Posts categorized under ‘Pictures’

Climbing Lakatnik again (Alpine Meadow)

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Below are some pictures from yesterdays climbing, this time again in Lakatnik but climbing site Alpine Meadow.

Alpine Meadow river

Alpine Meadow walley

Alpine Meadow - cavers training

Alpine Meadow hut

Alpine Meadow in autumn colors

Alpine Meadow - autumn

Alpine Meadow hanging hut seen from below

Alpine Meadow river and trees

Alpine Meadow with village in the mist

Sunday markets in Berlin

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Recently I found one of my old blog posts from Berlin which I forgot to finish, so here it comes (a bit late). The idea was to make a list over some of the markets in Berlin, but the Sunday Open Air Parties took over and the list was never finished.

Trödelmarkt @ Boxhagener Platz
Mostly clothes & mixed things
Open: 10:00 – 18:00

RAW Flohmarkt @ RAW Tempel
Small market with great food, clothes & mixed things
Open: 6:00 – 19:00
www.raw-flohmarkt.de

Flohmarkt @ Mauerpark
Don’t miss the outdoor karaoke next to the market
www.mauerparkmarkt.de

Flohmarkt @ Kreuzberg
Moritzplatz

Oberbaumbrucke market
Takes place on the famous Oberbaumbrucke. Here you will find mostly paintings and art.

Hallentrödelmarkt Treptow
Mix of indoor and outdoor market with all kinds of things. Best market to find bicycles.
Open: 10:00 – 16:00

Großer Antikmarkt @ Ostbahnhof
Furniture, antiques, records and books
Erich-Steinfurth-Strasse
Open: 09:00 – 17:00


RAW Flohmarkt

RAW Flohmarkt, with Der Kegel in the background

Hallentrödelmarkt Treptow
Hallentrödelmarkt Treptow

Oberbaumbrucke market
Oberbaumbrucke market

Bolsjefabrikken – Danish squat / culture center

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Today is the last day for me in Copenhagen before heading back to Berlin. Of the things I experienced this time in Denmark, besides meeting my family, the best was definitely the “Panicroom” event at Bolsjefabrikken that takes place now during 15 days. The idea of the event, which consists of workshops and concerts, is to collect money to be able to buy the squatted area. Bolsjefabrikken, or Candy Factory in English, is a group of people who have taken over two big houses in different areas of Copenhagen. The name comes from that the original building that they occupied in 2008 was actually a candy factory.

In order for the group to buy Bolsjefabrikken they have to collect 500 000 euro. Because the squat is relatively unknown both for foreigners and people here in Copenhagen this will be a difficult task. To help them you can go to this web site and click on one of the building bricks to give them your support by a donation of 10, 20 or 30 euro.

Bolsjefabrikken

Work in progress sign

Bolsjefabrikken books

Iceland trip

Bolsjefabrikken art

Bolsjefabrikken graffiti

Banksy is not a tagger

Energy lamp

Running projector

Squat concert

Teddy bear

Bolsjefabrikken København

Weekend in Sweden

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Last week I made a quick break from Berlin to spend some time with my family and friends in Sweden. Here below are some pictures I took in the Swedish nature.

Swedish leaves

Beautiful flower

Blueberries

Broken mushroom

Climbing spider

Golden berries

Mushroom picture

Nice flower

Swedish spider

Redberries

Rosehip

Wet flower

Swedish apples

Swedish flower

Spider web

Swedish forest

Swedish mushroom

Swedish mushrooms

Swedish pine

Swedish sea

Swedish nature

Swedish boat

Water hole

Sunflower picture

Swedish sunset

And finally some macro flower pictures. Click twice on a photo to zoom in on it.

Flower macro

Flower macro with water drops

Flower macro closeup

A walk in the park part II – Open Air Berlin

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

During the summer in Berlin it’s very common with Sunday parties and yesterday I went to a friends Open Air party which they organize for the second year in a row. The party takes place in a park near the area Wedding and just next to the river, which makes it a beautiful surrounding with both the feeling of the nature and at the same time people passing by just taking a walk in the park.

Usually these events start in the early afternoon and continues to a short time after the sunlight have disappeared. It’s very uncommon that the police in Berlin shuts down these illegal Open Air parties and if they arrive to the place they usually just ask polite to turn down the volume a bit, or sets an end time when the music should be stopped.

For me these Sunday parties are way better then going to a club and the atmosphere reminds more of a festival then a pub or a club. Sundays are perfect for a chill out party and to get beautiful nature, great music & friends at the same time – it can’t be better!

For you who know your minimal techno, here are the lineup for yesterdays party:

Rndm [DIAL]
Simon Beeston [Highgrade]
Chris Schwarzwälder [Bar25]
Fabian Drews [mama-j]
Convex Shape [Iwillchange.Ipromise]
Holger Hecler [juciemarket]

Minimal Techno Berlin

Wild Wedding

Open Air girls

Open Air equipment

Open Air Berlin

Open Air tent

Open Air party

Party sunset

Open Air packing

Parks in Berlin

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

I wrote earlier about the festivals in Germany being one of the reasons why I moved here about a month ago. Another good reason to be in Berlin during the summer is definitely the parks. Berlin have a lot of them, and wherever you live you will probably find a favorite park near you. Here are some of the central (AB area) parks which are highest on my list:


Görlitzer Park
Nice park to hang out in, both during the day time and night time. In this park you can almost always hear some live music that comes together with the young crowd that fills this park at all time, specially around the café inside the park.

Görlitzer Park Berlin


Mauerpark
One of the more famous parks in Berlin, due to the Sunday market and outdoor karaoke that takes place at 3 o’clock during the market days. The karaoke is with a huge crowd that sits in a ring around the singer, with the same layout as an old Roma theater. Besides this the park offer various possibilities for sports like basketball and boules, big chance for live music and a wall for graffiti.

Mauerpark Berlin

Mauer park Berlin


Tiergarten
Situated in the middle of the center and still big enough to have places to hide inside,  this park has something for everyone. Big green areas together with forest, not to many walking paths but still enough to easily bicycle here.

Tiergarten

Tiergarten park


Treptower Park
This park is a bit different as it follows a river which gives you that highly demanded water in the summer, at least to look at. Treptower Park has a lot of young people in it, and here you will find ping pong tables, boats for rent and a lot of barbecuing people. Within the park there is also a community with people living in circus wagons, where there sometimes is events taking place.

Treptower Park Berlin

Treptower Park

Treptow Park


Tempelhof Park
Tempelhof Park is also a very different park in many ways. To start with it is build on an old airfield. This makes it very flat and with no trees or vegetation besides the grass. Here you find a lot of different sports like RC airplanes, kites, roller blades and more.

Tempelhof Park

Tempelhof Park Berlin


Viktoriapark
Middle size park with a viewpoint over the city (not very high up though) and a waterfall, together with a few open green areas of good size and a restaurant.

Viktoriapark

Viktoriapark Berlin


Volkspark Friedrichshain
This is a really nice middle size park with a lot of possibilities for sport. You can for example find a bouldering wall, beach volley ball field, skateboard area, tennis and much more. There are also a lot of areas with water, but not for swimming. One bad thing is the abundance of trails which makes it difficult to find a green area without people walking by all the time.

Volkspark Friedrichshain

Volkspark Friedrichshain Berlin


Volkspark Hasenheide
Really nice park with several big open spaces and a good combination of people. Big chance of live music.

Volkspark Hasenheide

Volkspark Hasenheide Berlin

Hasenheide Park


Volkspark Humboldthain
Park with some big open grass field without to many trails or people. Here you can also find an old military wall to rope climb on, as well as a view over the city from the old flak tower that was [unsuccessfully] used to defend Berlin against air raids during the World War II.

Humboldthain park

Volkspark Humboldthain Berlin

Volkspark Humboldthain

Nation Of Gondwana

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

After having moved to Berlin and finally found an apartment which I share with four+ Germans, I went last weekend to the open air festival Nation Of Gondwana. This is a minimal techno festival which takes place just one hour outside of Berlin, surrounded by a beautiful forest and a small lake. The last 3 days before the festival had been cold and rainy, but just in time the weather cleared up and was perfect during the whole festival weekend.

To go to the Nation Of Gondwana, take the train (about 4 euro one way from Berlin) to Bahnhof Nauen and from there the free shuttle bus that goes about every 30 minutes to the festival area. If you are not travelling with a tent, Woolworth in Germany have a cheap 2-3 person tent for around 20 euro. Price for the two day festival is 30 euro, which includes a trash fee of 5 euro that you get back if you collect your trash and leave at the exit. If you like camping a good idea is to come one day before the festival to enjoy the beautiful area.

Festival field

Early festival

Chill out zone

Festival lake

Festival sunset

Festival tent

German forest

Again in Brussels

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

I took some days off to visit one of my new European favorite cities, Brussels. It was just 3 months since I was in Brussels last time, on my way to Dahab. After two months in Egypt it’s was very refreshing to be back in Europe. The contrasts were big, like the gray weather which I had missed so much and the quietness even though the city is big.

Brussels is very idyllic with green parks and beautiful streets. Most people are happy and smiling here, but at the same time they are “trapped” in their boxed every day lives not integrating with the people around them. Here, for example, people look strange at you if you start a conversation or smile to a person that you don’t know. While it’s very relaxing to be back in a “civilized” city I can also miss Egypt where you start conversations with random people on the street several times per day.

Belgian tree

Bois de la Cambre

Brussels bus

Brussels lake

Brussels park

Etang d Ixelles

Flower girl

Belgian swan in Brussels

Mirror effect

Belgian graffiti

Graffiti Bruxelles

Jupiler Belgium

Abstract plants

Atomium Brussels

Alexandria pictures

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

After Cairo I decided to see Alexandria which many Egyptians had recommended to me. Alexandria is a big city, like Cairo, but situated next to the sea. What I liked most about this city was the local market and the incredibly fresh and tasty market food.

Again, more Egypt pictures, this time from Alexandria:

Alexandria beach

Alexandria harbor

Alexandria boat

Alexandria fish market
Fish market in Alexandria

Boat building
Boat building

Alexandria barber

Alexandria car

Alexandria festival

Alexandria market

Alexandria fish

Alexandria food

Sugar factory Egypt
Fun map over Alexandria

Alexandria library
Alexandria’s new library with a lot of interesting museums inside

Egypt revolution pictures
Photographic exhibition with pictures of the Egyptian revolution

Egypt police

Alexandria cafe

Cairo pictures

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

On the way out from Egypt I visited Cairo for some days. I really loved this vibrant city although travelling inside the city can take a long time due to the size of the city and that you have to change transport system a lot of times to get from point A to point B.

A lot of people ask me about the safety in Egypt right now, specially in Cairo, due to the political status. Because of how media is showing the country people get the idea that the whole country is dangerous to visit both now and in the near future. What I could see from my travels there and with people I spoke to this is far from the truth. The police and even the military are back on the streets and Cairo are back to normal again with a safe feeling. Most of the other cities in Egypt was never affected by the revolution, besides from having less tourists.

Here are some pictures from last week in Cairo and around:

Cafe in Cairo

Cairo citadel
The Citadel

Cairo city view
City view with the Giza pyramids

Cairo mosque

Muhammad Ali mosque
Muhammad Ali mosque

Cairo prayers

Modern church
Modern church with LCD TV and roof fans

Midan Tahrir
Midan Tahrir square

Talaat Harb
Talaat Harb street, Tahrir Square

Cairo protester

Egyptian car
Typical Egyptian car with decorations

Red pyramid
The Red pyramid

Bent pyramid
The Bent pyramid (2600 BC)

Saqqara
Saqqara Step pyramid of Djoser (2648 BC)

Egyptian hieroglyphs
Egyptian hieroglyphs inside Saqqara tomb

Palm forest
Dade palm forest

Camel spider
Camel spider

Egypt kite

Egypt revolution graffiti

Egypt satellite TV

Cairo sunset

In Cairo

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Cairo is a great contrast after Dahab. Too bad I will only stay here a few days, but I will come back.

Tahrir square on a Friday

The picture is from the Tahrir Square where the 2011 Egyptian Revolution took place and where they still have demonstrations every Friday. More pictures from Cairo will come later.

Camping in Ras Muhammad

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Sometimes things just come to you when you wish for them. One recent example is that I really wanted to visit Ras Muhammad one more time before leaving Egypt in about a week from now. What happened to me was, one morning a girl I met the day before called me and asked me to join her and her free diver friends to camp one night at the Ras Muhammad. They were leaving town within 15 minutes so it was a quick decision followed by rush packing. Just a moment later we were leaving Dahab in a rented car full of free diving and scuba diving equipment, heading out for Ras Muhammad.

The group was very mixed, with 8 people from Russia, Brazil, Argentina, France and me from Sweden. We also had a big dog with us (“Hurry”) who was currently traveling the world, on his way to Bali. Dogs (and camping) are not allowed in Ras Muhammad, but we managed to talk the guards to let us pass with him.

When we arrived everybody went into the water directly, followed by a Argentinian barbecue and some vodka. The weather was warm and there were no problem sleeping under the stars, except for some biting flies and mosquito which i still have 50+ dots from.

The next day we went up early and went free diving in Shark Reef. Everybody were excited for what we would see, and like the day before we again find a shark (or he found us). This time, the about 1½ meter shark swim up to one of us to check him out. Also, we found a lot of turtles and other beautiful animals during the 2½ hour swimming in strong current.

After Shark Reef, we went back to the first reef to do some combined free- and scuba diving and then head back home to Dahab.

Note: If you are trying this for yourself, have long sleeves and a sleeping bag with you. Be very careful with the current, and don’t get into the water if you are not familiar with how it is moving at that specific reef. Drink a lot of water and stay in the shade, as one of us got dehydrated and had to go to the hospital.

Shark bay Sharm

Ras Muhammad guitar in the morning

Ras Muhammad camping

Shark bay Sharm Egypt

Ras Muhammad stingray

Ras Muhammad shark reef

Freediving Ras Muhammad

Ras Muhammad big fish

Ras Muhammad Yolanda reef

Ras Muhammad big school of fish

Ras Muhammad fishes

Ras Muhammad free diving

Ras Muhammad napoleon fish

Ras Muhammad toilets

 

Ras Muhammad turtle

Ras Muhammad swimming turtle

Ras Muhammad freediving

Mount Sinai, Egypt

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

About a week ago I was up on top of Mount Sinai to look at the sunrise over Egypt’s mountains. This is a common thing to do here in Sinai, and although you will not be alone on the top it’s still recommended to go. The sunrise is nice, but even more beautiful is the dark night sky with all the stars visible and a clear view of the Milky Way Galaxy.

To go up to Mount Sinai, take a 2 hour transport from Dahab to Saint Catherine’s Monastery (total price 6-8 euro for two ways) and then walk up the mountain for 1-3 hours depending on how used you are to trekking. If you are lazy it is even possible to ride a camel up half the way. The monastery is around 1500 meter over sea level and the mountain top from where people use to view the sunrise is on 2300 meter. Bring some warm clothes and a lot of water, but there are also cafés on the way up where you even have possibilities to rent a warm blanket from the Bedouins that live in the area.

Remember, if you are scuba diving you need to wait at least 12 hours from your last dive before going up to the mountain, to protect yourself against decompression sickness!

Mount Sinai, Egypt

Mount Sinai mountain

Mount Sinai sunrise

Mount Sinai (Egypt)

Picture of Mount Sinai

Mount Sinai tour

Saint Catherine's monastery camel

Egyptian visas

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Two days ago I went to El-Tor to extend my Egyptian visa. This was even easier and cheaper then I thought. To start with, if you are in Sinai, take the bus from Sharm El-Sheikh to El Tor, which will take about one hour and cost around 1 euro. Then, take a taxi for less then one euro or walk 15 minutes to arrive at the place for all passport enquiries. Not so many people in this town speak English, so if you need to ask for directions you can show the note with text that I will put further down on this page (later).

At the passport office, fill in the English form which you can also find below, and leave together with a copy of your passport (the page with your photo + the page with your current visa). These copies you have to make before you arrive here, for example at the post office 500 meters away (costs 10 cent). The whole procedure at the government should take about 30 minutes and cost you 1 euro for a 1 or 3 month longer stay in Egypt. If you want to stay longer, it will cost less then 10 euro for up to a one year period.

The office is open 8 am to 3 pm every day except Fridays. When in El-Tor, take a random walking tour in this nice town. People here are incredibly friendly and the town reminds me visually more of India then Egypt.

Be aware that there are rumours in Egypt that after the new government, about a year from now, it will be more difficult to get a prolonged Egyptian visa. Also, it is possible you only will be allowed to stay for 1-3 months total within a one year period, depending on where you are from.

Things to take with you:  Passport and money (maximum 5 euro in EGP currency needed)

Egyptian visa application

Bus station Sharm El-Sheikh

Egyptian tea

Bus Sharm El-Sheikh to El-Tor

Egyptian street

Egyptian chair

Egyptian goats

Egyptian graffiti

Egyptian soda

Egyptian fruit

Egyptian clothing

Egyptian furniture

Egyptian market

Dasani

 

Egyptian women

Posters El-Tor Egypt

Aquafina

Dahab festival

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Yesterday was the last day of the Dahab Festival. This is a one week event with two festivals taking place at the same time, the Dahab International Festival of Water Sports, Culture and Desert Adventure and the Dahab Bedouin Festival. The idea of them both are to make the tourists come back to Sinai/Dahab, but instead of cooperating there is a small clash between the two festivals. The first one is organized by the Egyptian business owners and the second one by the local Bedouins, who actually were here first but now gets more and more pushed away. Still, they have the right to claim land wherever it’s possible to own for them self, which is the same pattern I saw also in Mozambique.

The pictures below are from the Homemade boat race, the Bedouin Festival, the Bedouin camel race and finally the [end of the] Bedouin Full moon party.

Dahab festival

Dahab snorkeling

Dahab scuba diving

Egypt pirates

Egypt festival

Dahab surfing

Bedouin Festival

Bedouin tea

Egyptian Bedouin

Nescafé Egypt - Bedouin style

Camels in desert

Dahab photos

Camels photo

Camel racing

Camel race

Egyptian flag

Egypt sunset

Dahab sunset

Bedouin bread

Happiness

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

Scuba diving Blue Hole (dive ever - work never)

Happiness is bicycling to work in swimming shorts

Dahab sunrise

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Sunrise over Saudi Arabia seen from Dahab, Egypt this morning
at 5 am.

Dahab sunrise over Saudi Arabia

4 days in Brussels, Belgium

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

A lot of times I fall in love with a city within the first days. So was also the case with Belgium and its capital Brussels. This city is really multi cultural and hosts a lot of interesting and individual people. Also it’s very green, both with some beautiful parks and a lot of planted trees in the streets.

One funny surprise for me was the Balkan music trend that is big in Brussels right now, with festivals and private parties playing balkan music and people trying to imitate some of the dancing styles of the Balkan countries.

All in all what was supposed to be a long transfer just to learn a bit about Belgium turned out to really give me a wish for more!

Porte de Hal | Hallepoort

Place du Jeu de Balle

Everard t Serclaes

Belgian comics (mural street art)

Manneken pis

Window graffiti, Brussels

Brussels megaphone speech place

Beautiful lantern in pub

Jef Aerosol (Brussels)

Graffiti stairs

Beautiful houses, Brussels

Auberge - Brussels

Brussels graffiti

Graffiti Belgium

Brussels spring

Tee shop, Brussels

Graffiti Brussels

Brussels park

La Grand Place | Brussels plant market

Wall mural painting, Brussels

BBQ party on roof top

Carnaval de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

The carnival here lasted for one whole month and still i realized now that i didn’t write a single word about it in the blog. Although I liked it one month is more then enough, so I was happy when it finally ended. The carnival parties were mostly focused to the weekends at the Santa Catalina square, but the whole week you could see people in the evening who were dressed out. The most common dresses are for the guys to dress like girls (transvestites / shemales) and for girls to dress up sexy to for example cowboys, policemen or super heroes.

There was some unluck with the weather for the people that don’t like rain, as the two biggest events of the carnival took place during the rain. Both of them are within the last period of the carnival:

Gran Cabalgata (the Grand Parade)
This is a  crazy parade with 200 000 people walking 7 kilometers, from the north to the south of Las Palmas. Everybody are in costumes, both the parade attendants and the crowd, and the feeling is very vibrant with music and dancing.

Pasacalle De Carnaval Tradicional / Los Indianos
Imagine La Tomatina but with flour/talk instead of tomatoes, and you have Los Indianos. A several hours flour/talk fight that results in everybody being totally white and even with the sky as one big cloud covering the long street this is celebrated on. The tradition started with people that came back rich and successful to Gran Canaria after living abroad for some years. When they came back they were dressed in all white clothes (to show their success) and their friends and relatives who were meeting them in the harbor were throwing flour on them.

The carnival takes place during 15th of February until 12th of March and to read more about it you can visit the official web site.

Carnaval Gran Canaria

Carnaval clowns, Las Palmas

Carnaval sexy dancers

Carnaval smurfs

Carneval shemales / transvestites

Carneval crowd, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Carnaval Gran Canaria 2011

Carnaval Las Palmas de Gran Canaria 2011

Las Palmas Carneval

Funny transvestites / shemales

Marge Simpson costume, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Los Indianos 2011

Pasacalle de Carnaval Tradicional Gran Canaria Las Palmas

Flour / talk people (in pub) Las Palmas

Gran Canaria to Tenerife

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

I am just back in Gran Canaria after spending a weekend in Tenerife. I had a great time and really enjoyed Tenerife which is more green than Gran Canaria, both in the main city Santa Cruz de Tenerife and in the nature.

One of the interesting things that happened to me was when trekking with a friend in the north west part of the island. The plan was to only trek for one day, but the first afternoon we met a couple we started to talk to on one of the trails. The man told us he is a doctor and that he comes from a small village where he was visiting a patient of him, a kind of hippie. He also tells us that we probably can stay the night with Juan, as the man in the village is called. We continue our walk and ends up in the small village, which a man at the pub later that night tells us only have 10 inhabitants.

After some searching in the village we find Juan and his friends who are visiting him for the weekend. We end up staying at his place and head out the next morning for a walk to a bigger village where the car road starts, managing to hitch hike back to Santa Cruz de Tenerife with only some hour to spare before our ferry back to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria departs.

The most strange thing about this is the story a friend of mine told me when returning to Santa Cruz de Tenerife after the trek. She told me that her parents actually met on the beach in this small village of only 10 people which I had just returned back from. On top of this my friend and her parents lived before in a hippie community in exactly the house where I had spent the night, and her brother was also born there in that house.


There are two ferries from Gran Canaria to Tenerife and the most cheap of them are Armas which takes a little bit more time (2½ hours). For a timetable and prices, visit this web site:

http://www.navieraarmas.com/index.php?id_pagina=1&idioma=en

Standard price for the Armas ferry is about 50 euro for a return ticket, or half the price if you have the Canary Islands residency (NIE), which is very easy to get and costs only 20 euro. The NIE you can use for the rest of your life, or as long as you stay on the Canary Islands.


Finally, here are some pictures from Tenerife:

Tenerife travel with ferry

Tenerife weather by night

Tenerife meat market

Tenerife fish market

Tenerife market with fish

Man reading while sitting on ground bradying- Tenerife

Barefeet guy in tenerife

Tenerife nature

Tenerife waterfall and lagoon

Tenerife rock

Tenerife bar

Tenerife flowers and trees

Teide volcano, Tenerife

Tenerife coastline

Tenerife village

Villa in Tenerife

Tenerife balcony

Tenerife bird

Tenerife beach

Unknown island (peninsula) Tenerife

El Faro sign, Tenerife

Las Palmas de Anaga, Tenerife

Tenerife coast

Tenerife climate

Picture of cloud in Tenerife

Near Taganana, Tenerife

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria by night with ferry

5 days of improvisational travel

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

I just arrived back to Las Palmas after travelling for five days without a plan. It all started with packing my backpack with a borrowed tent, my computer (for work) and some other things, adding up to a total of 14 kg. Five days later I have learned that hitch hiking on Gran Canaria is easy, I have camped under orange trees & at the hippie festival Rainbow Gathering but most of all walked up and down a lot of mountains.

The trekking here is nice with some small villages that does not feel too touristic, some empty trails and a lot of beautiful views. Following the trails is tricky though, as the markings are really bad if even existing, and the markings look the same all over the island which means that you can easily mix up the trails and end up somewhere else than planned. Also the maps are not 100% correct and some trails or even roads are not existing on the maps. The good thing is that you usually end up near a road anyway and can hitch hike to your goal instead, which is also the bad thing here that the roads are everywhere. So don’t expect to be alone after a full day of trekking to a top, instead you will find a big car park and a lot of tourists, with the street sellers that come along with tourism in an area.

I post some pictures below from a borrowed camera as my own camera is in repair at the moment. Also you will find the map I used to trace where I have been these days, although it may not be totally correct or easy to see.

Gran Canaria mapa

Canary trekking

Gran Canaria canary trekking

Gran Canaria trekking

Gui gui beach trekking

GuiGui beach trek

Hippie juice :) with view (+ pepsi)

Doghouse with a view

Almond tree picture

Pot plant, Gran Canaria, Spain

Trapped plants, Gran Canaria, Spain

Rainbow gathering @ Guigui in Gran Canaria, Spain

Roque Nublo, Gran Canaria Spain

Roque Nublo stone

Senderismo Canarias

Senderismo en Gran Canaria

Senderismo Gran Canaria Spain

Tasartico Gran Canaria trekking

Tejeda & Culata, Gran Canaria (Spain)

Travel Grand Canary

Trekking Gran Canaria

Barcelona pictures

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

One week in Barcelona resulted in these pictures. Enjoy!

Barcelona art museum

Barcelona cams & police car (door)

Barcelona city view

Barcelona lights in park

Barcelona okupa y resiste (squat)

Barcelona parrots (near harbor)

Barcelona peace snail (graffiti & tag)

Barcelona Sagrada Família (church)

Barcelona street artist

Barcelona video surveillance and speakers

Barcelona rainbow

Double rainbow in Barcelona

Pictures from Lisbon, Portugal (part 2 of 2)

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Lisbon building sign, Portugal

Lisbon boat race, Portugal
Lisbon boat race (radio controlled boats)

Lisbon police department meeting, Portugal
Lisbon police department meeting

Lisbon tram in midnight, Portugal
Typical tram on leaning narrow road at midnight

Lisbon hills (Belem), Portugal

Statue king Jose Lisbon, Portugal
Statue king Jose

Lonely sock in Lisbon, Portugal
Lonely sock

Honey bee collecting pollen from flower, Lisbon (Portugal)

Praça do Comercio, Lisbon (Portugal)
Praça do Comercio

Machado de Castro elephant statue, Lisbon (Portugal)
Statue made by Joaquim Machado de Castro

Learning portuguese, Lisbon (Portugal)
Learning portuguese

Lisbon jewelry bike (unicycle), Portugal

Tagus river, first sunset 2011 in Lisbon (Portugal)
Tagus river, first sunset 2011

Cova do Vapor

Cova do vapor, Portugal

Cova do Vapor - beach at sunset, Portugal

Cabo da Roca (Portugal’s most western point)

Cabo da Roca, Portugal

Most western point of Portugal, Cabo da Roca (near Sintra)

Sintra

Magical Sintra forest, Portugal
Magical Sintra forest

Parrots as pets at a hotel in Sintra, Portugal

Porto

Porto art, Portugal

Douro river in Porto, Portugal
Douro river

Porto tram (vertical), Portugal
Porto tram

Washing clothes by hand, Porto (Portugal)

Outdoor laundry drying line, Porto (Portugal)

Porto road, Portugal

Porto bridge, Portugal

Guarda

Hand washing technique poster, Guarda (Portugal)
Hand washing technique poster

Sesimbra

Sesimbra rock climbing, Portugal
Rock climbing next to the ocean in beautiful Sesimbra

Sesimbra, Portugal

Cascais

Rock climbing in Portugal - Cascais
Rock climbing in Cascais, again next to the ocean

Cascais climbing Portugal (repelling)
Repelling down to the climbing walls

Pictures from Lisbon, Portugal (part 1 of 2)

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Arco da rua Augusta in sunset light, Lisbon (Portugal)
Arco da rua Augusta in sunset light, first day of 2011

Abandoned house in Lisbon, Portugal
One of many abandoned houses here in Lisbon. All of them closed down from top to bottom to make it difficult to squat. Lisbon is one of the fastest shrinking cities in the world because the inhabitants can not afford to stay.

Assembleia da Republica government building, Lisbon (Portugal)
Assembleia da Republica government building

Balcony clothes line, Lisbon (Portugal)

Bird watching, Lisbon (Portugal)

Castelo Sao Jorge, Lisboa (Portugal)
Castelo Sao Jorge

Free hugs campaign - Abrazos gratis (Lisbon, Portugal)
Free hugs campaign – Abrazos gratis

Ginjinha, Lisbon (Portugal)
Ginjinha

Lisbon alien, Portugal
Lisbon alien

RC boats old guys, Lisbon (Portugal)
RC boats in Belem

Lisbon Christmas santas, Portugal
Lisbon Christmas santas on strike

Lisbon street view, Portugal

Monumento aos Descobrimentos, Santa Maria de Belem statue (Lisbon, Portugal)
Monumento aos Descobrimentos, Santa Maria de Belem

Lisbon police, Portugal
Lisbon police on segways

Lisbon new year eve, Portugal
Lisbon new year eve

Narrow street, Lisbon (Portugal)

Oceanario de Lisboa, Aquarium Lisbon (Portugal)
Oceanario de Lisboa (Lisbon Aquarium)

Sanctuary of Christ the King Lisbon, Portugal
Sanctuary of Christ the King Lisbon

Lisbon café view, Portugal
Café with a view

Lisbon tree shadow, Portugal

Parque Florestal de Monsanto, Lisbon (Portugal)
Parque Florestal de Monsanto

Picture of a balcony in Lisbon, Portugal

Tram Lisbon, Portugal
Typical Lisbon tram

Mosteiro dos Jeronimos fountain, Lisbon (Portugal)
Mosteiro dos Jeronimos fountain

Tagus river, Bateaux Sur le Tage (Lisbon, Portugal)
Tagus river, Bateaux Sur le Tage

The next part can be found here:
Pictures from Lisbon, Portugal (part 2 of 2)

Pictures of Tarifa, Spain

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Here below are some pictures from my first month in Tarifa, Spain. Tarifa is famous mostly for the kitesurfing and along the main street there are almost only shops with kitesurfing equipment and lessons. But Tarifa also has a very beautiful nature around the city, perfect for trekking. Here you can find a lot of interesting plants, animals, incredible scenery, unusual rock formations and a view of Africa with it’s beautiful mountains and city lights. The town is also a meeting point of the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. When you get tired of Tarifa it’s easy and fast to go to Morocco, only 35 minutes with the ferry (cost about 30 euro) and you are there!

Old ruin Tarifa

Kite surfing Tarifa

Ferry from Tarifa, Spain to Tangier, Morocco

Moon over palms in Tarifa

Gym training in Tarifa

Creating hamper baskets in Tarifa

Reef in Tarifa, morning

Funny dog high up

Dog in window, Tarifa

Fish market in Tarifa, Spain

Jesus statue in Tarifa, with view of Morocco (Africa)

Graffiti of a man shitting in the grass, Tarifa

Emergency exit to the beach in Tarifa

Paddlers paddling windsurfing boards in Tarifa

Military ruin in Tarifa, with windsurfing board & paddler

Neck of mountain plate going into the sea, Tarifa

Old castle on top of forest, Tarifa

Seeds in sand dunes, Tarifa (macro low shot)

Sand dunes with borders, Tarifa

Cows in Tarifa landscape

Bull in Tarifa

Sandstone rock (Arenite) in Tarifa

House plants on mini balcony, Tarifa

Seascape, landscape, Tarifa

Windsurfing in storm, Tarifa

Storm seascape, Tarifa

Wind on wave top, Tarifa

Bird on king statue head, Tarifa

St Mary church, Tarifa

Gibraltar pictures

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Here below are some pictures from my last weekend in Gibraltar. Gibraltar is a British overseas territory and the only place in Europe where you can find wild monkeys, the Gibraltar Barbary Macaques, which live on The Rock of Gibraltar. About 230 monkeys live here free, and the higher up in the mountain you find them, the higher up they are in the monkey life hierarchy, and also more aggressive.

Rock of gibraltar, with Gibraltar airport landing strip

Gibraltar industries, Gibraltar port

Bird and cargo ship, Gibraltar view

Funny bird photo picture

Gibraltar strait

Gibraltar coast line with mountains, tilted camera

Baby monkey eating

Cute monkey (baby)

Cargo ships (docked), Gibraltar

Strait of Gibraltar (beautiful weather)

Monkey on rock - Gibraltar view

Picture of monkey

Barbary Macaques monkeys Gibraltar

Gibraltar airport luxery boats

Big waves on coast, Gibraltar

Car tires (hill), Gibraltar

Identical cars on parking lot, Gibraltar

Funny monkey inside city with Christmas decoration

Monkey temple in mountains

Gibraltar weather clouds

Graffiti – street art with a message (part 2 of 2)

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

This is a follow up post to “Graffiti – street art with a message (part 1 of 2)

Graffiti - Milano, Italy

Milano, Italy

Graffiti - Milano, Italy

Milano, Italy

Graffiti - Milano, Italy

Milano, Italy

Graffiti - Milano, Italy

Milano, Italy

Graffiti - Milano, Italy

Milano, Italy

Graffiti - Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria

Graffiti - Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria

Graffiti - Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria

Graffiti - Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria

Graffiti - Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria

Graffiti - Tarifa, Spain

Tarifa, Spain

Graffiti - Thessaloniki, Greece

Thessaloniki, Greece

Graffiti - Thessaloniki, Greece

Thessaloniki, Greece

Graffiti - Thessaloniki, Greece

Thessaloniki, Greece

Graffiti - Thessaloniki, Greece

Thessaloniki, Greece

Graffiti - Thessaloniki, Greece

Thessaloniki, Greece

Graffiti - Thessaloniki, Greece

Thessaloniki, Greece

Graffiti - Torrevieja, Greece

Torrevieja, Spain

Graffiti - Veliko Ternovo, Bulgaria

Veliko Ternovo, Bulgaria

Graffiti - Veliko Ternovo, Bulgaria

Veliko Ternovo, Bulgaria

Graffiti - Veliko Ternovo, Bulgaria

Veliko Ternovo, Bulgaria

Graffiti - Veliko Ternovo, Bulgaria

Veliko Ternovo, Bulgaria

Want more? Start with this web site: http://www.banksy.co.uk

Graffiti – street art with a message (part 1 of 2)

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

For as long as I can remember I have been interested in graffiti and street art. This type of art is not only temporary and anonymous for the people outside the scene,  but it also tells a lot about local culture and current events. Here below are some of the graffiti I have photographed during the last two years.

Graffiti - Athens, Greece

Athens, Greece

Graffiti - Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany

Graffiti - Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa

Graffiti - Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa

Graffiti - Cartagena, Spain

Cartagena, Spain

Graffiti - Cartagena, Spain

Cartagena, Spain

Graffiti - Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark

Graffiti - Crete, Greece

Crete, Greece

Graffiti - Fuengirola, Spain

Fuengirola, Spain

Graffiti - Fuengirola, Spain

Fuengirola, Spain

Graffiti - Granada, Spain

Granada, Spain

Graffiti - Granada, Spain

Granada, Spain

Graffiti - Granada, Spain

Granada, Spain

Graffiti - Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey

Graffiti - Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey

Graffiti - Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey

Graffiti - Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey

Graffiti - Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey

Graffiti - Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey

Graffiti - Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey

Graffiti - Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey

Look out for the follow up post, with graffiti from Milano, Sofia, Tarifa, Thessaloniki, Torrevieja and Veliko Ternovo!

Milano in autumn colors

Friday, November 19th, 2010

On my way to Tarifa I stayed for a week in Milano to revisit this beautiful city and some old friends. The timing was perfect to see how beautiful Milano is in the autumn.

Brown yellow leaves

Milano big leaves on street

Milan street leaves

Green grass pathway Milano

Milano bicycle path

Red brown yellow leaves

Red yellow leaves

Yellow red leaves

Red yellow brown tree

Pyrenees / Alps between Italy, Spain & France

Simon’s Town’s penguins, South Africa

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

On the way to Cape Point or Cape of Good Hope you will most probably pass Simon’s Town (or in Afrikaans “Simonstad”) with it’s small population of less than 3 000 people. This is one of the few places where you can see African penguins free out in the wild. To find them, take a short walk out of town and down to Boulders Beach. Here you can choose to pay around 3 euros to enter the beach, or to go outside the main area where you will also see a few penguins. Some hundred meters away along a path you can also choose to pay to be able to swim with the penguins.

Penguins molt their old feathers and during this period they are less protected against the water. This means that the penguins eat and build fat before the moulting period to be able to be without food while mounting.

Train ride Fish Hoek & Simons Town

Penguins on sea rock with grass in front

Penguins on Boulders Beach Simons Town

Sleeping sun tanning penguin in sand/beach

Penguin moulting, loosing feathers

Bird on Boulders Beach, South Africa

Penguin looking through a fence

Penguins under vehicles warning

Silly signs, train station in South Africa

Disasterpeace psytrance festival near Cape Town, South Africa

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

The psytrance scene in Cape Town is really big since the last 5 years and in the summertime there are arranged festivals every single weekend. I attended the Disasterpeace festival recently with some friends from Cape Town and had a great time! The festival only had 24 hours of music but the quality of the artists were high with a lot of locals and Skazi from Israel as a main act at 6 o’clock in the morning with a 3 hour set.

Disasterpeace psytrance festival/party

Dancers with mountain background

Disasterpeace festival dance floor

Disaster peace set

Sunrise at festival dance floor

Dancefloor spraying water steam on dancers

Dj at sunrise, psytrance festival

Shadow chill out tent at psyfestival

DJ, dancer on stage with hands in air

Happy dancers in dance floor steam

Table Mountain

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

One of the most famous landmarks in Cape Town is Table Mountain. This mountain is located within walking distance from the center and can be seen everywhere in the city. The mountain peak is at 1084 meters over the ocean but the trekking trails start on a rather high altitude. The trek takes about 1-2 hours for the easy path and about 3½ hour for the more advanced path which starts a bit further away from the center. For the more lazy visitors there is also a cable car going up the mountain in 5 minutes while rotating, price about 9 euro each way.

As you can guess by the name of the mountain there is a big 3 kilometer plateau on top of the mountain. When arriving at the top with the cable car or the trail you can walk about 45 minutes to the east to get to the peak, where there is usually no other people as most of them hang around the cable car station, which even has a restaurant and accepts VISA-card.

Also on the top you can find a lot of trekking trails, both shorter and longer. Although you can find simple maps on most of the crossings on the trail it is recommended you buy a more detailed map if you plan to do advanced trekking. Be aware of the fast changing weather and be prepared with a good backpack and a lot of water!

If you are interested in plants or just like beautiful schenery this is a given destination if you are in Cape Town. Besides the really nice views of the town, beaches, mountains, ocean and Robben Island there is also an estimated 2 200 species of plants growing on Table Mountain.

Cloudy mountain gorge

Heavy fog from Table Mountain top

Cape Town beach seen from Table Mountain

Brown dry flower zoomed in

Unknown beautiful macro flower in swamp

Dead beautiful flower ball

Interesting rock shapes on Table Mountain

Misty field on mountain top

Pouring water from mountain top

Purple trumpet ball flower

Red green flower town background

Red yellow mountain flower macro

Robben Island Cape Town

Rock with town view

Sandstone rocks Cape Town Table Mountain

Running water from mountain top spring

Table Mountain peak Maclears Beacon 1086 meters

Tree reflections in mountain lake

Water basins on mountain rock

White bells flower on mountain

White flower grass

White yellow dry flower on mountain top

Water dam Cape Town

View over Lions Head Cape Town

Yellow brown flower bouquet mountain

Yellow flower living on mountain rock

Yellow flowers with mountain view

Yellow green flower on mountain

Rain water from mountain top

4 tree shadows

Lizard looking out from mountain top

Dramatic mountain clouds South Africa

Humpback whales outside Cape Town

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

2 hours drive from Cape Town I found the perfect whale spotting place, where they come just next to the coast if you are there when it’s season.

Humpback whale outside Cape Town

Humpback Whale near coast of Cape Town

Humpback Whale in South Africa

40 hours in Ponta Do Ouro

Friday, October 29th, 2010

For the trip to Ponta D’Ouro from Maputo you should take the ferry to Catembe (20 cent) which takes about 10 minutes, and from Catembe the minibus (4 euro). Be aware that it can take time to fill the minibus, and although they tell you the trip is about 2,5-3,5 hours it will probably take longer. The road is really bad, mostly dirt road or sand, and if you decide to drive yourself you will need a 4 wheel drive and a good map. For me, because of missed mini buses, problem with driver, flat tire and police bribes the trip took about 8-9 hours from Maputo.

Arriving just when the sunlight is gone, the driver takes me the whole way to a scuba place I found on the Internet in advance. There I am lucky enough to be able to book a scuba dive for the next morning (because of low season) and also get a recommendation for a nearby hostel with really nice owner and workers. The first evening I spend in their company and also checks out a restaurant for an incredible sea food pasta.

The next morning I wake up 6:30 for my scuba dive. The dive is good, just me and another guy that joins a scuba diving club traveling here from South Africa. When trying to return to land from the furious sea with huge waves, one of the motors don’t start and on top of this the radio is dead. After a while we gets rescued by a boat passing by and they drop us off near the shore.

In the afternoon I take a walk away from the normal beach along the coast and a rocky almost hidden path (towards South Africa). After a while I arrive at a beautiful misty beach with sand dunes, where I am totally alone and without earlier foot prints. I soon realize the mist is not mist at all, but instead sand blowing in the air which I also feel on my skin when the wind picks up in speed now and then.

I take a long walk, running up and down the sand dunes and playing around, finding a water snake plus hatched turtle eggs. To have a big chance of seeing turtles I should have been here some weeks later though when the turtles lay their eggs.

Back in town I walk around the small huts in the alley behind the local outdoor market. After a while I decide for a restaurant with excellent food, and end up spending the evening there talking to people mostly from Maputo and Tanzania.

The next morning I go up at 7 to do some wave surfing for the first time in my life. The board I rented for 10 euro the last evening, to be able to surf before the surf shop opens in the morning. The waves are perfect, which not my technique is of course. But a good start and now I want more! One of the reasons why I move to Spain in November is actually to learn how to surf.

When I have no more strength to fight the strong current I end my surfing for this time, moving on to the minibus where I write this blog entry while waiting for the minibus to fill up. Little do I know it will take 5 hours for the bus to get filled and start the journey.

Boat Maputo to Zitundo, Mozambique

Zitundo boats

Zitundo stranded boat

Mozambique packed/crowded minibus taxi

Minibus 4-wheel  drive punctured

Fruit stands under tree shadow

Ponta do Ouro sand road

Cliff passage Ponta do Ouro

Crab on cliffs (Mozambique)

Deserted empty beach - Ponta d'ouro

Strong waves & current in Mozambique

Blowing sand storm - Mozambique

Sand dune - Ponta do Ouro

Ponta do Ouro turtle beach

Unknown object on beach

Water snake on beach

Water snake shallow water

Water snake in wave

Desert flower beach

Footsteps in sand beach

Ponta do Ouro market

Simple Mozambique houses/sheds

Ponta do Ouro backstreet

Walking chicken with her children

Mozambique boy with car toy

Woman carrying on head

American mine sweepers in Mozambique

Surfing board room

Point D’Ouro facts:

When I write this the town have got only one ATM-machine, although so far it only takes some specific cards so bring cash to be sure to have money.

Minibuses leave from/to Maputo at least two times every day and costs 4 euro. Be prepared for one of the most uncomfortable bus trip in your life, or one of the best, depending on how good seat you get and what your idea of fun is. Also bring food and water because there is no place on the way to buy this.

What else to do in Point D’Ouro:

Swim with dolphins (90% hit rate, book in advance)

Fish market in Maputo, Mozambique

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Wow. I went to the fish market in Maputo last week to get some lunch and got a really nice over all experience. I can not enough recommend this place! The fish market is located near the beach in Maputo so you get a nice walk first to get there. Then, when you enter the place, you see fish everywhere and in all different shapes. Prices (without trying to bargain) was 2 euro for 1 kg of clams, 2 euro for 1 kilo of crab, and 2 euro for ½ kilo of tiger fish. All the fish is incredibly fresh and some is still alive, like the clams and the crabs.

After selecting what you want to eat you can, instead of taking it home, go to one of the nearby restaurants and ask them to cook this. The price for this is about 2 euro per dish, and if you want rice or salad to the dishes it will cost you extra. I can truly say this was one of the best food I have eaten in my life, specially the fresh crab. Because I love sea food I will really miss this place when I move away from Mozambique.

A tip is to go into the kitchen when they cook your food, both because it is interesting and also to see that they actually cook the food you brought and not some older fish to save money.

Maputo fish market (with Barracudas)

Red fish at Maputo fish market

Clam seller, Maputo fishmarket

Living clams squirting water

Huge sized tiger prawn

Raw tiger prawn with man holding

Raw tiger prawns in bucket

Living King crabs

Fresh squid octopus, Maputo fish market

Preparing seafood in kitchen

Clam soup (mussels)

Fresh crab plate

Grilled tiger prawns

Kruger park pictures (2nd part)

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

Here are the rest of my pictures from Kruger Park, as promised:

Kudu staring at me

Leopard up in tree - Kruger Park

Male antelopes in Kruger Park

Male antelopes eating

Digged fence to Marloth Park

Digged fence to Marloth Park

Kudu in Marloth Park

Baboon walking on trail

Olifant luiperd sign, street names in Marloth Park

Street names in Marloth Park

Ostridge in Kruger Park

Plant twirling around tree - Marloth Park

Kigelia, or "Sausage tree" (Kruger Park)

Kigelia, or "Sausage tree"

Warthog staring from close distance

South African Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera plant

South African cotton plant

Spiders living together in community nest

The only spiders in the world living in a community

Storks and hippos

Stork walking searching for fish

Tall giraffe next to tree

Termite stack with butterflies

Termite stack with butterflies inside

Tree inside termite stack

Tree inside termite stack = fast food

Tree with animal track

Unknown bird in Kruger Park

Unknown flying insect - Kruger Park

Green grass because of water leak

Green grass because of water leak

Wildebeests & zebras on savanna

Zebras and wildebeests - Kruger Park

Zebras and wildebeests together on savanna

Kruger park pictures (+ bonus)

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Here below are some of the pictures I took at the Kruger park this weekend. Even better then the “park” was the area where I was living, Marloth Park. There I could walk around freely and having animals all around me, as near as 2-3 meters sometimes. Examples of what I found was baboon, impala, wildebeest, giraffe, hippo, elephant, kudu, ostrich, warthog, stork, zebra and impala (a lot). In the nights we took a dip in the pool and then barbecued to the sound of roaring lions.

South African border "Jeppes Reef" border control

Alien looking Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera cactus from inside, with torns

Animal skeleton up in tree

Baboon sitting with impala antelopes

Baby bushbuck impala klipspringer animal

Birds in foreground with hippos in water

Blue wildebeast kruger park

Buffalo and birds drinking from water hole - Kruger Park

Curious giraffe looking at me in Marloth Park

Fishes in dried out lake, Kruger Park

Fresh animal poo shit track

Giraffe eating leaves from tree

Giraffe head with tree frame

Wild giraffe looking at the camera

Giraffe profile

Hippo (hidden) with eyes in water

Hippo group in water

Hippos in water under tree

Impala antelope looking at a giraffe

Impalas in the Kruger Park

Kruger Park bird with bended nose

Dried out lake (ground) in Kruger Park

Kruger Park elephant

Kruger Park - hippos on land

Kudu - Marloth Park

Kudu eating grass from ground

Kudu profile (Marloth Park)

This is the end of part 1 of the pictures, I will try to post
the next (and final) part tomorrow!

Adventures in Bulgaria

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

I have earlier written about the beautiful Bulgarian nature and have also been trekking a lot in the mountains around Sofia. Lately the weather have been really good here which have given me the opportunity also to do a lot of outdoor sports, instead of the indoor climbing I mostly did during the colder part of the year. Some weeks ago for example I was to the opening of the rafting season in Bulgaria. Last weekend, I was checking out the climbing sites in and around Plovdiv. One of them is just 50 meters from the town walking area, and another was about 30 minutes drive from the city. The common thing with them all is that the level of climbing is very advanced, which can be one of the reasons that most of the best climbers in Bulgaria is from Plovdiv and it’s climbing club with only about 10 people in it.

Check out the pictures below from the weekend:

Vertical crimp climbing Plovdiv

Climber and belayer

Plovdiv tepeta climbing

Two climbers on rock wall

Homemade bridge over river

Climber preparing jump

Bulgarian rock climber

Hanging climber

Lead climber

Brjanovshtitza climber

Toprope climbing high

Climbing dog

Climber with hand chalk

Climber handhold

Climber with forest background

Climber and   trees

Curved climber

Climber clipping

Brjanovshtitza climbing

Brjanovshtitza rock view

Brjanovshtitza climbing rock wall

Climbing rope foot edging

Climbing hut on mountain wall

Climber gravical high vertical

Climbing silhouette

Photographing the Roma people of Serbia

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Last week I was in Serbia to take photographs for an article about the Roma people living there. This was a great experience which included meeting a lot of interesting people who was living in these camps or trying to help them.

The main problem the Roma people in Serbia has today is that they have no type of identification. There is a possibility to go to another town to get this, but the trip plus the cost for the identification can be as much as 150 euro per person, which is of course impossible to save up to when you don’t even have money for your daily food. Without identification you are not allowed to get an apartment, hospital treatment or to work, which means no income. A lot of the people collects and returns paper though which barely gives enough money for food. The rest lives from food found in the trash.

The second problem is that the Roma people have no fixed place to stay and are unwanted everywhere. A lot of them move to Belgrade in the belief that it is easier for them to find a job there. Some tries to go to other countries with trucks, paying with their last money/jewelry/possessions, to find themselves get thrown back to Serbia again. When they arrive they get left outside by the police (that follows them from the country throwing them out) outside the Belgrade airport with no money, no information and no idea where to go. Most end up on the streets and after some time hopefully move into one of the about 150 Roma camps in Belgrade, which is houses of cardboard built up on a trash yard. After some years the government will destroy the camp to be able to build on that ground, and you will have to start from the beginning again.

Most of the Roma children don’t go to school because of the parents needing them to work instead, begging or collecting paper. On top of this they can’t afford to pay for the food the children need to buy if going to school. Also, if the children is born or have lived the main part of their life in another country they can’t speak or understand the Serbian language which will disable them in school.

The pictures below is from one of the camps I visited, this one in Belgrade. The spirit of all the people I met was very high and everyone being very positive and warm, although they have been informed that their camp will be totally destroyed to the ground within two months because it disturbs the view of a newly built modern house with expensive apartments, where by the way their old camp were placed before getting destroyed. They will probably not be told the exact date and the government will not allow photographers or other media people on the place when this happens.

kid girl begging for money

romani gypsy paper collecters

gypsy camp rooftops

gypsy house and skyscraper

The old camp was destroyed to make place for the building in the background. In two months time this camp will be destroyed for creating a better view for the people living in the new building.. No replacement living place will be offered to the people living in the camp.

gypsy houses and trash

young child walking in gypsy camp

gypsy kid with beer bottle

gypsy mother and son

gypsy romani housewife

happy romani friends

kids, mother washing in background

roma children in gypsy camp

roma kids play fighting

romani camp belgrade

romani children belgrade

romani cute girl

romani gypsy mother

romani kids playing in backyard

romani kids serbia

romani woman meeting

romani woman washing in camp

romani woman

old gypsy roma woman

Rafting opening season in Kresna

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Just back to Bulgaria and the first weekend happen to be the opening season of rafting, great! One of my friends was earlier in the Bulgarian rafting team and last weekend I joined her to do the first rafting of the year. Below you can see the pictures from these days.

Microphones in mountain

Trekking in the beautiful nature with mountains

Blurred rafters below

Descent into raft

Green kayak in stream

Kayak head down

Overview from mountain

Paddling rafters

Raft in stream

Rafters far below

Rafters with green nature

Rafters paddling

Rafting for beginners (lesson)

Rafting lesson

Rafting seen from above

Stream

Yellow kayak in stream

Trees in different colors

Cloud and trees

Green salamander (amphibian)

Veliko Ternovo + status update

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

I realize it was a while since i wrote here. I’ve now moved back to Sofia about two weeks ago and have done a lot of things, but most of all, spending time with my friends here. On top of this one friend from Milan came to visit Bulgaria, and we rented a car for a day trip to Veliko Ternovo. This is the old capital of Bulgaria and a very beautiful picturesque city. Below you will find some of my pictures from this trip.

Tomorrow I will go on a trip to visit friends & family in Italy, Sweden & Denmark. When I return to Sofia I will write a blog post with tips on how to pack your travel bag small & efficient.

Veliko Ternovo river

Veliko Ternovo - house near river

Triple locked box in Veliko Ternovo

Blocked window in Veliko Ternovo

Not so homeless dog in Veliko Ternovo

Balcony with clothes in Veliko Ternovo

Interesting view in Veliko Ternovo

Different place to have a WC - Veliko Ternovo

Beautiful view in Veliko Ternovo

Sunset - end of car trip to Veliko Ternovo

New pictures from Istanbul

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

I have been walking a lot, doing the last things needed on my list here in Istanbul, before moving back to Sofia in a week or two from now. Here are my pictures from this week, enjoy.

Bosphorus at night time

Bosphorus at night time

People near Bosphorus

People near Bosphorus

Cleaners playing football in a park

Cleaners playing football in a park

Crowded underground walkway near Galata Bridge

Crowded underground walkway near Galata Bridge

Egyptian spice market

Egyptian spice market

Father and son washing feets outside a mosque

Father and son washing feets outside a mosque

Fishing on the Galata bridge with a mosque in the background

Fishing on the Galata bridge with a mosque in the background

Old couple looking out over the "Golden horn"

Old couple looking out over the "Golden horn"

Homeless cat in a small unnamed park

Homeless cat in a small unnamed park

People taking care of homeless cats

People taking care of homeless cats

Homeless dog sleeping on a bench

Homeless dog sleeping on a bench

Istanbul fishmarket near the shore of Bosphorus

Istanbul fishmarket near the shore of Bosphorus

Kiz Kulesi Leanders Tower - symbol of Istanbul - with light house and bridge in the background

Kiz Kulesi Leanders Tower - one of the symbols of Istanbul - with light house and bridge in the background

Ocean of fish from Bosphorus (at the fish market)

Ocean of fish from Bosphorus (at the fish market)

School children playing basket ball in a school yard

School children playing basket ball in a school yard

Sheep heads and brain at a food market in the Asian side of Istanbul

Sheep heads and brain at a food market in the Asian side of Istanbul

Man with simit bread in the Sultan Ahmed area

Man with simit bread in the Sultan Ahmed area

Beautiful building inside the Topkapı Palace

Beautiful building inside the Topkapı Palace

Ottoman Harem inside the Topkapı Palace

Ottoman Harem inside the Topkapı Palace

Man squatting outside the Topkapı Palace

Man squatting outside the Topkapı Palace

Turkish hamam (bath house)

Turkish hamam (bath house)

Roof of another Turkish hamam

Roof of another Turkish hamam

Turkish man selling shoes on the street

Turkish man selling shoes on the street

Turkish men on a coffea & cigarette break

Turkish men on a coffee & cigarette break

Dog upside down laying on his back (wagging his tail, so not dead)

Dog upside down laying on his back (wagging his tail, so not dead)

People washing their feets outside the Blue Mosque

People washing their feets outside the Blue Mosque

Istanbul – the first week

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Today I have been in Istanbul for a week and have already seen and done a lot here. Here are some of my first impressions of this amazing city:

* The city is knows as “the 7 hills” for a reason. You spend most of the days walking up and down when you move around here. Moving around is kind of easy with metro, bus, tram, shared taxi, normal taxi, funicular, boat and so on. The prices are also low and you can get it even lover by buying a metal thing that you charge and use on all kind of transport (except taxi).

* People are really helpful here. On the way here for example (with bus from Sofia) we crossed the border. An old man had 5 bags filled with cheese and some fine wines/champagne. Because it’s not allowed to bring food into the country the custom wanted to throw everything away. Everyone, and I mean everyone, on the bus helped the man in different ways, and after some phone calls from some of them this was fixed and the man could keep his bags.

* Although most people here are really helpful, there are of course also people trying to trick you (as everywhere else). For example in the restaurants when you don’t speak the language.

* If you buy a Turkish mobile card (sim card) you need to register the phone if it’s not bought in Turkey. Normally the people who sell the cards don’t tell you this (see above). This means that after some days your mobile will be locked and you need to go to a certain mobile store to unlock it and buy a new sim card. The official explanation for this is because terrorist use mobiles to detonate bombs, although some people say it’s because they want to sell more Turkish mobile phones.  There are no problem with foreign sim cards though. Also, it’s not allowed to talk in mobile phones on the bus.

* The food here are a little bit more spicy than in a lot of other European countries (finally!). If you are a vegetarian you will have problems because most things you eat here include meat. If you love kebab this is the place for you, as there are a kebab place every 20 meters. The kebab meat is usually of very good quality but there is no sauce as most people in the rest of Europe is used to get.

* The store areas are usually grouped in different categories. For example there is one road with only music stores, another one with only water sport stores and so on.

* Prices here are higher than in Sofia, almost the same as in northern Europe, and some things are even more expensive. If you know where to go you can find cheap and good food for around 4-5 euro though. At the markets you can bargain and lower the price to about half of the start price.

* The Turkish language are somewhat difficult to learn but not impossible. About half of the young people here speak English, and almost nobody of the middle age or older people speak or even understand it.

* Movies at the cinema are in original language, although TV is mostly dubbed.

* Guys kiss each other on the cheeks here. Also you can’t enter a club if you are only guys, you need at least one girl to be let inside.

* A lot of web sites are blocked from Turkey. This includes for example YouTube, which you can “unblock” with a special program installed. It’s still not possible to upload movies though.

* Everything here is called something with “Turk”, for example Turk Cola, Turkcell (mobile company), Powerturk (Music TV-channel) and so on.

* There are a lot of homeless dogs and cats here, the same as there were in Sofia. Also homeless people of course, as the minimum salary here is about 120 euro which is far from what you need to live here.

* It rains a lot in this period of year, that is it rains several days of the week, not so much at one time though

* You never get bored here as there is always things happening around you with this amount of people on the streets at any hour.

Man polishing shoes

Man selling grenade apples

Boy with doves

Istanbul - old tram

Long ladder

Istanbul houses

Homeless cats

Istanbul - bazar

Planting

Man washing feets

Mosque

Sultanahmet

Sultanahmet - Blue mosque

Outside praying

Parrots in tree

Istanbul - European side

Istanbul boats

Fishers on bridge in Istanbul

Mosque at nighttime

Goran Bregović in Sofia, New Year’s Eve

Friday, January 1st, 2010

New Year’s Eve in pictures

The mountains and caves around Sofia

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

I love trekking and when I have not been exploring my new home town Sofia I have done trips to the mountains. Two beautiful places that I want to tell you about are Lakatnik and Skakavitsa.

Lakatnik is about one hour outside of Sofia and there is a train stop which is perfect to start your trekking from. You will cross a bridge over the Iskar river and then walk up through a beautiful forest with an incredible panoramic view. After about one hour you reach one of the many caves you can find here. These natural caves date back to around 130,000 BP and have different difficult levels that suit both beginners and experienced cavers. If you don’t like cave’s (or bats) you can just enjoy the fascinating view! This mountain also has some perfect walls for climbing if you know what you are doing.

Lakatnik - crossing over the Iskar river

Lakatnik - crossing over the Iskar river

Locals we met on the way walking up the mountain

Locals we met on the way walking up the mountain

The river again following the mountain

The river again following the mountain

One of the Lakatnik caves with an incredible view

One of the Lakatnik caves with an incredible view

Portrait photographing on high heights

Portrait photographing on high heights

Beautiful view over the foggy forest

Beautiful view over the foggy forest

Skakavista is two hours from Sofia and is most easy to reach by car. If you don’t have a car available you can also take two buses to get there. Skakavista is perfect for a weekend trip as there is a big hut up in the mountain (within 1-2 hours walk) where you can stay if the weather is not suited for tenting. This place is most famous because of it’s beautiful waterfall and on the other side of the mountain it’s lakes. In the winter the waterfall is turned into ice and great for ice climbing. If you are here in the summer you can instead take a dip in the small river that goes down the mountain.

Skakavitsa - view of one of the mountains

Skakavitsa - view of one of the mountains

Ice on the mountain wall

Ice on the mountain wall

Beautiful ice formations in the river

Beautiful ice formations in the river

More river and ice

More river and ice

Skakavitsa river coming from the waterfall

Skakavitsa river coming from the waterfall

The Skakavitsa waterfall, with periodical ice breaks

The Skakavitsa waterfall, with periodical ice breaks

Both these places are great both for beginners and advanced trekkers because you can find varied level of difficult tracks.