Scenic Hiking in Flims Switzerland
We recently enjoyed a break in a very sunny Switzeland in Flims in the Graubunden region. An area of a variety of scenic hikes. This little blog post shows a few images from a couple of routes we joined together. Starting with an esay ride up to 1400m with a chairlift, right near our hotel, from Flims to Foppa, we followed the Romansh language themed trail over to Fidaz, over the meadows and via a delightful alpine hut ..where we stoppped for the obligatory cake. Just before Fidaz a delightful farm wedding was taking place …such a wonderful setting and a glorious day for the event…many congratulations to the couple …loved their tractor transportation! From Fidaz the trail winds up to the high Bargis valley with its views of the Flimstein ever present – one of the oldest Via Ferrata routes is here ..not that we tackled it!
So lovely to see families out together having a good time in the fresh mountain area just enjoying the idyllic nature. Perfect place for a picnic at the riverside.
Enjoy these alpine vistas …could so easily go back here!
Ten Things to see and do in the Cilento National Park
We had a wonderful June break in Santa Maria di Castellabate for 11 days in this unspoilt Italian gem. We had a hire car, drove just under 2 hours south from Naples to reach here and explored the Cilento area. Just wanted to share some things that are possible to do, many of which we enjoyed on our trips out.
Spend a day in Santa Maria, explore the town with its alleyways, shops and bars and then head for the beautiful sandy beach, have a a pasta or fish lunch at the Lido Azzuro beach cabin
Don’t drive all the way up to the hilltop of Castellabate, take time to walk up and explore the cobbled alleyways and quaint piazzas for an aperitif. Watch the sunset up here and look down on the fabulous coastine before having diner in one of the many restaurants up here.
Stroll along the beach all the way to San Marco and have an ice-cream at the harbourside. Take a boat out to the small island of Licosia and look across to the summer plaace of the Prince of Belmonte.
Paestum is a must in this area, just some 25km away. Three huge Greo-Roman temples in a field to explore. On the way back look out for the buffalo in the fields and stop at one of the local factories and taaste freshly made mozzarella, it just melts in the mouth!
A trip further afield to Padula is also worthwhile, you can spend a good few hours exploring the huge monastery, but take some time to explore the old town up on the hill too
Favourite trip was to explore the abandonned village of Roscigno Vecchio – deserted after a malaria outbreak. Now just home to the odd cat kittens and a lone hermit inhabitant who tends a small museum there.
Explore the many hill villages of the Cliento National Park, its so easy by car
Take a drive down the coast to the ruins of Velia and explore the site there, bit of climbing involved but worth it for the views.
A trip to Pailinuro about 90 minutes away to another beautiful sandy beach, very popular and wonderful beachside tavernas for pizza!
You can get married here!! I know the best wedding planner here and there are a variety of places to get married, the beach, a palace tower and then party the night away!
Just ask for details and we can chat!
A picture of a quaint authentic Italian seaside town, Santa Maria, or twinkle town as I later learnt its affectionate name, tugged at my travel-prone heartstrings. Booked a holiday here…and then just a short while later The Secret Retreat workshop was launched. I had to go, simply could not miss this opportunity with 3 fabulous photographers I’ve admired for a while Claire Penn, Andrea Ellison and Lucy Woodrow in this special place. No lie it sold with an hour … …but yay I got a place!!
As we were flying in to Naples I took some shots of islands just offshore Naples, I knew it wasn’t Capri…. Mental note to google map later.
So there we were 30 girls all mixing well and having a great time in the sunshine, eating pizza, sunbathing by the pool, we had a party night with music, dancing and surprise fireworks…..oh yes and we did get t to shoot in two amazing palaces with real couples head over heels in love with each other and meet the Prince and Princess of Belmonte who were so hospitable to us. What more could we want!
Each day a leader set up a styled shoot and gave an informative talk and exercises to help with the business planning side of things, something for everyone whatever level. Even with many years’ experience but I craved new inspiration, new creativity and new guidance on branding and marketing, always developing.
I can honestly say I got all this out of it and so much more – really cannot thank ALL the girls enough for this experience. Valuable time was also spent networking and bouncing ideas off each other. Special thanks to Mandy the creative expert from Saddleworth Shindigs for all the goodies she used was in detail heaven! And to the florist and make up artist who did a fabulous work on our amazing couples Paul and Bev and Luigi and Antonia. Extra special thanks to Julie McKenzie and daughter Emily of My Secret Italy they really are the best wedding planners her and go the extra mile for you– can appreciate how much hard work goes into organising such an event, often having to make impromptu changes on the day.
Words are inadequate to fully sum up this amazing amazing experience, we all received motivational kick up the backsides and I know not only myself but everybody else will be buzzing from this magical workshop and putting things into practice for a good few months yet.
I dared to dream ….and my dream is coming true I will be back here in May 2016 for a wedding….and as for those islands I discovered it was Ischia and Procdia…places I wanted to visit on honeymoon 30 years ago …and now we are in less than 2 weeks time carrying on the love affair with Italy.
Santa Maria in the summer
Want to see more of this amazing workshop – then check out this amazing secret retreat 2015 video
captured by Laura Jane Dale Photogrpahy – huge thanks Laura, fabulous memories
We all need a break from our busy lives so we jumped at the chance of a week’s sunshine break in that flat period just after Christmas – its often when you can find some bargains – especially if you can travel mi-week. We found such a break on the Egyptian Red Sea at Taba Heights, some 20km from the Israel border. A purpose built resort – several large hotels in this place but it appears our chosen hotel the Sofitel has an excellent reputation.
The reputation is well deserved – we enjoyed a fabulous break, food good and for buffet food hot (often not the case). A different theme night each evening and if that was not enough there are 2 on-site a la carte restaurants..and if you want more you can dine around at the other Taba Heights Hotels in the scheme. Hotel was not full so plenty of room and very attentive staff on hand. Beautiful spa and gym complex on site plus there is a jogging track along the promenade so you can burn those calories off. Excellent pool scene – one pool heated in wintere, but we also found the sea warmer than the unheated pools.
The beach is a little rocky at the edge – so swim shoes are a good idea. There is a paved path that leads into the sea where you can wade out to the coral reef and see the amazing variety of fish, in addition the piers provide easy access to the sea via steps. For best snorkelling and variety of fish try the pier at the Hyatt Regency just 5 mins walk down the beach.
Snorkelling, scuba and Jeep safari tours are available. We just did the one long day trip to Petra by taking the high speed catamaran across to Aquaba in Jordan and then a two hour coach journey (after the necessary border paperwork) – no visa is required from Sinai region of Egypt. An expensive trip now the day tickets for entry to Petra and an extortionate £80 each…but its one of those places that’s on my bucket list!
So a holiday in that quiet period after Christmas and New Year makes for good deals here – especially travelling mid week too. Weather very pleasant, although does start to cool about 4pm at this time of year. We will certainly be back to the Red Sea area and would have no hesitation returning to the well manages Sofitel Taba Heights. if you are looking for a quiet winter wedding honeymoon destination this could tick some boxes too!
Emma and Steve’s destination wedding at the Blue Lagoon Resort took place the day before on the beach.
More goodness was to follow the next day.
A luxury yacht in Kos Marina to pose on
A trip out to idyllic Pserimos Island – so laid back and peaceful in October.
Perfect for a picnic and a swim.
Perfect for some day after Cherish the dress shots walking along the beach and trying out their Just Married flip flops.
Their escort back into Kos Marina as the sun was setting was another emotional moment – truly is a privilege to capture such moments.
Big thank you to Michael, the captain for arranging this, a spur of the moment thing meant so much to Steve and Emma.
Thank you so much Emma and Steve for taking us with you – can we do it all again!
Enjoy their highlights!
Steve and Emma said the best two things they did was to switch their wedding to the beach and bringing us out with them – how lovely was that!. Having us there gave them a lot of flexibility than a standard resort photographer. Also they were not limited to selecting a certain amount of images and could arrange their own choice of album at home.
We travel fairly often so if interested in a wedding abroad please get in touch for a no obligation quote for your destination wedding with Pixsmiths Creative Photography
Wow where to start! We love to travel so when we were given the opportunity to shoot Emma and Steve’s big fat Greek wedding it was too hard to resist – even though we already had a busy schedule that month with existing Pixsmiths brides and grooms. No regret though and we had a fantastic time.
Based at the Blue Lagoon Resort just outside of Kos Town on the Greek island of Kos it was 5 star all inclusive for our week’s stay ( we added on a few days of relaxation after)
From the moment we arrived we were welcomed with open arms and included in all their plans, being booked in at various restaurants, even changed our rooms to better ones for us – how kind was that!
We all got on so well and Steve and Emma being wedding photographers’s themselves (no pressure there then huh?) they had a good idea of what shots they wanted around the hotel complex and we added our own creativity too. We really appreciate all the time they gave us to capture memorable moments for them.
Options at the Blue Lagoon for weddings are varied – covered area in the grounds, a chapel, the beach. The town Hall legal bit has to be done too.
Emma and Steve originally opted for the Chapel but being near a road decided to switch to the beach – we were glad 🙂
Bridal preps, late afternoon ceremony and portrait shoot afterwards and then a break before an evening meal in the Greek restaurant – where we were told by bride and groom no photos, just enjoy the meal.just a pic or two of the cake at the end. The next days plan was ride out on a plush yacht to a nearby beautiful island with a beautiful sandy beach where they would get dressed again for a day after shoot – coming in part 2!
The theme colour was orange and had elements of starfish too – it worked so well in the bright light – great choice Emma!
Anyway enough rambling, on to what you really want to see the pictures of a beautiful beach wedding!
meanwhile the men were getting ready too
What to see what happened the next day?? Check out the yacht trip to Pserimos Island!