Category: places we go

Click Tick List – Photograph 100 Gardens – Boboli Gardens

Florence. A truly beautiful city packed with culture (and people!) and a garden from the book. So we had to pop along and visit it right?

The gardens stand behind the Palazzo Pitti and have a long history. They are also vast so we took a photo of the map to help us with our orientation.

Home to amazing sculptures, some were part of a modern exhibition, beautiful buildings and incredible architecture.

And the views out onto the landscape were just as pretty as everything inside.

Oh and we became statues ourselves for a moment……. We are the two on the left!

This last area of the garden was our favourite as it was more in keeping with a herbaceous border. Filled with Dahlias and other perennials.  Gav caught me taking this photo with my phone. I let him wield the big camera that day.

A lovely few hours spent in a very lovely Italian garden.

The Click Tick List – Sail on the Grand Canal

This is one of those things that I added to my list because it felt easy-ish to accomplish, after all Italy isn’t too far from me yet it also felt like something that I’d never do. Perhaps this was because I couldn’t see us parting with the money to hire a gondola!

Enter then the Vaporetto. A water bus.

When we were planning our summer trip to Tuscany I added a day trip to Venice into the mix. It is not close but it was closer than Leeds so I thought we could make the train journey and I could cross something off my list.

The ride on the Vaporetto was the main event. And Gav did an amazing job of planning where we should get on and off the bus and then how to spend the rest of the afternoon. It worked out great.

We visited Venice on another day trip about 20 years ago and I admit that I didn’t like it all that much. Yes, it was beautiful and quirky but oh so crowded. Still I wanted to go back and take that boat trip and I am so glad I did because I fell in love with the quieter streets and the bridges, oh the bridges!

But this story is not about the bridges. This story is about the canal and all its beautiful buildings lining the waters edge. We hopped on board at the train station.

Loved that traffic light in the picture below!

Seeing the city from the water was perfect and I guess this is how it should be viewed.

Managed to snap a reflection of us while we were docked.

After thirty minutes or so we came to the San Marco basin where the canal opens up into a bigger area of water and where we disembarked.

The building in the below photo is the Doge’s Palace with the domes of San Marco’s Basilica in the background.

And to finish us off one of the perfect little bridges. Oh yes, the large white bridge at the top of this post is the Rialto Bridge a spectacular and grand example which has shops actually on it!

So there we go a memorable trip on a water bus that can be crossed of the list!

Travel Time

Just popping in to say we are in Tuscany enjoying cappuccino and gelato! Be back soon.

The Click Tick List – See the Terracotta Warriors Exhibition in Liverpool

I stumbled on the information for this exhibition quite by accident earlier in the summer. Somewhere in the depths of my memory I knew I’d heard of this archeological find but didn’t know much about it.

We headed off last weekend to see what it was all about.

This was the first time in over ten years that the Warriors (they have been called the Terracotta Army too) have come to the UK and the curators at the World Museum in Liverpool have put together a stunning exhibition.

Both breathtaking and terrifying we walked alongside the stories of how the sculptures were made and buried with the Emperor to protect him in the afterlife.

The detail was remarkable, each figure lifesize and unique. They estimate that there are 8,000 soldiers plus horses and chariots. They are still excavating this tomb that was discovered by chance in 1974.

I would love to see them in situ (just search instagram or the internet for an idea of the scale of this tomb) but I know I’ll never go so this will have to do.

Well worth the visit.

The Click Tick List – Photograph 100 Gardens – Kew Royal Botanic Gardens

Anyone who has been here a while knows that we love a trip to London so when my colleagues bought me afternoon tea at Kew Gardens as my leaving present we couldn’t have been more thrilled.

We wanted to visit in the summer to get the most from that world famous garden so went at the beginning of June. I’d been once before with my sister when my older niece turned sixteen…. she’s thirty two now! SO a revisit was almost like going for the first time.

We were not disappointed. In fact Gav was downright impressed. Here are a collection of photos from that afternoon.

The Palm House.

The rose garden was amazing. Here is Gav wandering onto one side of it. Above is Rosa ‘Lady Salisbury’.

Didn’t get the name of this one……. But is is so beautiful.

Rosa ‘Gentle Hermione’. Love how it fades with age.

Rosa ‘Wisley 2008’.

And Rosa ‘Jubilee Celebration’.

We meandered over to have our afternoon tea in The Botanical restaurant. It was delicious.

And then a general mooch about. There is so much to see you can’t do it all in a day so we headed to what interested us most.

They have a vegetable garden and also a very clever and interesting area set out in plant families. The photo above is the Euphorbiaceae bed. Some families have surprising members and it was an enlightening walk.

Some of the flowers had there muslin bags over them I’m guessing to protect the fertalised flowers. Ingenious yet pretty and it make you realise how much planning and looking after these kinds of gardens need.

The Rose Arbour.

Tomatoes.

The we went to climb up to the treetop walkway. Another clever idea.

And the view from the top was great. You can see the newly restored and recently re-opened Temperate House.

And before we left for the day we stopped inside that glasshouse.

Absolutely amazing place and we will be back again I’m sure. So worth a visit.

The Click Tick List – Watch a Shakespeare Play at the Globe

At the beginning of April I wrote about hoping to cross four items of my list this year. I made profiteroles, that was one and now we can cross another off because Gav and I headed to the Globe Theatre when we were in London last month and watched As You Like It.

So what was it like watching a play in an open air reproduction theatre then? Magical. That’s what. It was helped considerably by the play itself which is one of Shakespeare’s more light hearted works and apparently a favourite with audiences of which we can concur.

Luckily for all those folk standing, it didn’t rain.

All I knew about this theatre was that is was supposed to be a replica of the original Globe from Shakespeares time. I should have done my research before going but instead I have just done it and must say it makes interesting reading.

Here is the story of how it came to be built and here is the main web site for the theatre.  (Click on that second link for some great video shots of the building).

Although Gav and I are fans of the theatre and getting out there to see things we don’t go as often as we should. But now I’ve been once to this great place I can us popping along to see something on every trip to London. I may even give the standing up a try!

Adventuring – Malham Cove

I mentioned recently that we went to the Dales. I thought I’d share the photos we took of our walk up to Malham Cove.

We started from the nearby village of Malham where we were staying.

It wasn’t a very nice day but we got on with it.

In the photo above you can see the white face of the cove. Once a waterfall (it occasionally still is in very rainy seasons) the cliff is made of limestone that has eroded over millions of years. Apparently it is formed along the line of the Craven Fault System and the erosion has made a limestone ‘pavement’ at the top of the cove.

There is a set of steps to the left of the cove which of course Gav wanted us to climb……

Halfway up and I seriously believed by little heart might give up! I also thought this experience should be added to my click tick list……

Gav wandered very carefully to the edge. The rocks were really slippery so I stayed put.

It is a great sight and when you realise how these cracks and fishers have formed it makes you realise just how powerful nature is.

Back down at the bottom we walked to closer to the face of the cove and spotted large boulders that must have fallen from the top. That’s one just in front of Gav.

We also found some crazy folk….

Hard to spot but dangling from a rope about halfway up on the picture above are rock climbers!

I was asking Gav all about the stream that seems to begin at the cliff face and he was explaining that this stream (that comes from the water filtering through the hills and originally from Malham Tarn) becomes the River Aire.

The River Aire runs through Leeds and it all starts here in the Yorkshire Dales. You can tell I was pretty impressed by this walk we took.

Loved getting outside and seeing nature at its best. Really does the soul good.

Celebrating autumn leaves and loved ones

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Recently I suggested that we have a trip to Roundhay Park to throw some leaves about. They were not that enthusiastic but we seemed to have fun anyway!

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I think that I need to practice my photography skills some more……. But regardless of the blur I had fun too.

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And clearly we were rather pleased with our efforts. A great reminder for me. Get out there and enjoy whatever moments you can with those you love.

Holiday vibes and shadow photos

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Having a lovely time here in Portugal. We have found our own routine. Late breakfast, reading, pool, late lunch. A walk here and nap there just the perfect lazy holiday. I’ve also been taking lots of photos some on the ‘big camera’ but most with my iphone. I’ve been particularly enjoying the light and the shadows the light lets you create……

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Even roped Gav into the fun!

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Oh we laugh…….

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“Have you seen the Smew?” – a foray into twitching

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One of the places I wanted to visit during our recent trip to Suffolk was RSPB Minsmere. We have a nature programme here in the UK called Springwatch and they have based themselves at this nature reserve during the filming. It always looked interesting and although I feed the birds in my garden and like to spot them on the beach I have never gone specially to seek them out.

Gav was happy to stay with Buddy (he couldn’t come in of course) and I set off on my new adventure. I didn’t know quite what to expect when I arrived at the visitor centre but quickly realised that they take all this nature watching very seriously with trails, hides, different types of habitats, enough for a week’s worth of exploring let alone the couple of hours I thought I’d be there.

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I decided to take the coastal path that was 2 miles in length and took me past shingle beach and several lagoons. There are huge hides build along the side of the lagoons Wooden buildings on two levels where a dozen people can sit comfortably binoculars in hand watching and documenting. I ventured into three of these and in the second one a chap sat next to me and asked that question. “Have you seen the Smew?” My poor brain struggled with a response until I decided that honesty was the best policy and I explained this was my first visit to the reserve. To give him his due he did briefly explain what they looked like and that a sighting of a pair had apparently been made that day – he had come specially to see them. Then he turned and asked the people to his left if they had spotted them. The Smew were it seems being elusive.

Although I had an old pair of binoculars and my 100mm lens I struggled to see most of the birds out there. My equipment paled into insignificance set alongside what others were wielding. But I had a very enjoyable two hours or so and when I got the photos on the computer I did manage to zoom in so I could identify a few species.

The first photo above is of a Shelduck then there is a Wigeon and below are Avocets.

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And of course here we have the lesser spotted Buddlington.

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I don’t think I’ll be taking twitching up a hobby but like I say it was an enjoyable way to pass an afternoon.