Gary Arndt (@everythingeverywhere) — 3x Travel Photographer of the Year.
🌎Over 130 countries and all 7 continents.
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🌎Over 130 countries and all 7 continents.
Download my FREE travel photography ebook!
I love visiting ancient sites, especially Roman ruins. They hold up particularly well given their use of Roman cement, why was a mystery as to how it was made until recently. ⠀⠀⠀ The Roman ruins in Merida are some of the best in the world. Originally founded as a settlement for veterans of the Roman Legion under Augustus, it became a thriving city in the region. ⠀⠀⠀ The original name of the town was Emerita Augusta, and the modern name of Merida is derived from the Latin “Emerita”, which means veteran. ⠀⠀⠀ In addition to the theater (shown) and nearby amphitheater, there is a fantastic aqueduct, temples, ruins of homes, Roman walls, and one of the best museums of Roman artifacts in the world. ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ More people should consider Merida in their travel plans to Spain.
¡Hola from the Trujillo, Spain! ⠀ I’ve spent the last week exploring the highlights of the Extremadura region of Spain. This is a region which is rich in history going back to Celtic and Roman times, and is one of the most unexplored regions of Spain by foreign tourists. ⠀ My travels have taken me to the village of Guadeloupe, which I saw the historic Monastery of Santa Maria, the town of Cáceres, where I explored the Moorish and Renaissance architecture of the city, and Merida, with its incredible Roman ruins. ⠀ I’ll be posting more from each town over the next few weeks as well as posting more in-depth articles about each on the website. As interesting as each town in individually, they are even more interesting when you see them in the historical context of the rest of the Iberian Peninsula. The Islamic influences are similar to what I’ve seen in Grenada and Cordoba. The Roman artifacts are part of a continuum with what I’ve previously seen in Tarragona. The Renaissance architecture is in line with what I’ve seen in Madrid and other cities. ⠀ Today I’m in the historic city of Trujillo, which might have the best city center of all the cities I’ve visited. It is noteworthy as the birth place of several Spanish Conquistadors, in particular Pizarro, who is the subject of the large statue seen in the Plaza Mayor (shown in photo). ⠀ Tomorrow I’m off to Madrid by way of the Mercury mine in Almaden, which, not surprisingly, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (My 382nd). ⠀ #VisitSpain #extremadura#spain#guadalupe#unesco#worldheritage#worldheritagesite
¡Hola from the Extremadura Region of Spain! ⠀ If you’ve been following along on my Instagram stories, you will have noticed that I have arrived in the Extremadura Region of Spain. For those of you not that familiar with it, Extremadura is located on the border of Portugal, southwest of Madrid, and north of Andalusia. It is also one of the least visited regions of Spain, which of course means that I wanted to go there :) ⠀ My first stop was the Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe which is a world heritage site (my 379th) and a very important site in the religion and history of Spain. This was where Columbus first met Queen Isabela and proposed a westward voyage to India, which resulted in the European discovery of the New World. From a religious standpoint, it as the home of the Virgin of Guadalupe, which is a statue of the Virgin Mary which was discovered in the late 13th by a shepherd boy named Gil Cordero. It is believed that the statue was buried by locals during the Moorish invasion of the 8th century. ⠀ Today I was actually allowed an up close view of the statue and was allowed to photograph it, a privilege which is seldom granted. See my Instagram story to see one of the photos. ⠀ Guadalupe doesn’t get a lot tourists compared to other parts of the country, and those that do come here, 85% are Spanish. I saw no other foreign tourists during my visit, and not many tourists at all today (granted, this is also not the high season). ⠀ Spain is one of the most visited countries in the world and most of those visitors all congregate to a small number of cities (Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, etc). Extremadura is as close as you can get to “real” Spain, without the throngs of visitors. ⠀ Tomorrow I am off to the town of Cáceres, which is the largest city in the region and is also, not surprisingly, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. ⠀ #VisitSpain #extremadura#spain#guadalupe#unesco#worldheritage#worldheritagesite
The last week has been brutal for my sleep schedule since I have come back from Sri Lanka. With the Daylight Savings change, it is exactly a 12 hour change in time between Minnesota and the Maldives. I’ve been sleeping and waking up at really odd hours and I haven’t been able to adjust my internal clock yet. ⠀ To make matters worse, it is unseasonably cold here for early November. We’ve already had several inches of snow and temperatures last night dipped down to 8F (-13.3C). We usually don’t see those sort of temperatures until January or February. ⠀ Thankfully, I won’t have to deal with the cold too much longer. I’ll be off to Spain in about two weeks where things should be much warmer. ⠀ I’ve spent a lot of time in Spain, but there is still a large part of the country I have yet to visit. I’ve primarily spent time in Catalonia, especially in the region of Girona. ⠀ One of my favorite places in Catalonia is the Val de Nuria. It is a ski resort in the winter and a great place to hike in the summer. I took this photo on one of my previous trips there in 2011. ⠀ ⠀ #everythingeverywhere#spain#visitspain#incostabrava#catalunyaexperience#inpyrenees#catalonia#catalunya#girona#mountains
After 43 hours in transit I’m back home from Sri Lanka and the Maldives. ⠀⠀ Many people use Instagram to try to show the world how their life is perfect. They share perfectly posed photos of themselves in designer clothes in exotic locations. ⠀⠀ Unfortunately, travel is usually never like that. Being tired and hungry after 2 days of sitting in airplanes and airports with body odor because you haven’t been able to take a shower is more the norm. You deal with mostly with crappy airplane food and dirty airport toilets, not wistfully looking out into the distance as you hold a cup of coffee with both hands. ⠀⠀ There is a grittiness to travel which is seldom shown on Instagram, and I suppose it is the part of travel which most people aren’t interested in seeing. Nonetheless, that is what travel is. ⠀⠀ There are very few images of myself which I put on my Instagram account because I am more interested in trying to get people interested in the places I visit, not trying to convince everyone I lead a glamorous life. ⠀⠀ This photo was taken on a small sand bar in the Maldives. The @cinnamonhotels resort I stayed at took several of us out on a day trip to the sand bar. I wasn’t sure of it at first, but it turned out to be a lot of fun. There were no people, so we could go nuts flying our drones. I took my Parrot Anafi up to 500 feet to get this view of the island we were on. You can see us as black dots in one of the corners. ⠀ #everythingeverywhere#maldives#cinnamonhotels#tbcasia#anafi#parrotanafi
I have arrived in the Maldives! I’ll be staying the next 3 nights at the Cinnamon Resort which is on the island of Ellaidhoo which is a 90-minute speed board ride from the capital of Male. ⠀ This is a milestone trip for me for a couple of reasons. ⠀⠀ First, this is the 128th country in the United Nations which I’ve visited. This is the same number os Queen Elizabeth II. I suppose you are pretty well traveled when you are in a league with the Queen. ⠀ Second, this is the 200th territory on the Traveler’s Century Club (TCC) which I have visited. The TCC list divides the world into 327 territories which includes places like Greenland, Puerto Rico, and other geographically and politically distinct places which are not necessarily countries. I visited my 100th TCC territory back in 2011, and my 150th in 2014. ⠀ Third, there are four countries in the world which are made up entirely of coral atolls. With my visit to the Maldives, I have now visited all four. The other three are Kiribati, Tuvalu, and the Marshall Islands. ⠀ Fourth, this is my first trip anywhere in the Indian Ocean. I haven’t visited any of the islands or territories in the ocean up until now. Other places like Mauritius and the Seychelles are also high on my list for future visits. ⠀ Fifth, this is the FIRST drone photo which I’ve posted to Instagram! I’ve been testing a Parrot Anafi and I am loving it so far. Hopefully, many more drone photos to follow. (I did a short flight in Sri Lanka, but literally 30 seconds after I launched it, it started to rain). Went out to an uninhabited island today and was able to go nuts doing drone stuff. It was great fun. ⠀ Tomorrow I start the very long process of going back home. I figure it will take me about 36 hours, and that includes 4 flights and 1 boat ride. ⠀ #everythingeverywhere#maldives#cinnamonhotels#srilankanairlines#tbcasia#anafi#parrotanafi
Monkey in the Royal Botanical Garden in Kandy, Sri Lanka. My time in Sri Lanka is drawing to a close and I have quite a few photos to process. My tour here centered around the city of Kandy which is in the Central Highlands and is one of the most important religious and cultural cities in the country. I will be speaking tomorrow at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo at 12:3pm if you are in town. Wednesday I’m off to the Maldives for a few nights to relax on the beach in the Indian Ocean and catch up on work. My visit to the Maldives will be a milestone for me which I’ll explain soon my next Instagram post. #everythingeverywhere#srilanka#cinnamonhotels#srilankanairlines#tbcasia
After 23 hours of travel I’ve arrived in Sri Lanka! This is my first time in Sri Lanka and I’m pretty excited to be here. My primary purpose here is to give a presentation at a conference hosted by @cinnamonhotels in Colombo. However, I’m currently on a pre-conference tour in the Central Sri Lankan city of Kandy. After the conference I’m taking a short trip to the Maldives because I haven’t been there before either, and I figure I’m so close I might as well visit. Make sure to check out my Instagram stories to get full coverage. This photo was taken in the Knuckles Mountain Range, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. ⠀ #everythingeverywhere#unesco#worldheritage#worldheritagesites#srilanka#cinnamonhotels#srilankanairlines#tbcasia
The next location on my series of undervisited places takes us back to Italy! 🇮🇹🇮🇹🇮🇹 ⠀ Italy is one of the most visited countries in the world. Many fist time visitors to Italy do a very standard route of Rome, Florence, and Venice. ⠀ To be sure, Rome is a great city and it is a place that everyone should visit at least once. However, most people tend to gravitate to a few popular sites in the city: the Forum, the Vatican, the Colosseum, and the Trevi Fountain. What they might not be aware of is all of the amazing things which are right outside of Rome. ⠀ Today I’m showcasing the town of Tivoli which is the hills on the outskirts of Rome. You can see the hills in the distance when you are in the city. For over 2,000 years Tivoli was a summer retreat for Rome’s rich and powerful. There are two attractions there which are world class, but get only a small fraction of the visits you will see in Rome. ⠀ The first is the Villa d’Est. This is a Renaissance Era villa which was built by a rich Cardinal who aspired to be pope (spoiler: he didn’t get it). He built an incredible villa with an amazing water garden to impress his fellow cardinals. It is still operating today and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. ⠀ The other attraction in Tivoli gets even fewer visitors, but it is one of the greatest Roman ruins in the world: Hadrian’s Villa, aka the Villa Adriana. This was the retreat for the Emperor Hadrian, who spent much of his reign traveling the empire. ⠀ You can still see standing statues, pools, and grottos which were part of the palace. It is like walking around the Forum in Rome, but without the massive crowds of people! ⠀ I have another great, undervisited spot near Rome, but that will have to wait for another Instagram post :) ⠀ #everythingeverywhere#rome#italy#tivoli#unesco#worldheritage#worldheritagesites#overtourism
Next in my series of under visited places is Sukhothai! 🇹🇭🇹🇭🇹🇭 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Sukhothai is the former imperial capital of the Sukhothai Empire. The ruins of the capital can be found in the historical park of the same name just outside of the modern city of Sukhothai. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Sukhothai is located approximately halfway between Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Despite being situated between two of the most popular destinations in Thailand, Sukhothai gets very few visitors in comparison. Most people either fly or take a train, which skips Sukhothai entirely. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It is really too bad because Sukhothai is an amazing place. I’ve often described it as a smaller, cleaner version of Angkor, Cambodia. There are almost 200 ruins spread over 70 square kilometers. There are very few visitors to the park and you can stroll about the grounds historical park is which only a few square kilometers. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The park has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is one of the most significant historical sites in Thailand. It think it is a superior visit to Ayutthaya which is usually crowded with visitors on day trips from Bangkok. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ When I visited I pretty much had the park to myself. You can walk amongst the temple ruins or you can rent a bike. They have paved paths that you can ride on. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The easiest way to get to Sukhothai is either by bus or train, from Bangkok or Chiang Mai. I recommend people stop here if they are going between the two cities as it is one place in the country which should not be missed. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #everythingeverywhere#thailand#sukhothai#unesco#worldheritage#worldheritagesites
The next location on my series of undervisited places takes us back to Canada. 🇨🇦 Many people are unaware that there are fjords in North America. They usually assume it is something you only see in Norway. However, there are fjords on this side of the Atlantic Ocean and they are stunning. You will find them in Torngat Mountains National Park in Labrador. ⠀ Torngat Mountains National Park is situated at the northernmost point of Labrador, which is the continental part of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The park only gets about 800 visitors per year, and half of those are on ships which are passing through the area going north. ⠀ The park is operated jointly by Parks Canada and with the local Inuit people who have lived in this area before history. ⠀ Excluding people on ships and Inuit school groups who visit, the number of visitors who step foot in the park for the purpose of tourism is quite small. Maybe only 100 or so people per year. It is a shame because this is one of the most incredible places on Earth. ⠀ Getting to Torngats isn’t easy. There is an abandoned radar station from the Cold War just outside the park which has a runway. There are occasional flights there from Goose Bay, Labrador. From there, you have to stay at Base Camp, which is surrounded by electrified wire to keep out polar bears. ⠀ Most of the travel in the park is by boat, but there are some hiking opportunities available, and the option of helicopter rides. ⠀ Outside of the stunning natural beauty, you will and an in-depth Inuit cultural experience from all the Inuit staff which run the park and base camp. #everythingeverywhere#canada#explorecanada#parkscanada#labrador#torngatmountainsnationalpark