Outdoor adventures

So you love the great outdoors? Here are some of the blog posts I’ve written about nature, hiking, biking, swimming, skiing and other sports.

Hiking

Table Mountain

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The Disa hunters: exploring the top of Table Mountain

 

The Bavarian and Austrian Alps

 

Bavaria, the Chiemgau region 

 

Multi-day trail in Namib-Naukluft national park

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The Thomas Tucker Shipwreck Trail, Cape Point

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Battle of the Seelow Heights and a walk near the Oder river

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Sächisches Schweiz

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 Hiking in České Švýcarsko/Czech Switzerland

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Hiking in Svaneti, Georgia

Snow hiking in the Harz mountains

Two late-winter hikes in Brandenburg

 

Cycling

Naturpark Barnim in autumn

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An introduction to city biking

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My Bicycle

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Brandenburg bike rides: Fürstenberg/Havel to Templin

Brandenburg bike rides: Potsdam to Brandenburg an der Havel

Saale river bicycle trail

Biking in the Moravian winelands of Czechia

Cycling from Berlin to Poland in 1 Day

The Spree cycle trail (Spreeradweg)

The last stage of the Spree cycle trail (Spreeradweg)

 

The Elbe cycle trail (Elberadweg) – Magdeburg to Havelberg

Cycling from Havelberg to Waren (Müritz)

 

Watersports

Lakes of Berlin

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Watersports and beaches at Müggelsee

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Kayaking at Müggelsee/ Neu Venedig

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Canoeing in the Rheinsberg lake area /Müritz National Park

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Camping and canoeing on the River Havel: Fürstenberg to Burgwall

Canoeing on the Spree river: Hangelsberg to Erkner

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

 

Skiing

Cross country skiing in the Harz mountains

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Les Diablerets, Switzerland

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More cross country skiing adventures in the Harz mountains

Cross-country skiing in the Czech Republic: Hejnice/Smědava

 

Snow sports in the Czech Republic: Bedřîchov

 

Cross country skiing in the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains)

 

Nature

Namaqualand

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March – Wildlife in the Garden

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Notes from the Czech countryside – June, the red month

Autumn biking in Naturpark Barnim

 

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We enjoyed a long, warm and golden autumn this year, but finally the rain came, followed by strong winds, and now the trees are bare again. It made me sad to see them at first, knowing that it would be many months before we would see them coming alive again. Once the leaves had fallen, the temperatures dropped rapidly, and we have even had some light snow already. Before we get too far into deep, dark winter, I wanted to share some photos of our glorious autumn season. To start with, here are some photos from a bike ride we did in Naturpark Barnim, a big nature area in Brandenburg near Berlin. We started at Karow and followed lovely cycle paths all the way to Eberswalde. Brandenburg is really the perfect place for cycling. Continue reading

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Battle of the Seelow Heights and a walk near the Oder river

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Approximately 90km from Berlin lies the Seelow Heights, where the last major defensive line outside of Berlin was situated towards the end of World War II. This area of countryside, woods and villages lies near today’s border of Germany and Poland, near the Oder and Neisse rivers. From the 16-19 April 1945, a battle was fought for passage to Berlin between 1 million Soviet soldiers of the 1st Belorussian front and 110 000 German soldiers. Between 20 000 -70 000 Soviet soldiers (according to different sources) and 12 000 German soldiers were killed, and victory was taken by the Soviets, leaving the road to Berlin open from the 19th April. By the 23rd April, Berlin was surrounded and the final Battle of Berlin began. It is estimated that more than 1 million German soldiers were killed as well as 100 000 civilians and 300 000 Soviet soldiers, and that approximately 100 000 women were raped. Within 2 weeks, Berlin was taken, Hitler committed suicide and World War II had come to an end. Continue reading

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City biking for dummies (like me!)

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You can even use a basket to carry home the rest of your BBQ. After this we renamed my bike the Braaicycle. Only South Africans will get this!

Unlike many Europeans who have been riding their bicycles around cities since they were yea high, those of us from other continents often have to learn about city biking the hard way. I wobbled off on my first bicycle in Berlin not having ridden a bicycle since childhood, and never in a city. Not that cycling isn’t big in South Africa – sports cycling and mountain biking are common, and there are two big international races held there, the Cape epic (a mountain bike race) and the Argus cycle tour (a road race). But until recently there were not many cycling lanes in the city and cycling as a means of public transportation was not that common.

Here are some basic things I’ve learned about cycling in the city after living in Berlin: Continue reading

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