Sam’s Ses Challenge #13: Water

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 certain Sam and I get to see it.

I hope you’ll join in.

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

Here’s my contribution:

Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia is deservedly a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The whole, expansive area is so green. Even the water, which indeed drives the entire ecosystem, is green. It tumbles from lake to lake in dozens of waterfalls.

And winding through the landscape is a network of paths and rustic boardwalks, which allow you to walk for hours across pools and right to the bottom of many of the waterfalls.

The water-wonderland of Plitvice is absolutely magical.

Below are a few more photos to tempt you to visit my original, full post on my visit to Plitvice Lakes National Park.

This week’s Sam’s Ses Challenge was itself partially inspired by It IS Easy Being Green from the Daily Post, View From the Back, Bottom or Underneath from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge and Winding from Paula of Lost In Translation, not forgetting Cee’s Which Way Challenge and Jo’s Monday Walk, of course.

The 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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Sam’s Ses Challenge #12: Rise

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 certain Sam and I get to see it.

I hope you’ll join in.

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

Here’s my contribution:

1353 feet above Chicago, braving one of the Four glass-floored cubes that form The Ledge, part of the Skydeck experience Atop the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower).

This week’s Sam’s Ses Challenge was itself partially inspired by Atop from the Daily Post, Four from Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack?, and my own post from earlier in the week Vertigo above Chicago – The Willis Tower Ledge.

The Four glass cubes of The Ledge (one of them retracted) Atop Chicago’s Willis Tower

The 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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Vertigo Above Chicago: The Willis Tower Ledge

Completed in 1974, the 108-storey Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) remained the tallest building in the World until 2010, when it was succeeded by Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.

The normal views from the Skydeck observation platform on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower are simply magnificent. I mean, how often do you get to look down on skyscrapers without the aid of some kind of aircraft?!

Yet you can take the thrill of being so high a step further (pun intended), by walking out onto The Ledge. This knee-wobbling attraction consists of four retractable glass boxes, each of which can be rolled out to form a balcony jutting four feet from the side of the building.

Can you see The Ledge?

What about now?

From one of these boxes the view to the side is of your friends, suspended 1353 feet above the street, atop one of the highest skyscrapers in the World.

My natural instinct was not to step out onto the glass floor, of course. But you only live once, right?

With Rich and Sue on The Ledge

A unique View to the Side, featuring me and Sue

This post was inspired by this photo themes of Atop and Instinct from the Daily Post, and View From The Side from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.

There’s a lot of nothing beneath our feet!

The 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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Sam’s Ses Challenge #11: Uphill

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 certain Sam and I get to see it.

I hope you’ll join in.

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

Here’s my contribution:

The Uphill Path in the photo leads to the  Castillo de San Felipe del Morro (aka. El Morro) in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. To learn more about my time there, visit my recent post The Forts and Tunnels of Old San Juan.

A more Abstract Uphill Path over the last few years has been finding a new publisher for the Jaspa’s Journey books. Thankfully, that Journey has been successful. 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.

This week’s Sam’s Ses Challenge was itself partially inspired by the photo themes of Paths from Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack?, Traces of the Past from Paula of Lost In Translation, Cee’s Which Way Challenge and Abstract from the Daily Post.

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

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Jerusalem’s Western Wall

The Jewish Second Temple of Jerusalem was built during the 6th Century BC on Temple Mount, where it is thought King Solomon’s First Temple once stood. It was expanded by King Herod the Great between 37 and 4 BC, before being destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.

Western Wall Plaza

Temple Mount, with the Dome of the Rock rising above the Western Wall

The Western Wall is all that is left of the Second Temple. For centuries it was known as the Wailing Wall, because Jews came there to mourn the destruction of the temple.

Looking up at the Western Wall

The large stone blocks at the base of the Wall are from Herod’s expansion of the Second Temple, the smaller blocks above are from the later Islamic era

Through Wilson’s Arch, to the left of the visible section, the Western Wall continues beneath the buildings above

To Jewish people, the Western Wall is the holiest place in the World.

Praying at the Men’s section of the Western Wall

Wooden arks against the wall contain scrolls of the Torah, the Jewish holy scriptures

The Torah are protected by ornate boxes

Scrolls of the Torah

View of the Men’s section of the Western Wall, from the Women’s section

The Western Wall is also occasionally called the Wishing Wall, after the hundreds of thousands of notes containing prayers and wishes, pressed into the cracks of the wall each year.

Some of the hundreds of thousands of prayers and wishes placed into the crevices of the Western Wall each year

The notes are removed twice a year, after which they are buried in a cemetery on the Mount of Olives

As you can imagine, security around the Western Wall Plaza is strict. At the very least, this makes you pause for thought, sad that it is considered necessary.

The entrance to the Western Wall Plaza

The need for such tight security could make you a little nervous

This post was inspired by this photo themes of Wish and Nervous from the Daily Post, and Fabricated from Jennifer’s One Word Photo Challenge. It’s also a second contribution to Looking Up At Things from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.

Looking Up At Old Jerusalem from the base of the Western Wall

The Great Migration (cover)The 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!

Jaspa's Journey Logo (Bigger Bucket)

Posted in Asia, History, Jaspa's Journey, Photography, Travel, UNESCO World Heritage Site | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Sam’s Ses Challenge #10: Yellow

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 certain Sam and I get to see it.

I hope you’ll join in.

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

Here’s my contribution:

img_4965On March 1st Wales celebrated St. David’s Day. In the photo I find myself surrounded by daffodils, Wales’ national flower.

This week’s Sam’s Ses Challenge was itself partially inspired by Cee’s Flower of the Day.

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!

jaspas-journey-logo-bigger-bucket

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Pontcysyllte Aqueduct: The UNESCO Canal in the Sky

Happy St. David’s Day! For those that are unaware, St. David is the patron saint of Wales, which is where my post takes us this week.

Before the days of motorways and interstates, or even railways, canals were the transportation backbone of many countries. In the United Kingdom, the canal network was nothing less than a marvel of the Industrial Revolution.

Some of the most impressive sights of this time were the aqueducts used to carry canals across valleys. And perhaps the most striking of all still stands to this day in Pontcysyllte, Wales. Even more amazing, it’s still in use, although these days by holiday makers instead of industry.

Looking Up at the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct from the River Dee

Looking Up at the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct from the River Dee

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct crossing the valley of the Dee

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct crossing the valley of the Dee

Soaring 126 feet above the River Dee on 18 stone pillars, Pontcysyllte (which aptly means the bridge that connects in Welsh) is the highest navigable aqueduct ever built. It was constructed over 200 years ago, by Thomas Telford and William Jessop, two engineering giants of their day.

The Trevor Basin at the north end of the aqueduct

The Trevor Basin at the north end of the aqueduct

The canal was originally planned to go to Wrexham, but the coming of the railways stopped all that

The canal was originally planned to go to Wrexham, but the coming of the railways stopped all that

Holiday barge heading up the Llangollen canal from Trevor Basin, having just crossed the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Holiday barge heading up the Llangollen Canal from Trevor Basin, having just crossed the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, leaping out across the Dee Valley

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, leaping out across the Dee Valley

Hesitating at the brink

Hesitating at the brink

Come on! You'd hesitate, too!

Come on! You’d hesitate, too!

The Llangollen Canal crosses Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in a cast iron trough, one of the earliest aqueducts to use this method. The trough is 1007 feet long, 11 feet 10 inches wide, and 5 feet 3 inches deep. Over 50 million litres of water (more than 13 million US gallons) flow through it each day.

1000 feet seems a long way, when you're 126 feet up in the air

1000 feet seems a long way, when you’re 126 feet up in the air

Rich's Mum and Dad feeling much too exposed

Rich’s Mum and Dad feeling much too exposed

Although this family of ducks doesn't seem to mind

Although this family of ducks doesn’t seem to mind

Beside the trough runs a pathway, which is exposed enough to make most people hesitate. Also note, there’s no railing on the trough side of the bridge!

It's a long way down to the River Dee below

It’s a long way down to the River Dee below

Although again, the ducks don't seem to mind

Although again, the ducks don’t seem to mind

And the views from up here are spectacular!

And the views from up here are spectacular!

Rainbow over the Cefn Mawr Railway Viaduct to the east

Rainbow over the Cefn Mawr Railway Viaduct to the east

In 2009, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and 11 miles of the Llangollen Canal, were given UNESCO World Heritage status.

View from the other end

View from the other end

Time to head back across

Time to head back across

Panorama from the centre of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, with brooding clouds over England (to the left), blue skies over Wales, and the Sun over the River Dee

Panorama from the centre of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, with brooding clouds over England (to the left), blue skies over Wales, and the Sun over the River Dee

This post was inspired by this photo themes of The Road Taken and Hesitate from the Daily Post, Exposure from Jennifer’s One Word Photo Challenge, and Looking Up At Things from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, not to mention Cee’s Which Way Challenge.

The duck family having a well-earned rest

The duck family having a well-earned rest

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!

jaspas-journey-logo-bigger-bucket

Posted in Adventure, History, Travel, UNESCO World Heritage Site, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , , , , , | 25 Comments