Finally!!...The last part of our 2016 summer vacation is ready to be published. I still have a couple "Hero Shots" to edit, but I don't wanna rush that process so I'll be updating this post later on when I've had the time and inclination to do so.
I feel that I've already praised Biarritz in so many previous posts that I'm out of adjectives to use and/or don't want to repeat myself. If you still haven't then here's the five part photo story I did as part our 2015 summer vacation. I'll just end this one by quoting myself and also...I can't wait to get back there in July this year!!
Here in La Côte des Basques, Biarritz is the last bastion of the South West bordering Spain and jostling with the Michelin stars of the culinary San Sebastián.
Its mild climate and the beauty of its awe-inspiring scenery, its curved inlets punctuated by rocky outcrops, all those cozy boulangerie, patisserie & crêperie’s, and the great events that it hosts, make Biarritz a destination of enchantment to which we will return to over and over again!!
I'm gonna start trying out a couple new things in the approach to my story telling. One of them things is a new workflow which hopefully will enable me to spend less time editing and more time sharing my visual stories...and to post more frequently.
When I hopefully get my head around this new photographic voyage I've embarked on I'll make sure to let you guys know. I think it deserves it's own space and time in the dimension of my consciousness which is scribbled down on this digital diary. Until that day let's continue our summer vacation photo-story. Next stop San Sebastián or as it's called by the locals; Donostia.
If you haven't been yet, then what the heck are you waiting for? It's awesome. The food's amazing. The people are super friendly. As the Spanish would say: "Es maravilloso. Es super guay. Es una pasada tío!!".
Over and out!
P.S if you missed my previous photo-story about this marvelous place make sure to check it out right here.
Now that we’ve got yet another Christmas and New Year in the back mirror and out our systems I’d like to continue where I left off. Where were we though? Oh yeah right, we’d just left Lofoten and were headed to Barcelona the day after.
You know, maybe I’m biased in this matter, but Barcelona is a great freakin’ city. I’d even venture saying that it’s one of Europe’s best ones, like in any comparison..EVER. It depends on your preferences of course but we’re not here to talk about you now are we??
I said I’m biased before because Spain is kinda my third home – with Iran and Sweden being number uno and dos in hat little reference there. Anyhoot, I lived in Spain for about 3 years, of which I spent over a year in Barcelona. But it’s not for nothin’ that this city top’s at least one list of “The best European destinations” or some such ever year, every year people, on a lot of lists of a lot of magazines and tourist guides.
I mean what there not to like!? You’ve got the mild Mediterranean climate, great shopping, amazing club scene, outstanding restaurants and taperías, awesome ice cream, hell of an arts and culture scene, a world leading football team, kilometer-long beaches close to the city center, aaand the list goes on…
As my man Donnie Brasco would say “Fucking forget about it!!”.
"Forget about it" is like, if you agree with someone, you know, like "Raquel Welch is one great piece of ass, forget about it." But then, if you disagree, like "A Lincoln is better than a Cadillac? Forget about it!" you know? But then, it's also like if something's the greatest thing in the world, like minga those peppers, "forget about it." But it's also like saying "Go to hell!" too. Like, you know, like "Hey Paulie, you got a one inch pecker!" and Paulie says "Forget about it!" And then, sometimes it just means forget about it."
– Donnie Brasco
Speaking of all good things, if I had only one day in this marvelous city, I’d do as my wife and I do every time we’re in town and make sure to visit our favourite neighborhood Born and go have dinner at our favourite restaurant Casa Lolea.
This place isn’t like any other restaurant we’ve been to, and trust me we’ve been to a lot of “restaurantes”. The staff is AMAZING, the food AMAZEBALLS and their own produced sangría is out of this world. If you’re ever in town, you HAVE to go there and try it. You’ll come out happier that you’ve been in a long time, I guaranty that and many laughs!
"Spain has always been a country with a passion for joyful conversations and encounters. Combine this story with our simple locale and a lot of ambiance where many small plates of amazing food and sangría serve to invite your senses to a nightlong fiesta. Welcome to Casa Lolea!"
¡Hasta la proxima!
We returned from our lovely Italy voyage on a Thursday and the plan was to head back out on the road again two days later. There in between we made time for a couple washing machine batches, changes of outfits from summer to winter clothes and most importantly spent time with the Englund family whom we always miss dearly whilst away from home.
On the Saturday we flew from Stockholm to Kiruna, got the rental car, made a run for a whole lot of groceries and drove towards Lofoten. 8 hours later we had arrived at our final destination Reine.
We spent a week in Lofoten with our base in Reine visiting the surrounding locations such as Sakrisøya, Hamnøy, Henningsvær, Uttakleiv Beach and Rambergstranda. We loved every minute of being at this rare wilderness outpost!!
The Lofoten Islands are draped across the turbulent waters of the Norwegian Sea, far above the Arctic Circle and offer an unlimited landscape of majestic mountains, deep fjords, squawking seabird colonies and long, surf-swept beaches.
If you are seeking unforgettable nature experiences, Lofoten will definitely not let you down. Due to the area’s diverse landscape, you can go hiking, skiing, fishing, ocean rafting or scuba diving. Lofoten is also one of Norway’s best sites for surfing, and one of the world’s northernmost.
Fishing has been, and still is, to a degree, the reason why people have lived here and the region is known for its many small fishing villages. Here, you can as we did stay in a Rorbu – an old fishermen’s cabin.
The rapidly changing weather and magnificent light conditions have inspired artists and drawn them to this area for several decades, which is an absolute dream for any landscape photographer as myself.
This trip is by far the most adventurous vacation we’ve done so far and experiences we gathered are unparalleled for us. If I may quote my good friend Arnie, I’ll (most definitely will, many, many at times) be back!!
After the hustle and bustle of Cinque Terre and Florence we were looking forward to get some down time at our next destination Elba.
We found ourselves following a nice little daily routine during our five days there. With the exception of me sneaking away with my gear before sunrise the rest of the day was spent together, as husband and wife and around sunset as photographer and assistant in charge wifey.
Yes I'm getting off topic, our daily routine; it started with breakfast at the hotel, followed by a veeery short promenade to the end of the quaint waterfront, our feet then steered us a few meters more all the way to the small white pebbly beach called "Bagni Capo Nord". There we'd rent two sun-loungers and hang out most of the day viewing over beautiful turquoise crystal clear water at the foot of the green slopes of Mount Capanne.
Insert delicious Tuscan cuisine for lunch and dinner somewhere there in between including the mandatory cooling Prosecco on the former occasion and local white on the latter. Furthermore add to this regimen many, many, many scoops of heavenly creamy gelato (for him aka. boo) and nutella pancakes (for her a.k.a. bae). Well there you have it, that was our day!
Elba is an Island best described as a green and blue oasis in the Tuscan Archipelago. It's an island of endless horizons and golden beaches overlooking crystal clear water. The sought after breeze tells stories of people through history blessed by the sun while passing by caressingly.
This little heaven on earth rewards you in a variety of aspects, typically sensed all at ones; its beaches and its cliffs, its wind, its land, its perfume, its flavors, its hard working people, its hillside villages and its terraces facing the sea are all but the start of a journey where you discover an island that will never disappoint you.
Sea, land, wind, and ancient traditions. Go there and experience it yourself!!
I was originally set on sharing photos from Florence & Elba combined in the same post.
But as I was working on it last night I realized that it would be a huge article with loads of photos.
That's why I changed my mind and decided to do it as two separate stories. So, this post is the second part of our summer vacation series which consists of:
- Italy Part I - Cinque Terre & Portofino
- Italy Part II - Florence
- Italy Part III - Elba
- Lofoten, Norway
- San Sebastian
Whenever we're out travelling our preferred means of transportation is definitely by train.
It's such an enjoyable way of getting around. We usually just relax and enjoy the view, catch up on some reading and/or get some shut eye.
We had one day that we'd planned to visit Florence and we were of course not going there by any other means of transportation. A train ride from La Spezia Centrale to Pisa and another from Pisa to Firenze Santa Maria Novella took us about 2:20h with the regional train company Trenitalia.
We'd finally arrived to Florence!! This is the capital of the Tuscany region, the birthplace of the Renaissance and the city of lilies. You can imagine what high expectations we hade for this place.
At the end of the day, after an entire day on foot exploring, sightseeing, eating pasta and having to many scoops of gelato - I think we'd walked for about 7-8 hours - both my wife and I felt the same way. We were delighted but at the same time sad. Sad because we had to catch the last train back towards Pisa but delighted that Florence had categorically lived up to our expectations!!
Next time we're gonna be staying for a whole lot longer, Firenze ci vediamo presto!
We've had a real busy summer packed with a 5 week itinerary including trips to Italy, Norway and a do-over of last years' Barcelona-San Sebastian-Biarritz combo. We truly feel grateful & humble being able to travel & explore so many wonderful locations during 5 weeks straight.
So what's been going on since summer you make ask and where the heck are the photos?
Well, I've sure been buys. Except for a new day job and new photo projects I've been keeping myself occupied sorting through & post processing all the images in my catalog.
This post is the first part of our summer vacation series which I probably will be sharing in the following order:
- Italy Part I - Cinque Terre & Portofino
- Italy Part || - Florence
- Italy Part III - Elba
- Lofoten, Norway
- San Sebastian
Ever since I got serious about photography, Cinque Terre has been on my photo bucket list.
Ever since I got serious about eating delicious food, Italy has been on my radar.
Ever since I tasted my first ice cream as a kid, the search for scoops of that heavenly creamy gelato has been my mission...I don't think any further explanation is needed to justify the reason for choosing Italy as one of the destinations of our summer vacation.
How was it? We loved it, it was great! We're definitely set on visiting Italy more in the future.
We had time to explore the following locations in Cinque Terre; Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia & Manarola. Also we made a day trip out to the luxurious Portofino and another day trip to Florence before spending 5 days in Elba. But more about Florence and Elba in the next post.
Here are my favourite memories from our time in Cinque Terre and Portofino.
During the past days I've been going through unprocessed photos of my buddies Sebastian & Stella from the last couple of years.
It always makes me so happy to look at moments shared together with these two cupcakes. They are the sweetest most adoring two little people that I know in the whole wide world!!
So without further ado, these are my favourite never before posted photos of Sebastian aka. "Bullen" & Stella aka. "Patata" Englund.
This past Monday my wife & I met up with a bunch of friends to celebrate the Swedish National Day.
We packed our picnic baskets, put our shades on, got our groove on and set course towards the Mosquito Beach Party event at Smeduddsbadet.
The event had been advertised as a new kind of national day celebration including live music & dance performance. The organizers were hoping to attract even more people this year compared to the first event that was held in 2015. The Cosmopolitan Stockholmers were invited to celebrate the tradition of open-mindedness that Sweden is known for.
And boy let me tell you...it was a blast!!
Actually it might have been the most fun I've ever had on a Monday (Whaaaat?!?) Ok, Ok, I gotta admit that I've been looking forward to the past 7 Mondays and a fresh new episode of GOT rarely disappoints.
Anyhow, the saying goes, "Wherever there are friends, there is a party".
On this particular Monday we found ourselves stomping our feet, flapping our arms (ok I was mostly flapping...and stomping) and simply digging the great Latino inspired music surrounded by thousands of happy friends from all over the world that are proud to call Sweden their home.