Lighthouse Fort de Brescu

I spotted Bren Ryan’s “Photo for the Week – 4 – Lighthouse” challenge, and was certain that I had a lighthouse picture.

I found these two, from our little trip to France last year. We took a day trip to Cap d’Agde, which actually gave us just a few hours there. We chose to take a boat trip from the harbour, up the Herault River through part of the town of Agde, then back around the fort. A great to spend the day!

Cap d’Agde

Cap d’Agde is a seaside resort in the historic town of Agde in France, on the Herault River, which, in turn, connects to the Canal du Midi.  Cap d’Agde is better known for its naturist village (which we didn’t visit).

Cap d’Agde is accessible via the TGV SNCF train services from Paris or Lille, or by air through Beziers or Montpellier.

Fort de Brescu

Fort de Brescu is located off Cap d’Agde in France. Originally intended, by Cardinal de Richelieu, to be the entrance to a port, it was built in 1586, but destroyed in 1632. Rebuilt for defence in 1680, it was used as a prison in the 18th century.  I’m guessing that the lighthouse was added much later.

Photography

This trip to France was a good test of that great little travel camera, the Panasonic Lumix TZ100. I deliberately left my DSLR at home. I have to say I am pleased with the results.

A touch of cropping and processing in Snapseed finished the shots off and ease the bright white highlight on the lighthouse.

Fort de Brescu, off Capd' Agde, France
Fort de Brescu, near cap d’Agde, France.

Please Share – Pin This

Lighthouse - Fort de Brescu at Capd'Agde in France

Caught My Eye: Coffee and Black Ops

Caught My Eye: Coffee and Black Ops

Coffee seems to have been in my life a lot recently. Testing coffee in a new business – Brett’s Own Brews (good for a post at a later date), acquiring a new coffee machine and doing some experiments. I’m not talking instant here. And I’m also not talking high street coffee. No, it’s been all about great coffee from various suppliers for different purposes.

Personal Coffee Machine

Like many people I do enjoy a good cup of coffee in the morning. Producing a really good cup of coffee can be a real hassle, especially when it comes to the clean up afterwards. Back in my student days I had a great little single cup filter machine. That’s useful – fill it up in the evening and load the filter with some good quality ground. In the morning, just switch it on and a few minutes later there’s a tasty, steaming cup of coffee ready to get you going for the day. Afterwards, just wash the cup and clean the filter and it’s ready for the next cup.

Morphy Richards SAingle cup coffee filter machine.

I haven’t had one of those for years, but I was given one recently and I’ve really been enjoying it. I’m currently enjoying a Rocko Mountain coffee from Monsoon Estates Coffee Company in Stratford upon Avon. In my view it certainly beats the Nespresso hands down.

Contact Coffee Company

I have also been given a bag of “Black Ops” from the Contact Coffee Company. Tried this one this morning, and it is everything it promises. Kick start your day with a mug of this and you will not be dozing off any time soon.

There’s not much “about” the company, but to quote from a search “Contact Coffee is an idea from two military men derived from our passion for Fitness, Military and most importantly, Coffee!”. Good coffee guys!

Coffee Blogger Italy

Rome Coffee Guide

Taking a trip to Rome? I also found this interesting post about coffee in Italy, from a Northamptonshire (that’s nearby!) blogger, Nicole. Now this looks good – I think I need a getaway soon!

Coffee Cups

And before you go, do have a look at the selection of coffee mugs on my site, featuring some of my photos from various places. One of these is my morning coffee favourite. A good solid, interesting mug which is dishwasher proof!

Golden Coffee Mug

Please Pin This

Coffe & Black Ops - pin this!
Just a pretty sunset

Weekly Photo: Pretty Sunset

Missed most of the spectacular sunset yesterday but caught this late bit of colour in the sky.
Involved in a local function, we were inside at sunset. I was very disappointed when I saw other peoples photos the next day. At least I caught this pretty sunset!
 
 
#sunsetphoto #sunsetphotography #sunset #sunsets #englishsunset #huaweimate10pro #mobilephonephotography #cellphonephotography #huaweiphoto #huaweiphotography #northamptonshirephotographer #northamptonshire #northantsphotography #northamptonshireskies #farthinghoe Posted on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BkafhNDgSeJ/@hairy1travels.
Westminster Abbey in London

Being London Tourists

Starting with a family wedding in May, the spring and summer have been filled with activities. Now i’m trying to catch up. Here’s part 1.

From home we can be anywhere in London in under 2 hours. It’s a trip we do occasionally just for fun, or sometimes on business. We recently had a visitor stay with us on a first visit to the UK. That was a good excuse to head south and be London tourists. Here’s part one of our visit, where we started with a plan, lost the plan and just enjoyed ourselves. No deliberate visits to iconic landmarks. Just doing a day trip to London.

Trains and Underground – Getting to London

The entrance to Marylebone Station in LondonSo for us it’s a quick drive to the station and a little short of an hour on a Chiltern Railways train, and we are at Marylebone Station.

Like many in the UK, we take this train ride for granted. It’s easy to forget that many countries simply don’t have this luxury. So the trip to London becomes a bit more of an adventure.

Love it or hate it, if you don’t do it often, the London Underground becomes another part of the adventure. Of course, depending on where you are going, the iconic London bus offers a slower but more scenic way to travel. In a hurry? Catch an Uber or a black cab.

Sometimes it can be enjoyable to simply walk. Some of London’s Underground stations and bus stops are quite close together, and a sightseeing walk can be fun. Finding your way around London can be tricky, but I strongly recommend the Citymapper app on a smartphone. Citymapper does give problems at times as a walking guide. Google Maps is a better tool for walking in London.

Marble Arch in LondonMarble Arch

We did have a plan. Somehow we lost the plan and we ended up at Marble Arch. Who knows why, but it was a good start.

Marble Arch was originally built at Buckingham Palace, but was relocated to its current location when Buckingham Palace was extended during Queen Victoria’s reign.

From there it’s a short walk to Hyde Park, empty on this Friday, but a good spot to enjoy a cup of coffee, sitting on the grass on a warm spring day.

Hyde Park

Spend time in London and you will see, wherever you go, some part of the history of the city. Hyde Park is no exception. Created by Henry VIII in the 16th century as a hunting park. It was opened to the public in the following century, and remains a public park today. It has frequently been the site of protests and public events.

Having a cup of coffee at Hyde Park.In modern London, in summer, Hyde Park is known for free, weekday rock concerts. These are generally paid events at the weekends which have to be booked well in advance, such as the Eric Clapton and Friends event which we attended in July.

Many first-time visitors (including me in my first visit) are often very surprised at the green space, like Hyde Park, in London. Visitors from some countries do perceive London as a polluted concrete jungle. Indeed, I know those have never visited the UK, who believe that is a good descrption of the whole country!

Animals in War Monument

On Park Lane at Hyde Park we discovered a monument which I did not know about. The Animals in War Memorial commemorates the animals which have served the armed forces over the centuries.

The modern military is highly mechanised, powered by the internal combustion engine. It’s easy to forget the many animals, including donkeys and horses and others, which took armies to war.

The Animals in War Memorial in London

Parliament Square

A short tube ride took us from Hyde Park to Parliament Square.

Westminster Abbey in LondonAlthough a relatively recent site, having been created in the 19th century, Parliament Square sits in the middle of a number of buildings of historic and current importance. There are a few (see the link above) but the most noticeable for the visitor are The Palace of Westminster, or the Houses of Parliament, and Westminster Abbey. It is a “must” for the foreign visitor.

The queue to get into Westminster Abbey was long, probably partly because we visited on the Friday of a bank holiday weekend, so we didn’t try to get in. It’s a good idea to book ahead and get there early if you want to visit the Abbey.

Many of the photos in my London at Night Gallery were taken a few years ago at Parliament square and nearby, around Westminster Bridge. In a way it brings some iconic London features together – many red double decker buses passing by, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.

One downside on this trip was the fact that Big Ben is undergoing repairs and is shrouded in scaffolding and plastic sheeting, as it will be for a few years.

Parliament Square

A look across Parliament square. Sadly Big Ben is covered up

Food Market

South Bank Food Market in LondonA walk across Westminster Bridge and along the River Thames took us to the Southbank centre with its many pubs and restaurants. Our aim was the Southbank Centre Food Market, which we know from previous visits.

The Southbank Centre Food Market features food from all over the world. Take your pick of many different food. Sample a bit of each and have a great meal. We bought a selection of British pies, curries and eastern food, all washed down with fruit juice and craft beer.

On a number of occasions a group of us has bought our selection of food and taken it to nearby Jubilee gardens, under the London Eye, to share and enjoy the meal.

South Bank Food Markert in London

South Bank Food Market – Pimms right next to Korean BBQ

Visiting London

This little visit, up to this point took us to early afternoon. We covered a lot of ground, but London still has much to show off. Our plan collapsed, but we have been there often enough to still take our visitor to some interesting spots.

Watch this space – plenty more of our London jaunt to come.

 

 

 

Please Share

Just Pin This and leave a comment – love to hear from you.

Please pin this - Being a Tourist in London