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The Tour de France Grand Depart came to Yorkshire this weekend, and what a weekend it was!

Two stages; Leeds to Harrogate, 190km on Saturday and York to Sheffield, 201km on Sunday. And the crowds turned out in droves to watch. Estimates put the number of spectators at over 2.5 million.

What a weekend, what an experience, what a thrill to see the whole Le Tour circus pass by.

With road closures and expectations of high spectator numbers we set off early and arrived in Masham North Yorkshire and parked in a large grassy field at 6.00am, to sit and watch the rain come down. But not for long, it soon brightened up and after a welcome sausage sandwich from the local butcher’s we set up deckchairs by the roadside within sight of the 18th century stone bridge which crosses the River Ure and waited…and waited.

And we were not alone! How the crowds flocked to Masham. Good natured, banner waving and colourful, full of humour and anticipation.

By early afternoon the ‘caravane publicitaire’ started to trickle past, soon becoming a flood as all manner of cars, vans and mobile adverts tooted and honked their way by. Police motorcycle outriders high fived the crowd, everyone cheered and waved, then Le Gendarmerie and the red ‘officiel’ race car.

Then suddenly – whoosh – the race leaders and the peleton…..and Le Tour had gone, passed by in a cacophony of noise!

By eck, it were reet grand and I’d definitely do it again. Vive Le Tour, allez Le Tour, retournez au Yorkshire bientot!

Enjoy the images.

NIK_11463 - Copy

Words and photographs Copyright © 2014 by Antony J Waller

 

A replica Hawker Hurricane sits atop the Theatre Royal in York to mark the 70th anniversary of French airmen being based in the city.

The hurricane will also be the focus of a flypast over York by a Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight during the second stage of the Tour de France Grand depart on 6th July.

 

The best way to see the Great Orme, an enormous limestone headland almost two and a half miles long, half a mile wide and rising out of the sea to a height of 679 feet above the coastal resort of Llandudno in North Wales, is to take the tram.

The tramway or street funicular, completed and opened in 1903 is one of only three cable operated street tramways operating in the world today; the other two being in San Francisco and Lisbon.

In the Victorian era Llandudno was a popular and rapidly growing holiday destination and seaside resort and the building of a tramway was seen as the way forward to ferry visitors up NIK_11098the steep headland to the hotel at the summit and to enjoy the magnificent views.

Construction began in 1901 with the lower section opening in 1902 and the upper section in 1903. The two sections meet midway at the Halfway Station where passengers change from one tram to the other to complete the journey up or down.

The lower section shares the public highway climbing 400 feet in about half a mile with gradients of 25% whilst the less steep upper section runs along a track cut through the grassy headland. The cars, two on each section, are NIK_11085permanently attached to the cable and use a system of counter balanced weights so that whilst one car is ascending, the other is descending. The original fare to the top was 9 (old) pence.

The view from the top is definitely worth the ride, and if you don’t want to ride the Tramffordd you can now take the cable-car instead.

Words and photographs Copyright © 2014 by Antony J Waller

 

NIK_11091

Oi, get off me nuts! Just looked out of the kitchen window and there’s Nigel Nutkin having breakfast. He’ll be wanting the full English next….

Images from a few days spent in this wonderful Spanish city.

 

Spanish mushrooms – Metropol Parasol

The narrow streets of Santa Cruz

The narrow streets of Santa Cruz

El Rinconcillo - the bar where it is said tapas were first invented

El Rinconcillo – the bar where it is said tapas were first invented

The magnificent cathedral

The magnificent cathedral

Alcazar - Royal Palace

Alcazar – Royal Palace

...through the arch...

…through the arch…

 

 

 

Dancing in the streets....

Dancing in the streets….

Lady in red

It was early in the morning when I saw the lady in red….NIK 10557

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