Daily Post prompt: Meander

Peak_1524

Close to a farm’s track where the GPS (Satnav) led us. That road in the distance is where we wanted to go!

The Daily Post at WordPress encourages writers to blog and offers two ways to inspire a new post on your blog. They have a weekly photo challenge which I’ve taken up lots of times since my travel photography is one of the reasons I started this blog. They also suggest a word once a week that you might relate to in some way that might not even *be* about that word/prompt. But if it gets the creative juices flowing, it worked, didn’t it?

This week’s word is “meander”. To meander is to follow a winding road or curved path. To me, that meandering path is random, zigs and zags, unexpected turns. Traveling can be like that, too. I tend to be an organizer. Not to the minute or even necessarily to the day but I like to make sure I have a bed booked for the night and I like to know I’ll be getting from A to B on the day when the hotel in B is booked. Generally how I get there is predetermined as well. If we are driving the roads or walking through a city, then those streets and roads have meandering potential and we often take it. The end result is usually always been worth the veering off the beaten track.

My first ever big trip was in high school on a tour sponsored by the French department. We flew in and out of Rome, taking the train to Paris then to Nice on the French Riviera and the train again back to Rome. There wasn’t a lot of time for meandering. The tour did give us some free time and we headed out with specific destinations in mind but I don’t really recall any meandering, just looking for the best way to get where we wanted to go. To add meandering into the mix meant we knew we would get to destination B but didn’t really care how we got there or how long it took.

The next big trip was a bus tour of the UK when I was all grown up, divorced, and finally able to afford to travel to my first bucket list destination. London and the UK and I had been soul mates most of my life. The bus tour would hit the highlights of England, Scotland and Wales with a few days in London at either end. Of course the bus didn’t meander, it had a schedule to meet. But we had free time to do what we wanted, whether it was an extended lunch period or an afternoon. Most evenings were free as well. Plenty of chances to see new things while meandering and exploring.

Neil’s Yard from a later visit

My first visit to London in 1993 was mostly free time aside from a tour around the Tower of London and I found myself in the Covent Garden area one sunny afternoon in late August/early September. I spied a narrow alley and I wondered where that would lead. There were lots of people coming and going through it so I walked into the shade it provided, the tall buildings with small shops lining each side. I came to the other end, out into the open. It was a sunny courtyard. There were benches where you could sit. There were shops and a couple of cafes. There were brightly coloured flags hanging everywhere. It was Neil’s Yard and it was enchanting. I’ve been back once or twice but it’s never had the same effect as discovering it that first time.

Cornwall (St. Ives) 2011

Later on, when I was involved in a long distance relationship with a lovely man who lived in the UK, we would book a rental car for a week of my UK visit to him and plan road trips or day trips. We generally weren’t in a hurry so meandering was often involved. We’d see a sign for a museum we didn’t know existed. We’d notice a really great view to stop off and admire. We’d often have a GPS (“Sat Nav” in UK-speak) directing us to our destination but don’t think that took the meander out of the equation. Oh no. Sometimes I think the GPS had a meander chip of its own, judging by the spots it tended to direct us to. The little track across the back of someone’s farm comes to mind as does an impossibly narrow lane in the old centre of St. Ives. We laugh about it now.

I haven’t yet taken a trip where we have no accommodations booked ahead of time. We talk about it now and then. We may even do it someday. We’re looking at a potential road trip around Scotland this fall and maybe that might be a good time to take the leap of faith, head into the Highlands and see how long it takes and how difficult or easy it would be to find a bed for the night at the end of each new day. Maybe with the help of a hotel app on our phone and a decent signal in a town centre it’s doable. Or is that cheating?

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Daily Post’s weekly challenge – A Face in the Crowd

WordPress’s weekly photo challenge this week is “A Face in the Crowd”, and they want photos that can capture portraits anonymously. The writer of that post talks about being too shy to ask people face on and I can identify with that. I have few photos of the portraits

Here are a few I think might play on the theme.

Papua New Guinea Clan Pole

Another face in the crowd…. Papua New Guinea Clan Pole representing the faces of the tribe as a whole. Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver

Matthew Street Brick Wall, Liverpool

Another brick in the wall. Matthew Street, Liverpool. Not faces, but names that will always stand out in a crowd of talent.

Citadel soldier waiting

Waiting to fire the daily noon cannon from the walls of Halifax Citadel.

Fun Fans

Fans of Coronation Street, a British soap, wander on the old outdoor set, disguised as their favourite characters. Superb! Anonymous and yet not. Every tourist on that tour would recognize those faces.

DP Challenge- Variations on a Theme

I haven’t done a photo challenge for awhile but this one appealed to me. WordPress suggested variations on a theme. My interpretation is numerous varieties of the same thing. It’s details like this that I photograph on my travels. It’s one thing to take a picture of an attractive shop window or interior but it’s even more interesting to see detail about what’s actually in the window or on a shelf! I give you…variations…

Dumon choccies

Belgian chocolates. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate. Smooth top, curly top, soft centre, hard centre. In the end, it’s all chocolate and Yum! some of the best in the world. From the famed Dumon shop in Brugges.

Flowermarket souvenir houses

Amsterdam and other cities in the Low Coutries are famous for the gabled eaves on the houses. They all look like lacy decorations on a wedding cake! Of course you’re going to take a picture of the actual houses but this souvenir display of miniature gabled houses, see in Amsterdam’s Flower Market, was too difficult to pass up. Yes, yes I did buy one!

Multples

There’s been a fund raising trend over the past decade where a plain, white form, usually one that has meaning to the area, is painted by various groups, artists or businesses and displayed around the city centre. They are later auctioned for a cause. These are ship’s mastheads or figureheads, common sights on ships for centuries, to ward off bad luck Halifax, Nova Scotia

Sherbrooke Tailor Buttons

Buttons, buttons, who’s got the buttons. Seen in a replica historic tailor shop in Sherbrooke Village, Nova Scotia.

WPC: Peek

WordPress‘s weekly photo challenge is Peek. They want examples of photos that make you want to see the larger picture, showing just a part or a corner. They say “a photo that reveals just enough of your subject to get us interested. A tantalizing detail. An unusual perspective. ” So here’s my take on it, ,mostly from my favourite city, London.

Regal

Houses of Parliament, the old Palace of Westminster. Top of Victoria Tower

Chelsea Royal Hospital Dining Hall

Portion of the dining hall at Chelsea Royal Hospital

St Paul's Cathedral

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Lincoln's Inn, Old Square

Old Square, Lincoln’s Inn (the traditional legal sector of London)

Stealth Ginger

Stealth Ginger. Not London, but I couldn’t resist.

DP Challenge – Scale

This week’s challenge from The Daily Post on WordPress is Scale. Scale is interesting. It’s much better to demonstrate the size of one thing by putting it with another for comparison. Or, you can create something in a smaller size or scale than an original, such as a sailing ship that fits in a bottle. Here’s a few photos from my archives showing scale.

Blue Rocks view

Boats don’t seem so large on the vast waters of the sea! Blue Rocks, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia

 

Citadel Trenches map

Scale model of WWI trenches in France. Seen in the Halifax Citadel

Peggys Cove Lighthouse

Peggy’s cove lighthouse with the tourists, to give you an idea of how tall it is and how large the granite rocks on the shore are.

St. John's.

How steep is that hill? Seeing the angle of the vehicle gives you a better idea than just seeing the road. Look closely just behind the car. You can see steps built into the sidewalks, *that’s* how steep it is! St. John’s, Newfoundland

WPC: Waiting

The WordPress challenge this week is Waiting, something we all seem to do a lot of. Waiting for the bus, waiting in lineups, waiting for the movie to start, waiting for your meal to come to the table, waiting in the airport or the train station, (oh boy, I’ve done a lot of that!) and waiting for other people. (I’m always on time, why can’t everyone be? Yes, yes, I know. Circumstances vary). Here are a few examples of “waiting” from the photo archives.

Bus stop in the middle of the Lake District

Waiting for the bus. The Lake District, England.

Waiting

Waiting in Heathrow airport

Blackpool Carraige

Waiting for customers. Blackpool Promenade, England

Blackpool Donkeys Tram

Waiting for the Tram. Also in Blackpool.

Untitled

Just….waiting. Trentham Monkey sanctuary, Trentham, England

WPC: Shiny – Let’s Visit Worcester, UK

The WordPress Weekly challenge this week is “Shiny”, or, to use their description, “Diversions, Distractions, and Delightful Detours”. Things that catch your attention and divert you from your original goal or intention, something you can’t resist. It might, indeed, be something shiny but it could be really, anything.

When I’m traveling, I always have my camera handy. I’m always on the lookout and the things that might take my attention, things I can’t resist photographing are sometimes a unique architectural detail, something interesting, weird or wonderful in a shop window, or perhaps a small and unusual museum.

I was sitting in a very old pub once, The Cardinal’s Hat in the city of Worcester, with a friend and he looked at me, baffled as to why I appeared to be taking a photo of the wall beside me. I pointed out that there was an old door there. “Yes…..”. “Look at it.” “Erm….” What I was pointing out was the existence of two locks side by side on the door, a modern Yale type lock and a very old latch. This is the detail that caught my eye, such contrasts over time.

Old and NewThe building dates back to the fourteenth century and has had many names over the centuries. When I visited, in 2003, it was an Austrian bar and defied licensing laws by serving beer, not by the pint but by the litre! It has since been refurbished again. The building now mainly reflects the Georgian era so I presume that’s the origin of the latch.
The pub is on the main historical street, Friar Street, where you will also see old buildings such as the Alms House and Greyfriars and many of the shops on the street are housed in buildings with some origins as old as the Tudor era.

Worcester itself is an old city with a lovely cathedral overlooking the River Severn. There’s a beautiful Guildhall. There is the cathedral that has parts of the building dating back to the 10th century (crypts). Royal Worcester porcelain was still a going concern when I visited and could shop in the “seconds” outlet but it’s closed now. There is, I believe, a museum. Worcester is also the home of the famous Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce which is still made here. It was a Roman occupied area at one time and later, it was a Royalist city during the English Civil War. There was a battle nearby and a defeat for Charles I in 1751. Worcester was also chosen to be the retreat for the British government in case of a German invasion in WWII. It’s a really interesting city if you’re a history fan. Here are some of my old photos from my visit there, scans from film so they’re not the best quality but I think will represent some interesting aspects.

See more distractions and ‘shiny’ here

WPC: Elemental Wind and Water

The WordPress Challenge this week is Elemental, with the four elements featured. Earth, Water, Air and Fire. I’ve found some photos that capture some of these:

The Bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the world, as high as 16 metres at the Minas Basin inner end of the bay. All that water coming and going can play havoc and these two photos from the Fundy National Park in New Brunswick of the “Hopewell Rocks” show you what water can do to stone over centuries. The tide comes a fair way up the cliffs where those stairs are and you can only see the sculpted rock from over the top of the hole upward, at high tide.
Hopewell Rocks 020

Hopewell Rocks 018

This is another part of the Bay of Fundy at Blomidon, near the Minas Basin. Low tide means it’s quite a walk to the water. The red in the earth is caused from a high clay content. You also see the red earth in Prince Edward Island in the Bay of St. Lawrence.
Blomidon beach

Here are a couple of shots of Niagara Falls. The sound of all that water gushing over into the river can be heard through most of the centre of the city. It’s quite a sight to see, even in the winter when there are boulders of ice choking the sides of the river, caused by the mist freezing over the snow.
Niagara Falls Maid of the mist

Niagara Falls Canadian falls

Now we see the effects of wind on a tree over time, on the moors in Cornwall.
windswept tree
This is a very old geographical formation of rock. I’ve had this photo published in a textbook that explains what it is but I’d have to dig it out to jog my memory.

Blue Rocks Rockscape

Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia

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?

 

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