Our guest tonight (11th March) is Margaret Warren. Margaret is a long time member, past President and twice Treasurer of Tynemouth Photographic Society. Margaret currently holds the roll of PDI Competition Secretary.
Over the last few years Margaret has travelled extensively and this evening she regaled us with stories and photographs from trips taken in 2019 to which she entitled ‘The Year Before the New Normal’.
In March of 2019 Margaret embarked on a guided tour of Kyrgyzstan & Kazakhstan. Flying into the Kazakhstan capital, Nur-Sultan, Margaret told how the name had just been changed from ‘Astana’ in March 2019. Nur-Sultan has some stunning modern architecture alongside traditional old ‘brutalist’ buildings leftover from its former inclusion in the USSR prior to 1991.
Margaret showed some images of the ultra modern architecture such as the Bayterek Tower the Aka Order (Presidential Palace) the Golden Towers, also known for their looks as ‘Beer Cans’ and some lovely images of the impressive Hazrat Sultan Mosque. The local markets are always locations in which Margaret likes to frequent and she explained that the Kazakhs love anything to do with horses, and that included eating them as she showed with the images of horse meat for sale on the many market stalls.
A coach ride along the vastly under used New Sill Road, built by the Chinese ended in the city of Shymkent which Margaret said was not one of the highlights of the tour.
On to Kyrgyzstan. Apparently a much smaller and poorer country. Margaret showed this with images of old trolly buses and ancient minibuses with no timetables that plied the ancient capital, Bishkek. Areas of the country are quite barren and Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin landed in this area after his historic space flight in 1961. Many old castles left from the Crusades are dotted throughout the region and Margaret managed some ‘golden hour’ shots of one.
In October of 2019 Margaret embarked on an escorted photographic tour of Jordan. The main aim of this trip was for Margaret to visit the ‘Lost City of Petra’. Margaret explained a brief history of Petra. How it was lost to the western world for hundreds of years until its re-discovery in 1812. Margaret showed some wonderful images of the buildings carved directly into the red, white and pink sandstone. Margaret told how this location had been used in the making of the film ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’. We were shown images of the thousands of tombs cut into the rock including the Royal Tombs. An image taken at dusk of the Monastery showed the beautiful colours as the light fell on the sandstone.
Margaret finished her presentation with images of camping at the huge rock formations at Wadi Rum and the beautiful greens and blues of the waters of the dead Sea.
On behalf of the members a big ‘thank you’ to Margaret for a thoroughly entertaining evening.
Bob Finlay (President)