28 Jul 2013

Touching Landscapes





‘Man cannot discover new oceans, until he has courage to lose sight of the shore.’ Anon

For those of you who may be new to my writing, this blog began in 2011 and recently, I launched a second blog in March 2013 called Touching Landscapes. As I have been writing so many stories of late, I felt I needed to divide my work into two blogs on different themes.

Gateway to Blindness – is like my personal journal, the place where I write about matters close to my heart. The good, the bad and the ridiculous.

Touching Landscapes: is my travel blog devoted to adventures, near and far with your vision-impaired tour guide and intrepid companions, Harry and Mike. The new blog invites  other travellers to submit their stories so come on over...there is so much to share in the world unseen.

Note: A series that began here called Touching the Sights of France will be removed from this site as of today...gulp...but, all is not lost - they have been lovingly recaptured to the travel blog by my wonderful webmaster, Harry Williamson.

If you would like to read about our travels through France and Spain so far and how a vision-impaired traveller uses every sensory fibre of her being to delight in the history and culture of another country - here are the posts in order under the heading, Europe on a White Stick.


Touching the Sights of France

Truly, Paris is a city of beautiful smells! From the moment we left Charles de Gaulle airport, I have noticed the fragrance of this enchanting city...

Inhaling History, Touching time

Mike nudges close to my side as we gaze upwards and trace the giant panels of 13th century coloured glass that fill the entire nave. My awestruck son tries to describe in low whispers, as his eyes travel over the intricate pictures painted within gilded glass on the fifteen panels, but can only say, oh, WOW! – over and over again...

Adventures on the Canal Du Midi

After our first hectic week in     Paris, we stumble across the second oldest town in France, a township tucked away on the far south-west coast known as the Black Pearl of the Mediterranean...

Are we there yet?

Fourth day aboard the boat and the weather turns wet and cold. First mate and quartermaster are beginning to grumble under the gloomy conditions within the mildewy floating shoebox. It occurs to me that canal boating would really suit honeymooners who would just love this confined living space and can’t get enough of each other, snuggled like cosy puppies ALL the time. But my teenage son and me are not feeling like cosy anythings...


Mystery in The Pyrenees

 As we drive away, a sudden burst of afternoon sunlight parts the dense clouds to reveal the misty summit and we are moved to collect sprigs of  elderflower and offer a salute to the spirit of the Cathars...

Inside a Kaleidoscope of Sound

Where I can really excel without the need to see is when I listen to the landscape, when I hear the sound within ancient stones. One of the extraordinary surprises we discovered on our tour through southern France was the deep resonance within century old stone churches, medieval castles and handmade brick wine vaults...


Don’t Say We’re Lost

Harry and I could not pass up the opportunity to stretch our toes over the Franco-Spanish border to set foot on the Catalan frontier of Northern Spain. How could we be this close to my mother’s homeland and not show Michael part of his family heritage...

Barcelona – All wrapped up in a bag

“Looks like it’s too late to do an afternoon bus tour,” Harry informs us, pointing to the row of tourist buses pulling away from a nearby kerb. “What do you want to do now?”
“I don’t know.” I pout; annoyed we have missed the opportunity to be driven around this hectic city and to find myself suddenly appointed as the blind tour guide...




© 2013 Maribel Steel

1 comment:

Becky said...

Love, love that quote! Will be following your other blog as well :). Keep writing!