All posts filed under: Travel

Lumix DMC-GX8

Costa Rica Bound

It’s not very often that I hanker after a new camera – I’ve always been far more interested in pictures than shiny new equipment. Lately though, I’ve been looking at the merits of Compact System Cameras for travel photography, and with a three week trip to Costa Rica on the horizon it seemed a good opportunity to give one a try. My trusty Nikon D300s serves me very well for macro, flower and garden photography (usually paired with a 105mm Micro-Nikkor) but is relatively heavy and not at all discrete for reportage and street photography. My Fuji x-10 on the other hand, although a handy little compact, seems a little inadequate for such an epic trip. I’m expecting to encounter a wide range of subjects in Costa Rica; plenty of exotic plants and gardens of course, but also atmospheric landscapes (jungles can be very rainy and humid, even in the dry season) and cameos of local life.  In short, I was looking for a mid-priced lightweight yet versatile camera with an element of weatherproofing, small …

Photograph of Ventnor Botanic Gardens by Michael Turner

Postcard from the Isle of Wight

You may find it hard to believe, but this is the UK in October… Ventnor Botanic Gardens on the Isle of Wight. Not just anywhere in the UK of course; my postcard is from Ventnor Botanic Gardens on the Isle of Wight. The garden’s sheltered, south-facing location, tucked well into the Ventnor ‘Undercliff’, has challenged gardeners and ecologists here to push the boundaries of plant hardiness in a constantly evolving experiment. In the light of rising global temperatures and the prospect of significant climate changes to come, the gardeners here are succeeding with an increasingly diverse range of semi-tropical plants that would normally curl up their toes at the first signs of the UK winter. The result is a lush, exotic garden that is only a short ferry ride away from mainland Britain and one of several garden delights we discovered during an enjoyable week away.

Upper Barrakka Gardens , Valletta, Malta

Upper Barrakka Gardens

Wandering the narrow streets of the historic Maltese capital Valletta just a couple of weeks ago, my wife Janet, two friends and I made our way slowly upwards to the Upper Barrakka Gardens, the highest point on the ancient city walls and one of Malta’s most spectacular viewpoints. Our efforts were well rewarded – the panoramic view of the Grand Harbour across to the Three Cities is simply breathtaking… The Barrakka Gardens themselves are of historical and architectural interest, as well as being a tranquil haven for foot-weary travellers. Originally constructed as a place of relaxation for the Italian Knights of St. John, the gardens are now a public open space and home to a collection of commemorative statues, including a bust of Sir Winston Churchill and a replica of Les Gavroches by Antonio Sciortino (the original was removed and is now housed in the National Museum of Fine Arts).