We really are playing catch up here……
Way back in January 2014 I posted my Reluctant Tourist post, it proved to be one of the most popular posts on this site outside of a review. It was, in essence, an overview of our 6-week trip back to the homeland (England) via various other destinations. Mixed into that were my thoughts on the newly arrived Sony A7r. I can still remember the excitement of taking that new camera on my travels…..
Fast forward to December 2017 and the next scheduled trip to England, along with various other destinations was rapidly approaching. Whilst I was excited about a trip away with family, things could not have been more different in a photographical sense. There were no new cameras and no real desire to even take a camera, let alone use it. I did eventually force myself to take the Leica MP, more of a token gesture than anything else..
I was in every sense, the reluctant photographer.
A couple of weeks ago I imported the contents of my iPhone in to Lightroom. I also developed the two rolls of film I shot on the trip. The best part of a year had passed since those photographs were taken. In total, there were around 130 photos between the film and the iPhone, on average around 3 photos a day……..a pretty poor return but, better than nothing. I’d say it was indicative of my headspace at the time.
I’ve narrowed these down to my favourites, the vast majority are iPhone 7 some are Kodak Ultramax 400 and Portra 400.
I’ve been to Canada a couple of times before. In fact, as a 12/13 year old I actually lived there for a time in place called Sexsmith and then Grande Prairie. The former had a population of a few thousand and was definitely not the ideal spot to emigrate to as a teenager. It’s difficult to articulate but when I think back to that time it actually feels like it happened to somebody else!! As a consequence I was keen to return to those places and see them again, not quite morbid curiosity but something akin to it. Alas, as we only had 8 days we spent them all in Vancouver, somewhere I’d never been before. It’s beautiful, but…..I prefer it here in NZ…sorry Canada.
Englands Green and Pleasant Land
From Canada it was off to England to visit family.
Some images below of the Longshaw Estate and surrounds.
Another memory of yesteryear!!!
As I recall, the Sunday papers in the UK would always arrive with a magazine supplement. Tucked away inside the magazine and almost always on the back pages would be the adverts for European River cruises. Without fail I would always reassure myself that one day I’d do that, when I’m older…….well the day arrived. Even though I’d reached an age at which I considered a River Cruise acceptable, I think we were still amongst the youngest people on there. Certainly, we were the only ones with four teenagers in tow but I enjoyed it, we all enjoyed it and I’d recommend Viking River Cruises to anyone.
Czech Republic - Český Krumlov
Definitely a “Bohemian Rhapsody……” such a beautiful place and fortunately for us at the time of year we visited it wasn’t swamped with tourists. I would imagine it’s a different story in summer. Obviously, trips of this nature only give you the smallest taste of a place and the majority of the Czech Republic is almost certainly vastly different to this place. I’m not sure we’ll ever return here but the former Eastern European countries have always fascinated me and I feel a prolonged tour at some future point could happen.
Austria - Vienna & Durnstein
Old habits die hard!!! Yes I did go in, I actually pushed myself to walk to this and spent quite some time there. Thinking back I’m pretty sure that my reasoning was I may just regret it at a later date if I didn’t. These guys have some top quality film gear and not just Leica.
This is actually the scenic stretch of the cruise, it was cold but fun spending time on deck watching the scenery pass by.
With the relatively small number of visitors on the boat and some people taking up the option to do other things we pretty much had these places to ourselves at times.
Slovakia - Bratislava
I’m a fan of Soviet era architecture!!! Sure, I wouldn’t want to live in it but there is something about it’s bleak nature thats very appealing.
Hungary - Budapest
This is most definitely somewhere I’d go back to, there were so many cool districts, bars, restaurants etc we really did just scratch the surface. The arrival of the Viking boat in to Budapest is timed for after dark. As you cruise silently in on the Danube the illuminated splendour of this wonderful city really is a sight to behold.
and……back to the UK!!! Isle of Man
We have family ties to the Isle of Man and its been so long since the kids had been I don’t think any of them could remember it. We also drove the TT course but I’m pretty sure everyone slept though most of it, with the exception of yours truly…..
Scandinavia……well Denmark and Sweden at least.
Copenhagen & Malmo
If my Ancestry DNA test confirms the presence of “Viking” DNA then I am definitely returning!!! There is no such thing as a perfect society but the Danes get so much right. I felt at home here, it’s a culture that really appeals to me.
I’m not sure we fully knew it at the time of booking the accomodation here but, it was essentially an Air BNB. The townhouse which was situated near the Refshaleøen district was like walking in to an IKEA ad!!!! The family had literally left all their possessions at our disposal, incredibly trusting but it really did make it feel like a home from home.
We took the train over to Malmo in Sweden, simply because it was so easy and it seemed like a missed opportunity not to.
Thank goodness for cameras in mobile phones!! I really don’t see my phone as a camera even though its a huge part of its functionality. Interestingly it seems I use it almost without knowing it which in itself is a bit of a blessing. In essence I was both a reluctant photographer and a lazy one. Looking through the images now of course I’m pleased to have them, without the iPhone I’d have very little to show for six weeks away.