(filtered by tag 'photos')

Deep sky objects

Added: September 11, 2016

Tags: astro photos

M31

Same place a same time as the last post. This post will show deep sky objects (AKA smudges), all of them will be 100% crops and they look less impressive than previous post. It is caused by simple conditions used for taking photos - static camera, short exposures , insufficient focal length and manual focusing.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Milky Way

Added: September 11, 2016

Tags: astro photos

Milky way

I was waiting couple of months for these photos. I have found a place with pretty dark sky, but my visits there were always around full moon or weather was pretty bad. But a week ago I got lucky. Weather forecast seemed perfect for 2 or 3 days and it was around new moon.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 2

Dachstein

Added: August 27, 2016

Tags: Austria cave lake mountains photos

View from cable car Dachstein Krippenstein

Year ago we went to short trip to Austria. This post is about hike and visit of ice cave. I am a bit afraid to call it a hike, because time spent walking was similar to time spent waiting for 2 cable cars (plus way back down).

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Maldives - Sun Island

Added: August 07, 2016

Tags: Maldives beach palm photos

PB0011613

We wanted to book some activities on Holiday Island, but they were either full or happened only once a week on day we were travelling. Only trip that we managed to do was to visit nearby Sun Island. It is resort operated by the same company so boat ride was for free. We just needed to pick one of departure times and sign for it on reception.

Sun Island is bigger, maybe 3 times and also more developed. It even has a pool. From my point of view, it was overcrowded. So we made very good decision when we picked Holiday Island - it was more suitable for us. That, however, does not mean all those hundreds of people on Sun Island picked badly :-)

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Sunset at Holiday Island, Maldives

Holiday Island is quite small - just 700 meters long and 140 wide. I am surprised I did not get bored during those 7 days. Maybe because I took many photos. We are going to look at Holiday Island with different perspective now.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Maldives - Holiday Island

Added: August 07, 2016

Tags: Maldives beach palm photos

Umbrella in water - Holiday Island, Maldives

I have too many photos from Holiday Island, so I need to split it to 3 parts. That's the reason previous post did not contain many Maldives "postcards". But it is main point of this post - to show why people are going there - white sand, turquoise water, green palms.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Maldives - arrival

Added: August 07, 2016

Tags: Maldives beach palm photos

Holiday Island, Maldives

I was forced to take 2 weeks off in my work in February 2015. We were thinking "Why should I sit at home and then have less available time for proper summer vacation? Let's go to some warm place". But where to go during winter? Europe is cold, it has to be somewhere further away. Sri Lanka had raised occurrence of some virus in January, so we were afraid to go there. What about Maldives?

We bought Lonely Planet, only to realize Maldives are not ideal for individual holiday makers, and even worse for travellers - distances are huge and accommodation expensive, unless you want to stay in capital Male. Not to mention food - islands open for tourists are usually handled by single resort, so they have only "single" restaurant and no shop with food. Self catering in Maldives is probably as expensive as half board.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Summer sky with macro lens

Added: August 06, 2016

Tags: photos

NGC 7000

I did not expect to write this post at all. But after writing 6 other today...well, I can write anything :-)

These are results of my astro photography experiments I have done last summer. I have used Tamron 90mm/f2.8 that is not ideal lens for astro photography without rotating with sky during exposure. So I was limited to 2 seconds exposure and I decided to crank up ISO to 12800.

Why such a stupid set-up? Well, I wanted to take photo of M31 Andromeda Galaxy and NGC 7000 North America Nebula.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Insects on flowers

Added: August 06, 2016

Tags: Slovakia animals flowers nature photos

bee at Echinacea

This post contains macro photos of bees, bumblebee, butterfly and a fly with flowers. Originally I wanted to post photos from April, when I spent some time shooting bees on Bear's garlic (Allium ursinum), but then I remembered I have very nice captures from last year.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Early spring flowers

Added: August 06, 2016

Tags: Slovakia flowers nature photos

snowdrops

Some flowers from early March. I was surprised how many snowdrops were flowering. I have never seen so many of them.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Flowers of June

Added: August 06, 2016

Tags: Slovakia flowers nature photos

PB0012946

A few photos of flowers I took in June last year.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Rožmberk castle, Czech Republic

On our return from Český Krumlov we made a short side trip to small town Rožmberk to visit its castle.

There is not much to say about that apart from mentioning very good local food in restaurant and to show a few photos.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Český Krumlov

Added: August 06, 2016

Tags: CzechRepublic castle night photos river town

Český Krumlov castle at night

Another post that should have happened last year. During long weekend in the begining of May 2015 we went for short trip to Czech Republic, to city Český Krumlov. Its old town is UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Wooden church in Svätý Kríž, Slovakia

It is long time since I blogged last. I have plenty of photos, but somehow I did not get to writing about them here.

These photos are from company event I have attended 2 years ago. We went to north of Slovakia, to Liptov. I know it well there, because I spent every summer there when I was kid. Still, we visited a few places I have never been before.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Portugal - Sintra

Added: October 07, 2014

Tags: Portugal castle mountains palace photos town

Pena Palace, Sintra, Portugal

"Sintra is beautiful. But you should not go there when it is raining." We were told this by several people, including taxi driver in Lisbon. We were lucky that is was not raining, but not very much, because it was quite cloudy. It might not be visible from displayed photos, but there was much less blue sky than I would like. So our experience was somewhere in the middle of two extremes. But I don't want to call it 'average'.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

PB0009558

Is there a building done by Calatrava in the city? So that Zuzka must to see it. Actually I like his architecture too. Now to convince Peter... It could be much easier if there were other things too. Hm, there is oceanarium. Maybe that helps.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Belem Tower, Lisbon, Portugal

Our flight from Funchal to Lisbon was boring compared to flight to Madeira :-) But we prefer it this way. We had hard time to find taxi driver waiting for us, because we misunderstood directions what to look for. Eventually he found us and we could go to our accommodation. It took longer than it should, because main street was closed due to preparation for some "fiesta".

At least our driver acted as tour guide and talked about many topics we could be interested in Lisbon. He even answered the most important series of questions - how long does it takes to get to airport by metro, whether it is full early in the morning and where is the closest metro station to our accommodation (well, he got the last one wrong).

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Levada do Caldeirão Verde, Madeira

This was our longest hike and I would say also the most interesting. It was along levada again, but this time there were new attractions - houses with thatched roof and tunnels you need to pass through. So if you want to go there, don't forget headlamp or flashlight.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Curral das Freiras from Eira do Serrado, Madeira

Both of these trips were last moment decisions. I hoped to go to Eira do Serrado all the time, but it somehow did not fit into our schedule. Encumeada was just the 2nd try after we failed to get there from Rabaçal.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

25 Fontes, Rabaçal, Madeira

When Zuzka planned details of Madeira trip, she made very good decision to go to Rabaçal. We were sure we want to do one or possibly 2 hikes there. We were nearly sure we will not manage 3rd one. That would be too much. Especially because we arrived quite late. Fortunately a parking lot is much bigger than at São Lourenço. There were more cars here, yet we managed to find a spot. It was a bit further away, but good enough.

We used small trick here, we actually disqualified ourselves as hikers, because we used shuttle bus to get to the starting point of hike. But we saved 1 hour by that, so what?

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

dry waterfall in Levada do Bom Successo, Madeira

Bom Successo means Big Success. But our walk from Monte through Levada do Bom Successo was quite a big fail. We were "promissed" (and expected) nice walk along the levada, with water and waterfall, but it was just boring hike down the hill in dry environment.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Penha de Águia, Faial, Madeira

After visiting São Lourenço we continued to the north. Mountains around us were much greener than what south part of island could offer until now. Green, steep mountains surrounded by nice houses with orange roofs complementing greenness.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

São Lourenço, Madeira

Our first real hike in Madeira happened at eastern end of island. São Lourenço is long and narrow peninsula. It does not look like the rest of island, at least it does not look like that in summer. Rest of Madeira is green. This place is brown. No green grass, just a little bit of flowers and definitely not flowers you can see at other places of this island.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Jardim Botânico, Bom Successo, Funchal, Madeira

Madeira is nice green island with many colorful flowers growing nearly everywhere. But there are also botanical gardens. We have visited two of them.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

To Madeira

Added: October 04, 2014

Tags: Madeira Portugal city photos

PB0008265

Have you ever attempted to fly on Friday 13th? Only cheap direct flight we could find from Vienna to Madeira was with Fly Niky/airberlin on Friday 13th, so we have booked it. Just one way, because return trip seemed expensive compared to "bargain price" of outbound fly.

We decided to go back with Tap Portugal through Lisbon to see also mainland Portugal. That turned more complicated than we expected. The first booking failed with Bad Request and repeated try ended up with web page asking us to wait for 24h or contact them. So I have tried Skype to tap.contact.center, but they did not authorize me for following 25 hours. No problem, 24h passed, I can book again, can't I? Wrong! Same message. OK, let's make phone companies happy. I have called to listed sales agent in Prague. She could not help me, she advised me to wait 24h, prankster, or call to Portugal.

Should I make that call? Not yet, let's try e-mail first. I received bad news next day - they simply don't do bookings or advice on price through e-mail. It looked like people who fly on Friday 13th don't need inbound flight anymore :-) I replied angrily, that I don't want them to finish booking, all I am asking for is to remove that damn lock on my reservation that should not be there anymore. To my huge surprise, I could finish my booking next day. Who would guess that?

What was I writing about? Aha, flying on Friday 13th. Here is the rest of story...

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

boulders at Anse Lazio, Praslin, Seychelles

Anse Lazio is at northeastern side of Praslin, not too far from Anse Georgette. There are 2 options how to get there for people accommodated in Anse Kerlan without a car.

  • You can take bus and go to Mont Plaisir terminal station, which is about 2 stops, but quite steep slope. Then you can walk 1.9km throught country (it took us 37 min).
  • Take bus going in other direction for 50 minutes and get off at Anse Boudin. Then walk steep road up and down for 1km.
Guess which way we decided to go? It was tricky question, because we took both. Walking more in the morning, bus riding in the evening. But the reason for returning by bus going around the whole island was that we would need to leave Anse Lazio earlier to catch the last bus.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Anse Georgette, Praslin, Seychelles

Beach Anse Kerlan was only 100m from our accommodation in Praslin, but it got so low priority that we went there only once to check how it looks like. It happened shortly before another trip so we took 5 photos and left. If there will not be anything better, we might return...

Real attraction for us were beaches Anse Georgette and Anse Lazio. To get to both of them you need to walk. It is up to you to decide how much.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

forest Vallee de Mai, Praslin, Seychelles

When we arrived to Praslin at 6th of May it was sunny and hot. And it stayed that way until we returned to Mahe. This has made our stay at Praslin unique from whole Seychelles :-)

Arranged taxi did not materialize at port so after waiting for about 30 minutes we asked taxi driver waiting nearby if he could take us. He was chatty, after learning we are there for the first time, he explained basic facts about the island and added a few extras. For example nobody likes ferry ride between Mahe and Praslin during bad weather. He went to Mahe once with his family and refused to return by ferry. They had to fly back. Or that he had a customer who immediately after arrival to Praslin asked him to get him directly to airport, completely ignoring original reason of his visit to Praslin. So from this point of view we must be crazy or something.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Anse Source D'Argent after sunset, La Digue, Seychelles

I had so many photos from Anse Source D'Argent that I decided to split them into 2 posts. This second post will show rest of photos. Current theme is magic of evening light.

If you want to be at this place for sunset, you will need to have some source of light. It is getting dark quickly and L'Union Estate is quite big. There is not much illumination in estate so you might get lost easily. We had headlamp, flashlight and a map with GPS in my phone and yet we got lost once. (The problem in our case was we did not arrive there following the road but indirectly along the beach and throught forest. No wonder I did not recognize our way back).

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Anse Source D'Argent, La Digue, Seychelles

There is a place in the world, where dozens of people wade knee-deep in water, holding their iPads in their raised hands. And you gladly pay for that sight. Where is it?

You can tell I suck at telling riddles, because I reveal the correct answer before asking. BUT! Did you guess also that Anse Source D'Argent is in La Digue? If you follow my blog then this tricky question could not knock you out.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 46

Anse Patates, La Digue, Seychelles

We have visited 2 beaches at the northern end of La Digue. It is quite far from Belle des Iles and it can get tedious when you walk at noon. But don't worry. When you reach a cemetery, you are on the right track. Anse Sévère is just around the corner.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

La Digue Island Lodge, Seychelles

After 4 days in Mahe we moved to the island representing the highlight of whole trip - La Digue. I was thinking about arriving one day earlier, but 1st of May was state holiday in Seychelles and I was worried about morning bus to port. I did not know bus drivers don't take travelers with their all luggage then. It is pity, we could spend there one day more. Even it would be cloudy and raining.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

boulders at Anse Royale, Mahe, Seychelles

I am going to skip many days now, to our last full day at Seychelles at 10th of May, because it was on Mahe again. We returned from Praslin by Cat Cocos ferry scheduled at 9am, allowing us to spend most of the day at Anse Royale.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Petit Anse, Mahe, Seychelles

Maybe we have made a mistake to stay at place where it was quite easy to find accommodation with good price. Maybe we should have invested a bit more money and time searching, so that we could stay closer to south end of island. It would allow us better possibility to visit surrounding beaches. Who could know it will be so tedious to travel by local buses.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Beach Cottages, Bel Ombre, Mahe, Seychelles

We arrived to Seychelles at 28th April. It was hot, partially cloudy. Whole this island was very nice sight from landing plane. But after visiting other islands I consider it waste of time. Yes, I know, our planning and selection of places to visit makes big part of that feeling. Maybe if we stayed here for a week or 2 and had enough time to visit all important beaches and do some hikes in National Park I would feel differently.

Fortunately my impression improved a lot the last day before our return home, because we visited Anse Royale. Those photos will come later.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Anse Severe, La Digue, Seychelles

2 weeks ago we have returned from our trip to Seychelles. As is normal for us we went there on our own, and we used information from last-minute travel deals just to beat their prices :-) Our expenses were about same to prices offered by holiday search engines (self-catering), but they offer just single island and we were on 3 of them. Plus our sum contains everything we've spent.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Acropolis of Lindos from St Paul's Bay

This is my last post about our trip to Rhodes. It is about beaches in Lindos.

We have seen the first only from distance, even we planned to go there originally. But then we decided we like the other one more and went only there.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Lindos from acropolis, Rhodes

We have made day trip to Λίνδος while staying at Faliraki. Our plan was to visit acropolis, look around the town and spend some time on beach, or even better on two of them. We ended up at single beach and it took us whole day, we returned at night.

Lindos is definitely must for all people visiting Rhodes. It has everything - history, nice and busy town and last but not the least 2 wonderful beaches. This post will be about "human achievements", then following one will be about beaches.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Rhodes - Faliraki

Added: April 22, 2014

Tags: Greece Rhodes beach church island photos

Anthony Quinn Bay, Rhodes

After spending 3 nights in Rhodes city and making trips to western coast, we moved to Φαληράκι on east coast. East coast is preferred by people wanting to spend their holiday at beach, because it has much calmer sea without strong winds which happen on western coast. I we can only confirm that. We did not see big waves here at all.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Moni Filerimos from viewing platform, Rhodes

During our 3 days long stat in city of Rhodes we had a half a day for short trip. We decided to go to monastery Moni Filerimos. It is quite close so very well suited for time we had.

I was looking forward for this trip and especially for photos I could take there. But we happened to arrive during that 2 days strike I have mentioned in Rhodes. No, monks were not on strike. Just state employees like tour guides were. Enough for whole place to be closed.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Ancient Kameiros, Rhodes

Another place worth of visiting during your stay in Rhodes is Κάμειρος. It is further away from city of Rhodes than Petaloudes, but it also takes one hour by bus to get there. Probably some traffic anomaly.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Petaloudes, Rhodes

The first place we visited during our trip to Rhodes was Πεταλούδες - Valley of the Butterflies. It is to the west from Rhodes city and can be reached by bus in about 1 hour. As its name suggests, it is inhabited by butterflies. Bad news it that there is just one kind of butterfly ubiquitous there, but the good news is that ubiquitous means there are millions of them :-)

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes at night, Greece

One of the reasons I wanted to be accommodated close to the medieval city was to allow me convenient way to take night photos of it. I have seen some during our preparation and wanted to get them too. That was also a reason why I packed tripod for this trip.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Rhodes

Added: March 29, 2014

Tags: Greece Rhodes castle city island photos

Arches in Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, Greece

We had made 2nd trip to Greece in 2013. This time we picked just single island - Ρόδος. Another difference was the approach we took. We waited till the last moment, hoping for better prices on last minute holidays, because my in-laws were there in summer 2012 and they got really good price. But it seems it does not work like that in September. 5 days ahead we bought last 2 flight tickets and they were not cheaper than 2 weeks earlier.

But we did something as we usually do. We did not stay at single place, but split our stay to 2 places. One was in city Rhodes, to allow us explore west part of island and the city. And then we moved south to Faliraki to explore east and south. And such a kind of freedom is not offered by any travel agency...

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

PB0005834

I have borrowed 14-24/2.8 lens for my colleague recently. I got a chance for quick test last Saturday. I wanted to see how it feels and if it will be worth a place in my luggage for my upcoming trip. Well, I knew I will find a place for it, I just could not wait...

I went to nearby woods and to my satisfaction I found place full of blooming flowers. In hindsight, I should have tried also some "macro" photos. But at that time I wanted just to see how wide it is, how much can be in focus for normal landscape photos and so on.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Milos - Papafragas

Added: January 03, 2014

Tags: Greece beach cave cliffs photos

Papafragas

Our last trip on Milos was to Papafragas. It is a beach with very interesting geology. It is not so far from Sarakiniko, yet it looks completely different. How many designers were designing this island and why they did not talk to each other? :-)

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Milos - Sarakininko

Added: January 01, 2014

Tags: Greece Milos beach cliffs photos

PB0003215

While yacht trip to Kleftiko was wonderful experience thanks to amazing places like Sykia and Kleftiko, it is nothing compared with what Sarakiniko can offer. If Sarakiniko was the only interesting place in Milos, it still would be worth of visiting for me.

We took a taxi to get there. It is just a few kilometers from Adamas. We also instructed taxi driver to come back for us at 9pm (hint: after sunset).

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Yacht trip to Kleftiko

Added: January 01, 2014

Tags: Greece beach cliffs lava photos

PB0002977

Southern part of Milos is not accessible by car. But it offers very nice attractions well worth of visiting. What to do? Just pick from many boat trips! It takes whole day and Captain will also prepare a lunch for you.

Kleftiko and Sarakiniko (next post) were main attractions why we came to Milos. And if it is the only way how to get to Kleftiko than a boat sounds like a great idea.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Towns of Milos

Added: January 01, 2014

Tags: Greece Milos beach church photos town

Plaka in Milos, Greece

Μήλος was the 3rd island we visited during our trip around Cyclades in June. We picked it from other possibilities because it offers wonderful natural sights. It is volcanic island, but completely different from Santorini. I have mentioned white houses on Santorini and Folegandros. They were here too, but most importantly and surprisingly, natural wonders are white over here too.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Angali beach, Folegandros

Beaches are probably not phenomena that attracts tourists to Folegandros. At least not most of them. Apart from some beaches around port Karavostasis all other are not very accessible. I don't mean those you need to use boat to get there, just those accessible by walking 20 minutes from bus stop or even more if you don't settle for the first one.

BTW, plural in title might suggest there will be "analysis" of many beaches, but you cannot do that in 3 days. So 2 beaches must be enough. I am sorry for that.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

PB0002347

For such a small island I wanted to show too many photos. They would not fit into single post and my original approach with several pages per post was not very successful - people haven't noticed there is another page (at least those looking at photos). So now I try to separate them in individual posts.

That leads me to this small and potentially strange post - about our accommodation in Chora and about nearby church. What links them together is direct visibility from one to other.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

PB0002476

The second island belonging to Cyclades we had visited was Φολέγανδρος. What a difference to Santorini. I don't mean different geology, but how I felt there. While Santorini is touristy, busy and commercial, Folegandros is quiet and not many tourists find it. Locals live their lives and that is part of its magic.

I felt much better in Foldegandros than in Santorini. Finally we had an option to relax. Lonely Planet said it nicely: "Turn off the clocks on dreamy Folegandros". Some people might say there is nothing on Folegandros, but for me that is the point. 3 or 4 full days are probably sufficient to see everything interesting, but more might be needed for proper relaxing. We have been there for 3 days (arriving in the morning of the first day and leaving in the evening of the 3rd day) and certainly we could stay longer.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Red beach, Santorini, Greece

There is more to Santorini than just towns with white houses and churches with blue domes. There are also beaches and ruins of ancient towns. Definitely, the beaches are different compared to what most of people are used to.

Let's look at them in order we have visited them.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Wind mill in Oia, Santorini, Greece

Οία is the Santoriniest place of whole Santorini :-) When you search for Santorini, you will probably find more photos from Oia, than from any other place. Even web ad companies still show me glimpses of Oia thinking I am interested in holiday again. Stupid cookies.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

PB0003481

Firostefani is another town in Santorini or maybe it is part of Fira, I don't know. It's name suggests that and also there is no clear separation between them. Nevertheless I decided to write about it in separate post.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Fira, Santorini, Greece at night

We wanted to go to Santorini for quite long time. Long enough we have already forgotten whose idea it was. Eventually we planned it for following September. That was, according to our information, the best time of year to go there. But I started to be impatient in April and started searching for information just in case our source of information was wrong. And eventually we have learned, that we like more weather statistics for late May or early June than what September offers.

Quick preliminary search for flight and accommodation prices, then allocate free time and we can start serious price hunting. I handled before mentioned areas, Zuzka looked into our itinerary. And it would not be her if she wanted to stay at one place for whole time. So she added also nearby islands Folegandros and Milos. "Those are beautiful islands, but they don't have international airport. Do you see my point?". "Yes, I do :-)"

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_0073

Our company event continued also on Saturday. According to plan, those of us with stamina and courage will hike some unmarked path to summit of some mountain with rescuer and mountain guide. But then it was decided we all will go together to hike like normal people do :-)

I guess that disappointed our guide Juraj Majer. But what he could expect from bunch of IT guys? On the other hand we were disappointed next morning, when he told us it is too windy for helicopter rescues. So our 1€ insurance will not turn out into helicopter ride. We should probably stick to hiking safely :-)

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_9927_HDR

This blog is long overdue, but my free time is not what I was used to anymore.

Company I work for had a company event last October in High Tatras. I could not miss such an opportunity. And also our best customer from USA used it for getting to know us better, not to mention to see nicer part of Slovakia than Bratislava :-) Looking back at it, it was probably a bit irresponsible to "force" people giving you money to hike in the mountains but they fared well. And survived. All of them. :-)

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Loket

Added: June 24, 2012

Tags: CzechRepublic castle photos river town

Loket mirroring in river Ohře

Our friends Mirka and Petr invited us to their wedding in Loket, Czech Republic. Don't worry, I did not turned to wedding photographer, in fact I did not take my camera to ceremony at all.

I will continue with my tradition to show only nature, castles, towns and how well I can avoid people :-)

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Autumn at Vršatec

Added: November 28, 2011

Tags: Slovakia cliffs photos

DSC_7590_HDR

Is this my first post about Slovakia? Well, I think so, because I am introducing a new category - Slovakia.

We have been thinking about visiting Vršatec every time we passed along it on motorway heading somewhere else. Interesting silhouette attracted us a lot, but it was easy to postpone visit every time. Until 3 weeks ago when we decided to take advantage of unbelievably nice weather for this time of year.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Tre Cime di Lavaredo

Added: November 27, 2011

Tags: Italy mountains photos

DSC_6320

What amazing mountains are Dolomites in Italy! We have been there just for a single day hike, but it would be possible to spend much more time surrounded by these amazing mountains. I wish I could see a sunrise or sunset with nicely coloured sky here.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Svartifoss

The first time I heard about HDR was about 6 years ago. After the first enthusiasm I learned it is not so easy. But I kept bracketing at occasions (sometimes quite often) and tried several different applications to process them. But I was never satisfied. I was never targeting surreal results, I just wanted to get good looking photos in situations cameras were not able to help. I was hardly ever satisfied, many times the result was pure frustration or even disgust. I have shown some of my results in this blog, just because the result seemed better than single exposure. But that does not mean I was happy with them.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

sand dunes at Maspalomas

We used the last day of our trip until last minute. Literally. We flew back to Gran Canaria afternoon and wanted to go to Palmas de Gran Canaria. Our flight back was scheduled on next day at 6am, which was a bit inconvenient considering a need to find our way to Palmas, look around, find some accomodation to leave it early in the "morning" to gat back to airport.

So we changed our plan at last possible moment and I have studied Lonely Planet to find out what we could do instead while waiting at the airport in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Our new plan has been born - we will rent a car and go to the south of island to check how it looks like.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Masca, Tenerife

Masca is described in Lonely Planet as a place similar to Macchu Picchu and you could get impression you have just discovered this place if you arrived before 10am. But after 10am, buses with tourists arrive and shops open... They got that after 10am part correctly.

The place is very nice, but small. Fortunately it is not just Masca what you can see here. There is also El Barranco de Masca - a gorge, where you can spend 3-4 hours walking in beautiful and narrow gorge down to ocean. And optionally the same time walking back.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 1

Roque Cinchado with Pico del Teide

It is time to get some proper and lasting sunshine that summer holiday destination should offer. The best way to achieve that on Tenerife is to go above cloud level. OK, our plan was not exactly to get sunshine, it was just nice to have side effect. We wanted to visit Pico del Teide - a volcano in the middle of the island and also the tallest mountain in Spain.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_5080

I usually don't write much about accommodations and I never dedicated whole post just to describe one.

But that is going to change now. Albergue Rural Mamio Verde deserves it as it was most entertaining accommodation we have been to (I need to say we are not looking for fun at hostels and hotels we are staying at. A place to sleep is sufficient).

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_5063

After we finished our Chinobre walk we went to San Cristóbal de la Laguna. Just a short stop to see its historic center with colorful buildings. It attracts Zuzka as an architect and me as a photographer. We had a lot of green today, it is time to get some reds and yellows too.

On our way to La Laguna we stopped in some restaurant for lunch. To our delight they served a goatling or cabrito in Spanish. We did not prepare especially for this vocabulary, but goat cheese (queso de cabra) was our favourite self-catering stuff, so we were able to recognize it. We like goat cheese and it was much cheaper than in Slovakia.

What else is cheap in Tenerife? you could ask. Well, that is easy - petrol. And car rentals are not expensive too. There are so many competitors there.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Tenerife - Anaga Mountains

Added: August 20, 2011

Tags: Spain mountains photos

DSC_5004

We never heard about rain forests in Tenerife. And when you look at a map, it looks like Northwestern part of Tenerife is not interesting at all. Fortunately we had Lonely Planet and it mentions Anaga Mountains in its Higlights section. Especially Zuzka was, for some reason, interested in this region and persuaded me to check it out too.

OK, let's go there, now we just need to find a nice walk over there...

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

palms at the Playa de las Teresitas

Canary islands are synonym for summer holidays at beach. That is not kind of holiday I prefer (but Zuzka says I will get used to it with time). Regardless, we have been to some beaches on Tenerife.

Not only that, we went to beach on our first day in Tenerife - in the afternoon after visiting Auditorio de Tenerife.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Added: August 20, 2011

Tags: Spain architecture city photos

Opera house in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

I did not post anything new for a while. There were so many distractions and things to do during last couple of months, I simply could not find enough time (and I still cannot find it for other things, but I am going to post about our recent trips now).

We were thinking about visiting Tenerife while we were still in UK, but at that time we considered just single weekend due to all holidays being spent before. That did not work out well, so we jumped on an opportunity back home when I learned there will not be enough work at my job in May. It nicely coincided with Ryanair opening the route from Bratislava to Gran Canaria in April. We decided to go for a week. Perfect!

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

One more from UK - Cardiff under snow

Added: December 18, 2010

Tags: Cardiff UK photos

Cardiff Castle with snow

I did not expect this. Heavy snow and blue sky. It would be mistake to ignore such an opportunity. Well, I was lazy to go out yesterday evening to capture fresh snow and Christmas lights in the centre and also to get some rich colours of sunrise today... But I went out eventually!

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_3866

Well it is here, time to go back home. But before we can go, we need to visit the last waterfall in Zuzka's list - Pistyll Rhaeadr. She talked about it since I came here, but we'd never managed to get there. Until now. Peter came to visit us, so this was good way to spend our weekend.

We've been there 6 weeks ago, but I had other things to handle like organizing moving, finding stuff we want to buy before we leave (just to have more to move). Plus it seems to be good farewell post, so I was not in hurry with posting it.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Alicante

Added: September 28, 2010

Tags: Spain beach castle photos

Alicante castle

Our short 3 day trip to Spain ended in Alicante. It was more convenient and cheaper to flight back from there. Also beach was more conveniently located (regarding train station and bus to airport) than in Valencia.

That suggests we did not see much - after ariving to Alicante we headed directly to beach and stayed there until it was time for return. But looking back, I could take more photos of beach. I just did not want to attract any attention. That means I don't have many photos to show this time.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_3095_DxO

Important part of Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias in Valencia is oceanographic park. It was designed by Felix Candela and it makes whole complex much more interesting.

I really liked shapes of all those buildings as well as clever passages connecting them, either underground or surrounded by water. And fish and other animals were amazing too. I mean dolphins, penguins, fish of coral reef as well as sharks and sting rays.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_3624

It was on Zuzka's radar for years. We have to go to Valencia to see amazing buildings Santiago Calatrava designed in Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias. Nearly before every bank holiday we checked times and prices of flight tickets and this time we liked what we have found. Apart from small detail that more convenient flight back to Bristol was from Alicante. OK, why not? We can see 2 places in 3 days instead of one.

Weather forecast was favourable (if temperatures over 30°C could be named favourable) only later some web sites suggested it will be raining on Sunday. That had an effect on our plans. We will see whole place from outside on Saturday, then we will go to beach and interiors will be left for Sunday. We need to get to Alicante on Monday, let's go there early in the morning and we can spend more time on beach there. Or to climb the hill with castle (but that is not very probable we would like to do that in hot weather).

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Our most adventurous journey has begun

Added: August 08, 2010

Tags: info photos

2010-07-03-0098

I usually avoid showing photos of us in this blog. This, however, will not be the case of this post. Even stranger, it will not contain any photo done by me or Zuzka. Copyright holder for all following photos is Jozef Staš.

Zuzka and me have travelled together for some time already. So after returning from our Round the World trip we started to prepare the biggest and longest journey in our lives. Well, Zuzka and her parents were busy, I was helping only with a few things.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 6

Conclusion of RTW

Added: August 08, 2010

Tags: RTW info photos

zemegulaFinal1

It is all over. It took me much longer to process all photos and publish them then I wanted to, but there were other important things to do.

All together it was nice 1.5 year since we started planning/booking until now when everything is published. Apart from travelling I really liked parallel processing of photos and publishing. I was ahead of processing by several weeks worth of photos so I had nice flashbacks to 2 places at same time. Writing blog about New Zealand and processing photos from South America.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

It all ends in Rio de Janeiro

Added: August 05, 2010

Tags: Brazil RTW beach photos

DSC_2672

So it's over. We knew it has to come. After 2 months of travelling we are packing and going home. OK, we were packing nearly every day, but this time it is serious. It is our last day abroad.

Yesterday evening I made a plan for today. We will get up 7:30, have breakfast at 8:00 and then head to beach. Checkout is at 12:00, so we will have more time than I would like to spend on beach at once :-)

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Adrenaline in Rio de Janeiro

Added: August 04, 2010

Tags: Brazil RTW city photos

DSC_2809

Wednesday, 23rd of February. It will not be completely stress free day today. It is our second day in Rio de Janeiro and Zuzka decided we are going to visit Favela. Favelas are poor neighbourhoods in Rio de Janeiro and it is not safe to go there alone. You need a local guide. Somebody reliable and respected there. Her colleague James (thank you) recommended us to find Paulo Amendoim, they had great time with him in past.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Sugarloaf Mountain

Flight to Rio de Janeiro was uneventful and rather quick. We flew around Rio and landed at Galeão airport ahead of schedule. It seemed we will get to city during daylight, but it turned to be wrong assumption. We were waiting for a bus to Botafogo more than one hour. Some buses arrived but all of them were heading to different parts or Rio.

When our bus finally arrived it was full. A driver did not want to take us, but the "bus employee" at the bus stop helped us to get in. He was probably tired of my periodic bothering him When is our bus due? Driver finally said he will take us if we don't mind standing 50min. No problem for us, just get us there.

It was dark when we stepped off the bus. Now to get oriented quickly and find our hostel. We selected Botafogo because it was cheaper than Copacabana and Ipanema and still rather close and safe. Our next task is to blend in and look like a Brazilians to avoid being robbed. At least that is suggested in all descriptions of Rio de Janeiro. Plus walking quickly so lazy muggers don't bother. This part should be easy, but how can we blend in with 2 backpacks each? :-)

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Iguazu Falls viewed from helicopter

We thought we've seen it all yesterday. But no, Brazil has many things to offer too.

Lonely Planet suggests the best way to cross Argentinian-Brazilian border is by taxi. Buses are slow and they might not wait for all paperwork. So that's what we did - we moved from hostel in Puerto Iguazú into hostel in Foz do Iguaçu by taxi. We just filled in form given us by driver and he went to handle officials. Quick and efficient.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_1346

Friday, 19th of February 2010. The biggest of highlights of our trip is just a few kilometres from us. We had a glimpse of mist created by it from the plane shortly before landing. We wanted to see it today, but our flight from Buenos Aires was delayed for 4 hours. Funny thing was I thought it will be one of our shortest stay at airport, because we came rather late (for my likings). And also it was rescheduled couple of months ago so instead of planned arrival at noon we arrived in the evening.

So we will see it tomorrow morning. Today, we are going to lovely hostel Timbo Posada in Puerto Iguazú with friendly staff and small pool surrounded with banana leaves and other tropical vegetation. And then for nice dinner with fine wine in near BBQ restaurant.

But you don't need to wait till tomorrow, just continue reading.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Buenos Aires

Added: July 17, 2010

Tags: Argentina RTW SouthAmerica city photos

DSC_1272

Argentina deserves long time to stay. It does not make sense to go there only for short visit, but we wanted to see Iguazu Falls. And the only way we could get there easily with oneworld Round The World ticket was through Buenos Aires. OK, why not.

Buenos Aires is nice big and modern city. There are not any very old buildings there, because they pulled down all buildings in colonial style and rebuilt new ones of mixed styles. But they looked pretty old to me :-) At least compared to many modern skyscrapers in other parts of the city.

I liked it more than Santiago de Chile, and 100 times more than Lima. But we planned to stay there only for one day... again.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Sacsayhuamán

Our original plan was to visit Machu Picchu and to see most of Sacred Valley. But thanks to heavy rains Mach Picchu was closed and after some unplanned events we got only half a day for Sacred Valley. Fortunately there are 4 places really close to Cuzco, in fact their visit is part of City Tour.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Cuzco

Added: July 13, 2010

Tags: Peru RTW SouthAmerica church city photos ruins

DSC_1065

Capital of former Incan empire, Cuzco is wonderful. We liked it a lot. There are hints of Incan architecture and also colonial. It is quite touristy, I haven't seen so many touts at one place before, but there has to be some price you pay for famous place.

We spent morning exploring centre of city and we will go afternoon to nearby places (it will be a separate post). We were not in a hurry, those a few places we wanted to see can be handled in half a day. The worse "problem" is Peruvian approach to tickets. You cannot buy any individual ticket, there are only for 10 days and the cheaper is I think for 3 days with limited number of attractions. It might not be bad deal if you stayed in Cuzco longer, but we were bound to leave soon.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_0791

We spend whole day 15th of February in bus from Puno to Cuzco. It was very nice scenic road and that was also reason we decided to travel during day, compared to alternative night trip. That would save us some time and also money, but we would not see anything.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_0439

I forgot what exactly Kamisaraki means, but it is some kind of greeting in Aymara, used at floating islands Uros, Lake Titicaca, Peru.

On 14th of February 2010 we boarded a bus from Copacabana, Bolivia to Puno, Peru. Driver gave us Peruvian customs declaration forms and asked to check NO everywhere, because he did not want to unload baggages unnecessarily. He collected the forms later, so that we could save time by processing them at once (if at all). He also suggested we should not exchange money at Bolivian side or in a buffet. He will tell us where is good money exchange office.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_9777

Trip to Isla Del Sol, important place in mythology of Incas, deserves whole day. Or two. We had only one, but it was enough to say this place is amazing. Rugged rocks, green terraced fields, cacti, dark blue water of Lake Titicaca, small settlements and most important of all pre-Inca and Inca ruins.

Day did not start with nice weather, but to our pleasure it changed quickly and stayed nice for rest of the day.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_9190_raw

It's 12th of February and we are finally heading to Lake Titicaca! A pick up bus again arrives 30 minutes ahead of scheduled range, this time a driver is not willing to wait 5 minutes until I finish packing. We have to go to Vicuña Tours near main bus terminal to catch our bus. Fortunately receptionist is very helpful - he shows us the place on a map and catches a taxi for us.

The bus is packed, no wonder due to strike there are more travellers keen to get to Copacabana. It is really cloudy, clouds are quite low, because in El Alto they form fog.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

ski centre at Chacaltaya

The reason we decided to stay in La Paz for longer was we really wanted to go to Chacaltaya. It is probably the only place in the world where you can get so high by bus! You only need a few days of acclimatization and a few $. What could be the better birthday present for Zuzka anyway?

Chacaltaya was former highest ski centre in the world, but it does not operate any more. It misses one thing - snow. The remnants of glacier finally melted down in 2009 and it is not likely it will recover soon. Surprisingly it snows there only in summer due to wet air, but never in winter.

We like mountains a lot so I could not resist showing many photos again. Sorry for that :-)

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_8721_raw

Last day at Uyuni trip was less impressive (compared with previous day). We have seen only a few nice places and then travelled for long time back to Uyuni. However, the boring ride was compensated slightly by adventures in Uyuni.

We reached the highest altitude for us so far and finally I got decent photo of llama. Apart from that I made my first vertical panorama of llama! You know, bumpy road, driver does not want to stop, you need to shoot at high speed during ride :-) The first photo cuts the head, the 2nd one misses legs. No, I did not try to stitch it... But I like the concept ;-)

All in all, it was fine end of this wonderful trip. I encourage everybody travelling in Bolivia to go there.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

vicuñas at Laguna Hedionda

We had fantastic experiences yesterday, at Salar de Uyuni. It will be even better today, on 6th of February 2010. We continue with our Uyuni trip. While yesterday we have seen a lot of white and blue, today we are going through landscapes providing every possible colour. And some impossible :-)

This day was the one I took the most photos and I had a huge problem to select only a few of them. It was nearly impossible task. I went through selected ones repeatedly and deleted a few, but there are still many of them. So bear with me, please.

I've decided against showing photos in order we have visited places they were taken at, but to reorder them to create 2 groups: rocks/mountains and water/animals.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Uyuni - Day 1

Added: June 15, 2010

Tags: Bolivia RTW SouthAmerica lagoon photos

DSC_7664_raw

Travelling in Bolivia and not going to Uyuni is inexcusable mistake. Yes, it is quite far from La Paz and getting there is tiring, but the place is amazing. And word amazing does not do it justice. I made about 1100 photos in those 3 days. And some are actually nice :-)

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Valle de la Luna near La Paz

It is obvious Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley) is not really Moon-like landscape, because it was created by water erosion and there is not so much water on the Moon to create anything similar. That does not make it less impressive, though. And that name is not so bad after all. At least it says it is something worth of visit. Previous sentences probably show why programmers don't like marketing - it usually insults their analytical thinking :-)

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Tiwanaku

Added: June 12, 2010

Tags: Bolivia RTW SouthAmerica mountains photos ruins

DSC_6860_raw

Also known as Tiahuanaco was a target of our first one day trip from La Paz, where we were acclimatizing for high altitude. We've done it on 2nd of February.

It is archaeological site near Lake Titicaca. It was built in pre-Inca times and existed for much longer time than later Inca empire. That also means it is less preserved, more crude and it is hard to compare with Inca sites. We had an advantage, it was our first archaeological site in South America and we liked it in the end. But it does not stand out much, it is easy to miss from distance.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

La Paz

Added: June 06, 2010

Tags: Bolivia RTW SouthAmerica church city mountains photos

DSC_7383_raw

It was the 35th day of our travelling, Monday 1st of February 2010. Our flight landed at El Alto. We walked about 100m to passport control and it was sufficient to get light headed and heavy breathing. No wonder, El Alto is at about 4100m above sea level and we flew there from Santiago de Chile at 520m. With such high elevation any strange feelings in head cannot be ignored.

I cannot help myself, I have to show many photos here. No wonder, we've spent more days in La Paz than at any other place we travelled through. We wanted to acclimatize to this altitude well before heading to "wilderness" and spent there 4 days. And then later 3 unplanned days. During that time I found I like La Paz a lot. It's atmosphere, people, colours, mountains, even weather was amazing.

Our stay was enhanced by very good hostel Cruz de los Andes we stayed at. Staff did not speak English much, only one lady was able to help in all cases, but for simpler needs we managed well also with others. We liked especially old lady in kitchen who served breakfast.

While staying in La Paz to get acclimatized to altitude you don't need to be bored. You can make many small trips in surroundings. We went to Tiwanaku and Valle de la Luna (those are easy) and later we made a hike to Chacaltaya (~5300m). You can go further away, like for example visiting Copacabana at Lake Titicaca.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_6627_raw

On 30th of January 2010 we said farewell to New Zealand and Australia and spent 16 hours in plane flying to Santiago de Chile. It was the longest flight we have made. Immediately in the plane I have learned our English is less useful than anywhere else we have been till now. Even simple "water, please" was always met with puzzled face. Fortunately we have learned couple of phrases that should help us to get through South American continent.

We did not plan to stay in Santiago or in Chile for long time. Just to sleep after long flight, to spend one day around the city and then fly to Bolivia. We were not interested in European city like Santiago. But when we got to our hostel we have learned from provided fliers how many things we are going miss around Santiago. (We knew we will miss Patagonia, but there was not any time even think about going there during our 1 month stay in South America). At the end I can say Santiago de Chile is interesting city.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_5264_raw

Karekare is picturesque area near Auckland. There are nice hills, wonderful beach and small waterfall. Enough reasons to go there. Maybe we will manage to visit also Piha and certainly we should spend some time in Auckland.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Wormy caves at Waitomo

Added: May 31, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW cave photos

Inside Aranui Cave at Waitomo

New Zealand can offer an interesting attraction to tourists - glow worm caves. Imagine sitting in a boat inside dark cave with zillions of bright turquoise dots above you, reflecting in peaceful water around you. You don't need to imagine that. You can see that in Glowworm Cave at Waitomo and to have more "hands-on experience" also in Ruakuri Cave nearby.

I've been to many caves before, but these still could offer me something new. We bought triple cave combo tickets online to see all caves opened to public in Waitomo. (The third one was Aranui Cave without worms). It is also possible to do black water rafting in Ruakuri Cave, but we opted not to.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_5041_raw

After leaving Rotorua we headed to Waitomo. I will write about Waitomo Caves in next post. I wanted to write something shorter this time and following 2 waterfalls provide a good opportunity for me. They are both in the same region - Waikato, but the distance between them is about 140km.

The whole region is nice green with rolling hills. They are either covered with dense foliage or with grass. We passed only a few kilometres away from place where Hobiton from the Lord of Rings movie is located. I have learned about exact location only couple of days ago. If we knew about it we would possibly do something differently. Not because we are Lord of Rings fanatics, but just because we could.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_3799_raw

On 23rd and 24th of January 2010 we explored area of Rotorua, but also 2 places belonging to Taupo area. They are famous geothermal areas with many colourful pools, bubbling mud pots, smelly vapours and everything you need to see :-)

We visited Craters of the Moon, Orakei Korako, Wai-O-Tapu, Waimangu and Te-Puia (and Whakarewarewa). Most of these places are bigger and more amazing than similar places in Iceland. It takes long time to see them all and lot of walking to see them complete.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Emerald Lakes

Friday 22nd of January is our 25th day of travelling around the world. Once again we have great hike ahead of us. We arrived to Erua from Wellington yesterday. We could see Mt Ruapehu in the heavy clouds shortly before our arrival. It seems the weather for our Tongariro Crossing hike is not going to be better. It is one of the most beautiful hikes when weather allows and volcanoes from this area starred in Lord of Rings movies.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Emerald Lakes

Friday 22nd of January is our 25th day of travelling around the world. Once again we have great hike ahead of us. We arrived to Erua from Wellington yesterday. We could see Mt Ruapehu in the heavy clouds shortly before our arrival. It seems the weather for our Tongariro Crossing hike is not going to be better. It is one of the most beautiful hikes when weather allows and volcanoes from this area starred in Lord of Rings movies.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Wellington

Added: May 18, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW city museum photos

DSC_3385_raw

We arrived to Wellington later than we planned, but we were happy swimming with dolphins in Marlborough Sound was successful. Besides, we did not plan to stay there for long time. Just to visit Te Papa Museum and then move on.

Due to our late arrival in the evening we had some time to look around the centre. Museum was postponed till next morning.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Hector dolphin in Marlborough Sound

We arrived to Picton in Marlborough Sound quite late. After leaving Shambhala in the morning we found we got flat tire. I don't think it was caused by terrible dirt roads in Abel Tasman. More probable cause was the accident when we lost axle cap, but the roads here certainly did not help.

Then we found we don't have a lifting jack in the car, so we borrowed one in Mussel Inn, we were lucky the staff was there in the morning and they helped us. Finally we could not go very fast with emergency tire and the car rental company wanted to see the car before we could replace the tire so we needed to go slowly to Nelson. It was on our route, but we wasted lot of time.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Archway Islands, Wharariki beach, Abel Tasman

Our stay at Abel Tasman was nicely enhanced by wonderful place we stayed at - Shambhala in Onekaka. It was completely different to all other places we have been to till now. Beautiful surroundings enhanced by peaceful atmosphere, about 4km from "civilization" by private (terrible) road.

After our arrival I was a bit suspicious of many long haired people around and the presence of meditation room, but it turned out it was not lair of some sect as a paranoid me suspected :-)

Whole New Zealand tries to be ecological, but this place uses solar energy, collects rain water and has composting lavatory and trees for men :-)

Missing TV only added to its charm. And the night sky was even more beautiful than we could see at Mt. John Observatory. All in all, if I returned to Abel Tasman I would like to stay at this place again.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Totaranui Beach

During our round the world trip we looked forward to 3 places with fantastic beaches. We slept over Bondi Beach in Sydney more than 2 weeks ago and Copacabana or Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro will have to wait for another month. But beaches at Abel Tasman are here and today!

It was not only about fantastic beaches here, but also weather is usually sunny and hot here. After 2 weeks of rain, clouds and occasional fair weather we really hoped this place will show us what a good weather looks like.

But it did not look very promising as we were getting close. Since morning there were many clouds in the sky. And they did not scatter. Contrary, when we were climbing winding road to Takaka Hill we could see thick clouds everywhere around. My hope was over.

But then, when we got on to the other side of hill, we could see thin band of blue in distance. We could see also some sandy beach ahead. Are they close enough? Will clouds pass before we get there? A slight taste of hope returned.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Nelson Lakes NP

Added: May 02, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW lake mountains photos

Sunrise at Lake Rotoiti

We visited Nelson Lakes only because we liked the photos done by my former colleague Ben Smith. He was huge inspiration for our trip year ago and his photos played huge role in our decision for going to South America during our trip.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Kaikoura Bus Encounter

Added: May 02, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW photos

DSC_2168_raw

After leaving Christchurch on Friday 15th of January we are heading to Hanmer Springs. We don't have many things in our plan for today. Spending some time in thermal pools of Hanmers Springs will be good during this cloudy weather and then we need to get to Kaikoura. We are planning to swim with dolphins there with Dolphin Encounter, Kaikoura.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Christchurch

Added: May 01, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW animals photos

DSC_2094_raw

We are not excited about cities, so despite the title of this post I am not going to show any photo of Christchurch. It is quite hard to find free or cheap parking in Christchurch (it was the 1st place in New Zealand where we needed to pay for parking), so we did not explore more than immediate surroundings of our accommodation and restaurant we dinned at.

We stayed there only one night and the main reason of visit was Ko Tane - Maori Village.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Arthur's Pass

Added: April 26, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW photos waterfalls

Entrance to Arthur's Pass NP

14th of January. We knew we were not alone in dormitory, but our roommate was not there. He arrived at 2am and went directly to bed. We were sleeping too so we did not bother to check on him. Then his alarm clock rang at 7am, but he managed to snooze it 3 times by ten minutes. We were not sure he was not able to get up or he just wanted to make sure we could not sleep too. He went for quick shower and then left.

Only later we have noticed a paper next to door warning about fake backpackers operating in Greymouth area who steal from unsuspecting roommates.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Detail of layers - Pancake Rocks

Full of experiences from Franz Josef Glacier we were speeding to the next point of interest - Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki. Punakaiki is 171km from Franz Josef. It was side trip for us and visiting that place was the only reason we did not book full-day walk on glacier, but only half-day. After finishing the walk we felt like we could be there for longer, but we looked forward to see Pancake Rocks.

We stopped in Greymouth to accommodate and continued in our ride to Punakaiki. It was getting more cloudy and late.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

detail of glacier crevasse

It is fantastic to live through our trip for the third time. The first time was when we were there, the 2nd time while I was processing photos and now for the 3rd time when I am writing this post. Our experiences from Franz Josef Glacier fully deserve to repeat them for the 3rd time. BTW while I am editing this post I am processing photos from Bolivia (Uyuni) on background making this post travelling flashbacks even more fun.

We had helicopter flight and we were also walking on glacier for a half day. I usually show all photos in one page, because I think some "quick scanners" would miss a link to the 2nd page, but there are too many photos here so the split is necessary.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 1

Lake Hawea

Landscape we have seen on Tuesday 12th of January was as close to my dreams about New Zealand as it could get. Snowy mountains against nice blue sky are reflecting in deep blue lakes. Lot of greens in tropical vegetation around.

Our only reason to rush through this paradise was to be at Franz Josef at about 2pm to catch so long awaited helicopter ride to Mt Cook. And the only reason to have negative thoughts were occasional, but cumulating clouds ahead.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Wanaka

Added: April 13, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW city lake mountains photos

Wanaka

The same place can look completely differently when the weather changes. We could observe such a change in Wanaka. When we arrived it was cloudy and Wanaka did not look very nice. But next morning the sky was clean, sun was shining, birds were chirping and whole place seemed to be refurbished.

Colour of Lake Wanaka changed from ugly grey to beautiful blue. And the similar change happened with surrounding hills and mountains of Mount Aspring National Park - they grew from 2 dimensions into 3. My impression of Wanaka changed and I would put into my list of places I would like to live if I had one.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Milford Sound

Added: April 13, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW mountains photos waterfalls

Mitre Peak at Milford Sound

Milford Sound is one of places used in promoting New Zealand. Others are Lord of Rings locations, of course... I would say it is a must-see.

We looked forward to be here not only to enjoy this place. We could resume our daily rituals like taking a hot shower in the morning. Can you imagine how much better is that compared to an alternative offered by Milford Track - cold water seeping through cheap rain coat whole day? Or not overhearing chatting girls on the third day judging their attractiveness: "I smell like a s**t"?

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 1

Milford Track

Added: April 11, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW mountains photos waterfalls

Lake at at Mackinnon Pass

One of the activities we looked forward to in New Zealand the most was Milford Track - 54km long hike done in 4 days. Plus healthy amount of respect. That respect got even bigger when we arrived to Visitor Centre in Te Anau. Dark clouds to the north and the weather forecast for 3 days did not help to raise my mood. It said it will be raining all the time, it will be cold, snowing, windy and everything we hoped we will not experience there.

We left our car at Burglary point - nice name for parking lot near Visitor centre, took out backpacks and headed to bus for Te Anau Downs. Ignoring warnings I left my photobank and e-reader in the car. 15kg of stuff was about maximum I was willing to take with me.

It started raining before we jumped into boat and left our backpacks outside of cabin to give them the 1st test of our rain covers. We were not sure about it in the beginning, but the best buy we ever done in NZ was big yellow plastic bag we bought in Visitor Centre for 5 NZD. Thanks to it at least something stayed dry during whole hike.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Waterfalls at Catlins

Added: April 08, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW photos waterfalls

DSC_0540_raw

From Moeraki we sped to Catlins, completely skipping Dunedin. Cities are not what we came to New Zealand after. We wanted to see Purakaunui Falls and Peter found 2 more nearby.

When Zuzka and me are searching for places to go we are looking at photos in Google Maps, Google Earth, books and similar. On the other hand Peter checks where geocaches are. They are usually at interesting places and it happened many times he navigated us (pun intended) to wonderful places we missed.

This was our first encounter with rain forest and we liked it (it was not raining).

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Moeraki

Added: April 08, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW beach boulder photos waterfalls

DSC_0389_raw

During planning of our trip in New Zealand I had hard time to persuade Zuzka to accept big side trip to Moeraki. I wanted to see those famous boulders and she preferred other places - there are so many of them in New Zealand. Peter sided with me so she finally accepted. But everything was resolved in favour of Moeraki after we failed to book Milford Track for beginning of our trip. The first available slot was at 6th, so that we needed to spend more time in south - the side trip sounded better now.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

To Oamaru

Added: April 05, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW cliffs lake photos

DSC_0080_raw

Next day we woke up full of hopes to do helicopter flight to Mt. Cook. It was partially cloudy, but nearly half of sky was clear. We called to Tekapo Helicopter at 9am and they did not know when they will fly. I tried again at 10am with the same result. That's it, we could not wait longer.

According to original plan we wanted to do about 3h long hike in Hooker Valley under Mt. Cook. But due to bad weather we decided to skip it too. We had about 200km to go for today plus some stops and we lost some time by waiting for helicopter friendly weather.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Lake Tekapo

Added: March 29, 2010

Tags: NewZealand RTW church lake mountains photos

DSC_9966c_raw

We woke up to see terrible storm on 3rd of January. Great, it was wonderful weather yesterday and it is terrible today. We got completely soaked just after running to the other side of road and packing our luggage into car. That did not help with our mood.

And we had two attractions asking for fair weather planned today! We planned to go into Lake Tekapo and to have helicopter trip to Mt Cook. We can move that to next day or to next week when we get to Wanaka or Franz Josef. But we will not be able to move visit of St John observatory to any other day, so let's hope sun starts to shine.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_9775_raw

We left Australia on 2nd of January. It was cloudy morning, we could not see panorama of city well. Thick layer of clouds was beneath us nearly during whole flight over Tasman Sea. But shortly before reaching New Zealand clouds scattered and we could see land. Wonderful mountains with some snow and big lakes. Our landing in Queenstown reminded me our landing in Lhasa last year. Sunny, blue sky, mountains at both sides.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

More amazing than Uluru

Added: March 25, 2010

Tags: Australia RTW photos

DSC_5440_raw

While being in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park we could not miss the 2nd attraction about 30km from Uluru - Kata Tjuta. From photos we found on Internet we decided to spend more time at Kata Tjuta than Uluru and I think we made a good decision.

We made two hikes at/around Kata Tjuta and we watched sunrise there too.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

The heart of Australia

Added: March 24, 2010

Tags: Australia RTW photos

DSC_6105_raw

I am going to take you on short travel in time, because I am going to skip whole 3 weeks in New Zealand and return there after adding 2 posts from Yulara. I just want to have whole Australia together.

So, we visited Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park at 27th - 29th January. It was middle of summer and we got what we asked for: 40-42°C. We arrived to Yulara shortly after noon and the 2nd thing we noticed after realizing it is really hot were midgets. Or I should say they noticed us.

Yulara is a resort serving National Park and its visitors. All hotels there are owned by one company, but they provide accommodation for all budgets. An advantage is that there is free shuttle from/to airport as well as regular bus service around the resort. We learned this in shuttle from airport. Its driver provided us complete information, where are shops, what to do when you arrive at the entrance to National Park (while sitting in bus of tour operator) - wave your ticket to guards.

We had been accommodated at Outback Pioneer Lodge (the cheapest option with a solid roof). It was rather nice. Several of small buildings with rooms, nice smelling eucalyptus trees providing shade, red sand everywhere, nice pool, barbecue area.

We went to local "travel agency" where we paid for our 2 days ticket pre-booked at Uluru Express. They provide very good service. They are able to take you to Uluru or Kata Tjuta for sunrise or sunset, then you can decide on your program for next morning. For example they will drop you off near Uluru, after walking around they will pick you up at defined place at given time. So you are not tied to other 30 people and predefined program. Do what you want and are able to do. In the beginning we were not sure we will want more than 2 hikes. It was too hot. But at the end we managed:

  • the 1st evening - evening walk at Walpa Gorge (Kata Tjuta), sunset at Uluru.
  • morning of the 2nd day - sunrise at Kata Tjuta and 3 hours walk Valley of the Winds (Kata Tjuta)
  • evening of the 2nd day - visit of Uluru Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre and sunset at Uluru
  • the 3rd morning - sunrise at Uluru. This was bit of surprise, because we thought 2 days ticket is valid only 2 days, but actually it seems to work for 2 mornings and 2 evenings. Simply during every trip the Uluru Express driver asked us what we want to do next and explained all possibilities. That's how I imagine good service!

We did not climb Uluru, because Anangu people ask visitors not to climb. And it would be hot, we did not have time and other reasons.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Fireworks in Sydney

Added: March 23, 2010

Tags: Australia RTW fireworks photos

IMG_9766

We arrived to Sydney on 31st of December 2009 in the morning. Apart from visiting The Opera House we wanted to see New Years Eve fireworks. But it will not be so easy, because we skipped sleep during night.

It was impossible to find cheap accommodation in centre of Sydney. Don't get me wrong. We were looking for it in August! But all YHA hostels had 7 days of minimal stay so we settled on Formule 1 in Olympic Park. It was not bad, but it was too far (even with very good Australian trains) and mostly the room was tiny. We were 3 in the room for 4 people and we had not enough place to put our luggage!

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Bye bye Bangkok

Added: March 19, 2010

Tags: Thailand palace photos

DSC_9462_raw

We are leaving Bangkok afternoon on 30/12/2009. But we want to see more in the morning. After breakfast we are going to buy tickets for airport bus. It is closed, so it will need to wait until we return from Summer Palace.

Driver of tuk-tuk does not know how to get there. Our map is not sufficient for him so he stops twice to ask other tuk-tuk drivers. After some time I stop to believe we will get there, but tuk-tuk eventually manages.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 1

Bangkok

Added: March 18, 2010

Tags: Thailand palace photos temple

DSC_9394_raw

Our first stop on our small Round the World trip has been Bangkok in Thailand. It was only stop over on flight to Sydney. Originally I was not impressed when Zuzka selected Bangkok from all possible stop overs, my opinion of Thailand was not very good, I guess it was thanks to mini-series Bangkok Hilton. Well, I was wrong. It is beautiful country that we need to explore more in future. (We did not have enough time to see much, you cannot see whole Bangkok if you have only 1.5 days for it, but we have seen photos of Zuzka's friend Dida who goes there every year). From things we have seen I have liked the most intricate details of decoration of buildings. I am going to show some of them here.

We arrived at afternoon of 27th of December, obtained Visa on Arrival and hit the rush hour with our bus. When we arrived to our guest house New Siam II it was already dark so we went straight to restaurant for dinner and some drinks. After that we shortly walked around the area and went to bed "as soon as possible".

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Round The World trip is over

Added: March 14, 2010

Tags: RTW info photos

world_route

27/12/2009 - 26/02/2010: Two months passed very quickly. At least compared with time spent with (dreaming,) planning, booking, ... Our flight tickets has been booked through Oneworld a year ago (March) and we started to seriously look into details of our itinerary in August.

How was it? Fantastic! But short, compared to schedules of other people we met :-( We decided to go for more conservative schedule so our employers will be more likely willing to accept us back :-) Thanks to package price for flight tickets we could compensate for lack of time by having more flights at places where people usually use bus.

I am slowly processing all photos. They will take some time as well as their publishing.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

if3

Only a few more days are ahead of us. We are heading to Rio de Janeiro tomorrow and after couple of days on beach to home.

Again the same problem with NEFs...

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Cardiff at night

Added: November 22, 2009

Tags: Cardiff city night photos

DSC_9168_raw

I went to take a few photos of Cardiff at night on Friday. Cardiff is full of lights at this time of year and there is also the Wheel I tried to take photos last year, but screwed up completely. Back then I took my tripod, but forgot to return the plate for tripod shoe to camera after our trip to India, so I just pretended I had the camera attached to tripod. Results were obviously terrible. And I did not get a chance to get back later.

This time I paid attention to all details and somehow I have decided I do not need polarizing filter. That was mistake too, it would help me to take better photos of revolving wheel and also to blur moving people in the streets. So maybe next year everything will be perfect :-)

I am very happy with results because the sky was really dark and I could use ISO 100, so the noise was not the problem. This was the first time I just loaded all photos into DXO, selected a preset and started processing without tweaking every photo separatelly. (Well, I have returned later and fixed a few horizons or geometry, but that is not something DXO could guess itself :-) )

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_8432_raw

Thursday 23rd of July is our last full day in China. 18 days passed really quickly, I would like to stay for longer. But that's not possible.

Today we plan to see Shanghai. Heidi, our local guide, told us 2 days ago that Shanghai is nicer during night than during day. After travelling through it by bus yesterday and today I can only agree with that.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 2

China Day 17 - Total Solar Fiasco

Added: November 08, 2009

Tags: China city night photos

DSC_8004

Finally, 22nd of July - Day of Solar Eclipse is here! We are leaving our hotel soon in the morning. The idea was to beat other groups heading to Solar Eclipse viewing site, but we were hardly the first group in the lobby of our hotel. We got breakfast box instead of proper breakfast and I have already described how bad it is. It was the same this morning, but we were sleepy so we did not care much. What was much worse, however, was heavy cloud cover. It looks like meteorologists fulfilled their threat from yesterday.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

China Day 16 - Terra Cotta Army

Added: November 05, 2009

Tags: China photos

DSC_7609_raw

We are going to visit only one place on Tuesday 21st of July. It is Terra Cotta Army near Xian. After that we are flying to Shanghai in the evening.

In case you've just come from Mars and never heard about it, it is afterlife army for First Emperor of Qin. It consists from several thousands of life size figures. There are archers, bowmen, cavalry, horses, chariots and more. Every figure was unique. From those thousands only one was found intact. All others were broken during rebellion (and its consequences) a few years after burial of Emperor.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 1

China Day 15 - Xian

Added: November 03, 2009

Tags: China city food mosque photos

DSC_7453_raw

We have not visited many places on Monday, 20th of July in Xian. And that was good, because I got cold yesterday at Bingling Si. I guess it was not warm enough for shorts and T-shirt for me. On the other hand it was really hot in Xian. So I was not in mood to explore exotic places.

Our train arrived to Xian at about 7am. Train station was overcrowded as we had not seen before. We had to keep together to or risk to get lost. We went out rather slowly, it was crowded also there. Slowly, we went around barrier and then back on other side to join our local guide. Then we walked for about 1km to place where our bus was waiting, because it is not possible to park directly at train station.

Xian is very old city, former capital of China and it has nicely preserved city walls. Our hotel was inside the walls, near to Bell Tower. It took us about 20 minutes to get there in the traffic.

We got keys to our room quite quickly, but the room was not ready yet. It was still before 8am, so we could hardly blame them. Contrary, Rich was able to get breakfast tickets for us, so we could spend time surrounded by nice meals ;-) (I still had no problem with Chinese-style of breakfast, but there were also toasts, eggs and everything).

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_7252_raw

Sunday, 19th of July. It is cloudy and it looks like it will rain soon. Only reason we came to Lanzhou is that we are going to visit Bingling Si grottoes on the Yellow River.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 2

DSC_7031_raw

Saturday 18th of July. The thin crescent of the Moon is directly above our heads surrounded by blue sky when we are getting to the bus for today's journey. It is getting thinner and promises it will cover the Sun in a few days.

We are leaving Xiahe, nice small town we nearly were not allowed in. We are heading to Lanzhou, ugly industrial town. We would have nothing to look forward to, fortunately we are going through amazing country side and we will visit couple of strange mosques (well, they are not strange in China).

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_6523_raw

On Friday 17 of July it is cloudy again. Our plan is to visit Labrang Monastery and another grasslands area. All are nearby and we will return to Xiahe in the evening. It is good to stay for at least 2 days at one place. Checking in and out is not my favourite ritual, but that's how we usually travel.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

China Day 11 - Ganjia Grasslands

Added: September 30, 2009

Tags: China photos

DSC_6380_raw

It is raining. I knew it yesterday it is good idea to go to Long Wu monastery while weather is fair! Thursday 16th of July started with complete cloud cover with occasional rainfall. It is not bad for travelling, but our photos are doomed.

We started with short visit to a local market and shops in Tongren , buying some groceries, fruit and other essential things for picnic. We should have picnic today :-)

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_5918_raw

Wednesday 15th of July. Finally real Chinese breakfast again. I missed it slightly in Tibet ;-) The most surprising were fried sardines. I liked most pickled lotus root. We came quite late there, the selection was limited. And still, at 9:05 about 50 uniformed hotel employees came to the room and finished the leftovers.

After breakfast we hopped to our bus and headed to Tongren.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

China Day 9 - Xining

Added: September 08, 2009

Tags: China monastery photos

DSC_5699_raw

I could not sleep well, so when Rich opened door on our coupe around 7:00 on Tuesday 14th of July I was tired and surprised. He told us that we are stepping off the train in 1 hour. Conductor informed him incorrectly before and our train will arrive 4 hours ahead of original plan. Surprise!

When I look outside I can see we are slowly getting into Xining. We can see old decaying apartment buildings around. That means we slept over Quinghai lake shortly before Xining (at least we hopped it will be visible from train).

Because of surprise arrival our bus is not at the station yet, so I have time to look around train station. I can see big mosque-like building with the shops at the ground level and Eiffel Tower nearby. Our impression about the city made in train did not changed. We do not like Xining.

Another disadvantage of unplanned arrival is that our hotel rooms are not ready yet. We are waiting in lounge for about an hour. At about 10am our room is clean and available. I am impressed. Getting the room so soon in the morning is nice.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_5538_raw

Monday, 13th of July. We are leaving Lhasa. We are going to Xining by train. It should take about 24 hours to get there (1972km). It might sound boring, but it is passing through Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It is the highest railway in the world - the highest point at altitude 5072m. The train is passing though amazing country with colourful mountains, many lakes, rivers canyons, every few hours it looks differently.

We were lucky our train departed in the morning thus we got quite far during daylight (I can only guess we passed through less attractive country during night).

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_4836_raw

Sunday, 12th of July. Our plan is to go to Drepung Monastery. It was optional program and only 4 people decided to go. Maybe because it is expected to be worse than Ganden Monastery yesterday and the price is only slightly lower than we paid for Ganden.

Original intention was to use taxi as it is cheaper than bus, but when Tenzin went to police to obtain permit he was told groups are not allowed to use 2 taxis, they need to go as a group by bus. "Don't you know the rules?!?". Strange...

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_4331_raw

On Saturday 11th of July I finally started to feel completely well. And it is about time because we are heading to Ganden Monastery with altitude even higher than Lhasa is at and we will have some walk with nice views today. I am looking forward for that!

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_4145_raw

We looked forward to explore Lhasa for nearly a year since we decided to go and paid deposit. It finally happened on Friday 10th of July.

I could not sleep whole night, but not because of excitement. It was due to headache caused by time shift (I had some problems since Monday) mixed with problems with high altitude. And to make it worse I forgot to buy enough bottles of water in the evening and I was really thirsty. Drinking tap water is not the best idea as we were told and I eventually tried it myself (it was bitter). So shortly after midnight I set out for a quest. To find the bottle of water somewhere in the hotel. I have tried to ask some people in courtyard, I am not sure they were employees or they just lived there. Then I tried reception. It was deserted, but after short time dark figures got out of the sofas in the lobby. Receptionist and some more staff members were sleeping there (sorry guys). No water as well (or just too annoyed staff?).

So the first thing after "waking up" in the morning was that I went out to city to buy water. Most of shops we have seen yesterday were still closed. Only a few of them were preparing for next working day. But all of them located around hotel sold clothes, shoes and souvenirs so I had to wander further away.

It is pity I was primed to my task so much I could not concentrate and enjoy morning life around Jokhang Temple. It is very nice experience, Tibetan pilgrims going around it on the sacred path of worship named kora. They are nicely dressed, with prayer wheels in the hand. Some of them are doing prostrations.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_3829_raw

Thursday, 9th of July. Waking up soon today will be rewarded later by seeing Tibet! But first we need to pay for it by inconvenience of breakfast box like yesterday.

I am not very happy that sky is blue today, because we cannot take advantage of it. But it gives a promise we are heading to place where sky is blue, snow is white, the yaks are black and ... well, I am getting a bit too much poetic.

We nearly missed our plane, because after security check we went quickly to gate and we were the last passengers getting to the plane. I would say passport control took longer than I am used to, because they could not understand we have group Visa to Tibet so that all 19 people need to go through the same booth while there are 2 other idling. Eventually they decided to share us between themselves without checking one piece of paper with Visa. The security check took longer too.

Our flight was not direct, we stopped in the Chengdu, with some delay. After 30 minutes we got to the same plane, this time delayed even longer before we took off.

Sky was really cloudy during most of the flight and we had terrible visibility in Chengdu, so I slowly stopped hoping I will see Himalayas from the plane. But sky cleared partially shortly before landing in Lhasa so we could see very nice mountains through windows on both sides of plane. It is pity we were not sitting next to window, so we could not take any pictures. Next time...

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_3563_raw

Wednesday, 8th of July. Wake up call is at 6am. We are leaving in 30 minutes because Rich wants to beat crowds at Great Wall. I like this approach. It suits me well. If I can come somewhere soon I usually do it.

We have been warned about breakfasts in Chinese hotels, but that is nothing compared to warning we have received regarding today. The breakfast boxes hotels give to people who cannot come to proper breakfast are terrible. They were probably invented to torture people by hunger. So I cheated a bit and ate a few things I brought with myself. It did not help at all :-( Unfortunately this was not the only time we ended up with dreaded breakfast box. Well, even getting to places before crowd forms has some disadvantages.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 2

China Day 2 - Beijing

Added: August 09, 2009

Tags: China city lake photos

DSC_3435_raw

Morning 7th of July starts with a wake up call. Twice. Either human factor or failure of technique. Or too eager receptionist. Or maybe I did not say Xie Xie (谢谢) the first time, because I thought it is an automatic call.

Rich has warned us during briefing yesterday breakfast in China is different from what we are used to. It is the same stuff you will get for dinner. So he usually does not bother with it. But not us! We came here to taste as much of Chinese meals as possible... at least I did (well I looked forward for Tibetan meals more, but that does not eliminate Chinese ones).

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

China Day 1 - Beijing

Added: August 03, 2009

Tags: China city photos

DSC_3192_raw

After 10 long hours of flying we landed at modern Terminal 3 in Beijing. But it was not over yet. We had to wait till Swine Flu Prevention Squad measures temperature of all passengers. Now, we will see if all of them were coughing and choking for nothing. And whether my claim in Flu Assessment paper "I have not been in close contact with anybody with flu symptoms" is correct.

Great, we (and everybody else) passed! So now to get rid of assessment and to pass infra thermometers in terminal. Success again. It looks like doors to China are open for us! Yippee! And I can say they take swine flu more seriously than in UK.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 1

China, Tibet and Total solar eclipse

Added: August 02, 2009

Tags: China info photos

DSC_3633_raw

Last week we have returned from our 3 weeks long vacation in China. It was amazing holidays. It was our first vacation with a tour operator. We decided to use tour operator because it is not easy for individuals to get to Tibet. Visa are hard to get and going out of Lhasa needs "paperwork" too. Not to mention it is very hard to read Chinese for us ;-) , "nobody" speaks English and it is not possible to book train tickets online (tickets can be bought 2 days ahead and that does not suit my life style well).

We were bit unsure how it will be with operator, because we prefer to travel alone, but I have to say Explore outdid all our expectations. It seems Explore is oriented to customers similar to us (just older). And our tour leader Rich made our experience even better. He was fantastic. He worked hard to satisfy everybody (that is very hard in my point of view) and he succeeded. He helped Zuzka in restaurants to get meals suiting her allergy and he stopped bus any time he heard me taking pictures frantically (yes, I started to take photos through windows of bus, which is... not very satisfying).

I have taken unbelievable number of photos, all our colleagues were shocked or amused after learning how many I have made. But many of them were just repeating existing photo just in case previous one was not good (remember - many of them were taken in bus or train (Rich could not stop train for me unfortunately)). So total number of independent compositions is much smaller...

I am in the middle of processing them now and it will take some time before I am done, but I am able to publish about a few days from beginning. So stay close to Internet :-)

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Carcassonne

Added: June 27, 2009

Tags: France castle photos

Carcassonne_rainbow_crop

We were looking forward to our trip to Carcassonne, France since January or beginning of February when we booked our flight tickets. Our decision to go there was slightly different from our typical process we usually use: "Let's find some place where we can fly for a weekend cheaply".

This time we knew that we need to see Carcassonne. We knew it is beautiful castle and medieval city surrounded by walls. But that would not be enough. Our decision to go there was related to our passion to play board games (of German type). And Carcassonne was the first game I have played (I do not like it as much any more, there are so many better games out there now). Of course it helped that Ryan Air is flying there from London.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_2770_raw

A few weeks ago we had visitors. Zuzka's parents came so we wanted to show them some places we knew they will like. So we decided to go to St Fagans and Bath.

I have been to both places before, but I did not see exactly the same part of it. And of course I am not going to show pictures of the same places.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Animals of Copenhagen

Added: June 09, 2009

Tags: Denmark animals photos

DSC_2407_raw

Nearly half of Sunday we have spent in Copenhagen ZOO. It is very nice, big and most of animals are lucky enough to live in spacious places.

We could spend much more time there and I probably understand why they sell yearly ticket too. From photographer's perspective it not bad way to take photos of interesting animals (at leasts from a sluggish photographer's point of view) :-)

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Life in Copenhagen

Added: June 03, 2009

Tags: Denmark city photos

DSC_2242_raw

Because I decided to split "report" about our trip to Copenhagen according to themes, I could not show a few photos I wanted in the last post. Instead I am creating a post dedicated to theme I do not usually pay much attention.

We have been in Copenhagen during weekend and it could affect my observations, but Copenhagen seems to be very quiet city. Suburbs we have seen were peaceful and nice.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_2257_raw

Our trip to Copenhagen during Early Bank Holiday was planned for about half a year. Price of flight tickets was good and Copenhagen is full of modern architecture, so I could not say 'no' to Zuzka. She even bought little book about modern architecture in Copenhagen and that helped to sell the idea of visiting Copenhagen to me easily :-)

So this post will be about architecture. Old and also modern one.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Dorset

Added: May 30, 2009

Tags: UK beach cliffs photos

DSC_1871_raw

After we returned from Isle of Wight to Southampton we went to Brimar Guest House. It is very good guest house and I can endorse it. Friendly staff, clean, quiet, very good breakfast.

Our program for Sunday was to explore coast line of Dorset. Me and Peter have been there before, but other people in our group have not. And it is worth of seeing it more times.

It took me longer than usual to decide which photo to select as main for this post. I like to select photo containing red or earth colours if there is some to complement "greenery" of the blog, but I realized many of recent "cover" photos are like that. And it would be mistake if I did not use Durdle Door to represent Dorset.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Isle of Wight

Added: May 26, 2009

Tags: UK beach castle cliffs photos

DSC_1522_raw

Another trip waiting to be published for about 1 month (and there are more waiting). This time we went to the south of England.

Our destination was Isle of Wight as main attraction for Saturday and nearby coast up to Portland for Sunday. The weather was beautiful for whole Saturday.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Leeds Castle

Added: May 11, 2009

Tags: UK castle photos

DSC_1317_raw

Day after visiting Windsor Castle we have been to Leeds Castle in Kent. It is rather small castle, but very nice. It has beautiful garden and cages with exotic birds.

I have finally confirmed myself there that shining sun really makes difference in photos. Simply, it started as cloudy day leading to sombre photos. I still liked them (I like melancholic photos :-) ), but we decided to wait till sun comes out. It took us about 2 hours since we noticed patches of blue sky on north east. It was huge difference! Now, my photos started to look more like postcards (see? this is what happens when nobody is complimenting me :-) )

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Windsor, Eton

Added: May 10, 2009

Tags: UK castle photos

DSC_0954_raw

We have been to Windsor 3 weeks ago, but I was not able to publish pictures sooner. We wanted to visit Windsor Castle for long time, but we have always put it aside. Finally we decided to go, seeing nice weather in April.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

India Day 11 - Amritsar

Added: January 25, 2009

Tags: India photos temple

DSC_0630_raw

Tuesday 11th November is our last day for exploration of India. Tomorrow we are heading home, but we are going to enjoy Golden Temple again. Yesterday evening we have spent there about one hour, but we will have more time for it today...

We woke up at 5:45 as we wanted to see sun rise. We showered, had breakfast, I have helped Zuzka to wear saree and we were ready to go. Receptionist looked puzzled when he saw us. We left our shoes in locker again, washed hands and feet and went in.

It was different with light. It was still foggy, but less than yesterday. Hundreds of people were there like previous evening. We went next to "bridge" to see sunrise behind temple. In the beginning we were standing, but bit later somebody told us to sit down. So we sat down on marble floor. I was looking around to see if people are using their cameras or not. We were told yesterday that it was not allowed to use camera inside temple or photographing Book, but we were not sure about its usage on encircling walkway. Typical mixed messages - we could see people taking pictures yesterday, even one Sikh told Zuzka where she should go to take better photo when they moved The Holy Book to other building for night.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 1

India Day 10 - New Delhi

Added: January 24, 2009

Tags: India photos temple

DSC_0548_raw

Monday 10th of November we woke up at 7:30. We went to hostel roof for breakfast, after it we packed ourselves and went to reception to pay for night. Price was 702, but somehow I could not find 2 rupees so manager said it was OK :-) No problem, we will return here next day, so I will repay my dept then ;-)

We plan to see New Delhi today and then we are flying to Amritsar afternoon. Many places are closed in New Delhi, because it is Monday so we do not have many stops today.

Our first stop was Humayun's Tomb. We needed rickshaw so we planned to find some in Main Bazaar. But the first rickshaw driver said it will be better to take taxi. The 2nd one was willing to take us there, but insisted on 150 Rs, so we agreed.

Whole ride was quite long, but probably not worth of 150 Rs. New Delhi was full of smog, visibility was not good, smell of traffic terrible.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

India Day 9 - Jodhpur

Added: December 21, 2008

Tags: India castle city lake photos

DSC_0225_raw

Sunday 9th November. We slept rather well, it was quiet place again even it looked like we found another place with festival yesterday. We woke up at 6:30 to see sunrise - it would be big mistake to miss sunrise in Jodhpur.

Our plan for that day was to see Mehrangarh Fort and nothing else as our flight to New Delhi was moved 3 hours sooner so we needed to finish at noon. It is pity, Jodhpur has many places to offer to visitors. But what could we expect if we had only one day for every place?

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

India Day 8 - Jaisalmer

Added: December 20, 2008

Tags: India animals city lake photos temple

DSC_9963_raw

Saturday 8th November we woke up rather tired. We could hear life on streets for most of the night and it was really hot in our room because we closed windows as anti mosquito precaution (we had seen some in the evening). As I opened balcony a fresh cool air went inside. Well, we probably made mistake...

A group of tourists stopped in from of our hotel, directly below me and their guide explained something to them. After some time another bunch of tourists repeated the same ritual so it could not be coincidence. Mental note - I need to take photo from outside regardless of crammed space.

Hotel owner asked when our train is running - at 16:00. "You can leave your luggage here and return at about 2pm. Then you can refresh yourself shortly in your room before you leave." Thank you very much, we really appreciate this possibility :-) This would never happen in normal hotel with normal hotel manager...

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

India Day 7 - Jaisalmer

Added: December 19, 2008

Tags: India castle city photos

DSC_9871_raw

Friday 7th November. We woke up in train, it was uneventful night, it passed very well. We had still 6 hours to go and based on arrival to the last station we are late about 1 hour. Not so bad.

I took Azithromycin, followed by stomach ache (I confirmed it was caused by that pill just recently). We stayed in lying position for a few hours more, because nobody asked us to sit properly. I started to like these trains. They are cheaper than hostel, they just miss hot water :-)

As time passes it is getting hot, because air conditioning is not on. We are passing through dessert for last several hours so there is no wonder it is getting hotter.

Eventually I got up and sat opposite to my berth as Zuzka was still sleeping and it was not possible to sit when middle berth is deployed in AC/3. After some time a guy came, wanting to sell accommodation, but I got rid of him as soon as I realized that (described in the first part of series thoroughly).

To my big surprise we arrived to Jaisalmer on time. I do not get it how they do that :-)

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

India Day 6 - Jaipur

Added: December 07, 2008

Tags: India animals castle city photos

DSC_9711_raw

Thursday 6th November. I am tired as we get up. My throat is still sore. OK I am going to start with Azithromycin. Today we plan to visit Jaipur and shortly before midnight we are going to Jaisalmer by train.

We went down, our host was already there, a bit later Canadian couple came. We have been offered possibility to leave our luggage here, return in the evening and to have dinner here. Then all 6 of us would take rickshaw to train station to catch our train. It would be very hard to refuse such an offer!

We talked about our plans, Canadians wanted to go to Amber Fort too and we realized that having rickshaw for whole day is unnecessary expensive - it is possible to get to Amber Fort for 100 Rs, back to the city centre for 100 or less and it should cost 40 to return to guest house. Apart from Amber Fort everything else is in walking distance from each other.

Our wannabe rickshaw arrived. We went outside and told him we decided to go only to Amber Fort and then City Palace and we were willing to give him only 150 Rs for that. He did not see it coming. He was surprised, but started to explain it is not possible for that price and that his price (whatever it was) is fair. He got angry and even went into guest house to dispute with Manoj! It was not very good feeling for us :-( Manoj asked him to leave his house (clearly the manners of those two men were different even for those who do not speak Hindi).

As we went with driver outside Canadian couple came out too, telling him how ridiculous his price was. That did not help him to calm down. He was babbling something about government price list with 385 Rs for similar tour we wanted to make and he wanted us to show it, we just needed to go with him somewhere. No way! Finally he asked for 65 Rs for coming here and I gave him 60 just to get rid of him (even I knew I should not pay him at all).

We went about 200m to find the nearest rickshaw and where Canadians shown us how to haggle properly. Since then amounts we paid to drivers went down :-) Thank you for that and sorry for forgetting your names!

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

India Day 5 - Gwalior

Added: December 07, 2008

Tags: India castle city photos

DSC_9608_raw

Wednesday 5th November. It's not vacation, it's a boot camp! We are getting up at 5:25, because we need to catch train to Gwalior and then another one to Jaipur.

My throat is still sore, so I look into notes with advice from Robo. From list of medications I decided to buy Azithromycin as it matches my symptoms and promises solution in 3 days (with feedback in 2 days - if it does not work Ciprofloxacin will be next :-) ). Now just to find a pharmacy...

We ate breakfast our hosts prepared and paid for the stay (+ meals and bottled water). We gave colonel postcard with Cardiff castle as we enjoyed our stay here.

Our driver from yesterday was waiting for us (we made arrangement yesterday). I asked him to stop at open pharmacy, but he was not sure as it was about 7:00. Later on he showed us one closed pharmacy, but then he found open one on next street. Normal garage. Since then we knew garages are fully fledged shops :-) 3 pieces of Azithromycin were for 90 Rs. I will take one later if throat does not get better.

We arrived to train station early. But that does not surprise me, I just need to be everywhere on time and with some reserve. About 30 minutes later couple from Netherlands staying in our guest house arrived and there was still plenty of time...

Our train arrived, we found our coach. It was not very hard because displays at platform show where each coach will stop. We got in, it was AC Chair coach. We even got bottle of water and breakfast! We were bit surprised, but I decided to eat mine even I was not hungry. Zuzka did not touch hers, so I took it for later.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

India Day 4 - Engaged in Agra

Added: December 06, 2008

Tags: India castle city photos

IMG_1066_final

Tuesday 4th November is the most important day in our Indian trip. We came to India, because Zuzka dreamed about visiting Taj Mahal for 10 years - since she built model of it as school project (that helped her to decide she wants to be an architect). So her dream is finally fulfilled. And I have realized there is not better place in the world to propose. So apart of wanting to fulfil Zuzka's dream, it is important place to go for me too. I hope magic of Taj Mahal will work :-)

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 2

India Day 3 - trip to Agra

Added: December 03, 2008

Tags: India city photos temple

DSC_9081_raw

Monday 3rd November. We are going to Agra today. Original idea was to go by train, but as we checked availability of only train we could go, we found there was quite long waiting list. So we decided to go by plane through New Delhi instead. We got up at normal time, because our flight is at 11:00 so we are not in hurry. After we paid for accommodation at the reception we asked for a rickshaw. A boy staying there went outside and immediately returned with a driver. I did not think it will be so quick. So we got in and instructed him to go to airport. Streets were not as quiet as they were yesterday. But the biggest difference were policemen standing next to road in periodic intervals, every one has stick in hand. I don't get it. Maybe to beat drivers if traffic jam occurs :-)

Driver asked if we want shopping. "No, go to airport" was our answer. So we continued to the airport. As we got there rickshaw stopped at the furthest possible place at the parking lot. We paid 100 Rs (9km) even meter shown 80 (I have read somewhere that taxi/rickshaws have tariff charts, so it seemed OK, but we have never see them). Accepting higher price motivated driver to ask for more "Give me 50 more" he asked without any bad feelings. He tried to explain, we are two and we have luggage. Somehow these reasons did not sound as good to me as they might to him so he did not get more.

We walked back to road with barrier and policemen. We were asked for ticket so Zuzka tried to find one. Unfortunately she had (we both had) a lot of papers and she could not find correct one at that moment. After about minute policemen lost their patience and let us pass. We knew the next check at the terminal building will be tougher. And it was - we gave policeman one piece of paper (as usual), but this flight ticket was for one person only. So we needed to find another ticket. Fortunately we had it :-)

Departing terminal is as small as one for arrivals. Just a bit bigger. There is no display or chart with flights and what is worse there is no sign of Jet Lite anywhere. But they would not let us in if our flight did not exist, would they? Hence I went to ask to the closest matching airline - Jet Airways and they were willing to transport us to New Delhi at given time :-) Pleased with that we sat and waited for 2 hours as we are used to in normal sized airports in Europe... (a few flights more and we started to understand that we are doing something wrong - too many security people told us we are early. That cannot be coincidence).

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_8972_raw

Sunday 2nd of November, 5:15 in the morning. Alarm clock does not make any compromises. We decided to wake up early to accomplish everything we planned for this long day. I cannot say I am well rested as it was hot during whole night.

We take shower (Zuzka found that warm water is available, you just need to wait longer). Quick breakfast from our supplies, moving stuff between big and small backpack, apply sun screen and DEET (stuff to avoid mosquitoes) and we are nearly ready to go. We are locking big backpacks that will stay in room and then attaching them to window handle (that is only unmovable part here IMHO).

Ajanta and Ellora Caves are our plan for today. And they are only reason we arrived through Mumbai. All of other places we are going to visit are closer to New Delhi.

We decided to rent a car instead of using taxi or bus that would be cheaper (in case of bus much cheaper) because Ajanta is 110km from Aurangabad and Ellora about 30-40 I am not sure how much exactly. Then you need to spend 3-4 hours at both places, so we were afraid we would not be able to visit both of them in one day. Everybody suggests to visit them in two days, but we thought both of them are closed on Monday (in reality only one is closed on Monday, other is closed on Tuesday).

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

India - Lessons Learned

Added: November 26, 2008

Tags: India info photos

Golden_Temple3_small

We have returned from our short trip to India a few days ago and I would like to write about what we have learned about India which can be useful to others. Complete report with pictures will follow shortly. We have been there only 12 days with flying there and back so I am not going to claim we have learned everything or this will be complete guide. Contrary we have learned only basic things and I am sure even those are not correct :-) I have decided to write separate post about this only to help future readers to find complete information at one place. Otherwise it would be split to several posts and quite hard to find.

This text turned out to be quite long, so if you are not interested reading it completely, you can jump to the most interesting part.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 2

Norway Day 9 & 10 - Oslo

Added: September 14, 2008

Tags: Norway castle city museum photos

DSC_8175_raw

We spent whole Saturday 26th and morning 27th of July in Oslo. Weather was unbelievable - clear sky and hot.

We bought 1 day Oslo Pass that allowed us unlimited travel by public transport and free entry to most of attractions in Oslo. Our exploration could begin.

I have a lot of photos from Oslo and I struggled for a while to decide how I am going to split it to pages. Previously used Morning/Afternoon won't work so I decided to make a split on areas of interest regardless time, location and how many times we have been there.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Norway Day 8 - flight to Oslo

Added: September 12, 2008

Tags: Norway fjord photos

DSC_8031_raw

Friday 25th of July we are getting up soon again. Not as soon as yesterday, but we need to catch ferry to Bognes at 9pm (plus/minus). It is about 80km away and it is not highway anymore. This time we arrived 15 minutes before ferry leaving and we get only to 3rd queue.

After reaching Bognes we need to get to Bodø airport before 3pm. That is another 220km to go. I hope it is clear now why I do not have many photos from this day. Simply there was no time for that. And we arrived to Oslo quite late so there was not time to shoot there too.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_7859_raw

Thursday 24th of July we did not have luck with weather - low hanging clouds obscured otherwise wonderfully looking hills all over Lofoten. Lofoten are beautiful archipelago, especially with fair weather. But also weather we ended with led to some attractive photos.

Lofoten was driving force during our planning - if we did not want to go to Lofoten we would pick completelly different route probably through Stavanger or who nows. So I have good reason to talk about our weather in bad way.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Norway Day 6 - 66° 33'

Added: September 11, 2008

Tags: Norway mountains photos waterfall

DSC_7702_raw

Wednesday 23rd of July - we are on road again. And it will be long trip again. If you check map posted in Norway Day 1 - Bergen, Voss and fjords you will see we are catching what we did not travel through first 4 days. Distance planned for today is 511km!

On the other hand we plan to cross Polar Circle and to see maelstrom in the evening. Two phenomenas we might not see again soon.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_7541_raw

For those who came here attracted by title - you can just skip to the end.

Tuesday 22nd of July is fair weather again. Our plan expects us to travel about 380km today. Thus we are going to enjoy sunny weather mostly from car. But we plan to spend some time in Trondheim so we are glad it is not raining.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_7339_raw

It is raining in Ålesund on Monday 21st of July.

Our plan is to go to Molde to visit open air museum there, then continue to Mardalsfossen and finally to arrive into Sunndalsøra.

We speculated to go more to north from Molde to see Atlantershaveien - very nice road with bridges between small islands but that would need additional 100km so we decided against that. If we knew Mardalsfossen will not be good and we will arrive to hostel sooner than we did any other time before (or after) we might decide differently.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_7196_raw

Sunday 20th of July starts as cloudy with ocassional blue patches in the sky. One of main highlights of our trip in Norway should happen today - cruise in Geiranger fjord.

I appologise for tons of photos here. I just could not edit them tighter.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_6686_raw

Saturday 19th of July we woke up to weather as was forecasted even I refused to believe it will be cloudy previous day. Well, it was. End of blue sky and good photos...

Some waterfalls are planned for this day, 2 national parks, old wooden churches, we will go through interesting tunnels and there are some alternatives. It depends on time, but we have no illusions that this time we could progress faster :-) And of course - cherries has been added unexpectedly to our daily menu yesterday.

We need to get to Bøverdalen in the evening.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_6376_raw

Note: I am more than one month behind in publishing photos from our vacation in Norway. Good news is that all photos are processed and I should have enough of time to publish them quite fast

Original plan was that Zuzka will go for trip around Norway with her friend living in Sveden and I will stay home because car was full. However more people from friend's side wanted to go later, thus we formed another (independent) group and went on our own. In the end, it turned out that group of Zuzka's friend did not go.

Because of Icelandic holiday shortly before we had not enough time to plan Norway thorougly (as with Iceland). Still we managed to cram enough of attractions into 9 days (It is terrible that people do not have 4 months of holidays :-) ) together with quite ambitious distance to travel. Norway is really long so if we wanted to get to Polar Circle and further we needed to flight back from there (see map later). On the other hand in means we did not have time to explore national parks in more details, so maybe later (yes, Norway is country that deserves another vacation there and with better weather we had!)

Again we used mainly youth hostels for accommodation. I have to say that they responded to e-mail enquiries much faster than in Iceland, but still there were a few problems. For example, just to try something more adventurous (at least for me) we ignored that one night was not fully confirmed (I just feel I need to enhance my terrible improvisation skills before our trip to India planned in November :-) ). There was another problem with hostels in Norway. Most of them ignored our Hostelling International membership and did not give us 15% discount even all of them claimed they did. Unfortunatelly I forgot all papers at the first hostel and it is hard to argue with them that way. So beware of them. They are lying with ease!

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_6302_raw

Saturday 22st of June is our last full day in the Iceland. Our flight is scheduled on Monday at about 7am, hence I do not count it.

I wish we had such weather whole time as it is these days. But at least we have seen all possibilities.

The biggest (and the tallest) attraction today is hike to waterfall Glymur. Otherwise we just need to drive to south with occasional diversion and stop.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Cardiff Bay

Added: September 02, 2008

Tags: Cardiff city photos

DSC_8309_raw

I am in Cardiff for 6 months now and there are no photos here from Cardiff. I need to fix it.

Cardiff Bay is the nicest part of Cardiff as far as you ask me. We had nice weather on Saturday evening, I am kidding it was the third sunny day this summer, but I am probably too harsh about it.

You will not believe me, but I actually like cloudy and rainy days. It is much easier to manage my clothes - there are only 2 possibilities: hood on the head or off :-)

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_5823_raw

We plan to spend Saturday 21st of June in Northwest Iceland. Beautiful weather started later yesterday and it is the same today.

We need to travel a lot today again, there is no chance we could reach our destination Reykir soon. But there should be plenty of light as we have learned from previous days. Not to mention it is Summer solstice today.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_5159_raw

On Friday 20th of June we are going again to Jökulsárgljúfur, because we did not go to Selfoss yesterday. This time we are going to try western road. Then we are going (again :-) ) to geothermal fields of Námafjall. This time with cameras.

Then we are going to check out surroundings of Mývatn (depends on weather), go to Goðafoss and finally to reach Akureyri.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

hafragilsfoss

Thursday 19th of June we plan to jump to north part of Iceland. Jump means there are not many stops planned on our route.

Weather is much worse than it was yesterday, it is cold and it rains at noon.

We planned to take Ring road as far as possible, but directions to our hostel in Berunes mention also road 939 Öxi that goes through mountains and is 4WD. We decided to give it a try.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_4211_raw

Finally I am able to publish about the 5th day in Iceland. Actually, photos were ready before our Norway trip, but I did not have time to select them.

Wednesday 18th of June is even better weather than last day. It is sunny, but with much better visibility. Our planned mileage is smaller today, but there is paid attraction with possibility of many people in queue.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 1

green_roofs

Tuesday 17th of June is finally sunny and beautiful. No wind is added bonus. I wish all our days were sunny here.

Whole bunch of waterfalls is planned for today, some are small, some tall, and at least 2 are famous. A word about waterfalls. Our plan contains about 16 waterfalls, but we probably have seen so many of them already. But most of them were small streams falling from cliff. Interesting sight, but we are getting to be used to that. Day after afternoon we will stop taking pictures of those anonymous completely :-)

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 4

flowers_and_snow

Monday 16th of June we plan to go to Landmannalaugar. Later we are going to move to the Skógar.

Landmannalaugar is geothermal and volcanic area full of unbelievable colors. It was expected to be one of highlights of our holidays in Iceland and I looked forward to it for long time. Problem is that it is rather cloudy and rain is expected.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Gullfoss

Sunday 15th June 2008 is our first all-Iceland day. Our plan is to see Golden Circle, a few waterfalls and get to highlands. It is cloudy and forecast predicts rain.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 2

Viking_boat_sculpture

Saturday 14th June 2008 started rather soon for Zuzka and me. We got up before 3am and went to bus to London at 4am (Peter came to Stansted day before).

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_2040

Two fantastic days in Highlands are behind us. The third day of our traveling is starting right now. Weather is still sunny, even forecasts from Friday said it will be raining today.

You can review our complete trip in Scotland here 3 sunny days with Lochs, Glens and Bens. Link to tour is here http://www.timberbush-tours.co.uk/glasgow_tours/one_day/loch_lomond.html.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_1745_NR_16_9

This is about Day 2 of our 2-day tour around Scotland. You can see details of first day here Eilean Donan, Loch Ness & The North West Highlands - Day 1. We will get back to the Glasgow at the end of day and then we go to another tour on Monday.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_1506

As was mentioned in previous post 3 sunny days with Lochs, Glens and Bens we booked 3 days of sitting in the coach rambling around Scotland. This post is dedicated to Day 1 of 2-day tour Eilean Donan, Loch Ness & The North West Highlands.

For those wondering what title of previous post means, here is short explanation: loch - lake, glen - valley, ben - mountain, sun - scarce resource in Scotland :-)

If you did not read previous post, I will try shortly to summarize it: All three days were fantastic!

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

DSC_0996

Finally I got enough time to process and sort photos from previous trip to London, Brighton, Seven Sisters, Norwich, Ely and Cambridge.

We had wonderful time there, nice weather, a lot of to see and enjoy. Very good way to spend 3 free days (I hope following Bank Holiday will be even better. Location has really potential, so stay tuned for photos from folowing weekend).

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Sunny day at Three Cliffs Bay

Added: May 13, 2008

Tags: beach photos

Three_Cliffs

I have to skip one 3 days trip, because I am not able to process all photos fast enough. And this short trip came out of blue after realizing Sunday is going to be hot. We decided to go to beach somewhere near Swansea. Frantic looking for places, buses, trains, cooking lunch.

3 hours of traveling (1 hour waiting for next bus in Swansea is counted), then only 2 hours to spend in Gower (and still 1km to go to Three Cliffs Bay).

Very nice place, beautiful and surprising weather for UK and May, but water is quite cold. Unfortunatelly I acclimatized to its coldness only during our walk back to bus. It is pity that last bus leaves to Swansea at 17:54 on Sunday :-(

We left with very good feeling and resolution to get here sooner next time.

Note: I experienced some problems with color management and I am not sure about it, thus these pictures might look differently than I intended them.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

Easter 2008

Added: April 08, 2008

Tags: beach castle cathedral cliffs photos ruins

porth_nanven3

We spent 3 of 4 free days provided by Easter in Cornwall and partially also in Devon (but also in Somerset).

All was organized and planned quite fast, so it was not ideal (places to visit vs. places to sleep at). Also weather did not seem promising.

Completely we did about 1080km.

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0

caerphilly_castle2

Greetings from wet and windy Cardiff! This is my postcard 1.0 (or better 0.5 :-) ). Finally, I was able to get to some sight-seeing here at March 7th-9th. Pictures follow, some also with explanation. The original idea to keep it like postcard with 3-5 pictures failed due to incorrect scope estimation :-(

Click here for complete text

Number of comments: 0