Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

Hi Folks! This is a view of Lake Lucerne looking towards the mountains that surround it. The village on the shore gives a bit of scale to the image.

This visit was during autumn, as you can see from the colour of the trees. Switzerland is such a clean country with some of the most stunning scenery in Europe.

Hope you like the photograph!

John

Calmac Ferry approaches Brodick, Isle of Arran, Scotland

Hi Folks! This ferry travels across the Firth of Clyde between Ardrossan on the mainland of Scotland and Brodick on the Isle of Arran. It is the ‘Caladonian Isles’ and it belongs to Caledonian McBrayne.

Arran is Scotland in microcosm and is beautiful, wild and rugged. When I was a lad, my gran and grandpa used to rent a holiday cottage on Arran for a whole month every year and I used to go with them! I have such fond memories of the place and it was nice to visit again after a gap of 50 years or so! The ferry at that time was the ‘Glen Sannox’ and I remember one voyage in a very bad storm which was very hairy! Funny how these things stick in your mind! I wonder why? Ha! Ha!

Hope you like the photograph! Thanks for visiting!

John

Democracy in Action – Brexit – Remain Demonstration!

Hi Folks! You will be aware, no matter where in the world you might come from, that the UK has been participating in Brexit (Britain leaving the European Union)! This has been a very controversial topic for us Brits and it very much split the country in two; those for exiting the EU and those who wished to remain.

At the referendum, although the brexiteers (those who wish to leave the EU) had the most votes, the percentages for and against were quite close and this sparked off demonstrations around the country and caused animosity between individuals, friends, communities and also between the countries that make up the United Kingdom.

This image is from one of the ‘Remain’ demonstrations held outside the Houses of Parliament in London, after the referendum had dictated what was going to happen, with lots of shouting, noise, chanting and flag waving. Democracy is a wonderful thing!

Thanks for visiting my blog. I will occasionally slot in a different image to the usual landscape/cityscapes and I hope the blog still appeals to you.

Technical Issue: No map today with this image because I have noticed that the live map doesn’t allow the posts to load and display quickly and comes up with errors on the page when loaded. I am looking into this!

John

Arriving at St Mark’s Square, Venice, Italy

Hi Folks! This is an image of visitors arriving at St Mark’s Square, Venice, having been dropped off by Water Taxi at San Marco. There is a constant coming and going from all over the world!

There are a few different ways of entering Venice. From the mainland, and Marco Polo Airport, there is a causeway which runs across the lagoon. At the Venice end of the causeway there is a railway station, bus terminal and some large car parks. From these, you transfer to Water Buses or Water Taxis and enter Venice itself. We chose not to arrive via the causeway and opted to hire a Water Taxi straight from Marco Polo Airport. That way, we powered across the lagoon straight into the city! Fabulous ride! A real thrill!

Water Buses act like road buses and have set routes and stops around Venice and Water Taxis are just like vehicle taxis and will take you where you want to go! Our hotel was at the San Marco end of the Grand Canal, so we arrived the same way as the visitors in the photograph.

John

Place de la Concorde, Paris, France

Hey Folks! This photograph is taken at the Place de la Concorde, looking across to the 3,300 year old Egyptian Obelisk gifted to Paris in the 19th Century, and then further to the Eiffel Tower.

As I have said in a previous post, Paris was experiencing a deadly heatwave while we were there. It wasn’t often sunny, but mainly overcast, and that held the heat in. To demonstrate how hot it was at night, there was no air conditioning in our hotel and all that was available was a ceiling fan. The large top floor balcony doors were wide open, the fan was running full speed all night and we still had to cover ourselves in cold, wet towels to get any sleep at all! When we went for a shower, it was taken cold, which gave sudden relief, but as soon as we got out we started sweating (or perspiring) again! Still loved the visit!

John

The Louvre Museum, Paris, France

Hi Folks! This shot shows the famous and controversial glass pyramid that is the entrance to this world famous museum.

The Louvre was very interesting to visit and I thought the Venus de Milo statue was well lit and stunning. However, I was very disappointed with the Mona Lisa. It was quite small and dowdy looking and I don’t quite get the fascination. It was the only part of the museum, apart from queuing to get in, that we had to queue again and to see the painting in a crowd of people!

Hope you like the photograph!

John

Paris Opera House, Paris, France

Hi Folks! This is a night shot of a section of the Paris Opera House. It is historically known as “Opera de Paris”, was completed in 1875, and is one of the world’s best known opera houses. It is the physical setting of ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ by Gaston Leroux.

We had arrived late afternoon in Paris and took a long time to find our hotel! Unfortunately, it was also a holiday, and it took ages to find something to eat. By the time we had finished eating, it was dark and we came across the Opera House by chance! This was a difficult shot to take because the camera had to be hand held! I think it came out ok!

John

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

Hi Folks! Here is my version of the world famous, iconic, wrought iron Eiffel Tower. Hope you like it!

It is a stunning architectural feature and Paris would not be the same without it! This was taken on a sunny day in 2003 during the 42.7 degrees C heatwave that killed 868 of the elderly Paris population from 21st to 27th July. This was the second heatwave of the year, the first having seen 567 deaths. The event sparked off concerns over global warming. It is a sad context linked to what was otherwise a wonderful visit!

John

Portmeirion Village, Gwynedd, Wales

Portmeirion is a Welsh village designed in the Italian style by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis. It is now owned by a charitable trust and is an important tourist attraction. The village was used in the cult 1960s television series ‘The Prisoner’.

This was another ‘bucket list’ visit for me. I watched the television series ‘The Prisoner’ and loved the abstract storyline and unusual location in which No6 (played by star Patrick McGoohan) is held as a former government agent who abruptly resigns from his job. Residents (prisoners) who tried to escape were chased and suffocated by giant white balloon like balls! Weird, but unusual fun! Well worth a visit if you are in Wales!

Thanks for visiting and see you again!

John

Falkirk Wheel, Falkirk, Scotland

This marvellous piece of engineering has become a major tourist attraction. It does away with the need for long stretches of locks between canals of different heights by using a rotating wheel to move barges up and down.

There are two barge platforms, one linked to the canal at the top and one at the bottom. Each platform can hold a number of barges at the same time and the wheel then turns 180 degrees, moving all the barges up and down in a single movement! An engineering masterpiece!

Thanks for visiting and I hope you like the photographs and snippets of personal and other information.

John