The south of England, near the town of Eastbourne is the remarkable chalk cliff of Beachy Head. Standing at 162 m/531 ft, it is the highest chalk cliff in Britain. The beautiful rock walls of chalk were formed almost 100 million years ago when the area was completely immersed in seawater. Land shifts and the end of the Ice Age resulted in the unusual white walls with amazing views of the English Channel. The rough waves and misty air made the area a danger for seafarers. Demands for a lighthouse date back to the 1600s and in 1831 the Belle Tout Lighthouse was erected on the cliff itself. The thick mist resulted in poor visibility and it was eventually moved to the base of the Beachy Head cliff.
Beachy Head and Belle Tout Lighthouse, England
A number of trails and hiking paths are available in the area. Cycling trails abound as well.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons – User Donar Reiskoffer
Thirty-two days ago I posted that I was starting 100 Days of Gratitude. I wrote that my first day on this challenge was a “bad day” in which I did not have a warm and fuzzy feeling. It took some reflection for me to take a lesson from that first day. I believe I have made some further progress. Although I have not had that joyous feeling of being on cloud nine everyday I have noticed that when I am tired, disappointed, appalled, angry, bored, etc that I think “something good has to be here somewhere”. It does not happen immediately, though it does make its way to my head. I am nowhere near bursting out in song to celebrate the many good things in my life, however, I am more AWARE. To me that is what is the root of being thankful. I can remind myself that I have it really well. My life, as all lives, has ups and downs, good times and bad, however I am seeing more and more how well I have it. And I am on my way to living my heart’s dream – to travel around the world. With all the tragedy and pain in this world, locally and globally it is easy to lose sight of so much. Many emotions come along it is important to hold on to the ones that can make positive changes in our lives and the world. Gratitude is one of them. It’s an important one.
Personally, I find cemeteries to be peaceful, quiet places. A time to meander through the past, taking a glimpse of lives now elapsed. I have visited cemeteries in my hometown, my current town, Sweden and the famed Pere Lachaise in Paris. When I finally make my way to New Orleans, Louisiana (USA) I will visit it’s Lafayette Cemetery No 1 to learn a bit of the Big Easy’s past.
When the fourth district of New Orleans was still the City of Lafayette, on the grounds of an old sugar plantation this now well-known cemetery was opened in 1833. It is New Orleans oldest and cares for the remains of immigrants from over 25 countries and numerous states. There was never any segregation of religion, race or ethnic background in this resting place. A walk through it shows mausoleums, wall vaults and headstones speaking of the past lives of New Orleans.
Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans, LA, USA
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons – User: Russavia
This past December I saw Ben Stiller’s movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” in the theatre. I found the story interesting yet recall, most vividly, the striking beauty of Iceland, where much of the movie was filmed. It was wonderful to learn that Iceland is not a barren country, as I once thought. I suppose I will have to see its beauty with my own eyes one day.
One way to experience some of Iceland’s natural vistas is on its popular 55 km/34.17 mi Laugavegurinn Trail. A hike that takes one through hills, geothermal springs, volcanic lava fields, lakes, and glaciers it beckons many from the world over. The southwestern trail may take anywhere from 3 – 5 days, with the landscape often dotted with tents. Open from June to September, Landmannalaugar is a common starting point for this challenging trek as well as other hiking trails in the region.
Laugavegur Hiking Trail, Iceland
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons – Taken by Martin Schildgen