Minnack Theatre – Beauty beyond Eyes

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During our recent trip to Cornwall, we planned to visit Minnack Theatre on a beautiful sunny but windy day. Minnack is an open theatre built on the high & rocky Cornish cliffs above the Atlantic Ocean. It is also listed in the list of world-famous open theatres. Believe me, once you visit the place you will know why is this place so much-loved.

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It is another world and it has got a fascinating history behind it. Rowena Cade is the brain and the heart behind this beautiful piece of architecture. She moved to Cornwall after 1st world war and built a house for herself at Minnack Point. She used to offer her garden space which was beside the sea to the village group people who wanted to do stage any drama for the community. Miss Cade and her gardener, Billy Rawlings, made a terrace and rough seating, hauling materials down from the house or up via the winding path from the beach below. They carried the sand and the stones on their back without any machinery, they used to carve the seats with the tools to make it more beautiful. She devoted her life to improve the theatre, working over the course of the winter months each year throughout her life (with the help of Billy Rawlings and Charles Angove) so that theatre remains functional. And the result of her hard work can be seen in pictures.

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Minnack theatre is situated not very far from Land’s End, you have to drive towards Purthcurno Bay. It has also got a rockery and alpine gardens for the visitors and a way down to Bay.

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Hunting for Northern Lights, Iceland

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Like many of us, I also had one item in my bucket list to see dancing Northern Lights. And I have been so lucky to see those lights dazzling and dancing for us for one night during our trip. One of the most amazing nights of my life.

The Northern Lights are one of nature’s great exhibitions: a mysterious, colourful show in sky when suddenly it gets lit up with green, red, yellow lights twisting and dancing around like disco lights. It is an indefinable thrill that can make anyone overwhelmed with humble feelings.

One of the many reason to plan Iceland trip in winter was to try our luck to see Northern Lights. They are active and mostly visible during winter months.  The lights are formed from fast-moving, electrically charged particles that emanate from the sun. These are driven towards the poles by the Earth’s magnetic field – their varying colors are a result of the different gases in the upper atmosphere. Mostly green because of the oxygen present above  us.

While in Iceland, me & ash had a duty to check the Aurora forecast after every few hours.  The day we arrived in Reykjavik, it showed the Aurora forecast as Moderate. From what I have read that Aurora lights can be a mesmerizing affair even with moderate levels. Me and ash were in Iceland only for 5 days, so we did not want to miss the chance of hunting the moderate Northern Lights as well.

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So we headed out for our first NL hunting tour [ Organised by GrayLine Tours – http://grayline.is/] , our guide drove us into the darkness, away from the city lights and we reached Borganes. After spending few good hours in the darkness and cold night, very cold, we finally left the hope of seeing NL tonight. Just when we were walking back to bus, something appeared in the sky. It brought the excitement, we waited another 15mins for that something to glow a bit darker. And the there it was our first glimpse of  NL, a very low light in the sky. It was not dazzling, but were happy to see something and returned back to our hotels.

We still kept a check on aurora forecast over the week, and to our luck one of the nights NL became active again. Again that night we headed out towards Thingvellir National Park, and to out luck NL appeared and they were just not beautiful ,dazzling and bright, but they danced  for us for 4-5 hours. We were happy as a kid, at that moment it did not matter to us that weather outside is -10 degree C, what mattered was that lights decided to appear for us and the whole sky was lit up in green. And these moments were captured once again by Ash and his love lens 🙂

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Some interesting stories/myths/beliefs about Northern Lights that was told to us by our guide;

  1. Many beliefs around the northern lights see the phenomena as a good omen.
  2. Lights were the gods of harvest and hunting.
  3. It is still believed that a child conceived under the northern lights will be blessed with good fortunes.
  4. On the contrary Icelanders believed that it would ease the pain of childbirth for pregnant women, but they also believed that pregnant women looking at the Aurora would have cross eyed children. [ I do not think so it is true, as I haven’t met anyone in Iceland who was crossed eye 🙂 ]

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Texture

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Colour adds different kind of life Isn’t it 🙂

 

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One of my favourite texture of water. Bubbles – It brings smile Isn’t 🙂

 

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Reflections of Clouds in lakes of Norway. Texture of water is pure Isn’t it 🙂

In response to : http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/texture/

Hike to Ben Nevis- Britain’s Highest Mountain

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It was two months ago when me and hubby were watching this series on Mountains by Griff Rhys Jones. It was about mountains in england, Wales, Scotland the highest peaks, challenge associated and the surrounding mystical landscape. Till that moment I had no idea about the Ben Nevis or being it a highest mountain. But without a blink it was a mutual decision that Yes!! We are going to hike Ben Nevis Summit this summer!

At Ben Nevis Summit

At Ben Nevis Summit

Sometimes you don’t have to go through your bucket list to check what is next. You just add spontaneously something in to your list and that’s how on 28th June 14, we were on the summit of Ben Nevis.

It is a beautiful hike of 17Kms with some magnificent views around, that pushes you to walk further up. But once you complete the Summit, that rigorous walk of 8 hours gets replaced by sweet pain of accomplishment. You have a mixed feeling of happiness, proud and not to forget soreness :):)

Few pictures from our Hike.

Breath Taking View

Breath Taking View

I was not even Half way through till this point.

Not yet Half way through till this point.

As we climbed Up, View Was Getting More Awesome

As we climbed Up, View Was Getting More Awesome

Temp dropped down to -5 Degrees

Temp dropped down to -5 Degrees

It is true that one can rarely get a clear view from the Summit and it happened with us as well. As we were reaching towards Summit, there was snow and the whole thing was covered by thick clouds.

So once you reach at top of Britain, you will not be able to view anything down 🙂

Near to Summit, Everything is covered with Clouds

Near to Summit, Everything is covered with Clouds

Few details if anyone is planning to hike Ben Nevis:

1.Accommodation: Fort William is the perfect base. If you love camping as much as us, I will suggest you to stay at Glen Nevis Holidays Park. The location is awesome and it is cheap, you will be put up right at the foothill of Ben Nevis, over looking Ben Nevis Peak. Hike to Ben Nevis starts from visitor centre that is just 0.5 miles away from this site.

2. On hike: Waterproofs ( never forget them, it can rain or snow, never trust mountains weather), map, compass, water bottle, small snack box, fleece, thermal socks, walking poles, whistle, torch, mini first aid kit and most importantly a good walking boots.

3. Insect Repellent : Summer is great in highlands, but beware it’s Midges time. This tiny insect will suck the blood out of you, make sure you apply this creams or use a net.

4. A good level of fitness is required as it is not an easy mountain. You will be steeply climbing up till Summit and while returning, it’s a steep descend all the way till down. So tone up those muscles around knees, calves,feet.

5.Take a map along with and make sure, you are on a correct path that takes you up via Five Finger Gully and not via North Face. To climb Ben Nevis via North Face is a serious mountaineering experience.

6. Once completed the Summit, there is a nice Ben Nevis Pub right near to visitor centre. A pint will be a good way to celebrate.

Please free to get in touch with me if you need any specific information regarding hike or Fort Williams.