2017 was an odd yr for me. It was the least quantity I’ve traveled since I began touring full time in 2007. I “solely” stepped foot in 14 nations this yr. I did benefit from it as I visited 27 new UNESCO World Heritage Sites this yr (plus 1 that was added this yr which I beforehand visited). I additionally managed to go to over a dozen National Park Service sites within the US on varied home journeys I took.
Images smart, I launched the Travel Photography Academy, which is my on-line journey images coaching course. I additionally received 11 awards within the annual North American Journey Journalists competitors and took house a bronze prize within the Single Topic Portfolio class of the annual Society of American Journey Writers images competitors.
As all the time, I hope you get pleasure from my photographs as a lot as I did taking them!
1 I started my journey yr going to the Netherlands to talk at a convention in Utrecht. Whereas I used to be there I took the time to go to among the World Heritage Sites in the Netherlands. I used to be capable of spend time in Rotterdam, which is a metropolis I had move by, however had by no means actually explored earlier than. One of many highlights of Rotterdam was visting the Van Nellefabriek manufacturing unit.
2Whereas in Rotterdam I revisited Kinderdijk, which is the close by world heritage website which preserves lots of the outdated Dutch windmills which have been used regulate water ranges. As we speak, the water continues to be regulated by pumps however electrical or diesel pumps are used. The windmills at Kinderdijk are nonetheless functioning and are additionally used as houses.
three From the Netherlands I went to go to extra World Heritage Sites in Belgium. A number of of the websites I visited in Belgium have been serial websites, websites that are scattered in a number of areas. One of many stops was within the Metropolis of Ghent. Whereas Ghent itself just isn’t a world heritage website per se, it’s house to a number of of the serial websites together with the Belfries of Belgium and France, and the Flemish Béguinages. Ghent is a superb metropolis which is wealthy in historical past and is among the prime locations in Flanders.
four I revisited the Metropolis of Bruges, which I first visited in 2009. I having fun with revisiting locations I visited early in my travels simply because I’m a a lot better photographer now. There is part of me which want to re-photograph all the things I did from 2007 to 2009.
5 I additionally spent just a few days in Antwerp the place I visited the Plantin-Moretus Home. There are various world heritage websites I go to which aren’t well-known to myself or the general public, but develop into fascinating locations to go to. The Plantin-Moretus House is one such place. It’s a house/workshop which held a printing enterprise for a number of hundred years with a lot of the unique gear getting used your entire time. Two of the oldest printing presses on the planet are situated right here. Along with the printing heritage, the household’s house comprises a big assortment of unique work from Rubens.
6 I completed off January in New York Metropolis. Usually once I go to New York I don’t hassle doing vacationer issues. This time I got down to go to lots of the Nationwide Park Service websites within the New York Space. Most of them are fairly straightforward to go to and are fairly small. One of many websites I revisited was Federal Corridor, the placement the place the primary Congress sat in session and the place George Washington took his first oath of workplace.
7 March introduced be again to Israel, one other place that I hadn’t been since 2009. Jerusalem confirmed my earlier perception that it is among the most photogenic cities on the planet. I can simply spend a full day wandering the Outdated Metropolis, taking images.
eight My favourite constructing, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, can be in Jerusalem. It wasn’t one of the best expertise on condition that a lot of the inside is beneath a a lot wanted renovation. Nonetheless, there have been nonetheless nice images available and elements of the inside look a lot cleaner.
9 After Jerusalem, I went on a tour of the remaining World Heritage Sites in Israel that I hadn’t been to earlier than. This included a go to to Tel Megiddo, which is understood in English as Armageddon. A tel is principally a metropolis constructed on a hill which over centuries grew on prime of itself. I bought to tour the excavation with one of many prime researchers who has been working there for over 25 years. There’s a lot historical past packed into such a bit of place.
10 One of many spots I visited was Guess Guvrin. I had by no means heard of it earlier than, nevertheless it was an incredible place. It is among the few locations the place you possibly can truly take part in an archeological dig. It additionally has a group of huge hand excavated caverns which date again virtually 2,000 years. The picture provides you an thought of simply how giant the caverns are.
11 I went into the Negev desert and visited Mitzpe Ramon and Makhtesh Ramon, aka the Ramon Crater. It isn’t truly a crater, however the title has caught. True craters are brought on by impacts. A makhtesh is brought on by erosion. I met a geologist who does shows to the general public. He was so excited that I studied geology, that we went out into the crater the following day.
12 Coming again out of the Negev I ended at a number of of the Desert Cities within the Negev which have been a part of the outdated Incense Route. The unique route began in what’s at the moment Oman and went up the western coast of Saudi Arabia, by Petra. It resulted in Gaza the place they incense was then loaded on ships to be distributed all through the Mediterrean.
13 Whereas in Israel, I needed to go to the World Heritage Sites in Palestine as nicely. On the time of my go to, there have been solely 2, each of which have been near Jerusalem. One of the best identified is the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The church was present process a significant renovation which ought to be largely accomplished by now. Surprisingly, we have been first in line to enter the small space beneath the altar the place it’s believed the manger was situated. I took this picture of a priest celebrating mass as we have been ready.
14 You will discover a number of artworks by Banksy within the Bethleham space. We spied this one on the best way out of the West Financial institution. The Judean Desert is definitely a extremely small desert as deserts go, however one which is filled with historical past.
15 My final journey within the area was going out into the Judean Desert the place we noticed the Greek Orthodox monastery of Mar Saba.
16 I’m getting near visiting all 59 nationwide parks in america. One of many parks which wasn’t close to any of the others was Congaree in South Carolina. I used to be attending a convention in Huntsville, Alabama so I rented a automotive and drove all the best way to South Carolina simply to go to the park.
17 In June I went with Journey Canada to Sable Island, one of many hardest to go to Nationwide Parks in Canada. The journey was by ship and began and left in St. John’s, Newfoundland. As we pulled out of the St. John’s harbor we noticed this view of the homes on Sign Hill, which may solely be correctly seen from the water.
18 The horses on Sable Island have been there virtually 200 years. The journey I took was the one organized journey to Sable Island in 2017. In contrast to most expedition ships I’ve been on, the passengers on this journey have been largely horse fanatics. The horses themselves have been beautiful.
19 There’s little or no on Sable Island apart from sand, grass and horses. Fortunately, that mixture could make for some stunning surroundings. The horse inhabitants on the island is now estimated to be near 500. There aren’t any predators on the island apart from the weather.
20 One in every of our final stops on the Sable Island tour was the village of Francois (pronouced Fran-sway) in Newfoundland. It’s a tiny fishing village with no street entry. Like most fishing villages, it was hit laborious by the cod fishing moratorium in 1992. I do know it’s a journey writing cliche, nevertheless it was a really charming village. Very tough place to stay with out street entry.
21 One of the vital fascinating elements of Sweden is the Excessive Coast. It’s an space which attracts few overseas vacationers however is extremely stunning and geologically fascinating. All the space is present process isostatic rebound, which is the uplift which happens after glaciers retreat. This picture is of the island of Ulvön, which may solely be reached by ferry. There I used to be capable of strive Surströmming, which is fermented herring and maybe the worst smelling meals on the planet.
22 One of the vital fascinating world heritage websites I visited in 2017 have been the Adorned Farmhouses of Helsingland. It’s actually completely different from virtually some other world heritage website I’ve visited. The farmhouses are easy buildings which have been constructed by widespread individuals. Primarily used for weddings and different celebrations, they have been largely unused by their creators after they weren’t throwing a celebration. Whereas solely 7 of the farmhouses are on the world heritage record, there are literally near 1,000 within the area.
23 Throughout my tour of Swedish world heritage sites, I visited the copper mine in Falun. The mine extends nicely beneath the floor of the open pit proven on this picture. The mine at one level was chargeable for over half of the world’s copper manufacturing and was singularly chargeable for a big chunk of the wealth of Sweden. A lot of the realm across the mine the place the employees lived can be a part of the world heritage website.
24 Many individuals aren’t all in favour of industrial heritage. Personally, I adore it. Studying concerning the historical past of how our fashionable world was made is one thing I’ll by no means get uninterested in. In Engelsberg, Sweden there’s a world heritage website ironworks. It was fascinating, however not almost as fascinating because the close by Oil Island, house of the world’s oldest oil refinery. Oil refining within the 19th century was very crude (excuse the pun). They imported uncooked oil from Pennsylvania to create kerosene and different petroleum merchandise. They situated the refinery on an island in a lake for security causes. You possibly can nonetheless scent the oil inside at the moment.
25 My Sweden journey resulted in Stockholm, a metropolis which I had by no means visited earlier than. I visited the three world heritage websites within the space, together with Drottningholm Palace. There are various palaces in Europe that are modeled after Versailles in France. Drottningholm is the Swedish Versailles.
26 In August, earlier than the photo voltaic eclipse, I went out with Tempest Excursions storm chasing throughout the Nice Plains. Whereas August isn’t one of the best season for storm chasing, we nonetheless managed to see some spectacular storms, together with this one we discovered within the Texas Panhandle. That is my favourite picture of 2017.
27 No picture essay of 2017 can be full with out a picture of the full photo voltaic eclipse. I caught the Eclipse simply north of Alliance, Nebraska. We actually needed to rush to discover a spot with out clouds simply earlier than totality. We made it with about 5 minutes to spare. This was the primary complete photo voltaic eclipse I’ve ever seen and I’m hooked. I’m going to do it once more, hopefully in 2019 in Argentina.
28 We stopped in Monument Rocks, Kansas to do some astrophotography earlier than the eclipse. I took this shot of one of many individuals on the tour throughout sundown.
29 I don’t do loads of astrophotography, however maybe I ought to do extra. I get pleasure from it and the outcomes aren’t too shabby.
30 Iceland was the one place I had visited earlier than I began touring full time that I hadn’t returned to since. I rectified that in September. I used to be scheduled to fly to Norway with a layover in Iceland. Iceland Air means that you can do a layover with out paying additional, so I took benefit of it. I wasn’t there lengthy and simply did the Golden Circle route someday. One of many stops on the route is the Gullfoss Waterfall. It was extraordinarily windy the day I visited and didn’t have one of the best circumstances.
31 Thingvellir is considered one of two world heritage websites in Iceland. It was the house to the primary Icelandic parliament (Althing. It is usually one of many locations the place the Eurasian and North Atlantic tetonic plates meet. The trail proven within the picture is between Europe and North America.
32 Norway was the final nation in Western Europe that I hadn’t visited. I lastly bought there in September and it was well worth the wait. I explored the Telemark area, with a particular give attention to the world heritage website in Rjukan and Notodden. On the best way there I ended on the Telemark Canal. Whereas not a world heritage website (it ought to be) it was extraordinarily necessary within the historical past of business heritage.
33 The city of Rjukan is fascinating. Nestled in a deep valley, it doesn’t see the solar in any respect through the winter. It had a significant position to play within the historical past of electrical energy, and likewise had a number of fascinating tales which got here out of WWII together with a Norwegian commando raid and Nazi makes an attempt to construct an atomic bomb. I simply cherished the low hanging clouds I noticed.
34 After Europe I flew right down to Argentina to attend the Journey Journey World Summit. I had a while earlier than the occasion, so I flew as much as Puerto Iguazu to see Iguazu Falls. I had by no means visited the falls earlier than and I had excessive expectations, which have been met in full. The climate wasn’t one of the best, however views have been nonetheless unimaginable. I’ve love to return.
35 Whereas in Puerto Iguazu I jumped by all of the hoops to get a Brazilian visa. It was an actual ache within the ass, however I bought it. It allowed me to cross over into Brazil to see the falls from there. About 80% of the falls are on the Argentinian aspect, however I feel the views from the Brazilian aspect could be higher as a result of you possibly can extra simply see the Argentinian aspect from there. The great a part of all that problem is that
36 From Iguazu I flew all the best way south to Patagonia to go to Los Glaciares Nationwide Park which is, you guessed it, a world heritage website. I’ve seen glaciers in Alaska, Canada, and New Zealand earlier than, however the Pietro Moreano Glacier was maybe the cleanest glacier I’ve ever seen. Nearly completely white with little in the best way of gravel or particles on it.
37 From Patagonia I flew again up north to town of Salta within the excessive Northwest of Argentina. Whereas attending the Summit, I additionally took the time to go to 2 extra world heritage websites, together with the Quebrada de Humahuaca, which has among the most gorgeous colourful rocks on the planet.
38 My closing journey of the yr took me again to the Yukon and one other flight over Kluane Nationwide Park. The icefields listed here are merely wonderful. This was my 4th flight over the park and I’d gladly do it 40 extra occasions. This is among the most particular locations in Canada, and I want extra individuals knew about it.
39 I bought to go canine sledding and snowmobiling exterior of Whitehorse. It was the second time I had been canine sledding and it was a enjoyable as the primary time. The solar by no means rises very excessive within the Yukon this time of yr, so you will get sunsets which final for hours.