I live on the Isle of Wight in the UK, just across the waters of the Solent facing Southampton and Portsmouth, surrounded by delightful countryside and beautiful beaches. Sea sports, swimming, walking and cycling are the most popular pastimes on the island, and twice a year Walk the Wight, and Cycle the Wight draws hundreds of visitors. The world’s most famous regatta, Cowes Week, which once saw the crowned heads of five nations take part, is a major event in August and if the number of royals in attendance is less than in previous years, the number of royally rich with their super-yachts has increased.
We are a very literary Isle and apart from the number of writers who live here now, the Island was home to many famous writers in the past, such as Alfred Lord Tennyson, Charles Dickens, Alfred Noyes, Keats, Longfellow, and J.B. Priestley. Karl Marx, who spent a few years here, wrote to Freidrich Engels to say, “This island is a little paradise”. It is even more famous for being the home of Queen Victoria and her consort Alfred, who built a home here for their growing family away from the stress of London and the Court. This home, Osborne House, is now one of the most visited places along the south coast as it remains much as it was in Victoria’s day, a family home full of photographs, knick-knacks, children’s toys and lots of love.
I am a keen photographer but find that travelling with a heavy camera and an extra lens or two is difficult now. I now travel with the best compact I can afford, so if my images sometimes appear to lack that “wow” factor you will know why.
I love some countries passionately, Thailand, Italy and Spain, and I am fortunate to live in Europe where good transport links and fairly cheap flights make it possible to do long weekends in favourite cities.
Most travellers are avid readers too, it goes with the territory, so I shall be mentioning books in my blog, not guidebooks but novels about a country, or a novel whose setting portrays the country better than any guidebook, films too if they fit the book.
So join me on my travels and maybe add your comments if you have experiences that mirror mine.