Gary Arndt (@everythingeverywhere) — 3x Travel Photographer of the Year. �@GAdventures Ambassador �Traveled to over 130 countries and all 7 continents. � Download my FREE ebook!
In my previous post, I spoke about the problem of over-tourism and why we should seek out places which aren’t as popular, but are still pretty amazing. In that post I used a photo of Venice, which has way too many visitors, and spoke about nearby Padua, which gets only a fraction. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Several people mentioned, and rightly so, that I probably should have posted a photo of Padua instead of Venice. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Fair enough. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ For the next month on Instagram, I’m going to focus on lesser known places which ought to be better known and deserve your attention. Some might be a single photo and some might be a collection of images. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I’ll start things off with Padua of course. There are several things in Padua which make it worth visiting: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ✔️The Scrovengi Chapel. A small church with one of the most exquisitely decorated interiors in the world. The number of visitors daily is limited, so book well in advance. ✔️The Orto Botanico. The world’s first botanical garden created in 1545. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. ✔️The Prato Della Valle. The largest public square in Italy and one of the largest in Europe. Surrounded by statues. ✔️The Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua. A major cathedral and pilgrimage site which is the resting place of St Anthony of Padua. Do check out Padua if you are in the area!
This photo of Venice was taken on my 2013 photo tour with @gadventures. ⠀⠀ Venice is a great city. I certainly wouldn’t tell anyone that they shouldn’t visit Venice. However, Venice is suffering from a very serious problem: Overtourism. ⠀⠀ Somedays in the peak season, the entire city can be packed without tourists. Over 60,000 people in a single day can descend on Venice, dwarfing the 55,000 people who live there. Multiple cruise ships can be docked in Venice at the same time. ⠀⠀ The reason for overtourism, I’m convinced, is that most people really just don’t know what else is out there. Almost everyone I know who isn’t in the tourism industry, if they are going to Italy, so a very similar trip where they visit Venice, Florence, and Rome. ⠀⠀ All of those cities are great places to visit to be sure. The problem is that most people don’t know of anything else other than the most popular tourist attractions. Everyone goes to the same places because they don’t know what else is out there. ⠀⠀ This summer as I visited UNESCO World Heritage Sites across Europe, I avoided many of the major cities, and as a result I saw almost no crowds anywhere I went. They key was just expanding where I was willing to visit. Going to lesser known places, and learning about them before hand, totally changed the travel experience. ⠀⠀ If you are going anywhere, take the time to research lesser known places. Just 20 minutes from Venice is the city of Padua. Padua is great. It has one of the largest city squares in Europe, the world’s oldest botanical garden, and the Scrovegni Chapel, which is one of the finest works of art in Italy. Yet, few people bother to go there, because all they know about is Venice. ⠀⠀ #everythingeverywhere#italy#worldheritage#worldheritagesite#unesco#venice#overtourism#realtravel
One of the most photogenic spots in the Canadian Rockies is Lake Maligne in Jasper National Park. I made my first visit here in 2014 and I had some events which led to this image. During my visit there were major forest fires in the area. The smoke was such that there was a haze in the air almost everywhere you went in the park. ⠀⠀ The result of the smoke is that it gave everything a very soft look and the further away the object was, the softer it looked. I’ve had many people say this photo looks like a painting. It isn’t due to a photoshop effect, but rather the forest fire smoke! ⠀⠀ Oh, and I also finally got a blue Instagram checkmark this morning! ⠀⠀ #everythingeverywhere#alberta#worldheritage#worldheritagesite#unesco#parkscanada#parcscanada#jasper#jaspernationalpark#travelalberta#mountains#nationalparks#explorealberta#explorecanada#canada
A BIT OF A RANT TODAY If you go back and look at my feed, you will notice that of the 2,106 images I have posted to my Instagram account, there is only one photo of myself. In 11 years of traveling around the world, I have about 11 photos of myself which I’ve taken during that time. I’m just not into selfies. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The trend of people posting photos of themselves in glamorous situations in different places around the world has sort of taken me by surprise. Travel is easy to make appear glamorous and they want you to think that their lives are glamorous. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I’ve lead a pretty great life the last 11 years. I’ve been to more places, seen more things, and have done more than most human beings will ever do. The end results are amazing, the the process is far from glamorous. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This photo is of a sunset I took on the island of Funafuti in Tuvalu. The sunsets were gorgeous every day I was there. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ What the photo doesn’t show you was everything that went into the photo. I first had to get myself to Fiji, because that is the only way you can get to Tuvalu. The flights are expensive because Air Fiji has a monopoly on the route. Once you get to Tuvalu, there isn’t much in the way of a tourism infrastructure. There is only 1 real hotel in the country, and 1 place which is sort of a guest house. I ended up at the guest house which would get a 1-star rating anywhere else in the world. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ There are no real restaurants anywhere in the country, so I was pretty much forced to eat every meal at the guest house or the hotel. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ There are no ATM machines in the country, and no one in the country accepts credit cards, so I had to get Fijian dollars from an ATM machine before I left, then exchange them for Australian dollars at the airport, because that is what they use in Tuvalu, and I had to have all the cash necessary for my stay, because there were no alternatives. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It wasn’t a bad trip by any means, but it wasn’t what most people will think of as glamorous. The things I experienced weren’t the type of things which you would think of when you see an amazing sunset photo like this.
I’ve been at home now for about 2 weeks and I’m going through all of my photos from my Europe trip. One of the most interesting places I visited this summers was on a stop I made while driving to Berlin. I stoped at Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the town of Kassel. It is a huge park (2.4 square kilometers) which took over 150 years to build, with construction starting in the late 17th century. The highlight of the park is a massive water system which starts on the top of a hill and then works its way down the hill through a series of man-made waterfalls and fountains. The waterfall in this photo was designed to look like ancient ruins. They only run the water here two days a week in the summer, Wednesdays and Sundays, and thankfully I was there on one of the days they did the water show. The water flows for about 15 minutes and then take about 45 minutes for all the water to work its way down the hill. Massive crowds show up on the water days to see the spectacle. #everythingeverywhere#UNESCO#WorldHeritage#WorldHeritaeSite#germany#visitgermany
I’ve been back from Europe for a week now, tying up all the loose ends from being gone for two months. Now begins the long process of editing all my photos and writing all my stories from the last few months of travel. Oddly enough, now that I’m not traveling, my Instagram images should improve because I’m using images which have been edited and taken with my full frame camera. This photo was taken out of the open window of a train as it was going downhill, as I was coming back from Jungfraujoch. Everywhere#everythingeverywhere#inLOVEwithSWITZERLAND #unescosardona#UNESCO#WorldHeritage#WorldHeritaeSite#switzerland#swiss#alps#mountains
My Europe trip is almost at an end. Today I’m in Vevey, Switzerland, my last stop on my trip. Tomorrow I’ll be visiting the Vineyards of Lavaux and a house designed by Le Corbusier, both World Heritage Sites. For the most part I’ve been able to avoid big crowds on this trip. Most world heritage sites aren’t popular tourist destinations, and that suits me just fine. The one massive exception on this trip was my visit to Jungfrau. Peak high up in the Bernese Alps, and home to the longest glacier in Europe. It was packed with foreign tourists. More than I’ve seen anywhere else so far this summer. That being said, the Lauterbrunnen Valley is incredible. It is up there with Yosemite Valley. My next trip to Switzerland I want to explore the valley itself more. Saturday I’m finally flying home after over 2 months in Europe. This has been a very long and busy trip and I have so much work to do when I get back it is a bit overwhelming. Loads of stories to write and photos to edit. In fact, I’ll probably be more than once a day for a while when I get back home. I can tell I’m not nomadic anymore because I’m looking forward to cooking my own food, doing laundry, and getting a haircut. This photo was taken from the Swiss restaurant at the Top of Europe on Jungfraujoch from my table during lunch. The Aletsch Glacier is the longest glacier in Europe. Everywhere#everythingeverywhere#inLOVEwithSWITZERLAND #unescosardona#UNESCO#WorldHeritage#WorldHeritaeSite#switzerland#swiss#alps#mountains
The last few days of traveling through the Swiss Alps has been spectacular! These are some of the most picturesque mountains in the world and as well as some of the most accessible. This was taken on the Bernina Express train which goes from Filisur, Switzerland to Tirana, Italy. Today I visited the historic Abbey of St. John in the village of Müstair, with its Carolingian and Romanesque artwork. It is also one of the few places in Switzerland which speaks Romansh, one of the four official languages in Switzerland along with German, French, and Italian. Speaking of Italian, I’m currently on a bus to the town of Bellinzona, an Italian speaking part of the country, to visit two world heritage sites over the next few days. #everythingeverywhere#inLOVEwithSWITZERLAND #UNESCO#WorldHeritage#WorldHeritaeSite#switzerland#swiss#alps#mountains
I’ve started the last segment of my European Summer Trip: Switzerland! Over the next 12 days I’ll be visiting all of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country. Today I visited my 368th World Heritage Site: The Swiss Tectonic Area Sardona. It was a pretty good hike which lasted over 5 hours and saw me climb over 2,000 feet in elevation and go down another 3,000 feet (at least). The area was stunningly beautiful and geologically fascinating. This is one of the only areas in the world where older rock was thrust on top of younger rock. Geologists are still coming to this area even after 150 academic papers have been written about this (relatively) small area. As you can see from the images (and from my IG stories) this is an amazing place to visit. Today was probably the most strenuous day of the trip as I probably won’t need to do such hikes for many of the cultural sites I’ll be visiting. Tomorrow I’m off to visit the Abbey of St. Gall, and one of the most incredible library of ancient books in Europe. Everywhere#everythingeverywhere#inLOVEwithSWITZERLAND #unescosardona#UNESCO#WorldHeritage#WorldHeritaeSite#switzerland#swiss#alps#mountains
The last three weeks have been incredibly busy for me as I’ve been driving every day and visiting sites when I wasn’t behind the wheel. I just finished my trip around the Czech Republic visiting all the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country, including the lovely town it Telč shown in the photo. The next few days I’m at a travel blog conference in Ostrava, Czechia where I will be speaking on Saturday. Sunday I start a brand new trip where I’ll be visiting all of the World Heritage Sites in @myswitzerland! I’ll be home for about a month before I start traveling again. I have SO MUCH work to do when I get back processing photos and writing about all the sites I visited.
The last two weeks have been incredibly busy for me as I have been following the path of the Allies in WWII through Western Europe on the @LiberationRoute. I started in Portsmouth, England and crossed the channel to Normandy to visit the beaches, cemeteries and museums associated with D-Day. Then I drove to Belgium and the Ardens forest to visit the sites associated with the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne. From there I’ve spent the last week in the Netherlands visiting all the sites associated with Operation Market Garden and the Liberation of the Netherlands. Today I’m in Germany and entering the homestretch of the trip. I’m in the small town in Schmidt, not far from the Belgium border which was near where the Siegfried Line was located and close to the Battle of Hürtgen Forest. From here I’ll be ending my trip in Berlin. This has been a very eye opening trip. I haven’t done a thematic trip like this before where I’ve focused on one subject. I’ve learned a lot more than the cursory story of WWII that you get from documentaries on the History Channel (back when they actually had shows about history). After this trip is over, I start a new one in the Czech Republic right away visiting a bunch of World Heritage Sites before TBEX Europe, where I will be speaking. Aaaand then I’m off to a big trip in Switzerland to finish up by Summer of Europe! #everythingeverywhere#liberationroute#netherlands#thisisholland#holland#wwii
My @gadventures Baltics tour has ended, but I still have a lot more to share! The tour was a great success and one of the better G tours I’ve been on (and I’ve been on 14 tours!) I was able to visit 3 new countries on the tour, and even used the opportunity to visit two other countries on either end of the trip (Belarus and Russia). I learned a lot about the Baltic states, and the differences between them (and the difference are quite large). I’ll be posting more photos as I process them, and as always follow along on my Instagram Stories, where I’m much more active. If you are interested in taking the same exact trip I did through the Baltics, click on the URL in my bio! Today I’m leaving Helsinki and will be heading to London where I’ll be starting a trip through Western Europe following the Liberation Route which the Allies took in WWII. I’ll be starting in London and working my way to Berlin via France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The photo today was taken in Riga, Latvia. #everythingeverywhere#baltics#instatravel#travelgram#travelphotography#landscapephotography#gadventures#gwanderers#latvia#liberationroute