Thursday, 27 December 2012

Ribblehead Viaduct

Just across the Cumbria border in North Yorkshire is located The Ribblehead Viaduct, and it is the longest and most famous viaduct along the Settle to Carlisle railway. The photo above of me and my dad taken by my godfather only recently came to light following his passing away. It would have been taken in early 1983 when I was recovering from a serious kidney illness. I made a couple of trips to Cumbria with dad staying at The Snooty Fox at Kirkby Lonsdale owned at the time by long standing family friends who still up there. It has been somewhere I have always wanted to revisit and a recent trip to The Lakes with my mum gave me the perfect opportunity to go back there.

This time around I was armed with an SLR camera, and I am sure it was just as cold as there was an icy wind blowing and the first snows of the winter had fallen that weekend. The panoramic photo below was taken in 3 sections and thern joined together, and it gives an idea as to how impressive the 400 metre span is.

It was late afternoon when I got there and the sun was fading fast, and what was amazing was how the weather seemed to be changing by the minute. There were one or two moments when the sun threatened to break through the clouds.

It is only when you get up close and personal to the structure I think that you really get an idea of just how impressive an engineering feet this is remembering it was constructed back in the 1870s, and not forgetting more poignantly over 100 construction workers died.

Simply breathtaking, and the next time I go I will have to allow for even more photography time :)

Sunday, 16 December 2012

A Weekend in Switzerland

I spent a wonderful weekend in Switzerland at the start of December. This time I didn't go skiing, although with the amount of snow that had fallen it was definitely skiing weather. In fact the flight out was delayed going while the runway at Geneva was cleared of snow. I went to the Christmas Market in Montreux, which is set in a stunning setting at one end of Lake Geneva.The market was lovely with all the stalls set up along the water front and for the first time this year I felt very festive :)

The whole place was adorned with weird and wonderful wood carvings!

The sunset was beautiful casting orange reflections in the lake, and you also had the feeling that the winter snows were never too far away. It was a stunning sunny afternoon, but bitterly cold.

The second and final day was spent at a French Sunday market just across the border in Divonne.

Where else could you buy frog's legs! And no I didn't :)

It was another freezing day and a nice warm glass of vin chaud went down well, and I wonder how little this scene must have changed over the years.

The beauty of going to the market was we were able to buy our lunch from the stalls and take it back into Switzerland and eat it :)

I have to concede that I am not a huge fish fan, but these buggers were pretty impressive!

The weekend raced by, but a great time was had and I am looking forward to going back to ski in March. I didn't even mention the Saturday night Thai meal in a "dry" restaurant! The boys were not best pleased :)