Posts Tagged With: weather

Ottawa in One Day

Like Montreal, we had just one full day in Ottawa.  Our run of luck with almost perfect weather ran out as the rain began on the evening we arrived and continued well into the next day.

After a slow start we braved the showery conditions and walked from our accommodation to Parliament Hill.

On our way we walked through the old market area of Bytown (the original name for Ottawa) and across the Rideau Canal.  The series of locks at the junction of the canal and Ottawa River proved irresistible as we watched a vessel make its way through.  It is all manually operated.  It took almost an hour for the boat to navigate all of the locks.

2016-08-23 01

Looking the other way along the canal.  In winter, the canal becomes a giant ice-skating rink as the entire waterway freezes.

2016-08-23 02

The Parliament Building has commanding position atop the hill on the southern bank of the Ottawa River and overlooks the city.

2016-08-23 03

As you can see from the sky in the photographs, it was not a great day for sightseeing but we persevered and took in as much of the city sights as we could.

The weather fined up late in the afternoon and we were able to go back to the Parliament Buildings to see the “Northern Lights:Sound and Light Show” set against the backdrop of the building.  It was well done with amazing technology and we really enjoyed it.

The next day was fine and sunny for our train trip to Toronto which is the final stop in our trip.  We have a couple of big events planned during our 3 nights there but more on that in the next post.

Advertisements
Categories: Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Historical Perspective

We spent 2 nights in Fredericton, the capital of New Brunswick with no particular plans in mind.

One of the first priorities was to locate a dentist who could take a look at a tooth which I had chipped a night earlier.  That proved to be relatively simple and with the jagged edge smoothed I could happily continue the holiday and make an appointment with my dentist when we get home.

Officers’ Square seems to be at the heart of the historic precinct in Fredericton and we happened to arrive there a few moments before the scheduled Changing of the Guard enactment which happens each day during July and August.  However, the drizzle decided to turn to rain and there was an announcement that it was cancelled.

There was still time to fire the muskets, though.

2016-08-13 01

The display boards offer some additional information.

2016-08-13 02

Unfortunately, it was too wet for much sightseeing so decided on a quiet afternoon.

The next day dawned overcast but fine and we set off for King’s Landing Historical Settlement which is about 20 minutes from Fredericton.  This village showcases life in New Brunswick during the period from about 1780 – 1910 and includes farms, a school and various commercial activites such as the printery, sawmill and the inn.  Seeing the sawmill in action was undoubtedly the highlight of the visit.

2016-08-13 03

The wheel that drives the sawmill with individually cut wooden cogs.

2016-08-13 04

The exterior of the mill showing the dam wall and the water wheel.

2016-08-13 05

Kitchen duties

2016-08-13 06

And the runaway oxen

2016-08-13 07

Once again, the drizzle turned into rain so we decided it was time to adjourn to the King’s Head Inn for lunch.

2016-08-13 08

A quick visit to the cottage by the lake and then it was time to say goodbye to John and Shari with whom we had spent the day.

Thank you for a lovely time and it was great to meet up with you again.

 

 

 

Categories: Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coastal Capers

On Sunday we headed down the coast from where we are staying at the Head of St Margaret’s Bay.  We drove as far as Lunenberg where we visited the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic.

2016-07-26 07
This was most interesting and the bonus was that it was covered by our museum pass that we had purchased the previous day.

We met this character on the wharf outside.

2016-07-26 08

A stroll around the town revealed many brightly coloured buildings.

On the way back we stopped at Mahone Bay, another waterfront township with a myriad of craft galleries and eateries.  There was a storm brewing.

2016-07-26 11

There was next to no rain and very soon it was bright sunshine and very humid again.

 

Categories: Travel | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Catching Up

We spent close to 24 hours travelling by train from Chicago to Boston so nothing too exciting to report.

In fact, the most memorable moment was when we both realised that we had left our hats behind on the train.  Oops!!  GMan had already decided that his had seen better days and he would probably replace it after this trip but we had do it rather sooner than that.  The temperature in Boston was well over 30C so we picked up these hats at the local chemist.

2016-07-22 01

Our accommodation in Boston was only a couple of blocks from the Bunker Hill monument so it was an easy stroll even in the heat.

2016-07-22 02

We climbed the 294 steps to the top of the monument.  At least it was not hot inside, thanks to the insulation properties of the huge granite blocks.  Here is a view from the top.

2016-07-22 03

In the afternoon we had a complete change of pace and took a tour of the Samuel Adams brewery.  It was interesting and informative as well as highly entertaining, thanks to our guide, Alicia.  We gained a bit of notoriety as those who had travelled the greatest distance to Boston.

I did not take any photos, however, these are the labels which also double as entry tickets.  They use different labels for each tour – there are about 10/day as it seems to be very popular.

2016-07-22 04

Categories: Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Popular Culture at Portmeirion

I had never heard of Portmeirion until we were planning this trip and The Duke was adamant that one place he definitely wanted to see was Portmeirion.  Apparently it is where scenes from a 1960’s television series called, “The Prisoner” were filmed.

The village is actually an architectural extravaganza created by one man, Sir Clough Williams-Ellis.  If you want to know more http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portmeirion

Otherwise, scroll down and be amazed by the pictures.

IMG_0902

IMG_0903

IMG_0904

IMG_0938

IMG_0945
This is just a small selection of the photos I took of the buildings.  However, the gardens and woodlands are also significant.

IMG_0907

IMG_0914

IMG_0929

IMG_0939

Like the previous day, the weather did not look particularly promising so we set out so that we were there when the gates opened at 9.30am.  We were able to get 1.5 hours of sightseeing in before the rain set in.  We could have spent longer there, studying the quirky architecture more closely and wandering more of the woodland paths but we very glad that we were able to enjoy some time at Potmeirion.  The Duke is very happy that he was able to visit and he also bought a souvenir – a pair of socks with a logo from “The Prisoner”.

It was just after 11am by the time we left and since we were rather limited by the weather we drove down to Aberystwyth where we had a mostly dry day and we just looked around the town and picked up a few essential groceries.

We would have liked to see more of Snowdonia and the old slate mines in the area and perhaps even taken a ride on the Blaenau Ffestiniog railway but that was not be due to the weather.  We will have to save those for another trip!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Changing Countries

In Australia we tend to think nothing of driving long distances and of course it can be more than a hundred kilometres between towns.

England is quite a different story with villages often only 5 miles apart, narrow roads and much higher volumes of traffic.

Because of the places we wanted to visit we ended up with one day of a substantial drive.  We drove from Thirsk in north Yorkshire to Porthmadog in Wales.  It took about 8 hours which included a break of about an hour for lunch.  We could have covered the distance much more quickly if we had sped along the motorways, however, we chose to avoid them and stick to lesser roads, and in some cases, thoroughfares that were little more than a country lane.

We enjoyed seeing place names that we were familiar with such as Macclesfield, Ashbourne and Glossop which was where we had lunch.  We drove through another small town called Holmfirth about 25 km south-west of Leeds.  We know that this is the general vicinity of where some of The Duke’s ancestors came from so it was interesting to see it.

13 a blog

This is view as we climbed the hills above Holmfirth.

Once we were approaching Chester we made our way onto the North Wales expressway which took us along the coast until we turned off at Conwy and headed south through Snowdonia National Park.

Unfortunately, by this time the weather was not terribly favourable and most of the mountain peaks of Snowdonia were shrouded in low cloud.  I did take this photo of some of the landscape.

13 b blog

We came to Porthmadog for a very specific reason – The Duke wanted to visit nearby Portmeirion.

This post is almost devoid of photos, however, I will make up for that with the next post from Portmeirion.

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hello London

It is now just 24 hours since we set foot in London.  What an amazing time we have had already.

We caught the train from Heathrow to Paddington via Earl’s Court with a short walk to our accommodation.  After a very welcome shower we headed out for a light dinner and called in at a local pub on the way back.

This morning we went back to Paddington Station to buy our Rail Pass and tickets for today.

0003 blog

We also met a bear.

0004 blog

The Paddington Bear shop was not open when we went past but we will definitely be going back as it looks amazing.

Then it was time for some sightseeing.

Marble Arch near the entrance to Hyde Park.

0008 blog

3 London icons in one photo.

0009 blog

As you can see it had been raining.  At first it was very light as we left our accommodation, however, when we got to Marble Arch it was steady and the next thing it was heavy.  We spent a bit of time under a shop awning while we decided our next strategic move as clearly it was not the weather for strolling.  We hopped on the Tube again to Westminster and headed for the Churchill War Rooms which was on our list of things to see while in London.  Standing in a relatively short queue was OK until the next downpour.  We spent about 2.5 hours at this venue which included a break for lunch at the cafe.

0036 blog

A large mug of steaming hot vegetable soup was just what we needed.

Unlike most museums photographs were encouraged.  This was the War Cabinet Room.

0021

When we came out the sun was shining so we continued our walk.

Big Ben

0048 blog

and the Houses of Parliament.

0050 blog

A stroll through the tranquility of St James’ Park.

0058 blog

This really was the calm before the storm.  Within minutes of taking this photo, we could see a huge black cloud in front of us, we were nearly blown off our feet and the rain came down in torrents.  Oh, and there was a bit of thunder to make it really interesting.  It was all over in 5 minutes but by that time we decided that we had done enough for one day.

On the way home we stopped at the supermarket and picked up some meat and vegetables to prepare for dinner.  So it is a quiet evening with home-cooked dinner and doing some washing.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.