Posts Tagged ‘Travels’

If you’re looking for a wonderful day trip while visiting Edinburgh or St. Andrews, be sure to take a ride on the Osprey of Anstruther and wander around the Isle of May. Located just five miles across the water from the beautiful town of Anstruther, it’s only a 25 minute ride to the island. We spent about 2.5 hours on the island and felt like we could have stayed longer. I’ve already posted my puffin photos on a previous post and here are a few non-puffin photos.

Isle of May Logan and Patti getting ready to go
Suited up and ready for the water

Isle of May boat
The “Osprey”

Town of Anstruther
The beautiful town of Anstruther, Scotland

Isle of May Grey Seals

Isle of May close up grey seal
We were greeted by curious Grey Seals as we approached the Isle of May

Isle of May puffin and Lighthouse
As we approached the Isle of May

Isle of May National Park Reserve

Logan profile
On the Isle of May

Isle of May Angry bird protecting it's home
Bird protecting its home

Isle of May 1636 building
Building on the Isle of May (c) 1636

Isle of May Old lighthouse
Isle of May Lighthouse built by Robert Stevenson (father of Robert Louis Stevenson)

Lighthouse on the Isle of May

Isle of May Logan and John in the field
Beautiful trails on the isle of May

The puffins were my original reason for booking the tour and I was rewarded by seeing thousands of them! I can’t resist sharing one more puffin photo!

Isle of May Puffin with Fish

Truly a great afternoon enjoying nature!!

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Isle of May is an interesting Nature Reserve and an easy day trip from St Andrews. More to come on the details of our wonderful outing but for now feast your eyes on my favorite birds, the Puffin.

The Clowns of the Bird World…

Isle of May puffins in flight

Isle of May Puffin with tracker

Isle of May Puffin with Fish

Isle of May puffin in flight
One of these is not like the others!

Isle of May puffin in flight IV

Isle of May puffin in flight II

All photos are by me ~ it took me a while to figure out how to catch them in flight since they are FAST flyers. I smiled the entire time we were watching these fun creatures. And will definitely go back when we’re in the area again.

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Jamestown is America’s first permanent English colony, founded in 1607.  There are re-creations of how life was during these early days. We drove along the Colonial parkway which is a beautiful road leading to Jamestown.

Colonial Parkway, Virginia

Our first stop was the pier where there are the three re-creations of the Susan ConstantGodspeed and Discovery ships which brought the English colonists to Virginia in 1607.

Jamestown ship
Re-created ship, the Godspeed, at Jamestown Pier

Jamestown ship looking out the pothole

Looking out the porthole on Susan Constant ship Jametown, VA
Looking out the portholes

Looking at the canon abroad the Susan Constant ship at Jamestown, VA

Jamestown Wine Barrels
Barrels on the ship. I would hope some had wine or whiskey. I would have wanted some on the journey.

Not only can you board and tour each ship but there are very informative guides discussing the four-and-a-half-month voyage from England. There are also periodic demonstrations of 17th-century piloting and navigation. After listening to all the stories about what the passengers and crew must have endured, it would have been hard for me to make the journey. If by chance I did make it, it would have been ONE WAY. I can’t imagine getting back on the ship. The conditions sounded hideous. Makes traveling these days a breeze.

Jamestown Steering the Ship
The tiller required constant steering or the ship would go off course or topple onto its side. It had to be manned 24 hours with 4 hour shifts

The ships carried 105 passengers and 39 crew members. It was a business venture sponsored by the Virginia Company of London through a charter granted by James I. Captain Christopher Newport lead the crossing, dropped off the Colonists, explored up the River and ended up settling at Jamestown. Only two months later, Captain Newton returned to London with  loaded wood and other natural resources for sale in English markets.

Next we explored the Powhatan Indian village which is re-created based on archaeological findings at another site once inhabited by Paspahegh Indians, the Powhatan tribal group closest to Jamestown, and by descriptions recorded by English colonists. There are historical interpreters discussing and also demonstrating the Powhatan way of life.  There’s no shortage of animal hides hanging around. They also grow and prepare food, make tools, Canoes and pottery.

Jamestown Petls TWO

Hides at Jamestown's Powhatan Village, VA

Jamestown Canoe making, Virginia

Because they lacked certain instruments, the Powhatans would burn a tree to get it down then use a fire method to make canoes by softening the wood enough to hull it.

Cornhusk Darts at Jamestown
Cornhusk Darts

Grinding Maiz
Grinding the Maiz (corn)

Since we needed to get lunch and be back in Williamsburg by 3pm, we made a quick overview of the museum located at the entrance Jamestown. It’s worth another look the next time we’re in the area. I enjoyed reading the “what was happening elsewhere” which is a list of what was happening in England/Europe while the Colonialists were traveling to the New World. Always good to get the global perspective when learning about US History.

If you’re interested in the details of visiting Jamestown, visit there website here.



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NOTE: I didn’t get a chance to visit Turkey but my husband, John did and he agreed to share some of his photos of Old Ankara. Turkey is definitely on my list to visit…

Ankara, Turkey’s capital, rises on a steep incline from the banks of the Enguri Su. It’s a modern European metropolis but has a few reminders of its history.  John spent most of his time in Old Ankara.  It’s the most traditional part of Ankara with families living within the walls of The Citadel.
Turkey V

Walking in Old Ankara

Turkey The Citadel

The Citadel originally dates from the 7th century during The Byzantine Empire and the markets below

Turkey small shop

Night stroll through Old Ankara

Turkey Roman ruins turned into a park bench

Park bench made from Roman ruins ~ the ultimate in repurposing

Turkey Miniet

The Citadel Mosque which dates from the 12th century ~ but has been rebuilt though out the years.

Turkey markets at the bottom of the Citadel

The Citadel and Turkish Market in Old Ankara ~ view from tea shop

Turkey market

Dried fruits and nuts in Old Ankara Market. Pistachios are delicious…

Turkey IV

Shops on a winding road in Old Ankara

Turkey III

Near a wool shop in Old Ankara ~ bag of wool next to the table

Turkey Carpet Shop

Carpet shop with photo of Ataturk

Turkey Carpet Shop I

Beautiful carpets in Old Ankara Shop

Turkey Ankara

View of Ankara

Turkish Cafe

Delicious (and strong) Turkish coffee and a piece of Turkish delight ~ good way to start or end the day in Ankara

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NYC Subway sign_edited-1

We took the subway everywhere we went while in NYC. Only ran into one dangerous looking character ~ kept my eyes on him the ENTIRE time.

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It’s been six years since our last visit to NYC so we took the 3.5 hour train from DC for a quick visit. The reason for making our journey was to celebrate Logan’s birthday and to show our Bangladeshi exchange student the city. We tried to cram as much as we could into our short 48 hour visit. Despite the cold freezing temperatures, we spent a lot of time outdoors enjoying Time Square, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, etc.

NYC Blog View of City
View from the ferry boat ~ looking back to Manhattan

NYC Blog View from the crown of Statue
View from the Crown of the Statue of Liberty

NYC Blog Times square
Times Square

NYC Blog Times Square at Night
Times Square at Dusk

NYC Blog Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty

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Cleveland is not at the top of my favorite places to visit but that’s where my husband’s family lives so over the years I’ve come to know the area more than I ever thought I would. Would I suggest it as a vacation destination, NO. But if you find yourself in the area, there’s lots to do and there are beautiful parts of the city/countryside.   You just have to dig a little…

Here are some photos of our recent trip to downtown Cleveland:

The Higbee Building
Town City Hall, Cleveland, Ohio

Looking up II
Looking up

Looking out
Looking Out

Cleveland Winter Festival
Winterfest in Cleveland. Notice the “Leg” in lights on the building. A nod to “A Christmas Story” no doubt.

Cleveland view

Cleveland Stadiums
“How ’bout them Browns” or whatever the saying is…

Cleveland Soldier and Sailor Memorial Statue (2)
Inside the Soldier and Sailors Civil War Memorial (Cleveland)

Cleveland Soldier and Sailor memorial statue
Another Statue inside the Civil War Memorial

Cleveland Soldier and Sailor Memorial stained glass window
Stained Glass in the Civil War Memorial

Cleveland Shadows
Shadows in Cleveland

Cleveland Science Museum and the R&R hall of fame
Science Museum and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Buildings

Cleveland Old Stone Church
Old Stone Church

Cleveland church
Old Stone Church from Above

Cleveland Key Building
The Key Building

Cleveland Christmas Festival
Scene from The Nutcracker at the Arcade

Cleveland Polka Festival
Lucky Us ~ we were just in time for the Polka Festival

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In 2003, we visited London and rode the London Eye. Logan didn’t remember much of it since she was only five years old so she requested we go again before leaving London.

London The Eye

Lucky for us it was a somewhat clear day and we were afforded spectacular views of the city. At 135 meters (or 443 feet for us Americans), the London Eye, located on the South Bank, is the 5th tallest structure in London (after the Shard, BT Tower, Tower 42 and One Canada Square at Canary Wharf). The ride is about 30 minutes. If you’ve got a special occasion (maybe a marriage proposal?) you can rent out a private pod for £350.

A few photos looking at the London Eye from different locations in the city:
London Eye
From Westminster

NZH London Eye and Shard
From the top of the New Zealand Building

London Eye and Horse Statue
From the Horse Guard Parade (Whitehall)

And photos from within the the “EYE POD”:
7-2003, London, UK, London Eye, Logan091
Logan in 2003

7-2003, London, UK, London Eye, Patti & Logan089
Again in 2003

Logan and Patti on the London Eye
What a difference 10 years make

Views from the London Eye:
London Big Ben
Big Ben

London Eye from the inside
Looking straight up…

London Eye View

London Buses (2)
Love seeing all the bright red buses

Although I wasn’t keen on spending £29.50 on the ride, I’m glad we ended up going again. It was worth it!

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Guest Blogger, John ~ final installment of his India visit: Mumbai

Our final stop in India was the financial capital of Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay. In many ways, it’s similar to Manhattan. It lies on peninsula surrounded by the sea and it has an impressive skyline.

India Mumbai View from The Taj Hotel

We stayed at the iconic and historic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. It was built in 1903 and the view of the city from my room was spectacular (see photo above). In 2008, the hotel was attacked by terrorists and the security remains tight to this day.

India Mumbai The Taj

The Taj Mahal Palace

India Mumbai Hotel

Pool at The Taj Mahal Palace. It was great to cool off with a swim since the temps were so high.

India Laundry service

By the time I got to Mumbai, laundry service was imperative. Each shirt, underwear and even socks came back “dressed” like this.

India Mumbai Gateway to India

The “Gateway to India”, built in 1911 to commemorate King George V’s visit to Mumbai, is located directly across the street from The Taj Palace.

India Mumbai Gateway to India (2)

Locals gather daily at the Gateway to India ~ it has a energetic feel to the area. Great people watching and a beautiful location.

India Mumbai Pipes that were in Slum Dog Millionaire

We went on a tour with “Reality Tours and Travel” to the Dharavi Slum. The area became well-known after the runaway hit of the movie: Slum Dog Millionaire. The pipes in the photo above are seen in the movie. Photos within the actual slum was prohibited but I was able to purchase postcards at the end of the tour which highlighted the day-to-day life in the slums. Dharavi is the largest slum in Asia and going on this tour gave a real appreciation of what true poverty is like. And 80% of the profits of all tours goes to education and health projects in the slum area. For more information about the tour company, click here.

India Mumbai Entrance to Subway

As inviting as the subway entrance looked, we chose not to use the subway and walked around the town instead.

India Mumbai Cows

It’s true, there are cows everywhere!

India Mumbai Call to prayer

India is a multi-religious country and one of the largest Muslim countries in the world. During the mid-day prayer, people lined the streets, faced Mecca and prayed.

India Mumbai Cafe Mondegar

India Mumbai Cafe Mondegar (2)

During my visit to India, I ate many wonderful meals ~ mostly curry. Close to the hotel was a restaurant called Mondegar and it turned out to be a favorite for many of us. Even though we were in India, someone in our group insisted on ordering Chinese noodles. Back in London, we frequently get take out from a neighborhood restaurant in Marylebone called “Bombay Spice” but it may be a while before I’m ready for more India food.

India Mumbai Sugar Cane Drink

On our last day in Mumbai, we took a self guided tour.  We frequently saw roadside vendors making “Sugar Cane Water” for sale.

India Mumbai Train Station

On our walk, we saw the beautiful Mumbai Train Station. Built in 1887, the Gothic style Victoria Terminus Railway station ranks as the busiest station in Asia. It was renamed the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (aka CST)  in 1998 and was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2004.

India is a huge country and we only got to see a very small part of it. Of all the places we visited during our week visit to India, I liked Mumbai the most. Next stop is Kathmandu…

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Guest Blogger: John

India’s poverty is staggering. There are more people living below the poverty level in India (which is calculated at below $1.25 a day) than there are people below the poverty level in all of Africa. There doesn’t seem to be a state structure to take care of the problem. Women and children are particularly vulnerable so it was heartwarming to visit a private charities such as Women’s Interlink Foundation.

India Welcome

Women’s Interlink Foundation was established in 1990 in Kolkata (Calcutta). Their vision is to create a world where disadvantaged women and children have access to basic care and are empowered to improve their quality of life.  They have integrated programs such as literacy, health care, nutrition, skill development, income generation, shelter & drinking water, sanitation, prevention of violence/trafficking, domestic violence, etc.

India Dancing

India Dancing

The dancing is taught to improve self-esteem in the women. They performed a traditional Indian dance for our group.

Inida Wood Block Stamping

India Wood block stamping

The women are taught various skills in order to become self-sufficient. We were shown wood block stamping area.


They also make small wallets/purses.


A sample of a “final product” ~ a beautiful tablecloth.

In the city where Mother Teresa did her good works, it’s encouraging to see organizations such as Women’s Interlink Foundation continue women and children in need.

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