Kirsten Alana • Photographer

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana

Pro Photographer usually found in Europe or #CaliforniaWild if not at home in NYC w/ @dante.vincent • inquiries: kirsten@godandbeauty.com
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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The day I woke up in Linz, Austria on my hosted river cruise with @vikingcruises, was a fun surprise! I tend toward liking to be caught off guard when I travel, doing less research than other photographers, letting the place inspire me & dictate my vision rather than the other way around. I knew we’d be driving through the snow-covered Austrian mountains to cross the border into the Czech Republic but I didn’t know a magical town full of storybook moments was waiting on the other side of the bus ride! No one photo can capture the complexity of this place which was designated @unesco WorldHeritage in 1992. I had to share a set! (Do you mind when I do this? Prefer I’d simply break the photos out into multiple posts with single photos?) Since I couldn’t get enough of the angles and places to capture, I lost track of our guides and only caught part of the history but I did manage to catch that Český Krumlov is in the South Bohemia region. The Vltava River bisects the town which is dominated by its 13th-century castle sitting above on a sort of bluff. Gothic, Renaissance and baroque elements are all found in the castle and in the town. The castle has a 27 acre garden and an original 17th-century baroque theater with stringed puppets intact. I was enthralled with the panoramic views of the old town and river from the castle but eventually I made my way down and into the Old Town. There I found 📍Antique Starožitnosti, a sublime store that is a virtual time capsule of the best bits and bobs made before or during the 1930s in Europe. I also loved 📍Krumlov Anka, a store selling hats & caps from all eras, made in the country since 1799. And 📍Papa’s Living Restaurant is a cozy place with very friendly staff, tucked into a spot on the river where mum and I sipped pints of the local beer before diving into a delectable lunch. 🇨🇿 MyVikingStory ČeskýKrumlov CzechRepublic visitcz visitczechrepublic worldheritagesite sonya7rii sonyalpha

13 Hours ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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After stopping in Dürnstein with @vikingcruises, we got back on the Skadi & spent the bulk of the day slowly traversing the Wachau Valley. Having made some friends on board by this time, @paintthenight & I grabbed the bottle of @veuveclicquot that we had been saving in our room (one of my favorites and a sweet gift from Viking!) and proceeded to share it with our new friends as we listened to commentary from the ship’s Program Director about the towns which passed by outside the window. At one point the sun came out and brilliantly lit up the boat, shining in the champagne and making the whole world seem to sparkle. • I felt extraordinarily grateful, in that moment, to have been given an opportunity to be there and to have been able to bring my mother as a gift for her birthday. There’s so much pain in the world and some people can’t even afford greeting cards for one another but here I was taking my mother on a cruise that some people save up years for. Essentially because of my following online, I was hosted on a complimentary basis by @vikingcruises and I paid for my mother to accompany me but because Viking is gracious, they didn’t make specific requirements of how I post or what I post. I just had a comment from someone asking about disclosure and I just want to make it clear that I am never ever trying to deceive those of who you are so kind as to follow me. Disclosure can be a tricky thing though and how can any hashtag communicate accurately what I just shared with you? If you have ideas you’d like to see me implement, I’d love to hear them! And speaking of disclosure, the bag in this photo was a gift from @sezane but they too made no requirements of me so I am sharing because I do indeed love the bag. • MyVikingStory addict veuveclicquot sonya7rii

1 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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Following Vienna, our next major stop with @vikingcruises was the city of Linz. On the way, we visited the charming village of Dürnstein in the Wachau Valley. The picturesque valley is known for its wine and this particular part of it is also famed for apricots and products made from the fruit. The town is known as the ‘Pearl of the Wachau’ and though it only has < 1,000 residents now, it has a lot of history to discover. Richard the Lionheart was held captive here for a year by Duke Leopold V and it’s where confectioner/baker Rudolf Schmidl invented the Wachau Laberl in 1905. The crumbling Kuenringerburg Castle, which sits above the village on top of the hill, and the Baroque clock tour of the town’s monastery make the village easy to spot from the Danube River. There’s so much lovely detail to capture, there’s also a @relaischateaux property in town that I want to return to one day and quite a few wonderful boutiques. I spent the most amount of time visiting with Cathrin at Dürnsteindl who hand makes many of the items for sale in her shop. What she doesn’t make, her friends might. She also sells apricot liquor made by her brother in law as well as Riesling and Grüner Veltliner made by her father. In a town that features many stores selling made in chinese kitsch, catering to the hordes of summer tourists, Cathrin’s shop was a breath of fresh air that I recommend you not miss when you visit. Since we experienced Dürnstein in winter, it felt as if we had the town to ourselves and I added yet another part of Austria to my list of places I love in a country I much admire. 🇦🇹 MyVikingStoryVikingCruise Dürnsteinsonya7rii feelaustria visitaustria SonyAlpha

2 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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Even though our ‘Danube Waltz’ trip with @vikingcruises has not been about Christmas Markets specifically, no stop in any town for me was complete without visiting one because there are few things I love more than Christmas in Europe and in particular the holiday markets. Vienna nearly took the prize for my favorite just for the setting alone which I showed one perspective of in Stories already, now here is another. The Wiener Christkindlmarkt takes place in the Rathausplatz in front of the Rathaus, aka: Vienna’s Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus). From @viatortravel, I learned that the building “may pale in comparison to the dramatic neo-gothic towers of the modern City Hall, but the former administrative center is still a charming reminder of medieval Vienna. Although first built in the 13th century, the majority of the present-day building stems from its 18th-century baroque redesign, featuring details like the striking Renaissance portico and the monumental Andromeda Fountain by Georg Raphael Donners. The Old Town Hall housed the magistrate of Vienna until 1885, but today is home to the Museum of the Austrian Resistance Movement, a museum devoted to the Austrian resistance against the Nazis.“ This roots of this particular yuletide market go back to the late 18th century. It moved to its present location in 1975. Estimates place the number of visitors that attend it each year at over 3.5 million. In addition to the stunning location, I loved that this was a market which seemed to sell a fair amount of hand made, local goods instead of only those imported from and made in China as you find in all too many markets and tourists shops these days. 🇦🇹 MyVikingStory VikingCruises visitingvienna sonya7rii WienerChristkindlmarkt rathausplatzvienna viennaaustria SonyAlpha

3 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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From Bratislava we traveled with @vikingcruises to Vienna. If you followed my trip to Austria in August, you already know I love the country but this was a city I hadn’t yet visited. Not unlike Innsbruck & Salzburg, it was love at first sight for me. The architecture we saw was mostly a combination of Baroque and Rococo, some of it right next to recently discovered Roman ruins. So the city isn’t by any means a young one and that’s the kind I love the most. There we were, walking down the same streets Mozart once strolled, giving me the chills plus a sense of almost deja vu since that was similar to my experience in Salzburg this summer. The absolute highlight for me, was attending a performance of Mozart & Strauss which included my favorite song. It took place in an old palace that was privately rented out for our Viking group, something any guest can experience as an add on during the ‘Danube Waltz’ itinerary. There’s also the possibility of a visit with the Lippizaner Stallions, the Vienna Boys Choir, waltzing lessons, a Heurigen evening or an intimate tour of the Schonbrunn Palace. No city on our itinerary had as many options as Vienna, making it clear one day isn’t even close to enough. But it was just the right amount of time to make me swoon! 🇦🇹 MyVikingStory VikingCruises sonyalpha sonya7rii viennaaustria austria visitvienna

5 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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Our stop in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava, with @vikingcruises, only lasted a few hours but it was clear to me why people visit. There’s a definite charm to the city from which you can see both Hungary and Austria. In fact it is the only national capital that borders two other countries. We visited Bratislava Castle, which sits 300 feet above the Danube River, for the view out to those other countries as well as the chance to see the city laid out before us. Then we strolled by Baroque city palaces, ornate mansions and Art Nouveau landmarks before stopping to stroll through the various Christmas Markets in the city. I thought this square in particular was the most beautiful with the way the lights reflected on the cobblestones, still wet from that day’s rain. We also learned that gothic St. Martin’s Cathedral was the coronation church for more than 250 years. Eight Queens and eleven Hungarian Kings were crowned there. MyVikingStory VikingCruises SonyAlpha sonya7rii

7 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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From Budapest, our @vikingcruises ship sailed through the night and into the next day to visit the Slovakian capital of Bratislava. On the way, we passed through our first lock on the Danube that put us on a man-made canal which runs parallel to the Danube River in an area where the actual natural waterway is part of a National Park. With the big windows on board the Skadi, it felt as if we were living in a snow globe while eating lunch on the ship. Gratifyingly large flakes fell softly outside to merge with the water below us and birds were the only other lifeforms we saw through the drifting white, spots of gray and black riding on the invisible wind. Viking chefs seem to, based on my last cruise and this one, make soup really well. It’s always so good and it’s available for lunch and dinner almost every day. This makes me so happy because I dearly love eating soup when the weather is cold outside! There’s almost nothing better for me except perhaps a hot toddy. So it was that I sat here, savoring my bisque soup and trying to count each and every one of my blessings as a meditation toward happiness. I’ve befriended a fellow passenger who teaches meditation and while I’d love to learn more from her because she’s the most cheerful person I’ve met in a long time, it occurred to me that an easy way to “meditate” is to simply pause and count one’s blessings. There is always *at least* one. And that’s just a part of MyVikingStory from day two of our VikingCruise on the Danube River bound for Passau. shotoniphone

8 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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Even though we weren’t in Budapest for very long with @vikingcruises, as I said in my last photo, my mother and I fell in love with the city. So deeply in love in fact that as our ship Skadi left for Slovakia, passing under Margaret Bridge, we both felt slightly tearful. I think mum actually did cry! We were on the roof of the Skadi, with a Hungarian song playing over the loudspeakers, shots of a local liquor being passed around that tasted of cinnamon and warmed my throat. It might have been the reason for the water in my eyes. That or the emotion of the moment. I don’t know. If you visit the city, guides will talk a lot about the Hungarian Parliament Building on the Pest side of the river, that I’ve shown in the first photo, one of the largest and most ornate in the world. There’s so much pride in it, built as a result of a design competition, completed in 1904 and currently reigning as the largest building in the country if my research is correct. The Buda side of the river also features many buildings lit up at night so that the city seems to be gilded and floating on a sea of black onyx, rising magically from nowhere. I’ve included a few other photos in this set to show you more from Budapest, including one from the shoe memorial on the banks of the Danube that permanently remembers those who were shot during WWII only to be dumped into the river and forgotten. However they have not been forgotten, as the candles and other tokens of remembrance that can be seen amongst the shoes attests to. It proves that hate and violence may win small some battles but love will always win the real war in the end. 🇭🇺 MyVikingStory HelloHungary VisitBudapest VikingCruises

9 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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My mother and I arrived for our ‘Danube Waltz’ hosted @vikingcruises itinerary after dark in Budapest, following a delayed flight that left us with no time to explore the city on the first day and an unfortunate miscommunication over whose turn it was to set the alarm for the next morning, meant my mum and I didn’t get to see as much of Budapest as we hoped to. Nonetheless the dock that our ship Skadi was parked at, under the Chain Bridge, was so well located as to allow us to maximize what time we did have in Budapest to see a good bit of the Pest side of the city before joining an evening outing to the Buda side of the river to experience a local bath house. Almost immediately after stepping off the ship, we found this beautiful covered passageway near the Sofitel hotel and that was quickly followed by the discovery of a Christmas Market with so many hand made gifts, souvenirs and Christmas decor. We didn’t have as long as we’d hoped but we had more than enough time to fall in love with Budapest! Particularly because this passageway, and the city lit up at night, reminded me of my favorite city in Europe - Paris. 🇭🇺 MyVikingStory HelloHungary VisitBudapest

10 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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So funny to pack up & leave NYC for a week of visiting European Christmas Markets with @vikingcruises when it still looks like the middle of Fall in the City. Though I can’t say I was mad about it since if you’ve followed me for a while you know it’s one of my favorite seasons, if not the favorite. My mom came into town a few days before we flew out and she wanted to see all the touristy sights including one of my most beloved: @centralparknyc. She was as wowed by this view as I still am every time I visit this spot. In fact, she seemed to like it better than the Literary Walk or Bethesda Terrace. Close to the SE corner of Central Park, this spot is recognizable by a large outcropping of gray rock that’s easy to climb on top of. I don’t even know how many times I’ve stood here by myself, with friends, or with @dante.vincent but it’s the kind of place which always reminds me how special it is that I am able to call this city home. newyorkornowhere centralparkmoments centralparkviews autumninnewyork shotoniphone iloveny instagramnyc

12 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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Welcoming December by packing for my mother/daughter Viking River Cruise in Europe. Trying again to pack as light as possible by attempting a capsule wardrobe based on items I was recently gifted by @sezane (FAV brand!! Purse + sweater are still for sale online.) Like my trip to Scotland where I packed based on some items from Barbour, I hope to be able to fit everything I need in my @steamlineluggage Architect case. I just don’t know how everyone does packing light for cold weather trips though. Anyone have some tips?? It’s so funny to me that I’ve been traveling professionally for this long and I’m still a horrible packer 😂🤷🏼‍♀️ Meanwhile, I’m day dreaming of snow falling while we stroll around the festive Christmas Markets, a cup of mulled wine in hand...it still looks like Fall here in the city so my holiday spirit needs all the help it can get. sezaneparis sezaneaddict sezane inmysuitcase • And if you’re not yet subscribed to my newsletter, get on that via the link in my profile. I’ll be doing a giveaway for subscribers only this month. Details to go out tonight or tomorrow. So don’t miss out!

13 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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After our vacation in Scotland, I partnered with @lexususa to do another solo roadtrip. This time I tested the 2017 Lexus RX 350 AWD F Sport and while I know I shouldn’t play favorites, I think we did save the best for last! 😝😍 On the road it felt like a crossover vehicle because I was sitting up higher than in a sedan but it handled like a true sports car and yet had the room inside plus the storage in back of a family vehicle. I think I told @dante.vincent more than a few times that it’s what I want to buy if we get a car. Alas, we still live in NYC and I learned the hard way with my second loan from Lexus that parking in NYC isn’t something I can deal with!!! So that will have to happen if we ever move. Anyway, luckily, this experience involved wide open roads, picturesque private lanes, lots of Fall foliage and extensive playlists of my favorite music on @spotify which synced automatically to the vehicles sound system. What did we ever do in our cars before our phones were connected to them?! I have loved the hands-free features of each Lexus I’ve test driven this year and wouldn’t have it any other way now. These three experiences have been a wonderful throw back to the way I first started working in travel, driving! DriveLexus ad • But alas it’s time to board a plane yet again this week as my mum and I embark on a Christmas Markets trip to Europe...

14 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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I can’t believe it’s time to let go of Scotland, for now, but it is. My last latergram from vacation in October with @dante.vincent is from our last night in the country at @principaledings on George Street in Edinburgh. The stay was so kindly arranged for us by @visitscotland and I don’t want to say they saved the best for last because I don’t want to play favorites. Then again, Danté and I loved the hotel design by @goddardlittlefair so much that we even wanted to buy some of the furnishings to take home with us!! I couldn’t help but notice that my Architect case by @steamlineluggage looked right at home 😜😍 The staff were so wonderful to us during our stay, going out of their way to help us and even upgrading us to a Suite when there was a snafu at check in. We also enjoyed the chic yet cozy bar where a few rounds of whisky were consumed with a local friend over many stories of travel mishaps and best laid plans gone astray. Despite our trip not turning out in every way we dreamed, I wouldn’t change a thing. There are only two countries in the world that never let me down - and Scotland is one of them. I left a big piece of my heart there when we departed this time. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 ScotSpirit LoveScotland VisitScotland principalhoteledinburgh principalhotel hoteldesign interiorlovers

16 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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It’s funny how @Instagram has changed travel. When I visited Scotland for the very first time, this app was still new. The phenomenon of places becoming “instafamous” wasn’t even the seed of a thought in anyone’s mind yet. That first trip was for the purposes of enjoying Hogmanay in Edinburgh and so my experience was concentrated in or around the Royal Mile, Princes Street, the Gardens and Edinburgh Castle. Fast forward more than half a decade and you surely know how is now. So when @dante.vincent & I visited Scotland in October for vacation, we’d seen photos of this spot, Dean Village, more times than I can count. Though I’d never been, I felt as if I knew it yet since I didn’t, I was curious to check it out. I wondered if it was in fact as cool as everyone was claiming or if it was just simply as cool as all of Edinburgh is. For a city that’s not too large, it’s a true gem that hasn’t ever let me down. Dean Village was once just that, its own village, separate from the city. Now it’s absorbed into Edinburgh in terms of proximity though I’m not sure how it is legally. Mere minutes from the Castle and the Palace, it feels hours away. No longer a secret as the selfie sticks attested to. But still bucolic. Tranquil. It’s a place where the Water of Leith is heard echoing off ages old stone and flower boxes drip with vibrant blooms even in autumn. If you’re so inclined, you can even pick up the trail that follows the water for a total of 18 miles here in the village. Though sadly, Danté and I didn’t have time. As we walked up the hill back to our car, I wondered what part of the city might be “instafamous” by the next time we visit. And I wondered how the residents of this formerly quiet area feel about their newfound fame... 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 ScotSpirit LoveScotland VisitScotland HiddenScotland thisisedinburgh edinphoto sonya7rii sonyalpha

18 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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Though @dante.vincent & I only had one night in Glasgow, it was a really good one with a stay at @hotelduvin and dinner at @cailbruich arranged by @visitscotland. Hotel du Vin is located at One Devonshire, a tree-lined Victorian terrace in the West End of Glasgow. It encompasses five townhouses, now connected, that were built in 1886 and retain their original features such as oak-panelled walls, open fireplaces, sweeping staircases and multi-story stained glass windows. One such window was commissioned by Sir William Burrell who was a resident in 1896. I loved this sitting room closest to the Whisky Library as well as the free standing bath tub in our room which also had these same curved bay windows. The hotel had one of the best porridge breakfasts we had while in Scotland and now that the nights and mornings have turned cold at home in NYC, I wish I could recreate that moment...or the moments spent cozy in a corner booth at Cail Bruich. If you’re passing through Glasgow over the course of an evening, don’t miss the chance to dine here, arriving hungry because the Chef’s menu is extensive, the cocktail list is divine and dessert might just outshine both. I also enjoyed the proximity of Cail Bruich to Hotel du Vin, just close enough to walk to (and on the same street!) but far enough that it was a good way to settle our stomachs for bed, walking home in a misty rain, that sparkled in the streetlights and made the trees glow as if in a fairy land. Sometimes, only one night is needed to fall in love with a place! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 ScotSpirit GlasgowLife hotelduvinglasgow cailbruich lovescotland nextstopglasgow

19 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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Today in the USA is a day where we traditionally give thanks and while I have much to be thankful for this year, above all, I am thankful for you who are reading this. As a full time working photographer, @instagram is only a part of what I do each day but it has become a bigger part of my job than I ever anticipated. It is one that wouldn’t exist at all without all of you who follow me because it’s all of who who cause people to want to work with me to bring content to this platform that I hope you relish, enjoy and look forward to. Thank you for being here! • Will you share something that you are thankful for today?

21 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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I wanted to return to my recent trip to Scotland with @dante.vincent to talk more about Glasgow. In all my visits to the country, I’d never been. This was Danté’s first time as well. And now that we have been, we both want to visit for longer than one night! Still we made the most of our short time, starting here at @glasgowkelvingrove which was recommended to us by @visitscotland. We are so glad they did suggest it because Danté & I love architecture. Kelvingrove fed that need in spades with its interior halls and its exterior. See @dante.vincent’s feed for a shot of the gorgeous exterior. Inside there are 22 themed galleries that showcase more than 8000 objects from Scotland’s history and from other countries around the world. I particularly enjoyed the Tartan room where we saw a demonstration of how to wrap & then wear a traditional Kilt that was one piece of unaltered wool, held on with only a belt. (Just like you see Jamie and the other Highlanders wear in @outlander_starz!) Yet it was this room with its near-perfect symmetry and the plane hanging in the middle that I lingered in for the longest. The AVgeek in me thrilled at the plane and the @sonyalpha a7R II that I’d only just bought a few days before was itching to be put through its paces. Thank goodness for that full frame as capturing this space just wouldn’t have been the same with a cropped sensor. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 ScotSpirit glasgowlife kelvingrovemuseum architecture_hunter sonya7rii LoveScotland nextstopglasgow

22 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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Congrats to @_brynnelizabeth_ • I am so excited to have a GIFT FOR YOU AND ALL YOUR FRIENDS, OPEN WORLDWIDE! I've partnered up with a few of my friends from @gnbinfluence to gift one lucky follower a brand new @audioprosound speaker system! This is one of my favorite things right now because of its stellar sound, chic style & the fact that I think it looks like it is always smiling at me. Just a little extra cheer hanging around, making the long winter days more delightful! • The recipient will receive: one T3 speaker, one C5 speaker and one Audio Pro Link. • To Participate:
- FOLLOW ME
- LIKE this post
- GO TO @tess_and_sarah & repeat the steps
- REPEAT the same steps on all accounts, and leave a COMMENT when you're done. • If you want a DOUBLE chance at winning, TAG some real friends who would actually like this giveaway in the comments below, and LIKE my last 3 pics! • This will run from today, November 21 to November 24 at 11pm EST. The recipient will be selected at random, and announced by an update to this post. We will verify that everyone who entered followed every step correctly! Remember, for once this is OPEN WORLDWIDE! This is not affiliated with Instagram and Instagram is not a sponsor of this in any way, by entering you release Instagram and all sponsors from liability.

23 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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I’m happy to partner with @VisitMexico to share this opportunity for YOU to win a trip back there because I’ve been to Mexico many times and I think it’s a wonderful country to visit for culture, gastronomy and history. To enter: Just post or repost your best shots from prior trips to Mexico, tagging them with both MexicoLove and Contest to enter for a chance to win a trip to Los Cabos or Puerto Vallarta. I’ve been to both destinations and have made some great memories in each. This photo depicts the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe from Plaza Principal in the old town of Puerto Vallarta, an area with sublime shopping. The day I visited there was also a temporary food market where I was able to buy delicacies from local vendors that made my mouth water for more. It felt like a great place to start with, in order to better understand the gastronomy of the city and of this area in Jalisco, Mexico. • is open to US residents only; 21+ yrs of age. period ends 11/30. Click link in @VisitMexico’s bio for official rules and full details. 🇲🇽

24 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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Ok last tip for the Highlands of Scotland from our recent trip for now, though I can’t promise I won’t share more later as Scotland and France are two countries I always come back to when latergrams are a consideration 😝😍 We found this lovely little cottage coffee and gift shop not far from Newtonmore and Laggan and while it’s not well marked with more than a sign for coffee, I believe it’s called the Kiln Room Coffee Shop. Since @dante.vincent & I were in need of coffee in order to continue our Highland explorations, that sign alone was enough. And the coffee was more than worth the stop. We also found a lovely gift shop with local pottery, knit items, quirky gifts, soaps and stationery. Such a delight of a diversion! We had a lovely time chatting with the owner too. Like almost all Scots, she was friendly, quick with a story and kind with her words. Next up: one night in Edinburgh and, finally, my first ever visit to Glasgow!! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 ScotSpirit LoveScotland

25 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


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If you talk to anyone who has traveled with me, they’ll tell you I’m a chronic over-packer. ☹️ But I’m trying to be better!! 😊 So for this trip to Scotland, when @barbour gifted me a jacket and two jumpers (aka sweaters), I decided to build a capsule wardrobe around those items to see if I could truly pack light. Short story: I still need to work on this. 😂 But if only I’d known before we left how perfect and comfortable this exact outfit was for exploring Scotland in October, I might have been able to truly stick to one small bag only. So, a note for those of you planning Autumn trips to Scotland, this outfit consisting of: the Barbour jacket + jumper, a pair of insulated or lined pants such as my old @kerritseq & completely waterproof/weather-proof high boots such as my well worn @hunterboots wellies - works like a charm. I basically lived in this every day and never wanted for anything else save perhaps a scarf or hat. • What are some of your favorite brands for trips like this? 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 ScotSpirit travelfashion BarbourWayOfLife LoveScotland scottishhighlands sonyalpha Thank you for snapping this photo of me in action @dante.vincent 🙏🏼😘

26 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


Comment from Kirsten Alana • Photographer:


When the time came to check out of @inverlochycastlehotel and head back down to the city, @dante.vincent and I both had heavy hearts. Leaving the Highlands is always hard for us because we love Scotland so much and in particular the wild, windswept landscapes that characterize the area. In fact, we both hope to call Scotland home one day and if we had to pick a place now, it would surely be somewhere in the Highlands. (Don’t tell him I also plan to have a little cottage in France. The two countries are the two halves of me!) Anyway, we took our time, and lingered around Loch Laggan. That’s where we spotted this gorgeous estate through the last of the Autumn leaves clinging to the twisted trees that line the shore. Danté had rented the Sony 70-200 mm f/2.8 lens from @borrowlenses so we had no trouble capturing this scene. With just my 24-70, I couldn’t have gotten close enough. The land Ardverikie Estate sits on is steeped in history, going back to the beginning of recorded time in . Primarily it has been private, used for sporting and once hosted Queen Victoria. It also was featured in the television series ‘Monarch of the Glen’ in which it was known as Glen Bogle Castle. Ardverikie Estate is now owned and run by descendants of its original founder. They offer holiday cottages, wedding venues, options for sporting and still lease parts of the property and estate for filming. In a country with no shortage of stunning estates and castles, I think this stands out as one of the loveliest. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 ScotSpirit LoveScotland VisitScotland ardverikieestate scottishhighlands lochlaggan sonya7rii sonyalpha ShotwithBL bokehlicious

27 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


Comment from Kirsten Alana • Photographer:


Thank you @glenmorangiecom for this moment of zen. ad I’m getting rey for a night out while enjoying a dram of Glenmorangie Lasanta, extra-matured in Spanish Oloroso Sherry casks. Feel the whisky’s tastes online through The Distillery’s three new sensorial films which I enjoyed because they helped me feel the whisky’s tastes in a new and innovative way. Follow the link in my profile to see what I mean. 🥃 Sláinte! (Which is pronounced “slawnt - cha.”) Glenmorangie ASMR drinkresponsibly asmrglenmorangie

28 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


Comment from Kirsten Alana • Photographer:


One of the properties that @visitscotland so kindly arranged for @dante.vincent & I to review during our trip was @inverlochycastlehotel. Renown as one of the best castle hotels in all of Scotland, a member of @relaischateaux and a true “step back in time,” it was a treat to be sure. But I had to almost laugh when, after being left alone to settle in to our elegant room before dinner, we opened the windows to see the most glorious sky and sunset of our entire trip to Scotland. It was as if I could hear Mother Nature audibly wanting to compete with our stunning man made surroundings, to remind us that nothing outshines the natural world. Or perhaps it was because we’d had a string of gray days, rain and a lack of sunshine leading up to this moment, so we were simply unprepared for the scene before us. Who knows. What I do believe is that this is a scene I won’t ever forget. I thought the clouds looked positively fake, a painted set from a movie or a theater backdrop. I wish we’d had time to walk to the Loch on the hotel’s property, stopping to say hello to the resident coos or just relishing in the vibrancy of all the shades of green. But dinner is a serious affair at Inverlochy Castle Hotel, where men must wear dinner jackets and I needed more time than normal to get ready after all day mucking about in the woods. We only had one night at the Castle and I was determined to make the most of it. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 ScotSpirit LoveScotland VisitScotland inverlochycastlehotel sonya7rii sonyalpha alphacollective sunsetsky

29 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


Comment from Kirsten Alana • Photographer:


More Scotland photos to come, also thinking of France on this most horrid of anniversaries... 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇫🇷 But I’m glad to announce a partnership between two of my favorite brands. Voluntarily btw, I’m not being paid to share this. It’s the launch of ‘The Hudson’ camera / laptop bag by @onabags & @zioandsons. The Hudson was inspired by @thisoldhudson, which I visited last week with a group of creatives from New York City. We all met up at the lovely @wmfarmerandsons before shopping for French antiques at @redchair_hudson and noshing on the most delectable pizza + Italian wine at @oakpizzanapoletana. Having followed Anthony online for what feels like forever, I was thrilled to find out he and his recommendations for the town of Hudson are as awesome as it seems they would be online. And This Old Hudson, which is his vision for a modern guesthouse in Hudson, lives up to the hype. I’ve been using ONA bags for many years now so it was also no surprise to find out that The Hudson is a bag in line with all their others. It is expertly crafted, beautifully designed and thoughtful in detail. I can’t wait to carry mine around the city and when I travel. I’ll be sharing a link to the bag in Stories, in my profile and on the blog. See more at ONAxZIO • Oh and this year, $10 from every bag purchased on the @onabags website supports grants for emerging storytellers through their Storytelling Fund. I love that! • whereONAgoes hudsonny thisoldhudson zioandsons

31 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


Comment from Kirsten Alana • Photographer:


Check out @dante.vincent’s feed to see a drone shot from this spot: Old Inverlochy Castle. Though our trip to Scotland was mostly a vacation, @VisitScotland assisted with a few aspects of the itinerary. They made the suggestion to stop here, while we were in Fort William, before staying overnight at Inverlochy Castle Hotel. I’m so glad they did! The trees around the castle were colored in the full spectrum of Autumn and the sun even came out for a few minutes while we explored. It was built between 1270-1280 by John “the Black” Comyn right on the banks of River Lochy. At one time it had a moat and was one of the most important castles in Scottish history, the backdrop for two major historical events; the first and second battles of Inverlochy. Old Inverlochy Castle is now in ruin, but it’s incredible to think about how it has remained almost unaltered since it was built. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Oh and for all my fellow Outlander fans, the “Fort” in Fort William fell into disuse by the mid 1860’s. That was when the railway came, cutting though the land on which the Fort was built along Loch Linnhe. So no, you can’t visit that. But this is, I suppose, as close as you might get in this area. It sure did remind me of sets from the show. 😉😊 ScotSpirit LoveScotland OldInverlochyCastle FortWilliam SonyAlpha sonya7rii

32 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


Comment from Kirsten Alana • Photographer:


Thank you @glenmorangiecom for this moment of zen. ad This is Glenmorangie Original which I am enjoying curled up at home while watching my current favorite TV show. Feel the whisky’s tastes online through The Distillery’s three new sensorial films which I enjoyed because they helped me feel the whisky’s tastes in a new and innovative way. Follow the link in my profile to see what I mean. 🥃 Sláinte! (Which is pronounced “slawnt - cha.”) Glenmorangie ASMR drinkresponsibly asmrglenmorangie

33 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


Comment from Kirsten Alana • Photographer:


The enormity of The Three Sisters in Glen Coe is difficult to capture in picture form. It requires a full frame camera like my Sony a7R II and a wide lens, or the capture of a panorama image. I did capture a pano this time and I’ve shared it in my latest blog post, which you can find via the link in my profile. But this Photo essentially shows just one & a half of the “sisters.” To capture it, @dante.vincent & I crossed to the far side of the road from where the parking lots are, hiked up the side of the Glen till we couldn’t see people. And then we paused, to take it all in. I reveled in the quiet, in the enveloping feel of the moss and heather underneath me as I lay down to take this photo of Danté. As stunning as it all is, there’s a sorrow here too. One that I think should always be remembered. As best I can tell from research, the story is this: King William of England offered the Scottish Highland clans a pardon for their part in the Jacobite uprising of the 1680’s if they would swear an oath to him before December 31, 1691. Alasdair MacIain, Chief of Glen Coe and a MacDonald, tried to make the oath but was turned away and sent to a different location. By the time he made it, the date was 6 January 1692. So on the 2nd of February, 120 soldiers arrived in Glen Coe under the command of Robert Campbell. As was customary in the Highlands, they were given hospitality by the MacDonalds and for the next 10 days & nights the troops were given food, drink and lodgings. On the morning of the 12th, Campbell & his men fell upon the "rebels,” killing all under the age of 70. They succeeded in murdering MacIain, his wife plus 40 more. Many others died because of the weather, while trying to escape. It is said that the MacDonalds were murdered to make an example to other clans and that the order was signed by King William himself. What would Scotland would be like today if they’d been successful in any of the Jacobite uprisings that took place during the 17th & 18th centuries... 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 ScotSpirit LoveScotland SonyAlpha

34 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


Comment from Kirsten Alana • Photographer:


When it first became apparent that our plans to visit the Isle of Skye were going to fall through...I was definitely sad. If I’d known then that we’d end up staying at @glencoehouse that night, I don’t think I’d have cared in the least about the mistake @dante.vincent made with directions. Our stay was the biggest and most pleasant surprise of the trip. In fact we loved Glencoe House so much, we are already planning to return and stay there again during a future trip to Scotland. One in which we will also plan more carefully for Skye since that is huge on our list of places we want to properly explore, not rush through! I can’t thank Danté enough for treating us to this stay because I was in pretty poor health by this point in our trip but the honor bar in our room, the private jacuzzi tub, fireplace and in-room dining made me forget all my health woes. What’s a severe sore throat and chest pains when you have the choice of aforementioned private jacuzzi OR a claw foot soaking tub with a view. Why not both?! 😍 The service was also exemplary, the bed like a cloud straight from heaven and the view over the Village of Glencoe as well as its Loch: simply, sublime. Plus, my beloved @steamlineluggage case looked as if it was made for Glencoe House. I already can’t wait to return. I just hope James is still there wearing his kilt and welcoming us with a smile. He was the creme on the sticky toffee pudding of the whole experience. Reminded me of an older Jamie Fraser ala Outlander and as you know, I’m a huge fan of the books and the show... 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 ScotSpirit SteamlineLuggage LoveScotland GlencoeHouse glencoescotland luxuryhotels luxurytravel scotlandhotel

35 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


Comment from Kirsten Alana • Photographer:


I just did a Facebook Live last week with @vanguardworld about travel photography and one of the things I said is that I’m always trying to better my skills in portraying the full range of places I travel. Landscape photography is “easy” and popular to share, especially here on Instagram, but it doesn’t communicate the full depth and range of places on its own. Without the people, the animals, the food & the details of a country, you miss out on so much of the story. For a place like Scotland especially. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Sure the landscapes in are STUNNING. But in Glen Etive for example, it’s not just the scenery that draws me. It’s also the wild Scottish red deer that graze in the Glen, as far as I know, all year long. We visited during what I think is the height of the rutting season in . This is when the large dominant red deer stags compete against each other for mating rights. I’m told they can be heard roaring and bellowing in an attempt to attract the female deer. The rut will draw to a close soon and then the stags will spend the winter feeding to regain strength for the following season. There were so many of them during our trip that at times we had to stop the car and simply watch, waiting for them to move. That’s when the females were so friendly they came right up to @dante.vincent, unbidden, trying to steal his midday snack right out of his hand, which I thought was adorable! (And yet also conflicting given I don’t think feeding wild animals is kosher.) But this Stag was all by himself further down the Glen toward the end of the road and we watched him for a long time, never going close, not bothering him, only observing. 🦌 Shot at 70mm f/2.8 on my @sonyalpha a7R II. ScotSpirit LoveScotland GlenEtive SonyAlpha sonya7rii VisitScotland glenetivedeer

36 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


Comment from Kirsten Alana • Photographer:


I’m having a problem. Wherein I’m paralyzed with indecision about what photos to post from our Scotland trip. I’m my own worst enemy where my photos are concerned and so I normally don’t like most of what I capture, or I immediately think I could have done so much better. This time I’m caught between that state and one in which I think so many good photos came out of this trip, that I can’t possibly narrow it down to choose what to share and what not to 🙆🏼🤷🏼‍♀️ But post I must! So here’s a photo from Glen Etive that I captured on a timer with my @vanguardworld VEO tripod and my @sonyalpha a7R II. I’m calling this the Fairie Glen even though I’m not actually sure it has a name. It just immediately struck me as a place of magic and mystery, which often in Scottish history was associated with fairies. This spot is in fact nearly invisible from the road that took us through Glen Etive but when I climbed the ladder that took me over the fence to descend downhill and out of sight of @dante.vincent who stayed in the car - I immediately felt as if I’d left Scotland and entered an alternate universe. One in which the trees looked like something from Japan, the rocks from the river I learned to swim in as a child in Vermont and the moss from a forest in the Pacific Northwest. All of those elements and yet it WAS still Scotland. I wish I could tell you more about how to find this spot. I wish it had a name. And yet, I don’t. If you can find it when you @visitscotland, you’ll have truly earned it. And an earned adventure is always better than one that’s clearly marked!! 😉🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 ScotSpirit sonya7rii vanguardworld lovescotland GlenEtive SonyAlpha OnlyWithVEO

37 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


Comment from Kirsten Alana • Photographer:


We left Monachyle Mhor when it was still dark, intending to get all the way up to the Isle of Skye. Due to some miscalculation with the ferry time table though, we ended up not making it. Our backup plan wasn’t too shabby since it gave us an afternoon and the next morning to explore Glen Coe and Glen Etive. This is a favorite area of Scotland for @dante.vincent and I both but we’re not alone in that. It’s an area of the Highlands that’s busy all year round. Photographing it without lots of people in your images though just means a little extra work. You can’t park your car in a lot and expect to get a great shot without working for it. You have to hike and walk about a bit to find the right perspective. That’s why I was extra grateful for the jumper and waterproof jacket that @barbour gifted me in advance of the trip and the @hunterboots that I bought a few winters back. It’s taken me many trips to to figure out just the right clothes to wear so I can explore properly no matter where we go or what the weather is and this time, with this combo, was ideal. Thank you for capturing this moment, Danté ❤️ 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 ScotSpirit barbourwayoflife lovescotland visitscotland glencoe travelfashion

39 Days ago
Kirsten Alana • Photographer (kirstenalana) Instagram Photos and Videos

Kirsten Alana • Photographer

@kirstenalana


Comment from Kirsten Alana • Photographer:


To say I was excited to return to Monachyle Mhor during this trip to Scotland with @dante.vincent would be a heck of an understatement. So grateful to @visitscotland for making it possible. From my earliest trip to Scotland, it’s always been my top recommendation for places to stay in the Highlands. When I first visited just for dinner many moons ago, owner Tom Lewis and his wife Lisa had several businesses in @themhorcollection and if they’ve not doubled the number that existed at that time, then they are well on their way. I’m not sure you will find two people in all of who are as hardworking and creative as they are. I just learned while researching for this caption they even have their own annual festival on the grounds of Monachyle Mhor ala Glastonbury or Coachella perhaps — except if I know these two, twould be way better. Perhaps that’s next on the Bucket List of Mhor Collection experiences but needless to say, our all-too-brief overnight was delightful. Especially cocktails and canapé in the Lounge before dinner with resident Black Lab, Betty. Danté and I were sad to learn all of the nine puppies she recently brought into this world were already spoken for. You’ll find the hotel is very off the beaten path but the winding road along Loch Voil that leads you there is so sublime in and of itself that you might not notice how long it takes to get there. (Click on the location tag to see a photo of the exterior taken by uber talented @nicole_franzen.) 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿monachylemhor themhorcollection scotspirit visitscotland lovescotland

41 Days ago