Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘European travels’ Category

I arrived home last night, after a 4.5 hour journey, from a week’s booking in Salisbury. As much as what I really enjoyed exploring the city, and learning more of the history and her green spaces, it was wonderful to be back home.

You cannot underestimate the sheer joy of coming ‘home’ to your own place. It may not be much, but it’s got my stuff in it, and I’m home.

My own duvet…magic

After I’d dropped my bags off, I grabbed my walking poles and immediately set off for a sunset walk to the harbour

Absolutely stunning
A Royal harbour
Can you see the moon?
The sun setting in front of me

and then along the lower promenade

The snow moon rising behind me

before climbing up to the clifftop and a walk to Pegwell Bay.

View of Pegwell Bay from the bottom of the cliffs
From halfway up the path to the top of the cliffs

It was quite dark already by the time I reached the hotel, so I stopped there for a few photos and then walked back along the clifftop.

View from Pegwell Bay hotel
A bit of fun with the moon and the hands and molecules sculpture
One lone boat still has its Christmas lights on

A magical walk with no pressure to get back within 2 hours, and 9.9 kms added to my 2021 Conqueror virtual challenge.

I’m going to start the Ring Road Iceland virtual challenge on Monday 1st March. I’m so looking forward to the postcards, should be amazing. My daughter and I had a fantastic 4 day trip to Iceland in 2014, so I’m really keen to see the information that comes with the postcards.

The Sun Voyager (Icelandic: Sólfar); a sculpture by Jón Gunnar Árnason

Read Full Post »

I was researching some carvings on the portico if a church I visited a couple of days ago and came across this article. Absolutely love this story. Clever man 😃😃😃

An Art Historian Discovered a Cheeky Self-Portrait That a Stonemason Left as an Easter Egg Inside a Famous Spanish Cathedral 800 Years Ago

https://news.artnet.com/art-world/art-historian-discovered-secret-stonemason-self-portrait-800-year-old-cathedral-spain-1920189

If you’ve walked to the Cathedral in Santiago you’ll know why this is such a fascinating find….

If you haven’t walked to the Cathedral in Santiago…..why not!!! Start planning 😉😄😄

Read Full Post »

I’ve been invited to participate in the 2020 Travel Challenge by fellow travellers and Camino pilgrims http://wetanddustyroads.com Thank you 😃

I’m honoured to be nominated and will do my very best to live up to the challenge!!

May

The Travel Challenge involves posting one favorite travel picture for each day. That’s 10 days, 10 travel pictures, and 10 nominations, without any explanation. If you take up this challenge, then you also need to nominate someone each day.

Today, on the 5th day of the challenge, I  nominate https://ericotrips.wordpress.com

You’re under no obligation to accept, but if you do…..

You can post any of your favorite pictures from 2020…enjoy and happy travels!!

Read Full Post »

I’ve been invited to participate in the 2020 Travel Challenge by fellow travellers and Camino pilgrims http://wetanddustyroads.com Thank you 😃

I’m honoured to be nominated and will do my very best to live up to the challenge!!

March

The Travel Challenge involves posting one favorite travel picture for each day. That’s 10 days, 10 travel pictures, and 10 nominations, without any explanation. If you take up this challenge, then you also need to nominate someone each day.

Today, on the 3rd day of the challenge, I nominate http://theredphoneboxtravels.com

You’re under no obligation to accept, but if you do….

You can post any of your favorite pictures from 2020…enjoy and happy travels!!

Read Full Post »

I’ve been invited to participate in the 2020 Travel Challenge by fellow travellers and Camino pilgrims http://wetanddustyroads.com Thank you 😁

I’m honoured to be nominated and will do my very best to live up to the challenge!!

April

The Travel Challenge involves posting one favorite travel picture for each day. That’s 10 days, 10 travel pictures, and 10 nominations, without any explanation. If you take up this challenge, then you also need to nominate someone each day.

Today, on the 4th day of the challenge, I  nominate http://wanderingexplorer.travel.blog

You’re under no obligation to accept, but if you do…..

You can post any of your favorite pictures from 2020…enjoy and happy travels!!

Read Full Post »

I was reading through some Instagram posts this morning and a post by one of my favourite ‘grammers’ caught my eye.

She commented about having encountered some ‘yompers’ on a trail she was recently walking, and how their speeding ahead made her feel a bit inadequate. I’d not heard the expression ‘yompers’ before, but I do remember seeing them whizzing by when I walked the Camino in 2017.

Their faces set, backs straight, poles thumping the ground, they stride steadfastly ahead, looking neither left nor right, they whizz ahead at speed…. I often wondered why!!

They miss the scenery, they miss the little treasures along the wayside, they never (from what I saw) engaged with the locals, or visited a church to sit down and absorb the tranquillity- mostly they entered a church to get their passport stamped, and out again…once more to yomp ahead. I really would love to know why…..??

Is it a matter of finishing the route as quickly as possible, do they have a limited time to walk, is it about clocking up miles the fastest, getting to the albergues first to secure a bed, or perhaps they just add each route completed to a check list? Done this, done that, no t-shirt.

I’m classified as a ‘slow stroller’ – although my family would disagree 😂😂🤪

Walking for me is about the freedom of being outdoors, about the scenery,  the little discoveries I make along the tide line or on top of cliffs, about visiting the important landmarks enroute, and often going completely ‘off-piste’ to visit some place I’d seen on Google while planning my trip. I don’t always reach my destination (unless I have a confirmed booking) but oh my, how much I enjoy just looking, enjoying and absorbing while walking.

The yompers can yomp, I prefer to absorb my environment and actually remember what I’ve experienced…. and of course to take as many photos as possible 😉

Which is also why I mostly walk alone; going solo I can stop whenever, wherever I like, take photos every 5 seconds, have a snooze under a tree in a graveyard, or a shady stand of trees….sit in a pub and enjoy a beer, or cup of tea….I’m not holding anyone up, and I’m not annoying anyone because I keep stopping…

And having said that, I really must get myself a good mobile charger. The battery on my latest Samsung (2018) is crap and despite closing all background apps, the battery fizzles out after 6-8 hours. I stress about taking photos because the camera uses a lot of power, so invariably I spend money in pubs along the way while I boost my phone. Its tiresome.

I’ve tested one or two models, but they don’t do the job and I end up returning them to the store…. something small and powerful would be useful please Universe 🌌🌠☺

Meanwhile, I’ll keep strolling….and the yompers can yomp!!

Read Full Post »

19 years ago today, 08/10/2001 I embarked on what was to be a life changing event, and the adventure of a lifetime.

A few months earlier a number of events converged and conspired to change the course of my life.

The company I was working for in South Africa went into liquidation in July, and although I worked for the liquidators for 3 months, I was officially unemployed from end September.

In August, my daughter reached the grand age of 21….in South Africa, this is a milestone birthday and she was now an adult for real, and I gave her the ‘key to the door’. This is a symbolic key, and really means that now she was entirely responsible for herself and her life….

My younger sister, who was at the time living and working in Ireland as an IT Specialist, with her husband, was about to reach a milestone birthday too….the grand age of 30 in October!! ☺☺☺ She asked if someone in the family could fly over to help her celebrate, and since I had no responsibilities, I said YES!! I’ll come…

And so it came to pass that on 8th October 2001, just one month after 9/11 I flew from South Africa to Ireland.

I almost didn’t get to fly over across the seas to Ireland as the airline I was due to travel with; SWISSAIR had their planes grounded due to financial difficulties. Fortunately South African Airways aka SAA was linked to SWISSAIR and they made accommodation for all the stranded passengers and I was lucky enough to leave at the exact time of my intended flight.

Leaving South Africa on an overseas flight for the first time in my life was both thrilling and terrifying….would I find my way around the airports – we flew overnight into Zurich where I had to change flights…terror LOL. But I managed alright and even found time to have a hot chocolate and pastry…and Swiss Chocolate 😃😃

I sent a postcard to my daughter from the airport and I remember walking past the postbox 3 times before someone showed me exactly where it was, it was green – I was expecting a red postbox. 🤣🤣🤣 I have learned so much since then.

From Zurich we flew over Europe and I cried nearly the whole way….as someone with a keen interest in history and particularly WW2, all I could think about was what had happened in those skies 60 odd years ago, and in the cities below. It was heartbreaking.

Finally we arrived at the City of London Airport where I had to take first a bus to a tube station and then the tube to Heathrow….my mind was expanding at a rate of knots 🤪🤪🤪 I can’t tell you how much I learned in those first few hours. I had to ask, absorb, remember and retain, and follow more information in a short period of time than I had ever in my preceding 46 years…

On my way to Heathrow on the Piccadilly Line, I remember exiting the underground near Hounslow and seeing all the houses and the chimneys….as a huge fan of Mary Poppins I was immediately smitten by the chimney pots and the tall houses and thought to myself “I could live here”. And now I am….to my everlasting surprise. I never in my life imagined ever living in another country other than South Africa.

I flew from Heathrow to Dublin and arrived in Ireland on my sister’s birthday 😃😃 Lots of hugs and kisses and high excitement ensued.

Loved Ireland. So much so that when the time came to return to South Africa in December, I didn’t go back. I stayed on for another 2 months till justbeforemy visa expired, then returned to London, spent a week there obtaining the relevant paperwork that would enable me to obtain my Ancestral Visa….I had already decided by then that I wanted to relocate to the UK/Ireland.

The 6 months I spent in Ireland were some of the happiest of my life and I wanted more. We had so many amazing adventures and travelled the length and breadth of the island visiting so many wonderful places.

I flew back to South Africa in March of 2002, and by 22nd April 2002 I was back in Ireland having sold my car (to my daughter) put my house on the market for sale and my possessions into storage. My daughter moved in with her then boyfriend once the house was sold and I settled into my new life in the UK….and I have never looked back. I have never had a day’s homesickness or yearning to return to SA.

In the 18 years since I’ve lived here, I’ve obtained my British citizenship, travelled extensively in the UK: been to just about all the English counties, Scotland, Wales, N.Ireland and a number of UK islands, innumerable times to Ireland, America 4 times, Iceland, France: Paris, Versailles & Calais, Italy: Venice, Verona, Pisa, Florence, San Gimignano, Lucca and Sienna, been to Amsterdam, Bruges, Brussels and Gibraltar, Portugal and Spain.

I’ve walked on fire, climbed halfway up Mount Snowdon, flown over London in a helicopter (a gift from my daughter for my 60th birthday), had a flight along the Kent coast in a Spitfire in 2018 (another birthday gift from my daughter 😍) – the same year I got the wonderful news I was to become a Granny 😊. I’ve taken part in the Tudor Pull, travelled on the Trinity Tide, travelled through Paris in a soft-top convertible (a gift from my daughter for my 50th birthday), enjoyed numerous steam train journeys, explored 85% of the streets, lanes and alleyways of the City of London, attended all the major London annual/traditional events and commemorations, travelled on the Eurostar to Paris and a ferry to Calais, I’ve become a long-distance walker with 4 named walks behind me: Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, St Augustine’s Way, the Portuguese Camino and the Pilgrim’s Way, and yesterday I walked across the top of the White Cliffs of Dover – so now I’ve seen the cliffs from the sea, the air and walked across the top!! 👏👏👏😀😀 I’ve visited 146 places named in the Domesday Book, and hundreds of churches, and participated in an archaeological dig in London, and obtained my British citizenship in 2016.

My current goal is to walk the full England Coast Path and the Welsh coastline (a long term project I started on 22nd September this year) – it’ll take about 6 years to complete.

Because I had been to so many places I set up Project 101 with the goal of visiting or seeing 101 different categories.

Best of all my beloved daughter joined me in the UK in 2003 and is now happily married and has a baby boy – so I am now a Granny….the ultimate.

Always believe

I’ve learned how to blog 🤪🤪, built a small business and an app, wrote a book and had some poems published. I learned how to create videos and use YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter…although I’m no longer on the two last platforms.

I’ve been on protest marches and attended the 2012 London Olympics, voted in elections, voiced my opinions about the government 🤣🤣🤣 and the weather….always a good topic of conversation, and tonight in celebration we had a right proper British meal; fish and chips 😋😋😋

When I first arrived in 2001 I hardly said a word to anyone, especially strangers, now I talk to everyone and anyone….wherever I go and as a result I’ve met some wonderful people, many of whom are now close friends.

3 events in 2001 conspired to send me on an unimagined path and the adventures of a lifetime. Happy 19th anniversary of a new and very different life to me 🥂🍾🎉🎊🎈🎈🎈and of course a very happy birthday to my sister 😍😍🥂🍾🎂 you know which one you are 😉

I wonder what adventures await in the coming years!! Oh, and next year I get my bus pass….hopefully 🤣🤣🤣🤣

Read Full Post »

My daughter sent me this quote last night. I absolutely love it…..

In future I shall ‘saunter’ on my pilgrimages to holy places.

I do wonder though what he would have to say about ‘slow strollers on the Camino’?.

Read Full Post »

Whoo hoo, my Camino map arrived. It shows all the different Camino routes in Spain and from beyond the borders ; its stunning.

Looking at the map I’m made aware of the fact that despite having walked 240kms from Porto in Portugal to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, my route really was just a very very short distance in comparison to many of the others.

Wise Pilgrim's Guide map

Wise Pilgrim’s Guide map

My daughter joked that I should walk them all 😳😳😳🚶🚶🤣🤣🤣 Uhmm, yes, I’d need a 2nd life to do that!!!

Here’s the website if you’d like to buy a map or one of the guides. This is not an affiliate link

Read Full Post »

I was chatting to my daughter yesterday and remarked that I had been particularly blessed this year. Usually when you get to the end of the year you kinda feel like there is more that could/should be done before the year ends (well I do), and the last few days of December are spent cramming in just a few more activities. But this year I can truly say that I have had a year jam-packed with adventures, and for that, I am truly grateful.

inspirational quotes

Die with memories, not dreams

So to that end I decided to list my 2017 adventures, and was astounded at how much I had actually done, and how many places I have actually been to besides all my Camino 2017 practice walks that took me to some fantastic places. So this is my final blog for 31 Days of Gratitude – Day 31 – 2017 in review.

January

New Year’s Day swim 01.01.2017 Broadstairs Beach, Isle of Thanet, Kent

New Year's Day, Broadstairs

New Year’s Day, Broadstairs

Wedding Dress shopping with my daughter

wedding dress shopping with my daughter

wedding dress shopping…so much fun

Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England

visit the isle of wight

A visit to the isle of Wight

Places I went while I was there; Nettlestone (1086 Domesday Book village),20170116_144130-01 Bembridge Windmilll, Brading Roman Villa, Carisbrooke Castle, Cowes, Ryde, rode on a Hover craft, The Needles and Quarr Abbey.

And Osborne House


Magic Lantern Festival – Chiswick Park, London

Canterbury, Kent

Canterbury, Kent

Canterbury, Kent

February
Oxted, Surrey – the Greenwich Meridian runs through the town

Oxted

A closer look at Oxted

Limpsfield, Surrey – a Domesday Book village

Down House – home of Charles Darwin

Down House; home of Charles Darwin and his family

Down House; home of Charles Darwin and his family

Tatsfield, Surrey – a Domesday Book village

tatsfield surrey

South East England’s highest village; Tatsfield. Ref wikipedia: “In Anglo-Saxon England, Tatsfield lay within Tandridge hundred. In 1086 it was held by Anschitill (Ansketel) de Ros from the Bishop of Bayeux. Its Domesday assets were: ? hide. It had 2 ploughs. It rendered 60 shillings (£3) to its feudal overlords per year.”

Tandridge & Crowhurst, Surrey

Tandridge & Crowhurst

Tandridge & Crowhurst

Dublin, Ireland

 

Trim Castle & Trim, Ireland

March
City of Winchester, Hampshire, England

Winchester

Winchester

Torquay, seaside resort – Devon

torquay

Torquay

April

Pisa, Florence, San Gimignano, Poggibonsi, Sienna, Lucca – Italy

 

May

Newcastle, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Newcastle, Ireland

Newcastle, Ireland

Belfast, Northern Ireland

 

Giants Causeway, Northern Ireland

 

Dark Hedges – Game of Thrones, N. Ireland

the dark hedges northern ireland

The Dark Hedges – scenes for Game of Thrones were shot in this area

Sevenoaks, Kent, England

 

June
Tonbridge, Kent, England

Ironbridge, Shropshire, England – UNESCO World Heritage Site

Lenham, Kent, England

Lenham

Lenham

July
Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales route – Southwark to Canterbury

Battle of Britain Airshow, Headcorn

St Augustine’s Way – Ramsgate to Canterbury

August
Arundel, and Arundel Castle, West Sussex, England

Bromham, Houghton House with my lovely friends Lynne & Tim and Elstow (birthplace of John Bunyan) – Bedfordshire, England

Bronham, Houghton House, Elstow

Bromham, Houghton House, Elstow

Zip Line with Zip World in London with my daughter

September
Walked the Caminho Portuguese – Porto, Portugal to Santiago, Spain 240 kms – Both UNESCO World Heritage sites

Coimbra, Portugal – UNESCO World Heritage Site

Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain

Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain

Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain

October
Montgomery Castle, Montgomery, Wales

Montgomery Castle, Montgomery, Wales

Montgomery Castle, Montgomery, Wales

November
Caernarfon Castle, Wales – site where Prince Charles was crowned Prince of Wales

Caenarfon Castle, Wales

Caenarfon Castle, Wales

Ffenistogg Railway Line Train ride; Caenarfon to Portmadogg through Snowdonia

Ffenistogg Railway line Caenarfon to Porthmadogg, Wales

Ffenistogg Railway line Caenarfon to Portmadogg, Wales

Climbed Mount Snowdon, Snowdonia National Park, Gwynedd – highest mountain in Wales

Mount Snowdon, Wales

Mount Snowdon, Wales

Montgomery, Powys, Wales – The Treaty of Montgomery was signed 29 September 1267 in Montgomeryshire. By this treaty King Henry III of England acknowledged Llywelyn ap Gruffudd as Prince of Wales.

Montgomery, Wales

Montgomery, Wales

December
Snow in Wales

Snow in Wales

Snow in Wales

Christmas in Broadstairs, Isle of Thanet, Kent

xmas 2017

Christmas 2017 with my delightful family

And in total, between 01.01.2017 & 31.12.2017 I have walked well over 1100 miles.

What an extraordinary year; 2017.IMG_20171231_100927_404

p.s. Days 14-30 Days of Gratitude will follow shortly….I eventually ran out of time 😉

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Wonderwall

My 360: wonderwalls,theatre, travel, Sheffield, books...

Robyn's Ramblings

My Thoughts. Expressed.

Graham's Long Walk

Graham King's long walks around Britain

The Lawsons on the Loose

Philip & Heather are making memories through travelling. How lucky are we?

John Wreford Photographer

Words and Pictures from the Middle East & Balkans

Roadtirement

"Traveling and Retired"

Fergy's Rambles.

Travelling while I still could (pre-virus obviously).

Webb Blogs/ Ocd and Me

Life With OCD, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, And Recovering from Addiction.

Running over the Rainbow

Running towards Self-acceptance, Health and Happiness