Travel Theme: Pairs

The weekly challenge over at Where’s My Backpack is Pairs.
Here, then, are a few sets of pairs from my travels.

Winter Garden Stalls

A pair of doors, Winter Gardens theatre, Blackpool

King and Queen's throne

A Pair of Thrones, Rosenborg Castle, Copenhagen

Doggie watering hole

Doggie public “fountain”, Eyam, Derbyshire

St Peter Basilica 2

A Pair of Cherubs. St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome

Impromptu Road Trip!

StAndrews-Map

Well now.

For all my moaning about not having an upcoming trip to plan, one just fell into my lap. It’s only a quick road trip for a “YAY!!” reason but it counts!  We will be organizing a major trip, hoping to do that next year sometime depending on how the savings are mounting up but until we know for sure, I could only do some general websurfing.

I have the first week in August booked off holidays from work. I booked a rental car yesterday morning, and we had a couple of possible day trips or an overnighter to my cousin’s cottage, exploring the south shore of Nova Scotia. Backtracking a bit to June, my husband was informed that his application to be a Permanent Resident of Canada was approved. We’ve been waiting for the official paperwork/certificate to arrive at the office of the Immigration consultant who would then have us in for a meeting to go over the last bits and pieces. We knew that we would have to cross the Canadian border for an official “landing” though we had thought we could actually do it here in Halifax.

Yesterday, I called the office and they said they were just going to call me and tell me they’d received the papers but also to tell me that we couldn’t do the interview in Halifax and we’d have to go to the border after all. That means…road trip!

It’s about a 6 hour drive to the US border at St. Stephen, New Brunswick/Calais, Maine. There is another border crossing a bit further north at Houlton, Maine and it’s about the same amount of driving time. It’s a long way to go to come back the same day so an overnight in a hotel is in order. While looking around, I came across some nice hotels at St. Andrews, New Brunswick and have discovered that it’s a historic old resort town and a lovely little spot.

It’s high tourist season but I did find a nice place and booked it. I discovered today that it’s closer to the border than I thought. I got mixed up with directions on Google maps yesterday but when I double checked today, it’s only about a half hour. That’s great and gives us a little more time to see a bit of the town in the evening. If we leave early, we can get to the border mid afternoon. I don’t know how long it will take there, but, optimistically, let’s say about an hour and we can then be in St. Andrews by about 4 pm. A good few hours yet until sunset with time to walk around and take in the pretty main streets and little shops..

Perhaps a bit more exploring in the morning before heading out on the road again.  A possibly stop in St. John to have a cuppa with a cousin and a stop in Moncton for supper with my best friend and home by dark! It’s a quick trip but it’s necessary to gather up and tie  the red tape in a bow. I don’t think we’ll go into the US and do any shopping this time but another trip might be planned to do that, and visit Campobello Island perhaps.

I’ll write another post later on the town of St. Andrews. It’s quite historic and is one of Canada’s 10 Most Beautiful Towns, in the opinion of this site (though I beg to differ on their inclusion of Niagara Falls. The falls themselves are amazing but the city is neon-tacky. Also, a few of their choices are cities, not towns but that’s being pedantic, I suppose. I heartily endorse the lovely Mahone Bay in my own province)

A Photo a Week Challenge – Out in the Country

Nancy Merrill Photography posts a weekly challenge. This week is Out in the Country.

For your perusal, photos from the Lake District and the Peak District, both favourite areas of the UK.

Views along the Snake Pass

Snake Pass, just outside Glossop

Coniston Stone Wall

Near Lake Coniston, Lake District

Royal Oak phone booth

Peak District, across from the Royal Oak, not too far from Chatsworth House

Peak_1525

Peak District, not far from Blue John Mines and Castleton

WP Weekly challenge – Details

I could probably post hundreds of photos that would suit this week’s WordPress challenge, Details. I photograph details, like windows, doors, signs, textures, wheels and decorations on cars, the list is endless. Since I can’t do that, I am posting the first few in my Flickr photostream that I came to.

Bike in Black and white

Brett’s Bike

Lindisfarne Priory Ruins Cuthbert hands

St. Cuthbert’s Hands. Lindisfarne Priory

 

Holy Island Coastguard

It’s not just a blue building, it’s a coastguard depot. Holy Island, aka Lindisfarne

Blue Windows

Pub window, Lady Bower Reservoir, Peak District

One of Jack's?

A famous stone clad house. Number 9, Coronation Street

 

Travel Theme – Looking up

Since I love to look at and photograph architecture, I always look up to see details on buildings, doors, windows, ceilings etc. to see details above eye level. On my travels, I take photos in all directions, “up” included. The interiors of churchs and cathedrals make it almost mandatory to look up. You miss so much that’s beautiful and interesting if you don’t.

For the Daily Post challenge – Look Up and also for the Travel Theme – Indoors, from Where’s My Backpack

The scissor arch in Wells Cathedral.

The scissor arch in Wells Cathedral.

Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral

St. Patrick's Cathedral

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York City

St Paul's Cathedral

St. Paul’s Cathedral, the altar canopy

Sacre Coeur interior dome

Sacre Coeur, Paris

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A Photo a Week – Hands

Over at A Photo A Week, the weekly challenge is Hands. I must say, random body parts are not something I tend to photograph while on my travels mostly or otherwise but there are a few in my archives, two from travels, two taken locally.

Brian's solo, closeup

Brian May of Queen. Montreal, 2014

Spooning

Playing the spoons.

Staci's Wedding 026

My niece’s wedding

Painters at Lilliput Lane

Liliput Lane artist, painting the cottages by hand. Penrith, the Lake District, UK

A Lingering Look at Windows – July

Some of my favourite subjects to photograph are windows and doors.  I love architectural details and they seem to be one of the ones that varies the most from building to building. Here are a few from my travels. See more of them here. 

Port Royal Fenetre

Port Royal, Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia

Green Gables Marilla's Window

Green Gables, Marilla’s Room, Cavendish, Prince Edward Island

Tower Windows

Toronto

Bounty's window

HMS Bounty (Replica). The ship was built for the Hollywood production Mutiny on the Bounty in the early 1960s (Marlon Brando, Trevor Howard)

Ordsall Hall window detail

Ordsall Hall, Salford. Manor dates back to Tudor era

Proud

In a departure from my usual travel related topics, this post is about pride, in more definitions than one.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Toronto's Pride parade, 2016

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Toronto’s Pride parade, 2016

Toronto had their annual Pride parade over the weekend. They have a huge parade, one of the biggest in the world. For the first time ever, a Canadian Prime Minister made history by  participating and marching in the parade and from all accounts and photos, looked like he had a fantastic time. It’s not the first Pride parade he’s marched in, but the first as the Canadian Prime Minster.

He dressed casually, not in a suit, he allowed himself to be doused with water pistol ammunition. And a young man who marched with him  in his group turned out to be a short, gay HIV+ Syrian refugee whose life has probably been saved by immigrating here, considering he had more stacked against him in his former country than just politics.

PM Justin Trudeau and Syrian refugee Bassel Mcleash to the right, holding the Canadian flag

PM Justin Trudeau and Syrian refugee Bassel Mcleash to the right, holding the Canadian flag

I am proud to live in a country that took on some of the refugees. I am proud that my Prime Minister even went to the airport late at night to greet the first families that arrived and invited at least one refugee who was gay to march in his entourage in the parade. I’m proud that the PM did march in the parade and celebrated with everyone.

Halifax has a fun Pride parade later in the month, in a couple of weeks and I will probably go unless it’s teeming down. In anticipation of Pride Week here, several main intersections downtown and one in Dartmouth have had rainbow panels painted on them. Awesome!

I know that there’s still a lot of negativity towards LGBTQ folks and they are often still targets for violence, even here in Canada and I’m not proud about that but I think,… I hope, little by little it’s changing for the better.

Technology school

Parading in Halifax

Be proud of who you are.

And should you wish to travel to Halifax for the Pride festival, which runs from June 13 – 24 this summer, Check out the website for all of the events happening locally.  In addition to the Parade on the 23rd, there’s the fan favourite Dykes and Divas softball match, a theatre festival, drag shows, a drag queen Bingo night, family barbeques and picnics, concerts, lectures,  a Lip Sync battle, and a lot more.

Virtually a castle

Beaumaris

Beamaris Castle, Wales

The digital enhancements of the same view. Photo from the Welsh Government site.

The digital enhancements of the same view. Photo from the Welsh Government site.

Here’s something that is quite interesting and it caught my eye because we have visited this castle. The Welsh Government has invested some money to enhance the visitor experience at Beaumaris Castle in North Wales on the island of Anglesey. Beaumaris is one of the ring of castles that King Edward I built to intimidate and contain the Welsh in the late 13th century but this one was never finished. He ran out of money and was a bit distracted by trying to hammer the Scots into line.

Now, there will be many improvements to the castle for the visitor including an interactive app that will show, digitally, what the castle would have looked like if it had been finished.  Technology can add greatly to the whole experience, providing extra information and ideas. With this app, you should get a much better feel for what it really looked like 700 years ago. So many castles, abbeys and cathedrals are only ruins or shells and are shadows of their former selves. I find this kind of thing immensely interesting.

We visited Beaumaris on a lovely spring day a few years ago. It’s a very pretty drive through North Wales and the town of Beamaris is small with some pretty shops and a couple of very old pubs. The views from the walls over the Menai Strait are lovely and there is even a beach to walk on if the day is nice.  If you are in the area, check it out, and nearby Carnaefon Castle as well.

Beaumaris P1050239

WP Photo challenge: Opposites

This week’s WordPress photo challenge is Opposites.  Contrasts are always interesting to photograph. Old architecture against new, smooth against rough, young and old, dark and light. Here are some from the archives:

Old and New

Old and new door latches, The Old Cardinal pub in Worcester, UK

Picton Castle and small boat

The Picton Castle tall ship and rowboat

Big shoes to fill

Big shoes and sandals. Dressy and casual.

Tower green space

An old favourite. The Tower of London against the newer buildings across the river