Something the Travelettes love to do when they travel is to always capture the special moments. That way we get to keep them with us forever and can share them with our friends, family and you. One of the most direct and fastest ways of doing that is by using Instagram. For those who don’t know, Instagram is a bit like Twitter for photos. You take one, apply a filter of your choice and add it to your stream. An unlimited amount of people cann follow your updates and you can follow theirs. It’s by far my favorite app on the Iphone and when I travel I use it as often as possible, often with quite pretty results.

I thought it would be nice to introduce a new series to Travelettes, where we present 5 countries or cities as seen through Instagram. In this case all photos are my own but there are always amazing travel-related finds on the Instagram Blog, which you should check out.

1. Istanbul, Turkey

I went to Istanbul with 4 friends last february to celebrate my birthday there. I had been told about the beauty of the city, the kind-hearted people and that certain vibe this place has. Every day I discovered a new thing that was exciting and there was always something worth photographing. The image below for example was taken in one of the side streets north of Talabasi Boulevard just off Taksim Square. It seems like a dodgy area at first sight, but there is so much realness and beauty to those willing to see it.

Istanbul is the only city in the world that belong to 2 continents, Asia and Europe. We took one of the ferries crossing the Bosporus, a strait that forms part of the border between the continents. We were quick to grab a seat in the sun outside and marvelled at the seagulls who accompanied us all the way to the other shore.

The shot below shows my friend Frank take a picture of Liz holding candy cotton on the Asian part of Istanbul. I love how surreal it turned out.

2. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

I had not planned a serious winter escape but when temperatures in Berlin dropped down to -15°C and less I knew it was time to hit the road. At 3 am and after some virtual digging for cheap flights I eventually found a good one to Rio. It was the time just before the Carnival but more importantly, in Rio it was summer right then and there! Flights were booked, bags were packed and smiles were smiled.

Rio has different beaches, the most popular ones being Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana. Different stretches of beach tend to have varying populations and so they say that Leblon tends to be a little more on the chic side, Ipanema is popular with the gay crowd and Copacabana gets a lot of people from the favelas. They all have their charms but we definitely had the most fun at the one in Copacabana. It’s a great place for meeting the locals, enjoy a chat here and there all while working on your tan.

Eileen Street is a girl I met during Rio Carnival. She works as a tour guide for Contiki and is one of those really cool girls who go out and do their thing without any fear or worry. We shared a room together during the Contiki Rio Carnival tour and became friends instantly. She’ll soon share one of her adventures with us, so look out for her blogpost coming up on Travelettes.

Every evening in Rio the thing to do is to buy a couple of beers and stroll down the beach promenade watching people do tricks, sell sarongs and show off their often perfect bodies. My favorite thing to watch are the guys below. Kids who simply attach a rubber band between 2 palm trees and perform some cool tricks on them. They just do this for fun but it’s great to watch them do it.

If you’re in Rio for Carnival the best place to hang out is Lapa. This is where I found these 3 lovely ladies watching the madness from the safety of their living room, meanwhile selling some cute selfmade skirts and dresses. Aren’t they just adorable?

3. Punta del Este, Uruguay

Punta del Este is a popular beach town in Uruguay located not too far from the Capitol of Montevideo. Arriving at Montevideo Airport we took the bus to Punta within 1,5 hours and landed in a fantastic beach town. It almost feels like a mini Miami at times. The beach here is full of beautiful Uruguayans on holiday. There are stretches especially assigned to surfers, if that’s your thing and the water here is out of this world gorgeous. Punta del Este is probably in my top 5 of best beaches in the world.

Another thing I loved about Punta was our hostel. It’s called F&F which stands for friends and family and that’s pretty much the vibe we were getting from everyone there. The hostel has an amazing backyard area with a lovely pool, a bar with cheap drinks and there always seems to be some handsome Swedish surfer dude playing some tunes on the guitar.

4. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires and I have some history, because I spent a little over 2 months there during my trip around the world back in 2006. It’s a city of many charms and often incredible beauty, which the 2 shots below show quite well, I think. It’s one of those places where a photographer like myself can just wander the streets all day and find something to photograph at every corner.

5. Hemsedal, Norway

After four sunny locations I’d like to add one more winter destination. In January we traveled to Hemsedal where we enjoyed the beauty of the Norwegian landscape, the snow and the friendly people. It had been my first time in Norway and I have no doubt that I will want to come back often.

The first picture is one I took during landing at Oslo Airport. I think some of the white patches are frozen lakes.

Speaking of frozen lakes, this shot of my first time dog-sledding was taken riding over a frozen lake. The sky was blue and the sun was just coming up, making for an incredible sight in front of and above us. This sure was one of those unforgettable experiences that will live with me forever.

This last one from Norway was taken on the airport bus leaving Hemsedal. We hit the road when the sky broke upen and the sun rose. Beautiful.

If you happen to be on Instagram, please follow us at @Travelettes. Nina is currently posting updates on her trip to Budapest this week and from April 11th I will be posting daily photos from my trip to the Maldives with my friend Bonnie Strange.

If you have beautiful instagram shots that you’d like us to feature, send us an email at or add them to our flickr group.