Tag Archives: garden

A tranquil spot

Huerto D Calixto Y Melibea

Huerto D Calixto Y Melibea

 

While waiting for the Museum of Art Nouveau and Art Deco to open I walked around the corner to a door in the wall. Such a beautiful garden, just behind the Cathedral in Salamanca and overlooking the river, a tranquil spot away from the busy tourist spots.

It is a formal garden with beds of flowers, roses, sweet william, oyster plants with formal boxes edges. Lots of mature trees.

But look again. Continue reading

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An evening in Paris

Pond with irises

Pond with irises

Who could have expected this!

I booked into a hotel near Gare de Lyon in Paris for one night as I was catching the train to Barcelona from that station.

Gare de Lyon is about 1km walk from Bastille in the It is a little further away from Notre Dame so less frequented by tourists. When I arrived I asked the hotel reception to suggests as to  where to walk and where to eat dinner. And how lucky was I.

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Bmpermie Why?

Archie holding Brenda

Archie holding Brenda

I write this blog about my travels, food and gardens. The name bmpermie says it all really,”bm”” is Blue Mountains west of Sydney where I live and “permie”is short for permaculture which is the design principles by which I try to live.

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Veggies with a view

Recently kitchen gardens have appeared around cafes, restaurants, wineries etc in lovely locations. When I went to Margaret River last year we saw herb and veggie beds in interesting places. There was the winery which identified the dishes on their lunch menu that were sourced from their garden we were encouraged to visit. Then there was the bed of lettuces outside the cafe near the beach, growing just behind the sand bank. Next we saw very productive and beautiful beds at the end of the patio at a boutique brewery.
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Bush fires and my garden

View from kitchen window last Friday evening.

View from kitchen window last Friday evening.

This  is the  evening of the fifth day of the latest bushfires in the Blue Mountains.  And I am packed to leave early tomorrow morning.

I have lived on the edge, but away from the flames, in Blackheath in 1994 and 2006. Each time the fire went into the Grosse Valley on the otherside of Blackheath.  In 2002/3 I  lived at Springwood  waiting for the fire to come but the backburning by the RFS meant that this fire did not come. however we awoke on New Year’s Day to 2 fire trucks on the front lawn and the backburning happening around the old Citroens.
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Yerevan Armenia

Yerevan is the capital of Armenia with a population of 1.2 million. We stayed in a soviet era hotel, somewhat down at heel, about 20 minutes from the centre of the city. It had a view of the Presidential Palace from some windows. These windows had signs stating ‘No Photographs’. Our window had a view of Mount Ararat, a symbol of Armenian nationalism that just happens to be in Turkey.

We mostly visited historic sites outside the city but we did have a great guided tour of the History Museum and a much too long tour of the Museum of Ancient Manuscripts.

Malkhas Jazz Club

Malkhas Jazz Club

I went to the Malkhas Jazz Club and heard the terrific Levon Malkhasyan play.

We also attended the Opera and saw a performance of the Armenian opera Anush.

Altar built near the Yerevan Cathedral for the Mass said by the Armenian Patriarch and Pope John Paul II

Altar built near the Yerevan Cathedral for the Mass said by the Armenian Patriarch and Pope John Paul II

We visited the Roman ruins which date back to the 3rd century AD.

Roman temple

Roman temple

After the Roman temple a demonstration of traditional bread making.

Then lunch in the garden.

Lunch in a garden

Lunch in a garden

A visit to a ruin of 7th century church with Mount Ararat in the background.

Zvartnots 7th century church with Mount Ararat

Zvartnots 7th century church with Mount Ararat

One of the less pleasant sites of Yerevan, and other cities of Armenia, Georgia, and Uzbekistan are the large number of Soviet blocks of flats.

Soviet built flats in Yerevan

Soviet built flats in Yerevan

These were built in Khrushchev time as a temporary measure to cope with a housing shortage. They are still very much a part of many cities, many are very run down and some look very unsafe.

I really liked being in Armenia perhaps because it was more familiar to me than the other countries we had visited. I could cope with the traffic which seemed to travel at reasonable speed and generally obey the road rules, there were no police checks, there was open access to the internet and I knew a little of its history.

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Leaving China

Farm stay at Sary Tash

Farm stay at Sary Tash

Kashgar is 250 km from the border with Krygzstan but they are rebuilding the road. Not before time, so driving at about 20 km an hour it took us 8 hours.

The road was incredibly bumpy. There were 3 stops for immigration and border but all were uneventful. The last 50km was through a military zone so no photographs.  Here there are some new villages where the local nomadic people are being encouraged to settle.

We passed quite a few trucks but at the final border there were over a hundred large trucks waiting to cross into China.   We picked up a Japanese student at the first border post who had been travelling around Indo China and who could only cross the border in a vehicle.
Our van dropped us at the final post and we had to walk about 500m into Krygizstan, it was freezing, snowing at an altitude of 4000m.  Blackheath is a bit over 1000m.
Apparently if you are crossing into China you are required to dragged your luggage for a couple of kilometres up a rough steep hill.  We were driven down this hill.
We were picked up by the next guide and driven to Sary Tash a small village with spectacular views of the Pamir Mountains, all snow covered.  These mountains have some of the highest peaks after Everest.   This village is at 2800m and the temperature was minus 3.

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3 days ago in Turpan it was too hot to sleep.
Yurt where we ate dinner

Yurt where we ate dinner

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Mount Annan Botanical Garden

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March 13, 2013 · 11:14 am