The steeples of El Santuario de la Virgen da Barca (The Sanctuary of our Virgin of the Sea), at Punta da Barca ou de Xavina near Múxia just past sunset, as the fishing fleet heads out to sea.
This is the Faro de Cabo Vilán. It was a great start to another great day of hiking.
From the end of our second day on the Camino dos Faros, this photo shows carved granite crucifixes that stand at the lighthouse Punta de Roncudo. The 20 minutes that we were able to spend here before darkness fell were absolutely breathtaking.
The oldest operating lighthouse in the world, this is el Torre de Hércules (the Tower of Hercules). Standing on a bluff extending from the city of A Coruña, this working monument served as the starting point for our adventures on the northwest coast of Spain.
This entry briefly describes our hike from Palas de Rei to Melide (pronounced, “Melid-e”), and it shows photos we took of some sights along the way.
Okay, so my buddies from grade school and I just turned 60 – not a big deal. I mean, it isn’t like we need to go out and reestablish our dominion over all creatures great and small. We’ve done that to death! But it did seem like a reasonable occasion just to get together and engage in some intellectually stimulating conversation over libations, and also stir up a little low-key competition of the sportsman variety.
To address the occasion, our friends Chris and Betty invited us down to their new place in Tallahassee, Florida for an extended weekend, which would include a lovely birthday/retirement/welcome-to-Tallahassee party for Chris and his friends at a historic Tallahassee manor house, some quality time at some of the nations finest beaches, and in a tribute to days gone by, offshore fishing, and CONSUMPTION OF THE SPOILS!
So, turning three score ain’t half bad!
On December 7, 2017, at the end of my week of West Coast business, Patty flew in from Washington, DC to meet me at San Francisco International Airport, landing at about 9:00 pm. From there, we took the last flight up to Arcata, California, 280 miles to the north, where we would spend the weekend visiting our son, Ian.
Even though my long-awaited Nikon D850 Full-Frame Digital SLR camera had just been delivered at home that week, I didn’t ask Patty to drag it along with her. So, I was left with only my iPhone 5 to record a very nice weekend in Northern California.
This post provides an overview for the trip we took to Quebec City, Canada with our neighbors, Bo and Peggy, in the early fall of 2017. The subsequent posts provide a summary for each of the eight days of our trip.
Photo Notes: This is a view of Quebec City, Canada, looking north from the bike path on the eastern shore of the Saint Lawrence River.
This is downtown Trois-Rivieres, Canada. It may not look like it, but this town was hopping.
Photo Notes: The corner of Rue Notre Dame Centre and Rue des Forges, Trois-Rivieres, Canada.
We spent our first full day in Canada, Sunday, October 1, 2017, touring the upper city, and then driving to Isle d’Orleans to look for some of my dead relatives ;-). That night we came back and had our 35th anniversary dinner at one of the best restaurants in Quebec.
Photo Notes: This is the view looking northeast from the Observation Tower at the northeast end of Isle d’Orleans. The plot of land shown once belonged to Joseph “The Woodcock” Bonneau and his wife Madeleine Duchesne, who were my 8th great grandparents.
Photo Notes: Montmorency Falls, just north of Beauport, Canada.
Photo Notes: Looking South on Rue du Cul de Sac (aptly referred to as Umbrella Alley) in Old Quebec City, Canada
Patty’s Camino Francés adventure during September-October 2016 got us hooked on long distance hiking. At the end of that trip, we were having drinks on the patio of the Hotel Playa de Estorde in Cee, Spain, when we struck up a conversation with a couple of guys who had also just finished the Camino de Santiago Compostela. One of them, whose name was Kent, was from Scotland, and so I asked him, “What is the best hike in Scotland, and when is the best time of year to do it?”. He said that the best hike in Scotland is from Glasgow, north to Fort William, along the 96-mile West Highland Way (WHW), and the best time to do it is before the last week in May, because that’s when the midges come out. With further conversation, it was clear to me that this guy knew what he was talking about. And so we filed this away, and started musing about our next adventure.
This post is the first of 18 (in forward chronological order) that together describe the trip we took to Scotland in the late spring of 2017, and which included our hike along the WHW. In these posts you will find details and lessons learned regarding the photographic and travel aspects of our trip. Many of the photos in these posts simply provide a photographic record. Those which I consider to be some artistic quality will be included in the Portfolio section of this website, in this case under the category Travel.
The featured image for this post shows the view looking northwest from the West Highland Way (WHW) on the eastern face of Meall a’ Bhuiridh (‘Hill of the Bellowing of Stags’), in the Scottish Highlands, on approach to the village of Kingshouse (approximately 1-1/4 miles off towards the right, and 210 ft below). Kingshouse took its name after British troops were billeted there following the Battle of Culloden, which took place on April 16, 1746, on Culloden Moor, near Inverness. It was at the Battle of Culloden that 1500-2000 Jacobites and approximately 300 British troops lost their lives in the Jacobites’ failed attempt to return the House of Stuart to the British crown after the death of Queen Anne. Kingshouse was our final destination for the hiking portion of this trip, 24 miles short of the WHW terminus at Fort William.
The foreground shows a WHW marker post standing in a field of dormant heather. The symbol on the post is that of a thistle flower within a hexagon. The prickly purple thistle was adopted as the Emblem of Scotland during the rein of Alexander III (1249 -1286). Legend has it that an Army of King Haakon of Norway, intent on conquering the Scots, had landed at the Coast of Largs at night to surprise the sleeping Scottish Clansmen. In order to move more stealthily under the cover of darkness, the Norsemen removed their footwear. As they drew near to the Scots, one of Haakon’s men stepped on a thistle and shrieked out in pain, alerting the Clansmen of the advancing Norsemen, and allowing them to seize the day.
In the center of this photo, at distance, is Glen Coe (valley of the River Coe), which is considered one of the most spectacular and beautiful places in Scotland. Twelve miles down the glen lies Glencoe village at Loch Leven, site of the February 1692 Massacre of Glencoe, where 38 men from Clan Donald were killed by their British military guests, and another 40 women and children died of exposure after their homes were burned. This action was based on the perceived delay in the clan’s taking an oath of allegiance to the King of England in return for pardon for their role in the Jacobite uprising (Leaders of the British troops were ultimately punished.). Glen Coe was formed by a retreating ice age glacier, leaving the entrance flanked by Buachaille Etive Mor (‘The Great Herdsman of Etive’, summit at 3,353 ft) on the left, which the Scottish Mountaineering Club lists as one of Scotland’s 282 ‘munros’, or mountain summits over 3,000 ft, and the Aonach Eagach ridge on the right.
I give you all this detail to illustrate that, even a photo as simple as this may have an epic story to tell. As a photographer, my challenge is to stimulate you to explore such images, and to tickle your curiosity as to the story that lies behind them. Enjoy my attempts at doing so.
On Saturday, May 6th, we took an evening flight from Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) to Newark International Airport (EWR), and then from there we had an overnight connection to Edinburgh, Scotland.
The featured photo for this post is just the Edinburgh sign at the airport. I guess we were pretty excited, because we ended up with the same photo from about six different angles.
We spent our first day in Edinburgh touring the city by bus and on foot. We settled into a great hotel, we had a great meal, and we had a nice walk to top it off.
The featured image shows the entrance to Edinburgh Castle at dusk.
This post describes our experiences on Monday, May 8th, our first full day in Edinburgh. Our activities included a guided bike tour around the city, with frequent stops that allowed me to take some nice photos of the spectacular scenery.
This photo was taken at the first stop on our tour, the courtyard of what was originally a 16th century inn, just outside the walled city of Edinburgh. Patty insisted that I take the photo. I think she wanted to make sure that I captured all things ‘quaint’.
On Tuesday, May 9th, we planned that Bo would drive us all to Saint Andrews, about 1.5 hours to the northwest of Edinburgh, to see the ruins of Saint Andrews Cathedral. It turned out to be one of those ‘postcard’ days, as the posted photos will show.
The featured photo shows the view looking west from the top of what is now referred to as Rule’s Tower, which is the only section that remains of one of at least three Roman Catholic churches that had been built on the site of Saint Andrews Cathedral. The first church was founded by the King of the Picts in the 8th century, at around the time that legend says that Saint Rule (also known as Saint Regulus) brought relics of the apostle Saint Andrew to Scotland from Patras in Greece, where he had been crucified. The apostle Andrew was adopted as the patron saint of the Picts, and later of Scotland. The saltire, or X-shaped cross that adorns the Scottish flag, which is believed to be the oldest flag in Europe, is the symbol of Saint Andrew, because it is said that he chose to be crucified on an X-shaped cross, because he felt he wasn’t worthy to die in the same manner as Christ Jesus.
The second church, built around 1130, was the Church of Saint Regulus, of which this tower was a part, and which was retained during the construction of the third church, Saint Andrews Cathedral. Construction began on the cathedral in 1158, and it was consecrated in 1318 in the presence of King Robert I (Robert the Bruce). The Cathedral of Saint Andrew was looted in 1559, during the early stages of the Scottish Reformation, and it fell into disuse starting in 1561, after Catholic mass was outlawed in Scotland. At 391 feet long, it was for some time the largest church to have been built in Scotland
In the distance lies the city of Saint Andrews, with the University of Saint Andrews on the far right.
Day 5 (Wednesday, May 10th) was our last day in Edinburgh. Patty and I would be taking a train to Glasgow that afternoon to get ready to start hiking the next day. Bo and Peggy would stay one more night, and then take a taxi north to meet us for lunch on our second day on the trail. But before all that, there would be a full day of interesting discoveries in Edinburgh . . .
This photo shows the north side of Craigmillar Castle, from the trail that leads through the town of Craigmillar, and on to Duddingston Village.
On Thursday, May 11th, Patty and I set out by train from Glasgow to Milngavie, the starting point for the West Highland Way.
The photo below shows what we were seeing along the first section of the trail. Bluebells. Bluebells everywhere.