I will post more photographs of the city and its surrounding area next week
Giardini Naxos is a small town situated on the coast of the Ionian Sea at the foot of Mount Etna, in north-east Sicily. This is the town outside which the cruise ship I was on in 2006 anchored enabling us to go ashore. The approach from the sea is dramatic with the continually smoking volcano looking very close and dangerous to the town. In fact the volcano does erupt regularly but appears to find a different exit point each time along the crest of the hill range, thus leaving several old craters which it is now reasonably safe to visit, or so we were assured! In the past Etna has deposited its lava all along this coast and the evidence is easy to see in the long-since cooled and solidified lava floes now forming shelves of rock jutting out to sea all along this coast. I have included two photographs of this below.
My wife and I accompanied a group from the ship to take a coach to the mountain top – a journey of about 30 miles which takes approximately one hour along the winding uphill roads. I include further photographs of this dramatic journey below.
Arundel is an ancient town situated on the River Arun in West Sussex, England. Its castle, massive and dominant in the landscape, dates from the 11th Century, although considerably altered and added to since that time.
Arundel Castle has undergone many restorations and extensions since it was first built in the year following the Norman Invasion of England in 1066. It was officially established by Roger de Montgomery on Christmas Day 1067. By the grace of William the Conqueror, he was the first to hold the earldom of Arundel. The castle has remained in the possession of his descendants ever since and is now the home of the Duke of Norfolk, who is the Earl Marshal and Hereditary Marshal of England. The current duke is Edward Fitzalan-Howard, 18th Duke of Norfolk.
My photographs, featured below, are amongst those I took on a recent visit there in October 2017.
Last week, on Thursday, 16th October, I featured my visit to this unique beach in Hastings, East Sussex, UK, from which fishing boats are launched directly into the sea. If you have not read my introduction and viewed the photographs on that particular blog, then I would advise you to visit it first in order to gain a clearer picture of this area’s history and current function. Click on this link to do that . . . Hastings – The Stade #1 . My photographs below were taken as I wandered around the beached fishing fleet, showing the boats, some now hardly seaworthy, but the majority still working boats plying their trade in the waters of the English Channel from the Stade Beach in Hastings.
As bravely my finger points to the sea
my peninsular pretences extend
for a while
my efforts at ocean reclamation
enabling land and sea to merge
countryside and shore
to meet and mingle
in mutual admiration
Taking my insatiable
search for pleasure
beyond its brief
another pleasure garden
to add to nature’s own
to vie with nature’s gifts
Buffeted by wind and wave
invaded by rust and rot
attacked by frost
at risk from fire
On time borrowed
from the eye of the storm
whilst it continues
for the ocean’s grace
I continue to proffer my splendours
To the denizens of my retreats
sea anglers and photo booths
Shops and tearooms
wurlitzers and waltzers
ghost trains and dodgems
of my daring
my bravery in simply existing
[ Photo Blog #61 ]
I have previously blogged photographs of the Belgian City of Bruges (q.v.) 3 months ago on August 14th. I made a further long weekend visit there the following year, and present below a different set of photographs of its stunning views, architecture and history . . .
[ Photo Blog #60 ]
Westonbirt Arboretum can be found near the historic market town of Tetbury in Gloucestershire, England. It is the UK’s National Arboretum, managed by the Forestry Commission, and is perhaps the most important and widely known arboretum in the United Kingdom. The arboretum’s 18,000 specimen trees and shrubs sourced from all over the globe provide a remarkable place for people to enjoy and learn about trees. It has 17 miles of marked paths which provide access to a wide variety of rare plants.
When I visited there in 2003 there happened to be an exhibition of what, only in the broadest sense, could be called ‘garden sculpture’. I offer below some of my photographs taken at the time . . .
[ Photo Blog #59 ]
The Black Isle lies in North-East Scotland. It is said to derive its name from the fact that, since snow hardly ever lies there in winter, the promontory looks black while the surrounding country is white. However, contrary to its name, the Black Isle is not in fact an island. It is a peninsula, surrounded on three sides by water, with Cromarty Firth to the north, Beauly Firth to the south and the Moray Firth to the east. The nearest large centre of population is Inverness.
The area has long been famous for its rich agricultural farming land. It is also well known as a great place to enjoy wildlife – from dolphins to deer, from osprey to otters, from seals to Scots Pine. The peninsula is steeped in history, with castles, cairns and even a cathedral and three museums. Wherever you look there are beautiful views – if you discount the many oil rigs which are often moored in the firths for servicing purposes. Ben Nevis can be seen to the west on a clear day, and a network of quiet roads and forest tracks make the area easy to explore.
CHANONRY POINT: A famous place for spotting the Moray Forth dolphins from the shore. ( the photo of dolphins below was taken here, but it is from a postcard as my own attempt to photograph them just managed to capture a fin!). On the opposite side of the firth from here is the historic military base of Fort George.
( Notes adapted from ‘Visit Scotland, black-isle.info, wikipedia )
My photographs are from a visit I made to the area in 2003.
[ Photo Blog #58 ]
Canterbury is a cathedral city of great historical importance in the history of the British Isles. It is situated in the county of Kent in south-east England, and, following the murder of Thomas à Becket in the cathedral in 1170, it has been a highly significant place of pilgrimage. Ancient walls, originally built by the Romans, encircle the medieval centre of the city, and many cobbled streets and timber-framed houses remain. The Cathedral, founded in 597 A.D., is the headquarters of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. It incorporates both Gothic and Romanesque elements in its stone carvings and stained-glass windows. The photographs below were all taken by me in and just off the main High Street on a visit in May 2003.
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