On Walktober 2016

WalktoberRobinI always look forward to Robin’s Walktober celebration. Below are my past walks:

I had several ideas for 2016 – but then it hit me …. Let’s board a plane for one of the most beautiful and desirable walks in the world. Are you ready to join me in Cinque Terre, Italy!

Cinque Terre is a gorgeous short strip of very hilly terrain (some say rugged) along the amazing blue waters of the Ligurian Sea along Italy’s northwestern coast. The “Five Lands” are five small villages that are unique and outstanding: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Not only is this area an Italian National Park, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Although (three years ago) I have spent an afternoon in this visual wonderland, my wife and I were not only looking forward to visiting each village, but also anxious for the challenge of walking from Monterosso to Vernazza … so I decided to take my readers along to celebrate Walktober. Besides, some of the other paths between towns remain closed from damage suffered in a 2011 severe storm.

For us, we boarded a train to La Spezia where we purchased a Cinque Terre pass for the trails and the local trains … followed by the short ride to Monterosso, the most western village of the five.

Monterosso not only has the longest shoreline of the five, it also has the most beaches. Add the blue sky and the blue water … wow! … wait until you see how blue the sea on this walk!

 

The walkway out of town is obvious, so after a snack, “Good bye Monterosso”

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… and discovered a special Home for Wayward Bloggers.

After a short walk and around the corner, we discovered another part of Monterosso that I didn’t know existed .. but we kept moving … after all, we didn’t know what’s ahead … Arrivederci Monterosso.

It wasn’t long thereafter that the terrain and the path changed. Oh crap … we have to go way up there? … and it was straight up with higher than normal steps.

The path is actually an ancient path used by people with mules and persons without a boat. The path can be narrow, steep, rocky, and high steps … so keep moving!

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That’s Monterosso (where we started) …. but no sign of Vernazza …

… yet people live up here to tend to their grapes, olives, and/or citrus.
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Along the way, everyone is treated with spectacular views

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Finally, a glimpse our destination – Vernazza
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… but the twists and turns caused Vernazza to play peek-a-boo to tease us …



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… and Monterosso seems so far away …

Vernazza is getting closer!
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What does up must come down – and on this day that means we enjoyed the long descent into Vernazza (while we watched those going in the opposite direction who were wondering if the climb would ever end and what lies ahead).

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At the end, I look back to see the start of those who walk in the opposite direction.
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To celebrate the journey, my wife chose a gelato treat … of which she says was the best gelato of the entire vacation.

… then let’s sit on the rocks by the water.

After walking and relaxing in Vernazza, we let the train take us to the next town – Corniglia (possibly my favorite village)- which involved 382 steps up to the town from the station. Then we trained to Manarola for dinner, and then Riomaggiore with the sun already below the horizon- so on this day, we visited all five villages of this beautiful part of the world.

If you enjoy fall walks, join Robin and others at her post. All you have to do is click here.

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On a Walktober 2015

WalktoberRobin
Robin (Breezes at Dawn) celebrates October by proclaiming Walktober. Her posts typically feature her wonderful photos of nature, but Walktober invites others to lead a walk. I’ve participated the previous two years featuring a walk in my now-old neighborhood (2013) and a walk in my town (2014). I even turned other photos from my 2013 walk into another post featuring seeds from ornamental grasses.

Robin is a gracious host and a long-time visitor here, so Walktober has been on my mind, especially because I was out of the country during the first half of the month … but while on a tour, the setting for my Walktober became clear.

Welcome to Alhambra, a palace and fortress complex in Granada, Spain (southern Spain in the Andalusia region. Granada is 90-minute drive inland from the port of Malaga.)
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The Moors ruled most of Spain for over 700 years, and constructed Alhambra as a small fortress in 889. In the 13th century, a Moorish emir expanded the fortress into a walled town containing a palace. Towers looked over the city of Granada below.
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At its peak, over 2000 people lived within the walls. Moorish poets described it as “a pearl set in emeralds”. Although Napoleon’s forced leveled many of the homes, their foundations and passageways remain.
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Not only did Alhambra include a palace and homes, gardens filled with fountains brought peace to the complex.
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The Moors viewed water as precious, so they constructed various pools of water that was gathered by an elaborate water-collection system and stored in a reservoir.
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Overall craftsmanship (especially in the Moors’ palace) is impeccable as numerous designs catch one’s eyes – ornate stucco, scalloped designs, beautiful tiles, various colors, and more.

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After the conquest of Granada by the Catholic forces of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile (1492), Christians rulers used the Alhambra, and eventually built The Palace of Charles V with Alhambra’s walls (1527).
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Some consider Alhambra to be the greatest of the Moorish palaces in Europe. Today, Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of Spain’s major tourist attractions. Its website includes an interactive map, photo gallery, history, and more.

Thanks for walking along – and consider taking other walks.

Robin’s Walktober 2015 with pingbacks to other walks
My 2014 Walk
My 2013 Walk
My 2013 Seeds Walk

On a Walktober Town Walk

Loveland Sign

Loveland Sign

As part of Robin’s Walktober, welcome to Loveland, the town where my wife and I reside. Instead of sharing our beauty fall colors, I’ve chosen to take you for a town walk of this northeastern Cincinnati suburb.

Lt. Colonel Thomas Paxton may have first lived in a house like this …

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Rich Cabin @ the Loveland Historical Museum

… but his daughter and husband built this home in 1840 …

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White Pillars

… and all are buried in the family cemetery (both the home and cemetery are now part of a subdivision)

Paxton Cemetery

Paxton Family Cemetery

In the early days, Loveland thrived as a railroad community because two lines intersected here, thus served at least 14 trains a day … (and one railway still operates as I hear the train’s horn several times a day)

Loveland Station

Loveland Station

One of the railroad beds is now a very popular 70-mile bike trail, which also intersects with other trails in the state

Loveland straddles both sides the Little Miami River, which is a designated sceinic waterway at both the state and national level, thus is popular for canoeing … plus the bike trail follows the river

Between the bike trail and the river is a wonderful city park with picnic tables, an amphitheater, and access to the river bank

Old Town offers a some shops, eateries, and a movie theater that the local firefighters converted into a playhouse for the community theater company

Other sights include a studio for local artists, an old church that is now someone’s home (I’m told the owners call it their chouse), and even a mural for Resa

Loveland honors its veterans from all wars and area firefighters

The city’s motto is The Sweetheart of Ohio, besides, people love to send Valentine’s Day cards with the Loveland post office mark

A City Symbol

The Sweetheart of Ohio

From Loveland, Ohio, good day and good night … and don’t forget to vist

WalktoberRobin

On Seeds

Seedsa seemingly simple biological design for promoting the continuation of a species that also displays beauty, yet its complexity also serves as a useful metaphor
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Knowledge cultivates your seeds and does not sow in your seeds. (Khalil Gibran)

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If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then unto me. (William Shakespeare)
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Education is not the piling on of learning, information, data, facts, skills, or abilities – that’s training or instruction – but is rather making visible what is hidden as a seed. (Thomas Moore)
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Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don’t have any problems, you don’t get any seeds. (Norman Vincent Peale)
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If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people. (Confucius)
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By cultivating the beautiful we scatter the seeds of heavenly flowers, as by doing good we cultivate those that belong to humanity. (Robert A. Heinlein)
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Earth teach me to forget myself as melted snow forgets its life. Earth teach me resignation as the leaves which die in the fall. Earth teach me courage as the tree which stands all alone. Earth teach me regeneration as the seed which rises in the spring. (William Alexander)
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When people learn no tools of judgment and merely follow their hopes, the seeds of political manipulation are sown. (Stephen Jay Gould)
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Seeds of great discoveries are constantly floating around us, but they only take root in minds well prepared to receive them. (Joseph Henry)
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Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. (Robert Louis Stevenson)
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Your heart is full of fertile seeds, waiting to sprout. (Morihei Ueshiba)
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The way to activate the seeds of your creation is by making choices about the results you want to create. (Robert Fritz)
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Seeds of faith are always within us; sometimes it takes a crisis to nourish and encourage their growth. (Susan L. Taylor)
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To see things in the seed, that is genius. (Lao Tzu)
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I enjoy ornamental grasses, and these images are from my neighborhood. Do you have a favorite picture or saying here? If I didn’t list your favorite seed saying, feel free to share it.

On a Fall Walk

Blogging allows reading to see images from around the world. Regarding of one’s hemisphere, fall brings beautiful colors – the only question is the timing.

I recently took a walk in my neighborhood to capture some local color. Besides, Robin always hosts a fall walk (for which I’m late posting) and Raye showed us some fall colors from Portland, Oregon as part of a challenge. Hope you enjoy a walk in my neighborhood from suburban Cincinnati, Ohio.

Some leaves await my next pass …and many more yet to fall …
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… as several remnants of summer remain in our Clematis ….
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… yet Spirea is still strong as it transitions to winter sticks …
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… Fruit Gum tree leaves are starting to turn in the front yard …
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… in time, this Burning Bush will be a ball of brilliant red …
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… and the future will deliver this Japanese Maple to us … but not yet …

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… walking the neighborhood provides an array of natural colors …
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… as I encounter a seasonal Welcome Center …
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…. and other human creations …
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… yet the summer green still frames nature’s fall colors …
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… while wildflowers do their part …
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… as framing continues as I round the corner and head for home …
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… where roses are still hanging on …

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… but more leaves await still wait for my next pass … and more to come from above.
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As Debra would say, I hope this gave you a chance to breathe lighter. Thanks for strolling along with me. Any favorites?