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Destinations, Photography, Zanzibar

Arrival in Zanzibar

October 30, 2012

After passing through Tanzanian customs chaos and spending one thought provoking night in Dar es Salaam, we arrived on Zanzibar Island via ferry boat and let Stone Town overwhelm our senses.

Blue oceans and bright saris.

Loud voices calling “Jambo!” and singing “Hakuna Matata” through the streets.

Hot sunshine blazing down.

Spiced coffees, spiced teas, spice tours. (Oh, spice tours. Wait for the next post…)

Flavors and colors and moments on the east coast of Africa… Continue Reading…

Destinations, Feature Trips, Photography, South Africa, twoOregonians Tour the Cape

Stumbling Into Myst

September 23, 2012

So, I have this thing for relating travel destinations to games (board or otherwise).

Remember that computer program Myst? In the 1990s, I sunk ages into solving its digital riddles. Analyzing puzzles, traversing other-worldly landscapes, pulling at threads in a storyline until the mysteries finally unraveled. The game appealed to my inquisitive, persistent mind.

Imagine the fun a few decades later (um, can that be true?!), when Ted and I stumbled into the real-world graphics of Myst 2.0 at the Robberg Peninsula, 8 kilometers to the south of Plettenberg Bay, South Africa.

Robberg Peninsula, South Africa

Classic Myst, Circa 1990s

We pulled into Robberg Nature Reserve at 4:30pm.

“Park entry closes at 5pm, visitors must be out by 6pm.”

A race against the clock? Okay, fair warning. Continue Reading…

Destinations, Lebanon, Photography

Wildflowers, Cherries, and a Sunset: Visiting the Qadisha Valley

August 23, 2012

Kahlil Gibran’s Back Yard: the Qadisha Valley, a spot of hidden peace and calming quiet just a few hours north of the horns-honking, sidewalks-crumbling city of Beirut.

The deeply carved landscape runs through the Becharre and Zgharta Districts in northern Lebanon, eventually spilling Qadisha River water into the Mediterranean Sea near the shores of Tripoli. Ted and I spent an afternoon scrambling along high paths and low river-valley trails with our new friend Madeleine then met up with her partner Jimmy to drive to the mountain pass and watch the blazing sun sink into the western haze.

Enjoy the snapshots from the day and a few notes peppered throughout.

Strap on mental  hiking shoes, imagine the sweat beads forming on the back of your neck, taste the hot, thick air, and be sure to watch for wildflowers…

Continue Reading…

Musings, Photography

Capture the Colour

July 15, 2012

One of my favorite preschool memories: snipping pictures from magazines and pasting them up to create my very own book of colors. One of my favorite childhood ditties: “Red and yellow and pink and green…purple and orange and blue…I can sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow too…”

To this day, I get a kick out of ROY G. BIV, and, yes, I color code my iPhone apps.

No surprise that the compulsive, creative artist/organizer in me loved receiving Paul’s nomination to participate in the  Capture the Colo(u)r themed photo contest. Funny, though, sorting through six months of travel memories to find five photos turned quickly into hours of nostalgia spent scrolling through more than a few snapshots from home. Little square mobile pics reminded me of many good memories and great friends, and they looked so cute in a rainbow row…

For contest entries and competition details, please scroll down farther, but for a side-tracked walk down iPhone-memory-lane, indulge me and stay up here just a wee bit longer:

Continue Reading…

Destinations, Featured Partners, Italy, Photography, Walks of Italy

Paying Pisa a Savvy Visit Part I

June 13, 2012

Confession: at times on our independent trip around the world, we are absolutely, unabashedly tourists.

“We’re foodies. We’re fans of great design. I love taking pictures. Ted loves drinking coffee. We play the tourist part, signing up for guided treks, sailing the seas on a cruise ship, and snapping cliched shots at guidebook hotspots…”
Writing Honestly From the Road

When the opportunity to visit Pisa and see the monumental sights presented itself, we penciled out our itinerary excitedly as adventures began falling into place.

Continue Reading…

Destinations, Emilia Romagna Tourism Board, Featured Partners, Italy, Photography

Artful Italy: Discovering Wildt in Forlì

May 6, 2012

Today’s a quiet day of rest in Emilia-Romagna. I’m cozied up in our apartment in Bologna, sifting through photos and stories from northern Italy. It seems around every corner we’ve been greeted by a new surprise, a new enchantment, a new glass of wine or plate of colorful food, a new irresistible piece of beauty. This past week: no exception.

We paid a visit to Forlì, Italy, stopping in at Musei San Domenico, a restored 13th century Dominican convent turned creative arts space. Serendipitously, our visit coincided with a temporary exhibit running January 28 – June 17 featuring the work of Italian sculpture Adolfo Wildt (1868 – 1931). The collection offers a glimpse into a creative man’s inspiration and expression, featuring his own works and those of influential predecessors and contemporaries arcing from classical tradition to romanticism, art nouveau, and modernism. Continue Reading…

Argentina, Destinations, Featured Places, Photography

Just Dance: Finding Authentic Tango in Buenos Aires

April 4, 2012

Long before we booked our tickets to South America, I had bookmarked this beautiful video, Milongas…The Seduction of Tango, by photographer Tewfic El-Sawy:

If you have the time, push play and experience a taste of the finer side of Tango in Buenos Aires.

I longed for this kind of visual experience once we landed in Argentina. On the other hand, Ted and I found ourselves wary at the thought of joining up with most Tango Tour operations in town for a variety of reasons:

A) We suck at dancing together. Maybe it was a case of sour grapes? Continue Reading…

Argentina, Destinations, Patagonia, Photography

Argentina’s Perito Moreno Glacier: Inspiration on the Rocks

March 22, 2012

Confession: I’ve harbored deep skepticism about the value of a visit to Perito Moreno Glacier.

Perito Moreno Glacier is El Calafate’s claim to fame; companies send buses, arrange lavish day trips and tour boats, and every store in the Argentinian city sells the same twelve post cards depicting the great ice wall towering above the chilly waters of Lago Argentino.

Truthfully (bear with me, here), I’ve rarely given any glacier a second thought. When living in New Zealand, I didn’t bother with a visit to Franz Josef, and even in Torres del Paine and Parques Nacional Los Glaciares, I was only beginning to come around when we saw Grey and Grande Glaciers. (Hold the rotten tomatoes, please. I’m just trying to be honest.)

Perito Moreno Glacier is hyped by every tour operator and guidebook in El Calafate, and I worried that we’d be cattle-herded past a hunk of ice, and I’d be playing the Emperor’s New Clothes Game, saying, “Ohhh, how lovely. Very nice,” while thinking, “Um. It’s frozen water. In a large amount. Cool. Why did we pay all this money again?”

Ted began the mission of winning me over. He’s been fascinated by glaciers for a long while, and his giddiness has been palpable each time we’ve rounded a bend to encounter a massive field of ice.

The moment we began walking down the elevated trails toward the lookout points and heard the creaks and groaning of this enormous mass, my attention was captured, too. Continue Reading…