We12Travel https://www.we12travel.com Outdoor | Hiking | Nature Travel Wed, 23 Sep 2020 13:23:43 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 The best unknown Norway hiking trails https://www.we12travel.com/unknown-norway-hiking-trails/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=unknown-norway-hiking-trails https://www.we12travel.com/unknown-norway-hiking-trails/#respond Wed, 23 Sep 2020 13:00:04 +0000 https://www.we12travel.com/?p=21821 The best unknown hiking trails in NorwayAre you going hiking in Norway? Then forget the Preikestølen, Trolltunga and other famous hikes in Norway where you stumble all over the other tourists. There are really countless top hikes in Norway that are not so crowded and are just as worthwhile. In recent years I have visited Norway several times and although the weather was not always awesome, I was able to make some nice hikes. In this article I share a number of unknown Norway hiking trails with you. Enjoy reading!     Rimstigen During my very first trip to Norway ever (read: 2014) I stayed in a cottage in the narrow Nærøyfjord, which, together with the famous Geirangerfjord, is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The owner also lived in the yard and told me about this hike, which started right behind the house: in just an hour of walking up I would reach a beautiful viewpoint over the Nærøyfjord.   That hour turned into two because if there is one thing I have learned about Norway hiking routes over the years is that the Norwegians are very fast and the times are relatively tight. The journey up is steep and winding, but once at the top of 735 meters above sea level, you have a beautiful view of the Nærøyfjord deep below.   From Rimstigen, the name of the viewpoint, you can go a little further, but the trail is not maintained from here and only suitable for experienced hikers. Want to read more? Go here to read all about the Rimstigen hike.     Møsevassbreen in Folgefonna National Park Do you want to go glacier hiking in Norway? Then I can recommend the hike to Møsevassbreen in Blådålen. Hardly any tourists come here (at least, only a handful when we were there, quite different from the crowded places) and it is really beautiful.   Blådålen, or the blue valley, is a valley dominated by a huge hydroelectric power station, but once you have passed it, the landscape becomes more beautiful and beautiful. The asphalt road takes you far from civilization and once at the end of the road you come to Møsevatnet. Here is a map of the area and some hiking trails have been drawn. However, the hike is not marked, you just follow the best possible route and the cairns.   After a good hour you will come to a ledge, from where you have a beautiful view of the Møsevassbreen glacier. The glacier is located on the south side of the Folgefonna National Park, on the other side of the mountains from the touristic Odda.   This spectacular hike is not difficult, but sometimes it takes a while to find the best trail. You hike back and forth on the same route. After the ridge you can continue up, but you will no longer have a view of the glacier. This is definitely one of the best unknown hikes in Norway!     To the top of Tvindefossen The Tvindefossen is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Norway, just outside the village of Voss. You visit the waterfall at the base, but hardly anyone knows that you can also find the top. With your back to the waterfall, take the road up to your left. This can be done by car, it is a paved road that circles your mountain. After a few hairpin bends you will see a walking trail in the bend, here a short walk of about 10-15 minutes to the beginning of the Tvindefossen starts. Follow the trail and you will get there automatically … be very careful because the drops are long and there’s no fences!     Aurlandsdalen The ‘Grand Canyon of Norway’ is the nickname of Aurlandsdalen. This long valley forms the source for the Aurlandsdalen hike, a multi-day hike with possible overnights in mountain huts. I didn’t hike from cabin to cabin in Norway, but I did the hike through the lowest part of Aurlandsdalen, from Østerbø to Vassbygdi. This is a tough 6 hour hike through the valley. Sometimes you hike down, but now and then you also have to climb a lot.   Along the way you will pass impressive rock formations, splashing waterfalls and abandoned farms. And with a little luck hardly any other hikers, depending on the period in which you travel. I did this hike in June and really didn’t meet anyone, an advantage of going so early in the season. The disadvantage is that there is still a lot of snow, so I could not walk the upper part of the Aurlandsdalen track.   You can read the complete Aurlandsdalen article here     General travel tips for hiking in Norway I’ll end this article with some general tips for hiking in Norway. First of all, prepare for bad weather. Partly due to bad weather, I was also unable to do several hikes. In this case, bad weather was not that there was a quick shower, but that it was pouring down nonstop. It was so bad on the hike to Åkrastølen that the bridge over the river was destroyed. So always bring rain gear and a first aid kit. The best (as far as possible) weather forecasts can be found on the YR app.   Furthermore, the Norwegians are well trained and used to hike in the mountains. My experience is that the indicated walking times are often relatively short and that a simple hike can be quite difficult for a beginner. Use as a rule of thumb that you can make a maximum of 350 to 400 vertical meters per hour. The well-known trails are well marked, unknown trails often less good or not. In many places you make river crossings on foot and there are no bridges.   There are really hiking trails everywhere, I can recommend the Outtt app to download for hiking tips in Norway. And be sure to ask around with the locals, for example we ended up at the Møsevassbreen, I couldn’t find anything about it on the internet.   Conclusion about the best unknown Norway hiking trails Hopefully you found this article about hiking in Norway useful and we provided you with a nice dose of hiking inspiration. If you have any questions, please let us know. This article contains affiliate links, if you make a purchase via such a link, we may receive a modest commission at no extra cost.  

The post The best unknown Norway hiking trails appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>

Are you going hiking in Norway? Then forget the Preikestølen, Trolltunga and other famous hikes in Norway where you stumble all over the other tourists. There are really countless top hikes in Norway that are not so crowded and are just as worthwhile. In recent years I have visited Norway several times and although the weather was not always awesome, I was able to make some nice hikes. In this article I share a number of unknown Norway hiking trails with you. Enjoy reading!
 

Hiking in Norway in the rain
Hiking in Norway in the rain
 

Rimstigen

During my very first trip to Norway ever (read: 2014) I stayed in a cottage in the narrow Nærøyfjord, which, together with the famous Geirangerfjord, is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The owner also lived in the yard and told me about this hike, which started right behind the house: in just an hour of walking up I would reach a beautiful viewpoint over the Nærøyfjord.
 
That hour turned into two because if there is one thing I have learned about Norway hiking routes over the years is that the Norwegians are very fast and the times are relatively tight. The journey up is steep and winding, but once at the top of 735 meters above sea level, you have a beautiful view of the Nærøyfjord deep below.
 
From Rimstigen, the name of the viewpoint, you can go a little further, but the trail is not maintained from here and only suitable for experienced hikers. Want to read more? Go here to read all about the Rimstigen hike.
 

Rimstigen hike
The Rimstigen hike
 

Møsevassbreen in Folgefonna National Park

Do you want to go glacier hiking in Norway? Then I can recommend the hike to Møsevassbreen in Blådålen. Hardly any tourists come here (at least, only a handful when we were there, quite different from the crowded places) and it is really beautiful.
 
Blådålen, or the blue valley, is a valley dominated by a huge hydroelectric power station, but once you have passed it, the landscape becomes more beautiful and beautiful. The asphalt road takes you far from civilization and once at the end of the road you come to Møsevatnet. Here is a map of the area and some hiking trails have been drawn. However, the hike is not marked, you just follow the best possible route and the cairns.
 
After a good hour you will come to a ledge, from where you have a beautiful view of the Møsevassbreen glacier. The glacier is located on the south side of the Folgefonna National Park, on the other side of the mountains from the touristic Odda.
 
This spectacular hike is not difficult, but sometimes it takes a while to find the best trail. You hike back and forth on the same route. After the ridge you can continue up, but you will no longer have a view of the glacier. This is definitely one of the best unknown hikes in Norway!
 

best unknown hikes in norway hiking map
A hiking map of Blådalen
Folgefonna glacier hiking in norway best hikes in norway
Folgefonna glacier
 

To the top of Tvindefossen

The Tvindefossen is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Norway, just outside the village of Voss. You visit the waterfall at the base, but hardly anyone knows that you can also find the top. With your back to the waterfall, take the road up to your left. This can be done by car, it is a paved road that circles your mountain. After a few hairpin bends you will see a walking trail in the bend, here a short walk of about 10-15 minutes to the beginning of the Tvindefossen starts. Follow the trail and you will get there automatically … be very careful because the drops are long and there’s no fences!
 

biking in fjord norway
At the top of Tvindefossen
 

Aurlandsdalen

The ‘Grand Canyon of Norway’ is the nickname of Aurlandsdalen. This long valley forms the source for the Aurlandsdalen hike, a multi-day hike with possible overnights in mountain huts. I didn’t hike from cabin to cabin in Norway, but I did the hike through the lowest part of Aurlandsdalen, from Østerbø to Vassbygdi. This is a tough 6 hour hike through the valley. Sometimes you hike down, but now and then you also have to climb a lot.
 
Along the way you will pass impressive rock formations, splashing waterfalls and abandoned farms. And with a little luck hardly any other hikers, depending on the period in which you travel. I did this hike in June and really didn’t meet anyone, an advantage of going so early in the season. The disadvantage is that there is still a lot of snow, so I could not walk the upper part of the Aurlandsdalen track.
 
You can read the complete Aurlandsdalen article here
 

Aurlandsdalen hike in Fjord Norway
Aurlandsdalen hike in Fjord Norway
 

General travel tips for hiking in Norway

I’ll end this article with some general tips for hiking in Norway. First of all, prepare for bad weather. Partly due to bad weather, I was also unable to do several hikes. In this case, bad weather was not that there was a quick shower, but that it was pouring down nonstop. It was so bad on the hike to Åkrastølen that the bridge over the river was destroyed. So always bring rain gear and a first aid kit. The best (as far as possible) weather forecasts can be found on the YR app.
 
Furthermore, the Norwegians are well trained and used to hike in the mountains. My experience is that the indicated walking times are often relatively short and that a simple hike can be quite difficult for a beginner. Use as a rule of thumb that you can make a maximum of 350 to 400 vertical meters per hour. The well-known trails are well marked, unknown trails often less good or not. In many places you make river crossings on foot and there are no bridges.
 
There are really hiking trails everywhere, I can recommend the Outtt app to download for hiking tips in Norway. And be sure to ask around with the locals, for example we ended up at the Møsevassbreen, I couldn’t find anything about it on the internet.
 

Conclusion about the best unknown Norway hiking trails

Hopefully you found this article about hiking in Norway useful and we provided you with a nice dose of hiking inspiration. If you have any questions, please let us know. This article contains affiliate links, if you make a purchase via such a link, we may receive a modest commission at no extra cost.
 

The post The best unknown Norway hiking trails appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>
https://www.we12travel.com/unknown-norway-hiking-trails/feed/ 0
Oosterschelde National Park: picking seaweed and whalewatching https://www.we12travel.com/oosterschelde-national-park/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=oosterschelde-national-park https://www.we12travel.com/oosterschelde-national-park/#respond Wed, 09 Sep 2020 15:25:09 +0000 https://www.we12travel.com/?p=21767 Nationaal Park OosterscheldeDid you know we have no less than 21 national parks in The Netherlands? Our country is filled with them and each of them has its own unique features. Over the next couple of months I’ll visit 5 of them and will show you the beauty and variety of Dutch nature. I hope it’ll inspire you to explore our country beyond the well known places and have some truly amazing micro adventures. My first trip took me to Oosterschelde National Park in Zeeland, which is located in the southwest of The Netherlands.     About Oosterschelde National Park Oosterschelde National Park is the largest and wettest national park in the Netherlands. The park was established in May 2002 and is best known for the Oosterscheldekering, a large construction which makes it possible to close the Oosterschelde (a large water inlet) when the waterlevel is rising. Most of the landscape is formed by wind and water, so you will find different landscapes during the day because of the ever changing tide. During the tide, 800 billion liters of water flows in and out of the Oosterschelde, providing a fantastic nature experience for its vsitors.   There are plenty of adventures you can experience in Oosterschelde National Park. I made a combination of three activities: I’m going to pick seaweed during a so-called seaweed walk, take a hike on the dikes of Zierikzee and look for porpoises, a small whale species. And all that in just one day!     Arrival at Neeltje Jans As I live in the opposite region of The Netherlands, I’m leaving home at about 07.00 am to make sure I’m in Zeeland at the right time. Then there is a message from Ellen who organizes the seaweed walk: the excursion starts an hour and a half later due to rain. Since I’m already on my way and will arrive at the original time, I first decide to take a short walk at Delta Park Neeltje Jans, a work island that is part of the Oosterscheldekering.   I park my car at the visitor center, which is located in the Ir. J. W. Topshuis, from where the Oosterscheldekering is operated. Unfortunately, the visitor center appears to be closed due to the corona virus, but there is an overview map with walking routes at the parking lot. As it’s by now pouring down with rain, I decide to sit in the car and wait out the heaviest bit of it, after which I put on my hiking boots and hit the trail.     A short walk on Neeltje Jans I’ve got about an hour and would like to make a short hike on Neeltje Jans. There are no less than five different walks you can do here:   – the ‘Parelpad’ (pearl path), a 1.5 km experience path – the orange route, 3.5 km to the bird viewing area – the green route, a 1.5 km long walk for the disabled / wheelchairs – the yellow route, a 2.8 km long walk along a viewing screen and natural slufter – the blue route, a 3.7 km long walk to the North Sea beach   The Parelpad starts from the point where I stand and I decide to take that walk and maybe change to another trail along the way. However, there is already so much to see on the Parelpad that I cannot even manage to take a different route in terms of time. I look at information panels about the Oosterschelde and the birds that live here, scan the horizon with my binoculars and suddenly it is time to head to the starting point of the seaweed walk.     Just put your head under water ‘If you really want to experience the Oosterschelde, then just put your head under water!’ This is how Ellen starts with the seaweed excursion, an initiative of WildWier. WildWier is run by Ellen and Guido, who stand with their feet in the water every week to pick seaweeds. Sometimes with guests, but also for restaurants, for example. More information can be found here.   We start the excursion with a short introduction to seaweed. Ellen explains that there is a lot of seaweed in the Oosterschelde and that you can eat everything without any problems. The seaweed here is of excellent quality. However, you must know you are not allowed to pick weeds in the Oosterschelde, but WildWier has a permit for this. This is to prevent over-picking and to prevent the Oosterschelde from being picked empty.   I also learn about the different types of seaweed. For example, on the high tide line we see bladderwrack and clubweed and underwater we find the sea lettuce and the wakame among other things. We can pick all seaweeds we want and eat them straight away. At first we stay close to the place where the cars are parked, but after we have tasted and harvested our own seaweeds here, we go to some shallow pools to harvest other species of seaweed.     Tasting the seaweed As mentioned, you can eat all the seaweeds in the Oosterschelde National Park without any problems. Of course it gives a somewhat salty taste because of the salty water, but to be honest, it tastes really delicious even with a grain of sand here and there. A fellow harvester finds a crab in an oyster and a bunch of young boys who are also on the tour go out on an oyster hunt. Everything is allowed during this excursion, it is playing outside at its best.   We end the excursion with making our own seaweed sushi that we eat during an ode to the sea. It tastes delicious and with a full bowl of seaweed for home I say goodbye to Ellen and my fellow harvesters.     Onwards to Zierikzee My plan was to have lunch at ‘Proef Zeeland’, but because the excursion started later than planned, I decide to drive from Neeltje Jans directly to Zierikzee for the second part of my day: a hike in search of porpoises.   Upon arrival in Zierikzee it turns out to be super busy, the summer season is in full swing here and the tourists are everywhere. I manage to get a parking space but decide not to spend much time on my lunch. I walk into the city center, have a quick sandwich and then go to the starting point of my walk.     Porpoises in National Park Oosterschelde When I discussed with the organization what I would like to do in National Park Oosterschelde, the main thing was that I would like to see porpoises in Zeeland. The porpoise is a small whale that grows to a maximum length of 1.80 meters and therefore looks a lot like a dolphin. You can observe them in different places, but at the pier of Zierikzee at the end of the harbor is one of the best places.   I’m advised to walk the hiking route ‘Levensstijd’ by the Dutch nature association. This walking route combines a visit to the pier with the Levensrijd and Rengerskerke nature reserves, a resting area for birds. The route is connected by a numbered network and therefore easy to follow. Note that the link is in Dutch!   I walk along the Havenkanaal (harbor channel) and quickly leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind. The sun has now started to shine and burns all over my skin, so it’s high time to apply some sunscreen. After about two kilometers I arrive at lookout point Kiekuut, a bird watching spot. I view through my binoculars and see a number of spoonbills. I can stay here for an hour without any problems, but decide to continue my mission in search of the porpoise.   After another kilometer I arrive at the pier. Here is ‘Studio Bruinvis’, an information pole with a sonar hydrophone that picks up the sound of porpoises at the buoy a little further in the water. If there are porpoises swimming near the buoy, you can hear this at the push of a button and you know whether you need to be alert. I press the button but don’t hear anything. And again. And again. But I don’t hear any porpoise noises. I decide to sit on a bench and bring out the binoculars again. In the distance I see the immense Zeeland Bridge and ships sail everywhere.     And then I wait … There is a couple sitting behind me and I ask them if they ever see porpoises. “Sure enough, almost every day, between 5 and 6 is a great time.” I look at my watch, it is half past four. I decide to wait another half hour because there is also a long journey home awaiting me. I peer over the water with the binoculars, but I’m not lucky. Just when I decide to come back another time, I see movement in the water in the distance. I quickly grab my binoculars again and sure enough, I see a fin through the viewer. And another one. They are lightning fast and immediately disappear under water. I grab my camera, but I can’t get a picture, they are too far away and disappear too quick. Then I’ll just enjoy them through the binoculars!   The group of porpoises makes one more jump and then they disappear. I keep looking for another fifteen minutes but don’t pick them up anymore. Too bad, but it was great to see whales from land and that in our my own country!   I stroll further along the dike, I am not even halfway through my original walk just yet. Then I decide to walk on the dike in the wind and below me I see a beautiful boardwalk, which is part of the harbor porpoise walking route. Without a doubt I will leave my planned walk and walk back to my car on the boardwalk. On the way I see more spoonbills and a lot of other birds unknown to me.   At the beginning of the evening I eventually get back to the car. To be fair, it was a long but exciting day. I started with a completely new experience of picking and eating the seaweed and ended with seeing porpoises. I couldn’t have asked for more!     Conclusion en disclaimer During my ride back home, I decide that I definitely want to come back here again. Not only to spot porpoises, but also to go kayaking, take more walks and view the Oosterscheldekering extensively. Too much for a day, but perfect for a long weekend.   Hopefully I have inspired you to visit the Oosterschelde National Park in The Netherlands. If you want to know more, check out the website of the park . I experienced this micro adventure in collaboration with Dutch National Parks. All opinions expressed are of course only my own.  

The post Oosterschelde National Park: picking seaweed and whalewatching appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>

Did you know we have no less than 21 national parks in The Netherlands? Our country is filled with them and each of them has its own unique features. Over the next couple of months I’ll visit 5 of them and will show you the beauty and variety of Dutch nature. I hope it’ll inspire you to explore our country beyond the well known places and have some truly amazing micro adventures. My first trip took me to Oosterschelde National Park in Zeeland, which is located in the southwest of The Netherlands.
 

View over the Oosterscheldekering
View over the Oosterscheldekering
 

About Oosterschelde National Park

Oosterschelde National Park is the largest and wettest national park in the Netherlands. The park was established in May 2002 and is best known for the Oosterscheldekering, a large construction which makes it possible to close the Oosterschelde (a large water inlet) when the waterlevel is rising. Most of the landscape is formed by wind and water, so you will find different landscapes during the day because of the ever changing tide. During the tide, 800 billion liters of water flows in and out of the Oosterschelde, providing a fantastic nature experience for its vsitors.
 
There are plenty of adventures you can experience in Oosterschelde National Park. I made a combination of three activities: I’m going to pick seaweed during a so-called seaweed walk, take a hike on the dikes of Zierikzee and look for porpoises, a small whale species. And all that in just one day!
 

Bird watching in Oosterschelde National Park
Bird watching in Oosterschelde National Park
whales in zeeland
Hike route ‘Bruinvis’ – a themed whale route
 

Arrival at Neeltje Jans

As I live in the opposite region of The Netherlands, I’m leaving home at about 07.00 am to make sure I’m in Zeeland at the right time. Then there is a message from Ellen who organizes the seaweed walk: the excursion starts an hour and a half later due to rain. Since I’m already on my way and will arrive at the original time, I first decide to take a short walk at Delta Park Neeltje Jans, a work island that is part of the Oosterscheldekering.
 
I park my car at the visitor center, which is located in the Ir. J. W. Topshuis, from where the Oosterscheldekering is operated. Unfortunately, the visitor center appears to be closed due to the corona virus, but there is an overview map with walking routes at the parking lot. As it’s by now pouring down with rain, I decide to sit in the car and wait out the heaviest bit of it, after which I put on my hiking boots and hit the trail.
 

Ir J W Topshuis in Nationaal Park Oosterschelde
Ir J W Topshuis
 

A short walk on Neeltje Jans

I’ve got about an hour and would like to make a short hike on Neeltje Jans. There are no less than five different walks you can do here:
 
– the ‘Parelpad’ (pearl path), a 1.5 km experience path
– the orange route, 3.5 km to the bird viewing area
– the green route, a 1.5 km long walk for the disabled / wheelchairs
– the yellow route, a 2.8 km long walk along a viewing screen and natural slufter
– the blue route, a 3.7 km long walk to the North Sea beach
 
The Parelpad starts from the point where I stand and I decide to take that walk and maybe change to another trail along the way. However, there is already so much to see on the Parelpad that I cannot even manage to take a different route in terms of time. I look at information panels about the Oosterschelde and the birds that live here, scan the horizon with my binoculars and suddenly it is time to head to the starting point of the seaweed walk.
 

The walks on Neeltje Jans
The walks on Neeltje Jans
 

Just put your head under water

‘If you really want to experience the Oosterschelde, then just put your head under water!’ This is how Ellen starts with the seaweed excursion, an initiative of WildWier. WildWier is run by Ellen and Guido, who stand with their feet in the water every week to pick seaweeds. Sometimes with guests, but also for restaurants, for example. More information can be found here.
 
We start the excursion with a short introduction to seaweed. Ellen explains that there is a lot of seaweed in the Oosterschelde and that you can eat everything without any problems. The seaweed here is of excellent quality. However, you must know you are not allowed to pick weeds in the Oosterschelde, but WildWier has a permit for this. This is to prevent over-picking and to prevent the Oosterschelde from being picked empty.
 
I also learn about the different types of seaweed. For example, on the high tide line we see bladderwrack and clubweed and underwater we find the sea lettuce and the wakame among other things. We can pick all seaweeds we want and eat them straight away. At first we stay close to the place where the cars are parked, but after we have tasted and harvested our own seaweeds here, we go to some shallow pools to harvest other species of seaweed.
 

Seaweed excursion
Ellen from WildWier
A seaweed display
A seaweed display
A crab in an oyster
A crab in an oyster
 

Tasting the seaweed

As mentioned, you can eat all the seaweeds in the Oosterschelde National Park without any problems. Of course it gives a somewhat salty taste because of the salty water, but to be honest, it tastes really delicious even with a grain of sand here and there. A fellow harvester finds a crab in an oyster and a bunch of young boys who are also on the tour go out on an oyster hunt. Everything is allowed during this excursion, it is playing outside at its best.
 
We end the excursion with making our own seaweed sushi that we eat during an ode to the sea. It tastes delicious and with a full bowl of seaweed for home I say goodbye to Ellen and my fellow harvesters.
 

Sea lettuce
Sea lettuce
Oosterschelde National Park seaweed picking
The scissors are ready
Some of the seaweeds
Some of the seaweeds
Picking seaweed in Oosterschelde National Park
Picking seaweed
 

Onwards to Zierikzee

My plan was to have lunch at ‘Proef Zeeland’, but because the excursion started later than planned, I decide to drive from Neeltje Jans directly to Zierikzee for the second part of my day: a hike in search of porpoises.
 
Upon arrival in Zierikzee it turns out to be super busy, the summer season is in full swing here and the tourists are everywhere. I manage to get a parking space but decide not to spend much time on my lunch. I walk into the city center, have a quick sandwich and then go to the starting point of my walk.
 

The harbor of Zierikzee
The harbor of Zierikzee
 

Porpoises in National Park Oosterschelde

When I discussed with the organization what I would like to do in National Park Oosterschelde, the main thing was that I would like to see porpoises in Zeeland. The porpoise is a small whale that grows to a maximum length of 1.80 meters and therefore looks a lot like a dolphin. You can observe them in different places, but at the pier of Zierikzee at the end of the harbor is one of the best places.
 
I’m advised to walk the hiking route ‘Levensstijd’ by the Dutch nature association. This walking route combines a visit to the pier with the Levensrijd and Rengerskerke nature reserves, a resting area for birds. The route is connected by a numbered network and therefore easy to follow. Note that the link is in Dutch!
 
I walk along the Havenkanaal (harbor channel) and quickly leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind. The sun has now started to shine and burns all over my skin, so it’s high time to apply some sunscreen. After about two kilometers I arrive at lookout point Kiekuut, a bird watching spot. I view through my binoculars and see a number of spoonbills. I can stay here for an hour without any problems, but decide to continue my mission in search of the porpoise.
 
After another kilometer I arrive at the pier. Here is ‘Studio Bruinvis’, an information pole with a sonar hydrophone that picks up the sound of porpoises at the buoy a little further in the water. If there are porpoises swimming near the buoy, you can hear this at the push of a button and you know whether you need to be alert.

I press the button but don’t hear anything. And again. And again. But I don’t hear any porpoise noises. I decide to sit on a bench and bring out the binoculars again. In the distance I see the immense Zeeland Bridge and ships sail everywhere.
 

Studio Bruinvis
Studio Bruinvis
The Zeeland Bridge
The Zeeland Bridge
 

And then I wait …

There is a couple sitting behind me and I ask them if they ever see porpoises. “Sure enough, almost every day, between 5 and 6 is a great time.” I look at my watch, it is half past four. I decide to wait another half hour because there is also a long journey home awaiting me.

I peer over the water with the binoculars, but I’m not lucky. Just when I decide to come back another time, I see movement in the water in the distance. I quickly grab my binoculars again and sure enough, I see a fin through the viewer. And another one. They are lightning fast and immediately disappear under water. I grab my camera, but I can’t get a picture, they are too far away and disappear too quick. Then I’ll just enjoy them through the binoculars!
 
The group of porpoises makes one more jump and then they disappear. I keep looking for another fifteen minutes but don’t pick them up anymore. Too bad, but it was great to see whales from land and that in our my own country!
 
I stroll further along the dike, I am not even halfway through my original walk just yet. Then I decide to walk on the dike in the wind and below me I see a beautiful boardwalk, which is part of the harbor porpoise walking route. Without a doubt I will leave my planned walk and walk back to my car on the boardwalk. On the way I see more spoonbills and a lot of other birds unknown to me.
 
At the beginning of the evening I eventually get back to the car. To be fair, it was a long but exciting day. I started with a completely new experience of picking and eating the seaweed and ended with seeing porpoises. I couldn’t have asked for more!
 

Spotting porpoises
Spotting porpoises
The boardwalk
The boardwalk near Zierikzee
Nature in Oosterschelde National Park
Nature in Oosterschelde National Park
 

Conclusion en disclaimer

During my ride back home, I decide that I definitely want to come back here again. Not only to spot porpoises, but also to go kayaking, take more walks and view the Oosterscheldekering extensively. Too much for a day, but perfect for a long weekend.
 
Hopefully I have inspired you to visit the Oosterschelde National Park in The Netherlands. If you want to know more, check out the website of the park . I experienced this micro adventure in collaboration with Dutch National Parks. All opinions expressed are of course only my own.
 

The post Oosterschelde National Park: picking seaweed and whalewatching appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>
https://www.we12travel.com/oosterschelde-national-park/feed/ 0
Hiking in the Mosel valley in Germany https://www.we12travel.com/hiking-in-the-mosel-valley-in-germany/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=hiking-in-the-mosel-valley-in-germany https://www.we12travel.com/hiking-in-the-mosel-valley-in-germany/#respond Wed, 05 Aug 2020 08:25:26 +0000 https://www.we12travel.com/?p=21646 wandelen aan de moezel over de moselsteigWhoever believes that the Mosel valley in Germany is just for old people is totally wrong. In 2015 I already visited the Mosel valley and recently I visited again for enjoying some hiking trails. I hiked some nice circular trails as well as a part of the Moselsteig, a long distance trail in Germany. In this article I tell you everything about hiking in the Mosel valley in Germany, including tips for the most beautiful routes, where to stay and more. Enjoy reading!     About the Mosel and the Mosel Valleyl The Mosel (or Moselle) is a 544 kilometer long river in France, Luxembourg and Germany. It originates in the French Vosges and flows into the Rhine near Koblenz. The most beautiful part of the Moselle can be found in the Mosel Valley, roughly between the cities of Trier and Koblenz. The landscape is characterized by rolling hills covered with vineyards, steep slopes and a winding river. Along the way you will find old castles and fortresses, numerous remains from Roman times and beautiful viewpoints.   The most famous places on along the Mosel river are Trier, Cochem and Zell. Most villages are connected by a bus route or a railway, which makes walking here possible without going on holiday with your car and / or hiking parts of the famous Moselsteig.     The Moselsteig The Moselsteig is one of the longest quality trails in Germany with 365 kilometers in distacne. Each stage is between 11 and 24 kilometers long and combines hiking along the banks of the Moselle with hiking through the vineyards and along high viewpoints.   In addition to the Moselsteig, there are various “Seitensprungen” or circular walks that combine the Mosel banks with the hinterland. Which is perfect if you want to stay in a one place and hike from there, rather than to walk from A to B to C. With these Seitensprungen you combine the best places of the Moselle with each other.   Because there is public transport in many places, you can determine your route and distances yourself. I did not do the Moselsteig in its entirety, but did run several stages and / or parts of it. The nice thing about combining stages with circular walks is the fact that you not only walk along the river, but also take in the rolling and relatively quiet hinterland.   The Moselsteig is not difficult, but it has considerable climbs and descents, sometimes with some climbing and scrambling. Along the way, some Via Ferrata are possible, but if you do not want this, you can skip it, there is always an easier alternative route indicated.     Route suggestions for the Moselsteig I hiked stages 13 and 14 from the Moselsteig entirely. Stage 13 leads from Reil to Traben Trarbach and stage 14 goes from Reil to Zell. These are perfect if you want to catch the Moselweinbahn train route. I stayed at Hotel Reiler Hof in Reil and hiked as follows:   Day 1. train Reil – Traben Trarbach, hike back to Reil (15 km, 5 hrs) Day 2. train Reil – Bullay, hike 3 km from Bullay to Zell, from Zell back to Reil (12,5 km, 4 hrs)   I found this the easiest as you always walk back to your hotel rather than a train station, which makes you hike against the clock for a bit and thus is this more relaxing.   Along the way you will come across the “Collis Steilpfad”, a simple Klettersteig (without harness, also to bypass), and the Prinzenkopfturm with beautiful views of the surrounding area.   Tip: take these hikes in the fall when the leaves turn color, the Moselle is a lot quieter than in summer and the colorful landscape makes your hike in the Moselle extra special!     The Calmont Klettersteig Also very awesome is the Calmont Klettersteig. This simple Via Ferrata is located between Bremm and Ediger Eller. The Calmont is the steepest vineyard in Europe and they have built a nice Via Ferrata. Not a real challenge for the experienced alpinists, but nice to test your alpine skills once if you are unsure whether a real Via Ferrata is your thing.   From here you can do the steep climb to the Calmont Gipfelkreuz and walk back along the Moselsteig to Ediger Eller along the high route. You can read my complete blog about the Calmont Klettersteig here.     Hiking trail Moselachter During my most recent trip to the Moselle I spent the night in Landal Sonnenberg in Leiwen. From here I made the circular hike Moselachter, or a circular walk in the shape of an 8. I started from my house and first did the ‘left eight’ (the eight is on its side) that mainly took me through the forest and along the viewpoint Moselkino. I also passed the most beautiful viewpoint of the Moselle in 2016 at Leiwen.   Then came by a steep section steeply up a relatively narrow and worn out trail (not for people with a fear of heights) and eventually back to Leiwen via the quiet hills behind the valley. This hike is 15 kilometers long and took me about 5 hours.     Hiking tour Mehringer Schweiz Another beautiful Moselsteig Seitenprung is the circular walk Mehringer Schweiz. I did part of this tour in combination with the Moselsteig, the highlight of which was the visit to the Fünfseenblick, a viewing tower with a beautiful view over the Moselle near Mehring and Pölich. You will also walk through the vineyards of the Moselle and visit the Roman villa in Mehring. This walk is 14 km and takes about 5 hours.     Hiking in the Mosel Valley: what to know as well Each part of the Moselle has its own hiking map. If you walk the Moselsteig, you can order a walking guide including map material online. Most Seitensprungen are also included here. Before my trip I downloaded the app “Gastlandschaften Rheinland Pfalz”, it contains all routes and you can also use it as navigation during your hikes in the Mosel Valley.   However, the routes are also well marked everywhere, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost. Most trails are fine, when a trails is more difficult this is often indicated so that you can opt for a simpler detour where possible.   The Moselweinbahn goes from Traben Trarbach to Bullay. The rest of the transport is mostly by bus. On this website you will find more information about the Bus und Bahn around the Moselsteig.     Where to stay in the Mosel region I stayed in the Moselle valley twice. The first time at Hotel Reiler Hof in Reil, a cozy and authentic hotel on the river. The second time I rented an apartment at Landal Sonnenberg, a beautifully situated and small-scale Landal park in the southern part of the Moselle near Leiwen. There are also plenty of campsites on the Moselle, mostly on the banks of the river.   Conclusion and disclaimer Hopefully you found these articles about hiking along the Moselle useful and I got you excited to visit the Mosel valley in Germany. If you have any questions and / or additional tips, please leave them in the comments. This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase via such a link, we will receive a modest commission for you at no extra cost.  

The post Hiking in the Mosel valley in Germany appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>

Whoever believes that the Mosel valley in Germany is just for old people is totally wrong. In 2015 I already visited the Mosel valley and recently I visited again for enjoying some hiking trails. I hiked some nice circular trails as well as a part of the Moselsteig, a long distance trail in Germany. In this article I tell you everything about hiking in the Mosel valley in Germany, including tips for the most beautiful routes, where to stay and more. Enjoy reading!
 

Wandelen langs de Moezel
View from the Moselsteig
 

About the Mosel and the Mosel Valleyl

The Mosel (or Moselle) is a 544 kilometer long river in France, Luxembourg and Germany. It originates in the French Vosges and flows into the Rhine near Koblenz. The most beautiful part of the Moselle can be found in the Mosel Valley, roughly between the cities of Trier and Koblenz. The landscape is characterized by rolling hills covered with vineyards, steep slopes and a winding river. Along the way you will find old castles and fortresses, numerous remains from Roman times and beautiful viewpoints.
 
The most famous places on along the Mosel river are Trier, Cochem and Zell. Most villages are connected by a bus route or a railway, which makes walking here possible without going on holiday with your car and / or hiking parts of the famous Moselsteig.
 

Wandelen in de Moezel
The Mosel valley in the fall
 

The Moselsteig

The Moselsteig is one of the longest quality trails in Germany with 365 kilometers in distacne. Each stage is between 11 and 24 kilometers long and combines hiking along the banks of the Moselle with hiking through the vineyards and along high viewpoints.
 
In addition to the Moselsteig, there are various “Seitensprungen” or circular walks that combine the Mosel banks with the hinterland. Which is perfect if you want to stay in a one place and hike from there, rather than to walk from A to B to C. With these Seitensprungen you combine the best places of the Moselle with each other.
 
Because there is public transport in many places, you can determine your route and distances yourself. I did not do the Moselsteig in its entirety, but did run several stages and / or parts of it. The nice thing about combining stages with circular walks is the fact that you not only walk along the river, but also take in the rolling and relatively quiet hinterland.
 
The Moselsteig is not difficult, but it has considerable climbs and descents, sometimes with some climbing and scrambling. Along the way, some Via Ferrata are possible, but if you do not want this, you can skip it, there is always an easier alternative route indicated.
 

De Moselsteig bij Leiwen
The Moselsteig near Leiwen
 

Route suggestions for the Moselsteig

I hiked stages 13 and 14 from the Moselsteig entirely. Stage 13 leads from Reil to Traben Trarbach and stage 14 goes from Reil to Zell. These are perfect if you want to catch the Moselweinbahn train route. I stayed at Hotel Reiler Hof in Reil and hiked as follows:
 
Day 1. train Reil – Traben Trarbach, hike back to Reil (15 km, 5 hrs)
Day 2. train Reil – Bullay, hike 3 km from Bullay to Zell, from Zell back to Reil (12,5 km, 4 hrs)
 
I found this the easiest as you always walk back to your hotel rather than a train station, which makes you hike against the clock for a bit and thus is this more relaxing.
 
Along the way you will come across the “Collis Steilpfad”, a simple Klettersteig (without harness, also to bypass), and the Prinzenkopfturm with beautiful views of the surrounding area.
 
Tip: take these hikes in the fall when the leaves turn color, the Moselle is a lot quieter than in summer and the colorful landscape makes your hike in the Moselle extra special!
 

De Moselsteig tussen Traben Trarbach en Bullay
The Moselsteig between Traben Trarbach and Bullay
Herfst in de Moezel
The fall colors make the hiking extra special
 

The Calmont Klettersteig

Also very awesome is the Calmont Klettersteig. This simple Via Ferrata is located between Bremm and Ediger Eller. The Calmont is the steepest vineyard in Europe and they have built a nice Via Ferrata. Not a real challenge for the experienced alpinists, but nice to test your alpine skills once if you are unsure whether a real Via Ferrata is your thing.
 
From here you can do the steep climb to the Calmont Gipfelkreuz and walk back along the Moselsteig to Ediger Eller along the high route. You can read my complete blog about the Calmont Klettersteig here.
 

calmont klettersteig duitsland
On the Calmont klettersteig
Calmont Klettersteig
The Calmont Klettersteig between Ediger Eller and Bremm
 

Hiking trail Moselachter

During my most recent trip to the Moselle I spent the night in Landal Sonnenberg in Leiwen. From here I made the circular hike Moselachter, or a circular walk in the shape of an 8. I started from my house and first did the ‘left eight’ (the eight is on its side) that mainly took me through the forest and along the viewpoint Moselkino. I also passed the most beautiful viewpoint of the Moselle in 2016 at Leiwen.
 
Then came by a steep section steeply up a relatively narrow and worn out trail (not for people with a fear of heights) and eventually back to Leiwen via the quiet hills behind the valley. This hike is 15 kilometers long and took me about 5 hours.
 

Weinsicht Moezel
Weinsicht Mosel on the Moselachter
Het uitzicht op de Moezel
View from Moselachter
 

Hiking tour Mehringer Schweiz

Another beautiful Moselsteig Seitenprung is the circular walk Mehringer Schweiz. I did part of this tour in combination with the Moselsteig, the highlight of which was the visit to the Fünfseenblick, a viewing tower with a beautiful view over the Moselle near Mehring and Pölich. You will also walk through the vineyards of the Moselle and visit the Roman villa in Mehring. This walk is 14 km and takes about 5 hours.
 

Fünfseenblick Moezel
Fünfseenblick in the Mosel
Uitzicht Moselsteig
Fünfseenblick
 

Hiking in the Mosel Valley: what to know as well

Each part of the Moselle has its own hiking map. If you walk the Moselsteig, you can order a walking guide including map material online. Most Seitensprungen are also included here. Before my trip I downloaded the app “Gastlandschaften Rheinland Pfalz”, it contains all routes and you can also use it as navigation during your hikes in the Mosel Valley.
 
However, the routes are also well marked everywhere, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost. Most trails are fine, when a trails is more difficult this is often indicated so that you can opt for a simpler detour where possible.
 
The Moselweinbahn goes from Traben Trarbach to Bullay. The rest of the transport is mostly by bus. On this website you will find more information about the Bus und Bahn around the Moselsteig.
 

Wandeltip Moezel
Omschrijving van een lastiger stuk
 

Where to stay in the Mosel region

I stayed in the Moselle valley twice. The first time at Hotel Reiler Hof in Reil, a cozy and authentic hotel on the river. The second time I rented an apartment at Landal Sonnenberg, a beautifully situated and small-scale Landal park in the southern part of the Moselle near Leiwen. There are also plenty of campsites on the Moselle, mostly on the banks of the river.
 

Conclusion and disclaimer

Hopefully you found these articles about hiking along the Moselle useful and I got you excited to visit the Mosel valley in Germany. If you have any questions and / or additional tips, please leave them in the comments. This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase via such a link, we will receive a modest commission for you at no extra cost.
 

The post Hiking in the Mosel valley in Germany appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>
https://www.we12travel.com/hiking-in-the-mosel-valley-in-germany/feed/ 0
Blådålen and Møsevassbreen in Norway – a place where noone goes https://www.we12travel.com/bladalen-and-mosevassbreen-in-norway/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=bladalen-and-mosevassbreen-in-norway https://www.we12travel.com/bladalen-and-mosevassbreen-in-norway/#respond Mon, 03 Aug 2020 09:41:11 +0000 https://www.we12travel.com/?p=21611 MøsevassbreenAre there still unknown places in Norway? Places that hardly anyone goes, where there are no blogs about and which you cannot read about in the travel guides? I thought this was not the case until a year ago, when I ended up in a place so incredibly beautiful that you can’t imagine there are hardly any other tourists. Still, that place is there and I found it by accident. I’m talking about Blådålen and the Møsevassbreen in Folgefonna National Park in Norway.   A vacation in Åkrafjord If you mention Åkrafjorden, hardly anyone knows this fjord. And neither did I until last year. Although I had traveled twice in Fjord Norway before, there was still an unfamiliar fjord in front of me, which I accidentally stumbled upon during my search for a small cottage in Norway. We were looking for a quiet holiday home on a fjord in Norway and above all: affordable. I spent hours searching, and eventually ended up renting at a small house above the Åkrafjord.   After a few days with just rain and a lot of time spent indoors, we decide to go out. Searching for beautiful hikes in the area does not initially give a lot of options. We make an attempt to hike to the Åkrastølen, but the bridge across the river has been washed away by all the rain from the previous days. On various Norwegian hiking apps we research other hiking options and then suddenly I notice the south side of the Folgefonna National Park. On Google Maps I see a road and a line along a lake to a glacier. The next day we decide to go for it, in search of a nice adventure!     A drive through Blådålen “The blue valley” or Blådålen is an hour’s drive from our cabin. First we have to leave the fjord, up the mountain pass and there seems to be a small road into the valley. The valley is dominated by the huge water reservoir and the hydroelectric power station, but once past this an amazing portion of beauty opens up in front of us.   Not only is the weather beautiful, but all around us are lakes, mountains and green meadows. We are surrounded by herds of sheep and even spot a huge sea eagle with our binoculars. Using our navigation we drive on, there is no longer a cell service but the road should lead to a lake, from where we can hike towards the glacier.     Arrival at Møsevattnet After a long climb with hairpin bends over a very narrow road we arrive at the Møsevattnet, a turquoise lake surrounded by rocks and in the distance: a glacier. It turns out to be the Møsevassbreen, one of the glaciers of the Folgefonna National Park. There is an information panel at the parking lot showing that there is some kind of hiking trail towards the glacier.   We grab our backpacks, put on our hiking boots and set off for the glacier, off to seek some adventure!     Heading to Møsevassbreen Is there a trail? No there is no real trail. There are occasionally cairns who indicate the route, but otherwise it is mainly a lot of jumping and climbing over boulders. Sometimes it is flat, sometimes it is steep and hands are involved. After an hour we look up, the glacier mouth seems to be just as far away.   We descend again to the lake, then we rise again. Finally we arrive at a ridge and the marking ends there. Below us there is an abyss, we cannot continue here unless we climb up. From here, the trail only ascends further away from the glacier.   But … that doesn’t matter. In the meantime we have come quite close to the glacier (without meeting anyone on the way) and we sit and enjoy the stunning views. The sun sometimes breaks through and illuminates the bright blue ice in a special way. A piece of ice calves off the glacier, which then thunders into the water of the Møsevattnet with a loud bang.   So we sit here for over an hour to enjoy a cup of tea and a stroopwafel. There we are, in at the end of the world, just an hour and a half away from the main road. Enjoying all the beauty within sight.   In the end we decide to slowly start making our way back. Every now and then I glance over my shoulder. What a wonderful surprise during a rainy holiday!     Also check the video that I made of this trip:     Conclusie en disclaimer Before I started writing this blog I tried to do some research on Blådålen and Møsevassbreen but I found almost no information online about this valley. Shame? No, certainly not, because although I hope that more people will enjoy this beautiful place in Norway in the future, I also hope that mass tourism will not discover it. Do I contribute to this in a certain way by writing this? Perhaps. But I also really enjoy sharing a newly discovered place with you. The eternal dilemma of the travel writer …  

The post Blådålen and Møsevassbreen in Norway – a place where noone goes appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>

Are there still unknown places in Norway? Places that hardly anyone goes, where there are no blogs about and which you cannot read about in the travel guides? I thought this was not the case until a year ago, when I ended up in a place so incredibly beautiful that you can’t imagine there are hardly any other tourists. Still, that place is there and I found it by accident. I’m talking about Blådålen and the Møsevassbreen in Folgefonna National Park in Norway.
 

A vacation in Åkrafjord

If you mention Åkrafjorden, hardly anyone knows this fjord. And neither did I until last year. Although I had traveled twice in Fjord Norway before, there was still an unfamiliar fjord in front of me, which I accidentally stumbled upon during my search for a small cottage in Norway. We were looking for a quiet holiday home on a fjord in Norway and above all: affordable. I spent hours searching, and eventually ended up renting at a small house above the Åkrafjord.
 
After a few days with just rain and a lot of time spent indoors, we decide to go out. Searching for beautiful hikes in the area does not initially give a lot of options. We make an attempt to hike to the Åkrastølen, but the bridge across the river has been washed away by all the rain from the previous days. On various Norwegian hiking apps we research other hiking options and then suddenly I notice the south side of the Folgefonna National Park. On Google Maps I see a road and a line along a lake to a glacier. The next day we decide to go for it, in search of a nice adventure!
 

Akrafjord
Åkrafjord in Fjord-Norway
 

A drive through Blådålen

“The blue valley” or Blådålen is an hour’s drive from our cabin. First we have to leave the fjord, up the mountain pass and there seems to be a small road into the valley. The valley is dominated by the huge water reservoir and the hydroelectric power station, but once past this an amazing portion of beauty opens up in front of us.
 
Not only is the weather beautiful, but all around us are lakes, mountains and green meadows. We are surrounded by herds of sheep and even spot a huge sea eagle with our binoculars. Using our navigation we drive on, there is no longer a cell service but the road should lead to a lake, from where we can hike towards the glacier.
 

Roadtrip door Blådalen
Roadtrip in Blådalen
De blauwe vallei in Folgefonna
Folgefonna National Park
Schapen komen een kijkje nemen
Sheep taking a look
 

Arrival at Møsevattnet

After a long climb with hairpin bends over a very narrow road we arrive at the Møsevattnet, a turquoise lake surrounded by rocks and in the distance: a glacier. It turns out to be the Møsevassbreen, one of the glaciers of the Folgefonna National Park. There is an information panel at the parking lot showing that there is some kind of hiking trail towards the glacier.
 
We grab our backpacks, put on our hiking boots and set off for the glacier, off to seek some adventure!
 

Aankomst bij Insta Møsevattnet
Arrival at Insta Møsevattnet
De Folgefonna en de Møsevassbreen in de verte
Folgefonna and Møsevassbreen
 

Heading to Møsevassbreen

Is there a trail? No there is no real trail. There are occasionally cairns who indicate the route, but otherwise it is mainly a lot of jumping and climbing over boulders. Sometimes it is flat, sometimes it is steep and hands are involved. After an hour we look up, the glacier mouth seems to be just as far away.
 
We descend again to the lake, then we rise again. Finally we arrive at a ridge and the marking ends there. Below us there is an abyss, we cannot continue here unless we climb up. From here, the trail only ascends further away from the glacier.
 
But … that doesn’t matter. In the meantime we have come quite close to the glacier (without meeting anyone on the way) and we sit and enjoy the stunning views. The sun sometimes breaks through and illuminates the bright blue ice in a special way. A piece of ice calves off the glacier, which then thunders into the water of the Møsevattnet with a loud bang.
 
So we sit here for over an hour to enjoy a cup of tea and a stroopwafel. There we are, in at the end of the world, just an hour and a half away from the main road. Enjoying all the beauty within sight.
 
In the end we decide to slowly start making our way back. Every now and then I glance over my shoulder. What a wonderful surprise during a rainy holiday!
 

Folgefonna en de Møsevassbreen
Folgefonna and Møsevassbreen
De gletsjer aan het einde van het meer
The glacier at the end of the lake
 
Also check the video that I made of this trip:
 

 

Conclusie en disclaimer

Before I started writing this blog I tried to do some research on Blådålen and Møsevassbreen but I found almost no information online about this valley. Shame? No, certainly not, because although I hope that more people will enjoy this beautiful place in Norway in the future, I also hope that mass tourism will not discover it. Do I contribute to this in a certain way by writing this? Perhaps. But I also really enjoy sharing a newly discovered place with you. The eternal dilemma of the travel writer …
 

The post Blådålen and Møsevassbreen in Norway – a place where noone goes appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>
https://www.we12travel.com/bladalen-and-mosevassbreen-in-norway/feed/ 0
Abel Tasman National Park walks: a list with the best hikes! https://www.we12travel.com/abel-tasman-national-park-walks-a-list-with-the-best-hikes/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=abel-tasman-national-park-walks-a-list-with-the-best-hikes https://www.we12travel.com/abel-tasman-national-park-walks-a-list-with-the-best-hikes/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2020 14:26:57 +0000 https://www.we12travel.com/?p=19084 Abel Tasman National Park day walksDespite the fact I don’t live in New Zealand, I’m proud to be able to say that I’ve been to Abel Tasman National Park five times over the past years. It’s one of those places that I always tend to return to while in New Zealand, even though it’s on the other side of the world. By now, I’ve actually tried most of the Abel Tasman National Park walks and I decided the time was right to make a list so you can pick your Abel Tasman walk. Enjoy!     A short introduction to Abel Tasman National Park Abel Tasman National Park is named after Dutch explorer Abel Tasman who arrived here in 1642. It’s the smallest of New Zealand’s national parks and located on the northern part of the South Island, about a 1.5 hour drive from the city of Nelson. You cannot access Abel Tasman National Park by car, the best ways are on foot or by kayak. You can also take a tour by boat or access with a water taxi.   The park is known for the green and lush forests as well as the golden sand beaches. Birdlife is abundant in the park and it’s definitely one of New Zealand’s most amazing places to visit in my opinion. Below you’ll find a list of the best hikes in Abel Tasman National Park, from south to north.     Day walk from Marahau to Anchorage (or vice versa) One of the most popular walks inside the park is the day walk from Marahau to Anchorage Bay. This walk is about 12 kilometers and not too difficult. The trail is well paved in most places and there’s little altitude difference. You can visit some very nice beaches along the way such as Apple Tree Beach and Akersten Bay. Those beaches are generally below the main trail and will make it a bit more ups and down.   For this walk you’ll need to book a water taxi ride from Marahau to Anchorage or vice versa. I used Abel Tasman Aqua Taxi for this and booked a few days ahead as it can be quite busy. You can also do the walk in the other direction of course, which means you’ll be walking back to Marahau which gives you a bit more freedom to walk back to your car (in case you’re driving) rather than having to hurry up for the water taxi.   Check the video that I made here:     Pitt Head, Anchorage From Anchorage Bay you can walk to the Pitt Head viewpoint, just above the bay. The walk to the viewpoint is about 25 minutes one way, but you can also make a 1.5 hour loop of it. The trail is well paved, not too difficult and the views from Pitts Head are simply stunning. You can combine this walk with the Anchorage – Marahau walk if you decide to do the hike this way and you’re not in a hurry.     Bark Bay to Torrent Bay Part of the Abel Tasman Coast Track, this is a popular half day hike as well. Ask for the water taxi to drop you off at Bark Bay and walk back down south to Torrent Bay. This walk will be around 2.5 hours, depending on how busy it is at the swing bridge that you’ll find along the way. Since there can only be 5 people on the bridge at the same time, waiting times may occur. When I was there for the Abel Tasman Coast Track, I had to wait a few minutes to pass the bridge.   Headlands Track Those wishing to visit Totaranui can hike the Headlands Track, a one hour walk from the settlement. It’s just an introduction to the variety in landscape and will give you an idea about the different ecological systems inside the park. It’s a one hour return walk from the DOC campsite.   Anapai Bay One of the nicest bays inside Abel Tasman National Park is actually Anapai Bay. Since water taxis don’t go past Totaranui, it’s much more quiet here than on other beaches. I had the beach pretty much all to myself when I visited and it’s just an hours walk including one good climb from Totaranui. You can also decide to push on to Mutton Cove, another hour from Totaranui, making it a two hour one way walk. Mutton Cove was even prettier than Anapai Bay and … much windier as well!     Whariwharangi Bay At the end of the road near the settlement of Wainui you can do the Whariwharangi Bay walk. This one will lead you to the quiet Whariwharangi Bay and same name backcountry hut, a former homestead which is now in use as the last hut on the Abel Tasman Coast Track. It’s a four hour return over the hill from the parking lot. If you have a bit more time to spend, make sure to add Separation Point as well. If lucky, you can see a seal colony there. Separation Point is another hour past Whariwharangi Bay.     Wainui Falls Walk One of the best and easiest walks in Abel Tasman National Park is definitely the Wainui Falls Walk. This 1.5 hour return walk starts just outside the park, which you’ll enter along the way. The falls are 20 meters high and especially when it’s been raining they are quite dramatic. In this article you can read all about my visit.     The Abel Tasman Coast Track And last but not least, the Abel Tasman Coast Track. This famous 3-5 day Great Walk of New Zealand is a must if you enjoy tramping. I did this hike twice, one from Marahau to Totaranui and once all the way onwards to Wainui Bay. A full blog is coming up soon, you can find my old post here. I actually thought that the best part of the walk was between Totaranui and Wanui since this part of the national park gets way less visitors than the southern section. I did the hike in November and even then I still had parts of the walk all to myself, or I’d only run into little people at some places. Note that all huts and campsites must be booked year round!     Conclusion and disclaimer I hope you’ve found this article useful and that you’ve enjoyed reading about all the best Abel Tasman National Park walk options. Always make sure to check the DOC website for latest information regarding possible hikes, closures and track changes.   In this article you’ll find affiliate links. If you make a purchase through any of those links, we may earn a small commission without extra cost to you!  

The post Abel Tasman National Park walks: a list with the best hikes! appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>

Despite the fact I don’t live in New Zealand, I’m proud to be able to say that I’ve been to Abel Tasman National Park five times over the past years. It’s one of those places that I always tend to return to while in New Zealand, even though it’s on the other side of the world. By now, I’ve actually tried most of the Abel Tasman National Park walks and I decided the time was right to make a list so you can pick your Abel Tasman walk. Enjoy!
 

Abel Tasman National Park walks
Abel Tasman Coast Track
 

A short introduction to Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park is named after Dutch explorer Abel Tasman who arrived here in 1642. It’s the smallest of New Zealand’s national parks and located on the northern part of the South Island, about a 1.5 hour drive from the city of Nelson. You cannot access Abel Tasman National Park by car, the best ways are on foot or by kayak. You can also take a tour by boat or access with a water taxi.
 
The park is known for the green and lush forests as well as the golden sand beaches. Birdlife is abundant in the park and it’s definitely one of New Zealand’s most amazing places to visit in my opinion. Below you’ll find a list of the best hikes in Abel Tasman National Park, from south to north.
 

Abel Tasman National Park walks
Abel Tasman National Park
 

Day walk from Marahau to Anchorage (or vice versa)

One of the most popular walks inside the park is the day walk from Marahau to Anchorage Bay. This walk is about 12 kilometers and not too difficult. The trail is well paved in most places and there’s little altitude difference. You can visit some very nice beaches along the way such as Apple Tree Beach and Akersten Bay. Those beaches are generally below the main trail and will make it a bit more ups and down.
 
For this walk you’ll need to book a water taxi ride from Marahau to Anchorage or vice versa. I used Abel Tasman Aqua Taxi for this and booked a few days ahead as it can be quite busy. You can also do the walk in the other direction of course, which means you’ll be walking back to Marahau which gives you a bit more freedom to walk back to your car (in case you’re driving) rather than having to hurry up for the water taxi.
 
Check the video that I made here:
 

 

Pitt Head, Anchorage

From Anchorage Bay you can walk to the Pitt Head viewpoint, just above the bay. The walk to the viewpoint is about 25 minutes one way, but you can also make a 1.5 hour loop of it. The trail is well paved, not too difficult and the views from Pitts Head are simply stunning. You can combine this walk with the Anchorage – Marahau walk if you decide to do the hike this way and you’re not in a hurry.
 

Pitt Head in Abel Tasman National Park
Overlooking Pitt Head in Abel Tasman National Park
Awaroa Inlet
Awaroa Inlet just before Anchorage
 

Bark Bay to Torrent Bay

Part of the Abel Tasman Coast Track, this is a popular half day hike as well. Ask for the water taxi to drop you off at Bark Bay and walk back down south to Torrent Bay. This walk will be around 2.5 hours, depending on how busy it is at the swing bridge that you’ll find along the way. Since there can only be 5 people on the bridge at the same time, waiting times may occur. When I was there for the Abel Tasman Coast Track, I had to wait a few minutes to pass the bridge.
 

Headlands Track

Those wishing to visit Totaranui can hike the Headlands Track, a one hour walk from the settlement. It’s just an introduction to the variety in landscape and will give you an idea about the different ecological systems inside the park. It’s a one hour return walk from the DOC campsite.
 

Anapai Bay

One of the nicest bays inside Abel Tasman National Park is actually Anapai Bay. Since water taxis don’t go past Totaranui, it’s much more quiet here than on other beaches. I had the beach pretty much all to myself when I visited and it’s just an hours walk including one good climb from Totaranui. You can also decide to push on to Mutton Cove, another hour from Totaranui, making it a two hour one way walk. Mutton Cove was even prettier than Anapai Bay and … much windier as well!
 

Overlooking Totaranui
Overlooking Totaranui
 

Whariwharangi Bay

At the end of the road near the settlement of Wainui you can do the Whariwharangi Bay walk. This one will lead you to the quiet Whariwharangi Bay and same name backcountry hut, a former homestead which is now in use as the last hut on the Abel Tasman Coast Track. It’s a four hour return over the hill from the parking lot. If you have a bit more time to spend, make sure to add Separation Point as well. If lucky, you can see a seal colony there. Separation Point is another hour past Whariwharangi Bay.
 

Overlooking Whariwharangi Bay
Overlooking Whariwharangi Bay from above
 

Wainui Falls Walk

One of the best and easiest walks in Abel Tasman National Park is definitely the Wainui Falls Walk. This 1.5 hour return walk starts just outside the park, which you’ll enter along the way. The falls are 20 meters high and especially when it’s been raining they are quite dramatic. In this article you can read all about my visit.
 

Wainui Falls Base
Wainui Falls walk
 

The Abel Tasman Coast Track

And last but not least, the Abel Tasman Coast Track. This famous 3-5 day Great Walk of New Zealand is a must if you enjoy tramping. I did this hike twice, one from Marahau to Totaranui and once all the way onwards to Wainui Bay. A full blog is coming up soon, you can find my old post here. I actually thought that the best part of the walk was between Totaranui and Wanui since this part of the national park gets way less visitors than the southern section. I did the hike in November and even then I still had parts of the walk all to myself, or I’d only run into little people at some places. Note that all huts and campsites must be booked year round!
 

Anchorage in Abel Tasman National Park
Anchorage in Abel Tasman National Park
 

Conclusion and disclaimer

I hope you’ve found this article useful and that you’ve enjoyed reading about all the best Abel Tasman National Park walk options. Always make sure to check the DOC website for latest information regarding possible hikes, closures and track changes.
 
In this article you’ll find affiliate links. If you make a purchase through any of those links, we may earn a small commission without extra cost to you!
 

The post Abel Tasman National Park walks: a list with the best hikes! appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>
https://www.we12travel.com/abel-tasman-national-park-walks-a-list-with-the-best-hikes/feed/ 1
Hohe Acht: hiking to the highest peak in the Eifel mountains https://www.we12travel.com/hohe-acht-eifel-mountains/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=hohe-acht-eifel-mountains https://www.we12travel.com/hohe-acht-eifel-mountains/#respond Wed, 22 Jul 2020 10:42:38 +0000 https://www.we12travel.com/?p=21501 Hohe Acht EifelHighest peaks always appeal to my imagination. So while I was passing through the Eifel recently, I decided to make a stop at the Hohe Acht, the highest “mountain” in the Eifel. The word mountain is of course relative because it is just 747 meters high. Because I also some weird kind of thing in my head with the number 747 (you will probably not be surprised that I am an avid airplane spotter) I thought it would be a nice idea to climb the highest mountain in the Eifel after the highest mountain in the Sauerland which I climbed last year. Here you can read all you need to know about climbing the Hohe Acht in the Eifel mountains in Germany.     About Hohe Acht As mentioned, the Hohe Acht (the high eight) is the highest point in the Eifel. This summit is located in the north of the Eifel near the village of Adenau. From Arnhem in The Netherlands, where we live, it’s a short 2.5 hour drive only. The north of the Eifel is home to the Hocheifel, an area with the highest peaks of the Eifel range. The mountain is an extinct volcano from the Tertiary and offers a panoramic view of the Westerwald, the Hunsrück and the Siebengebirge in good weather.     Heading up Hohe Acht: my experience It is a gloomy day in early summer when I drive home from the Moselle region where I spent my vacation. After an overnight stay at a campsite just south of the Hohe Acht, my holiday has come to an end, but not before I have climbed the Hohe Acht. I enter “Hohe Acht” on Google Maps and navigate to the “Wanderparkplatz Hohe Acht” on the L10.   Upon arrival there are already several cars and a camper, but it does not look very busy. There are several circular walks you can make and I decide to go for the H3. Unfortunately I lost the trail after fifteen minutes because I seem to be not paying attention to the markings, which are plenty. Fortunately, the road to the Hohe Acht is straight up and sometimes even steep. Getting lost is impossible. A paved trail has been constructed for cyclists, but little use is made of this.   After about twenty minutes of walking I arrive at an opening in the forest. In front of me is the Kaiser Wilhem Turm from where you can admire the view. I climb up a bit uncomfortably, after all it is still corona time and I don’t want to bother others. Once at the top there appear to be three other people, it just fits a meter and a half away.   Fair enough, despite the gray weather and the threatening skies, the view is superb. I stare into the distance for a while but quickly become distracted as more people climb up the tower. Time for me to descend again and leave them some space.   I make a half-hearted attempt to find the H3 again but then water starts to fall down from the sky. And since I don’t feel like getting soaked this time, I quickly descend back to the car. A nice micro adventure in Germany for on the way, not super special, but with a fabulous view.     Useful tips for your visit to Hohe Acht There are several trails up, a simple but occasionally steep forest trail and a cycle trail. The latter was hardly used. There are several routes to the top and beyond. The H2 is 5 km long, the H3 is 4 km long and the “Kalderborn cow walking trail” is 23.5 km long.   The Kaiser Wilhelm tower is not exactly at the highest point of the Hohe Acht, it is next to it. Here is a column which is officially the highest point in the Eifel.   There is plenty of parking, but avoid busy times and the weekends when racing at the Nürburgring. During several weekends it is free to drive here (also on the weekend that I was there) and that caused quite a bit of noise. It was certainly not a very relaxing experience.   I also made a short video: enjoy watching!     Conclusie en disclaimer Hopefully you found this article helpful. If you want to know more about Germany, please visit my Germany homepage with numerous tips for active things and beautiful hikes in Germany. This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase via such a link, we will receive a modest commission for you at no extra cost.  

The post Hohe Acht: hiking to the highest peak in the Eifel mountains appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>

Highest peaks always appeal to my imagination. So while I was passing through the Eifel recently, I decided to make a stop at the Hohe Acht, the highest “mountain” in the Eifel. The word mountain is of course relative because it is just 747 meters high. Because I also some weird kind of thing in my head with the number 747 (you will probably not be surprised that I am an avid airplane spotter) I thought it would be a nice idea to climb the highest mountain in the Eifel after the highest mountain in the Sauerland which I climbed last year. Here you can read all you need to know about climbing the Hohe Acht in the Eifel mountains in Germany.
 

Naturschutzgebied Hohe Acht
Naturschutzgebied Hohe Acht
 

About Hohe Acht

As mentioned, the Hohe Acht (the high eight) is the highest point in the Eifel. This summit is located in the north of the Eifel near the village of Adenau. From Arnhem in The Netherlands, where we live, it’s a short 2.5 hour drive only. The north of the Eifel is home to the Hocheifel, an area with the highest peaks of the Eifel range. The mountain is an extinct volcano from the Tertiary and offers a panoramic view of the Westerwald, the Hunsrück and the Siebengebirge in good weather.
 

De Kaiser Wilhelm Turm
Kaiser Wilhelm Turm
 

Heading up Hohe Acht: my experience

It is a gloomy day in early summer when I drive home from the Moselle region where I spent my vacation. After an overnight stay at a campsite just south of the Hohe Acht, my holiday has come to an end, but not before I have climbed the Hohe Acht. I enter “Hohe Acht” on Google Maps and navigate to the “Wanderparkplatz Hohe Acht” on the L10.
 
Upon arrival there are already several cars and a camper, but it does not look very busy. There are several circular walks you can make and I decide to go for the H3. Unfortunately I lost the trail after fifteen minutes because I seem to be not paying attention to the markings, which are plenty. Fortunately, the road to the Hohe Acht is straight up and sometimes even steep. Getting lost is impossible. A paved trail has been constructed for cyclists, but little use is made of this.
 
After about twenty minutes of walking I arrive at an opening in the forest. In front of me is the Kaiser Wilhem Turm from where you can admire the view. I climb up a bit uncomfortably, after all it is still corona time and I don’t want to bother others. Once at the top there appear to be three other people, it just fits a meter and a half away.
 
Fair enough, despite the gray weather and the threatening skies, the view is superb. I stare into the distance for a while but quickly become distracted as more people climb up the tower. Time for me to descend again and leave them some space.
 
I make a half-hearted attempt to find the H3 again but then water starts to fall down from the sky. And since I don’t feel like getting soaked this time, I quickly descend back to the car. A nice micro adventure in Germany for on the way, not super special, but with a fabulous view.
 

Uitzicht vanaf de Hohe Acht
View from Hohe Acht
De wandelingen rondom de Hohe Acht
Hikes around Hohe Acht
 

Useful tips for your visit to Hohe Acht

There are several trails up, a simple but occasionally steep forest trail and a cycle trail. The latter was hardly used. There are several routes to the top and beyond. The H2 is 5 km long, the H3 is 4 km long and the “Kalderborn cow walking trail” is 23.5 km long.
 
The Kaiser Wilhelm tower is not exactly at the highest point of the Hohe Acht, it is next to it. Here is a column which is officially the highest point in the Eifel.
 
There is plenty of parking, but avoid busy times and the weekends when racing at the Nürburgring. During several weekends it is free to drive here (also on the weekend that I was there) and that caused quite a bit of noise. It was certainly not a very relaxing experience.
 
I also made a short video: enjoy watching!
 

 

Conclusie en disclaimer

Hopefully you found this article helpful. If you want to know more about Germany, please visit my Germany homepage with numerous tips for active things and beautiful hikes in Germany. This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase via such a link, we will receive a modest commission for you at no extra cost.
 

The post Hohe Acht: hiking to the highest peak in the Eifel mountains appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>
https://www.we12travel.com/hohe-acht-eifel-mountains/feed/ 0
Travel in Germany during corona: our experiences https://www.we12travel.com/travel-in-germany/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=travel-in-germany https://www.we12travel.com/travel-in-germany/#respond Tue, 30 Jun 2020 10:00:36 +0000 https://www.we12travel.com/?p=21327 vakantie in duitsland tijdens corona 2Yesterday 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!  

The post Travel in Germany during corona: our experiences appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>

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.
 
mondkapjesplicht duitsland
 

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!
 

The post Travel in Germany during corona: our experiences appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>
https://www.we12travel.com/travel-in-germany/feed/ 0
Aurlandsdalen hike: hiking in Norway’s Grand Canyon https://www.we12travel.com/aurlandsdalen-hike/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=aurlandsdalen-hike https://www.we12travel.com/aurlandsdalen-hike/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2020 05:22:21 +0000 http://www.we12travel.nl/?p=4362 Described as one of Norway’s Classic Hikes, the Aurlandsdalen hike was high up on our list when booking a trip to Norway. We were here in the first week in June, pretty early in the trekking season, meaning quiet trails but lots of snow and mostly closed tracks. Luckily the lowest part of this 40 km hike was possible to do, and left us speechless from start to end. Enjoy this post about Aurlandsdalen, hiking in Norway’s Grand Canyon!   [Please note that this article was first published in 2014 and fully updated in June 2020]   About the Aurlandsdalen hike The best part of the hike (from hear say) is the last part, the one that leads from Østerbro to Vassbygdi. It’s rated as a medium difficult trip and should take about 6 hours. Note that this blog is about the lower section of the hike. The full Aurlandsdalen trek is about 40 km and goes from Geiteryggen to Vassbygdi. However, due to our early arrival in the season, we could only hike the lower section due to snow in the upper section.   First piece of advice: don’t hike on a national holiday. We were told by various sources that buses to get you to the start, would drive as on a Sunday but upon arrival at the bus stop, some Norwegians told us that the bus wouldn’t be coming that day. As we were with a group of 7, we decided to share a taxi, a pretty expensive idea but necessary to get up to  Østerbro. Eventually we talked the price fown to NOK 150 per person, almost the same as the bus would have been. Conclusion: always make sure to double check whether the busses are going for the day!     Arrival in Østerbro Upon arrival in Østerbro we were pretty amazed. The landscape is simply gorgeous; we have obviously left the fjords behind and have arrived in interior Norway. In the past, the Aurlandsdalen route was used as a way of transportation for the farmers that made their living in this valley. However all farms that used to be here are now abandoned, making it a historical trek as well since many of them are still there.   The first part of the Aurlandsdalen hike The first part of the Aurlandsdalen hike is pretty easy, through a wide valley and following the river downstream. There are a couple of stream crossings that are easily done by stepping stones and after about an hour, the canyon walls grow closer and become very narrow. Eventually you leave the river and hike to half way up the wall. Here you can decide to take the difficult Bjonnstigen that is for experienced hikers only, or you can decide to follow the trail along the river. As there was a signpost advising us to follow the river because rockfall had damaged the upper trail and it wasn’t safe, we decided to take the easy route… good reason to come back one day!   The path gradually winds up and down, sometimes high above the river, sometimes next to it. We pass by abandoned farms and cross magnificent waterfalls, one even bigger than the other. The walls of the canyon get closer and closer way down below us, the river becomes a wild monster, from one waterfall to the next.     Half way down Half way down the hike we have no clue how far gone we are. Sure, we have walked 3 hours but are we fast or are we slow? Talking in hours is so relative. There are just a few other hikers on the trail that day but we don’t really see each other, only when taking breaks we sometimes pass and politely greet, but that’s it. Everyone loves their own peace and quiet and nobody wants to share this impressive piece of mother nature with the other folks around.   After 4 hours in the burning sun our legs are starting to get sore.  Hey, wasn’t this a classified as medium hike? You walk from 840 m. to 70 m. so we figured it was descending only, however there are some fine climbs in the hike that will make your lungs burn for sure. Eventually it turns out we have gained almost 800 meters so that means descending about 1500 meters in one day: a good one on the knees. Some of the waterfalls we cross are gigantic and only have one log walk over, quite the challenge as they are soaking wet and slippery most of the time.   Our last stop is between some old farms. We’re amazed by the idea that people used to live here, so far away from the rest of the world, in a valley that only sees sunshine in spring and summer.     The last bit of the Aurlandsdalen hike The last stretch of the hike takes us back down to the river, across huge boulder fields and eventually through a forest, all the way down to the village of Vassbygdi. Here we catch up with some other hikers. It’s a pleasure to be at our car again, where we get a cold drink from the cafetaria before heading back to our cottage.   Some trekking tips: – Some people prefer to hike up instead of down. Make sure that the bus is going, otherwise you will have to hike the whole way back as in Østerbro there are no services other than the Aurlandsdalen Turisthytte, formerly known as the Østerbrø Turisthytte.   – Eventually the hike indeed took us 6 hours. We started at 10.00 am and were back at the car around 16.30 pm. We took at least 3 breaks of 15 minutes each and also took a lot of time to take pictures. So the time given for this hike turned out to be quite accurate.   – Consider staying at Aurlandsdalen Turisthytte for a night. We surely would have loved to!   – No food is available along the trail so bring all you need. Water comes from the mountain and is as fresh as you can imagine.   – Even though this hike is medium difficult, a non experienced hiker could consider it difficult. There are some incredibly steep parts but on those there’s mostly a chain you can hold on to. It’s definitely not suitable for someone with a fear of heights.   Conclusion and disclaimer While discussing the hike on the drive down to our cottage, we both come to the same conclusion: totally unexpected but very much deserved, this hike enters our top 5 best hikes ever. One day we’ll be back to do the entire trail!   Please note that we hiked this trail in 2014 and some information may be outdated. We take great care in updating our articles regularly so please let us know if you find information that may be incorrect above. You can read more about hiking in Norway here.  

The post Aurlandsdalen hike: hiking in Norway’s Grand Canyon appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>

Described as one of Norway’s Classic Hikes, the Aurlandsdalen hike was high up on our list when booking a trip to Norway. We were here in the first week in June, pretty early in the trekking season, meaning quiet trails but lots of snow and mostly closed tracks. Luckily the lowest part of this 40 km hike was possible to do, and left us speechless from start to end. Enjoy this post about Aurlandsdalen, hiking in Norway’s Grand Canyon!
 
[Please note that this article was first published in 2014 and fully updated in June 2020]  

About the Aurlandsdalen hike

The best part of the hike (from hear say) is the last part, the one that leads from Østerbro to Vassbygdi. It’s rated as a medium difficult trip and should take about 6 hours. Note that this blog is about the lower section of the hike. The full Aurlandsdalen trek is about 40 km and goes from Geiteryggen to Vassbygdi. However, due to our early arrival in the season, we could only hike the lower section due to snow in the upper section.
 
First piece of advice: don’t hike on a national holiday. We were told by various sources that buses to get you to the start, would drive as on a Sunday but upon arrival at the bus stop, some Norwegians told us that the bus wouldn’t be coming that day. As we were with a group of 7, we decided to share a taxi, a pretty expensive idea but necessary to get up to  Østerbro. Eventually we talked the price fown to NOK 150 per person, almost the same as the bus would have been. Conclusion: always make sure to double check whether the busses are going for the day!
 
aurlandsdalen-signpost aurlandsdalen hike norway
 

Arrival in Østerbro

Upon arrival in Østerbro we were pretty amazed. The landscape is simply gorgeous; we have obviously left the fjords behind and have arrived in interior Norway. In the past, the Aurlandsdalen route was used as a way of transportation for the farmers that made their living in this valley. However all farms that used to be here are now abandoned, making it a historical trek as well since many of them are still there.
 

The first part of the Aurlandsdalen hike

The first part of the Aurlandsdalen hike is pretty easy, through a wide valley and following the river downstream. There are a couple of stream crossings that are easily done by stepping stones and after about an hour, the canyon walls grow closer and become very narrow. Eventually you leave the river and hike to half way up the wall. Here you can decide to take the difficult Bjonnstigen that is for experienced hikers only, or you can decide to follow the trail along the river. As there was a signpost advising us to follow the river because rockfall had damaged the upper trail and it wasn’t safe, we decided to take the easy route… good reason to come back one day!
 
The path gradually winds up and down, sometimes high above the river, sometimes next to it. We pass by abandoned farms and cross magnificent waterfalls, one even bigger than the other. The walls of the canyon get closer and closer way down below us, the river becomes a wild monster, from one waterfall to the next.
 

aurlandsdalen hike with a view aurlandsdalen norway
aurlandsdalen-waterfall aurlandsdalen hike
 

Half way down

Half way down the hike we have no clue how far gone we are. Sure, we have walked 3 hours but are we fast or are we slow? Talking in hours is so relative. There are just a few other hikers on the trail that day but we don’t really see each other, only when taking breaks we sometimes pass and politely greet, but that’s it. Everyone loves their own peace and quiet and nobody wants to share this impressive piece of mother nature with the other folks around.
 
After 4 hours in the burning sun our legs are starting to get sore.  Hey, wasn’t this a classified as medium hike? You walk from 840 m. to 70 m. so we figured it was descending only, however there are some fine climbs in the hike that will make your lungs burn for sure. Eventually it turns out we have gained almost 800 meters so that means descending about 1500 meters in one day: a good one on the knees. Some of the waterfalls we cross are gigantic and only have one log walk over, quite the challenge as they are soaking wet and slippery most of the time.
 
Our last stop is between some old farms. We’re amazed by the idea that people used to live here, so far away from the rest of the world, in a valley that only sees sunshine in spring and summer.
 
aurlandsdalen-farm aurlandsdalen-canyonview aurlandsdalen-view-trail
 

The last bit of the Aurlandsdalen hike

The last stretch of the hike takes us back down to the river, across huge boulder fields and eventually through a forest, all the way down to the village of Vassbygdi. Here we catch up with some other hikers. It’s a pleasure to be at our car again, where we get a cold drink from the cafetaria before heading back to our cottage.

vassbygdi
 

Some trekking tips:

– Some people prefer to hike up instead of down. Make sure that the bus is going, otherwise you will have to hike the whole way back as in Østerbro there are no services other than the Aurlandsdalen Turisthytte, formerly known as the Østerbrø Turisthytte.
 
– Eventually the hike indeed took us 6 hours. We started at 10.00 am and were back at the car around 16.30 pm. We took at least 3 breaks of 15 minutes each and also took a lot of time to take pictures. So the time given for this hike turned out to be quite accurate.
 
– Consider staying at Aurlandsdalen Turisthytte for a night. We surely would have loved to!
 
– No food is available along the trail so bring all you need. Water comes from the mountain and is as fresh as you can imagine.
 
– Even though this hike is medium difficult, a non experienced hiker could consider it difficult. There are some incredibly steep parts but on those there’s mostly a chain you can hold on to. It’s definitely not suitable for someone with a fear of heights.
 

Conclusion and disclaimer

While discussing the hike on the drive down to our cottage, we both come to the same conclusion: totally unexpected but very much deserved, this hike enters our top 5 best hikes ever. One day we’ll be back to do the entire trail!
 
Please note that we hiked this trail in 2014 and some information may be outdated. We take great care in updating our articles regularly so please let us know if you find information that may be incorrect above. You can read more about hiking in Norway here.
 

The post Aurlandsdalen hike: hiking in Norway’s Grand Canyon appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>
https://www.we12travel.com/aurlandsdalen-hike/feed/ 20
Micro adventure in Germany: 5 adventurous things to do https://www.we12travel.com/micro-adventure-in-germany/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=micro-adventure-in-germany https://www.we12travel.com/micro-adventure-in-germany/#respond Fri, 05 Jun 2020 09:34:13 +0000 https://www.we12travel.com/?p=21183 micro adventure in germanyIf 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.  

The post Micro adventure in Germany: 5 adventurous things to do appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>

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.
 
wandelen in Sauerland de hoogste berg in Sauerland
 

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!
 
Calmont klettersteig
 

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.
 
Mega Zipline Harz
 

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!
 
Micro avontuur in Duitsland micro adventure in germany
 

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.
 

The post Micro adventure in Germany: 5 adventurous things to do appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>
https://www.we12travel.com/micro-adventure-in-germany/feed/ 0
Mega Zipline in the Harz Mountains: must-do for adventurers https://www.we12travel.com/mega-zipline-in-the-harz-mountains/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mega-zipline-in-the-harz-mountains https://www.we12travel.com/mega-zipline-in-the-harz-mountains/#respond Mon, 18 May 2020 08:10:14 +0000 https://www.we12travel.com/?p=20973 Mega Zipline in de HarzI 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.  

The post Mega Zipline in the Harz Mountains: must-do for adventurers appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>

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?
 

Mega Zipline in de Harz
The Point of no return
 

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.
 

Mega Zipline in de Harz
View from the tower into the depth
 

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.
 

The post Mega Zipline in the Harz Mountains: must-do for adventurers appeared first on We12Travel.

]]>
https://www.we12travel.com/mega-zipline-in-the-harz-mountains/feed/ 0