Plane tickets bought, bikes disassembled, camera gear packed: Alps, here we come!
We’ll be spending the next two weeks pedaling through Germany, Austria and Italy along a route called the Via Claudia Augusta, which is a 2,000 year old Roman Trading route that’s been converted to a bike/hiking path.
The Via Claudia Augusta starts in Germany and crosses the Alps through Austria before dropping into northern Italy. We’ll be flying into Munich, and picking up the route southwest of the city. The path varies from paved bike trial, to gravel roads to forest trails, and passes beneath castles and majestic mountain landscapes, through small Tryolian villages, wine and olive groves and alpine meadows.
Here’s a map of the route. I’m not sure how far we’ll get, since we have limited time, but I’m sure that whatever ground we’ll cover will be well worth the trip. Also, here’s a great video that’s in German, but it shows the scenery that we’ll be riding through. If you’re into bike touring, this looks like a dream route that can be tackled in any number of ways, either totally self supported, credit card inn touring or as a guided group.
Since weight is always an issue when traveling by bike, I’ve pared down to what I think will be an ideal travel photography kit. It consists of a Fujifilm XE-1 body, 18-55mm lens, 14mm lens, the Fuji X20 and a Nikon P7700 compact camera that I’m trying out for review.
I’m also taking the tiny little Fuji EF-20 flash, a sync cord and a Lumiquest Softbox III, all of which is packed into my Lowepro Flipside Sport 10L AW pack. (The SB-III is underneath the removable camera compartment.)
Aside from being a lightweight setup, the Flipside Sport will give me quick access to my camera gear, as well as security from any prying hands. The zipper access to the pack sits against my back, so as long as I’m wearing it, no one can get in.
I’m really excited to see what the XE-1 can do. It shares the same X-Trans sensor technology with the X20, so it will have a familiar look, but it will be sharper and produce images with higher resolution and lower noise. Plus it’s got nice classic styling.
The Fuji XF 18-55mm should be a great all around lens. With an effective view of 27-85mm, it’s got a pretty usable range for everything from wide landscapes to short telephoto portraits and details. For shooting ultra wide landscapes and travel shots, the XF 14mm (21mm effective view) will let me work my super wide mojo even more.
The Nikon P7700 also seems like a nice little camera. It’s got a longer zoom than the X20 (28-200mm equivalent), a fold out swivel LCD screen and a built-in ND filter, which the X20 does not have. This is a very usable feature when shooting in bright light. I’ll be curious to see how it performs in the image quality department.