"When in Rome"

The time has come to Blog and the old saying, "When in Rome do as the Romans do" springs to mind. Now I'm not actually in Rome or even Italy at all for that matter but rather in Japan and that gives me the perfect excuse to start my Weblog as Japan, it seems, is quite a bloggers paradise. And not only have I got Japan to wax lyrically about but all the other countries I've travelled through over the years too.

Travelling has been a passion of mine for many many years now and I dont think there is a more adventurous, exciting or interesting place in the world such as Asia (only my opinion) hence I have spent a lot of time around this wonderful part of the world viewing its religions and lifestyles, cultures, traditions, beautiful and sometimes outlandish landscapes and have also witnessed changes that one would have preferred not too have seen but hey, Ce'st la vie......

I-ndia a South Asian country i truly love.
N-ot in the least bit uninteresting, drab or
D-our but more like a world within a world,
I-ncomparable, wondrous and an enchanting place
A-place of extremes, a place like no other.

Some people after their first visit can't help but return again, hungry to learn and experience more about the place, while others might just take a complete distatse for it and never return, it is after all a culture unto its own and quite a Large one too (1.17 Billion people, a 6th of the worlds population to be exact!). Making the possibility of seeing, meeting, observing some very interesting characters, other worldly people who might not be of our time (at least in the western sense of the word), highly probable.

Peoples of another era in time and space where change takes place at such an alarmingly slow pace one can hardly perceive it in some regions that is. The local people may wear the traditional dress/costume that their ancestors have been wearing for generations, they remain untouched by modern day trend and fashion and hanging on to the old traditions means also hanging on to some wise knowledge that their forefathers also passed on to them. So it can be a very interesting voyage (not neccesarily into the Twilight Zone) down memory lane if one has oppurtunity to pass a moment or two with the local people. I take great satisfaction in this, hearing about the history, "the British Raj", the way things were and the ways things are now shaping up, all over a cup of tea (Chai) of course. I'm British! What Oh!

The Cultural Heritage of India oozes out of every nook and cranny of its crumbling ancient old cities such as Varanasi (left), a magical place and one of India's holiest of holy Hindu sites built on the banks of the Sacred river Ganga (Ganges), offering any visitor a taste of another world, real india, where one can see a whole gamut of colourful individuals coming from all parts of India ney, all parts of the Indian-Subcontinent to be absorbed in this timeless and fantastical place.

Anyway, enough of advertising India, this is just a short introduction about what I really wanna post on this blog, things like Travellers Tales, Information on past trips to Far Flung destinations in the hope that what I post can be of help to somebody someday, Images of what i see and the way i see them along with travel book reviews for all those readers out there, be they travelling around the world from their armchair (armchair travellers) or actually on the road at present.
One more thing, a fascination of mine is the plant life (all things Botanical) found throughout different countries and environments, wether it be temperate Europe or Sub-Tropical/Tropical climates, amongst Jungles, Forests or Alpine meadows so look out for a few floral surprises.


Such as this little beauty found on the dry summer ski slopes of Mt. Menou, Togakushi, Nagano Prefecture, Japan.


A wild ground Orchid, Spiranthes sinensis otherwise known more commonly as Chinese Spiranthes or Ladies Tresses.

It only reaches about 30cm in height but the form (spiralling style) is quite a wonder to behold and fairly unusual I would have thought plus the tiny flowers are but a few mm's in size. If one knows Orchids though there is no mistaking this one, as small as it might be!

http://www.antonyratcliffephotography.com/

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