Saturday, June 26, 2010
From last week's shoreline views, we move to the interior of the Isle of Wight. As you can see from the images here, the IOW is not a crowded area with teaming masses. It always amazes me when I travel how uncrowded a land that has been settled for countless centuries can be, especially an island with a temperate climate. Still, there is much to be said for a place that has miles of winding roads free from garish billboards and filled with sites of natural beauty and rustic scenery.
A couple of comments on what you see on this page. Notice the plank attached to the wooden fence rail. These planks are put there to assist ramblers ((people who hike) in climbing over fences. Fences are used to keep animals in their place, not necessarily to keep people out and protect the owner's privacy. How civilized in the true sense of the word, so much different that the electrified barbed wire fences with "No Trespassing" signs commonly found in my own country. Also notice the narrow, winding road free of advertising. The driver is forced to slow down and enjoy nature. Yes, it takes longer to go places. On the other hand, the view is more than worth the time spent. (Stop! There I go with the cultural concept of worrying about "the amount of time spent". The concept that time can be spent says something about my cultural heritage, doesn't it?) I need to reflect a bit more on the concept of time and how I view it. There is room for growth. ;-} That's what travel is all about-a chance to see, experience, and grow.
I hope that you enjoyed your visit and will come back again. In the meantime, may your travels be interesting and enjoyable.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
The Isle of Wight visit that we had in late March was excellent. Besides the time to spend time with very good friends, the Isle was an amazing place to explore. About 5,000 years ago it was part of mainland Britain. Today it is an island cut off from the mainland by the Soylent and bordered by sometimes imposing coasts. What I would like to show you in this post is views taken along the coast. In future posts, I will explore the interior of the Isle with you, a land of interesting history and contrasts. If you'd like to explore the Isle of Wight on your own before then, consider visiting this website: http://freespace.virgin.net/roger.hewitt/iwias/home.htm
Thank you for visiting, I hope that you enjoyed your stay. May your travels be interesting and enjoyable.
Friday, June 11, 2010
As I said in my previous blog, I like the uniqueness of Edinburgh. The photos in this post show the "eye candy" it uses to part money from its visitors. So of it is quite tasteful (the Celtic crafts sign) and others less so (the fake Scottish gear that includes a red wig). As we are visiting a land known for its whiskys (Scottish spelling), pub signs are duly represented. On a future visit to the city, I may be tempted to try the evening "ghost tour"...Edinburgh on a misty, foggy night lends a special atmosphere to the whole concept.
I hope you enjoyed your virtual visit to the streets of Edinburgh. I highly recommend a real visit if you have the chance. Next post, I will take you in a different direction.
Thank you for visiting, please come back again. In the meantime, may your travels be interesting and enjoyable.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Edinburgh is a city with a unique character, one worth exploring. I had had a bit of exposure to the city through Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus series and Alexander McCall Smith's "44 Scotland Street". (If you haven't read either, I highly recommend both authors.) The two authors sort of prepared me for my three day stay there in late March.
The photos in this post are some of the many street scenes that I took during my stay. Edinburgh is a great place to wander around by foot or just people watch from a cafe. Kilted signs of Scottish culture seemed to be everywhere, from the formal wear in a store front window to the piper busking near the train station. The streets themselves encouraged exploration-narrow side streets leading to hidden pubs and other unknowns off of the beaten path.
For the most part, the city was open and inviting. I did, however, find an exception to the rule. After much walking, we finally located the Oxford Bar. "The Ox" is a constant setting for Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus. After taking a photo of the sign, we wandered inside to take a look and perhaps grab a lunch (it was 12:30 and we had done a lot of walking to arrive at the place). When we walked through the door, there was a woman behind the bar and two middle-aged men enjoying their drinks. We smiled and looked around, and they looked at us without a word of welcome or a query as to what we'd like. After a moment of looking at the staring faces, Lori just spoke up and said we were just looking. The bar maid and the drinkers went back to their conversation and we left. Outside the Ox, we took another photo then went to a friendlier place for a pint and a sandwich. Our thought was that the Oxford Bar patrons were constantly interrupted by Ian Rankin readers visiting the bar and they just wanted to be left alone. It was a strange, but memorable, Edinburgh experience. I truly want to revisit Edinburgh and explore it in greater detail.
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.