Whenever I am going abroad I prefer to go to a country with mountainous regions. The overwelming landscape with its unique views, its specific flora and fauna (wich differs per region as well, not only between the northern-
What's there to be found:
A selection of typical mountainous animal species is: The alpine salamander (mostly found in the northern alps, where its moist): a weird looking creature, black from top to bottom (even the eyes) and (it has) the feel and look of a rubber artificial bait or a toy animal or if your into wine-
The alpine flora typically stands out (especially at high altitude) for its dwarft growth, hairy leaves and stem (protection against the cold) and (to protect against drought) succulent leaves and stems (storage of water in leaves and stems). The everpopular Edelweiß (rather unique, but a bit unsightly with its felty appearance) and the alpenrose steel the limelight from comparitavely more beautiful species like: alpine toadflax (so tiny, you would walk right past it, where it not for the many purple flowers with their orange hearts ), alpine butterwort, purple columbine (deep purple flowers, almost black), alpine clematis, bunch saxifrage and last but not least the orchids with wich the alpine meadows are teeming. In Austria we once saw aprox. 10 different species in one piece of meadow whose abundance matched that of our common buttercup or cuckoo-
But in other area's there's also a lot to photograph as wel, predominantly because of the fact that the terrain as wel as the animals and plants differ (so much) from our flat (monotonous) meadows, swamps, heaths, mudflats, seas and forests and often the area's are much larger and free from human disturbance. These things give me an enormous boost and inspiration as far as photography is concerned. One often states that regularly revisiting a certain area will yield the best photographs, but with me it works yust the other way arround, I take my best shots during the hollidays abroad.
One area that has surprised me very pleasantly is Pembrokeshire in Wales, a magnificant coastal area with pleasant small harbours, but also the preselli hills and the primeval forest more inland tempt the immagination and in springtime this area is teaming with wildlive, especially coastal birds. Germany with it's large diversity in landscapes has it's charms as wel, especially with it's many nice villages with timbered houses. The Danish main land with it's sloping hills filled with cereal fields dotted with field flowers and the roadsides teaming with colour works very attractive, but what has left the biggest impression on my mind about this country are the enormous chalck cliffs bordering the coast of the island of Mön, very photogenic and the fossils ly there for the taking, where it not for the dimensions of the country it could have easily passed for a peninsula with it's ever present coast. The same chalk cliffs can be found on the Germand island Rügen, from where you can see the chalk cliffs on the isle of Mön. This island also holds much attraction for it's ruggedness with many a hedgerow and tree girth and the presence of many a crane and see eagle. France in turn has it's favorable climate especially in the southern regions where for instance the maguis has such a warm and dry climate that all growth has become dwarfed in an area that looks like a large low-
I have never traveled outside of Europe, but when I think of all the things I have already encountered and photographed in Europe then Europe has got a lot to offer and I've got a lot of countries and areas yet to visit like: Finland, Poland, Iceland (is supposed to be very inpressive), Greece, Spain/Portugal, Rusia, etc, etc. Stil a tropical country appeals to me as wel, one country which has always been high on my wishlist is New Sealand, a country that hosts a large variety of typical landscapes amongst which are coastal areas, mountain ranges, rainforests and vulcanism.