Last year we spent 4 days in May cycling along the 415km Spree Cycle trail (Spreeradweg) from the source of the Spree river in a hilly area near the border of Czech Republic to Berlin. After 4 days, we finished somewhere near Tropical Island in Brandenburg and caught the train back to Berlin. This May we decided to go back to the cycle trail and do part of the section we’d missed, from Fürstenwalde to Köpenick (a suburb of Berlin).Continue reading
Gambia is the smallest country in mainland Africa (that is, excluding the islands), and is completely surrounded by Senegal except for it’s Atlantic coastline. In March, an opportunity came up to go to the Gambia for work, so I jumped at the possibility. It was idyllic to come home every day after work to sit by the ocean under the palm trees at Leybato hotel.
My husband took leave and came with to enjoy a bit of sun, and after my work was finished we did some sightseeing. We explored Fajara, Serekunda and the surrounds, and then we did a two-day tour from Banjul, the capital, to Jajanbureh, formerly known as Georgetown.Continue reading
Easter came fairly late this year, and was warmer than usual, with sunshine and temperatures of about 20 degrees Celsius in our region of Germany. Over the 4-day Easter weekend, we spent two days doing a section of the Elbe Cycle path from Magdeburg to Havelberg, before aiming to join the Elbe-Müritz Cycle path (Elbe-Müritz Radweg) for the final two days. Where I last finished off, we’d just headed to bed in our tents at the campsite on the island in the Havel river at Havelberg, having enjoyed sitting around an Easter fire, a German Easter tradition.Continue reading
There are some really long cycle paths in Germany, and some of them even cross borders. The Elbe Cycle path (Elbradweg) is a cycle route of about 1270km that follows the course of the river Elbe. It starts at the source of the Elbe in the Czech Krkonoše Mountains (the Giant Mountains/ Riesengebirge), and ends where the Elbe flows into the North sea.
Over the 4-day Easter weekend, we spent two days doing the section of the Elbe Cycle path from Magdeburg to Havelberg, before aiming to join the Elbe-Müritz Cycle path (Elbe-Müritz Radweg) for the final two days (instead we ended up doing our own route from Havelberg to Waren, but that’s another story).Continue reading
The weekend before Easter we visited Brno, the largest Moravian city in the Czech Republic and the second largest city after Prague. Apart from visiting the wonderful Easter market, we also enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere of the city in spring, and visited some sights that I had not been to on previous visits to Brno.Continue reading
My highlight for last weekend was visiting the Easter market in Brno, the second largest city in the Czech Republic. My husband used to live in Brno, so ever so often we go there so he can do some admin and visit friends. This used to be quite a long trip from Berlin (7-8 hours), but now Ryanair has introduced a flight from Berlin to Brno, so there will probably be a lot more visitors between the two cities in the coming year.Continue reading
Like all of Paris and almost anyone who has ever seen or heard of Notre Dame, I was horrified to hear that it was on fire. There was a horrible moment where we thought the whole building would burn down. I had flashbacks to the last time I visited Paris, and we walked around it from outside, taking our time to look at the beautiful walls of the building. I remember saying to my husband (then boyfriend), let’s just stand here and look at it, and take mental photographs, because it’s so beautiful and who knows when we will see it again. Yesterday I thought maybe that would be never! But it survived, and it will be restored. Thank goodness!Continue reading
Temperatures shot up in Berlin and its surroundings in February, bringing a sudden end to winter. It’s possible that this is just a “Fool’s spring” as people call it, and the temperatures could drop again in March or April, but so far the warm weather is holding. Last weekend and this weekend we made use of the warmer weather to go for some day walks in Brandenburg. There are endless possibilities for nice walks in the countryside of Brandenburg, and you could do a different walk every weekend of the year without running out of options. Continue reading
Everyone has seen the iconic postcard-perfect view of Table Mountain with its flat top. But did you know that up on top it is not as flat as it seems and there is a whole world up there to discover? When I lived in Cape Town, I used to go hiking often with friends, and I have already explained why Table Mountain is so special here. Recently I was back for a holiday so once again we went up Table Mountain. There are numerous ways you can hike up; often we would go up Skeleton Gorge starting at Kirstenbosch or Cecilia forest. Skeleton Gorge is a lovely shady route in summer and has fun wooden ladders to climb and a few boulders to scramble over. From there you can take the Smuts track to the highest point of Table Mountain, MacClear’s beacon, and then walk along the edge of the mountain with beautiful views until you reach the cable station. Then we would walk back through Echo valley and past the dams to come down at Constantia Nek (we always left one car there and took one to the start of the hike). Continue reading
The Ore mountains on the German-Czech border are home to a large area of interconnected skiing trails and are hugely popular due to their proximity to Dresden (45 minutes) and Prague (1h15 minutes). From Berlin it takes about 2.5 to 3 hours to reach them, which is close enough for a great weekend getaway. There are also downhill ski slopes in the region, but at the end of January we headed off for another weekend of cross-country skiing, which allows you to take a nice tour of the surroundings. Continue reading