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Senja – a winter fairytale

winterlandscape with fjord

wintery landscape on Senja

A blanket of thick snow covered the entire island beginning of February, trees reminded of artful structures, their branches heavily burdened by snow, often touching the ground. Numerous fjords intrude into the island, dotted with beaches, fishing villages and framed by rigid mountains,  the perfect photo-ops.

The island of Senja is a two-hour drive from Tromsø and the perfect place for a photography workshop. The light conditions in February could not be more favourable, especially the blue hour.

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Chasing the Northern Lights

 

Nordlichter, 10

Northern Lights, Senja, Norway

We were about to open a bottle of Austrian red wine to celebrate my birthday. That very minute Marc stormed into our comfy apartment with the news we had longed to hear. The northern lights were in the sky, exactly on my birthday!

Even better, on my very first day of our stay on Senja! Of course I had secretly wished for this birthday present, but for it to really happen?

After hastily wrapping myself in seven layers of clothing, grabbing the tripod and the camera, I dashed up the little hill, right next to our little hotel complex. Eagerly searching the skies I saw nothing, absolutely nothing that looked like the bright green lights I had so often seen marveled at on photos. In the distance drifted bites of wafts that could have qualified as light fog.

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Travel Guide To Bulgaria

Rila Monestary, also called "Bulgaria’s Jerusalem”, Bulgaria, Europe

Rila Monestary, also called “Bulgaria’s Jerusalem”, Bulgaria, Europe

In August 2010, we spent 17 days in Bulgaria. Our main destinations were: Melnik & Rozhen, Rila Monastery, Plovdiv & Bachkovo Monestary, Veliko Tarnovo, Kazanlak & Tryavna, Belogradchik & Vidin, and last but not least Sofia. Our most sensible advice: if you can, visit Bulgaria in spring or fall. The temperatures in August were just too much. We NEVER had a day with less than 34 degrees Celsius, and it was no comfort that locals told us that these were unusually high temperatures. In Plovdiv, the mercury scale even reached 41 degrees (106 degrees Fahrenheit). Continue Reading →

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Bulgaria – Budget Guide

Old Lada, on the way to Melnik, Bulgaria, Europe

Old Lada, on the way to Melnik, Bulgaria, Europe

For this trip we chose a far more comfortable way of travelling than usual – first of all we stayed only 17 days, secondly the temperatures were oppressing and above all, the prices incredible cheap. So we rented a car, stayed in mid-range and sometimes even at Boutique Hotels. And of course, we tested the Bulgarian food to the limits, usually accompanied by local wine. Continue Reading →

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Dancing The Night Away At Belogradchik

Roman Kaleto Fortress and the massive Rock Formations near Belogradchik, Northwest Bulgaria, Euope

Roman Kaleto Fortress and the massive Rock Formations near Belogradchik, Northwest Bulgaria, Euope

Repeatedly Bulgarian tourists we met on this trip raved about the bizarre rock formations and the Roman fortress in Belogradchik. We were a bit sceptical, but since we were right there, at the foothills of the Balkan Mountains in northwest Bulgaria, we gave it a try. Besides the very name, Belogradchik, was so intriguing, so very “Balkanic”. Continue Reading →

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Rivertown Vidin – Bulgaria’s Link To Romania

Baba Vida Fortress, Vidin, Bulgaria, Europe

Baba Vida Fortress, Vidin, Bulgaria, Europe

Locals immediately assume that foreigners who come here, do so for business only. To everybody’s surprise, we insisted we were here for pleasure. We simply loved this quiet river town with its long tree-lined promenade along the Danube, where “tout Vidin” strolls, rolls and chats in the evening. Lots of restaurants – some even float on the very river – offer the catch of the day. Continue Reading →

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Bulgaria’s Frontier – The Northwest

 

Horse cart, a typical means of transport in rural Bulgaria

Horse cart, a typical means of transport in rural Bulgaria

The term “roads less travelled” was coined to describe areas not often visited by tourists. In the northwest of Bulgaria, it takes on a literal meaning. We drove over bits of roads where the weed crept through the cracks in the tarmac. Here Bulgaria gets as rural as it can get. Continue Reading →

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Touristy Tryavna

National Revival Architecture , Tryavna, Bulgaria, Europe

National Revival Architecture , Tryavna, Bulgaria, Europe

This small town in the hills near Veliko Tarnovo has a very romantic and well restored historic center. Its renovated buildings all line cobble-stoned Angel Kanchev Street. So it took us not more than an hour to cover all of it. Tryavna’s most famous sight is its old church with its thatched roof that almost touches the ground. Inside lots of wood carved icons are on display, a craft Tryavna is famous for. Continue Reading →

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