Ankor på vift

A freedom-oriented travel blog

Author: Ulrika (page 1 of 18)

Bayern is not boring at all

When we last left you, we just arrived to Bayern (Bavaria) to get a few days of rest after our adventures in Austria. We haven’t felt any urge of going here and, quite frankly, we have always imagined that this place would be boring. How wrong we were, Bayern is colorful, clean, friendly and there are lots of interesting places, especially in the region capital Munich. We were just here for a transit before visiting our friend outside of Nuremberg, so we have to go back here some day and explore this region more. However, we did make use of the time we spent in both Weilheim in Obernbayer and Munich.


När vi senast lämnade er så hade vi precis åkt mot Bayern för att få några dagars vila efter våra äventyr i Österrike. Vi har aldrig känt någon längtan att åka till Bayern och vi har helt uppriktigt alltid haft föreställningen att denna region skulle vara tråkig. Hur fel har vi inte haft egentligen? Bayern är färgstarkt, rent, vänligt och det finns många intressanta platser, särskilt i huvudstaden München, att uppleva. Vi var bara här för att mellanlanda innan vi besökte vår vän som bor utanför Nürnberg. Vi behöver nog åka tillbaka hit en dag och utforska denna region mer. Vi utnyttjade dock den tid vi spenderade i både Weilheim i Obernbayer och München väl.

Weilheim in Oberbayern, a small town between Munich and Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bayern.

It was perfect for us to make a stop and rest after a week exploring the alps – climbing, hiking and mountain-biking.

Weilheim in Oberbayern is a place where sad faces show up if you are speeding. Thanks to the car who saw us waiting to take a picture and increased its speed just so we could get a sad emoji on photo! The car immediately slowed down after the sign, so thank you 🙂

We just relaxed here and tried out new settings on our camera.

The best Turkish kebab we’ve eaten so far can be found in Weilheim.

And good ice-cream. They had ice-cream spaghetti bolognese on their menu and it was quite popular among the smaller customers.

The graffiti is more like paintings here and it is a cozy town to spend a few days in. However, three days was enough for us and we started our journey to the north.

But first exploring the capital of the free state of Bayern – Munich. The first records of settlements in Bayern is from the formation of a duchy in the 6th century (AD). Then history has taken Bayern from a duchy, through the Roman Empire, to an independent kingdom and to a powerless state in the German federation that would like to become independent again.

We had four hours in Munich so we just let google maps guide us to interesting stuff near the train station and we got to see amazing architecture and walk in to a nude beach in the middle of the city. But first buildings, and we’ve stuffed cool buildings in a slide show below.

 

The New Town Hall is an impressive Gothic building at the Marienplatz in Munich. Fun fact about Marienplatz: The square was named after the Mariensäule, a Marian column erected in 1638 to celebrate the end of Swedish occupation.

The New Hall opened its doors In 1874, because the local government had grown so big that they no longer could fit all the people in the old one. They choose a neo-gothic design in memory of the bourgeois high season during the Gothic period. Below is a video of the place.

We visited the English garden, which is situated in the middle of the capital of Bayern.

The English garden was created in 1789 by Sir Benjamin Thompson and later Count Rumford for Prince Charles Theodore, Elector of Bayern.
The English garden in Munich is counted as one of the largest urban public parks in the world.

Its a huge park and our mission was to get to the Chinese tower in the middle of the park.

But keep your eyes open where you go. We accidentally walked right in to a nude beach and it took a few seconds for us to realize why we suddenly only saw naked people around us.

The Chinese tower. The original was built in 1790, but that was destroyed during the second world war. However, the community built an exact copy to replace the burnt down pieces after the war ended.

We took a break at the beer garden next to the tower and did what the locals do.

Eating pretzels and drinking a beer.

We saw a lot of men walking around in their lederhosen, so we had to take a sneak picture.

Munich, or Bayern was surprisingly cool to us. We didn’t have so high expectations beforehand of this place, so we were pleasantly surprised of how vibrant and interesting Munich felt. Next time we have to stay longer than four hours here and do more exploring. Look at this bicycle guide, don’t you just want to hop on one of those and let you be guided around Munich by them?

Our friend waited for us in Bamberg so we jumped on a Flixbus, our new favorite bus company in Europe – so cheap and easy to get around Europe when you use their service. We can highly recommend them 🙂

The Corax Conference 2017

Corax Conference 2017 blew us away! Ever since we heard about the 2016 conference, we knew that we wanted to attend this year’s version and we bought our tickets before the first speakers even were announced. When the first line of speakers finally were revealed, we knew that we were in for a treat. Corax conference aimed to cover most viewpoints existing under the big umbrella called Libertarianism and we think that they did a really good job attracting diverse speakers from different standpoints. Most interesting was to hear from Professor Hans-Herman Hoppe and his clarification of his and his predecessor Murray Rothbard’s visions of Libertarianism.  We highly recommend purchasing a remote ticket so you can listen to his and the rest of the speakers talks from the Corax conference.

However, the most controversial talk of the conference was surprisingly Jeff Deist’s speech, which was broadcasted from Mises University, and we can’t understand why really. We can highly recommend listening to Tom Woods show episode 966, where you’ll find the whole speech and good points from Tom Woods, really explaining why this speech is nothing more than highlighting the importance of decentralization.   

Ulrika also thought that talking to and listening to Julie Borowski was especially fun, since she has been following Julies work on Youtube for several years now. That’s why she gets the honor of being on the first picture in this blog post. More about the conference can be read in the figure texts.  We had a fantastic week on Malta, so thanks to Bubb.la/Cor.ax for making this happen!


Coraxkonferensen 2017 fick oss att tappa andan av glädje och lärdomar. Ända sedan vi hörde om 2016 års konferens visste vi att vi ville delta i årets version och därför köpte vi våra biljetter innan de första talarna ens hade tillkännagivits. När den första raden av talare äntligen presenterades visste vi att vi skulle få vara med om en enastående tillställning. Coraxkonferensen syftar till att täcka de flesta delarna under det stora paraplyet som kallas Libertarianism och vi anser att de gjorde ett riktigt bra jobb. Höjdpunkten var att höra från professor Hans-Herman Hoppe där hans förtydligande av hans och hans föregångare Murray Rothbards visioner av Libertarianismen var väldigt klargörande. Vi rekommenderar starkt att du köper en fjärrbiljett så att du kan lyssna på Hans-Herman Hoppe och resten av föreläsningarna från Coraxkonferensen.

Den mest kontroversiella föreläsningen på konferensen var överraskande nog Jeff Deists tal som sändes från Mises Universitetet. Vi kan starkt rekommendera att lyssna på avsnitt 966 av “the Tom Woods show” där du hittar hela talet, samt bra poänger från Tom Woods, som verkligen förklarar varför detta tal inte är något annat än ett framhävande av vikten av decentralisering.

Ulrika uppskattade också att få chansen att prata med och lyssna på Julie Borowski, eftersom hon har följt Julies arbete på Youtube i flera år nu. Därför får Julie äran att vara med på den första bilden i det här blogginlägget :). Mer om konferensen kan läsas i figurtexterna eller lyssna på sammanfattningar från både radio bubb.la och radio frihetligt. Vi hade iallafall en otroligt bra vecka på Malta, så stort tack till Bubb.la/Cor.ax för anordnandet av detta!

Julie Borowski, one of the speakers that Ulrika was looking forward to listen to. Her Libertarian Youtube-channel is funny and makes Libertarian viewpoints accessible on topics that are discussed today. Libertarianism in social media was her main topic during this conference.

Sofia and Martin, the founders of bubb.la and Cor.ax, made this conference happen. There aren’t any conferences in the world that gather speakers from such different stand-points that can be found under the big umbrella called Libertarianism, so we didn’ẗ want to miss this for the world.

The main speaker was the legendary Professor Hans-Herman Hoppe, a rare sight on the international speaker scene. We feel blessed to have had the opportunity to listen to his current viewpoint.

Adam Kokesh, the NOT president of the USA 2020, was also a speaker on the conference. We had the pleasure of listening to Adam last year on the Anarchapulco conference in Acapulco. He will do a European tour 2018 and he will come to Sweden, so don’t miss him when he comes to your country!

Matthew Reece, writer on the Zeroth Position, had a great lecture about the neo-reactionary and the alt-right movement. Highly informative.

This is Corax conference for us. Matthew Reece and Adam Kokesh wouldn’t be invited to the same conferences in the US, but here they could meet and have a discussion on stage, a rare event in the Libertarian movement. Unfortunately, Adam had to leave early so we just have to look forward to the next time Matthew and Adam can meet on stage.

Jeff Deist, the president of the Mises Institute  in the US, held an interesting lecture on decentralization for both us and the Mises University with the help of Skype and cameras. It was one of the best speeches we listened to and it was also one of the most controversial apparently. We highly recommend you to listen to the Tom Woods episode linked above in the text, if you want to learn more about what Jeff actually said. Also in the picture, Hans-Herman Hoppe waving to the Mises University attendants.

Brendan O’Neill, a Marxist-Libertarian journalist from Spiked online. He talked about his case for a Libertarian-marxism, but we found it confused and we didn’t agree with his advocacy for democracy.

Bubb.las own doomster ;), Johnny Mellgren, held a spot on lecture about the next financial crisis.

Other speakers were not familiar to us, but were very interesting. Moritz Bierling held two lectures during the conference. The first one was a Jordan Peterson-inspired lecture about SYSO – Sorting YourSelf Out, instead of the degenerative YOLO (You only live ones)-view of life.

The second lecture was about the internet phenomenon memes and trolling, and what it means.

We got good laughs from his lecture. We were really bad at taking photos, so we don’t have any pictures from the Lichtenstein as a Libertarian utopia lecture by Andreas Kohl or the lecture about free economic zones in the world by Simon Sarevski, which is a shame.

We do have one blurry picture of Simon wearing his T-shirt displaying a nice quote by Bastiat.

We found more nice T-shirts worn by other conference attendants.

Dinners and activities were also on the schedule, so we had the chance to talk to each other all night if we wanted.

Or take sneaky pictures on Hoppe! Btw love the look on Sofia’s face when she discovers what Pontus is doing 🙂

We also met friends that we haven’t seen in a long time. We had the pleasure to get to know these guys in Acapulco last year. It was great catching up with Shamus and David on Malta.

We noticed a stricking resemblance between Pontus and Aron Askew, the campaign manager of Adam Kokesh’s presidential campaign.

We also had time to enjoy the cliffs of Malta before we left the conference. Pontus is not naked 😉

Last, but not least, we want to thank Sofia, the organizer of this Conference, for this excellent and well-organized week and we hope to meet you again soon!

Taking on Hoher Ifen before we leave Austria

Hoher Ifen was our third and final adventure with Sandra and Markus for this time around, and it was a perfect hike for our now  sore legs. This mountain has been in our sight from Sandra and Markus porch, so we got excited to hear that we would get a chance to take a closer look on this spectacular plateau, standing there in the distance. We let the pictures and videos speak for themselves! 


Hoher Ifen blev vårt tredje och sista äventyr med Sandra och Markus  för den här gången, en perfekt vandring för våra nu väldigt möra ben. Detta berg har varit i vår vy från Sandra och Markus veranda, så vi blev glada att höra att vi skulle få möjlighet att titta närmare på denna spektakulära platå, som fanns där i bakgrunden. Vi låter våra bilder och videos talar för sig själva!

Hoher Ifen, a 2230 meter high mountain in the Kleinwalsertal valley, was our mission on our last day with Sandra and Markus.

It was an easy hike compared to our previous two adventures the days before.

We took our time listening to the sounds of the mountains, mostly cow bells.

and taking pictures on the alpine flowers.

Sandra is making use of her camera!

The view is amazing, so don’t forget your camera.

Sandra and Ulrika on their way to the plateau on top of Hoher Ifen.

Group photo with Riezlern in the background.

We found a few butterflies on our hiking trip.

We had a picnic at the top and with a beautiful view to go with our lunch. We put together a short video from our first part of the hike that you can see below.

There is a small via ferrata on the south side of Hoher Ifen. People have died here so be careful when passing this part of the hike.

We ate second lunch on our way down at Scwarzwasser- Hütte. We tried a local dish called Kaiserschmarrn!

And had a Russ – a popular hiking drink with Weißbier and lemon soda.

We came across a waterfall in the end of our 8-hour hike, with a lot of stops, and we felt that it was a nice ending of a beautiful day.

But this hike had a big surprise in the form of an artificial lake, used as a water storage for snow canons in the winter, and we jumped in!

Last evening and we got to experience a beautiful thunder storm coming in the valley. We also filmed  the rain and Hoher Ifen from the porch  which you can see below.

The morning after we took the train to Bayern, Germany,  for a few days of resting our muscles. Thanks Sandra and Markus for the awesome summer days spent with you in the Alps.

Riezlern to Schönenbach by bike

Our second adventure with Sandra and Markus started in Riezlern and our goal was to get to Schönenbach, and back again, with mountain bikes. A 50 kilometer bike ride in the “flatter” part of the mountains according to Sandra and Markus. The route was as flat as it could be if you consider the fact that you’re starting point is 1000 meters above sea level in the Alps.  We are not used to riding bicycles, so we really got a hard adventure that day, but it was fun and we’re proud to have accomplished getting back in one piece and without having to be brought back to Riezlern in a car or an ambulance.  
Below are  pictures and videos from our bicycle adventure and from our “normal” walk around Riezlern!


Vårt andra äventyr med Sandra och Markus började i Riezlern och vårt mål denna dag var att komma till Schönenbach och tillbaka igen, med mountainbikes. En 50 km cykeltur i den enligt Sandra och Markus “plattare” delen av bergen. Rutten var så “platt” som det kan bli när utgångspunkten är 1000 meter över havet i Alperna. Vi är inte vana vid att cykla på detta sätt så vi fick verkligen ett hårt äventyr den dagen, men det var roligt och vi är stolta över att ha lyckats komma tillbaka i ett stycke och utan att behöva återvända till Riezlern i en bil eller en ambulans.
Nedan finns bilder och videor från vårt cykeläventyr och från vår “normala” promenad runt Riezlern!

It is always nice to wake up in Riezlern and see the beautiful landscape from Sandra and Markus place.

We got to borrow bikes from Sandra and Markus and our mission today was to bicycle to Schönenbach and back.

Our bicycling adventure took us out on a good 7-hour tour balancing on the border between Austria and Germany.

We had cloudy weather, but it was nice to have cover from the sun – the scenery was still stunningly beautiful even though clouds covered most of the mountain tops.

Two rivers that have their final outflow on opposite sides of Europe starts here. Starzlach river ends in the black sea and Schönbach river ends in the North sea.

We took a rocky detour a short part of the way to Schönenbach so that Markus and Sandra could show us how to ride their mountain bikes. Ulrika and Pontus had to walk most of that part of the way. The video below some of the skills that Markus has on a MTB.

We took a well-earned break in Schönenbach eating our lunch before we headed back to Riezlern.

We took the ordinary road back to the main road, so we had a chance to use our bikes.

Pontus had a bit of a misfortune with his bike. First the front brake fell of, then with only breaks on the back wheel, it also stopped working in a long downhill slope due to overheating. With Pontus completely out of energy, also the chain jumped. So he was lucky to come back to Riezlern without hurting himself.

Back in Riezlern looking at the sunset reflecting on the mountains.

Stretching and yoga to ease up sore muscles. Could you have a better view while doing that?

We also managed to do a walk around the neighborhood, trying new settings on our camera that Markus and Sandra had showed us. This bridge can be used with more than vehicles, the video below shows what school children do on the bridge during their field days in the valley.

The Breitach river.

Wild strawberries are in abundance around here.

Alpine grass and meadow flowers.

Horses in the valley. Next blog post will be about hiking up to Hoher Ifen with soar legs, stay tuned 🙂

Hindelanger Klettersteig, amazing view over the Austrian Alps

Little did we know that we would hike on one of the longest and most popular Klettersteigs in this part of the Alps, when we contacted Sandra and Markus to ask if we could visit them on our way through Europe.  Hindelanger had been on Sandra and Markus wish-list for a long time, so we felt honored that they chose to take us with them on this adventure. They are very active people, and they have a blog where they document their many adventures with amazing photos, check out their blog herewhere they also wrote about our adventure together. Hindelanger was the first of a few adventures they had in mind for our visit, so we will divide our visit to Riezlern on three different blog posts starting with this Klettersteig on 2200 meter above sea level. 


Lite visste vi att vi skulle vandra på en av de längsta och mest populära Klettersteigs i den här delen av Alperna när vi bestämde oss för att kontakta Sandra och Markus och fråga om vi kunde komma förbi dem på vår väg genom Europa. Hindelanger hade varit på Sandra och Markus önskelista länge, så vi kände oss hedrade att de valde att ta med oss på detta äventyr. De är mycket aktiva människor, och de har en blog där de dokumenterar sina många äventyr med fantastiska bilder, kolla in deras blogg här, där de även skrivit om vårt äventyr tillsammans. Hindelanger var det första av flera äventyr som de hade i åtanke för vårt besök, så vi delar upp vårt besök i Riezlern på tre olika bloggposter som börjar med denna Klettersteig 2200 meter över havet.

Hindelanger Klettersteig is a very popular via ferrata and it was Sandra and Markus plans for our first adventure during our time  in Riezlern.

Sandra and Markus picked us up in Kempten Allgäu, Germany, after our train ride from Graz, Austria. It has been several years since we visited them last time, so it was time for a new visit. We picked up their old bikes from service on our way back to Austria, since they also had mountain bike plans for us during our stay with them.

Sandra and Markus place, where they call home. They are really active people so this is a perfect spot to have a home for them!

Markus showed us his automated hydroponics project and he is doing it thoroughly.

Water supply, humidity, nourishment and temperature is monitored and automated, and Markus has built and programmed everything by himself.

We started early the next day and it was time to tackle the famous Hindelanger Klettersteig.

The first mission is to get to the top of Nebelhorn, 2200 meters above sea level. You can hike up to the top, but it is preferable to take the cable cars, three of them, up to the top. You can purchase both one-way and two-way tickets, if you don’t want to hike down the mountain.

The Hindelanger Klettersteig starts from the top cabin at 2224 meter above sea level.

The ridge that we would spend the next five hours climbing up and down on.

The mission was to get to the Gosser Daumen, the green top to the right which is visible in the background.

You should be capable of handling heights if you decide to do the Hindelanger Klettersteig.

Klettersteig or via ferrata (Iron road) is a protected climbing route, where you can secure yourself to a steel cable which runs along the route.

Hindelanger Klettersteig is graded C on a via ferrata A-F difficulty scale, because there are parts of the route where the steel cables are absent. However, our feeling was that this was manageable if you’re not easily scared by heights and take your time.

The Klettersteig took around 5 hours for us to do, and then we had an additional 5 hours hiking down the mountain to get back to the car.

Ulrika in her favorite spot, sitting on a mountain looking down on the world!

The view over the Austrian Alps was amazing! Below are a slide show with more amazing pictures from the hike.

 

We hiked all the way down to Oberstdorf, doing a 1100 meter descent. These slopes are down hill slopes during the winter season.

A break on our way down eating some energy bars.

Next to a small waterfall.

15 km and 10 hours later later we finally reached the ski jumping towers in Oberstdorf. We have a video from our adventure below for people who are interested. This adventure was now a dear memory for us, but more adventures would come our way during the next few days. Thanks Sandra and Markus for taking us on this awesome adventure!

Exploring Graz with old friends

We would never have traveled to places like Graz or Dubrovnik, if it wasn’t for our friends  who live or have relocated to different parts of the world.  Graz and the surroundings are a lovely place to visit for a few days and it is even better when you can use your friends as local guides who can show you their favorite spots in the area. Thanks Sussi and Tobias for the days you showed us around in Graz and hope to see you again soon!  


Vi skulle aldrig ha rest till platser såsom Graz eller Dubrovnik, om det inte var för våra vänner som bor eller har flyttat till olika delar av världen. Graz och omgivningarna runt staden är en fin plats att besöka i några dagar och det är ännu bättre när du har vänner som personliga lokalguider och som kan visa dig sina favoritplatser i området. Tack Sussi och Tobias för de dagar ni visade oss runt i Graz och hoppas vi ses snart igen!

Graz during night, walking back to Sussi and Tobias place.

Graz is the second largest city i Austria and is also a university city with a lot of students.

The city center when the sun is up. You’ll find really old-looking buildings around town. Graz was made into an important commercial and trade center during the 12th century by the Habsburgs and later, in the 16th, the architecture was influenced by the Italian Renaissance people, so that is why you have the interesting looking buildings here today. You also see and hear a lot of churches here:

The impressive courthouse in Graz.

There are also a lot of futuristic buildings incorporated into the medieval look of the town.

Sussi took us out on a walk through the center of Graz and our mission was to get up on Grazer Schloßberg or the castle mountain. Here we took an ice cream break 🙂

There is a small garden on top of Grazer Schloßberg, but you’ll mostly get up here to see Uhrturm, or the clocktower, and the view over old town Graz.

Uhrturm has an interesting feature, the clock’s pointers have opposite roles compared to ordinary clocks, with the larger pointer showing hours while the smaller pointer shows minutes.

The park just beneath the Uhrturm.

The view from Grazer Schloßberg is amazing and you can see the mixture of buildings. Notice the large alien slug-like building to the right. It is the Kunsthaus, the museum of modern art, and we heard that the building itself is more interesting than what is displayed inside.

This is the view if you’re talking the stairs back down to the city center. The other option is to take the elevator. There are tunnels under Schloßberg that was created during the second world war to protect the people of Graz from airplane bombings. Some parts of the tunnel system is still accessible today and that’s where you’ll find the Schloßberg elevator.

We also had time to try out Sussi and Tobias favorite neighborhood cafe, and Pontus had time to describe Bitcoin for Sussi.

Austrians love hiking, so Sussi and Tobias took us out hiking around the small mountains surrounding Graz. It is really easy to hike in Graz, just follow the signs and the read/white markings.

We got a lovely view over Eggenberg castle, a castle built in Baroque style. The oldest parts of the castle date back to the 1460, but the more modern parts are from around 1625. Below you’ll find a video with the view over Graz from our day hiking the surroundings.

Sussi and Tobias took good care of us and showed us their favorite restaurants in town.

Here eating the biggest pizzas we’ve ever seen.

The last evening we played some billiards, here team Assander are discussing their strategy.

Ulrika is aiming carefully. Thanks Sussi and Tobias for a nice couple of days in Graz. We’ll have a rematch soon somewhere in Europe 🙂

Early the morning after we said goodbye to Sussi and Tobias, taking the train to a part of Austria only accessible from Germany.

Austrian vineyards and learning to love white wine

“Are you ready for a road trip and visit Austrian vineyards?” – Sussi and Tobias asked as we showed up on their doorstep in Graz. “Of course we are!” was our reply and that’s how we ended up loving Austrian white wines.  Usually, the white wine is something Ulrika avoids, she doesn’t like it and thinks it’s to sweet, but the Austrian white wines are an exception. We had a really pleasant day exploring the area south of Graz together with Sussi and Tobias and the view from the vineyards are reason enough to visit this place. We’re so thankful that we have such awesome friends that can handle a spontaneous couple traveling around the world and who take us out on new adventures!


“Är ni redo för en road trip och besöka österrikiska vingårdar?” – frågade Sussi och Tobias när vi dök upp utanför deras dörr i Graz. “Naturligtvis!” var vårt svar och det var så vi lärde oss att älska österrikiska vita viner. Vanligtvis är vitt vin något som Ulrika undviker, hon tycker inte om det och anser att det är alldeles för sött, men de österrikiska vita vinerna är nu ett undantag. Vi hade en riktigt trevlig dag med att utforska området söder om Graz tillsammans med Sussi och Tobias och utsikten från vingårdarna är tillräckligt för att besöka denna plats. Vi är så tacksamma att vi har så fantastiska vänner som kan hantera det spontana paret som reser runt om i världen och som tar oss ut på nya äventyr!

Lovely vineyards in Austria. Ulrika was never fond of white wines, but the Austrian white wines are now an exception because of their dryness and freshness.

We went by train north to get to Graz in Austria. We’re traveling through Europe without getting on an airplane. It is so nice 🙂

Our mission was to meet up with these people, our friends Sussi and Tobias. We also got the opportunity to meet their Austrian/Swiss friend Hanna before she left for Switzerland.

Sussi and Tobias had rented a car for the weekend, so they brought us to the south of Austria, sometimes balancing on the border to Slovenia, to visit Austrian vineyards. They are everywhere, and green signs mean direction to a local business here, and you can just stop for food and local wine while enjoying the fantastic view. We have a short movie from our road trip below.

We stopped at Legat vineyard for food and wine tasting. Most vineyards are family business and Legat vineyard is no exception.

We ordered a plate with cheese and charcuteries to go with our wine. This is what the local people are doing in the weekends, walking around the vineyards and having a glass of wine and eat lunch.

Legat vineyard also had a lovely garden.

Roses are planted with each row of vines to detect if they get infested with parasites. If so, the roses will quickly die and you’ll have time to rescue the other vines from death.

Sussi inspecting the vines!

We met a kind Austrian man who gave us a left over birthday cake to feed the pigs.

We continued our journey to the next vineyard, passing a lot of sun power-loving vineyards.

Ulrika and Pontus chilling on the love bench!

Mr and mrs Assander thanks for showing us the Austrian vineyards and introducing us to excellent white wine!

From Zagreb to Ljubljana

Ljubljana, the origin of the city’s name is unclear and debated.  In the middle ages, the German name of the area was Laibach and in the Italian langugage the town is called Lubiana. Also, the original name of the river that runs through Ljubljana is Ljubija, where the old slavic word Ljub  means “to love” or “like”, and the old Slavic male name Ljubovid means “the one of a lovely appearance”. Somewhere in there the name of the town became Ljubljana and is now the capital of Slovenia. 
We spent a few days in this beautiful city, but we also had time for a short stop in Zagreb, the capital Croatia, before we crossed the border to Slovenia. Interestingly, the border control was really strict even though we went from one EU state to another – so much for the freedom of travel within the demokratur  (Swedish for democracy + dictatorship) of the European Union.


Ljubljana, ursprunget till namnet på staden är oklart och debatterat. Under medeltiden var det tyska namnet på området Laibach och i det italienska språket kallas staden för Lubiana. Det ursprungliga namnet på floden som rinner genom Ljubljana var Ljubija, där det gamla slaviska ordet Ljub betyder “att älska” eller “tycka om”,  och där det gamla slaviska mansnamnet Ljubovid betyder “den med ett vackert utseende”. Någonstans ur detta blev stadens namn Ljubljana och är nu Sloveniens huvudstad.
Vi tillbringade några dagar i denna vackra stad, men vi hade också tid för ett kort stopp i Zagreb, huvudstaden i Kroatien, innan vi korsade gränsen till Slovenien. Intressant var att gränskontrollen mellan länderna var verkligen strikt, även om vi gick från en EU-stat till en annan – så mycket för friheten att färdas inom demokraturen Europeiska Unionen.

It’s so nice to travel by train again. This time we went over the Dinaric Alps , a mountain chain that spans from Italy to Albania, which separates the Croatian coast and inland.

Our goal was Ljubljana in Slovenia, but we had a couple of hours in Zagreb and we used that time to explore this city. The Art Pavilion in Zagreb is there to greet you when you step of the train.

We just walked around randomly in the city and we found the Croatian National theater, which was built in 1895. Zagreb feels like a combination of Gävle and Copenhagen for those of you who know which cities we’re talking about.

The brown tourist signs are everywhere, so it easy to find touristy things to do. For instance, you can visit the museum of broken relationships here in Zagreb and they also have a mushroom museum, if you’re interested in that.

A statue of Nikola Tesla can be seen in Zagreb. Their is an argument between Croatia and Serbia of who get to “claim” Nikola Tesla as their national treasure.

The Kaptol is the historic part of Zagreb, where the Roman Catholics settled and built this Cathedral in the beginning of the 13th century. However, not long after the consecration the Mongol invasion came and destroyed the Cathedral, so in 1263 the Cathedral was rebuilt and restored.

The defensive walls and towers around Kaptol were built between 1469 and 1473 and parts of the wall and towers still stands today.

The pedestrian streets in the city center of Zagreb are filled with small restaurants and narrow alleys. The atmosphere is really lovely and the city is filled with historical pieces, so next time we’ll definitely make a longer stop here.

We enjoyed our last Croatian beer at one of the pubs in the pedestrian zone, before we caught our train to Slovenia.

Ljubljana, the Capitol of Slovenia! We stayed a few days here and just relaxed in this beautiful city.  Ljubljana is one of Europe’s smallest capital cities with only 280 000 inhabitants, and it is the largest city in Slovenia.

It is so easy to walk around and explore, but you have to watch your head if you take the tunnel under the rail way.

You’ll find a lot of people bicycling here, so this art work really represents the atmosphere in Ljubljana.

Ljubljana is also a green city, trees make up a large amount of the city center.

Even the Ljubljanica river, the river that runs through Ljubljana, is green. You can jump on a tour boat for €8 to see the city from the river and that was exactly what we did.

You’ll find small, cozy restaurants here in Ljubljana as well.

We tried a Slovenian dessert which was delicious, and not to sweet. We have unfortunately forgot the name of the dessert, but the meaning was something like “cake in a jar”.

The city is also counting down to the next European championship in football, which Slovenia will host.

The Ljubljana castle is the landmark of the city and was built in the 11th century, but the area around the castle has probably been settled continuously since 1200 BC.

The University of Ljubljana is an impressive building. The whole town looks really old, but actually is quite new. A major earthquake destroyed much of the city center in 1895 and the city has then been restored and renovated.

We found a small shop with female clothes where Ulrika could shop a few items for the Malta conference in a month.

We also explored one of Ljubljana’s parks, the Tivoli City Park.

The Tivoli Pond, which is one of Ljubljana’s two major ponds.

The last thing we saw before leaving Ljubljana was an outdoor library set up in the Tivoli Park. It looked so peaceful and we wanted to stay here, but we had a train to catch, so we have to save this until next time.

Two nights in Split in the Dalmatian region of Croatia

Split is located in the Dalmatian region in Croatia, and yes, the Dalmatian dog’s roots can be traced back to this region. However, we did not see any Dalmatians dogs during our visit here. Instead we got several chances to see the skyline of Split.  We only stayed two nights, but we managed to see a lot of different places in and around the city center before moving on.


Split ligger i Dalmatien i Kroatien och ja, dalmatinhundens rötter kan spåras tillbaka till denna region. Vi såg dock inte några dalmatinerhundar under vårt besök här. Istället fick vi flera chanser att se Splits skyline. Vi stannade bara två nätter, men vi lyckades se flera olika platser i och runt stadskärnan innan vi reste vidare.

Linda suggested that we should spend a few days in Split, the second largest city in Croatia, so that’s what we did. Here we are looking at Split from the bell tower in the old town.

The stairs in the bell tower, we met some people on our way up that just couldn’t manage to conquer their phobia of heights.

St Domnius bell tower was constructed in the 12th century and it still stands today.

The skyline!

The peninsula, where you’ll find nice beaches and Marjan National Park.

The Port of Split, where also the bus station and train station is situated, so getting in and out of Split is really easy.

If you take the bus between Dubrovnik and Split, you have to deal with immigration, because the part of Croatia that Dubrovnik is situated in is an exclave of Croatia, so you have to travel through Bosnia and Herzegovina. But if you take the boat you don’t have to worry about immigration controls and you get to see the islands just outside the Croatian coastline.

The boat is also very comfortable and cheap, by European standards, to go with.

We had just two nights in Split, so we decided to walk around and explore the city right away. There are a few beaches in the south, near the city center, and Bacvice Beach is the most popular one.

Bacvice Beach also has the main nightlife with bars and restaurants.

And a water playground for the kids.

We also found a old motorbike in mint condition, with shaft drive instead of a chain.

There are a lot of cozy restaurants in the old part of Split.

An old coin slot where you could donate to orphans.

We met another Swede, Anna from Umeå, whom we rented bikes with and explored the peninsula.

The nice beaches can be found on the peninsula.

We had a break and tried the cold waters of Croatia, which was very refreshing, before heading up on the hills.

Marjan National Park on the peninsula was our goal for the day.

From the hill we could see the beach, where we had been taking a break. We also made a video during the day that you can see below.

We got a really nice view over Split.

The day after we packed our bags and took the train to Slovenia, so goodbye Split it was a pleasure meeting you!

Days in Dubrovnik

We explored the rest of Dubrovnik during the days Linda was working and the small Croatian coast town is much more than Game of Thrones and old town. We hiked up the Srđ mountain, walked around Port Gruz and jumped from the cliffs in the old port of Dubrovnik and got to use our Gopro in the Adriatic sea. We had five wonderful days here before we said goodbye to Linda and Dubrovnik.    


Vi utforskade resten av Dubrovnik under de dagar som Linda arbetade och den lilla kroatiska kuststaden är mycket mer än Game of Thrones och gamla stan. Vi vandrade upp på Srđ-berget, promenerade runt Port Gruz och hoppade från klipporna i Dubrovniks gamla hamn, samt fick användning av vår Gopro i Adriatiska havet. Vi hade fem underbara dagar här innan vi sa adjö till Linda och Dubrovnik.

You get an awesome view over Dubrovnik if you walk up the Srđ mountain, which rise up just behind Dubrovnik. The trail is found along bus line 3, and is marked out on the tourist maps.

The trail will take you to 412 meters above sea level and the view is fantastic. Old town looks like the town tiles in the board game Carcassone, from up here.

You can take the cable car up to the top if you don’t want to walk.

The view over Babin Kuk and Port Gruz, other parts of Dubrovnik. We hiked up to the top under 50 minutes, with several photo stops a long the way, so it is a quite easy trail to hike.

The sun is about to set.

We caught the last light of the day hiking down to civilisation.

We lived near old town the first few days, so we just followed the coast to get to the city center.

We had amazing accommodation here, a video from our first “home” can be seen below.

Our second “home” was in Babin Kuk, approximately 4.5 km from city center. Here, we could see Port Gruz from our place and see the huge cruise ships that come to Dubrovnik. There are a lot of tourists here during high season, so the town is really crowded. Main reason for this is these huge cruise ships. There are a limit in the number of ships that are allowed to be in the harbor, so you will see big cruise ships hanging around Dubrovnik waiting for a spot in the port.

The ship can barely come under the bridge.

“Smaller” yachts can also be seen in Port Gruz.

Dubrovnik is small, so public transportation is easy to use even tough it is not crystal clear where the buses stop and which way it will go. All buses are stopping in old town, so you can just jump on a bus and eventually you will come to the city center.

The public transportation aren’t scaled to handle the tourists.

Old Port of Dubrovnik, a nice spot to eat your lunch before swimming in the Adriatic sea.

The wall around old town looks quite big compared to Pontus. Below is a short video from our day here.  Then it was time for us to leave this beautiful place and head up north.

 

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