Saturday, 21 December 2013

Go West

Hello again - just a few flash backs from the past weeks - it has been a busy time - so as they say'
Lets Go West' and so that is what we did - up to Wales - and we chose a very dark night with howling winds to travel - not intentionally you see -  but due to personal commitment - like that thing called work and hospital appointments that was the first available time slot.

;"> We had booked accommodation with Wales  Holidays - and so with Sat Nav loaded with the post code off we went - the run was pretty uneventful -you know- dark and wet and as we neared our destination we passed through Barmouth a little coastal town - usually nestling quietly on the Mawddach estuary - not that night the sand was swirling surely 10 metres high with waves rushing up over the road - with not a soul in sight - we quickly swung the car up into the town and on through to Dyffryn Ardudwy and to our holiday cottage  Hen Feudy -welsh translation the old cowshed it is barn conversion
The plan was to have breakfast and then hit the road so to speak - and hopefully avoid the rainy spells - and see a little bit of this part of Wales - the first day was unplanned ! - we walked into the village and a local dog walker sent us off on a walk through the woods towards Talybont -' quite a way ' he said looking us up and down doubtfully - we thanked him and he walked with us for a while and then bid his goodbyes - our friend was quite right it was a bit challenging especially helpng 2 not so nimble dogs over the stone walls - the one in the pic was an easy one - most were like 8-9 stone steps high on both sides - anyway we achieved and went on to enjoy the ramble through the woods - kicking up the leaves - kids stuff - enjoying the changing scenery - - old gnarled trees
- waterfalls and streams - such is woodland art. We chose the coastal road route back to Hen Feudy -OH was a birthday boy today so we had been told of a local Italian restaurant in Talybont - see the link -somewhere above care of blogger !! we had a fantastic meal - definitely to be recommended

Day 2 - we caught the local train to Harlech - plus 2 dogs - not a problem we were told - the dogs understand that they need to remain as inconspicious as possible on public transport so they  hid under the seats - Harlech was cold and windy with the odd flash of sunshine but none the less full of history and interest - we have not been there before only driven through so there was a lot to see - we walked up into the town past the castle taking  pictures from every angle
- the town is well worth a visit - we will call there again at some stage because there are many walks leading from the town along the coast and up into the mountains.

I am really into garden art and as we strolled along the streets we spotted these little fellows - what do you think - they are sort of magical - like they belong to their own little secret world

After a very large hot chocolate we walked down to the beach I suppose about a mile and a bit over the dunes and the golf course - more pics including my header pic - probably only 2 people and ourselves on the beach - total isolation
We walked back across the sand dunes and gazed up at the castle and wondered how many times the castle had been stormed by invaders from the sea - what a formidable sight
Day three - our last day on this mid winter break - and a trip out to the Blue Lake at Fairbourne - OH had first visited the lake when he was 16 and now a few years on !! wanted to revisit - we drove to Fairbourne and parked up - and followed the roadway - taking a sharp right up a steep track - the scenery was amazing on the walk up - the day was a bit hazy but we were able to get some reasonable shots
The trees lined the track all shapes and sizes - now bare of leaves but elegant and determined to survive all that winter could throw at them
everywhere there was evidence of the old slate quarry - the colours of the slate
 shone through catching the weak rays of sun - and crumbling walls which had formed the workings still held their own -
bits of the  old machinery lay around
 The blue lake - the purpose of our visit -  was a brilliant blue - something to do with the minerals in the water it is approached through a tunnel -
the pics I have taken are from the hill top looking down - amazing well worth a visit

Best wishes to you all


Monday, 25 November 2013

Me Time

This weekend a little me time for the two of us plus 2 dogs - sheer relaxation- a long walk - cameras

and two excited dogs

We parked up on the north  side of Ellesmere - walking down a steep path to join the canal tow path  - first of all through the dark tunnel.


 The canal was busy with barges - and everyone was in good spirits - this chap on his barge was a real enthusiast - see header pic - lights full on and his horn full blast as he entered the tunnel
he was  full of cheery comments !!


 Lots of fun taking pics of the autumn scenes -
finally we veered to the right and joined another footpath as it started to rain - and back up the hill

 towards the carpark

Of course on the agenda was tea for two at the Bridgewater Arms on the way home - and a few stolen minutes in time to blog on my return - why not pop across to ABC Wednesday and enjoy

 We have bought a book of 50 walks in Shropshire - so plenty more to come
- have a good week  bloggers - Jane

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Up Up and Away

Up up and away - yes we have been to Mallorca to recharge our batteries and soak up the sun - fabulous - only downside I was bitten by mozzies - although I used a protector - but never mind about that - I am going to post some pics and share our highlights for the week.

 We walked most days - well everyday in fact - enjoying the experience of the amazing scenery - our hotel was the Grupotel Maritimo in Alcudia
 - we have stayed here  before -  a few years back -  food and accommodation were excellent.

Day one took us out on the local bus to Port of Alcudia to wander round the harbour - boats fish and sunshine -
a good combination.- the fish below were swimming in the harbour waters
- on then to the old Alcudia Town - we decided to walk and view the countryside
and the gardens
and of course to mess around with our cameras - the old town itself was very addictive - all those old streets and buildings
- some of them being sympathetically restored
- taking on different  shades of colour in the afternoon sun. We decided to walk back to the hotel and not catch the bus - 6K and a bit we were told when we reached reception at the hotel - in the blazing sun - time for a well earned glass of wine !!

Day two took us to Mallorcas' best kept secret  - the S'Albufera de Mallorca Natural Park - I have attached a link - we spent 2 days of our week gazing at the scenery
and the wildlife  - the bird below is a purple gallinule - about the size of a young turkey -
- we saw a lot - but also the marsh land is so dense -  that all there was to go on was bird calls and twittering - little bird below is a Kentish Plover  -so dainty - just in front of the hide
I was so lucky to get this
shot of the turtle - if you look closely you can see its stripey head and its yellow eye - click on the pic to zoom in
-top right in the pic below is a night heron - and below in the bottom corner is a fledgling night heron - and of course centre is a egret
of course this is where the mozzies launched  their attack without a doubt - but I would not change a thing about those 2 days !!

Day 3
- off on the local bus again and a stop off at Peurto Pollensa
and a walk along the sea front  approx 2K - I would say
and during which we took a well earned lunch.

Day 4 - off to Palma
- care of the local bus -
seriously the bus service on the island is to be recommended - for both price and efficiency.
I counted 20 flower stalls across this avenue - and each one was beautifully presented as is this one
and of course everyone the world over loves a book stall

Day 5 - I had prebooked this organised trip with an excellent tour guide - and this is where we went -first of all we visited Lluc Monastery - I have added a link  it was quite a short visit but long enough to feel very privileged to have had the opportunity. This archway - contained lit red candles of prayer - faced the main courtyard
All around were symbols of devotion - see the cross towering on the hill above the monastery
This was part of the ceiling in the chapel - the glass was so beautiful 
Lavenders and herbs in the garden
The second part of our day was a trip on the tiny train from Soller to Palma - we caught the tram
from Peurto Soller to Soller passing through
the orange groves -
we were given time in Peurto Soller to soak up the views

 The little train
rushed up into the mountains giving fine views of the town below
 - and dashed through extended tunnels -veering to the left and then to the right -we had been on this train a few years back and it still held its magic for us - brilliant - thankyou for calling by - Jane