Best travel blog posts in April

holi-2013

Guess where this photo was taken…

By Kathryn Burrington

Some wonderful travel photography has caught my eye this last month from an energetic, multi-coloured Holi festival to a stunning sunrise over snow-covered mountains. I’ve also enjoyed reading about lovely but fairly familiar locations, in particular, Kyoto and Tuscany as well as places that have been completely off my radar as a potential travel destination, in this case Albania.

Nate Robert’s descriptive stories from travelling around the Balkans paint a mixed picture of natural beauty, neglected towns and of colourful local characters. “It was the first time tears had come to his eyes today, but it wouldn’t be the last … if I didn’t know him, my mind would have passed him off as an Albanian gangster. Under-stated dress, expensive watch, dark shades, superb beard. Not a high roller, but a class act all round. It took about twenty minutes of being with Petrit, to realise he’s a model citizen not only for his small village home of Tushemisht, Albania, but for the entire world.”

Find out more by reading Nate’s post Pogradec and Tushemisht, Albania: Forget the Dead Dog, This is Better. Follow Nate on Twitter @yomadic

HDR (high dynamic range) photography is not to everyone’s taste, partly because it is often over used and the results extreme. Like Marmite, people seem to love it or hate it. Travel photographer, Valerii Tkachenko, however, uses it to great effect with both colour and black and white images. Two fine examples posted in April are his Sunrise over La Clusaz, France and his Sunset over Rovinji, Croatia. Follow Valerii on Twitter @Valerii9116

More colourful images, this time of a Hindu festival (above) in James’ post Celebrating Holi Festival of Colours also grabbed my attention, however, it was the location of this event that is really surprising, the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple, in Spanish Fork, Utah, USA. James’ photography captures all the fun and enthusiasm of what looks like an amazing day. Follow James on Twitter @EscapingAbroad

When Debra’s post Sunday lunch at a Tuscan vineyard, began, “When most people think of Italy I’m sure one of the first things that comes to mind is a long table groaning with food under an ancient olive tree, or in a beautiful vineyard, with happy people eating and drinking into the late afternoon. This is just what we did on Sunday…and it was good,” I knew I was going to enjoy reading more.

Debra was visiting the vineyard Fattoria del Teso in Montecarlo, near Lucca, where some excellent wines are produced and the setting looks perfect from a traditional Italian feast. “The entire wall of the building is covered in wisteria. As you can imagine, the smell was divine … We had antipasti, ribs with olives grown on the property, sausages with white beans special to the area, new potatoes and porchetta.”

Laura and Cipri’s have recently spent three weeks exploring Japan and have had a string of good luck, frequently discovering the unexpected. As their time in Japan was running out they still hadn’t seen a bamboo forest so a last minute visit was a must. They explain “Just as we entered the bamboo forest in Arashiyama, we stumbled upon this intriguing festival. We especially liked the little girls dressed in kimonos.

“Their wigs both made them look extremely cute and reminded us of certain Japanese horror movies at the same time … And though after taking a zillion photos of the festivities we strolled under the tall bamboo trees holding hands for a while, it didn’t last long, as we felt an irresistible urge to go back and see more of the festival.” Visit Arashiyama’s Famous Bamboo Forest Reveals A Colorful Festival to see their beautiful photographs. Follow Laura and Cipri on Twitter @TraveloCafe

I’ll be on the look-out for more interesting or unusual travel blog posts throughout May. If you spot any captivating stories or stunning photographs from independent travel bloggers please do let me know by leaving a comment below or you can send me a tweet @travelwithkat

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