Italy 2020: Villa Gregoriana

Continuing my account of my Italian holiday with a look at Villa Gregoriana, plus a link to an important petition.

It has been a while since my last post, but I have not forgotten about all of you who support me here on wordpress. Today I continue my account of my Italian holiday (2-11 September inclusive). In my most recent post I covered the move from Rome to Tivoli. Today I look at the first major attraction we visited in Tivoli. However, before I get into the meat of this post I have something to draw your attention to:


My attention was drawn today to a petition on calling for the minimum wage to be increased and turned into a genuine living wage. Many of the workers affected are also the precise workers on whom we have been relying during the pandemic. I have posted a screenshot below and urge you to sign and share this petition.


The name of this place derives from the 16th and last pope to use the name Gregory (the selfsame Gregory who created an order of knights supposedly named in honour of the first pope Gregory) who oversaw some important engineering works in the area (the waterfalls, including the big one I have showing videos of are nearly all engineered and not as they would have looked in olden times, when the river Aniene regularly flooded the town). Although it is named as a villa the grounds are all that remain, although among the many landmarks they feature are the remains of a temple of Vesta.

We walked there and then through the grounds. The walking route goes right down into the heart of what is a very deep valley and then up the other side. The ascent, in heat that was already quite punishing (the temperature was into the thirties, unusually hot for the time of year), caused me serious problems – a combination of exhaustion and dehydration. Four of us including me travelled back to our villa in a taxi, and I spent a very quiet afternoon in my room, drinking lots of water. I recovered, and thereafter never went out without water and adopted a much more cautious approach for the rest of the stay. I enjoyed seeing the grounds of the Villa Gregoriana, which as I hope the photo gallery that follows indicates are quite extraordinary.

I end this post, as usual for this series, with a waterfall video:

The 2018 Wall Calendar

Seeking reader participation in the selection process for the 2018 wall calendar.


When I began covering my holiday in Scotland I brought up the subject of my plans for a 2018 photographic wall calendar, which will be my third such. This post now takes the story forward, and seeks to bring my followers in on the selection process.


Some of these pictures were nominated by Oglach (“Oglach’s Selections“), a couple by my aunt Celia, and the rest are others that I consider especially worth sharing. Most of the selections are Scottish for obvious reasons.


My aunt Celia nominated two from the return journey from Scotland:



These are the Scottish pictures that I have selected as possibles on my own:

through the windowstepped waterfall (1)ruined castle11607150915011433Skye and Wester Ross 2The Iron Road to the Isles1426

One of these steamer pictures will definitely feature.

Steamer4Murchison Monument2

Farewell to the Jacobite
I may assemble a composite image of several “Jacobite ” pictures.

Loco at rear of trainlock gates

At least one of these Glenfinnan Viaduct pictures will feature.

GV3GV2GV1P1010044Jacobite train long viewJacobite Loco 3Jacobie Loco3Jacobite Loco2Jacobite LocoJacobiteIIThe JacobiteFront of LocoBeetleblack highland cowstepped waterfall

single span bridge 2
Bridges on Skye will definitely feature somewhere.

The Land of the Mountain and the Floodstone bridge 2stone bridgeSingle span bridgeBridge complex 1Stone bridgeSkye Bridge from aboveKyle of Lochalsh from above

Balmacara House to Craggan Cottage2
This is the stretch of Loch Alsh on which Ferry Cottage, where we stayed, sits.

Double Framed Lighthouse


I have of course shown these before, but for completeness sake here they are again:

Valleytwo cascades800793784768756755748812804


These are the pictures from outside Scotland that I consider worth a second look.

P1020447P1020432P1020327P1020007Flying gullP1020094Renewable energy 7Renewable energy 6Renewable energy 5Renewable Emergy4renewable energyrenewable energy 2Cliff formation from Old Hunstanton BeachRNLI Hovercraft1Flying bird 1Flying bird 2


You can nominate by commenting on this post identifying the pictures by name. If you right-click on a picture and select “open image in new tab” from the drop-down menu that appears you can see its name. If you have a blog of your own you can nominate by creating a post featuring your choices and putting a link in the comments (this will earn you a reblog as well by the way). Those whose pictures make the cut will be acknowledged on the page(s) that they get in the calendar.

The 2018 Wall Calendar – Oglach’s Selections

Oglach’s nominations for the 2018 wall calendar.


Welcome to this special post in my series about my Scottish holiday. In the first post of this series I wrote about my now established tradition of producing a photographic wall calendar and invited readers to nominate pictures for consideration. Oglach, whose blog can be found here, has risen to the challenge by making some suggestions in response to my post about the ascent to the Bealach Na Va viewpoint. 


Here, if I have followed his comment correctly are the pictures Oglach deemed worthy of further consideration:

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All of these pictures bar the last one were taken from the back seat of a moving campervan and carefully edited to bring out/ preserve their best points. I will certainly give careful consideration to including some of these in the calendar, and I end this little post by reiterating my invitation to my readers to nominate pictures for the calendar as and when they see them. If you put your nominations in a post on your own blog I will reblog it.

Scotland – A Very Scenic Journey 3: The Descent to Applecross

The final stages of the journey from Plockton to Applecross.


Welcome to the latest post in my Scottish series. In this post we conclude the journey to Applecross with the final descent from the viewpoint where the last post concluded. 


Here are the photos from this section of the journey:

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Scotland – A Very Scenic Journey Part 2: Strome Castle to Bealach Na Va Viewpoint

Continuing the account of the super scenic journey from Plockton to Applecross, reaching the Bealnach Na Va Viewpoint.


Welcome to the latest installment in my series of posts about my holiday in Scotland. This post continues the scenic journey from Plockton to Applecross, reaching the highest point of the road through the mountains.


This section of the journey involved a road that was mainly single-lane, with signposted Passing Places where space permitted. The rule about Passing Places is: if it is on your left side you pull in to let the other vehicle through, while if it is on your right it is the other vehicle’s responsibility to make way for you. 


Here is a photographic account of the ascent to the viewpoint:

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Scotland: The Isle of Skye 4- Bridges and Departure

The final post about my day on Skye. Some remarkable river scenes.


Welcome to my final post about the day on the Isle of Skye. This series of posts about my holiday in Scotland now runs to:


I had identified a place for photo stop on the return journey while we were heading towards the Talisker distillery. It proved even better than I had expected, and in a few minutes I had taken a number of good pictures…

Bridge complex 1Single span bridgestone bridge

major river, Skye

The Land of the Mountain and the Flood
Enter a caption

single span bridge 2607


Bridge complex 1Single span bridgestone bridge

stone bridge 2
At least one of these pictures will feature in the Calendar.

major river, Skyesingle span bridge 2607608

The Land of the Mountain and the Flood
Click on this picture to hear the piece of music after which it is named – Hamish MacCunn’s evocation of his native land.



I got a few more pictures during the rest of the journey home…


Scotland – Isle of Skye 1: Ferry Cottage to Talisker Distillery

The first of several posts about the Tuesday of my Scottish holiday.


Welcome to the latest post in the series about my Scottish holiday. We are now dealing with the Tuesday (May 30th), most of which was spent on the Isle of Skye. The day contained so much of interest and yielded so many splendid pictures that I am splitting it into a number of posts. Previous posts in this series:


We decided that our first major activity would be a tour of the Talisker Distillery (the tour itself will be the theme of the next post in this series). As you will see from some of the photographs the weather was suitable for a day most of which would be spent under cover. 


Although Kyleakin is the more northerly of the settlements on Skye to have historic connections to the mainland (Armadale, with its ferry connection to Mallaig, is the other), it is still the case the most of Skye is to the north of Kyleakin.

Local Map


The outward journey yielded some good pictures and gave me an idea for the way back as well…

River, Skye477

blurry waterfall
This waterfall is more than a bit blurred, but still worth showing.


Stone bridge
I made a mental note that this was an area to get closer attention on the return journey, as you will see in a later post.


This is the approach to the Distillery Car Park – and distillery visitors are understandably strongly discouraged from parking elsewhere in the village.

Angel Falls

A reblog of a fantastic post from WEIT featuring two videos of the world’s tallest waterfall.

Two great videos featuring the world’s tallest waterfall (all 979 metres of it)…

Why Evolution Is True

I doubt that I’ll ever make it to Venzuela to see Angel Falls, the highest uninterrupted waterfall in the world—3212 feet, or 979 meters: 6 times the height of the Washington Monument. But this video, from the BBC’s Planet Earth, is a decent substitute:

And here’s a longer video, well worth watching. It also shows the plane from which Jimmie Angel first saw the spectacle in 1933. Trying to land on the plateau in 1937, he crashed the plane, but it was recovered by helicopter in 1970 and now sits by the airport in Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela.

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