gwyneth colleen photography » portland, or wedding photographer

retroblogging: europe day 1

back in november, i went to europe on a whim. no seriously…it was a whim. i bought the ticket 3 weeks before i went, carried only my high school backpack, and was there less than a week. i rented a car and put over 2000km on it in the 3 days in which i actually drove…now that it’s cold and snowy in new hampshire, i am indulging in dreams of far flung adventures. i realized i’ve never shared these images… oh, and i took 1 camera and only 1 lens…my nikon d700 and 35 1.8 lens. there were 2 reasons for that choice…the major one was that i packed in a backpack, the secondary one was that when the images are not “important,” i like to give myself the creative challenge that comes with a very limited lens.

i arrived in geneva sunday morning…driving on the a1 toward the alp on top of which i would be staying…i felt exhilarating satisfaction. i highly recommend it…being somewhere halfway across the globe but self-sufficient and independent…the entire world at your fingertips. it’s one of the best things i’ve ever felt…(and i’m lucky to have felt it more than once!) (also…major props to europe…i don’t think you can even get an automatic rental. as opposed to the USA where you can’t get a manual if you ask for one.)

anyway, i arrived on top of the alp and said, “let’s drive to france!” so we did…my traveling companion said, “you know, if we do a 100km loop, we can stop in italy for dinner.” so we did. it was a 4 country day…(UK, switzerland, france, italy and back.)

a random bridge and river we encountered on our search for the motorway. signs in europe are not terribly intuitive…it took me awhile to figure them out…and hitting a new country (w/ different signs) every few hours on my drives certainly didn’t help. i spent a fair amount of time being lost. if i were going to do it again, i would DEFINITELY spring for the european maps for my GPS. on the plus side…i did see stuff i wouldn’t have seen on purpose. :-D)

view of an alp from a tiny little french village…pulled off into a parking lot because the allure of this steeple proved to be too much for me.

another view i would not have experienced without misadventure. driving along we saw a cable car and decided spontaneously…let’s find it and go for a ride! (we did not find it…) we pulled over to take photos of the cable cars and the mountain which they climbed. my friend tapped on the window and advised me to turn around. my jaw literally dropped…if you look at the upper right corner, you can see a glimpse of what i think is mont blanc…which we later drove through on our way to italy. also…tolls in europe are a beyotch!

one of my favorite things about europe is that pretty much everyone drinks fizzy water instead of flat. they ask you, “with gas, or without?”

i’m pretty sure they weren’t actually open yet, but this delightful gentleman ushered us in and served us some delicious pizza…and smiled the whole way through our comedy of errors (think laurel & hardy) conversation wherein i was asking for crushed red pepper. i felt like it would be rude to ask him in spanish…so i tried english and hand gestures…until i finally asked in spanish…which totally worked. (but before it did…i was offered regular pepper, spicy oil, and my favorite…ketchup.)

i’m pretty sure this man’s name is luigi…what else could it be, right?

pizza oven!

i was pretty exhausted at this point…3 hrs sleep in the pre-security area of heathrow’s terminal 5 doesn’t go very far…but much more excited than i look about real italian gelato!

day 2 shall be coming soon!

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kristel wyman19 January 2010 - 02:28

looks wonderful, i’m glad you’re finally posting them! can’t wait to see more!!

Kim K.19 January 2010 - 22:41

These are awesome! The first image of the bridge is stunning!!!

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