Lens Artists Challenge # 155 – On the Water

I’ve been tempted to submit to this challenge after looking at Ann-Christine’s lovely photos, not that I think mine come up to her standard, but it has pushed me to look through my own folio and see what I could come up with. Too many, it turns out, but here are a few of my favourites, mostly here because they remind me of some long gone precious days.

Elephants need water for washing and, if possible, a mahout to do the work with a scrubbing brush, which they love. Here is one I took in northern Thailand at a time when elephants were still used in farming.

He’s just had a good scrub down and now it’s off to the corral for rest.

While with the animals here’s one from Cambodia where the water buffaloes were enjoying the water.

Next we move on to canals and to the very first summit level canal built in Great Britain. Built in N. Ireland in 1742, it is the Newry Canal which pre-dated the more famous Bridgewater Canal by nearly thirty years and it was built to link the Tyrone coalfields (via Lough Neagh and the River Bann) to the Irish Sea at Carlingford Lough near Newry.

Newry canal flows through the town past what were once mills and lumber yards

And still with canals, my favourite canal trip of all time, the 6-day journey on board a historic ship along the Gota canal, from Gothenburg to Stockholm across one river, eight lakes and two seas. The ships have scarcely been altered since they were first used to take immigrants from Stockholm to the departure port for America and few concessions are made to tourists, i.e. no en-suite rooms, communal showers only and, it must be said, rather cramped quarters (so luggage must be kept to a minimum). Yet what a magical journey that was, across a black lake and a dark sea with stops along the way to visit historic sites. I went in midsummer, almost permanent daylight and that had its own magic, eating cherries and wild strawberries and drinking hot chocolate at 3.00 am on deck as the beautiful Swedish landscape glided by.

The William Tham negotiates a lock.

Just a few more watery memories and then I’m done:

Rivers, Oceans, Lakes and Marshes.

19 thoughts on “Lens Artists Challenge # 155 – On the Water”

  1. Thanks, Jo. I got very involved with elephants a few years ago in Thailand when I met with the people who ran the Elephant Help Clinic, a volunteer organization of vets, hotel owners and animal lovers. Due to the destruction of their forests in the north with the subsequent lost of livelihood for the mahouts, they journey to the south to the tourist areas where the animals suffer seriously from walking on hard tarmac, eating roadside grasses, snake bites, exploited in parks and on elephant rides and the baby elephants are chained up outside bars. They have poor digestive systems. I put them up for an award from the British Guild of Travel Writers (for which I had to make a nerve-racking presentation front of over 100 members) and I was very gratified when they won it. This gave them a very nice prize, but more importantly, a lot of good publicity, and they featured in newspaper articles to a cruise magazine which raised a lot of money.

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    1. Thank you for that nice comment and if my short paragraph on the Gota Canal inspires you to make the trip I’m happy. I would love to do it again but it is very expensive, well worth it, but still expensive.

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  2. Yours are always interesting, though, and you always get very involved in the local life. I’m always happy to read to the end! Some I’m afraid, just pop things down like a guide book and I think those may be the ones in the firing-line. I’m never sure who my audience is, that’s my problem. When writing for magazines or newspapers I was always aware of who reading and tailored my words and ideas accordingly. I’ve written on the same subject on the same day for Take a Break and The Telegraph, in totally different styles. My favourite paper to write for was The Herald, Glasgow, as I could write just as I wanted. I’ll see what I can do with the Gota Canal journey – you’ve set me a goal now!

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  3. I should write up the Gota canal trip but it’s hard to cut it down and I don’t think long pieces sit well in a blog. The powers that be say that people stop reading after between 600-800 words so I try to limit myself to that. My original piece, written for a magazine, included the history of the making of the canal as I find this fascinating, but I think I’d have to leave that out. Thanks for your encouragement.

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    1. Hmm, I set myself a 1,500 word limit – and sometimes exceed it! In fairness, I do myself read many blogs of at least that length, if they are interesting enough, which many are (but not all!) Why not split it into two posts perhaps? I promise to read it 😆

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  4. Wow, some magnificent views! I was at the Krka waterfalls in Croatia too but nobody was swimming so near them at the time! 😮 It was October, maybe that’s why. That church on the Danube is magnificent too, do you know its name perhaps? My father used to work in Vienna and we visited him often but I don’t remember seeing this one.

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    1. Sorry, I don’t know the name of the church as we were on a boat at the time we passed it but it’s in Vienna so I should be able to find it I think. If I do, I’ll let you know. We were coming into Vienna from Bratislava.

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  5. Thanks Marie. I am a bit dubious sometimes of putting my stuff up for the challenges as digging into the past and having to scan in either photographs or fiddle about with the scanner for 35 mm. they can sometimes be hit and miss. The Gota canal trip was fabulous – and I didn’t even mention the food which was bought fresh every day from farms alolng the way, lots of cream, fresh lake fish, veggies straight from the garden, and as we passed some very remote areas we were quite a novelty (the trip only runs between late May and September I think) and lots of people came down to sing and play accordions and fiddles to see us on our way. Unbelievable.

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  6. Lovel selection – the water buffalo was my favourite until I read your beautiful description of the Gota Canal trip – anyone would sign up for it after reading that!

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