Photography

Fethiye: Escape to the Old Town

It was a last minute, spur of the moment holiday to Turkey, a bargain package deal so I was expecting to end up somewhere really touristy and just spending my days lazing on the beach and eating lots of delicious local food, which I did do in good measure. But at heart I’m not really that much of a beach lounger and after a day or two I start to fidget and the need to explore takes over. So I headed out from our beach resort near Fethiye, in the well-known tourist region of Dalaman, with the famous resort of Oludeniz just down the road, and took a short ride by dolmus (shared taxi or minibus) to explore the Old Town.

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A great place to relax and watch the world go by sipping a strong turkish coffee or a deliciously fresh juice in a small cafe… Stroll along the harbour, haggle in the markets looking for bargains… Take a slow walk around the old town, with its little cobbled streets, traditional buildings and white-washed mosques.

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And don’t forget to visit the Fish Market (on Tuesdays), you can buy a fish of your choice from the middle of the Market and then get it filleted and cooked to your liking by any of the surrounding cafes. As we visited early in the holiday season in mid June, the locals welcomed us eagerly and I noticed at this time of year the majority of the tourists were Turkish and Lebanese holidaymakers.

A mix of the traditional and the touristy, but that’s fairly normal all over the world nowadays, there are some great finds here.

And a great place to just walk around with my camera, so here it is in pictures…

 

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Costa Rica: Pura Vida!

I’ve always been drawn to Costa Rica as it just seems so alive, with so much natural beauty packed into such a small region, I felt there would be so much to see and explore. A vibrant and colourful country of volcanoes, cloud forests and waterfalls! And then there is all the exotic wildlife all around you too, beautiful birds, monkeys, frogs and insects. So when the chance came up though my work,
I just knew I had to go.

I don’t think I can tell you just how beautiful this country is just in words.
So here are some highlights from my time in Costa Rica in pictures…
or 30 reasons why you must go!

If you’d like to read more about Costa Rica, please check out my series of posts on exploring this gorgeous country, video coming soon too!

Shoreditch Unseen

Street Art & Street Cred

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I’ve lived most of my life in London and there are some parts I think I know pretty well, yet there are still so many places that I don’t know that much about at all. So if I have free time on a weekend I love to go for a wander with my camera, often trying to find a new part of the city to explore and learn about.

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One weekend a friend of mine suggested we do a walking tour in Shoreditch and I realised that although I’ve been there many times for a bite or meet up with friends I’d never really stopped to look around or explore.

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This was going to be a tour with a difference, as our guide had a unique understanding and experience of the area, which he was going to share with us on the tour.

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So we met Henri outside Old Street Station on a Saturday afternoon, a lively, friendly character and our guide from Unseen Tours – alternative walking tours of London led by people who are or have recently been homeless. Being a guide gives them the opportunity to talk about the areas they know from their own unique perspective, as well as earning some money (they are paid 60% of the cost of the tour).

Henri gave us a brief introduction and history of the local area outside the station, having lived homeless there for a number of years. As we continued he pointed out both historical sites, such as William Blake’s grave in the Bunhill Fields Burial Grounds, or the secret location of a MI5 ‘detention’ centre, along with sites of personal significance to him. Sharing some parts of his own life, his stories and people he had encountered, made the tour so personal, like walking around with an old friend.

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Our tour took us from Old Street through to the streets of the hip and trendy Shoreditch. Once off the main streets Henri guided us through a labyrinth of side streets covered with some wonderful street art.

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This is where Henri was in his element, coming from an artistic background having studied sculpture at Art College himself, he spoke very animatedly about the artworks we were seeing and his own personal memories and encounters with some of the artists that made them.

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The tour was fantastic, I felt Henri gave us a good mix of history, local culture and his personal stories gave us an insight into a side of Shoreditch we wouldn’t normally see. Also the street art was incredible and some of the best I’ve seen in London.

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If you are thinking about doing an Unseen Tour I would definitely say go for it! I think I’ll be back to do the London bridge and Covent Garden tours myself soon!

If you would like to read more about Henri’s story or find out more about Unseen Tours and the great work they are doing visit: sockmobevents.org.uk