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photoblogography - Just some stuff about photography

Sardinia

in Photography , Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sardinia has been one of my favourite places since I first visited some 7 years ago. A three week visit in September this year was as pleasant as ever, and, like always, yielded a few surprises. Sardinia is perhaps the ideal place to combine a beach holiday with a bit of surreptitious photography. The thousands of beaches are often set in very photogenic landscape, and as long as you can escape the crowds - not so difficult except in August - there is inspiration everywhere. photo of sardinia This trip was really supposed to be about relaxation, after a very grueling 9 months or so of work, but nevertheless I packed a lightweight camera kit - Olympus E400 and a couple of lenses. So lightweight that I forgot the battery charger. This was possibly a blessing in disguise, as it made me very selective, but even so, I managed to get nearly 300 frames out of a partially discharged battery. Actually I came close to running out of CF cards! However, this did mean I had to forgo long exposures and infra red shots. photo of sardinia There are two sides to Sardinia, the coast and the inland regions. Both in turn are vary varied, within the limits obviously of a Mediterranean climate. The east coast north of Tortoli is perhaps one of the best areas for landscape photography, as most of it is given over as a national park. There are high mountains, densely forested, and some truly stupendous coastline, with dramatic sheer cliffs sheltering isolated beaches with crystal clear waters. Many of these can only be reached by sea, but the most famous, Cala Goloritze, can these days only be reached by foot, about a 1 hour trek from the nearest road. photo of sardinia Wildlife is also plentiful, especially birds. There are various salt marshes scattered around, in particular in the south, and these provided a seasonal home to masses of flamingoes. There are also rare eagles and buzzards, in particular in the wilder areas. The east coast features the spectacular - and isolated - sand dunes of Piscinas, and further up dramatic coastlines near Bosa. Throughout Sardinia you can find weird and wonderful naturally sculptures, where the wind and water has eroded the granite into shapes Gaudi would be proud of. photo of sardinia To cap it all, all over the island are remarkably preserved remains of the mysterious neolithic culture which predated the various Mediterranean cultures. The village of Tiscali, built inside a partly collapsed hollow in the summit of a mountain, is particularly though provoking - and a nightmare trek to reach. photo of sardinia Of course in high summer, most of the coastal areas are over-run, and best avoided unless you're an Italian speaking lemming. But otherwise... if you get a chance, don't miss it.