travelogue

We love travelling. In fact. it's not inaccurate to say that most of what we do is aimed at supporting our travelling habit. We have been to a lot of countries, and this set of modules is about taking pictures in them, together with a good deal of hard-won practical travelling information. They are updated periodically, as we go back to the country in question. For example, we have not been to India since 1999, but before that, we were there in 1982, 1983, 1984. 1985 (Roger only in 1985), 1990 and 1997. We hope to be there again in 2006/2007. .

Rather than have separate introductions for each country, all are listed below in alphabetical order. In reverse order of appearance they are Malta (November 2005) and France (April 2006).

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la france profonde

La France profonde -- literally 'deep France', though 'deeply rural France' might be a more helpful translation -- is where we live. It is also one of the most beautiful places in the world. There are at least three reasons for this. The first is that France has a lot of countryside to go around: it is roughly five times the area of the UK, but with the same population. Second, the twentieth century saw an enormous migration to the cities: what the French themselves call 'desertification'. Third, France is an old, rich country (or collection of countries) and 'built to last' means that there are surprisingly many buildings that go back a thousand years or thereabouts: the donjon (castle) behind our house was built in about 1020, and the oldest parts or the church a few paces from our front door are probably about the same age, though the majority of the building is a century or two newer. And -- here's the kicker -- the rural French are extraordinarily friendly. Judging France when you know only Paris is a bit like judging the United States when you know only New York. There are 33 pictures, about evenly split between mono and colour.

Windmill, Mazeuil

This is about 15-20 km (10-12 miles) from where we live.

 

malta

Probably our favourite place to shoot, and quite possibly the most photogenic country on earth, despite its tiny size: the entire archipelago (Malta, Gozo and Comino) is under 320 sq.km or 125 square miles. It has been described as 'a continent in miniature'. Cliffs, caves, terraced fields, prehistoric ruins; a capital (Valetta) that is a perfect planned renaissance city; blue seas, sandy beaches; churches, quarries, forts; fishing-boats, harbours, narrow alleys; the list goes on. Roger lived there as a boy, 1952-54 and 1958-60, and then didn't go back until 1990 when Frances saw the island for the first time. Since then we have been back half a dozen times; one of the reasons we don't go back more is that some of our editors started complaining that there were too many Malta shots in our books. That's how photogenic it is. There are 28 different pictures in this module, about one third monochrome, the rest colour, and (at a guess -- our program can't count words) 3000 to 4000 words.

Two cannon, Grand Harbour, Malta

When the Royal Navy switched from muzzle-loaders to breach-loaders, an awful lot of cannon were embedded in the quay-sides and elsewhere as bollards. These are alongside Fort St. Angelo in Grand Harbour, one of the finest natural harbours in the world. On the other side of the harbour you can see Fort St. Elmo; both St. Elmo and St. Angelo were central to the defence of Malta during the Great Siege of 1565. If Malta had fallen, then the whole of Europe might have fallen under the Turkish yoke. Roger shot this on Fuji RF ISO 50, using (as far as he recalls) a Leica M4P and 35/1.4 Summilux.

 

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© 2005 Roger W. Hicks