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Archive for the ‘Beaches of Europe’ Category

Beachy Keen Yarnbombers Strike Again!

Posted by Jody on May 29, 2013

I just had to share this amazing display of beach-themed creativity! Yarnbombers thrilled beachgoers last weekend by adorning the Saltburn Pier (UK) with 164 feet of very impressive yarn artistry. The whimsical display includes everything from mermaids to lighthouses and sun bathers to beach huts.

"This bank holiday weekend visitors to Saltburn Pier have been treated to another surprise display." (Gazette Live)

“This bank holiday weekend visitors to Saltburn Pier have been treated to another surprise display.”
(Text and photo: Gazette Live. Story by Marie Turbill. )

Here’s the link to the full Gazette Live story with a wonderful photo gallery and a video of the entire work of art: “Saltburn yarnbombers strike again as Pier is decorated for bank holiday weekend”

Be sure to look for the yellow submarine! ~Very cool!

The seaside piers around the coast of Britain stand as a powerful reminder of the achievements of Victorian engineers and entrepreneurs. There are currently less than 54 pleasure piers in existence around the UK coastline. Saltburn’s Victorian pier was the first iron pier to be built on the North East Coast, is the most northerly surviving British Pier and the only remaining pleasure pier on the North East coast. Built in an exposed position and facing due north into the cruel and unforgiving North Sea, the history of Saltburn Pier tells a tale of survival against the elements. The pier was commissioned by the Saltburn Pier Company in 1867, designed by Mr John Anderson and completed two years later, opening in May 1869.

Source: Saltburn by the Sea.com

Saltburn Pier – National Pier Society link: History of Saltburn Pier

I want to be a yarn bomber when I grow up! Can somebody teach me how to knit?

~~~

 

Posted in Amusement Piers, Beaches of Great Britain and Ireland, Beachy Keen Art | Tagged: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Beautiful Amalfi on the Italian Coast

Posted by Jody on March 20, 2013

Today’s Featured Guest Writer is Chloe Trogden.

My husband and I recently had the pleasure of visiting Italy, and we rented a car to drive from Venice on down the west coast to Sorrento. Along the way, we got a little lost — but it was the best detour of our whole trip.

After shooting past our exit for Sorrento, we drove to the other end of the small peninsula and had to drive in a loop all the way around back to Sorrento. On the way, we passed through Amalfi and many other mountain towns on the beautiful Italian coast.

Italy's Amalfi Coast (Photo by Chloe Trogden)

Beautiful Amalfi on the Italian Coast (Photo by Chloe Trogden)

Our drive through windy, coastal mountain roads gave us stunning views of the ocean and the beautiful beaches below.

Amalfi is a relatively small town, but it borders the coast entirely. However, much of that border is rocky cliff that drops straight down to the waters below. In a few places, there is a steep road that leads down to homes and businesses, as well as a beach or two.

Italy's Amalfi Coast (Photo by Chloe Trogden)

Beautiful Amalfi on the Italian Coast (Photo by Chloe Trogden)

The Spiaggia Grande is a lively beach with crystal-blue waters. Though it is a relatively small stretch of beach, it more than makes up for it with its white sandy shore and stunning views of the town on a mountainside behind it.

The beach has a few bathing establishments, or you can choose to relax on the small section of free beach. Since it is so small, the beach becomes packed pretty quickly. It’s better to visit on the off season before the crowds become too intense.

Italy's Amalfi Coast (Photo by Chloe Trogden)

Beautiful Amalfi on the Italian Coast (Photo by Chloe Trogden)

If the beach does get too full, take a stroll into town and explore the historic center or enjoy some local cuisine, including fresh seafood or citrus that is grown right on the mountainside.

If you are planning a longer trip and want to explore the area, nearby Atrani Beach is a family favorite, and you can drive to surrounding towns such as Sorrento and Positano. You can also take a ferry or a boat to the nearby island of Capri, which has many more stunning views and historical attractions.

About the Author: Chloe Trogden is seasoned financial aid writer who covers specific opportunities such as federal grants for students. Her leisure activities include camping, swimming and playing her guitar.

~~~

A very special “Grazie mille!” to you, Chloe, for taking us on a such a beautiful tour of  Amalfi, Italy! You’ve certainly shown us that sometimes the best finds in life are the wonderful and very unexpected detours! ~Jody

~~~

Posted in Beaches of Europe, Featured Guest Writer | Tagged: , , , | 9 Comments »

Have you heard the one about… Floating Gold?

Posted by Jody on February 4, 2013

Ambergris (photo by Peter Kaminski from Wikimedia Commons)

Ambergris (photo by Peter Kaminski from Wikimedia Commons)

We’ve made some wonderful acquaintances here at Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches. Recently, one of our favorite blogging friends, Wingclipped, at The Coastal Path shared a link with us that was quite intriguing! It seems that a Mr. Ken Wilman and his curious canine companion Madge were walking along a Lancashire beach in the North of England one day when they happened across a very smelly beach treasure on the sand. After a bit of google searching, Mr. Wilman discovered that their rock-like “floating gold” might be worth over $136,000 USD!

Wingclipped sent along this video link (which sadly refuses to be dis-embedded from the Sky News website, and therefore can not be directly posted here.  Go ahead and click the link below to see the video!).

http://news.sky.com/story/1045585/whale-vomit-worth-100000-found-on-dog-walk

FYI: What Ken and Madge actually found is a lump of ambergris. According to Merriam-Webster.com ambergris is “a waxy substance found floating in or on the shores of tropical waters, believed to originate in the intestines of the sperm whale, and used in perfumery as a fixative.”

Score one (a really big one) for beachcombers everywhere!

~ Sending along very special thanks to Wingclipped for sharing such a fun beachcombing story. You too can follow the family travels and antics of Wingclipped, his lovely wife, and their energetic twins as they explore the coast of Britain on foot at his blog The Coastal Path. His most recent entry is entitled “40d – Entering Dungeness” (Britain’s only desert and “Europe’s largest stretch of shingle landscape”). This week’s post comes complete with a heartwarming twist!

~~~

Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Beaches of Great Britain and Ireland, Monday Miscellaneous, Whales and Dolphins | Tagged: , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Galway’s Best 5 Beaches

Posted by alainaflute on July 3, 2012

Beautiful Galway City is located in County Galway on the western coast of Ireland. According to the Galway Tourism website, “Galway City is a thriving, bohemian, cultural city…Along with being a popular seaside destination with beautiful beaches and long winding promenade, it also has a buzzing cosmopolitan city centre.

County Galway, Ireland (Asarlaí/Wikimedia Commons)

Today’s “Tuesday Tally” is Galway’s best 5 beaches, as presented by Galway Ireland Tourism.

Dog’s Bay and Gorteen Bay from Errisbeg. Looking south. Dog’s Bay is on the western side. (Dr. Charles Nelson/Geograph Project Collection/Wikimedia Commons)

Back to back beaches, Dogs Bay and Gurteen Bay are “two of the most beautiful beaches in County Galway and probably in the West of Ireland.” Only a couple of miles outside of Roundstone in Connemara, County Galway, these bays make a fine stretch of coast, with amazing views and white sandy beaches (made from seashell fragments). Both beaches are considered safe for swimming and water sports. They also make fabulous walking destinations.

Silver Strand, Barna. Silver Strand is one of Galway’s most popular Blue Flag beaches. In the distance are the hills of the Burren. (Trish Steel/Geograph Project Collection/Wikimedia Commons)

Silver Strand Beach in Barna, Galway “has a safe, shallow, sandy beach of approximately 0.25km bounded on one side by a cliff and the other by rocks. It is particularly popular with and suitable for young families.” Facing straight into Galway Bay, this beach offers fantastic views. Low tide is the best time for swimming, and there is a lifeguard on duty during summer months.

Coral Beach (Trá an Dóilín), Carraroe, County Galway, Ireland (Emkaer/Wikimedia Commons)

Coral Beach in Carraroe (aka Trá an Dóilin) is “an area of great natural beauty.” Known for its fine coral, this area has tidepools to explore and good snorkeling, too.

The seaside diving board off the promenade in Salthill, Co Galway. (Terence wiki/Wikimedia Commons)

Salthill Beach (in Galway City overlooking Galway Bay) is actually several small beaches that are separated by outcrops. This very popular blue flag beach has lifeguards on duty from mid-May through the end of September.

Another blue flag beach, Kilmurvey Beach (Inis Mor, Aran Islands, County Galway) sports beautiful sand and safe swimming, and “when the tide is right, you can jump off the old pier into the clear water.” There are facilities near the roads, and some great spots on the dunes to picnic.

Hit any of these five beaches for great views and beautiful water. This is the perfect time of year to hit the beach in Galway, Ireland! Féach leat níos déanaí (see you later)!

Sunset – Galway Bay View from Tawin Island (Allan Harty/Geograph Project Collection/Wikimedia Commons)

Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Beaches of Great Britain and Ireland, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Top 5 Beaches of Kefalonia, Cephalonia, Cephallenia, Cephallonia, Kefallinia, or Kefallonia

Posted by alainaflute on June 26, 2012

However you choose to spell this island’s name, you’re still in the same place in western Greece, and hopefully, you’re already hitting the beach.

Map of the Ionian Islands (Wikimedia Commons/PD-USGov)

The largest of the Ionian Islands, Kefalonia has beaches to suit every taste. According to the guest post “Top 5 Beaches of Kefalonia” by Kefalonia Tours on http://www.VisitGreece.gr “The Blog”, these are the ones you’ve got to hit.

Myrtos Beach – The view from above will take your breath away. This beach is one of Kefalonia’s claims to fame, having received a number of international awards as one of the best Mediterranean beaches. It has also been awarded the Greek National Tourism Organisation’s “blue flag” year after year (I have no idea what that means, but it sounds fancy). Take a dip in the turquoise waters and stick around to watch the sun go down.

Myrtos Beach, Kefalonia (Rob Bendall/Wikimedia Commons)

Made famous by the movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Antisamos is a another “blue flag” beach that captures the imagination. Only a few miles away from the port of Sami, this beach’s “landscape combines all shades of blue and green, where the vegetation grows almost into the sea.”

The next beach on the list, Petani Beachconsists of fine white pebbles and crystal clear turquoise waters. The path to the beach is just as unique as the beauty of the whole of the landscape which literally leaves the visitor speechless.” This beach is comes fully equipped with sun beds and nearby restaurants.

Petani Beach, Kefalonia, Greece (Matt Sims/Wikimedia Commons)

Just when I was starting to think that all Kefalonian beaches looked the same, Xi Beach is a bit different. Sans steep cliffs and deep waters, this beach is easy to access and is very family friendly. What makes this beach special is the red clay sand, giving visitors a“natural and free spa session, as it is said to have cleaning and tightening effects to the skin.” It’s easy to park here, and this beach also offers a variety of water sports.

Xi Beach, Paliki, Kefalonia, Greece (Splendid entry/Wikimedia Commons)

Last but not least, Skala Beach is known for its length (over 3 kilometers long), clear water, and plentiful vegetation. According to the blog post, “Apart from the village and the beach of Skala it is worth visiting other beautiful beaches and picturesque villages situated in the southeastern part of Kefalonia.”

The Beach in Skala, Kefalonia, Greece (Matti/Wikimedia Commons)

In a land where everything is all Greek, hitting the beach is a language we all can understand.

Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Beaches of Europe, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Southwold Sea Glass and Pottery Shards

Posted by alainaflute on May 17, 2012

Thank you to underatopazsky for letting us share her post today! We really enjoyed reading about her beachcombing trip to Southwold, England.

Under A Topaz Sky

We spent the Bank Holiday with my parents in East Suffolk and one day we took the girls down the coast to the little town of Southwold to visit Southwold Pier. It’s gorgeous to visit –  fabulous places to eat, quirky things to see and buy and best of all, great beachcombing!

The soft East Anglian coast between Southwold and Lowestoft to the north is eroding rapidly and the debris of roads, houses etc that have fallen into the sea inevitably wash up further down the coast. My 14yr old picked up an interesting piece of what looked like conglomerate which actually turned out to be an unmistakeable lump of tarmac!

I’ve had some of my best sea glass finds from this beach, including a glass Victorian bottle stopper on New Year’s Day and even though our visit was cut short as  it was raining and bitterly cold, I still managed to…

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Posted in Amusement Piers, Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Beaches of Great Britain and Ireland | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Beachcombing in Southwold

Posted by underatopazsky on May 11, 2012

We spent the Bank Holiday with my parents in East Suffolk and one day we took the girls down the coast to the little town of Southwold to visit Southwold Pier. It’s gorgeous to visit –  fabulous places to eat, quirky things to see and buy and best of all, great beachcombing!

The soft East Anglian coast between Southwold and Lowestoft to the north is eroding rapidly and the debris of roads, houses etc that have fallen into the sea inevitably wash up further down the coast. My 14yr old picked up an interesting piece of what looked like conglomerate which actually turned out to be an unmistakeable lump of tarmac!

I’ve had some of my best sea glass finds from this beach, including a glass Victorian bottle stopper on New Year’s Day and even though our visit was cut short as  it was raining and bitterly cold, I still managed to come home with my usual pocketful, including that amazing chunk of Victorian dinner plate rim!

I love the range of shades you get with the glass – I can find a dozen pieces in shades of aqua and turquoise and none of them be an exact match. The tiny shard of pottery with a faint blue and white remainder of its original bright pattern is a delight too.

As so much building material has fallen into the sea, a lot of brick, drainage pipe and tile fragments of varying sizes can also be found on the beach. I’ve been toying for some time with the idea of taking some of the white tile fragments and using a fine nibbed pen to draw on the surface.

I just happened to have one in my bag, so…

There was a faint layer of glaze still on the surface of this piece of tile so not all of the ink penetrated the ceramic and it’s more grey than black, but I like the  concept.

I’m planning to stick it onto a piece of black fabric (possibly the watermarked taffeta I photographed it on, or possibly some black silk matka) and mount it to make an unusual card.

I did manage to get a fair amount of sewing done as well that weekend – more of that later!

Posted in Beaches of Great Britain and Ireland | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Marseille’s Beautiful Mediterranean Coastline

Posted by Jody on March 30, 2012

Beautiful coast, awesome beaches and gorgeous sunsets! Thanks for sharing! ~ Jody

A Man I Am in Amsterdam

Marseille Coast

“Wow.”

That is the first thought that comes to one’s mind upon first setting eyes on Marseille’s beautiful Mediterranean coastline. Whether viewed from the beach or the limestone calanques, the Mediterranean Sea shows its true-and-blue colors, and, quite frankly, it’s a stunning sight.

boats in marseille

walkwayMarseille coastMarseille coast

Mediterranean Sea

The Mediterranean is characterized by its palette of deep blue colors, and this certainly holds true in Marseille. The beautiful sea can be observed from designated walking paths along the coast, but I recommend climbing down a rocky calanque to get a more intimate experience. You might even see some French people lounging, fishing, or picnicking on the limestone.

Marseille Coast

There is also a sandy beach section of the coast, where people play beach volleyball or football (soccer), while large groups of windsurfers cruise the sea behind them.

Marseille beach

Windsurfers in Marseille

Marseille Beach

When all is said and done, there is absolutely no better time to visit the coast than at sunset. Watching…

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Posted in Beaches of Europe, Friday Finds | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Paris Plages: Fun in the Sun on the River Seine

Posted by alainaflute on March 23, 2012

Paris has it all: light, romance, art, shopping, architecture, gardens, fountains, and the list goes on. What more could this city possibly want? Well, you and I both know the answer to that is a beach! Or, une plage, rather!

Paris plages édition 2011 (Photo by Hadonos/Wikimedia Commons)

This Parisian summertime tradition began in 2002, and it’s still going strong. This year’s party starts mid-July and includes three points along the River Seine that will be transformed into beachy getaways (Louvre/Pont de Sully, Port de la Gare and Bassin de la Villette).

Paris Plage 2008 (Photo by Remi Jouan/Wikimedia Commons)

According to Paris.fr, the beach that started it all back in 2002 stretches from the Louvre to Pont de Sully, spanning “three kilometres through historical Paris, and features a swimming pool, concert stage, and open-air attractions (rollerblading, tai-chi, wall climbing, boules etc.). Refreshment areas, play areas and deckchairs are available for your time out unwinding by the river.”

The newest Paris Plage, Bassin de la Villette was added in 2007. This one “stretches from Rotonde de Ledoux (nearest Jaurès Metro station) to the former Magasins Généraux (in Rue de Crimée) and features a proper water-sports complex (with rowing boats, kayaks, pedal boats and dinghies) alongside quaint quay-side restaurants and boules courts.” So, there you have it! About 4 weeks out of the summer, you can enjoy all the luxuries of a Seine-side holiday in the City of Light: swimming, sunning, dining, kayaking, and enjoying la vie en rose.

Pack your bags and grab your passport. We’re heading to the beach!

Posted in Beaches of Europe, Friday Finds | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Tuesday Tongue Twister: The Firth of Forth to Fife

Posted by Jody on March 20, 2012

Greg and I have big ideas to someday rent a car (with unlimited miles, of course) and tool around the island of Great Britain, taking in all the coast has to offer. Oh yes, big ideas!  Let’s just say that the rental car company might not be too pleased when we return the car with 10,000+/- miles added to the odometer! 😉

The Lothians Region of Scotland (Credit: FinnBjo/Wikimedia Commons)

You can imagine that I was very happy to discover that the helpful folks at Visit Scotland have already mapped out our dream trip through “Edinburgh and the Lothians.”  The website tells us: “From empty beaches and unspoilt nature reserves to quaint fishing villages and seaside resorts, there is plenty to discover around Edinburgh and the Lothians. Edinburgh enjoys spectacular coastal scenery thanks to its location on the mighty Firth of Forth.”

Seven beaches of Edinburgh and the Lothians, here we come:

Belhaven: This award winning beach is “A great beach for walking, having picnics and sunbathing, it is the ideal place to enjoy the views across the Forth Estuary and watch surfers – this is the best place to catch a wave in the region.”

Seacliff: “Not far from North Berwick lies this hidden gem of a beach, ideal if you want to avoid the crowds. Discover the tiny red sandstone harbour, thought to be the smallest in the UK, and enjoy the splendid views of Bass Rock and the ruins of Tantallon Castle.”

Seacliff Beach with Tantallon Castle in the distance. (Photo: Richard Webb/Wikimedia Commons)

North Berwick: “Enjoy the long stretch of sandy beach alongside the pretty seaside town of North Berwick. This is a pleasant old-fashioned seaside town complete with Victorian villas, fishing boats, ice cream parlours and fish n’ chip shops.”

Yellowcraigs: “This long sandy beach is popular with families and dog walkers. There’s loads of room for the kids to run about, fly a kite or enjoy a game of football, with great views over the Firth of Forth to Fife and the island of Fidra.” Note to self: bring binoculars. I don’t want to miss any of the scenery! ~And (no kidding), I really want an excuse to say  “the Firth of Forth to Fife!”~

Yellowcraigs Beach with the Island of Fidra in the background. (Photo: Richard Webb/Wikimedia Commons)


Portobello: The beach at Portobello is in a more urban setting just a few miles from the center of town. “Portobello offers city slickers the chance to relax in the outdoors – and on a hot summer’s day, the beach is popular with swimmers and sunbathers.”

Cramond: “The suburb of Cramond still retains its fishing village feel, complete with a quant row of whitewashed houses. The small beach is a popular choice with Edinburgh residents who head here to walk and cycle on the beachside paths and offers a splendid view of the Firth of Forth.”

Gullane Bay (Photo: Richard Webb/Wikimedia Commons)

Gullane: Gullane lies 20 miles from Scotland’s capital of Edinburgh. This village is known for its award winning beaches and golfing. “Golf has been played here since 1854, and today there are three courses, all offering great views across East Lothian, Edinburgh and the Forth.” I’m not a golfer, but I can well understand that golfing with a view can only add to the fun!

There we have it, seven beaches of Edinburgh and the Lothians, brought to us by the friendly people of Visit Scotland! That was easy. ~Now, on to Fife!

Just a note: The British Cartographic Society has some really interesting facts and figures if you are interested in details about the coastline measurements of England, Wales and Scotland.

We’re looking for more ideas on the beaches of Great Britain.  Please feel free to post a comment or write a guest post!  Don’t forget to share us with your friends and Like us on Facebook at One Shell of a Find!  Thank you~

Posted in Beaches of Great Britain and Ireland, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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