Ian W


Ian W

I spent a year travelling around the world and that gave me a real love of travel. I have since been inter-railing in Europe twice. Now my travel is limited to the annual two week holiday with the family - although we still manage to cover some distance and certainly try to avoid limiting ourselves to two weeks by a swimming pool, despite the protests from the kids.

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Norfolk » Thetford August 27th 2023

Before I went to bed I was very careful to check the tide and then double check and then treble check and then got my wife to check. It was high tide at about 4.00am, so it would be going out and definitely, definitely not going in by the time I got there for sunrise. I got up at 5.00am and drove back to Happisburgh. There were no problems getting to the sea defences this time. I had them all to myself again for a while, until two other photographers arrived (different to the two in Cromer last night - see ). At least I could now take some additional reassurance that I wouldn't get trapped on the beach. And if I did, I wouldn't be the only one and I'd have some company whilst we ... read more
Happisburgh Sea Defences
Happisburgh Lighthouse

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Norfolk » Happisburgh August 26th 2023

My wife had planned on meeting some friends in Norwich, and I'd managed to convince her of the merits of letting me tag along, as I had long-since wanted to visit the Norfolk coast and the Norfolk Boards for some photography. It's a surprisingly long way to Norwich, although it's a lot quicker than it used to be when I'd been to the coast there several years ago when I'd used to go camping with some neighbouring dads and all our kids. Fond memories. The A11, which was previously single-carriageway from the moment we got to the Norfolk border, has now all been replaced by dual-carriageway. No more getting stuck behind tractors. I left my wife with her friends for lunch and briefly went to the hotel to see if I could get the key, given ... read more
Happisburgh Sea Defences
Thurne Lighthouse
Turf Fen Mill

Europe » Malta » Malta » Valletta August 3rd 2023

As it was our last morning in Malta, we decided that we would get up and go for an early morning swim in the sea before breakfast. There's a little marked-off section of the inlet for hotel guests to swim in. I think the markers is to stop the guests from swimming too far out, rather than to stop sharks or other sea monsters coming to get us. According to my wife, the sea was a lot cooler than it was when she had previously gone for a swim, but it was still warm enough for me to get in - I'm a bit of a lightweight when it comes to cold water. After the sea, we also went for a swim in the pool. It was reassuring to see that only a few people had ... read more
Hotel Room View
Local Produce

Europe » Malta » Malta » Marsaxlokk August 2nd 2023

It's sadly our last full day in Malta today, as we're flying back at 12.30pm tomorrow, so that will not leave any time for us to do anything other than get to the airport. My wife wanted to relax by the pool today. I wanted to go to Marsaxlokk, which is a small fishing village that I had read about. I caught a bus and was there in about half an hour, most of which was spent with the bus fighting its way through narrow streets again. I feel sorry for the bus drivers here, as the cars, both those parked and the ones driving don’t make it any easier. And that reminds me, one thing I don't like about the Maltese is their manners. I'm going to stop standing to one side to wait for ... read more
Boat Close-up
Marsaxlokk Market
Maltese Civil Ensign

Europe » Malta » Malta » St Julians August 1st 2023

After one of the longest blogs that I have written yesterday, today is probably going to be one of the recent shortest. We took it very easy today and the most of the day had gone before we even knew it - not helped by how long it took me to write the blog from yesterday. I need to be careful that I don't spend so much time writing up one day that I don't get a chance to do anything during the next. My wife was happy as we were back in a hotel that served Earl Grey tea for breakfast. Later she went down to the pool. Given how hot we got yesterday, she had intended to go to an indoor pool, but strangely and rather annoyingly between us checking it out last night ... read more
Hotel Staircase
Floriana Park
Floriana Harbour

Europe » Malta » Gozo » Victoria July 31st 2023

After our rebellion at the hotel yesterday (see ), we had cancelled the remainder of the nights in St. Paul's Bay and had booked to go back to Valletta. It was a bit sad and the hotel manager genuinely wanted to know why. Apart from Las Vegas, where we really despised both the hotel and the whole city (see ), we've never checked out of a hotel early before. On that occasion, we left Vegas and went on to Death Valley (see ). There's a lot on the UK news at the moment about the current heat wave hitting both the Southern United States and Southern Europe, the latter of which we're experiencing first hand at the moment, Death Valley is in the middle of record temperatures of well over 50°C. It was a mild 43 ... read more
Comino and Ferry
Ggantija Temples
Ggantija Temples

Europe » Malta » Malta » St Pauls Bay July 30th 2023

We had heard that there's an excellent market in Floriana on a Sunday, but despite asking several people in the hotel, we were at a loss as to exactly where it is. Most people seemed to think that we were after some local fish market, which, quite rightly, they thought was a bizarre thing for us to be asking about. Eventually one of the receptionists told us that it was at the park-and-ride, about 20 minutes' walk away, so we looked that up on Google Maps and set off to find it. What we didn't know is that the market finished at 11.00am, and we arrived at 11.30am to find everyone in the process of clearing everything away. It was a lot of walking in horrendous heat for no reason (although we did get to see ... read more
Sunday Market
St. Paul's Bay

Europe » Malta » Malta » Mdina July 29th 2023

It was to be another exciting adventure on the buses today, this time a lot further away, so the two Euros each will be even better value. We were heading for Mdina, which is close to the centre of Malta. After an hour deciphering the Malta bus routes (slight exaggeration) we worked out that any of routes 50, 51, 52, 53 or 56 would get us there and they left from a whole another set of bus stops round the corner from the main area. We went round there and waited for which ever route arrived first. It was a 52. Whilst Valletta itself is quite small and compact, the built-up, urban sprawl that surrounds it is surprisingly large. At a guess I'd say it almost covers a quarter of the island. The only slight downside ... read more
Mdina Gate
Carmelite Priory
Mdina Architecture

Europe » Malta » Malta » Valletta July 28th 2023

Following my walk around the rim of the fort yesterday (see ), I thought I would get up early again and head back out there to see whether it would make any good photographs. It didn't. I was very disappointed as all the floodlights that illuminate all the walls had been turned off. It was dark and bland. Not only that, but I needed the light on my phone in order to see where I was going. When I could, I climbed some steps back up to the streets and tried out some other locations. I did manage to get a good photograph of the Victoria Gate (stealing the composition from a postcard I had seen) and I also eventually ended up at a location that I had been to a couple of evenings ago (see ... read more
Victoria Gate
Bus Map
Fort St. Angelo

Europe » Malta » Malta » Sliema July 27th 2023

There's still lots left to see in Valletta, but we decided that we would go on a little adventure today and get the boat over to Sliema. We eventually managed to work out where the ferry left from and how to get there, as there was little in the way of signs. There's a road that goes off in the wrong direction, but then loops back through a tunnel under the main road. The boat leaves every 30 minutes on the hour and the half hour, and was bang on time (maybe the influences from nearby Italy are not as strong as we thought they are - see ). We decided to brave the sun and sit on the top deck, where we got some excellent views back towards Valletta. And forward towards Sliema for that ... read more
Sandwiched Building

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