Canada 150 Northern Lights Show, Ottawa

On summer evenings since 2015, the imposing façade of the Canadian Parliament Building in Ottawa has been transformed into a gigantic screen 470 feet long and 30 stories high. Just after dark, crowds are wowed by a magnificent multimedia presentation commemorating the history of Canada, in English and French.

I was particularly lucky to experience the Northern Lights Show in 2017, the year that Canada celebrated its 150th birthday!

(Rich was disappointed not to have his proper camera with him, but the follow snaps taken with his phone will hopefully give you an idea of the spectacle.)

As I understand it, next year will be the final season of the current version of Northern Lights. So make sure to add Ottawa to your travel plans for 2019!

Expand the minds of you and your children by travelling the World with Jaspa’s Journey adventure novels! The first three – The Great Migration, The Pride of London and Jaspa’s Waterloo – are now available in both paperback and ebook formats. Click here for more information.

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

This week’s post was inspired by the themes Lights from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge and Remembrance from Patrick of Pix to Words, Video from Fandango, Past from Ragtag Daily Prompt.

 

Advertisements
Posted in Canada, History, Travel | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Remember, Remember, The Fifth Of November

In the UK, November 5th is affectionately known as either Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes Night. It commemorates the so-called Gun Powder Plot, a failed attempt to blow up Parliament over 400 years ago.
On this day I always think back to the evening I spent witnessing the dramatic, fire-filled celebrations that take place around the streets of Lewes in Southern England…

Jaspa's Journal

Remember, remember, the Fifth of November,

The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,

I know of no reason

Why Gunpowder Treason

Should ever be forgot.

Barrels about to roll on Cliffe High Street, Lewes Barrels about to roll on Cliffe High Street, Lewes

Last Thursday was Halloween. In North America, where I now live, it’s a huge deal. But in Britain, where parts of Halloween actually originated, it’s completely overshadowed by another celebration: Bonfire Night, or Guy Fawkes Night.

Here come the crosses... Here come the crosses…

The short  version of the story behind Bonfire Night goes something like this… In 1605, a group of men plotted to assassinate King James during the Opening of Parliament on November 5th, by blowing up the House of Lords in London. But the plan was foiled when, at midnight on November 4th, 36 barrels of gunpowder  were discovered in the cellars beneath Parliament, along with the man in charge of them, Guy…

View original post 372 more words

Posted in Travel | Leave a comment

Carn Euny Ancient Village, Cornwall

Walking around the well-preserved remains of Carn Euny Ancient Village in Cornwall, it’s amazing to think it was home to ancient Britons for around 900 years, from the start of the early Iron Age (about 500BC) to the end of the 4th Century AD.

Even more astonishing is that the village was abandoned over 1600 years ago, at about the same time the Roman occupation of Britain was coming to an end.

Unsurprisingly, most of the ruins visible today date from the later part of Carn Euny. They represent a number of ‘courtyard houses’, large central courtyards surrounded by thick, interlocking walls. Within these walls were smaller rooms where people lived. This type of house was unique to Western Cornwall.

Over a thousand years after they were first abandoned, the houses got a new, brief lease on life… as pigsties and vegetable gardens.

Today Carn Euny provides a wonderful place to wander and ponder what life was once like on this rugged Cornish hillside. Especially as an eerie mist rolls in!

Our view across the rugged hillside as we arrived at Carn Euny

The same view as we left

Expand the minds of you and your children by travelling the World with Jaspa’s Journey adventure novels! The first three – The Great Migration, The Pride of London and Jaspa’s Waterloo – are now available in both paperback and ebook formats. Click here for more information.

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

This week’s post was inspired by the themes Places People Live from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Rugged from Patrick of Pix to Words,and Dead from margaret21 of Ragtag Daily Prompt.

Posted in Adventure, Environment, Europe, History, Travel, United Kingdom | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

The Coastal Classic Train, Alaska

During my first visit to Alaska, way back in 2007, we’d planned to travel by train from Seward to Anchorage. If we had, there’s a good chance it would have made it’s way into the upcoming book about my Alaskan adventures, Jaspa’s Journey 4: The Hermit of Kennecott.

Seward, 2007

On that occasion we got as far as boarding the train in Seward, only to be told to disembark a couple of hours later. A landslide in the mountains had blocked the track, and we had to make trip to Anchorage by bus (which was still pretty spectacular, too be fair).

When we returned to Alaska this year, we were determined to set matters straight. And so we did, riding Coastal Classic the opposite direction from what we would have done in 2007, from Anchorage to Seward.

Here’s the photographic story of our Journey:

The Giant locomotive of the Coastal Classic

A ‘Dome Car’ with its glass roof

Leaving Anchorage in the early morning

Entering the Turnagain Arm of the Cook Inlet

Hanging off the train

Tracks alongside Turnagain Arm

Looking backwards along the train towards the Cook Inlet

Upstairs in our Dome Car

I wonder why it’s called the Coastal Classic?

The mouth of Turnagain Arm

The white blob in the foreground is a beluga whale!

Approaching the village of Portage

What a landscape!

A dead forest, killed by the 1964 earthquake, near Portage

The branch line to Whittier

Heading into the mountains

Just one of dozens of waterfalls we saw along the way

Not a bad view for breakfast!

Rich just had to pop outside to get a photo without a window in the way

Climbing up the pass

A pristine lake in the mountains

Believe it or not the red things in the stream are salmon heading upstream to spawn

The narrowest stretch of our journey

One of several eagles we saw along the route

Entering Seward

Expand the minds of you and your children by travelling the World with Jaspa’s Journey adventure novels! The first three – The Great Migration, The Pride of London and Jaspa’s Waterloo – are now available in both paperback and ebook formats. Click here for more information.

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

This week’s post was inspired by the photo themes Things People Drive from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Through Glass from Nancy of Nancy Merrill Photography, Giant from Patrick of Pix to Words, and Public from Fandango.

 

Posted in Adventure, Environment, Jaspa's Journey, Travel, USA | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Juliet’s Balcony, Verona

One of the most visited places in Verona, Italy, is Casa di Giulietta, which translates as Juliet’s House.

Visitors are spun a fiction that this is where the famous balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet took place. But rather sadly, in reality the building has nothing to do with the story. In all probability, it wasn’t even an inspiration for any part Shakespeare’s play. In fact, ‘Juliet’s’ balcony, located in the building’s courtyard, wasn’t even constructed until the 20th Century!

All that being said, I still visited it during my visit to Verona. Well… some things you just have to do, don’t you?

Expand the minds of you and your children by travelling the World with Jaspa’s Journey adventure novels! The first three – The Great Migration, The Pride of London and Jaspa’s Waterloo – are now available in both paperback and ebook formats. Click here for more information.

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

This week’s post was inspired by the photo themes Places People Visit from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Balcony from Fandango, Aperture form Paula of Lost in Translation, Columns from Bren of Ryan Photography, and Whimsical from Nancy of Nancy Merrill Photography.

Posted in Europe, History, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm, Maui

The Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm is located in Maui’s Upcountry region, on the lower slopes of the Haleakala volcano.  At an elevation of about 4000 feet, the climate is pleasantly ideal for growing lavender.

There are around 55,000 lavender plants at AKL, representing 45 different varieties. And it doesn’t just look pretty. As you can imagine, the smell is wonderful! Just ask the bees!

The view isn’t bad either…

Expand the minds of you and your children by travelling the World with Jaspa’s Journey adventure novels! The first three – The Great Migration, The Pride of London and Jaspa’s Waterloo – are now available in both paperback and ebook formats. Click here for more information.

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

This week’s post was inspired by the photo themes Things People Grow from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge and Monochrome from Debbie’s Travel With Intent.

 

Posted in Environment, Travel, USA | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Prague Pastels

When thinking of Prague, most people imagine dark, looming Gothic towers. But the Czech capital has a lighter side, represented by the gentle pastel colours of many of its historic buildings.

Come with me on a walk through the streets of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, for a glimpse of Prague’s softer side.

Expand the minds of you and your children by travelling the World with Jaspa’s Journey adventure novels! The first three – The Great Migration, The Pride of London and Jaspa’s Waterloo – are now available in both paperback and ebook formats. Click here for more information.

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

This week’s post was inspired by several photo themes: Pastel Colours from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Inhabitable from Paula’s Lost in Translation, Hidden from Debbie’s Travel With Intent, and Jo’s Monday Walk, of course.

 

Posted in Europe, History, Travel, UNESCO World Heritage Site | Tagged , , | 10 Comments