Some people like to go to the Costa Brava or Corfu for their holidays. They lie on the beach – book in one hand, pint in the other – and slowly turn themselves the colour of a lobster. I did this once (except the lobster part, I have an aversion to skin cancer) and found myself so incredibly bored that even my favourite books couldn’t keep me still for more than 20 minutes at a time. I like to go on an adventure when I go on holiday. I like to appease my (not-so) inner ten-year-old and go to interesting places and see interesting things – lying roasting away like a blow torch over a crème brûlée is not part of the deal.
In the past I’ve been lucky enough to see penguins in South Africa, go on a 4×4 safari in Antigua, stuff my face in New York’s Chinatown, get lost in the alleyways of Stone Town, Zanzibar, in the mid-day sun during Ramadan, climb the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, be within a metre of a wild lion, and amongst the other things on that list I can now add seeing a near-priceless selection of Fabergé eggs and watching the Viennese State Opera. Yes, in case you weren’t bored of hearing about it yet, I went on holiday this year to Moscow, Vienna and Bratislava. Day 5 of A Second Year In Photos breaks the ‘two photo’ rule I set for this series, but it was too difficult to decide which city to cut.
Not in the order I visited, we start with Vienna – one of my favourite cities in the world. Part I and Part II detail my trip to Vienna, but here we get to revel at the beauty of the Schönbrunn Palace (and the fact that I was feeling a little worse for wear on the day I took this).Bratislava was the surprise for my trip. I only really went there because it was easier to fly home from there than it was from Vienna (they’re an hour apart by train), but I found a really intriguing little city and it’s definitely somewhere I’d go again; you know, just the very next time I’m ‘passing through’ Slovakia.
I would have no qualms about saying that Moscow is the most bizarre city I’ve ever been too, but it’s also one of the most fascinating. Again the details are spread over a Part I and a Part II, but one day when I have plenty of money to splash about I’d like to go back and see how the other half live. Although the next time I go to Russia, I think it’ll be to St Petersburg; when that’s going to be, however, still remains more of a mystery than the Russian language.Travelling is one of life’s greatest pleasures and something I will choose any day over doing nothing on a beach. Whilst next year’s adventure(s) is/are still very much at the idea stage, here’s hoping they’re every bit as exciting and enjoyable – if maybe a little less bizarre – than this year’s adventures.
Tomorrow for the penultimate day of photos we return to my favourite kind of photography – the simplicity of black and white.