mountains

Sunset at Kandy Lake, Kandy

The Landscapes of Sri Lanka (II)

Within a mile, the landscapes and views of Sri Lanka change constantly. So does the smell, so does the sound. The waves of mountains, endless oceans and beaches. Buzzing cities of life and chaos.

A new Sri Lanka around every single corner. What’s next?

The sunrise at Ella Rock, the famous mountain around the city of Ella. The strange rock formation at Sigiriya Rock and Pidurangala Rock, located in central Sri Lanka. The roaring city of Kandy, the combination of spiritual life and hard commerce. The silent beaches in the South around Tangalle. The railway system.
Keep on walking, keep on discovering a country of life and beauty – who knows what’s around the next corner. Things might change.


Sunset at Lake Gregory, Nuwara Eliya

The Landscapes of Sri Lanka (I)

The country of Sri Lanka offers a charming combination of a stunning tropical landscape presented by lovely people. A more and more popular destination, but still a silent gem in the south of India.

Sri Lanka. Be ready to be amazed and confused at the same time.

In recent years, Sri Lanka has become more and more popular as a travel destination. After the end of the civil war in 2009, the country can finally be visited without any unnecessary worries. Thankfully, as it offers so much impressions that you’ll easily be overwhelmed. Eight UNESCO World Heritage sites are waiting for you to be discovered, mostly in the cultural north. The ancient city of Anuradhapura. The stunning landscape around Sigiriya Rock and its temple (hint: best viewed from the adjacent Pidurangala Rock). The Old Palace of King Parakramabahu in Polonnaruwa. The impressive Buddha Caves around Dambulla. The list of beautiful cultural heritage is sheer endless.
Continue to visit the colonial history in the South and the Highlands. Visiting British-ish cities like Kandy, Ella, Nuwara Eliya. Discover the buzzing and hectic sound of multi-cultural melting pots. Be prepared to be overwhelmed by the different smells and sounds. Endless beaches around the south coast – villages like Tangalle of Weligama Bay.
And finally: Take your time. Use public transport. Don’t rush, life isn’t fast anyway.


Sunset at Passo di Giau

The Landscapes of the Dolomites (I)

Exploring the Dolomites / Dolomiti, an Italian part of the majestic Alps, is a unique experience and offers countless possibilities to worship mother nature.

The Dolomites, an UNESCO world heritage site

The landscape can be visited during the entire year. This tour leads us to awesome lakes and mountain passes during the beginning of winter. Autumn colors are still visible, but the harsh contrast between the snow whites and the mountains’ blacks, the colored fog during sunset – all those monochromatic tones change the way you perceive the mountains significantly. I always reminds me of those stunning views in Norway.
The winding roads of Passo (di) Giau lead us to the summit around the mountains Monte Nuvolau and Monte Averau. Sunset is the best time to enjoy the colors.  The surrounding municipalities of Selva di Cadore and Cortina d’Ampezzo are worth visiting as well.
Also, don’t miss the stunning lakes of Lago di Braies (Pragser Wildsee, an instagram famous) and Lago di Dobbiaco (Toblacher See). Another highlight is the remote valley of the comune di Villnoess (Villnöß / Valle di Funes) near Bozen/Bozano. Especially the views around St. Magdalena / Santa Maddalena Alda  are worth freezing like a maniac.

Part 2 (ongoing) will be published soon.


Faroe Islands, Sunset at Gásadalur

The Landscapes of Faroe Islands (II)

The Faroe Islands’ mountainous islands will keep you waiting. And wandering.

Don’t mind returning. Don’t mind waiting. Be patient.

You will probably visit the spots more often; you simply have to. The waterfall of Gásadalur, one of the most beautiful views of the island. The remote village of Saksun with its natural lagoon and old farm houses. Gjógv and its famous natural harbor. The village and fjord of Tjørnuvík. Kvívík, one of the oldest settlements of the islands. The lighthouse of Kallur on the island of Kalsoy – famous due to its appearance as the cover of National Geographic. The extraordinary landscapes of high mountains, sharp cliffs and the rough sea will keep you going. Constantly, through the mist. Waiting for the light to win its endless fight at least for a second.


Faroe Islands, The Falling Lake (Leitisvatn)

The Landscapes of Faroe Islands (I)

The Faroe Islands is sometimes regarded as Europe’s best secret. Hiding in the mist of the North Atlantic Sea, somewhere between Iceland and Scotland.

The Islands of Silence and Weather.

A country of 18 islands, diving away from the waves of the rough sea. Mountains shaped by volcanoes, framing calm and endless fjords and green valleys. Moorlands, mostly – it’s hard to find a single tree. Usually, those landscapes hide themselves in obscure fog banks, keeping their secrets for themselves. Every now and then though, the sun breaks through the clouds, illuminating a ridiculous beautiful landscape. Lakes hurling themselves into the ocean (Sørvágsvatn, one of the most iconic places of the islands). The Waterfall of Gásadalur, a place so remote it was hard to reach before they’ve built a tunnel. The island of Mykines, the home of the famous puffins. Or Tindhólmur, the fantastic islet west of Vágar. Sometimes, you only get the chance to explore its endlessness only for a few moments. Then, the countryside grants a few minutes of ohhh and awe. But mostly, it will only reveal a small amout of itself.

The constantly changing weather seems to be the most dictating element of your trip. In summer, you might experience 21 hours of grayness. Wind cutting your face, water apparently coming from everywhere. All the time it seems to be slightly wet, even while the sun is shining. It’s a confusing experience – especially combined with the smell and sound. The overwhelming silence. The smell of nature, ocean and animals.

The islands’ tentacles will catch you. Adamantly. Thankfully.


Sunset at Hallormsstadhur, Iceland

Chasing Light - the Landscape of Iceland

These days, you probably won’t be the first person to visit this part of Iceland. You won’t be the first to photograph that landscape in this part of the world. You won’t be the first to drive down that road. But it is still the first time you see it with your own eyes. It is still the first time to encounter the landscape on your own. You, the landscape and the light. And your camera.

Iceland constantly changes. Light constantly changes. Time for a hunt.

There is no reason to stay at home.

 


Sunrise at Stokksnes, Iceland

The Golden Hour at Vestrahorn and Stokksnes, Iceland

Stokksnes is a headland north of Höfn í Hornafirði, mostly famous for its amazing beach in front of the mountains of Klifatindur.

The Golden Hour paints Stokksnes in pink and blue.

Getting up at around 2.30am during summer is a tough task. But those few moments during the Golden Hour blows away the tiredness. The clouds around the well-known Vestrahorn, the most popular mountain of Klifatindur, are painted in pink and blue. The grains of sand seem to adopt the color tone.
The large vistas, together with the stunning contrast of a black sandy beach, the green plants and the rough moutains, make it the most popular photographic spot in south-east Iceland.

 

Getting to and away from the landscape around  is a truly remarkable experience as well. The road along is worth the hike to the old and (hopefully) abandoned NATO radio station. Hiking towards Vestrahorn along the coastal line will lead you to an early (and reconstructed) Viking settlement.

 

You can (legally) stay the short night at the Viking Cafe, as its parking lot is a camping ground as well.

 


Sunset at Muottas Muragl, Engadin, Switzerland

Chasing light and catching fog at Engadin, Switzerland

The Engadin valley is a beautiful alpine region around the famous village of St. Moritz in the Canton Graubünden.

St. Moritz, the mountains and its glaciers. Somewhere behind God’s bank of fog.

The region offers tons of hiking possibilities. Glaciers around Piz Bernia and Piz Palü like the dying Morteratsch Glacier. Beautiful views and ridgeways around Muottas Muragl with an amazing view of the Upper Engadine and St. Moritz. You enjoy the railway to Muottas Muragl. You are waiting for the sun to set behind the mountains. For the light to paint the valley into a golden ocean.

 

Photography is usually, mostly and sometimes about planning. It’s about the right time of the day (or night) and light. Sometimes, it’s just about making the best of what’s visible. Or sensible.

 


Sunrise at Kirkjufell, Snæfellsnes, Iceland

The Light and Change of Kirkjufell, Iceland

Kirkjufell is located on the Northern coast of Snæfellsnes and is considered Iceland’s most popular and most photographed mountain.

Kirkjufell – the church mountain. Iceland’s Sugarloaf.

There is a simple reason for this popularity: First, glaciers shaped the 463m Kirkjufell, creating an almost iconic shape. Besides its astonishing visual look, the area around the tiny village of Grundarfjörður is also famous for the several cascades of the waterfall Kirkjufellsfoss. Plenty of tiny waterfalls create a landscape worth being shown in any fantasy movie. The river winds itself towards the fjord, guiding us towards the summit.

 

Be patient.

Light changes anything. The mountain recieves a totally different aura during the several times of the day. Sit down and breath during those few hours between twilight and dawn. Wait for the mountain to change during Golden Hour and during Blue Hour.

 

 

 


Sunrise at Gatklettur near Arnarstapi, Iceland

The peninsula of Snæfellsnes, Iceland

Snæfellsnes – Iceland en Miniature

Snaefellsnes, the peninsula in the western part of Iceland: Some of the island’s most beautiful landmarks create a stunning landscape.
Because of the remote location of Snaefellsnes, travelling on road 54 and 574 is the best way to get around. The Snæfellsjökull, a volcano whose summit is covered by a huge glacier, dominates the entire peninsula. Due to its almost mystic aura, this place is well known: According to Jules Verne, descending into the jökull of Snaefell marks the beginning of the Journey of the Center of the Earth.

 

Búðir, Arnarstapi and Gatklettur

We do breath some fresh air at the tiny village of Búðir with its few houses and one of the oldest (wooden) churches of Iceland: Búðakirkja.
In Arnarstapi, Jules Vernes last stop before the caves of Snaefellsjökull, the ocean created stunning views at the cliff of Gatklettur and its stone archs. Again, the sunrise paints a wonderful pink into the sky. But you probably want to continue: A couple of miles ahead, the basalt rock pinnacles of Lóndranger arise.

 

Be aware though: During all the hiking around the area of Snaefell, one should keep an eye on attacking birds – in the Alfred Hitchcock way. You constantly seem to come way to close to their breeding grounds. Better don’t be surprised if you see people carrying posts above their head. Or even tripods. It really helps.

Kirkjufell – how mother nature shows off at Snæfellsnes

Our tour continues to the famous mountain Kirkjufell and its attendant waterfalls: Kirkjufellfoss. It somehow feels like it is nature’s way to show mankind how to pause for a moment and simply accept its sheer beauty. The mountain constantly changes its significant shape. The light of those ridiculous short nights during the summer of July offers hours of magical moments.

 

For a moment, we need to rest here.