this is the archive for the ‘traveling’ category:


hiking mistérios negros

we finally made it to azores! it’s no secret that i love volcanoes, lava, and all the things that come with molten rock being spewed from the earth, so i knew we were in for a treat.

we rented a car to drive around terceira island, but to properly enjoy the scenery and nature, walking is still the best. so we picked PRC1TER, a trail that featured some volcanic stuff and despite the everlasting fogs and lack of proper hiking equipment, we went for it on our last day — and it was glorious!

it started out wet but easy enough…

but pretty soon we were climbing up and down the spiky blocks of stony rough lava, hanging on to tree branches for balance and barely able to see the path. this is where the trail gets its name, the “dark mysteries” are these hills made of aʻā lava that have not yet been completely covered by vegetation.

sometimes a hidden lake would pop up in the middle of the cryptomeria forest, and if you stopped there for a minute, you could only hear your breath and the frogs.

the way back straddled the edge of fields and forests, over dreamy stone fences where wild strawberries grew.

we ended up soaked after 5km, but happy beyond words. take me back please! :)

journeys are the midwives of thought

“Journeys are the midwives of thought. Few places are more conducive to internal conversations than moving planes, ships or trains. There is an almost quaint correlation between what is before our eyes and the thoughts we are able to have in our heads: large thoughts at times requiring large views, and new thoughts, new places. Introspective reflections that might otherwise be liable to stall are helped along by the flow of the landscape.”

a quote that stayed with me from the art of travel, by alain de botton.

one second everyday — october 2017

october was… eventful.

as soon as the month started, we jumped to morocco for some days of hiking in the atlas. at home, we worked, watched some concerts, attended the local “dev day” and tried to make friends with william, the neighbourhood’s black cat. towards the end of the month, we spent a week exploring córdoba, an unexpectedly nice surprise.

fez

through the train window, the scenery stretches in waves of golden fields bordered by cactus fences. (later, in wooden carts, we’ll see calloused hands peel the cactus figs and hand each half over carefully on a toothpick, juice dripping on their hands.)

a stranger chats with us on the train to pass the time. the electrical plugs don’t work because someone once blew the wiring on a train with a faulty laptop charger. turns out, i could almost pass for moroccan (but not paulo, for some reason). he tells us there’s only one real medina in morocco, and that’s in fez — when we get there, it’s clear all of a sudden. everything is larger and yet narrower here, sprawling and tight at the same time. it’s the definition of intense — the heat, the light, the scents and flavours swirling all around us like the folds of the djellabas that brush our legs.

fez

as soon as we cross the gates of the medina, all hell breaks loose: a bull being led by a man down a busy alley suddenly decides to change course and rams into a few stalls, spilling nail varnish on the floor and eliciting shouts all around us (visions of a pamplona-style disaster dance in my head). the street vendors quickly mobilise to hold the beast from all sides and lead it step by step towards its intended path. (where? is there an abattoir within the city walls? somehow, that wouldn’t surprise me.) we wait their passing under an awning, while kids all around us run excitedly back and forth retelling the story, homework forgotten.

fez

we’re not in kansas europe anymore… and it’s scary and exciting in equal measures.

the new year’s get-together

organising a new year’s get-together for friends was on the new 101 list, and 2016 was the year it got done! new years are usually a bit of a dread for us… by the time the end of the year rolls around, we’re still recovering from the xmas family extravaganza, and craving peace and quiet. so this year, we poked a few friends spread around europe and decided to find a quiet place where we could all stay for a few days. we found a cozy airbnb in a tiny town in south germany which seemed perfect for our needs (somewhere central in europe, quiet, near cheap airports, dogs allowed)… so we put on our winter jackets, loaded the suitcases with board games, and off we went!

turns out, we lucked out big time! lienzingen is a charming little place, the kind that you imagine from brothers grimm’s fairy tales. it’s full of half-timbered houses hundreds of years old, carefully restored with love and german precision. we stayed in one of them, and boy, was it pretty!

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the weather was chilly but mostly dry, with soft rime on trees and even a bit of snow on the last days. together we chatted, cooked, played games, explored a unesco monastery, cuddled dogs, munched on warm laugenwecken, stoked the fireplace and discovered the local maultaschen.

it was the perfect start to the new year: low-key, unrushed and in great company. here’s hoping it’ll become a new tradition! :)