Tag Archives: uk

York, 2006

Well, we did the “between our birthdays” trip to Winchester so it was only right that we did something near the real thing too. Plan “A” was to be Bath but for reasons that I now forget we ended up heading up the East Coast Main Line to York. It’s only an hour or so from my parents place and it’s a city that I’d been to a number of times previously but not in the last ten years.

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Although I don’t know the geography of York very well, it’s easy to find your way to the biggest site. The Minster is visible from almost anywhere in the city and, arriving at the time we did, looked amazing bathed in late afternoon light.

York is not a large city. Most of the main areas of interest are inside the city walls and are, therefore, near the Minster. Also near the Minster are a large number of cafes, one of which we dove into to get something to eat. It’s late and we’ve not had anything since breakfast!

Next stop after a refreshing cappuccino is The Shambles, a narrow, old street that used to be where all the butchers hung out. There’s not much evidence of that now and most shops sell various forms of tourist tat.

From here we wander back over the Ouse to the hotel. Realising that there are few remaining hours of daylight left we go back into town almost straight away. Rather than take the exact same route we hit the cities Roman walls.

We head pretty much all the way around, stopping to look at the Minster from all angles and well as finding some strange audio/visual exhibit in one of the bars (gates).

[photopress:IMG_1765.jpg,thumb,alignleft]Another feature of the city are the street names. Whip Ma Whop Ma Gate is perhaps the longest name you’re likely to find on such a short street. In fact they had to lengthen the street just to accommodate the sign. Actually I made that bit up. We also found Mad Alice Lane (subsequently renamed Lund’s Court, which isn’t nearly as interesting).

There are also a lot of bars. I was disappointed when I eventually found out that these are just gates to the city and do not serve alcohol. All the “gates” in the town are just streets, after the Viking word. Very confusing.

[photopress:IMG_1785.jpg,thumb,alignleft]The plan for Sunday was to meet my family in the afternoon, which left the morning for us to fill. After breakfast we headed into town and stopped off in the Yorkshire Museum Gardens. We found St Mary’s there, looking amazing in the early morning light. It’ll be really nice when they finish it. (Sorry, the old ones are the best, no?)

Overall, a great weekend. Looking forward to heading back to Yorkshire again soon.

Miscellaneous Pictures, 2003

Like most people I take the majority of my pictures while on holiday. But that’s not the only time. Here you’ll find some odds and ends, places I’ve been where I was only there for a short time or where there are only a few reasonable ones!

The first batch are from my month-long stint at my companies Malta office (actually at the tail-end of 2002). There would have been more pictures, but it rained for much of the time I was there! Not encouraging weather for sight-seeing!

Next are pictures from closer to home. One from a friends wedding in sleepy Southwold, the next few from my “flight” on the London Eye, then a couple from Norfolk and the last two of the UK are in the Peak District. The last few are from my time in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Click the small pictures below for a full size version.

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The last few pictures (the colour ones of Charlotte) are taken on my D300. All the others here have been taken on my EOS300 using Fuji Sensia II ISO100 film.

Turkey, 2003

Turkey is a big country. Opinions you’ve heard about Ankara or Istanbul do not necessarily apply. But that’s fair, smaller towns in a country are rarely anything like their capital city. We stayed hundreds of Kilometres away from either of Turkeys major cities, instead we hung in or around the Mediterranean Sea. We flew into Dalaman airport, moved to Fethiye, across to Antalya and back to Dalaman more-or-less along the coast.

This makes somewhere like Bodrum a fairer comparison. But even there, the tales of “in your face” sales techniques make it sound very different.

Even in the tiny part of Turkey that we saw, there was immense variety. On the trip there was everything from thriving local towns (where we felt like we were the only sight-seers) to tourist centres (where the first language appeared to be German) to “wilderness” that felt like it was hundreds of miles from any form of civilisation. In-between there were vast amount of Roman and Greek ruins, statues and busts of Atat?rk, lovely bays that reminded me of Italy and snow-capped mountains.

Few countries can claim to much variety in such a small area. If you can’t tell, I was impressed and I haven’t even spoken about the locals hospitality.

Click the small pictures below for a full size version.

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All pictures here have been taken on my EOS300 using Fuji Sensia II ISO100 slide film. Most of the outdoor pictures were taken using a polarising filter.

If the pictures have piqued your interest, there are a few resources that you might want to have a look out for:

  • I read Jeremy Seal’s “A Fez of the Heart”(Amazon UK/US) to get the feel of the place before I got there. Unfortunately the area I went to was barely mentioned, but it’s a good book and well worth reading.
  • Turkey.com has lots of interesting stuff including city guides and travel tips.

Norway, 2001

Only a fool would go to Norway as the winter approaches. I was told this by just about everyone that I spoke to.

Even the Norwegians said that Autumn was the worst time to visit. In the summer it’s comfortably warm and there’s beautiful country-side you can appreciate in any number of ways. In winter, it’s sharp, bright, covered in snow and beautifully clear. Autumn is just grey, dull and rainy.

In my eight months there I saw Autumn, which was much more beautiful than they claimed, winter, which wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I expected, and the start of summer. I took a mass of film of all seasons, and these are the highlights.

Click the small pictures below for a full size version.

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All these pictures have been taken on my EOS300. The first few pictures were taken on Kodak Royal Gold ISO100, then there are a few on Fuji Superia ISO100, the black and white ones are on Ilford XP2 ISO400 and all those from Tromsø onwards are on Sensia II 100 slide film.

If the pictures have piqued your interest, there are a few web Sites that you might want to visit:

  • Norwegian Tourist Board. Lots of interesting stuff.
  • Norwegian State Railways. Check timetables on-line.
  • You’re going to need a guide while travelling around Norway. As always, there’s a Lonely Planet guide. You can buy a copy from Amazon (UK or US).
  • I also used the Insight Guide to Scandinavia (mainly for my trip to Stockholm), but the Lonely Planet guide was better. If I’ve not put you off, you can buy a copy from Amazon UK (not available at Amazon.com). Oddly enough, this book was cheaper to buy in Norway than back in London.

Thailand, 2000

Thailand is such a beautiful country that I could help but take a huge number of pictures. What you can see here represents the good fraction of those taken!

We started in Bangkok, got the night-train up to Chang Mai and a boat up to Chiang Rai. From there we mini-bused and walked through some Hill Tribe villages back to Chiang Mai, Bangkok and then flew home. A tiring couple of weeks, but well worth it for the scenery alone.

Note that the spelling of many Thai places are not strictly standardised. I’ve used the spellings that our tour-guide or my Lonely Planet guide used, but you may well see others.

Click the small pictures below for a full size version.

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If the pictures have piqued your interest, there are a few web sites that you might want to visit:

  • Lonely Planet have a useful guide to Thailand, including a large number of interesting links.
  • If you prefer hard-copy (much more portable than your laptop!), you can buy a copy from Amazon (UK or US).
  • Some of the above pictures were taken in some of the northern Hilltribe villages. This web site gives some useful information about them.