While I love this blog, I now pretty much only write on my other two blogs: BirdingBlogs.com and 10,000 Birds - I would love to see you there!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Nature Watch Tirol at the World Travel Market, London

The Nature Watch programme is a partnership between the Tirol State Tourism Board (in the Austrian Alps) and Swarovski Optik (manufacturers of high-quality binoculars, telescopes, etc.) to encourage ecotourism to the Alps. In particular, the programme focusses on combining quality hotels in beautiful areas, with knowledgeable mountain guides. The guides' training involves - amongst other things - mountain safety knowledge and first aid, training on how best to choose and conduct a tour, and has an extensive emphasis on natural history knowledge.

A typical Nature Watch holiday would involve staying in a comfortable hotel/guest house in a beautiful setting, and going out on a Nature Watch tour/walk designed specifically around your group's interests. To enrich your experience, your guide will show you things you might never have found by yourself: a Golden Eagle flying by, a Marmot calling on a rock in the distance, or a beautiful beetle warming itself in the sun. To add to the experience, each participant will have a pair of top-quality Swarovski Optik binoculars to use (free of charge), allowing you to see that eagle really well, and to microscope in on the beautiful insects and flowers.

For more information, check out the Nature Watch website.

Enough dryness.

London was pretty cool. It was my first trip to the place and my initial impression was that I was not wrong in thinking that England was a cold, grey place. Grey is definitely what it was. But the architecture in London was definitely special and so different from the continental architecture I had grown accustomed to. Picadilly Circus left me with the immortal words of Garth (Wayne's World): "What a horrible circus" (although Garth used more flowery language). Not a single trapeez artist anywhere. Although, the golden diving figures a couple of blocks down the road were certainly very cool.

The World Travel Market itself was incredibly large and the stands were surprisingly flashy. At least some of these people had not heard about the global financial crisis and credit crunch. Maybe they had just not been watching CNN and so were not as pessimistic as the rest of their countries.

One of the great things about such a large gathering of international people is that you get to meet so many interesting people from all over the world. Some of my favorite were the guys from the Phillipphines. So incredibly friendly. I loved their bright smiles and relaxed, laid-back way. Oh, and the birding in the Phillippines looks mind-blowing. I was looking at their bird list and it appeared that at least half of the species recorded are endemics. It blew my mind.

Happy birding


Anonymous said...

Like your bird.at weblog. Beneath the official nature watch website we've been starting the Nature Watch Weblog which will evolve in 2009 - see http://naturewatchblog.wordpress.com

Dale Forbes said...

Hi, ja I know the naturewatchblog (and have an RSS link to the blog on the right column of my blog if you scroll down).
Nature Watch is an exciting programme and I will certainly make more contributions (and blog posts) in the future!