Rajasthani Heritage

 

Amer or Amber Fort just north of Jaipur in India, is a splendid fortress on Cheel Ka Teela, the hill of eagles.

The fort was built by ‘Raja Shri Maan Singh JI Saheb’ (Maan Singh 1), from 1550 to 1614, from red and white sandstone. The palace can be approached by taking an elephant ride up the ramparts, but this wasn’t for me, because I love elephants.

Palace entrance

Amer has a mix of Rajput and Mughal influences and there is much to see.

Sheesh Mahal

It’s best known for the Sheesh Mahal, Hall of mirrors, a sight I’ve never forgot.

One of the stunning views from the palace’

Garden on the lake

Amer is hugely popular for tourists, and a World Heritage Site, said to be the most beautiful palace in India. Don’t miss it if you go to Rajasthan!

 

 

 

 

 

On Stage Pride

Last weeks Exeter Pride wasn’t just about the procession, although that was great. It was followed by live entertainment on stage at Northernhay park, beside the city wall. Luckily it was a warm, blue sky day, perfect for lazing on the grass, chilling or catching up with friends. I was Gilly-no-mates at first, but did find some friends who felt sorry for me!

Then this years Chairman officially opened the event.

Some entertainment began

 

I wasn’t able to stay for Joss Stone’s performance, so it was brilliant to catch her sounds checks.

And I’m rather pleased with this photo, even if it won’t zoom in very well, click for a bigger view of the others.

The lovely lady herself, home grown in Devon.

Weekly PhotoChallenge, reflecting

I was walking through town yesterday, enjoying the crowds, and the great atmosphere. It was Exeter Pride, a vibrant, colourful event with a long parade of people wearing rainbow colours, flying the flag and bursting with excitement.

Everyone was happy, or so I thought. Then I saw this lady, she was leaning on a trolley shopper thingy and heading towards the bus stop.

Reflecting

It may be that she was just wondering when the buses would start running again. Perhaps she was reflecting on the loss of youth, a samba band were passing, so everyone was jiggling about. I really hope it was nothing worse.

 

 

Wanderlust

I’ve always had a wanderlust, from my early teens when I’d hitch hike to the beach, or even walk the ten miles to Exmouth. But it was many years before I was able to really indulge myself. One of my favourite places so far is Ghana, the country of smiles, I’d love to go back.

Cape Coast, three hours west of Accra is a lovely place with miles of beautiful beach,

Cape Coast

The sea is rough and you’d have to be a far better swimmer than I to venture in.


Much better to sit and enjoy the view of Elmina across the bay. Elmina is peaceful now, but has a horrid history, it was one of the places where slaves were sent, before leaving their homeland forever.

Cape Coast fishing port

The port was very lively, I could have spent hours there. But we had to travel on,

Chocolate trees

There were cocoa pods to see, and taste the inside of!

Volta

Maybe three hundred miles north of the coast, Lake Volta stretches a vast distance. From Yeji, the crossing is quote short, but the hour or so it takes can be rough and the lake has taken many lives. When I went, the water was flat, and the air was scorching -n Volta is just a few degrees north of the equator, and very silent.

These homes are on a sandbank, and at risk of being flooded. I wonder if they’re still there, maybe Celestine will know?

A Forest walk

Ashclyst Forest is National Trust land on the Killerton estate a few miles east of Exeter. There are walks from 30 minutes, suitable for buggies, and various lengths up to about four hours.

I hadn’t been there for several years, but have many times in the past so I knew my way around. Just as well, the waymarked trails were totally confusing because paint had faded on posts and some signs pointed in more than one direction.

A wood is a wood perhaps, but we started off this way.


We’re well into spring now, everywhere is fresh and green.

I’m fairly sure these are different varieties of spurge

I’m a big fan of lichen and mosses.

Every so often there are glimpses through the hedge, under the shade of young leaves, to freshly ploughed fields.

At the lowest reaches of the woods, the distant sound of machinery could be heard, one of the culprits appeared eventually.

I’m usually driving some impossibly narrow lane when I see a tractor working, so this was a real treat for me, I even got a wave from what looked like father and young son.

There were wildflowers a plenty.

Even a baby dragon.

For those of you who like a bit of decay, last years beauty hasn’t quite faded away.

And still the views keep coming.

We’ve only walked a couple of miles, but with eyes wide open and camera ready, so it took nearly two hours.

The dogs can remember this as a mud wallow and were a bit put out, but no worries we’d brought plenty of water for them!

Now, the path is beginning to look a bit more civilised, I wonder what’s through the gate.

A fairy tale cottage, painted in regulation Killerton colour, what a lovely place to live.

Another fifteen minutes and our pootling walk was over. There are no facilities in Ashclyst, but Killerton House is a ten minute drive, combined with the woods it’s a lovely way to spend a day.

I’m walking with Jo for the first time in ages, are you?

 

 

 

Black and White Sunday

The them for Paula’s black and white Sunday this week is ‘through’. The possibilities are endless aren’t they? I love taking photos through garden gates and out of windows, but the view also has to work in monochrome. Hence, I’ve chosen a building, not any old building but Chichester cathedral.

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So there we are, a view through the cloisters, up through the vaults, through a pretty gate and through from outside to in.

As dense as granite

Dartmoor granite was used to build the old London Bridge, the one that’s now a tourist attraction somewhere in the Arizona desert. Luckily there’s still plenty left to scramble on, and take photos of!

This is Bonehill Rocks, a couple of miles from Haytor. I went at the weekend, and had a bit of  scramble myself. In fact I had to bump my way down on my derriere, holding on to absolutely nothing except my breathe.

Do you think granite is dense enough for the weekly photo challenge?