Indonesia | Flores Rice Paddies

Indonesia | Flores Rice Paddies

While thousands of travelers visit Bali and Lombok each year, few make it as far east as the island of Flores. Those who do tend to stay around the western tip, where the beautiful Komodo National Park lies with its dragons and incredible dive sites.

Venture further east however, and there are some remarkable places waiting to be explored. The area around Bajawa is host to several fascinating Ngada villages for example.

I shot this landscape on the way up to Kelimutu National Park from Ende. The road follows a river and gorge for a while, and the views of deep green rice paddies and waterfalls are second to none.

Italy | Lago di Braies

Italy | Lago di Braies

During the summer Italy’s Lago di Braies is overwhelmed with day visitors, but early in the morning in fall it’s peaceful and (almost) deserted – with the exception of a few photographers walking around at sunrise. The colorful trees are beautiful, especially on a still day when they reflect with the mountains in the water.

Namibia | Hiddenvlei Tree

Namibia | Hiddenvlei Tree

Hiddenvlei is located near Sossusvlei in the Namib desert in southern Namibia.

The word “vlei” comes from Afrikaans and means “marsh”. There are several “vleis” around Sossusvlei – the main ones are Sossusvlei, Deadvlei, and Hiddenvlei. These were all wet salt and clay pans at one point, but over time have dried up, leaving behind surreal landscapes.

This picture was shot at Hiddenvlei in the afternoon, with one of the beautiful twisted trees standing in front of a sand dune catching the late afternoon sunrays.

Slovenia | Bled Island

Slovenia | Bled Island

This is a view of the island in the middle of Lake Bled, shot from one of the row boats available for rent. It only takes about 10-15 minutes to row out to the island, which has a church and café on it. The lake water has a beautiful blue hue to it thanks to the minerals that have dissolved in it, and here the color of the sky is beautifully matched by the water.

Slovenia | Bled Lake View

Slovenia | Bled Lake View

I just got back home from a week long trip to Austria and Slovenia – for a long time I’ve wanted to visit Bled, but inconvenient connections to Bled meant it was never feasible for a weekend for me before.  I was planning on being in Austria for the week, and so I finally decided to drive the couple of hours extra to get to Bled – and it was definitely worth it!  I have plenty more pictures and information about my trip of course, but for now, I leave you with this beautiful view of the island on Bled Lake as seen from the southern shore of the lake.

Hot Air Balloon over Trakai

Hot Air Balloon over Trakai

Trakai is located just over half an hour by bus from Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.  It’s main attraction is a beautiful restored castle on an island in the middle of the adjacent lake.  It’s worth spending a night in Trakai – to see the sunset and sunrise and to see the town without all the day-trip tourists!

Ngapali Beach: Fishing Village

Ngapali Beach: Fishing Village

A final shot from my stay at Ngapali Beach – this is a view from the beach looking towards a fishing village early one morning. I liked the way the sun was filtering through the trees and the smoke from cooking fires.

In the foreground women are at work laying out small fish to dry during the day.

Bagan – Hot Air Balloons

Bagan - Hot Air Balloons
My previous post showed a shot of the view across Bagan at sunrise; this one was taken a few minutes later, once the sun was already well above the horizon.  Every morning, a group of hot air balloons takes off and drifts over the temples, giving the few lucky passengers the view of a lifetime.  Unfortunately at over US$300 per person, the ride was a little too expensive for us!  Oh well – at least I got a good shot with the balloons!

Sunrise over Bagan

Sunrise over Bagan

No doubt about it – our final sunrise in Bagan was a winner.  We watched from the rooftop terrace of a small temple behind Dhammayazika Temple, with only a few other people around.  The start of the sunrise wasn’t that impressive due to haze on the horizon, but later, after the sun was further up, the sky started to glow a beautiful orange color, with the nearby temples silhouetted in front.  This was definitely one of the most special moments of our trip to Myanmar!