Contemplation … Port Olimpic, Barcelona, Spain

One of my favourite things to do is meditate in quiet contemplation by the water, so when I caught sight of this young mother with her baby focusing on the Mediterranean Sea I couldn’t resist capturing it.

I live in rural Ontario, no where near the sea. We recently had the garden re-landscaped and installed a bubble rock. Finally the meditative essence of water in my back yard. Still, I’m looking forward to my next excursion to a somewhat larger body of water.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy đŸ™‚

Copyright Aimwell Enteprises 2012

Mediterranean Sunrise … Monaco

I’ve only been on a cruise once. It was in the Mediterranean and fabulous. We enjoyed several ports of call, including a day in Monaco and the French Riviera.

The ship docked in Monte Carlo in the early morning of a beautiful early September day. As we entered the harbour in those wee hours I was wide awake with the sunrise and out on the deck enjoying, and capturing, moments like this.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy đŸ™‚

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

An Ol’ Routine … Firth of Clyde, Isle of Arran, Scotland

Tourist #1: “Hey look! … Over there! …  A seagull!”

Tourist #2: “Huh? … Oh, ya, I guess it is! … The scenery’s beautiful, eh? …”

Tourist #1: “Sure is … I wish we’d been able to stay longer on the Isle of Arran. It would have been fun to do some hiking … ”

Tourist #2: “Ya … Oh well … next time … ”

Tourist #1: “Hey! There’s that silly seagull again! … Do you think he’s following the ferry?”

Tourist #2: “I don’t know … maybe. Kind of looks like he might be … Wow! Look over there … It’s so pretty! … The water’s so calm …”

Tourist #1: “Ya … so tranquil for such a large body of water … But look! There he is … again! … He keeps swooping and circling around the ferry!”

Tourist #2: “Where is he?”

Tourist #1: “Up there! … Can you see him?”

Tourist #1: “You know … I think he’s escorting the ferry all the way back to Ardrossan!”

Tourist #2: “You think so? …”

Tourist #1: “Why not? Maybe it’s what he does … you know, an ol’ routine …”

Tourist #1: “Look how high up he is! Like he’s circling the sun!”

Tourist #1: “Wow! … And now he’s so close I can almost touch him … Isn’t he something!?”

Tourist #2: “Oh, he’s something alright. … He better not you-know-what on my head …”

Tourist #1: “But that’s good luck … right?”

Tourist #1: “Well … look at that. … He’s resting on the loud speaker …”

Tourist #2: “Looks like a bit of a tap dance routine to me …”

*

Remember to look up …

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy đŸ™‚

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

Slea Head Road … Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry, Ireland

It’s stormy here in Southern Ontario, reminding me of a day spent on the Dingle Peninsula last spring.

Upon arriving in Dingle one fine early April afternoon, our bed and breakfast hostess suggested we take the two-hour or so drive along the Slea Head Road so we could witness the fantastic views and rugged landscape that defines the Dingle Peninsula, the most westerly landscape in Europe.

We could see the weather was changing. The forecast was for rain, but we thought what the heck, we’re only here over night we better take in as much as we can.

So, we headed out.

The weather changed faster than we’d anticipated.

We drove our small rental car along the narrow coastal road which hugged the rugged hills and cliffs, feeling the power of the gale force winds as they buffeted about us. At one point, so taken by the scenery, we stopped to get out of the car only to be instantly left wondering if we’d be able to open the car doors again to get back in.

Standing in the middle of nowhere with a blasting wind howling around me and a misty light rain settling in left me feeling somewhat vulnerable. The waves of the Atlantic crashed mercilessly against the shoreline with a deafening roar, muffling our yelled words to one another which were then swept away with each mighty wind gust. Once back inside the car we thought it best to stay there.

We encountered little traffic. Tourist season had not yet begun. Locals were probably smart enough to stay home. The road was one lane wide. Getting by an oncoming vehicle meant someone had to give way. If you weren’t near a pull-out area, you reversed until you found one.

We encountered many seagulls. It amazed me how they were able to stand on the ancient stone walls that lined the road and brave the winds seemingly without effort. Like the fellow in this image, they just stood there, braced against the onslaught and took it all in. We pulled to the side of the road and I opened the car window to get this image. The seagull posed, nonplussed by my close proximity, like it was all in a day’s work. (Obviously practicing for the tourist season.)

As we journeyed, the landscape rolled and received the waves as it had for millennia. In the storm’s violence still the land seemed peaceful. It was just another interactive day with the forces of nature.

Dotted along the road were the ruins of former monastic settlements and churches which only added to the drama of the Dingle Peninsula landscape.

Drama which appeared around every corner and in many rugged guises.

Larger than life and yet still accessible.

That is Ireland.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy đŸ™‚

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

Mediterranean Meditation … Port Olimpic, Barcelona, Spain

As I was standing on the sandy beach at Port Olimpic in Barcelona, meditating on the view with my camera, I caught sight of this wharf and its many meditations.

The hope-filled men casting their lines into the sea and meditating upon their next catch.

The gentle sailing boat meditating its way along the shore in the background.

The lone bystander standing at wharf’s edge meditating upon the crashing waves.

All beneath the meditation of a passing cloud.

*

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy đŸ™‚

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

Tranquility … Lake Ontario

One of my favourite locations to visit in Southern Ontario is the small historic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.

My affection for it is partly due to its beautiful location, nestled on the Niagara penninsula where the Niagara River meets Lake Ontario, and partly because my United Empire Loyalist ancestors, who fought for the Crown among the ranks of Butler’s Rangers, had a hand in helping to establish it as a village in 1792.

It is one of the oldest towns in Canada and undoubtedly, with its Regency and Classical Revival architecture, one of the loveliest. It is also the centre of a burgeoning wine growing region which makes it even more popular as a tourist destination. But that’s a thought for another day.

My focus here is this image captured on an unexpectedly warm day in mid March.

I was standing in a town park looking out toward the vast body of Lake Ontario, hoping perhaps to catch a glimpse of the Toronto skyline which, even though it is some 25 or so kilometres away, is perfectly visible on a clear day. However on this day, because of the high temperatures and the still frigid waters left over from winter, I was treated instead to this scene of absolute aquatic tranquility. A heat haze sitting on the water was immovable due to the absence of any kind of breeze.

I’ve taken in this view many times, but never have I witnessed the waters so still. It felt almost surreal.

If it hadn’t been for the fact we were hungry I could have meditated upon this inland sea until its disappearance in evening’s mist.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy đŸ™‚

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 … đŸ˜‰ …

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

Two Solitudes … Barcelona, Spain

During our recent trip to Barcelona we stayed at a hotel located near the Port Olimpic, site of the boating events of the 1992 Olympics.

The area boasts an expansive sandy beach (which is groomed every day), palm trees, night life, sailing school, many seafood restaurants and, of course, lots of opportunity for finding your own solitude.

It was easy to become mesmerized by the lolling waves of the Mediterranean Sea as they ebbed and flowed upon the sand and crashed into rocks around the piers. And even though it was cold for the time of year the locals, all bundled up against the chilled air, could be seen indulging in their own special solitudes by the sea — whether it was fishing, running, playing with the dog or, as depicted in this image, riding a bicycle or simply sitting in the sunshine staring at the sea.

Lloyd and I don’t get a lot of opportunity to walk near water, so we took advantage of our hotel’s proximity to the beach and walked there every day.

The brush of the wind through my hair, the roar of the constantly moving sea, the call of the seagulls, the intense reflection of the sun as it bounced off the water are all experiences locked in my memory and relived when I look at this image.

As for my solitude? It was to be found behind the camera capturing the solitudes of others.

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

Seascape … Brodick, Isle of Arran, Scotland

Today I indulge the sunset junkie in me and post another image from the magical sunset mentioned in my blog of February 17 (Arran Sky — Promise of a Silver Lining — see Scotland category).

As I looked across the sky to the east of that dramatic post-storm cloud formation my eyes rested upon this lovely seascape. The image of a soft pink and grey sky above a  serene, still sea, was in stark contrast to its western sky cousin, but no less mesmerizing.

And this particular sunset sky was, in fact, so changeably beautiful it was difficult to know where to look next.

We stayed by the sea at Brodick to observe the changing face of the dimming sky until the only light to be seen emanated from the lamp posts that dotted our one kilometre walk back to the hotel. We walked in silence, both lost in another treasured memory of our short stay on the beautiful Isle of Arran.

(This image captured with my iPhone 3G.)

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012