If you’ve never been to this jewel of an island, you’re missing one of nature’s loveliest destinations. Walkers, divers, shoppers, beach lovers and birders can all find something wonderful here.
The Bermuda Railway trail http://www.bermudarailway.net/now/trail.html, is one of those wonders. Converted from the right-of-way of the little train that carried passengers for the 22 mile length of the islands, it now allows walkers an intimate view of Bermuda. Evocative names like Khyber Pass and Coney Island, identify various sections.
It’s a romantic walk, befitting Bermuda’s history as a destination for honeymooners, so romantic that I chose Khyber Pass as the setting for one of the characters in my recent novel No Motive For Murder propose to propose to his girl.
I found the perfect site for one of the murders in a pedestrian tunnel along a different stretch. When your rambles take you into Somerset, check out the nature reserves that thanks to concerned citizens and the National Trust, are saving wetland and habitat for birds and other creatures.
Put Bermuda on your must-see list, and not just for Elbow Beach, one of the world’s best.
Check out http://www.gotobermuda.com/default for information on visiting Bermuda
http://preview.tinyurl.com/camyphx for information of No Motive for Murder or click the link to the right.
We left Acinipo, turning left instead of right as the GPS advised, and followed a winding road down the mountain, en route to Olvera. We stumbled upon Setenil, a town set into the mountain, like the pueblos in New Mexico, the roofs of some of the houses formed by overhanging rock. Leaving Setenil, we followed tiny roads through miles of olive trees and mountain vistas to Olvera.
There has been human population at Olvera for 12,000 years according to a website found here: http://www.andalucia.com/province/cadiz/olvera/home.htm . Construction of the village as it stands was begun by the Berbers(Moors) whose castle stands high above it . One of the most beautiful of the white towns, it has steep, very steep streets(with handrails) leading up to the church which dominates the view up to the fortress. We had lunch in the plaza, in a restaurant run by an English couple. “Why are you here,” one of us asked. “I followed her,” he said, jerking his thumb towards the kitchen.
I have attached some pictures.
I have been watching a lecture series on DVD, produced by The Teaching Company, taught by Professor Brooks Landon of the University of Iowa, entitled Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer’s Craft. This is my first exposure to a university level course in writing, although I have taken other on-line practical writing courses and attended workshops, and read books on the subject, all practical, none with the in-depth discussion of the sentence as an art form, not considering just its function, but the way in which phrases and clauses, vowels and consonants play against and with each other. I’m enjoying this series, although some of the concepts are so new to me, that I will watch it a second time, take notes, do the exercises and explore at greater length some of the concepts, as well, I might add, as learning the new vocabulary, not included in the language I learned in medical school. It seems a practical course in many ways and it is great fun.
Sakineh: She’s still in that prison. I see that the Iranians have accepted five hundred thousand dollars as the price of an American woman accused of spying and released this week. Some people in Oman arranged it, so we are told. I wonder what it would cost to buy the freedom of Sakineh and the others.
Spain: I’ve spent the last few months trying to learn some Spanish, using the course supplied by RosettaStone, enough to be polite, and not assume that everyone that I meet speaks English. I did the same with Italian several years ago, finding that it took at least two years to gain enough language to communicate a little. It becomes more difficult as I get older, or so it seems. We’re leaving shortly, so this will be my last posting for a while, unless I have access to a computer somewhere along the way.
Our vacation in Spain is drawing closer. Our hotel in Madrid is on Plaza Santa Ana, ringed with cafes, bars and a highly-rated restaurant! The hotel itself is in a converted office building– high ceilings and large windows overlooking the plaza. We hope to visit the Reina Sofia museum of modern art to see Picasso’s Guernica on the first day, if we aren’t too tired after the plane.
So much else to do and see in Madrid that it would likely take three weeks rather than the three days we have there to begin to see it all.
We leave Madrid by the AVE, the fast train to Seville, arriving at yet another hotel in a converted building, this one in Barrio Santa Cruz. We haven’t an plan for Sevilla, although visiting the cathedral, the third largest medieval in the world after St. Peter’s in Rome and St. Paul’s in London, is on the list. We are there for three nights, before meeting Anne and Alan in Ronda.
The trip to Ronda will be an adventure: a bus trip through the Serrano Mountains. The owner of the villa we are renting promised to meet us that day and drive us to her finca(country property). She is also making dinner for us that evening. Visiting Ronda, a fabled town renowned in the nineteenth century for bandits and bullfights, should take at least two days of the seven we will be staying there. After that, visiting the Pueblos Blancos, the white villages, beginning, I think, with Arcos de la Frontera, the furthest from Ronda, situated on the edge of the sherry district. All the villages with frontera in their names were on the frontier, built for defence, high on the hills, the front lines of the battles to retake Spain from the Moors.
I can hardly wait!
We’re going to Spain in the fall. At the airports, in Toronto and in Madrid, we will endure enhanced security, some of it very intrusive. Will it make us safer, prevent some young man, in love with the idea of violence, as young men have been in other generations, from triggering some destructive device? Perhaps. But it seems to me that these young men need a more hopeful future, with rewards in this world, not the next. There are too many of them, these young men, as there have been in previous times. The solution in the past has often been war, and their deaths, as they follow old men who fill them with myths of honour and sacrifice, as they do now. People are framing the conflict in terms of religion. I see it as a lust for power in the men behind the violence, safe in their secret lairs.
The new year has arrived, very quietly for us. It will be memorable, though for several reasons, starting with our retirement in March, going on to our fortieth anniversary in May, and then our trip to Spain.
The trip arrangements are going well. I found a terrific website called Inns of Spain, and booked hotels in Madrid and Seville. Nick, at Inns of Spain has offered to help if I can’t sort out the trains!
We also booked a villa at Ronda, where a nice lady called Caro will cook us our dinner the first night. Looking at the hotels on Google Earth, especially the street level views, is a lot of fun.
My story, Clarice is up at Gumshoe Review http://www.gumshoereview.com/. It’s a great site and I am very pleased to have Clarice accepted there.
Last year’s writing goal was to get something published, and I have been very happy to have reached it. Looking forward to 2010!