Tag Archives: travel

Amalfi in Monochrome

Amalfi in Monochrome.

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I keep adding images as the week progresses – tempted as I am to use colour, I want this post to be all about Monochrome.

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It  goes dark here so quickly, round about 6.15pm just as it’s time for an early evening drink.

So here is to the Hotel La Bussola – scene of a honeymoon 27 years ago; it’s still standing, and so is the hotel, out on the front, overlooking the harbour with our white Fiat 500 just parked outside.

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All these years on and the Amalfi coast is as beautiful as I remember; in fact more so; here are some images taken in monochrome this week; I hope you like them.

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Bergen Beautiful Bergen

Welcome to Bergen, Beautiful Bergen.

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We got off the Hurtigruten boat in the port of Bergen and wheeled our bags around the city centre, through the shops, past the fish market, trundle up along Bryggen, landing at the Clarion Hotel Havnekontoret.

This is Bergen, beautiful Bergen.

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There is a lot of activity around the port and fish market area – it’s a fun place

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On a rainy day, the Sea Lions at the Aquarium are great fun, along with the penguins, they have seen it all before…

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And once you have tun out of exploring Bryggen and the city centre…

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Hop on that train to Flam (and eventually Oslo) at the station.

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Boeing Factory, Seattle

#OneImageOneDayOneLife

Boeing Factory, Seattle

Now this is a propper boys day out, yes we had to hire a car to get out there from downtown Seattle, but it was worth it, to tour the largest building in the world!

The Boeing factory in Seattle

The Boeing factory in Seattle

in fact it was so good, we had to buy matchint tee shirts!

This is the largest building in the world – Amazing

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The Boeing Everett Factory, in Everett, Washington, is an airplane assembly building owned by Boeing. Located on the northeast corner of Paine Field, it is the largest building in the world by volume at 13,385,378 m3 (472,370,319 cu ft) and covers 399,480 m2 (98.3 acres).[1] It is where wide-body Boeing 747s, 767s, 777s, and the new 787 Dreamliner are assembled.

Plans for the factory were first announced in 1966 for it to be the site of the construction of the 747 after Boeing was awarded a $525 million contract from Pan American World Airways to build 25 747s. It purchased 780 acres north of the then little-used Paine Field, which was operated by the US Army in World War II. Boeing had an Everett presence since 1943[2] In 1968 it began offering factory tours with the first roll out of the 747.[3]

You are not allowed to take photos on the tour, but I have a few from the day and our wider trip to Seattle, so here are some of the memories that take me back.

The Space Needle

The Space Needle

The Space Needle is an observation tower in Seattle, Washington, a landmark of the Pacific Northwest, and a symbol of Seattle. It was built in the Seattle Center for the 1962 World’s Fair, which drew over 2.3 million visitors, when nearly 20,000 people a day used its elevators.

Once the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River,[7] it is 605 ft (184 m) high, 138 ft (42 m) wide, and weighs 9,550 tons. It is built to withstand winds of up to 200 miles per hour (89 m/s) andearthquakes of up to 9.1 magnitude,[8] as strong as the 1700 Cascadia earthquake. It also has 25lightning rods.

It has an observation deck at 520 ft (160 m) and a gift shop with the rotating SkyCity restaurant at 500 ft (150 m).[7] The downtown Seattle skyline, as well as the Olympic and Cascade Mountains,Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, Elliott Bay and surrounding islands can be viewed from the top of the Needle. Photographs of the Seattle skyline often show the Space Needle prominently, above skyscrapers and Mount Rainier.

Visitors can reach the top of the Space Needle by elevators that travel at 10 miles per hour (4.5 m/s). The trip takes 41 seconds. On windy days, the elevators slow to 5 miles per hour (2.2 m/s). On April 19, 1999, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Board designated it a historic landmark.[7][9]

Its pretty cool, very old and atmospheric – you can imagine it being cutting edge all those years ago, but now it feels rather tired and from a bygone era. We loved it!

 

The view from 520 feet up in the Space Needle are amazing!

The view from 520 feet up in the Space Needle are amazing!

 

Evergreen Lodge, Yosemite National Park, California

California is amazing,

Yosemite National Park has to be one of its highlights.

Family trip to Yosemite National Park, summer 2007, part of a California extravaganza.
Staying three nights at the Evergreen Lodge, in a (bear-proof) cabin.

We all love a National Park.

And Yosemite National Park, California, USA is about as good a National Park as you can get!

Evergreen lodge, Yosemite California

Evergreen lodge, Yosemite California – a great place to stay.

 Lots to do on foot, on wheels and in water!

The Evergreen Lodge cannot be recommended highly enough as a base actually at the edge of the Park, for families looking to explore and stay a few days.

Lazy tourists, Yosemite

Lazy tourists, Yosemite

For those who want to do some walking, hiking and exploring, the above lazy day-trip on a low loader is not the right way to see Yosemite!

What you want to do is get out there and swim with your kids in the creek……..

swimming in the creek - and in the rain!  Yosemite National Park

swimming in the creek – and in the rain!
Yosemite National Park

Or taking a sunset safari in an off-roader with some strangers to sit and drink wine, looking out over california skies of every colour…

Sunset safari, Yosemite,Evergreen Lodge, California

Sunset safari, Yosemite,Evergreen Lodge, California

Sunset safari, Yosemite,Evergreen Lodge, California

Sunset safari, Yosemite,Evergreen Lodge, California

Sunset safari, Yosemite,Evergreen Lodge, California

Sunset safari, Yosemite,Evergreen Lodge, California

Sunset safari, Yosemite,Evergreen Lodge, California

Sunset safari, Yosemite,Evergreen Lodge, California

There is so much natural beauty around you, from the landscape, to the wild-life, big and small!

little critters...

little critters…

This bear cub was up a tree in the park and being helped down by the rangers with some honey

This bear cub was up a tree in the park and being helped down by the rangers with some honey

The Evergreen lodge is welcoming, safe and clean. A great base for a family trip, we stayed in a wooden cabin and ate and drank in the clubhouse nearby.

Evergreen Lodge, cozy haven from bears

Evergreen Lodge, cozy haven from bears

What you really come to Yosemite for is the scenery, and it will take your breath away, believe me!

The open space, the joshua tree, the parched sun roasted rocks and the amazing forest and cliffs that soar above the valley bottom are amazing.

The Yosemite Park web site is a good place to start.

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Yosemite

Yosemite

El Capitan, Yosemite

El Capitan, Yosemite

This place is one of beauty and inspiration. Yes, it is teaming with tourists, and yes, you do need to plan your activities and take some time, rather than running through it in a couple of hours.

Just think how long it has been here, and how lucky you are yo have been; even if the bears didn’t get you, they may do next time!

 

Italian trains, wine but no wi-fi

just saying…

We spent most of the day yesterday on an a train of some sort, some good, some better than good, none as pleasant as a Swiss train though sadly!

Starting in Paris very early, we got a long way in a very short time t0 Lyon (250 miles) in 1 hour 40 minutes to be exact….

Once in Italy, although armed with waiter service and a nicer train, there was a lack of wi-fi even in first class, and a seemingly pedestrian pace to our travel – I could have cycled it quicker in fact.

So why then does it take a further seven hours to go as far again?

I think the answer is something to do with the Alps…who put them there?

cake

cake

Paris from Pompidou

Paris from Pompidou

Paris

Paris

Pompidou view 2

Pompidou view 2

Pompidou

Pompidou

Gare du Lyon

Gare du Lyon

all day on a slow train

all day on a slow train

first ice cream of the trip

first ice cream of the trip

Platform 4, not Platform 2

Platform 4, not Platform 2

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Big Amarone

Big Amarone

Verona at last

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Verona, Italy

A long day on the train was rewarded with an evening stroll into the beautiful city of Verona – our home for the next few days

Verona Arena - the thid largest in the world

Verona Arena – the thid largest in the world

Shakespeare placed star-crossed lovers Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet in Verona for good reason: romance, drama and fatal family feuding have been the city’s hallmark for centuries. From the 3rd century BC Verona was a Roman trade centre with ancient gates, a forum (now Piazza delle Erbe) and a grand Roman arena, which still serves as one of the world’s great opera venues. In the Middle Ages the city flourished under the wrathful Scaligeri clan, who were as much energetic patrons of the arts as they were murderous tyrants. Their elaborate Gothic tombs, the Arche Scaligere, are just off Piazza dei Signori.

Under Cangrande I (1308–28) Verona conquered Padua and Vicenza, with Dante, Petrarch and Giotto benefitting from the city’s patronage. But the fratricidal rage of Cangrande II (1351–59) complicated matters, and the Scaligeri were run out of town in 1387. Venice took definitive control in 1404, ruling until Napoleon’s arrival in 1797.

The city became a Fascist control centre from 1938 to 1945, a key location for Resistance interrogation and transit point for Italian Jews sent to Nazi concentration camps. Today, as the city grapples with its changing identity as an international commercial centre, it has become a Lega Nord (Northern League) stronghold. Yet the city is a Unesco World Heritage Site and a cosmopolitan crossroads, especially in summer when the 2000-year-old arena hosts opera’s biggest names (including us).

Beautiful early evening

Beautiful early evening

some shopping to be done too - looks quite smart

some shopping to be done too – looks quite smart

The Arena - we will be watching Aida here on Saturday

The Arena – we will be watching Aida here on Saturday

Piazza Bra - where its all happening

Piazza Bra – where its all happens

 

Satup in bed now, listening to Aida – frantically trying to memorise two and a half hours of music, to get ready for tomorrow night down at the Arena, Verona.

It would seem that Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi  was born on the 9th  October 1813 and left this earth on 27 January 1901 – over 113 years ago; so how come he’s such a big deal?

Clearly he was an  Italian Romantic composer primarily known for his operas. I am advised by Wikipedia that he is considered, together with Richard Wagner, the preeminent opera composer of the nineteenth century.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, I will be the judge of that after I have sat with a numb bum for four hours tomorrow night in the open air!

It would also seem that Aida was a runaway success – following the very first performance in Cario on Christmas Eve 1871, the opera went on to great critical acclaim and was performed around the world – and still is to this day, making it the second most performed opera in the world, after La Beheme.

Eurostar to Paris

Setting off on a bit of a European tour today, looking forward to seeing the world whiz by the window.

Mrs B leaving Macclesfield, not for the first time!

Mrs B leaving Macclesfield, not for the first time!

Happy to be in Paris now, time to test my Henri Cartier Bresson skills, a bit of street photography coming up, that is if I recover from a 30 minute yomp…nobody mentioned draging my 20 kilo case on wheels for miles across Paris to take in the rustic joys of the Maraie area?

Metro....its closed

Metro….its closed

Time for some R&R, I will keep you posted with my new format Blog, using wordpress and Photocrati – anything could happen, next stop Place de la Republique…