DP Challenge – Atop

The Daily Post at WordPress has a weekly challenge and this week’s is “Atop”. While browsing my archives and choosing things that are on top of tall things, I started to see a pattern that I thought would make a good theme. Clock towers! You will often see clocks fixed onto tall towers and places. It might be a building, a church tower/steeple, a freestanding clock tower. We in Halifax have a Town Clock high on Citadel Hill that was built so that the soldiers in the garrison would know the time and not be late reporting for duty. I don’t have a good photo of the town clock at hand

Here are some of my clock tower photos!

Boston Clock tower

Somewhere in Boston. Not only a clock, but canny little windows, too!

St Pancras Station

St. Pancras Station, London

Westminster

At Westminster Palace, London. The most famous clock of all. Elizabeth Tower, aka Big Ben which is actually the name of the bell inside the tower. Looking down from ATOP the London Eye!

Toronto Clock Tower

A little tower in Toronto

at Times Square

Seen in Times Square, New York City

Brighton Clock

Freestanding clock tower in Brighton, UK

Grote Markt Belfry

Brugges, Belgium, “Grote Markt” in the market square

DP Challenge – A Good Match

This week’s Daily Post challenge is to find things that go well together. Cookies and milk. Beach and a book. Gardens and Butterflies. That sort of thing. My idea was to post some photos from three major cities in Europe, Rome, Paris and London, that contain things that I think of when I think of those cities, things that are an  inherent part of the city without being the bleeding obvious, so you will not see photos of the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum or Big Ben here.

First up: Rome.

Gelato

Gelato and Rome. What better way to enjoy a sunny piazza?

Piazza Republicca fountain

There are no end of fountains in Rome, big ones and small ones. This one is in Piazza Republicca

Here’s some Parisian sights:

Paris Metro - Abbesses (Montmartre)

Paris and the Metro, with many of them having really beautiful old signage and ironwork. This one is in Montmartre, Abbesses

Paris Metro - Odeon (St. Germain)

This Metro sign is in St. Germain (Odeon) on the left bank

Montmartre cafe

What’s more ubiquitious than a sidewalk cafe in Paris?

Then over to my favourite city, London:

Aldwych, London

Aldwych, London: While there are double decker busses all over the UK, the red ones seem so much a London sight. Red phone booths are becoming much less common but they keep them in Central London for the tourists.

Covent Garden taxi

London has thousands of black cabs traversing the streets. These days you will often see them painted bright colours or plastered with advertising but that diesel rattle is distinct.

Spitalfields Market baked goods

London is famed for its markets. Spitalfields market, in this photo, Covent Garden, Camden, Notting Hill’s Portobello Road, East End Brick Lane and Petticoat Lane (not far from Spitalfields), Borough Market (South Bank, near London Bridge) and many more

DP Challenge – Shadow

This week’s photo challenge from the Daily Post is Shadow. Shadows made for interesting photos, giving them depth and detail or making them more mysterious. Black and white emphasizes shadow particularly well. Here are a few from the travel archives:

Wells Cathedral cloiser corridor

Wells Cathedral cloisters

Place des Arts Sculpture

Place des Arts, Montreal

Winter shadows

Winter shadows, Halifax

DP Challenge: Home

The Daily Post Challenge this week is Home, asking people to show photos of where they live, home being where the heart is and all that. Halifax, Nova Scotia is my home, on the east coast of Canada. Halifax has one of the largest ice-free harbours in the world and is home to Canada’s East Coast Navy. There are two large container shipping ports, and oceanographic institute,  and a ship building  yard. Needless to say, a lot of Halifax’s life is structured around the sea. There are also 5 universities and colleges and it’s the seat of the provincial government. Lots of lakes and beaches, culture, shopping, food and a gorgeous waterfront where there’s always something going on.

McDonald Bridge nearly dark

One of the two harbour bridges just after sunset

Halifax Waterfront

Halifax downtown skyline and the ferry

Public Gardens gazebo

The Victorian Public Gardens

Dalhousie effects

Dalhousie University campus

Lake 022

“My” lake, Albro Lake, in my neighbourhood

Cisne Branco (Brazil) and Kruzenshtern (Russia)

Visits from the Tall Ships (another visit coming in July 2017)

DP Challenge: H2O

The Daily Post weekly challenge is H2O, or water. Water features strongly in my travel photos since many places we travel feature lakes, oceans, canals, fountains etc. because bodies of water attracted settlements. Water provides a living, it provides sustenance, it provides life to the creatures that live in it. It provides transportation and is a source for conversion to power supplies. You can cook in and with it, create beverages, keep yourself clean, travel on it in various types of vessels, you can make a living on or in it in many ways. Water is also reflective which makes a lovely photo, and feeds through fountains which are not only nice to look at but in former days, provided the means for people to obtain water for drinking and cooking.

Mahone Bay Harbour Boats

Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia where the harbour provides recreation and a home for fishing boats.

Coins in the fountain

Reflections of coins in a fountain in the Public Gardens in Halifax

Niagara Falls Maid of the mist

The power of water. Niagara Falls, Ontario

I mentioned that many settlements are on or near water. Canals are fascinating. In cases like Amsterdam and many other cities and towns in the Low Countries, the sea was forced back and cities were built on canals and islands. There are more cities with canals than the one you think of first, Venice. Amsterdam actually has more canals than Venice. Other cities on the list include Copenhagen, Stockholm, Bruges, Annecy (France), Bangkok, and St. Petersburg. Britian’s city of Manchester has a number of canals which were built in the industrial revolution to transport goods from local factories to the coastline for shipping.

Frederiksholms Canal

Copenhagen. One of the many cities that grew on a series of canals.

DP challenge: The Truth is Out There

Shag Harbour UFO witnesses

In 1967, lights were seen over the skies of Shag Harbour and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Over Shag Harbour, according to a witness, there were whistling sounds and then a crash.  It very much appeared as if something had crashed into the ocean off the south shore of Nova Scotia. Nobody has ever been able to confirm or deny that what  was seen by many people was extra terrestrial but it hasn’t been denied, either. The Canadian and the U.S. governments have never offered any explanation nor have they allowed anything to the public at all. UFO?

People that witnessed the event to this day believe what they saw could very well be a UFO. Laurie and Peter, in the photo above, were both teenage boys and witnesses to the events. We got the chance to speak to Peter at the tiny UFO museum in the little village of Shag Harbour recently.  Writers and media over the years have tried to get further information from the government but have been firmly shut down. Why? Was it a secret experiment or military operation that went wrong? Divers haven’t found anything but a cylinder with unknown-at-the-time tech washed up near a lighthouse.

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the event. They have a festival every year in October to mark the notoriety including speakers, seminars and entertainment and hope to make it special for the milestone anniversary. There’s a non-profit society involved in this and their Facebook page is here., with a website here that explains about the incident in more detail. A true quest for the truth if ever there was one.

Shag Harbour is about a 2.5 hour drive from Halifax or about an hour from Yarmouth. The day we visited was foggy, so foggy you could hardly see across the road. Kind of added to the mystery!

WordPress weekly challenge: Quest

DP Challenge – Living on the edge

This week, The Daily Post from WordPress wants to see things on the Edge. Here in Halifax, we get a visit from the Tall Ships every few years. I find the ships fascinating and they’re just magnificent at full sail. The crews of the ships are used to some rather precarious spots to do their job. They may not walk a plank but they do need good balance and a head for heights. Here are a few photos from various crewmembers.

Pride of Baltimore

Pride of Baltimore

No vacation for this guy

Pride of Baltimore

No mutiny here

HMS Bounty. No mutiny here.

Laundry day on a tall ship

Laundry day on the Iskra

Daily Post – Mirror

WordPress Daily Post weekly challenge this week is Mirror. I haven’t got a lot of photos of actual mirrors but still waters reflect perfectly.

This first photo is not a very good scan from a photo I took around 9 a.m. at a picnic site near Arrochar in the Scottish Highlands. A good friend of mine whom I had known online for several years picked me and another good friend up at our hotel in Glasgow and drove us through the Highlands to Oban where we caught the ferry to Mull and then to the island of Iona via a pedestrian ferry. Since we’d made quite an early start, we were ready for a quick snack and a break just as the sun was really breaking over the mountains. I think it was mid April so the mornings were still late in getting bright. We had a lovely day and lots of laughs. He passed away about 7 months later so I’m very glad I got to meet him face to face.

Long Loch from Arrochar

Long Loch, Scottish Highlands near Arrochar

Daily Post Challenge – Framed

This week the Daily Post challenge is to post photos that use the framing technique. Framing helps draw your eye into a photo and can add interesting detail and perspective to the scene. You can use anything that’s available, trees, arches, doorways, look around and be creative. Here’s a few from my travel archives using that technique.

Hidden corner of Old Montreal off Rue St. Paul

Hidden corner of Old Montreal off Rue St. Paul

Fortnum and Mason, down the staircase

Fortnum and Mason, London

Green Gables Barn

Green Gables, Prince Edward Island

St Mary's from altar

Church of St. Mary’s, Lindisfarne

Lindisfarne Castle framed

Lindisfarne Castle

A Rare Rainbow (DP Challenge)

The Daily Post at WordPress challenges us this week to post a photo of something Rare. I’ve posted this photo at least once before and it certainly fits this theme. Scotland, late August 1993. Driving across Rannoch Moor on a drizzly day on a tour bus. The sun must have been breaking out somewhere because we saw colours across the moors. Real colours like a rainbow but it was puddles of misty colour on the ground, not an arc over the sky. I took a quick photo through the window and was pleased to see it turned out. (Those were the days you had to wait for the film to be developed).

I posted the photo on Flickr and entered into a discussion with someone about it and he suggested it would have been the top of the rainbow. This part of Scotland is higher above sea level and at mid to late morning when this was taken, the sun would have been at about 40 degrees elevation and just the right angle for it.

Rainbow in the Highlands, near Glencoe. The "Hail Mary" lucky shot through the bus window

Rainbow in the Highlands, near Glencoe.
The “Hail Mary” lucky shot through the bus window