When I’m taking a picture, all I think about is composition – is the framing right, how’s the colour – I don’t pretend to be a remotely good photographer, but I enjoy the process. It’s funny how in post-processing though, a photo can take you all the way back to how you felt in that moment, even when you thought you had disregarded the moment, for all the components of a shot. So here’s Barcelona, in all its beaming sunshine glory. And boy do these pictures take me back.
May 2015 was the first time I ever wilfully explored any part of the European continent. For all my travels, stops in Europe never amounted to more than a layover at the airport, or a just-passing-through fleeting visit. I always put it down to the fact that it’s right there, on my doorstep and thus never had quite the same appeal as destinations further afield. Despite the richness of culture and history, Europe just didn’t seem exotic enough – whatever that means. But if Barcelona was any indication of exactly what I’d been missing my whole travelling life, then I have a lot of catching up to do.
I had no expectations when I arrived. I had done minimal research into the usual tourist hot spots – with the greatest of travel companions in tow, best friend forever Dale – our only requirements were a fine balance of culture, exploring and relaxing. Barcelona does not make it difficult to achieve all three with little preparation – the subway is super easy to use, though there are differences between overground trams and underground metro, everyone speaks enough English to be helpful, the sun is an unwavering constant so you can enjoy your leisurely strolls around Barrio Gotico without fear of being caught in a downpour, unlike London, and there are man made beaches within ten minutes of almost anywhere you might be in downtown Barcelona. We loved it so much, we actually came back three months later, for my birthday. But that’s a whole other story…
The other day I got asked why I stopped doing ski seasons. I paused, and realised that there was a time I knew the answer to that question…but I’d forgotten it now. Which reminded me that I also have a blog that I pay for but don’t update – I blog about this every couple years. So this is an attempt to make it so easy for me to update my online travel diary, that even I can’t not do it.
This is Durdle Door, on the Jurassic Coast of the UK (didn’t know we had a Jurassic Coast, did you? Me neither). Went a few years back with the fam – I look at these pictures and forget it was in England. You might also want to read the actual post that went with these images here
I won’t lie. I’m very London when it comes to the dim view I have on the inglorious nature of Britain’s natural landscapes. But my dad’s always been keen to get us out and exploring the wonder that this small island nation has to offer and I’ve always been a big fan of road trips (mostly because I enjoy sleeping in moving vehicles a little too much), so off we set this weekend, for a gander down the coast.
Durdle Door itself is just a humble rock formation, but the coves it sits between are home to some of the clearest bluest water I’ve ever seen on home soil. There was an instant I wondered if I hadn’t in fact slipped off the side of the unfenced cliff trails leading down to the beach, and magically landed in some French Polynesian paradise.
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What with the new blog setting up nicely, when better than to go out in search of fresh new content to fill these pages? So off I trotted with my recently acquired fancy DSLR in tow, to snap some photos of the place I call home.
As most of you will know, I’m a Londoner, born and raised, but I can’t say I’ve really lived in this great big city until now. All my former years were spent in education and when the time came to live a little…I upped and left for Whistler, Canada, the beginning of the Great Travelling Adventure. In fact, this nine month stint is the longest I’ve been home since then (Oct. 2007) and it’s been almost non-stop what with music festivals, Dylan’s first visit here, getting back on the London job wagon, Diamond Jubilee’s and oh, what was that tiny anonymous event we hosted this summer? Oh, that’s right, the Olympics.
Pictures and posts to catch up what we’ve been doing since our arrival home from Japan, will follow, but for now, a few shots of London as seen on a leisurely late afternoon stroll that started in London Bridge, took in Borough Market, up along the Thames to Southbank, and the Southbank Christmas Market, cross Westminster Bridge (by accident, we were shooting for Waterloo, but clearly, overshot), back up Westminster Embankment, through Embankment and cross the Strand, to the ever happening, Covent Garden. Pretty cold day for a walk – good thing we know a thing or two about keeping warm.