Posts tagged ‘roadtrip’

Spending the summer in Central America

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

I’m off to Central America to do an improvised road trip for a few months during the summer vacation. It’s possible I will do a few updates on the web site during the trip, but if not you know where I am and will probably at least do a shitty short recap after the trip together with some thematic photographic blog posts whenever I stay on one place long enough to have time to put it together.

Have a great summer!

Brussels airport - sunrise

Brussels airport - sunrise

Brussels airport - gate with sunrise

The difference between “Travel” and “Travel”

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

There are so many different ways to travel and every traveler have their own preferences and travel style. During the last years I have mainly traveled in two different ways:

Living like a local

This is what I do most of the time. I move to a city, find an apartment or room and live for several months in that city like a local. Now and then I set out on road trips to explore the country further.

Usually I get local friends which become my “base” group of people I hang out with. I meet new people now and then but the base group is important to build a relationship and a “normal” life, as well as getting past the standard subjects of discussion. These people are much more difficult to leave than the ones you meet while being on the road.

The “living like a local” approach is really convenient because this allows me to have a place to store my things and to relax between the explorations. At the same time I have the time and the possibilities to really get a feeling of the culture and every day life of the city, something that is difficult on short travels or while carrying a backpack.

Some examples of these “micro lives” I have lived are:

Party life in Berlin
Working with scuba diving in Egypt
Surfing in Gran Canaria
Outdoor sports in Bulgaria

Being on the road

Whenever I have a vacation I like to be on the road. This should ideally be in a period where I don’t need to check my mail or answer the phone. The trip usually starts with a vague plan: either just a starting point or an idea of a goal point, but with no guarantee or requirement to reach it. This is total freedom for me, just going with the flow and improvising depending on the events that happen on the way, from moment to moment. A perfect way to do it is to hitch hike, making it impossible to know your next destination or who will be the next person you will meet. When you don’t plan, you meet amazing people and open your eyes even wider to new small realities hiding in this big world.

One negative thing with being on the road is that you need to carry all your belongings with you at all time. Because I am traveling with everything I own in my backpack this can be inconvenient and take away a bit of the feeling of freedom that this travel style is otherwise giving. Whenever possible I try to leave the things that I don’t need at a friends place if I know I will return to the same country after being on the road, or if I know I don’t need the things in my near future. When being on the road the ideal is to only carry clothes for the current weather in the area/s where you are passing by. Also there is no need for a lot of the things that you use in your every day life living like a local. The amount of packing should be connected with how far you will travel, and how. If you travel short distances from time to time and with no plan to cover a big distance, then that hammock can be worth packing. But if you are moving on every day with the idea just to see how far you can get then only pack the most life saving things and put away your comfort zone for a while.

Another big difference between living like a local and being on the road is that on the road you meet new people all the time. This is exciting for a period of time but tiring in the long run. If you travel together with somebody the situation is more easy as you have the option from day to day to either spend time together or to meet new people, as well as taking a timeout from each other. When you travel with somebody you have the opportunity to share all the experiences  as well as having a person that will understand what you have been through after the trip is finished. If you instead travel alone you can enjoy making all the decisions by yourself and being totally self dependent with unlimited possibilities to improvisation. I try to mix them to have a nice balance.

Examples of excellent “road trips” were:

Living and traveling in Greece
Road trip to Swaziland
Road trip through Israel, Palestine & Jordan

So what is your travel profile?

Travel style: living like a local (well, penthouse local in this case)

Travel style: being on the road (sleeping in hammock)

Ayia Napa pictures

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

While a friend came to Cyprus to visit me we took a road trip to Ayia Napa for two days. Ayia Napa is a more touristic city then Limassol where I am currently living, but with a really nice beach and harbor.

Here are the few pictures I took from the trip to Ayia Napa:

Ayia Napa beach

Ayia Napa swimming

Ayia Napa boat

Ayia Napa coffee and palms

Ayia Napa port

Ayia Napa fishermen

Ayia Napa monastery

Ayia Napa children play

Ayia Napa solar power

Ayia Napa ferris wheel

Ayia Napa desert and chess

Cyprus pictures

Monday, March 19th, 2012

I recently rented a car here on Cyprus and did a road trip with a friend to explore the island. Cyprus is very small and it takes about 4 hours to cross the island with a car, so during the 3 days we were on the road we saw most of the country. The views here are very varied with coastline, mountains, small villages, medieval ruins and big national parks. Here are some of the pictures of Cyprus from this trip:

Cyprus tractor
Somewhere in the mountains on a random detour

Cyprus peninsula
Peninsula near Polis & Venus bath

Polis Cyprus
Again near Polis

Cyprus food
Plate with mixed seafood

Cyprus shoes
Lonely shoe on a beach near Polis

Cyprus harbor
Polis harbor in sunrise after waking up in the car nearby

Cyprus fish boats

Cyprus sailboats

Cyprus road
Finally up in the mountains again

Cyprus mountains
Near an UN area up in the mountains

Troodos mountains

Bulgarian Martenitsa in Cyprus
Perfect place on a 1170 meter mountain peak to leave a Bulgarian martenitsa

Mount Olympus
Part of Mount Olympus

Priest

TRNC mosque
Mosque in TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus)

Turkish northern Cyprus
Near the border of the Turkish northern Cyprus (TRNC)

Occupy buffer zone
Occupy buffer zone, near border of TRNC

TRNC Cyprus
Again in TRNC

Car map
Car travel map with car keys and coffee

Potamia ruin
Medieval ruins in Potamia, near Polis

TRNC flag
TRNC flag on a hill in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Caterpillar Cyprus
Hill in Potania with thousands of caterpillars

Potamia Cyprus
Again Potamia

Stavravouni monastery view
Stavravouni monastery view, near Larnaca

Cape greko
Arriving to Cape Greko in perfect timing for the sunset

Cape Greco Cyprus
Again Cape Greko (or Cavo Greco) near Ayia Napa

Map Cyprus
Trying to understand where we have been, only managing to pinpoint about half of the places

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

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

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

Camping on Gran Canaria

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Last weekend (in double meaning) on Gran Canaria I spent camping on a hidden nudist beach with a friend. Because of the easter holidays just starting the beach was full of tents and people. What started as a problem when our tent broke ended up as a perfect solution sleeping under the stars and full moon, accompanied by the sound of the waves and guitar music.

Although most people don’t know it, there are some free government campings on Gran Canaria. To find them you need to know where they are because there are no signs for them or even information on the governments official web site.

If you instead decide to camp in the nature there is a fee of some hundred euros if the police finds you, which means that most people doing this option choose a hidden place for the tent.

In the case you are camping near the ocean, have in mind the high tide which peaks at 12 o’clock in the morning and at full moon.

Nudist beach in Gran Canaria

Camping en Gran Canaria

Camping on Gran Canaria

Full moon Gran Canaria

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