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About Me About My Travels Scotland

Castles of Scotland

A visit to a few Castles in Scotland

  • Many Castles of Scotland are in ruins but some are still in use as places for offices. homes, or open to tourists. 

There is history that comes alive as we wonder through the ruins. Urquhart is known because of its location on Loch Ness, and the Loch Ness monster.  Scone Palace is well preserved and the world famous crowning place of the King of Scots. It is one of the finest examples of late Georgian Gothic style in the UK.   It is an interesting hike to the Dunnottar Castle, a ruined medieval fortress possibly fortified in the Early Middle Ages. 

Sterling Castle, sitting atop Castle Hill is one of the largest and most important castles in Scotland, both historically and architecturally.  Traquair House, the oldest continually inhabited house in Scotland.  It  was visited by 27 Scottish Kings and Queens and has been lived in by the Stuart family since 1491. Mount Stuart Castle is a  sumptuous 19th-century mansion, with extravagant interiors and expansive landscaping and wild gardens.  Kilchurn Castle was built in the mid 1400s on the northeastern end of Loch Awe. The ruins can be visited and the reflection on the Loch is beautiful.  Explore Eilean Donan, a 13th Century Castle in the Highlands of Scotland and one of the most iconic images of Scotland.  Inverness Castle sits on a cliff overlooking the River Ness in Inverness.  A fortification has existed here since at least the sixth century, and rebuilt, added on to, finally rebuilt to house the Sheriff Courthouse and Country Hall. It remains in use as a court and therefore, at this time, access is limited to the exterior.

Barcaldine Castle is a 17th century tower house and is now a luxury Bed and Breakfast Guest House. Corgarff Castle was built in 1550 then converted to a barracks for government troops in 1748. It is still complete with its 18th star-shaped fortification and sits surrounded by heather covered hills.

Caerlaverock Castle is a moated triangular castle first built in the 13th Century. It was once caught up in bloody border conflicts but now a popular filming location. Dunollie Castle is a small ruined castle now covered by greenery, but open to the public for tours. Dunstaffnage Castle built in 1220s is a partially ruined castle near Oban, and is surrounded on three sides by the sea. Crathes Castle cared for the National Trust for Scotland is a classic Tower house whose interior and gardens can be toured and enjoyed. Nearby Drum Castle is one of Scotland’s oldest tower houses also cared for by the National Trust while touring one can explore 700 years of history. Craignethan Castle is another ruined castle with a tower built in the 16th century. The last medieval castle to be built in Scotland. Cawdor Castle, a romantic Highland Castle is set amid beautiful formal gardens originally built around a 15th century tower house.

Castle Stalker is a privately owned 14th century four-story tower house located on a small patch of land on Loch Laich. It is very picturesque when viewed from the road, and one can kayak to get closer to walk around the tower, and request a guided tour. Bothwell Castle, the largest and finest 13th century stone castle much fought over during the Wars of Independence with England. even though it sustained much damage it still continues to be one of the most spectacular pieces of medieval architecture across the whole of Scotland. 13th Century Duart Castle is located on the Isle of Mull, restored and open for tours, beautiful tea room and spectacular location for weddings. Glamis Castle is beautiful, a living, breathing monument to Scottish heritage, hospitality and enjoyment for all. It was the inspiration for Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and birthplace of HRH Princess Margaret. Inveraray Castle is a beautiful stately home and an early example of Gothic Revival architecture. Accommodation is available, and an episode of Downton Abby was partly filmed there. Edinburgh Castle is an historic fortress which dominates the skyline of Edinburgh was once the residence of Scottish monarch and now serves mostly as a museum. The Royal Military Tattoo is an annual series of military tattoos performed by British Armed Forces, Commonwealth and international military bands and artistic performance teams on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle.

www.visitscotland.com

https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryMagazine/DestinationsUK/CastlesinScotland/

https://www.visitscotland.com/see-do/attractions/castles/great-scottish-castles/

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About Me Travel Photography

Greenland

Lets take a quick look at a colder area of the World by taking a cruise through Prince Christian Sound.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Christian_Sound

The Prince Christian Sound (Greenlandic: Ikerasassuaq;[1] Danish:Prins Christians Sund) is a waterway in Southern Greenland. It separates the mainland from Sammisoq (Christian IV Island) and other islands of the Cape Farewell Archipelago near the southernmost tip of Greenland. The name was given in honour of the prince, later king Christian VIII of Denmark.[2]

The Prince Christian Sound connects the Labrador Sea with the Irminger Sea. It is around 100 km (60 miles) long and it is narrow, sometimes only 500 metres (1,600 ft) wide. There is only one settlement along this sound, Aappilattoq. Few from the outside world have visited this village but several years ago I was able to I will publish pictures from this visit at a later time.

The long fjord system is mostly surrounded by steep mountains in general reaching over 1,200 metres (3,900 ft), one of them 2,220 metres (7,280 ft) high[3][4] Many glaciers go straight into its waters where they calve icebergs. There are often strong tidal currents limiting the formation of ice. It has many offshoots, such as Kangerluk to the north midway through the fjord, Ikeq Fjord in the south, and in the west Ilua Fjord, Ikerasaq Fjord (Akuliarutsip Imaa), Utoqqarmiut Fjord (Pamialluup Kujatinngua) and the Torsukattak Fjord.[5]

Small iceberg with opposite rock formation in background
Small iceberg with opposite rock formation in background
Beautiful sharp pointed mountains with little snow on them. I always enjoy reflections.
Retreating Glacier.
Close-up of the previous Glacier, the beautiful blue crags and ridges. The glacier is retreating, but at least still reaches the waters of Prince Christian Sound.
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About Me About My Travels

Arctic Polar Park

Polar Park Arctic Wildlife Center – The world’s northernmost animal park and home to Norway’s large predators such as bears, wolves, and lynx as well as deer, moose, reindeer and muskox.

Polar Park is an animal park in Bardu municipality in the county of Troms.

Opened in 1994, the park is based on exhibiting animals in their natural surroundings which means that each species also gets a lot of room to romp around.

With 1100 dekar (1 dekar = 1000 square meters) in only 12 enclosures, the Polar Park is one of the animal parks in the world with the most area per animal.

It feels like we are taking a walk in the wilderness as we walk the paths around the various enclosures. It is a beautiful area and the snow covered mountains rise all around us. There is a wolf enclosure that has a cottage available for guests to rent where you can howl with the wolves!

Polar Park is more than a traditional zoo. They place great emphasis on animal welfare and give animals large areas to create a habitat as natural as possible for the animals.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g2416521-d2622319-Reviews-Polar_Park-Bardu_Municipality_Troms_Northern_Norway.html

About Polar Park
Stavangar Norway
Categories
About Me About My Travels Gondola Photography Travel Photography

Sample Pictures from 2017 Trips

These are a few sample pictures from our travels in 2017. These are a selection of pictures taken in Greenland, Iceland, Italy, Greece, Wales, Scotland and England. Please check back for Photographic additions in one or all of the visited Countries.

Greenland is an interesting country ans has just recently started receiving the tourist trade. I bought a fun t-shirt in Greenland on our first visit that says “Lost in Greenland” such fun!

Venice is great for photography; the Gondolas, the canals, Rialto Bridge and the historic Buildings. Burano Italy is just a water taxi away from Venice famous for its colorful houses, and beautiful lace work. Santorini and Mykonis are beautiful Greek Islands, and very popular with the tourist crowd. Many Chinese women come to Santorini to pose in their wedding gowns.

Wales, Ireland and the Islands off Scotland have many interesting Neolithic sites such as Skara Brae and several Henge sites, Standing Stones of Stennes, and Ring of Bodgar near Kirkwell Orkney.

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About Me About My Travels

Classic Cars of Cuba

Two TonedClassic Cars of Cuba
Classic Car Classic Car with White Walls Chevy Classic 1948 classic Car Blue Chevy
Trinidad Cuba Tractor and classic Car The Pink Umbrella Rain on the Chevy Classic Cars Colorful Pontiac

Just a few of the beautifully restored Classic Cars seen in Cuba. These cars are lovingly preserved and maintained. Most seem to have been converted to diesel and many are used as Taxis. I think using the cars as taxis is one way they are able to afford keeping the cars is such good looking condition and so well maintained. The colors of the cars used are not usually indicative of what they were when they were first purchased. It was great fun to take a ride in the cars, bringing back memories. The roll up windows, the radio the steering wheel etc. More pictures of these Classic Cars to follow.

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About Me Photography

Nevada Wier Seminar

Nevada Wier Seminar

Attended a great Seminar today taught by Nevada Wier. She is a multiple award-winning photographer specializing in the remote corners of the globe and the cultures that inhabit them. Her journeys have taken her crisscrossing the globe in search of compelling travel experiences and images. Her home base is in Santa Fe NM and since she was home in NM for a while our Photo Club was able to secure her talent.

Nevada was the photographer for The Land of Nine Dragons – Vietnam Today (Abbeville Press, 1992),photography from contemporary Vietnam, winner of the Lowell Thomas Best Travel Book of 1992 award, and the writer/photographer for Adventure Travel Photography (Amphoto, 1993). She was a participating photographer in A Day in the Life of Thailand (Collins, 1995),Planet Vegas (Collins, 1995), and Mother Earth (Sierra Club Editions 2002). Her current works in progress are A Nomadic Vision (publication TBA) and Myanmar: Lost in Timea photo book on Myanmar (publication TBA).

www.nevadawier.com

She widened our horizons, highlighting such things as, color, creativity, action, depth of field, reminded us we always need to SEE what is around us, and the need to form relationships to get better pictures of people in other cultures.  Photography is about finding the best light, and problem solving, what one person my like others my not. So many concepts and ideas to enumerate in this blog, sign up to take one of her workshops or seminars in your area.  To me photography is an ongoing learning experience, and a Nevada Wier Seminar; such a notable photographer, is a valuable learning experience. Nevada Wier

Nevada WierIn my photography I look forward to use and apply some of the new approaches Nevada presented and start using others that I have learned but forgotten to use.

http://www.nevadawier.com/artfrst.html

I also want to share a few of the Quotes she gave us during the class.

“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things. Leonardo da Vinci

“Life is pretty simple: you do some stuff.
Most fails. Some works.
You do more of what works.
If it works big, others quickly copy it.
Then you do something else.
The trick is to do something else.”
Leonardo d Vinci

“Creativity can solve almost any problem.
the creative act, the defeat of habit by originality,
Overcomes everything.”
George Lois

“There are three classes of people:

         Those who see,

         Those who see what they are shown,

          Those who do not see.”

Leonardo da Vinci

 

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About Me FordsFotos iPhone apps Photography Photoshop

Mobile Apps


Mobile Apps;
In July I attended Photoshop World in Las Vegas NV. It was wonderful!

(I just wish my husband could have gone to the venders section so he could buy me more photo stuff!)

The classes were all great, and the ones that I couldn’t attend, most of them are in the Photoshop World 2016 book so I can still study and learn those techniques. One class I didn’t make it to was taught by Katrin Eismann Entitled;”Modern-Day Photograhy Workflow: Moving Between iPhones, DSLRs and More”. I was especially interested in the Mobile apps for the iPhone, including Marbelcam, Prism, LD, Mextures, ProCamera, and Silk. As to their use, I have featured several of these Mobile apps as you can see by the gallery of photos on this post.

The iphone is often the only “camera” that one has with them thus the growth of iphoneography and more and more apps to enhance and improve the resulting photos. In 2013 Apple announced that one million apps were available for the iPhone! I usually limit my apps to the photo-related apps to enhance my iphoneography.

Website:
Katrin gave us the website for the 100 Best Photo apps. http://iphoneographyschool.com/100-best-apps/. Her website is www.katrineismann.com

There were several other classes on Mobile technology and all the new Mobile Adobe apps for the iPhone and iPad. One of my favorites in the Adobe family is Adobe Capture. New apps to learn and use–Lifelong Learning!

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About Me Australia Backyard Birds birds

Smug Mug

Check out my Smug Mug photos. Birds of Australia, (A Cassowary is the photo featured from AU) Birds of US Butterflies. More photos coming.
April 2016,

Just added NZ, New Zealand

to my website, will add them to this Smug Mug site soon. Check out FordsFotos.net, or FordsFotos.com. I uploaded one of the NZ birds to give you a heads up.

Categories
About Me About My Travels Australia

Birds of Australia

Birds of Australia

Kukaburro
Kookaburro

Please enjoy viewing Kookaburras, Tawney frog mouth, black and white pelicans, pink Galahs, cockatoos (as pests) lorikeets, white ibis, penguins,and other interesting birds. The fairy Penguins are also called Blue Penguins, and they actually have a blue look to their fur. They are the smallest penguins in the World. The Kookaburras were very exciting for me to see and hear. I heard them first, and actually recognized the “laugh”,then later saw several pairs flying around quite close to where we were in Yanchep National Park. The pink Galahs were also a delight to see, but we did get a bit tired of them as they are very noisy. I had never seen nor heard of a bird called the tawney frogmouth, so another new Australian experience. It is often mistakenly thought to be a type of owl and is found throughout Australia mainland and Tasmania. Luckily we did not meet any cassowaries in the wild, but as we walked through the rainforest we kept a look out!

4 Galahs

Flying galah

Australian Wood Ducks

Banded Lapwing

Blue winged Kookaburra

Giant Penguin

Zebra finch
Zebra finch at Uluru

 

Orange-beak

Sea-Gull

Olive-Backed-Sunbirds

2-Fairy-Penguins

Myna-bird

Water buffalo and Australian duck

Australian Hawk

Cockatoo posing
Cockatoo posing

Lorikeet
Lorikeet

Cockatoos eating off picnic Table
Cockatoos eating off picnic Table

Emu in the Wild

Black & White Pelican
Black & White Pelican

White Ibis
White Ibis

White Ibis
White Ibis

Cockatoo
Cockatoo

Flying Cockatoo
Flying Cockatoo

Australian White Ibis
Australian White Ibis

Tawny Frogmouth
Tawny Frogmouth

Whistler Ducks
Whistler Ducks

Cassowary
Cassowary

Cassowary
Cassowary

Cassowary
Cassowary

Cassaway

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About Me About My Travels Orchids

Orchids at Pacific Orchid Exposition

Orchids from Near and Far
{Click on the underlined Show Picture List to enlarge the photos}

Just a few of the Orchids on Display at the Pacific Orchid Exposition in San Francisco March 2015. The theme of this year’s Exposition was “The Thrill of Discovery”, and it was the San Francisco Society’s 63 Annual Exposition! Vendors were from many countries such as Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines, etc. There were many miniature orchids for sale, and some that had a good scent. The last Orchid Exposition I attended had far fewer miniature as well as scented orchids. A beautiful display and a wonderful place to visit.
The Orchid Exposition is an Annual event maybe I’ll see you there sometime!

http://orchidsanfrancisco.org

The red stripe orchid was photographed in an Orchid Farm in Costa Rica.

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About Me

Discovery-

“Real voyages of discovery consist not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust

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About Me About My Travels Arizona iPhone apps

iPhone 5s and iPad Photography and apps

Just bought an ipone 5s

iPhone and iPad apps— What fun!
Pictures from plane

I have great fun with my iPhone and the apps. Every day it seem there are more apps available, many for free, and others for a nominal fee. I especially check out the apps for photography and art. Oh Yes, I do use it as a phone also!
This was taken from a plane and then put together with an app.
What do you think?

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About Me San Francisco

iphone photography

Bought an iphone recently and have been having great fun playing with it. Oh yes I do use it as a phone once and a while!
The camera option including all the apps have been very interesting to learn to use and I have been taking lots of pictures. Since it is an 8mg pixel camera the pictures I have taken have surprised me as to how good they are. Snapseed is a great app. to use, although I am trying out other apps. These are a couple of photos taken recently at a visit to a San Francisco Farmers Market.

Sunflowers
Sunflowers at Farmers Market-San Francisco

Flowers photo iphone

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About Me Photoshop

Painting with Photoshop Jack Davis WOW

Painting with Photoshop after a Creative Live class by Jack Davis WOW

Painting in PhotoshopPainting with Photoshop CC and Jack Davis

I was able to see part of the three days of Creative Live training class taught by Jack WOW Davis. I wasn’t able to see all of all three days, but I saw enough to encourage me to try my hand. I decided to try painting a cactus flower that I had taken a picture of some time ago. I grow four colors of cactus flowers in my solarium. Please tell me what you think of my Photoshop painting efforts!

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About Me Photography Viewbug

Fun with the View Bug Photo Contests

Viewbug Photo contests

Photo Contests; I have Fun with View bug Photo Contests, maybe you would like to also!
Please comment and vote on my photos if you like them. I currently have three or four in rated the top ten in their respective contests, and would like to gain a few more votes! Many different types of contests are featured and it is fun to look through my photos to see which may apply. If you have any photos entered into the contests please let me know so I can view them.
Thank you for your votes!

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About Me Holland America Cruise Line

Dubai and the Burj Khalifa

Dubai and the Burj Khalifa

What a city!
A lot could be said about Dubai, but it probably has all been said before. I want to focus on some of the buildings that one can see in Dubai. The first one of course will be the Tallest building in the World–the Burj Khalifa. It is an amazing building to view and to go into. The high-speed elevator will zip one to the 124th floor in less than one minute.

I feature a few pictures of the Bruj Khalifa with different views, day and night, and from the ground and from the 124th floor.

For an amazing picture from the 124th floor look at-Joe McNally’s Instagram photo http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/20/joe-mcnally-burj-khalifa-skyscraper-photo-picture_n_2917817.html–The picture I wish I had taken when I was there!

Burj Facts
1. Burj Khalifa is located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

2. It’s 828 metres tall (2,717 feet).

3. The exact height was not revealed until final stages of the construction.

4. It was officially opened on Jan 4, 2010.

5. It was previously known as Burj Dubai.

6. Burj means Tower in Arabic language.

7. It’s renamed after Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi.

World records

8. Tallest building – previously Taiwan’s Taipei 101 (509m).

9. Tallest free-standing structure – previously Canada’s CN Tower (555m).

10. Tallest man-made structure – previously USA’s KVLY-TV Mast (629m).

11. Tallest man-made structure ever – previously Poland’s Warsaw Radio Mast (647m).

12. Building with most floors (160) – previously USA’s World Trade Center (110).

13. Highest elevator installation.

14. Highest outdoor observation deck (~440m)

15. Highest mosque at 158th floor.

16. Highest (insert here) which requires another long list to be completed ;p

17. Fastest elevators at speed of 64km/h, or 18m/s.

18. It would take just a minute to reach from ground level to top floor.

Architecture facts

19. Burj Dubai has more than 162 floors.

20. It has 49 office floors.

21. It houses 1044 residential apartments.

22. It has a floor area of 334,000 square metres.

23. There’s 57 lifts in the tower.

24. There’s 28,261 of glass-panels on the exterior of the tower.

25. Its top spire can be seen from 95km afar.

26. The architecture features a triple-lobed footprint, an abstraction of the Hymenocallis flower.

27. The Y-shaped floor plan aims to maximize views of the Gulf.

28. Over 1,000 pieces of art from prominent Middle Eastern and international artists will adorn the tower and the surrounding Emaar Boulevard.

Environmental facts

29. The tower’s peak electricity demand is estimated at 50MVA, equivalent to roughly 500,000 100-watt light bulbs.

30. It’s expected to use an average of 946,000 litres of water each day.

31. During peak cooling conditions, the tower will require around 12,500 tons of cooling, equivalent to the cooling capacity of about 10,000 tons of melting ice.

Construction facts

32. Construction began in September 2004.

33. The tower’s architect and engineer is Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (Chicago).

34. The main constructor is Emaar Properties, a joint venture by Korea’s Samsung C&T, Belgium’s Besix and UAE’s Arabtec.

35. The construction project manager is Turner Construction Company.

36. Bill Baker is the chief structural engineer.

37. Adrian Smith is consulting design partner.

38. It took some 22 million man-hours to be completed.

39. On downside, foreign construction workers were pay as little as $4 per day.

40. Over 45,000 cubic-metres of concrete, weighing more than 110,000 tonnes, were used.

41. Concrete used was enough to lay a 2,065km-long pavement; and equivalent to the weight of 100,000 elephants.

42. Total weight of aluminium used is equivalent to that of five A380 aircraft.

43. Total length of stainless steel bull nose fins used is equal to 293 times the height of France’s Eiffel Tower.

44. The foundations were dug to depths of 50m.

Financial figures

45. Total cost estimated at US$1.5 billion.

46. The price for the offices spaces reached as high as US$4,000 per sq ft.

47. Residential spaces as high as US$3,500 per sq ft.

48. The building is part of the a 490-acre flagship development called Downtown Burj Khalifa.

Random stuff

49. Burj Khalifa is about twice the height of Empire State Building (443m).

50. It’s taller than Hong Kong’s Victoria Peak (552m).

51. It’s the first world’s tallest structure in history to include residential space.

52. It will feature the world’s first Armani Hotel, which occupies 15 of the lower 39 floors.

53. The exterior temperature at the top of will be 6°C cooler than its base (some say 10°C).

54. Jan 4, its opening date, was the birthday of Sir Isaac Newton.

55. Around 12,000 people are expected to live and work in the tower when it’s fully occupied.

56. The tower’s official website is www.burjkhalifa.ae.

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About Me

Winning Photo at Viewbug!

Viewbug is a Fun Photo Sharing Contest Site, Check it out and see who likes your photos.
viewbug.com

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About Me

Face in Fire

Face in the Fire

Taking pictures while staring into a fire–

When I opened it in Lightroom,
Guess what I saw!

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About My Travels Holy Land Merry Christmas

Waiting for Christmas

As we wait for Christmas in this Advent Season I revisited some scenes from a recent visit to the Holy Land

Near the Temple
Near the Temple

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About Me New Mexico

Bees at Hummingbird feeder

THe Hummingbirds can’t get to the feeders because the bees are taking over! Only two pictured here, sometimes they are stacked several bees thick!! I have numerous hummingbird feeders hanging in my backyard, and the bees seem to gather on them at this time of year.

The bees are also on the sunflowers.

Pictures taken with my Nikon 1 V1, never seem to get it to focus on what I want it to!!