Pretty in Pink

For this week’s Nature Photo Challenge, Denzil demands that we cheer ourselves and our readers up by serving up some Pictures in Pink.

I’m going for the obvious here. Flamingos, flowers – and firmament (or sky, as it’s more prosaically known).

Flowers first …

Finally, firmament:

Click on any image to see it at larger-than-postage-stamp size.

Nature Photo Challenge #3

Buses and planes, boats cars and trains …

The best way of travelling hopefully? Let’s see.

A bus can be fun, but that’s strictly for local exploring. Unless you can get yourself to India and hitch a lift in God’s Own Palace … Though you’re much more likely to be catching the long-distance bus whose driving seat I feature here …

Air travel has lost its sheen, since Airport Security and Queuing became a A Thing, not to mention those CO2 emissions of which we’re now so horribly aware. Even so, there is something thrilling about watching the changing landscapes of the earth far below, and cloud formations too.

You could take to the water, and sail to your destination near or far…

On the way to Rotterdam

Car travel gives you the opportunity to please yourselves and follow your noses, and even to get off the beaten track, but again … all those emissions.

My own favourite way to get from A to a distant B is by train. I sit, I watch the world go by. I read. If I’m lucky, there may be coffee on offer. And the journey eases the transition from home to away by gradually introducing fresh landscapes, fresh outlooks. There’s something discombobulating about leaving – say – foggy England by plane and arriving two hours later – say – in sunny Spain. Here’s the TGV from Barcelona to Paris. It says it all …

Station architecture may be inspired, whether from the Golden Age of Steam, or assertively twenty first century.

All things considered, I can’t agree with the disconsolate boredom of this particular passenger. By the way, you, get your feet off the seat!

Or … there’s always the motorbike … as spotted in their dozens and dozens outside Mysore Station.

Bike park outside the Station

All the same, modern travel with all its advantages can seem busy, stressful. Sometimes, we might just want to exchange the traffic jam for something rather simpler.

John has provided this week’s LENS-ARTISTS CHALLENGE #215 – Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and the places they take you.

Summer Travel: it’s worth it in the end

This is turning into a Sunday Thing. Experimenting with different types of poetry. But with added photos. Always with added photos. This week, as my contribution to Tanka Tuesday‘s task – to write a 4-11 (the clue is in the name: 11 lines of 4 syllables each – last line repeats the first) I thought I’d focus on summer travel.

Summer travel

was always fun.

But now passport

control (Brexit!);

Covid control;

train strikes and queues;

airport queuing – 

make journeys long

and so irksome.

Worth it though – for

summer travel

And to prove that travel’s always worth it, here’s my photo gallery. There’s just one problem. Most of these photos were taken in January, in February, in March … you get the idea – any month but August …

… Should have travelled by elephant …?

Temple elephant, Thanjavur

PS – the header photo was taken at l’Albufera, near Valencia, Spain.

Postcards from a Journey

A journey. A difficult journey, because getting from Greece to Catalonia proved a trip surprisingly taxing to pull together. Thessaloniki to Athens. Athens to Rome. Then a bit of an adventure. A sea voyage from Civitavecchia to Barcelona, sailing past Corsica and calling at Porto Torres in Sardinia, featured in the top photo. Sounds good? One day I’ll tell the story of this misadventure. Currently I’m far too cross.

However, it produced one – actually rather picturesque – photo which sums the whole thing up. The rusting chimneys of our ship, Roma.

And, not to be totally negative, a half way decent sunset.

We’re here now though, at home with the Catalonian branch of the family, for a satisfyingly relaxing end to our holiday. Well – as relaxing as a lively and charming 16 month old granddaughter will allow.

Balkan postcards 1

Monastery of Saint Paul, Lake Ohrid
Sunset over Lake Ohrid

The first of a series of Balkan vignettes: full story later – postcards aren’t for long stories. Here we are beside Lake Ohrid in North Macedonia, staying in a former monastery. In a modern take on Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries, this working monastery, dedicated to Saint Naum, was seized during the communist era, and transformed into a hotel. Yugoslavia and the Communist period are long gone, but the hotel remains. God’s loss is Mammon’s gain.

The well-travelled heron

I am an occasional contributor to the Bird Weekly Photo Challenge: and this week’s appealed. Birds that eat fish as their primary diet. Well, I have images of gannets, gulls and guillemots. I have puffins, though not a single photo features one with a beak crammed with sand eels.

But the fish-eater I love the most is the bird I so often see snaffling goldfish from our landlord’s pond: or as I walk the banks of our neighbourhood River Ure : the one I spot as I hang over the sides of bridges and boats in Spain: the one fishing in among the townhouses of Dordrecht, the Netherlands: the one in my featured photo who was flying down the canal-side in Busan South Korea. It’s the heron, the grey heron.

Click on any image to see it full size

Around the World in Ten Photos (3)

Several of you guessed yesterday‘s photo was of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, though if you recognised that monumental woman as a Damián Hirst, you weren’t letting on. Unsurprisingly, all three of you who knew the view can find your way round the north of England.

OK. Where today?

The photo was taken at this time of year. That’s all I’m saying.

Andrew of Have Bag, Will Travel invited me to join him and other bloggers to post one favourite travel picture a day for ten days without explanation, then each day, nominate someone new to join in on the same terms. Sarah, of Travel with Me: any chance you’d like to join in? No pressure if it’s not for you, but you are well-travelled! Link back to this post if you decide to have a go.