Visit Scotland…

Skye has been a place on my radar for a while after seeing various articles in magazines and many, many images on Flickr so I decided to take a trip up for a few days.

Myself and two friends planned to visit quite a lot in the short time we would be there, but after speaking to people who had done this trip many times, we realised that everything on our list wouldn’t be ticked off in one trip. Next time!

We drove up from North Wales on Monday morning and the first stop was the Southeast side of Loch Lomond to photograph a tree. The Loch was fairly low though so the tree that is usually in the water was high and dry.

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After this, we headed up to Glencoe to photograph the well shot Buch Etive Mor waterfall.

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Not Buch Etive Mor , but one of the many snow capped mountains on the drive from Loch Lomond to Glencoe.
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Buch Etive Mor
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Buch Etive Mor waterfall

We then headed up to Fort William, passing this small cottage set in the valley.

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When we got to Fort William, we checked the Aurora forecast which shown “no activity” but thought we’d take a chance. We managed to get some aurora shots before heading for food then back to the hotel.

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Up fairly early for the drive to Skye, I stopped at the Commando memorial on the A82 out of Fort William.

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Managed to capture a shot of a Highland Cow in the Scottish Highlands!

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Then we got on to Skye!

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The weather was very grey -lots of cloud and drizzle. We headed to Fairy falls, waterproofs and rain covers at the ready!

After this, we headed to our Youth Hostel in Portree where I shot some time lapse at the harbour before heading to get some food and  drink before a very early start to climb the Old man of Storr

5am wake up. We were told this walk would be a good 45mins – 1 hour. it took us 47 minutes with a few stops for me to catch my breath! Worth the walk though for these views!

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After Storr, we headed to Mealt falls/ Kilt Rock but didn’t think it was worth photographing to be honest. We then headed to the Quiarang but the light wasn’t great and we were hungry!

One of the many side of the road shots that can be had on Skye.

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Elgol. We planned on staying here for sunset but we got there 4 hours early and there is absolutely nothing to do there, or on only road from the 45 minute drive there so we decided to head back to the hotel for some food and then head out for some clear skies.

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We were greeted with clear skies at Loch Leathan but unfortunately there was a lot of traffic which interfered with the planned shots.Loch leathan stars-2159.jpg

We headed back to Kilt Rock in hope of some better skies and we were greeted with some Aurora! Not a bad way to spend your last night on Skye.

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kilt star trail

And that was it, time to drive the 10 hour journey back to North Wales.

We stopped at a few places on the way home that we couldn’t get to for various reasons on the way up.

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Total of 1186 miles and thousands of images. We’ll be back for sure, better planning next time to make the most of the time we have there.

 

Visit Scotland. You’ll love it.

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Venice

With the news that Laura & myself are expecting our first child this year, we decided to try to squeeze in one last holiday before the baby comes. We opted to go the the Venetian riviera, Lido Di Jesolo. We wanted somewhere with a beach but also within reach of something to do! Venice was just over an hour away on the bus/water bus and we also decided on an excursion to Verona and Lake Garda with the holiday company, which was 2.5 hours each way!

Here are some of the images.

Over the Dolomites

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The Grand canal

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St Marks Square architecture

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Gondolier

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Venetian woman

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Gondolas

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Venice from San Giorgio Maggiore

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One of many canals

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Verona Town Hall

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Verona Streets

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Adige 

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Burano

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Murano

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Jettie posts at Lake Garda

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Red tractor from a moving coach

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Cheers for taking the time to check out this post. We will definitely be heading back to Italy in the future, not so sure if it will be back to the Venice area though.

Bright lights, big city.

My lovely wife surprised me this Christmas with a 5 night stay in New York.  To say I was excited is a slight understatement… I had been going on about visiting the city for years, and I have finally been! I will certainly be going back again. It’s a superb place!

We arrived on the Wednesday and were pretty tired after the travel, so headed out to see Times Square and for a bite to eat before a fairy early night.

View from our room.

Through the lens

Room view

Times Square.

Yellow cabs

Rush

The next day we were up and gone pretty early.

9/11 memorial.

Memorial tower Rose

Memorial fountain

It was a very sobering visit, reading all of the names on the two fountains, and the amount of people stood there in silence makes you realise the enormity of it.

After a walk around the site, and a spot of lunch, we visited a few shops before heading to Central Park for a stroll.

Central Park

Strawberry Fields, John Lennon tribute.

Imagine

We wanted to head up to the Rockefeller center for some views of the city. We decided the coldest, and windiest day of the trip was the ideal time for this! -28 with the wind chill, and we really felt the chill!

Quarters onlyEmpire state building

Top of the rock

After heading back to the hotel, we nipped over the road to the Deli and grabbed a couple of slices of Pizza before crashing for the night. Jet lag and long walks were starting to catch up with us.

3 a.m and I was awake! After trying to sleep I went to the corner of the block at 6.30 to get some early morning shots of the traffic and some time-lapse on the phone. After getting better time-lapse’s on my phone than shots with my Canon, I headed back to the room to get ready for the day ahead.  High line, Chelsea Market, Flat Iron and Empire State. A busy day indeed.

Cant sleep

Some views from the high line.

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Chelsea Market.

Chelsea

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After there, we went on to one of the building’s I’ve wanted to see for a long time. The Flat Iron.

Flat Flat IronAfter a bite to eat, we headed to the Empire state for a day time view of the city. There was a lot of queuing, more airport style security, and more queuing. We opted to walk the last 6 flights instead of waiting again for the lift.

Curve

View downtown.

South Manhattan

Buildings

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SkyscraperSaturday morning and we headed to the former aircraft carrier, USS Intrepid. This was after a visit to B&H, the worlds largest camera store, where I almost had a heart attack after losing my checked bag receipt. Luckily, after telling the staff my contents and showing ID I managed to retrieve my bag. I’m just glad no one had picked the paper up and took off with all of my gear. That would have been devastating!

Anyway, on to the boat!

LEGO model. 22 foot long. 250,000 LEGO bricks!

Intrepid

Lockheed A-12 (Blackbird) Unfortunately, the view of this wasn’t great.

Stealth

Enterprise. This thing was huge! Absolutely amazing to see in the flesh. Well worth the extra admission fee.

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After leaving here, we headed off to find 8 Hook ladder house. A few day’s before we left for New York, Harold Ramis who played Egon Spengler in Ghost busters had died. There were still some tributes to him at the station which is still used today.
Photo: Laura Crowe.

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We then headed back before going out to the opening night of Les Miserable on Broadway which was my Christmas present to Laura.

Where's the wolf

Sunday morning, after booking tickets the night before,we headed over to Liberty Island.

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Manhattan, viewed from Liberty Island.

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A short ferry over to Ellis Island, where we had a look at how many of our ancestors had emigrated to America.

Names

After a hot chocolate we headed back to Manhattan and got the subway over to Brooklyn and walked the bridge back.

The shot I really wanted to get. Unfortunately it was a grey and miserable day but the shot still came out pretty strong.

Manhattan

There were some brilliant lines on the bridge. I couldn’t get any long exposures due to the movement. Probably quieter at night but by that point in the trip, I’d missed the chance.

Bridge Brooklyn to Manhattan Structure Locks

After a long day, we went to an Italian for a bite to eat. The Oscars were on that night, and the staff were keen on watching it. After a very good meal, a few drinks and some Oscars fever, we headed back to the hotel.

Monday was our last day here. We had packed pretty handy so took the bags to the concierge and checked out.

Going for our last breakfast, we decided what to do with our last day as our flight home had been delayed by an hour until 23.50!

We headed back to Times Square to do some shopping, eat some food and kill time before then heading to the airport.

This man got the last of my change! Got to admire his honesty!

Honesty

New York. A magnificent city that has lots to see and do. I will be back again I’m sure, but not before I have had another holiday to get over this one!