We went on a 21 day road trip from the Basque Country all the way up to the Faroe Islands and it was the best type of adventure to heal our minds and hearts. These are some of the memories from this wonderful place.
One week roaming this beautiful country in our van
And just like that we are back from Switzerland. We left one week ago and we got back home last night. This was our third time to this beautiful country and the third time we traveled around its quaint little towns in our van.
The first day we drove for over eight hours and we stopped near Lyon (France) to spend the night on one of those big gas stations along the highway. We were very close to Geneve but my husband had been working the morning shift and we were tired to continue driving. After a good night sleep we ventured onward to one of the most beautiful valleys in the country, a place we visit every time we return to Switzerland, a tiny village called Lauterbrunnen. This time though, we took a train that goes to the Jungfrau (4158m). This train goes all the way up to the highest train station in Europe at 3454m, but we decided to stop in Wengen where the views where already incredible.
This valley is very close to Interlaken, another favorite spot of us. Interlaken is a little town in between two lakes and there are tiny villages around them, just like this one below, called Iseltwald.
The next day, we drove to the other side of the mountains of the Jungfrau region. Our plan was to take a cable car all the way up to the viewpoint of Eggishorn (2927m) from where you can sit and stare for hours the Aletsch glacier. Unfortunately, once we got there, they told us that the top was covered in clouds and that it would be impossible to see anything. The worst was that it was already Tuesday and the rest of the days except for Friday (our last full day) the weather forecast said we would be having rain and snow. I have to admit that made us a bit sad, but it also pushed us to change our plans and search for other wonderful locations to explore.
Until we made it to Italy. That is one of my favorite things about Europe... it's so easy to have breakfast in one country, lunch in another and spend the night on a third one. And all of them are so unique and beautiful. We drove along Lago Maggiore (Italy) and suddenly we were surprised by the beauty of a little town called Cannero Riviera, and we didn't think about it twice, we found a camping by the lake where we spent our third night.
It rained all night, and the sound of rain against the roof of the van was so relaxing... But when morning came we needed to get back on the road to drive through Valle de Verzasca. We were surprised by the magical fog over the lake and the mountains. The colorful towns along the road had such a unique mood. It was truly special, and perfect for the kind of photos I like to take.
Our first stop of the day was in Lavertezzo. I'm sure you've already seen photos of this quaint little village of only a handful of houses and emerald color river that flows through the entire valley.
The color of the freezing water and the big stones of the river are already perfect, and the stony bridge that connects both sides of the river is pretty unique too.
At the end of the road that crosses Valle de Verzasca, there were mountains also covered in fog. But that whole morning, even with pouring rain was so beautiful. We had to stop every few kilometers to take in the views around us and photograph a bit more.
In the afternoon, we drove the to the famous town of Sankt Moritz, the famous ski station in Switzerland. On our way there, we were greeted by a white landscape, with frozen lakes that made everything feel so desolate, yet so peaceful at the same time.
The next morning it was already Thursday, and even though it was still raining and snowing, we wanted to get closer to the Aletsch glacier and Zermatt area, because we were expecting good weather for Friday. So we woke up in time to watch the sunrise over a lake and then headed out towards Fribourg to spend the day and get some chocolate and cheese there... Always a must, if you are in Switzerland.
On Thursday night we slept on an empty camping by the town of Fiesch. We watched the sun go down and stars lit up what would be the coldest night of our trip. We had static heating installed on our campervan so we slept pretty warm and comfy though.
The next day, the sun rose around 7.30am and we got ready to get to the top of Eggishorn and then drive to Zermatt to catch a train to the Gornergrat glacier where we had lunch looking at the famous Matterhorn.
I think it was the perfect ending to our week exploring the beauty of Switzerland. In the end, we were able to see everything we had planned, and a bit more. That's the best thing about roadtrips, you never know what lies ahead, and the road is part of the journey too.
All these photos were shot with the Fujifilm XT2, along with the XF16mm f1.4, XF23mm f1.4 and XF18-55mm.
Hope you liked our little adventure!
See you soon!
Yesterday was the first day that we saw the sun here in the Basque Country ever since the beginning of February. It's been cold and snowing and I haven't really shot that much lately. Sunrise is after I get to work and sunset is before I finish my last class of the day, so the light hasn't been great when I was available to go out exploring either. But somehow, I still managed to get a few shots that I'm proud of to share here.
The first two photos are from a rainy morning back in December when we still had a few fall colors up in the trees. Same as the third, which was taken going down from a mountain pass when I saw the fog rolling in through the pine tree forest and I had to stop on the side of the road to grab a couple of shots.
The next two were taken sometime in January by chance. I remember finishing my first class in the morning, and while I was on my way home I saw that this forest was the only area covered by fog, since it's not too far from where I live, I decided to check out what the atmosphere was like. I recently got the Fuji 35mm f2, which in full frame terms means a 50mm. As you can see from my work, I love to shoot wide, and I mostly shoot with either the 16mm f1.4 (24mm) or with the 23mm f1.4 (35mm). So the 35mm has been attached to my little XT10 in order to learn how use this focal length and it was also, the only lens I had with me on that day. Finding a good composition in this forest was really difficult, because this focal length not only is narrow and probably works better for street shots or portraits, but I'm not used to framing like this either. I somehow managed to get a couple of photos that I'm really happy with, due to their misteryous look.
These next two photos of the river were some of my favorite from January. I remember it was early in the morning and I drove up to the mountain in search of a cool view from our town below. As I was going up I decided to take a road that I had never driven before but that it looked like there could be something worth photographing. I was right. It was a misty morning and the sun was coming up from the side of this beautiful river. The light was incredible and I spent quite sometime wandering around the sides of the river trying to get some photos, again with the 35mm. I didn't get much because it was way too cold and I was freezing.
Also back in January I went to another forest where I usually go to and where I actually took the first two photos of this set. Another foggy and cold morning where my car got too dirty on those muddy roads but where I walked around this lovely path in seca of some compositions.
And finally the last five shots that I just took earlier this week. These photos were taken 200m away from one another and only 10minutes away from home. I remember walking down that forest path once before, sometime last year, but it never looked that good. It was really cold, and the sun was getting through those pine trees and it looked so beautiful.
I was able to get a nice photo of the back country road before the fog was gone and the sun lit the forest, which also ended up being one of my favorite shots I've taken in quite a while.
*I've added this photo to my print gallery in case someone wants to get one. I have already made a couple of test prints and they look gorgeous. Also, I think I'll make a new editing video to show how I made this, let me know if that is something that interests you.
Hope you like these and their behind the scenes stories!
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
A few weeks ago we received our new camper van, so obviously we were beyond excited to go on a little road trip to test it out. We decided to drive to Andorra, which is 6 hours away from where we live and we had never been to this little country.
We left on Thursday afternoon after work, and got to the ski station Ordino-Arcalís at around 11pm where we spent the two nights. Waking up there was wonderful and the night in the camper van warm and cozy. It was incredible to have breakfast surrounded by such beautiful scenery.
After checking out some of the views we decided to walk around other villages like La Cortinada and Ordino. In the evening, we decided to take the cable car to go to the top of the mountains near Encamp where we watched the sun go down.
The next morning we woke up again at the same location as the first night. This time, the sunrise was more special. At first it looked as if the clouds wouldn't let the sun go through, but then the skies opened up to let the purple light of the sunrise. It was misty and really cold, near -5ºC, but that didn't stop us to go out to make some photos before preparing the breakfast.
Later in the morning, we drove to Andorra La Vella and then we wandered around the frozen lake Engolasters. The weather was about to change, so before heading back home, we drove up to Port d' Envalira to check the snowed in mountains one last time.
These are some of the photographs I made on these two days. Hope you enjoy them!
* A collaboration with Hemper. Thank you so much for these beautiful handmade backpacks!
* All photographs taken with the Fujifilm XT10 and my new XF16mm f1.4.
The first time we were in Iceland was back in the summer of 2014. We went on a three week roadtrip around the country and slept on our sleeping bags in the most incredible places we had ever seen. Right there, we promised to ourselves that we would one day go back in winter to see it in a different light and wild conditions.
A few months ago, we just talked about the idea once again, and started looking at flights to Reikjavik for the last week of 2016. We found them for a really cheap price and we bought them on that same night. We rented a 4x4, hired a tour to visit an ice cave and booked our hotels for 4 nights. It was a really short trip compared to the first time we were there... but it was absolutely worth every minute of it.
Unfortunately, the conditions were really extreme for the first two days. Our ice cave tour got cancelled due to the caves being flooded after a really rainy day. Instead, we visited other places we hadn't planned to go to. It wasn't as cold as we expected. The minimum temperature we experienced was -9ºC, which wasn't that bad with all the clothing we had on. Two pairs of thick socks, two pants, several layers of shirts, a sweater, a jacket and a raincoat. Oh! and really awesome gloves, hats and mountain boots. All essencial to survive the crazy conditions we lived on those days. With 100% of humidity even my 6D died for a few hours after getting soaked in the canyon of Fjaðrárgljúfur (ha! try pronouncing that!). So glad I had my little Fuji X100T with me while I dried the DSLR with the car heating. That was a really important lesson I learnt: always bring more than one camera, ALWAYS.
The wind was really strong... about 40mph/60kmh and it literally threw us to the ground several times, specially in Stokksnes, where it was almost impossible to photograph. The light though was spectacular, it changed every minute but it felt like a constant sunrise/sunset all along the 6 hours of daylight we had each day.
On our last day there, we went in search of the northern lights, but we were not able to find them, so again, we promised to go back over and over again to this wonderful place we love so dearly. Next time we are taking our camper van on a ferry to the Faroe Islands, staying there for a few days and then hopping to Iceland for yep, another awesome adventure!
These are some of the photographs I’ve taken on this journey. I hope you like them and make you book your flight to Iceland right now!
Oh! and Happy New Year! Hope it's an adventurous one!
*All taken with a Canon 6D +24-70mm 2.8 and Fujifilm X100T