Japan: Along The Cherry Blossom Trail
April 18-30, 2017, Japan
It is impossible to think of springtime Japan without an iconic image of a sea of cherry trees awash with perfect pink blooms instantly coming to mind. Cherry blossoms, or sakura, are an integral part of the Japanese cultural fabric and this expedition is designed to explore all its aspects. However, this is not just a trip for flower aficionados. Rather, Arthur Meyerson and George Nobechi have designed a unique itinerary that delves deeper into Japanese culture. This magical 12-night journey follows the cherry blossom trail north from the Tohoku Region of Honshu Island (the main island) into Hokkaido by train. From Yamadera, a small village in a mountainous location in southern Tohoku, to Hakodate, a beautiful coastal city known for its seafood and sweeping views of two seas, we take advantage of Japan's rail network to cover the most ground through a variety of inspiring locations, including Akita’s famous cherry walk. Heavier bags are transported forward, leaving us free to travel light, and the pacing of our journey is slow enough to give you ample time to photograph at your own pace. And there is indeed much to photograph beyond cherry blossoms. Our trail leads us to preserved samurai mansions, cliff-top temples, moats and castles, awe-inspiring landscapes, fabulous food, and welcoming people. Hanami is the tradition of “flower appreciation picnics” under the cherry blossoms and typically stoic Japanese people let loose during this special time. We encounter festivals, dancing, impromptu karaoke, and all types and forms of celebration across all ages. Along the way, Arthur and George provide guidance, instruction, feedback, and one-on-one and group critique sessions. - See more at: https://santafeworkshops.com/workshop/along-the-cherry-blossom-trail/#sthash.AsATfutO.dpuf
Portugal Photo Tour (SOLD OUT. SIGN UP FOR WAIT LIST)
September 03-14, 2017, Portugal
Portugal...the itinerary With Arthur Meyerson and Keron Psillas September 3 through 14, 11 nights, 12 days Keron and I are so excited to be going back to Portugal! Our trips there have only whetted our appetite for more! Our itinerary this year improves upon an already fabulous trip. More highlights, more color, more time to photograph the things we think you’ll enjoy the most! Keron’s access and personal relationships add just the right compliment to the visual excitement that Portugal offers. Contact us right away! There are limited spots available. “Visiting and photographing Portugal with Arthur and Keron provided a mix of photography, history, food, and fun. Arthur’s wit and Keron’s graciousness set the tone for the whole group and they were always there for additional information or inspiration. It was a perfect trip and I left with new knowledge, new memories, new photographs, and new friends. ~N. Lehrer, Los Angeles, CA Sunday September 3 We’ll gather for a meet and greet and then we are off for a walk around Lisbon to get our bearings. We’ll enjoy our welcome dinner together while listening to the dramatic and melodic FADO in Keron’s favorite little taverna in the Alfama. D HIGHLIGHT! NEW THIS YEAR! Lodging in Lisbon at the glorious new Pousada right on Praca da Commercio…the heart of Lisbon! Monday, September 4 Put on your walking shoes! Today we’ll explore several of Lisbon’s neighborhoods, with some downtime in the middle of the day. Morning will find us up in the Bairro Alto and Baixa neighborhoods, and after a lunch break, we’ll go to Belem to visit the Jeronimos Monastery and nosh on the best Pastel Nata you’ll ever taste. We’ll take some time to enjoy the sunset along the water before heading back to the center of Lisbon. B Tuesday September 5 We’ll start this morning up high above the Alfama and work our way down through the winding streets and alleys. There is color and streetlife and architecture and trolleys and a discovery around every corner. After a lunch break, we’ll gather to take in the sunset from one of Lisbon’s many ‘Miradouros’. B Wednesday September 6 After breakfast we’ll board our private bus and head north into the Ribatejo. We’ll photograph Keron’s beloved Lusitano horses and have lunch in a local restaurant. Later, we’ll visit the sacred site of Fatima and then arrive about sunset to our 14th Century Castle on the hill at Ourem. We’ll have two nights here at the lovely Pousada de Ourem, from which we’ll explore Medieval Portugal. B Thursday September 7 The ancient Abbey of Batahla will be our first stop...and then off to another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Alcobaca. But get up early to see if there is fog in the valley. From our vantage point high atop our ‘mountain’, the landscapes in the morning are stunning. Dinner together this night en route back to our hotel in the Castle. Friday September 8 A little more history along with stunning architecture will start our day. Tomar is the third of our UNESCO sites in the center of Portugal and one that never disappoints. The history of the Knights Templar is offered in its full glory. This is the best preserved site for the ancient order in all of Europe. Keron will be ready with as much history as you want to know! After our visit we’ll head north to Porto, arriving in time for sunset along the Douro in our Palace on the river. B Saturday September 9 Porto! Vibrant and cosmopolitan in one street with Old Portugal on the next street over. We’ll visit the monuments but we’ll have lots of time to wander as well. The pedestrian bridge gives us a birds-eye view, and the train station is a feast for the eye with all the azulejos (distinctive blue tiles). Later, we’ll take some time at the Palacio Freixo and do some one on one reviews. Then, it’s off to a very special dinner and private tour of the most important Port Cellar in Portugal. To top off our day, we’ll have some night shooting overlooking the entire city of Porto. B, D Sunday September 10 We’ll go out to the coast after some morning shooting in Porto. The seaside offers color and local fisherman, families along the piers, and a spectacular lunch spot! Afterward, for those who wish, there’ll be more time to photograph your favorite spots in Porto. B Monday September 11 Though it will be very difficult to leave our riverside Palace, we’ll head south today to discover another side of Portugal. We’ll stop in Obidos on our way south...a delightful walled village from the 12th Century. After lunch, we’ll check in to our Pousada, explore our neighborhood a bit and have dinner in a local eatery. B Tuesday September 12 We’ll stay close to home for the morning ...with a two minute walk over to the National Palace to photograph the marvelous interiors, the gardens, and the Falcons! This evening we’ll go to Cascais to take in this charming seaside town after we discover a bit of coastline and Guincho beach. It’s world famous for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Why? because there is near constant wind! So, bring a jacket! We’ll enjoy dinner later at our favorite spot on the water. B Wednesday September 13 Off to explore Sintra with it’s fairytale castles and mysterious hidden spots. The Convento dos Capuchos, the Pena Palace, and the Regaleira are the highlights. We’ll have lunch in the village and then afterward, we’ll gather for our final dinner together in the Old Kitchen at the National Palace. It’s a stunning spot with fabulous food....the perfect ending to our Portugal adventure. B, D Thursday September 14 Departure for the US, all transfers to airport (about 20 minutes away) arranged. The Details for PORTUGAL: 11 nights and 12 days, all breakfasts included, 3 dinners included (opening get-together, dinner in Ourem, and our closing dinner in Queluz), all internal transportation undertaken as a group, special guides in Sintra, luggage transfers and tips to hotel staff, and your final taxi to the airport. Highlights: *11 nights and 12 days in this forgotten corner of Europe *Charming and luxurious lodging in perfectly situated Pousadas *An insider’s view of Portugal from the cities to the UNESCO sites and quaint centuries-old villages *Photograph gorgeous Lusitano horses in the Ribatejo with their owners and trainers *Enjoy colorful and cosmopolitan Lisbon and Porto *Private transportation with short distances between stays *Sumptuous meals with the option of the best Portuguese wines *Small group (no more than 12) with two leaders and special guides in Sintra *Image reviews two times during the trips with Arthur and Keron Cost per person, double occupancy: $5950, Cost per person, single: $6970 Special incentive for Portugal.....Early bird sign-up before January 15: $250 discount per person. Deposit of $1500 due upon sign-up. Balance of trip fee due May 30. No refunds within 120 days of trip unless we are able to fill your spot. All internal travel via private bus and/or taxi as needed is included in your trip fee. Breakfast every day is included, as well as three very special dinners. When we are not dining together there will be recommendations and transportation as needed. Not included: international air, meals except as noted above, tips for maids, tips for guides, tip for bus driver. Suggestions will be offered for guides and driver before the trip begins.
To register, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
South of France and South of Spain Photo Tour (ONLY 3 SPOTS REMAIN)
September 18-29, 2017, Southern France and southern Spain
Celebrate the Flamenco Culture with Arthur Meyerson and Keron Psillas in the South of France and South of Spain, September 18 to 29, 2017 After repeated requests for this trip, here we go! White horses of the Camargue… CHECK! The Sherry Bodegas in Jerez de la Frontera and the mystery of the Alhambra in Seville? CHECK! But there is so much more to experience in both these locations. They are joined by a strong cultural thread…the thread of music and passion and dance. We’ll begin in the South of France with our first four nights in Saintes Maries de la Mer. Keron and I are known for finding charming accommodation for our trips, and this is no exception. Eclectic, chic, charming and welcoming describes our first stop. And that’s just our hotel! We’ll use this as our base for exploring the Camargue, photographing the white horses in the morning and evening light, and experiencing life on a ‘manade’. (The breeding farm in the South of France). We’ll see how the culture of the bull and bull fighting (on foot and bloodless!) shapes the life of the famed white horse. We’ll enjoy traditional meals and wines, and of course the olives, seafood, herbs and other delicacies that makes the South of France a food-lover’s destination. Keron has mentioned to me that her strongest impression of this region is the light. Hopefully the atmospherics will be with us as we get to know the area and survey the ‘etangs’ (inland briny lakes) for Flamingos and Bulls. We’ll have a special musical experience that will get us primed for the music in Spain! Ole’! (Yes, they say Ole’ in the South of France!) We’ll be meeting Keron’s friends at some of the best breeding establishments in the South of France. They’ll give us that special entree that we need for great photographs! With Keron getting us to the best spots at the right time, and our local ‘Camarguese’ giving us insider access, we’ll be perfectly set to take advantage of all the action. Keron speaks French fluently. After four nights in Saintes Maries de la Mer, we’ll move a little north to our 15th Century Chateau, the Chateau Roussan. It was built by the brother of Nostradamus, so of course it has a fascinating library! It’s also in a lovely quiet spot just 5 km south of St. Remy de Provence. We’ll spend our three days in this area enjoying the villages of Gorges, Eygalieres, Les Baux en Provence, and St. Remy. We’ll begin to understand how Van Gogh and Cezanne saw the light and shapes in quivering patterns. We’ll visit, too, Avignon and Arles. In Avignon we’ll not only photograph in the market, we’ll accompany the chef from La Mirande, help to choose our menu, and then return to the Old Kitchen at La Mirande to help prepare…..and then consume a spectacular lunch. Photo opportunities abound just steps from our lunch at La Mirande. The Pope’s Palace is there and the charmingly restored ancient parts of Avignon will keep us walking and exploring all day! Hint: the textiles here are plentiful, far less expensive than in the US, and gorgeous! All those tablecloths and napkins…oh my. We’ll spend a day in Arles to explore it’s winding streets in the old town and you’ll see the largest Colosseum outside of Rome. From Avignon we’ll take the high-speed train to Madrid, then further south to Seville. It’s a day-long journey but in deep comfort in a first class car, with dining and bar service. We’ll spend two nights in Seville to discover the mysteries of the Alhambra and it’s vibrant Flamenco culture. Flamenco takes on a serious, classical side in this city…it’s clear that it is a National Cultural Heritage. And then we’ll head South for two more nights in Jerez de la Frontera. The flamenco culture here is maybe a little more accessible? Wandering the streets of Jerez at night you’ll pass the community centers and smaller meeting spots or clubs where all ages are joined in learning the art of Flamenco. Guitars and the percussion of clapping and dancing fill the night air. And in Jerez, we’ll bring back the culture of the bulls and white horses! We’ll attend a very special performance of the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art and we’ll visit two unique spots dedicated to preserving the heritage of the Andalusian horse and the Toro Bravo! We will visit the breeders and farms in this area as well and will help us to understand the culture on a deeper level. This interaction and access is invaluable! For those inclined, a visit to the Sherry Bodegas is a must! The history, the scents, the perfume of Sherry that permeates the air…and then, TASTING! Join us for this color-filled cultural exploration. We are so excited about this trip and can’t wait to share the experience with you. Highlights and Details: *11 nights, 12 days in two spectacular locations *Charming and luxurious lodging in perfectly located hotels *Color and movement, horses and bulls, and spectacular Flamenco performers *Private musical performances to further enchant us *Sumptuous meals in distinct, authentic settings *Small group with two leaders and our special liaisons in France and Spain *Image reviews two times with Arthur and Keron during the trip All internal transportation provided including your first class train ticket to Seville, Spain. Breakfast each day, welcoming dinner, a very special lunch at La Mirande, and our closing dinner are included. When we are not dining together there will be recommendations and help with transportation as needed. Price per person Single: $6950 Price per person Double: $5940 Deposit of $1500 to hold your spot due upon sign-up. Balance of trip fee due May 30, 2017. No refunds within 120 days of the trip unless we fill your spot. Early-bird discount of $250 per person if you sign up before January 15. Not included: international air, meals except as noted above, tips for maids, tips for bus drivers. Suggestions will be offered for the drivers before the trip begins.
To register, contact email@example.com