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Q // I’d like to explore the islands of the Stockholm archipelago. What’s the best way to do it?


East of the city is a vast archipelago with thousands of islands and islets fanning out towards the Baltic Sea. The largest islands are easily reached from the city, with public transport boat services departing from the Strömkajen ferry terminal on the Norrmalm waterfront, run by Waxholmsbolaget. Single fares range from £5 to £15, depending on how far you’re travelling. Departures are year-round, with a greater choice over summer. Some islands, among them the popular Vaxholm, can also be reached by bus.


So where to go? Vaxholm


is home to an atmospheric harbour town and the classy Vaxholms B&B, although its proximity to the city means the island can get busy. Heavily wooded Grinda is another good choice, while neighbouring Viggsö is notable for being where ABBA wrote several hits. Then there’s Svartsö, a large island that’s perfect for cycling and also has glamping at Svartsö Logi. Further afi eld, Finnhamn and Utö are both great. waxholmsbolaget.se vaxholmsbedandbreakfast.se svartsologi.se BEN LERWILL


Q // How do I know if a visa site is genuine?


The most common giveaway is misspellings. Your average scammer doesn’t always have a thorough grasp of written English, so if you see a website with poor spelling or grammar, it’s likely you’re looking at a scam. Pay attention to the URL as well — scam visa websites can sometimes appear high up in search engine results. Most, although not all, offi cial


government websites for visa applications include .gov in their URLs. If in doubt, use the Foreign & Commonwealth Offi ce, which has links to the visa application sites of individual countries. And don’t use social media; the US state department recently warned that criminals were posting links to scam websites on offi cial US embassy Facebook pages. Some websites aren’t


Q // I’d like to get into wildlife photography and am considering going on a trip to learn the basics. Where would you recommend for a beginner?


Seeing wildlife in its natural habitat is one of life’s most exhilarating experiences. Of course, there’s no guarantee the animals will turn up, but there are loads of operators running trips that aim to give participants the chance to see everything from whales to polar bears. Decide what kind of wildlife really excites you, and join a small group with at least one good tutor. You’ll need a decent long lens too, so it might be worth renting one for your fi rst trip before splashing out. Close to home, Shetland


Nature off ers a variety of wildlife photography holidays and day tours, focusing on otters, gannets and puffi ns. Owned and operated by native Shetlander Brydon Thomason, the tutors really understand the seasonal behaviour of local fauna, so know the best places to see


wildlife. A UK-based trip is a less expensive way to learn the basics of photography too. Exodus Travels runs


photography tours to Antarctica, the Arctic and Africa. Its skilled photography guides are passionate about getting out into the fi eld, and its Maasai Mara Kenya Photographic Safari gives participants the chance to snap a variety of exotic wildlife. Further afi eld, Steppes


Travel is known for its range of luxury wildlife tours. From photographing orangutans in Borneo to grizzly bears in Canada, alongside big-name tutors, the company also supports a number of worldwide conservation projects. Sustainability and animal welfare is as important to them as you getting fabulous snaps. shetlandnature.net exodus.co.uk steppestravel.com NORI JEMIL


outright scams, but instead rip people off by charging an extra ‘administration’ fee for a visa application. These are most common for Australia, Canada and USA electronic visa applications, and the EHIC card. We found one website listed on the fi rst page of Google search results charging $74 (£58) for a US Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) application. The actual cost is $14 (£11). Always head for the offi cial website using the advice above. gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice RORY BOLAND


THE EXPERTS


JULIA BUCKLEY // CONTRIBUTING WRITER


RORY BOLAND // EDITOR, WHICH? TRAVEL


BEN LERWILL // CONTRIBUTING WRITER


NORI JEMIL // AWARD- WINNING TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER


May/Jun 2020 141


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