Travel theme: Doorways

These week’s travel theme from Where’s My Backpack is Doorways. This pleases me because I love anything to do with architecture! Doors and windows always draw my eye. What’s behind them? Who lives there? What goes on behind closed doors?

Castleton, the Peak District, England

Wells Cathedral

Rose Cottage at the Lilliput Lane factory, Penrith, England

Traveling through the movies – Southwest France

I recently watched a movie that was filmed in the beautiful area around Toulouse, France which is in the southwest area. It’s called The Hundred-Foot Journey. There were a few small villages that were used as locations but in general, that whole area probably looks very similar once you are outside of the city itself. Little villages, stone buildings, cobbled squares and narrow lanes set near a river in a little valley beneath rolling hills. Lovely!

The movie is about an Indian family from Mumbai who have lost their restaurant and the mother of the family in a fire. They live in London for a short while then decide to move on to the continent. Their van breaks down outside of a small village, Saint Antonin, with a suitable building for sale that Papa (played by Om Puri) decides could be renovated into a restaurant, a curry house. Unfortunately, it’s also across the road, one hundred feet,  from a grand restaurant that has a Michelin star, run by a snooty woman whose greatest desire is to achieve a second star. Neither is about to give in and it’s war!

Meanwhile, one of the sons, Hassan, is a gifted chef and he falls for one of the sous chefs, Marguerite, that works for Madame Mallory (played by the wonderful Helen Mirren). That makes things difficult! He ends up working for Madame who discovers that he is a natural talent and nurtures the talent. Eventually, Hassan moves to Paris and becomes acclaimed. It’s based on a true story though I haven’t read the book but I really enjoyed the movie, directed by Lasse Hallstrom, not just for the scenery that makes me want to visit that part of France. The story and the main characters are wonderful, though the rest of the Indian family really doesn’t get much of a look in at all.

Here’s a few screen captures:
100Yard 07m55s square

100Yard 15m55s village

100Yard 15m58s58

100Yard 23m18s carAlley

100Yard 42m45s maison mumbai

100Yard 49m19s winter

100Yard 55m06s valley

100Yard Paris

Paris in the winter

100Yard Paris sculpture

A view through the courtyard at the Pompidou Centre

100Yard Paris sunset

Paris at sunset

According to IMDB, some of the locations used were Castelnau-de-Lévis, Tarn, Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, Tarn-et-Garonne, Saint-Jory, Haute-Garonne, France

There’s a trailer here. And Here’s the official movie website.

Travel Theme: Industry

This week’s travel theme is Industry.

There’s a mixed bag for you today.  When traveling, we visit museums. Some are large and some are small. Sometimes local museums are excellent for showing the evolution of a town or region, through it’s economy over the years. Was it a farm region? Was it industrial with factories? What shipping or mining dominant? I have made many visits to Manchester in England. That region was built up quite a lot in the 19th century industrial revolution and textiles were a dominant industry. In Manchester there’s a really good (and free) museum, the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry.  It covers 5 or 6 buildings near an old train station, including a building that displays old aircraft of various kinds. One building has old trains and steam engines. The following two photos are from that part of the museum.

Steam guages

Another steam powered set of gears and wheels

Elsewhere, while driving around Salford (which is next to Manchester), we spotted this. It looked like a bunch of robot arms raising a toast!


One last view, the Manchester Ship Canal at the Salford Quays, once a very industrial landscape. This canal was part of the system that would ship to and from the coast near Liverpool and in fact you can book a cruise from here to the city of Liverpool. The area around the Quays is now mostly some warehouses and some posh apartment towers. It’s also home to the new(ish) BBC Media City, shared with ITV as well. Photo taken from the top of the tower at the Imperial War Museum North.

Manchester ship canal, Salford Quays

One more, closer to home. This is a view looking south towards Halifax’s container pier on Hollis Street.

Hollis Street, Halifax NS towards the container piers

WPC: Serenity and Black and White Monday

Combining two challenges this time, the one on Word Press to focus on Serenity and for Black and White Monday.

Here then is a view of the River Fergus in Ennis, Republic of Ireland

River Fergus, Ennis, Ireland

River Fergus, Ennis, Ireland

Travel Theme – Mischievous

I’ve probably posted this photo before but it’s one of my favourites and I think suits the theme from Where’s My Backpack perfectly.  I saw this sign on a restaurant door in Montmartre, Paris.

Translation: The dog is nice, the owner is crazy

Travel Theme: Laughter

The next photo challenge is Ailsa’s travel challenge – Laughter.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a bit shy to take photos of strangers while on the road. Thus, the first two of these photos are not really about laughter but they could be! Animals have such expressive faces and in both cases, they looked like they were having a blast!

Come on in, the water’s great! London Zoo

Young elephants wrestling in the mud, clearly enjoying themselves. Chester Zoo

And just for fun, me and my pal T. getting wet at the Rolling Stones concert, Halifax 2007



WPC: Shadowed

WordPress challenge this week is “Shadowed”. Shadows aren’t always easy to photograph. The bright parts sometimes fool the camera so much that you can’t see anything in the shadows and if you bring out the shadows, then the bright parts are “blown out”. With the wonders of Photoshop and other software you can fix some of that but it’s more challenging to try to get the shot right, out of the camera.  Other shadow shots come from patterns the sun makes on other surfaces through trees, people, windows etc. Here’s some of my favourite shadow shots:

Crowninshield Bently house, Salem, MA

Two from Port Royale, Annapolis in Nova Scotia, a recreation of the original settlement by Samuel de Champlain, 1605


Shadows of the past

And probably my favourite shadow photo, taken against a wall in Bruges, Belgium

In Bruges

What to do, where to go

View down the harbour

View down the harbour

For the first year in a very long time, I have no specific travel plans. In May, I’m getting married and for the two weeks my fiance/husband will be here in Canada, we will be busy with wedding/post wedding stuff so it’s not likely we’ll be going anywhere or doing any day trips. I’ll visit him in the UK in September and we have some wedding stuff to do, because we’re going to have a small reception there for our friends and family on that side of the Atlantic who weren’t able to travel here for the wedding. We will probably be able to do some day trips though, maybe a few days’ road trip, even. So I guess we can get our heads together and start thinking about where we could go for a 3 or 4 day road trip. I don’t think we’ll have the funds for a flight/hotel type trip to The Continent but who knows?

There are still plenty of destinations in England that I haven’t been to and would love to see. There are some interesting spots in the North of England including Hadrian’s Wall with a Roman museum, and there’s a few castles and abbeys as well. Or we could head to the Midlands, the Cotswolds, Oxfordshire, all around that part of the country.  Any suggestions would be lovely.

I’m also planning to take a couple of days off in July which will make a 5 day weekend in early July. I’ve been thinking of some sort of road trip, maybe with my Mom. The next question is where? I did look at the map and wondered if she’d be interested in a trip to Campobello Island, just off the coast of New Brunswick. We might even be able to do a bit of cross-border shopping while we’re there and visit some relatives in Saint John, NB either on the way out or on the way back. Or both.  We could go to Prince Edward Island, instead. We have relatives there and there’s some nice places to visit on the Island. Cape Breton is another good choice.

It’s lovely to be planning something even if I don’t really know anything definite. I’m just wool-gathering on a very frosty day and thinking of ideas. No doubt you’ll hear more if and when I do decide on something!

WordPress Challenge – New

This week’s WordPress photo challenge for the new year is New. This time, my post is showing off our new Central Library here in Halifax, NS. It opened its doors on December 13 and is a beautiful building.