Ann Cook FRGS FRPS
East Street House, West Pennard, Glastonbury, Somerset. BA6 8NJ
Tel/Fax 01458/832655 E. mail anncookfrps@netscape.on.line
SLIDE PRESENTATIONS
All last about 50 minutes and include music and sound effects

RUSSIA ALONG THE NORTHERN WATERWAYS
Set almost entirely to Russian music, this presentation begins in Moscow, visiting The Kremlin, Red Square, the Gum department store, and a short journey to Zagorsk, one of the cities on the Golden Ring. Then by ship to St Petersburg, along the river Volga, canals, and lakes, passing wooden villages with flowering orchards, and stopping to walk round ancient Kremlins and monasteries. Finally the glories of St Petersburg. The hermitage, built by Peter The Great, and enlarged by Catherine The Great to house her huge art collection - finally exploring the fantastic palaces at Pushkin, Petravorets, and Pavlosk.

LAOS AND VIETNAM
A week in Laos, discovering the 2000 yr. old Plain of Jars, and the ancient city of Luang Prabang on the banks of the River Mekong, full of temples, bells, and saffron robed monks. Onward to the political capital of Vietnam, Hanoi. A day spent at sea on a sailing junk in the magical Halong Bay, with its 3000 islands, and the weirdly beautiful inland landscape of waterways and pointed limestone hills. Journeying south through breathtaking scenery to the Remote Highlands, on to Saigon, passing Cham Dynasty towers temples, meeting hospitable people, and finally, a thrilling Sunday morning spent in the great and extraordinary Cathedral of the Cao Dai.

THE MIDDLE EAST - SYRIA, ISRAEL, JORDAN - FROM DAMASCUS TO PETRA
Exploring the souk and Great Mosque of Damascus, crossing the border into Lebanon to the marvellous Roman ruins of Baalbeck, to the huge Crusader castle of Krak De Chevaliers. The Magical desert oasis and Roman site of Palmyra, over the border into Jerusalem and The Holy Land, past the Dead Sea, through Wadi Rum of Laurence Of Arabia fame, and at last, walking silently through the high cliffs of the Siq, into the hidden Nabataen kingdom of Petra.

EYE OPENER ON ETHIOPIA
Exploring the Mercato in Addis Ababa, flying south to the breathtaking Rift Valley lakes and The Nechisar National Park, then further south to visit tribal villages with their colourful markets near the Kenyan border. Then north, to Lake Tana, source of The Blue Nile, which thunders over The Tis Isat Falls. To Gonder, with a compound of great castles built by Kings and Warlords. To Lalibela, where 800 yr. old rock cut churches are still great places of worship in this devoutly Orthodox Christian country. On to Axum, home to The Ark Of The Covenant, and where we witness the great annual Pilgrimage and Festival of the Church of St Mary. Lastly, a journey through beautiful and fertile countryside, with scenes of harvesting, against the backdrop of The Simien Mountains.

CASTRO'S CUBA
First exploring the old streets of Havana, driving west to the tobacco growing area around Vinales, on to The Bay Of Pigs, scene of the unsuccessful American invasion, further east to the time warp city of Trinidad with its cobbled streets and faded pastel colours. Then to Santiago, a city with a backdrop of the Sierra Maestra mountains, finally to the coral beaches of the north coast.

MOROCCO
Exploring the mediaeval Medina of Fez, the ancient city of Meknes, and Moulay Idriss, the lovely Roman site of Volubulis, before driving south to the desert with enormous sand dunes, the valleys, gorges and Kasbahs. Finally, north through the Atlas Mountains, to Marrakesh, with its unique architecture and vivid squares full of snake charmers and magicians.

BHUTAN - LAND OF THE THUNDER DRAGON
A hidden Himalayan kingdom, driving through mountain passes, through villages and fantastic landscapes. Visiting monasteries and fortresses, and witnessing religious festivals and the climax of the King's Annual Birthday Celebrations.

INDIA - IN RAJASTHAN WITH THE CONTESSA
Would this aristocratic lady smooth our way to the gates of palaces, forts and castles, would she introduce us to a Maharaja? Would we see a tiger? We visit villages and markets driving though the desert landscape and experiencing the way of life of the Rajputs.

INDIA - CAMEL FAIR IN THE DESERT
The Ancient fortified city of Jaisalmer, with it's unique impressively carved houses, appears like a mirage. A jeep safari into the desert brings us to deserted villages and watering holes. Camels are still important in the lives of the people, and every year at the same time in November, a huge camel fair is held in the desert just outside the small town of Pushkar. Built around a Holy Lake, it attracts over 300,000 worshippers who arrive during the days leading up to the climax of the full moon.

RAFTING THROUGH THE GRAND CANYON
The thrills and spills of the Colorado River! Breathtaking landscapes - The flora and fauna

MEXICO, GUATEMALA AND THE MAYA
From life in Mexico City, to the great Archaeological sites of The Toltecs, and Zapotecs, to the Mayan period in the Yucatan Peninsular, to isolated Indian villages in the mountains where the people, resisting westernisation, have retained their ancient Mayan culture. On, over the border into Guatemala, through villages with their colourful markets, and dazzlingly dressed men and women

INDONESIAN JOURNEYS, BALI AND BEYOND
A few days in Bali, travelling round the island visiting temples, villages, and meeting the people and seeing their way of life. Joining and following a "Royal" Cremation Ceremony. On to the islands of Lombok, Sumbawa, and Komodo with its famous "Dragons", 10' long carnivorous giant monitor lizards. To Flores, and the coloured lakes of Volcano Keli Mitu. Finally, Salawesi, and the mysterious Toraja People, their way of life and - death!

TWO ISLANDS - N. CYPRUS AND SICILY
The slow way of life, fantastic mountain peak Crusader castles, the breathtaking Archaeological site of Salamis, make North Cyprus unique. In Sicily more glorious Roman sites, ancient mysterious cities, volcanoes, and cloudy mountain villages

THE MAGIC OF ITALY - LAKE COMO AND VENICE
The romance and colour of Lake Como's villas and gardens, then Venice, surely the most beautiful city in the world - exploring the main sights, and quieter lesser known corners and canals.

BED AND BREAKFAST IN CRETE, AND ANOTHER UNSPOILT GREEK ISLAND
Away from the tourist "hot spots" - discovering the island interiors, ancient cultures, monasteries and village life.

GEORGIA AND THE CAUCUSUS
A seldom visited country now proud of its independence, its fantastic mountain scenery, including the highest village in Europe. Interesting church architecture, wonderful Georgian music - charming hospitable people. We visit Stalin's museum near his birthplace, climb vertiginous heights to explore cave monasteries and mountain villages, discover fields of orchids and other wild flowers with a backdrop of snow capped peaks.

THE CHARMS OF CORSICA
From the capital Ajaccio, birthplace of Napoleon, exploring pre-historic sites with mysterious “menhir” standing stones, following the history of the “Vendetta”, wandering round precipitous mountain villages, and the weird rock formations of the north west coast, now a World Heritage Site.

POTTERING ROUND THE PELOPONNESE
Exploring the marvellous archaeological sites of Corinth, Mycaenae, and Olympia, clambering around vertiginous 16thC castles and time warp Byzantine cities, and relaxing in delightful unspoilt fishing village