Paris, France

La Tour Eiffel et la Seine

Nous avons débuté notre journée avec une tournée en bateau-mouche, sur la Seine. En sortant du métro près de la rive nous avons tout de suite aperçu la Tour Eiffel. 

Du bateau, nous avons aperçu beaucoup de bâtiments et monuments, mais aussi une multitude de ponts.

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Des ponts!

Nous nous sommes aussi promenés près des champs Elysees, visité la Cathédrale Notre-Dame, et nous avons emprunté des vélos (un service de la ville de Paris) afin de se rendre aux Tuileries. Personne ne porte des casques d’en Europe, ni en France, ni en Allemagne…

Promenade près de la Seine

Promenade près de la Seine

Chemin pour vélos

Chemin pour vélos

Tuileries

Tuileries

Samuel de Champlain, parmi les premiers français à mettre pied sur le canada

Samuel de Champlain, parmi les premiers français à mettre pied sur le canada

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris- très beau!

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris- très beau!

Demain matin nous partons pour Poitiers et ensuite, LaRochelle!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cologne

Ship on the Rhein

Ship on the Rhein

Bikes everywhere

Bikes everywhere

We landed yesterday morning at the airport in Frankfurt, dopey with jet lag and overwhelmed by the sheer amount off people. After taking a fast train to Colongne,reunited with our mother and happy to see our grandfather and his wife, we spent much of the day walking around so as not to fall asleep asleep.

We dodged so many cyclists and were amazed at the bike culture in Cologne- as a pedestrian, there is a real danger of getting run over!

Now we are in Paris, tired and excited for tomorrow.

Wolkenbruch

Wolkenbruch, (german).  A cloud breaking.

Downpour.

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The River fuller than I remember it, waves rolling towards the shore and washing up against the rushes, on the doorstep of our old home.

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Then, a break in the clouds and the sky takes on a pale blue with dark purple-blue clouds, like bruises, crowding the edges.

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Kingfishers, -assumed descendants of a certain individual named Charlie-, chatter as they swoop into over the water and perch along the shore. The Charlies have lived along this river for as long as I can remember, and so has the heron.  Long-legged, long-necked, he clears the treetops, his pterodactyl-like figure surprisingly graceful both on land and in the sky. Every summer they, the River, the oak trees, the old house, they’re all still there, just like before. Just older, bigger, smaller, wilder, more run-down.

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In the morning, bare feet trampling thyme,

Time here always too short,

Tabusintac, Taboosimgeg, till we meet again.

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Like beached whales

Like beached whales

Cape Chignecto

A Nova Scotian wilderness provincial park along the Bay of Fundy with jagged sea cliffs, coves and gullies and 40 beautiful kilometers of backcountry trails and remote campsites.            Ideally one would take a few days and do the Cape Chignecto Coastal Trail, the whole loop around the park but time not permitting this time, my family and I did a weekend-version with two 6K hikes in (Mill Brook, Refugee Cove) and one 12K out (Refugee Cove to the visitor centre).

What a trail

What a trail

The terrain at Cape Chignecto is rugged, with several steep climbs that seem to never end, with loose rocks and dirt, the trail switchbacking up to dizzying heights in endless zigzags. Backpacking heaven and hell all in one.

This was nothing compared to the rest...

This was nothing compared to the rest…

Life on the trail is so much simpler, the placing of one foot in front of the other, shoulders straining against pack straps, boots slipping on roots and rocks and dirt, greenery on either side and air, fresh air.

Departure from Mill Brook sunday morning

Departure from Mill Brook sunday morning

Walking at the top of cliffs plunging into the ocean, the edge so close and the water at the bottom so blue, the rocks so sharp.

Lookout

Lookout

Walking on the edge makes the breathtaking views all the more spectacular.

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Forests of sugar maple leaning against the slope, hermit and swainson’s thrushes, encouraging us with their musical notes, glimpses of blue through the trees, the ocean always there and the cool breeze with a hint of salt to remind us.

Sugar maple forests

Sugar maple forests

Mixed forests with the tiny but long-winded winter wren who has so much to say about who knows what. The black-throated green warbler who adds his own personal touch to his song, an excited flourish at the end that makes him recognizable amongst all the others of his kind.

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There’s sweat and soreness and blisters but the trees offer support and the birds sing… Sometimes there is no flat ground to stand on for almost an hour and sometimes it becomes difficult to decide what is harder; up or down? Does this descent ever end? Is there anything at all at the bottom of this? But then, a waterfall or the stream, rushing over boulders, the bottom.

The beach at Mill Brook

The beach at Mill Brook

Cliffs rising on either side of the cove, bronze veined with black, or slate grey, and rocks covered in shaggy seaweed and barnacles and periwinkles, dog whelks, isopods…

Arrival at Refugee Cove- the beach

Arrival at Refugee Cove- the beach

Even after a day of hiking there's always still time and energy to explore

Even after a day of hiking there’s always still time and energy to explore

Fog banks collecting on the horizon and disappearing again, ravens swooping into the valley close on the heels of an eagle…

Waves rumbling against the shoreline.

Life on the trail is always real, never fake.

 

Heading further into the valley to our campsite at Refugee Cove

Heading further into the valley to our campsite at Refugee Cove

The brook at Refugee Cove, not far from the campsites

The brook at Refugee Cove, not far from the campsites

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Refugee Cove Beach on Monday morning

Refugee Cove Beach on Monday morning

This was strange. We found a moth with a fungus growing out of it.  (The moth was dead)

This was strange. We found a moth with a fungus growing out of it. (The moth was dead)

Last stretch of our 12K on Monday, down to the beach

Last stretch of our 12K on Monday, down to the beach

Goofs

Goofy tired hikers

 

 

 

The Marsh Barn, revisited

A few summers ago I wrote a post about an old marsh barn, the very one I chose as the picture for my blog’s header. It’s been about two years, and the barn doesn’t look much different. It still leans, is missing both doors and looks really cool.

pigeons leaving the roof as we approached on our bikes

pigeons leaving the roof as we approached on our bikes

It’s one of my favorite places on the Tantramar Marshes and I’m not even really sure why.

Tantramar Marshes, the covered bridge

Tantramar Marshes, the covered bridge

View right through

View right through

Inside!

Inside! Up top there’s a nest, likely an owl. 

just outside

just outside

 

 

 

Marsh Shadows

When the sun sinks below the marshes, setting the grasses on fire with an orange glow, shadows grow long on the dusty High Marsh road.

High Marsh is still a ruddy dirt road, likely not much different from days long past when horse-pulled wagons and fancy coaches used it as a highway.

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Nowadays the dust takes a long time to settle and the potholes and sharp rocks create a bone-rattling maze for vehicles. But even now some of the old marsh barns still stand, and the covered bridge with its weathered wood is a well-known landmark, standing above the winding Tantramar River. The river, so sunken into the marshes that one could hardly guess it was there.

             Now and then, a few times every summer, a wagon pulled by two or three horses creeps its way slowly along High Marsh road, retracing the steps of countless of others only a century ago.

High Marsh, towards Sackville

High Marsh, towards Sackville

High Marsh Road glows orange on summer evenings and the sun’s rays linger much longer here, stretching out shadows until they grow absurdly long.

Shadows grow absurdly long

Shadows grow absurdly long

The weakening light bounces off the dogs’ fur, those black creatures with hyena grins and long tongues, trusty companions.

Toby & Jake

Toby & Jake