Last in this series…

One thing that I have noticed on trips abroad or even on a visit to central London, just down the road so to speak, is that tourists themselves are potentially a good photographic subject when travelling. I am an inveterate street photographer! Capturing the locals as they go about their business is great and can really give an understanding of the atmosphere of a place. Catching the tourists – and they often outnumber the locals at historic sites – can be a rewarding study of human behaviour 🙂

The Forum in Rome is always full of tourists and people selling water (it gets hot down there). As an historically important site it is special but I wonder how many other visitors were surprised like me at how small an area it actually covers? On my first visit I was expecting something on the grand scale of Ben Hur or Quo Vadis. Of course, when you look beyond the Forum and go up to the palaces on the hills around then you start to get a cinematic sense of scale. But down in the bottom of the valley, it all seems rather small. Much here is about the detail – the carvings on individual stones – the inscriptions – because the buildings have long ceased to be imposing, now just shadows of their former grandeur.

As we walked amidst the ruins, admiring those details and trying to avoid spending too much time in direct sun, I came upon these two young ladies posing for each other…

…In many ways they were bringing life to an otherwise dead world. I wonder if they knew they were posing in the Temple of Vesta and the conotations of being a Vestal Virgin? But then I wonder if they were students putting together a portfolio of images for their course. Tourists, like locals, can be fascinating subjects 🙂

It’s time once again to join in with Clare’s Share Your Desktop Challenge. I’m currently using a real world photo rather than a virtual one. We’re still under lockdown conditions here so I’ve put up a shot taken 4 years ago when steam specials were running on our rails.

This is possibly the most famous locomotive in the world – Flying Scotsman – though I personally don’t understand why. It doesn’t hold the world speed record – that belongs to Mallard. I don’t think it’s the finest looking engine out there – I prefer the looks of the Royal Scot class and there are others of the GWR persuasion who would sneer at the lack of copper cap on the chimney 😉 However, that doesn’t mean I don’t like it. In fact, I have every reason to appreciate its lines as my Grandfather once drove for the LNER – the company that built this locomotive.

Unfortunately, ‘Scotsman carries some baggage around with her. Probably because of the excess hype around every trip she makes, crowds come out to take photos and some misguided persons trespass on the railway causing delays to services. Although the press talk about railway enthusiasts when they report this, many of those causing issues are just normal members of the public who only come out because they’ve heard of Flying Scotsman.

On the day I took this photo, ‘Scotsman was routed away from a more obvious route probably in a move to reduce the risk of people going onto the tracks. I checked out the working timetable and realised that there would be a photo opportunity as the special – The Cathedrals Express – passed through Willesden Junction. I expected there to be other enthusiasts on the bridge at Old Oak Common Lane but found I had it all to myself!

So here is Flying Scotsman with The Cathedrals Express drifting round the curve of South West Sidings at Willesden Junction…

…It’s early summer and there is still a freshness to the green of the trees. Hopefully I can get back to photographing trains by the time summer comes this year 🙂