Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above

“The Earth is Art. The photographer is only a witness. ” ~Yann Arthus-Bertrand

This week’s photo challenge, ‘From above’, had me especially remembering the thrill I had of flying in a helicopter over Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. It was my first time going up in one, and I hung back whilst the other passengers got on, not out of politeness, but because I realised that the last one on, got to sit at the front, next to the pilot. Method in my madness. 🙂 I took several photos, but this one came out the best, and hubby, who was white water rafting at the time, was very complimentary.

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Here is one taken at Niagara, looking down across the falls.

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This is an aerial view of the approach to Belize.

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Looking down over the Hong Kong skyscrapers, to Victoria Harbour.

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A view of the famous New Orleans Bourbon Street, from the balcony of The Four Points Sheraton Hotel, which is built on the site of the legendary French Opera House.

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Whilst in Palm Springs, we took a fifteen minute Aerial Tramway ride, and ascended 8516 feet up Chino Canyon.  The rotating cars allow for breathtaking views for up to fifty miles in all directions.

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Looking down at the Pacific Ocean from cliffs in San Diego.

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Half way up the Rock of Gibraltar, looking down on the bay of Algeciras.

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The city of Granada viewed from the beautiful Alhambra Palace.

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You don’t get much higher than this; soaring above the clouds like an eagle, looking down at The Alps on our flight back from Venice.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my “From Above” photos. To see more entries for the WordPress Photo Challenge, just click here.

Going round in circles for Ailsa.

Ailsa of ‘Where’s my backpack’ blog, has given us yet another interesting travel theme. This week she’s posted some of her fun circle pics, and asks us to do the same.

I do of course have a few photos to share with you. Just look at this huge fermenting tank at the Jack Daniels distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. It had been emptied for cleaning, so we were able to look right inside.

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Inside these charred oak barrels that Jack Daniels makes itself in a Kentucky cooperage, the whiskey is maturing in order to perfect that famous rich colour and taste, before eventually being bottled.

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Off to Egypt now, where we witnessed the amazing energy and spectacle of  a ‘Whirling Dervish’. I felt dizzy, just watching him twirling round and round in circles, so fast that he became almost invisible.

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At the Medina in Fez, the sights, sounds and smells were a feast for the senses.This stall had many circular baskets containing all manner of nuts and dried fruit. No tasting was allowed. 😦

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Bignor in the centre of the South Downs National Park in England, is home to the stunning remains of a third century Roman farm and villa. Here you can see a fine example of one of the beautiful ancient mosaic floors.

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When in London, a visit to Harrods is always fascinating, even if one doesn’t buy anything. At the top of  one of the staircases, we came upon this remembrance shrine to Princess Diana and Dodi, erected in 2008, by Dodi’s father Mohammed Al-Fayed, who owned the store for twenty-five years and sold it in 2010 for £1.5 billion.

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The Pillars of Hercules is the ancient name given to the promontories that flank the entrance to the Straits of Gibraltar. I’m sitting underneath the monument at the top of ‘The Rock’, which is the northern pillar.

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Whilst on holiday in San Salvador in the Bahamas, I had quite a successful attempt at the archery. Just call it ‘beginner’s luck’. 🙂

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Here’s another activity I’m not too shabby at. We were on a family holiday in Punta Cana, and I was showing my granddaughter how it’s done.

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This sort of activity is highly recommended after eating too much of one of my decadent desserts which contains enough chocolate and cream to even fatten up Popeye’s girlfriend, Olive Oyle. 😆

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If you would like to see what other bloggers have come up with for Ailsa’s ‘Circles’ theme, just click here.

Jake’s Sunday Post: Solid

Jake’s Sunday Post theme this week, ‘Solid’, immediately brought to mind that old saying which I believe must be a universal idiom, “As solid as the Rock of Gibraltar.” This term is used to describe any person who is totally reliable and trustworthy, or any thing that has strength and endurance that is indestructible.

The Rock of Gibraltar, which is the Crown property of the UK, was known to the Romans as Mons Calpe. This enormous rock is 426m high and is the northern of the two ‘Pillars of Hercules’, which in ancient times, according to the Phoenicians, marked the limit to the known world.

We visited the Rock when we did a tour of Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Gibraltar, a few years ago. The charming Mediterranean town’s main street was jammed with pubs, restaurants, cafes, tiny shops, as well as a handful of famous British chain stores such as Marks & Spencers.

We had a minibus ride right to the top of the Rock, stopping en route to see the ‘Tower of Homage’, Gibraltar’s first permanent settlement, built around 711. This castle was rebuilt after the second period of Moorish occupation, in the early 14th century.

Here I am with my friend, who didn’t want to miss the photo opportunity.

No this isn’t my travelling companion, but one of those cheeky Barbary Macaques which seemed to be everywhere. We were warned not to have any food visible, as it would be snatched, and sure enough, one of our fellow travellers was followed onto the bus, and just as she was about to enjoy her packet of chips, it was stolen right out of her hand by one of these fearless bandits.

Here is our farewell view of this massive rock, as the ferry transported us across the Straits of Gibraltar to Morocco for the next leg of our tour. Looks pretty solid to me.