Category Archives: Travel

World Trade Centre – NY

World Trade Centre, New York. A US flag is draped over a fence. New York, NY. May 19, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian


World Trade Centre – NY, a set on Flickr.

World Trade Centre Memorial Plaza, consisting of two pools with waterfalls set within the footprints of the Twin Towers. Image shows the partially completed One World Trade Centre (Freedom Tower - towards the left of the image). Construction work at the World Trade Centre, New York. May 21, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

As the tenth anniversary of the inhumanity carried out at the World Trade Centre approaches, construction workers work to finish building the various skyscrapers, including One World Trade Centre (also known as the Freedom Tower). Alongside these huge new buildings are two pools with waterfalls, placed within the footprints of the original Twin Towers. This and the memorial museum will make up the memorial plaza.

World Trade Centre, New York. New York, NY. May 19, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

This was a return visit the area; what once used the be literally awesome, where one could not see the tops of the towers from ground level and where taxi cabs were the size of ants when viewed from the roof, had now become the sad and depressing site of ground zero. The site of such inhumanity and sorrow.

World Trade Centre, New York. A pickup truck carries a 9/11 sticker as the World Trade Centre site is reflected in its rear screen. New York, NY. May 19, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Parking in London

Probably the single most annoying thing about working in London is the parking problems one encounters from borough to borough.

I came across Park-Up which is a great web site which helps out a lot with details of where to park on and off the road. Check it out!

The 20th Visa Pour L’Image, Perpignan, France

You often hears talk amongst photographers asking who’s going to Visa or Perpignan. This talk refers to Visa Pour L’Image which is an annual festival of photojournalism, which takes place in Perpignan in the south of France.
This year’s festival, the 20th, will run from the 30th of August until the 14th of September. During this two week period there will be some 30 exhibitions dotted around the beautiful city; the venues are very interesting in themselves – there is a convent and even a prison.
The professional week runs from the 1st to the 7th of September. This is open to professional photographers, newspaper and agency photographic staff and apart from the above exhibitions it incorporates talks and presentations, evening screenings (on a huge outdoor screen – this is also open to the public), a chance to show projects and portfolios to the agencies present and generally network.
This year will be the fifth time I’ll be attending the festival. If you’ve never been, take a week off and check it out. You’ll see some great work exhibited and if you’re a professional, getting accreditation will open up a whole lot more. The talks and presentations are given by photographers at the top of their game and its an ideal and unique opportunity to see the world’s picture editors all under one roof.
To top this off, the town is beautiful with some great restaurants. The social scene is one of the great things about the festival too. Just check out the Cafe de Post near the Castillet and you’ll see photographers and editors drinking and chatting the night away ’till the very early hours.
One tip – book your accommodation now as the town gets packed during the professional week.

Electric plugs and sockets of the world

As the holiday season nears, I thought it might be handy to share this great page with all sorts of sockets and plugs from around the world. Its best to be prepared with the right plug converters!

As a photographer though, it always pays to have a small travel bag constantly packed for those last minute foreign assignments. My favourite adapter is the World Travel Adapter which is compact and will change any plug type to any socket type. I have four of these in my travel kit bag.

There are various companies from Tumi to Fuji who have the same product under their own branding; I actually don’t know who makes the original one!

Will We Ever Learn?

I’ve been in Fromelles (France) for the past few days. Yes, I know, I hadn’t heard of it either I’m shameful to admit. It was the scene of a very bloody battle during WWI and they have just started to excavate a mass grave where around 250 British and 170 Australian troops were buried by the German Army.

To find out more about the actual battle, check out this link and the links on that page.

What really struck me was seeing the large area being excavated and the care and respect shown by battlefield archaeologists from Scotland’s Glasgow University and members from the Australian Army. It was really touching to meet a couple of Australian families who had made a pilgrimage here as they have relatives which they are sure are here at the site.

However, having driven around Fromelles, one realises that there are numerous graves. VC Corner is home to over 400 unidentified Australian soldiers. At Le Trou Aid Post cemetery there are a further 358 soldiers.

I read the visitors book at VC Corner and there were many touching messages from relatives and other visitors. The message “Lest we forget” was repeated over and over. 
Alas, we keep forgetting the horror of war. I just don’t understand how we let this happen over and over again.

Observations Oslo

Subtle; that’s what I found Oslo to be; subtle.

Its not like some cities where one almost immediately gets a flavour and the ambience. Oslo’s much more subtle than that. In fact, it took me a couple days until the city began to grow on me. If its your first time, I definitely suggest that you go for a week, otherwise you’re going to miss out.

One of the nice things is how nice and clean everything is. How polite and helpful people are. These qualities make it sound rather clinical, which they are, but at the same time its a very welcome to be surrounded by friendly people and cleanliness.

Its definitely a place to go walking and exploring. Although there’s a very good tram network and taxis can be found easily, I strongly urge a map and some comfortable walking shoes. There’s something familiar about the place, but new. It at times reminds one of Sweden or Denmark, but actually its rather different.

The next thing to strike you is that its expensive! Ok, so not so much a quality; at times, especially with bar prices, its ridiculously expensive. The cost of even fast food and snacks is high, let alone proper restaurants. This isn’t the place to go for shopping.

So, its subtle, clean and expensive; not the best sales pitch for a place! However, you would be missing out if only the obvious was going to steer your choices for destinations to explore and enjoy. After a couple of days one really begins to get a fuller flavour for the city and its people. 

Its a very elegant place. Great food and fun bars are dotted around the place. To keep costs down one can even choose to stay in hostels, leaving money for food, drink and the famed ferries. Actually, the cost for hotels isn’t as high as some other European destinations. Probably the main reason for Oslo being known as such an expensive city are more to do with the taxation on alcohol. With a little bit of research, one can choose bars, cafes and restaurants which are off the typical tourist routes and will cost less.

There are lots of free attractions, museums and events to enjoy too. A quick look through the Visit Oslo web site will provide very helpful listings of these. Another thing to keep in mind is that the best times to visit are between May and September. Leave it later than that and the weather can get rather cold and wet.

On my first day, after checking in to my hostel, I picked up a camera and decided to go exploring. My first port of call was the beautiful palace right in the middle of the Slottsparken. The palace has its own guard and several times a day there is a changing of the guards ceremony which is well worth seeing. As with everything in Oslo, its very friendly and accessible, unlike certain other cities where everything happens behind closed metal gates at great distance.

The main streets in the centre of town are only a ten minute walk from the palace. Some very beautiful restaurants, both traditional and contemporary line the streets which then give way to trendy clothes shops and boutiques. Although not a city to shop for bargains, its still good fun having a lazy walk through the streets window shopping. A large ice rink in the middle of the city centre acts as a great focal point and meeting place.

The marina’s within walking distance of the city centre and 15 minutes later I find myself sat outside a cafe under some gas heaters and some viking style blankets watching the boats and people. There’s a booming trade in ferries as they dock and leave the marina carrying their cargo of tourists and commuters.

There’s a wonderful warmth and cosy feeling to the restaurants and bars at night. They just become so welcoming and comfortable. The food is good and the ambience great, and with the flow of beer the hours disappear and quite often one finds that its early morning all of a sudden.

One of the funnier things that I experienced was going from one bar to another after midnight, only to be greeted by the shouting chants of some drunken youths. I turned to my friend to ask if they were chanting football slogans to be told that actually they were reciting poetry! Now that’s the type of drunken youth I enjoy running into at night!

Norwegians like their coffee and the people of Oslo are definitely into good coffee. I found a rather wonderful coffee place next to my hostel (Cochs Pension, Parkveien 25) called Kaffebrenneriet, with the most amazing coffees and pastries. A superb start to the day. My joy was multiplied when I realised it was a chain!

My personal favourite place though has to be the Vigeland Sculpture Park (Vigelandsparken – Main entrance from Kirkeveien). Its an absolutely huge park dedicated to the work of sculpture Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943). There are well over 200 sculptures dotted around the park, some as individual pieces, others working together as a much bigger piece. Its quite possible to spend the better part of a day exploring the works in the park. Definitely worth a visit.

Another favourite haunt of mine turned out to be Lorry Restaurant (Parkveien 12). A large restaurant over two floors with a great bar. Although its a fairly large place, it somehow has a mood and atmosphere of a smaller and more intimate establishment. The service was also extremely friendly and fun. I must admit to having more than the occasional late night here; the kind when before you know it its 3.30 am and the staff begin to clear up!

Oslo may not be at the top of most people’s list for must visit cities, but having been, I’d certainly recommend it for that more relaxed break, checking out parks and museums during the day and spending the evenings sampling some good food and beer.