Mauritius

Anyone who follows my blog or instagram will see I get to travel to some interesting places for work. Some are places you'd only really go for work, and others are more holiday destinations.....I think I can safely categorise this as the latter! The only downside to this trip was that it was so brief.....only two days. By arriving on a Sunday afternoon, and leaving Tuesday night, I only had two opportunities for some free time to put my newly acquired Fuji X-T2 through its paces.

Despite being "Winter" during my visit, it was still very warm with lots of sunshine....something we're lucky to get in Summer back in the UK! I was staying at a nice hotel in the Flic en Flac region, a beautiful long beach on the west side of the island. I must admit this wasn't my first trip to Mauritius, having previously visited there for work almost five years ago. Then, I was staying in the same area, but much further down the beach. Sunday afternoon and evening was purely spent walking all the way down the beach and back. 

On Monday morning I had a brief moment to take some photos before being picked up for work.....

I was back at the hotel just in time to catch the sunset.....

On the Tuesday morning, I had one more chance to quickly walk around the hotel area before being picked up. A brief rain shower had passed, leaving some more dramatic clouds......

....and I had one more crack at nailing that pool side reflection shot. I think this one turned out a lot better! The vertical tilting screen on the X-T2 came in really handy here, as I needed to position the camera as close to the water as possible. I would have really struggled to keep the horizon straight in this five photo panorama with the X-T1.

DSCF0443-Panoweb.jpg

After work, it was straight to the airport for my flight back home. Of course it would have been great to stay for longer, but this has given me another taste of Mauritius, and more temptation to return for a holiday one day to see everything this country has to offer.

Cambridge

This was just short two day visit to celebrate my partner’s birthday. In hindsight, we didn’t pick the best time of year to visit! Firstly it was exam time, and being a large university city, this meant most of the colleges and university buildings were closed to the public. Secondly, on the last day the city was preparing for a large politician’s debate for the upcoming UK general election.

Furthermore, we even had some sunshine! Which is a rarity, even in late May!

If you’re looking for somewhere really special for dinner, I can thoroughly recommend Midsummer House. We visited one evening, and it was probably the most amazing culinary experience I’ve ever had. I would have loved to have taken my camera, but I thought constantly snapping away in a Michelin 2 star restaurant isn’t really the best practice….despite the dishes looking like works of art in themselves!

These were all taken with the Fuji X-T1 and 23mm f/1.4 lens.
DSCF2850web.jpg

Budapest

Budapest was another one of those cities I had been to, but I could never really say I've experienced it fully. My last visit was over five years ago, and was only a very short business trip. This time I was again back for work, but I had five days in the city. This time I would make the most of it!

Luckily my hotel was in a very charming area of the city, with many restaurants and cafes nearby. Located outside of the inner city, some of the main attractions were a fair walk, but this is one of those cities where there are countless streets to explore along the way.

DSCF2122web.jpg

Paris

Being one of the closest capital cities to the UK, Paris has long been overdue a visit. Despite having travelled there on a few occasions for work, I could never really say that I’ve ‘been there’. This bustling city is home to many iconic 'must see' landmarks, but it wasn’t just this that attracted me this time. I love being able to wake up in the morning with no real plan, just a vague direction you want to travel in, exploring endless streets as you go. Paris is perfect for this.

We were there for eight days, and our hotel was the fantastic Hotel Saint Marc. This modern style hotel is just a short walk from the Louvre, and a great starting point for visiting most major attractions – if of course you are walking! Paris is such a great city for people watching that it’s a shame to use to metro. If like us, you’ll end up walking miles and miles each day, but with so many cafes and bars around, when your feet can’t take anymore simply grab a coffee, sit outside and watch the world go by.

On this occasion, I’ve chosen not to write about each part of my story, but simply let the photos do the talking. Paris is full of instantly recognisable features and places, that they simply need no introduction. Hopefully they may serve as great inspiration as to why you must visit this beautiful city, or reminders of past trips.

 

These were our eight days in the City of Light….

Ethiopia

This was not my first trip to Ethiopia. I had a very brief visit back in 2010, but I don’t remember too much of it, and I was only staying in Addis Ababa. 

For this visit, I would have to fly into Addis, but get a second flight to the south of the country, to a small town called Arba Minch. Formed in 1960, this small town is located in Ethiopia’s Great Rift Valley. Its rich green environment is a haven for wildlife, and a popular destination for tourists looking to connect with nature.

 

It’s not often I get to say this, but the hotel was one of the highlights of the trip! Arba Minch is only a small town, so there are not too many hotels to choose from, but if you’re ever visiting the area then you have to stay at the Paradise Lodge. Do not expect your usual boring Western hotel block, THIS is an African hotel! 

Upon arriving you immediately get a sense of what the hotel will be like, and you are greeted by the friendliest staff you’ll ever meet at any hotel…..this sets the tone for everyone I met during my stay too.

Here's a selection of photos from the trip.....

Singapore - take two

On my return journey from New Zealand, I had to make a quick stop in Singapore. I only had to work there for one day, but being a Friday, I was able to stay a little longer and return home on Saturday night. So one almost full day to explore what is becoming one of my favourite cities for photography (and visiting in general!)

I follow quite a few photographers on Instagram, and I was able to meet up with Jethro Hoon (https://www.instagram.com/jethoon/?hl=en). He was kind enough to show me around some of the lesser known spots of the city on both Friday night, and the majority of Saturday.

 

Far too quiet....

I’ve been far too quiet lately........ Despite travelling LOTS, I’ve not had many chances to get out with my camera. I’ll be making up for that soon. Currently in Rwanda for a few days, so I might have an opportunity here.

But I am really looking forward to a weeks holiday in Paris in a couple of weeks. Really looking forward to that one so stay tuned!