There’s a little cave off the main (only) road that runs through Vernazza. If you walk through it, you end up on this rugged little beach. After a bit of research, I discovered that this beach didn’t exist until 2011 when the landslides the devastated the region created it. This beach was the only sign I could see that the landslides had occurred at all.
If you google Riomaggiore you’ll find photos taken from this spot numerous times. It’s one of the viewpoints that first got me to notice the Cinque Terre and eventually decide to give the area a visit. While I try not to take the same photos taken by everyone else, I don’t think anyone can disembark from the ferry to Riomaggiore and not stop to take this picture.
I’d seen photos of the Seven Sisters and thought they looked like an impressive collection of cliffs. So when presented with the opportunity to take a drive out of London, I made my way there. It was a windy, rainy day and I was fairly underwhelmed with the cliffs. They didn’t look as impressive as they did in photographs.
Oddly, looking back at this photo, the Seven Sisters look pretty impressive again.
I’ve decided to have a bit of a contest to see who can be the first to post the name of this waterfall (I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t because I can’t remember what it’s called). It was an incredible site. The cliffs are arranged in a horseshoe shape and the water tumbles off in this semicircular surrounding way.
With no music to cut the silence, and my travel buddy passed out next to me, I navigated our little white jeep up and down meandering switchback after meandering switchback. Having only made it half way from our hostel to Latrabjarg, we tucked tail and made our way home for fear of running out of gas. Our first night in Iceland taught us a lesson. If the GPS says it will take 4 hours, it will take ten. The roads are rough, but the real reason is that the beautiful scenery begs you to stop after every bend.
I’d struggled to find a groove on this drive, as I so often do when I dust off the photography skills in a new destination. Then, the sun began to reverse its brief dip just below the horizon and something magical happened. A soft light bathed the landscape, bursting through gaps in the cloud to the north. The birds began to awaken and fill the air with song. Approaching a bend, ascending out of another fjord I suddenly found inspiration. The serenity of the moment seemed to be summed up in the single view captured below. Huge cliffs sat peacefully in the distance as a road twisted and turned its way along the edge of the fjords. There wasn’t another car or person in sight. I’d just driven that stretch, and there was a long way to go until I’d reach a bed, but I had to stop, step out in the cold, and mount my camera atop my tripod and try to do the view before me justice.
As you reach the crest of the cliffs overlooking Hafragilfoss it would be difficult to categorise the view in front of you as beautiful. Jaw dropping is far more appropriate. The view before you, atop that cliff, is of a rugged landscape. A gorge bore out by flowing water. The waterfall’s roar can be heard even from this distance and the mist of Dettifoss can be seen rising into the sky just around the bend up river. Below Hafragilfoss, the milky river swirls with crystal blue as the pure, clean waters of a nearby spring merge with silty run off. The best part is, the fact that you’ve made your way up the rugged dirt road at 2 in the morning means you have the whole place to yourself.
As a testament to just how incredible the waterfalls are in Iceland, this 27 meters tall, 91 meters wide, waterfall isn’t even considered one of the must-sees!
When I told people I was going to Romania the most common reaction was, “Why, Romania?”
Telling them it was just for a vacation wasn’t typically enough to satisfy the question. So, I’d have to launch into the following story.
As soon as I finished my final exams at university I took off to travel across Europe along with my Belgian housemate Greg. We inter-railed from Amsterdam to Athens over a six week period. It was great. Study time gave me a great opportunity to plan everything out. The route was plotted and off we went. Everything went to plan. Except, that is, for our 2 night stop over in Sighisoara, Romania (the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, aka Dracula).
We were in Budapest, along with my friend from Bermuda, John, and had an important decision to make about our 6am departure. It was midnight in the hostel bar, 5 hours until we’d have to be waking up to get on a 10 hour train ride. We decided that just didn’t make any sense. The hostel bar was open all night and it was really lively. It was full of a big group of Australians a couple Belgians and a few others. We’d be much better off staying up all night and then spending the long train journey asleep. This logic was probably based on the fact we were already a few beers in.
You can probably guess where this is going. After we had successfully defused a heated argument between the Australians and Belgians, John wussed out and went to bed with three hours to go. Then, with an hour left, Greg and I decided it was time to go pack – that was another piece of careful planning. The next memory I have is being woken up by these words from Greg, “Uhhhhh, Johnny, I think we missed the train.”
“Why, what time is it?” I replied.
“So what you’re saying is, we definitely missed the train.”
As a result of this blunder, we didn’t go to Romania. We went to Serbia. As a result, I wanted to see what Romania was about, so I made a much more successful attempt to visit a couple of summers ago.
Now I’ve been there, if anyone asks me why I’m going to Romania in the future, I’ll just answer, “Because it’s awesome.”
Today’s Photo: 7 Ladder Gorge Waterfall, Transylvania, Romania
Today’s photo is one of the reasons that Romania is awesome. The country is beautiful. This is taken in Seven Ladder Gorge. When I was there it was officially closed as the metal ladders and walkways through the gorge had been damaged by the winter floods. Our guide told us this and proceeded right along. The walkways were definitely damaged, some had fallen down. I liked it, it made for more of an adventure. There were a lot of picture opportunities along the way. This is one of my favorites.
Again, this is an old photo I had saved as a JPEG but always felt was a bit flat. I’ve given it a sort of faux HDR treatment using Topaz Adjust, which really is an amazing Photoshop plugin.
If you’re watching the sunset on the South Shore of Bermuda it’s worth turning around and looking towards the East. As the sun dips below the horizon it’s pretty common for a pink band to appear on the opposite horizon that gradually moves up into the sky until it dissolves into the deepening blue sky. This photo was taken just as this pink band started it’s march upward.
When I was working this photo up in Photomatix I clicked on the rocks for a close up to check on the detail. I was surprised the discover that right where I clicked, perfectly centered in the preview square, was etched JANIE4JASON.
Victoria Falls at low water lets you really explore the falls. They have a real untouched feel about them. On one side there’s a simple path leading you past views across the Batoka Gorge. On the other side you can leave the path to walk across the top of the cliffs. There’s nothing to stop you walking right up to the edge, as you can see in this picture.
I’ll be visiting Niagara Falls in March and wonder how it will compare. I’m expecting a lot more attention to be paid to safety, distancing you from the falls. I’m also expecting there to be buildings visible all around the falls. Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised. It’ll certainly make for great photos either way.