Plaza de Espana, Seville, Spain

It seems a life time ago since we were strolling around Seville in temperatures of 38.5c and admiring the fabulous architecture of the City.  Even though the temperature was much higher than we are used to it was a dry heat with a gentle breeze and not uncomfortable…though shade was welcome as well the occasional cool drink.

Andalusia is a region of contrasts and I will try to bring you a flavour of this region of Spain over the next week or so.

Meantime its playing catch up with the usual work chores !

24th September

(C) David Oakes 2018



Lens Artist Photo Challenge – Everyday Moments


Two Ice Creams Please….

A hot Sunday in a busy Copenhagen, Denmark. A memory from two years ago and still fresh in the mind.

As is an equally hot Monday on the waterfront in the Hanseatic Quarter of Bergen, Norway, where a liquid refreshment was called for.


Two suggestions for the Lens Artist Challenge

19th August

(C) David Oakes 2018

Silent Sunday…..So Off to Church


Old Eidfjord Church

Some restoration work has taken place to preserve this Old Norwegian Church. Rustic in appearance, we are told that this is how it would have been in the 18th century.  The White stone built church dates back to 1309 and for centuries was the Parish Church for Eidfjord.

The village is surrounded by the high mountains through which Hardangerfjord carves its way. I am told that the name Eidfjord comes from the Norwegian name of Eidar which translated means Farm, very appropriate, for despite the isolation created by the mountains, the shores along the Fjord are very fertile and lined with farms and orchards.

The villagers of Eidfjord built themselves a new church…. but the old church was not abandoned and is used for special occasions.


Eidfjord, Hardangerfjord, Norway

Eidfjord, Hardangerfjord Norway

19th August

(C) David Oakes 2018



All Sound at Plymouth…..


Plymouth Hoe, Devon

On our recent travels we spent some time in Devon overlooking Plymouth Sound. Plymouth Hoe’s famous landmark was clearly visible and had to be seen up-close. From where we were staying there was a local Ferry service that for £3 (two adults, one dog inclusive) would take us across the Sound  right into the heart of Old Plymouth, to the Barbican.

Sir Frances Drake (who famously played bowls as enemy warships approached) also has pride of place on the Hoe, gazing down across the sound to the English Chanel…


Not to sure what Drake would have thought of the current Brexit debacle….probably suggested we all play bowls!

Plymouth was and still is an important Seaport, Fishing Port and of course a Royal Naval Base and Shipyard.. But it is  the old harbour that most tourists are attracted. The Fish Docks are in one small area the rest of the harbour now a modern Yacht Marina that seems to be bursting at the seams. But the old town still has character and as a Naval town a good number of pubs.  Also very appropriate are several memorials to those from the Armed Forces who have left Plymouth for conflicts overseas never to return, and to those who defended Plymouth’s strategic assets and its people when under attack in recent wars.



It was from Plymouth in 1620 that The Mayflower and the famous Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America. ….(no doubt Trump would have refused them entry if he had been around)


It was from these very steps that the Pilgrims embarked upon there epic journey.  The City plan to refurbish this historic site in readiness for commemoration celebrations in September 2020.


Plymouth is full of hustle and bustle, an active Military centre and a Tourist destination all blending with its historic surround apparently rather seamlessly. Busy it certainly is but Plymouth Sound is also surrounded by a quiet and rugged coastline where one can get away for some peaceful surrounds and maybe play in a rockpool full of crabs, shrimps and those mesmerising tentacles of seaweed…

As the sun goes down the headland above provides expansive views over the Sound a natural Harbour that has proved secure for many centuries..


26th July

(C) David Oakes 2018



Dorset…a Jurassic Coastline


After many years it was nice to revisit this dramatic stretch of Dorset’s Coastline. Despite having visited on numerous occasions we still found lots of new places and points of interest.

The Coastline stretches between various seaside resorts but it is the bits in-between that intrigue the most.  They are all linked by a long-distance coastal path which separates the headlands and beaches from some very rich agricultural land an area of mixed farming, cereal, cattle, sheep and dairy. Just a little way inland a Ridgeway Trail also adds another dimension for walkers

Overlooking the English Chanel it is also an area that has seen its share of turmoil and was definitely on the front line of defences right up to WWII. Coastguard Cottages dot the headland as do lookout points…but perhaps the best lookout point was from the strategically located Corfe Castle  which gives great views in all compass direction. Little villages and small churches abound, one of our favourites being Kimmeridge (where we feature the old church of St. Nicholas, of Norman foundation with additions at various times over the centuries).  The headland of course is the big draw for visitors.  It is at time dramatic, perhaps the most dramatic and also well visited being the Limestone Arch of Durdle Door. Elsewhere more mellow features can be enjoyed, but as you walk along the coastal path it continually offers new vistas.

So here is a whistle stop tour….


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The Jurassic Connection

This whole coastline is subject to much weathering and obvious erosion.  Each storm makes changes.  The rock is a mix of shales and Purbeck Limestone and within it can be found remains of sea creatures long extinct.  Fossils are easily spotted in places where the cliffs have collapsed.  But one man, Dr. Steve Etches, has made it is lifetime career searching for fossils and has many great ‘monster’ finds to his credit. A new visitor attraction has been opened at Kimmeridge to house much of his collection and also allows you to see his workshop and tasks currently in progress… It is called “The Etches Collection’ and well worth a visit


That may be the professional collection but you to can make your own discoveries even if they may be on a more modest scale…



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23 July

(C) David Oakes 2018