.

Check out MessyNessy’s blog about Aveiro. It sounds wonderful! At the bottom, there are links to the rest of their Portugal journey, equally interesting with beautiful photos.

Very good guide here
A WikiTravel about Aveiro
A travel guide from PortoPortugal.com

A Photo A Week – Moving Waters

From Nancy Merrill Photography, a photo challenge about moving water. Rather than go for the usual waterfall type thing, I give you…

Roiling water

Roiling water in the Niagara River below the falls.

Rainy evening in Manchester

Raining evening in Manchester UK

 

Coins in the fountain

Coins in a fountain

Montmorency rainbow

Heavy mist and a rainbow over the Montmorency Falls, Quebec

 

DP Challenge – Order

The Daily Post weekly challenge is ‘Order’. I thought about what I wanted to post. I thought about finding photos of items in a row or matched by colour but then as I was looking through the archive, I saw something else I think would meet the challenge.

June

Armed Forces Day services in Halifax

Halifax is a military city, with a large Navy presence as well as some air force and army. It’s also a historic city with a Citadel/Fort on a hill in the centre of the city where there are reenactment regiments. The military wouldn’t exist without order within the ranks and their prime objective is to help keep order or return things to order.

The British are coming

Re-enactment dating to the War of 1812.

Drill Team

78th Highlander Drill Team, Halifax Citadel

Tower red guard

On Her Majesty’s Service, Tower of London

And a couple of standing guards from my travels, at the Tower of London and Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen.

Amalienborg Guards

Changing of the guard, Amalienborg Royal Palace, Copenhagen

West Coast and Hawaii Itinerary building

Vancouver skyline (April 2000) from North Vancouver

As previously blogged, we have Hawaii booked and I am glad to say we now have the hotel in Vancouver booked as well. It’s a suite hotel called Rosedale on Robson and is not far from Chinatown and the Vancouver central library, a short walk from the old historic Gastown which is the original part of the city. I’m glad to have that sorted out. Now we get to figure out what we’ll do and where we’ll go.

Vancouver has lots of attractions and as we always do, we’ll make a list and end up doing some of it and finding things that aren’t on it at all. For transportation around Vancouver, they have a smart card called Compass. A lot of the larger cities have that these days and they’re really convenient. It can be used on the busses, seabus and the skytrain. You can pre-load it with day, month passes and with cash. Tap in, maybe tap out (don’t need to do that on busses). Simple. We’ve used the Oyster card many times in London. Love it.

We like to take a hop on hop off bus or trolley tour in a new city. You get the lay of the land and you get a decent historical background as well. We’ll probably do that. They aren’t usually particularly cheap and a lot of people think they’re a tourist rip off but we enjoy them. I’ve been to Vancouver before but not seen all the sights and I don’t expect to “do” all of them but the views from the busses will give me a perspective on a lot of areas I’ve only touched on, Stanley Park and the Lion’s Gate bridge with the view over to the city in particular. The view from the seabus to North Vancouver is great, too! It’ll be interesting to compare my  14 and 17 year old photos with the new ones. I really like the city. It’s modern, it’s on the sea coast yet you can walk and turn a corner and see a majestic mountain!

Me at Lynn Canyon, circa April 2000

Museums, art galleries, Haida art, maybe the view from the Lookout tower. I’d like to go up in the mountains, maybe to Squamish or Whistler. Perhaps we can do that with my cousins. I remember that we drove part way up a mountain the very first time I visited in 2000. I then tried to stand on the edge of a snowbank and sunk into it up to my hip! Unfortunately, I was wearing light coloured trousers and had dirty, muddy stains all the rest of the day! The snow in early May was softer than I realized. Oops! Also that day we went to the suspension bridge in Lynn Canyon and had lunch in a pretty town called Deep Cove on the inlet. It really is a picturesque area.

Hawaii:

We have most of four days on Oahu. My husband has a long time internet friend that we will be meeting up with. He and his family live outside of Honolulu. I’d like to take in a museum or two or a gallery and have seen a few, including the Iolani Palace and Shangri-La. The Bishop Museum also looks interesting but we don’t want to spend all our time in museums. There’s an International market and a night market. We will definitely be taking in Pearl Harbour and the historic sights there and really want to drive around the island. I yearn to see the surfers on the North Shore. I’ve been fascinated watching the surfers on television since  I was young.

Maybe we’ll get a chance to attend a hula. There are a few around the city that the big hotels put on. Rest assured that I will definitely enjoy having a feast of pineapple in the place where it’s grown! We aren’t really beach types, but I’m going to dip my toes in the Pacific and walk the beach. We may also look into whale watching or try a submarine tour. It’ll be a busy few days!

DP Challenge – Heritage

I love history and a lot of my travel adventures and explorations will relate to some historical aspect. It might be a museum in a city or it might be an old stone circle in a field. I enjoy visiting castles and cathedrals for the architecture and historical connections.

Where I live carries on historical traditions, too. There’s the 78th Highlander regiment at the Citadel. There’s the Freedom of the City ceremony giving the freedom of said city to said regiment. Halifax also hosts the majestic Tall Ships, echoing back to the golden age of sail with an accompanying waterfront festival. One year they celebrated the Acadian (French) heritage in the province. This summer, with the return of the ships, I think the First Nations are holding Mawio’mi throughout the weekend, with sunrise ceremonies, demonstrations, storytelling and more. (below is a photo I took at a Mawio’mi on the Halifax Commons a few years ago) There will be heritage programming put on at the Citadel and a few Pirate themed things going on for kids as well. Pirates, or, rather, Privateers ;) were common in the port of Halifax!

Schedule of events for the Tall Ships, July 29 – August 1, updated with more info closer to the dates.  (They will also be in a few other ports around the Maritimes through July and into August). All of my Tall Ships photos here. (includes waterfront events, people, etc)

Young Spirit drummers

Spirit Drummers, Mawio’mi, Halifax

Untitled

Mawio’mi performance competition. Halifax

Untitled

78th Highlanders. Freedom of the City. Halifax

Pipe & Drum Drill

78th Highlander pipe and drum drill. Halifax Citadel

Sagres (Portugal) and Unicorn (Holland)

Tall Ships Sagres (Portugal) and Unicorn (Holland), Halifax harbour

Waterfront at dusk

Halifax waterfront at dusk, Tall ships docked

Masts of the Cuauhtémoc

Masts of the Cuauhtémoc

WordPress’s Daily Post challenge. 

Traveling through Books: Paris

Disclaimer: This is another in an occasional series of posts about being an armchair traveling through the books you read. I have a book blog, too, and this could just as easily be posted there but it’s more about traveling than reading and it fits in better with my series on traveling through the movies.

I’ve been to Paris twice, in 1977 and in 2007. We nearly made it there a few years ago but plans got cancelled. I hope we see the City of Lights again because it’s a marvel to behold. In the meantime, there are always novels that are set in the city and which describe both the famous sights and the little hidden corners that you always hope you will find, too, on your travels. (and sometimes the aspects you hope to avoid!)  Paris has a long history with writers and the arts and was a favourite place for American writers to live and work in between the world wars in the 20th century but the appeal never goes away. There are many, many books set there. Here’s a list of some I’ve read over the past few years that I’ve enjoyed, set in various eras from about the mid 19th century onward.

Paris – Edward Rutherfurd

This is a good foundation book, with the story starting in the mid to late 19th century with some flashbacks to no earlier than  the medieval period, however it may apply to the families in the “present” and leads us through the history of Paris up to well into the 20th century. (Goodreads review here)

Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Light – David Downie

Short vignettes of Paris, the people and the life by a travel writer who moved here in the 80s and married a woman who was born in Paris but raised in America. Photos in the book are taken by her.

We’ll Always Have Paris, A Mother/Daughter Memoir – Jennifer Coburn

Four journeys by a mother and her daughter between her daughter’s age of about 9 to 18, two of them in Paris.

The Bones of Paris – Laurie R. King

Paris in the jazz age. Harris Stuyvesant, P. I. He’s looking for a young American woman who’s disappeared but in his quest, he encounters dark and perverted goings on in the clubs and underbelly of the glittering city. Review here.

Murder in the Marais – Cara Black

Number 1 in a series about stylish female private investigator Aimee Leduc. She tries to stick to tech investigations and keeps getting drawn into criminal work. It’s a light, fun series, not too heavy. How can it be when you read scenes like one in this book of her tottering across the rooftops of Paris in heels? Each book centres on a different area of the city.  The plots are kind of predictable but the descriptions of Paris and the neighbourhoods are wonderful. Great for armchair traveling

The Paris Wife – Paula McLean

This is the story of Ernest Hemmingway and his wife, Hadley and it covers not just the time they spent in Paris, which was considerable, but the whole of their relationship, fictionalized, including encounters with other writers of the jazz age including the F. Scott Fitzgeralds. Review here.

The Invisible Bridge – Julie Orringer

Three Jewish brothers from Hungary want to leave and go to university elsewhere. One manages to get to Paris, one eventually to Italy. The story takes place in Paris up to WWII and then shifts to the brothers who have been sent to work for the Nazis in camps. That part is rather dark and upsetting but still good drama. The Parisian part is a good depiction of student life in the city for the late 1930s. Review here.

 

The Painted Girls – Cathy Marie Buchanan

Two sisters and their life in the Paris Ballet world of the Belle Epoch, late 1800s Paris. It’s a story of survival in hard times and also features Degas who painted pictures of ballerinas. The book is inspired by one of Degas’ models and also incorporates some background gleaned from headlines of the day in the city.

The Woman in the Fifth – Douglas Kennedy

A university professor runs to Paris to escape a scandal and a failed marriage, hoping to settle in and write a novel. He ends up getting entangled in the not-so-pleasant underbelly of the city. He meets a woman at a party and his life takes a turn. It’s hard to say whether it’s a good or bad one. I wasn’t keen on the twist at the end, though I do think some people would like it. A different side of Paris that you would usually read about.

I haven’t read it, but I have it on my “to be read” list:

A Paris Year: My Day-to-Day Adventures in the Most Romantic City in the World – Janice MacLeod

It looks as it would be a very good “travelogue” style memoir of someone that moved to Paris to live for a year.

Travel Theme: Gardens

While my main interest for photos is architecture, I have grown to love walking in gardens and taking photos of the beautiful show nature has to offer. I had a friend and travel companion, Carole, who was an ardent gardener and she always sought out the gardens and enjoyed discovering and examining them the best. I grew to appreciate gardens more through travels with her.

There are a lot of beautiful gardens everywhere, from botanic gardens featuring all sorts of plants to flower gardens. Some cover acres, some just a small corner of an estate or park. Some include amazing water features and fountains, sculpture and statues.

Busy Sunday in the Gardens

Halifax Public Gardens

Right here in Halifax, Nova Scotia, we have our own Public Gardens, laid out in the Victorian era and featuring flowers, plants, rare trees and some interesting statues and fountains as well as a bandstand where they play music in summer.

Rose Garden path

Historic Gardens, Annapolis Royal

Think pink

Rose Garden,Historic Gardens, Annapolis Royal

Lavender

Not in the Historic Gardens, but in the garden behind an Annapolis Royal historic Inn.

In Annapolis Royal, about a 2 hour drive into the Annapolis Valley, there is the Royal Historic Gardens.  They have a spectacular rose garden as well as a garden pool, a winter garden and a knot garden to name a few. They also have an area overlooking the marshy side of the Annapolis River where the Acadians built dykes. There are trails through there as well.
Alnwick Gardens Ornamental Slate

A particularly interesting garden in the UK was the Garden at Alnwick Castle. This photo is from the ornamental garden but there are many things to see including a poison garden, a water feature garden, a labyrinth, a cascading fountain, a cherry orchard and a rose garden as well. There’s even a wooded area with a treehouse cafe! Other gardens in the UK that I’ve seen include Inverewe in north west Scotland, Hampton Court Palace which has many gardens on the property, Chatsworth estate which is almost more of a huge park, Lyme Hall garden, an Italian garden at Trentham, and often there have been lovely flower beds in various parks large and small.

Where’s My Backpack’s Travel theme.

WPC: Danger

WordPress’s weekly photo challenge this week is Danger! Here are a few heart-stopping photos from the archives.

This one is through the glass floor looking down in the CN Tower. If you don’t have a head for heights, it’s daunting. Even for me, with heights not a problem, it felt strange walking on the glass!
Through the Glass Floor

Crew from the Pride of Baltimore, the tall ship, scramble over the rigging like monkeys! They generally do wear safety harnesses but it’s still not for the faint of heart.

Pride of Baltimore

Pride of Baltimore crew

In Edinburgh, the Royal Edinburgh Tattoo takes place outside the castle every Autust into September. There is huge stadium seating  on either side of the esplanade. Afterwards, all that scaffolding has to come down. Here’s some crew working on that.

Scaffolding coming down

As much as I don’t mind heights, I really, *really* don’t have the stomach for roller coasters. This one is in the Blackpool Pleasure Beach park and that plummeting track is what raises the hair on the back of my neck. Danger, Will Robinson!!!

Blackpool Pleasure Beach roller coaster

And last, Lynn Canyon, B.C.  just outside of North Vancouver where there’s a park with loads of trails and a rope suspension bridge, shorter but higher than the one in Capilano and better, it’s free!

Suspension rope bridge, Lynn Canyon, outside Vancouver.