Monday, 22 May 2017

Lugano

More views today, from our walks along the delightful promenade in Lugano. In parts, the path is lined with well-clipped Lime trees which provide some welcome shade on a sunny day.
Where the Limes stop, other trees take over the job. Here, a Cedar provided not only shade, but a nice frame to the scene. Across the water, we were looking from Switzerland, into Italy and the peak of Sighignola. The Swiss-Italian border practically bisects this mountain.
Malcolm was busy snapping away at the scene too...
Leaving the waterside for a moment, we sat for a while by the fountain in the Piazza Alessandro Manzoni (named after an Italian Poet.)
Hiding behind the trees, you could justmake out the imposing, colonnaded edifice of the Banca Della Svizzera Italiana, the oldest bank in the Ticino region, founded in 1873.
Back to the promenade and the return stroll along the Lime trees, to 'our' part of the city, rather optimistically known as 'Paradiso'.
Much more still to come...

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Lake and City

Malcolm, his mum and I, returned home yesterday from a short break in Switzerland again. This time, we visited the south of the country, staying in the city of Lugano, the largest city in the canton of Ticino (although not its capital). We arrived in the sunshine.
The city also gives its name to the lake, a beautiful expanse of water covering nearly 19 square miles and some fantastic views.
After checking in to the hotel and showering off the grime of travel, our first job was to take a stroll along the lakeside promenade to 'get our bearings' for the next few days.
From here, we got our first look at Monte San Salvatore - more of that later.
Looking the other way, Monte Brรจ overlooked the lake (more of that to come too).
But for now, just some lovely views across the waters of Lake and the city of Lugano.
Much more to come....

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Lakes and Sunshine

Following a few days of dull and cold weather, it was nice to be out and about once again this morning, in the warm sunshine. We decided on a shorter stroll around the lakes of Manor Flood and Straw's Bridge. First, down to the Manor Flood and a chance for some larger, panoramic pictures.
Surprisingly, there was not much bird life to be seen on the lake, just an odd Coot picking around in the reeds, a lone Moorhen making a great fuss as it fluttered away from us and the usual pair of Great Crested Grebes. Apart from that, all was quiet on the lake.
From here, we set out around the smaller lakes which go to make up Straw's Bridge. Here too, all was peaceful.
The Hawthorn bushes are all coming into full bloom right now and in the sunshine, their rather strange fragrance filled the air. It's something of a acquired taste!
But the blossom is wonderful to look at - if not to smell. Time for one more panorama...

Friday, 5 May 2017

Exercise

Another fine, but rather windy day, saw Malcolm and I taking a longer walk than usual around Shipley Park. We started out by climbing Shipley Hill to take in those wonderful Bluebells once more before they begin to fade. Above the Bluebells, the Rhododendrons are now starting to display their finest colours.
Among those which grow around the grounds of the old hall, a couple of pink flowered beauties particularly stand out.
Onward across the meadows towards Cinder Hill, we took advantage of the exercise machines there. Malcolm likes this one in particular. Keep in time now. 'Up, one..two..
down, one..two..
All together now.... Keep young and beautiful....!
That's more than enough of that!
Further on and the Apple trees on Cinder Hill were in full bloom looking lovely against the blue sky.
We diverted from our intended path for a while, so that we might take in some of the fantastic new paths laid down across what had, until recently been, open cast mining. These new paths make for some fine walking with great views across the fields.
In the distance, a Whitethroat (Sylvia communis) was singing his heart out on a tree. Having recently returned to Britain all the way from South Africa, it's a wonder he still has enough energy to sing at all.
It was a 'flask day' today, so we stopped for coffee by Mapperley Reservoir on our way back. Unfortunately the chilly wind curtailed our rest somewhat, so as soon as the coffee was finished, it was off again, returning home via Mapperley (Bluebell) woods. A grand morning all round and having walked nearly seven miles, we'd had plenty of exercise too.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Bluebells and Cherries

Our warm walk this morning, took us up Shipley Hill once more in order to check on the Bluebells.
Yet again, we were not disappointed by the spectacle which greeted us.
The scent coming from the flowers as they warmed in the sun, was heady and intoxicating.
They just keep getting better and better.
Close by, a late flowering Cherry Tree was also in full bloom, with myriad pink, double flowers.
In the sunshine - which has been in short supply over the Bank Holiday weekend - this tree seemed to be offering a last hurrah for the season's cherries.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Bluebell-fest

There could only be one topic for this morning's blog entry - Bluebells.
Thousands...
and thousands...
and thousands of them.
Despite the chilly wind, we we enveloped in the perfume as well as their colour.
Definitely a good year for the Bluebells.
This calls for a video.

Monday, 24 April 2017

More Blossom

The tide of colourful, Spring blossom continues to sweep over us. We've had Snowdrops, Blackthorn, Daffodils, Celandines and Cherry blossom of course, and now we also have Apple blossom adding its colour.
This morning, as we walked around the lakes of Straw's Bridge, we stopped to admire this particularly flower-filled specimen.
As with the cherry trees, the dry weather has been kind to the blossom, keeping it looking pristine for much longer.
The cherries are still looking good too and over the last few days, we've spent quite a lot of our time gazing up into the branches of these beauties.
A backdrop of blue sky is always good too.
Some of the blossom this year has been jaw-dropping. Probably the best I've ever seen.