Travel Theme: Ancient

Ailsa’s travel theme for this week is Ancient, and what could be more ancient than basically all of Rome? Here’s the Forum:

Foro Romano
Foro Romano

From Ancient Rome to Ancient Roman… here’s one of my absolute favourite Roman sites in the UK, Vindolanda.

Vindolanda

Just south of Hadrian’s Wall, Vindolanda Roman fort is best known for the discovery of the Vindolanda tablets – the oldest surviving handwritten documents in Britain. Excavations are still going on at Vindolanda, so if you go there at the right time of year you might get to see some real archaeologists at work!

Staying in the UK,  here are the ruins of Mitford Castle in Northumberland, which dates from the end of the 11th century. Jan actually took this photo and I love it. It could easily be a professional postcard!

Mitford Castle

You can’t actually go up to Mitford Castle any more (the above photo was taken from a car window) because it’s considered dangerous. The ruins aren’t exactly stable! Apparantly the farms have no problem letting their sheep roam around in there though…

To finish with, here’s Kells Priory,  one of the largest and most impressive medieval monuments in Ireland. It’s featured on the blog before, but I love it so I need to include it again for those who missed it previously!

Kells Priory 1

Got any ancient photos you want to share? The travel theme is still open until the end of tomorrow! Check out Ailsa’s blog post for more details, and to see the other entries… there are lots of way better photographers than me out there!

Travel theme: Stone

This week, the travel theme on Where’s My Backpack is stone, which gave me the perfect opportunity to showcase one of the most famous stone structures in my home county…. Hadrian’s Wall. Here are some photos of the wall and the surrounding countryside:

Hadrian’s wall was a 73-mile long Roman defensive structure built during the reign of Emperor Hadrian. Construction probably started some time in AD 122 and the wall was completed within a period of six years. Sections of the wall still exist along the route, although some of the stone was removed and used as building material at various points and to the west of the River Irthing the wall was made of turf, which is now long gone. The Hadrian’s Wall Footpath follows the line of the wall from Wallsend in Tyne and Wear to Bowness-on-Solway in North-West Cumbria… a route of 84 miles. There is also a Hadrian’s Wall bus service that stops at the main sights along the wall, including various Roman forts.

To join in with this week’s travel theme, check out Ailsa’s blog post.

Travel theme: Through

Another week, another travel theme.
When I saw that Ailsa had chosen “Through” for this week, I immediately thought of a photo that would be just perfect. All I had to do was find it… and here it is:

Stockholm

It was taken in Stockholm, looking through the fork in a tree trunk towards the water and the buildings on the island beyond.

Looking at my other photos, I discovered some more taken with a “through” perspective. I’ve posted the next one before, but it’s very fitting. It was taken from the Hohensalzburg fortress, looking through a window at the city below.

Hohensalzburg

Next up, a photo from my home country. It was taken in Alnwick, Northumberland looking through one of the cross-shaped gaps on the Lion Bridge towards the castle.

Alnwick Castle

Some of you may recognise the castle. It has featured in various films and TV series, including Harry Potter and Blackadder.
More from England, this time Dover. This was taken standing on the cliffs looking through some trees.

Dover

And finally, one from Ireland. This is Dunguaire Castle, viewed through the window of a ruined cottage just opposite it. It would have been a much better picture if the stupid car hadn’t been in the way!

Dunguaire Castle

I could have posted more photos – apparantly I like taking shots of things through other things – but I think that’s enough.

To join in yourself and see how other people have interpreted the theme, check out Ailsa’s blog post.

Quick update

I’m fiiiinally back from England, so here’s just a quick review of the past week. Moredetailed posts will follow once I get myself sorted…

  • The flight to England was pretty uneventful… once I actually got on it! Jan decided as we were about to board that he felt too ill to fly, so we had to go and have the suitcase transferred into his name. While the girl from the airline was sorting that out he asked for a doctor!! So I flew alone and he was taken to hospital for blood tests and things.
  • The christening was lovely, and I am now officially a godmother! I got a little certificate and everything.
  • My mam’s birthday meal was a great night. Delicious food and I saw a few family members who I hadn’t seen in a while.
  • The flight back to Amsterday was fine… a tiny bit of turbulence, but not enough for the fasten seatbelt fine to be switched on. Then I landed in Amsterdam, went to check my gate number for the connecting flight and discovered it was cancelled! I managed to get rebooked onto the Stuttgart flight – taking the very last flight on the plane!! Unfortunately, my suitcase didn’t make the transfer and is currently in Amsterdam waiting to be sent on to me! I hope it actually turns up, because the cross stitch I’ve been working on is in there!! Along with all my birthday presents…
  • Jan is feeling much better now… he was sent home from hospital on Tuesday and the pain in his stomach only reappears when he walks around too much. But the doctors still have no idea what’s wrong with him! Come on docs… it’s been over a week!!

That’s all for now. I need to go and take a cold shower!! I barely slept last night because the bedroom was so hot… and the temperature is set to increase today! Oh the joy…

Friday letters (off to the mother land)

Somehow, it is Friday again, and let me tell you I am ready for it! Of course, next week isn’t going to be particularly relaxing (trips to visit the family never are), but at least I get a break from the HUGE translations that have been taking over my days since I returned from Ireland… and will continue to do so after I get back from the upcoming week away.

English: Postbox for letters and bird box. Woo...
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Dear England. I shall see you in a few hours… for the first time in 10 months!

Dear flights. Please be kind! No delays, no turbulence and please no having to rush for the connection in Amsterdam!

Dear work. I sincerely hope you don’t get any more crazy while I’m away! I am already fully booked until about the end of August…

Dear boyfriend. I’m glad the doctor deemed your stomach ache to me nothing serious and you can still fly to England with me. I’m even willing to forgive you all the stress this morning now that you’re meeting me on the train as arranged 😉

Dear friends/family in England. I will try to see as many of you as possible, but please don’t be offended if I miss you out. It’s not that I don’t want to see you, but a week just isn’t that much time!

Dear readers. I’ve scheduled you a few of posts, but may not be able to visit your blogs or reply to comments until I return. Try not to miss me too much 😉

That’s it from me… it’s nearly time to go catch the train to the airport. Have a great weekend!

Photobucket

Friday letters

I can’t believe it’s Friday again! This week seems to have both dragged and flown by. Dragged because I had so much work and all of it was on the same looooong translation. It gets a little repetetive after a while. But the time also seems to have flown by thanks to the same translation – I lost about four hours last week due to server issues so I’ve spent most of the week panicking that there was no way I could the translation done in time. So that was fun. (In case anyone’s wondering, I did actually get the translation done, but it took me about 8 hours longer than it was supposed to.) As you can probably guess, the weekend is very welcome this week…

A happy post box
A happy post box (Photo: shaggy359)

Dear sleep. I hope you’ll be around this weekend – you and I have some serious catching up to do!

Dear boyfriend. Thank you for being so supportive of my healthy eating thing… and helping me log the calories when I couldn’t do the maths myself! (41% of 250 expressed as a decimal anyone? It’s beyond my capabilities!)

Dear England. This time next week I’ll be preparing to leave for the airport and catch a flight to you. Very, very excited (especially about the christening)!

Dear Deutsche Bahn. Air conditioning is all well and good, but does it really have to be freezing on my train in the morning? I know it’s hot outside, but that doesn’t mean it has to be like winter inside!

Dear readers. Please could you all sign this petition against the closure of the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences at Salford University. Salford is one of the few UK universities that offers a Bachelor’s in translation, and too many institutions have already closed their language departments. The petition still needs 400 signatures, otherwise I wouldn’t ask you…

Photobucket

Snippets

Monday Blues
Monday Blues (Photo credit: United States Marine Corps Official Page)

The epic what-we-did-in-Ireland marathon seems to have temporarily robbed my of my blogging mojo, so instead of a proper post, today I’m just going to give you some random snippets of information:

  • Today it was hot and sunny for practically the first time since we got back from our holiday (well, with the excpetion of the day after our return). Being the fool that I am, I left both my sunhat and my sunglasses at home this morning. You would think after this incident I would have learned my lesson! Luckily my route from work to the tram stop can be walked in the shade, and back in Karlsruhe I took the tram home… even though it’s only one stop. Tomorrow, rain is forecast again. So much for summer!
  • I know I promised you biscuits (cookies)… and I will be posting about them in the near future… as soon as the very idea of uploading photos to my blog doesn’t seem like a monumental effort. I’m sure you don’t want a post about biscuits without pictures, do you?
  • At the weekend, Jan and I had a very long and very draining conversation about our relationship. I still have no idea where things are going, if anywhere… but he did say the last 3-4 months have been great, which makes him think he does want a future with me. Buuut generally he still doesn’t know what he wants. From our relationship, from life… he just doesn’t know. I’ve agreed to stay until Janaury… again (sound familiar in any way?). Because I’m weak I actually think we make a good couple and I hope things will work out between us. Also, I can’t actually afford to move out right now, so once we get back from our trip to England I’ll start saving up so I can actually pay the deposit on a flat come January!
  • Tomorrow is the quiz and I’ve never felt less knowledgeable… except maybe last month. Ick.
  • It’s only Monday and already I feel like I’m behind on this week’s work. So. Much. To. Do! I think I need another holiday already…
  • Speaking of holidays… only 18 days until I fly to England for a week! I really need to get a move on with finding a dress for the christening…

That’s all I can think of, and I have to get in some exercise before I start cooking, so this is where I leave you. Proper post coming up tomorrow… maybe.

 

The return of Friday letters

I have to briefly interrupt the Ireland so that I can bring back Friday letters. What? No, I can’t wait alll the way til next week 😉

07-07-07-02 Pretty pink postbox
Pretty pink postbox (Photo credit: MyAngelG)

Dear self. Well done on managing to do some exercise every day this week. Now you just have to keep it up for another three! Oh, and give up the junk food…

Dear weekend. I am sooo glad to see you! It’s been a long and tiring week. I hope I get a chance to catch up on some sleep in between all our plans!

Dear Ireland. I miss you already! Definitely hope to be back some day…

Dear Germany. So, we got sun today (after it having rained since Monday) and on Sunday more good weather is forecast, but tomorrow when I have a daytrip planned you’re sending yet more rain? Thanks for that…

Dear Deutsche Bahn. I have to admit, I love your bonus program! Some new scales (for weighing me, not kitchen scales) are winging their way towards me even as I type thanks to the points I collected by purchasing your BahnCard!

Dear England. We booked our flights last night, so I shall see you in three weeks for T’s christening!

That’s all from me. Have a great weekend everyone! More Friday letters next week (and tomorrow, even more from Ireland. I hope you’re not sick of hearing about our holiday yet…)

Photobucket

Travel theme: Bridges

Toy train bridge

This post was inspired by Elaine at I used to be indecisive, or rather by her take on this week’s travel theme at Where’s my backpack?
The theme is bridges, which are one of my favourite things to photograph, so when I saw Elaine’s post I knew I had to join in!

I’m not sure why I like photographing bridges so much. Perhaps it’s because of what they represent. Without bridges it would be so much more difficult to get anywhere – and I do so hate being stuck in one place for any length of time! (I blame my army upbringing.) Of course, without bridges there would still be boats and planes – and in some instances even the possibility to swim – but those methods aren’t always practical – or would you enjoy swimming across a stream when there’s snow on the ground? 😉

Or maybe I just made all that up so I would sound intellectual and the real reason I have so many photos of bridges is simply because I like the way they look? Many of them are just so beautiful! Others are majestic. With some, I wonder how on Earth anybody ever managed to put them together (there’s a reason I’m a translator and not an engineer!). Anyway – enough rambling from me! Time to get on to the bridges…

With so many photos in my collection, it was really difficult to decide which bridges to include in this post, but to start with I thought I would give you my most recent photograph of a bridge, taken in Luxembourg City on 2 January this year:

Luxembourg bridge

This is the Adolphe Bridge, one of the bridges across the gorge that splits Luxembourg City in two. It was built between 1900 and 1903 and is one of those bridges that makes me wonder just how the builders managed.

The next photo is not specifically of a bridge, but it does show some of Stockholm’s many bridges. The city of Stockholm is made up entirely of different islands (14 if I remember correctly), so there are basically bridges everywhere you look.

Stockholm

This photo was taken from the tower of Stockholm City Hall, and as you can see the view is well worth the climb!

Moving on… my next photo shows the St. Nikolaus Bridge in Calw, Germany. Being my adopted home country, Germany may be featuring a few times in this post…

St. Nikolaus BridgeThe tiny little building you can see on the bridge is the St. Nikolaus Chapel and the metal statue just in front of it is Hermann Hesse, who was born in Calw. Here’s a better picture of the statue:

Hermann Hesse

Looking at the sky, you wouldn’t believe these photos were taken a few moments apart. I promise you, they were!

Staying in Germany, but moving a little closer to home, this pretty wooden bridge is in Ettlingen – the next town over from Karlsruhe.

Ettlingen

The river it crosses is the Alb.

Switching countries again, here are two Dutch bridges. One in Leiden, complete with windmill:

Leiden

It opens to let ships through.
And one in Delft:

Delft

OK, that last one isn’t exactly a bridge in the same way as the others I’ve posted (it’s part of Delft’s Eastern Gate), but it does bridge a canal and it’s rather cool, don’t you think?

Austria next, I think. And a night shot.

Salzburg bridge

The above photo of a bridge over the River Salzach, in Salzburg, was taken in December 2011 – which is why the bridge has Christmas lights on it. In the background you can see the fortress, all lit up.

OK, this post is getting rather long now so I won’t add too many more. Here’s a bridge in Venice, Italy:

Venice bridge

Returning to Germany with one from Tübingen:

Tübingen bridge

Not the best photo, but I’m including it so I can also say Tübingen is among the prettiest places in Germany and if you ever find yourself in the area you shoud go!

Another one from Austria – this time from Feldkirch, which I want in purely because I used to live there:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The yellow building is the Landeskonservatorium für Vorarlberg – in other words the music college. The building was originally a Jesiuit school, the Stella Matutina, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle of Sherlock Holmes fame was once a pupil there!

And now I shall finish off with some photos of the North East of England, because it’s the closest thing to a “where I’m from” I have.
This one is the Lion Bridge in Alnwick, Northumberland – so-named because of the stone lion that stands on it:

Lion Bridge, Alnwick

Here’s a bridge in Morpeth, the town where I spent most of my childhood holidays (my parents are both from there) and later, after moving up North myself, a few drunken teenage nights:

Morpeth bridge

And finally, here are some of the bridges that cross the River Tyne in Newcastle, including the most famous one – the Tyne Bridge itself.

Bridges of Newcastle

Wow! Sorry this post has ended up being so long – I was having too much fun to stop! If you would like to see even more bridges – or join in yourself – you need to go here.

All of these photos were taken by me or – in the case of the one from Leiden – my boyfriend. Please do not steal them.

Off to the Motherland!

We’re flying to England today, where I shall not be visiting every man and his dog, but every woman and her baby! Seriously… it’s amazing how many of my friends have had babies this year who I’ve never even seen. We’re even going to York to see one of them! So I shall “see” you all when I return. Right now, I have 2 hours until our train to the airport leaves, a boyfriend who is still in bed and a kitchen full of dishes. Aarrghh!