30 April 2018

Back to the Cairngorms with the Aberdeen Hillwalkers

We were back in The Highlands yesterday with the Aberdeen Hillwalking Club.  We covered eleven miles on a beautiful, if chilly, spring day.  We stepped off the bus and immediately began a steep and sometimes rocky ascent of nearly two miles.  With the hard work out of the way, we continued on a large loop, beginning downhill, then rolling to flat for the remaining 9ish miles.  I am so glad we returned after our first not-so-great experience with the club (not the club's fault).  This walk and the last one were just what we had hoped for.

(As always, the photos are best viewed on a big screen--click to enlarge and scroll through.)

22 April 2018

The Moray Firth Coast With the Aberdeen Hillwalkers

Last August, Pat and I joined the Aberdeen Hillwalking Club for their usual fortnightly walk.  Despite all the loathsome heather on that walk, we enjoyed ourselves and were certain we would return.  Last weekend, we finally made a second walk.  This time, the weather was absolutely gorgeous for an active day out and the route was much more enjoyable.  Once again, the club members made us feel welcome to the group and we paid for annual memberships as we expect to join them numerous times this year.  This walk was about nine miles along the Moray Firth coast from Burghead to Lossiemouth.

Hopeman harbor

Coastguard lookout station

Snowy mountains in the distance

Covesea Lighthouse

Pillbox, likely protecting RAF Lossiemouth

Sanderlings (we think)

17 April 2018

Prague! (continued)

Day 3 was a wet one.

Wenceslas Square (it is not square)

We saw trdelnik (chimney cake) everywhere and
finally had some with coffee here.

This is the Czech Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Cyril and Methodius which includes The National Memorial to the Heroes of the Heydrich Terror, i.e. Mission Anthropoid, 1942.  I hesitate to call this a highlight, but I am so glad I visited.  Very solemn.

Bullet holes from the siege

The crypt

The single window was the only source of light.  The SS used it to fill the
crypt with water.  The hole in the wall below was where the Czech
paratroopers tried to dig their way out.

Municipal House, classic concert venue

The Estates Theatre.  Filming site from Amadeus, apropos as
Don Giovanni premiered here.

Spanish Synagogue

Franz Kafka statue, based on a scene from his
novel, Amerika

The Franz Kafka Monument is also in Prague.  I took a video, but this one is better.

Rudolfinum: concert, art and exhibition venue

Prague Castle above the Vltava River

Day 4 was spent mostly traveling to, from, and around the village of Kutna Hora which includes several UNESCO sites, all of which was another peak for the trip.

Our first stop was the Sedlec Ossuary, a small Roman Catholic chapel known for its decorative human bones, including skeletons of an estimated 40,000 to 70,000 people.

Next, we visited St Barbara's Church.

Finally, we explored the historical town center.