DreamingOutdoors Photography: Blog http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) DreamingOutdoors Photography (DreamingOutdoors Photography) Mon, 04 Dec 2017 00:37:00 GMT Mon, 04 Dec 2017 00:37:00 GMT http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-5/u367683673-o491617133-50.jpg DreamingOutdoors Photography: Blog http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog 120 80 The London Book-End http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/the-london-book-end I arrived back in London from Ljubljana at Gatwick, and found the whole passport control and city transport process to be a lot faster. I found my accommodation on the north side of Kensington Park, got settled in a bit, and went for a dinner of Thai green curry at Tuk Tuk, just a couple blocks away.

My course started the next day, so I didn't have much time to do any sightseeing. I met up with a Camrose contact, Aaron, for a terrific Italian dinner at Il Blandford's followed by a couple glasses of port at his house. I was back in my hotel at 12:30 am, which was perhaps a little too late for my 8 am start the next day.

The following day (Friday), I went for an evening walk from Waterloo Station across Westminster Bridge, past Parliament, and all the way to Victoria Station.

I took the tube to Notting Hill Station and strolled down Portobello Street. This was probably my biggest evening adventure in terms of mileage.

Saturday night, I went for a more abbreviated trip to the Thames to see Millennium Bridge. Then the weather turned, and I called it an early night with my exam coming up the next morning.

My final day (Sunday) began with the exam for my course at 8:30 am. Afterwards, I went for a nice walk through Kensington Park, Hyde Park, past Buckingham Palace, and along the mall towards Trafalgar Square, past Picadilly Circus to Oxford Circus to catch transit back to my hotel. It was cool, breezy, but quite sunny.

I picked up the direct Heathrow train from Paddington, and that was that!

 

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(DreamingOutdoors Photography) england international http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/the-london-book-end Mon, 23 Oct 2017 17:12:57 GMT
Go with Gord, from Slovenia http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/go-with-gord-from-slovenia "Well, off I go, into the night," was the echo that accompanied the last warm sips from my mug of Slovenian craft ale. Here, in an Irish pub tucked away in an alley basement in the old city of Ljubljana, I had found more than the 1-1 Real Madrid-Tottenham draw I'd arrived for.

A few hours before, I'd slain the dragon city with a lucky photoshoot from the Neboticnik cafe terrace. Well, I suppose it wasn't just luck. I'd arrived just before sunset, not wanting to loiter for too long. I'd chosen a place near to one of the high bar tables that sat somewhat privately on the southeast corner of the terrace. I'd watched as the couple finally paid their tab and made their way from the table, then slid in amongst their crumbs and crumpled napkins to secure my position. It cost me only two pints on an empty stomach, but I would have paid far more as the overcast sky erupting ethereal rose for twenty, maybe thirty seconds, before fading to the blue that would usher in the night. My tripod perched unobtrusively on the table, positioning my camera over the glass to freeze the moment not only in my mind, but now on my screen:

I entered the bar a few minutes after the start of the match, having stopped first for a dinner of traditional Carniolan sausage, then at the hostel to back up my files from the day. To my memory, it was a welcoming pub, dimly lit of course, with walls of brick and arched doorways granting it an appropriately cave-like feel. There were two rooms sharing the adjacent sides of the bar. The first room was full of traveling Liverpool supporters and local Maribor fans gathering side by side for the Champions League match-up.

I asked for the Real Madrid - Tottenham match, and the accommodating bartender flicked on the TV in the other room for me. There was only one other patron on this side and, pulling a stool up to the counter, I asked for some help deciding between a couple different IPA's. The slim, long-haired young man a couple stools over made his recommendation, which settled the matter for me.

"So what part of the world are you from?" he asked in an accent that could have been my own.

"Canada," I answered. Then realizing he must be American, if not Canadian, quickly added, "Alberta. How 'bout you?"

"You wouldn't know it. Have you heard of Nelson?" 

Count me among the unsurprised.

"South of there, a small town in Washington," he continued. 

For the socially curious, this guy was like that big mysterious Christmas present having an odd shape and a low clunky rattle near the bottom, and couldn't ever be wrapped very neatly, but attracted your fascination more than all the others despite itself.

His slender forearms seemed poorly matched for the heavy glass beer mug frequenting his lips. Under the brim of a dark flat cap was long, stringy brown hair that draped his shoulder blades, and these were punctuated by a long nose and hollow cheeks that made my sister giggle when I told her reminded me of Niccolo Paganini. My wife, the hygienist, would have been drawn immediately to the periodontal situation revealed by his kind and nervous smile. This was a guy with a back-story.

We chatted back and forth casually as I looked down from the soccer game at times. He didn't have any interest in the match, and had moved into the quieter side of the bar after discovering he was too tall for the Liverpool guys to see over. It was obvious that Ljubljana meant something to him, since it would take anyone in their early thirties a fair bit of commitment to visit the same European city a half dozen times. It had been eight years since his last visit, however, and I got the sense it was a long anticipated return. "This is my city," was one of his comments.

"So where are you staying?" I asked. 

I think he was staying eight or ten days, so it made sense that he had rented an apartment. It's a great way to feel more connected to life in the city and reduce the restaurant tab at the same time.

"That works out nicely for you I'm sure," I replied. "That way you can cook your own meals."

"Yeah," he stated, "it would be, but I can't eat solid food."

It took me moment to step into the bear trap because he said it so casually and I was on my fourth beer, but ultimately I did take the bait. "What do you mean, you can't eat solid food?"

"In the ulcerating silence perspective comes. The way it always does for it's ransom" (The Tragically Hip: A Beautiful Thing).

He put his head down, and muttered, "I really don't like to talk about it, but I have a condition that's... well... it's going to kill me." He said it with such resignation. "I really should have a feeding tube."

I didn't muster much in return, other than a meek, "Gee, I'm really sorry to hear that."

I let the awkwardness linger for a bit, eyes drifting upwards to the football pitch, searching for some distraction. In the moments that followed, the beer mug two seats over bore witness to some deep, lonely sorrow. I can't imagine the story behind those tears. I wonder who he was texting with those long, shaky fingers.

"Long conversation or idle chit chat, maybe dive in or maybe hang back[?]" (The Tragically Hip: Escape is at Hand for the Traveling Man). We chatted a little more over the hour that followed. Neither about his condition, nor anything else of importance. I'm left with a hint of regret, unsure whether I ever did choose the right words or strike the right balance of distance and intimacy. When it was time to go, he got up and uttered that phrase, "Well, off I go, into the night." And that was it. I pictured him walking the vacant cobblestone alleys alone, lost in that slightly inebriated nostalgic sorrow that inhales treasured familiarity and exhales a final farewell.

Early next morning, as I pulled on the blue Tragically Hip t-shirt I'd bought at their final Edmonton concert, I scrolled my Facebook feed for the news of the day. Gord Downie had died. It was an interesting coincidence to be sure; I hadn't worn that shirt in months. 

Gord's final months were punctuated by headlines centred around the legacy of a Canadian music icon as he tirelessly championed reconciliation with Indigenous communities, love, and equality. His death made top headlines in every Canadian news service. Meanwhile, how many other individuals were grappling with the same challenges of impending mortality unnoticed in basement pubs, homes, churches, and hospitals around the world? 

There's a lot to un-pack here, and I don't really know where to start. Of course, there's the obvious lesson driven home: no time like the present. Another theme I keep returning to is, "how do we say goodbye?" The Hip lyric "Now the struggle has a name" takes on additional context (beyond the "Truth and Reconciliation" theme) when our final challenge is known. But should our actions be influenced by the "named struggle?" In a purposeful life it wouldn't make a difference, because our actions would always be made in light of our mortality. 

We generally don't do goodbyes well. Maybe it's a Western culture thing. However, we need the closure of saying goodbye. We see this in the elderly who seem to have an uncanny ability to hold on until they have a chance to see or hear that last special loved one. But I've also been thinking about the smaller goodbyes in life: moving away, bidding farewell to friends, and even returning home from an endearing city like Ljubljana. I'm reminded of the time I turned the wheels north on I-35 from Belt Line Road, instead of the usual south, as I began my journey back to Alberta from Dallas. I think about the wonderful, generous people I knew in those days before Facebook allowed for easy ongoing casual contact; saying "goodbye" really meant it in those days. There are some people I wish I'd said a better "goodbye" to. What if I'd released from an embrace, looked a person in the eyes and said "Have a good life" with absolute sincerity? And while our relationships with people as they cast themselves in and out of our life's script hold great importance to us, so do our relationships with places and things. I think about our first house, the memories created there, and how it looked as I closed the door the last time. I remember the places in the world that continue tug at my heart, like South Africa, Spain, and Slovenia. I'm often asked after a trip if I'll go back, and I generally say "no," regardless of how much I loved the place. There are just too many gifts in this world to unwrap and I'm truly skeptical if a return trip would ever live up to the original as it's painted in my mind.

So how do we say goodbye to these places? For me, photography is the typical way I connect with a place. When in a city, I like to scout a location with a great perspective, arrive half an hour before sunset, watch the steepening angle of light reduce to the point of a sunstar on my camera sensor, and stay until the sky turns blue and the true energy and character of a city is revealed in the glow of the streetlights. Hopefully, this creates some great images, but it also imprints an experience. My photoshoot in Ljubljana from the skyscraper was one of these moments. Could it be that a really great "goodbye" is about intentionally creating the moment you want to remember? We recently watched Shakespeare in Love again, and I was reminded of how great the ending was; William wrote the ending that he wanted to exist, in all its joyous sorrow, which allowed his fantasy to triumph over reality. So long as I never return to Ljubljana, the fantasy that I've written about it can remain true. 

Gord was the author of his last act, which was played out on a national stage in a beautiful ritual of bidding farewell to his country, his fans, his band, his Chanie "Wenjacks," and more privately, his family and friends. The sincere "goodbye" at the end of each concert of the tour was proud, joyous, and above all, distinctly final. He had the look of a man relishing his living wake, wanting to press pause on the moment, to drink in every detail and preserve it eternally. So notable was his bravery, that he went outside himself to leave a generous mark on those who admired and loved him. He worked tirelessly until the end to push the Indigenous affairs agenda so dear to his heart. This was a man who wanted to leave a legacy; not for his own sake, but for the benefit of those left behind. Perhaps the glioblastoma added an element of urgency to the last several months; there was a need to compress the pace and trajectory of a life's mission.

"O' for a good life, we just might have to weaken; And find somewhere to go; Go somewhere we're needed; Find somewhere to grow; Grow somewhere were needed" (The Tragically Hip: It's a Good Life if You Don't Weaken).

Now picture my friend in the pub. Why did he go to Slovenia? He'd been several times before, so this wasn't a "bucket list" pursuit. He wasn't seeking something novel; he talked about visiting all his "old haunts." Is Ljubljana, then, a place where he found meaning, or at least was connected to by a strong feeling of nostalgia? I find nostalgia to be an interesting topic, perhaps because I'm a bit inclined that way. It is a therapeutic paradox; the yearning for something familiar but impossible, an un-scratchable itch that is itself more satisfying than if the itch was actually scratched. I believe my identity is rooted in such things. We saw Gord's identity defined publicly in the people places, and things that adorned the last months of his life. In this fellow's more private journey, I really don't know the rest of the story other than Ljubljana was one of those places for him. While the impression that Gord left behind is undeniable, somehow more personally profound is this odd interfacing with a stranger in a basement pub in Ljubljana. So regardless of whatever legacy this person will ultimately leave behind in the circles he travelled, I thought I owed him a few words as tribute. Whether or not he set out to make the last days, months, or years of his life count for others, he did manage to do something profound in my life. He's not someone I'll ever forget; each time I think about my surreal few days in Slovenia, I'll be reminded of these meandering thoughts of nostalgia and goodbyes, whether my struggle be near or far.

Here's a video of my trip, full of nostalgia:

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(DreamingOutdoors Photography) international slovenia http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/go-with-gord-from-slovenia Sat, 21 Oct 2017 05:15:00 GMT
The City of Dragons http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/the-city-of-dragons I don't think I've been to a sizeable European city with as much appeal as Ljubljana. The beautiful cobblestone streets, bright coloured architecture, cozy cafes and restaurants, and interesting shops in the shadow of a castle, under 22 degrees of sunshine and falling autumn leaves... I'm starting to swoon here.

I navigated successfully to the Europcar return, then stepped across the street into my hostel. After cleaning up, I went for a walkabout.

As sunset approached, I went up to the Neboticnik cafe and sat down for a pint of terrific local craft IPA. I snapped up a high bar table in the corner the moment a pair vacated it, and waited for my moment. Suddenly the sky erupted in pink, for mere moments, and after a flourish it was gone. But I have proof:

With my victory images in hand, I toasted the images with another pint and weaved my way down the charming streets on an empty stomach to find a restaurant. I got replenished with a nice traditional sausage meal and a truly awful ale, then headed back to the still-empty hostel to get squared away.

I wandered around the corner to an Irish pub for a final pint and to watch the Real Madrid v. Tottenham match. It was while chatting with a very slim young American at the bar that I stepped into quite a bear trap. Somehow he dropped the comment that he couldn't eat solid food. But I saw him drinking a beer. So I took the bait. It turns out he was on a trail of tears, visiting one of his favourite cities, before whatever condition he was suffering from ultimately took his life.

I have some more thoughts on this interaction, which perhaps I'll flesh out when I get a bit more time. So in an effort to post this quickly and head out to dinner, I'll put that on hold (as well as my thoughts on traveling Liverpool supporters). 

 

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(DreamingOutdoors Photography) international slovenia http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/the-city-of-dragons Thu, 19 Oct 2017 17:49:57 GMT
Piran http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/piran I set my alarm early, hoping to catch the sunrise from atop the walls bordering the old town of Piran. Little did I know, they didn't open the gate until 08:00. And worse yet, the fog was thick. So I returned to the hotel for breakfast, which was lovely. I returned to my room to process some photos, and after a spell I looked out the window to see clearing conditions. So I raced back up the hill, only to be disappointed once again by the return of the fog. Down I went. This time, I found some good perspectives along the harbour and shoreline. Then I had second breakfast and tea. Finally, it did clear enough, so up I went to the walls. The girl remembered me from earlier, and let me in again without making me pay the 2 Euros. What a fabulous spot to take in the view of the sea. These types of views are such a novelty for me, I hated to leave. But, I had miles to make for Ljubljana.

 

 

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(DreamingOutdoors Photography) international slovenia http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/piran Thu, 19 Oct 2017 17:34:18 GMT
A day in Croatia http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/a-day-in-croatia It was ambitious, but it worked out better than planned.

I made quick time to the border via the tollway from Bled. I stopped briefly along the way for groceries (ie. breakfast on the go), and then again at Koper in order to check my bearings on Google Maps on my phone. Thanks, McDonald's, for the use of your bathroom. 

The border crossing was quick. No questions were asked by agents for either country. I took the beautiful windy roads through northern Croatia to find a hilltop town called Motovun. I'd heard it was one of the nicest examples in Istria. The drive itself was thrilling as the road snaked up and over the hills. At the bottom of the hill approaching the town, you can pay for parking and drive up to one of the nearer parking lots outside the city walls. They take only local currency here; no credit cards. 

The town was lovely and the streets were lined with shops. It had a slight tourist trap feel to it, but not extremely tacky. As the weather warmed up to around 25 degrees and I realized I was in no hurry to get anywhere else, I slowed my pace. After a late lunch at the car, I headed onward to Rovinj. The drive was short but I grew quite tired. I pulled into a pay-for-parking lot with the old town in view, rolled the windows down, and smelled the amazing sea air. This is not a smell I'm accustomed to, and it screams 'vacation!'

I gathered some energy and searched some online forums (thank goodness for mobile technology), striking upon a free parking lot within walking distance to the old town, and moved the car there with the help of Google Maps (distracted driving - guilty).

This seaside city was bustling with people enjoying the many cafes and restaurants that bordered the harbour. It was a hot day, but waves of fog blew over the city and created some wonderful photo moments even before magic hour began. As I was watching the tower seemingly rippling with fire as it cut the fast-moving fog, a woman commented that she had visited Rovinj for 20 years and never seen such a thing. As darkness made its slow approach, I waited and waited until the right moment to take my final images, drinking in the view while fishermen tried their luck from the dock. Each passing moment would delay my return to Piran, but I told myself, "I'll only be here once, see it through!"

I made a fairly direct and easy return to Slovenia via the tollway and arrived quite tired to Hotel Piran, though very happy with the extent of my day's adventure to Croatia. 

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(DreamingOutdoors Photography) croatia international http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/a-day-in-croatia Thu, 19 Oct 2017 17:28:33 GMT
Arrival in Slovenia http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/arrival-in-slovenia Exiting the airport in Slovenia was a surreal experience. Widespread fog was lifting, revealing lush greens and autumn yellows and reds on the hills. My first stop was to see Kamnik, near to the airport, and by all reports a pretty town. It didn't disappoint. I took in the view from the top of the hill, and then sat down to some homemade gnocchi and smoked salmon.

One of the first things I noticed on this sunny Sunday morning, was the number of people riding bikes. And not those urban bicycles you see everywhere in Holland, but proper road bikes, and people logging some serious km's. Another observation is that if the speed limit is 60 and you aren't going at least 80, you're holding up traffic. Which is difficult when you're also trying to navigate!

I then headed for the city of Skofja Loka to locate a couple viewpoints I'd tagged on Google Street View. Success! I was slightly unsure of my parking choices here but given that it was Sunday I thought perhaps things weren't enforced.

The Capuchin Bridge was built in the 14th century and leads from the monastery that bears its name. In the calm, sunny conditions I tried shooting some photos with an infrared filter. In the image that follows, I layered it with another identical image taken without the filter, and blended the colour into the infrared layer.

It was after Skofja Loka that my drive really got interesting. The roads twisted and turned up the mountains with one hair-raising hairpin after the next. It was simply stunning with the autumn colours as I passed Jamnik (the panorama) and Kropa en route to Bled.

I found my B&B (Rooms Jerman - recommended!) at 17:00. After a hurried check-in, I dashed for the vantage point overlooking Lake Bled, hoping to catch the sunset. It was more of a legitimate hike than I expected, though relatively short. At the top, I met two boys covered head to toe in mud and walking barefoot. Their parents explained that it was good for their growing feet to develop strength and touch, able to feel the earth as they walk. I couldn't agree more! Before we all began our hike down in the dark, we took this picture:

I paused on the lakeshore for another photo, then sat in the first restaurant I came across for supper, around 20:00. I retired to the B&B to deal with the plethora of images I'd taken from the day.

The next morning, I made a rather hasty farewell from Bled because I wanted to spend the day in the Istrian region of Croatia. I took these photos on the way out of Bled:

 

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(DreamingOutdoors Photography) international slovenia http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/arrival-in-slovenia Tue, 17 Oct 2017 06:02:18 GMT
London; nice to finally meet you. http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/london-nice-to-finally-meet-you It was one of those days that started like most others, but had a very different conclusion.

I worked most of the day, wrapping up at 4:00 or so in order to drive to Calgary and catch a direct flight to London. The QE2 was shut down for an accident around Crossfield, and the radio told of power outages at the International Terminal at YYC, but by the time arrived at both sites, the delays had been fortunately dealt with. Having time to spare, I decompressed with a pumpkin chai latte in the shiny and vacant departure lounge as my 9:45 boarding time approached. 

Despite being at the very back of the bus, I have to commend British Airways for pleasant service, standard food offerings, and better than average entertainment selections. Being next to the washrooms and galley resulted in only a couple hours of sleep, and the very long queue at border control was not particularly welcome. I grabbed a bite at the convenience store on the other side of security, and navigated easily to the Underground station. A lengthy commute on the Picadilly Line followed, switching at Green Park and arriving at London Bridge Station. I found myself at The Shard with 45 minutes to spare before my entry time, and after a bit of wandering found myself at this lovely market:

Finding a couple fresh items to snack on, I returned to The Shard and waited for an eternity for blue hour, since the overcast skies did not break up enough to enjoy a sunset. 

It was a lovely view, but pricey and very, very busy on a Saturday evening. With my backpack and travel attire, I felt like a hobo compared to some of the well-dressed patrons enjoying cocktails.

I then walked across Tower Bridge, capturing these photos, before hiking all the way to Blackfriars Station.

By this time, it was after 20:00 and I was starving. I found a nice little Mexican restaurant near to the station, and had my first proper meal since Friday lunch.

I caught the train to Luton, on to the shuttle, and finally to the Holiday Inn Express at 22:00. Here I sit in the departure lounge at Luton after a 4:00 wake-up, thankful I upgraded to priority boarding and emergency row seats for my upcoming 2 hour flight.

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(DreamingOutdoors Photography) england international http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/london-nice-to-finally-meet-you Sun, 15 Oct 2017 05:42:43 GMT
Waterton Lakes National Park http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/7/waterton-lakes-national-park Incredible weather for camping with the family in Waterton Lakes National Park for the Canada Day weekend. Some photos from the trip:

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(DreamingOutdoors Photography) Alberta mountains http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/7/waterton-lakes-national-park Mon, 03 Jul 2017 14:21:18 GMT
Amsterdam http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/amsterdam We didn't have time for a morning river cruise, so we walked around the city a bit before heading for the train station. We will certainly return on a stopover in the future, so we didn't feel bad about cutting short our time in Amsterdam, especially in favor of the wonderful day we had in Haarlem.

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(DreamingOutdoors Photography) Holland international http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/amsterdam Thu, 06 Apr 2017 14:45:54 GMT
Angel of Haarlem http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/angel-of-haarlem Weary of crowds and pace, we took the short train ride to a small city neighboring Amsterdam for a beautiful afternoon of walking, shopping, and dining.

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(DreamingOutdoors Photography) Holland international http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/angel-of-haarlem Wed, 05 Apr 2017 05:32:36 GMT
En Marchant http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/en-marchant We began the day at sunrise at the Trocadero, hoping to do some self-portraits with the tripod, to moderate success. I didn't post those photos here. We then walked a lot, north of the river ending at Montmartre and Sacre Couer for a picnic lunch on the sunny south-facing slope. The day concluded at the Luxembourg Gardens for (almost) sunset before the guards kicked everyone out at the stroke of 8:00. We headed right back to the apartment, hoping for an early night before our morning departure for Amsterdam.

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(DreamingOutdoors Photography) France international http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/en-marchant Mon, 03 Apr 2017 19:41:41 GMT
Paris Scenes http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/paris-scenes We walked the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe in the morning, visited Notre Dame, and watched night fall from the Trocadero.

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(DreamingOutdoors Photography) France international http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/paris-scenes Mon, 03 Apr 2017 05:13:47 GMT
Musee d'Orsay http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/musee-dorsay On Sunday, we went to this beautiful museum, set in an old train station. However, the line was so long when we first arrived, we actually went walking to the Arc de Triomphe instead. We returned later to the museum, hoping for a shorter line but, not finding one, realized the first Sunday of the month was free admission!

 

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(DreamingOutdoors Photography) France international http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/musee-dorsay Mon, 03 Apr 2017 05:08:21 GMT
Louvre http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/louvre The day finished with a walk along the Seine at sunset... ... but the day began with the Louvre!

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(DreamingOutdoors Photography) France international http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/louvre Sat, 01 Apr 2017 20:07:07 GMT
Arrivez http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/arrivez We started the trip off in style with a free quasi-upgrade to business class legroom seats. The flight was uneventful to Paris, and we easily found our apartment and checked in. Our day concluded with a world class sunset atop the Tour Montparnasse.

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(DreamingOutdoors Photography) France international http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/arrivez Sat, 01 Apr 2017 17:28:31 GMT
Dodging puddles in Oslo http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/puddle-dodging-in-oslo I had an early exam time Sunday morning, after which I drove with Nick to Oslo for the rest of the morning. We walked around the center of the city and, with our eyes often looking up at the nice architecture, found ourselves stepping in puddles left and right. Here are some iPhone shots from the morning:

 

 

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(DreamingOutdoors Photography) Norway international http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/puddle-dodging-in-oslo Tue, 22 Nov 2016 04:05:23 GMT
More Moss and a Bakery Tour http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/more-moss-and-a-bakery-tour I had another great day at my course, but had to sneak out at lunch and during the afternoon break for a little walk to see the sunshine. Here are my photos:

What followed was a fun little adventure to Sarpsborg. I had a care package to deliver to a friend's relative in that city. Thanks to Google Maps on my smartphone, I made it to Sondre's house where he lives with his family. It was a beautiful home, decorated like a Christmas dollhouse. We chatted over delicious pastry and coffee before going on a tour of the family's bakery, which first opened in 1930! I learned a lot about the process and their hospitality was much appreciated.

I made it back before too late. Here is a picture of the church next to the Moss Hotel.

 

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(DreamingOutdoors Photography) Norway international http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/more-moss-and-a-bakery-tour Sat, 19 Nov 2016 17:49:58 GMT
Moss http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/moss I was busy with my course all day, but snapped a couple pictures during an afternoon break.

I picked up some food for supper at a local grocery store, ate in my hotel room, and went out for a walk in the increasing drizzle.

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(DreamingOutdoors Photography) Norway international http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/moss Thu, 17 Nov 2016 20:45:25 GMT
In Transit http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/in-transit After the course wrapped on Tuesday, I flew to Munich on a very comfortable Lufthansa flight. I had a good sleep and the time passed quickly. Here was my supper in the Munich airport, at what my body thought should have been breakfast time.

I then arrived in Oslo after a short flight, picked up my rental car, and successfully navigated in the dark rain to my hotel in Moss, about 1.5 hours with detours.

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(DreamingOutdoors Photography) Norway international http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/in-transit Thu, 17 Nov 2016 20:41:08 GMT
A Full Moon and a Firefly http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/firefly After our course Monday night, Amanda and I went down to the Bay Bridge to watch the "super-moon" rise.

Afterwards, we went up to Noe Valley to have a nice dinner in a restaurant called Firefly. It did not disappoint.

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(DreamingOutdoors Photography) USA international http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/firefly Thu, 17 Nov 2016 20:36:21 GMT