It seems as though PNW-based photography duo Emily and Berty Mandagie are always exploring and capturing beautiful scenes, both familiar and new. Their collection of ONAs have been everywhere from the Washington coast to Kauai, and now London, Prague and Italy. Below, they share their favorite photographs and moments from a recent trip to Europe.
Where: London, Prague and The Dolomites in Italy. We spent three weeks in Europe seeing new places and spending Christmas with just the two of us. We had been to these places separately (besides Italy), but it was special to return together and make new memories!
Why: Almost a year ago, we saw that flights were dirt cheap, so we impulsively bought tickets and the rest just fell into place. Sometimes those make for the best trips.
What did you take with you: We took our Big Sur backpack and Leather Clifton backpack in antique cognac (pictured above). We packed pretty minimal – one suitcase between the two of us. Our goal was to minimize luggage in order to maximize our time exploring.
Best view: Definitely the view outside our room in the Dolomites. Sassongher Mountain lit up with the sunrise, and turned a beautiful pink during sunset.
Best thing you ate/drank: We drank the absolute best beer in Pilsen, Czech Republic. We visited the Pilsner Urquell Brewery and got to taste beer straight from the barrel. We also came during the holidays, so Christmas markets all over Europe were selling mulled wine, cookies, and delicious holiday treats.
Conversation that will stick with you: Connecting with a fellow Instagrammer we had been following in London. He took us to a hidden local coffee shop in the heart of London and we talked about photography, social media, and all the people and connections we’ve made all around the world because of it!
Landmark that was worth the hype: Definitely the Dolomites. This area is actually pieced into nine “Dolomite mountain ranges” all located in Northern Italy and all have their own unique beauty to share. This place was established as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2009 and is 100% worth a visit for anyone.
Day trips? We took a pretty incredible day trip from Prague to one of Czech Republic’s youngest National Parks. The sandstone formations and forests were really incredible to experience!
They have the best: Italy has the best food. Classic answer for anyone who has ever been, but it’s really true. You haven’t tasted real pasta, pizza, or wine until you’ve experienced it in Italy.
Best thing $5 can buy? London: matcha latte, Prague: all day train ticket, Corvara, Italy: ice skate rentals.
Pictured above: The Big Sur backpack.
How to pretend you’re a local? Definitely using public transportation. Once you master the different stops and stations, you feel like you can take on the whole city.
Travel tips: Trust that most people are good, but never trust just anyone with your money. We got ripped off from a guy “helping” us split our large bill into smaller ones – he gave us fake money in return. Rookie mistake, but it shows that it could happen to anyone. Thankfully we didn’t lose a large amount and it was just one hard lesson to learn.
Souvenirs: This is a little corny, but we like to buy magnets for our fridge!
If you went back you would: Spend more time in Italy. We scheduled three days to explore the area and it was definitely not enough time. Next time we return, we’ll take at least a week.
The shot you’re most proud of: Shooting near the Tower Bridge in London. We arrived really early in the morning and had the entire boardwalk to ourselves.