Sunday, 30 December 2012

Reindeer at Ross-on-Wye

My wife and I (sounds regal?) stayed at the Royal Hotel (said so!) in Ross-on-Wye just before christmas. A smashing hotel and we enjoyed a three night stay, with a night at the theatre to see, "She Stoops to Conquer" by Oliver Goldsmith. It was an amateur production but a very enjoyable performance of this classic play.

On the Sunday, there was a christmas market in the narrow high street, I am not well up on these things but my wife said it was one of the best she had been to. A mixture of stalls from the local (independent) shops and craft stalls. In fact the town had a very interesting mix of shops with many independent shops with few of the impersonal large chains. Overall a very enjoyable experience over the three days.

Luckily, we did not experience any of the flooding which the previous weeks rain had threatened. The hotel was never in any danger anyway as it is on the highest part of the town above the river.

An imposing view of the hotel, taken from a road below the town walls.

A view from our hotel room, overlooking the old town walls. The swollen River Wye can be seen in the distance. It does a major loop and flows nearer to the hotel to the left in this photo.

Another shot from the bedroom, taken in the early hours of the morning.

One of the little thing which made the christmas market so enjoyable was the presence of a pair of six month old, baby reindeer. These scored a hit with many of the mom's and small children and formed one of the centre-piece's of the day. All together now, "Aaahhhhh!!!!, just look at those baby antlers!"

More pictures from this weekend waiting to be posted in the near future.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

A Visit To Puzzlewood

Reputed to have given J R Tolkien ideas for the woods in middle earth, the fabled land of the Hobbits and their friends in "The Hobbitt" and "The Lord Of The Rings". A number of films and TV prgrammes havae been made there including the BBC TV programme "Merlin"

It is a strange wood with incredible rock formations which are covered in moss, ancient and fantastic. It has been turned into a visitor attraction in the Forest of Dean in the UK. One very rainy day recently we made a visit to this fantasy worl and of course I took my camera. The following photographs show some of the rock formations:

The last photo is a cropped photo showing a rock which looks like an alien skull - well it does to me, perhaps too much Star Trek. But then it is one of my favourite programs.

The thinking is that the gulleys, etc, were created in the limestone by undersground rivers; and that the combined action of erosion and roof falls, etc has exposed the caves so formed to the elements. But whatever the history, it really does give a feeling of old age and fantasy when wondering thru the paths and over the bridges. We will definitely be going there again in the summer.