Archive for Wales

Dec
31

My 10 Top Travel Photos of 2011

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2011 has again been a good year for me to discover wonderful new places in the world. Rather than bore you with a very brief and inadequate description, I thought I’d rely on the old saying of “a picture paints a thousand words” or rather in this case a photo. Here are my favourite photos I took during the last year.

Kronborg Castle

My first trip of the year was to the Danish capital of Copenhagen. I’ve been there many times and decided to head up the coast to Helsingor and the famous Kronborg Castle. It is said to be the setting for Shakespeare’s famous play “Hamlet”.

Kronborg Castle – One of Northern Europe’s finest Renaissance castles

 

Sveti Stefan

I spent a couple of days on the Montenegro coast at Sveti Stefan overlooking this iconic iselt.

Sveti Stefan – Famous visitors here include Elizabeth Taylor and Sophie Loren.

 

Mandarin Fish

My first diving trip to Manado was extremely rewarding. On a night dive I managed to capture a couple of pictures of the elusive Mandarin Fish on a night dive.

The elusive Mandarin Fish on Bunaken Island, Manado, Indonesia

 

Queens Colours 1/24th Regiment

The Battle of Isandlwana in 1879 was the greatest defeat a British force ever suffered at the hands of a native army. On that fateful January day, the Queens Colours of 1/24th Regiment were lost in the Buffalo River. Two weeks later, against all odds they were recovered. Queen Victoria added a wreath of immortals around the crown as reminder of what happened to those colours at Isandlwana. Today, they are hanging in the Havard side chapel in Brecon Cathedral, Wales.

Queens COlours of 1/24th Regiment that were lost and later found after the Battle of Isandlwana in January 1879.

 

Burning Bush / Fire Extinguisher

High in the Sinai Mountains in St Catherine’s Monastery. It is a hugely significant religious site and  this picture is of the Burning Bush. I found it slightly amusing that there is a fire extinguisher next to it…just in case.

In 2011, the Burning Bush is less of a safety risk that back in the days when it was described in the book of Exodus thanks to a fire extinguisher.

 

Soldier on guard, Hall of Valour

The Battle of Stalingrad was an horrendous fight to the death for hundreds of thousands of Russian and German soldiers. Today at the Hall of Valour at Mamayev Kurgan in Volgograd, there is a permanent guard.

A soldier stands guard in the Hall of Valour, Mamayev Kurgan, Volgograd

 

Petra through the Siq

The Siq at Petra is a long passage all visitors have to travel through to reach the famous Red City. As you approach the end, you get your first glimpse of the Treasury in Petra.

Nearing the end of the Siq and catching a first sight of the Treasury at Petra.

 

Kotor – cruise ship

The old walled town of Kotor in Montenegro is a popular cruise destination.

A cruise ship docked at Kotor, Montenegro

 

Pufferfish

This photo isn’t so much a favourite, I just want to highlight a problem (excuse the blurriness). When threatened, Pufferfish expand their bodies. Its a rare sight and is incredibly stressful for them. On this night dive in Aqaba, the guide annoyed this Pufferfish enough for it to puff out it’s body. I was really annoyed that someone meant to educate and protect the marine environment could do this. It was at a 5* PADI centre in a marine park.

This poor Pufferfish was annoyed by our dive guide and felt it had to expand it’s body to defend itself.

 

Ma’In Hotsprings

If you want to visit a fantastic spa resort in a stunning setting, the Ma’In Hotsprings 260m below sea level in Jordan will not disappoint.

The main waterfall at the fabulous Ma’In Hotsprings in Jordan.

 

I regularly update my Flickr account with my latest photos which you can find here:

http://www.flickr.com/bbmexplorer

Please feel free to add me as a contact.

Thats all from me for 2011, now I’m looking forward to 2012 which will take me to more new places and the Euro 2012 Championships in Ukraine.

The 24th Regiment of Foot came into being in the mid 1700s when the British army adopted the protocol of giving regiments numbers rather than the names of their commanding officers. The 24th served with distinction in various theatres, most famously in the Anglo Zulu War of 1879 before the regiment became the South Wales Borderers in 1881.

Brecon is a small town in South Wales on the northern edge of the Brecon Beacons. The route to the town from the M4 which runs long the south Wales coast takes you through some beautiful scenery. The winding road makes its way through the green hills and valleys that this area is famous for.

 

Brecon Cathedral

 

The Barracks Museum of the 24th Regiment can be found on The Watton and the road is lined with 24 lime trees. The museum is a wonderful place to visit packed with a fascinating array of weapons, uniforms, medals and other memorabilia. The museum also owns a number of Victoria Crosses awarded to the men who fought under one of the regimental banners. If you venture further into the town of Brecon, you will also find a pub called “Rorke’s Drift” which takes its name from the most famous battle the 24th ever fought.

 

Queens Colour 1/24th Regiment in Brecon Cathedral

 

The Cathedral in Brecon is the focal point of this community. It is a wonderful place to visit with a little tea room located in it’s shadow and a shop were you can purchase books or other souvenirs. The interior of the cathedral is typical of many cathedrals up and down the United Kingdom but it is the Havard Chapel which is a shrine to the various Welsh Regiments that have been based in Brecon down the years. Hanging proudly high up on the walls are various regimental colours, the most famous ones being those of 1/24th Regiment that were lost at the Battle of Isandlwana despite the efforts of Lieutenants Melville and Coghill in 1879. Amazingly, they were recovered from the Buffalo River 13 days later. Queen Victoria added a wreath of immortels around the crown of the colours which can clearly be seen. There are numerous plaques and memorials to various regiments who fought in various battles.

Today, the regiment has been further amalgamated into the Royal Regiment of Wales but the 24th Regiment of Foot lives on in history. 16 men from this famous Regiment have been awarded the Victoria Cross when it was known as the 24th, the majority of which were earned on 22nd January 1879 in a remote part of South Africa at the Battle of Isandlwana and the Battle of Rorkes Drift.

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