Monday, April 26, 2010

Beasts of Cardiff Castle

It was a fast-paced March day as part of a university tour group. After a hearty Welsh breakfast we rushed from a castle to an abbey to lunch on our own to a restored Welsh village to Cardiff Castle. In the process, we dealt with rains, sunshine, and a mile long walk to and from Cardiff Castle that included post-game crowds from the Wales Italy rugby match. A bit too ambitious a schedule in our minds and we took the next day off from the tour to do a bit of exploration at our own pace.

Cardiff Castle bills itself as "a Welsh Victorian Camelot". It has a 2,000 year history. It was restored by a Victorian (late 1800's) entrepreneur, and is an example of Disneyesque "conspicious consumption". The tour was also conducted by a guide who may have been a master sergeant or perhaps Atilla the Hun in one of her former lives. You can find more information about the castle through the following link-

One of the aspects of the castle that I truly enjoyed was the various creatures that were found throughout the grounds. These are the images that I'd like to share with you and, I hope that you enjoy them.

Thank you for visiting, please come again. If you'd care to leave a comment behind you, it would be greatly appreciated. May your travels be interesting and enjoyable.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

From the Walls of Castle Conwy

Imagine yourself back in time as a guard walking the walls of Castle Conwy on a sunny Spring morning. In spite of your slightly aching head, due to a few too many pints of Dragon's Breath cider the night before, you're alive and have a spectacular view of the world from your heights. If you look inside the walls, you can feel secure as you see a truly massive structure and people bustling in all directions. Of course your eyes are supposed to be directed outward from the castle, searching for the signs of invaders. While none are evident at the moment, you can see the close by town,,the boats in the bay at low tide, and snow on the distant mountain. Life could be worse than walking the walls with your long bow in the morning sun.

I have to admit that I was surprised how many castles are found in Wales. Of those that I visited, Castle Conwy was my favorite in terms of the views that surrounded it. The castle, itself, was also interesting.

Thank you for visiting, please come again. Feel free to leave a comment behind, they are always appreciated. May your own travels be interesting and enjoyable.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Street Art on the Way to Castle Conwy

There are so many images that hit a traveler's eyes. A visit to Castle Conwy in Wales was one of those experiences. Another time I'll share photos of the castle,itself, and the view of the bay that is seen from its walls. This time, however, I'd like to share images of modern street art that I found in a tunnel that eventually directs the walker to the castle entrance.

I've always been interested in street art, and this collection is exceptional. The vibrancy of the colors and the subjects that seemed to appropriately blend into this setting-archers, dragons,magical ravens, monk-like figures. As a photographer, I found them to be magnetic in the way they demanded my attention. I hope that you enjoyed them as well.

Thank you for visiting, please feel free to visit again. Any comments that you wish to leave behind will be appreciated. May your travels be interesting and enjoyable.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Edinburgh Castle in Fog and Mist

Sometimes travel plans don't work out as you expect them to. Then, you as a traveler, have the choice of making the best of the situation or not. We were scheduled to visit Edinburgh Castle on a day full of fine mist and a cloud cover so dense that it was difficult at times to see a castle feature until you were actually next to it. It would have been easy to decide to either abandon the tour completely or rush through it in order to get on to a less challenging setting.

A guide in a small out of the way section of the castle helped us put the day in a proper perspective. He told that the day was a good example of how Scottish authors were influenced in their writing by their local environment. The gray and haunting cloud-covered mists have inspired authors such as Ian Rankin to write mysteries full of dark humor. Indeed, wandering through the castle did bring to mind lurkers in the fog and sudden dire happenings.

While the photos that I took that were very different from the sun-lit castle I saw two days later as our bus was leaving for the airport, I am glad that things worked out the way that they did. I was challenged to capture the spirit of Edinburgh under less than ideal conditions and actually enjoyed the castle visit. I also appreciated the insights into the culture of Edinburgh that the guide had given us. My castle visit will be fondly remembered in spite of fog, drizzle, and coldness. After all, isn't gaining new perspectives part of what travel is all about?

Thank you for visiting. I hope that you enjoyed your stay. Please feel free to leave a comment behind if you wish. May your travels be interesting and enjoyable.