Travel My Way

This is my entry for the  “Travel Your Way” photography competition being hosted by Rhino Car Hire. The chance to join the competition was kindly sent to me by my blogging and travelling  friend Viveka  

My Way. Well, travelling has been a great part of my life for almost 40 years. So, I guess My Way includes the less comfortable ways of travelling as well…but this trip will only contain bright memories of travelling…and some of my most memorable moments. To ”Always look on the bright side of life…” is important to survive in this world. Maybe not always possible, but I do try!

One of my first trips to far away countries was to India and Nepal. In my books and in my dreams was the adventure of hiking in Nepal and to catch a glimpse of Mount Everest. In those days, I never brought a camera…my boyfriend was an avid photographer. This camera thing I deeply regret today, so my advice to everyone is to always bring a camera – even if your fellow traveller already has a big, expensive one and skills far beyond yours…

This first grand trip outside Europe had me hooked for ever, and I went on travelling. And hiking. I never returned to Nepal, but would very much like to – or on the other hand – maybe not. This country, as well as every other country, has went through a lot of changes over the years. And, some changes might be so extensive that we do not want to know about them. Maybe I also want that first magic to stay forever in my mind…as always, we tend to beautify our memories…

Later, in the 1980’s, we travelled Peru to realize another of my childhood dreams, to see Machu Pichu. The railway across the plateau to Cusco was then the highest built railway in the world. A true adventure, with the great condors, the vicunjas and wild orchids along the track. Still, today, I think of landing at the airport of Kathmandu and of walking the steep path up to the view over Machu Pichu as two of the most fantastic moments in my life. But still – no camera.

In 2009 I realized the third and last great childhood dream of mine – to visit Tibet. We went the whole family by train from Beijing over the great Tibetan Plateau, a trip that would take us to Lhasa by the highest situated railway in the world. We couldn’t leave the train anywhere on this long journey, so all photos had to be taken through the train windows. A great adventure this trip, we even had oxygen in the compartments to sustain us through the thin air of high altitude.

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One of few moments when she was not photographing – my daughter. We were just about to arrive in Lhasa, and outside her window was  – this!

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The Himalayas consist of the highest mountains in the world, and the landscape outside our window changed constantly from one enigmatic view to another. Never have I used my camera more than on this trip. Knowing I would probably never come back, this was very precious to me.

Over the years, there has been a great deal of travelling. Train is a very pleasant and comfortable way to go. You can walk around or sit and relax and still have spectacular scenery almost every time you look out of the window. And good food! In 1983 the Transsiberian railway took us across Russia/the Soviet Union in a week’s time – with fantastic people and landscape around us every minute. I’ve never had a more delightful shower than the one we had after that train ride…

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Going up north in our Nordic countries I usually go by car first, and then by other means and vehicles. Iceland is a dream if you love nature, loneliness, horses and whales. Going by boat is a must here. A visit to Vestmannaeyar and the quite young volcano island Surtsey is guaranteed to make you sick and throw up in that heavy sea…

Whale watching is a fantastic way of getting a close up on nature and one of its most interesting species. The whales are worth all your troubles. Faldur, here, was a great boat to see these majestic creatures from.

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Boats have always been essential for travelling people. Our antipodes, the Maori and the New Zealanders, had to use them to reach their shores. And, I simply loved their beautiful steam boat on lake Wakatipu in Queenstown. A beautiful day and a beautiful trip!

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In my own country, our family used to go up north once a year for a stay at the mountain pastures in Fryksås. This was a haven for several years, and here we went by car to the far north. This year it’s time for a new visit.

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Snow calls for different means of transport. Where I live, in the south of Sweden, we sometimes use a kick-sled during wintertime. Some winters there is not snow enough to use it, but my children/youngsters always love it. In Fryksås it’s frequentely used.

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Going home, southwards again – always by car. In a car you have the freedom to stop wherever and whenever you want. As my dogs are fellow travellers and companions here in Sweden –  the car rules. During winter time it can be hazardous with the ice and snow, but you soon learn how to go about it. And the roads can be beautiful in themselves.

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Back home I also love going by bicycle. A way of transport that usually came to mind for many years when you heard the word”Beijing”. A connection no longer that obvious. But, they still use bicycles to transport tourists though… And I still love Katie Melua and her Nine Million Bicycles…

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On the radio today was a report on how very much Swedes travel – and how it is steadily increasing. In fact we mostly travel southwards to get some extra sun and heat during winter time. When our children were small we always went south a week every autumn to ”shorten” the winter.

So, what do I need for a really interesting and rewarding trip then? The most important things I need is spare time and good company. Then, if I still have childhood dreams to realize – I go for them. Otherwise there are thousands of wonderful places to go, and thousands that you don’t know of…yet.

Today, our travelling goals are easier to reach than ever. The overall number one invention is of course the aeroplane. Polluting, yes, but sometimes we must use it, and nowadays you can pay extra for this. Not many views beat the one from the aeroplane window when the sun is going down in the clouds…London – Copenhagen this summer.

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You don’t have to be on my list here to join the competition, but the deadline is the 31st October. Just click HERE.

And here are my five fellow bloggers who I want to invite for this journey – they could maybe also use  £1000 or a Sony NEX-3N Compact Camera System* worth £379!

Avid travellers, dreamers, hikers, writers, photographers…and friends:

Avid traveller… Janaline

Traveller and nature lover… Christopher

Lovely dreamer… Christine at dadirridreaming

Traveller and hiker… Rosemary

Traveller, writer and photographer… Poppy at poppytump