Reflecting on Travel

Hi all! I decided to make a fun photo and use it as a new featured photo in my travel albums landing page. I thought it would be cool if it was a pile of old maps and travel stuff…

My travel junk… or is it memories?

To be honest, I could have done a better job technically, and used some flashes and stuff, its a bit unevenly lit.. but anyway. I have a heap of travel books, maps and old stuff lying around which I got from my many travels. It turned out to be more about reflection on travel experiences than anything else! You can click on the image to make it larger. Some of the stuff in there includes:

  • My collection of travel books… I currently have 40+ Lonely Planet books. I just ordered another one, ‘Great Britain’. Although my favorite which I use for inspiration is Lonely Planet’s ‘The Travel Book’, its super cool and has a couple of pages for every country in the world. Lonely Planet
  • Some Polish money which I got from a friend while on university exchange in Norway… Never actually been to Poland yet. Although I’m told I’m going this summer :s.
  • A gangster style roll of Vietnamese money. We have been there so many times, and always have lots of notes left over. Due to inflation the roll is worth about 4 bucks… and not worth stealing.
  • Some iron-on patches. About 10 years ago I thought it would be cool to have patches from all the places I visited all over my bag.. never happened, and now I don’t like the idea.. Anyone want some patches?
  • The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek flyer. This is from Cambodia, where we visited the sights of Pol Pot’s regime. Very chilling, and worth a visit. Thousands of people were murdered here with primitive tools, include women, children and babies. See here for more information. We also went to s21, the school that was converted to an execution processing center. See here for more information.
  • Some boarding passes for an Etihad flight. Not a huge fan of Etihad, but its who we used to relocate to Germany from Australia just over a year ago now.
  • A trail map of ‘Mueller Hut Route’ in New Zealand. Many years ago, my friend and I hiked up to the Mueller Hut, in the Mt Cook region of New Zealand. We camped on the snow at around 2000m. Interestingly, 30mins from the hut lies Mt Oliver. This was the first peak that Sir Edmund Hillery ever climbed. He would later be the first to scale Mt. Everest in 1953. See here for more info.
  • Fraser island map. Fraser Islands has world heritage listing and is one of the biggest sand islands in the world. Located just off the coast of Harvey Bay in Australia, its a magnet for holiday makers, and 4WD enthusiasts. Its great for camping and the interior lakes are crystal clear and incredible for swimming. Info
  • Da Lat city map. Da Lat is one of my favorite places in Vietnam. This mountainous village is nice and cool, and has great markets. Its famous for its flowers and fruits, and there are also a number of waterfalls to see in the region. Best way to see it is by renting a motorbike. Info
  • Japan rail card. No visit to Japan is complete without experiencing the bullet trains. The train system in Japan is among the best in the world. Its quite expensive, but get a JR rail pass when you visit to have access to anywhere in the country. Info
  • My trusty GPS. This is an older one now, but you can still load all kinds of maps to it. Great for exploring. I bought this tax free on board M/S Norröna while in international waters, headed for Iceland. Info
  • Faroe Islands bus schedule. Public transport is pretty efficient in Denmark. Even on its extreme territories, there is good public transport. The Faroe Islands has a population of just 25,000 people, and yet taking the bus was a good way of getting around. Info

So whats next?

Well I certainly plan to continue my travels long into the future! There are so many places still to see and experience! This summer I plan to get some short trips in around central Europe. We also plan to visit the UK this summer for a couple of weeks. I really want to see Scotland. In autumn, I have no idea… but I know we are hosting Christmas this year in Bavaria.. Something about a visit to Vietnam in February for Tet, lets see what happens. Here is my ultimate bucket list for the next 3-5 years!

  1. A visit to Greenland – min 4 weeks
  2. A visit to Iceland – minimum 2 weeks
  3. A visit to Borneo – min 2 weeks
  4. Take the Trans-Siberian railway to Beijing
  5. A visit to the Pacific Islands – min. 4 weeks
  6. A visit to Burma – 2-3 weeks
  7. Visit the Falkland Islands and South Georgia
  8. Visit North Africa, including Tunisia and Morocco.
  9. A visit to St. Petersburg
  10. A visit to Croatia and Greece.
  11. A visit to Costa Rica
  12. A visit to Patagonia.

Looks like I’ll be busy! Happy shooting and hope you enjoyed my memories!

Oh yes, nearly forgot! Here is where I used the photo! Travel Photography

German Tank Museum

I have always been a WW2 history buff, and especially I’ve always loved tanks. When I got a chance to visit the Deutsches Panzermuseum in Munster on my way up to Denmark, I had to drop by.  It is one of the few places where you can see some of the rarest ww2 tanks. Some of which there are only a couple left in the world. I have always been interested in the technology that was developed in ww2. It was a race between nations, a race to be the first and the best at everything. Many advanced technologies were developed in this time such as; TV, radar, the first jet fighter, the assault rifle, the swept wing, first rocket powered aircraft, medical penicillin, helicopters, freeze dried coffee, computers and much else. Many house hold names owe themselves to advances made in WW2. The AK47 assault rifle is a late derivative of the German MP44 assault rifle. The MiG15,  the most advanced jet fighter of the 1950s was based on German drawings of a prototype Focke-Wulf Ta 183, and even had a copy BMW 003 jet engine in it.

Late model Tiger tank, Munster Panzer Museum. 5D Mark III | 24mm 1.4 Art

Germany fielded many different tanks in ww2, they were constantly improving and changing designs. Although numerically very few, many German tanks were extremely deadly. The Tiger and Panther became well known names to allied tank commanders, and became armor to avoid! The German Tiger tank had much greater armor plating than regular tanks, and a much more powerful gun, which could destroy most tanks at more than twice the distance they could. On the eastern front Tiger crews recorded 14:1 kill death ratios. Munster specializes in German tanks from 1917, and has many of these rare beasts.

For its time, the Panther tank was very advanced and led the way in tank development for years to come. 5D Mark III | 24mm 1.4 Art

Impressive armor plating of the Jagdpanther. Many allied tanks had great difficulty in dealing with the Jagdpanther. 5D Mark III | 24mm 1.4 Art

These heavy tanks were developed as a result of the German experiences in Russia in 1941. The German army enjoyed very fast progress initially, as they had before in the blitzkrieg era, but that all changed when they ran into good Russian tank designs like the KV and T34 tanks. To deal with these threats Germany developed specialized tank hunter tanks like the jagdpanzer and increasingly heavier tank designs.

A collection of tank hunters. Here we see a Hetzer in the foreground, and two Jagdpanzers along with the Jagdpanther. 5D Mark III | 24mm 1.4 Art

Jagdpanzer IV with L48 gun. Its low profile made it a very hard target to hit, it became almost invisible when used defensively. It also packed a powerful punch. 5D Mark III | 24mm 1.4 Art

This is a Hetzer tank based on a Czech tank design. It was very small, but highly agile and had a powerful cannon. 5D Mark III | 24mm 1.4 Art

Germany could never match the mass production of the soviet union and the USA. The US produced 53,000 Sherman tanks in the war years, while German produced 1300 Tigers. The T34 Russian tank was the greatest threat, and while a very formidable tank, many were lost with poor crew training, lack of communications and inexperience. As more and more waves of soviet tanks hit the battlefield, the Germans were finally pushed back. Russia paid a high price for this, and it can be seen on some of the exhibits at Munster. There is a T34/85 there where you can see the rush under which is was made, the welding and general assembly of the turret is very poor.

Turret of a Russian T43/85. The Russian tanks were very roughly made, had poor optics and communications, but were very numerous, highly reliable, had good protection and a good gun. 5D Mark III | 24mm 1.4 Art.

As well as the main battle tanks, there are also many other interesting vehicles on display at Munster. The car below is a Schwimmwagen, made by VW. This was an amphibious car with 4×4. The tracked vehicle below is a Goliath. A remote controlled mini tank packed with explosives designed to bring down fortifications.

Schwimmwagen, amphibious car. 5D Mark III | 24mm 1.4 Art

Goliath, remote controlled bomb. 5D Mark III | 24mm 1.4 Art

Germany’s history with tanks began a in WW1 where they captured a British tank, one of the first in the world. A German version was soon developed and became the A7V. These early tanks were more mobile bunkers than anything else. They were very slow and had very little mobility. New tactics first visualized by the British, and developed by Germany in the 1930s called for a mechanized army with fast mobile tanks spearheading enemy positions with great shock and confusion. This became known as Blitzkrieg tactics which proved very successful and led to the collapse of Europe.

WW1 A7V tank from 1918. Germany’s first tank. Crew of no less than 18 people was needed. 5D Mark III | 24mm 1.4 Art

First of the German Panzers. This is a Panzer I  from the mid 1930s. Had two machine guns and weighed just 5.4 tons. The Tiger II produced in the last years of the war had an 88mm cannon, 185mm thick steel plating and weighed 70 tons. 5D Mark III | 24mm 1.4 Art

The final tanks to be made by Nazi Germany were monsters. The Tiger II or King Tiger tank was one of the heaviest tanks ever made. It weighed 70 tons, had 185mm think steel plating and packed a very powerful gun which could destroy tanks at 2000 – 3000m. Some Tigers are known to have had a 14:1 Kill/Death ratio. Equally insane is the Sturmtiger. Weighing 68 tons, this tank fired a 380mm rocket propelled artillery shell which was designed to destroy fortifications and buildings. The shell is shown in the foreground.

King Tiger tank. 5D Mark III | 24mm 1.4 Art

Sturmtiger with 380mm rocket propelled shell in foreground. 5D Mark III | 24mm 1.4 Art.

Munster Panzer Museum also has more modern tanks including the Leopard I, right up to the present day. Its a great museum, especially if you are interested in WW2 tanks. I would highly recommend a visit to any history buff! Below are a few pictures from the day! Hope you enjoy and please don’t forget to follow my blog.

Official website is here:

Location information:

Photography information:

  • The museum allows photography with no limitations that I am aware of.
  • All the photos here were taken with a 5D Mark III and 24mm 1.4 lens.
  • The light is pretty good, I used f1.4 and iso400. So if you have a 2.8 lens you will likely need iso 1600.
  • 24mm is the widest angle I would use so that you don’t distort the subjects too much.
  • It costs 8 Euro to get in and the museum is open 6 days 10:00-18:00.
  • Fully guided tours are available upon request.


A visit to BMW

My wife and I recently visited the Munich BMW Museum for my birthday.. yes, I know, a brave wife but we did go shopping in Munich afterwards! I took the opportunity to take some photos along the way. If you are interested in cars at all, you shouldn’t miss a visit to BMW Welt and the BMW Museum.


BMW 2002, BMW Museum Munich, 5D Mark III with 45mm 2.8 TS-E

It is also possible to take a factory tour, however on this occasion we didn’t have time for that. Photography is allowed in all parts of the museum. In the BMW Museum part, you cannot bring in backpacks, which have to be put in lockers in the dressing room. I decided to go for an abstract style of photos to try and match the modern technological feel that BMW gives. I therefore used my 45mm f2.8 TS-E lens for most of my photos. This tilt shift lens can be a challenge to use when shooting from the hip in a fast paced environment like the BMW Welt, but I like the results. There is good light in most parts of the museum.



BMW of course make some excellent sports cars today, and all the current models can be seen and touched at the BMW Welt (BMW World). The Welt building is remarkable, modern German design, and is a treat in itself. It was opened in 2007 and apart from showcasing the vehicles on display the building is also used for conferences, meetings and promotional events. In Munich, this is where buyers take delivery of their new BMW. In addition to all the BMW cars on display, they also have BMW bikes, the Mini, Rolls Royce and technological innovation on display. If you are looking for a souvenir, BMW has that covered too with a large gift shop. There are also a couple of very nice Cafes where you can sit sipping good coffee while enjoying the view!


BMW Welt Munich, 5D Mark III with 45mm 2.8 TS-E

The BMW Welt scores 4.7 out of 5 on Google reviews, and is well worth visiting. Parking is provided under the museum for a reasonable fee. The BMW Welt itself is free of charge.

Official information in English can be found here:



Lonely i8 charging near the car pick up area, BMW Welt, Munich, 5D Mark III with 45mm 2.8 TS-E


Some 200m from the BMW Welt is the Museum. BMW has a long and interesting history in motorcycles, aircraft engines, cars and race cars. I really enjoyed this excellent exhibition. It is well organized, and the classic exhibits contrast well with the fast paced BMW Welt. Again, the building is very impressive, and there are many special treasures in store, such as early motorcycles from the 1920s, their first cars, a very nice selection of famous race cars, an M-Power room, and much else!


BMW Motorcycle from 1925, BMW Museum Munich, 5D Mark III with 45mm 2.8 TS-E


A room full of great cars! BMW Museum Munich, 5D Mark III with 45mm 2.8 TS-E


BMW 003 Jet engine, BMW Museum Munich, 5D Mark III with 45mm 2.8 TS-E

Also interesting is the exhibits from BMW in the 1940s, when they were roped into the war effort. One of the worlds first jet engines can be seen here, originally intended for the worlds first jet fighter, the ME262. Another interesting war time engine produced by BMW is the BMW 801, a powerful 14 cylinder radial aircraft engine built in large numbers for aircraft such as the Focke Wulf FW190 and Junkers Ju88.

One of the things which impressed me the most was BMW’s commitment to racing. Every car nut knows how successful the 1990s BMW M3 was in racing, but that’s not the whole story. The museum shows a long line of famous race cars, right from the early days to the present day. There are many famous engines on display as well, such as the 1980s turbo monsters, a 1.5 liter engine producing some 1200hp.


People admiring an early BMW race car. BMW Museum Munich, 5D Mark III with 45mm 2.8 TS-E


A classic 1970s BMW race car, BMW Museum Munich, 5D Mark III with 45mm 2.8 TS-E


A modern equivalent, the BMW M4 GTR. BMW Welt Munich, 5D Mark III with 45mm 2.8 TS-E


Many famous race engines on display. BMW Museum Munich, 5D Mark III with 45mm 2.8 TS-E

Back to the Future!

Finally, I also really enjoyed the glimpse into the future the museum provides. There are a few prototypes, and current models which lead the way in technical development, such as the impressive i8 and i3.


A 2009 BMW prototype… BMW Museum Munich, 5D Mark III with 45mm 2.8 TS-E


…And the car is spawned, the amazing BMW i8. BMW Welt Munich, 5D Mark III with 16-35mm 2.8L II


Some Quick Tips!

All in all a great experience. Here are a few tips for photographers if you are thinking of visiting;

  1. The BMW Welt can be very busy. Everyone wants to sit in all the fancy cars. So if you want good photos you should arrive early, on a week day. If this fails, going for detail shots can save a frustrating situation, where you can’t get a clean photo.
  2. Be prepared to surrender your camera bag at the Museum section. Choose your lens wisely, bring a spare memory card etc etc. I used a 45mm lens (on full-frame) for most of my photos.
  3. Light is generally very good, especially in the Welt section. I used iso 400 – 1600, but generally 1000 was fine depending on the aperture.
  4. Photography is allowed in all the exhibits, but don’t forget to take a few shots of the buildings themselves!
  5. Using a polariser can help reduce reflections in windows etc.

I hope you enjoyed this little write up. If you did, be sure to follow my blog!

Finally, here is a gallery of photos from the day!