THE BALI SWING
PLAYGROUND FOR ADULTS
Before I jumped on a plane to Bali I’d already seen pictures of the Bali Swing on Instagram. However when I asked about it while in Ubud, it turned out that The Bali Swing was not known by everyone. You can use a swing in Bali on various spots, yet my aim was to swing above the gorge as seen on pictures, not just somewhere in the middle of the rice fields. And so I jumped into a taxi that took me to The Bali Swing, located just about a 30 minute drive from Ubud. Upon arrival I found out that it had only been opened a few months earlier, so it wasn’t a coincidence that not everyone yet knew about it.
MUST DO IN GERMANY
Looking for a something fun to do in the German Hunsrück region? Then definitely consider the Geierlay suspension bridge. This suspension bridge in Germany is located in the Hunsrück just a three-hour drive from the Dutch-German border. I visited the bridge three times in recent years, the last time I even was completely alone. Below you will first find my original report and photos from August 2016, followed by updates and tips that I added following my second and most recent visit in May 2019. Enjoy reading!
10 TIPS FOR FIRST TIMERS
TRAVELING IN NEW-ZEALAND
For nature that is. Most of us come to New Zealand because of the amazing landscapes and I will never forget what was written in the guestbook of the hostel I stayed in Auckland after arrival in my first trip. It said ‘please go to the South Island as soon as you can!’. Of course, we had unfortunately booked a return trip from AKL meaning we had to return up north and leave the South Island behind at some point, which made me ache to go back. The second time I went to New Zealand, I flew out of Christchurch, so your trip definitely ends with a bang of truly stunning nature.
Yesterday we came home from a vacation in Germany, the first journey abroad since the corona virus has started. Of course it was pretty interesting how it would go, but in the end I thought it was not so bad. In order to prepare you for your Germany trip, I’m sharing my experiences with you so that you know what it is like in Germany at the moment. Note that this is an article based on my personal experiences. For official rules and regulations, go to the official Germany website. We do not accept any liability for not providing the up-to-date information and it may be that the experience listed below is now up-ro-date when you read this, as the rules can be changed at any time by local authorities. Preparations from home First of all, I only booked my accommodation shortly before departure. The travel advice for Germany is currently on code yellow for people from The Netherlands, but this can of course change at any time and without prior notice. Because I travel just before the high season, it is possible to book an apartment in Landal Sonnenberg in the Moselle area at a very good rate last minute. After my accommodation was booked, I had to arrange a face mask. I decide to go for a mask from a local entrepreneur that I have custom made. A face mask is mandatory in all public places in Germany. You can read more about this in practice later in the article. In addition, I already tried to take as many groceries from home with me as possible, so that in Germany I only had to buy the needed fresh things in the local store. I took everything I could keep well in the car from the Netherlands with me. Crossing the border Crossing the border was no problem at all. I traveled by car and was not stopped anywhere. I eventually drove through Belgium and this turned out to be possible as well. On the way I did not stop (I had already refueled in the Netherlands) to avoid as many contact moments as possible. Of course I really had to pee on arrival, so luckily check-in was arranged quickly. Arrival in my apartment Upon arrival in Landal Sonnenberg, a clear sign with the maximum number of people allowed in the reception immediately became visible. Just like in the Netherlands, there are cough screens everywhere and you have to keep 1.5 meters distance from others. From the moment you step into a public space in Germany, you must wear a face mask. What I regretted is that there was no hand soap in the apartment. When I wanted to buy it in the park shop, it only appeared to be open between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m., i.e. I could not buy soap to wash my hands. Not very handy, so bring your own soap to be sure. I did have disinfectant spray with me, but I prefer to use soap, which I could only buy the next day. The apartment was also fine and clean so I have nothing to complain about. I received all the information in an envelope, including a number of additional rules for the park. I could not find the opening hours anywhere, only at the places themselves. On the campsite After my stay in Landal, I went camping with my boyfriend for a few more nights in the Eifel region. The campsites are open again in Germany, as are the sanitary facilities. For the campsite where we were (which I do not recommend you by the way), we already had a reservation and had to wear a face mask when checking in. Reservation for the restaurant was required (due to limited space) and the owner told me that many restaurants only work by reservation at the moment. So the sanitary was just open and I have no idea if this was cleaned extra often. I camped on a tent field with only a sink and a toilet, I did not use the showers. A face mask is also mandatory in the toilet building, unless you brush your teeth, of course. You have to put it on the moment you walk through the building. In restaurants and outdoor terraces When you arrive on an outdoor terrace and in a restaurant you have to put on your face mask. As soon as you sit you can take off your face mask. If you go in to go to the toilet, for example, you have to put it on again. All employees in the bar or restaurant wear a face mask, whether or not correctly … Many terraces and restaurants have one-way traffic, indicated by arrows. Sometimes it takes a while to search the right way in and/or out. In addition, all tables are separated and a maximum number of occupants applies. For example, Landal’s terrace was only open between 2 pm-5pm. Upon arrival at an establishment you will receive a form to fill in with your name and address and your telephone number. In addition, you fill in your arrival and departure time, so that the owners can contact you if necessary. Most forms stated that your data will not be stored digitally and will be destroyed after four weeks. What struck me is that in Germany they still accept cash everywhere and they don’t bother about it. So much better than in the Netherlands as far as I’m concerned where cash is not really accepted anymore. In addition, I noticed that one and a half meters are not really looked at, or at least it seemed so. I don’t know what the exact rules are in Germany with groups of friends, for example, but I had the idea that the Germans were fairly flexible with it. While hiking I mainly went to Germany for a hiking. At the moment it is still preseason and therefore not very busy on the trails, but I did find that there is a less “I keep 1.5 meters away mentality” than in the Netherlands. This does not detract from the fact that I was able to hike safely just fine, but not always everyone passed at a meter and a half. I must also honestly say that I mainly chose quiet and local hiking trails and ignored the famous sights. I occasionally ran into some people at viewpoints, but otherwise it was not so bad. So no museums or crowds for me! In the supermarket In the supermarket, the use of a face mask is also mandatory, as is the one and a half meter distance. Just like in The Netherlands, cough screens hang down at the cash registers. A shopping cart is also required, but this will depend on where you are exactly. Conclusion about my trip in Germany during corona To be honest, I’m not a fan of face masks. I find it very suffocating (especially at 30 degrees) and given my asthma I would rather use them as little as necessary. Therefore, I tried to stay away from busy places as much as possible and avoid visits to shops and that was doable for me. What makes the difference is that I traveled in the preseason and it was not very busy in many places. What you have to take into account are waiting times at swimming pools and sights, one-way paths and intensive use of a face mask. I also noticed that many hotels and restaurants were closed, but I don’t know if this was specifically because of corona or because it was still low season. The spontaneity of “grabbing a drink along the way was a lot less than I’m used to due to closures. All in all I had a great holiday and I would definitely go on holiday to Germany again during these times, provided the circumstances remain the same. Happy holidays in Germany this summer!
If you have been following me for a while, you now know that I’m a huge Germany fan! I visit Germany at least 4/5 times a year for a short vacation and keep going to a new region every single time. Germany is perfect for hiking, but there are also plenty of other fun and adventurous things to do. In this blog I have collected five cool micro adventures that you can do in Germany. Have fun reading and inspiring in this article about micro adventure in Germany! The Geierlay swingbridge As far as I am concerned, the Geierlay Suspension Bridge is the best example of a micro adventure. You can find this swing bridge about 3 hours drive from the border with The Netherlands and I have been there three times. This is the second longest suspension bridge in Germany, the longest is the Titan RT in the Harz, which I liked a lot less. The Geierlay suspension bridge is located in the German Saarland near the village of Mörsdorf. Also check the video I made the last time I was there, I was all alone then and it is certainly not impossible to avoid the crowds. In the video and in the accompanying article I will tell you how I did that! Climbing the Langenberg in Sauerland The Langenberg is the highest mountain in Sauerland and also the highest mountain in North Rhine-Westphalia, the state that largely borders the Netherlands. This mountain measures over 843 meters and although it is not a real top, you will find a large wooden cross on top of the mountain. You can start the walk there from several places and the route is easy to determine yourself with a handy hiking map of Sauerland, namely that of the Rothaarsteig. You can read more about this micro-adventure in Germany in this article. The Calmont Klettersteig A few years ago I made a short trip to the Moselle region in Germany. I was a little convinced that this would be an area for the elderly (boat on the Moselle), but I came back very enthusiastic. I did the Calmont Klettersteig here, a three kilometer ferrata trail on the Calmont, the steepest vineyard in Europe. I also walked a section of the Moselsteig. Although alpinists probably don’t like it that much, it’s a fun way to test your alpine skills and find out if a Via Ferrata in the Alps might be right for you. Extra handy: you don’t need any material for this simple Via ferrata! The MegaZipline in the Harz Mountains For those who are not afraid of heights, the MegaZipline in the Harz is a must! How nervous I was when I was up there, but WAS IT FUN! The zipline is over a kilometer long and the flight takes about a minute. A ticket for the Zipline costs € 39 and you will be brought back by car to the starting point of the zipline. Of course you can also walk, if your legs can handle it after that enormous adrenaline rush of course. Read the full blog about the Mega Zipline here. Mountainbiking to the Celtic ringwall Did you know that there is a huge Celtic ring wall in the German Pfalz region? And that it is super cool to go mountain biking here? I did this during my visit to the Pfalz and went on an off the beaten track tour with a guide. You cannot go on the ring wall itself by bike, but you walk on it. From the ring wall you also have a beautiful view of the surrounding area. Highly recommended for the sports enthusiasts among us! Conclusion and disclaimer Hopefully you liked this article and I inspired you to visit Germany more often. If you have any other tips for me, be sure to leave them in the comments! This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase via such a link, we may receive a modest commission for you at no extra cost.
I stand on the plateau and look into the depth below me. 1-2-3 go! The two people in front of me whiz down a cable like some kind of superman, far away to the other side of the reservoir. My knees are weak and I feel I have to go to the toilet. A standard thing when I’m nervous about something. Why again did I say ‘that I wanted to do the Mega Zipline in the Harz? A trip to the Harz Mountains It is a sunny day at the end of September when I drive to the German Harz Mountain region. I was here for the Deutsche Blogger Wandertag four years ago and I was introduced to the Harzer Hexenstieg back then. I was impressed by this area and when the German Tourist Office asked if I wanted to travel to the Harz again, I immediately said yes. Not the least because the longest suspension bridge of its kind, Titan RT, can be found here, which I figured would be cool, especially after visiting and writing about the super cool Geierlay suspension bridge in the Hunsrück, until recently the longest suspension bridge in Germany. The Mega Zipline in the Harz But … next to (or better said: above) the suspension bridge is something much cooler: the Mega Zipline over the Rappbodetalsperre. This zipline has a length of more than a kilometer and transfers you in just under a minute to the reservoir. When I arrive at the Harzdrenaline Center I report to the desk. My flight (I call it that) is booked for 4.30 pm and I have to report half an hour in advance. From the parking lot it is a five minute walk to the mountain ridge from where you have a view of the bridge and where the tower is where you leave from. Just as I walk up, someone starts their flight screaming. My stomach turns. OMG – I’m going to do this soon. I take a deep breath and give myself some courage. The last time I did a mega zipline was from the Euromast and that was, in hindsight, really cool. So this ought to be awesome too eventually, right? High up! Not much later I walk back to my car where I leave my backpack with stuff I’m carrying. You can take some small things along the way in a pocket in your harness, but not a whole bag. I put a hair-tie and my iPhone in my pocket and also take the car key with me. At exactly 16.15 I can go through the gates with my ticket and I am welcomed by a guy with a big grin who asks me to fill in and sign the form. In the meantime I send a text message home with “it’s that time, love you in case I die” and after I have submitted the form, I’m weighed, I’m outfitted with a helmet and glasses and I can walk upstairs. Once upstairs on the tower, the employees are still attaching the people in front of me. I try to look cheerful in my selfie cam but almost shit in my pants because of the altitude. The things I wanted to take with me go into the pocket in the harness. During the flight I am not allowed to hold any stuff and therefore I cannot take pictures. On my helmet there is a camera for the video that will be made of the flight. Here we goooo! I may come forward and be attached and secured. You are lying in some kind of harness, so your head goes down first. You keep your hands behind you as a kind of “superman”. The most anxious moment is really just letting go of control. In other words, take your feet off the ground, bend over and let the harness support your weight. The lady shouts “we start in 3-2-1 – bye bye!” And there I go. The adrenaline rushes through my body during the first few meters. I feel the cold wind in my face and … I feel like I’m flying! How cool is this! The beauty of this Mega Zipline in the Harz is that it lasts almost a minute, giving you ample opportunity to enjoy it. With spectacular things that last a short time (such as bungy jumping) it is often the case that you completely forget to enjoy, now my fear gives way to a wonderful feeling of freedom and I arrive at the end with a broad smile on my face. Here I am released and I still tremble like crazy. This was SO cool, can I go again? Back to the car If you wish, you can walk back to the car yourself (approx. 25 minutes), but there is also a shuttle service available when there are enough people. I decide to wait for the shuttle. Once back at the car, I’m still intensely stuffed with adrenaline. What a great job I have! Curious? Unfortunately I couldn’t take pictures during my flight, but the headcam on my helmet captured everything. Enjoy watching: Conclusion en disclaimer More information, rates and conditions can be found on the HarzDrenalin Center website. I made this trip at the invitation of the German Tourist Board. All opinions given are only my own.
Let me start by saying that both treks are tough and should not be underestimated. If you have no experience in trekking, you will have to carry lots of stamina and willpower in order to make it to either basecamp. It’s not easy but not impossible either. Which of the two is the most difficult is hard to say and really depends on various factors. If we look at altitude, Everest Base Camp Trek is definitely the most challenging reaching 5.364 meters above sea level. If you decide to trek via Gokyo, which I strongly recommend so you won’t have to hike the same route twice, you will have to cross Cho-La Pass which is even higher and reaches as high as 5.420 meters. Annapurna Base Camp is located at 4.130 meters above sea level, meaning you need less time to acclimatize.
Iregularly have discussions with friends about whether you have to travel far away (= outside of Europe for me) every year. Not only because of the flying embarrassment that seems to be on the rise, but also because there are plenty of nice walks in Europe. You don’t always have to go far to see beautiful landscapes. Need inspiration? Then read on in this article with the beste places to hike in Europe, from north to south. All trails have been made by myself so I only advise you from my own experience, as you are used to from me. Enjoy reading and hiking!
The good thing about hiking in New Zealand is that it can be done from anywhere as there are numerous of trails all over the country, whether it’s close to the city or far away from civilization. In addition to my old post, I will also add more information about the best multi-day hikes in New Zealand as well as shorter hikes that can be done by anyone. Enjoy this list with the best hikes in New Zealand!
When planning to hike a long(ish) track, it’s wise to figure out as much as you can about the trail. What the distance is, how to get to the start and end and what the current trail situation is. Many of these things can be found online nowadays and by doing some research beforehand you can avoid unpleasant surprises along the way. Such as not carrying enough drinking water or having to make a river crossing. But also there may be ferries that are not running on certain days or the bus service you may need could be limited on certain days. All these things can be found out well in advance.
We found another hiking paradise and it’s called Tasmania. Located on the opposite part of the world for us, we spent a month here, exploring what Australians call ‘the Apple Island’ by foot and by bike. We knew that Tasmania had some pretty spectacular scenery to offer but we kept on being surprised over and over again by the diversity of this place. One day we’d stand with our feet in the sand on some stunning beach and the next day we’d be in a rain forrest discovering the prettiest little waterfalls. When you are going hiking here, there is no way you will get disappointed. Here is our selection of the best hikes in Tasmania!
For me, a visit to Crater Lake National Park had been on my bucketlist for many years. Being from The Netherlands it’s not nearly as well known and popular as other US National Parks such as The Grand Canyon or Yellowstone National Park. However, after hearing about this place from a friend, I knew I wanted to go here one day. I kept on googling Crater Lake National Park year after year, at some point I knew it was my time to head on another trip to the US and go for it. And so I finally got to visit Crater Lake National Park after wanting to go for such a long time.
On We12travel you will find everything you want to know about outdoor traveling, nature and hiking. From the best outdoor clothing to the greatest multi-day treks in the world, and everything in between. I’ve been inspiring readers from all across the globe since 2011 and am the leading Dutch outdoor and hiking blog ever since. I help you in your search for beautiful hiking destinations, preparing for your trek and planning your trip in nature.