Sam’s Ses Challenge #8: Weather

Welcome to this week’s Sam’s Ses Challenge.

Every weekend, Sam and I pick a word or phrase as the theme for the week. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to post something Ses-related that you think fits with this week’s challenge.  Don’t know who the Ses are?… click here to find out.

Your contribution can be anything you want, a photograph, a short story… anything. Visit the main Sam’s Ses Challenge page to learn more.

The fun will be focused here on my blog, but feel free to play along on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Just be sure to link back to the challenge on whichever media you choose, to be sure Sam and I get to see it.

I hope you’ll join in.

This week’s Sam’s Ses Challenge theme is Weather.

Here’s my contribution:

Dawn with a view of Denali (aka Mount McKinley)

Dawn with a view of Denali (aka Mount McKinley)

When we began planning our visit to Alaska, seeing Denali (aka Mount McKinley) was one of the first things to make it onto my must-see list.  I mean, how could you get that close and not go and see the highest mountain in North America?

Yet as we approached Talkeetna, at the foot of the Alaska Range that includes Denali, this was the view that greeted us:

Denail's out there somewhere

Denail’s out there somewhere

The whole Alaska range was completely obscured by clouds. And the weather forecast for the next day predicted more of the same, plus a whole lot of rain. In other words, there was no chance we were going to set eyes on the mountain we’d come so far to see.

So imagine our joy the next morning when, against the odds, we awoke to bright blue skies. We jumped out of bed, to get a view of the mountain before the clouds rolled in, but the skies remained clear well into the afternoon.

That's more like it!

That’s more like it!

The whole Alaska Range

The whole Alaska Range

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Denali, the highest mountain in North America

Denali, the highest mountain in North America

We really took the good weather with us that day!

We even saw one of the local residents that lucky morning.

We even saw one of the local residents that lucky morning.

This week’s Sam’s Ses Challenge was itself partially inspired by the photo theme Against the Odds from The Daily Post.

the-great-migration-coverthe-pride-of-london-coverThe first two Jaspa’s Journey adventures, The Great Migration and The Pride of London, are now available in both paperback and ebook formats! Click here for more information. The third instalment, Jaspa’s Waterloo, is scheduled to be released by Speaking Volumes later this year.

Jaspa’s Journey: Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!

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Marlon Brando in Valparaiso

The UNESCO World Heritage district of Valparaiso in Chile is literally covered in graffiti. But the talented, artistic kind (mostly). It’s everywhere.

Big and small.

bigsmallIntricate and simple.

detailedsimpleRealistic and stylised.

realisticstylisedOutside and inside.

outsideinsideAnd it’s constantly changing. So that many of the pieces I featured in my 2015 post The Murals of Valparaiso, have since been modified or even painted over.

2015

2015

2016

2016

But if it wasn’t for Sebastian, our 2016 guide in Valparaiso, I wouldn’t have even noticed what instantly became my favourite piece of street art ever!

When Sebastian first brought our attention to the black and white painting below, I couldn’t make any sense of it at all. It appeared just to be some abstract white squiggles on a dark background. Writhing snakes perhaps. Or worms?

dsc_3312Then he told us to look at the image through a mobile phone. And it was like magic! The small version of artwork made it clear what the artist was portraying.

dsc_3311Yet even standing there, with both the full-sized graffiti and the miniature digital version, it still took me several seconds to get my eye in, so I could make out on the wall what I was seeing on the screen. Talk about clever!

Can you make out the face of Marlon Brando?

This post was inspired by the photo themes of Things that Look like Faces from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Eyes from Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack?, and Details from Nancy Merrill Photography.

the-great-migration-coverthe-pride-of-london-coverThe first two Jaspa’s Journey adventures, The Great Migration and The Pride of London, are now available in both paperback and ebook formats! Click here for more information. The third instalment, Jaspa’s Waterloo, is scheduled to be released by Speaking Volumes early this year.

Jaspa’s Journey: Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!

If you’re the sort of person that enjoys experiencing unexpected things on your travels, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal (on WordPress or Bloglovin’), or through my website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr?

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Posted in Jaspa's Journey, Photography, South America, Travel, UNESCO World Heritage Site | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Sam’s Ses Challenge #7: Circle

Welcome to this week’s Sam’s Ses Challenge.

Every weekend, Sam and I will pick a word or phrase as the theme for that week. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to post something Ses-related that you think fits with this week’s challenge. Your contribution can be anything you want, a photograph, a short story… anything. Click here to learn more.

The fun will be focused here on my blog, but feel free to play along on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Just be sure to link back to the challenge on whichever media you choose, to be sure Sam and I get to see it.

I hope you’ll join in.

This week’s Sam’s Ses Challenge theme is Circle.

Here’s my contribution:

img_0001The stones in the photo above form part of a Neolithic monument called Long Meg and her Daughters in Cumbria, northern England. Long Meg is a 12-foot-high standing stone, located beside a circle of smaller stones (her daughters),  which measures about 350 feet in diameter.

Legend has it that Meg was a witch and that she and her daughters were turned to stone for dancing on the Sabbath.

Below are a few more photos taken when we paid our respects to Long Meg and her Daughters a couple of weeks ago. At this time of year, the early morning Sun stays low in the sky, casting some wonderful shadows even longer than Meg herself. And the approaching storm clouds (the rain set in not long after we left) just add to the magical atmosphere.

dsc_9922 dsc_9925 dsc_9927 dsc_9928 dsc_9937 img_0322This week’s Sam’s Ses Challenge was itself partially inspired by the photo theme Shadow from The Daily Post.

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Posted in Environment, History, Photography, Sam's Ses Challenge, Travel, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Pelican Patrol Over Viña del Mar, Chile

The Roca Oceanica is located just north of Chile’s UNESCO World Heritage Site of Valparaiso. From its craggy slopes we saw this amazing flight of pelicans against the backdrop of the dramatic Dunas De Concón. Our local guide, Antonio, told us they were the whole Chilean Air Force. I’m not sure I believe him!

dsc_0851 dsc_0853 A little closer to Valparaiso, between the seaside towns of Viña del Mar and Concón, is the Peñon de Vida Marina Nature Reserve. There we saw yet more pelicans, together with a colony of sea lions, and a whole host of other coastal life.

dsc_0922dsc_0915 dsc_0916 dsc_0920dsc_0879dsc_0899 dsc_0902 dsc_0904 dsc_0907

dsc_0896 dsc_0898 dsc_0882 dsc_0906

This post was inspired by the photo theme of Crawling or Flying from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.

dsc_0867the-great-migration-coverthe-pride-of-london-coverThe first two Jaspa’s Journey adventures, The Great Migration and The Pride of London, are now available in both paperback and ebook formats! Click here for more information. The third instalment, Jaspa’s Waterloo, is scheduled to be released by Speaking Volumes early this year.

Jaspa’s Journey: Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!

If you’re the sort of person that enjoys seeing experiencing a little of the natural World on your travels, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal (on WordPress or Bloglovin’), or through my website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr?

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Posted in Environment, Jaspa's Journey, Photography, South America, Travel, wildlife | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Sam’s Ses Challenge #6: Friends

Welcome to Sam’s Ses Challenge.

Every weekend, Sam and I will pick a word or phrase as the theme for that week. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to post something Ses-related that you think fits with that week’s challenge. Your contribution can be anything you want, a photograph, a short story… anything. Click here to learn more.

I hope you’ll join in.

This week’s Sam’s Ses Challenge theme is Friends.

Here’s my contribution:

With some friends in Ocho Rios, Jamaica - Portia seems to be getting overexcited!

With some friends in Ocho Rios, Jamaica – Portia seems to be getting overexcited!

The fun will be focused here on my blog, but feel free to play along on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Just be sure to link back to the challenge on whichever media you choose, to be sure Sam and I get to see it.

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Posted in Caribbean, Jaspa's Journey, Photography, Sam's Ses Challenge, Travel | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Castel Sant’Angelo, Rome

The UNESCO World Heritage area of Rome is awash with famous and dramatic sights and buildings, such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Vatican (which, strictly speaking, is a city within a city), the Forum, the Trevi Fountain… the list is endless! And the Castel Sant’Angelo is right up there with them.

Castel Sant'Angelo, on the banks of the River Tiber

Castel Sant’Angelo, on the banks of the River Tiber

Crossing Ponte Sant'Angelo

Crossing Ponte Sant’Angelo

Castel Sant’Angelo (Castle of the Holy Angel) has stood for almost two millennia. Constructed on the orders of the Roman Emperor Hadrian (the one with the Wall) as a mausoleum for himself and his family, it was completed in 139 AD. At that time it was the tallest building in Rome.

Hadrian's original mausoleum

Hadrian’s original mausoleum

Now, you might think that once a tomb, always a tomb. Slightly bizarrely though, over the last two millennia, the Mausoleum of Hadrian has been repurposed time and time again.

View across the centre of Rome

View across the centre of Rome

In 401 AD it was converted into a fortress, hence its current name of Castel Sant’Angelo. At that time, the structure was expanded and incorporated into the defensive walls surrounding the city.

Looking down on some of the Castel's defensive walls

Looking down on some of the Castel’s defensive walls

Massive ballista in the Courtyard of Honour

Massive ballista in the Courtyard of Honour

During the Middle Ages, Castel Sant’Angelo was castle and prison. Later it became a refuge for popes during times of danger. In fact, the ‘secret’ passage that connects the fortress to the Vatican still exists.

The drum of Hadrian's Mausoleum topped by the Papal Apartments, built almost 1500 years later

The drum of Hadrian’s Mausoleum topped by the Papal Apartments, built almost 1500 years later

The Vatican (the Vatican corridor can be seen in the foreground on the right)

The Vatican (the Vatican corridor can be seen in the foreground on the right)

The Vatican Corridor leaving the Castel

The Vatican Corridor leaving the Castel

Terrace table with a view...

Terrace table with a view…

...Of St. Peter's Basilica

…Of St. Peter’s Basilica

Today, Castel Sant’Angelo is a spectacular museum. And for me the best exhibit is the building itself!

The main ramp winding up inside Hadrians mausoleum

The main ramp winding up inside Hadrians mausoleum

Staircase built by Pope Alexander VI

Staircase built by Pope Alexander VI

Inside the treasury... at the heart of the original building, this was probably the Emperor Hadrian's tomb

Inside the treasury… at the heart of the original building, this was probably the Emperor Hadrian’s tomb

The upper level of Castel Sant'Angelo

The upper level of Castel Sant’Angelo

18th Century bronze sculpture of the Archangel Michael

18th Century bronze sculpture of the Archangel Michael

This post was inspired by the photo themes of Inner and Outer from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge and Repurpose from Krista of The Daily Post.

The view (with a big-ish lens) from Terrazza del Gianicolo

The view (with a big-ish lens) from Terrazza del Gianicolo

img_1877img_1883img_1892the-great-migration-coverthe-pride-of-london-coverThe first two Jaspa’s Journey adventures, The Great Migration and The Pride of London, are now available in both paperback and ebook formats! Click here for more information. The third instalment, Jaspa’s Waterloo, is scheduled to be released by Speaking Volumes early this year.

Jaspa’s Journey: Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!

If you’re the sort of person that enjoys something a little unusual on your travels, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal (on WordPress or Bloglovin’), or through my website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr?

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Posted in Europe, History, Travel, UNESCO World Heritage Site | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Sam’s Ses Challenge #5: Mountain

Welcome to Sam’s Ses Challenge.

Every weekend, Sam and I will pick a word or phrase as the theme for that week. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to post something Ses-related that you think fits with that week’s challenge. Your contribution can be anything you want, a photograph, a short story… anything. Click here to learn more.

I hope you’ll join in.

This week’s Sam’s Ses Challenge theme is Mountain.

Here’s my contribution:

Bonanza Mine in Alaska is just 4½ miles hike up Bonanza Peak from the ghost town of Kennecott, but a climb of well over 4000 feet. Mine and ghost town, both abandoned in 1938, feature in the fourth Jaspa's Journey adventure, The Hermit of Kennecott

Bonanza Mine in Alaska is just 4½ miles hike up Bonanza Peak from the ghost town of Kennecott, but a climb of well over 4000 feet. Mine and ghost town, both abandoned in 1938, feature in the fourth Jaspa’s Journey adventure, The Hermit of Kennecott

The fun will be focused here on my blog, but feel free to play along on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Just be sure to link back to the challenge on whichever media you choose, to be sure Sam and I get to see it.

This week’s Sam’s Ses Challenge was itself partially inspired by Jo’s Monday Walk.

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Posted in Adventure, History, Sam's Ses Challenge, Travel, UNESCO World Heritage Site, USA | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments