Sunday 15 November 2015

The Annual Visit to the Seals at Donna Nook on the Lincolnshire Coast.

Despite having only just returned from Seville, I decided to pay a visit to Donna Nook to see the seals while the weather was still sunny.  As it was I nearly left it until too late in the day and the light went shortly after I arrived.  Nonetheless it was a good visit and, as always, I thrilled to the haunting, wild, sounds of the seal colony as I walked over the dunes from the overflow car park.  As well as the seals there was a large flock of brent geese out on the marsh and flocks of lapwing tumbled and wheeled overhead.  Across the estuary, Spurn Lighthouse is encased in scaffolding as it undergoes a £47,000 restoration that will enable it to be opened to the public.  Near to hand were the seals of the dune colony and further out those of the beach colony.  So far this year 120 pups had been born on the day I visited (Thursday 12th November).

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Monday 9 November 2015

Seville, November 2015


Yet another day of fabulous weather.  This really is our summer!  Beth was up early and off to work this morning and I went off to look for the church we can see from Beth's roof, while Heather drew the skyline from up there.  Once I found this magnificently ornate church with its beautiful blue tiled dome, I discovered that it was disused and undergoing restoration.   I imagine it will be amazing when completed.  After this I went back for Heather and we wandered over the river to the old gypsy quarter of Triana, famous for flamenco and producing champion bull fighters.  We enjoyed a simple but very pleasant lunch in an attractive square listening to live flamenco.  Magical.  After lunch we caught the bus to the town of Bollullos, a few miles out of Seville, to visit Beth's school.  We enjoyed seeing where she worked and meeting her colleagues.  It made us proud to watch her with her first class of 6 year olds.   It was then pleasant to sit in the sun with a drink while we waited for the bus back to Seville.  Sadly this was to be our last evening and to celebrate we cooked a meal for Beth in the flat ready for her coming home from work.  The next day was down to last minute shopping and making our way to the airport for the flight back to Stansted.  We did extend the trip, however, by staying in the Premier Inn at Stansted and visiting the Fitzwilliam museum and the Scott Polar Institute in Cambridge on the way home.

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Sunday 8 November 2015

Seville, November 2015

SUNDAY 8th  November
Up and away early today to catch the train to Cadiz.  Some observations on the train journey include:
Flat farmland.  Olives near Seville.   Prickly Pear cactus. Large agave in flower. Cattle egrets. Concrete irrigation channels. Hen Harrier ring tail. Solar farms. Then later low bare hills.  Winter fields. Jerez.  Harvey ' Bristol Cream. Fantastic tiled station building. No sign of vineyards. Near coast salt pans and salt mountains. Black winged stilts on incredibly long legs. Stork nests on top of pylons birds now in Africa. Finally salt Marsh. Little egret. Across isthmus to Cadiz.
What a fabulous place Cadiz is.  All dazzling white buildings and turquoise sea.  We followed the walk in the guide book, which ensured that we enjoyed wonderful sea views from the walls, as well as seeing the narrow straight streets of the old town.  Views of the cathedral from the seafront were stunning as were the views from the very interesting camera obscura.  We even managed a walk on the beach with a paddle and some sea glass collecting.  A beautiful sunset gave more photogenic views before catching the train home at 7.40.

Yet another day of fantastic weather. 

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