November 2015

Our landmark in Lucerne

One of my big rules when travelling is to always identify landmarks that I can use for navigating around town. In Lucerne we picked a big double-steepled church just up the road from our tour’s squishy hotel. Up until writing this post I had no idea what the place was (other than a church). So here is a photo taken from a roadway below it. To get from our hotel to

Lucerne for a few nights

I first visited Lucerne in 2001 on a Globus Tour. Prior to this I had little interest in Switzerland. I just saw it as some mountainous backwater of Europe where people stashed money in inaccessible banks. Pretty dumb, eh? Me, that is. The Globus Tour showed me a magnificent side of the country, particularly Lucerne where we stayed in a fantastic hotel in the centre of town overlooking the lake. I

A quick photo opportunity at the Rhine Falls

Imagine a place where in winter, every 10 seconds, water the equivalent to an Olympic size swimming pool rushes down a waterfall. Well, that place is the Rhine Falls near the town of Schaffhausen in northern Switzerland. These are reputedly the largest plain falls in Europe. The coach for our tour (Trafalgar’s Costsaver ‘European Cavalcade”) dropped us off here. (OK – it may seem that I’m giving them lots of free advertising,

Playing with Photoshop and a Black Forest photo

For no apparent reason I found myself doodling with Lightroom and Photoshop while processing my Black Forest photos. I guess I’ve had a few things on my mind recently.  Anyway, I thought I would share. They are not good, but what the heck, it gives you an insight into me. :) Original photo: It felt like it could be something more. So I made it into a black and white image

Now for a walk in the Black Forest

Today I continue sharing with you my Trafalgar Costsaver Tour “European Cavalcade” as we sweep briefly into Germany’s Black Forest. But before I do so, I want to take this opportunity to encourage you to visit the blog site of Dani. She is a 35 year old science nerd and I feel that a lot of you regulars here may relate to her. The post I have pointed you towards is

Heidelberg in about one hour

The Trafalgar Costsaver Tour entitled “European Cavalcade” is, as I have insinuated before, a kind of taster experience for Europe. During 18 days you can expect to do a lot of miles (or kilometres) by coach with a number of short stops. The real value is in the two night stopovers. Everything else is kind of nice, but rushed. Leaving our Rhine cruise behind us, we were whisked off to nearby

The Rhine Cruise

A brief note from me Before I describe my Rhine Cruise to you all, I will just say something briefly about the appalling events of this weekend: Beirut then Paris. I am not some genius. The ebbs and flows of human misery and joy in their totality are beyond my meagre ability to comprehend let alone offer much insight upon. So I will keep it simple, and this is purely

European Cavalcade - Amsterdam

The trip up through Belgium and the Netherlands was uneventful. The Trafalgar Tour coach was comfortable and the driver was obviously experienced. My daughter relieved the tedium of the trip by teasing me from the seat in front. But eventually our destination appeared ahead. Amsterdam’s name is quite descriptive, meaning a dam on the river Amstel. However it has come a long way since it’s origin 800 years ago as a

Another attempt at novel structure

(Today’s post is just brief musing over my novel rewrite.) David Lee Summers wrote a cool post on his blog called Music Evoked Imagery. I won’t steal his thunder by explaining it – just pop over and have a read. Anyway, one thing that he mentioned is the fact that he likes to outline the novels that he writes. For me that is something mystical. I have written so many

Starting our European Cavalcade - leaving England

Today’s post is about how I planned the tour part of my family’s European trip and then the first half of the first day. Planning the tour In mid 2014 we (being my wife and I) agreed to the holiday half way around the planet (we live in Sydney, Australia). Thing was, we then had to turn a vague idea into something more solid, something more structured. So we had to establish our

The Tower of London - inside and experiments in post-processing

Today I share some of my photos from inside the Tower of London, and also my thoughts on how I post-processed them. Now one thing that you need to understand is that I am not a photographic expert. I’m also not a post-processing expert. Or even a particularly good hobbyist photographer. I’ve been using this European trip to try to teach myself something about DLSRs. So don’t get your hopes

The Tower of London - outside

So we caught the Tube to Tower Hill to see the Tower of London. The day was grey and I felt myself wondering whether I should have brought umbrellas. I also realised that my previous day’s photos of public monuments and the such was fairly sub-par. On this grey day I needed to lift my game! Naturally the use of the expression “lift my game” then went on to totally

A star is reborn!!!!

Ok – I had not intended to post today. I have a huge number of photos from the Tower of London and I was really trying to think of how best I could present them. Maybe a post about the outside of the Tower and its environs. Then a day later a post about inside the buildings, focusing upon armour and weapons. Not sure yet. But then today I went

Briskly past Westminster and on to Buckingham Palace

(NOTE: I wanted to title this post “My photos of Westminster really sucked”. Anyway, take this post as a warning to bad planning.) So I naively had this plan. It’s the one I mentioned earlier, the plan that reads “British Museum in morning. Westminster in afternoon.” It’s pretty much at the beginning of my British Museum post. Stupid! Really stupid! We left the British Museum around 2pm and wandered casually down

And a bit of writing too

(Just a brief one today…) This blog is an excellent way of sharing adventures, ideas and fun with established online friends. It is also great for making new friends. Thing is, it is also practice for writing my science fiction / fantasy novel. I know that Stephen King urged us would-be writers to write every day. I seem to recall he said something like 2000 words (though I may be wrong and am

Cleopatra's Needle

Hi all, You may remember this stone dude from my British Museum post: His name was Thutmose I and he was a renowned warrior Pharaoh, pushing Egypt’s boundaries further than ever before. Some reckon that he was also probably the first Pharaoh buried in the Valley of the Kings. Thing is, he had a grandson who would turn out to be even more ferocious. The Royal Egyptian family displayed unusual flare and originality in naming this grandson Thutmose