The Road to Ribeira Frio

I took a very uphill walk from Monte to Pico Alto and the Parque Ecologico de Funchal.

A couple of days later I took the bus beyond.

Both times I took photos.

Tame Madeiran Chaffinch at Balcoes

Ljubljana

Richmond, Easter Monday

I hadn't made any plans for Easter weekend, and without plans, I tend to procrastinate. So it was that it was already late afternoon by the time I eventually spurred myself out of the house, and with little time before the sun set, I opted for a nearby reliable favourite place to stroll: Richmond.

It didn't let me down, with a mix of classic views delivering as expected, and a few happy new chance sights too.

Richmond Canoe Club

Ronda

River Brent — from Brentford to Perivale

Following the River Brent through west London from its namesake Brentford up to Perivale, I discovered an eclectic range of sights, including:

  • a 17th century manor house,
  • an 18th century flight of locks,
  • from the 19th century, Isambard Kingdom Brunel's first major structure,
  • from the 20th, a magical accidental motorway-cathedral-island,

all mixed up with some delightful (and some fairly average) parks, and rounded off with a nice sunset.

Abandoned boat on the Brent

Wye Tour, Part Three: Abbey, Bridges and Castles

The final chapter of my Wye tour is an ABC of picturesque, as I test William Gilpin's assertion that the correctly picturesque usually requires architectural intervention by taking in the delights of one ruined Cistercian abbey, a pair of contrasting bridges, and a couple of Norman-going-on-medieval castles.

Chepstow Castle above the Wye

Wye Tour, Part Two: the Forest of Dean

If you haven't read the opening installment of this trilogy, A Picturesque Wye Tour, Part One, then you should probably go ahead and do so.

Because in that piece, I introduce the awfully brilliant structural conceit of following in the footsteps of 18th century priest William Gilpin, who wrote an influential travel book about his 1770 trip to this neck of the woods.

The trouble is though... he missed the woods in this neck of the woods. He followed the Wye, and then scooted off into Wales. Didn't pop into the Forest of Dean at all, really.

So, while I may yet crowbar Rev. Gilpin back into part three, that whole angle looks to be a dead loss for this episode. We'll just have to explore the forest without him...

Sculpture at New Fancy View

A Picturesque Wye Tour, Part One: Symonds Yat and the Kymin

The Wye Valley holds as a particular status in the historical story of British tourism. 18th century priest and author William Gilpin kick-started the notion of Picturesque, feeding into the broader Romantic movement, with his 1772 treatise Observations on the River Wye and several parts of South Wales, etc. relative chiefly to Picturesque Beauty; made in the summer of the year 1770.

As the Napoleonic Wars raged across the continent, the Wye Tour become popular as a domestic replacement for the Grand Tour.

I am lucky enough to live in an age where Schengen has replaced Napoleon, but this borderland between Wales and England remains worth a visit. Camping with my parents, we undertook our own mini version of the Wye Tour.

Looking North from Symonds Yat Rock

Wandle Trail

A long-time resident of Wandsworth borough, I have long been aware that the borough takes its name from the River Wandle. This is a river I cross almost every time I go to central London, and yet in Wandsworth town centre is scarcely visible.

This is, hopefully, to change, as I will touch upon later. However, at present the nicer stretches of the Wandle are further from the Thames, as I discovered when I impulsively decided to vary my diet of Thames riverbank strolling with an exploration of my local tributary.

River Wandle in Watermeads Nature Reserve

Plitvice Lakes

I went to possibly the most beautiful place on earth and took photos.

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