Paris and Iceland, A Photographer's Paradise

In February 2012, Trish and I traveled to Stockholm on Icelandair. We were immediately impressed with the airline's excellent service. Trish was also a bit miffed that we had a layover in Iceland without an opportunity to get out and see the sites. You see, Iceland is a Photographer's Paradise, and she's the best photographer I know.

This year, when planning our trip to Devoxx France, I set out to correct this missed opportunity. Since Icelandair now flies direct from Denver, and offers free stopovers, our planning was easy.

The conference was in Paris; one of the most magnificent cities to photograph. Trish has some great photos from 2011. She'll be showing many of these photos at an upcoming exhibit at Paris on the Platte in Denver. However, she wanted more.

We arrived in Paris for Devoxx France on Tuesday, March 26th. The first day's excursion started with visiting the Latin Quarter, the Panthéon and Notre Dame.

Panthéon in the evening Panthéon with Bus

Notre Dame Paris along the Seine River France

We had a nice dinner that evening while watching the Fútbol match between France and Spain. On Wednesday, we hung around the hotel in the morning, then took the metro to La Basilique du Sacré Coeur de Montmartre and Moulin Rouge.

La Basilique du Sacré Coeur de Montmartre

From there, we journeyed to the Eiffel Tower for a hike. We climbed the stairs to the second floor and enjoyed the spectacular view.

View of Paris from Tour Eiffel

Wednesday evening, we attended the Devoxx Speakers Dinner. We had a great time chatting and drinking wine with Martin Odersky, Guillaume Bort, the many Nicolas', James Ward and Josh Long.

Nicolas' Martin and Nicolas

Guillaume Bort and Martin Odersky Shenanigans :)

On Thursday, I delivered my talk on Comparing JVM Web Frameworks in the early afternoon and did Play vs. Grails Smackdown with James Ward in the evening. I published an article about these talks the next day.

James Ward and I at Devoxx France

While I was talking about frameworks, Trish was galavanting around Paris taking some amazing photos.

Our Lady Liberty and Eiffel Tower Boats Seine River Eiffel Tower Récipon Quadrigas France Statue Of LaFayette Cours La Reine Paris Frances Pont Alexandre III Bridge Paris

Thursday night, we had a wonderfully authentic French dinner with many of the folks from the conference. Around midnight, Trish captured the beauty of Les Invalides.

Les Invalides by Night

On Friday, we slept in a bit and then headed to the airport for our flight to Iceland. A few hours later, we were snuggled into the cozy bar at Hotel Reykjavik Centrum. A few hours after that and we were bouncing up and down on a Super Jeep tour to see the Northern Lights. Our driver kept telling us "if you believe, it will happen". And boy oh boy, did it ever. The green and purple lights dancing in the sky overhead were mind-blowing!

Northern Lights 12 Northern Lights 13

Northern Lights 19 Northern Lights 20

Saturday came quickly after a late night, and we opted for a scenic tour of the area by helicopter.

Bird's eye view of the Reykjavik Iceland Opera House overlooking the bay and Mountains Glymur Falls

Matt and me and our Pilot Eggert with our Bell

Saturday evening, we journeyed through the ages with a tour and tasting at the Icelandic brewery Ölgerðin. The Grillmarkadurinn restaurant afterward was delicious.

Easter Sunday was our last day in Iceland and we enjoyed most of it at the Blue Lagoon. Despite the plethora of tourists, the hot springs, saunas and cold beer were a lovely way to prepare for the long road home.

Blue Lagoon Rocks! Great Road in Iceland

Visiting Iceland and photographing the Aurora Borealis was an awesome experience. Speaking at Devoxx France, photographing Paris and having lots of good times with new (and old) friends was equally delightful. For more pictures of our travels, see my Paris and Iceland Album or Trish's Devoxx France, Iceland or Northern Lights albums.

Posted in General at Apr 12 2013, 10:31:24 AM MDT 3 Comments
Comments:

Wow, those northern lights pics look unreal!

Hopefully we can do the smackdown again at JavaOne!

Posted by James Ward on April 12, 2013 at 05:34 PM MDT #

Great photos!! did you also like the Icelandic beer? :D

Posted by Reynir Þór Hübner on May 05, 2013 at 10:59 AM MDT #

Reynir - we did like the Icelandic beer, especially the microbrews at Ölgerðin.

Posted by Matt Raible on May 05, 2013 at 11:02 AM MDT #

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