Appalachian Music Celebrates Modern Culture, Immigrant Past

“To me the difference between a violin, and a fiddle, is that a violin never had a beer spilled on it… That is the difference.”

Will Fanning laughs at his joke as he rocks on his chair outside his home in Mingo, West Virginia. Fanning is a musician and hotel owner born in Ireland. But now he lives deep in the Appalachian Mountains of the United States.

“The Irish nearly every day have a song and play music,” said Fanning. “So that tradition is kind of bred into me. My family, every weekend we’d play music at the house.”

Like Fanning, many in the area continue the traditions from their families’ immigrant history including a kind of music called old-time.

Continue @ Voice of America

Photographer Johan Lolos captures Europe’s most beautiful mountains


Europe is home to some incredible landscapes — from the vast splendor of the Alps to the volcanic terrain of Iceland.

These spectacular destinations are just some of the highlights of Johan Lolos’ new book “Peaks of Europe” — a photographic essay documenting mountains across his home continent.

Belgium-born Lolos has traveled the world, but in 2017 he decided to work a little closer to home.

“After three years of intense travel, I just realized that maybe I should try and focus more on my own continent,” he tells CNN Travel. “Europe had a lot to offer, lots of varied landscapes.”

Continue @ CNN

Azerbaijan: What to see and do in the Land of Fire

Azerbaijan is the land of mountains and mud volcanoes, multiculturalism and mugham music.

Straddling East and West, it blends dramatic landscapes with a people and culture that reflect its fascinating location at the crossroads of Turkey, Russia and Iran.

Read @ CNN 

Day 2 – Alaska to New Jersey

May 10,  2017 – Our second day travelling, May 10, 2017, was the first full day we spent on the ferry.  Leaving Prince William Sound headed towards our first stop of Juneau meant we spent the day crossing the Gulf of Alaska.

I was a bit nervous ahead of time because on our way to Alaska, back in 2014, we hit rough seas for this portion of the trip.  We had seas of 16 to 18 feet and both my husband and I had to finally break down & take Dramamine.  Luckily this time i was relatively calm and sunny meaning I spent most of my time out on this deck area taking photographs.


Continue reading “Day 2 – Alaska to New Jersey”