Tag Archives: seaside

Escape to Capri

Am just back from a wonderful week down on the Amalfi Coast, with jaunts to Capri, Pompeii and Naples with my lovely Canadian friends Craig and JP. Landing in Naples, I dashed across town on the airport bus to the port (good value) where I met up with them, and we hopped straight onto the ferry to the island of Capri. The sky was blue, the sun was warm, and, it being September, the holiday crowds had thinned. They had booked us a fantastic Air BnB villa in nestled against the hills, with a fantastic view of the town. Once the day trippers caught the last ferry back to Naples at 7pm, the alleyways and town square quietened down, and we enjoyed an evening walk past the tempting shops until the delicious smells wafting from the E’Divino Restaurant beckoned us through their door.

The next day we got up early to explore the island, fortified by frequent stops for frothy cappucinos and lemon granita.

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On the Road in New Brunswick

New Brunswick was a revelation for me. I wasn’t a stranger to Canada’s east coast, what with being a Newfoundlander with many family connections in Nova Scotia, but I’d never spent much time in the only officially bilingual province in Canada. So, Cuz K (a Newfoundlander who’d grown up in New Brunswick) made sure my summer visit was going to change all that.

But first, we had a fabulous cousins’ party to attend to when our cousin Beergirl arrived from Halifax, well supplied with coolers of beer and other alcoholic delights. Oh, did I mention that Cuz K has the most amazing view from her house over the St John River in Nackawic?

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Other the the beautful countryside, Nackawic is reknowned world over (according to local signage) for being the location of the world’s biggest axe (only to be rivalled, I think by the world’s large hockey stick in Duncan, BC — I’ve got a picture of that too).

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Shaking off the vestiges of our jolly evening, it being August and holiday time, we packed up our swim gear and headed to the beach the next day.  The sun was hot and glorious, the ocean fresh and reviving, and there was lots and lots of space. And it was a Saturday in August. Am I going to tell you the name of the beach? Would you tell me? (Okay, okay — it’s the New River Beach Provincial Park).

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After the beach we headed into the pretty seaside town of St. Andrews for an early supper of fish and chips washed down with mouth-watering Bloody Caesars (and a Virgin Mary for the driver) on the outside terrace at The Gables. We finished off our day with a walk along the pier as the sun began to set.

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Around St. John’s, Newfoundland

My last couple of days in Newfoundland were spent in and around the capital St. John’s. And by “capital” you’re thinking concrete skyscrapers, and modernistic tower blocks, you’re in the wrong city. In St. John’s the key word is “colour”.

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One of my favourite parts of St. John’s is the fishing village of Quidi Vidi which hugs the harbourfront.

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We stopped by the excellent Mallard Cottage restaurant in Quidi Vidi for dinner one night. The restaurant is tucked into a tiny cottage overlooking the harbour. One of the best meals I had in Newfoundland.

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The next day I had a good wander around the city, enjoying the relaxed vibe and the gorgeous weather.

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Queenie’s husband Wizard Rob and I headed south one day to get me on a whale boat. We stopped by pretty Petty Harbour on our way.

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Then down to Bay Bulls to catch the whale watching boat at Gatherall’s. We were on the look out for hump whales and puffins.

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Gatherall’s: http://www.gatheralls.com

Mallard Cottage: http://www.mallardcottage.ca

A Newfoundland Road Trip

I’ve been very remiss these past couple of months. I haven’t finished posting the photos from my summer road trip around the outports of Newfoundland with my cousin Queenie. Oh, I’ve been meaning too… but, you know, life.

So here it is, the penultimate post about my wonderful Newfoundland holiday. Then tomorrow… marvelous St. John’s. Oh, and do me a favour? Let’s just let Newfoundland be our little secret, okay?

A short drive along the coast from Eastport is the outport village of Salvage (pronounced Sal-VAAAGE), with a stong ‘A’. Canadian radio host Michael Enright calls the 5.6 mile walk between Eastport and Salvage “the most beautiful in the world”. Well, I’m not going to argue. We spent a couple of hours exploring the town, and the location provided an embarrassment of riches for my camera.

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We left Easport a few days later and headed along the northern coast, through the remote seaside town of Wesleyville. The weather had turned misty, making for some evocative images.

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Just down the road we found the fantastic art shop, Norton’s Cove, run by artist Janet Davis and her husband. Have a look at her website: http://www.nortonscovestudio.com where you can buy her unique Newfoundland artwork.

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We made an overnight stop in my hometown of Grand Falls, where we caught up with relatives and had a wander around the town. I even caught my cousin’s son make a home run at the local LIttle League game.

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Then we hit the road again the next day, for our final stop, St. John’s, the oldest English-founded city in North America.

A Morning in Trinity, Newfoundland

I’m just back from three wonderful weeks in Canada, ten days of which was spent in glorious Newfoundland — the terra firma of my birth. (If you don’t know where it is — it’s the large island off the eastern coast of Canada that juts into the Atlantic and has its own time zone). My family moved away when I was a child, and it had been over forty years since I’d had a proper visit. I’d always wanted to take some time to explore the outport villages, and this year my cousin, Quilting Queen (Queenie for short), suggested a road trip — two of my favourite words, as Jamjarjude knows.

After a brief touchdown in the capital St. John’s (more of which in another blogpost), we were off on a drive along the northern coastal road, and our first stop was the picture perfect town of Trinity. The sun had deigned to shine, after the coldest July on record, and we enjoyed a stroll around town, poking into intriguing shops, and a delicious lunch in a cafe by the shore, before we headed out again along the coast road towards Bonavista.

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The Beach at El Jadida

Another day driving along the west coat of Morocco, and another beach. This time just outside of the city of El Jadida. There’s something to be said about visiting beaches in the off season, when the sea, the sky and the sand belong to no one but you.

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A Day in Worthing

Yesterday the sun shone, the sky was every shade of the brightest blue, and the thunk of tennis balls on grass could be heard on tellys through the open windows of avid Wimbledon watchers (and this year everyone in Britain is an avid Wimbledon watcher). I decided to take the train down to the seaside town of Worthing to have a wander, put my feet in the sea and take some photos.

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Worthing is a small town along the south coast west of Brighton. It struck me, as I walked around, as a town in a state of gentle decay — the once beautiful Regency, Victorian and Art Deco buildings quietly succumbing to the wind and salt blowing in off the sea.

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IMG_8515But when the sun shines, as it did yesterday, the old girl comes back to life, The white-washed buildings gleam and the sea is an carpet of turquoise unfolding to the horizon, and you can see a glimmer of the spirit and beauty of that is still there, hidden behind the chain stores, concrete parking lots, and boarded up Art Deco treasures.

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I headed down the pedestrianized Montague Street which has, unfortunately, been colonized by high street chain stores. Oh, how it would come to life with some quirky cafes, chef-owned bistros and funky shops! Worthing could benefit from taking a leaf out of Brighton’s North Lanes policy of only letting the shops to private owners.

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I amused myself by taking photographs of the buskers…

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…whose music contributed to the holiday spirit of this beautiful summery day. Then my eye was caught by a cat lady…

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…who was publicizing the “Kitty in the City” Cat Rescue Brighton www.kittyinthecity.org.uk , and organisation of volunteers which rescues and cares for abandoned cats.

I headed down a side-street, tempted by some signs…

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…and did find a few wonderful shops…

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…and then I dodged the bicycles, baby strollers and pensioners training for Formula One in their automated buggies and headed past the flower-filled front gardens of beachfront houses…

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…to the beach.

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Rocky, yes. But virtually deserted. And quite beautiful.

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I wandered along the sidewalk…

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past the Lido with its fairground attractions…

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…past the ice cream stands…

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…and the sweet shops…

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…and walked past the Pavilion (where old school entertainers and Latin Dancing still find a home)…

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…and headed onto the Pier…

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…admiring the Art Deco buildings gleaming in the sunshine.

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There were some boys fishing…

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…and some lovers pondering…

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…and sun worshippers sun worshipping.

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The only sounds were the waves rushing over the rocky beach and the gulls crying out for food. I stood on the boardwalk and took in the beauty of the day.

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