2012 Photo Contest

Our 2nd Annual Photo Contest was open to everyone who participated in one of our 2011 trips to the Luberon and Chianti. Each person could enter one or two photos that best represented their personal experience during their week. We also asked them to provide a few sentences about each photo and why the experience was meaningful to them.

We received 40 entries from 20 people (almost a third of our 62 travelers), representing all five of our 2011 trips. Every photo captured a special element of a European Experience week. Just like last year, our judges had a difficult job to select the best photos.

Special thanks to this year’s judges, all passionate European travelers: Pauline Kenny, founder of the Slow Travel website who now runs Slow Europe; Chris Coburn, a former Slow Travel moderator and the web designer for our websites; Bill Steiner, co-owner of Adventures in Italy and a fellow founder of the Slow Travel Tours group; and our daughter Kelly Wood, who has grown up with European Experiences and is now a first-year student at the University of Chicago.

Congratulations to Gloria Roy of Chattanooga, Tennessee, this year’s grand prize winner for her colorful photo of the village of Roussillon in Provence. Gloria and her husband Ross were part of our September 2011 Luberon Experience group, and their week with us was part of a long-awaited first trip to France. Gloria’s grand prize is a $500 credit on a future European Experiences trip.

Five other photographs were selected for special recogntion. These photographers will each receive a $50 Amazon gift certificate.

See the six winning photos below, along with what each traveler had to say about that memorable experience. You can see all 40 entries here.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s contest!

Grand Prize Winner

The Luberon Experience – September 2011

(Gloria from Tennessee, USA)

The guide books call Rousillon one of the “Plus Beaux Villages de France” and it is easy to see why. I was fascinated by the colors in this village – from the terracotta cliffs to the red, yellow, and brown colored houses. Many of the houses were adorned with blue or green shutters which added to their beauty. I loved this picture because of the diversity of color, the pretty flowers, the different stones, and the narrow street. This is how I had pictured France.

The Luberon Experience – May 2011

(Ivan from New South Wales, Australia)

We came from different places, different countries even, and were different ages, and yet we had become a cohesive group of happy adventurers. Here are some of our cheery band at Abbeye St. Hilaire, a beautiful privately-owned abbey outside the village of Lacoste. Rain had washed the ancient lichen covered stones and freshened the vegetation. The vineyards, misty in the distance, hold promise for the harvest for which this region is famous.

The Luberon Experience – June 2011

(Lynne from Connecticut, USA)

It was a beautiful summer day. We were hiking to Lacoste, tramping through cherry orchards. We took a turn and suddenly this picture was there. For me, it was the loveliest scene of the trip. The light was perfect. Monet, anyone?

The Chianti Experience – June 2011

(John from Victoria, Australia)

The cookery teacher, Stefania, seems to be having to restrain herself from leaping in and forming the ravioli correctly. But the students are having a good time, either working or admiring.

The Luberon Experience – May 2011

(Dawn from New South Wales, Australia)

After a morning at the market in the picturesque village of Gordes, where the women of our group had indulged in a scarf-buying frenzy, we stopped near Lioux for a picnic under mulberry trees. The food was, as always, plentiful and delicious and we grazed on ripe mulberries too, most tasting them for the first time. The women had a group photo taken modelling their new scarves and then their menfolk were encouraged to ham it up for the camera. This photo captures one moment of many which exemplified the good humor and camaraderie of Luberon Experience Number 21!

The Luberon Experience – June 2011

(Mary from Tennessee, USA)

There is beauty everywhere…including a sneak peek into the caretaker’s garden work area on our hike to Le Fort de Buoux. I love this picture because it conveys the natural ease of the gardener to not only produce beauty in her garden but also to provide a picturesque setting for her work table. The rock walls framing a collection of pots, watering cans, a gathering basket and bits of green poking out here and there—the colors and shapes are lovely and so French! (I dare not say what my potting bench area looks like…this spring I may be inspired to transform it with these memories in mind!)

See all 40 photos entered in the contest: 2012 Photo Contest Slide Show