Category Archives: Scenic Images

Seljalandsfoss

I know it’s been over a month since I came home from the the land of fire and ice, but here are a few more pictures from the wonderful land of Iceland.  In this case it of the waterfalls around the area of Seljalandsfoss.  This particularly wonderful foss is on the main round south-east before you get to Vik.  It drops about 60m from the volcanic cliffs above and has calved out a plunge pool and has a fantastic undercut rock shelter that allows visitors to walk behind the falls (though I would say to watch your step as the patch can be wet and slippery – and when the weather is as windy as it was on our trip the spray will soak you).

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DSCN2634DSCN2623DSCN2639About 500m along the cliffs to the northwest of Seljalandsfoss is the hidden waterfall Gljúfrafoss.  This is worth having a look at, though your feet will get wet as you have to walk along the stream to get into the cave.  With Gljúfrafoss you have a waterfall that has cut back into the cliffs and you have to do a bit of exploring to see this beautiful foss.

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Jökulsárlón

As promised, here is another post from my Iceland trip.  This time it’s of Jökulsárlón.  To be honest I don’t know why this place isn’t better known.  For me I think it’s one of the natural crown jewels of Europe, nevermind of Iceland.  Basically Jökulsárlón is a semi-tidal lagoon on the south-east coast of Iceland and formed in the 1930’s by the retreat of Breiðamerkurjökul.  Breiðamerkurjökul’s moraines formed the edge of the lagoon and there is a small tidal river connecting the lagoon to the sea.  But what for me makes this place so special are the icebergs.  Breiðamerkurjökul carves the icebergs which then float around in the lagoon, slowly melting.  Some of them do make it down the small river floating out to the sea, but also being pushed back by the tide and landing on the beach forming yet more amazing ice blocks on the black sand.  OK so that’s enough of me talking lets have some pictures.

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I think the one above looks a bit like a seal’s head.

DSCN3065The pictures really don’t do this place justice.  Maybe I just don’t get out enough but this is one of the most amazing places I’ve ever visited.  I probably will never get to go to Antarctica or the high Arctic, but this is pretty close.  This is one place that should be on a lot of peoples’ bucket lists and I’m glad to have ticked it off mine.

 

The Brandenburg Gate

Well I did say I was going to show some more pictures of my European road trip, so for tonight’s viewing are my shots of the Brandenburg Gate.  Completed in 1791, the Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) is possibly the most recognizable landmark in Germany.  The Gate is in the neoclassical style and is just pretty awesome to look at.  Enjoy 🙂

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The pictures with the fountain jet to the right of them required a bit of creativity: being away from the main crowd and close enough to American Embassy for the guards to pay attention to my activities.  Didn’t help that I had to wait for a cloud to pass so that I could have a clear blue background…nothing that would get me into trouble but odd enough for them to keep an eye on me until I left.  I got several nice shots though.

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I’m going to finish off with a picture of the Reichstag taken from a memorial garden dedicated to the Romani and other traveler peoples that the Nazis considered to be undesirable.  A calm and quiet place suitable for the subject.

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Merry Christmas, here’s some pictures

Well it’s that time of year when the world gets drunk and family members fall out over an undercooked turkey.  As for me I got a new camera and went out for a walk around the local park to try it out.  “Why are there no pictures of the snow?” I hear you ask.  Well here in Telford we missed the worst of it.  It snowed after dark and rained in the night so by the morning it was all gone.  So enjoy some pictures of some birds and trees.  Enjoy!

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500 Views!

Well I’m about 7 months into my blog writing and I’ve hit the 500 views mark, so as a thank you to those who have visited my site, read my ramblings and started to follow me here are some random scenic shots that I have taken over the years.  Enjoy 🙂

DSCF3541Sgwd Henrhyd in the south Brecon Beacons (Wales).  On a side note, this waterfall was used as the outside of the Batcave in The Dark Knight Rises.

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Same waterfall, just from the inside.

The Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye (Scotland)

A male Snow Bunting on Cairn Gorm.Gruinard Bay, North-west Highlands (Scotland).

I took the above two shots at the Wrekin, Shropshire (England) a few Autumns ago.

 

Part of Mitchell’s Fold stone circle near the Stiperstones, Shropshire (England).

Inside the Grotta di Nettuno in Sardinia (Italy)

Sea Arch, Sardinia (Italy)

In Remembrance – 6th June 1944

With today being the 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy I thought I’d share a few pictures of some the war memorials local to my area, in remembrance of those that never came back and those who left something behind on the beaches of Normandy or the fields of Flanders.  The featured image is of the Commando memorial in the Scottish Highlands.

Wellington’s (Shropshire) War Memorial 

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Hadley’s (Shropshire) War Memorial

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Donnington’s (Shropshire) War Memorial

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Newport’s (Shropshire) War Memorial

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Madeley’s (Shropshire) War Memorial

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Ironbridge’s (Shropshire) War Memorial 

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To finish I’ll leave you with a photo of my trip to Ypres earlier this year.  Different war, same tragedy.

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Pistyll Rhaeadr – Fantastic Welsh Waterfall

With a rare day of sunny weather in Shropshire I took the opportunity to visit a place I’ve been to on a few occasions and I’ve thought I’d share a few images of today’s trip, plus those of the past.

Pistyll Rhaeadr (I confess to not knowing how to pronounce this properly as my Welsh is rather poor) is a wonderful, yet little known waterfall in north-east Wales, about 10 miles west of Oswestry.  Apparently it is the highest single dropping waterfall in Wales, and though it is no Niagara the area is a beautiful place to walk and you can get both underneath and to the top of the falls.

DSCF4344The main waterfall has two drops; the higher set dropping into a deep plunge pool, which sadly is accessible due to the sheer drop to get to it.  If you’re feeling brave you can take a path to the left of the falls.  TAKE EXTRA CARE WHEN WALKING AROUND THE FALLS, SOME OF THE PATHS ARE NARROW, THE ROCKS CAN BE WET AND THE DROP…WELL YOU’LL HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO THINK OF YOU’RE LIFE BEFORE HITTING THE BOTTOM, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.  Now that the boring warning is given…

Location & Access: The falls are easy to access, though you might take a bit of time finding them on a map.  They are located at around 52*51′ N, 3*22′ W.  The only way to reach them by road is to travel to the village of Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant on the B4580 and then take the narrow road (with passing places) you to the falls.  The road ends at the falls so you can’t miss it.

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There is a cafe and a carpark (£2 charge for the day) at the base of the falls, though a few hundred metres down the road there are a few places that you can park for free.  There are also toilet facilities on site.  Access to the base of the falls is good; there is a wide path with a gentle incline that should be no problem for most visitors.  This leads to a bridge over the stream that gives you a good view of the falls.  If you want to get to the top of the falls there is a path to the right, over some stiles and a steep walk up to the top of the hill.  This may be difficult for people with restricted mobility.

River Features: Pistyll Rhaeadr has many of the classic features you’d expect at a waterfall and an upland stream.  There are a series of plunge pools at the base of the falls.  Just watch out as you walk over the wet rocks…I couldn’t sit down properly for 6 weeks after I fell over whilst crossing here once.  You can see potholes and the eroding river bed.

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At the top of the falls you get a great view of the valley, a remnant of the time when glaciers once carved out the landscapes.  The steep sided valley displays evidence of hanging valleys as well as the remains of glacial debris, though now heavily farmed over and not as evident as other parts of Wales.  The geology of the surrounding hills is that of the Llangynog Formation – a series of mudstones with a band of tuff approximately 457-459 million years old (Ordovician period).

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One of the more unique features is that above the half-way plunge pull is a section of fallen & eroded rock that forms a ‘bridge’ across the stream before the water falls over again.  Sadly you can’t reach it, just admire it from afar.

DSCF4345The whole site is a fantastic place to spend a few hours if you’re ever near Oswestry.  The hills are beautiful and the falls are some of the best in region.

 

Ypres

Last week myself and a few friends went crossed the channel for a short visit to Belgium.  We went to the beautiful town of Ypres in the north of the country to look at some of the World War I sites.  With the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the war later this year I would recommend a visit to one of the war graves, memorials or trench sites.  The whole experience is an emotional one, especially if like me you are in to your military history.  We went to the Menin Gate in Ypres.  It is one of the World War I memorials to those men of the British Empire & Commonwealth who have not been found.  Those individuals that have no know grave but will lie somewhere in the Ypres area.  There are almost 55,000 names on that memorial.  The gate is an area where the weight of history feels heavy and a certain atmosphere is present.  Being into my history you get use to hearing numbers in the tens of thousands for WWI and WWII battles, but to actually stand there and see name after name lovingly carved into the stone…the feeling is hard to describe.

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IMG_1553As for the town of Ypres itself, the place is a beautiful town, the people are friendly, the food is good and although most of the sites to see relate to the Great War it is worth going to see.

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Above is a shot of the beautiful medieval Cloth Hall…except it isn’t medieval, and neither is the cathedral behind it.  The town has the look of a medieval centre but the reality is that the whole place was flattened in WWI as this image that I lifted from Wikipedia shows below.

799px-Belgie_ieper_1919_ruineThis is the Cloth Hall and cathedral in 1919.  It’s fantastic to see such effort has been made in rebuilding, but then again what else would you do.  Living in the latter part of the 20th century it is hard to visualize such destruction, but this helps to keep the memory alive.

Elsewhere you can visit areas of preserved/reconstructed trenches.  We went to such a place just east of the town.  Visiting after so much rain the past month made the clay soil rather boggy and helped give me some idea of what those brave soldiers lived in.

IMG_1574IMG_1584IMG_1589IMG_1582 Even with a modern pump taking out some of the water, this trench is still flooded.

I’ll leave you with a image from these allied trenches to the town of Ypres, and as a closing thought some of those 54,896 commemorated at the Menin Gate will lie in these fields.

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