Tidig vårvandring med mamma – An early Spring hike with my mother

Vi bestämde oss förra helgen, men vädret ville inte som vi. Den här dagen blev det i alla fall som utlovat.

Last weekend we were prepared to go – but the weather finally said no.

Redan på morgonen fann jag den första blåsippan som blygt tittade fram under fjolårsbladen. Vi packade smörgåsar och bullar, kaffe och gott humör.

Early in the morning I found the first anemone – shyly coming up from under the leaves. We packed sandwiches, buns, coffee and high spirits.

Ett fint dis mellan trädstammarna och känslan av frid och lugn infinner sig direkt.

A shimmering haze and a feeling of peacefulness arrived when we started walking.

De stilla vattensamlingarna har börjat få liv – småflugor och flyn i de värmande solstrålarna.

The pools of water are already alive with tiny flies and moths in the warming sun.

Plötsligt två fjärilar svirrande mellan träden! Men de måste sätta sig och vila i solen både nu och då – värmen räcker inte så länge.

Suddenly two butterflies were dancing in the sunrays . They had to rest and sit down to absorb warmth very often.

Och vi är fler som måste sätta oss en stund när kaffetarmen gör sig påmind.

And…there were more of us who needed a rest, especially when coffee time approached…

Pigga igen vandrar vi vidare i solskenet. Mamma fyller 80 i sommar – men av det ser man ingenting…

The coffee made wonders and soon we were on our way again. My mother is turning 80 in June – but of that we can see almost nothing…

Vi bestämde oss för att ta vägen bortom tjärnen – det blir inte så ofta. Men idag är det varmt och skönt, och nästan alldeles stilla. Vi blir rikligt belönade.

We decided to take the path to the small lake – we don’t go there often, maybe once every second year. We were richly rewarded.

Speglingarna är skönheten själv, och det blir inte en enda bild helt ovanför vattenytan.

Grey, silent beauty, and I didn’t take any photos at all above the surface.

Gråskalan är en dröm.

A dream.

Men längre upp väntar en underbart blå himmel. Kanske är det grå så vackert för att jag vet att det väntar en blå himmel ovanför…ändå?

But above the surface and further up the infinte blue sky is waiting. Maybe this is the reason why I appreciate the grey so much…because I know the blue sky is waiting up there?

Spängerna är tillräckligt breda för att vandraren inte ska tappa balansen.

Balance!

Som en fjolårsfjäril sitter lövet där i allt det mjuka och låter solstrålarna värma en sista gång.

Almost like a last year’s butterfly the leaf is sitting in the soft moss, basking in the sun one last time.

Ännu en backe besegrad! Kom nu, matte – så dryg du är! Mormor och jag är redan uppe!

Another hill conquered! Hey there – why so slow? Grandma and me, we’re already here!

På tillbakavägen har vi fortfarande ett fantastiskt ljus. Totti rullar sig i mossan och vi skrattar och är nöjda med turen. Synd att den snart är slut för den här gången.

On our way back, we are still blessed with this light…Totti loves to roll in the moss and we all laugh and feel satisfied with our day.

Inne bland träden ringlar en helt övervuxen gärdsgård. Längst bort i bilden går den nedåt och försvinner in i mörkret. Man ser aldrig slutet.

Between the high trunks, there is a stone fence totally overgrown. You cannot see the end of it, it moves into the darkness of the forest. Enigmatic.

Mossor och lummerväxter bildar en drömlik matta vid varje sankmark. Jag kan inte motstå den trolska stämningen. Kan sitta där i timmar om jag får…

Moss and club moss creates a dream like carpet wherever there is humid ground. I can sit for hours, feeling the spell of it…

Fler som inte kan motstå ljuset! Tröga fortfarande, myrorna, men de ligger ovanpå varandra och försöker absorbera solens värmande energi.

More creatures who cannot resist the sun and the light! Slowly, slowly, they crawl on top of each other to absorb the warmth and energy of the rays.

Långt där nere gnistrar åns vatten. Vi är tillbaka där vi startade på morgonen. Totti har badat och grävt – han är också nöjd.

Down there the river is dancing and glittering. We are back to where we started this morning. Totti has taken a bath and also tried to dig his way down to some mice – he is satisfied too.

En fin tur och vi känner oss redo att möta resten av dagen. Tre, fyra timmar ute i naturen kan läka mycket och göra dig redo för veckan som kommer.

Jag är tacksam för att mamma fortfarande kan och vill göra mig sällskap på mina vandringsturer.

This was a great start of the day. Three or four hours of nature will heal so much and get you ready for the rest of the day and week to come. I’m very grateful that my mother still can and wants to accompany me on my hikings.

Vintervandring i Vedema I

Som vanligt, klicka på bilderna för att förstora – Click the pictures to enlarge.

Eftersom min mamma inte kände sig riktigt bra, så fick jag göra vandringen med bara Totti. En fin, solig dag – men utan snö. Vid den här tiden på året brukar jag aldrig gå här, men ju grönare vintrarna blir, desto lättare blir det. Annars finns inte mycket positivt med de snöfria vintrarna.

My mother didn’f feel well today, so my hiking had to be with only Totti. I seldom visit here during this season, but the greener the winters become, the easier this walk will be. Not much else is positive about a winter without snow.

Tidig förmiddag och en blek sol skiner in.

Early sun is shining in when we start.

Snart skiner solen ordentligt och de mossiga stubbarna är som självlysande.

Soon we have glorious weather and the mossy stubs and stones are all aglow.

Inga kreatur på ängarna, men ett fint ljus att glädjas åt. Det har kommit mycket regn senaste tiden och allt från pölar till hela sjöar översvämmar öppen mark.

No cows, but a lovely light making me smile. There’s been much raining the last month.

Den kyliga morgonen bjuder på egna konstverk

The chilly morning has its own art work.

Snart dags för lite vila och fika, tycker Totti och jag

Some rest would be right now, Totti says – and I agree.

Eller kanske gräva lite? Finns det några goda rötter eller kanske någon mus att jaga fram?

Maybe some digging? Are there any appetizing roots or some fast mice to be had?

Efter fika- och grävpausen vandrar vi vidare, men jag upptäcker inte förrän efter 20 minuter att vi tagit fel stig. …

Some rest, some coffee and some digging – then on our way again. It’s not until after 20 minutes I realize we are heading in the wrong direction…

Winter – where are you?

En vandringstur på en av de få soliga dagarna i jul. Vart tar vintern vägen?

One of the few sunny days this Christmas – Where is Winter?

Vi bestämde oss för att starta tidigt, mamma, jag och Totti. Jag hade noga kontrollerat vädret timme för timme, och den här dagen skulle inte ett moln finnas på himlen.

We started out early this morning, my mother, Totti and me, and I had made sure that the weather was going to be perfect. Coffee, bread, buns and fruit – and a little something for Totti.

Några av fjolårets rotvältor ligger fortfarande kvar, och vatten finns det gott om.

Some of the fallen trees from last year is still here, and there is no lack of water.

Mamma  och Totti trivs bra tillsammans, men båda saknar Mille. Här brukade han rusa ut och hämta de första kottarna att lämnas till mamma.

My mother and Totti  go well together, but both are missing Mille. Here he used to run ahead of us to get cones for mum to throw and hide.

Tunn is på tjärnen – det närmaste vi kommer vinter.

Thin ice on the water – the closest we get to real winter.

Vad dessa kapslar/frön är kunde jag inte lista ut, men lätt och fint svängde de i vinden.

What tree this is I couldn’t figure out – but these little capsules were dancing gracefully in the wind.

Stigen vindlar vidare, och snart vill vi nog ha kaffe…och Totti är redan törstig.

We follow the winding path and soon…we will want some coffee. Totti is already thirsty.

Två rör sticker fram vid vattnet – det ena mossklätt och det andra plastigt vitt. Undrar om det mossklädda röret är av plast eller betong? Jag vet vilket jag föredrar …

Two pipes here – one in moss and one in white plastic. I wonder if the moss clad one is concrete or plastic? I know which of these I like best…

Fikapaus!

Ah, finally…!

För stora kontraster sol/skugga, så mamma får bli svartvit!

Too much contrasts sun/shadow, so my mother ended up in black and white!

De sista solstrålarna på väg nerför horisonten, och då blir det snabbt kallare. Men vi njuter alla.

When the last sun rays are leaving the air is rather chilly after some hours of walking. But we all just love it.

De sista? Vi förevigar oss på den finaste dagen av sol.

The last rays? We had to have a group picture from this lovely walk.

En sista lövrullning kanske?

A last roll in the leaves?

Alla nöjda – och avslutningsvis en fin lave, med möjligen ale eftersom den är såpass rödaktig.

Everybody satisfied with the day, finishing with these fine trees, possibly alder wood since it is red.

 

Tillbaka vid vägen hem igen. En härlig vandringstur till ända.

Back to the road leading home again – a lovely hiking day has come to an end.

On the Streets of Rome – Musicians and Artists

Walking the streets of Rome fills heart and soul with delight. Your eyes feast not only upon the ancient buildings and the History of Rome…musicians and artists are never ”too much” here, but just as perfect as the old city itself.

Piazza Navona is a good resting place, where you find ice cream as well as entertainment…When in Rome, you seem to always return to this place…

And the streets are even lit up with Christmas deco in November. 22 degrees C.

On the bridges we found some brilliant musicians, as well as close by Castelo S. Angelo whose sunlit walls kept them warm a bit longer.

Later in the afternoon…families were still playing with their enthusiastic children, while some performers were reorganizing…

Don’t we all love visiting markets, especially fruit markets – places of innovative creation concerning forms and colours on display!

Irresistable they are – just BUY ME!

Returning to narrower streets and alleys like this one – was just what we needed to get down to earth again.

On our way home, the atmosphere of the soft evening wraps us up tightly, when suddenly I see a familiar picture…I guess you all recognize it?

And, people on the move…

…are very interesting!

Thank you for walking with me today – and good night!

På torgen, vid fontäner i Rom – In the Squares, by the Fountains of Rome

I knew, before we went, that Rome’s great Fontana di Trevi would be under restoration. But there are many beautiful fountains in Rome (and many by Bernini)…even if  Fontana di Trevi is among the most famous fountains in the world. In Sweden we immediately connect it to Fellini and La Dolce Vita with our actress Anita Ekberg bathing in the fountain. Fortunately I have seen it before – in full splendour.

So, there’s something special with squares and fountains…they gather people. People who relax and enjoy the sound and the beauty of the water, their busy lives making a stop, eating ice cream, letting their children play.

Outside the Pantheon, people were listening to a fantastic singer – her voice crystal clear – making us all, and the ancient buildings, shiver with delight.

Augustus’ Peace Altar had many people eating, relaxing or why not healthily posing and photographing?

Piazza Navona hosts three beautiful fountains – resting places for many…Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi or Fountain of the Four Rivers (1651)is the most famous one. Fontana del Moro and at the northern end is the Fountain of Neptune. Bernini is of course one of the architects here too.

And – photographers of course…

The Romans were experts on water and aqueducts, so in Rome, you can drink water everywhere, clean and fresh. People fill their water bottles, and the dogs too love this opportunity.

 

There are several fountains in the shape of boats – or bathtubs? A definite boat at the bottom of the Spanish Steps, the Barcaccia fountain by Bernini.

Other strange fountains seemed to appear when the stomach reminded itself in the afternoon…

But, after being fed…other, more ordinary, fountains were found again.

The Bee fountain – a favourite. In fact Bernini is the master of another Bee fountain close to the Capuchin crypt.

The Botanical garden was a treat, and its fountains too. There’s another one in the header!

 

Edinburgh II – The Castle and… Inside

Our last day in Edinburgh we spent a bit more looking inside…windows and alleys at least. On the walk up to the castle, the sun bestowed us with its warming glory – hot!

We walked through Greyfriar’ s beautiful Kirkyard to see Bobby once more. He was a Skye terrier born in the middle of the 19th C. His Master died when Bobby was only two, and legend has it that he stayed by his Master’s grave for 14 years. A Lord payed the city of Edinburgh to build Bobby a little house and to feed him. He was buried close to his master in 1872.

Many people came to see him while we were there. The little ”hut’s” name shows some of the Scottish humour…it’s really inside the gates!

Some ”insides” too on the way…

Colourful clothes and tartans, but also a soft pink and blue tartan made especially to the memory of Princess Diana.

I love signs, and Scotland and Edinburgh has got many of those – my camera was full of them…This one close to Camera Obscura.

And – there my dream came true…to be divided into two and able to do double the things I would like to do, help, visit, create, experience…a.s.o….

Just inside the gates, they were preparing for the Tattoo. This year we didn’t make it, but hopefully next year we will be able to see it!

 

We’ll be back next year – for the Edinburgh Tattoo!

From Aberdeen to Perth – Balmoral Castle

Balmoral is of course a must when you are here – and we were not disappointed. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought the castle, and Prince Albert renovated it around 1855. They spent much time here and the Queen was very well liked as she showed great interest in the Scots and their traditions.

Prince Albert also planted the trees in the park and was the architect behind the garden. I was extremely pleased to find the Beware of squirrels sign! As my love for animals – and particularly dogs – is great, I very much loved the gallery of pets in the Royal family. Queen Victoria’s favourites were collies and Queen Elisabeth’s is of course welsh corgies.

We also found a snow trac made in Sweden – and still in use!

Detta bildspel kräver JavaScript.

 

The gardens were very grand and both flowers and vegetables very fresh and colourful. I spent some time enjoying the little greenhouse given as a present to Queen Elisabeth.

The sign above the door says:  One is nearer God’s heart in a garden than anywhere else. A most delightful thought.

We enjoyed the walk through the gardens, visited the Ballroom, and then headed for Perth. A road of beautiful, serene  views – a landscape of green hills, meandering rivers and grazing cattle.

In the evening we reached Perth and found it very beautiful and welcoming. A lovely evening walk. In fact we would have liked to stay longer – so, maybe next time!

Beautiful houses and intriguing sculptures – a truly interesting city, once the capital of Scotland. In the vicinity is Scone Palace where the Stone of Scone once was kept in the Abbey. (Also known as the Stone of Destiny, and often referred to in England as The Coronation Stone,  used for centuries in the coronation of the monarchs of Scotland.)

The river Tay in blue evening gown.

Time to walk back to our house for a good night’s sleep. Roses find a certain glow in the light of street lamps – almost magical… Good night.

Walking

On the first days of real winter, walking is a dream…The light is back and my mind is soaring

And to be a dog is a dream…

No sun, but the trees in their white blazers are my beacons

We pass the fence, from which trees once made a futile try to escape

Everything is white – but things hidden have kept their colours

There is only a faint stir in the water – Everything is soft, still and quiet