A Travellerspoint blog

First day, burned and blistered

Spain 2011


View Lanzarote 2011 on Stefmuts's travel map.

large_1297706_14348782699974.jpgThe evening before our flight we had a BBQ with my old colleagues so we didn't get much sleep but that's ok at the beginning of our vacation. I fell asleep on the plane even before take off but that's not really sleeping and resting so when we arrived at our hotel and found the room not ready I wasn't really amused (understatement)! The room will be ready at 13:00, that one hour waiting in the lobby instead of sleeping by the poolside. At 13:00 still room not ready and I fell asleep on a couch in the lobby to awake at three to hear: No, room not ready yet. Oke, now I've had it! A bit growling at the desk and waiving our reservationpapers and we could go to our rooms. Still not quite ready yet, towels laying on the chair instead of hanging in the bathroom, but who cares, we can finally drop our stuff and have a nap on a real bed. A swim, dinner and some ABBA cover band and tomorrow we start fresh. Our hostess is at the hotel at 9 and we book an excursion for tuesday and one for friday, rent a car for wednesday and thursday so we can go across the island.large_1297706_14348783453539.jpg When that's arranged we decide to go and walk to the lighthouse. Our hostess already said there's not much there but we like the walk past the beaches and on the boulevard. We started walking with some clouds overhead and a nice breeze, very pleasant. The beaches are nice but away from the beaches theres prety much nothing except for some cacti and a rocky coast, but still a nice walk to the Faro de Pechiguera or the lighthouse. I don't know which one is called Faro de Pechiguera, or maybe they are both called that. On our way back the clouds were gone but the breeze was still there so we didn't notice we were getting sunburned, I did notice the blister on my foot though. Back at the hotel we were reddish and limping, great way to start this vacation, a cocktail at the bar makes up for it though!

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Posted by Stefmuts 05:35 Archived in Spain Tagged landscapes beaches island sightseeing lighthouse Comments (0)

Hot hot hot

Jordan 2010

large_1297706_14118097583968.jpgOur plane landed at 1:00 am in Aqaba [Aqaba-travel-guide-1308345], middle of the night and still very hot.

Day 1: in the morning we started the busride to Amman [Amman-travel-guide-1311216], of course many photo stops on the way. We allso had a stop at the dead sea where we could have a bath. I expected it to be a bit of a cooling down thing but it was nothing like that! The water is really warm and feels really funny greassy. we made the cliche photo floating with a jordan newspaper (sports section upside down) The pool was a bit more refreshing. Back in the mini bus it took a while for the airconditioning to get it a bit cool, the bus had been in the full sun while we were exploring the dead sea. We were in time for diner in Amman.

Day 2: this day we visited Jerash, a roman site north of Amman. Hadrian has also been to Jordan, everywhere i visit a roman site that guy has been there too, he must have been a great traveller! We also visit another roman site Umm Qais, the columns here are made of black stone, thats something different.large_1297706_14118097604468.jpg From here you can see the Golan Heights. Back at the hotel we would have liked to get in to the pool but there was a party going on so we couldn't.

Day 3: The king Abdullah Mosk, nice to have seen. Then on our way to the dessert castle Qasr al Harana, these castles are the resting places for the caravans on the silk route, they have places for the camels and the merchants. The next castle is a bit different, at Qusayr Amra is a sort of relax room with surprising murals, immages of hunters and prey and even scarcely dressed women (!) Back in Amman we did a small city tour on foot and visit a amphitheater, our guide lets us explore while he made sure to stay in the shade. For the sunset he takes us to the back yard of a friend of his brothers neighbour (or something like that) we would have gone up to the Hercules monument but due to a festival we couldn't go there.large_1297706_14118097626464.jpg

Day 4: Hercules monument take two. This time we can visit. The view over the city is really nice here and there is a really nice museum. Our trip plans had to change again at Mount Nebo, the building with the the famous mosaic is under construction so we can't go in to see the mosaic. Our guide promisses to make it up for us. More mosaics at the greek church at Madaba [Madaba-travel-guide-1016804] and great views at Wadi Mujib. Couse of the bummer at Mount Nebo our guide takes us to Umm Ar Rasas, i'm not sure but i think the mosaic here is even more beautiful.

Day 5: The main attraction, Petra [Petra-travel-guide-1309147]. We stayed the night at the edge of the siq and this morning we started walking early. The siq is the narrow ravine which leads to the hidden city. on the last leg of ourwalk our guide tried to distract us from the upcoming view on Al Khazneh (the treasury), but we didn't fall for that! It's magical to see it appear as you slowly walk out of the siq.large_1297706_14118097642429.jpg For the trip up to Ad Deir (the monastery) I cheated by renting a donkey taxi, I wasn't feeling that great but I really wanted to go up there, and it was really worth it! There are lot and lot of temples carved out of the kliffs by the Nabataean people but als some Roman sites (again, they've been here too!!) We spend the whole morning at Petra enjoying the beauty of that place. In the afternoon we left to go back to Aqaba.

Day 6: Today on the menu Wadi Rum by jeep. But first sleeping in. We left for Wadi Rum at 15:30. The desert is a beautiful red color and we see some wild camels, or maybe not wild but without people guiding them. We made a stop at some petroglyphs at a place called Jebel Khazali.large_1297706_14118097669109.jpg Of course a tent with thee, coffee and souvenirs, those tents are called 'beit sha'ar', a few local boys were making music and an other local boy was filming with his phone camera (!) Unfortunately no beautiful sunset but at least a lovely diner at the captains desert camp.

Day 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 Relaxing at our hotel in Aqaba, swimming in the pool, hanging by the pool, a trip with a glas bottom boat, some shopping and lots and lots of snorkeling, the red sea is great for snorkling and diving. First day we found out we'd better get back from the beach at 16:00, this is the time the wind turns and blows all the really hot air from the mountains, our hotel is uphill so you don't want that at 50+ degrees Celsius, we learned fast!

O, and by the way I found Nemo!

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Posted by Stefmuts 22:18 Archived in Jordan Comments (0)

Touring Norway

2009

large_1297706_14200395301125.jpgOur first hotel in Norway was in Lillehammer [Lillehammer-travel-guide-1134494] so we had a little of a drive ahead. The hotel had no restaurant of it's own but we could get our dinner at a restaurant nearby. Next morning Lillehammer to Beitostolen, not in a strait line! The norwegian sheep are not impressed by traffic, and neather are the cows. We made a quick stop at the Hedal stavkyrkje, one of the beautiful wooden churches. We didn't go in, but I have planned to visit more of those churches.

Next day, more stavkyrkje, I picked the one in Borgund [Borgund-travel-guide-1325161] because it's one that hasn't changed much since the middleages. I also had to make some stops to take pictures of waterfall after waterfall. You could enter the church and I took some pictures inside, going out I saw the sight do not take pictures, oops! After that another stavkyrkje, Umes, the oldest one.large_1297706_14200395321328.jpgHere we go!On the way there beautifull views, waterfalls and ferries. No picture taking inside in Umes but the wood carvings on Unesco's list are on the outside.

Third day, rain, pity. On our way to Geirangerfjord, we didn't do a tour, just enjoyed the view. Then Trollstigen, one of the most beautiful routes of Europe they say. I found the first part a bit disappointing, but the second part made up for it! You can easily imagine how those troll stories came to be. The rest of our route to Alesund [Alesund-travel-guide-1131088], rain.

Fourth day, Alesund - Orsenet - Hellesylt - Stryn - Briksdal - Klakegg - Floro [Floro-travel-guide-1132441], all those names! I can't find some of the sighns to writhe them the right way but you'll get the point. Again lots of beautiful views, waterfalls, ferrie rides and this time with some sunny weather.large_1297706_14200395348475.jpg Unfortunately the town of Floro is not much, hope I didn't offend the locals by saying this.

Fifth day on our way to Bergen [Bergen-travel-guide-1131436]. More fjords, but that's one of the things we came to Norway for! The longest one is Sognefjord which we cross by ferry.

Sixt day in Bergen, lots to see here! The famous commercial area of Bryggen with the colorful wooden buildings. A great part of Bryggen burned down in 1955, tragic! Then to the castle Bergenhus, also almost all made out of wood. With the Floybanen you can go up to the viewing point Floyfjellet, but stubborn as we are we drive till we can't go further and then walk the rest of the way up.

Seventh day, this is the day we didn't go to Preikestolen [Preikestolen-travel-guide-1329672], it was on my list but we missed a turn and ended up in another beautiful spot, one good thing, Preikestolen would have been crwded on such a beautiful day and here we were the only ones.large_1297706_1420039536967.jpg And again a beatiful waterfall (btw if you don't like waterfalls Norway might not be for you)

Eighth day on our way to Vradal with a detour to Manafossen, yes, another waterfall. We parked the car and went for a small hike to a waterfall we found on a leaflet. We thought: if the norwegians put a waterfall on a leaflet it must be something. And it was! The hotel in Vradal was lovely, only downside, the really small bathroom.

Day no nine, driving back to Oslo [Oslo-travel-guide-1135414] again. A stop to visit the largest stavkyrkje in Heddal [Heddal-travel-guide-1323981], again I totally missed the no foto sighn and nobody said anything so it must have been okay I guess. In Kongsberg we visited the silver mine solvgruvene, this is a nice one! You go in to the mine the same way the miners used to: stuffed in a small railcar.large_1297706_1420039539630.jpg It's a really noisy ride so they give you earpluggs. You get a tour underground and then its back in the train, to the light again.

On our last day we had time to visit Oslo, and since we haven't seen any sighns of vikings we went to the viking museum Vikingskiphuset, here you can see three (almost) complete viking ships, very impressive! We also visited the open air museum and the castle and then we had to get to the habour for the night ferry back to Danmark

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Posted by Stefmuts 06:16 Archived in Norway Comments (0)

Waiting for the ferry

2009


View Norway 2009 on Stefmuts's travel map.

large_1297706_14197823612231.jpgTo make sure we would be in time for the ferry we booked a night at the Radisson hotel in Frederikshavn [Frederikshavn-travel-guide-919938], exactly oppositefrom where the ferry leaves. From the hotel we could see the ferries arrive and leave. It's an 10 hour drive from where I live, we strted our drive at around 8 in the morning and we were in time for dinner in Frederikshavn Denmark. Nice dinner, lots of seafood at the buffet. Coffee at the bar was less nice, instant coffee. We went to sleep pretty early because we have to get up at 7 and the whole day driving was tiring as well.

As we got up we could already see the ferry, it would leave at 10 but seeing it there made me worrie it might just leave without me. Breakfast at 7:30 and an hour later we got in line to go on the ferry. We thought we were early but we were not the only ones, there was already a long line of cars waiting. I thought it would take a long time to get on the ferry but as the line started to move it was only a few minutes before our car was in place and we could go and explore the boat.

We installedourselves on the front deck, here we could see the rest come on board.large_1297706_14197823634649.jpg During departure we could see the harbor disappear from view. We then got on to the palm bar, sitting in the sun with a drink, napping a bituncomfortable on a wooden bench.Did some reading, my book and the travel guide.

The last part of the journey we got back on the front deck to see land again. There was a huge thunderstorm over Oslo, but that droveoff just in time.
In customs control, we were picked outagain, trunk open, cold dog nose against my ankle but everything wasokay and we could enter Norway.

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Posted by Stefmuts 03:17 Archived in Denmark Comments (0)

Last day, Dublin

Ireland 2008

large_1297706_14348132365031.jpgIn the afternoon we have our flight back home so we don’t have a full day but still enough for some sightseeing. After an early breakfast we head out to Malahide [Malahide-travel-guide-937941] castle. This 12th century castle is owned by the Irish state and open to visitors. But since we are not interested in the interior of the castle we just visit the gardens, and a short stop at the souvenir shop in the hallway. The gardens are beautiful and I can imagine more so in spring.

Then we drive up to Howth [Howth-travel-guide-937041] where we walked along the cliff edge path. Howth is considered to be a piece of Dublin [Dublin-travel-guide-936355] but it’s actually a nice little fishing town. We tried to walk all the way to the lighthouse but as we are nearly there a fence blocks our way. At that moment the helicopter we saw parked near the lighthouse took off so we had front row seats for that spectacle.

Then it’s off to the airport. We take some extra time because we also need to return your rental car and we don’t know how long that’s going to take. Proved to be settled quickly so we were way too early at the gate and still nearly missed the flight because they changed gates and did not show it on the board at the gate we were waiting. But all turned out ok.

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Posted by Stefmuts 04:24 Archived in Ireland Tagged landscapes culture city dublin Comments (0)

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