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    2019 Guest Photo Contest Winners

This year's photo contest proved that our guests are amazing photographers. The winning photos were selected from thousands of images revealing the natural splendor, cultural sights and spontaneous moments on Backroads trips.

Switzerland Walking & Hiking Tour

First Place

First place is awarded to Ken Silvestri from Switzerland Walking & Hiking Tour.

It was indeed a “Welcome to Heaven Moment.” For many years, we had dreamed of a trip to Switzerland. This was our first day of hiking in Adelboden. The setting was simply stunning. The emerald green landscape was dotted with early summer flowers. Each step seemed more beautiful than the previous as we walked up the trail. The gentle wind was wrestling with the mountains’ morning clouds. The sun would pop in and out illuminating this surreal setting. It felt like we were strolling through a painting. When the small alpine pond appeared, it was like the landscape now had a face and this was its big watchful eye. Spontaneously, it lit a joyous smile on my face as big as the landscape. I remember thinking, “Am I dreaming?” I then looked over at my wife Tammy for confirmation. As we locked eyes, we both said at the exact same time... “Wow!” I pulled the iPhone from my pocket and snapped the shot. As we looked at each other, no words were required. We just both just knew this was a special moment together in a very magical place. This was our eighth Backroads trip and now our current favorite.

Italy's Puglia to Basilicata Bike Tour

Second Place

Second place is awarded to Nicole Pruess from Italy's Puglia to Basilicata Bike Tour.

This photo was taken in Santa Maria al Bagno, the starting point on the fourth day of our Puglia bike trip. I was excited by the prospect of cycling 60 kilometers from sea to sea (Ionian to Adriatic) and this shot perfectly captured that feeling of anticipation. As we got out of the shuttle van, this was the site that greeted us: twenty bikes lined up in a sweeping curve around the promenade, hugging the Ionian Sea. Before anyone could move their bike, I quickly whipped out my iPhone to try and capture the scene. I was drawn to the blues of the water that seemed to mirror the sky, which was marked by wonderfully textured clouds. I also liked how the blues were flanked by the warmth of the stones from the promenade and the rocks and homes on the other side of the inlet. It was a split-second shot that just worked. Our group created a shared photo album at the end of the trip and a couple of people commented that this shot should go into the Backroads contest, so it did! Thanks to a great group and the Backroads team!

German & Austrian Alps Walking & Hiking Tour

Third Place (tie)

Third place is awarded to Michelle Fish from German & Austrian Alps Walking & Hiking Tour.

My husband Bob and I love the mountains, and we love adventure, so the Backroads German and Austrian Alps Hiking Tour was a win-win. Our first hotel on the trip was the Kempinski in Berchtesgaden, Germany, in the heart of the Bavarian Alps. The views were so spectacular that it was hard to know where to look. On our first morning there, before the day’s hike, we were exploring the hotel grounds and came across a swing. I took the first turn, and from the top I felt like I could touch the sky. As I watched Bob swing ever higher, it occurred to me that it was a perfect metaphor for how I see him in life… eyes fixed on the big blue horizon, sailing through the air, relaxed with a sense of wonder. I was so happy to catch that shot on my Galaxy S10. It sums him up in the best of ways, and it’s a terrific memento from a wonderful trip.

Antarctica by Sea Ocean Cruise Multi-Adventure Tour

Third Place (tie)

Third place is awarded to Taneill Davis from Antarctica by Sea Ocean Cruise Multi-Adventure Tour.

Our trip with Backroads to Antarctica was most definitely the trip of a lifetime. I couldn’t take enough photos of the wonders around us. There was magic everywhere, and this “ice chair” gleaming in the sun and shallow water was one of the most magical and memorable moments of the experience.

Iceland Northern Lights Multi-Adventure Tour

Fourth Place

Fourth place is awarded to Tyrone Manalac from Iceland Northern Lights Multi-Adventure Tour.

Parma to Verona & Venice Bike Tour

Fifth Place

Fifth place is awarded to Duane Klaus from Parma to Verona & Venice Bike Tour.

Also, congratulations to Brian Paick, who won the $200 Patagonia gift certificate for participating in the contest voting!

Looking for our next photo contest? Enter our 2020 Backroads Photo Contest here. Good luck!

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