Stepping way out – Week 4

May 23-29

It has been another whirlwind week in several ports, all walkable and interesting. I will include one photo from each port. I will pick photos that are different from those on my Facebook page videos. Tomorrow I head back to Canada so the Kingston project will resume.

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Although I spend a bit of time in the city, mainly seeing the peace wall and learning about their “troubles”, much of the day was out by the seaside at a place called The Giants Causeway. Great weather and a good choice for an excursion.

Dublin, Republic of Ireland

I had a great day wandering around Dublin, stopping at a museum or two and riding a bit further afield on the hop-on-hop-off bus.

Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, France

Got to put up a photo of the Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Had a wonderful quiet Sunday just strolling and soaking up the ambience.

Bruges, Belgium

A delightful little city with lots of canals and interesting streets…and tourists.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

A transit strike emptied the streets of trams and buses and made it more open for walking. I walked a record 33,344 steps in Amsterdam on that day.

And a bonus jump ahead to Thursday

Oslo, Norway

Despite it being s very rainy day I found Oslo to be clean, with interesting architecture and lots of gardens and museums. If I were to pick one city to return to explore more, it would be Oslo. Next cruise along the Norway Fjords?

Stepping way out – Week 3

May 16-22

I always thought that being on a cruise would be restrictive and I would feel antsy and not get enough exercise. I was wrong,

For the past week I have been cruising on the Holland America Ship, Zuiderdam, around the North Sea and U.K. I have been easily able to get in my 10,500 steps a day. In fact my phone tells me that in the past week I have well over 10km a day.

I will post a few photos of where my feet have taken me in the past week. I am posting these from my phone so I may have to adjust the formatting once I get home.


I headed straight for this picturesque little canal.


Of course one has to walk the Royal mile and visit St . Giles.

Invergordon, Scotland

Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Scotland.

I found this in Wikipedia about the Church bells at St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall.

“In 1671, when the tower of the church was struck by lightning and burned, the bells fell into the church. It is said that townspeople hurried soft material into the church to catch the bells, should they fall, but despite their efforts, the largest bell did suffer a rift.[6]

Therefore, in July 1682, the church authorities contracted with Alexander Geddes, merchant in Kirkwall, to deliver the bell to Amsterdam, where it was recast by Claudius Fremy. On arrival in Amsterdam, the bell was weighed and was found to be 1,500 pounds (680 kg). It lost 65 pounds (29 kg) in casting, but 193 pounds (88 kg) pounds of “new metal” was added, resulting in a finished weight of 1,528 pounds (693 kg). The new tongue in the bell weighed 46 pounds (21 kg). Geddes returned the bell to Kirkwall on 23 August of the same year.”

Isle of Lewis, Hebrides Islands

Stepping out – Week 2

May 7-15

I have walked along in front of Grant Hall with its signature clock tower (completed in 1905) and Theological College (built in 1879-80) many times but didn’t realize that it has been designated as “Professor’s Walk” according to a plaque posted where it starts on University Avenue.

I took this quick little stroll along Professor’s walk this week. Past the towers of Grant Hall and Theological College.

I found this gaggle of friends on the street at a garage sale on Saturday. Hot dogs, drink and chips for $4. Proceeds to the Special Olympics.

We miss a lot by not looking up. I was astounded how many buildings in the Kingston core have some sort of turret or tower. It must have been a stylish addition 150 years ago. Some of these I have walked past many times but not noticed. Do you recognize any of them?

McIntosh Castle, below is not really a castle but a big house at the corner of West Street and Sydenham Streets. The curious little glass “widows walk” with windows all around it was added shortly after the house was constructed in the early 1880’s. Local legend has it that it was build so the lady of the house could take her tea up there and have a private box seat for the public hangings that took place in front of the Frontenac County Courthouse across the street.

It was Mother’s Day this week and I spent some time watching this mother tending to her young. She was a bit cautious at first but eventually returned a few times with worms for the baby birds that were under the eve of this house on Earl Street. It took me a while to get these shots. I think the neighbors were likely wondering what the heck I was doing.

This is a row of houses on Sydenham Street that I had never really “noticed” before. Lots of character.

And, of course, I stopped often to soak up the colour of the spring flowers.

Next week will be a change of venue as I tramp around some Northern European cities.

If you missed Week 1 you can find it here.

Stepping out – Week 1

May 1-7

I like to walk. I like to take photos. I like to explore. I like to travel.

Over the next few months I will chronicle my daily walks with regular posts and photos of something different and/or interesting that I have seen in the previous few days. Although my goal is to cover all the streets in the core of Kingston, Ontario, in the next several months, I will post photos of other places around the world where I am putting in my 10,500 steps a day as well.

Feel free to walk along with me virtually. Or if you want to walk beside me some day, let me know.

The thing that has struck me so much this first week of May is just how quickly life returns to the birds, the plants and the people when the days get longer and the sun is warmer. After cold colourless winter, the flowers bursting up from the ground or on twigs that a week ago looked dry and dead is invigorating.

The lake, that not long ago was a thick block of ice is now open and suddenly there are boats out on the water.

I hope to wander in all the streets in the Kingston core in the next few months. My aim is to take notice of things that I pass by. I find that my photography helps me do that. I am always on the lookout for something visually appealing and it makes me stop and ponder.

For example, I have likely walked along this street many times – Montreal Street, just east of Princess – but have never actually “seen” this shoe repair, clock repair or seamstress. Now I know where to easily find these services. I probably won’t use Cleopatra’s nails. What a colourful little collection of shops.

Montreal Street near Queen – Kingston Ontario

Walking along in front of the Frontenac Court House one evening I was struck by how grand this building is. Apparently it was built between 1855-8. A fire destroyed some of the dome in 1874 and a new larger dome was added.

Courthouse about 10 pm on May 7, 2019
Wikipedia photo of the courthouse in 1860.

If you missed reading about how my idea for this blog series came about, I have explained it HERE.