The Bali Swing - A playground for adults in Bali

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.

De Geierlay Hangbrug

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!

Traveling in new zealand

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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wandelen in Slovenië

Hiking in Slovenia: the best trails and tips

Anyone who goes hiking in Slovenia will be pleasantly surprised! Not just because of the beautiful nature, but also because of the friendly and active people. Although you might not expect it, Slovenia has a huge outdoor culture. It’s said that every Slovenian should climb the highest mountain Triglav at least once in his/her life. Slovenians usually go outside in their spare time to be active in nature. In this article I will give you all my tips for hiking in Slovenia, including beautiful places, things that are useful to know and nice Slovenia hiking trails to check out. Enjoy reading!     Hiking in Slovenia: good to know before you go! As mentioned, hiking in Slovenia is a real must for many. You will therefore find hiking trails everywhere that are generally well marked. Slovenia has diverse landscapes and areas where you can hike. First of all the mountains and especially the Julian Alps. This nature reserve is located in the north of Slovenia and actually has the same ‘walking conditions’ as, for example, the Austrian mountains: walking at high altitude is best here in the summer months and the weather can change quickly. In the spring and autumn you can enjoy a peaceful walk a little lower in the mountains. There are plenty of multi-day trails such as the Juliana Trail and you can spend the night in mountain huts along the way. Outside the Alps you will often find hilly areas, which in many places are covered with vineyards. If you want to walk here, spring and autumn are particularly suitable, partly because it can be very hot in summer!     Do people speak English? One of the major questions I asked myself when I first went hiking in Slovenia was whether the people would speak English and/or if I could make myself understood. Fortunately, I soon found out that especially the younger generation can speak English without any problems and I actually had no problem communicating with the locals.   And how about markings and hiking maps? The hiking trails in Slovenia I walked were all well marked. A hiking map is often available at the local tourist office, but there are sometimes information panels along the way. In addition, you can of course download a GPX file online. I had good 4G coverage almost everywhere and that was a nice feeling, so that I could contact someone in case of an emergency or if I got lost.     Best hiking regions in Slovenia In the next part of this blog about hiking in Slovenia I will give you tips for the most beautiful hiking regions. I visited several, but of course there is much more to see and experience in Slovenia. However, during my first trip to Slovenia I also wanted to visit the well-known highlights and so I ended up at the following destinations:   Bohinj The bright blue Lake Bohinj is beautifully closed in between the mountains and is a popular destination for tourists. But not nearly as busy as Lake Bled, Slovenia’s other ‘known’ lake. The hamlet of Bohinj is small in size, but the surroundings are beautiful. Make a stroll along the shores of the lake and return by boat or take the cable car up Vogel Mountain for a hike through the mountains.     Pokljuka Plateau One of Slovenia’s best kept secrets is the Pokljuka Plateau. This plateau, north of Lake Bohinj, is visited by few foreigners because you can only get there by car. From the Uskovnica alm you have a beautiful view of Triglav, the highest mountain in Slovenia. On the plateau you will also find the national biathlon center, where Slovenia’s top athletes practice on skates in the summer months for the winter months to come. Very nice to see!     Radovljica Another place that many tourists miss is Radovljica – a town a short drive from Ljulbljana. Here you have countless hiking trails into the mountains, but also through gorges and along special viewpoints. The walking tour to St. Peter’s Church, on top of a hill, is very special. Radovljica is also worth a city walk! Got curious? Read all my tips for hiking in Radovljica and the surrounding area here.     Soča Valley The Soča Valley is of course not to be missed during your visit to Slovenia. This valley with the bright blue Soča River as its center offers not only countless hiking trails, but also a lot of natural beauty such as waterfalls, rocks and special views. I visited the canyon while the weather was cloudy and rainy. Which is a shame at first, but on the other hand it’s great because the water seems even bluer!     Brda region Another fine region for walking is the wine region of Brda. Here I took a short walk between the vineyards and historic villages, located on the flanks of the vineyards. In this area it is particularly pleasant to walk in the spring and autumn, as it can get very hot here in the summer.     Velika Planina Velika Planina is almost an open air museum to walk through. At an altitude of 1.600 meters you will find an expansive shepherd’s village with wooden houses. In between are the sheep and cows. The plateau can be reached by cable car and chairlift or on foot (about 3 hours). Various walking trails have been marked out on Velika Planina by means of color markings. It is a unique area, not only in Slovenia, but also in Europe. There is little shelter from the sun on the plateau, certainly something to take into account on warmer days.     Long distance trails Of course Slovenia also has several long distance trails. You can walk this in its entirety or in various stages. I’ll cover two different trails in this article: the Juliana Trail and the Alpe Adria Trail, part of which runs through Slovenia. Of course there are more options, but I wanted to mention the paths I have experienced myself to give you the most complete and honest expriences of the options.   The Juliana Trail in Slovenia Not long ago, the brand new Juliana Trail opened: a 270-kilometer hike through northern Slovenia. You walk in the area between the Julian Alps and the Karawanks and the uniqueness of this trail is that you do not hike up in the mountains, but mainly in the valley. This makes the Juliana Trail easy to walk all year round, but especially interesting to do in the spring and autumn. In the spring the flowers are in full bloom and you can intensely enjoy the budding nature. In the autumn the leaves turn fifty shades of orange and it is a wonderful place to stay during the Indian Summer.   The Juliana Trail is divided into 16 stages and can be walked in its entirety or in separate parts. You will pass the highlights mentioned above such as Pokljuka and Radovljica. Each stage is about 17.5 kilometers long and has a modest number of altimeters. Because it is a relatively flat trail, the Juliana Trail is also ideal for children.   Do you want to do the trail? Then you usually spend the night in small-scale hotels and guest houses along the way. You can read more about trail here.   The Juliana Trail is a circular walk and circles the Triglav National Park. With good weather you can see this giant mountain with some regularity. Along the way you enjoy beautiful views, beautiful trails and the hospitality of the Slovenians. Because you move on foot, you get to know the real Slovenia. Where most tourists do not get further than Bled and Bohinj, as a hiker you also experience the special places off the beaten track. Good food is of course also not lacking on the way, because a good meal is the basis of every walk. In addition, it is useful to know that most of the start and end points of the stages are easily accessible by public transport! In short: a must for anyone who wants to get acquainted with hiking in Slovenia and discover this country on foot. Meer over de trail       Alpe Adria Trail Another long-distance hike that runs (partly) through Slovenia is the Alpe Adria Trail. This trail is 750 kilometers long and takes you from the highest mountain in Austria (Alpe) to the Adriatic Sea (Adria) and through three different countries: Austria, Slovenia and Italy. The trail was developed in 2012 and consists of 43 stages, all approximately 15-25 kilometers long. The walks are well marked and mostly take you through non-alpine terrain, making the trip doable for everyone. Of the 43 stages, 10 run through Slovenia, past the aforementioned highlights such as the Soča Valley and Brda.   The Alpe Adria Trail is excellently marked in the landscape and to navigate you can request a free brochure online. In addition, there is a free app with which you can keep track of the route. You don’t need more!     Hiking in Slovenia with kids Do you want to go hiking in Slovenia with the kids? That’s an excellent idea! When planning your holiday, keep in mind the areas where it can be very hot during the summer holidays. Good places for hiking are the Karawanks and the Julian Alps. The lakes of Bled and Bohinj are great for swimming and there are numerous waterfalls to cool off under. Slovenia also has many gorge walks, where you can walk in the shade.     Conclusion and disclaimer Hopefully I have given you an idea of the possibilities for hiking in Slovenia and you, like me, will give Slovenia a chance. If you have any questions regarding this article, please feel free to contact me. This article contains collaboration and affiliate links. Should you make a purchase or make a reservation through such a link, we may receive a modest commission at no additional cost to you.  

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auto huren ijsland

Car rental tips Iceland: know before you go!

Welcome to this article filled with car rental tips for Iceland. Renting a car in Iceland is not difficult and I have done it many times. In recent years I traveled to Iceland no less than ten times, both in summer and in winter I regularly explored the country with a rental car. Although you can easily get around in Iceland with a simple and cheap rental car, there are some things you need to know before you make a reservation and whether renting a car in Iceland is for you. So today I’m sharing more than a decade of experiences and car rental tips for Iceland. Enjoy reading and feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions!     The beauty of nature by rental car Exploring Iceland by rental car guarantees a lot of ‘ohhh’ and ‘ahhh’ moments. The regular buses or tours of Reykjavik Excursions take you to the tourist spots, but they don’t stop everywhere and don’t take nice side roads. In addition, with a rental car you can stop wherever you want to take pictures or just enjoy the most amazing landscapes. Renting a car in Iceland is therefore a must to be able to travel around in a relaxed way.     Renting a car in Iceland Iceland is ideal for being explored by car. Most of the roads are in good condition and most sights are easily accessible with your own vehicle. The most important thing to know, however, is that there are also quite a few unpaved roads in Iceland. These are the so-called ‘interior routes’ – the best known of these are the Kjölur and the Sprengisandur. These routes cross the island from north to south and are only accessible in summer and with a 4×4. You can find more about this in the 4×4 section later in this article. To rent a car in Iceland you must have a valid driver’s license for at least one year. In addition, a credit card in the name of the main driver is usually necessary. Check the conditions of your rental car company for this. The minimum age is 20 or 21 years, this varies per car rental company. Sometimes there is a surcharge for drivers under the age of 25.   Check rates and availability here     How does renting a car in Reykjavík work? Most people arrive in Iceland via Keflavík – Reykjavík’s international airport. This is about an hour’s drive from Reykjavík city. Please note that there is also an airport in the city (Reykjavík) but it is only used for domestic flights. So don’t make the mistake of booking a rental car in Reykjavík instead of in Keflavík. However, if you are going on a city trip in Reykjavík for a few days and you don’t need a rental car, you can take the Flybus to Reykjavík and as soon as you start traveling around, pick up your rental car at the city office. The options for this are somewhat more limited because most depots are located at Keflavík airport.     Car rental tips Iceland: 4×4 or regular car Techincally, you can get very far with a ‘normal’ car. If you plan to stay on the ring road, you don’t need a 4×4 car at all. This is only necessary if you want to take an unpaved route, a so called F-road. Think of the previously mentioned inland routes, but also some routes in the Westfjords and the routes to the popular Landmannalaugar (the starting point of the famous Iceland Laugavegur Trail) and Thórsmörk. Although more and more bridges are being built, some of these routes still include river crossings. This can lead to exciting situations, especially when it has rained a lot. If you want to make a river crossing, always check whether this is possible. See what others are doing and always do a wade-through (i.e. before crossing) before you decide to drive through the water. Water damage is not covered by most insurance policies, so caution is necessary.   What’s also good to know is that most interior roadss do not open until the end of June or the beginning of July. If you travel outside this season, a 4×4 will not be of much use.     Renting a car in Iceland in the winter Do you want to rent a car in Iceland in winter? Then winter tires are mandatory. Most car rental companies have packages that already offer this as standard and most tires come with studs. Driving with snow chains is usually not necessary, depending on the snowfall. The times I went to Iceland in the winter there was hardly any snow (yes really) and the roads were in great condition. A 4×4 is therefore not typically necessary in winter.   Also read: what to pack for Iceland in winter   Cheap car rental in Iceland If you want to rent a cheap car in Iceland, you can compare rates on Rental Cars. There are numerous options here, including cheaper options. However, keep in mind that the cheap rate often pays for itself in high additional costs, such as a limited number of kilometers, a high deductible or limited insurance. So research all options in advance before you choose a budget rental car in Iceland.   I usually rent from Alamo or Herz, they are usually a little bit more expensive but have a low deductible and offer good insurance options. I’d rather not have a large own risk in case an accident happens or in case someone else causes damage to my car.     Is renting a car and driving in Iceland safe? Yes, driving in Iceland is very safe. The roads are generally quiet and in good condition. Sometimes you have to drive a short distance on an unpaved route, for example to get to your accommodation. This is of course no problem. You can fill up your gas along the ring road and Icelanders are generally very friendly and helpful. When you pick up the rental car you will also receive an overview of the traffic rules in Iceland, read this carefully before you set off. Fines are relatively high and it is better to avoid them.     Do you need a GPS or navigation? Renting a navigation system is not really necessary, but can be useful. Of course you can also just use your mobile phone with a navigation app, there are often extra costs for renting a navigation. Once you are on the Ring Road, taking the wrong way is almost impossible, we only used it around Reykjavík and occasionally to see how far we were from a certain destination. Check options for navigations here!     Conclusion and disclaimer of car rental tips Iceland I hope you found article with car rental tips in Iceland useful and that it took away any concerns you may have. Please note that the above includes affiliate links. If you make a purchase or reservation through any of those links we may receive a small commission at no extra fee to you.  

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Grövelsjön Zweden

A mini-trekking in Grövelsjön, Sweden

A few weeks ago I told you about pretty Grövelsjön in Sweden and how we traveled there from the Netherlands. In this blog article I’ll tall you about a trekking we made here, through the mountains and in the midst of the reindeer. We crossed fjälls, crossed fast-flowing rivers and camped in the wild with a view of one of Sweden’s most inaccessible wilderness areas: the Töfsingdalen National Park. Here’s how we enjoyed our mini-trekking in Grövelsjön, Sweden.     We’re planning a hike The great thing about Sweden is the Everyman’s Right: in other words, the freedom to roam where you like. During our hikes in Sweden we rarely make use of the possibility to sleep near and/or in a hut, but we often set up our tent in the middle of the wilderness, far away from other people and often with the most fabulous views. In many places in the Swedish fjälls you don’t actually have to walk a fixed route because you can often just pitch your tent anywhere.   After we have recovered from the long journey to Sweden in Grövelsjön Fjällstation, we decide that we would like to explore the area further on foot. There is a hiking map at the reception of the mountain hotel and we see that there is a large lake in the valley behind Grövelsjön: Hävlingen. On the shores of the lake is Hävlingensstugorna, a popular destination for hikers. A line is also marked on the map that indicates the area in which you are not allowed to camp in the wild: it is just above the tree line, so there is plenty of room to camp with a view. And so we pack our backpacks and go on an adventure!     Across Långfjället The hike we have in mind takes us across the Långfjället, deep into the nature of the extreme northwest of Dalarna. This is also a section of the Södra Kungsleden, or the Southern Kungsleden hiking trail. I still have the GPX files of this on my vacation last year, when I hiked around the Sälen mountain region. Directly from the fjäll station, the trail ascends almost vertically. Sometimes over tundra, sometimes over a rocky patch. As quickly as we ascend, the view expands below and behind us. Although it has rained a lot in recent days, it looks like we are luck with the weather today as it seems to clear up.     On top of the mountain It’s quite busy on the trail, most hikers are on their way to the 1.103m high Jakobshöjden. As soon as we get to the mountain pass, we decide to ignore this mountain peak and continue our way, away from the other people. And we succeed, because less than half an hour later the biggest crowds seem to have passed and it feels as if we are alone on the mountain. Meanwhile, the view gets wider and wider. On the left is Pråahta – a long flat mountain on the border with Norway. To our right is the Storvätteshågna, a peak of 1.203 meters high. When we have crossed the ‘mountain pass’, the trail flattens out and we walk over a wide quadbike track on the fjäll.     Looking for a place to camp We want to camp just outside the boundaries of the marked area. Although we don’t expect anyone to check, we of course want to stick to the rules and invisible boundaries. Northwest of us, Hävlingen has revealed itself, with snowy peaks in Norway in the background. Here we should soon come across the snowmobile track, this is where we want to camp, preferably with a view of the lake. As soon as we get to the emergency shelter, we leave the trail and start looking for a good wild camping spot. We cross a fast-flowing river in a narrow spot (big jump!) and look for a ledge. Then suddenly we find it: our perfect camping spot.     Camping in full light David sets up the tent while I sit down and enjoy the immense view I have from here. Far below me is Hävlingen, beyond snow-capped peaks. Right in front of me lies the wilderness of Töfsingdalen National Park. This nature reserve is not accessible by car and therefore hardly receives any visitors. As soon as the tent is up, we’re going on a micro-adventure: we’re going to look for antlers! David soon finds the first one and that invites us to explore even beyond where we are: we stroll around on the fjäll for hours, always looking for that one piece of white in all the green and brown shades. Eventually we find about six different (pieces of) antlers, scattered here and there in the landscape.   Since it doesn’t get dark, the sense of day and night is gone. However, we sense in our bodies that it is time to eat and finally: to go to sleep. We cook a meal and zip up our sleeping bags. It doesn’t get dark that night, but because we are very tired, we sleep like babies in complete peace and silence.     In search of the trail The next morning we enjoy a cup of coffee in the full sun. Because there’s quite a bit of wind there are almost no mosquitoes and that’s nice! We decide not to walk back to the trail, but to set course with a map and compass to a hiking trail that should be about a kilometer away from us. David gives me a mini-course on navigation and with our compass in hands, we indeed arrive at the trail not much later. At the foot of Storvätteshågna are some small lakes, which a trail leads past. Our goal is to get on that trail and walk back to Grövelsjön from here. Not all rivers are bridged and here and there we have to cross a waterfall on foot. It doesn’t get more adventurous than this!     Back to Grövelsjön We descend into the valley between the lakes. This appears to be a popular destination for tents: we count at least fifteen of them. Families in particular stay here on the waterfront, but we move on quickly. In the meantime our water supply is almost finished and so we set a a fast pace back to Grövelsjön. From the lakes we climb and finally we start the descent to Grövelsjön and the car. It is now a warm day and a pair of shorts would not have been an unnecessary luxury. The trails slowly but surely get busier and just before we get to the parking lot we reach the tree line. A few more steps and we are back at the car.     Conclusie en disclaimer Our visit to Grövelsjön was made possible in part by Visit Dalarna. All opinions given are, of course, only our own. This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase or make a reservation through such links, we will receive a modest commission at no extra cost to you. Do you want to read more? Here you will find all hiking information about Grövelsjön. Enjoy!  

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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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