Sunday , October 1 2023

‘It captured our awe and excitement’: readers’ favourite travel snaps

Winning tip: Staircase of light, Berlin

On a trip to the Urban Nation Museum in Berlin in 2018 I could not have foreseen the restrictions on travel that were to come. Looking through the photographs, I see that my shot of the staircase of coloured light “to describe what we take for granted” could not have been more apt. The museum is a gallery of contemporary street art that extends into the surrounding streets. It’s fantastic for photographers to visit as the works are so creative and inspiring, and photography is welcomed inside the gallery. Entry is free and it’s open again.
Free entry, open Tues-Sun,
Jude Bytheway

SUPrise in Barcelona

SUP Barcelona
Photograph: Katy Dixon

If you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of the beautiful Barcelona city, join “supsuprise” at 5.30am for a stunning sunrise. Bruno, a local resident, runs morning sessions before his day job and offers a wonderful way to start the day. I’ve done it four times and it still amazes me each time I’ve watched the sun rise over the warm waters. An unforgettable experience.
Katy Dixon

A saunter in Sutherland

Photograph: Sarah

I took this photograph looking ahead at the Bealach na h-Uidhe pass as we walked from Inchnadamph en route to Glencoul bothy and back again. We had hiked this path as part of the Cape Wrath trail several years ago, in glorious sunshine, and we never thought it possible to get the same incredible conditions again. Yet we did! In the midst of this ongoing pandemic we were reacquainted with space, peace and the most incredible views – exactly what we needed, two humans and our two gorgeous rescue dogs out in the wilds of beautiful Scotland. It was magical.

Lapping it up in Llandudno

Llandudno sheep
Photograph: Alison

Llandudno has it all for a visit: seaside attractions, brilliant walks (uphill) and cycle paths (flat) along the seafront. Every year we visit Llandudno to celebrate my birthday by marching over the Great Orme headland. Orme is my mother’s family name and 5 June is also Saint Tudno’s day at the lovely church on the Orme (Saint Tudno is the patron saint of Llandudno). Good to follow with Fish Tram Chips for a delightful chippy dinner. We often stay at the Empire Hotel (doubles from £65 room only) which makes a brilliant contribution to the celebration, with lovely rooms and perfect breakfasts. Dining at Dylan’s, in the magnificent Grade-II listed former Washington Hotel building on the promenade is a lovely way to finish the day.

A trek and a trot in Mongolia

Photograph: Nadia Zuberi-Clow

In 2015 I took a two-week solo trip to Mongolia. While there I went on seven-day horse group trek with Stepperiders. It was under £500 for the week. Having just been through a difficult breakup it was enormously cathartic galloping over the steppe with new friends, camping by night, and enjoying homecooked food every day. I truly felt as if I was away from it all. Staying in Ulaanbaatar itself was safe, affordable and friendly. I met so many female solo travellers on my trip too, some of whom I’m still in touch with. I am not someone who normally travels alone, but I came back feeling very much empowered by it.
Nadia Zuberi-Clow

Peak Patagonia

Mount Fitz Roy
Photograph: Marian Michie

This is Mount Fitz Roy, in the southern Andes. We started our trip at El Chalten, a frontier town full of walkers and climbers; beyond that there is only the mountains then the Southern Patagonian Icefield, stretching to the Pacific via Bernardo O’Higgins and Torres del Paine national parks. The eternal winds blowing off the ice field mean bad weather is frequent, and we had prepared for the possibility that in our three-day stay we might not be able to see and do anything much. But we got lucky. Pictured is our first view of the mountains, on the long drive across the Argentinian steppe. It perhaps captures a bit of our awe and excitement, but not the fierce wind that made simply getting out of the car challenging. And the next two days’ walking were magnificent.
Marian Michie

A storm in the Atacama, Chile

Atacama storm
Photograph: John Main

And we thought it never rained in Atacama. Marian isn’t posing in this picture, in the Tebenquiche nature reserve near San Pedro de Atacama. She had just bought the white hat – for about £5 – to protect her from the endless searing desert sun. Made of paper, it was not suited to the mother of all thunderstorms approaching. Marian had been trying to photograph lightning, unsuccessfully as it happened. The generally apocalyptic air suited the times – it was March 2020, Covid was sweeping the globe, and the locals were despondent about the total collapse of the tourist trade. All the more reason to return one day, spend freely, and see the heat haze shimmering over the sun-baked salt flats of Atacama.
John Main


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Guardian Travel readers’ tips

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Megalith rays, Lewis, Outer Hebrides

Callanish stones
Photograph: Diane Le Count

I travelled with two camera buddies, exploring the Outer Hebrides. We chose late November to avoid midges and to hopefully have the place to ourselves. The Callanish standing stones are a world-famous series of megaliths on the west coast of the Isle of Lewis. We arrived before dawn to plan our position and to set up our tripods and cameras. I ensured there were visible gaps in the stones before waiting patiently for a sunburst that I could only dream about capturing. I waited and I was rewarded.
Diane Le Count

Desert varnish, Namibia

Photograph: Frances Valdes

This photo brings back memories of an amazing trip, exploring and camping in the deserts of Namibia. To some, this photo is empty, but not to us. This at least 55-million-year-old desert is the oldest in the world, and the landscape narrates its past. The shine on boulders is desert varnish: they’re polished by centuries of sand-laden wind. Distant mountains are inscribed with stories from pre-historic bushmen. A barely perceptible area of green reveals where the Huab river occasionally flows, and in which we watched a herd of elephants. The photo depicts our love affair with the abundance of deserts.
Frances Valdes

Bath time for Tara, India

Roy Messenger
Photograph: Roy Messenger

Meeting Tara, the heroine of Mark Shand’s epic tale Travels on My Elephant, was an unforgettable experience. Tara is a resident at Kipling Camp, in Madhya Pradesh’s Kanha national park. We followed her and her two mahouts, Lavkush and Diva, on their daily 20-minute walk to the river, amazed at how quickly she walked for someone of her size. Nearing the water, she raced ahead and eventually we heard a huge splash and saw ripples. After luxuriating in the water, Tara was led to a shallow section where we had fun scrubbing her with stones before being rewarded with a trunk shower.
Roy Messenger

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