Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Bruce Trail - Grimsby. Mountainview Rd to Mountain Street

This was Nicola and my earliest start to hiking the Bruce. We had planned to hike last weekend but cancelled due to the lousy weather. This weekend at least one day looked hikeable. We met in Grimsby and left Nicola's car there. Drove to Mountainview and started off.
It was cool and grey, weather for dressing in layers and Nicola even had her splash pants on.
Within minutes we were greeted by wildflowers.
They really stood out against the damp, dark rocks.
We saw quite a few trillium but none were out in flower yet.
At Thirty-Mike Creek,

an information board
and, the first time we had seen one of these, a log book.

The creeks were all full and even the watercourses were running.
We have done a lot of our hiking near the QEW or the 401. It was nice to be far enough from a major highway that all we were hearing were birds and trickling water. We saw Blue Jays and a number of different woodpeckers.
Nicola thought I was trying to get a photo of her falling in but I just wanted to show the obstacles we were traversing. Stepping stones and carefully positioned logs kept us from getting wet feet.
Lunch was dried snap peas, trail mix and for desert, chocolate mini eggs (thanks to Dave!)
These little blue flowers
formed a blanket with the white flowering  Blood Root.
What bird wouldn't want to live in a castle?
When Nicola sent Dave a picture of the flock of Turkey Vultures he suggested we get moving as they were probably after the chocolate mini eggs.
Taking pictures of Vultures, ogling some magnificent homes and chatting, we missed this sign and ended up walking an extra kilometer when we had to double back to it.
The sun started to show itself sporadically and the wildflowers responded.
Some of the fungi are as pretty as the flowers.
With no leaves on the trees we were getting occasional views of Toronto across a windy, white capped Lake Ontario.
We walked down into Grimsby, picked up Nicolas car, drove back to pick up mine, all through wine country.
On the way to the hotel we stopped at a fabulous garden nursery and I was able to get kale, lettuce, spinach and oregano plants. Nicola found a small garden feature at a good price so we both came away happy.

The pub we had chosen to go to had a fire engine outside and the firefighter coming out said they had a "small incident". We chose another pub. It was a sports bar but we got a seat near the window so the TVs (hockey and baseball) were not too loud. After a shared appetizer of hot cheese and lobster dip, Nicola had a seafood risotto and I had 2 more appetizers, wing sauce roasted cauliflower and a beet and goat cheese salad. Glass of wine too, of course.
Back at the hotel the tap wouldn't turn off when Nicola went to take a bath. We were moved into another room and Nicola got her bath but there was no water in the toilet and only one bed. When the bathtub tap was successfully turned off we went back to our original room. Back and forth across the hallway added to our step count for the day!
We hiked 10. 3km on the Bruce Trail, another 1km when we missed the sign and about another 1km, walking down the hill into Grimsby.

Friday, 26 April 2019

2019 O.H.C.G Annual

The weekend after I got back from Lisbon was the Ontario Hooking Craft Guild Annual Meeting and Show. It was held in London at the Lamplighter Inn and I was only slightly jet lagged still. The following are pictures of a variety of rugs that I took photos of. There is no rhyme of reason to these. I also took a lot of pictures of pieces with sheep in them as I am teaching a class on hooking sheep in September, but I will put them in a separate post.

The Logger. Hooked by Jacques Lepage and designed by Jacque Lepage and Isabell Rollin
One Crow, Two Crows. Hooked and designed by Diane Grieve
Chinese Fantasy designed by Joan Moshimer RHM 1989. Hooked by Yvonne Muntwyler.
Optical Symetry. Hooked by Cheronne Morris, adapted from a free pattern.
My Brothers Garden. Hooked and designed by Judy Kielczewski.
The Boys. Also hooked and designed by Judy Kielczewski. This photo does not do it justice.
Memories. Hooked by Vivian Tolton and adapted from a Kleenex Box.
Sky Siren. Hooked by Betty Mosher. Designed by Christine Little.
Self Portrait. Hooked by Susan Sutherland. Adapted with permission.
Susan Sutherland (I love her sense of humour) hooked Eat Local.
Cabbage Field. Designed and hooked by Corrie Bles. This is not just beautiful but also BIG.
Prelude. Hooked by Lorraine Duncan and Designed by Jane McGown Flynn.
Whirligig. Hooked by Gail LaBerge and designed by Suzanne Hill.
Deer and Ferns. Hooked by Pat Harnack, adapted from a magazine photo.
Tuffet. Designed and hooked by Ingrid Hieronimus.
J.J. Rugger display, left side
and right side.
It was a very good show this year. Not just a good display of a variety of hooked pieces but also fun, with classes, pop-up workshops, games, costumes and auctions. The Teachers Branch did a great job.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Lisbon - Days 8 and 9 - final days, walking tour.

I have been home now for a couple of weeks and life has been too busy to blog. So here is the final post of my Portuguese trip. Then I can start posting about current events.
My second to last day was rainy and dismal so I spent most of the day in my hotel room, reading. I went outside briefly for lunch.
I ate at this place, next to the train station. I had noticed it when walking around and then found it on a website "Eating Cheap in Lisbon"
It had soup, an extensive salad bar and another section, that I didn't bother with, that had various meats grilled on a BBQ.
The city centre and the squares behind it are in a valley, almost at river level, but Lisbon is made up of 7 hills, so there are various ways of getting up them. This is one, a tram that just climbs the hill.

And this one on the other side of the valley. There are also escalators, elevators and, of course, lots of stairs and steep streets.
I also found another of these before I was driven back to the hotel by a downpour.

On my last day I had to check out of my hotel by 11am and the taxi wasn't coming to take me to the airport until 3pm, so with 4 hours to spend I decided just to walk around, explore some streets that I had not yet been up.

It was a beautiful day, though a little cool. As I walked into this square I saw a group walking away. The leader had an umbrella that said "free walking tour". I have done those in other cities, the group leaders get paid by voluntary tips.
There was another man with a similar umbrella standing by the fountain and I asked him how long his tour was and whether we could be back by 2. He described the tour and said if we left now we could be back by 2. I said I didn't have much cash and shouldn't he wait for more people but he said no, it was Ok, he would just take me.

He was able to customize the tour for me, leaving out things I had already done and places I had seen and showing me areas that I had not.
The elaborate front door area is all that is left of the original  Lady of Conception church, the rest was destroyed in the 1755 earthquake.
Now that's a really bad tile repair job.
My guide, Carlos, asked if I was interested in the Roman walls. Well yes! I didn't even realize there were Roman walls. This map showed the castle walls (in white) and the town walls in yellow.

One of the original gates
integrated into the bottom of these more modern (relatively speaking) buildings.
In the bottom floor of another building, remains of the wall and some fish sauce tanks
as well as drawings
and artifacts.
I had told Carlos that I wasn't particularly interested in seeing the Cathedral. The outside was quite plain but inside was lovely vaulted ceilings.
He explained that the Cathedral was built on the remains of a Mosque that had built on the remains of a Roman temple.

We walked around to the side and back of the cathedral, where the windows for the monastery had been cut into the old Roman Walls.
We were now in the old Jewish section, they had been banished to outside of the city walls as the king grew suspicious of their growing wealth. Very narrow streets.
This marked another of the walls gates out to the harbour.

This had been built as a guest palace. The king lived within the castle walls but visiting royalty was housed within the city walls. Water flowed from the fountains at the base of the structure that only the royal household could use.
It is now a high end hotel.
Back into the Jewish area
with its confusing streets
to find another section of the city wall.
I am so glad I didn't try to explore this section on my own
I would have got totally lost.
A lovely, old, tiled water fountain that Carlos described as having both Moorish and Christian symbols and that the two religions lived in harmony for a period of time in Lisbon.
Walking and climbing a lot of stairs had made us thirsty so we stopped at a tiny cafe (literally just 2 tables, 4 chairs, outside a bar the size of a closet) for some Vinho Verde.
At this point I got a text from the taxi driver. He was at the hotel an hour early. So we rushed back and I gave Carlos my last cash, 20 Euro and it had been worth every penny to have this private, custom, walking tour. A great way to end my trip.