DreamingOutdoors Photography: Blog http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) DreamingOutdoors Photography (DreamingOutdoors Photography) Thu, 19 Oct 2017 17:49:00 GMT Thu, 19 Oct 2017 17:49:00 GMT http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/img/s6/v151/u367683673-o491617133-50.jpg DreamingOutdoors Photography: Blog http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog 120 80 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.

After crossing the border via the tollway from Bled to Koper, I took the 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 although the streets were lined with shops, it didn't have that tacky tourist trap feel to it. 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
Wandering in San Francisco http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/wandering-in-san-francisco I had only half of Sunday to get out and see some of the city. I forgot how much it smelled of urine. But there were also some lovely sights as I wandered the streets between Mission and Castro, south of Market. At one point, a large anti-Trump demonstration marched by.

After tiring of walking around, I got a Uber ride to Marshall's Beach, where I watched the sunset over the Pacific and the lights of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The return to the airport hotel was long via public transit, but in all it was a successful day touring the city.

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(DreamingOutdoors Photography) USA international http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/wandering-in-san-francisco Mon, 14 Nov 2016 09:04:38 GMT
Hunting the Tombstones http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/hunting-the-tombstones Late August in Tombstone Territorial Park has long been a bucket-list trip of mine, and it certainly did not disappoint when Alana, Dad and I went on a 3-day woodland caribou hunting trip. The ripe berries and yellowing tundra made for beautiful hiking, and encounters with caribou, Dall's sheep, and moose only added to the experience. Here is the eye candy:

Blackstone RiverBlackstone River Angelcomb ReflectionAngelcomb Reflection The HunterThe Hunter Glassing the HillsGlassing the Hills Mt. Boyle Summit RidgeMt. Boyle Summit Ridge Boyle RidgeBoyle Ridge Going NorthGoing North Ogilvie PanoramaOgilvie Panorama Ogilvie Range MonochromeOgilvie Range Monochrome Yukon GoldYukon Gold Blackstone FadingBlackstone Fading Angelcomb SunriseAngelcomb Sunrise The Leading EdgeThe Leading Edge The Cloudy RangeThe Cloudy Range Colors of the KlondikeColors of the Klondike Cloaked MonolithCloaked Monolith North Klondike Valley PanoramaNorth Klondike Valley Panorama

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(DreamingOutdoors Photography) Yukon hiking mountains http://dreamingoutdoors.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/hunting-the-tombstones Sat, 05 Nov 2016 20:02:17 GMT