Rush Hour in North Wales

Driving the country lanes of North Wales, you really never know what could be around the corner. We came upon this particular traffic jam near the village where Rich grew up.

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: Award-Winning Travel Adventures for Kids 8 – 80!

This week’s post was inspired by the themes Farm Animals from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge and White from Debbie’s Travel With Intent.

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Bees at Butchart

I love bees. And the Butchart Gardens outside Victoria on Vancouver Island are a paradise for them.

Even in late summer when we were there, bees buzzed around, tirelessly going from flower to flower, collecting up pollen. I could have happily watched them for hours!

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: Award-Winning Travel Adventures for Kids 8 – 80!

This week’s post was inspired by the themes Close Up or Macro from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Macro from Bren of Ryan Photography, and Things With Wings from Nancy of Nancy Merrill Photography.

 

Posted in Canada, Environment, Travel, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Old Town Montreal in the COLD!

Montreal Old Town is a pleasure to visit at anytime of the year. But I have to admit that in the cold it can be a bit of a challenge, like anywhere.

And the last time I was in Montreal in the winter it wasn’t just cold, it was COLD!

There’s point where the Celsius and Fahrenheit temperature scales cross. A value where you don’t need to specify which scale you’re using. You can just say the temperature and it’s the same on either scale.

The last time I was in Montreal in the winter, we reached that crossover point.

Minus 42 degrees!

Unsurprisingly, you can’t spend too much time walking around outside in temperatures like that. But with quite a few cafe breaks, we still managed a pretty good wander…

Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal in Place d’Armes

Looking across Place d’Armes from Notre-Dame Basilica

Saint-Sulpice Seminary in Place d’Armes, the second oldest building in Montreal

Old Montreal Stock Exchange, now a theatre

Rue Saint-Paul

Quiet side alley (at least in this weather)

The Old Customs House in Place Royale

A Ses-eye view of Rue Saint-Paul

Place Jacques-Cartier

The top of Place Jacques-Cartier, with Montreal City Hall in the background

Bonsecours Market

Sound advice

Even the locals were cold!

Where Rue Saint-Paul crosses Place Jacques-Cartier

When it’s this cold, sometimes you just have to dip indoors

Inside Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal

And of course, Old Town Montreal is pretty spectacular at night… but like anywhere else, much too cold at minus 42!

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: Award-Winning Travel Adventures for Kids 8 – 80!This week’s post was inspired by the themes Cold from Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Walk from Ragtag Daily Prompt and Jo’s Monday Walk, of course.

 

Posted in Adventure, Canada, Environment, History, Travel | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

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.

 

Posted in Canada, History, Travel | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

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…

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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 , , | 12 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