Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Photo of the Week - Spectacled Bear Spectacled Bear, What do you see?

Alessio and I visited Zurich zoo on a warm sunny day in May, and there have not been hardly any of them believe me!

A lot of people have different views about zoos in general and in my opinion if the animals have enough space, can roam around and their environment looks like it would in the wild, then I think they are ok. Of course not all animals have large spaces, but the Zurich zoo I think is quite good.

After spending about 6 hours there Alessio told me we still had not seen the bears, so off we went to see them. There living space is quite large and we had to walk a bit to actually spot them, finally we saw one, a Spectacled bear. Spectacled bears are the only bears to come from South America, sadly like many other animals their future looks uncertain due to habitat loss.

Since it was nearly closing time we were nearly the only people to see him? walking around looking for food, it was really amazing to this bear. Then I noticed another one hidden in a den, it could have spent more time just observing them, but we had to leave.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Sechseläuten Parade - Spring Festival in Zurich

This year the Spring festival know as Sechseläuten took place on the Monday 15th April, these photos are from the kids parade a day before on the Sunday. Quite frankly we were lucky with the weather, it was one of the few weekends that have been lovely. The name Sechseläuten literally mean " the six o´clock ringing of the bells", this festival goes back to medieval times.

On the Monday the giant snowman called the Böögg is set on fire at 6pm and the faster the head explodes, the better the summer will be. Sadly is took 35m 11seconds this is longest it has ever taken to explode, therefore it means a crap summer weatherwise!

Alessio enjoyed seeing the parade, the children walking usually throw sweets and he along with the other kids try to catch them. There is also a small funfair and he went on some of the rides, anyway it was a lovely day.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Hong Kong Life Part 2

The Blue House

Who are you taking a photo of?

Peaceful reading

Multi-coloured Building

This is another mix of the last two days of my week in Hong Kong, the Friday was spent visiting the Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Gardens which I already posted about. Afterwards we went to the Mong Kok area to see the goldfish market, before that we walked around the flower market. There are lots of markets to visit in this area, we had already been to Ladies Market and Temple Night market. Then we got back to Hong Kong Island and went for our delicious afternoon tea, which you have already heard about.

The Saturday was just me as Arlene flew back one day earlier, I started off the day by visiting the Andy Warhol exhibition which I really enjoyed. I then visited an area which I had wanted to see for a few days in Wan Chi. Stone Nullah Lane has the historic Blue house, named so because of lovely blue colour painted externally. It is one of the few remaining tenement balcony buildings in HK. As you can see next door is the yellow house and there was also an orange house.

Then I walked around the financial district looking at all the amazing tall building, the fancy shops and just watching all the people. I also had a look inside St John Cathedral, from there I continued walking until my feet started to ache. The last photo is my favorite building, everything about it is interesting from the shape to the colours.

Then it was back to my hotel, to start to pack and a very early wake up call. The whole week in Hong Kong just amazing and would recommend a visit to anyone.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Photo of the Week - Lounging Around!

During my trip to Scotland I went on a day outing with Alessio and my father to Inchcolm Island, it was a wonderful day. We saw lots of wildlife, these 4 grey seals we saw on our way to the island, I guess they see lots of people looking at them and they don`t really care at all. It was great to see them though and lots more.

There will be more posts about this trip in the next few weeks. My next trip is a weekend in Stockholm with my friend Aimee and my sister Elena. The highlight is seeing a Calvin Harris gig, really looking forward to that!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

A Walk in and Around Blairgowrie

Walking along the banks of river Ericht

Views of the Sidlaw Hills

Remains of the old mill cottages

A old chimney

remains of an oldwater wheel

On the Monday we headed to Blairgowrie in Perthshire to do a shortish walk in the area. It was ok weather, rather typical April day mixture of rain, sun and wind. Once we parked the car we started our walk along the river Ericht, techincally we should have continued but there had been some land slides so the area was cordoned off.

Therefore we had to walk upwards and were rewarded with some lovely views of the surrounding Sidlaw hills and farmland. Then we found our way back down to the river and to the area where in the 19th century there were around 12 jute and flax mills. Blairgowrie was very important in the production of Jute and linen, the powerful river Ericht was needed to pump the water wheels.

We then crossed over a bridge to the other side and walked into Rattray, over another bridge which took us back into Blairgowrie and went for a well deserved lunch. I cannot remember the name of the restaurant but we had a good lunch and the staff were very nice. Then we headed off to see my nephews in Tayport.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Some Street Art in Paris

Back in March I went to Paris for the weekend with my friend Aimee, these photos were all taken on a bitterly cold Sunday. We started off at the Pomidou Centre, where we had tickets for the Salvador Dali exhibition but as the line up was long and we did not fancy waiting in the cold we opted for lunch instead.

Then we walked to a metro station and got off around the Canal St Martin area, as I had read that it was a nice area to walk in. Maybe it was due to the fact that it was not the best day to walk by a canal, it was not what I thought it would be like, hopefully in warmer days it looks different.

All the street art we saw looked cool and would have liked to see more, maybe another time!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Photo of the Week - Seagull

This hungry fellow was in Edinburgh, my sister and I were walking in Princes Street Gardens on our way to see an exhibition. It may be hard to imagine this from the photo but he was really huge, the seagulls here are just plain old big. Anyway it was pretty amazing to see it close up though!

More to come from the weekend in Edinburgh later on, hope you are all having a good week!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Falkland Village

My last day in Scotland we went to Falkland for a walk and a look around the lovely village. First we did our walk which I will post about later on, then we stopped for some refreshments in a nice coffee shop. I had the sticky toffee pudding with cream, having had a fair share of scones over the last week, it was time to taste something different and it was delicious!

The village was really lovely, but the main attraction of the place is Falkland Palace, as it was late we could only see the outside and some of the gardens. The palace was built by two kings James IV and James V replacing the old castle from before, during 1501 and 1541. It was a favorite retreat of the Stuart Kings and Queens, including Mary Queen of Scots.

I have visited the Palace but a long time ago, afterwards we continued walking around and saw an interesting shop. If you have old violins, fiddles and cellos this is place to go to sell it or buy one, maybe they deal in other instruments too.