I've done quite a bit of traveling over the last year and a half. Mostly for family reasons, sometimes just for fun, but regardless, every trip has been a truly one-of-a-kind, unforgettable experience. I usually go on a photography rampage when I travel, and my little Macbook Pro 13" is getting tired. I've pretty much maxed her out, and on this most recent trip to Aruba, I had no choice but to go through my 8,000+ photos [this actually being only half of my actual photo collection, since everything pre 2011 is backed up on my external hard drive] and start making decisive cuts.
I get a little trigger happy, especially with the action setting on my SLR, so there are tons of photos that I can part with, since there are 7 or 8 more nearly identical to it. The other issue is these SLR files are massive. Gone are the days of my 4 megapixel Canon Elph circa 2001. I've got to work on continuously editing this opus of photos, but I never seem to keep up with them. Since I leave for another big trip tomorrow [SO excited for my retirement cruise in Alaska with my Mom!] and I know I'll easily take 500+ photos while I'm there, so I've got to continue the photo purge.
Therein lies my rediscovery of this Swiss man and his alphorn. I started going through the thousands [yes, thousands] of photos I took while in Europe last summer, and I came upon the day I met my first alphorn player. This traditional Swiss instrument dates back to the mid 16th century and was used as a mode of communication in mountainous regions throughout Europe.
We had taken a lift up to First Mountain in Grindelwald, and this gentleman arrived right along with us. We waited in the lodge restaurant, because a heavy cloud cover moved over the mountain, causing nearly zero visibility. While we waited, I noticed the man pull several wooden tubes out of his small black backpack. I watched as he slowly began to assemble them together. In short order, he had a nearly 11 foot horn sitting in front of him, right there in the middle of the lodge. He hoisted this monster horn up and brought it outside, in the thick of the clouds.
As if by magic, the cloud cover began to dissipate, and he began to play these long, low notes. I was convinced the vibrations of the horn broke up the clouds and cleared the skies. A small crowd gathered, and we watched this man create beautiful music alongside the breathtaking mountainside. It was definitely one of those surreal experiences. I probably took a hundred photos of the man and his horn, but I saved quite a few, since the intensity on his face was so fascinating. I love that even years from now, I can still look back at these photos and recall this day.