We've had quite a busy period since returning from our luxuriously long holiday - getting back to some semblance of reality, working on the house, planning our next trip...* But this week I've been able to carve out some Lightroom time, for sorting and editing all of those many, many holiday snaps.
It's been quite fun going through them all, especially revisiting the first few places we saw. I'd somehow completely forgotten that we'd spent a night in Matera, and that it was a pretty amazing city! It's like reliving the holiday again. Well, without the cheese and wine and warm ocean breeze. And without having nothing to do but stroll and eat and drink. And without the restaurants and hotels and someone else doing all the cooking and clean. Okay, actually it's nothing like reliving the holiday is it? But still, it is fun.
I have quite a few favourite shots, here are five featuring water.
Tangier, Morocco. I know loads of people who adore Morocco, so I had high hopes that our first visit to the country - via two stops on a cruise boat - would whet our appetite and leave us hungry for more. It absolutely didn't.
Our first port of call was Casablanca (one of my husband's favourite movies, but sadly the city itself had nothing to do with the actually movie). It was dirty and disorganised. There was chaos and poverty everywhere. We were harassed, constantly. I tried and tried to find something to like, something good. I'm definitely a glass half full traveller, but I just couldn't find any positives. It's one of the few places where I've said to the husband: "I'll stick it out if you want to but quite frankly I'd happily make a retreat back to the boat..." Actually, it's the only place where I've said that.
Next was Tangier, which was better than Casablanca, but there'd be a lot of places in the world I'd put on my must visit list before I returned. I'm sure there are parts of Morocco filled with immense natural beauty, wonderful food and amazing handcrafts...but it wasn't in Casablanca or Tangier. The one saving grace was this shot I took as we were leaving the port of Tangier. I love how the mass of concrete and the enormous light dwarfs the lone security guy. And that endless blue horizon!
San Cataldo, Italy. This trip we explored some new turf, a region of Italy we hadn't been to before - the heel of the boot, Puglia. San Cataldo is a short drive from Lecce, the main town of the region. It wasn't an overly inspiring beach, especially compared to the breathtaking wonders of Amalfi or Liguria. Much of the region was like that. But whilst it wasn't necessarily amazing, it was never disappointing. It's still Italy after all. And the place was jam packed with local holiday makers - cars crammed with suitcases and kids and beach towels and dogs - which made for some pretty great people watching.
Savelletri, Italy. Also in Puglia, Savelletri was a cute little coastal town. Again, not breathtaking, but really lovely in it's own way and yes - packed with local holiday makers. It had the perfect holiday vibe - kids running around town in board shorts, dogs wet and shaggy from the sea, little bars serving the perfect spritz, the roads given over to barbecues and deck chairs.
And even though it was a small town, with small food shops, every single one of those food shops was mouthwateringly delicious. Picture your local milk bar, with all the baked beans and white bread removed and replaced with perfectly ripe tomatoes, different types of pasta piled up to the roof, fresh mozzarella, bags of olives and all kinds of cured meats. We found the best sandwich makers on the planet here. Yum.
Savelletri, Italy. Aside from that blue, blue water there's a few other things I adore about this scene. Firstly, the stripy umbrella. This trip made me realise we need more giant stripy umbrellas in our life. I hope I see these dotted all over Bondi Beach this summer. Secondly, the bikes. The way they're just kind of dumped there, like their riders couldn't wait to leap in to the ocean. They scream summer holidays, don't they?
Savelletri, Italy. One of the things I realised on this trip was that often it's not the prettiest places that make for the best photos. We visited some really beautiful, historic cities on this trip; places like Paestum in Campania, and Bologna and Modena in Emilia-Romagna. But most of my favourite shots come from our few days in Savelletri, a rather nondescript little holiday town, and from another few days spent in Lecce - a nice place, but not one of staggering beauty.
Do you ever find that sometimes what seems more mundane on the surface actually makes for a better image?
FYI all of these were taken on the OM-D E-M10 loaned to me by Olympus as part of the Kidspot Voices of 2014 competition. I've recently handed it back, and I'm surprised by how much I miss it and how clunky and old my DSLR feels!
*Do you do this too - plan your next trip as soon as you land back home? We actually started planning our big 2015 trips while we were away. There's just something about having some travel on the horizon that keeps us happy...