Life in Colour

To find out more about this year’s photo challenge here on Travel Words, please read this post.

This month we will be looking for Purple. A secondary colour made from red and blue, though you can find many different shades of purple. Try to stay clear of violet though as that will be making its own appearance. Although found in nature in shades of crocuses, lilacs, and irises look for the bruised colours in a sunrise or sunset, an indigo sea, a full moon in an inky sky. The darkness of a red wine, a rich velvet curtain or a starling’s wing.

And although a little late, I shall dedicate this one to World Bee Day.

There’s a website for World Bee Day that tells you all about the importance of bees and the essential role they play in the production of our food.

Are there any unusual purples in your world?

Flashback Friday #21

Road Trip: USA California – San Fran to Carmel

On a visit to California, a few years ago, we had to travel to San Diego from San Francisco and decided that it might be fun to drive down the coast using the PCH rather than fly between the two cities. So from that decision a little road trip was born.


This is the first section between San Francisco and the lovely town of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Distance: 133 miles via Halfmoon Bay, Santa Cruz
Time: 3 hours without stopping

The PCH (Pacific Highway) is one of those iconic drives that should be done in a pink Cadillac convertible with the top down making the most of the azure blue skies and brilliant Californian sunshine with plenty of Beach Boys and Mamas and Papas CDs on board. In reality this was February and an open top car was not an option. We ended up with a Chevvy, but a poor imitation of the Chrysler PT Cruiser with black tinted windows; the skies were gun-metal grey. Not the ideal start, but hey it felt good to be on the road.

We began our journey in San Francisco and immediately headed southwest on to the Cabrillo Highway at Pacifica to follow it south to Monterey and Carmel – our first stop. This is not a long section, but it can take a long time, as there are plenty of scenic viewpoints to stop off at on your way down the coast and in the summer there are several roadside food stalls to entice you.

Half Moon BayThe section between Pacifica and Half Moon Bay in San Mateo County is prone to periodic landslides and road closures and one stretch is known as the Devil’s Slide*. This particular stretch of road reminded me of Chapman’s Peak Drive in the Cape Peninsula, South Africa, as it hugs a similar steep promontory with equally stunning vistas. We stopped at Half Moon Bay to admire the surfers and the beautiful beach until the rain sent us scudding back to the car.

*(This stretch of the Cabrillo Highway has since been replaced by a road tunnel).

Don’t forget to stop at the family run Duartes Tavern in Pescadero which is a little further south and only 2 miles off the state road; it is still run by the 4th generation of Duartes and home to the worlds most divine Olallieberry Pie, world-famous Cream of Artichoke Soup, and Crab Cioppino. We, on the other hand have had a full breakfast there and no complaints. In this small town you can also find interesting craft shops, artichoke bread and a goat dairy. If you have the time a stroll along the Pescadero State Beach back at the junction with Highway One may bring you into contact with harbour seals among the sand dunes. Continue reading Flashback Friday #21

Life in Colour

To find out more about this year’s photo challenge here on Travel Words, please read this post.

This month we will be looking for Purple. A secondary colour made from red and blue, though you can find many different shades of purple. Try to stay clear of violet though as that will be making its own appearance. Although found in nature in shades of crocuses, lilacs, and irises look for the bruised colours in a sunrise or sunset, an indigo sea, a full moon in an inky sky. The darkness of a red wine, a rich velvet curtain or a starling’s wing.

Purple Pasque Flower
Where can you find purple?

Flashback Friday #20

Late September in 2009 I was fortunate to accompany my OH to a conference in Geneva. A place I once lived and worked in as an Au Pair way back in 1972. This post was written about a particularly lovely trip whilst exploring the area on my own.


Lost

A tale about getting lost might involve taking the wrong train, having a lousy navigator beside you, or leaving the compass at home. It could also mean losing one’s mind in the moment, being absorbed in a stunning painting or architectural style, momentarily forgetting who you are and where you are.

There have been many moments in my life when that is true.

Getting physically lost can be exciting, frightening or frustrating, but generally if you keep on going you always arrive somewhere.

Getting lost spiritually however can be a journey of discovery.

chateau and marina at Yvoire - France“It was hot. The last week in September, but feeling more like mid-summer with the sun kissing my skin and a soft breeze floating offshore. The lake was like a mirror reflecting the clouds and the boats bobbing in the little marina. The majority of the crowd disembarked from the ferry and made their way to one of the two nearby restaurants on the quayside. I watched them melt away before making my decision to explore first and eat later.

In immense anticipation I made my way through the narrow streets of the beautiful medieval village to “Le Labyrinthe Jardin des Cinq Sens,” (the Garden of Five Senses) and my “raison d’être” for visiting Yvoire.

astersIn an oasis of tranquillity you can smell, touch, contemplate, listen and taste.

The garden is divided into rooms where you can connect with flavours, fragrances and textures.

Gently touch the furry quince or spiky heads of the teasels; smell the chocolate cosmos and rub the apple-scented pelargonium leaves between your thumb and fingers; study the glacial-blue of a clematis, the considered planting of deep pink asters amongst paler pink Japanese anemones; nibble spearmint, chocolate mint or a sprig of rosemary and sit and listen to the birds splashing cheerfully in the bird bath in the centre of the maze of hornbeams.

sparrows
Sparrows bathing

As I relaxed on a bench, undisturbed, the sun burning two copper discs onto my retina, I drifted into another world:

lost in the moment

My senses reaching out to the sensations around me, aware only of what I could hear and smell and feel – the babbling water and the incessant birdsong mingling in the background, the perfume of the flowers and the light soft breeze on my face.”

If you want to read more about this lovely garden then I have a longer post on my flower blog.

And this post is all about the village itself.


This post is a contribution to Fandango’s Flashback Friday. Have you got a post you wrote in the past on this particular day? The world might be glad to see it – either for the first time – or again if they’re long-time loyal readers.