2017 Japan Tokyo Chiyoda Hie Shrine | travel photography by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

01 | Tokyo | Hie Shrine

Flag JapanThe Hie Shrine in Chiyoda

After a healthy breakfast in a typical Japanese corner restaurant, we hired bicycles at a hotel nearby and set off to explore the megacity Tokyo. The friendly and very courteous staff gave us a map with the hire stations and marked the point where we started, so we could find our way back later on. As on most of our travels, we didn’t bring a tourist book to follow. Instead, we love to explore and decide at every intersection by gut feeling whether to go left, right or straight.

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Wahiba Sands Sunrise Oman | Travel Photography by Sebastian Motsch (2015)

Oman | Wahiba Sands Sunrise

Sleeping in the desert is special. It is so quiet at night that you can hear airplanes that are flying at altitudes up to 18.000 ft. The alarm clock woke us up about an hour before sunrise in our bedouin tent and we put on all the sweaters and jackets we had.

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Wahiba Sands Desert Wonders Camp Oman | Travel Photography by Sebastian Motsch (2015)

Oman | Wahiba Sands, Desert Wonders Camp

The drive from Ras al Jinz on New Years Day was relaxing and rather uneventful. Many people argue that driving through the desert is dull and boring – and that they would rather fly. To me, it’s the other way around. Every time I fly over a desert, I keep thinking I’d rather be down there driving…

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Oman | Sur, Ras al Hadd, Ras al Jinz

Oman FlagOnce again, we had an early breakfast at the hotel and headed out to explore the natural harbor of Sur with it’s famous Dhow wharfs and the beautiful lighthouse. Unfortunately, the Sur Dhow Museum was closed for renovations and we had to peek over the walls of a wharf nearby. It was quite interesting to see the ships being build with ancient tools and materials.

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Oman Road Trip | Travel Photography by Sebastian Motsch (2015)

Oman | Al Bustan Palace, Shangri-La, Bimmah Sinkhole, Wadi Shab

Oman FlagAfter getting up early we left Al Wadi Al Kabir and drove over the mountain to see the famous Al Bustan Palace. The roundabout is amazing, with a pool in the middle sporting a full-size Dhow. The water fountains are arranged cleverly in a way to resemble the bow wave of the ship. The driveway to the Al Bustan Palace Hotel is lined with trees and makes you forget that you are in a barren landscape. We didn’t manage to get into the (supposedly awesome) seaside garden of the hotel, but made up for that at the Shangri-La Resort, a couple of kilometers away.

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Oman Road Trip | Travel Photography by Sebastian Motsch (2015)

Oman | Muscat, Mutrah and Qurum Beach

Oman FlagOn our first day in the Sultanate of Oman, we had a look at some of the various sights in and around Muscat. Driving from our Hotel in Al Wadi Al Kabir to the old part of the city via Sidab Street yielded some stunning views of the rough mountains and the glistening sea.

Leaving our car in one of the free parking areas, we walked towards the palace of Sultan Quaboos bin Said al Said – on polished stone sidewalks, mind you. They create nice reflections, but must be a nightmare when wet. In a country with an average of 100 mm of rain per year… who cares about slippery conditions? Dust is a concern, however, and therefore the sidewalks are kept clean all the time.

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Oman Road Trip | Travel Photography by Sebastian Motsch (2015)

Oman | Starting 2015 with a road trip in a new country

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“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

Mark Twain / The innocents abroad

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Toyota Tercel 4WD | Pick-up Umbau

Flag FranceWir konnten wegen eines massiven Beach Breaks nicht surfen. Also sind wir die Küste hinunter gefahren, um in Biarritz einen Café au Lait zu trinken. Bei diesem Wetter auf den Pier von Capbreton hinaus zu laufen ist immer ein kleines Abenteuer. Als wir zurück an Land waren, dachten wir unsere Augen spielen uns einen Streich. Aber… etwas an dem vorbeifahrenden Toyota Tercel 4WD fehlte tatsächlich.

Toyota Tercel 4WD pick-up conversion | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

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Ford Transit Mk1 Campervan | Artwork by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Ford Transit Mk1 | Forwards ever – backwards never!

Flag FranceThere are a number of songs with that or very similar titles that instantly came to my mind while sorting pictures from a 2009 trip to the French Atlantic coast. We spotted this Ford Transit Mk1 camper van in Hossegor. Looking forward is aided by a classic roof mounted spotlight and a set of (not really period-correct) Hella Micro FF fog lights… while looking backwards isn’t really that easy with a missing rear-view mirror. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to speak to the owner if this beautiful camper was in original condition or if it has been restored.

Ford Transit Mk1 Campervan Hossegor France | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2009)

Ford Transit Mk1 Campervan Hossegor France | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2009)

Renault Alpine A110 | Artwork by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Renault Alpine A110 à Andelot-Blancheville

Flag FranceOn our way to a wedding in France we opted to take the more scenic Routes Nationales. Driving two days instead of one and taking pictures of interesting things on the way is just so much better than trundling along on the boring Autoroute at 130 km/h. Entering the tranquil town Andelot-Blancheville we found the central plaza full of interesting classic and vintage vehicles, one of which was this Gordini blue Renault Alpine A110 in front of the Hotel-Restaurant Le Cantarel. I especially liked the perfect color-matched parking. Look closely and you will find hints of future posts in the window reflection of the restaurant.

Renault Alpine A110 France | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2010)

Renault Alpine A110 France | Drive-by Snapshots by Sebastian Motsch (2010)