Tower of Hercules, Spain

The Tower of Hercules in A Coruña, Spain, is the only Roman lighthouse still in use as an aid to navigation. Of course, it’s had some work done since the Roman’s it built it a coupe of thousand years ago.

Tower of Hercules, A Coruña, Spain.

Tower of Hercules, A Coruña, Spain.

There is a parking lot  located several hundred meters from the tower itself. Then you walk along a long promenade out to the tower itself where you pay a small fee and enter the lowest portion. There you’ll find ruins from various times of occupation as well as quite a few steps to get to the top. However, the view is worth the climb.

View to the north from the Tower of Hercules, A Coruña, Spain.

View to the north from the Tower of Hercules, A Coruña, Spain.

It can be quite windy here so secure your hair.

View to the east from the Tower of Hercules, A Coruña, Spain.

View to the west from the Tower of Hercules, A Coruña, Spain.

And be sure to hang on to your camera.

View to the south from the Tower of Hercules, A Coruña, Spain.

View to the south from the Tower of Hercules, A Coruña, Spain.

If you’re lucky you might see some ships or sailboats out there. After that long climb up the stairs, head into town for a great meal. You earned it!

Cape May, New Jersey, USA

This is only the second time that I’ve seen the Cape May Lighthouse from shore. Of course, I saw it numerous times from the water.

The lighthouse is actually located in Cape May Point, NJ. This is a great place if you’re into bird watching, quiet living, and enjoy the salt air. The lighthouse itself is open for tours. You can climb to the top of it as well as walk around the balcony just below the light. The view is fantastic. You can see into the Delaware Bay, out into the Atlantic Ocean, and over the beaches that fringe the end of New Jersey’s coastline.

It’s always a good idea to come here early as the crowds build throughout the day, especially when the weather is as nice as it was when I took this photo. Here’s a look at the beach at Cape May Point.

You can see it wasn’t crowded. People had just started to stake out their patch of sand. The airplanes were towing banners, advertising everything from restaurant specials to Atlantic City casinos. Cape May itself is filled with Victorian-style homes. I took this photo of two modest places, but there are many more that are as big as these two put together and more brightly painted than a carnival ride.

Still, I think these represent a pleasant scale that is both practical and inviting. Readers of this blog know that I’m partial to Spanish Colonial Architecture. However, I enjoyed a morning stroll through Cape May, taking in the variety of Victorian homes. The residents here take good care of their property. The sidewalks and streets are immaculate. If you want to do some shopping or antique hunting, there’s a pedestrian mall in the center of town that looks like this:

We found a place for lunch here that was quite good. Of course, an ice-cold Coca-Cola was had for dessert before more walking around town. Cape May deserves its reputation as a low-key, friendly destination. The beach can get crowded but all good beaches do. There are plenty of good restaurants, quaint bed and breakfast establishments if you want to stay a few days, and lots of quite streets to welcome you. (I’d like to work Cape May into a story some day, just haven’t figured out exactly how.)

Published in: on September 1, 2008 at 11:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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California Lighthouse, Aruba

At the northern end of the island of Aruba stands the California Lightouse. It sits approximately a kilometer from the shore but high on a bluff that overlooks the sea on both sides of the island. I took these photos a few mornings ago. The first one shows the lighthouse standing against a bank of heavy cloud that had rolled in.

 Many people ask me about the weather in Aruba. What is the best month to visit? Will my wedding be rain free? Does it rain all day or just showers? These questions are impossible to answer. All I can say from experience is that it doesn’t matter whether it rains, is cloudy, or if the sun shines all day. There are plenty of things to do. For the most part, Aruba is a desert island, located south of the hurricane track. Sometimes you’ll have a day of rain, even two days of rain. That said, there have been times when I’ve been seen doing an ancient rain dance after three weeks of nothing but blazing sun. Of course, there is the breeze, the trade winds that keep the island deceptively comfortable. (Yes, use a dermatologist recommended sun block.)

So, after I took this picture, I waited about fifteen minutes. Lo and behold! The clouds shuttled off and the following view could be seen.

That’s right, blue skies on the way after a refreshing, cleansing shower. Looking down from the bluff at the sea, here is another vista. Can you imagine being on ship looking back at the island?

Therefore, don’t worry about the weather no matter where you’re traveling. Sure, you’d like to have that perfect day. I would venture to say it’s more about how you look at it than what the weather actually is. Furthermore, consider the opportunity to make new friends or get closer to the ones with you. Before you know it, the weather will have changed and you’ll be on with your journey.

Published in: on July 14, 2008 at 12:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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