“The Jacobite” is the vintage steam train which runs from Fort William, through some of the most beautiful countryside in Scotland, to the picturesque fishing port of Mallaig.
While this trip has always been a popular attraction with tourists visiting the Scottish highlands, the “Harry Potter” movies where the ” Hogwarts Express” crosses the Glenfinnan Viaduct has helped boost the popularity of this nostalgic journey. On its journey the “Jacobite” does cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct just like in the movies.
The image of the train below, was captured last week, during a short visit to the Scottish Highlands, as it travelled along the shoreline of Loch Eil, 4 – 5 miles from Fort William, on its way to Mallaig
More details at http://www.westcoastrailways.co.uk/jacobite/Jacobite_Details.html and for a journey across the Glenfinnan Viaduct on “The Jacobite” click on this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_GjT9nlAeM&feature=related
This image of Sir Walter Scott’s Monument, erected for his contribution to Scottish Literature is captured, just before sunset, from “The Mound” (the old Bank of Scotland Headquarters; Edinburgh)
The monument, inaugurated in 1846, is 200ft high. A sculpture in marble, of the man himself, can be seen through the centre arch.
More information can be found at http://www.edinburgharchitecture.co.uk/scott_monument.htm
Just thought I’d also post the monochrome “close-up” version. What do you think?
One of the most beautiful and most photographed scenes in the Scottish Highlands.
Because of the wide variation in weather conditions, in this region, the “character” of this peaceful tranquil scene can quickly be transformed, into one of the bleakest, stormy, landscapes in Scotland.
I fell in love with Venice, when I first visited some 10 years ago. At that time, I worked for a company that had a manufacturing site in Bologna and I was attending a factory tour along with some UK clients. Venice is only a 60 minute train journey from Bologna, so we took the opportunity to visit that weekend. I was “hooked”
This amazing visit to Venice, a few years ago, was a birthday celebration for Doreen, my better half.
We spent 4 nights at the Dona Palace Hotel, in the centre of Venice. A great hotel with lovely large room, fabulous breakfasts and only 2 minutes walk from St Mark’s Square.
This famous Italian city, built originally on a mosquito infested lagoon has it all; ambience, history, and an “olde world” feel to it that is totally unique.
When dining out, if you can eat in a restaurant away from the main tourist areas, the food and service is usually superb. Although it tends to be expensive to eat in the San Marco and Rialto areas, to enjoy the romantic atmosphere, that “is” Venice, I recommend that you eat in a restaurant on the Grand Canal, near the Rialto Bridge and take a gondola ride, at least once during your visit.
We visited early October, when the temperature was around 24C (~75F) which was very comfortable for sightseeing and for “chilling out” with a nice bottle of wine in the cafes at the front in San Marco or on the Grand Canal.
Entertainment at night was provided at different hotels and restaurants throughout the city. We found that the small orchestras, playing in outdoor cafes and at hotel entrances in St Mark’s Square, were excellent and created a superb “classical” fun atmosphere in this most famous historical square.
We purchased 24 hour water bus (Vaporetto) passes and jumped on and off on a regular basis. A great way to see round this “magical” place. On several occasions we stayed on the water bus and had a tour of the whole lagoon. A good few of my images were shot from the rear of the water bus which was completely uncovered.
I can’t wait to go back, maybe later this year or early 2013.
I hope you enjoy the images which were shot with my smaller EOS 30D – 8MP camera. (I didn’t have my EOS 5DMK2 at that time)
For larger images, please “click” on the photos below.
Classified as a “near threatened” species, this vulture, named after the German explorer and Zoologist, Eduard Ruppell. is believed to be the worlds highest flying bird and has been found at altitudes around 36,000 ft (~ 11,000 metres), although they are found more often ~20,000 ft (~6,000 metres)
As inhabitants of North Africa, America, India, Australia and Nepal, they tend to nest in large flocks in the dry mountainous regions.
Additional information can be found at http://www.phoenixzoo.org/visit/animal_news.aspx?ARTICLE_ID=100566
One of the most photographed castles in the world, Eilean Donan Castle can be found on the road to Kyle of Lochalsh; where Loch Alsh, Loch Duich and Loch Long combine.
The historical beginnings of Eilean Donan are believed to date back as early as the 7th century AD, at a time when Christianity was just being introduced in this area of Scotland. Details can be found at http://www.eileandonancastle.com/home.htm
This famous castle features in a number of Hollywood movies. The ones that come to mind are “Highlander” in 1986, with Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErjCcqKzr0k and more recently, in 2008, “Made of Honor” with Patrick Dempsey and Michelle Monaghan. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E72ZeWEMP90
Today the castle is a beautiful, historical and romantic setting, owned by the Conchara Charitable Trust. It is open to the public during the months of March to October. It is also a popular wedding venue.
It took me ages to capture this one. Unfortunately bees do not fly in a predictable flight path and are constantly “buzzing” in and out behind the flower heads.
So again I just had to wait for one to pass in front of the camera viewfinder to capture it.
One of my few attempts at “macro” …. exposure settings – iso400, t1600, f4.o (subject distance 0.4m, lens focal length 105mm)
I visited Bruges with a small group of work colleagues, about 18 months ago.
This beautiful walled city is located in the Flanders region of Belgium. It is often called the “Venice of the North” as a canal encircles the city. For a modest sum of money, you can take a boat tour which passes through some very picturesque areas.
If you are a chocoholic, like me, you will of course want to sample the famous Belgian chocolates. I brought home about 4 Kgs of the addictive confectionary and managed to eat them within a few weeks. (I did, of course share a few with my family)
The image below is known as Canal Rozenhoedkaai and shows the Belfry of Bruges (bell tower) illuminated in he background.
Image captured at 22.35 on a July summer evening (hand-held, leaning against a post for support, with image stabliser on, at iso800, f8 / 0.8s)
This image, captured last year, is a view through the skylight window in my attic.
The mixture of deep reds, yellow and blue along with the dark “threatening” tones convey a sense of anger in the sky.