It began in Innsbruck
It seems rather surreal to be back home after 3 weeks in Innsbruck, Seefeld, Vienna, Salzburg, Budapest, and Munich. Oh what sights I saw, people I met, food I ate, fun I had, and photos I took! What a trip indeed. After 2 weeks on the road, it begins to feel like home for me. I love when that feeling sets in and it makes me wonder if I should just go for it, and do one of those adventurous around the world trips. That has been on my mind a lot these days, especially since the dreaded cold and darkness of winter is approaching here in Canada. When I am on the road, the dream seems like it would be possible. Upon returning home, it seems less likely as all the minutia of daily existence sets in again and I fall back into my routine. Yet I dream about the next trip, the next adventure and the next beautiful perfect moment that I will experience when I leave familiar surroundings to continue the quest for the next photo opportunity that beckons.
Where Old meets New
I loved discovering new things every day on this trip. Since I had never been to this part of Europe before, each day brought me a new set of sights to stand in awe at. This is the part of the job that I love the most, it’s where I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. The history, art, architecture, food, and culture of Europe is rather inspiring for an artist. Everywhere I look there is some new thing to discover and I have the photos to prove it ;)
I really wish that there were 36 hours in a day, there is no way that I ever feel like I got the most out of a day in terms of photography. I had promised myself that I would take it easier this time, and in some ways I did. I didn’t get up for sunrise as often as I usually do, and while I don’t regret getting a bit more sleep, I kind of do wish that I had a few more of those nice sunrise moments that I often write about. That first photo in today’s blog was taken the day before the Travel Bloggers Unite conference in Innsbruck began. I convinced my friend and fellow photographer Kirsten Alana to get up at 5 am to walk around town, and I’m sure glad we did it that day. Once the conference began, it was jam packed with meetings, seminars, lunches, dinners and some fun socializing that went on till the wee hours of the morning. I’ll have more about the TBU conference in my next blog, but suffice it to say that I had a great time at the conference, met a ton of very cool people, learned a lot and I’m looking forward to the next one.
Crossing the Bridge when I came to it
Thanks to Martina from the Austrian Tourism Board for setting all of this trip in motion for me. Martina made sure that I was in touch with the right people in all the different towns and cities I visited in Austria and without her help I would have been lost. In Hungary, the Hungarian Tourism Board provided me with my exceptional guide Vivien, who went with me almost everywhere I wanted to photograph. They did this with very little notice from me and I was sincerely impressed with her knowledge of the city and her contagious enthusiasm. In Munich, Isabella from the local Munich Tourism Board made sure that I had access to all the most interesting locations that I had on my list. It was impossible to get to all the places I wanted to in Munich, since I arrived on a Friday evening and left on the following Tuesday, it left little time to finalize my schedule. I also missed Octoberfest by a few days, so I’m hoping that I get a chance to go back to Munich for that festive time one day soon.
I had a new experience on this trip in another way as well. It wasn’t just new locations for me, but a new way of travelling. In Innsbruck I stayed at some very nice hotels but for the rest of my trip, I teamed up with AirBnB and I stayed at some cool apartments right in the centre of where I wanted to photograph. At some of the apartments I had a nice private room while sharing the rest of the place with the owner/host, in others I had the place to myself. If you have not tried out AirBnB and are considering it, I have to say that I truly enjoyed the company of the people I shared places with. The rooms were all very comfortable and I felt right at home with my hosts. If I had questions about the cities, they were easily answered, if I needed any assistance, my hosts were only too happy to help. In the apartments I had to myself, it was like having a big suite at a hotel, with a kitchen no less! I’d do this again in a heartbeat and if you’re looking to save a lot of money on your next trip, look at AirBnB as a cool alternative to hotels.
In Salzburg I was lucky enough to get the chance to hang out with a fellow traveller Kate McCulley who writes the travel blog “Adventurous Kate“. We first met in Innsbruck at the conference and as luck would have it our paths crossed a week later in Salzburg. I had just been visiting beautiful Budapest and Kate was coming from a short stay in one of the world’s smallest countries, Liechtenstein. We met up in the afternoon and visited the Hohensalzburg Castle, which is accessible by the Festungsbahn (funicular railway). This is where I took the above photo of that very cool house in the middle of this huge field of green. We joked that if you lived in that home and someone from Salzburg asked you where you lived, all you would have to say is “the house”, and everyone would know what you meant. Now that’s what I call a yard! That night (thanks to the Salzburg Tourism Board) we were treated to a wonderful performance of Mozart Opera and dinner at the world’s oldest restaurant. Stiftskeller St. Peter is known to be the oldest continuously operating restaurant and inn on Earth, and it dates back to 803 AD! I usually travel alone, so it was a special treat for me to spend the day with a fellow traveller and writer. Thanks Kate.
I usually wait a while before digging into the photos from my last trip, but I wanted to get back in the swing of things here on the blog and there is no better way to do that than to pick a shot from each place visited and share it right away. I have weeks if not months of work to do on the images I just photographed, and truth be told I still have a ton of photos from previous trips that I need to attend to. Good news for you my readers, since I’ll have a ton of cool new photos to share very soon. Hope you enjoyed the first few photographs that I shared today, come back soon for much, much more.
Life is Theatre
Photography with a Heart, from my friend Colby Brown
I just received an email from my friend and fellow photographer Colby Brown asking me to help promote his new charitable foundation. The Giving Lens is an organization whose mission is to fuse photo education with giving back to local communities. To learn more, please click on the logo below. I want to wish Colby a ton of success with this project. It’s a great idea, from a cool guy with a huge heart. :D
Enjoy more travel photos and stories: