I'm lucky enough to travel a lot but I also aim to understand a place in some depth. So I like to find out about the local history, sociology, wildlife and local arts. I prepare for a trip by looking up photos of the famous sights, they're usually a good guide both about the local visual interest and also a warning of what has already been done or over-done.
I try to use the tools of modern photojournalism and photography to communicate how I feel about a place. You’ll see that I have used Portrait, Street, Interior, Historical, Abstract, Landscape, Historical, Wildlife, Phone-camera and Selfie genres at different times for specific effects.
Just offshore from Ribeira da Janela, Porto Moniz, on the north shore of Madeira and away from the usual tourist hotels, there are dramatic volcanic rock formations swathed by the Atlantic Ocean surf. “Ilheus da Rib” seems the accepted translation to English. The waves here are direct from the ocean, the reef having disappeared during one of Madeira island’s several volcanic episodes - unlike the Hawaiian islands, the volcanism at Madeira is recurrent.
A glimpse of relatively authentic Madeira: a marine joiner working on a wooden hull in the port in the Baía de Camara de Lobos, a few kilometres round the Via Expresso from the concrete reconstruction of the main town of Funchal following the disastrous storms of 2010. Local legend has it that Winston Churchill much enjoyed this town and its pretty harbour.
Great to enjoy my lunch from one of the few independent English bakers still producing good traditional English bread, cakes and confectionery. Just down a side street off Market Square and the Church of St. John the Baptist, Halls Quality Bakers in Cirencester turns out an excellent Chelsea Bun, hand-formed from a tasty sweet dough, spicy and with just the right amount of fruit... I know artisan bakers who sell Chelsea Buns in Shepherds Bush but I believe Chelsea Buns are now actually extinct in Chelsea!
Update from a reader: Stop off at St. George's bakery in Staunton they make lovely Chelsea buns!
Other suggestions welcome!
“Young, fit and crippled”, the unfortunate but accurate description of many of the finishers of the Annecy MaXi-Race resting up with their supporters in afternoon sunshine on the grass of Le Pâquier and the Champ de Mars bordering the Lac d'Annecy in Savoie. The 2000 solo runners had left at 3AM for the 85km solo race over a challenging mountain course. Other starts for shorter distances happened later on in the day. There are several,sports acadamies in or near Annecy so there is a lot of local support for the runners.
The massive walls of the medieval fortress at Aigues Mortes on the Camargue, the embarkation town for the seventh and eighth crusades in 1248 and 1270 AD.The Burgundian King of France, Louis IX ordered the construction of the fortress in the Camargue marches and also a causeway to a quay a short distance away where the ships were able to berth. Burgundian France had no navigable harbour on the Mediterranean Sea until a century later when Louis XI incorporated Provence in to France in 1486. These days, the walls enclose an attractive tourist town with restaurants, bars and boutique shops.