Bled Castle … Bled, Slovenia

Weekly Photo Challenge: On Top


How lovely! This challenge allows me to expand upon my last post A Moment in Bled, Slovenia

On Top II

On a rocky precipice 130m above glacial Lake Bled sits Bled Castle ~ a mighty medieval stronghold.

On Top

The castle was first mentioned in a charter dating back to 1011 AD, and was referred to as castellum Veldes (the castle on the cliff). It was built with an upper and lower courtyard and is the oldest such structure in Slovenia.

View from on top

The reason for its location is obvious.

View from on top II

From atop the cliff you can keep a watch for the enemy, all while enjoying a cup of tea and taking in the glorious scenery.

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy 🙂


©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

Shout Outs

 Vero Supertramp

Northumbrian Light

Photographs by James Collett

Travel Monkey

Santiago the Shepherd






A Moment in Bled, Slovenia

Bled, Slovenia


Bordering Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Croatia to the south and south east and Hungary to the northeast, Slovenia is a lovely jewel in the crown of south central Europe and full of delightful surprises.

One such surprise is the beautiful resort town of Bled (pronounced “Blet”) nestled in the Alpine region of the northwest.

This view of Bled Castle was taken from a row boat while crossing the pristine waters of Lake Bled.

Motorized boats are not allowed on the lake.

The stillness of the lake makes it a perfect training ground for Olympic rowing, and Bled has hosted the World Rowing Championships several times.

It’s worth a visit.

Thanks for stopping by.

Dorothy 🙂

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

Treasuring Inner Beauty

Weekly Photo Challenge: Treasure



I’ve been collecting labradorite for years.

It is a beautiful and mysterious stone which, at first, appealed only to my eye. But when I learned of its healing qualities as well I realized that I was drawn to it because of the way it also spoke to my heart.

I have labradorite in almost every room of the house. Wherever we travel I look for a piece, either in jewelry or a rough or polished stone, to bring home with me. It’s only been on the rare occasion that I haven’t been able to find it.

The stone depicted is  one I purchased in a rock shop in Banff, Alberta. I always gravitate to the labradorite section of such a shop (in Banff there are many). Unless a person is aware of the qualities of the labradorite they’ll usually just walk by it because at first glance it looks like a grey stone with a bit of colour in it. But it is so much more.

I will spend several minutes oohing and aahing over each stone that tempts my eye. I will pick them up one at a time, cradle it, hold it to the light and watch as the stone comes to life, the luminescent colours dancing and playing between peacock blue and green and mauve or orange or whatever its particular essence holds. It’s totally mesmerizing.

I am a child again, searching for special rocks in a mountain riverbed that I can take home and add to my ever-growing collection.

In this shop I inspected a number of stunning pieces of various sizes and opted for this one because I liked that it was polished on one side and rough on the other. It’s about two inches high by one inch wide and another inch deep and can be held comfortably in my hand. As I didn’t have one like this in my collection I decided it would come home with me. I think it, along with another stone I selected, cost about $40. Now it’s priceless to me.

It wasn’t until I got it home to Ontario and had a proper opportunity to inspect and meditate on it that I realized what an incredible find this was for me. In fact, I have thought since that it wasn’t so much that I found the stone but that it found me.

I discovered that when I look at the polished side of the stone at a particular angle under a light source the impression of the head, neck, shoulder, chest and a raised front foot of a horse magically appear. If you look at the image here you’ll see it. I had to set the stone up carefully against the base of my desk lamp and cradle it with a lace doily to make it work, but it is clearly visible. Maybe you won’t see it right away, but it’s there. For reference, the nose of the horse is blue.

When I first noticed this it took my breath away. My passion has always been horses. Horses are an important part of my life journey. I couldn’t believe that a simple stone I’d picked up for one reason ~ its appeal to my eyes alone ~ actually spoke to me at a much deeper and more spiritual level.

So, as you might imagine, what might seem an incredibly boring chunk of Mother Earth to one person is actually a treasured piece of her inner beauty to me.

Perhaps this simple stone also illustrates the notion that beauty is not always obvious and is to be found in the most unusual places. All we need to do is open our eyes, and heart, and see it.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂


©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

Shout Outs

Nature on the Edge

The Best Years Are

Living In The Moment

Weekly Photo Challenge: Horizon(s)

I love looking to the horizon. I love to broaden my horizon.

Herewith my response to this week’s photo challenge.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂


Shout Outs

Uncle Spike’s Adventures

Tish Farrell

Being Mrs Carmichael


©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013

Weekly Photo Challenge: Resolved … Keep on the Sunny Side

Sunrise over HiroshimaThis year I am resolved to keeping on the sunny side of life.

I know some days will be more challenging than others but I am, nevertheless, committed to focusing on the positive and always keeping my eyes open for the cloud’s silver lining.

For if there is one thing I have learned during the past several years of intentioned self-discovery it is this: though we cannot change the past that has shaped us we can learn to control our responses to it. To me this means working to shift from the negative position of one who merely survives to learning to embrace life’s possibilities as one who thrives.

To illustrate I’ve chosen an image of the sun rising over a city that, from its own devastation, became a thriving modern metropolis — Hiroshima, Japan.

Thanks for visiting and Happy New Year!

Dorothy 🙂


Copyright Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013

Alberta Calling

Alberta is calling and this time under much happier circumstances than my last visit a month ago.

My family member, who was in such peril, is now on the mend and doing much better. Together we’re looking forward to some Stampede fun, heading to the mountains for a couple of day trips, and simply chilling on the patio with a drink in hand. Oh, and playing with the new addition to the family … a three-month-old Sh’Borkie (Shizu/Bichon Frise/Yorkie) named Rusty. (Cute as a button and spoiled rotten, I’m guessing …)

Speaking of family … a day trip to Edmonton will see us meeting some second cousins for the first time … all because of a common interest in unravelling the family tree and understanding the loose ties that bind.

I’ve already done a significant amount of research on our mutual ancestors, and having no children I am thrilled to be able to share it with relations who are interested in what makes this family tick.

When I was full tilt into doing my genealogy I loved to discover who my forebears were and uncover their stories, many of which were passed down through the generations in letters and by word of mouth. As well, there are a few ancestral families whose stories are quite well documented due to their involvement in the American Revolution (as United Empire Loyalists) and their settling of parts of Upper Canada following that conflict.

To know that my research has not been done in vain and that others in the family whom I have never met are willing to be its custodians and even build upon it does my heart good.

Yes, Alberta is calling, and I’m hoping to return home with my creativity once again intact.

Featured image: Three Sisters in the Rocky Mountains at Canmore, Alberta.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012