Road to Alaska

Last September, Jimmie went on another excellent adventure – this time a cruise to Alaska It started in Vancouver through the Inside channel of Vancouver island Northwest to Juneau Alaska and then glacier icefields further West by Northwest. This is rugged countryside already making the transition in September from Summer to deep Fall. The weather is cool during the day – heavy jackets are de-rigeur. Here are some pictures from that trip:

Start of the Voyage

It is balmy weather off the BC coast for most of the trip up between Vancouver island and the mainland coastline.
Start of the Journey

But the days and nights get cooler while white topped mountains start to appear more often as well.

As the liner approaches Juneau the views are definitely more snow filled:

A top in Juneau includes a helicopter trip inland to the massive glacier. As well there are Indian totem poles and eagles everywhere putting on a show of their fishing prowess. Not far out of Juneau the waters already show in September lots of ice.

The Ice Flows

As the cruise ship continued up the coats, the ice flows in September were substantial. This is not particularly from cold weather but rather from the glaciers along the Alaska coast line which due to global warming are speeding down to the ocean and breaking up faster than ever before. Normally there is a lot of fog because the relatively warmer weather and ocean waters result in fog condensation from the ice flows.

But this voyage avoided being fogged in for most of the days it spent in “ice water”. The resulting deep blue of the ice fields and small icebergs permeate the scene. And Jimmie describes the days as “nippy”. Since he is from New Brunswick, “nippy” means darn cold.

On the last day in the ice fields, the boat turns south and east for the return voyage to Vancouver. A big chunk of the journey south is overnight.

Temperatures gradually rise but the outdoor swimming pool still does not get used. Rather, passengers spend time chatting, comparing pictures and experiences on a trip to a part of the country where even without a temblor shows the Earth flexing its muscles.

Ahhh Paris

You could never tell from Jimmie’s French background that he is a true Franco-phile. But these pictures from Paris show a fascination for the rolling countryside weaved with Seine river meanders that make up the Capital of the World – at least for arts, sophistication and the Sun King.

Jimmie in Rome

Jimmie’s Excellent  European Adventures started in Rome and unfortunately he forgot to bring his tenis gear. This was particularly vexing because a)Jimmie is a tennis fanatic and b) the hotel he stayed at in Rome had some excellent clay court facilities. or this reason and his unfamiliarity with a new camera, Jimmie offers as reasons for his pictures of Rome not being in his customary top form. You be the judge:

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Benvenuto a Venezia

Donna Leon is an American writer who captures the inner beauty and  hidden off-season secret charms of Venice in her Commasarrio Guido Brunetti  mysteries. They are delight to read because of the subtle ways that Brunetti coaxes information and insights from people on and off the job. In the process Donna  has Venice as a backdrop and she too coaxes some of the treasures and paradoxes of this city built on a lagoon off of the Adriatic Sea in Northern Italy. Jimmie’s pictures are a delight because San Marco Square and the many wandering canals and stunning vistas that Guido/Donna frequent are now evident in images that shed light on Ms Leon’s evident affection for Venezia.

Travel to Lucerne Switzerland

Here are some pictures from the trip on the way to Lucerne Switzerland. One knows that Switzerland is mountainous but when you see villages and houses tucked onto steep hillsides the impression of rugged majesty comes through strong and clear. Equally fascinating is the what goes on on the valley floors where cattle, poultry and farming are tucked up against  village buildings and houses. Finally, in the very steepness there are dangers from avalanches and rainsoaked mudslides as seen in the slideshow.

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