Snapshot Saturday: Weathered by the sun in Alicante

Our Spanish holiday ended in Alicante, some 550 km from Barcelona, and was all to do with our flight home.  Don’t ask.

My second impression of Alicante, and Malcolm’s first, was that it’s a lovely town.  It’s suffered a bit in English eyes from its proximity to Benidorm, the British home of sun, sand, sangria and sex (and that’s probably a bit unfair too).  Actually, it’s a fairly wealthy town, a historic Mediterranean port, and strolling round its historic centre, and along its seafront and esplanades was a pleasant experience.

I struggled to find much that was weathered, for this week’s WordPress Photo challenge, but here is a nicely picturesque house above the old town, and a slightly sun-battered detail from the Basilica de Santa Maria.

My other snapshots (click on any of them to see a slideshow) display a busy, prosperous town which we’ll happily return to.  Especially if we can enjoy lunch outside in temperatures of 17 degrees in the middle of January.

Snapshot Saturday: You can never have too many snowdrops

2018. Our earliest snowdrops.

On New Year’s Day, I excitedly posted a photo of the earliest snowdrops of the year, spotted that very morning.  If I’d known that this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge was to be ‘Growth’, I might just have held back.

As it is, I now realise just how special those early hardy little shoots are.  That little patch of snowdrops I showed you was alone, quite alone on a sea of bare earth, creeping ivy and a few shriveled Autumn leaves.

Let’s fast forward maybe four weeks.  This is what the garden and surrounding woodlands will look like after all the hundreds and thousands of local snowdrops have grown, pushing themselves forth through the chilly frozen earth.  Our annual miracle.

February 2017.  All the local snowdrops have arrived.

Click on any image to view full size.

Snapshot Saturday: a wintry walk

For the last WordPress Photo Challenge of the year, we’ve been bidden to come up with our favourite shot of 2017.  How to choose?

I was thinking of maybe reviewing the year, one month at a time: family moments, walks in the Dales, trips to Poland, Germany, France and Spain.  Nope, it wasn’t working .

The shot that I found kept presenting itself was this one, taken on a chilly walk not so far from here almost a year ago.  It chimes in with my somewhat gloomy feelings about the future: political uncertainty here, in Catalonia, in America, to name just three.

Not all was gloom though.  Look!  We were walking with friends.  And in the end, the sun came out, and we were able to turn our backs on the damp unfriendly fog.

If only politics were so simple.  Happy Christmas everyone.

Snapshot Saturday: up – and down – in the Yorkshire Dales

If you go walking in the Yorkshire Dales, you won’t avoid a few ups and downs.  And not just the hills either.  There’s a small matter of stiles to be climbed to get over all those drystone walls.

Near Kettlewell, Yorkshire.

This post is in response to this weeks WordPress Photo Challenge: Ascend

Snapshot Saturday: The cheeky dragon, cactus and squirrel of Sagunt

This day three weeks ago, I was in Sagunt, near Valencia.  When I wrote about it, I posted not a single photo, but promised you a few later.  You’ll have to wait for the ones celebrating this fine city’s Roman, Moorish, Jewish and Civil War past.  Today, you can see the cheeky dragon who’s roaring from the top of a perfectly ordinary drainpipe fixed to a perfectly ordinary house.

I’ll show you the cheeky cactus growing in the gutter of another perfectly well-appointed house nearby.

And you can see the cheeky red squirrel – so exciting to an English person used only to his pushy grey cousins – who declined to sit still and pose nicely while I fussed around turning on my camera.

This week’s WordPress photo challenge invites us to find cheeky photos.

Snapshot Saturday: the serenity of last week’s transformation

Oh, I say, WordPress Photo Challenge.  That’s a bit much.  ‘Serene’?  I did that last week, under the heading of ‘Transformation’.

Still, you can’t keep a serene place down.  And if l’Albufera as the sun was was setting good enough for last week’s post, it’s good enough this week too.  Especially as I’ve exchanged enjoying the warmth in balmy Spain for shivering in temperature of 1 degree in gusty, snowy North Yorkshire.