The incredible dynamic of Seun Kuti, performing live with Nigerian Afrobeat originators Egypt 80, at the 2014 Vancouver Folk Music Festival.
It was a very busy weekend of music and photography, stay tuned…..many more images to come!
Jericho Beach, Vancouver, 2014.
I recently took part in the inaugural Bikes x Beer x Brunch cycle tour put on by Cycle City Tours here in Vancouver, BC. Representing Momentum Mag, my colleague Phoebe and I took one for the team and abandoned our office chairs for three hours on Friday a couple weeks back. Hard work, I know. We rolled over to Spokes Bicycle Rental in the West End to meet our tour guides and the rest of our group. From there it was a pleasant ride around the seawall and along Vancouver’s bicycle network, visiting three breweries along the way: Postmark Brewing, Bomber Brewing and Main Street Brewing Co. Phoebe did a great write-up on the day for Momentum’s website, I encourage you to have a read. Here are some of the photos I snapped along the way…I’m actually getting thirsty again just writing this post. Luckily we now have more than a dozen craft breweries to visit within an easy bike from my East Van home, a quick jaunt after work or whenever the thirst calls.
My friend Nadin and I both have a passion for photography and wild places. So when we traveled together through the Alps, we ended up capturing images of us capturing images at many stops along the way! Here’s Nadin on the approach to Castle Neuschwanstein, from this blog post right here.
Bavaria, Germany, 2014.
The Ötztal Vallery in the Austrian Tyrol is an incredible landscape and one where the people work the land all the way up to the top of these mountains. This is a scene heading north from Längenfeld, towards the Innsbruck region. Early May and the weather is still very unpredictable – we encountered almost all of it, but thankfully the snow kept to the mountain tops.
Ötztal Valley, Austria, 2014.
After our journey to the Ötztal Valley, we stayed at Haus Birkenheim in Längenfeld. A short walk for food or thermal baths, this family run b&b was very comfortable and again, had that warm coziness I experienced all around this region. Furnishing are wood and cloth, soft earthy tones and calming decor. Until you walk upstairs and check out the taxidermy collection! I was also very interested in the Alpen man on the wall board — pegs stuck in with names, but of whom? A portrait of the family children greets you at the entrance. The common room – the stubbe – felt like a family den at a lake cabin – the smell of woodsmoke was in the air and the typical breakfast of cheese, breads, coffee and fruit was a delight. The view from our room was the one above, and waking up that morning to clear peaks and dancing shadows was the perfect start to another day in the Tyrol.
Längenfeld, Tyrol, Austria, 2014.
Carrying on southwards from our last stop in Bavaria, the autobahn takes us across the border into Austria and the Tyrol region. Growing up, I had a very strong association with the Tyrol (and Bavaria for that matter) from my grandparents strong ties to this region. They brought to Canada with them this Alpen identity, a deep love of the outdoors, gardening and enjoying the splendors of nature. My grandmother’s (and great-grandmother’s) recipe book was filled to the brim with delicious foods from the region, and we were always lucky to enjoy her cooking and baking when visiting them in North Van, while we still lived in Calgary. Seeing these Alps and valleys, with farms perched atop the meadows way up high and the familiar comforts of the cozy architecture and warm people, filled my heart.
We drove south into the Ötztal valley, where the famous Ötzi iceman mummy was discovered, and made it to Längenfeld for the evening. Along the way, we encountered a completely magical forest — the greens were so rich even my rainforest-tuned eyeballs went overboard taking in these new hues. The meeting of the valleys reminded me of the Similkameen in BC — steep mountains cascading down to the fertile lands below, the rich soil nurturing food for the community and beyond. Clouds stuck to the peaks, occasionally opening up to water the fields of wildflowers. Sunlight dappled a mountain top, then went into hiding again only to return moments later down the valley.
We ate at a traditional Tyrol restaurant – Cafe-Restaurant Alt-Längenfeld – in Längenfeld, a place that resembled a ski lodge and family room combined. The food was excellent and of course the beer was still mighty fine across the mountain pass. Austria has a few nice radlers to try as well, including the Almradler featuring a tandem bicycle couple on the can. From there it was a must to relax in the thermal pools of Aqua Dome before retiring for the night. With the hiking and history of this valley, it’s a place one could stay for a week or more. Very relaxing, incredibly beautiful and during the shoulder season anyways a peaceful spot to rest.
Tyrol, Austria, 2014.
(click the first image to view all large – recommended!)
Traveling from Munich to Castle Neuschwanstein and the Schwangau/Ostallgäu area of southern Bavaria, near the German border with Austria, and the rolling hills quickly become snowy peaks. May Poles and painted houses appear in every village, fields of butter yellow flowers carpet the approach to the Alps and a misty cloud cover keeps the sky low and the light ever-changing. In the image above you can see two castles – Neuschwanstein & Hohenschwangau, a typical Bavarian church with the ‘onion top’, blooming meadows and an Alpen peak emerging from the clouds. A lot to take in from one vantage point! We escaped the downpour at Neuschwanstein and ducked into a café on Alpsee for some strudel and coffee, admiring the rocky bluffs along the lakeshore and considering our next move. With the weather socked in further north and heading our way, it was soon to be southwards into Austria and the Tyrol for our next adventure.
Bavaria, Germany, 2014.
More from Bavaria: A Visit to Kloster Andechs.