Tag Archives: Summer

New England Trip Continued…

Sand Beach… a pretty little beach located in the Newport Cove. The proximity of steep rocky cliffs to perfect white sand, makes this beach so picturesque. And the water… I’ve seen such blue waters only in the Caribbean.

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The Park Loop Road runs parallel to the shoreline. As you climb along the rocky pathway going up from Sand Beach, you get an awesome view with cliffs rising right off the churning ocean waters. Lots of comfortable rocks to sit on and enjoy the view.

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Further along the coast, off the park Loops Road, is Thunder Hole. It is an extremely narrow cove between high cliffs which makes a sound like thunder when a wave rolls into it. The noise is produced because of a cavern below the surface of the water in the cove. The way the water bursts up in high sprays as tall as 40 feet is striking.

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Even as you approach it from far, you will see trekkers on Cadillac Mountain. There are many hiking trails going up the mountain, of differing lengths and difficulties. And some of our group wanted to climb up one of the trails, but the rest wanted to drive up. Of course, the lazy majority won and we drove up. 🙂

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Cadillac Mountain is named after French explorer and adventurer, Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac. Mount Desert Island, the territory where Cadillac Mountain is located, was part of New France, the area colonized by France in North America, between 1534 and 1763. De Cadillac received the land grant for Mount Desert Island from the Governor of New France in 1688.

Before being renamed in 1918, the mountain was called Green Mountain. Topping at 1,530 feet, Cadillac Mountain is the tallest mountain along the eastern coast of the United States.

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The views from the summit of Cadillac Mountain is awesome to say the least. You see far off mountains and islands shrouded in mist, giving them a aura of mystery. Really worth spending some time at the top.
During the fall and winter, many tourists go to the mountain summit to see the nation’s first sunrise.

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There used to be a cog railway running up the mountain, from 1883 until 1893. Guess where it was moved in 1895? To Mount Washington in New Hampshire, which we had visited the previous day!

We had decided to spend Independence Day in Bar Harbor. In addition to being a tourist center, in the late 19th century Bar Harbor was home to the rich and famous, who maintained luxurious estates with landscaped gardens. Among the town’s claim to fame is the fact that it is the birthplace of vice-president Nelson Rockefeller on July 8, 1908.

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The view on a walk along the Shore Path gives meaning to the native American name to the area, Pemetic – ‘range of mountains’ or ‘mountains seen at a distance’. The current name of the town comes from the sand and gravel bar, visible at low tide, at the rear of the harbour. The numerous ships – from large sailing ships to tiny boats – seemingly floating in the mist of the harbour render the view an ethereal quality.

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The coastline of Maine in this area is extremely rocky. You will see very many interesting rock formations around here.

We had dinner at a lovely place in downtown Bar Harbor. Though the waterside walk was crowded with people out to watch the fireworks, the weather was great and the walk very pleasant.

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Another encounter with the lobsters for a July 4th dinner… watching fireworks over the bay. A perfect end to a perfect trip!

 

~Ria

 

04 Jul 2014

Seasons, wonderfully changing…

We are at a very interesting time now… I mean, weatherwise. The bad cold of winter is gone… but spring is not fully here either. Everywhere one can see the signs of spring… tree branches sprouting buds all over… shoots are coming out of the earth promising to be tulips and daffodils and hyacinths… the thrill of anticipation is echoing in every bird song. What a beautiful time!
The other morning, I was walking to the train station, for the first time this season without ear muffs or gloves. There was this comfortable chill in the air… and can you believe it, unexplainably I felt sad for the departing winter!
 
I love living in the north east where seasonal differences are well-marked. Recently one of my friends was talking about how she is fed up of the winter season and would love to move to California! I had to question her… how will you put up with the same-old same-old every day? Wouldn’t even greenery and sunlight go unappreciated if they are around all the time? One has to wonder…
 
The earth revolves around the sun (or is it the other way around?) and causes the seasons. Everybody knows that. And if you are living in a temperate and subpolar region, you get to enjoy the changing seasons. And what makes the changing seasons more interesting is that one’s entire life style changes with that. Food, clothes, activities… it is like you get to change your life style every three months!
 
Spring, I’m sure is the favourite season of a majority of people. It is the eye candy season; wherever you look, nature is dazzling you in resplendent colours. Even a crack in the sidewalk will sprout a dandelion with a lovely sun-like little flower. And the trees… not a leaf on them… all covered in flowers. It starts with the cherry trees which are the first ones to bloom in the season, to be followed by crab apples, dog woods, plums, golden rods, azaleas…
 

Then the temps go up… and leaves break out on the trees. The flowers have done their thing and gone. Now it is time for the green to take over… and for picnics and beaches and outings. The sun comes up at five and goes down close to nine… still the day seems to be not long enough! Aah, the fun!
 

Slowly the leaves start changing colour… the brilliant colours of fall are so much brighter than that of spring’s pastels. Yellow, gold, orange, red… the slanting sun rays add to the dazzle. But alas, fall is so much in hurry and leaves so soon!
 

The first snow flake of winter! You look up and it gently settles on your face. A touch of coolness and it’s gone. Then they start coming in torrents and cover the ground with soft crunchy whiteness. Time to make a snow man! Standing at the window of a warm house, with a warm drink in your hand and watching the snow floating down under the street lights… magical!
 

And when the bone-chilling cold sets in, it’s time to pack my bags and depart for warmer climes. To come back in another two months to wait for spring… 🙂 You know how some animals go into hibernation during the winter… my escape to the tropics is my hibernation!
 
So now I’m waiting for the beautiful spring to arrive. It is almost here, and the cherry blossoms are just around the corner… Various predictions place the peak blooming of the Washington DC cherry trees between April 8 and 15. And incidentally, guess who is going to be in DC that weekend! 🙂

~Ria

04 Apr 2014