Archive for May 2011

Albert and The Somme, France   Leave a comment

We made a brief trip to Albert, a village almost destroyed by the bloody battle of the Somme during WW1.  This was also the first time we wild camped (see a previous blog for details)  Here are few of my pictures.  More info about the Battle of the Somme is here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Somme

I’m currently reading an amazing book called Somme Mud, about an Australian solider who fought at the Somme. It’s not light reading!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Somme-Mud-P-F-Lynch/dp/0553819135/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1306848921&sr=8-1

A selection of my favourite images from this blog are available to buy at stefanpalmer.photium.com

Stefan Palmer

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Posted 31/05/2011 by Stefan Palmer in France

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Wild Camping   Leave a comment

A large proportion of our trip will involve wild camping. For two reasons, 1. It’s free and 2. In some of the areas we will be traversing there just aren’t any campsites. So far we have camped in a pine forest outside Colditz in Germany, a carpark in Aucshwitz town, by a lake outside Albert in France and a forest close to the Polish/ Latvian boarder. Good camp craft means getting off the beaten track in a forest or gehind a hill well hidden to minimise bother from locals and police. Get up early and get the tents down quick in case we need to make a sharpish exit. So far my favourite spot was Colditz. It was miles from the road and I saw a deer. As I write this we are in the polish woods. I’m huddled down in my sleeping bag. We are nearish to a dual carriageway so I can hear the cars much more. 7 start in the morning to make for Latvia. It’s not all luxary, fine wine and cheese this overlanding you know. Good night.

More wild camping at http://illneverworkagain.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/note-wild-camping-101/

A selection of my favourite images from this blog are available to buy at stefanpalmer.photium.com

Stefan Palmer

Aucshwitz   Leave a comment

This trip I have forfilled a long held wish, to visit Aucshwitz Death/Concentration Camps. The camps are broken into two. Camp 1 is the smallest and was originally a Polish army camp. Camp 2 is the one everyone sees in the pictures  with the huge arched entrance with the train track to bring the prisoners running underneath it. And acres upon acres of huts and barbed wire that when the camp was operational was electrified.   We arrived late in the evenin so I had time to take in the vastness of Camp 2 – Birkenau.  Few visiters where there at that time. Thankfully I had the overnight to mentally prepare for the visit….I needed it.  So next morning at 8 I ventured in. Initally it felt eerie walking through the gates into an area where so many innocent people were murdered. Standing at the entrance steps of a now shattered gas chamber, seeing the ponds where human ash was dumped was unsettling. However the strange thing was after a while, hearing the birds singing and seeing a deer wondering around the site it began to feel peaceful and I hope the poor souls there can rest in some sort of peace now.  I find it sad to think that younger generations will have no connection to such a place.  Grandparents who remember the war pass away and personal war stories are forgotten. The visit was a humbling experience that I will never forget.

A selection of my favourite images from this blog are available to buy at stefanpalmer.photium.com

Stefan Palmer

Posted 30/05/2011 by Stefan Palmer in Poland

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Died and gone to heaven? Riga and the Go Blonde Festival   1 comment

Last night we wild camped in the woods in Lithuania. I’m now wondering if during the night we were shot by bandits and are in some limbo world. Today we arrived in Riga, the capital of Latvia. They have an annual festival called Go Blond. Which unsurprisingly is all about blonds. We had a Marilyn Monroe look alike competition, loads of blond singers with amazing lungs (yes I said lungs), a blonde fashion show and plenty of Eurovision music. The folks walking about were all dressed from 1989 in rolled up 501 jeans and converse (just like I wore in the 6th form).  All told there was that much cheese there that I was regreting the fact I’d forgot the Ritz!

Updated on 27th June with sightseeing & Go Blonde photos.

A selection of my favourite images from this blog are available to buy at stefanpalmer.photium.com

Stefan Palmer

Posted 28/05/2011 by Stefan Palmer in Latvia

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Overlanding   Leave a comment

It’s surprising how small the amount of time you have to relax and do stuff when overlanding. After a day sight seeing or travelling for anything up to 600 km, making camp at 7, 8 or 9, cooked dinner, washed up and set up tents, it’s bedtime. Up at 7 or 8 and off again. Once a week we had an admin day to do the laundry, check the landy over and do any repairs or modifications as necessary. During a day on the road I try to work on processing my photos on the laptop. Luckily the landy’s got an inverter to plug and run standard 3 pin electrical tech. Getting internet connections is challenging. Often if we get a campsite with WiFi we upload pics etc. Day to day it’s cafe’s that are useful and our  smartphones come in very useful. I’ve got in the habit of typing up my blog on my phone and quickly upload in a cafe. It’s all about adapting and taking your opportunity to get stuff done.

A selection of my favourite images from this blog are available to buy at stefanpalmer.photium.com

Stefan Palmer

Posted 28/05/2011 by Stefan Palmer in General Trip Blogs

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Berlin   Leave a comment

What a beautiful vibrant city! Ok there was what looked like a huge football match on the day of our visit which swelled the crowds. Did a whistle stop tour of the city to Brandenburg Gates, the last remains of the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie. The latter disappointed me. Two guys where stood at the checkpoint dressed in 60’s style American Uniforms and holding American flags. But between posing for photographs they kept playing with thirty mobile phones! Kerry struggled to get her head around the Berlin Wall concept and kept asking “why?” Yea why indeed. As one of my pictures illustrates…madness.

A selection of my favourite images from this blog are available to buy at stefanpalmer.photium.com

Stefan Palmer


Day 7   Leave a comment

Wow. Day 7 of our trip. We have already travelled through France, Belgium, Luxemburg and are currently residing in Berlin Germany. We have seen a magnificent citadel, wild camped in the woods down the road from Colditz Castle (after visiting the castle), made a sombre visit to the Somme, seen the remains of the Berlin wall and travelled on the Berlin Underground. I have loads of photos to show you folks but I need a decent internet connection to upload them! Tomorrow we crack on and head into Poland…More WW2 sites to visit while we are there.

A selection of my favourite images from this blog are available to buy at stefanpalmer.photium.com

Stefan Palmer