Fond du Lac, Saskatchewan

We paddled 175km over nine days in northern Saskatchewan, sharing food, laughter, mosquitoes, and tons of fun with friends to inspire the following poem πŸ™‚

I wait on a beach in Northern Saskatchewan
for aurora borealis to arrive.
My friends, modern nomads, tuck in
to yellow, blue, orange and green domes.
Sandstone hills and evergreen trees rise
above marshy grass.
Beneath a still surface
river current slides north toward Arctic,
mirror images of its shoreline
reaching for heaven.
Night hawks shoot skyward
torpedo down
wings bugling a haunting tune.
Therma-rests rustle
mosquitoes attack my ears
the world settles into a bedtime routine.
I think about waking up the others
with bear bangers on the beach.

Thoughts of Dolomiti

As I prepare to leave on my next adventure, a canoe trip in northern Saskatchewan,Β  my mind drifts to Italy and the via Ferrata I experienced with my husband and friends; the inspiration for the following poem.

I spring from the blanket
eyes circle the forest
my mind reaches out to the horizon
where a distance strains
above tree tops
steel cables follow
a line
ready for the high course

Dolomiti tower before me
a north wind blows
in a rush
I drag bruised legs
over jagged dusty rocks
carabiner clicks
count the path upward

suddenly I see a raven
black wings glint as she soars
my bandana waves
I lunge to the left
in my mind
I am Icarus
on my way to the sun

Preparing to Fly πŸ‘

After the heat and sunny skies of Italy we have been treated to grey skies and rain in Holland. We dressed in traditional Dutch costumes and tasted cheese in the historic town of Volendam. Despite rain we visited the village of Marken and toured a wooden shoe “factory” where we saw traditional wooden shoes as well as many other styles including pink high heel wooden shoes. We listened to classical music in a stone arch passageway in Amsterdam- violins, accordion and trombone sounded like a full orchestra as notes of Handel’s Messiah soared around us. We admired Rembrandt’s Night Watch in the Rijk’s Museum then walked amid life size replicas of the characters of the painting at Rembrandt Plaza. Along with hundreds of others we rode bicycles along the city canals and through Vondel Park. After walking around for awhile we were thrilled we were able to find our bikes among thousands of others!
I have learned from travel that everywhere you go it becomes a part of you in some way – it is impossible to return the same person you were when you leftπŸ˜„

Hiking in the Dolomites

We started our via Ferrara tour in Valli del Pasubio. It was a gentle introduction to Ferrata but with temperatures continuing to be in the 30’s C we felt like we were hiking in a sauna. This Valley, as in many areas of the Dolomites, is full of reminders of the fighting that occurred between the Italians and Austrians during World War One. Each spring when the snow melts and the talus shifts, bones rise to the surface of the slopes. An Ossuary has been built to honour the remains of these unknown soldiers.

La Spezia and Cinque Terre

La Spezia is a lovely port city we used as a base to explore the historic Cinque Terre villages. We have been experiencing temperatures in the 30’s C so we chose to visit the villages by water rather than hiking. We literally got a “taste” of each as we motored from one to the next and had a beer, then gelato, then lunch, etc. Great funπŸ˜„

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

20170608_181416(Sagrada Familia dominates Barcelona’s skyline)

Sagrada Familia is a Catholic basilica in Barcelona. Construction began in 1882. In 1883 Antoni Gaudi became involved and made it his life’s passion. It was only one quarter complete when he died in 1926. Construction of the basilica relies solely on donations. It is hoped construction will be complete in 2026 – one hundred years after Gaudi’s death.
Sagrada Familia is unlike any of the churches we have seen on our travels and seems to defy description. Eyes feast on a buffet of sights that soar, colours that shade dark to light as they rise to the heavens, facades that carve Christian messages in their towers. Astonish, amaze, admire – wow!DSC01370
(Gaudi’s tomb in a crypt beneath Sagrada Familia)
DSC01366(west facade)
DSC01346(east facade)