Tag Archives: travel

Biking in the Moravian winelands of Czechia

I still can’t get used to calling Czech Republic “Czechia”, but I thought I’d try, at least for this post! Even my Czech husband still calls it Czech Republic (or normally Czech for short). Anyway, for years he has been telling me that we should visit the Moravian winelands, in the east of Czechia, more specifically in new wine season (more on new wine later). This year we finally did it, as a group of friends with whom we did Wine-and-Cycling Trip 1.0 with last year in the Alsace wanted to go on Wine-and-Cycling Trip 2.0. In fact for us it was actually the third wine and cycling trip, since we also rode along the Saale river valley. We planned our trip to Moravia in September, which is new wine season.

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European roadtrip 2

Two years ago we did a late summer road trip through Slovenia and Croatia, starting in the Czech Republic. We enjoyed it so much that this summer we are taking another road trip, this time south to Cinque Terre and Cote d’Azur in France. We’re keen to see some of the famously beautiful towns of Germany that we haven’t visited yet, such as Freiburg and Heidelburg. Continue reading

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Mud-walking in the Wadden Sea

 

The Wadden Sea stretches across parts of the northern coastline of the Netherlands and Germany, and even to part of Denmark. In Dutch it is called Waddenzee and in German, Wattenmeer. The curious thing about the Wadden Sea is that it is so shallow that at low tide you can walk across it! This involves walking through a lot of mud, and a guide is essential as they can judge the depth of the water and how soon it will become too deep. Luckily for the Dutch, they are tall!

Some years ago I visited friends in the Netherlands, and they booked a guided tour in Friesland (a province in the north) to do some mud-walking (Wadlopen). I think they might have booked the guide through this organization. The whole sea does not have mud underneath, of course, and some point you get to more sandy ground, but the initial section is indeed very muddy. Before the tour we went to town to buy some cheap shoes, as my friends said the shoes might get so dirty that you would never be able to wear them again. In the end the mud did come off though, and I kept the shoes in case I ever go Wadlopen again! Continue reading

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Notes from the Czech countryside – June, the red month

In Czech, June is called červen, which might be related to the word červený, meaning red. Another theory is that červen could come from červ (worm), because the cochineal larvae used for making red dye were around in early summer. Apparently they are now almost all extinct. Either way, June is a red month. The red poppies are out in all the fields and some of the red fruits (cherries, strawberries) are ripe too.

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Roadtripping from Namibia to Cape Town: our 1-week itinerary

In December we flew to Windhoek, Namibia, on KLM’s new flight route which stops over in Luanda, Angola. The idea was to do a week-long roadtrip down to Cape Town, where we would spend Christmas. To get around Namibia it’s definitely best to have a car, as it’s a big country and the distances between sights are vast. Renting a car gives you the freedom to plan your route as you like, and if you want to drive south, it’s possible to return the car at Cape Town international airport with some companies. Continue reading

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Eating our way around Georgia

 

We’ve just returned from a short trip to Georgia (the country located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, not the American state), and apart from the beautiful snowy mountain vistas, one of the outstanding things about the holiday was the local food. The dishes were all freshly made and tasty, making good use of local ingredients, herbs and spices. I confess, I don’t have many good photos of Georgian food, because we were too busy stuffing our faces. But here’s what you can expect to find in Georgia when you’re looking for something to eat or drink: Continue reading

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Exploring Western Ireland in 3 days

On our long weekend in Ireland, people kept telling us we were blessed. “You’re here for the best weather of the year.” We were indeed lucky; our trip was only three days and we had three full days of warm sunshine and deep blue skies. A woman who’d brought her kids to play hide and seek in the ruins of an old stone friary told us that this could be their summer weather – it might not get better than this. Maybe they’d have another spell, but you never knew. People were sitting out along the river in Galway, walking through villages with ice-creams. We even saw a guy jumping into the 10 degrees sea one evening.

We’d arrived in Ireland at Shannon airport with a guidebook full of places we wanted to see, but only three full days to spare, so we asked our hosts along the way what they suggested and their great recommendations ensured we had a wonderful trip. Here’s what we got up to.

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Brandenburg Bike rides: Fürstenberg/Havel to Templin

The state of Brandenburg around Berlin is a paradise for biking, and we’ve spent many a happy day riding through forests and countrysides, past lakes, villages and orchards. From Berlin you can catch a train to any of numerous towns that can act as a starting point and then with the help of google maps and signposts, find your way to another town from where you can take the train back to Berlin. This weekend we headed off to Fürstenberg with a friend who felt like going for a bike ride on her birthday. Continue reading

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