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Marstrand vs Göteborg

Denmark-Sweden 2016


View Travelling the movies & Road Trip Denmark - Sweden 2016 on Stefmuts's travel map.

large_1297706_14768920575532.jpgSome of my fellow campers have spend a day in Göteborg (Gothenburg) and had a great time, their stories almost made me reconsider my plans for a daytrip Marstrand. Back home planning this trip I thought of spending another day here and visit the city Göteborg. But somehow I scratched it off the list, and now I'm having doubts.

I finally decided to stick to my plan and drive north to the small island town called Marstrand. You have to park your car near the harbour since bringing it up the island is prohibited (and pretty useless), the only cars on the island are used to bring goods from the mainland to the stores at the harbour area, all else is inaccessible to cars, locals use golf carts and scooters. My travel guide says Marstrand buzzes with activity in the summer but I think september is not considered summer anymore, or maybe it's because it's a monday, but not much buzzing today.large_1297706_14768920757812.jpg Stores and restaurants are closed except for the supermarket and the kiosk at the ferry. I take the ferry to the island and here too, not much buzzing.

I start walking uphil to Carlsten Fort, the main attraction on the island. A sign at the door indicates the fort is open to the public so I enter and follow the signs to the ticket office which is pretty well tucked away in a back office. I'm not the only visitor at the fort, some other people found the ticket office as well. The big tower is not open to the public, I believe it is used as a conference center or something like that, you can only use the passage through the tower. But almost all other parts are open. Some rooms you have to search for the light switch to see anything but an open door means to me I'm allowed to go look for a light switch.large_1297706_14768920552557.jpg The fort was also used as a prison and the inmates had to work on extending the fort. The big round tower used to be a smaller square tower and was extended to a round shaped tower, you can see the date sign on the inside door in the passage.

There are secrets passageways going from one end of the fort to the other, well, not so secret anymore and well lit, I guess it used to be more scary going through them with only candle light. I tried both routes (of course!) one ends in the back of the forts church, the other in the courtyard.

From the fort I start my walk around the island. There is a sacrificial stone, a big piece of rock with a blood groove, this could very well be something else like a groove made by a stonecutterto split the rocks.large_1297706_14768920626523.jpg But hey, there are stories, and some people see the hammer of Thor carved in one side of the rock.

St.Erik's cave is the place the villagers fled to while Marstrand was under siege of Tordenskiolds in 1719, there are actually two caves, St.Erik's, the bigger one with the pulpit rock,and Mrs Arfvidsson's bed chamber, here Mrs Arfvidsson gave birth to a son. I couldn't locate the well though. St.Eriks park is barely recognizable as being a park, it's just an open space in the woods if not for the sign saying it is a park. I can imagine it was a nice park in it's glory days but today nature has taken over for the most part.

The west side of the island is rough and rocky and the path is not always clear, some parts it's just a painted arrow on the rock showing you where to go.large_1297706_14768921375234.jpg It's a great spot to take pictures! Wooden bridges connect some of the rocks and there are some benches placed along the route so you can sit and enjoy the view. There are some beach areas for nude bathing and closer to the village the regular beach area's, well, not beach since it's al rocks here, but steps going into the water. Not great weather for swimming today though.

Back in the harbour still not much buzzing so no coffee and cake on a terrace with harbour view, instead I took the ferry to the mainland and just did some grocery shopping at the supermarket before returning to Göteborg

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Posted by Stefmuts 23:01 Archived in Sweden Tagged landscapes nature coastline sightseeing natural_wonder Comments (0)

Cappadocia guided tour

Turkey 2014

large_1297706_14058815601833.jpgThis year I booked a very cheap tour Cappadocia [Cappadocia-travel-guide-1315376] Turkey, not knowing what to expect for so
little money. Turned out to be a very nice trip! It was a very large group, big bus full and then two busses more but we didn’t consider them our group. About 40 people, I don’t know exactly, don’t know all their names and I thought it
was up to the tour guide to make sure everyone is there before leaving a site, and he did! Our guide knew a lot of history and stories about Turkey and Cappadocia which made the 600 km trip inland pretty interesting. Two days of
the trip were to travel to - en later on back from Cappadocia on which we visited the Sultanhan-Keravanserai and the other day Mevlana Museum.large_1297706_14058815614051.jpg

We had a pretty full program, no days off in between and hardly any free time during the days, only a few evenings but then there was rain so we couldn’t do much more than sit in the hotel lobby and chat. We visited most of the major sites in Cappadocia, the deserted city of Selve, Pasabag and the valley of the monks, the red valley with its beautiful fairy chimneys, Göreme with the many rock churches, the underground city of Kaymakli [Kaymakli-travel-guide-609714], at most of these sites I would have liked to have more time to look around. At Mevlana museum on the other hand I had more than enough time, it’s just that everyone has a different taste and to keep 40 people happy you have to mediate. In Selve for instance we got an hour to walk around, but the city is spread over three valleys so I just ran from one point to another and when I saw the things I definably wanted to see I found out times up, Göreme and the red valley same thing.large_1297706_14058815615263.jpg

I was very happy when we got the opportunity to do the ballooning, and even more happy when we actually got the wakeup call in the middle of the night, because one morning earlier they cancelled all flights due to strong winds. Yes, I can strip that one off my bucket list, but given the chance I would do it again! I think it’s a must when you visit Cappadocia!

On the last evening in Cappadocia we went to an Turkish night, for other groups it was a dinner show, but we’ve already had dinner so just snacks and drinks for us. It’s a real tourist thing, they show some local dances, get the public to participate and a kind of disco party in the end. I liked the dancing dervishes but as our guide told us a few minutes is enough, I’m glad we didn’t get a Dervish night, I think I would have fallen asleep after 15 minutes or so.large_1297706_14058815621919.jpg The
belly dancer was nice as well, she took some stiff looking guys from the audience and let them copy some of her moves, hilarious! All in all it was nothing really special, but I had fun. For me the big no-no of the night was the pictures they took at the beginning of the evening were printed on a plastic plate: please buy! No way I want my face on a plate, specially not a plastic one!

Back in the Antalya region we also visited the roman sites Perge [perge-travel-guide-1326571] and Aspendos, at Perge again too little time to really explore the site. I think if they had a Travbuddy site in roman times, Hadrianus (Hadrian) would have been on it, that guy travelled the hole empire!

As I expected there also were some ‘have to include in tour‘ shopping things, a tapestry with some explanation on the technics, a leather shop with a runway show and a jewelry with, well, just annoying personnel.large_1297706_14058815624554.jpg

Antalya’s harbor area is nice but the bazaar is a bit disappointing. Lots of newlyweds today, all doing their photo-shoot in the small streets near the harbor. The waterfall was very nice, but I’ve seen so many already.

Our last trip before going home or for some going to another hotel to have some relax time on the beach, was a boat trip. Again, think I’m spoiled. I didn’t think it was that special, the only special thing was the small strip of beach separating the river from the sea. It still was a nice boat trip with a nice lunch.

I must say this trip made me curious about the rest of Turkey, don’t think I’ll take the cheap tour next time, although everything was well organized I would like to do Turkey in my own pace next time.

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Posted by Stefmuts 06:45 Archived in Turkey Tagged landscapes nature culture sightseeing natural_wonder Comments (0)

Nothern Ireland in one day

Ireland 2008


View Ireland on spec (2008) on Stefmuts's travel map.

large_1297706_1434574371948.jpgToday we make the crossing to Northern Ireland, starting with Derry. Derry is a walled city and actually that’s it, the wall and it’s gates are nice but not much else to see so we continue on to the Causeway coastal route. In Downhill water falling from the mountain and you can see the Mussenden Temple on the rock, and we stopped at Downhill castle (not more than a ruin) and the walled garden. At the village of Portrush [Portrush-travel-guide-1258225] there are the ‘white rocks’, cliffs that are not spectacularly high, but have a distinctive white color.

A little further on Dunluce castle, which is built so close to the edge of the cliff that pieces of it already disappeared into the sea below, and even now with the restoration of the castle sometimes bits disappear.large_1297706_1434574409477.jpg In 1639 Duchess Catherine Manners got the shock of her life when a part of the kitchen collapsed and disappeared with staff and all in the waves, she then left Dunluce and refused to ever return, ultimately on the mainland a new castle was built for her.

Then off to Giant’s Causeway, parking the car at the visitor center and then taking the shuttle bus down. This was the main thing I wanted to see in Northern Ireland.The Causeway is composed of basalt columns that run into the sea, creating a sort of alien landscape. Legends tell of a giant named Finn MacCool that would have built the causeway as a bridge to the Scottish island of Staffa (there is a similar basalt landscape) to visit his beloved. In the cliff walls you can also see the basalt columns, including the so-called organ.large_1297706_14345744196326.jpg

We walked the path along the coast until the point the path was closed, you could see why it was closed, a bit further on the path was gone completely. A sign was placed to explain why the path was closed (!) and a map showing low hazard, green(ish), moderate hazard, yellow, high hazard , orange and very high hazard, red. The sign was placed on a spot coloured orange on the map (!!!) We walked back and spent some time on the rocks leading into the sea. Since there was more in the area we wanted to see we took the bus back up instead of walking the part.

Next on the list: Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, not for people with vertigo! It wobbles and squeaks. The island it leads to is only for a small part accessible so after taking a few pictures it’s back to the car.

We actually planned two days in Northern Ireland but we already been to our must sees so we decide to cross the border again and find a B&B in the Euro part. We found a nice one in Carlingford. We had dinner in the local pub and had a beer after. A really drunk guy was talking to me (hey blondie) but I couldn’t understand a thing he was saying. His mate was laughing his head off though. But I think he couldn’t understand the gibberish either.

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Posted by Stefmuts 04:20 Archived in Northern Ireland Tagged landscapes castle natural_wonder giants_causeway Comments (0)

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