Hi there! Welcome back to ianferris.com!
I know, I’ve been away for a long time….sorry!
I wondered what new photo galleries I should put on the site this time. Whilst looking through my thousands of photos I was struck by the large number of places the family and I have visited over the years and the many amazing experiences we have enjoyed. The photographs bring the memories back. For example, probably my favourite lunch ever was Oysters Rockefella, accompanied by a few glasses of chilled chardonnay and some happy conversation on Circular Quay in Sydney some years’ ago. Other photos remind me of the family adventure of a lifetime when we drove the Gibb River Road across Kimberley National Park in the northern Outback, camping in the Bungle Bungles (Pernululu) National Park where we had to make sure we checked for king brown snakes and crocs outside the tent if we got up at night. We hired a speedboat to visit the amazing ‘Robinson Crusoe’ islands of Krabi and the bay of Thailand, including Phi Phi island before the dreadful Tsunami devastated the area in 2004. The girls and I have dived amongst the fabulous coral and fish in the South China Sea and the Great Barrier Reef, and stayed on our favourite Coral Island in Thailand many times. We have walked right around and climbed up Uluru (Ayer’s Rock), ridden numerous elephants and helicopters (though not at the same time), been overwhelmed by the stunning landscapes of New Zealand, enjoyed the countryside, coast and food of France, fallen in love with everything in Tuscany and accumulated some interesting passport stamps and visas along the way. We visited the remarkable temples of Ankor in Cambodia with Mum & Dad and the more depressing killing fields from the reign of Pol Pot. We saw first-hand how poor this beautiful country is now and the comparison with its past grandeur indicated by the intricate stonework on the temples was apparent. We have taken an overnight train from Hanoi through remote north Vietnam to visit some amazing local communities in the mountainous Sapa region on the border with China where the women wear traditional tribal dress every day. We spent some time wandering their colourful local markets and, whilst life in this particularly beautiful part of the world is very different from ours, the locals seemed no less happy. Natalie and I have journeyed up-river in a canoe and stayed overnight with the Iban tribe in a traditional long house deep in the Borneo jungle. There we cooked a chicken dinner in bamboo over an open fire, joined-in some traditional Iban dances and learned how to use a blowpipe.
On my business trips I have walked the Las Vegas ‘strip’, stood in the cell Al Capone was incarcerated in Alcatraz prison, walked over and taken a boat under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco Bay, got neck-ache amongst the oil-money skyscrapers of Houston, visited the Alamo and learned all about Davy Crockett, the celebrated hero, warrior and backwoods statesman, his hero’s death for Texas independence and the Spirit of the American Frontier. I have walked a small part of the 4,000 mile Great Wall outside Beijing, visited most countries in South East Asia and the Middle East (including very unusual Saudi Arabia), made very many trips to Hong Kong and China (including one during the SARS crisis which resulted in my having to be quarantined at home for 10 days), and made a travel weekend very special by staying at the foot of Mount Fuji in Japan and then being taken-aback by the awesome view of ‘Fuji-san’ breaking through the clouds as I flew back home. The list goes on and on but it’s still hard to compare any of these experiences with a delightful spring walk along the cliffs at Pennard or Rhossili in Gower.
Some of the most enjoyable trips are when I am not travelling on my own but with family, work colleagues or even when I meet particularly nice people on a trip. In my (considerable) travelling experience most people I meet are generally very nice and more often than not they are also delighted to meet and talk with you and offer help and advice. I’ll maybe put an album together of family and shared memories….
I thought I would start by highlighting a few of my favourite photos from the many places we have visited as a family or from some of the places I have visited on the many business trips I have made, with my camera normally close to hand. I hope you like them too.
I use the JAlbum web photo toolset and for this update I have added a new ‘skin’ design so the site doesn’t work exactly as it did previously but I hope you like the new effects as much as I do. Depending on the speed of your internet link the larger albums will take a little while to first load but when they are ready I find it easier to hover the mouse over the middle photo and use the mouse scroll wheel to move through the pictures in the ‘album’. Alternatively, move the slider below the pictures slowly to the right/left. Click on any photo to see it in a larger frame, from where a slide show can also be started. I’ll add further travel photo albums as I find the time.
I would love to hear from you. One day I may get around to putting a Visitor’s Book on the site but for now you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Just click on the address to start an e-mail to me.
Don’t forget to add this site to your Favorites and…
Come back soon!
Ian. (March 2008)
P.S. Now added a Vietnam visit diary & photo galleries. (April 2008)
P.P.S. Now added Tuscany photos (June 2008)
P.P.P.S. Now added Sharon & Lee’s wedding photos (August 2008)
P.P.P.P.S. Now added Redgate Beach (October 2008)