Norway & Sweden

After spending a total of 54 days in Norway-Sweden-Houston-NYC-&-NJ, I’m back to home sweet sweAt home Dubai and can’t wait to share my adventures from the latest wanderings. Here is another installment of #RimaTravels to Norway & Sweden.

 

Stockholm, Sweden

You need to buy shopping bags for anything you purchase which can get annoying butStockholm was all about Go-Green and I loved it.  The people were very friendly but the weather is as moody as Pakistani Aunties. The shops have amazing decors (IKEA was founded in Sweden – duh). Oh and Swedish are obsessed with H&M & McDonalds because I found the stores for these brands in every corner. The highlight of Stockholm for me was when I found a Pakistani’s souvenir shop & the owner invited us for a karak chaye. Something I whole-heartedly cheered for!
Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0001Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0002
Oslo, Norway
Free internet Everywhere. It may not sound as a big deal but they Norway had the bestest of Internet I’ve ever experienced. Ever! The hustle bustle of the city center and easy to commute to hotel was a delight. The cherry on top of the icing is when I found this Pakistani halal food restaurant with the best Samosas (that marked the only day I didn’t had pizza on this trip). Oh and the entire Norway seems to be obsessed with Vikings. From the museums to cute souvenirs, Oslo was all about Vikings (and the weird trolls everywhere). The National Opera & Ballet House was a beautiful building.
Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0006Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0013Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0014Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0035
Leknes, Norway
The main reason I took this entire trip was to see Lofoten Islands. Since they don’t have an airport of their own, you have to take a flight to Bodo & then a 15 minute private-jet ride to Leknes airport (definitely the smallest plane*ride*airport I’ve ever seen). The views from the plans are breathtaking and Leknes itself is peaceful as well. I watched and documented the sunset at Haukland beach (it never really sets though as they had midnight sun). In a small town Leknes, I witnessed the biggest full moon I’ve ever seen. Oh and did I mention that the town is so small that everything is literally 13-15 minutes drive away.

Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0017Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0018Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0019Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0015Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0021

Bergen, Norway
By the time I arrived Bergen, I was homesick. It was continously raining but the upside was that the restaurants in Bergen’s city center are open until 4 am (YASSS!) and I found this amazing halal food hidden gem that was worth every penny. The Colorful houses on top of mountains look beautiful and there are several sources of transportation to explore (bus – train – cruise). Bergen would’ve been boring for me if it wasn’t for the trip to Flåm. To get to Flåm, I decided to take Fjords trip on a cruise. Once in Flåm, I drove this tiny electric car all the way to the top of the mountain & the view from there was breathtaking & mighty. Then a beautiful train ride through the mountains and oh-em-gee, I’ve never witnessed this many waterfalls in one place ever before.
Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0029Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0028Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0030Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0026Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0027Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0032Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0031Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0022Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0033
Lofoten Islands, Norway 
Surreallllllll. Lofoten Islands was my absolute favorite destination on this entireeee trip. The red fisherman’s cabins add so much beauty & perfect pop of color to the brown mountain backdrop & blue waters. The beautiful sky adds more admiration to the place. Although it was a bunch of islands & the place I stayed at (May’s Apartments – studio apartment better than 5* hotels) seemed like a remote village yet they had absolutely amazing WiFi & facilities.  Lofoten Islands were unbearably cold at night but truly are a photographer’s heaven.
Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0011Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0008Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0020Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0003Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0007Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0004Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0009Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0036Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0021Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0019Noway_Sweden_Travel_Dubai_Female_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0024

Hope you enjoyed Norway & Sweden thorough my lens. Until we meet again with other wanderings of mine, do check out my past travels around the world.

Already looking forward for future adventures,
~ Rima (The Explorer)

Bangkok, Phuket, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

I know it has been long since I posted my last travel blog to Salalah, Oman.

I made a total of six trips (Oman, USA, Pakistan, USA & then Pakistan twice again) within this year and I am so grateful for all the friends & followers who followed along the journey via my Instgram stories. I generally don’t share blog posts from USA and Pakistan as they are mostly family trips but this year, #RimaTravels to experience a new country, Thailand, and its three destinations – Bangkok, Phuket, & PhiPhi Islands.

Since this was a last minute trip and I wasn’t carrying my professional camera, here are glimpses of Bangkok through my iPhone.

Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0001First stop was Bangkok & it was alright. I only stayed there for a day, felt awfully sick and was very tired from a long plane ride so didn’t enjoy the hustle bustle of the city as I usually do. Plus, the street-food stands were making the atmosphere stink.
Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0003
Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0005Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0002Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0019Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0004I thoroughly enjoyed Phuket’s laid back atmosphere, late-night open markets & of course shopping. The serene sunsets and rides around the city on a cute rental Vespa Scooter were the highlights of my trip. I continuously sung ‘rotay howe, atay hain sab….’ from the movie Muqaddar ka Sikandar while speeding up on the scooter. Fearlessly 😉

Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0007Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0018Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0008

From Phuket, I took a boat-ride to Phi Phi Islands. The water & sky were terrific. The beaches in-between islands looked like paradise. Traveling from Dubai & Pakistan, I was thrilled to see that the sky & waters looked beautiful shades of blue, the enormous islands and palm trees green, and colorful boats decorated the port of Phi Phi Islands.Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0009Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0010Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0006Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0011Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0012Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0016Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0013Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0014Bangkok_Travels_Female_Photographer_Dubai_Rima_Hassan_0017

Thank YOU for following along the journey and I hope you enjoyed Bangkok through my iPhone photos. To follow along my future travels, you may watch my stories on Instagram and/or on SnapChat { RimaHassanPhoto }.

Here is to future adventures,
~ Rima (The Explorer)

Salalah, Oman

When a client booked me to cover her brother’s wedding in the Sultanate of Oman, my heart did its happy dance. For several days.

It truly felt like ages since #RimaTravels
The fun doubled because this trip was work + pleasure and thank you lord for an amazing associate photographer and a friend who turned out to be an expert on Salalah, Oman and literally made this trip three times more fun.

We stayed in Oman for three days and after the wedding day, we rented the car and explored Ain Garziz, climbed the stairs on Ain Razat, the beautiful Al Mughsayl Beach, Sinkhole Shaat, watched camels on the roadside, serene views of palm trees along the beach and roads, did my silly dance on top of the mountain and of course drove for miles and miles to find the much needed dose of my Karak Chai.

I hope you enjoy Oman through my lens.
To follow along my journey (and travels), you may watch my stories on Instagram and/or on SnapChat { RimaHassanPhoto }.

Cheers to many many more adventures!

Love,
~ Rima (The Explorer)

Santorini, Greece

Ever so often my heart wants to explore new places.
Travel gives me power, imagination, hope, memories, and of course photos. Since the island of Santorini had been on top of my list for quite some time, I felt so privileged to be able to go explore it (#RimaTravels finally!).

Santorini is what remains after an enormous volcanic eruption that destroyed the earliest settlements on a formerly single island and created what we now call Caldera. The white houses with absolutely gorgeous background of blue sky and water were incredibly calming and exactly what I need after working non-stop for the past eight months. The cherry on top of the icing was that I got to meet (again) one of my favorite photographers – Vangelis – and his family whom I proudly call friends. Make sure you check out his work. He’s exceptionally talented.

Through photos, I had a good idea that the island had lots of stairs but no one warned me that there were a kazillion stairs everywhere. I was also surprised to find that people there are obsessed with donkeys’ milk. They have donkey milk soaps, donkey milk moisturizers, hand lotions, etc.  Jokes apart, the absolutely breathtaking views of this island made me realize that if you are or have been wrecked, don’t let the past destroy your beauty. Bounce right back up! If you need extra energy, you might want to consider donkey’s milk.

Following are some of my clicks from this trip.

 

Oh and here is a short video from the trip.

Do let me know how you liked Santorini through my lens.
Oh and also share if there is a place you recommend for me to go next ❤

Love,
~ Rima (The Explorer)

P.S. Follow along my future journeys on SnapChat { RimaHassanPhoto }

 

Amsterdam – The City of Bicycles

It wasn’t long after I realized its a Big World out there & felt the urge to explore more, my husband and I had a chance to go on a spontaneous trip to Amsterdam – the city of bicycles. By spontaneous, I mean we booked the tickets in the afternoon and flew the same evening. With least expectations and not a set in stone itinerary, unpremeditated trips turn out to be the best.

For Amsterdam, the city with 780,000 people & over 881,000 bicycles, extensive canals, amazing museums, even more amazing public transport, and not-so-amazing-drug-dealers, I chose to do a black & white series of photos for this trip. Hope you enjoy them.

Amsterdam_Dubai_UAE_Photographer_Rima_Hassan

Science Center Nemo

Science Center Nemo

Amsterdam_Dubai_UAE_Photographer_Rima_Hassan Amsterdam_Dubai_UAE_Photographer_Rima_Hassan

Street Musicians

Street Musicians

Palace on Dam Square

Palace on Dam Square

Apartments & Restaurants by the Canals

Apartments & Restaurants by the Canals

Amsterdam_Dubai_UAE_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0008 Amsterdam_Dubai_UAE_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0009

Palace

Palace

Streets of Amsterdam

Streets of Amsterdam

Extensive Canals

Canals

Amsterdam_Dubai_UAE_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0013 Amsterdam_Photography_Dubai_UAE_Photographer_Rima_Hassan_0002

Keep Exploring!

~ Rima

It’s a Big World out there

I twisted and turned sleepless in my bed because the room felt hot. My weather app showed 97 degrees Fahrenheit in Dubai. At 1 am. I closed my eyes and thought of the beautiful sunny days with cool breezes of Turkey from my three day stay at Turkey during Dubai-USA trip.       

OhMyGod!!! I opened my eyes wide.

I wrote three blogs from Missouri, USA but none for NYC and Istanbul, Turkey. May be because I have seen everything there. Those places were not new to me. When I went to Turkey for the first time, I returned with almost 3,000 photos in 4 days. I couldn’t find many from this trip except lots of phone-video footage.

With my favorite Turkish instrumentals by Taksim Trio and shot with GoPro and youngest baby, FujiFilm X-E1, this video will take you from the famous landmarks to streets of Istanbul to the VIP cultural show to Galata bridge and will show you much more.

Here it is.
Enjoy!!!

It’s a big world out there. Explore!
Make mistakes. Try different things.
But keep exploring!

Love,
~ Rima

P.S. This makes me want to make another trip. To a new place. Hmm….If money wasn’t an issue and you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why???

Missouri Part 3 – Botanical Garden

‘April showers bring May flowers’ but you’ll find mother nature awfully kind to Missouri’s Botanical Garden because I found gorgeous flowers there even in the beginning of April. It was my first time visiting a botanical garden, everrrrrr, which made it a lot more fun to go around, witness, smell, & photograph the beauty of nature in the form of beautiful, unique, (and weird) flowers/plants. Even the leaf-less tress were so gorgeous that I couldn’t resist capturing their photos.  This is my last post of Missouri because I will be visiting & photographing New York City tomorrow but I just had to share some of the photos from the trip.

 

Be like a flower that gives its fragrance to even the hand that crushes it – Imam Ali

 

I’ll write/share photos of NYC but until then, keep spreading the colors of love!

Missouri Part 2 – The Cave State

Missouri is also known as the Cave State.  Always inspired by nature, I knew I had to go visit the caves.  Beneath the fertile rolling hills of the Meramec Valley, lies a complex of mineral formations and color as rare and unique as they are beautiful, Missouri’s buried treasure. These jewels of nature which took thousands of years to grow, are preserved in the spectacular sights of Meramec Caverns. It was fun to learn how the ancient limestone “Wine Table” and an entire 7-story mansion were built….all underground. We witnessed both the rarest and largest cave formations in the world. 

I will see you with another colorful blog post soon.

Have a great weekend!

– Rima

Missouri Part 1 – The Gateway Arch

This is my third trip to Missouri, the Cave State. I flew alone when I visited my in-laws last two times. This trip is special because my husband came to USA for the first time. I’m enjoying looking at things through his eyes. Also, I got to see/do a lot more fun things such as visit the Arch, Bison Park, Duck Park, Creve Coeur Lake, Botanical Garden, Meramec Caverns, and the highlight of the entire trip as of yet is {family bbq} Zip-Lining.

Although Missouri’s weather changes even faster than New Jersey, the day we visited the arch was cloudy but gorgeousssss! With Mississippi river flowing on one side, the arch will leave you in awe. Following are some of the photos of the massive 630 feet high beautiful structure made of steel and concrete, costing $13,420,168.

More adventures from our Missouri trip will be up on the blog soon. Until then keep exploring!

– Rima

From the other Side of the World

It took me 24 hours!
24 hours from the time I left the house in New Jersey until I get to my house in Dubai.    
24 awfully-long-tiring-hours.  Unbelievable, isn’t it?!?

From the freezing weather, melting snow, and chilly wind of New York City to the warm, beautiful, but colorless Dubai,  things changed in those long 24 hours.  Although I miss family, mom’s cooking, friends, and driving peacefully-around-people who actually follow the rules, I’m happy to be back home and am enjoying Dubai’s outdoor dinners, all-you-can-eat-halal-food & coat-free weather.

As much as I hate packing, I can never get enough of traveling. From New York City,
Verrazano Bridge-NYC-USA
To Dubai….Dubai-burj-khalifa

It fascinates me how awesome it can be to live in two completely different countries and experience various cultures. I love and embrace the change because it keeps things from getting boring…

While I sit here enjoying my tea, watching rain from my balcony window, & plan loads of exciting things that are in store, I’ll take my leave but not with a bye but a Hello from the Other Side of the World! 😉