Jun 122011
 

In case you’re wondering, the recent Israel trip didn’t stop at day 3. It simply transpired that processing everything we had seen and then putting together a condensed version of it for a blog post was just a little too ambitious to do on a daily basis. However, I do hope to get some more thoughts up soon.

In the meantime, I have uploaded most of the photos I took. I still have to stitch together a number of panorama shots, but the main ones are there. You can check out the latest albums from the Photo Albums link above or go directly to the albums if you want access to higher resolution photos.

Just as an intimation of what’s still to be blogged, the rest of the days were:

  • Day 4 – Yad VaShem – Holocaust memorial
  • Day 5 – Masada, Qumran, Dead Sea, Tiberias
  • Day 6 – Around Galilee, Caesarea
  • Day 7 – Haram Ash-Sharif (Dome of the Rock, Aqsa Mosque, etc), Mount of Olives
  • Day 8 – Jaffa, Tabeetha School
Apr 082011
 

Hebridean PrincessFor the last five years, every time there has been ‘holiday’ break, I’ve never really had the opportunity to take advantage of it. Quite apart from the lack of funds, it seemed that every Christmas and Easter break was spent either revising for exams or doing stuff for placements. It has been a long time since we’ve just had the luxury of saying, “Fancy going away for a few days?” In fact, so long that we had forgotten what to do with the opportunity.

However, I needed to take a break from work, it happened to be during the school holidays, and so we thought we’d go for it. Nothing fancy, just a few days away with nowhere we needed to be and nothing we needed to do. A few days of easy touring around the West Highlands fitted the bill perfectly. Except it didn’t quite pan out that way.

The original plan was for three of us to go away and then there was the sudden realisation that a concert had already been booked for a night right in the middle. Problem easily solved – just two of us will go and then all get together afterwards. That all went to plan and Inverness was the agreed (and already booked) rendezvous. But it also meant that the planned sight-seeing didn’t work out and to see everything we ended up retracing our steps, adding to the driving mileage, but ensuring everything got fitted in (I’m sure I said something earlier about not having specific commitments… hmmm!).

It did actually work out for the best. Our third day was a washout – seriously heavy rain. But, as we were mainly driving, it wasn’t too big a deal. The forecast for our last day was much better and so it turned out to be. So now we got to see all the things we couldn’t because of the rain. And they were worth waiting for – very spectacular scenery in the main. All-in-all I ended up doing 800 miles of driving, 350 on the last day alone. But it was great just getting away.

So, here’s where we ended up going:

Falkirk – Erbusaig (we stayed 2 nights in the Tingle Creek Hotel – very nice) – Skye (as ‘around’ it as possible, including a trip to Dunvegan Castle) – Plockton – Lochcarron – Applecross – Torridon – Kinlochewe – Inverness (overnight – then return journey) – Kinlochewe – Torridon – Applecross – Lochcarron – Kyle of Lochalsh – Armadale – (ferry) – Mallaig – Glenfinnan – Oban – Crianlarich – Callander – Falkirk

Photos are here.

Aug 202009
 

Yesterday (Wednesday), I was visiting the university town of Leuven to grab some books from Peeter’s bookshop. I also took the opportunity to have a wander round the historic place and see some of the sights. It was, in many respects, not unlike many of the other historic towns or cities in Belgium and has the Grote Markt as its focal point. There was the usual Stadhuis and loads of cafes and bars. Continue reading »