Category Archives: Travel

JULY IN THE COTSWOLDS

The unspoilt rolling countryside of the Cotswolds was a super location for a summer cottage holiday.

Also posted in Countryside, Uncategorized Tagged , , |

SNOWPLOUGHING IN ALBERTA, CANADA AT MINUS 25

In February I had the good fortune to be in Alberta, Canada when a polar vortex brought a cold snap. The snow ploughs were impressive, huge and passed like steam trains with splendid puffs of snow.

Also posted in Weather Tagged , , |

LONDON FROM THE AIR

At the end of January I journeyed to Canada and had to travel via London. I was dreading this but the flight over the centre of London with the buildings sidelit by early morning light proved to be a treat.


Also posted in Aerial photography Tagged , |

SADLY PHOTOGRAPHY CAN RUIN AN ENVIRONMENT

In October 2015 I travelled to the Dolomites with friends and found the area both delightful to visit and lovely to photograph. One particularly charming location was the Val di Funes, an alpine valley with pretty farms, charming guest houses and small hotels catering for nature lovers and walkers.  Near the top of this valley lies the tiny church of St Johann in Ranui, a private chapel built in 1744, belonging to the Ranuihof farmstead. We parked in the car park by the farm, took many photos of the pretty church in its scenic location in front of the towering Geisler peaks and had lunch at the small hotel there.  They seemed glad of our custom. It was all very idyllic and quiet.  We saw 2 or 3 other people looking at the church in the hour or so we were around.

Two weeks ago I was excited to visit the Dolomites again but sadly the return visit to St Johann in Ranui was a shock. It is still possible to visit the church but it is now surrounded by electric ribbon fences keeping visitors to a narrow path which is creating a scar on the landscape. There were ‘no trespassing’ signs on the farm and people everywhere taking photos.  The locals have thoughtfully built a carpark and photographers’ viewing platform further down the valley but this was overwhelmed with visitors and as busy as a town on Christmas market day even though October is low season in the area.  There was a sweet sign asking people to keep off the meadow and I’m glad to say this was being respected, but the tranquility of the valley is no longer and the locals were clearly suffering from an invasion of photographers in far greater numbers than the landscape can stand. Being one of the invading photographers I feel bad about this and feel duty bound to make this post. I think I’ll stick to visiting more robust locations in future. 

The crowded potographers' platform The full carpark

Also posted in Countryside, Photography

APRIL IN THE NEW FOREST

I had heard of New Forest ponies roaming free in the woodlands and heathlands but I was surprised to see how varied they are, ranging from tiny stocky Shetland-like ponies to almost thoroughbred horses. They seemed very ‘other worldly’ not responding to people to be fed or petted and were generally busy grazing. As a result the landscape was very neat.

Also posted in Countryside, wildlife

CERN

A couple of weeks ago I was able to visit the permanent exhibitions at CERN, The European Organisation for Nuclear Research, which is just outside Geneva. As well as being very informative the exbitions are very stylish and captivate their audience. ‘Universe of Particles’ is in the Globe of Science and Innovation, a largely wooden dome which is an emblem of CERN. ‘Microcosm’ across the road shows the work and history of CERN and includes a garden exhibiting old equipment as sculptures. It was uplifting to see the international co-operation involved. If only the whole world could be so positive.

Also posted in Science

FEBRUARY FLIGHT TO THE ARCTIC

Bodo

Bodo from the air

In eary February we spent a week in the Lofoten Archipelago in Arctic Norway.  The flights to get there were a joy with Norway shining in its snow coat below.

Also posted in Photography, Skies

EYAM – THE PLAGUE VILLAGE

In August I was moved to visit Eyam in the Peak District.  In 1665 the village suffered an outbreak of the plague brought in by infected cloth from London.  The brave villagers islolated themselves for almost two years to avoid spreading the disease to neighbouring communities and coped with the dreadful disease themselves. Though many died many also survived and today the episode is depicted in this stained glass window in the church and in an excellent village musuem.

 

Also posted in Countryside, History

BOATING ON THE RIVER TAY

At the beginning of July we went on the first available commercial boat trip along the Tay from the Fergusson Pontoon to Willowgate. The power of the River was much more evident when on the water and we had some new views of the Friarton Bridge.

 

Also posted in Countryside, Outdoor events, Perth

SEVILLE SHOPFRONTS

Last month I visited Seville.  It was hot and vibrant, stylish and chaotic.  Many characterful shop fronts caught my eye.

Also posted in Uncategorized