travel

Walking to Rome: Vimy

As I write this, back in Winnipeg, I am aware that tomorrow is November 11, Remembrance Day. Tomorrow, Gail and I will attend, as we do every year, the Valour Road Memorial Day Service, a short walk away from our Wolseley home. Valour Road, formerly Pine Street, commemorates three recipients of the Victoria Cross for their acts of bravery during World War One. Remarkably, all three lived on Pine Street in Winnipeg before heading into battle in France and Belgium.

It is a matter of good fortune that today’s entry in my day-by-day photo diary of our Via Francigena pilgrimage takes us to the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, just 10 kilometres north of Arras, where we are taking a rest day. (more…)

Walking to Rome: Via Francigena Day 12

Frévin-Capelle/La Grenouillère/Anna; Abbaye de Mont-Saint-Éloi; Église catholique; Saint-Martin d’Écoivres; Le Marais de Mareoeuil; Arras

Poor Mont-Saint-Éloi. 

Its abbey was established as far back as the 7th century. Over the next many hundreds of years, it rose to prominence as a major religious centre. That power sealed its fate in the late 1700’s with the French Revolution. The abbey was sacked and its stone walls dismantled, leaving just the west-facing porch and its two tall towers. 

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Walking to Rome: Via Francigena Day 11

It’s November, 2019. Gail and I have been back in Winnipeg for six weeks. I’ve been occupied with a book project, just now completed. So it’s time to get back to our Via Francigena pilgrimage, starting where you last saw us. 

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CDMX: Night of the Dead

One of Mexico City’s sixteen boroughs, Xochimilco is, in some respects, the heart of the city. The vast lake that once covered the Valley of Mexico—including the entire site of today’s Mexico City—was tamed 1,000 years ago with a network of canals defined by artificial islands, called chinampas. Canals were once the main mode of transportation throughout the valley. Since colonization, that vast network has shrunk to what remains in Xochimilco. Today, it’s not more than a remnant, an endangered World Heritage Site. Yet what is left is a remarkable, enchanting place.

Today, Xochimilco is best known as a playground. This is where Mexicans come on Sundays and tourists come at all times for an entertaining afternoon ride along the canals on colourful trajinera boats. 

But, for Gail and me, the goals for our journey to Xochimilco have been deliciously disrupted. This is November 1, the first of two Days of the Dead.  (more…)

What’s In My Camera Bag, Part Two (The Other Stuff)

My last post dug into the camera bag slung over my shoulder. Cameras. Lenses. Filters. My creative tools.

As I mentioned in that post, my kit is tailored to the needs of long distance walking where weight and volume are as important as image quality. 

But there is another collection of photographic ephemera, the less glamorous bag of technical bits and pieces required to keep my equipment working, to write blogs, to edit photos. It’s the stuff that gets tucked into my backpack, waiting for the day’s walk to be over and an evening of charging and editing and blogging to begin. (more…)