Saturday Chat with Anda from Travel Notes And Beyond
Welcome back to the weekly Saturday Chat column where I ask travel bloggers questions to
get under their skin get to know them a little better. It’s always a pleasure when I meet other Romanian bloggers so this week I’m interviewing Anda from TravelNotes And Beyond about photography, wine and dream destinations in North America.
Anda Galffy is a Romanian-born globe-trotter and passionate photographer living in Southern California. She is the founder, senior editor and photographer of “Travel Notes & Beyond,” a collection of stories and travel impressions from her wanderings around the world. Anda previously worked in accounting for 20 years, but developed a special interest for publishing and editing as she volunteered for different organizations. During the years, she designed and published several newsletters, pamphlets and brochures for these organizations. Currently she serves on several boards in her community.
1. How did your passion for photography came to be? You said it started with analog films, is that something you still do or would like to do?
When I was 22 my husband, who is also very passionate photographer, introduced me into photography and the laborious work of processing analog films. We were developing our own pictures and even tried to create some special effects, which in those days was a very big deal.
The transition from analog to digital photography was a slow process for me. The quality of the first digital pictures was a far cry from what it is today, so I didn’t dive into it right away. But the undeniable advantages of digital vs. analog eventually won me over. Although many professional photographers still argue that film offers more flexibility when it comes highlights and shadows detail, for me there is no going back to analog films. Digital photography is way more versatile and works best for my personal projects.
2. You have visited a lot of gorgeous places in North America. Which one was your favorite and where would you like to go but haven’t been yet?
Although North America is not short of gorgeous places, I think California is by far the most scenic of all the states I visited. My favorite spot is the 17 Mile Drive, a scenic road through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove, on the Monterey Peninsula in California. The road passes famous golf courses, mansions and scenic attractions, like the famous Lone Cypress and Bird Rock. Eventually the road ends in the world-renowned Carmel-by-the-Sea, an amazing European-style little village nestled above a white sand beach, with charming inns, shops, high-end restaurants, small boutiques and art galleries. This entire area is so breathtakingly beautiful and charming that I could visit it endlessly without getting bored.
As for the places I’d love to see, they are very many and I fear I won’t live long enough to satisfy my thirst for traveling. One of this places is Bariloche, also known as the American Switzerland, an enchanting city in the Rio Negro Province of Argentina, (Patagonia). Bariloche was on our itinerary several years ago when we visited Argentina, but unfortunately all the flights towards that area had been cancelled because of the volcanic eruption in Chile (2011), so we had to give it up.
3. What is the best wine you’ve ever tasted?
California is home to some of the best wineries in the world, so we are very spoiled here. But I like the Australian, Argentinean and Chilean wines just the same. My favorite wine though is Haraszthy Old Vine Zinfandel, produced in Lodi, California, by a Hungarian family with an old tradition in wine making. Haraszthy Old Vine Zinfandel is a purple-black, full-body wine, with a very rich raspberry, sour cherry and nutmeg aroma.
4. Congratulations on becoming a grandmother! Where would you like to travel with your grandson once he grows up a little?
I would like to take my grandson to many of the wonderful places that I traveled to and fell in love with over the years. But I think he has plenty of time to discover the world on his own. While he is still a child, I would like to take him to Romania, my birthplace, and show him where his family came from. I’d like to let him meet the people, taste the food, experience the culture and see the beautiful scenery of Romania. I’d like to tell him our story and teach him that he should always be free to decide his own faith.
5. What are your 2015 travel plans?
We are headed for our yearly ski trip in Lake Tahoe, California. At the end of April I will be in Costa Brava, Spain, attending the TBEX meeting and visiting Spain and Portugal. The rest of the year we’ll most likely take short trips to see our family (all over United States) and spend as much time as we can with our grandson.
Bonus question: if you had to eat only one Romanian dish for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
Eggplant salad (salata de vinete). In fact, there is not a single month when I don’t prepare this dish two or three times at least. If we don’t have it for a week or two, we start missing it.