Rollercoasters I Beaches I Catalonia

Dear friends,

It is about time to give you all a quick update. The past two months were pretty busy and some things have changed in my life. Fortunately my exams went well and I got a job! Pretty exciting stuff. 

That being said, no summer is complete without a proper holiday. Last week I spent some time with friends and family in Spain. More precisely in Salou, a small coastal town in the province of Tarragona, Catalonia. It's a family-oriented place my friend Marc and I discovered a couple of years ago, when we first went to PortAventura a big Theme Park there. We used to go camping there and now have rented a small house on the camping ground Sanguli Salou. If you are looking for an affordable, calm and sunny vacation, I couldn't recommend it more. Sanguli has a great infrastructure, very friendly staff and a broad variety of options for you to stay. Salou itself is a bit more on the touristy side for my taste, but it's still very enjoyable. Prices for beach chairs are more than reasonable, there are kilometers of beautiful beach and the food is authentic and delicious (if you know where to go). PortAventura is a multi-park resort with great rollercoasters and theming, which is partly owed to Universal because they owned the resort for some time between 1999 and 2004. Some of the rides unfortunately offer a pretty rough experience which is probably due to lack of maintenance. If you are a fan of thrill rides I would still recommend going there, the Park has great opening hours (until midnight during summer) and is best when visited in the evening because of the heat during the day and overall better atmosphere. Shambhala their B&M Hyper Coaster is next to Taron in Phantasialand Germany probably the best coaster in Europe. 

On a cloudy day, we decided to visit Barcelona. I could write pages and pages about how much I like this city. A free spirited place with great inhabitants, art wherever you look and fantastic climate. It's very easy to understand why Woody Allen dedicated a whole movie to this place. For practical reasons my girlfriend Nathalie and I took a bus and tried to see as much of the city as possible since she was there for the first time. We visited the Marina, Sagrada Familia, walked through Park Güell (a must for Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona/Woody Allen Fans) and strolled down La Rambla. 

It was shocking to bare in mind what happened there just a few weeks ago. Walking down the pedestrian zone in La Rambla and thinking about what other people must have gone through right there made us very sad. There were hundreds of candles around a monument. Seeing the pictures and reading the names of the victims was heartbreaking. How pointless it is to take someones live like that.

On the other hand I enjoyed how the pedestrian zone was full of people once again. Police officers were present, very friendly and answering questions. A city like Barcelona is not going to be intimidated with such means. And that's great.

I really enjoyed this vacation, especially because of the people who were there with me.

Many things said. Here are some pictures of Salou, PortAventura and Barcelona. These pictures have more of a "point-and-shoot" character.

Enjoy your weekend,
claudio

 

 

 

 

 

Epilogue - Los Angeles

Time always passes so quickly when you do the things you love most in life. Reluctantly we took a plane and left the paradise that was Maui. Fortunately our trip was not quite over just yet. The last part of our journey took us to one of my absolute favorite cities I was able to discover so far, Los Angeles. 

It’s a city you will not fall in love with at first sight. Maybe not even the second time you visit. But with time, when you recognize the versatility of this place and the charm of all the many parts that somehow fit together or live side-by-side, it’s impossible not to love this city. In fact, I sometimes wonder if it’s even fair to declare LA as just one city. To me it feels like much more than that. It’s rather a place where many different, in itself very distinct little cities, form a much larger entity. 

LA is foodie heaven, the place where movies are (at least) born, a very diverse cultural hotspot and home to some of the most iconic coastline vistas on the west coast. It’s a place that one cannot do justice by a simple description on a website, pictures or a vlog on YouTube. It’s one of those things that have to be experienced in person to fully get it. 

Funny thing to say, when I’m about to post some images I took there. Those are memories I will always come back and relive by scrolling through the pictures. At least to me that’s a key component of photography, saving memories and relive them. 

But the places you visit are not the most important part. It’s the people you enjoy them with that make your memories last forever. 

 

That was one of the most amazing trips of my life. 

 

Enjoy the last batch of pictures and have a peaceful day!
claudio

Tropical Vibes - Maui

Almost one year ago we packed our bags (for the third time) and flew off to Maui. We were not too lucky when we arrived during a week with heavy rain and tropical storms, which made it impossible to explore all of the sights we initially planned to visit. 

Nevertheless we were still able to do a lot! Activities involved snorkeling at Wailea Beach, having delicious meals in Lahaina, Zip lining and just hanging around at some of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. Maui is picture perfect paradise. 

I was not focusing on taking pictures that much, since I just wanted to enjoy this part of the trip without any distraction. Still here are some shots I took around Wailea, Lahaina and during Zip lining with the GoPro. I used a new gallery, you have to swipe trough.

Lastly a small update: Exams are over and I’m back at editing and taking pictures. There is going to be another album next week, destination: La La Land. 

 

See you soon,
claudio

ps: I recently rewatched Toy Story and the Lion King, can’t count how many times I’ve seen those movies. Sometimes you just have to stick with the classics. Treat yourself, you won’t regret it.

Tropical Vibes - Hawai'i

Aloha!
I’m back with another small album. The next stop on our journey was the Island of Hawai’i, better known as the Big Island. Famous for it’s volcanoes, black sand beaches and epic landscapes. Stepping into Volcanoes National Park on the Hilo side of the Island I honestly felt like I had landed on a different planet. I had never seen an active volcano before in my life and that was really impressing.

We also went to the observatory on top of Mauna Kea, the islands tallest volcano/mountain. The same day you can swim in the ocean and later stand on top of a 4200m tall mountain, freezing. Measured from it’s oceanic base Mauna Kea is over 10000m tall. Unfortunately we were not able to stargaze that day because of bad weather up there, but it was nevertheless a very memorable experience. Many movies based on expeditions to the moon were shot there. 

One of many other firsts I did on the Big Island, was snorkeling with Manta Rays at night. In Keauhou Bay they take you just a little bit off shore where these majestic creatures gather to feed on fluorescent plankton. What an experience when you float in the water when suddenly a giant ray swims just millimeters beneath you. According to Wikipedia they can reach up to 1350 kg and 7 meters in length, just to put in some perspective. These gentle giants move with an elegance no machine could ever imitate. 

What has also stayed with me, was the absolute tranquillity this island spreads. You’d sometimes drive for quite some time without passing by a single other car. 

I miss this place

Have a great week
Claudio

Tropical Vibes - O'ahu

Hey guys,
Last summer I spent some time on the west coast of the United States. Also for the first time in my life I visited the Hawaiian islands. One of the most interesting, beautiful and diverse places I have ever visited. The first set of photos is based on our visit to O’ahu - also called the gathering place. We didn’t have plenty of time but we tried to see and do as much as possible. 

We hiked Makiki falls trail, went to the north shore, jumped off of cliffs into a picture perfect blue ocean, saw majestic sea turtles right at the tip of our feet, hiked to the top of diamond head, „climbed“ the famous pill boxes hike, chilled at the world famous Waikiki Beach, snorkeled in Hanauma Bay and immersed ourselves in one of the most remote cities in the world. What a start.

See you soon
Claudio

Desert Vibes

Hey folks, 

it has been forever since I posted anything new. There was a lot going on in my life last year (there still is) and time has become a very limited resource. I had to cut down on photography and editing quite a bit. However I could never go on vacation without at least one camera in my bag. 

The following pictures were taken during a vacation in Dubai this February. More precisely on a sunset safari in the Dubai desert conservation reserve. It was an amazing and insightful day (also a birthday present from my girlfriend Nathalie, thank you honey). Sand dunes, sun and delicious food.

For those of you who still follow my blog, thank you for sticking around. Next week I will finally start uploading my summer 16 vacation photos. Enjoy the pictures and let me know what you think. 

Have a good one
Claudio

Views - Monte Brè

Hey guys! During my study break, I spent some time in Ticino. Since I have been very busy studying over the past 6 weeks, I haven't been able to either produce new content or work on my summer albums. Yesterday though, we went to the top of Monte Brè in Lugano and I was fortunate enough to bring my camera with me. It was absolutely worth going up there...I mean WOW. Some of the most breathtaking views I have ever experienced. Sometimes you just have to take a break and appreciate what you have. Appreciate where you live and enjoy life. This is my home country, Switzerland. 

Have a great week!

What a summer...

Hey there

I hope you people out there are all well and had a great summer. Since I didn’t post anything for a long time now I thought it’s time to say hi. Yesterday I came back from Amsterdam which concluded my travels for this summer. I was out and about for more than two months, with some minor exceptions. Of course I always had at least one camera with me which now results in an almost unmanageable amount of output. I am in terms of putting together a compilation album about my trip to Hawaii and another one for Los Angeles. The albums however will not contain the whole range of impressions/pictures I took since I have decided to keep some of the memories only for the people I shared them with. In the meantime I can provide you with a small excerpt of what is soon to come. 

Have a great weekend
Claudio

 

1&2 Makiki Trail O'ahu HI, 3 Keauhou Bay Big Island HI, 4 Wailea Beach Maui HI, 5 Santa Monica CA, 6 somewhere above Switzerland

Views - An evening in San Francisco

What’s up? So last week I spent some time in San Francisco. The pictures are mostly taken around the ferry building (where one of my favorite hamburger places “Gott’s” is located) and on the ferry back to Marin County. The atmosphere was just phenomenal. I was lucky to catch a clear and sunny day, which is kind of rare for San Francisco. Therefore I was able to take some pretty decent pictures. Actually some are amongst my personal favorites to date. If you ever go to San Francisco you should definitely check out the ferry plaza with all the shops and restaurants there, the food is amazing. Also if you’re lucky enough to catch a clear day, the views and atmosphere in general are amazing. On the ferry to Marin you’re able to spot Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge and Angel Island from different angles, views you’d normally not get on tours or whatever. The ferry is just one of several ways people living in the Bay Area get into the city. So enough talking, enjoy the pictures. Have a great week! And happy 4th of July to all Americans out there.

Paintings on the Street

Hey guys! I’m spending some time in the states at the moment. Currently staying in Marin County, CA (that’s 20mins north of San Francisco). Yesterday we went to an outdoor Italian streetart festival in San Rafael, which was very cool. Artists drew paintings with chalk directly on the main street. I took the opportunity to take some new pictures. All images were shot on my Sony A7II with a Zeiss 35mm 2.8 lens. Stay tuned for more pictures in the near future as I will be traveling quite a bit (not only in Cali). Have a great week you all!