Sugar Loaf Mountain … Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Great Sugar Loaf Mountain is located on the edge of the Wicklow Hills to the south of Dublin, and while it looks fairly high it is, at just over 1,600 ft, really not that big at all. Its apparent prominence in the landscape is due to its height relative to the surrounding landscape. The British refer to this type of hill as a Marilyn.

On this occasion we were having a bite to eat at beautiful Powerscourt House and Gardens. The views were spectacular, of course, and so I pulled out the camera and captured a few moments like this.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

Enjoy the View … Isle of Arran, Scotland

By car, you can travel the circumference of the Isle of Arran in less than a day — with the odd stop along the way. Take in a brewery; have lunch at a distillery; visit a castle; walk barefoot on a sandy beach; skip stones on a rocky beach; say hi to the sheep that dot the hill sides … and yes, enjoy the view.

The A841 skirts the shores and, as in this image, traverses the colour-infused highlands. It’s a sight, to be sure.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

Water Ice … Mount Edith Cavell, Jasper National Park, Alberta

Normally you’d see an image of a beautiful, majestic mountain at the mention of Mount Edith Cavell, but in this instance I’ve narrowed the scope somewhat to highlight the edge of this glacier.

When I look at this image I am reminded of mint ice cream studded with a seam of chocolate chips and peppered with chocolate sprinkles.

Silly really, I suppose, but why shouldn’t nature look yummy as well as beautiful?

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

Alberta On My Mind

I’m longing to visit the mountains, so today I satisfy that unmet desire by posting an image of the Canadian Rockies as seen from Bar U Ranch National Historic Site near Longview.

Alberta has been on my mind a lot today. I want to plan a retreat  — to find some peace and quiet (cue dogs barking noisily in the background), to write, engage in some nature photography, visit my brother — and thought, this morning, that I’d found the perfect accommodation for the time frame I had in mind. A single cabin with great amenities on a working ranch near Claresholm south of Calgary — far enough from the madding city crowd to offer solitude but close enough for a whiff if I needed it.

I was going to confirm the dates with the ranch this evening and then surprise my brother with a phone call so we could work out the rest of the trip. But then this afternoon I got an unexpected email from the ranch basically stating that someone had, unfortunately, beaten me to the punch and the cabin was no longer available for the week I had in mind.

Nuts!

My husband and I communicate about major expenditures and I  had planned to discuss this with my him this evening when he got home from work. I don’t like to disturb him at the office. He’s a busy guy. Besides, I honestly thought I’d have until tonight to make the booking. Who knew?

Oh well, I have learned that if something is meant to be it will be.

Maybe I can select a different time frame, or find somewhere else appropriate to park my caboose for the week in question. Alas, it is a fact, plain and simple, that all the high-end international travel we’ve experienced in recent years has made me kind of fussy.

At any rate, until I get this settled Alberta will be on my mind and an image of the mountains will just have to suffice … for now.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

Sunset Over Lake Ashi … Hakone, Japan

While waiting at the bus station in Motohakone for transportation back to Hakone-Machi and the Fujiya Hotel I,  being the restless (or ever vigilant — whichever you prefer) shutterbug that I am wandered the nearby harbour in search of last minute captures before the sun disappeared behind the hills.

This golden rendering of the setting sun is my favourite image from that wait.

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy 🙂

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

The White House … Isle of Arran, Scotland

Must be my British ancestral blood that makes me go weak at the knees when I witness the beauty of those ancient lands.

To me this image emotes Scotland … the white-painted stone house surrounded in native shrubs; the golden gorse whose coconut fragrance intoxicates me even with the memory of it; the stone walls and winding road and rolling hills and cloud-cloaked skies. And the buffeting winds that embraced me as I captured this moment and held it in my heart.

Ol’ gran would be pleased …

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

Ropeway … Hakone, Japan

Getting on the Ropeway in Hakone to see Mount Fuji in all its conical splendour was a feat in itself for me when we visited 18 months ago. I don’t like heights or enclosed spaces, and at the time I was suffering panic attacks for inexplicable reasons. I didn’t need to create a reason to have such an attack thousands of feet above the valley floor. But, as mentioned in a previous post on my Fuji experience, it was either ride the Ropeway with my partner and friends or be left behind at our hotel.

So, arming myself with everything I thought I’d need to distract myself from the tyranny of anxiety, I embarked on as high above the Earth a journey as I’d ever experienced. And I managed it just fine.

The happy result is these, and other, images which remind me if I hadn’t stepped up I would have lost out.

What have you done to step out of your comfort zone while travelling. Let me know. I’d love to hear about it.

Thanks for visiting …

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

Inukshuk … Our Canadian Calling Card

Inukshuk at Lamlash Bay, Isle of Arran

Travelling can afford many opportunities for play. One of the things we like to do when we visit coastal regions or lakes is build inukshuks.

Inukshuks are monuments that originated with the Inuit people as a way to communicate and traditionally mean “Someone Was Here.”

Because they are built of materials that occur naturally, most commonly stone, it’s an environmentally-friendly way for us to leave a Canadian calling card.

We are under no illusions about any of the inukshuks we’ve built surviving for any length of time. High tides, strong winds or miscreant teenagers will quite likely demolish them over time. But it’s fun to wonder if they’ll still be there should we ever return.

Inukshuk at Lough Corrib, Co. Mayo, Ireland (bottom right hand corner ... see how it blends in with the environment?)

There’s almost something reverential about the act of communing with nature in this way. When I see one I wonder who put it there. When I build one I wonder who will see it.

Often, if the inukshuk is large enough, people will add their own small stone to feel they have been part of something almost spiritual.

The best example I’ve seen of this is an inukshuk someone constructed, who knows when, on the shore of Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park, Alberta. Along its many ledges you’ll find pebbles that have been placed by others feeling the reverence of the moment and wanting to show they were there. I added one of my own in 2010.

Inukshuk at Lake Minnewanka, Banff National Park, Alberta

Thanks for visiting, and feel free to let me know you were here . 😉

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

Irish Impressions for St. Patrick’s Day …

This time last year we were getting ready for our three-week trip to the Emerald Isle. I don’t think I’ve ever anticipated a journey more. I was so excited to visit the land of my forefathers. It had been great fun planning it.

As it’s St. Patrick’s Day I’m posting a few of memories of that trip. Others can be found in past and future posts. Check out yesterday’s … a nod to the Irish National Stud.

Have I mentioned I love Ireland!

Inch was one of the biggest surprises. I never imagined such a beach in Ireland.

A wall of collectible Guinness bottles was a feast for the eyes at the Guinness brewery in Dublin. Here are just a few …

These naughty lambs in Kildare had escaped from their field and were playing on the road side … baaaad …

Johnny Foxes in Glencullen in the Dublin Mountains … the “highest” pub in the country … famous for its traditional music and and for being one of Ireland’s oldest pubs … and for numerous chamber pots suspended from its timbered ceiling … 😉 …

Exercising horses on a busy, narrow main road outside Dublin … my horse would have an opinion about that …

And finally, for this post anyway, here is mystical Glendalough, one of my favourite sacred spaces in Ireland.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012