Photo of the Week: The Seattle Waterfront

 

Each Wednesday I’ll be spotlighting a different photo from my travels around the world.

This weeks photo comes from a place near and dear to my heart,  Seattle.  Growing up I took my location for granted, always longing to go elsewhere, but now, after having traveled to more than 35 countries, I can honestly say Seattle is one of my favorite cities in the world.  I’m always so excited to get back to explore more of this place I called home for so long, and my favorite way to explore?  Well, just like Dr. McDreamy, I love my ferry rides, and this view of Seattle’s waterfront proves why.  You can get some pretty incredible views!

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Salar De Uyuni: It’s About Perspective

Perspective shots that is.

You’ve seen them, drooled over them, dreamt of what you would do if you could have the chance to stand upon the endless white salty expanse.

I mean, I know I did.

When I put my “bucket list” together last year, visiting Salar De Uyuni was at the top of it.  Then, last May I decided to move to Bolivia to spend a year volunteering…

Hello, prefect chance!

Although I knew funds would be low I also knew I had to do all I could to try to get to Salar while I was here.  And, honestly I didn’t have to try very hard.  Literally a chance fell into my lap within my first week in the country.  Who would have thought?

So, 7 days after touching down in South America I booked a three day tour throughout the Salar and the SW corner of Bolivia.

Unfortunately we missed the rainy season by a mere couple weeks. It would have been amazing to see the infinite mirror caused by a thin layer of water settling on the salt, but from the first second we drove onto the flats I was awestruck by the contrast between the unearthly blue sky and the pure white salt.  Rainy season or dry, this place is incredible.

After a 15 minute drive we stopped at an abandoned salt hotel for lunch, where by the way every other tour and their uncle also stopped.  The place was freaking packed, but we managed to find a little spot of salt without french tourists in the background posing on top of Pringles cans, and take our fill of perspective shots.

There was of course the stereotypical dinosaur shots…

And a stomping shot…

Then we got some other ideas…

And later on, as we were waiting for the sunset we decided to take some more, just because we hadn’t taken enough already right?

And then I had to take some non-perspective shots too, just because the place was so darn beautiful…

All in all I was pretty impressed by the first day of our tour.  Aside from a flat tire (this tour involved some serious off-roading, it was bound to happen), we had no problems.

At the end of the day I dreaded leaving the salt flats.  It was like standing upon the white clouds of heaven only to be reintroduced to the brown grime of earth, but there were some pretty awesome sites up ahead…

Stay tuned for part 2!

Photo Of The Week: The Lukla Airport

Each Wednesday I’ll be spotlighting a different photo from my travels around the world.

This weeks photo is from Lukla, Nepal, the starting point for most treks to Everest Base Camp and home to “The Worlds Most Extreme Airport” as deemed by the History Channel due to the ever changing weather conditions as well as the incline of the runway, which on one end is capped by a solid rock wall and on the other by a sheer drop.  I can say, from first hand experience that the pilots who fly into this airport are truly skilled, a fact I am so grateful for.

 

Identity: Travel Blogger

 

I’ve had a lot of trouble blogging lately, have you noticed?

Not for lack of material, that’s for sure.  I mean, I live in Bolivia and it’s freaking amazing.

Over the past few weeks I’ve started many blogs, only to stop and never get back to them.

Why did I do that?  Waste of time.

If I were being a good travel blogger I would have already written about the 3 days I spent in the saltiest place on earth, or the day I faced death head on when I biked the road literally named after the event that occurs so often on it.

But I haven’t been a good travel blogger. Apparently I’ve been lazy, and I blame this almost wholly on the fact that recently I moved to a new country, on a different continent where they speak a language I don’t, overwhelming no?

However, I think the biggest problem when it comes down to this little blog of mine is the big box of comparison I’ve been living in.  I’ll start a blog only to think oh so and so could write a much better blog than this, or this travel blogger had much better photos, or even let myself get discouraged by the fact that I have such a small audience at the moment.

It’s easy to forget that at one point, each and every travel blogger whose blogs I admire started off right where I am.  They simply grasped their dream and ideas, ran with it, and in the end made something out of it.

So now’s the time.  If I really, really want to do this I have to figure out who I am, define my voice and be happy with it.

No more comparisons, because at the end of the day I’ll never be like Legal Nomads, SpunkyGirl Monologues, A Dangerous Business,  or any of the other bloggers I admire…

And that’s a good thing, because one is enough, and I want people to read my blog because I am the only one like me, not because I’m like everyone else.

So here’s to new beginnings and new attempts at this little thing I’ve played with for years called travel blogging.  The beginning may be a little rough, but I know that eventually I’ll establish a rhythm and then all I can say is watch out world, because here I come!

Doing what I do best at Salar De Uyuni

Photo Of The Week: Mozambican Children

 Photo of the Week, where each Wednesday I’ll be spotlighting a different photo from my travels around the world.

This weeks photo is from Beira, Mozambique.  After spending a month in sparkly, modern South Africa, Mozambique’s feeling of being “a step behind” was more than welcome.  It was the Africa I had been waiting for.  One day I was lucky enough to visit a village way out in the sticks.  This village had to have been what inspired Disneylands Jungle Cruise.  We’re talking grass huts, dirts paths, animals.  But what stood out the most were the children.  Always excited to be in a picture, and with giant smiles on their faces who could resist?

Photo Of The Week: Lake Titicaca

 

It’s back! Photo of the Week, where each Wednesday I’ll be spotlighting a different photo from my travels around the world.

This week my photo is from the Peru side of Lake Titicaca.

Considered the highest navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca is shared by both Peru and Bolivia.  On a brief stop in Puno, Peru we decided to take a tour of the famous and colorful Uros Floating Islands, where the Uru people have lived for generations in small villages floating on islands constructed of reeds (which Lake Titicaca has an abidance of!).

Lake Titicaca

Pike Place Market Seattle

A Stroll Through Pike Place Market

Growing up in Seattle few places captivated me the way Pike Place Market did.  The vibrancy, the colors, the culture.  Pike Place Market is pure northwest and pure Seattle.

Pike Place Market Seattle

Originally opened in 1907, Pike Place is one of the oldest continuously operated farmers markets in the US. Today, among the throngs of tourists hoping to catch a shot of a flying fish or waiting in an obnoxiously long line just to say they grabbed a latte at the original Starbucks, you’ll still find locals, searching for the freshest produce or the most vibrant flowers for their dining room tables.

Pike Place Market Seattle

As you approach the market from Seattle’s colorful waterfront you may pass through Post Alley, a narrow street that winds it’s way around the shops surrounding the market and is also home to the world famous gum wall.  A place where people from near or far can become united by sticking their chewed mound of bubblicious on top of someone else’s chewed mound of extra.  Colorful yet disgusting.

Pike Place Market Seattle

When you walk into the south end of the market you’re immediately overwhelmed by the stench of seafood. Straight ahead is the Pike Place Fish Co. with mounds of every type of fish, crustacean and mollusk imaginable packed into mountains of ice.

And then the fish fight starts.  Someone is having seafood for dinner, men are shouting, and suddenly a 3 foot Salmon flies by so fast it’s impossible to capture a picture.

Pike Place Market Seattle

As you turn to explore the rest of the market the salty stench of the sea soon gives way to the sweet aroma of flowers.  Thousands and thousands of flowers, sold by Hmong flower farmers.  Lily’s, daisy’s, peonies, if you can think of a flower, you can find it here, and for cheap!  Most bouquets can be purchased for $5-$10.

Pike Place Market SeattleBut flowers and seafood aren’t the only products you can find at the market.  As you continue to stroll down the hall you’ll see local artisans and farmers selling everything from cherries to organic honey, silver jewelry and tie dye shirts.  A year-round eclectic assortment that rivals any summer street fair.

Pike Place Market Seattle

Just when you’ve reached the end and are ready to brave the line at Starbucks you see a sign that says “lower floor.” And you think, there’s more?

Why yes.

Pike Place Market Seattle

While the top floor has the traditional farmers market vibe, if you journey to the lower floors you’ll find quaint little shops, life-size cardboard cut outs of the cast of “Doctor Who?” and Chinese noodle kitchens, but my favorite part is the curios a la Ripley’s believe it or Not.  Like the shoe of the “Worlds Tallest Man,” an element that truly transports you back 100 years to the time when the market first began and the national public was enamored with oddities and circus sideshows.

Pike Place Market Seattle

So there you have it.  A little stroll through Pike Place market, one of Seattle’s top attractions and a must on any persons visit to Seattle, tourist or local.

Have you visited Seattle’s Pike Place Market?  What did you think?