Planes, Trains and Pictures #gdp_eUtour

10 Cities. 7 Countries. 12 days.

The brief was to shoot 10 cities and capture a total of 754 Points Of Interest. On average there was 75.4 POI's for each destination and I only had one day for each city to capture everything. The following blog consists of just a few shots and stats for each city that was part of my manic and tiring journey around Europe.

ROTTERDAM

19th September 2016

Rotterdam

I travelled by plane from Leeds Bradford airport to Amsterdam Schiphol airport and then by train to Rotterdam. I left with a optimism and determination to get the job completed and on time. I knew it was going to be some task but after the first day I really did I knew it was going to be difficult. However, rotterdam is a pretty cool city. Its a very modern city with great architecture and a fantastic city skyline. Its a major harbour city in Holland with a great seafaring history. A great place for a weekend break.

Stats

  • Steps - 12,086
  • Miles walked - 6.6
  • Miles Cycled - 18.6
  • Steps climbed in metres - 57

Düsseldorf

20th September 2016

Düsseldorf

Arriving by train in Utrecht I was delayed by a few minutes which made me miss my connecting train so I had a two hour layover in a very busy station and didn't arrive in Düsseldorf until after one in the afternoon. An inconvenience and not ideal but it only created a challenge to get the job completed. After finally arriving in Düsseldorf I managed to store my bag in the lockers at the train station and head out with my camera bag. The city is relatively small with some great museums, food/beer halls and shopping districts to keep you busy. The skyline is dominated by the the Rhine Tower which has some great views over the city and definitely worth a visit.

Stats

  • Steps - 27,664
  • Miles Walked - 13.7
  • Miles Cycled - 7
  • Meters climbed - 21

Cologne

22nd September 2016

Cologne

After shooting all afternoon in Düsseldorf I left for Cologne just after nightfall which was around 8pm. I arrived late to my hotel about one and half hours later and prepared for the following day. Cologne was a much larger city than the previous two and it involved far more places to shoot. However, again it was fairly compact and would be easy to navigate around. Cologne is a city that has a history of over 2000 years so it had the wonderful small streets and people friendly squares where the locals would sit down and socialise during lunch hour or a tourist would have a small local beer and a bratwurst to recharge for the rest of the days activities. The city is dominated by the huge Köln Dom, Colonius Fernsehturm and the famous Ludwig museum showcasing some great works by Picasso.

Stats

  • Steps - 34,427
  • Miles walked - 16.7
  • Miles cycled - 0
  • Steps climbed - 57m

Berlin

22nd September 2016

Berlin

As the train rolled into the station of a late evening in Berlin you could see the in the distance the distinctive dome of the Reichstag and the luminescent cover of Potsdamer Platz. I knew I had arrived in Berlin and after shooting all day in Cologne I needed to get a good nights sleep. I set off early in the morning after breakfast to really try and tackle Berlin in one day! Berlin is a massive city and although I have visited the city before. I knew what I was getting myself into. At the end of a very long day I really did underestimate the great city after cycling just over 58 miles but not once did it take away the majestic grandeur of such a great city. Berlin has been described as the city at the centre of Europe throughout history for its, culture, history and people. Personally, I would to have to agree.

The Berlin Wall is resembled by a line of two bricks around the city and in some cases the wall still stands in places such as the East Side Gallery and the Memorial. The most moving site that I visited is the Berlin Wall Memorial because the deaths of the people who were murdered by the Eastern German Police are remembered by small round plaques on the ground where they fell trying to escape to West Germany. What strikes me the most, is that a wall that divided the world between East and West, was only 8 inches thick.

There are so many places to visit in Berlin that you would have to spend a week in Berlin just to get around everything. It really is one of the best cities in Europe.

Stats

  • Steps - 7779
  • Miles walked - 3.8
  • Miles cycled - 58+
  • Metres climbed - 9

Krakow

23rd and 24th September 2016

Krakow

I left for Krakow in the early hours of the 23rd and arrived in the city around noon. There was as much to shoot in Krakow as there was in Berlin but the city was at least half the size. I managed to split the shoot over the afternoon of the 23rd and the morning of the 24th before I would set off to Vienna on my train journey through the Alps.

Finding a bike to hire was relatively easy and set off to the first subject that I had to shoot which, on google maps was just a star. What I hadn't realised that when I arrived at the star after cycling nearly 4 miles to reach it was, well, just a park as far as I could see. I had missed the sign at the entrance (very tired). Not fully realising where I was I decided to cycle around a little while and noticed a small area just north of where I was which had a few ruined buildings. I set off and noticed a small sign behind a tree which informed me of where I was. I was in the middle of Płaszów concentration camp, the same concentration camp that was referenced in the film called Schindler's List. It was a very harrowing experience knowing that so many people would have moved through the area that I was standing in and would ultimately lose their life.

Krakow is a very beautiful city steeped in controversial history but it has so many other great things to offer.

Stats

  • Steps - 27,247
  • Miles walked - 12.8
  • Miles cycled - 17.2
  • Metres climbed - 66

Vienna

25th September 2016

Vienna

Arrived late on the 24th via plane from Krakow and set to sleep knowing that Vienna was a massive city and I had a lot to shoot. The following morning I set off walking knowing that the city transport system was one of the best in Europe and that I could get around quite easily. Thankfully it was because my feet were starting to look like the surface of the moon with all the blisters I was getting. It has to be one of the best cities to walk around because on every corner there is some amazing architecture on show. Its simply stunning on a late summers day.

If you like visiting a good museum then Vienna is the place to go, it has some of the most extravagant museum buildings in the world all situated in and around the centre of the city. Its artistic and intellectual legacy was shaped by residents including Mozart, Beethoven and Sigmund Freud. The city is also known for its Imperial palaces, including Schönbrunn, the Habsburgs’ summer residence. In the MuseumsQuartier district, historic and contemporary buildings display works by Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt amongst other great artists.

Stats

  • Steps - 34,253
  • Miles walked - 16.2
  • Miles cycled - 0
  • Metres climbed - 33

Geneva

27th September 2016

Geneva

I travelled from Vienna to Geneva on a eleven and half hour train journey through the alps with a connection in Zurich. Its a journey that everyone should take because the views through the Arlberg Pass are simply stunning.

Geneva is a city in Switzerland that is situated at the southern tip of expansive Lac Léman (Lake Geneva). Surrounded by the Alps and Jura mountains, the city has dramatic views of Mont Blanc. It also has the Headquarters of Europe’s United Nations and the Red Cross, it’s a global hub for diplomacy and banking. French influence is widespread, from the language to gastronomy and bohemian districts like Carouge.

Geneva is a very expensive city, one of the most expensive cities in the world, 8th in the world to be exact. Although it may be pricey, it sure is pretty. With the Geneva fountain (Jet d'Eau) off-set against the back drop of Mont Blanc it really is a beautiful city no matter what time of year it is.

Stats

  • Steps - 28,782
  • Miles walked - 13.5
  • Miles cycled - 0
  • Metres climbed - 69

Nice

28th September 2016

Nice

My plane set off in the dark from Geneva over the Alps towards Nice and with no clouds you could see the shadows of the mountains on each other as we flew past. The plane landed late in the evening on the 27th and I was staying at the same hotel for the next 4 nights, which to be honest, was a great relief. After spending only one or two night in a hotel before moving on it was great to know that I no longer had to worry about moving onto a different city for the next few days.

I was up early the next morning to get breakfast and be prepared for the day ahead. I had been to Nice back in 2008 and it was more of a 'guys' holiday so we hadn't seen much of the city, just the fantastic nightlife. I knew it was the gateway to the 'French Riviera' but I was surprised by how much it had to offer for itself. There is the elegant 17th century villa situated in the hills of Nice where you can see the amazing paintings of Matisse. There is also the Russian Orthodox Cathedral that looks like something taken from the Red Square in Moscow. Just Beautiful. Nice has to be one of the best places to be able to see the sunset and be best place is from the Point de vue de la Colline du Château at the east side of the beach.

Stats

  • Steps - 9026
  • Miles walked - 4.2
  • Miles cycled - 12.2
  • Metres climbed - 144

Nice. We will never forget.

On the 14th July this year, Bastille Day, 86 people were killed and 434 were injured. I stumbled across the makeshift memorial for those people who were so tragically struck down by a lunatic using a 19 tonne truck. I spent a good 15 minutes walking around the site and what struck me the most was how many soft toys there was. There were at least 10 children killed on that day and with so many friends and family with new born (or on the way) babies and children of their own it really struck me how precious life can be. It was a very moving moment that I will never forget.

Cannes

29th September 2016

Cannes

As I was staying in Nice it was only a 45 minute train ride to the centre of Cannes. Cannes is famous for its annual international film festival and some of the worlds biggest stars come every year for its beaches, gastronomy and extravagance. Its Boulevard de la Croisette, curving along the coast, is lined with sandy beaches, upmarket boutiques and palatial hotels. It’s also home to the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, which is a modern building complete with red carpet and Allée des Stars – Cannes’ walk of fame.

Stats

  • Steps - 21,760
  • Miles walked - 10.4
  • Miles cycled - 3.5
  • metres climed - 48

Monaco

30th September 2016

Monaco

My final day. After 11 days of travelling, walking, cycling and shooting my final day was here. The train journey from Nice to Monaco is only 35 long. Winding around the rocky coastline of the French Riviera and rolling out of the tunnels to the sight of small boats anchored in little bays and coves as the sun rises over the sea is a sight to behold.

Monaco is famous for its annual Grand Prix, beautiful yacht lined harbour, famous casinos, the extravagance and beauty of its most famous district, Monet Carlo. The rock of Monaco has some great little streets filled with small cafe's, bistros and fancy restaurants. The Royal Palace sits on top of the rock overlooking the wonderful ports of both Port de Fontvieille and Port Hercule. However, to get the best views of the small independent city-state you have to visit the exotic gardens of Monaco (Jardin Exotique de Monaco) that showcases the worlds best plants that are native to the some of the driest parts of the world. The views across the city are some of the best that you will find.

Stats

  • Steps - 28,830
  • Miles walked - 13.9
  • Miles cycled - 0
  • Metres climbed - 168

The Trip Home

1st October 2016

After a very busy 11 days of travelling around some of the best cities in Europe I was finally making my way home. After a 4am start, 2 taxis, 2 planes, 6 hour layover and arriving at my door I could finally sit down and have a mediocre coffee, cold shower, some toast and BBC News. Some say that I live the dream job, I can tell you, I do. It is hard work and it requires a strong a dedication to keep yourself going on a daily basis but I wouldn't change it for anything.

Pretty boring, but informative stats over the past 12 days.

Planes - 6 - Total air miles - 1821
Trains - 11 - Total miles - 1261.4
Total steps - 231,874
Total miles walked - 111.8
Total cycling miles - 159
Metres climbed - 672

I have made some very good friends whilst doing this job who have been photographing a lot longer than me and I can tell you that they have 'it' in the bucket loads and I can only try and reach the standards that they show every time they go out on a shoot. We have all worked really hard on this project this year and I know that they have had their 'moments' whilst doing this project and they could, and will have screamed at me for giving them the job. However, I think we have all worked really hard as team this year and thats something that has got us all through it. I would just like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been involved in this project, its been appreciated.

Much Love

Created By
Gavin Priestley
Appreciate

Credits:

Gavin Priestley 2016

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