2013 Photo Contest

This was the third year of European Experiences photo contest; the contest was open to everyone who participated in our 2012 Experience trips to the Luberon, Chianti, and the Salzkammergut. Each person could enter one or two photos that best represented their personal experience during their week; they also provided a few sentences about each photo and why the experience was meaningful to them.

We received 38 entries from 21 people (about 24% of our 88 travelers), representing six of our eight 2012 trips. Every photo captured a special element of a European Experience week. Our judges all commented that their job was especially difficult this year.

Special thanks to this year’s judges: 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, now a second-year student at the University of Chicago.

The Chianti Experience and Ivan by JerelenCongratulations to Ivan Hollins (left) of Cobargo, New South Wales, Australia, this year’s grand prize winner! Ivan’s winning photo, from The Salzkammergut Experience, was taken on the foggy mountain above Hallstatt after our group’s visit to the salt mines.

Ivan and his wife Dawn joined us in Chianti and the Salzkammergut in 2012!  He’s now a two-time winner; one of his Luberon Experience photos was selected as a winner in last year’s contest. Ivan also films wonderful videos during his travels.

Ivan’s grand prize is a $500 credit on a future European Experiences trip, which he’ll apply towards the Cotswolds Experience week he and Dawn have already booked this summer.  (This great photo of Ivan in Tuscany was taken by Jerelen from North Carolina.)

Eight other photographs were selected for special recognition in this year’s contest. These photographers will each receive a $50 Amazon gift certificate. See all nine winning photos below, along with what each traveler had to say about that memorable experience. You can see all the entries here.

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

Grand Prize Winner

The Salzkammergut Experience – July 2012

(Ivan from New South Wales, Australia)

The Salzkammergut Experience by Ivan

We had finished our tour of the salt mine deep into the mountain above Hallstatt in the Austrian Alps. Our group was walking back to the funicular rail to descend to the lakeside town when I was enchanted by the scene before me. Dawn and Charley were ahead, dressed for the cool showery weather. High up in the mountains with the mist and diffused light I was able to capture the atmosphere of this magical place.

The Luberon Experience – May 2012

(Peter from Aberdeen, Scotland)

The Luberon Experience by Peter

Live the Dream! This old man from Bonnieux reminds me of what Provençal village life is all about. A leisurely morning stroll to the boulangerie. He’s probably contemplating his afternoon game of boules and his first pastis of the day! La vie est beatitude.

The Salzkammergut Experience – July 2012

(Beth from Illinois, USA)

The Salzkammergut Experience by Beth

High meadow hikers: The high meadow at Postalm is a wonderful place for a hike — fresh air and acres of green grass surrounded on every side by mountains. What a great way to work up an appetite for a hearty mountain lunch! I love the brightly colored backpacks and clothing contrasting with the grass and mountains in this photo and also love how you can see the top of the little church on the left.

The Luberon Experience – May 2012

(Joanne from Massachusetts, USA)

The Luberon Experience by Joanne

At Domaine Faverot, François and Sally set a beautiful table for us in their sun-dappled courtyard and filled it with delicious food and wine, wine, and more wine from their vineyard. The congenial hosts made this a memorable experience.

The Chianti Experience – June 2012

(Leslie from California, USA)

The Chianti Experience by Leslie

Upon arrival at the castle for an enchanting dinner and evening, the group was able to explore its backyard. The view was spectacular as one can see, and I was able to capture a wisping of clouds along with a lovely backdrop of vineyards and hills in the background. I want to jump in this picture every time I view it again.

The Salzkammergut Experience – July 2012

(Marguerite from Ohio, USA)

The Salzkammergut Experience by Marguerite

On the Zwölferhorn. I loved the way we were looking through the wildflowers down to St. Gilgen and the Wolfgangsee. It was a beautiful day, we had a good walk, wonderful vistas, lunch, and then a return to our village on the lake. Ahhh.

The Chianti Experience – June 2012

(Jerelen from North Carolina, USA)

The Chianti Experience by Jerelen

This picture brings back so many great memories. It was a wonderful day touring Vallone di Cecione, a small winery run by a hard-working young man named Francesco. We were treated to a fabulous home-cooked meal. Here is Francesco’s mother, coming down the hill from their 400 year old farmhouse with lunch. Thank you Kathy and Charley for arranging special days like this… we did not feel like tourists!

The Chianti Experience – June 2012

(Lindsay from California, USA)

The Chianti Experience by Lindsay

My sister and I agreed… the cooking class at Fagiolari was our favorite experience of The Chianti Experience. And making the pasta with Giulietta in her 600 year old Tuscan farmhouse—priceless! The photo shows our chef and hostess extraordinaire Guiletta making linguini with Lindy, who was also celebrating her 21st birthday that day. After making the pasta, we also made exquisite spinich ravioli, where we experimented with cute and different shapes. The evening was one we will never forget!

The Chianti Experience – June 2012

(Dale from Tennessee, USA)

The Chianti Experience by Dale

Sit and eat; enjoy the fabulous food and scenery; get to know the people who are sharing this experience with you. A much better approach than eating on the run or skipping lunch. Tuscany forces you to slow down and take it all in.

See all 38 photos entered in the contest: 2013 Photo Contest Slide Show.