Eastcoast Roadtrip 2013: Sightseeing in Boston

Boston can be seen as an Eldorado for tourists. With its plentiful markets, the secure streets (even at nighttime), beautiful architecture and some major sights, the city is a contrast to many other Northamerican cities and should be on your list, when you visit New England.

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You could get a firm impression of the Universities in Cambridge and of the Boston Nightlife. Now it’s time to present some sights to you, covered with the photography of this beautiful city to address your imagination. This is the view on Little Italy. The district of Boston is also called Northend.

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Boston and Cambridge are basically one unit, woven into each other, not separable. The elite is found in Cambridge, though. The campus of MIT looks quite industrial, the people of Harvard, that I dealt with have a certain kind of arrogance. I preferred the MIT definitively over Harvard, it seems more suitable for scientists, a place where excellence is born with every semester of inscription. The people you meet there remind you of the famous TV series Big Bang Theory, IQ > 150, very polite but a tad nerdy. In contrast to the busy Universities, Boston is quite a touristic playground, very secure for a Northamerican city and beautiful. This is an impression of downtown. This church “hides” in the big skycrapers.

You already could see the skyline from Cambridge, so I will just give you impressions from the city itself. It has great markets, it’s clean and you find top notch dining for a bargain. For seafood you should check out the Union Oyster House close to Haymarket. On Haymarket you can buy all kinds of fresh food for you, if you have an apartment during the time of your stay. And since I have been to Miami and New York City as well, I can compare and state, that you never have an uncomfortable feeling, walking around, not even at night. It seems very secure and people are in the streets at night as well. On the picture you see the Union Oyster House. I enjoyed the best oysters I have ever had at this place.

The oysters you get in Union Oyster House are from different areas. The personnel tells you exactly where they are from, and it’s just delicious.

The mixture of modern skycrapers, cultural offers, markets, old brick houses and the feeling of Northamerica make Boston special. It’s like good ‘ol Europe manifested in this city. And although I live in a tad rundown area of Boston, kind of a Hood compared to the rest of this shining city, I never feel uncomfortable. This security and minimal crime rate is due to the healthcare program of the city, that offers food and healthcare to homeless people for free – so nobody has to suffer hunger. In downtown you find the world famous Freedom Trail and some more touristic food and arts markets, like e.g. Quincy Market. Another impression of downtown, seen from the freedom trail and many more in the attached gallery.

When I walk around, I finally make it to the areas of the Boston Public Garden and the Commonwealth Ave. Should have spent more time there… Discovered this beautiful area too late, since I was busy one full day in Cambridge. It’s very European, very beautiful and exclusive. The second picture you can see, taken with the cellphone, is from a market along Newbury Street, the Copley Square Farmers Market. Check this area out, longer than me.

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On my last day, just before I continue to Maine, I walk all around the Southend. There is a market, which you should not miss, it’s called SoWa Market and Maura told me to go there, before I continue to Maine. I have the best coffee there, I ever had so far in the United States of America – quality comes close to the coffee in Austria! And the market is great, so many antique stuff, linen, foreign wares and great ecological food is offerd there. Make sure to hit it on Sundays!

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Boston is a great city, colorful, diverse, classy and secure. I would definitively go there again and can recommend it to you, as a contrast to many other Northamerican cities. It is very different from those and the many markets – I did not bring pictures from Haymarket here, that you definitively should visit as well – offer a great alternative to American Mall shopping, that can be found everywhere else over the country.

Berlin Special: The 25th anniversary of re-unification

The re-unification of Germany is the glorious history of November 9th in German History. There have been different times at this date, but today this entry brings some impressions from my childhood in West-Berlin, some thoughts and of course photography of the 25th anniversary celebrations.

“I’m a child of an island in the red sea.” That’s what I always stated, when we had discussions about East vs West in the past. This is a long topic and the re-unification was not always as smooth as it might seem to you.

We had many discussions with our East German counterparts, because we – from the West – had everything and were arrogant – from the point of view of East Germans. Heard that the last time, when the East Germans behaved exactly like that, getting everything we prepared as group work and being arrogant when questioned for doing so in the studies of Pharmacy in Berlin“Now it’s our turn, you had everything, all the years before” was the unacceptable answer. Maybe they have been right, but it was not my fault or the fault of my colleagues from the West, we have been small children by that time. That’s already nearly ten years in the past – and the sad thing about it is, that all the glory of a moment and all the hope and good will is replaced by routine – getting back to the routes, forgetting what was important, all too fast.

Today it’s hard to distinct who is East and who is West German – it does not matter anymore or the importance vanishes more and more, at least in my generation. It’s good like that, we are one people. 

“I’m a child from an island in the Red Sea.”

By employing this phrase I stated, that I am from West-Berlin, I was born and raised there. Former West-Berlin to be adequate. The place in Germany which was surrounded by the soviet occupancy – the red and since it was a big area surrounding West-Berlin the metaphor “Island in the Red Sea” made sense to me. The DDR (GDR, i.e. German Democratic Republic) was under Russian patronage, but still controlled by their own East German people – the secretary general and his executive the VoPos (Volkspolizei, i.e. peoples police). West-Berlin was a spot of Western life in the middle of the communistic driven DDR – connected to East-Berlin via closed bridges everywhere, with the most prominent Oberbaumbrücke, Bornholmer Brücke in the inner city and Glienicker Brücke towards Brandenburg – those are bridges over the rivers Spree and Havel.

I come from the former British sector, from Berlin-Wilmersdorf. I still remember radio stations like RIAS which means Radio In the American Sector. I still know the surveillance station on Teufelsberg as a guarded stronghold of the American – or allied – forces. I know the term “Rosinenbomber” and connected to that, the importance of the Airport Berlin-Tempelhof, which was the only airport in the beginning, right after the wall was built in August 1961, to bring supplies and food to West-Berlin. Visit the memorial park while you are in Berlin, Checkpoint Charlie and Brandenburger Tor, to see the most popular places, where the separation was obviously visible – and Eastside Gallery to see authentic left overs of the Berlin Wall.

While for us in West-Berlin traveling was possible during the whole time, it was not as comfortable as today. We had to pass the DDR, on the corridors that were open to the West-Berliners and Western Germans to enter Berlin. This act – yes it was! – was called Transit. You had to wait at the border leaving West-Berlin and again at the border to enter BRD, or Western Germany, as it was called in the past. And this Transit was not always smooth, some days you had to wait hours to be allowed to reenter or they didn’t let you at all. I remember one night in winter, when I was a small kid. We have not been allowed to enter BRD and had to wait at the border for ten hours, before it was reopened. The allied forces handed soup and sheets for the people waiting and the VoPos checked every car with dogs for fleeing people. That was reality and I still have this image on my mind of soldiers digging our luggage, a submachine gun over the shoulder, the dogs in the car. On the highways of DDR, the speed limit was 100 km/h, unimaginably slow compared to today – for Germany, that is known for the fun Autobahn experience. When you took your pets, you had to present them to the veterinaries at the border and pay a fee. When you wanted to enter the DDR to visit relatives or friends, you had to pay a fee and change Deutsche Mark into Ostmark. Life was certainly different.

I was six years old, when the wall fell on November 9th 1989. I don’t remember too much anymore. I just remember everyone went nuts. There was a great excitement in the air. My mum went alone, she left us at home on this night. I think it is a pity. I think we would still remember what happened nowadays. But a couple of days after the fall of the wall, we went into East-Berlin to discover it. What I remember: The smell was so different! It smelled like coal, burning coal. The wall must have prevented the smell to come over. And the Trabbies smelled horrific by that time as well. Everything was grey and rundown, compared to today where the eastern parts of Berlin shine so beautiful. You could still see the bullet holes in the walls of many buildings, the holes which date back to WW II. 

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This is a shot from November 9th 2014 in Berlin Mauerpark, exactly 25 years later, on the minute, after the wall between former Western Germany and GDR fell. You see the moment when the balloons got released – they built a wall of light all along the former border of Berlin and in the moment the balloons took off the light faded. You can see this moment in long exposure. Many people have been around to witness this event all along the former wall. A special feeling was in the air, of joy & happiness, as of hope and expectations. ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ #ig_worldclub #igworldclub #ig_clubaward #featuremeinstagood @instagood #loves_world #insta_crew #ig_exquisite #ig_masterpiece #ig_costarica #IG_EUROPE #igs_europe #ig_europa #igs_world #theworldshotz #artofvisuals @artofvisuals #timelight @timelightinceptions #worldbestshot #instafameshots #exklusive_shot #hot_shotz #superhubs #superhubs_shot @superhubs_shot #dream_image #jaw_dropping_shots #igglobalclub #iggloballife #tv_longexposure #tgif_longXpo #throughanewlensecontest @natgeotravel #diestadtberlin

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We visited Friedrichstadtpalast and witnessed a suite of Tschaikowski, played by the former East-German variete, and we visited the Naturkundemuseum in Mitte. That have been the first two events respectively places I remember in accordance to the re-unification. And today?

Everything seems normal! Berlin is one, no doubt about that. But I still have the feeling it is different when you hit the East German countryside in Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. But it is good that it is like it is and our children will hopefully realize, that times have been different, will hopefully understand, that everyone can be thankful, this never ending cold-war is over, once and for all. What we should learn out of that? Make Love not war, everywhere on this planet. It might be a special case in the history of Germany, with all the guilt, the forgiveness, the separation and finally the re-unification – November 9th is a dark and a glorious date – has both sides in German history and a date which will always be bound to that history. But the principle I address of making love and not war is the same, no matter about what wall we are talking, no matter which religion we believe in and which economic interests are on our list. People have to understand that, finally, once and for all. 

And to visualize the celebration of the 25th anniversary of this epic event, I took some pictures, mainly in Mauerpark of the event itself, some close to Bornholmer Brücke and some the days before along Oberbaumbrücke and Eastside Gallery, as well as at Brandenburger Tor, where the rests of the inner Berlin wall can be found. I wrote about the area between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain – including Eastside Gallery – a couple of month ago and you can find the entry here.

Berlin Special: Autumn in green metropolis

Autumn in Berlin is mostly grey and wet. The colors of the leaves bring some welcome change and when the sun comes out, Berlin offers some most beautiful going places, which you should not miss. In this entry Charlottenburg Castle and the Teufelsberg are presented.

Over the last time lots of reports and pictures of the Alps in autumn colors could be found here. Now it is time for a little round-up from Berlin. The autumn in Berlin is mostly grey and wet, as the winter is. The summer time is certainly the more beautiful time in this city. Still, Berlin is a place with lots of parks and green areas, so you find the autumn colors as well, like in the forests and on the mountains of Austria.

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This is the castle 'Schloß Charlottenburg' which was built to honor the Prussian Queen Sophie Charlotte. It's a beautiful and stunning place, together with 'Schloß Sanssouci' in Potsdam. The autumn still is over the city and the last colorful leaves are still on the trees. Glad that I made it to depict that, the whole forest looks like a colorful landscape #travel_magazine #GreatestTravels #EarthMagazine #earthpix #natureaddict #ig_masterpiece #AOV #igrecommend #ig_latinoamerica_ #ig_all_americas #igmasters #master_shots #exklusive_shot #special_shots #ig_mood #theunderrated #superhubs #super_germany #hot_shotz #elite_shotz #ig_captures #ig_today #ig_cosmopolitan #Europe_Gallery #transfer_visions #tv_travel #zamanidurdur #diestadtberlin @diestadtberlin #berlinthroughmyeyes @berlinerpost

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Schloss Charlottenburg (Charlottenburg Palace) is a beautiful place and every season offers another point of view. In autumn, the many alleys in the park – which is still free of charge – and in Schloss Strasse, leading towards the castle, are colored in yellow from the Tilia trees. Those trees produce an awesome smell in spring, with pale green, new leaves. They offer shadow in summer and in autumn they draw a colorful component into you photos. You should visit the palace, when you got time to do so. In winter, starting from Advent, a great christmas market takes place on the grounds in front of the main building. It’s a beautiful christmas market and besides hot wine you get treats, souvenirs and good food. And if you are first time visitor to this palace, make sure to take the tour. The description, of what you can see, is linked above.

This is the view over Berlin‘s biggest forest, the Grunewald. You will have a great overview from Teufelsberg, a hill built of debris after WW II, today a green oasis with top notch views over the whole city, predominantly former West-Berlin, but at night or when the sight is clear, even deep into former East-Berlin. You will see all the main sights of the city sticking out, a skyline per excellence. The depicted view is towards Wannsee and on the right you can see the Grunewaldturm. This is a classical November depiction, if you are lucky and the sun comes through. It’s certainly beautiful, when it does.

And this is a forest closeup taken with a 50 – 200 mm objective. It shows the autumn colors in detail. Attached you find the obligatory gallery, with many more pictures of Berlin‘s autumn. Expect another Special later today about the re-unification of Germany, 25 years ago and for next week an entry about the street art you can find on Teufelsberg.

Hiking Special Tyrol – Part 2

Last weeks report was about Stubai Valley, Hiking along the Innvalley and Lake Obernberg. This week is about two touring areas – with plentiful individual tours – the areas of Sellrain Valley and Isar Ursprung Valley. The Photography give you an impression, what kind of nature is waiting for you to get discovered.

Last weekends Hiking Special Tyrol – Part 1 gave a short introduction in possible tours and regions for supreme hiking, before the winter break and this is why Part 2 already follows this weekend. Innsbruck (Part 1 & Part 2) is a great basis to start your journeys. It is very likely that you will still be able to go some rounds in the late autumn, before the winter reaches the lower valleys. In the meanwhile you can enjoy snow covered summits, awesome weather and green meadows in contrast to those white tips everywhere.

Valley of Sellrain

The Sellrain offers several valleys which terminate into the main valley. If you go up there to the top, you automatically reach the skiing and summer resort Kühtai.

If you leave the valley earlier into one of the several side valleys you will reach a nearly untouched hiking ground, where you can park your car pretty close to the forest. And mostly you reach deep forests, which open up in higher altitudes, where you can find beautiful Almen and granite rocks in the highest altitudes, close to the summits.

The autumn colors have been stunning and a great contrast to the evergreen (or white) meadows of the Stubai Alps. Those are blueberry bushed and their leaves are all colored in red during fall season.

We had a great tour about four weeks ago in the side valley leaving Gries im Sellrain. My Tyrolean friends have a little hut in the mountains and up there, hidden in the forest, you are nearly alone, when you go out in the plains. And that’s the way I celebrated when we reached the summit.

It’s probably a very nice ski touring ground as well – for all recommended entries, have a look here. Make sure to check on the risks for avalanches and enjoy a secluded mountaineering paradise! More pictures can be found in the attached gallery.

 

Isar Ursprung Valley in Scharnitz

If you have time and it’s earlier in the season, you could surpass the whole first ring of Karwendel and go a tour from Scharnitz to the Achensee close to Jenbach. It is a three day tour, if you plan with about 10 – 20 km trails per day. You walk by Innsbruck, but it’s hidden on the other side of Karwendel, soutwards of you.

This is the view, when you access the valley, in the back the hiking trail spread out and you have several options for great tours. And the following picture is taken inside of the young Isar. It is a pretty cold river, let this be said. 

The Isar springs are in the mountains of this region and this river goes all the way up to Munich and passes Bavaria’s capital, as one of Munich‘s sight, since the Isar Auen are a great place for recreation in summer time, for canoeing and all sorts of paddling sports with little boats. We chose a trail towards the Scharnitz Alm, where you can go all the way into the first high valleys of Karwendel, behind Nordkette and soon reached the first deep forest. A beautiful forest, dense and full colored under the influence of Autumn.

But you still find green spots, hidden in the forest. The ground is covered with moss in many parts, the nostrils are filled with an uncomparable smell of nature, when you make your way upwards.

If you make your way deep inside of this fairywonderland, you become hungry. This is our Jause, we enjoyed with an uncomparable view. We met in total maybe 6 people on our tour, which lasted for about 4 hours.

Here you can see the wonderful October colors in contrast to the reddish grey rocks of the big mountains. The water passing through those mountains, eating itself into the rock, has a light turquois color, it is really pure and cold. You find more images attached in the gallery. With the provided information you have something on hand to plan your trip, you should definitively reconsider this, while you are around between May and Mid of November, depending on the weather.

And when you are on the summits of Nordkette, like the Hafelekar, you have a wonderful look inside of this region as well! These are some views from the Hafelekar and the Hafelekarbahn up to the summit!

Eastcoast Roadtrip 2013 – Boston Arriving & Cambridge

The beginning of my stay in Boston and Cambridge is focussed on Cambridge and the best known Universities on planet Earth. I discover the campus, learn to differentiate between MIT and Harvard people and discover a stunning city in between.

Leaving Cape Cod is a tad sad. It’s beautiful there and the last day was vacation at its best and my hosting family was very nice. On my way to Boston I stop at the Mayflower memorial in Plymouth. It showcases the rebuilt Mayflower II of the first pilgrims who came to young America back in the day. At 1 PM I reach my Airbnb in Boston

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This is the rebuilt Mayflower II, a memorial for the first pilgrims who reached America. You find it in Plymouth, between Cape Cod and Boston.

I am a bit shocked in the first moment of my arrival. I will stay in Roxbury and the area looks a bit rundown, like in a hood. There are lots of people hanging around on the street. My host is not there, still at work. I follow her directions and claim the key out of a little lockbox, which lies on the porch. I need to sleep, am totally worn out, the jetlag is stronger than the days before. Want to be fit, when I discover the campus of the big two, MIT and Harvard in Cambridge. That is the plan for the afternoon. 

In the afternoon I start with Cambridge and get an overview over both Campi, starting in Harvard. My plan to meet up with a Professor from MIT manifests, I want to do it the next day, since it is already late. So I just continue to discover the campus and visit the Technics Museum of MIT, which is really cool! Sun already sets, when I come out and the mood over Cambridge is great and the view to Boston stunning!

I have to say, from the people I met, I liked the guys from MIT much more, nerds like you and me. The personell of Harvard is kind of arrogant, as some of the visitors have been at as well. I ask myself “Why?” – Shouldn’t people on the top of society be glad for their status and be grateful and polite? Especially the brats, who get this once in a lifetime opportunity by their dad, who they probably rarely see, because otherwise they would have better manners. If I compare both elitist factories, I prefer MIT for sure.

At night I speak to my host, she tells me I don’t have to be worried, the crime rate of Boston is really low because everyone in this city receives healthcare, even if people can’t afford it and nobody is just left behind to suffer poverty. And I can confirm that as far as I can walk around without any incidents – you get used to it very fast. My dinner is pasta and afterwards I continue the sightseeing and head into the touristic parts of Boston, but the pictures of Boston will be showcased in another entry, this one is focussed on Cambridge in regard to the photography.

At late night, around 10 PM, I hit the restaurant & jazz lounge The Beehive – I enjoy live music, a great blue cheese burger and awesome IPA beer. A really great experience to get enjoyable American beer!

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The dark lounge of ‘The Beehive’ is cosy, food is great, beer good and the live music really cool. Thank you for this recommendation from Toronto, Oli!

This is the first time, as far as I can remember, that the beer was actually good – I remember my times in Florida of 2008, where I never appreciated the offered beer on liquor stores. Scenic and en vogue South End really seems to be the place to be in Boston! And those are some impressions of my way home, since the Metro and Bus does not ride too long anymore, I have to walk home about 45 min…

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The next day starts again in Cambridge. I have a good overview how to get there – by Metro – and what to do. I want to see a Professor of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the MIT, but sadly she is on travels and a second Professor I had on my list, as well. But the Koch Institute of Cancer Research is an impressive building. Should I ever remain in Science, I’d be honored to work there. 

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Inside worlds famous Koch Institute at MIT
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The Koch Institute of Cancer Research, MIT

After this attempt – hey it worked great at Yale University – I take a walk over the campus of Harvard and decide to continue from the main campus to Harvard Medical School in the late afternoon.

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Inside Harvard’s holy halls
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Inside the Institute of Chemistry of Harvard University

The way to Harvard Medical School is interesting, since I go back to Boston by Metro, followed by tram I see a lot – the campus of HMS is not in Cambridge but in Boston. I would need more time in Boston as it seems… I can’t access the main building of the Medical School, stroll around a little more and by surprise run into the Pharmacy school. What an incident! I take a look around there as well, then I return home to plan the next tours, potential interviews and what to do at night…

Hiking Special Tyrol – Part 1

In this entry the hiking opportunites around Lake Obernberg, along the Innvalley and in the valley of Stubai are described and depicted. Since the winter already reached the high alpine regions and the winter season is on, you need to make sure, if you still want to hike, that you are well prepared and look out for tours that are not leading you into high alpine regions, at least not without proper equipment.

Today I want to give you some recommendations for your hiking in Tyrol – this is part one and I split it into two parts. You will find more detailed info on the tours – parts of them have already been mentioned in the guide for Innsbruck (Part 1 & Part 2) itself. Homebase for your endeavors is Innsbruck, which looks like that at the moment.

In walking distance from Innsbrucks Abbey, close to the street going up to Brenner, you find a nice beergarden called Bierstindl and the entrance to Sillschlucht. This is an impression from Sillschlucht in summer, a place where you will find the alternative people of Innsbruck to hang out and enjoy the ice-cold water of this little river.

The winter comes in fast now, so the season is over for the higher altitudes – or it starts, if you consider to do skitouring. But this winterbreak in October is mostly of short duration, followed by a warmer period until the snow manifests in the end of November. With good clothes you will still be able to go some rounds as long as you don’t attempt for the summits, which will remain covered in snow until late April to May from now on. And if you attempt that, make sure you have the proper equipment, without that it is very dangerous – and check on the risk of avalanches, the new snow is not compacted yet and you should not blindly hike into regions where you are in danger. And although you might not find the summit experience too easy anymore, hiking the valleys and some Almen can be very rewarding as well!

 

Lake Obernberg

The region of Lake Obernberg offers plentiful opportunities. You get there in a 30 min. ride from Innsbruck via the autobahn towards Brenner.

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This is another impression from the high alpine regions in Tyrol. Obernberger See is truly a gem and worth a visit when you #lovetirol and the Alps. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• TAG a friend & follow for your chance on a benicoma feature & Read the story on http://benicoma.com How to be featured: ◆ FOLLOW and TAG a friend on any picture you'd like to share with them because they might enjoy it → You qualify by doing that ◆ I select a winner per week from all participants who gets a shoutout and a picture of their gallery published (via link) on the blog ◆ Everytime there are 4 winners it's time for a voting which is held one week here to distinct the overall winner ◆ A picture of the overall winner is featured here and three more in the blog and you get an introduction there as well if you want → https://benicoma.com/be-featured •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• #landscape_captures #ic_nature #ic_landscapes #ic_trees #rsa_nature #rsa_trees #elite_shotz #master_shots #hot_shotz #dream_spots #dream_image #exklusive_shot #special_shots #igs_world #igs_europe #insta_international #bs_world #ig_eurasia #zamanidurdur #secretplaces @theseldomseen #allshots_ #inspiring_photography_admired #travel_magazine #tv_travel #postcardsfromtheworld #ponyfony #igrecommend #jaw_dropping_shots #igs_group_02

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Leave the autobahn at Nöslach and continue via the plateau of the Wipptal. This alone is a hiking ground which is jaw dropping, through the agricultural used grounds of local farms into the forests.

When you are at Lake Obernberg you can do skiing tours and in summer hiking tours, which are quite challenging. You find the overview over the possible tours here.

The tour around the lake should still work for now – the time of late autumn with summits covered in snow – it is an easy round of one to two hours with stunning views on lake and surrounding mountains! If you plan something more challenging, please don’t desitate to contact the Alpenverein for questions, to buy maps or to rent your equipment, when you are here to explore the nature. Find more shots of Lake Obernberg in the attached gallery!

 

Valley of Stubai

The valley of Stubai is most diverse. What you can find in summer is depicted from my instagram feed. It has three skiing resorts, at the beginning of the valley in Fulpmes the Schlick 2000, 11er Lifte in Neustift and the Stubai Glacier in the end of the valley at Mutterbergalm.

All three are great, depending on what you are looking for. All three are high alpine, with the glacier longing on altitudes over 3000 m. This little river goes through the whole valley and is fed by several waterfalls all along the way.

Make sure you prepare properly for those altitudes, take sunscreen – and if you are looking for offpist adventures, at least be firm with equipment to look for buried persons – and have the knowledge to do so. We experience many casualties of avalanches every winter.

Here you can see the glacier, covered in snow during the whole year. It’s a majestic view all along the valley. If you stop behind the last village, where the valley narrows, 10 min. before you reach the glacier, you find a little canopy garden. This place is wonderful for a short break and a great starting point for hikes. Find all the possible tours here

This is a view captured with a solarisation filter from my phone. The mirror effect is caused by a little pond which you will find at this spot. You can still go hiking there at this time of the year, as long as you don’t attempt for the higher altitudes, that are already covered in snow – starting usually from middle October, depending on the weather.

 

The forests along Innvalley

It does not matter at which time of the year you are looking for a hike. The forests along the Innvalley always work for you, in winter sometimes with snow boots but as long as you remain in the forest, without the high alpine dangers. The big advantage is the proximity to Innsbruck. You even find some great trails for hiking in combination with sleigh riding. And for the time between June and the beginning of October it is a great ground to look for mushrooms. 

This is the view from Nordkette, when you are on the highest spot Hafelekar. You can easily go there by cablecar, when your time is limited.

This is the view from Nordkette on Innsbruck, when you are hiking the Hofwald up to Höttinger Alm. In general the hiking trails (Forstwege) on the northern side of the valley are steeper and the Höttinger Alm will close soon. But the forest is beautiful and with Höttinger Bild and Rauschbrunnen, you see here, you have still some options left with a great view on Innsbruck.

The southern side is a great mushroom ground. I won’t tell you exactly where to look, but as stated above, in between June and October you will find enough everywhere, no matter if you go up directly from the villages over Innsbruck or beyond the Glungezer. All the following pictures are from the southern side of the Innvalley forests.

You will find sceneries like that everywhere in the forests under world famous Zirbenweg and between the summits of Patscher Kofel and Glungezer.

This is the forest over Rinn in Tyrol. A beautiful, in parts widely open forest with some steep parts.

This is the forest over Volderberg in Tyrol, opposite to the majestic Glungezer. It’s a very secluded forest and you will not meet many people over there. And this is the view down into the Innvalley.

All the photography can be bought digital via eyeem.com and via twenty20.com as hardcopy print and digital – since I just have my instagram feed upped there, please contact me in case you are interested in buying. Another way to obtain the license for the use of the pictures in original format is available soon via fotolia.com. I will bring up the file in best quality for you, without the watermark if you wish. A feed to buy the original work is in the works at the moment. And the hiking recommendations continue here

Latin America picture ToDo-list

This is my “ToDo-List” for Central and South America. Covered are 19 countries so far, but I am open to your suggestions! The pictures I used are all from artists of the twenty20 community and I have to thank you guys at this point for taking such great pictures! Please feel free to leave suggestions for me, what I should not miss out when I travel Latin America the next time.

Pictures tell stories better than a thousand words. This is an old wisdom and it’s actually true. You might have read my report about my relatively short travel to Panamá, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. For me this was the first contact to this beautiful and magic piece of land on our planet and it is not the last time, that I have been there, promised. Since pictures express much more, than text ever could, when it comes up to the description of the beauty of places, people, nature and everything else but the lyric itself, I started to create and build up a Twenty20 Collection. In this gallery I collect pictures I like and worship, and included are pictures of 19 countries so far, here presented from North to South.

Central America

Cancún in Mexico, by @soniamchopra
Somewhere in Guatemala, by @s_cavazos
Belize and the Maya temples, by @_melche
US Embassy in Honduras, by @cellalaaa
Surfing the Pacific in El Salvador, by @gerardoch10
Vulcano Concepción on Isla de Ometepe in Nicaragua, by @benicoma
The cloud rainforest Costa Rica’s mountains, by @benicoma
The Islands of San Blas in Panamá, by @benicoma

 

South America

Medellín in Colombia, by @vcostaphoto
Morrocoy in Venezuela, by @erickmendez9
The highlands of Ecuador, by @puapv
Machu Picchu in Peru, by @corrine_t
The death road in Bolivia, by @birgitry
Jesus statue over Rio de Janeiro, by @nanohooligan
Isla Fernando de Noronha of Brazil, by @joneliabe
Somewhere in Paraguay, by @jcibils
Surfing the beaches of Uruguay, by @marcbaechtold
The Iguazu falls of Argentina, by @kauaitraveler
Chilenian part Patagonia, by @birgitry

 

People

A vendor in Bolivia’s capital La Paz, by @raulbarnoir
The lovely people of Costa Rica celebrating their football team in the World Cup. The contribution goes to my friends in Costa Rica!
A mayan child bathing in a creek, by @andrewqholzschuh
Tango in the streets of Buenos Aires, by @mackeykatrina
Salsa and Bachata, by @hurpatty
Mother and child in Mexico, by @whiteraslion
Carneval Samba in Brazil, by @jealston
Guna Yala
The Guna Yala and me on San Blas in Panamá, by @benicoma

 

This collection features great pictures from all over Latin America, from diverse artists and is something like a ToDo list for me, when I travel to this region the next time. I will need plenty of time to do that of course, since there are already 19 countries included and by far not everything worthwhile to see…

What I have to do:

  • Surfing all along the Pacific coast, from Baja California in Mexico down to Chile, wherever I come by
  • Visit the Maya tribes of the Mexican desert for their cult, and experiencing it
  • Visit the plantations for cacao and coffee in different countries
  • Visit the places where medical plants are cultured in a fair trade principal
  • Visit the Maya Temples of Mexico and Belize
  • Exploring the Amazonas of Brazil and Bolivia
  • Sail to Cartagena via San Blas in Panamá
  • Dance Tango Argentino in Buenos Aires
  • Dance lots of Salsa
  • Snorkel and Dive in Central America and Venezuela
  • Visit the Carneval in Rio de Janeiro
  • Go diving on Coiba Island of Panamá and on Isla Fernando de Noronha of Brazil
  • Go snowboarding and hiking in Patagonia
  • Finish Pacific Coastal Highway 1 – called the Panamericana in Latin America

When you are on Twenty20 yourself, have pictures of those regions which might fit in and you are willing to get them featured in the Collection, please comment under them with the hashtag @benicoma and I will consider to take them in as well. And when you read this blog entry and want to share great places to visit, please leave a comment, it is highly appreciated!