Tag Archives: hiking

After a snowy day I woke up to bright blue skies, the sun piercing through my window on the top floor of the old mansion was staying at. I walked down the big wooden staircase again, past the animal heads and antlers on the walls. On my way out the hotel owner asked where I was going. I hoped to hike to two lakes: Biele and Zelene Pleso. He wished me a good day and got back into the reception area. First I walked through the park towards the incredibly good-looking Grand Hotel Praha. Behind it the trail goes past the Sorea hotel and then slowly up the mountain. At the bottom the autumn colors were still mixed in with some bright green. I crossed a little bridge covered in yellow and orange leaves. It was the most idyllic and serene place. As soon as I walked uphill it changed…

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Of all the canyons in the Slovak Paradise national park, Prielom Hornádu is one of the few, if not the only, that is a two-way street. This made it perfect for a loop, taking a detour via Kláštorská roklina, monastery gorge, up to the monastery ruins, down a steep forest trail, past the Tomášovský viewpoint and back along the river. It’s a 19km adventure taking you over ladders and steps, high over the water, hugging the rocks and immerses you in the forest. It’s a beautiful fall day when I make my way to the start. It’s early, but the sun is already driving away the clouds. I walk down the road, away from the town Hrabušice, and find the Hornád river near an intersection. A sign directs me to a path through the fields, alongside the river. Further along is a small rest area where a man is enjoying…

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Sucha Bela is one of the most famous hikes in the Slovak Paradise. While researching I’d read it could get pretty busy, so busy even that there may be small traffic jams on the trail. Imagine my surprise when I found a pretty quiet Slovak Paradise. It turns out October was not a popular month for people to visit the national park, even though all the trails are still open till the end of the month (some, like the via ferrata, close for winter). It meant that I didn’t have to wait for people on the narrow trails and that all my photos were all about nature. It also meant I was extra careful, and very aware that I was hiking by myself. From my base in Hrabušice I followed the main road to Podlesok. I passed empty parking lots and arrived at the eerily quiet base. There were some…

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For my last day in the High Tatras I took a train to Strbské Pleso and chose the popular route to Popradske Pleso. It felt so much busier than the other trails I’ve done. Perhaps it was because it was Friday, perhaps because the sun was finally out and the sky was mostly blue. Lots of people were arriving in the small town and heading either for the ski lift or the trails. Right from the start of the trail I noticed a lot of people chose the same route I did. I had hoped that after the snow from 2 days ago I would be able to go a bit further than Popradske Pleso, to Hincovo Pleso, but I had never thought I’d be able to climb even higher. Today was the day of the unexpected. The morning started easy, with a pleasant forest path that wasn’t too challenging.…

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A holiday in October… anything can happen. October can bring the unexpected sunshine that makes you think it is spring. It can also quickly remind you that winter is around the corner. Today was one of those days. I woke up to find out the temperature was around zero and rain was forecasted for the majority of the day. I went down to the breakfast room and sat next to the window. But wait… is that… white? The top of the cars was covered in a tiny layer of snow, although what was coming down was mostly wet and not sticking to the ground. Due to the weather and other plans I’d scheduled a short hike and I braced myself for the cold. I had leggings and waterproof trousers, two layers and my rain jacket. I hadn’t exactly packed for winter, so until I started my hike I was freezing.…

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It’s been a busy few weeks. I’ve moved and it feels like the last few weeks were filled with online shopping, planning, moving stuff, painting, moving more stuff and painting again. Slowly my new place is coming together and slowly I’ve got more time to do other things. As it happens the corona numbers dropped and life is slowly returning on the streets and in the restaurants. So my repetitive weekends took a turn and I’m still recovering from a jam-packed 2 days. On Saturday night I actually went to the circus. It may not sound so exciting, but it really was. After a bit of a detour we finally found the entrance of a terrain bordering the train tracks. We passed a skate park and entered an artsy world that could fit into a movie. This felt like the Berlin that’s slowly disappearing. There was art made from junk…

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I was nervous because I had booked a trip on the Inca trail. I’d read it’s a hard trail, mainly because of the altitude and since this would be my first time at such an altitude, I had no idea how my body would react. I decided to make my way to Cusco over land, stopping in Arequipa along the way. I would also do some hikes while adjusting to the altitude. In the end I’d covered most of the altitude before the Inca trail even began. At 2.335 m Arequipa is not very high and you don’t really notice you’re at an elevation when you explore the city. However, about 160km away lies the Colca Canyon. With 3.270 meters, it’s one of the deepest canyons in the world and it’s special because it lies at an altitude of about 3.700m, depending on where you are of course. Its size is…

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About a year ago I decided to go on an adventure in my own backyard. Ok, it’s a relatively new backyard, but I feel like we often forget about what’s close to us, regardless of how long we’ve been in a place. The grass always seems greener somewhere else. If I’ve learned anything from covid and all its rules, it’s that there’s always something new to explore, wherever you are. I discovered Berlin is so much greener than I already thought and also Brandenburg has got a lot to offer! If you want to get to know the area and are up for a challenge, try to walk the 66 Seen Weg, or 66 Lakes Trail. The schedule The 420 km long 66 lakes trail, 66 Seen Weg in German, is usually done in 17 stages, although you can break them up into smaller chunks sometimes. It passes through some…

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A few days through the Andes mountains A few years ago I hiked the Inca trail. Apart from a few scribbled notes, I never wrote about it. Perhaps I was too tired! So now finally, it’s time to capture this incredible memory and put it on paper. Well… virtual paper anyway. My trip was part of a bigger Peru trip, that started with a company event. After some more sightseeing I took a bus to Cusco and started an incredible journey. You can’t hike the trail without a guide, so I’d booked a group tour. It also included porters taking up all the gear and I could pack 2,5 kg to give them. The rest I had to carry myself. Turns out 2,5 kg is very little! I had an extra pair of clothes and something to sleep in. My daypack had several kilos of snacks, my rain gear, first…

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When I take out travel insurance, I always assume “I won’t need it anyway”, but buy it “just in case”. Luckily I haven’t been in any major accidents that racked up hospital bills, but I do have some interesting doctor experiences abroad. I once spent a night in a hospital in Australia, got experience with Laotian, Cambodian and Peruvian doctors when I got bitten by dogs and I discovered Burmese health care. In this last case I am still unsure of what was actually wrong with me, although I have a feeling it had to do with exposure to the sun. Although the Burmese are wonderful people, my doctor visits were well, interesting… Merry Christmas? For my Christmas in Myanmar I decided to go on a 3 day trekking from Kalaw to Inle Lake. It was the most amazing experience and my hiking group became a little family. But when…

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