Brighton's new sea front attraction, the i360 "Vertical pier". The viewing pod rises slowly to the top of the 162 m. pole for views of the English Channel, the city of Brighton and the South Downs. It's currently an up-and-down ride, with very little time at the top of the pole to enjoy the offerings of the on-board champagne bar.
Fox keeping look-out in Brompton Cemetery in West London. He's in a Royal Park so he knows he's fairly safe, despite all the hubbub of the city going on around him, so he let me get quite close and just looked me over then casually sauntered away. A treat to enjoy an encounter with such a fine animal, especially in the city!
Leaving behind the skyscrapers of Monaco and the tiered luxury residences surveying the Baie de Roquebrune (including the famed “Cabanon” of the architect known as “Le Corbusier”) the coast path leads round the cliffs of Mount Gros (686 m.) and over rocks between the back garden gates of the Belle Epoque residences of Roquebrune and the sea-battered limestone below of the coastal rocks.
Pine trees, cacti and flowers cling naturally to the crevices in the bare rock without the concrete that retains the residences higher up.
It’s not far walking round to Menton from Monaco but a relief from the conspicuous expenditure of much of the French Riviera.
There’s a Roman tomb (dating from the 1st century BC) at Lumone on Cap Martin, the Roman way station at the junction of the Via Aurelia and the Via Julia Augusta.
End of season playtime on the Col de la Gineste, the road up from Marseille and over the limestone of the Calanques to Cassis.
Dawn in the Saône valley at Fleurie in the Beaujolais region. The sun rising over Jura mountains and the first mists of autumn in the valley of the river Saône. Usually this would be the time to harvest the grapes but the 2016 vintage is delayed due to hailstorms earlier in the year: Fleurie 2016
Beaujolais 2016 still ripening in the second week of September on sparsely-fruited and rather straggly-looking vines near Fleurie church. This year’s harvest at Fleurie looks to be disappointing in volume as well as relatively late because of the hailstorms earlier this year. An enjoyable short stay in the region enjoying a couple of gourmet dinners with wines from Clos de la Tour 2013, Les Moriers 2012 and a taste of the Beaujolais Blanc, Château Pizay 2014. A Michelin-listed restaurant is not the place to make detailed notes but it was remarkable how much difference there was between the two wines of successive years and from the same village, ie the same Appellation Contrôlée. Always fun to travel in an area where the road signposts read like wine lists but particularly enjoyable to revisit Fleurie village as I had pitched tent for a night halt on a motorbike trip back in 1983 or 4, in what was then the municipal camping.
Magnificent clear air and views of the Mt. Blanc massif (4809 m.), also the nearby Grand Combin (4314 m.) and the Gran Paradiso peak (4061 m.) in the Graian Alps in the distance, from our hike to 2850 m. up La Chenalette to look down on the Grand St. Bernard road Pass, itself 2473 m. altitude. We enjoyed also the wildlife, including a friendly encounter with a herd of Bucatan, grass eaters like deer but the size of small cows. More than a dozen glaciers in view at our picnic point at 2830 m. as well as lakes and the view down to the Grand St Bernard pass hospice. A rewarding hike specifically to get spectacular views,.
Glacier des Bossons and the north face of Mont Blanc (4808 m.). Glorious view of the different stages of the glacier as it descends from the Bosses ridge and down through forest to the valley of Chamonix in French Savoie
The view from the Lac de Lauzon (2020 m.) of part of the Cirque glacière de Gioberney at the end of the valley of Valgaudemar, deep in the Ecrins mountains between the French Alps and Provence. A satisfying hike passing many waterfalls fed from the glaciers above the cirque. The view above shows a part of the panorama facing us for our lunchtime picnic. That's the Glacier de la Cobdamine: we were treated to a view including five different glaciers, all looking similarly depleted by the succession of hot summers, aka Global Warming.
Aust Cliff under the Severn Bridge on the east bank of the Severn Estuary exposes a sequence of layers of rock that both appeal to the eye and to the fossil specialist. It’s a section through an area that was near the equator in the Triassic period, 230 million years ago. The area was alternately a lake (represented now by a layer of red mudstone) which dried out as salt flats (now white gypsum).
The upper layers (yellow/green and brown layers) are more recent, 210 million years old, representing a tropical sea; these layers are one of the UK’s most important sites for fossils of marine reptiles. Aust Cliff overall is a site unusually prolific in fossil finds, thus is classified as a site of special scientific interest (SSI).