Posts Tagged ‘view’

Day Hike to Kvalvika Beach in Norway’s Lofoten Islands

 

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Dramatic clouds and scenery on the hike to Kvalvika Beach

Norway’s Lofoten islands are known for their dramatic landscapes. But the handful of gorgeous sandy beaches came as a real surprise to me as a first-time visitor to the area.

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Clouds reflected in a pond

An unexpected highlight of my recent trip to Norway was the scenic hike we took to Kvalvika Beach. Located onMoskenesøy and only accessible by foot, the day hike is popular with families and photographers. It’s easy to see why.

 

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Looking down at Kvalvika Beach

After about an hour of minutes of pleasant hiking with some slick patches due to the wet grass and natural oil oozing from the land, the mountain landscape opens up to reveal a glorious crescent shaped beach with waves crashing against the golden sand.

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Ana taking in the view from the hike

The hike itself is interesting (and popular) throughout the year. During the summer, campers head to Kvalvika Beach to spend the night under the midnight sun. In the fall and winter, photographers and families head up for the dramatic views.

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Kvalvika Beach, possibly the prettiest spot in Norway’s Lofoten Islands

We wound up being led on this hike by Alex Conu, who we hired from Colors of Lofoten to be our photo guide for the day.

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Red grass and pink clouds on the hike to Kvalvika Beach

It’s worth the effort for the scenery alone. You’ll pass fields of red grasses and lakes before getting a bird’s eye view of Kvalvika Beach.

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Otherworldly landscape in the Lofoten Islands

I appreciate unusual landscape and the moss, rocks, oil, and mountains made this one of the most visually satisfying hikes I’ve ever taken.

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Oil oozing from the Lofoten Islands

There are some step sections, and hiking boots are key to handling this terrain.

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The landscape before dusk looked drastically different

We took this hike just before dusk, when the colors and light were changing quite a bit. Views looked dramatically different on the way back than they did on the way up, We opted to retraced our steps to save time, since we were prioritizing photographing the Northern Lights that evening rather than take the long way back.

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Portrait of Ana in the outdoors

Kvalvika Beach was featured in a documentary called North of the Sun, about two surfers (yes, arctic surfing is a thing) who spent nine months there catching waves. You can watch the film on iTunes.

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Clouds reflected

If you’re headed to the Lofoten Islands and fit enough to handle a reasonably easy hike with some moderate altitude gain, I’d highly suggest taking the hike to Kvalvika Beach.

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Portrait  of Ana in pastels on the hike to Kvalvika Beach

Getting there:

From any location on Lofoten, take the E10 to Fredvang. After leaving the E10 and crossing the twin bridges, turn left into Fredvang and continue along the road through the village. After approximately 3 kilometers (from the turn) you will see a red boat shed on the left near the water. Immediately past this is a paved parking turnout large enough for 10-15 cars. Park here.

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Exploring Kauai: Beaches, Bays, and Bookstores

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 Tree on Moloa’a Beach

If you are looking for things to do on Kauai and want to dive deeper than the tourist centers of Poipu Beach and the resorts at Princeville, here are a few of my favorite spots on the Hawaiian island.

Moloa’a Beach is located near Kapaa on Kauai’s east shore. It’s a bit off the highway, but once you get there it you might recognize it. Moloa’a Beach was a filming location in the pilot and first episode of the 60’s television show Gilligan’s Island. This is the beach where the Minnow was aground on an “unchartered desert isle.”

Pro Tip: If you want to stay on Kauai and avoid the crowds, consider renting a house or cottage from HomeAway or AirBnb near Moloa’a and having this amazing beach within walking distance.

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An aerial view of the coast of Kauai

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The gorgeous scenery of Anahola Beach on Kauai includes the Kalalea Mountains

Of all the beaches I saw on Hawaii’s garden island, Anahola Beach was the one I thought was most beautiful. Located on Kauai’s east shore, this crescent-shaped stretch of sand is .42 of a mile long and has the Kalalea Mountains and lush greenery as a backdrop. Anahola Beach also has campground, and the Anahola river nearby. I loved the large black volcanic rocks that were scattered about.

Pro Tip: Be warned– the campground can get packed during high season. 

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A view of Hanalei Bay

There are several hiking trails near Princeville and Hanalei, including one that gave me the view of Hanalei Bay above.

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The view of Hanalei Bay from a scenic overlook in Princeville

The image above is another gem from a scenic overlook just off Kuhio Highway.

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Garden Island goodness from an overlook in Princeville

Some of the Garden Island’s best views can be seen from simply pulling over onto the scenic overlooks just off Kuhio Highway. The weather and light change the mood and viewing conditions, but it’s well worth pulling over for the views.

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Hanalei Valley Overlook

This gorgeous view of Hanalei Valley was shot from a scenic overlook just off Kuhio Highway.

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Blue water and black rock at Lumahai Beach

Lumahai Beach is best known as a filming location for the film South Pacific. It’s volcanic rocks and strong currents make it a nice place to watch the waves crash on the rocks. The currents were too strong for swimming or snorkeling during my visit to Kauai. But it is still worth the hike.

Pro tip: Wear good shoes or sneakers for the steep path to Lumahai Beach. It can get slippery.

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Ferns framing the Kapaa Stream

The Hoopii Falls hike is a great 2.2 mile hike that offers some great scenery of Kauai, including two waterfalls. It’s easy and well marked and good for kids, too.

 Hoopii Falls video (shot on my iPhone 6s)

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Palm Tree Power along Kauai’s North Shore

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A Hike to Hanalei Bay from Princeville

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A View of Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon is known as “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” This colorful gorge is located on the western side of Kauai and well worth the drive if you’re staying on the North Shore or in the Poipu Beach area.

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Talk Story Bookstore in Hanapepe

Hanapepe is a small and historic town on Kauai’s western side. It has the western-most independent bookstore in the United States, Talk Story.

 

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 Rooster crossing the Road in Waimea, Kauai, Hawaii

Waimea Canyon State Park

Waimea Canyon Dr, Waimea, HI 96796, United States

Nurses Beach (Lumaha’i Beach)

Hwy. 560, west of Hanalei, Hanalei, HI 96714, United States

Moloaa Beach

Moloaa Rd, Kilauea, HI 96754, United States

Anahola Beach

Anahola, HI 96703, United States

Hoopii Falls

The short, moderately difficult 2.2 mile hike on unmarked trails along the Kapaa Stream will take you up close to two waterfalls.

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Sunset Time Lapse Videos from Las Alamandas, Jalisco, Mexico

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Palm trees and Pacific ocean views at sunset 

I recently returned from a trip to Mexico, where I stayed at Las Alamandas for the first time. Located 120 kilometers south of Puerto Vallarta, along Jalisco’s Costalegre Coast, Las Alamandas is situated on it’s own 1.500 nature reserve which offers up several different vantage points to take in the stunning views of the Pacific ocean at sunset.

The second I saw the property I knew I’d be making time lapse videos on my iPhone 6.

Sunset time-lapse video shot on the beach at Las Alamandas

I clipped my camera mount to an agave plant on the beach in order to get this perspective. The waves were unusually strong, due to seismic activity in the Pacific.

On our last night at the hotel, we drove up a rocky road to Sunset Point, where we took in the stunning views while enjoying cocktails and cake (we were celebrating my husband’s birthday).

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Sunset Point’s spectacular views

I clipped my camera mount to the table to shoot the time-lapse below on my iPhone 6. It was very windy and so the resulting video is not particularly smooth, although the views are still rather beautiful. While I love the compact size of my iPhone 6, wind is one of the elements where shooting with a heavier camera can yield better results.

Sunset Point time lapse from Las Alamandas

When shooting into the sun with a mobile phone, there is going to be flare. Sometimes the flare has flair, sometimes it doesn’t work as great. But the view is still spectacular.

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Sunset stroll along one of the private beaches at Las Alamandas

Las Alamandas Resort

Carretera Federal 200 km 83.5
Costalegre, Jalisco, Mexico CP 48850

Toll Free US: 1888 882 9616
Toll Free Mexico: 1800 8366640
Tel 52 322 285 5500

info@alamandas.com

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Sunset Time Lapse Video at the Andaz Maui Resort at Wailea

Sunset view from the Andaz Maui at Wailea

I’ve been spending the past few days at the lovely Andaz Maui at Wailea. It’s been several years since I’ve visited this island, and I’ve been getting into the Aloha Spirit. The sunsets here are quite beautiful so I made this time lapse video to share a little virtual sunshine with my blog readers.

I shot this video using the TimeLapse app for iPhone

The Andaz is modern, fun, and has a outstanding restaurant, Morimoto Maui. It’s so good I’ve eaten there several times and will do a full post on it at a later date.

Enjoying the sunset from my balcony at the Andaz Maui Wailea

Andaz Wailea Maui at Wailea Resort

3550 Wailea Alanui Drive

Wailea, Hawaii, USA, 96753

Tel: +1 808 573 1234


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Griffith Park Now Offers Shuttle Service to Hollywood Sign Viewpoint

The Hollywood Sign

The Hollywood Sign is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Los Angeles. Now the Department of Recreation and Parks have made it a little bit easier to get a clear shot of the Hollywood Sign by offering a shuttle service on weekends (and selected holidays) from Griffith Park to a viewpoint of the Hollywood Sign and then on to the Observatory.

Hiking trails overlooking Griffith Observatory

The shuttle costs $10 for adults and tickets must be purchased online here so be sure to book before you go. You’ll also want to pack your zoom lens, as the viewing point offers a clear view, but there is still quite a bit of distance between the shuttle’s viewpoint on Mt. Hollywood Drive and the sign itself.

View of Downtown Los Angeles from Griffith Observatory

The shuttle service also stops at the trailhead for a hiking trail that will get you even closer to the Hollywood Sign, approximately an hour and 15 minute hike to the closest viewpoint you can reach by foot. After 20 minutes at the viewpoint, the shuttle continues on to the Griffith Observatory where you all get killer views of downtown Los Angeles (especially on a clear day).

Early morning view of downtown Los Angeles as seen from Griffith Park Observatory

The shuttle service to the Hollywood Sign viewpoint is expected to run through the end of 2014.

Griffith Observatory Shuttle Service info can be found here.

Griffith Observatory
2800 East Observatory Road
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(213) 473-0800

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