europe

Winter wonderland in Switzerland

One week roaming this beautiful country in our van

And just like that we are back from Switzerland. We left one week ago and we got back home last night. This was our third time to this beautiful country and the third time we traveled around its quaint little towns in our van. 

The first day we drove for over eight hours and we stopped near Lyon (France) to spend the night  on one of those big gas stations along the highway. We were very close to Geneve but my husband had been working the morning shift and we were tired to continue driving. After a good night sleep we ventured onward to one of the most beautiful valleys in the country, a place we visit every time we return to Switzerland, a tiny village called Lauterbrunnen. This time though, we took a train that goes to the Jungfrau (4158m). This train goes all the way up to the highest train station in Europe at 3454m, but we decided to stop in Wengen where the views where already incredible.  

This valley is very close to Interlaken, another favorite spot of us. Interlaken is a little town in between two lakes and there are tiny villages around them, just like this one below, called Iseltwald. 

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The next day, we drove to the other side of the mountains of the Jungfrau region. Our plan was to take a cable car all the way up to the viewpoint of Eggishorn (2927m) from where you can sit and stare for hours the Aletsch glacier. Unfortunately, once we got there, they told us that the top was covered in clouds and that it would be impossible to see anything. The worst was that it was already Tuesday and the rest of the days except for Friday (our last full day) the weather forecast said we would be having rain and snow. I have to admit that made us a bit sad, but it also pushed us to change our plans and search for other wonderful locations to explore. 

Until we made it to Italy. That is one of my favorite things about Europe... it's so easy to have breakfast in one country, lunch in another and spend the night on a third one. And all of them are so unique and beautiful.  We drove along Lago Maggiore (Italy) and suddenly we were surprised by the beauty of a little town called Cannero Riviera, and we didn't think about it twice, we found a camping by the lake where we spent our third night. 

It rained all night, and the sound of rain against the roof of the van was so relaxing... But when morning came we needed to get back on the road to drive through Valle de Verzasca. We were surprised by the magical fog over the lake and the mountains. The colorful towns along the road had such a unique mood. It was truly special, and perfect for the kind of photos I like to take. 

Our first stop of the day was in Lavertezzo. I'm sure you've already seen photos of this quaint little village of only a handful of houses and emerald color river that flows through the entire valley. 

The color of the freezing water and the big stones of the river are already perfect, and the stony bridge that connects both sides of the river is pretty unique too.

At the end of the road that crosses Valle de Verzasca, there were mountains also covered in fog. But that whole morning, even with pouring rain was so beautiful. We had to stop every few kilometers to take in the views around us and photograph a bit more. 

In the afternoon, we drove the to the famous town of Sankt Moritz, the famous ski station in Switzerland. On our way there, we were greeted by a white landscape, with frozen lakes that made everything feel so desolate, yet so peaceful at the same time.  

The next morning it was already Thursday, and even though it was still raining and snowing, we wanted to get closer to the Aletsch glacier and Zermatt area, because we were expecting good weather for Friday. So we woke up in time to watch the sunrise over a lake and then headed out towards Fribourg to spend the day and get some chocolate and cheese there... Always a must, if you are in Switzerland. 

On Thursday night we slept on an empty camping by the town of Fiesch. We watched the sun go down and stars lit up what would be the coldest night of our trip. We had static heating installed on our campervan so we slept pretty warm and comfy though. 

The next day, the sun rose around 7.30am and we got ready to get to the top of Eggishorn and then drive to Zermatt to catch a train to the Gornergrat glacier where we had lunch looking at the famous Matterhorn. 

I think it was the perfect ending to our week exploring the beauty of Switzerland. In the end, we were able to see everything we had planned, and a bit more. That's the best thing about roadtrips, you never know what lies ahead, and the road is part of the journey too. 

All these photos were shot with the Fujifilm XT2, along with the XF16mm f1.4, XF23mm f1.4 and XF18-55mm.

Edited with Forged presets by Tribe Red Leaf Studios who were kind enough to team with us and support us through their Field Trip Program. I'm very grateful to be part of such a wondeful collective. 

Hope you liked our little adventure!

See you soon!

 

 

 

 

 

A roadtrip through the Alps

During Easter holidays we went on a short roadtrip to the Alps. We drove through Switzerland, southern Germany, Austria and the Dolomites in northern Italy. We had already been to all these countries, but all we wanted to do was to head to the mountains and explore lakes and be surrounded by nature. The Basque Country is about ten hours away from Switzerland, so that was the longest part of the drive. The rest of the places I had on my list were pretty close one from another. It is true that we tried to cover maybe too much for only 9 days, but I guess being on the road is also part of the adventure and we didn't feel that we spent a crazy amount of hours in the van (even though some argue that we always do). 

I packed all my camera gear on the very last day and after giving too much thought, I brought more than what I really needed (as always). However, I ended up using the 6D with the EF 24-70 f.2.8 for all these shots. I also brought the Canon Ae1+ FD 50 1.8 and I shot Ektar 100, Portra 160 and Portra 400. It was a great experience to shoot film again and I must admit that composing at 50mm was really tricky for me so that was an interesting and slow process. I'll show those scans on my next post though. 

Back from the Land of Ice

The first time we were in Iceland was back in the summer of 2014. We went on a three week roadtrip around the country and slept on our sleeping bags in the most incredible places we had ever seen. Right there, we promised to ourselves that we would one day go back in winter to see it in a different light and wild conditions.

A few months ago, we just talked about the idea once again, and started looking at flights to Reikjavik for the last week of 2016. We found them for a really cheap price and we bought them on that same night. We rented a 4x4, hired a tour to visit an ice cave and booked our hotels for 4 nights. It was a really short trip compared to the first time we were there... but it was absolutely worth every minute of it. 

Unfortunately, the conditions were really extreme for the first two days. Our ice cave tour got cancelled due to the caves being flooded after a really rainy day. Instead, we visited other places we hadn't planned to go to. It wasn't as cold as we expected. The minimum temperature we experienced was -9ºC, which wasn't that bad with all the clothing we had on. Two pairs of thick socks, two pants, several layers of shirts, a sweater, a jacket and a raincoat. Oh! and really awesome gloves, hats and mountain boots. All essencial to survive the crazy conditions we lived on those days. With 100% of humidity even my 6D died for a few hours after getting soaked in the canyon of Fjaðrárgljúfur (ha! try pronouncing that!). So glad I had my little Fuji X100T with me while I dried the DSLR with the car heating. That was a really important lesson I learnt: always bring more than one camera, ALWAYS.

The wind was really strong... about 40mph/60kmh and it literally threw us to the ground several times, specially in Stokksnes, where it was almost impossible to photograph. The light though was spectacular, it changed every minute but it felt like a constant sunrise/sunset all along the 6 hours of daylight we had each day. 

On our last day there, we went in search of the northern lights, but we were not able to find them, so again, we promised to go back over and over again to this wonderful place we love so dearly. Next time we are taking our camper van on a ferry to the Faroe Islands, staying there for a few days and then hopping to Iceland for yep, another awesome adventure!

These are some of the photographs I’ve taken on this journey. I hope you like them and make you book your flight to Iceland right now!

Oh! and Happy New Year! Hope it's an adventurous one!

*All taken with a Canon 6D +24-70mm 2.8 and Fujifilm X100T

Paris, City of Lights

A couple of days ago we just got back from a five day trip to Paris. This was my fourth time in the city, but since my parents in law came with us we had to explore the main attractions once again. Our first stop was at the Louvre, one of my favorite museums in the world, a place that never gets old and where I discover something new everytime I visit. I have always taken a dslr on my international travels, but this time however, I chose to bring the Fujifilm X100T and my new-old Canon Ae-1 film camera. I have made the terrible mistake of lugging around a heavy dslr while exploring cities, so I decided against that and thought I would give it a try to this little, yet powerful camera. 

Probably the most famous churches in Paris are Notre Dame and Le Sacre Coeur. However, there's a little gem hidden behind the palace of justice, very close to Notre Dame where only a few decide to visit. This church is called the Sainte Chapelle and I think it deserves a quick visit if you happen to be in the city. 

But I still believe that whenever I have the chance to walk around a city the best part is always in its streets. No matter where you look in Paris, you are surrounded by classical buildings full of history, little alleys behind huge wooden doors, cobblestone roads and charming little cafés... that make your trip even more memorable.