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“Travel Photography Competition of the Year 2013” – Vote for me, please!

Dear friends,

If you have been around for a while you might have notice that despite my love for photography I do not usually enter photography contests, and there are strong reasons for this, that I will not dwell upon right now.

Last year, though, I submitted a photo to a competition on the “Hitch-hiker’s Handbook” blog and it was chosen photo of the week 29 in 2013.

Now the best photos of 2013 contests are running for the “Travel Photography Competition of the Year 2013” and my photo of Balea glacier lake is among the finalists, in such excellent photographic company that I can hardly express my happiness.

650_hitchhikershandbook@gmail_com_claudia_darkclauds_-_balea_glacier_lake_fagaras_mountains_romania

If you want to support me and my photo in the final stage of the contest you can do so by liking and sharing it either on facebook: HERE 

Or by voting on the blog: Blog Gallery  (you must enter your email, the captcha code and press send, then validate your vote from your email)

For more info on the competition you can check the organizers’ announcement right HERE.

For the full gallery of the runners up for the great prize check the complete Facebook gallery here. I would and will vote for all of them, they are such inspiring travel photos of amazing places.

Thank you very much for supporting me!

DarkClaudS

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2013 – What it felt like

2013 for me meant a Georgian spring, a Greek summer, a Lithuanian autumn and a Spanish winter all intertwined with local trips with my best friends, lazy weekends and time for reading, drinking tea and …being happy, I guess.

Obviously, work, although not mentioned above, represents over 70% of this time but I like to look at it as a distraction, more of a means to an end, the end being that of experiencing happiness by doing what I love the most.

Time has flown by and here I am, in a new year with its challenges, surprises and quite amazing adventures. Looking back I cannot believe that all the things I was waiting for are already memories and new plans and ideas have already made way and waited only for the countdown at the end of 2013 to become reality.

2013 was an amazing year but 2014 will be better for so many reasons, and plans, because of wonderful friends and because I have set my mind to dream big many  years ago and I am still doing it, year by year.

 One of the great experiences of 2013 is definitely the trip to Georgia, for its landscapes and the photos I love so much, but also because it was the fullest and most interesting trip in terms of culture, history and the number of places seen and truly experienced. ( for more info about my trips check my  travel page: DarkClaudS around the world – Travel stories )

 Another memorable experience of 2013 is Mark Knopfler concert, a dream come true.

 In terms of books, I enjoyed Robin Hobb’s Farseer Saga and still am, since I am a few pages away from the end of it but I try to delay the inevitable since it is so hard to say goodbye to Fitz the Fool and their “pack”. ( for my full reading list for 2013 you can check out my page: It’s all about books )

 If years and people would have soundtrack mine would be Guaranteed by Eddie Vedder, the song I have listened a million times this year.

My favorite photo from this year is something I thought about for a long time and decided that the one image that tells a story I’ve felt with all my heart is this one:

thinking water

The plans and dreams for 2014 are either too silly or too big to mention now, when they are far from being turned into reality. All I can say is that January will be setting a very high standard for the rest of the months. 🙂

Because such a post cannot end without a list of things to stard doing or to do better next year, my scrap list would be the following:

  • To make more time for friends and family
  • To read a lot more books
  • To make some photobooks about the previous trips
  • To go someplace ( mountain, new city, new country, new restaurant, a concert, a movie) at least once a month.
  • To climb the highest peak in Romania, Moldoveanu
  • To plan an extravagant and very crazy adventure for 2015(saving money for it, also) and more importantly, to convince some good friends to join me in it.

That’s it for 2013, it has been great and I loved it although it’s the year that made me so much older. The only regret I have is that I have neglected this place badly since it got a lot more public than I would have liked it to be, so next year I will do my best to ignore the nosy readers and get back to the ususal stories, photos and other stuff that used to make this blog feel like home, a part of my home to share with friends and family.

 

Apuseni 2013 – Cheile Rametului

A treia mea aventura in Apuseni a inceput cu un traseu inedit, pe care il ratasem in primele doua ture. Anul asta, dupa ce m-am chinuit sa includ in prea putine zile libere tot ce doream sa revad si sa le arat bunilor mei prieteni si mai nou, parteneri constanti de ture, am hotarat sa dedicam prima parte din zi faimoaselor chei ale Rametului.

 Pentru a castiga timp pretios la destinatie am hotarat sa plecam catre Apuseni de pe 14 august, imediat dupa serviciu. Traseul parcurs :

 Bucuresti – Pitesti – Rm Valcea – Sibiu – Alba Iulia – Teius – Geoagiu de Sus (374 Km parcursi in cam 6 ore)

 Daca porniti catre Cheile Rametului, Teius trebuie sa fie punctul de referinta. De acolo, chiar din centrul orasului porneste ( pe partea stanga cand vii dinspre Alba Iulia) drumul catre Manastirea Rameti si dupa ea, la vreo 4 Km se gaseste campingul in care am innoptat si noi.

 Pe la ora 23:00 am ajuns in camping putin socati de « chefurile » intalnite pe drum la o asemenea ora tarzie si pe un drum destul de prost si retras. Ce avea sa descoperim acolo intrecea, insa, orice imaginatie.

 Prima surpriza, cea neplacuta, consta in prezenta unei trupe de indivizi dotati cu un camion, stroboscop, boxe de discoteca si un izvor nesecat de manele care zguduiau muntele. Copacii din jur palpaiau in lumina stroboscopului, Guta urla din toti plamanii, iar eu, dupa o zi petrecuta la serviciu si dupa 6 ore de mers cu masina mai aveam putin si plangeam de nervi si oboseala.

 Surpriza placuta a urmat la scurt timp, cand ne-am intalnit, neplanificat si neimaginat, cu o familie de prieteni. Cu ajutorul lor, al focului de tabara si al unui bax de bere am supravietuit in cosmarul manelistic pana la 3 dimineata. Atunci am capitulat si am mers in cortul care vibra pe aceeasi melodie a lui Guta, repetata obsesiv. Intinsa in cort, cu capul in sacul de dormit si vreo doua tricouri puse peste urechi am realizat ca nu doar cortul vibra, ci si organele mele interne.

Am adormit inchipuindu-mi ca dorm pe boxe intr-o discoteca si intrebandu-ma daca asa arata iadul…

Campingul nemanelizat

Campingul nemanelizat, a doua zi

 A doua zi ar fi trebuit se ne trezim devreme, dar planul fusese deja spulberat de « prietenii » cu stroboscop asa ca ne-am trezit abia pe la ora 9 si am pornit fara prea mult entuziasm prin chei, care cu dureri de cap, care cu dureri de oase, care cu o senzatie de greata inexplicabila, avand in vedere ca mai aveam, totusi, 6 beri din baxul de 24 🙂

 De la camping, punctul terminus pentru masini, in nici 15 minute incep cheile, asa ca traseul este foarte accesibil din acest punct de vedere. Pe urma, lucrurile se schimba putin.

 Inca de la inceputul traseului am inteles de la o doamna care vine anual acolo ca am avut norocul de a prinde cheile intr-un an in care nivelul apei era extraordinar de scazut, asa ca puteau fi parcurse lejer si fara a intra in apa, dar apoi care ar fi fost farmecul ?

DSC_8996

Chiar si cu un nivel scazut al apei aceasta nu este limpede si adancimea maxima, testata de G, parea sa fi fost cam de 1m60.

 Partea de pana la portalul maiestuos de stanca este doar un preambul la ceea ce urmeaza, adevaratul traseu incepand abia cand descoperi lanturile agatate destul de sus pe stanca si trebuie sa iei marea decizie : te cateri pe lanturi si iti pui la incercare mobilitatea si forta in maini sau iti agati bocancii de rucsac, ridici pantalonii cat mai sus si te bagi la apa.

 De data asta, presupunand in mod eronat ca o sa reusesc sa trec prin apa fara ca aceasta sa imi ajunga mai sus de coapse am hotarat sa traiesc periculos si am ales varianta lejera si…uda.

 In scurt timp imi regretam decizia impreuna cu Robert  🙂

Rrrrrreeeceeeee...

Rrrrrreeeceeeee…

 Pe termen mediu apa deja ajunsese mai sus de brau asa ca tot ce puteam sa fac era sa rad, sa ridic rucsacul ca sa nu ia apa si sa profit de experienta inedita si foarte rece.

 Incep sa imi placa tot mai mult pesterile si cheile pe masura ce descopar in cate forme inedite si extraordinare de frumoase stie natura sa isi scrie povestea. Nicaieri nu te simti mai mic si mai umil in fata naturii decat intr-un loc modelat de milenii. Orice creatie umana, oricat de desavarsita, nu va fi decat o copie in fata maretiei creatiei naturii.

page Cheile Rametului

 Traseul prin chei e unul dintre cele mai spectaculoase din cele parcurse pana acum, in mare parte fiindca aici niciodata nu te departezi de firul apei. Cand o faci, este doar in altitudine, alegand sa strabati anumite portiuni pe lanturi, in rest mergi pe firul apei intr-un peisaj pe poveste.

page - Oameni

Nu pot compara cheile Rametului cu valea lui Stan fiindca aici am intrat la apa, pe cand acolo traseul este amenajat cu atatea scari si lanturi incat intalnirea cu apa este aproape imposibila, de multe ori privind cheile de pe scari aflate la inaltimi ametitoare.

 Prefer cheile Rametului fiindca aici esti in contact direct cu natura care pune la cale un spectacol pe cinste, cu atatea forme indelung slefuite, cu verdele crud al vegetatiei si cu albastrul nemarginit al cerului. Daca pleci destul de devreme pe traseu si esti intr-o zi lucratoare, ai norocul de a nu intalni si « natura umana » nu la fel de frumoasa, nici de civilizata sau delicata.

 Am parcurs cheile dus-intors de la camping in cam 3 ore, asta avand in vedere ca am fost primii pe traseu si nu am stat la coada  ca sa trecem pe lanturi si am avut-o cu noi si pe « latusta » de Mirunica care a vazut cheile de sus, din bratele sau de pe umerii nostri.

 Pe la pranz am revenit in camping, am strans corturile si am pornit la drum catre Rosia Montana unde ne-am pus cortul pe un deal si am petrecut o seara nu tocmai reusita la Fan Fest.

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 Au urmat alte cateva zile pline de trasee spectaculoase si pesteri minunate, asa ca povestea va continua.

 Albumul dedicat cheilor Rametului se gaseste la un clic distanta, chiar AICI.

Greece 2013 – Day Four

Meteora, Greece

Meteora, Greece

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