Travel

Autumn Trip to New York City

25/11/2018

Hey, and happy Sunday!

Well, this was a break I was not intending to take, but first things first – I will try to update you on what happened in the past two weeks (and a bit, since I posted on 7th of November last time, oops!).

We (aka my husband and I) had a trip to New York city – and it was a much needed break! It probably looks that it’s all we do most of the time, because I love to share our travel moments on Instagram, but it’s not (yet 😀 – just throwing it out there, Universe – to travel and work as a photographer full time is my goal). So we had a week of an intense “go, go, go” style vacation, with lots of sightseeing and active days, and once we got home we got sick. Both of us! A nasty cold + bad cough (I haven’t coughed like this before in my life) all the way. “Keep calm, and take it slow” kind of week, which, I can see now, we needed. We are getting better – finally – and I can sit and prepare a blog post for you!

So… New York! The Big Apple. A city, that never sleeps! Should I go on? It is as exciting as it sounds! This wasn’t our first time there, but it was a very special one. Because, I always wanted to visit it in autumn and… I have won this trip! How crazy is that???

So here’s a little backstory for you: I decided to participate in a summer contest on Instagram, for Instax Norge, showing off my best summer moment, and well, they decided that the picture is worth it! I got the news a week before my 30 th birthday (which was in August), and to say that I was happy probably would be an understatement. I was ecstatic – I read the email several times, checked their page, asked G. to read the email for me –  I simply couldn’t believe it, haha. But it was true! What I got was a gift card for flights and a hotel (everything else was on us), and even though we travel a lot and you think this is normal for me, I appreciated this more than you can imagine.  So after doing all the official stuff, I had to choose a travel company to take care of my trip. I decided to go with TravelBird, because they had a few nice deals for New York trips, but little did I know that this will cause a lot of headache for me and the company (Instax Norge) that I got the gift from. Our first trip was cancelled, because TravelBird claimed they have issues with partners, and we had to choose something else with them. After organising the second trip (while stressing at work on how to plan travel days), I hoped everything will be ok, but then they went broke. A week and a half before our initial travel date. Not so fun, right? But in all this mess I got the help and support from Instax Norge, and I can’t stress enough how grateful I am for all their help and amazing customer service! They went above and beyond to make sure that my trip would happen (even though they probably did not have to), and I say the biggest THANK YOU! to their team.I should add, that our ”adventures” and luck on getting to New York weren’t  the best this time – we had some flight changes that added time to our travel day, and some other issues that occurred. Talk about a flight from Bergen to Amsterdam arriving late, where we had to catch our connecting flight to Minneapolis with only a couple of minutes to spare. We were running through the airport like two working horses, gasping for air – and reaching the gates just moments before they were closed. Then the flight to Minneapolis (yup, our connection before going to New York), was one of the most turbulent ones I have ever experienced. And finally, the customs in the US took really long, keeping us worried if we will make our connecting flight (again!). We did make it, thankfully, and I just wanted to share this with you, because it’s not all fluffs and flowers most of the time. As everyone, we experience good and bad days, but it just teaches us something new every time, and makes appreciate things as they are.

I feel you know all the details now, so we can continue to our New York trip!

We arrived to the city very late, somewhat after midnight, collected our bags and called an Uber to get to our hotel. In other circumstances we would have used the subway as it is a pretty convenient (and cheap!) way to commute, but it was late, we were tired and I did not want to worry about our safety at night. After one of the most expensive taxi/Uber rides in my life (can you hear that ca-ching sound of 75$ going out of your account?), we were in our hotel! I was longing for a comfy bed and hotel pillows (I love to stack them!), a good shower and just some rest. I think I was out the minute I put my head on the pillow 😀

Because of the jet lag, we woke up pretty early and decided to go out and explore New York without a plan. Just do some walking, while enjoying the sunshine and experiencing  overall feeling of the city. We were staying in downtown Manhattan, very close to Wall street, so the first thing we visited was 9/11 memorial with One World Trade center right beside it. One of the most powerful monuments out there(IMHO), and one that still gives you mixed feelings – but definitely worth a visit!

After that we went for a stroll along the Hudson river – to the Battery Park. This is one of my favourite places in the city! Clean and beautiful area, with views to New Jersey and a Statue of Liberty in sight. As we were really early – around 9 AM on a Saturday morning, there weren’t that many people around, and I liked it a lot!

  The old and the new. This church and skyscrapers around it – what a view!

As we walked in “our” area a bit, we decided to go further – so we continued along the Broadway street and decided to visit neighbourhoods as we go. A snap from SoHo – I think it was an opening of a store, or something similar, and they had this balloon display outside, so of course I had to take a picture there! SoHo itself is very beautiful, and all those upscale boutiques attract lots of people. For us, it was only window shopping, but it was enough 😀

Ah, Washington Square Park – another one of my favorites! Those who saw the movie “August Rush”, will know what I am talking about. Lots of street artists like to perform there (and it is nice if you support them!), and it has a very good vibe after all. Nice to sit there with a cup of coffee, relax after some walking, and enjoy the atmosphere.

The picture below shows you one of the most Instagrammed streets in NYC- Stuyvesant St. We also noticed it while looking for places to visit – and were pleasantly surprised. It is also one of the oldest streets in New York, and I have to add that one of the hardest to spell and remember 😀

 

This townhouse in West Village was definitely my kind of townhouse. Can I please live here? Thank you very much. I also love how they put thought and effort in decorating their entrances! (I scrolled through images on Instagram for Halloween decorations – so this pumpkin display is nothing!)

 

Right about here, we had already made about 20 000 steps (or even a bit more),  but we were still going strong. We decided we will go to Central Park at this point, because we were full of energy and wanted to see as much as possible! So here are some snippets of Bryant Park, 5th Avenue, and the beautiful St. Patrick’s Cathedral! On 5th Avenue we finally experienced the crowds of people you expect to see in New York. You just have to be sure keep up with the pace! After some time we started doing as the locals – while waiting for traffic lights to turn green, we weren’t looking at the one that was in front of us, but rather the one that was on for ongoing traffic.

Bryant Park

St. Patrick’s Cathedral – I really like this kind of contrast! I think this is what makes the city special. One of the days we went inside – and it is as stunning  inside as it is outside.

Finally, we made it to Central Park. What a beauty it is! With such a big area, there’s a lot to see – and one of the days we spent most of our time there – but it was so nice to visit it on our first day as well. At the end of the day, we had 42 930 steps in our pockets – that is quite a number even for us! But we were very happy and full of good emotions!

Until next time, hope you enjoyed this little recap!

Love, V.

♥️

Photography Travel

We Were Counting Stars

07/11/2018

One of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life? The night sky over Uluru – I think it goes to the top of my list! This place is so remote and so far from all the  light pollution, that you will be able to see, literally – a sky full of stars.

I remember the first nights we were camping in our car – we could see star constellations so clearly, we were in awe! So when we came to Uluru, we also wanted to go stargazing. We could’ve done a tour (because there are many of them) – but we just wanted to have that moment for ourselves.

First evening we found a spot outside our camping place. We stopped on the side of the road and walked up a hill (leading our way with a flashlight,  because we were a bit afraid to meet some creatures out in the desert(em…snakes), but all we saw was a lizard and a mouse-phew :D). There were some more people on the hill, aka the night-sky-enthusiasts/stargazers-community :D, so we stood there and tried to capture the beauty of it. Let me explain a bit –  I am not that great in doing night photography, but I am happy we have some memories from there! It is a good feeling and also a bit strange, when you stand there with your head tilted back, eyes wide open,  trying to figure out what is going on there and where does it end… if it does. (?) Makes you wonder, right?

The second night we decided to go into the park, in one of the sunrise watching spots. We wanted to get a shot of Uluru with the Milky Way above it – I only have a picture of the Milky Way, which is the one you see below 😉 In this place we were completely alone – and as much as it seems romantic, I felt a bit uneasy, haha 😀 Giedrius, on the other hand, was very excited – he loved it there. But I heard the wild dogs (dingoes) barking somewhere a bit further and it is better to keep away from them, especially at night. Despite this, we managed to gaze upon the stars – and even if the pictures can’t show it properly – it was so beautiful!

I do like to think in these moments, that ”it’s all written in the stars”.

We ended our evening in the local pub in our resort/camping place – with some pizza (why does it taste so much better outside???), and some red wine – to toast the day, and it was the best! These are the moments I live for.

I think this will be the last post about Australia for now – I will do a little break, as some other posts are coming, but I will keep you updated. I found so much love for my blog again, and I want to do  some changes – but that is for the future. Talk to you soon!

Love, V.

♥️

 

Travel

Sunrise Magic

05/11/2018

Good morning, guys!

Today, more than ever, I miss this beautiful sunrise! I have always told you that I am up for some sunset chasing, but sunrises are also my “jam“, haha. And the ones we got to experience in Australia, were really special. While in Uluru, we had to wake up really early every morning (5:20 AM or so) to go to a sunrise spot  – and wait for this magic to happen 😉

By the way, the mornings are pretty chilly in the dessert, so be prepared for the occasion – I had a jacket, but somehow decided that shorts are enough to cover my legs. Well, it was not 😀

However, it was so beautiful that I didn’t even care if it was chilly or not. We were standing there, looking at Uluru, and waiting for the first rays of sun to come up – and as at sunset, it was also changing colours – but in a different order. At dawn, it is still pretty much grey-ish, but just wait for that sun to come through – the mountain comes to life – simply beautiful. You can see the transformation in the pictures down below!

 

We didn’t want to leave yet after the sun came up – we wanted to enjoy a bit more of  this crisp golden hour. We walked in the area, while sun rays were kissing our cheeks and enjoyed the calmness of the morning. As there were many people who came to see the view, not all of them stayed afterwards – so that was a big plus! Some quiet moments just for ourselves –  a great way to start the day. I always feel very happy and energetic if I get to experience this.

 

The perfect moment.  

Until next time!

Love, V.

♥️

Travel

Kata Tjuta and Hiking the Valley of the Winds

03/11/2018

Another great site to visit while you are in the Red Centre – is Kata Tjuta (also known as the Olgas). A group of large, ancient rock formations, about 30 kilometres away (roughly a 40 minute drive) west of Uluru, and is also a sacred place to Aboriginal people. The name Kata Tjuta translates into “many heads”, and it is no surprise as it is made up of 36 domes spread over an area of more than 20 kilometres!

Kata Tjuta is a sacred site for men in the Anangu Aboriginal culture(Anangu women do not go to Kata Tjuta)  and many of the legends surrounding this place are kept secret. This also spiked our interest, so we wanted to go there and do one of the allowed hikes that are open to public. The amazing rock formations can be seen from the side of the road as well, from is a viewing area on your way there.

Valley of the Winds Walk

As I mentioned, there are two walks that you can choose from – A Walpa Gorge walk, or the Valley of The Winds walk (which could also be done either as a full circle, or  only some parts of the walk). But I highly recommend doing the full circle – it is more demanding, but if you are prepared (early start, lots of water, a hat and a sunscreen), you should be ok. This is a great way to see the beauty of the region, and afterwards you will feel a big sense of accomplishment!

We arrived there at around 9 o’clock in the morning and it already felt warm (and there is a warning that if the temperatures exceed 36 degrees Celsius, the walk is closed after 11 AM just to be safe), but we also got to experience the true meaning of this valley! In some parts of it – mostly in the beginning – there were fierce gusts of wind, so getting too hot wasn’t a problem anymore. Keeping my hair in a proper condition, though – was 😀

So we did the full loop, with some stops along the path, mostly gazing at that read colour of the rock formations and the contrasting green trees and bushes. We also stopped at the Karu lookout for that insta shot – *worth it*!

    

I don’t think I have seen this much red colour in my life in nature – that’s where the name for Red Centre comes from, I guess!

A short stop for a photo and water break, and later on – down into the valley.

 

Almost done! See those thin lines on the mountain? It’s where the rain water flows, forming waterfalls – and it is said to be a spectacular sight. We didn’t manage to see this as the weather was sunny all the time. You know, I love my sun, so no complaints here 😉 But I would love to see mother nature doing all kinds of wonders in a place like this – so hopefully we will visit again one day!

Oh, and there’s Uluru, on our way back from Kata Tjuta…

Love, V.

♥️

Travel

Exploring Uluru – A 10km Walk in The Red Centre

02/11/2018

A trip to Uluru requires a bit more exploring – so I am happy we had two nights and two days planned there. As much as we enjoyed the sunsets and sunrises, we also wanted to be a bit more active – to do a hike or a walk of some kind. Good thing you can do just that at Uluru! It is known that you can still* climb this rock, but aboriginal traditional owners ask you not to do this as this place is sacred and of great importance to them. I always try to be respectful  when it comes to things like these, so I was very happy that the climb was closed due to high winds (…because I have an adventure junkie with me, who would have liked to see the views from above).

But we chose a second best option – to do a base walk around Uluru. It is nearly 10 km in total, and could be done in about 3,5 hours. Without being in a rush, stopping at points of interest and taking it easy – I think we did just that (or maybe a little less). It seemed much longer, though – because it was midday, with the sun high up in the sky, which made it a bit harder. So here’s a tip for you, guys – plan your trip accordingly – try to start a walk or a hike as early as possible (morning, preferably) and carry enough of water with you!

So we walked along the way, stopped at some points of interest – some of them asks you to not take any photographs (which I respected) – and basically soaked up the beauty of this place. It was demanding, but truly worth it. So if you are something like us – I think you would enjoy this experience also. After this, we were tired – but in a good way – and ready for another sunset session!

There’s a little bat hiding in the middle hole. Can you spot it? Oh hey there, little fella! Fun fact: Did you know that what we see today are just the tips of huge rock slabs that continue below the ground for up to six kilometers!**

I hope this will help you when deciding on what to do at Uluru – and you would take all aspects into consideration. Let’s be mindful travelers! This world has so much beauty to offer – we just have to be respectful about it.

(*In November 2017 the land-mark decision was made by the Traditional Owners of this land and the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Board to close the climb for good. Effective 26 October 2019, marking the 34th anniversary of the Uluru hand-back, the climb will be closed. https://www.ayersrockresort.com.au/ )

**Information from  https://northernterritory.com/

Love, V.

♥️

Travel

Off the Bucket List – the Beautiful Uluru!

31/10/2018

What keeps you going on these darker, colder autumn evenings? For me, it’s our amazing memories from all the travels that we had! And at the moment, I have some notifications popping up in my Facebook feed (oh, what a time to be alive, haha!) about our trip to Australia/around the world  last year. I started writing some posts back in March, but I had to hold back on that. As of now, I feel that I want to share everything – of course it takes some time to fully roll into this blogging life – and the first words are the hardest to write when you open a new “Post” page, but bare with me 😉

My last post about our Australian experience was about a hike to Kings Canyon – a place of interest just before you come to Uluru. The same morning, after doing the hike, we headed to – oh yes, you guessed it – the red centre, to see this beautiful, weird, massive monolith that attracts so many people from all over the world.

So this time, last year

…we were preparing to watch one of the most beautiful sunsets of our life. After securing a spot at a campground, we immediately went to  one of the viewing spots (I think we had a good 1,5 hours left until sunset – but there were people waiting already!). So we parked our car and joined the audience 🙂 Every moment was worth the wait. As the sun was setting down, the formation started changing colours – from burnt orange, to brownish ochre, to intense red  – a true feast for the eyes! And cameras, of course – we were snapping some pictures, I am not gonna lie, but we also had plenty of time to enjoy the view.

It is very difficult to express how I felt exactly in that moment – but I remember being very calm and happy – this was my serenity. My run away from everything – my place.

I can honestly say that this memory is imprinted into my mind for life – it happened a year ago – but I still see it in full colours. I think my better half agrees with me on this one 😉 Hopefully, you will agree with me too, after seeing these views…

How beautiful is this? Or maybe I am a sunset nerd, who knows 😀 I believe there are many of us, haha – we should definitely start a club, or something, so raise your hand, if you wanna join! #SunsetLovers

Talk to you very soon ;)*

p.s. have you been to Australia? Would you like to visit? Tell me everything – I want to know!

Love, V.

♥️

Life

Weekend in Pics

28/10/2018

And here we are – yet another Sunday evening. Is it just me, or the time is flying? It definitely looks like that 🙂 Anyway, we finally got to enjoy the real autumn weather – with all the crispiness in the air, lots of sunshine and leaves falling from trees (you know, the last ones, that were still hanging 😀 ). And what did we do? We went OUT of the house, of course.

Saturday was spent walking. Lots and lots of walking which I really love. Like 22 000 steps of walking! We were pooped out afterwards, but I am not complaining. It’s a good feeling to come back home after an active day outside, make yourself a nice dinner and have a glass of wine (or two). 😉 Oh, and cozy up with a blanket and some romantic comedy.

Today we decided to just drive around and visit other places – a bit further from home. It was like a little roundtrip and location hunting for photography – basically for fun, for ourselves – because I needed to take a mental break from everything else. When I think about the tasks that are still waiting for me and all the deadlines, I tend to overthink and eventually burn out. But as I mentioned in previous blogs, I am trying to let go of it and do other things that actually help.

We wanted to take pictures on Hardanger bridge, and maybe fly a drone there, but it was so windy and cold, that we were like ”eeem, nope”. Instead, we drove to Voss – a very cozy town, and just spent our time there. Walks, tea, and sunshine. I call it a success!

Night night, talk to ya next time ;)*

Forrest makes me calm.

Sunday shenanigans   

Love, V.

♥️

Travel

USA road trip with friends! – travel video

21/10/2018

Hey! I told you I like to write posts in the evening, haha. My weekend was very long and a bit tiring(work), but still – I wanted to post something today. There was a different blog post in plans, but it definitely can wait, because I have something special  – a travel video from our recent trip to USA (thanks to Martynas – one of our travel companions – for making it-it is his point of view, and all I can say is – we have to step up 😀 )! We went there in August and, well, we had a really good time. A freakin‘ good time! Road tripping along the coast of California, stuffing our faces with In-N-Out burgers, enjoying the views, exploring, waking up early (sorry, guys…but not really :D), hiking and much more… Did I mention we had a good time? But enough of me talking, just check out the video – I promise you, it is worth it 😉

Have a great Sunday evening, talk to you soon ✨

Our travel gang 👫👫: @martynasstonys, @bangabalnaite, @giedriusgedrimas, @viktorija.ge

Love, V.

♥️

Life

Life lately

19/10/2018

Good, late, evening, friends 😉

For the 3rd time probably, I am back. I feel the need to post here, and I really want to share so much, but at the same time I  feel some kind of creative block. And I try to avoid that, because it causes me to stress a lot (which, obviously, I don’t like). But at the moment I am working on my schedule on what and when to post – so fingers crossed it will go well.

To be honest, I have an excuse –  I am working full time now and running photography on the side, AND have the blog on my mind – so figuring out how to organise all that is my main task. The funniest thing is that I did a poll on my Instagram stories, asking people if they still read blogs, and the majority went for a BIG FAT NO 😄, but here I am – because I still believe in it! Also, yesterday I got one of the sweetest compliments – a friend of mine said that whenever she sees my travel photos, she wants to go and book plane tickets to a new destination immediately! If that is not a push to do something, then I don’t know what is.

So yeah, life lately…it’s been pretty busy, but I like it this way. I just need to work on my schedule so I have a decent work/life balance and don’t go completely crazy 😀

What has happened in these past months? I will give you a short overview since spring, because I haven’t posted anything significant until August since then.

MAY: We went to Bali, for the second time. It was such a nice and relaxing trip! Definitely one of those places where I feel completely ZEN, haha.

JUNE: I started working full time again, and we had some pretty epic weekend trips with friends in Norway. There is nothing like bright Norwegian summer nights!

JULY: Some more camping trips – with friends, and only two of us – as we were having one of the best summers so far. But the autumn sucks big time, haha 😀 Oh, we also went to Lithuania – to visit Giedrius side of the family, and to celebrate Sea Festival, which is held every year in our hometown Klaipeda.

AUGUST: Do I need to say more? It is my favourite month, without a doubt. My husband and I celebrated our 5th year anniversary – boy do we like to annoy each other, or as he says – make our life more interesting :D. Also, I turned 30(!!!). It is still so strange to write this, but I am embracing it like never before. p.s. as it turns out – it is not that bad! We also went to USA(for the 5th time!) with our friends – and it was one of the best trips. I guess they were pretty tired after all the sightseeing and waking up early, but I am not even sorry about this 😀

SEPTEMBER: Reality and work took over, and Bergen hit the record again(regarding weather, of course) – it rained the most since 1986 – 480mm to be precise. In one month. But I also got to photograph my first proper wedding – and I see it as a highlight of the month!

And here we are, in OCTOBER: more work, a little less rain, and a little bit tired. But all in all – very good. Oh, and I shared a post on Instagram which is very close to my heart and it is regarding a person’s wellbeing. Maybe I will be brave enough to do a similar post on the blog, we’ll see 😉

So here you go, some updates from my side – but how have you been doing?

That one time (yesterday :D), I went to the city…

 

And that other time when we actually got some sun 😉 We went for a sunset walk, of course!

Love, V.

♥️

#gedrimaitravels Life

August is my favourite month

03/08/2018

Well, hello, guys! It’s been a while… ;))

I definitely missed this place, but I also needed some time away from it. Besides, summer was hitting us with full force this year (and I can’t complain!), so we appreciated  it a lot – there has been many weekends in tents, exploring beautiful Norway, and enjoying everything to the fullest 😉

Anyhow, I feel that I am ready to be back (helloooo thousands of photos…👀), so I will make at least a little schedule and will be  posting starting this weekend. Pinky promise 😉

I guess it’s the influence of my favourite month – August – since it’s my birthday soon, and also – my husband and I are celebrating 5 years of marriage today. Quite a milestone, right? ;))

Here’s a short caption from an Instagram post I made today:

“Sometimes the best memories are those straight out of the iPhone 🤙🏻 Hey hubby @giedriusgedrimas, I wanna say congrats to both of US – for these 5 years of marriage, and for 12 years of being together in total!! I mean…😱 It’s been a crazy, fun, memorable ride for sure up until now ♥️ Not the easiest one, but hey, all good things require dedication and some effort 😘 Let’s make a deal and do the same photo in 50 years,- I am really curious to see if them curls last😏, hehe 😜 Love ya!”

Thanks to everyone who’s still reading – it means a lot.

Ready to be back,

Love, V.

♥️