Cadiz

 [ Photo Gallery # 93 ]

Cadiz – Spain

Cádiz is a city and port in south-western Spain. It is the capital of the Province of Cádiz, one of eight which make up the autonomous community of Andalusia.  In my Photo Gallery today I include just a selection of the photographs which I took whilst wandering around the city on a visit there in 2006.

There are narrow streets, beautiful tree-lined plazas, a magnificent seafront promenade adorned with wonderful fountains, paved with colourful majolica tiles, and surrounded by a variety of trees and flowers.  Alameda Apodaca is a beautiful spot in the city of Cadiz, ideal for a stroll and to cool down on hot summer days.  It is a broad avenue with cobbled streets, and a variety of cobblestones and majolica tiles forming geometrical designs.

 

Cadiz (1)

View of the city from the sea with Cadiz Cathedral dominating the skyline

Cadiz (2)

Monument of the Spanish Constitution (approved in 1812)

Cadiz (3)

Blossoming Jacaranda tree

Cadiz (4)

Arbol del Mora, giant Moreton Bay Fig Trees (Ficus macrophylla) planted around 1900

Cadiz (5)

Fountain and tiled majolica paving in the Alameda Apodaca

Cadiz (6)

In Park Genoves

Cadiz (7)

In the amazing Park Genoves, a botanical wonderland filled with over 100 species of trees and shrubs

Cadiz (8)

 On one of Cadiz beaches, below the statue bust of Paco Alba, composer and creator of the  Carnival comparsa of Cádiz.

Cadiz (9)

A Cadiz Roofscape

Cadiz (10)

Cadiz street entertainment

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The Coast of North West Cornwall

[ Photo Gallery # 87 }

To the east and the west of the Camel Estuary (see my blog of a week ago ) lie numerous inlets of the sea . Delightful coves and small villages  clinging to the Cornish cliffs.  Below is a gallery of my photographs of a number of these.

42Polzeath

Rough sea on a misty morning at Polzeath

45nrPortQuin

After the shower near Port Quin

48PortQuin

Sign on entering the National Trust village of Port Quin

49PortQuin

View of the inlet at Port Quin

55PortIsaac

The village of Port Isaac – used as the setting for the TV series ‘Doc Martin’.

56PortIsaac

Looking out to sea from the harbourside of Port Isaac

60Trevone

The beach at Trevone Bay near Padstow

64TrevoseHead

The Lighthouse at Trevose Head, a headland on the Atlantic coast of north Cornwall

68TrevoseHead

The Neal Rock with the Trevose Head lighthouse in the background

69TrevoseHead

Close up view of The Neal Rock at Trevose Head

74BedruthanSteps

The cliffs and rocks at Bedruthan Steps

75BedruthanSteps

The granite rocks that are dotted across the beach are, according to legend, stepping stones for the Giant Bedruthan.

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North Yorkshire Coast #2

[ Photo Gallery # 79 ]

Moving further along the North Sea coast of Yorkshire from the scenes of the villages north of Whitby in my previous Photo Gallery ( # 78), I post below just a selection of my photographs of two seaside towns, Saltburn and Redcar.

Both were and still are holiday resorts, once much more popular as such than they are today.   Both still maintain a small, if much diminished, fishing fleet and still do their utmost to attract visitors.  Their great glory is the beautiful 8 mile long beach, one of the longest unbroken stretches in the United Kingdom, running from South Gare, at the mouth of the River Tees, southwards, along the seafront of Redcar, past Marske-by-the-Sea, to Huntcliffe at Saltburn.

01 saltburn

SALTBURN: Huntcliffe,Cat Nab & the Ship Inn.

02 saltburn

SALTBURN: The view south from the entrance to the funicular cliff railway and Huntcliffe,

03 SaltburnSurfers

Saltburn is one of the original centres of the north-east surfing scene

04 saltburn

The funicular railway at Saltburn began operating in 1884 and is the oldest operating water-balance cliff lift in the United Kingdom.

05 saltburn

A misty view upwards showing the balanced ascending and descending carriages

06 saltburn

Saltburn pier, first opened in 1869, is now the last pier remaining in Yorkshire.  It has itself been frequently damaged in the past by North Sea storms, but remains a popular attraction.

06a Saltburn

View from the pier southwards to Huntcliffe

06b Saltburn

Saltburn Pier – looking due East to the North Sea

07 redcar

The view to sea from REDCAR.  Not what I had expected to see, 10 years after my previous visit!

08 redcar

REDCAR: Wind Turbines – now detracting from the view of the North Sea

09 redcar

Even the re-designed and modern seafront promenade now has wind turbines as a backdrop

10 redcar

REDCAR  . . .  and the fishing boats now have these to contend with too!

11 redcar

REDCAR BEACON:  Now sporting  a seafront helter-skelter – Sorry, NO, it is apparently a Vertical Pier, with its own restaurant and giving beautiful views along the Yorkshire coastline. 

12 redcar

REDCAR:  . . . and sand sculptures to enhance the view!?

 

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North Yorkshire Coast #1

[ Photo Gallery # 78 ]

After my three Photo Galleries displaying the delights of Whitby, my next two galleries will cover some of the delights of the Yorkshire coast further north, now named the ‘North Yorkshire and Cleveland Heritage Coast’.

01 NY Heritage Coast

‘Heritage Coast’ sign at Sandsend

02 HawskerChurch

A sea mist masks the church and gravestones of the coastal village of Hawsker

03 sandsend

Evening view to the north from the beach at Sandsend

04 sandsend

Rough sea looking south towards Whitby from Sandsend.

05 sandsend-westbek

Misty morning beside Westbek at Sandsend

06 RunswickBay

The picturesque artists’ village of Runswick Bay

06a Runswick

High tide in the bay at Runswick

06b Runswick

Further view of Runswick Bay

07 Skinningrove

The old mining village of Skinningrove where the Kilton Beck meets the North Sea and still runs red with the iron deposits carried down from the surrounding hills .  Known as ‘Britain’s Iron Valley’.

Kilton Culvert

Kilton Culvert (N.B. not one of my own photographs)

09Skinningrove

Three views of the ‘Repus’ Cobble, an old Skinningrove fishing boat now positioned looking out to the North Sea from the beach at Skinningrove.

10 Skinningrove

It is not clear why this cobble has been named ‘Repus’, but it has been pointed out that the name spells ‘Super’ backwords!

11 Skinningrove

Manning the prow of the ‘Repus’ Cobble

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Sea  Light

Katie Sarra-Seascape (1)

 

SEA  LIGHT

 

As the swell of the sea reaches the shore
Waves wilfully break on the beckoning beach;
Light catches the colours riding the crests,
Blushing in red, in pink and in peach.

While above as we watch in reverence and awe,
The marmalade sky sugars the view,
Embracing the split twixt heaven and earth,
Splitting the vibrant view into two.

In such scenes as this all life gains a meaning,
For life and desire reside in the sea;
The beauty of nature is here embodied,
Bringing contentment and stillness to me.

Katie Sarra-Seascape (2)

 

wave-pattern

My poem originates from a consideration of the oil paintings of Devon artist, Katie Sarra.  Many of Katie’s paintings present visions of the sea in its many different moods, still, turbulent, calm , moody.   Many of these seascapes are displayed in her gallery facing the River Daw as it runs through the Devonshire seaside town of Dawlish.  Her gallery is named ‘SEA LIGHT’.   It is a great joy to spend time in this beautiful gallery which doubles as a thriving cafe and tea rooms.  Two photographs of the gallery front below . . .

 

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Zakinthos

[ Photo Blog  #68 ]

Zakinthos

Zakynthos, or Zante,  is a Greek island in the Mediterranean’s southern Ionian Sea. The island’s capital is the coastal city, which is itself called Zakynthos.  It is centred around the waterfront area of Solomos Square.  I visited the island in 2006 and include below some of the photographs of the island and its capital which I took at that time.

Zakinthos (1)

Approaching Zakinthos from the sea

Zakinthos (2)

Rainbow over the island

Zakinthos (3)

Rainbow

Zakinthos (4)

Cypress trees in the wooded hills above the island’s capital

Zakinthos (5)

One of the island’s many tourist beaches

Zakinthos (6)

Harbour side – Fish fresh from the sea

Zakinthos (7)

Colourful fishing nets

Zakinthos (8)

Zakinthos (9)

A Bougainvillea-clad house in Solomos Square 

Zakinthos (15)

Bronze bust of a Greek Orthodox bishop outside the Church of St Agios Dionysios, Zakynthos

Zakinthos (16)

Statue of Liberty on Solomos square in Zakynthos city 

Zakinthos (17)

Close-up of ‘Liberty’

Zakinthos (18)

Jason’s long-lost and battered Argo perhaps !?

Zakinthos (19)

Zante’s turquoise sea

Zakinthos (20)

Zakinthos (21)

P&O ‘Arcadia’ at Zakinthos

 

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A Dreamer No More

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Ardminish Bay, Isle Of Gigha, Scotland – Photo: WHB  2001   ©

 

At The Sea’s Edge

I long for those times
When I sit by the sea
Breathe in the salt air
Feeling wanted yet free

Just to linger alone
On the beach of the bay
Is to lust after life
Till the end of the day

To cry out aloud
To the gulls and the terns
Will bring me alive
Till eternity burns

To feel the wave breaking
Its power at my feet
I would give up a fortune
My journey complete

Firm sand underfoot
I will tread as I go
Splash in the ripples
My delight I will show

I’ll follow the shoreline
and mirror its arc
The rocks I will climb
To the high watermark

Then I’ll trickle warm sand
From the cup of my palm
To steady my senses
Bring stillness and calm

I’ll melt into the moment
My heart will stop beating
I’ll hold onto the thrill
Though the memory is fleeting

But to sense you were with me
In body and thought
Would bring to my dream
Everything that I sought.

These are the moments
That I have longed for
My lifetime’s summation
A dreamer no more

 

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What The Sea Discards

Detectorist2bWhat The Sea Discards:   Life with a Beach Metal Detector

The sea still surged,
The storm still raged,
The wind incessant,
A beast uncaged.

Amidst the tempest,
Calm, intent,
Body taut
And forward bent,

Moves this figure
With steady tread,
Seeking gold,
His daily bread.

Sift the shingle
Trawl the shore,
Seashore scavenger
Beach troubadour.

Autolycus, his
Ancient counterpart,
Plying his trade
With bleeding heart,

To find amongst
The sea’s debris
His longed for love,
Life’s golden key.

Something to clutch
Dredged from life’s tide;
A token wish,
Beatified.

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Photographs by WHB:  On a West Sussex beach – October 2017   ©

 

 

Mount Etna, Sicily

[ Photo Blog  #65 ]

 

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. 

Etna (1)

The sea approach to Giardini Naxos with Mount Etna smoking in the background

Etna (3)

Lava outcrops, now solidified spill into the sea all along the coastline

Etna (4)

Close-up of the lava deposits

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.

Etna (5)

A Giardini Naxos beach looking towards the ancient town of Taormina and its Saracen Castle

Etna (6)

Another idyllic beach and rocky outcrop near Naxos

Etna (10)

Looking back from the road leading to the summit

Etna (11)

Several views of the craters of old eruptions

Etna (9)

Etna (8)

Etna (12)

Flora gradually reclaiming a foothold on the barren earth

Etna (13)

 

Etna (14)

Etna (15)

Etna (16)

The tour guide serenades us with Italian operatic arias as we descend the mountain on the return journey

 

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A Trawler’s Resting Place

TheStade 6

Photograph at the Stade, Hastings, by WHB – October 2017   ©

 

THE STADE  (Hastings)

A Trawler’s Resting Place

 

desolate and deconstructed
now at rest
my remnant life
so inexorably sea-linked 
still confronted
and yet consoled
by those waves
forever beating
on the shingle
of my shore

here on the stade
in the first throes of death
it is my destined fate
to pass on my faith
to those who succeed me

for hope exists
rebirth is on offer
amidst the rigours
of a relentless sea
on my pebbled bed
above the tides
prow still proudly fronting
those endless tides
white waves
bursting at my bows

resting at last
only my memories
trawling my sea-going past
recapturing the rapture
of my vibrant youth
the courageous tenor
of my old life
now entombed
beside my brethren
brothers in desuetude
companions of my death in life
the mystery of my history
encapsulated in this
maritime minster
my tomb inscribed
with my exploits
embedded
within the planking of my hull
and the bulkheads of my carcass

but … no shipshape shrine
rather sea-scavengers paradise
Davy Jones the organ donor
salty entrails examined
my sea-going body parts
prized and picked over
human gulls
ancient sea-dog mariners
making claim again
to my once upon a time worth
my parts in death available
transplanting hope
bringing new life to old

what the sea has not already claimed
remains
to tempt a new generation
regeneration offered
my hull disembowelled
stripped to its frame
rust freed
reclaimed
renamed
fading sea-life re-empowered
man’s eternal battle with the sea
love-hate affirmed
continued and confirmed
empowering new sea ventures

harbingers of a new generation
to be subjected once more
to the ocean’s
recondite whim
and arcane  grace

 

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