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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Back in Maasvlakte ...

Once again, back in the Netherlands, back in Brielle and Maasvlakte. Just a few days, but quite busy ones. The work schedule is overloaded, as usual. Not much free time to be expected, and on top, too lazy to do much in the evenings then. Furthermore, I stayed in Bastion Hotel, which was renovated lately, they said. Maybe not the rooms, they are relatively small and a bit shabby.

Luckily there was some time in the evening where I could do other things. One more visit to Hellevoutsluis was on the list, with a seaside dinner. And on the way home, I stopped by at Kinderdijk, where a system of 19 windmills was used to drain the polder (largest concentration of old windwills of Holland).

Monday, August 27, 2018

Vågstranda opposite Molde

And again, one more trip to Norways. Hard to find regions where we have not been. But that's also not necessary. Along the Norwegian shore, the ocean hits the mountains - that's what makes that country so spectacular.

Romsdalfjord is a quite known area, located right opposite Molde. We visited my parents who checked in a typical norwegian cottage, a bit uphill, and therefore with a nice and wide view over the fjord.

Some actions were about to come up. First thing: a little road trip, first to Kristiansund, followed by the Atlantic road. Not to forget the Bremsnes Cave.

The Atlantic Road is a must see. It's so uniquely constructed. And always so spectacular to see or cross it by any means.

Helsetnakken, starting from Vikebukt, was climbed by us and we were rewarded with those lookouts. Too bad rain was pouring down heavily, with temperatures dropping down to 5 degrees. No other chance than commencing the homeward journey.

And on the way to the airport, there still was some time left for strolling around Alesund, despite dizzle every now and then. Somehow the city seems to be empty, but the fish & chips were awesome.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Nürnberg at night

It was that one night of the falling stars. But some planes are crossing too...

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Cycling Bayreuth

Next cycling tour came right away. That route was on the list for long, but never done. Not yet! Now I found some time, got a navigation system and planned the route off the main streets.

Tüchersfeld must be on the route for sure. It's so much off anything else, not many people come to visit. I stopped there, just to watch, like all the other times before, and kept on going.

Bayreuth suprisingly did not have much to offer. The city centre itself is nice, but quite small and maybe I just didn't find the spots to go. So I just went through some street, had a look and went back to the train station. I was thinking of riding back home, but thought then it's fine to take the train too.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

AlpenX Light: Tegernsee - Kalterer See

Perfect weather, perfect start for a little ride through the Alps. Just not that tough this time, but still, bikes are not riding themselves, and a few mountains are in the way too. We started our first stage in Tegernsee, and five minutes later we found ourselves having a little break at the turquoise water. 

We moved on, passed Achensee and stayed overnight in Jenbach. The Airbnb was more for longterm stays, but well-furnished and cosy, offering a great view over the village and the valley.

The next morning we already knew what was coming. Zillertal at first, to warm up, before steep slopes needed to be climbed up to the Schlegeis reservoir. The "Kaiserschmarrn" at the "Alpengasthof Breitlahner" helped to get over it. It was too big though, but so delicious. Then, some more turns, and we reached the "Dominikushütte" on time at 5 pm, to see the world champinionship game Germany - Mexico [0:1]. Would have been better to keep on cycing.

There is nothing good at getting up early, bu even worse is riding uphill in rain. But frankly speaking, I did not expect anything else. It's my third time on "Pfitscher Joch", the weather always got its own ideas. The same this time, quite cold temperatures, dark clouds, light rain and wind. The heavier the way up was, the better the break was at "Pfitscherjoch Haus". And the simple "Flädli"-soup was well deserved.

Next stop: Sterzing. Not difficult to get there, just let it roll downhill. Pfitscher Joch was saying good bye in the same way as it welcomed us - with heavy rain. When approaching Sterzing, the weather changed, it was getting really hot, and down there we were sitting and zipping an Aperol, while checking on our next place to stay.

And here it is: Panorama Hotel Post. We booked it, but didn't pay much attention where exactly it's located. Thus, it was not in Brixen, it again was up the hill, 400 additional meters of hight, in St. Andrea. First, we thought there must be something really wrong. The restaurant was closed (permanently), the door locked, no staff member around. The door bell buzzed, but no answer. A few door bell signs later, someone did open the door, obviously surprised and giving the impression that he didn't expect anybody to show up today. Well, we did, and weren't in the mood the search anything else, so we stayed in that rustic hotel where style and furiture was definitely coming from the 80's.

The next day was hot, very hot. And almost no shade while riding. Meanwhile, one of us had to quit, so only three kept on pedalling. Todays destination: St. Ulrich. Hotel Garni Snaltnerhof is worth a visit, totally modern in a wooden design!

We took it easy the next day. The gondola was taking us up to the Seiser Alm, offering a perfect view of the Dolomites in all directions.

And still perfect conditions, nice and sunny days, blue sky and good company while riding through South Tyrol villages.

"Karer See" was definitely one highlight, the water was crystal clear, surrounded by spectecular mountains and rock formations.

Always keep on smiling, not matter what!

And then, we made it, found our way, stayed one last night in Montan before heading to our destination "Kalterer See".

The last kilometres ... towards Bozen, some strong winds from the front. And finally, we reached it. Proud, and happy! Time to celebrate with Pizza, ice cream and wine. Let's see where the next trail is leading us to.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Lunch in Segovia

One day, I think it was short before weekend, we decided to have lunch somewhere else. I thought the colleague meant another restaurant. There are hundreds around the corner. But no, would have been to easy.

We took the car and went to Segovia, about 70 km away. There were quite many things to see and do, so it did not make any sense to schedule some more works for the afternoon. We preferred to  concentrated on the intercultural experiences that could be made.

Food was one of those things. Segovia is famous for their suckling pig. Every restaurant is serving this. Most of them for the tourists, because they read about it in their tourist guides. In our case, we were told about it by locals knowing tourists who came to Segovia for, guess what, the suckling pig. It's all going around in circles.

But indeed it was delicious. Too bad I was too full to try the octopus sold on the streets. Maybe next time!

Last thing and a must-do, a visit of the Alcázar de Segovia, a restored 12th century castle. Thrown back in time, it still offers picturesque views of the surrounding. 

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Day trip to Toledo

Just a stone's throw from Madrid, there is Toledo, a beautiful small and ancient city, set on a hill above the plains of Castilla-La Mancha. For its monumental and cultural heritage it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986.

Streets are narrow, and fully packed with tourists. After turning left or right a few times, entering back streets, we could walk for ourselves, not being pushed back and forth, but taking the time we needed. 

Toledo is paradise for me: one of the city's most famous food productions marzipan, the so called mazapán de Toledo, which is, in my view, extremely delicious.

People put linen or blankets between house walls, to protect themselves from the sun. It makes the streets look unusual, but in a way interesting as well. Or it's just meant to be decoration.

Friday, June 01, 2018

Madrid's Plaza de Toros

When being in Spain, they said you have to see this. So we did, ordered some tickets, cheap ones, sitting in the sun, dazzled with light. But still, the view was good enough for the things that followed. Plaza de Toros - arena of the toreadors. I didn't expect much, knowing what approximately will come. The more you go into details, the more you understand what all this is about. Long traditions, the fight, and the victory, of the human being against the weak. But it's the fashion, the manner, how it's gonna be presented. One by one, six battles in a row, no break, no pause for a moment. It's tough, and although it's Spanish tradition for centuries, it goes deep and I left deeply grieved. I've seen it now once, and I think it will not happen again, and I do understand all criticism about it.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Bjerregård in Denmark

One week off work started with a pretty long journey to Denmark. By car, train and a rental car from Hamburg, we arrived in Bjerregård right before dawn, where the prepared BBQ already waited for us.

We stayed with friends at their summer cottage, big enough for 6 persons and fully equipped with everything you would need. Self-made dinner and breakfast outside on the terrace in between sand dunes.

Hvide Sande offers some touristy things too and invites to spend some hours at the beach (we made a sporty activity outta it, draw a starting line in the sand and sprinted into the water - which still was too cold to have a swim longer than necessary), get some fresh fish or shrimps with French Fries. Tasty stuff, I‘d call it.

Bjerregård offered nice views too, and cool sunsets behind the dunes. You just have to enjoy quickly, as the breeze is surely chilly.

Last stop, Dangast at the North Sea, right opposite Wilhelmshaven. A small village, attracting more tourists than people living there. We did a Segway Tour, and proudly own an official segway driving license, and long walks across the mudflats. Last thing's healthy stuff, like massage with peelings, just tickles a bit too much sometimes.