To take nothing but photographs, and leave nothing but footprints.
California Roadtrip 2015: Postcards from Solvang
On a tour of mission churches in California, we stopped to eat and shop at a tiny village called Solvang (Danish for 'sunny field'). It is a beautiful little city nestled in
the Santa Ynez Valley of California. We went back the following day to explore the city. The village retains its authentic Danish look with horse drawn wagons,
windmills, Danish and Northern European style architecture and Hans Christian Andersen Park, Danish pastry shops and bakeries, and quaint shops. Okay, I was disappointed with the food and the pastries, but I enjoyed photographing this beautiful town. And of course, nature added to the fairy-tale look and feel of the village.
Itstarted as a daydream, inspired by a Chanel perfumecommercialwhere Audrey Tautou (a French actress) wastravelingsolo on the Orient Express from Paris to Istanbul. Ahandsomeyoungmanfell under her spellandlooked as ifhehadfallenhead over heels in love with her. Somehow, sheended up arrivingsolo in Istanbul, running towards the Bosphorus Sea, amid flying seagulls, with a big camera in tow. Of course, whattheadwanted us to rememberwastheimage in her camera, of a handsomeyoungmanwhofell under her spell (perfume). However, I was captivated more by the scene at the end of her trip; the city of Istanbul.Itwasunforgettable. The black anddarkimages with effects of lightevoked a feeling of mysteryandleft a curiousimpression of Istanbul.
Istanbul is a largecity with 14 million peopleand one of themostvisitedcities in theworld. Thecity straddles two continents – Europe and Asia, and one of theworld’s busiest waterways, the Bosphorus, between the Sea of Marmara andthe Black Sea. Havin…
We flew in from Saigon to Da Nang, one of Vietnam’s major ports, situated on the coast of the South China Sea. From the airport, we immediately hopped on the bus to Hoi An, stopping only at China Beach, said to be a popular destination in Da Nang during the summer time. I was not impressed. From there, we continued along a well-maintained road bordered by the ocean side and granite mountains on the other side. I noticed lots of construction activities by the ocean side, new hotels being built, including big hotel brands such as Sheraton. I also noticed what seemed to be newly planted palm trees. At the end of the highway, the road narrowed sandwiched between large expanse of rice paddies. I saw bikers around the narrow road and a few tourists taking pictures of the women planting rice and the water buffalo.
Hoi An is famous for the best Banh Mi, so our guide suggested that we try it for lunch. Our bus suddenly stopped in front of a vegetarian restaurant, but our guide led us to a st…
We left our lodge before the break of dawn for a 45-minute drive to Kruger National Park Reserve entrance, bringing our boxed breakfast and bottled water with us. We were warned to limit our coffee or water consumption before the game drive for there were no toilet facilities in the wild. Forty minutes later, I saw an orange glow of light poking through a dark layer of morning clouds hovering over the silhouetted mountain. I pulled out my iPhone to snap a picture of the beautiful scenery to Instagram the picture to my friend who told me that South Africa was touristy. I decided not to take pictures but enjoy the stillness of the morning. I had been on adventure trips enough to know the drill, so I tend to set my expectations low. The beautiful scenery so far seemed to be a prelude to a wonderful safari.
We arrived at the gate at 6:00 am where our safari jeep and a ranger named Smart was waiting for us. There were eight of us in the jeep and I felt lucky to be riding with Stu…