Seattle WA and Mt. Hood

Did a night and a morning in Seattle (I recommend checking out Black Bottle), then drove to Hood River via the Columbia River gorge. Stayed the night at the Hood River Hotel. It had an old school mountain town vibe and an amazing scando brunch joint adjacent to the lobby. More good stuff in Hood River: check out Double Mountain and Sushi Okalani if you have a chance. On the way back to Portland, we drove over Mount Hood. There was a cloud parked on top of it, which made for some ethereal scenery. I Mixed in some crappy celly shots again. Apologies.

Oregon Coast

After spending Friday night and Saturday in Portland, we drove south toward Newport where we met up with some other good friends of ours. They had secured a beach house for the weekend in the town of Waldport. The weather was sunny and awesome. We explored the beach and flew kites Sunday afternoon. Monday, my friend Jon and I caught some rock fish in the morning, and we ended up grilling them up for dinner. We were having so much fun being social that I didn’t really get any snaps (except a sunset) with a real camera. So there are a mix of celly shots in this post. Apologies for the crap quality.

Tuesday morning we drove up the 101 north. One of the highlights was Cannon Beach, and Ecola State Park.

B snapped this one of me below, posing at one of the 10 or so view points along the 101, where we pulled over to take in the sights.

The pano of Crescent Beach below was a celly shot. Here is a link to the full resolution, for kicks.

Portland OR

We spent memorial day in the pacific northwest. Some good friends of ours were tying the knot in Portland, and it gave us a great excuse to explore the Oregon/Washington coast. It always blows my mind how green it is in that part of the country. We arrived in Portland late on Friday night and spent the next morning exploring the city by foot before the wedding. Luckily, we were still on NY time. So we were up early and did a lap of the waterfront and most of downtown before noon. It was overcast and a mild temperature. Here are some snaps. The Faith47 piece below was one of the highlights for me.

Oslo

On our way home from Morocco, we stopped in Oslo for almost a full 24 hours. It was a gorgeous spring day, so we took advantage explored the city a bit. The city center was pretty easy to navigate and small enough that we did the whole thing on foot. The airport is a very quick train ride from the main train station in the center of Oslo. Some of our favorite spots were the opera house (top photo was from the roof of the opera house), and the Mathallen food hall. I didn’t get any photos of the latter. But it has a similar vibe to Chelsea Market or Gansevoort Market. Here are some other snaps from various spots around the city.

 

Essaouira


Essaouira is about a 2.5 hour bus ride from Marrakech. Similar to Marrakech, it has a medina and souks. Unlike Marrakech, Essaouira is on the coast. We spent our last few days in Morocco exploring the medina, and the beaches. The vibe in Essaouira is much more “western” than that of Marrakech. It felt like it could be a little surf town in any country. Here is some of what I saw:Continue reading

Ourika Valley

The last day in Marrakech, we did a day excursion and hired a driver to take us to the Ourika Valley, in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains (as seen from Marrakech in the image directly below). It rained on and off for most of the day that day, so it turned out to be a good time to spend riding in the car. Those who know the desert, know that it completely changes when rain falls. Most notably, all of the green comes out. I wouldn’t really recommend this excursion to anyone because honestly, it turned out to be super touristy. But seeing the desert in bloom from the rain was worthwhile. The fast moving clouds also provided for some dramatic lighting at times.

Marrakech

I had the occasion to spend some in Morocco recently with B. Actually, she put together the whole trip, and I was just along for the ride. As Morocco is a very visually stimulating place, I put on my shutterbug hat and went wild. During the span of our 10 days there, I snapped well over 1000 frames. And judging by the length of this post, one would think that I put them all on here, haha. The images in this post are from the five days that we spent in Marrakech. I’m have organized them into three groups:

  • Places and People
  • Things
  • Details
  • Landscape/Night

A bit about Marrakech:

I wasn’t really sure what to think about it before I went. When I arrived it certainly wasn’t what I expected. We stayed inside the medina section of the city. The Medina is the old city center, a labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways enclosed by a perimeter wall. To say that it is easy to get lost is an understatement. It took us a solid day just to get our bearings, using the riad we stayed in (seen in the first image above, and would highly recommend to others) as a reference point. It was a very invigorating and occasionally frustrating experience. I will say that 5 days was more than enough time to spend there. If I could do it again, I would probably have shortened it to three days.

Here is what I saw, starting with Places and People:Continue reading

Denmark

I recently made it to Denmark for the first time. B subscribes to some sort of airfare deal notification email list and bought the tickets for us over the summer. We did a lot of the typical touristy stuff while we were there, and loved it. Instead of writing a full play by play download, here are a couple of highlights that we enjoyed and would recommend checking out:

Here are some photos from the trip:

Iceland

B and I recently had a 6 hour layover in Iceland, and decided to try to make the most of it. We checked out the Blue Lagoon, which was a short cab ride from the airport. It was definitely worth the energy that we put into it. I would recommend it. After that small taste of Iceland, I am now itching to get back there when I can actually spend some time exploring.