Well not exactly a walk. First a drive, then a lengthy wait for parking space, followed by a couple of minutes’ walk up the hill to the bus, and finally a bus tour with recorded commentary complete with musical drama – the only way allowed to see the Parque Nacional de Timanfaya, Lanzarote. Spectacular nonetheless. [Photos taken through the bus window with my phone].
A wet summer Sunday is as good a day as any for a walk in the Botanic Gardens, which this year celebrates its 200th birthday. Today I noticed something I hadn’t spotted before: the city’s motto Let Glasgow Flourish and its Coat of Arms sculpted into the wall of a building just inside the Gt Western Road/Byres Road entrance, complete with the tree that never grew, the fish that never swam, the bird that never flew and the bell that never rang.
For the story behind the City of Glasgow’s Coat of Arms, see here.
This part-flooded walkway required a bit of nimble footwork here and there – easy enough even in heavy, water-resistant boots. But it was difficult to pause to take in the exhilarating and almost overwhelming experience of the waterfalls gushing into the valley below, accompanied by the constant roar and wind-tossed spray. I noticed some people had taken off their shoes and socks – that for me was the scary bit: are feet on slimy wet wood slip-resistant?
It’s a stunning place without a doubt. After days of rain, the waterfalls were energised and energising. You might think it’s easier to photograph the lakes and falls once the constant downpour stops. Not so! The absence of rain and the appearance of the sun brought the tourists in at what seemed to be a rate of a dozen coachloads every 10 minutes. As a result, the wooden walkways shook constantly, and I couldn’t very well block the path by hanging around with my tripod and backpack. So the good news is that I’ll be going again, when the coachloads have gone, whenever that is.