Special Travel Memories

I’ve had to think long and hard about how I would approach this week’s Lens-Artists Challenge, Special Moments #139. Tina put it all in perfect perspective but that didn’t make it any easier for me. Of course, as she said, very personal moments are front and center and always the most precious. Special times with family and friends really can’t be topped (and often photos can’t be shown). With two grandchildren born in the last two years, I have an ever-growing supply of special moments, but since this is supposed to be a travel blog, I will segue.

Today’s photos represent some of the special places I had yearned to visit. Most of from years ago when I had a marginal camera and my emphasis was mostly photos featuring family and friends. The opening pic above was taken during a hot air balloon ride in Cairns, Australia. It was a beautiful morning and we were on one of four balloons launched that morning. Not being a fan of heights I was wary and hesitant but ended up being very pleasantly surprised. Our ride was so smooth, quiet, and peaceful. Looking down you could see kangaroos running wild. What a wonderfully special way to start the day.

I wanted to visit the Galapagos since my freshman year in college and the experience did not disappoint. This was the trip that made me realize I needed to work on my photography skills and get a better camera. I also had issues with my SD cards corrupting. Fortunately, most pics were recovered but the photos were all out of order, which is not good when so many shots have a similar look. I was delighted when our naturalists presented us with a CD of photos they had taken and made my first Shutterfly album after this trip. The pic above is one of mine and I think it was taken on Seymour Island.

Every moment in Africa seemed more special than the next. As a cat-lover, I could not get enough of the cheetahs, leopards, and lions. Here, a precious lion cub in Sabi Sands takes a break from a meal.

Next up, I conquered some of my worst fears to get in this cage to see White Sharks up close and personal off the coast of South Africa in Gansbaai. The adrenalin rush was amazing.

Some special memories are only in the mind’s eye. No cameras were allowed when we visited The Valley of the Kings (I wonder if that’s still true). So I have no personal pics of King Tuts’ tomb. I have kept my love of Egyptian antiquities stoked by visits to the occasional museum exhibit. The pic below is from nearby Luxor.

The Amazon. So few pictures, such an experience! I studied this region during many college classes in Latin American studies; it only took me 30 years to get there. Oppressively hot, humid, and incredible buggy makes it a difficult place to visit. One of the many highlights was fishing for piranha. Yes, we caught some, and then they served them to us as a surprise, with great flourish, for dinner that night. I only pretended to eat them; those fish eat dead things for a living. One trip here was enough, I got this out of my system.

I’ll conclude with a very special anniversary trip that centered around travel on the Orient Express. It wasn’t difficult to get my train-loving husband on board this idea, even if he did have to wear a tux for dinner in the Lalique dining car. Amazing French cuisine, good wine, beautiful scenery between Venice and Paris, and a friendly fun crowd just added to the trip’s enjoyment. We were so young and yes, my hair is really curly.

12 Comments on “Special Travel Memories

  1. Wonderful memories Karen – loved them all! A tux for dinner – I’m thinking my husband would definitely resist that one but what a precious memory of a special moment. Our travels definitely do create some marvelous moments and yours are terrific – smaller cameras notwithstanding!

  2. You found the seal! You should organize a trip “some day”. I’m in!

  3. loved visiting these magical places vicariously through your beautiful photos!

  4. A blessing that you were focused on an adventuresome travel bucket list early. I so loved the cats and the Orient Express. The Amazon was amazing but I will pass on the bugs and fish. Thanks for sharing!

  5. What incredible memories and photos! I can’t believe you got in the shark cage! And you found the seal((s).

  6. I would love to do the Orient Express. I would almost be expecting to see Agatha Christie’s Poirot in the dining room. Thanks for a delightful collection of memories.

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