Have you ever felt like your camera was a burden on your travels? The heavy weight along with the idea of dropping it can put many people off to travelling with their camera. But travel photography can be the sole reason for someone wanting to go somewhere.
Ever since my second year of university during a scientific theory class, I fell in love with the enchanting place of the Galapagos Islands.
I dreamed of the ruggedness, the lava formations, and the wildlife. To me, the Galapagos Islands were more than the birthplace of evolution; it was a place of refuge and survival.
Question: Can you see four countries in Central Europe in four days? Why yes, yes you can. I recently came back from my Central Europe road trip that covered Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland.
My travel buddy and I hit three major cities and three smaller towns/cities, as well as ate delicious food and saw many amazing sights. Going in winter also gave me an appreciation of how busy these places are on an off-peak day.
Thanks for checking out my collection of favourite posts, instagrams, news, links, products and other great stuff I’ve gathered to share with you each month.
I’m definitely still talking about my amazing Quebec trip! It was a stellar beginning to my solo travelling dream. I talked about the delicious food and the highlights of my trip, but I jumped outside the box and stayed at an old monastery. You can read all about it here.
Thanks for checking out ‘Travel Favourites’, a collection of posts, Instagrams, news, links, products and other great stuff I’ve gathered to share with you each month.
I am so happy to announce that I have finally jumped in with both feet into my travel writing dream. I ~officially~ launched my website earlier this month after YEARS of wanting to do just this. I’ve been putting off my dreams for a whole host of excuses, so NO FEAR right?!
The Christkindl Market in Kitchener is the largest of it’s kind outside of Germany. This is the 18th Annual Christkindl Market in Kitchener, while the Christmas Market itself dates back to 1310!
There was skating, German food, Crafts, and Vendors, where you could by the famous Christmas Pickle. There was a candlelight procession to the tree lighting ceremony where Christkindl himself and the Angels spoke in German to open the Market. They opened the ceremony with the Prologue, a poem spoken in Germans between the Angels. The tree was then lit, and the Market declared open.
It is so amazing going to events like this, even they are so close to home. It makes this part of the year, my favourite part, so special.
I found a translated poem, which I have included below:
You men and women, who once yourselves were children,
You little ones, life’s journey just beginning,
Each and all, who troubled tomorrow, are full of cheer today,
Pray listen to what Christkind has come to say!
Every year, four weeks before the time,
To decorate the Christmas tree, to celebrate the season,
Appears upon this square, your forebears knew it too,
What you here see, called Christkindlesmarkt by you,
This little town within the town, of wood and cloth made,
Whose short-lived splendor so fleeting seems to be,
And yet it is eternal. My market shall forever young remain.
As long as Nuremberg stands, and the memory of that market’s fame.
For Nuremberg is both old and young at once,
The many features of its countenance beyond all count.
Here this noble square. But now adjoining it,
The tall buildings of today, the factories of the modern world
The new city of so much green. And yet, you men and women true
It will remain forever the Nuremberg that is you.
Now as the old year ends there comes the day,
When wishes can be made and presents given,
When the market shines forth far and wide,
With decorations, and crystal balls, and blessed Christmastime
This you may not forget, you men and women, heed my word,
He who has all needs nothing more,
There are the children of this world and poor,
Who know the best what giving’s for.
You men and women, who once yourselves were children,
Be them again today, happy as children be,
And now the Christkind to its market calls,
And all who come are truly welcome.
This weekend was the big rodeo in Whitecourt.
I posted a bunch of pictures to Flickr. Go check it out.
Here are some sequence shots I turned into GIFs.
I recently wrote a features article about the ups and downs of being in a rodeo in the Whitecourt Press. I interviewed a number or rodeo competitors from the area and a rodeo announcer.
It’s a long read but here’s the article. I’ve also added in some photos from the Sangudo Rodeo.
This crazy addictive rodeo life
Your hand is secure. You can feel the muscles of the bull underneath your legs, hoping it will stay calm in the chute. You breathe. You clear your mind and nod.
The gate flies open and everything happened at once. The bull is out, bucking, as it takes everything in you to stay on. Those eight seconds are the longest and shortest eight seconds of your life. Then it’s over, whether you stay on or get bucked off, it is over.
Yesterday was the Summer Solstice. June 21, 2014. It is the beginning of summer and the longest day of the year (although scientifically it is not the day with the earliest sunrise or latest sunset, but I won’t get into that)
For millennium, different civilizations held great significance to the summer solstice. For me, it coincides with my mother’s birthday (Happy birthday Mom).
One of the items on my bucket list* is seeing the sun never set above the Arctic Circle. Although this wasn’t exactly what happened this year, I am farthest North I have ever been. Whitecourt sits at the 54th parallel, compared to home at the 43rd parallel. The farther North you travel, the longer the day is. For instance, today I had 17 hours and 10 minutes of daylight; compared to home that had 15 hours and 26 minutes.
It was a busy day for me running and covering so many events. I stuck around and watched the beautiful traditional dancers at Rotary Park for National Aboriginal Day. Also, bad on me for not wearing sunscreen, I’m a little bit crispy. So here are a few photos from the longest day of the year.
Sun will be up at 5:09 am tomorrow morning and as my dad would say, “The days are getting shorter as we head toward winter.”
Or as Ned Stark would say, “Winter is coming”
I’ve been to Whitecourt for about three weeks now. I absolutely love it. There is so much to see here. It is a small town, so it is pretty easy to recognize people, and easy to get around.
The best thing I’ve noticed about Whitecourt is the smell. It always smells like pine. It is surrounded by trees (forest capital of Canada) and there is a paper mill in town, so it is pretty predominant.
So here are some pictures from some of the things I’ve seen around here and some facts about the town.
Hard Luck Canyon is about 20 kilometres south of Whitecourt. The McLeod River carved out the soft, sandy rock to form this beautiful Canyon
Whitecourt is also located at the confluence of four waterways – the Athabasca River, McLeod River, Sakwatamau River and Beaver Creek. “Where the rivers meet” is a common saying here. The community was first formed by the Cree and named Sagitawah (the place where the rivers meet).
There is an awesome park in town called Rotary Park. It has a pond, a lazy river slide, a splash park, a playground, and some sports fields. It is a great place to hang by the pond and have a picnic.
There is wildlife everywhere. I’ve seen moose, deer, and various bird of prey. After town council there was a couple of deer outside of the building. My neighbour feeds a family of deer during the winter months, so I can’t wait to photograph them.
Whitecourt is the Forest Capital of Canada, has a meteor crater, and some pretty amazing look outs. So here are some more pictures of beautiful Whitecourt!