Innsbruck, Austria – One of the Most Naturally Beautiful Places I’ve Been

Hafelekar, Innsbruck, Austria

Readers always ask me where is my favorite travel destination, but the answer depends on what your looking for in a destination. I want different things at different times, but if you like winter sports and natural, alpine beauty, it would be difficult to top Innsbruck, Austria. Three times host to the Winter Olympics, Innsbruck has nine ski areas for alpine skiing, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing. Their winter sports menu also includes tobogganing, ice skating, alpine-style curling and even a ride in an Olympic bobsleigh. Today, I toured many of the ski areas as well as the city center and was left wide-eyed, mouth agape at every stop. Here are a few photos from my day.  Continue reading

“I Have Confidence in Me” that You’ll Enjoy The Sound of Music Tour

The Sound of Music Tour Locations

Today, I toured locations used during the filming of “The Sound of Music”. The story is based on real characters: the novice Maria, later to become Baroness von Trapp, and her children. It was Julie Andrew’s most successful role in the movie, “The Sound of Music”, for which she received the Golden Globe in 1966. The film won five Oscars and went around the world. Music fans fell in love with its songs and the picturesque scenery in Salzburg. The film locations at Nonnberg Convent, Leopoldskron Palace, the Mirabell gardens, and Hellbrunn Palace have not changed and still entice visitors to search for traces of the movie. Panorama Tours helped me, along with six others, relive the scenes from the movie at actual locations. Rather than telling you which locations were part of filming, I thought I’d test your knowledge. Do you recognize any of the photos as actual scenes from the film?  (Not all photos are from The Sound of Music locations.)

Even if you don’t like The Sound of Music, you’ll enjoy the tour of Salzburg.

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The Salzburg Hills are Alive

Salzburg, Austria

Have you ever arrived at a destination only to be so surprised by the majestic beauty that you’re at a loss for words? When I walked across the bridge into the heart of Salzburg, I was in shock. Hohensalzburg Fortress hung over the city and was an awakening of the senses. Powerful and grand from a distance, the Hohensalzburg Fortress is a real eye-catcher on the high baroque towers of the city. With bells literally ringing, I stared up at the fortress walls in awe. I had to go up!

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Best Viewing Spots in Vienna, Austria

View of Vienna from The Giant Ferris Wheel, Prater

Vienna is not a 3-day destination getaway. There is simply too much to enjoy and experience in Vienna to visit for only 3 days. A trip to Schönbrunn Palace, for example, would best be experienced over an entire day. The same can be said for the Prater Amusement Park. Then you still need to visit the opera, see the cathedrals, cruise the Danube, visit castles, museums, and market places, and attend Mozart concerts. How do you fit it all in? In order to get a better view of the city and its majestic size, I found two great viewing destinations: the Danube Tower and the Giant Ferris Wheel at Prater Amusement Park. From here, I gained perspective on the size and location of things in Vienna.  Continue reading

Vienna: A City of Goliath Proportions

Vienna from the House of the Sea

I never imaged that when I stepped into the streets in Vienna, I would be surrounded by such significant and grandiose buildings. Hofburg Palace, Vienna Opera House, and St. Stephan’s Cathedral create extraordinary viewpoints in Vienna, Austria and these are just a few among many. Vienna is a city of Goliath Proportions.  Continue reading

5 Best Tourist Sights in Old Town Riga, Latvia

Old Town, Riga, Latvia Top Sights

Today, I got lost in the labyrinth of narrow, cobblestone streets of Old Town Riga, Latvia. Luckily, I had a guide to lead the way when I got turned around. I can imagine, as a tourist without a local guide, it could be a bit frustrating visiting the town. With so many sightseeing opportunities and so many activities, it would be really difficult to choose only a few. After spending the entire day exploring the best that Old Town has to offer, I’ve chosen my top five tourist sights. Maybe you have additions to the list, but it’s a great starting point.  Continue reading

24 Hours of Flights & Layovers

Radisson Blu - Riga, Latvia

After 24 hours of flights and layovers, I’ve arrived in Riga, Latvia. My first stop is the Radisson Blue Elizabete Hotel and a bed near looked so good. Continue reading

A Photo Tour of Kona Kai Resort & Marina

Kona Kai Resort & Marina

Kona Kai is a San Diego Bay treasure, situated at the very tip of Shelter Island, offering captivating marina and bay views. Having recently undergone a $22 million refreshment, I wanted to check out what all the buzz was about at Kona Kai. The warm, alluring, tropical atmosphere is inviting and the casual island luxury creates the perfect, relaxing getaway. Are you in need of a vacation? Join me for a visual getaway.  Continue reading

Winter has Arrived in Banff, Alberta

Sunshine Village

Cold winter morning at Sunshine Village Ski Resort

Last week, I shared a few photos that I took while travelling around Banff National Park, Canada, and I am truly humbled by the number of wonderful comments that were submitted, so I decided to show you a few more.

Over the past week, Mother Nature decided to bless us with 30 inches of snow, which has everyone in town talking about one thing: skiing!

November is an exciting time of year for local residents of Banff. The hustle and bustle of the summer tourism season has come and gone, traffic and parking are easy to find. The local ski resorts start teasing us with photos and potential start dates for the upcoming ski season. A fresh crop of Aussies are running around town in their “jumpers” looking to get all the necessary gear that is required for an extended ski holiday in Canada. It truly is an exciting time of year!

It’s at this time of year that I look through old ski and snowboard photos and get myself psyched up for the coming season. Here are a few that I hope you will enjoy seeing as much as I did taking them.

Kevin Carter
Bucket List Publications Contributor
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Top 10 Favorite Travel Photos from 2013 – #5

10 countries and countless cities made it on my 2013 Bucket List. France, Dominican Republic, Bermuda, Jordan, Aruba, Curacao, Canada, USA, Mexico, and Fiji were all part of my whirlwind of adventures and new experiences. I never envisioned such an amazing year of opportunity; my life continues to be a dream come true. I am blessed. Some people create a bucket list because they are dying; I created one because I want to live.

Here are my top ten favorite travel photos from 2013.

Number 5 – Children Jumping from a Pier in Curacao

Children Jumping in Curacao

Imagine an island where hidden coves reveal an emerald-blue sea. Where arcs of golden sand stretch out beneath vibrant, multicolored sunsets. Where a rich historical heritage meets Caribbean vitality. Where the only thing you need to worry about is deciding how to spend your next day in paradise. Where children throw caution to the wind and jump from piers into the refreshing ocean. Imagine Curaçao: the best-kept secret in the Caribbean.

When you travel, do you let your inner-child run free?