Disneyland Paris Holiday Photos

September 11th, 2012

Some pictures from our trip to Disneyland Paris last week via Hull and Bruges. We had a great time away and it was nice to get another reasonable trip in the RX-8. Bruges was a really nice surprise as well, could have done with an extra day to explore.

  • A typically wet Isle of Man day waiting for the ferry
  • The view of the marina from our hotel room in Hull - the noise from a rowdy wedding when we got to the hotel helped us get an upgrade to an executive room :o)
  • Hull marina
  • "The Deep" in Hull
  • Freaky eels at "The Deep" in Hull
  • "The Deep" in Hull
  • "The Deep" in Hull
  • "The Deep" in Hull
  • Waiting to board the "Pride of Bruges"
  • Late afternoon waiting to depart Hull on "Pride of Bruges"
  • Late afternoon waiting to depart Hull on "Pride of Bruges"
  • Late afternoon waiting to depart Hull on "Pride of Bruges"
  • The river Humber
  • Onboard "Pride of Bruges"
  • The Humber Bridge in the distance
  • Concorde F-BVFF at Charles de Gaulle airport
  • The memorial to Concorde "Sierra Charlie" at Gonesse
  • Eva gives Concorde Prototype F-WTSS at Le Bourget the thumbs up
  • Catherine, Eva and Concorde F-BTSD at Le Bourget, with F-WTSS behind. A sadly sterile exibition of such a beautiful machine.
  • Disney's Newport Bay Resort - Our hotel for three days.
  • The view from our hotel window at sunset.
  • I paid £450 for those two tyres, I'm going to tack a picture of them!
  • Catherine and Eva onboard the Molly Brown "boat" at Disney's Frontierland - It actually runs on tracks
  • I'm sure she's saying "Look, the ears are not funny - where's my food!"
  • Self portrait
  • "Pleeeeese can we go in Space Mountain?"
  • The park in the evening waiting for the fireworks
  • The park entrance in the evening
  • The park entrance in the evening
  • Eva meets Minnie - That's actually a smile developing...
As expected Eva frowned then pulled Minnie's whiskers and then tried to bite her nose!
  • Eva's favourite ride
  • "Don't look back"
  • "No, I've got your nose!"
  • "I'm Eva, pleased to meet you"
  • "So, did this thing make dinner then?"
  • Goofy, or "Dingo" in France. So this is Dingo and the Baby for all you Family Guy fans.
  • Jessie, just a bit scary.
  • Disney Village and the Panoramagique helium baloon
  • Eva sees her new Minnie stuffed toy for the second time. The first time wasn't photographed but her smile was awesome.
  • "Say Cheese"
  • "OK, I take it back, the ears are funny after all!"
  • Sleepy baby
  • The Belfry in Bruges
  • Catherine and Eva in Bruges
  • Bruges on a colder morning
  • Waiting for the boat ride to start
  • More canals in Bruges
  • Eva watching the horse "Chipolito" who was our tour guide for the afternoon.
  • The view from The Belfry. 366 steps with Eva in the baby sling - quite a workout
  • The view from The Belfry
  • The view from The Belfry
  • The view from The Belfry
  • Leaving Zeebrugge
  • Leaving Zeebrugge
  • Back on the sunny Lancashire Riviera waiting for the IOM Ferry home

We also got to see three of the four Concorde aircraft in Paris, so I’ll be updating my Concorde page shortly.

Photo Project: Manx Skies

July 13th, 2012

As a glider pilot I spend an unnatural amount of time looking at the sky and the clouds. On the Isle of Man we have some fantastic skies, especially around sunset in the Summer when the sun sets over a maritime horizon. I decided to try and document these images but their nature is fleeting and unpredictable and it’s not practical for me to carry my DSLR around everywhere. Therefore this has become a project of opportunity – all the pictures you see are captured on an iPhone 4, and there is no post processing whatsoever.

What you see is what the phone saw: You’ll notice substantial grain in the low-light images. A number of the photos were taken during other activities like walking the dogs. No editing means no crop and level either, but I feel that given the opportunistic nature of the images this fits the profile best.

I’m very pleased with the end result, and I hope you enjoy them too.

Full Size images can be viewed on my photo site here.

  • Graeme Howie's photo
  • Graeme Howie's photo
  • Graeme Howie's photo
  • Graeme Howie's photo
  • Graeme Howie's photo
  • Graeme Howie's photo
  • Graeme Howie's photo
  • Graeme Howie's photo
  • Graeme Howie's photo
  • Graeme Howie's photo
  • Graeme Howie's photo
  • Graeme Howie's photo
  • Graeme Howie's photo
  • Graeme Howie's photo
  • Graeme Howie's photo
  • Graeme Howie's photo
  • Graeme Howie's photo
  • Graeme Howie's photo
  • Graeme Howie's photo
  • Graeme Howie's photo
  • Graeme Howie's photo

Mid-Summer’s Day

June 20th, 2012

Just back from a quick flight on the longest day of the year (today being 1 second longer than tomorrow). I’ve been trying to do this since 2009, but the weather has never been great. Today: Result!

I landed at 20:30, still 1h 25 minutes before sunset, meaning legally I had another 1h 55m of flight allowed. G-AHAU is limited to day flight only, but “day” ends a half hour after sunset. However, Andreas has no runway lights, and Ronaldsway closes at 21:00 so 20:30 is the latest sensible arrival just in case a diversion to Ronaldsway is required.

  • Snaefell, 19:40 and a tram is still running up to the summit. Laxey, Douglas and the Ben-My-Chree just visible.
  • Snaefell
  • Douglas Bay
  • Douglas and Onchan. Ochan Raceway visible between the struts.
  • Douglas harbour and Connister Rock. The blue green colours are fantastic on a sunny afternoon.
  • Onchan with Laxey and Maughold in the distance.
  • Laxey
  • Ramsey and the Northern Plain, Scotland just visible.
  • Ramsey, (shining by the sea!)
  • The Point of Ayre and Burrow Head beyond. Between the two is the shortest sea crossing to the UK, 17 miles. Usually 11 minutes for G-AHAU.
  • Scotland: Luce Bay and the Mull of Galloway.
  • Final shot to the west, still 1h 40m to sunset. The freighter "Silver River" cuts a lonely wake.
  • It's fun to play with friends too - The Rans S6 out enjoying the longest day.
  • Andreas from the final approach to runway 06.

Ireland & Scotland

April 12th, 2012

This week we returned from a couple of weeks away visiting the families in Ireland and Scotland. Fantastic weather for the first week in Northern Ireland, and then snow and wind in Scotland! Still, we also visited Belfast Zoo, the Island of Arran, the Island of Cumbrae and Edinburgh Zoo. Eight ferry crossings in total, the most expensive, (per minute) being Largs-Cumbrae at £36 for a car and 4 people for a return trip of 6 mins each way!

Some photos at the end of this post.

Almost all the photos were taken on my iPhone 4, and I still maintain it’s an excellent compact camera replacement. Improved noise reduction would help – some of the modified photos with added borders have a particularly noisy effect added using SnapSeed, but straight iPhone images are still relatively grainy. However, the colours it captures from the sky are excellent under most conditions, and I’ve got more than enough Apps on board to tweak the photos as required, especially relevant given we spent ages on various ferries this time.

And finally, what holiday would be complete without our Freelander feeling the need for some attention too? The drivers window mechanism failed less than 18 hours after leaving home. Fortunately I was able to close the window with the application of some force and then found an independent specialist in Ballynahinch where they were able to replace the mechanism there and then.

Next holiday should be early September with a trip to Disneyland Paris (and F-WTSS, F-WTSA, F-BTSD and F-BVFF – ooops, er, “look over here Catherine – oooh, Chanel… Excusez-moi mademoiselle, je suis à la recherche des indications pour le Musée de l’aviation” 🙂

  • Leaving Cairnryan
  • Stena Superfast VII
  • Stena Superfast VII
  • Loch Ryan
  • Loch Ryan
  • Stena Superfast VII in Loch Ryan
  • Loch Ryan and Ailsa Craig
  • Stena Superfast VII
  • Belfast Lough passing "Nordic Nora"
  • Newcastle, Northern Ireland
  • Newcastle, Northern Ireland
  • Newcastle, Northern Ireland
  • Newcastle, Northern Ireland
  • Newcastle, Northern Ireland
  • Newcastle, Northern Ireland
  • Catherine And Eva, Newcastle, Northern Ireland
  • Newcastle, Northern Ireland
  • Silent Valley Reservoir, County Down, Northern Ireland
  • Silent Valley Reservoir, County Down, Northern Ireland
  • Catherine, Eva and Granny Bernie, Silent Valley, County Down, Northern Ireland
  • The Overflow, Silent Valley Reservoir, County Down, Northern Ireland
  • Silent Valley Reservoir, County Down, Northern Ireland
  • Silent Valley Reservoir, County Down, Northern Ireland
  • Silent Valley, County Down, Northern Ireland
  • Spelga Reservoir, County Down, Northern Ireland
  • Spelga Reservoir, County Down, Northern Ireland
  • Newcastle, Northern Ireland
  • Newcastle, Northern Ireland
  • Newcastle, Northern Ireland
  • Belfast Zoo
  • Belfast Zoo
  • Belfast Zoo
  • Belfast Zoo
  • Belfast Zoo
  • Eva at Belfast Zoo
  • Belfast Zoo
  • Belfast Zoo
  • Leaving Belfast in more usual weather
  • Enroute to Arran on MV Caledonian Isles
  • Holy Isle and Ailsa Craig beyond
  • Freelander on Arran
  • MV Caledonian Isles docked at Brodick, Arran
  • Lochranza Castle, Arran
  • Mull of Kintyre from Arran
  • Holy Isle from The Ross, Arran
  • Sunset over Arran
  • Another day, Another CalMac ferry, MV Loch Shira to Cumbrae this time
  • Arran, Bute and Cumbrae from Fintry Bay
  • Millport, Cumbrae
  • Millport, Cumbrae
  • The island hopping Freelander on top of Cumbrae, Looking North to the Firth of Clyde
  • Largs from the highest part of Cumbrae
  • Looking South to Hunterston from MV Loch Shira
  • Jaguar at Edinburgh Zoo
  • Tiger at Edinburgh Zoo
  • Rhinos at Edinburgh Zoo

Sky Watching

March 9th, 2012

With the current solar flare all over the tech news, I had hoped to see the Northern Lights tonight. Solar flares affects the Earth’s magnetic field in a way that I’m not qualified to explain, but the result is the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, can be visible at much lower latitudes than normal.

However, even without the Northern Lights the night sky is fascinating. We’re lucky here as we have very limited amounts of street lighting, so that orange glow seen in the sky around towns and cities is never a problem.

The night sky is also more accessible than ever thanks to excellent software that means anybody can find out what they’re seeing. I’ve blogged about it before, but Stellarium is fantastic, and free. On the iPhone Distant Suns is also excellent, along with GoSkyWatch and Pocket Universe. They also use the iPhone GPS and Gyro so it’s a case of point the phone, identify the star!

At this time of year Orion is not as prominent as during mid-Winter, but Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, is still readily observable. Directly south at around 8PM this week and 20 degrees above the horizon. The planets are also stunning with Venus and Jupiter in the south west between sunset and 8PM, Venus being the brighter object. Mars is a bit close to the full moon currently, but in another week it will be clear again. Have a look also for M45, the Pleiades Cluster (or Seven Sisters), between Orion and Venus but higher up.

The International Space Station also makes an appearance occasionally. It’s especially awesome as it sails brightly through the sky in silence. When the timings are right the station orbital plane runs over the southern part of Wales, and at 400Km altitude is visible from southern France and the Faroes at the same time. The station needs to be in sunlight whilst the observer is in darkness, so just before sunrise or after sunset. For the next month or so it will be on the dawn side at UK latitudes, but mid April and it should be visible again in the evening. The stunning, and free application Celestia can help visualise the mechanics of orbit, but doesn’t use real-time orbital elements. The website http://www.heavens-above.com is the easiest way to find the visible passes. On the iPhone there is also GoSatWatch.

Both Stellarium and Celestia are Windows/Mac/Linux compatible too, so no excuses!

Finally, tonight I saw Fedex 1, a Boeing 777 Freighter out of Stansted heading for Memphis. Not in the same league as the other stuff, but I still love watching jet contrails illuminated by moonlight. Again, there’s an app for that! http://www.FlightRadar24.com, also on iPhone!

A couple of other similar posts: Celestial Nav | ISS