Last summer we explored Lyon, France; Sardinia, Italy; and Barcelona/Costa Brava, Spain. It was such a memorable trip that we created an online photo album with captions to help us recall and relive moments of the trip going forward. Our selection of photos also was designed to provide an overview as well as some highlights to friends and family who might view our album on a screen of their choice.
What surprised and struck us most about their feedback was the frequency with which viewers referred to the photos of the food we ate and of one or the other or both of us captured in a particular setting. There was little mention of the historic sites, striking architecture, gorgeous vistas, and interesting local people activities that we wanted to share.
Our food and smiling faces! Not that our culinary discoveries and presence in very special places were inconsequential. But it is ironic that we often disparaged other tourists for making selfies their seeming first priority, or for photographing their food before even biting into it. The selfie that we will never forget was by a person, with her head and face covered by a hat and dark sunglasses, who took a selfie in front of a colorful ceramic animal created by the famous Gaudi at his exquisite Park Guell in Barcelona. What astounded us was that she only included her covered face, not the brilliant iconic work of art.
While none of our photos was strictly a selfie, that is, us taking shots of ourselves with our camera on our outstretched arm, nonetheless, we chose more shots of ourselves for this album than previous ones because we thought it would personalize our trip highlights for our album viewers. We took photos of food because we wanted to remember how different and scrumptious were some of our discoveries in local restaurants.
Upon second thought, we can understand the interest in images of us and our food. However, it is harder to get why we were not offered as many if nor more comments about the sights and settings that knocked us out. Examples included a stunning large, colorful artisan-created bouquet of flowers overlooking the Rhone River and iconic sites in Lyon; Sardinia’s mesmerizing coastline and small destination town with 150 charming murals; a Costa Brava public garden more beautiful and diverse than any we had ever seen; and incredibly beautiful and inspirational natural lighting provided by the setting sun in Gaudi’s monumental Sagrada Familia church.
Actually, upon third thought, if we don’t ever answer these puzzling questions, it will be okay. Our album represents our special experience for which we are deeply grateful. Our family and friends have their own special travel experiences that naturally mean more to them than to others.
We are grateful that our food and faces stuck with our viewers, and we look forward to more of our own travel adventures and to the recounting of travel highlights of others with whom we share food, travel stories and other special things in our lives. Ironically, our most recent “Tips” posting was about food and retirement. Little did we think that our next posting would be about food and travel in our retirement.