Isle of Coll, Scotland

We were recently in Scotland, and we visited the Isle of Coll, off of the west coast. We took the ferry from Oban. The Isle of Coll is relatively small, and less than 200 people live there now. It is a lovely place, and well worth visiting. We uploaded some of our pictures of Coll to our Smugmug site. Here is a selection of favorites:

Photos from Kyushu, Japan

We recently had the opportunity to visit Kyushu. We visited Fukuoka, Yufuin, Kitsuki, and Kurokawa. We also made brief side trips to Aso and Dazaifu. I uploaded pictures to separate galleries. Below are links, with some samples.

Fukuoka is a relaxed and pleasant city, with great food at reasonable prices. We enjoyed our time there, and had some fantastic meals. Fukuoka photo gallery

Yufuin is a cute hot springs (onsen) town not far from Beppu. We spent one night at a ryokan. We were lucky enough to catch the tail end of the cherry blossom season. Yufuin photo gallery

Kitsuki is a lovely seaside town with nicely preserved samurai homes on hills on either side of a commercial street.  Kitsuki photo gallery

Kurokawa is a mountain hot springs town near Aso. The weather wasn’t that great on the days we were there, so I am not as happy with the pictures. But it is a lovely town. We spent time in the town, and also drove over to Aso to see the shrine, and the area around the volcano. There is no access to the Aso crater, unfortunately. Kurokawa and Aso photo gallery

New photos from Pentland Hills, Edinburgh

I was recently in Edinburgh. On one day that I had free, we went for a hike in the beautiful Pentland Hills. We walked from Currie to Swanston. After entering from Currie, we dog-legged to the Harlaw House Visitor Centre, where we had a nice cup of tea at the Vanilla Pod Cafe. We would have had more to eat and drink but both of us had forgotten to bring additional money.

We followed the trail to Maiden’s Cleugh, passing between Harbour Hill and Bell’ls Hill, and then turned left to follow the trail towards Phantom’s Cleugh. We passed between Harbour Hill and Capelaw Hill, passed along Bonaly Hill, circled around Capelaw Hill, and then down Howden Burn.

The full gallery of my Pentland Hills photos from Currie to Swanston is here.

Here are some samples:

Open fields in the Pentlands.

Guanlan Printmaking Village (观澜版画村)

Guanlan Printmaking Village (观澜版画村) is a traditional Hakka village that has been turned into a center for the preservation and development of traditional printmaking. The historic buildings are lovely, and have been preserved nicely, so it is quite pleasant to walk around. There are some shops selling prints. We took a bus from Luo Wu, then changed to a local bus.

The full gallery of Guanlan Printmaking Village (观澜版画村) is here.

Here are some samples:

Pictures from Xidi, Lucun, and Hongcun in Huangshan, Anhui (安徽黄山的西递村,廬村,宏村)

We recently spent a day in the Huangshan area in Anhui. We didn’t have an opportunity to see Huangshan itself. We visited three historic villages: Xidi, Lucun, Hongcun (西递,廬村,宏村). Unfortunately, we only had a few hours each for these lovely and well-preserved villages. Nonetheless, they’re fascinating. I made up a gallery with a selection of my favorite pictures from all three villages, or you can see links to the individual village galleries below.

The first village we visited was Xidi. Here is the full Xidi gallery.

A street lined with traditional architecture in Xidi 西递 near Huangshan in Anhui

The next village we visited was Hongcun (宏村), which may be the most famous of the three villages. Here is the Hongcun gallery.

And finally, last but not least, there was Lucun (廬村). Here is the Lucun gallery.

Lanterns hanging in a historic home in 廬村 in Huangshan, Anhui.