One of the reasons we prefer to travel by personal car is the freedom we have to wander, and in Tuscany wandering, and getting lost sometimes, is the best way to see the magnificent countryside. And we were blessed with amazing ‘photogenic’ weather. It would rain for a bit during the day and then these amazing clouds would fill the sky and create beautiful light and shadows across the rolling hills. It was May so everything was green and lush. For this set of images, we start with the Madonna Di Vitaleta Chapel, which we stumbled across on the way to Pienza. Driving along StradaRead More →

Our first full day after arriving in Montalcino, we followed Robert’s advice and did a big circle around the Val d’Orcia, starting with a visit to the Sant’Antimo Abbey, then on to Bagno Vignoni and ending up in Pienza, another World Heritage Site and the hill-top town with the most iconic views of the Tuscan countryside.   We arrived in the early morning to a beautiful view of Sant’Antimo Abbey.   After a few minutes a bus arrived with a group of students, who enjoyed the grounds around the abbey.   We wandered around taking photos. Grima found a beautiful view of red Italian poppiesRead More →

On our second day in Cinque Terre we visited the towns of Monterosso al Mare and Vernazza – a very full day. Monterosso is the largest town of the five lands and has an actual beach. It’s also reached by train. After spending the morning there we hopped back on the train to Vernazza, where we stayed until after sunset. Vernazza is still a true fishing village with a protected harbor and one of the most photographed towns of Cinque Terre. It is also the only town with a lookout tower, originally built to protect the town from pirates.   Tunnel into town from theRead More →

From Modena we headed to Cinque Terre (Five Lands, comprising Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore), representing five villages clinging to the mountain sides on the northwest coast of Italy. They say it’s the ‘poor man’s Almalfi Coast’. We found it quite wonderful, and an incredible workout as most every place is either up or down. We were there for a couple days and managed to see Marionola, Vernazza and Monterosso. Reaching any of the towns via car is problematic, so we stayed in La Spezia, an industrial town just down the cost and took the train to Cinque Terre each day.  Read More →

Not as well known as Lake Como, Lake Garda, none the less, is a must see in Northern Italy. Extending over 32 miles from the base of the Dolomites it is home to a couple dozen picturesque communities. We took a day from Verona to travel to Lake Garda, only a few kilometers away and traveled up the east coast almost to its northern point, stopping as much as possible to admire the scenery and grab a bit of lunch. Our biggest mistake was in not allowing more than one day to see this amazing place. One could easily spend a week exploring the communitiesRead More →

Burano is the second isle that we visited and is famous for fine lace and multi-colored houses. The island became known for lacemaking by needle in the 16th century that today would be prohibitively expensive. But the tradition of lacemaking continues with more modern methods, providing an enormous variety of beautiful lace products. The story about the multi-colored houses recounts that it was to help fishermen recognize home when returning from sea. Today house colors are regulated by the local government.   Leaving Murano in route to Burano   Burano is much further out from Venice than Murano – so much longer at sea. ButRead More →

It’s not easy to find an RV park close in to any major metropolitan area in the East. Fortunately there is a beautiful park in Stone Mountain State Park just outside of Atlanta. We made that our base of operations while in the Atlanta area. Being spring, we had a bit of rain each day, but not enough to alter any of our plans for seeing the area. And also being spring, there was lush greenery everywhere. Stone Mountain is a large quartz monzonite dome East of Atlanta, famous for the enormous carving of Confederate generals Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. StoneRead More →

While driving I’m always looking, looking for that next image to capture. Of course, driving on freeways is one of the most frustrating experiences as most the time you’ll see something that, by the time you find an exit and return to the spot, if that’s even possible, the light has changed, the sky has changed, something has changed to remove the magic you saw driving by. That’s why I love to get off the freeway and try out the side roads and get lost a little. And sometimes, I love going right to a predetermined place to see what’s there.   Just past JosephRead More →

Stopped by the South Rim of the Grand Canyon on the way back from Las Vegas to Texas. Also gave me a chance to test out the new Nikon D810 and Tamron stabilized 70-200 f/2.8 lens, along with some low light photos from my Sony A7 with stabilized 24-70 f/4.0 lens. I’ve got to admit, those stabilized lenses are exceptional and high iso quality is getting better all the time. To a great extent, they have allowed me to not have to carry a tripod much of the time, although the old tripod comes in handy with long exposures. The first ten images were takenRead More →

The beach dominates much of Viña’s life – both in terms of tourism and attitude. High rises front the coast along Calles San Martin and Jorge Montt. The city has done a magnificent job developing the beaches with beautiful stretches of parks with biking and walking paths along the entire stretch from Muelle Vergara to the amphitheater at Playa Marineros, enticing locals and tourists to come out and enjoy.   Graffiti adorns concrete blocks buttressing Muelle Vergara   High rise apartment buildings overlook Playa El Sol’s sand and sun seekers.   The sign says “Beach not suitable for swimming” – but the water’s too alluringRead More →