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.

GEIERLAY HANGBRUG

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.

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RECENT BLOGS
Strümpfelbach aan de Remstalweg

Hiking in the Remstal: through vineyards and silent forests

Have you ever heard of the Remstal in Baden-Württemberg? This beautiful valley in the south of Germany has shaped around the river Rems and is filled with rolling vineyards, deep forests and beautiful views from everywhere. But … without the crowds that you may typically find in the Moselle or the Eifel regions, for example. In collaboration with Baden-Württemberg Tourismus and Stuttgart Tourismus, I made a short hiking trip in this region. In this blog article I will tell you why a visit to and a walk in the Remstal should definitely be on your bucket list! And psst …. that’s not just for the excellent wines that are produced here!     About the Remstal The Remstal is located from west to east between Stuttgart and Aalen in the south of Germany. Their motto is ‘Natur, Kultur, Wein’ and that is exactly how I experienced the Remstal myself. In the valley, the hills are covered by steep vineyards and you can really enjoy the good life here. In addition, there are many historic villages and towns, such as Schorndorf and Strümfelpbach, where you will find beautiful old half-timbered houses. In this short video you get a quick impression of the area:     The good thing about hiking in Germany I’ve been coming to Germany for their excellent hiking trails for years now. To me, Germany is a perfect hiking destination where I can step onto the trail carefree during the day and enjoy a good meal and a nice glass of wine in the evening. Since I’m traveling by train from my hometown in The Netherlands this time, I’m taking walks that can easily be done by public transport. This is super easy, as a train runs through the Remstal and the villages that are not along that line can be reached by bus. Depending on the number of days you use public transport, you can buy a pass for several days, with which you can use all regional trains and buses.     A city walk in Schorndorf We start our visit to the Remstal with a city walk through Schorndorf. This is Gottlieb Daimler’s hometown. I’m not that much into cars and automobile history, but if this seems interesting to you, be sure to visit the Gottlieb Daimler Geburtshaus on the Höllgasse. At first we try to follow a city walking route, but soon we decide to leave it and just stroll through the narrow streets at our own discretion. We sit down on the terrace, take pictures and shelter from the downpour. Despite the rain it is nice to be back in Germany.   We stay overnight in the charming Boutique Hotel Pfauen, right in the center of Schorndorf. It is a half-timbered house with a rich history, next to the birthplace of Gottlieb Daimler. The current owners have recently completed an extensive renovation. The small-scale and historic character has been preserved, but the rooms are spacious and comfortably furnished. There is an espresso machine and a fruit platter ready for us to start the day with. The hotel restaurant is currently closed, but if I can believe the reviews, this restaurant alone is a good reason to return to Schorndorf again.     Hiking the RemstalWeg The RemstalWeg is a 215-kilometer long distance hiking trail that starts in Fellbach and ends in Remseck am Neckar. There are a total of 11 stages that vary in length between 11 and 25 kilometers, but can be shortened or extended at your own choice. Along the way you regularly pass through villages where you can spend the night and/or take public transport back to your starting point. We walk from Strümpfelbach to Winterbach, a distance of about 20 kilometers. The official stage runs between Strümpfelbach and Schorndorf and is 22.3 kilometers long. However, a thunderstorm was coming and we decided to shorten it.     Between vineyards and orchards The RemstalWeg is marked in the landscape with yellow signs. We pick it up effortlessly in Strümpfelbach and soon rise above the village, into the vineyards. The trail is simple: we follow the paved road that winds through the vineyards. Once at the top we have a beautiful view of the surroundings at the Karlstein. We descend to Schnaitt through orchards and along narrow forest trails. Immediately after the village the trail goes steeply up again. This time it is the middle of the day and super warm, there is a water hose at the top and we like to use that to cool ourselves.   After Schnaitt we enter the forest and cross the Nonnenberg. Around us dark skies gather and rumble. We arrive on top of the mountain, where the small village of Manolzweiler is located. Here we will have a break until the rain is over. As it remains dark and threatening, we eventually descend via Engelberg to Winterbach, where we board the train back to Schorndorf. Arriving here it starts pouring down from above and we decide to drink the bottle of wine that we got for along the way in the hotel.     Hiking the Remstal yourself? This will help! You can pick up a booklet including a route map at the various tourist information offices along the route. The trail is well marked, but we still had to search for signs every now and then. That is why I recommend that you also download the GPX just in case. The start and end of each section are accessible by public transport and along the way you regularly pass through villages where you can spend the night. There are hardly any campsites, so it is mainly a trail that you walk from hotel to hotel (or gasthaus, B&B, etc.). Freedom camping is not allowed in Germany. The trail is quite simple and not very technical yet is has a lot of climbs and descents. A large part of the section we walked was paved, something to take into account when choosing the right kind of hiking shoes!     The Stuttgarter Weinwanderweg The next day it is time for another hike: the Stuttgarter Weinwanderweg. This 12 kilometer circular walk starts at the train station in Obertürkheim and takes you, via Uhlbach and the Rotenberg to Untertürkheim. Here you can get on the train back to the starting point or also walk this last part. Because we only had the morning available (we traveled to Lake Constance in the afternoon) we shortened the route slightly.   Our walk leaves from Obertürkheim and immediately goes up steeply. Our guide tells us interesting facts and stories about wine making in the region along the way. She points out a few wineries where you can taste wine (which were unfortunately still closed at the time of our visit) and possibly have a nice meal.   In Uhlbach we stop for a cup of coffee and admire beautiful half-timbered houses. After this it is quite a climb because the Grabkapelle comes into view. This chapel on the Württemberg was built by King Wilhelm I for his wife Katharina, who died only three years after their wedding. The official cause of death is said to be a virus, but she is also rumored to have died of heartbreak. It turned out that King Wilhelm, despite being much loved by the German people, was cheating on her and her heart broke when she found out.   After our visit to the Grabkapelle we enjoy the special views for a while. Special because the vineyards are a huge contrast with the industry of Stuttgart that are down below us. Still, as locals told me, Stuttgart is a very nice city to live in, simply because you can be outdoors and outside the city in no time and it’s is located in the middle of the green hills.     Wine tasting Unfortunately, the local wineries are still closed but will most of them will reopen soon. But we can go to the Rotenberger Weingärtle for a mini-tasting. And for a delicious Käsespäzele: a plate full of cheese and dough but definitely my favorite German dish. In Untertürkheim we board the train to Lake Constance, where our next adventure awaits.   Would you like to hike the Weinwanderweg yourself? Information panels are located at the mentioned train stations, as well as en route. The trail is well marked in the landscape as well. Would you also like to travel with a guide like we did? On this page you will find all guided walking tours that you can take in Stuttgart and the surrounding area.     Also good to know The Remstal is easily accessible by train. From most places in Germany you can reach Stuttgart within a few hours with the ICE train. Here you can take the train or S-Bahn to the Remstal. When I compare the Remstal with other destinations in Germany, I noticed how wonderfully quiet it was here. Because the Remstal is still relatively unknown for walking, it is especially recommended if you want to go somewhere other than the Moselle, the Harz or the Eifel.   Conclusion and disclaimer I was invited to make this trip by Baden-Württemberg Tourismus. All opinions given are, of course, only my own. I traveled when Germany reopened for tourism. Please research yourself what the current travel restrictions are at the time of your journey.  

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Osprey Kyte 36 review

Osprey Kyte 36 – the perfect small trekking backpack for women

It already seems ages ago that I did the Nendaz trekking in Switzerland, but in fact it is just over half a year ago that I was backpacking in the Alps. A new adventure, a new backpack! I took the Osprey Kyte 36 backpack for women with me on this trip. In this article I’ll give you my full and honest review, enjoy!     Osprey Kyte 36 – how I got to know this pack You may think why I’d go for a new backpack while I still had a good backpack for trekkings. The backpack in this size that I have, has a relatively small hipbelt. I’ve been wearing the Osprey Tempest 40 for years and find myself not nearly as comfortable on a trek as when carrying the Ariel AG 55 that I carried on my treks in New Zealand. The latter has a very soft yet strong hipbelt which makes wearing it a lot more comfortable than the Osprey Tempest 40. But since I’m going on a cabin trek where I don’t need to carry my own cooking gear nor food, this one will be way too big for this purpose.   I get in touch with Osprey and tell them about my dilemma. They offer me to send the Osprey Kyte 36 liter backpack, a backpack specially designed for trekking and the female body. I decide to go for the Icelake Green, a nice color with turquoise details, making me feel very feminine as well.     A first impression The Osprey Kyte 36 backpack is delivered to me a week before I go to Switzerland. It is the hottest week of the year, but I still decide to take the pack here on a trial hike through the local forest. I load it with some stuff for the trying and decide to hit the road. I immediately feel that the hipbelt is comfortable and soft, much better than the Tempest’s. This allows me to carry the weight on my hips without getting sore spots. In addition, I’m very happy with the fact that my mobile phone (an iPhone 8 plus) fits in the hipbelt pocket. Especially in the summer I often wear shorts that usually have no pockets. With the previously mentioned Tempest 40 my phone no longer fits in the hip pocket and I often carry it in my hand (or store it, not my preference, inside the backpack), but now I always have my phone at hand in case I want to snap a picture.   Off to Switzerland Then it is time to go to Switzerland. I make a selection of which items will go with me on this trip. Because I’m traveling by train and I want to make the most of my time, I also bring items that do not go with me on the hike, such as a laptop and a bikini (for the spa after the tour). And so I only really get to test it right once I’ve arrived in Nendaz and am ready to hit the trail.     On the Nendaz trek As mentioned, this backpack is equipped with an extra wide hip belt, which provides a lot of comfort for me. In addition, useful features such as the whistle and a rain cover are also featured on this backpack. The main compartment is accessible both from below and from above. I personally like the fact that I can close the bottom part for things that I should not need during the day, such as my sleeping bag, pillowcase (mandatory in corona time in the cabins in Switzerland) and my spare clothes.   In addition, I really liked that my water bag could be placed on the outside, so that no valuable space was lost on the inside. Suppose it is going to rain, something that is not unimaginable in the Alps, then a water bag can just get wet rather than other stuff. Also in case of a leak, this proves to be much safer.   I use the top compartment for things I want to have at hand quickly: sunglasses, sunscreen, a buff, my wallet and snacks. I use my other hip pocket for tissue paper and lip balm. After just one day I am satisfied with the layout of the backpack. It always takes a while to try out what fits best where, but within no time all items have their own space and I’m quick at grabbing what I need.     Features that I wasn’t happy about The perfect backpack does not exist. Therefore I’ll also mention two things that I was less happy about. First of all, the included rain cover did not completely fit around the bag when it was full. I found out the hard way when it started to pour. Luckily it was just a quick shower, but next time I go to use it, I will have to bring a larger rain cover when it is fully filled (i.e. full size).   In addition, this backpack does not have a so called flat bottom, so you always have to stand it up it against something or put it down on its side. I think this feature is great with the Tempest 30 and 40. Besides these two small comments, I’m very satisfied with this backpack and hope that I can wear it for many years to come.   Technical details Also useful to know: the Osprey Kyte 36 liter backpack weighs 1.5 kilos and the dimensions are 77x33x30cm. You order this bag at Amazon. Do you prefer a different backpack or a daypack? In this article I will give more reviews of backpacks for women!   Conclusion and disclaimer I was offered this backpack in exchange for an honest review. If you have any questions and / or comments, please let me know. This article contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase via such a link, we may receive a modest commission for you at no extra cost!  

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Things to do in Oregon

Things to do in Oregon + route suggestion

Welcome to this in-depth article on with the best things to do in Oregon! This state on the west coast of America is still relatively unknown and that is a shame, because it’s filled with awesome sights and beautiful nature. Think of bustling Portland, Crater Lake National Park and the famous Oregon Coast where rugged coastlines and endless sandy beaches dominate the landscape.   After years of dreaming about a roadtrip in Oregon, a few years ago I made a two-week trip through the American Pacific Northwest. I had been to the more touristy part of the United States before (Yellowstone, Utah, Grand Canyon) and had heard from locals that I “really had to go to Crater Lake because I would really love it”. And so it happened. I booked a plane ticket to Seattle, picked up my rental car, and went on vacation to Oregon and Washington State.   I’ll start this article with the top Oregon attractions. Then I’ll share my route suggestion for your Oregon trip and finally I give you my general tips for travel in the United States for non-Americans. Have fun reading and inspiring!     Things to do in Portland Although Portland is not exactly small by Dutch standards (the number of inhabitants is over half a million), it’s by American standards. The high-rise buildings that you find in other cities on the west coast of America (Los Angeles, Seattle for example) are missing here and that makes it a bit cozier. One day in the city is enough to give you a good impression of Portland and its sights.   One of the best things to do in Portland are the Pine Street Market, the Rose Garden (with a view of Mount Hood), the Street Art with “Keep Portland Weird” and of course the various food trucks. As I was in Portland on a Sunday, many of these food trucks were unfortunately closed. If you are going to Portland especially for these, I highly recommend that you plan your road trip in Oregon in such a way that you are not in Portland on Sundays.   Where to stay: The Society Hotel     Mount Hood Mount Hood is a 3.429 meter high stratovolcano located a short drive from Portland. In the summer it is a popular area for hiking and other outdoor activities, in the winter there is skiing on the flanks of this volcano. You can visit Mount Hood for a day from Portland or go there for a longer period of time. I spent 24 hours there and went on several beautiful hikes, including one on the famous Pacific Crest Trail, which passes close to Mount Hood.   It is also nice to have take a seat at the terrace at the Timberline Lodge. This historic lodge has become famous for being used for the movie The Shining. Confusing, because the hotel as it is called in the movie is The Stanley Hotel which is in fact located in Estes Park in Colorado. I also vitisted that one, but I found it a huge disappointment to be honest.   Would you like to read more about Mount Hood? Then check out this article about 24 hours in Mount Hood and the surrounding area.   Where to stay: Cooper Spur Mountain Resort     Crater Lake National Park The highlight of my Oregon trip was my visit to Crater Lake National Park. Ever since I saw the first photos of this special natural phenomenon, I knew I wanted to go to Crater Lake one day. And so it happened. It even made me so emotional when I arrived that tears came to my eyes when I first saw the bright blue Crater Lake.   Crater Lake National Park is about a five-hour drive south of Portland and due to its elevation, you can only visit snow-free for a few months of the year. Even during my visit at the end of July, there was still snow in many places and several hiking trails were still closed. So August is definitely a better option!   For Crater Lake National Park, 24 hours is also sufficient to get a good impression of the park. I visited the Rim, hiked to the highest point in the park (Mount Scott) and visited The Pinnacles. You can find all my tips for your visit to Crater Lake here.   Where to stay: Crater Lake Resort   Be sure to check out the video I made about my visit to Crater Lake National Park:     Columbia River Gorge Also worth a visit is the Columbia River Gorge. This wide river valley is the natural border between Oregon and Washington. You can cross it over the famous “Bridge of the Gods” at Cascade Locks, the point where Reese Witherspoon ends her adventure in the movie Wild.   The Columbia River Gorge is particularly known for its beautiful waterfalls and is a popular place for Americans to celebrate their holidays. This ensures that most waterfalls are peak pressure in the summer and that sometimes you cannot even park at the waterfall of your place. In the Columbia River Gorge there are no less than 18 waterfalls that you can visit, of which Mulnomah Falls are the most famous. By the way, I did not visit this one myself because of extreme crowds. Instead I went to some smaller waterfalls.   You can visit the Columbia River Gorge for a day from Portland by rental car. Please note that there have been serious fires in the Columbia River Gorge in 2019 and that nature is still recovering from this. As a result, it may not be possible to visit all tourist spots or they may look different than the internet suggests. Nature is still in the recovery phase here.   And while you’re in the area, also make sure to check out the town of Hood River!     The Pacific Coast The Oregon Coast is one of the major things to do in Oregon. The rugged coastline is ideal for a day or two. Special places include Cape Meares and Cannon Beach. You can get a breath of fresh air on the beach, gather driftwood or enjoy a campfire. Keep in mind that there is often no last minute availability on the Oregon Coast. I spent half a day looking for affordable accommodation (not found) – even all the campsites were full. In the end I spent the night in my car on the border of Oregon and Washington, not really recommended. Book in advance!Boek your accommodation on the Oregon coast in well in advance!     Het dry interior While the coastline is predominantly moist and green, the Oregon interior is relatively dry. I discovered this while driving north from Crater Lake and driving through arid landscapes. I camped with a beautiful view of the Oregon and Washington volcanoes in Redmond, in the middle of the desert. A beautiful sunset made it a complete desert experience.   Where to stay: KOA Culver Redmond     Oregon road trip in 9 of 10 days Most travelers spend about a week to a week and a half in Oregon. I have therefore compiled the following itinerary for you:   Day 1. Arrival in Portland Day 2. Free day in Portland Day 3. Visit the Columbia River Gorge by rental car Day 4. Drive along the Oregon Coast Day 5. Drive to Crater Lake National Park Day 6. Free day Crater Lake National Park Day 7. Drive to Mount Hood via Redmond Day 8. Free day at Mount Hood, return to Portland at the end of the day Day 9. Return rental car or departure to Washington   If you want to continue to Washington State with highlights such as Seattle, Mount Rainier and Olympic National Park, check the 14-day Pacific Northwest itinerary that I made for a tour of both states.     General tips for your Oregon journey – Do not forget to activate your credit card and bring your pin code. In America you can hardly pay with a debit card and almost everything is done by credit card. Tip: change the pin code at an ATM in your home country to the pin code that you also use with your bank card, then you will not be able to forget it! – Although I really enjoyed my tour of Oregon, I found it very busy in most places and sometimes had to search a long time until I found an available place to stay. Therefore, book your overnight spots during the high season (June to August)!   Conclusion and disclaimer I hope you found this article about things to see in Oregon trip helpful. If you have any questions and / or comments, feel free to leave them in the comments. This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase or make a reservation via such a link, I may receive a modest commission at no extra cost!  

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HIKING INSPIRATION
Paklijst Wandelvakantie

Everest Base Camp Trek or Annapurna Base Camp Trek

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.

Hiking in Europe: 12 of the best hiking trails

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 best hikes in New Zealand

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!

Safe solo hiking as a female: my tips and tricks

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.

Voedsel tijdens meerdaagse trektochten

The best hikes in Tasmania

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!

A guide to things to do at Crater Lake National Park

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.

ABOUT WE12TRAVEL
Hi! Welcome to We12travel (‘we want to travel’)! My name is Antonette. I’m a world traveler, writer, and lover of being outdoors. When I’m not traveling, I live in a cabin in the woods in The Netherlands. I spend my time hiking The Veluwe, the largest natural area in our country, which also happens to be my back yard.

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.


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