Tag Archives: nature

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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A winter walk on a sunny day only leaves you craving more. When covid started I bought myself a fitness tracker and said I’d do at least 10.000 steps every day. Since then I’ve only had 4 days where I didn’t achieve my goal. During summer it was easy. The days were long, the sun was shining and because there wasn’t much else to do I regularly took a train to a new area for a day hike. Since I came back from Portugal it’s been a bit harder though. The evenings are dark and even during the day it can feel quite chilly. Some days I’ve got to force myself to go outside. And now I’ve started a new job it feels like I just don’t have enough time to do all that I want. Two weeks ago the temperatures changed from minus 15 to plus 18 and the…

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On the fishermen’s trail from Vila do Bispo to Sagres I was walking on a dirt road and noticed an extraordinary number of snails surrounding me. They were everywhere; on the plants, on poles of power lines, on fences and rocks. Occasionally a car drove by, slowing down so they wouldn’t leave me in a cloud of dust. At a crossing a young couple sat in front of a big motorhome enjoying their morning coffee from a folding beach chair. Then I heard bells coming my way. A herd of cows was coming my way to cross the street. I slowed down so I wouldn’t be in the middle of it. I heard the whistles of the shepherd, who was guiding his three dogs to keep the cattle together. It was like seeing a well rehearsed show. The trained dogs replied to every signal and the shepherd could calmly walk…

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The Fishermen’s trail: Odeceixe to Aljezur In Odeceixe I saw a familiar face in my hostel. Remember the Belgian guy I met on my second day on the Rota Vicentina? I’d taken 2 rest days now and he’d caught up with me again. So from all the people at the breakfast table, him and I were the only ones still continuing the walk. It’s very popular for people to finish hiking in Odeceixe and make the Fishermen’s trail a long weekend excursion. I noticed it throughout the day. The only other hikers I saw were two women, whom I crossed paths with several times. I started on the historical route, since I’d done the first part of the coastal route on my rest day. Close to Odeceixe I found a few people working on the land. Everything was still done by hand, no heavy machinery. A woman put down her…

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The Fishermen’s trail: Zambujeira do Mar to Odeceixe The road from Zambujeira do Mar to Odeceixe is one of ups and downs, not just physically, but mentally. I was surprised by the clouds in the morning, but optimistically I put on my sunscreen and started walking. I noticed that a few other hikers had started around the same time and therefore I picked up my pace to created some space. In the beginning I felt like a wagon in the hiking train. After a few beaches the trail took a turn through the forest, which was a nice change. When I came out of the small forest I felt the quiet around me again. At Praia do Carvalhal I went down to a parking lot with a lot of camper vans. There was a beach, but I decided to keep going and climbed up to the top of the cliffs…

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The Fishermen’s trail: Almograve to Zambujeira do Mar It was busy when I left Almograve. There were a lot of people out and about, especially with cars and motorhomes. It was no surprise since the road I followed had some beautiful views. When the path turned into a walking trail, I met Tatiana, who had also stayed in the Beach Hostel. We decided to walk together for a few hours and were presented with some amazing views of beaches and coves. For the most part the coast was dark grey and black and suddenly there was a completely overgrown cove. The bright green plants formed a beautiful picture with the soft blue of the ocean. The first half of the walk surprised us a lot. The word ‘wow’ kept escaping from my mouth. I just couldn’t help myself. There was so much beauty it was almost overwhelming. I think we…

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I get the feeling that whenever there is a hilly area in Germany, they compare it to Switzerland by calling it “something Schweiz”. About 60 km east of Berlin you can find one of these hilly areas, called the Märkische Schweiz. I joined a meetup group for a hike through the area. We met at Ostkreuz and took the insanely full train to Müncheberg. It took a while before we departed since the train staff was telling people with bikes to get off the train. They were only allowed in the special bike sections, which were already full. In Müncheberg we took the small historic train to Buckow. The young ticket seller on the train was totally overwhelmed with the amount of people travelling today. I guess we all wanted to get outside on this beautiful day. We started walking around the Schermützelsee with a pretty fast pace, so there…

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The international art walk on the hoher Fläming. September in Berlin is a month of contrasts and surprises. We’ve just had some really cold days. I took my winter shoes out, wrapped myself in a blanket and made sure to always carry an umbrella. Luckily summer wasn’t quite done yet and is trying to make a comeback, creating a great mix of good temperatures and fall scenery. Trying to use the beautiful days to explore, I took a train out to Bad Belzig to walk the international art route to Wiesenburg. Over about 20 km this walk goes from train station to train station and has many options to turn it into a shorter loop. There is a north and a south path and some connections in between. I decided to start with the longer north route and leave the south route for next spring. It’s a pleasant walk with…

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The Spreewald, episode 2: Burg’s red walking route My parents were in town and since we spent time in the city the last few times there were in Berlin, I decided to take them out to the Spreewald. Well… I asked my dad to drive us there. Last summer I spent some time exploring Lübbenau, so this time we started in Burg, at the very Eastern edge of the Spreewald. Unfortunately it’s not connected to Berlin by rail, so you have to take a train and a bus to reach it if you don’t have a car. It had been a bit of a moody week weather-wise and today it was surprisingly warm. No wonder that we weren’t the only ones in Burg. We only just found a parking spot and then joined the many cyclists, hikers and paddlers in the town center. Burg is a very small town that…

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Into the nature of the small Myli gorge Rethymno has it’s very own gorge to explore, although it’s not nearly as big as the famous Samaria gorge. Rethymno’s Myli gorge is well worth a visit though if you’re staying in the area. I stayed at Elizabeth campground and walked out to the gorge from there. You can also get here by bus from the city center. Maps.me helped me navigate the streets to the entrance of the gorge. I had the feeling all the other people entered from the top of the gorge, since I didn’t meet anyone until I reached the end. At the bottom I entered the gorge via a small side road at Canteen Banana. There was some crazy art around there and the café’s music was already on. I didn’t stop though and continued on my way uphill through the gorge. It was immediately different from…

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