Covid-19 cases have risen in Catalunya and Barcelona with the regional government closing gyms, amusement parks, clubs, cinemas, leaving open bars and restaurants at 50% capacity, libraries and museums for 2 weeks to stem the spike. My gym and climbing gym rebelled as long as they could arguing that health and fitness are vital essentials that need to remain open. Even the city council was on their side. Sadly they lost and most gyms are now closed until further notice. The zoo held out for as long as possible too, closing on Monday and reopening this Saturday after petitioning to remain open. They say it’s for 15 days, but I think it’ll be longer. Thankfully it’s not a full lockdown, we’re allowed out and shops are open. The only change face masks are mandatory in all public spaces even when we can social distance.
Anyway, this week’s Weekend Friday Favourites. Things that have made me smile or caught my eye this week.
Dietes Bicolor Lyon Arboretum, Oahu
Scrolling back through photos to edit for Golden Gate Bridge a flower I took in Lyon Arboretum, Oahu Hawaii stood out. It was the same flower I took at the zoo a few days ealier! After a little research it’s a Dietes Bicolor, a tropical iris native to South Africa!
On holiday earlier this year in Oahu there’s a chain of shops Sandpeople which sell local art, craft and jewellery that I kept popping into. I kept being drawn to Aloha Collection, a Hawaiian and California brand that specialises in splash proof travel pouches, bags and hip/bum bags. I thought one would be be perfect for the summer stashing a wet bikini. Everything is waterproof bar the zipper and was created with stashing wet swimsuits, easy clean toiletry and make up pouches in mind when travelling that can be multipurpose and protect other items from spillages. The black with yellow hibiscus wasn’t the one I wanted, however I thought being dark coloured would be less likely to get ruined with suncream and from being thrown in a rucksack with everything else. When we got back I couldn’t stop thinking about the mini hibiscus With Love From Paradise X Aloha pouch for a purse and well, first order you get 20% off. They have designs for everyone and I’ve had to blinker myself from the new designs out (especially the new small Lei Lei Orchid prints. Like the blue and green below but in pink and purple and the mini in pink which has sold out 😦 ). None the less, if you want a pretty splash proof lightweight pouch to stashing wet bikinis, or a pouch you can wipe down easily I can’t recommend enough Aloha Collection. They are on the pricey side, but I can see them lasting a long time. The only con I have is print on the mini pouch is beginning to fade. I guess it adds to its character.
All I knew about San Francisco before visiting earlier this year was that it’s hilly, Herbie caused mischief, the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, it’s foggy and the fog horns mostly from movies and TV shows.
We wanted to get to Baker Beach which has the best photographic views of the bridge around sunset and got thick January fog instead. That didn’t stop people from still visiting the bridge, running or cycling. It perhaps was the best time to visit to hear infamous fog horns. Horns I recognised immediately thanks to countless movies and TV shows. It was oddly comforting to hear them. There’s even a number you can call up to listen to them!
Apologies for an absence of Weekend Friday Favourites recently. Spain’s officially out of lockdown after ending its State of Alarm 21st June. Things are gradually becoming back to pre covid-19 with exceptions. Climbing I can no longer drop by whenever I want. We have to book up in advance set times to climb for 2 hours. I usually end up only having 1 hour thanks to my organisational skills. I’ve picked up a class with time being all over the place. We have to wear masks in all enclosed public spaces and when we can’t self distance however Catalunya has ordered that we wear them outside even when we can social distance to avoid the spread of covid-19. If we’re caught not wearing one, €100 fine. Exceptions are exercise, eating and drinking and if you’re under 6 years old. The beach is a grey area shhhhh. Yes, beach season is back! I’m studying a great photography course on Udemy using beach time to study via their app and videos. Otherwise I’d just play games on my phone.
Anyways, Weekend Friday Favourites, things that have made me smile or caught my eye this week.
Muy Mucho is an interior decoration shop I always like looking around doing my best to appreciate and not buy. This desktop fan was one of the impulse buys my Mum says, if you see it, get it. It’s perfect in my ‘office’ now it’s hot keeping me cool. I use an old iPhone socket charger as my Mac’s usb ports are taken for. I can’t recommend it enough if you want a small desktop fan. It’s silent too, a bargain at €5.99.
You can’t go to Northern California and not take time out to checkout Redwoods and Sequoias some of Earth’s oldest and tallest trees! On holiday vaccay easier this year to San Francisco, Hawaii and the Big Sur, we wanted to see for ourselves these amazing trees.
Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks were under snow and when P looked to see how far Hawaii was from California, Hawaii won. Luckily just north of San Francisco is Muir Woods and Muir Woods National Monument, a National Park filled with Coast Redwoods and Giant Sequoias.
Most of the photos are noisy with ISO as it was my first time shooting in such light. I wasn’t sure of the levels shutter speed or aperture so please excuse the noise and look of some photos. As usual I’m a bad editor cutting down photos.
If driving there you have to book up in advance the parking ticket. No advance ticket, no entry. About 1-2km from the park are signs reminding you last chance to book up before as there’s no mobile or wifi coverage once in the park. Parking is $8.50, entrance $15 per person. Under 15’s free. A shuttle bus is available from near by towns.
The main show is the monument, a mostly boarded loop trail in the thickest darkest part of the forest. Redwoods are the stars here. I wanted to do the Panoramic Trail (once the ocean view walk before the trees grew blocking the vista) however time was an issue before the park closed. A ranger recommend the Canopy trail, a 4.8km/3mi approx 2 hours hike that connects with Lost Trail and and part of Fern Creek trail looping back to the entrance. He mentioned it’s great for lefties. Being mixed handed I loved the trial until it looped back in favour of righties. The path flowed. We got there around midday on a Sunday with the trial already getting busy. If you want peace and quiet, no human voices go early. It was so obvious we were the tourists in our winter coats while the locals were in t-shirts and tank tops. No way was it warm enough! It was the same temps as back in Barcelona and everybody there was in winter coats.
The past few weeks during time slotted exercise hours I switched the coast for the park. As much as I love the sea I needed some greenery!
It was a little emotional my first ride cycling past the zoo and around Parc de la Ciutadella. After 7 weeks lockdown indoors, 2 week cycling up the coast, then being hit with greenery, birds singing and flying everywhere, I nearly burst into tears. I had missed what being outside surrounded by trees not just the sea felt like, how I missed being surrounded by nature. Now we’re in phase 2 the beaches are open to sunbathe and take a dip, exercise hours dropped save the over 70’s time slots, we’re allowed to go outside as many times as we want. That said the park only has it’s peaceful magic in the mornings. The afternoons and evenings the place gets loud with humans. When I can I’ll still take my early morning bike rides to the park for its quietness. I get to see the sea up close cycling there and back. That is until the zoo opens where when everybody’s at the beach if you time it right it’s like you have the place to yourself (my view on zooshere) when I can do both the beach and zoo. A little balance of both.
The ducks and geese early morning like to preen and sunbathe as do the turtles. Later on in the day I’ve noticed they either hang around the easy spot for food or take a nap.