Road trip through Europe: Valensole to Chamonix

Last summer, we did a 10 day road trip through parts of Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France. Our itinerary was: BerlinWeimarHeidelburgFreiburgLucerne Lake ComoLa-SpeziaCinque TerreBussana VecchiaMonacoÉzeGorges du VerdonMoustiers-Sainte-Marie – Valensole – Chamonix – Tübingen – Swäbisch Hall – Berlin. 

On day 8 of our road trip we drove from the rustic villages of the lavender region of France to the foothills of the highest mountain in Europe west of the Caucasus peaks, the majestic, snow-capped 4810m high Mont Blanc. We were now on our way back to Germany. Continue reading

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Road trip through Europe: Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

Last summer, we did a 10 day road trip through parts of Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France. Our itinerary was: BerlinWeimarHeidelburgFreiburgLucerne Lake ComoLa-SpeziaCinque TerreBussana VecchiaMonacoÉzeGorges du Verdon – Moustiers-Sainte-Marie – Valensole – Chamonix – Tübingen – Swäbisch Hall – Berlin.  Continue reading

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Road Trip through Europe: from Cote d’Azur to Gorges du Verdon

Last summer, we did a 10 day road trip through parts of Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France. Our itinerary was: BerlinWeimarHeidelburgFreiburgLucerne Lake ComoLa-SpeziaCinque TerreBussana VecchiaMonacoÉze – Gorges du Verdon – Moustiers-Sainte-Marie – Valensole – Chamonix – Tübingen – Swäbisch Hall – Berlin. 

In my last entry about this road trip, we had just spent the evening wandering around the pretty medieval town of Éze. After a quick breakfast the next morning, which involved a visit to a pastry shop (when in France…!), we headed to our car for the next stage of our road trip.  Éze is located in the province Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, which covers a wide variety of landscapes and has Marseilles as a capital. It encompasses the area formally known as Provence and some additional territory. Today we would travel from Éze over the mountains to the Gorges du Verdon, a famous canyon, visit a beautiful village tucked in the gorge (Moustiers-Sainte-Marie) and end our day in Valensole, in the lavender region of France. But first things first: a visit to the beach. Continue reading

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Canoeing on the Havel river: Pritzerbe to Hohennauener See via Rathenow

Good weather brings opportunities for weekend canoeing or biking trips. Somehow these trips are always the highlight of my year. Being constantly active during the day leaves no time for pondering over work stresses, and getting from one place to the next by your own horsepower is somehow very satisfying. Taking in the countryside and village scenery at a slow pace instead of racing from one destination to the next by car, train or plane like one usually does when travelling makes all the difference. Camping also brings you back to basics, and you realize that you actually don’t need many things to live quite happily. It also makes you appreciate luxuries like having your own bathroom and a soft bed when you get back home! There is also a thrilling sense of adventure when you set off for a trip with just a backpack and a tent, not knowing what the days ahead will hold. Continue reading

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A Morning in Venice

En route to a wedding in Tirol, we decided to make a stopover in Venice. The Venice Marco Polo airport was a couple of hours drive from the Ötztal Alps, where the wedding would be held, and seemed like as good a way as any to reach our final destination. We’d been wanting to visit Venice for a while, although the plan was always to go in winter when it’s less crowded. Both of us had been to Venice briefly before in summer on separate occasions and remembered clearly the tremendous crush of tourists and oppressively hot weather. Continue reading

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Animal encounters in KwaZulu-Natal

During our holiday in South Africa in March, we organised a one week trip to KwaZulu-Natal province (KZN). The idea was to do some hiking in the Drakensberg and see some animals in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi national park. They say KZN is the wild province, but we had even more adventures in store for us that we had imagined…I’ll do separate posts about the hiking, but in this post I’ll focus on our animal adventures! Continue reading

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Lesotho: the Mountain Kingdom

A visit to the mountain kingdom of Lesotho has been on my wishlist for a long time, and in early March we finally made it there, even if it was only a very quick visit. We were visiting the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province of South Africa for a week, and as part of our visit to the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg mountains we took a day tour up Sani pass and crossed the border into the heights of Lesotho. Continue reading

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All roads lead to Liepnitzsee

When hot summer days arrive, one of the popular weekend day trips for Berliners is to Liepnitzsee, a beautiful lake with aquamarine waters in the middle of beech and pine woods. People go by train, car or bike and as the last option is perhaps the most fun, over the years we’ve explored many different routes to the lake. In the beginning we tried cycling from Berlin or Bernau, and now we’ve started exploring other bike paths as there are so many scenic ones in the area. Both last weekend and the weekend before, friends invited us to cycle there, and we tried two different routes:

  1. From Oranienburg to Bernau via Liepnitzsee
  2. From Buch to Liepnitzsee, then past Wandlitzsee and Krumme Lanke to Bernau

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Chiemsee: visiting Herreninsel and Fraueninsel

Recently we were in Bavaria for four days, and spent three of the days hiking (you can read about that here). I felt a bit sad on the last day that we did not go for another hike, but our friend was keen to visit the lake Chiemsee, and indeed, it was probably more relaxing than rushing up the mountain, considering we’d have to catch a train around 5:30! So we packed all our things and hurried off to catch a train to Prien. There are lockers at the train station at Prien where you can leave your luggage. We did this and then walked down to the lake, where you can catch a boat to the islands in the lake as well as several cities around the lake. Our aim was to visit Herreninsel and Fraueninsel. Continue reading

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