LATE AUTUMN IN THE AMBER VALLEY

Listen…
With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break from the trees
And fall.
(NOVEMBER NIGHT – Adelaide Crapsey)

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HIGH PEAK JUNCTION

HIGH PEAK JUNCTION

The early bird catches … a stunning sunrise on a crisp early-autumn morning. 

“The High Peak Junction, near Cromford, Derbyshire, England, is the name now used to describe the site where the former Cromford and High Peak Railway (C&HPR), whose workshops were located here, meets the Cromford Canal. It lies within Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.” (Wikipedia).

The sunset is not too shabby too.

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THE MANCHESTER EXPERIENCE

THE MANCHESTER EXPERIENCE

Over the years I’ve had the good fortune to visit many of the larger cities in the United Kingdom. From  Inverness, Stirling and Edinburgh in Scotland, to Sheffield, Nottingham and Birmingham in Middle-England. I’ve been to  Bath, York, Norwich, Cambridge, Chelmsford and Colchester (although not a city, it was for a time the capital of Roman Britain). I have travelled further south to London, Canterbury, Dover, Portsmouth, Brighton and  Southampton, and then north and east to Oxford, Cardiff (in Wales) as well as Limerick and Dublin in Ireland. To name a few.

This past week I have added another city to the list – Manchester, the third-most populous city in the United Kingdom (after London and Birmingham). A city of many cultures, adventures and surprises. From very old Roman (and older) landmarks to hyper-modern skyscrapers and shops.

Many famous people have links with this vibrant city. Big names such as, Albert Finney, one of Britain’s best-loved stage and screen actors and Sir Ben Kingsley, who won international acclaim and an Oscar for his role as the Indian statesman, Mohandas Gandhi in the 1982 film of the same name.

Emmeline Pankhurst, who, in 1903 helped to form Suffragettes, a militant-like group of activists hell-bent on giving women the recognition they deserved.  In 1999, Time Magazine named Pankhurst one of the 100 most important people of the 20th century. 

Maurice, Robin, and Barry Gibb, The Bee Gees, spent their childhood practising their harmonies in a modest terraced house on Keppel Road.

Alan Turing, the Manchester University scientist, is recognised as one of the world’s most influential computer pioneers. He is often credited with founding computing and artificial intelligence as we know it. Originally breaking codes for the Brits during World War II, Turing then went on to become the director of a computer lab at Manchester University.

Oh, and then there are also two of the most famous football teams in the world, but since football is not really my thing, I will not mention it.

One day was definitely not enough to spend in this interesting city.

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My son and I started the day with coffee and “The Elvis” – this psychedelic bagel with peanut butter, jam and bacon.

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STATUE OF ALAN TURING

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MANCHESTER CATHEDRAL

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MEMORIES OF ATHENS

MEMORIES OF ATHENS

Athens, the fourth oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, is the capital of Greece. Hot (in August) and vibrant. Steep in history and probably more famous for the breathtakingly beautiful  Acropolis with the pièce de résistance, the Parthenon (which we will put aside for the time being). Let’s touch on a few memories I have of Athens …

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A SNEAK PEAK OF WHAT I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO SEE

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SNACK TIME!

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WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT! A SOUTH AFRICAN RESTAURANT IN ATHENS!

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BOEREWORS!

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NEW FRIENDS

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WHITE OMELETTE (even Superman is looking for a bite).

 

‘N TYD VIR ALLES

‘N TYD VIR ALLES

Ek wou darem in Rotterdam op die water ook kom. Dit was ‘n bewolkte, reënerige dag en net reg vir ‘n “havenrondvaart” op die Marco Polo in een van die grootste hawens ter wêreld.

Ons het sommer hawe toe gestap en ek kon my weer eens verlustig in die avontuurlike argitektuur van hierdie besondere stad waarvan ‘n baie groot gedeelte tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog verwoes is.

Toe reën ons later van die buitedek af binnetoe dryf, was foto’s deur die reënspatsels op die vensters nie so maklik nie. Die vars appelgebak en ‘n warm Douwe Egberts-koffetjie het egter meer as opgemaak daarvoor.

Ons weet mos nou al van die vroegste tye af dat daar vir alles op aarde ‘n tyd is; en so breek ons tyd vir huiswaarts keer ook aan.

Die pad terug deur drie van die vier lande tot in Calais verloop nie sonder voorval nie na ‘n amperse onderonsie met ‘n groot vragmotor wat sy eie padreëls volg. Maar alles is mos goed wat goed eindig en ons ry vir oulaas, ongeskonde, aan die regterkant van die pad op die veerboot by Calais.

Engeland, huis, hier kom ons.

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