Carcassonne (2011) Revisited

These are photos I didn’t know I had. I found these pictures from a trip that I took to Carcassonne in 2011. I had always wanted to go to Carcassonne – to fulfil a childhood ambition (that my sister reminded me about). It is a fortified French town in the Aude department, in the Region of Occitanie. Early in the year, I found cheap flights and a hotel in a perfect location situated in the old part of the town. This being February, well out of season, the streets were almost deserted.

Carcassonne is a fortified city, located in a strategic point in the south of France, which has been occupied since the Neolithic period. The city itself consists essentially of a concentric design of two outer walls with 53 towers and barbicans to prevent attack by siege engines. The castle possesses its own drawbridge and ditch leading to a central keep. Carcassonne did not disappointed, its imposing and majestic castle walls where amazing.

Stonehenge revisited 2017

I visited Stonehenge ten years ago on my birthday (April 2007). This year, in 2017 my parents again asked me, what I would like do on my birthday. And again I said i would like to visit Stonehenge.

We made the thirty minute drive to the henge from their home. I was taken a back this time by the changes that had taken place. A huge visitors centre had now sprung up quite a distance from the site. There was a stone-age encampment near by the visitors’ centre and the biggest change of all was that you now have to get a minibus up to the stones.

My father and myself jumped the bus, and in a throng of Japanese, Italian, and German tourists – in fact nationalities from all over the globe, we made our way to the stones. It was hard to get decent shot with the number of people taking selfies around the stones, and just the general crowd.

There seems to have been a definite shift in the culture of Stonehenge – it now represents not something ancient anymore but something definitively modern – and that is a monetary value, what profit can be made.

Pitlochry to Rannoch Moor

At the beginning of March 2017 – i travelled up to Scotland again, wild camping and Hiking. This time I started off walking from Pitlochry. I was heading to Rannoch Moor train station, some 38 miles away, but I only had 4 days to walk this distance. With only two trains a day and none on the Sunday – I had to make sure I made good time and arrived at my destination by the Saturday afternoon.

The weather was not great – I got rained on for most of the for the first two days – it was quite dispiriting at times; but this is undeniably the charm of the Scottish Highlands. Whether beautiful sunshine or heavy rain the drama of the rugged landscape will not be dulled. The Sun eventually came out though and I was able to dry out. I then had two really very pleasant days in the wilds of Scotland.

Key-Hole Canyon

Several years ago I had the opportunity to visit a friend living in Las Vegas. I had many adventures during the time that I was there, but perhaps the highlight of the trip was sleeping in the Nevada desert at Key-hole Canyon. It is a sacred site to the indigenous of that area and the rocks are covered with many carvings and petroglyphs. The canyon itself is peasant but unimpressive, however the markings which is all that remains of the tribes that lived in this area are incredible.

Outcrop

Green creepers

Key-hole Canyon

Petroglyphs

Petroglyphs at Key-hole canyon

Mystical signs

Star stone

A journey north

On the way north…

Angel of the North

Bamburgh Castle

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A view of the sea from Bamburgh beach
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Bamburgh Castle coming up close, taken from the dunes
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The imposing walls of Bamburgh Castle, (Northumbria)
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Bamburgh Castle in the mist (taken from Holy Island)

 


Al Hambra & Gardens

There is no reference to the Alhambra as being a residence of kings, until the 13th century, even though a fortress had existed since the 9th century. The first kings of Granada, the Zirites, had their castles and palaces on the hills of the Albaicin, and nothing remains of them. The Nasrites were the emirs that built the Alhambra, starting in 1238.

The complex of palaces; this residence of the kings of Granada was constructed from the ruins of the former fortress, by the founder of the dynasty, Alhamar, who commenced work in the thirteenth century. Mostly the buildings that have survived however, date from the fourteenth century.

The Alhambra became a Christian court in 1492 when the Catholic Monarchs (Ferdinand and Isabel) conquered the city of Granada.

Palacios Nazaríes – Alhambra

A night visit to the Alhambra

We waited patiently as the sun set over the Alhambra. As the light faded into the west, the sun dipping down below the horizon, spreading shadows across the walls of this majestic palace. The security man, lifted the barrier and we entered; for our night visit to the Alhambra….

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