Category Archives: Travel

Il Parco Dell’Etna

Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and last year, just after my visit, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As recently as last month it was putting on a pyrotechnic display, closing the nearby airport at Catania. All was calm when I was there. Travelling friend and I stayed in an hotel with a distant view – if you craned your neck a little on the balcony, and ignored the buildings in the way.
We went up twice, first of all independently and we couldn’t resist a guided tour a couple of days later.
Here are some photos taken at about 2000 metres, cool and grey with mile after mile of lava from various past eruptions.


In June there were miles of empty roads, lots of stopping places for photos and an almost creepy stillness.
You quite quickly descend to sunshine and there the flora and fauna is pretty.


Etna can be seen from all over the east of Sicily and when you’re up there the views down are amazing.
et6 - Copy
Going down.

et11
Towards the sea.

I enjoyed  looking back on my time on Etna, I’ll post some photos of the guided tour soon!

cr11

An English Market Town

Do you have towns that you regularly drive by and just don’t get round to stopping? I have several, and on Saturday I did get round to this one! Bridport, in Dorset (my second favourite county) is just 40 miles from home. I bypass it nearly every month on the drive to see my daughter, often wondering what it’s like. This time I got to visit because my friend and I had a table at a craft fair there, for the first time.
Bridport is known for its thriving arts and hosts the prestigious Bridport Prize for writing each year, I’d like to be good and brave enough to enter one day. The craft fair took place in the Arts Centre, where Dee, the manager fell for my hand made cards, thanks Dee :-)
Saturday is market day and this particular one was also the annual carnival, so the little town was positively bursting at the seams, buzzing and vibrant, with tourists mingling with locals and market traders.
I love markets and dashed around like a headless chicken, wanting to buy, see as much as possible and soak up the atmosphere. All the time I was aware that my friend was on her own and possibly busy while I went walkabout, snapping away with my phone camera and wishing I had my big girls Canon. Never mind, here are some of the things I saw.

I managed to resist buying anything! The book stall was most tempting – of course, but I’ve forbidden myself from buying any more until I’ve reduced my unread pile. And stuff? well I mustn’t take anything home unless I’m prepared to take something to the charity shop. What I did get though was bread, glorious locally made with green olives, sun dried tomatoes and cheese and the most heavenly texture. I wish I’d bought more. I won’t be bypassing Bridport on a Saturday again.
Hope you enjoyed my visit!

As blue as can be!

Early Beer

On a sunny Sunday at Beer in East Devon, it pays to be around bright and early to enjoy the peaceful beach. With blue skies and the crunch of the waves on the pebbles and just a few people it’s a perfect spot.

Looking east
Looking east
A shimmering horizon
A shimmering horizon


The stuff of coastal folk

As blue as can be!
As blue as can be!

Busying up, it's 10 am and there must be 10 people on the beach!
Busying up, it’s 10 am and there must be 10 people on the beach!

Looking West, Branscombe is around the corner, I don’t think you can walk it at beach level, but you can always climb up to the South West Coast Path.
I hope you liked an early peep at Beer?

The top of the Oast house in the distance

Another English Country Garden

The garden at Sissinghurst, in Kent was created in the 1930’s by Vita Sackville-West and her husband, Harold Nicolson. Now a National Trust property, it is looked after by a large team of gardeners and is divided into ‘rooms’, each with a different style, planting scheme colour theme. Here are some photos, I have masses of flower shots but for now I’ll show you general views of the garden.

This style of planter was new to me, very effective
This style of planter was new to me, very effective
An abundance of blooms in every direction
An abundance of blooms in every direction
A rosy corner
A rosy corner
The boat house in the background
The boat house in the background
Box hedge flower beds in the white garden
Box hedge flower beds in the white garden
A nice feature
A nice feature
The tower, up we go!
The tower, up we go!
And here is the view from the top.
And here is the view from the top.
A band playing on the lawn in the distance
A band playing on the lawn in the distance
The top of the Oast house in the distance
The top of the Oast house in the distance
A view of the garden 'rooms'.
A view of the garden ‘rooms’.

Sissinghurst was beautiful, it totally lived up to my expectations. There were a good few plants I’ve rarely or never seen, and many dark purple flowers which are my favourites. It was the last day of my holiday and I was suffering from garden burn out, they were all running into one, but I hope you like this little glimpse.

sissinghurst

Making Entrances

Have you missed me a little?  I guess not, but since last weekend when Christine and Stuart were over from Dadirri, I’ve been away for a few days. I’ve taken around a thousand photos and these are the first few I will show you.

Entrances, doors and thresholds, they always fascinate me and I know I’m not alone. The gallery has pictures from Kent and Sussex, mainly National Trust properties, I hope you enjoy them, click for a bigger view.

Treasure from Ghana

My sweet bird of Sirigu! If ever you get the chance to visit Ghana, don’t hesitate for a moment.  It really is a wonderful country  with a rich cultural, fascinating history and the friendliest of people.

This is probably my favourite travel buy of all time.

sirigu bird

Complete with broken tail!

 

b2

Blackbury bluebells

Last weekend I went to Blackbury Camp, an iron age hill fort in East Devon. Iron age puts it between 800 BC and 100 AD, and Blackbury is one of several similar in the south of England. The hill fort is around 200 by 300 metres and roughly oval and has ramparts constructed from flint and clay. It has stunning views over the surrounding woodland and pastures, and is now looked after by English Heritage.

I’ve been before but this time was really special, here’s why!

b1

It’s bluebell time, and this little place has the most perfect bluebell wood I’ve ever seen! Come and join me for a stroll.

I hope you enjoyed the view, I was overwhelmed by it’s beauty.

b11

Most fragrant treasure

carpets a wood nymph’s haven

relentlessly blue