The carrelets of the Charente Maritime
All along the Atlantic coast of the Charente Martime in France you come across these “sheds on stilts” with square nets hanging off them. These are the carrelets locals use to catch anything that happens to pass by. Their distinctive spidery appearance is due to the timber poles having to be tall enough to account for the highest spring tides and any other sea conditions that may occur.
The current design dates back to just after WWI, prior to this round smaller nets were used. Over the years a large number of them had to be reconstructed due to storms taking their toll on them. There was a period when the carrelets were considered an eyesore; in the way of people’s enjoyment of “unspoilt” nature, however, this tide of opinion has turned and the surviving carrelets are now valued as part of the areas heritage.
As ever in France, there is a lot of red tape around these structures. Firstly, the number and location of these are tightly controlled; secondly, you don’t actually own the carrelet, instead you rent it from the state for an annual fee and any reconstruction is at your cost. There are a lot of hoops to jump through if you want to build a new carrelet in place of a previously demolished structure, which again, you will not own, but the cost of building is yours to bear! There are regulations with regards to size, shape, materials to be used and even colour.
We found these wonderful structures on our drive along the coast north from Royan to the La Coubre lighthouse and I was lucky enough that we had a wonderful sunset that evening.
Tags: Atlantic coast, Carrelet, Charente Martime, fishing, France, Heritage, nets, Royan, square nets, stilts, sunset, Travel, water
The wharf in Salmon Arm, BC
The wharf, which is 440 feet/134 meters long, is in Salmon Arm, British Columbia, Canada. We spent last weekend in this wonderful town (although technically it is a city – a small one, but still…) and had a wonderful relaxing time.
Salmon Arm sits on the Shuswap Lake and the wharf was originally build in 1865 to accommodate large stern wheelers for transporting goods and people in and out of the Shuswap area. Once the railway arrived steamboats continued to serve remote parts of the lake right up to the 1930s. In 1986 the wharf was reconstructed.
It’s a great place to take a walk and observe a number of different birds. We were lucky to sit and watch western grebes swim by, as well as oberserving a nesting pair of ospreys (more of them in a later post) and dozens of barn swollows swooping above our heads. It was so good that we came back the following evening for another instalment of bird watching.
Sunset over the Shuswap Lake, BC
Categories: Canada, Canadian Nature and Animals
Tags: adventure, boardwalk, British Columbia, Canada, Landscape, longest curved inland wharf, North America, Salmon Arm, serene, Shuswap Lake, sunset, Travel
MS Nieuw Amsterdam as dusk settles on Juneau’s cruise terminal
After spending a wonderful day in Juneau, Alaska it was time to head back to our ship and say goodbye to this beautiful town. I wish we could have had more time here as we didn’t get a chance to take the gondola up to Mt Roberts. I would have also loved to go to Mendenhall Glacier and explore that area again, but with 9 hours in port there is only so much you can fit in.
Juneau definitively deserves more than just 9 hours!!
The Ruby Princess in port in Juneau, Alaska
Leaving Juneau, Alaska
Travelling along Vancouver Island
Technically Day 1, but I call it Embarkation Day given that more than half the day is taken up with getting onto the ship.
After having left Vancouver at 1630hrs on the Saturday, the ship made its way north along the British Columbian coastline and past Vancouver Island.
The landscapes on show were breath-taking and I could have spent the whole afternoon just sitting on the balcony and watch the world go by. However, the suitcases needed to be unpacked and then there was the small matter of our first evening meal in the main dining room. Thankfully we had pre-booked the first sitting at 1730hrs, which meant that we got back to our cabin in time for our first sunset onboard ship, and we were not disappointed.
The ship must not have gone very fast during the evening, as we were still passing Vancouver Island long after the sun went down. Thankfully the Inside Passage protects you from rough seas, so everything was smooth sailing and we soon adjusted to the slight swaying of the ship.
Categories: Alaska, Canada
Tags: adventure, Alaska, Alaska cruise, British Columbia, Canada, Inside Passage, Mountains, MS Nieuw Amsterdam, seascapes, sunset, Travel, Vancouver, Vancouver Island
On our last day in Cuba we stayed in a house in Santa Fe, which is on the outskirts of Havana. I picked this mainly for the fact that the house is directly on the water, just past the Hemingway Marina, which my husband was keen to see (he is a Hemingway fan). It is also not too far away from the airport, great if, like us, you have an early flight home!
Our fabulous host house in Santa Fe, Havana, Cuba
The location and accommodation were superb and our hosts were wonderful, however, there are not many choices for eating out, so that was a bit of an issue for us. It was worth it though, as we just loved sitting by the water and enjoyed the marina.
While we sat there we noted that the garden had quite a lot of holes; the owners informed us that it was the crabs digging and hiding in them. As the sun was setting and the outside temperature began to drop these crabs slowly came out of their hiding places.
Pelicans over Santa Fe, Cuba
We were also lucky enough to see a squadron (one of the words used to describe a group of pelicans – I had to look it up!) of pelicans fly over.
Sunset at the Marina
Tags: accommodation, adventure, crabs, Cuba, Havana, Hemingway Marina, Santa Fe, squadron of pelicans, sunset, Travel, water
In my last post I introduced you to Havana’s Malecón, the world’s longest sofa.
On our walk along the walled path we were serenaded by this guy playing his trumpet.
On the Malecón in Havana, Cuba
A little further along this line fisher was trying his best to catch a fish or two.
Line fishing on the Malecón, Havana
This was my final image from that evening; looking towards Plaza de la Dignidad, which happens to be right opposite the US Embassy.
As the snow is very slowly melting I find myself drawn to this photo from last years trip to the Dominican Republic. The sunsets on the Bavaro Beach are just stunning and we were treated to quite a few during our week there.
Sunset on Bavaro Beach, Dominican Republic
As I am going through some more of my London photos I found these night shots.
London at night is just wonderful and provides for so many great photo opportunities. We were very fortunate that our AirBnB rental for the week in May had a great view out to The Shard. However, my most favourite building to shoot at night is the Tower of London. Unfortunately, I have not had time to work on those shots yet; something for another post further down the road I think. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these night shots.
Sunset in London
St Paul’s Cathedral as seen from the Thames
London’s City Hall
The view of The Shard from our London base
Another shot from our recent Caribbean vacation, this time a sunset shot. Sunsets, and sunrises, are amazing, no matter where in the world you are! They are always worth sticking around for.
Sunset in Punta Cana