Ankor på vift

A freedom-oriented travel blog

Tag: hiking

Prague – Křivoklát castle, Libertarians and Bitcoin

We were back in Prague with a busy schedule. It was going to be intensive days with the King family, Křivoklát castle, libertarians, meetings and just enjoying being in a bitcoin-friendly environment
The King family are close friends to us and we enjoy going on adventures with them. This time they showed us the Křivoklát castle located in Křivoklátsko Protected Landscape Area. There is a small bubb.la premium enclave here in Prague so we wanted to meet up with them as well. Our days here in Prague were so busy so Ulrika actually had to make a schedule for our time here so we didn’t double-book anything. 


Vi var tillbaka i Prag med ett ganska fullt schema. Det skulle bli intensiva dagar med Kingfamiljen, slottet Křivoklát, libertarianer, viktiga möten, samt bara njuta av att vara i en bitcoin-vänlig miljö.
Kingfamiljen är nära vänner till oss och vi gillar att komma ut på äventyr med dem. Den här gången visade de oss slottet Křivoklát som ligger i “Křivoklátsko Protected Landscape Area”. Det finns också en liten bubb.la premium-enklav här i Prag så vi ville träffa dem också. Våra dagar här i Prag var faktiskt så intensiva att Ulrika var tvungen att göra ett schema för vår tid här så att vi inte dubbelbokade något.

Prague is a place that we keep returning to. This time around, the King family took us to Křivoklát Castle – a 13th century castle one hour outside of Prague.

The whole crew inside the castle.

They have a medieval setting in the court yard where we could try shooting with crossbows.

We could choose between different crossbows, even modern ones were available.

We took a look around before we went for a trekking in the surrounding landscape. Křivoklát Castle is located in Křivoklátsko Protected Landscape Area, an area with rich biodiversity.

Caroline snapped a pregnancy photo of Ulrika – here just before entering week 29. (Photo by: Caroline King)

Usually we don’t end up in the same picture, so it was nice to have Caroline take one of us! (Photo by: Caroline King)

Near Křivoklát Castle lies Roztoky, a small city surrounded by forrests, rivers and mountains.

Remnants of the Soviet era are still present and it creates a spectacular contrast to the life-fullness of the surrounding nature.

Our goal was to hike to a waterfall that ended up being really small, but we had a fantastic day anyway with the King family.

There are a lot of blood sucking insects in Czech Republic nature, both ticks and deer flies were trying to get a meal from us. Pontus found this tick on him a few days after our hike even though we carefully checked ourselves after the hike.

It is nice that the older King boys feel comfortable enough with both Pontus and Ulrika, so we can look after them. Pontus spent a couple of hours playing with them while we other grown ups had different missions – Thank you Caroline for helping Ulrika with finding appropriate clothes 🙂

Henry has a special taste in clothes and he loves his suit – we think he looks awesome!

It is also interesting to come visit an unschooling family and see what kind of projects they are working on. Arduino is the focus right now and it seems to be a great education tool for children (and adults). Arduino is an open-source electronic prototyping platform and the purpose is to enable users to create interactive electronic objects – robots in other words.

We had a really busy week in Prague, but we could manage to attend a bubb.la meet up while we where here. We invited our newly found Llbertarian Australian friend to join the Swedish enclave here in Prague. (Photo by: Caroline King)

Our main reason for coming back to Prague is the bitcoin-friendly environment and the cryptoanarchy hub found here. This two-way bitcoin ATM was found in one of the local malls here in Prague, so it is so easy to exchange to the local currency here. There are also places in Prague where you can pay with cryptocurrencies directly.

we found this poster at our favorite place in Prague, Parallelni Polis, which shows the organic growth of the Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency communities in the world.

Our time in Prague went really fast so it was a bit sad to say good bye to the King family for this time. Thank you Caroline an Paul for all your help and advice we got from you this week! We are grateful for having you and your children as friends.

We needed to head to Sweden for important family things and celebration of love, so we tried a new way of getting to Sweden. We took the ferry from Rostock to Trelleborg and it was a smooth and cheap way to get from Germany to Sweden. We can really recommend this route!

We found the best slogan ever for an invest company on one of the trucks doing the same journey as us – “Putting capital to work in Southeast Europe”

Technical Windecksattel and entering the third trimester

Windecksattel was our main goal before we left Austria for this time. Sandra and Markus had told us to leave this, more technical, hiking trail until the end of our stay, so the snow cover would have a chance to disappear before we hiked up to this part of the Alps.
 We felt that it was time to try it just before Pontus birthday  – the weather was a major factor and the weather forecast said that more unstable weather was to come during the following days. We packed food and water, which Pontus were responsible for carrying up the mountain and Ulrika, who just entered the third trimester, were responsible for carrying “det lilla livet” up the mountain. It was going to be a long day out in nature.


Windecksattel var vårt huvudsakliga mål innan vi lämnade Österrike för den här gången. Sandra och Markus hade berättat att vi skulle lämna den här, mer tekniska, vandringsleden till slutet av vår vistelse, så att snötäcket skulle ha en chans att försvinna innan vi vandrade upp till denna del av Alperna.
Vi kände att det var dags att försöka oss på denna led precis före Pontus födelsedag – vädret var en viktig faktor och väderprognosen hade sagt att mer ostabilt väder skulle rulla in under de kommande dagarna. Vi packade mat och vatten, vilket Pontus var ansvarig för att bära upp på berget och Ulrika, som just gick in i tredje trimestern, var ansvarig för att bära “det lilla livet” upp på berget. Det skulle bli en lång dag ute i naturen.

Last hike for us in Riezlern and it was going to be an epic one – incredible landscape and Ulrika entering the last trimester (28 weeks pregnant). We chose to head up to Windecksattel and crossing the border to Germany .

This time we would have this view over RIezlern. It was going to be a 750 meter ascent with more or less trail to to follow. Our total distance hiked would be 15 km.

First part was through a fir forest, but we would soon leave the conifers and the easy hiking trail behind us.

Parts of the trail were more technical than others, but it was no problem to hike the trail while being pregnant.

We soon found a sign that should be followed, especially during the winter months when snow hides the terrain.

There are an extensive cave system underneath the mountains in the valley and one of the entry points can be found on this trail. It is a 90 meter deep hole and you don’t want to fall down there while skiing down the trail.

First mission was to reach Mahdtal and eat lunch there before taking on the last part up to Windecksattel.

We did a pregnancy photo shoot in Mahdtal, capturing Ulrika during week 28 on her way to reach her goal at the Windecksattel.

Mahdtal during spring.

Just south of Windecksattel is the Torkopf peak (1930 meters). It is a reachable peak, but we felt that it was better to save this adventure for another time when Ulrika is not pregnant.

We reached the part of the trail where snow still was present. We saw a mountain goat coming down the mountain to lay down on the snow, probably to cool down.

More snow was present the higher up we went and we had to walk over snow covers during the last part of the trail. It became quite steep as well.

We finally reached Windecksattel and got a nice view of the landscape on the other side of the mountain.

Our original plan was to follow the trail through Obere Gottesackerwände, but it was to much snow left on the ground. We decided to turn back here, but we were still impressed with ourselves, hiking 7.5 km and ascending 750 meters. In the end, we kept a pace of 18:04 min per kilometer and maximum altitude was 1840 meters.

We celebrated Pontus 36th birthday while we were in Riezlern. We had a few days of unstable weather before we left this place, so it was a quiet and peaceful celebration this year. After the birthday we had to leave Austria for another central European country – the Czech Republic.

Trying altitudes – Schöntal and above

Our next goal was to see how Ulrika’s pregnant body handled altitudes so Schöntal was our option when we wanted to hike an easy trail and reach higher altitudes. Schöntal is a peak that we have seen from Sandra and Markus place every time we’ve visited them, so we felt it was time see how the valley looked from that part of the Alps. Ulrika was in week 27 so we were also curious how she could handle the ascent and the long trail – it was going to be a 18 km hike in the end of the day.


Vårt nästa mål var att se hur Ulrikas gravida kropp hanterade höjder så Schöntal var vårt alternativ när vi ville ha en lättare vandringsväg, samt nå högre höjder. Schöntal är ett ställe som vi har sett från Sandra och Markus plats varje gång vi har besökt dem, så vi kände att det var dags att se hur dalen såg ut från den delen av Alperna. Ulrika var i vecka 27 så vi var också nyfiken på hur hon kunde hantera stigningen och den långa leden – det skulle bli en 18 km vandring i slutet av dagen.

Pontus and the meadow. We started easy and we have to say that coming here during late spring is wonderful. The flowers fills the valley and the weather is great.

The first part of our 18 km hike was through the valley and not so much increasing in altitudes. Our mission was the green peak right in front of us.

We took a few breaks, because we knew that we had a long hike to manage, and waterfalls are always a reason to stop for.

Soon there were altitudes to climb and it went quite well.

We reached Schöntal and Ulrika still felt good to go so we continued and soon we had a nice view over Riezlern.

Finally, we reached a satisfying altitude at 1500 meter above sea level, a 500 meter ascent compared to our starting level at 1000 meters. The total ascent during the hike was 1000 meter.

Ulrika was very proud of herself. The pace during the whole 18 km trail was 14:50 min/km – it was not the best, but it didn’t matter. 27 weeks pregnant and still going strong! “Det lilla livet”  seems to like being carried up on mountain tops.

The view was incredible and we could see the snow still on Hoher Ifen, a peak/plateau we reached last year with Sandra and Markus.

Our adventure on Ifen!

Our way back was on trafficked roads, it was in case Ulrika should start having pains or cramps, so our back up option was to jump on a bus back to our place.

But the landscape was still absolutely stunning.

The roads around Schöntal are steep and narrow.

Ulrika still felt awesome so we abandoned the trafficked roads for more nature walk for the last part of our hike.

Soon back home, we just had a small ascent left.

Our last waterfall on our hike, so we had to capture it on camera. After this successful hike we decided it was time to try a more technical trail.

Road trip to Riezlern and hiking while being pregnant

Riezlern, we have been here before to visit Sandra and Markus, friends to us who have taken us on adventures on mountain bikes, hiking, climbing Aggenstein and doing klettersteig on mountain ridges.
This time around Ulrika was going to be a bit bigger and be less fit, so we had to find a pace comfortable for her. Ulrika has noticed that her walking pace slowly has declined from around 8.5-9 min/km to around 11-11.5 min/km on a flat surface, near sea level, and now we would be on 1000 meters above sea level and higher, hiking up on mountain tops. Pregnant in week 26 and fortunately enough Ulrika hasn’t experienced any negative pregnancy symptoms during the second trimester that would keep her away from being active.


Vi har varit i Riezlern förut för att besöka Sandra och Markus, våra vänner som har tagit oss på äventyr på  bl.a. moutainbikes, vandring, klättra Aggenstein och klettersteig på bergskam. Den här gången skulle Ulrika vara lite större och ha mindre kondition, så vi var tvungna att hitta en takt som var bekväm för henne. Ulrika har märkt att hennes gånghastighet sakta har minskat från ca 8,5-9 min/km till omkring 11-11,5 min/km på plan yta, nära havsnivå, och nu skulle vi vara på 1000 meter över havet och högre för att vandra upp på bergstoppar. Graviditetsvecka 26 och lyckligtvis har hon ännu inte upplevt några negativa graviditetssymptom under andra trimestern som kunde hålla henne borta från att vara aktiv.

 

After some intensive weeks, we were really longing for nature and mountains, so we hit the road down to Austria to once again have this view at the door step.

On our way south, we took the opportunity to pass Bamberg and visit our friend Michi! We had time to eat franconian food and catch up on each other’s lifes.

Finally in Riezlern and our friends Markus and Sandra have gotten a ping pong table. Pontus and Markus played well into the dark and had to use headlamps.

Sandra and Markus are going on their own adventures, so we said goodbye to them and we will do our best to keep their plants alive and the squirrels away from the bird feeding table.

Ulrika loves the overflow of non-alcoholic beer in southern Germany. Weissbeer, pils, lager etc can be found in a non-alcoholic variant and many of them actually tastes like beer. We stocked up and then returned to Riezlern.

There are so many hiking tracks to explore in Kleinwalsertal where Riezlern is situated, and we wanted to be out in nature and relax after a couple of busy weeks.

First we took borrowed bikes and biked through the center of Riezlern.

The main road through the town that continues further in to the valley.

Riezlern, a tiny Alp village, even has their own casino.

We were soon in between villages and the view is magnificent.

Ulrika’s stamina is not what it is used to be, but we managed to go for a 15 km bike ride in our new “Ulrika is pregnant”-pace.

The thunder and lightning are often rolling in during the evenings and nights, creating an amazing light show. This picture was taken one of the nights here and it felt like watching the”war of the worlds”. We wouldn’t be surprised if a silhouette of a tripod fighting machine would show up on the horizon.

The breakfast view is a favorite.

We didn’t want to go out to strong, because we didn’t know how Ulrika’s body would respond to longer and more technical hiking trails. Therefore, our first mission was to hike through the valley and reach Oberwäldele. It is a nice and easy trail through the Kleinwalsertal landscape and it was no problem for Ulrika to handle.

Spring is one of the best periods of the year to come here for hiking. The flowers bloom and most of the snow is gone.

We found a glade covered in freshly bloomed cow parsley.

The houses in the area look like traditional Alp houses and they are often nicely decorated.

The trail takes you through open landscapes and forests. There are a few waterfalls hiding in the forest, so we took a few breaks along the way.

The trail was easy and Ulrika had no problem hiking 10 km, so  next up was to try to hike up on one of the mountain tops surrounding the valley. This adventure will be covered in our next blog post.

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.

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.

Vulkanutbrott och födelsedag / Volcanic eruption and birthday

(Please scroll down to the orange text for the English version)

Pontus födelsedag blev en dag utöver det vanliga på vår resa! Vid den här tiden förra året hade vi precis kommit till nationalparken Mulu på den malaysiska delen av Borneo (läs del I, II och III här) och det här året befann vi oss i Antigua och förberedde vi oss för att vandra upp på vulkanen Acatenango för att kanske få uppleva en spektakulär uppvisning från den aktiva vulkanen Fuego, som ligger precis bredvid Acatenango! Vi skulle också för andra gången på två veckor slå vårt höjdrekord om vi lyckades ta oss upp på Acatenango, så vi ville förbereda oss noga. Ulrika fick sämsta möjliga start då hon blev matförgiftad två dagar innan vandringen, men vi bestämde oss för att köra på ändå.

Det finns flera olika prisklasser för att ta sig upp och sova över på vulkanen, så gå runt och fråga olika ställen hur mycket det skulle kosta att vandra med dem. Vi är också här under lågsäsong så vi lyckades få ett bra pris då vi samtidigt bokade in oss på en intensivkurs i Spanska. Vi betalade 150 Quetzales per person (Ca 160 Sek) för vandringen och det är billigt! Här finner ni även en väldigt bra beskrivning av prisalternativen som man kan hitta i Antigua.

Både recensioner och människor som man möter beskriver denna vandring som en av de tuffare vandringar som de har gjort. Man betar av höjdmetrarna väldigt snabbt och underlaget är bitvis lös sand som gör det svårt att få fäste. Vi har bara med oss löparskor på vår resa, så vi förberedde oss mentalt på en väldigt jobbig vandring. Till vår förvåning så upplevde vi vandringen som väldigt skön och hanterbar. Allt handlar om vilket tempo du har och vi gick upp till “base camp” på 3800 meter på 5 timmar, medan de flesta gör vandringen på 4 timmar. Vi upplevde aldrig att hjärtat rusade, att vi fick svårt att få luft eller att benen tog slut, och vi kunde njuta av den härliga naturen och spana in blommor, fåglar och insekter. Vi hade också sällskap av Anna och Mike, ett väldigt trevligt par från Sydafrika, så vi hade det väldigt trevligt på vägen upp!
Oförskämt fräscha anlände vi till baslägret och fick se ett vulkanutbrott för första gången i våra liv. Vädret var inte helt med oss vid den här vandringen och det blev tyvärr inga fler synliga utbrott för oss. Vi fick höra desto fler och det var väldigt häftigt att ligga i tältet nära midnatt och höra ett kraftigt vrål från Fuego som varade i ca 20 minuter. Då kände vi oss väldigt små här på jorden!

Efter nästan ingen sömn, höjd kan påverka din sömn rätt så kraftigt, så tände vi lamporna och begav oss upp till Acatenangos topp på 3900 meter för att hinna upp innan solen tog ett kliv över horisonten. Den sista delen kliver man i aska och stenar från tidigare utbrott och man glider väldigt mycket med fötterna, så denna del tar cirka 1.5 timmar att avverka och höjden gör att det kan kännas väldigt tungt. Vi kom upp när det började ljusna, men tyvärr bjöd Acatenango på kraftiga vindar, dis och snöblandat regn, så vi såg inte många meter framför oss och det blev därför inga bilder på varken soluppgång eller Fuego därifrån. Däremot så sjöng vi för Pontus på toppen, för dagen då vi besteg Acatenango var också Pontus födelsedag!

Sedan packade vi ihop och gick ned för vulkanen på lite mindre än 2.5 timmar och glada kom vi tillbaka till Antigua innan lunch, för även om vädret inte var med oss, så var det här en otroligt häftig upplevelse och det känns häftigt att vi nästan varit uppe på 4000 meter. Vi har satt ihop en video från vårat 24-timmars äventyr på Acatenango, som vi hoppas att ni uppskattar!


Pontus birthday was a day out of the ordinary on our travels! At this time last year, we had just arrived to Mulu National Park on the Malaysian part of Borneo (read part I, II and III here) and this year we found ourselves in Antigua preparing to hike up the volcano Acatenango, to maybe experience a spectacular show by the active volcano Fuego, which is just next to Acatenango! We would also for the second time in two weeks beat our altitude record, if we managed to hike up on Acatenango, so we wanted to prepare ourselves thoroughly. Ulrika got the worst possible start when she was food poisoned two days before the hike, but we decided to go on anyway.

There are several different price ranges to go up and sleep one night on the volcano, so go around and ask different places for prices. We are also here during the off-season so we managed to get a good price when we also booked an intensive Spanish course for us. We paid 150 Quetzales per person (approximately 16.5 Euro) for the hike and that really cheap! Here is a link where you’ll find a good description of the price options that you can find in Antigua.

Both online reviews and people, that we encountered, describes this trail as one of the tougher hikes they have done. You gain altitude very quickly and the ground is loose sand at times, which makes it difficult to take hold. We only have our sneakers with us, so we mentally prepared ourselves for a very tough hike. To our surprise, we experienced the trek as very enjoyable and manageable. It is all about what pace you keep and it took us 5 hours to reach the base camp at 3800 meters, while most people do the trek in 4 hours. We never experienced that our hearts rushed, that we were short of breath or that our legs started to get stiff, and we could enjoy the lovely scenery, watching flowers, birds and insects. We also had company with Anna and Mike, a very nice couple from South Africa, so we had very nice time on our way up!
We arrived at the base camp feeling fresh and saw an eruption for the first time in our lives. The weather was not with us on this hike so there were no more visible eruptions for us. But we could hear the eruptions and it was very cool to be in our tent close to midnight and hear a powerful roar coming from Fuego, which lasted about 20 minutes. We felt very small at that point!

After almost no sleep, the altitude can affect your sleep quite heavily, we lit the torches and started our journey up to the summit of Acatenango at 3900 meters before the sun took a leap over the horizon. The last part of the trail is steep, with ash and sand from previous eruptions, and you glide a lot on your feet. Reaching the summit takes about 1.5 hours and the altitude can make you feel very exhausted. We reached the top when the day began to brighten, but unfortunately the peak of Acatenango had only strong winds, mist and sleet for us, so we couldn’t see many meters in front of us. Therefore, no pictures of either the sunrise or Fuego from there. However, we sang “Happy birthday” for Pontus on the top, for it was Pontus birthday the day we climbed Acatenango!

Then we packed our stuff and went down the volcano in a little less than 2.5 hours and we came back happy to Antigua before lunch! Even though the weather was not with us this day, it was still an incredible adventure for us and it is awesome that we almost been up on 4000 meters. We have put together a video of our 24-hour adventure on Acatenango, which we hope you will enjoy!

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Det är en helt fantastisk värld du går i på väg upp på Acatenango! It is a fantastic world you walk through on the way up the Acatenango!

Ett ansikte! A face!

Ett ansikte! A face!

 

Våra vandringskamrater Mike och Anna! Our hiking companions Mike and Anna!

Våra vandringskamrater Mike och Anna! Our hiking companions Mike and Anna!

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Dimman kröp allt närmare och förvandlade vulkanen till en trollskog! The fog crept closer and turned the volcano in to a magic forest!

Dimman kröp allt närmare och förvandlade vulkanen till en trollskog! The fog crept closer and turned the volcano in to a magic forest!

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Vid 4 tiden på eftermiddagen nådde vi vårt läger och passande nog startade Pontus födelsedag i Sverige vid den tiden! We reached our camp at 4 pm and, fittingly, Pontus birthday started in Sweden at the time!

Vid 4 tiden på eftermiddagen nådde vi vårt läger och passande nog startade Pontus födelsedag i Sverige vid den tiden! We reached our camp at 4 pm and, fittingly, Pontus birthday started in Sweden at the time!

 

Så vi öppnade whiskyflaskan för att fira :)! So we opened the whiskey bottle to celebrate :)!

Vi öppnade whiskyflaskan för att fira Pontus :)! We opened the whiskey bottle to celebrate Pontus :)!

Det var svart regn om föll från molnen, men vi hade bra tält med oss! black rain was falling from the clouds, but we had good tent with us!

Det var svart regn som föll från molnen, men vi hade bra tält med oss! Black rain was falling from the clouds, but we had good tent with us!

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Vi hade också me doss jordgubbar för att fira Pontus födelsedag! We also had strawberries with us to celebrate Pontus birthday!

Vi hade också med oss jordgubbar för att fira Pontus födelsedag! We also had strawberries with us to celebrate Pontus birthday!

Vi gjorde det! Ta en selfie uppe på 3900 meter i oväder var inte det lättaste :)! We did it! Take a selfie at 3900 meters in a storm was not easy :)!

Vi gjorde det! Ta en selfie uppe på 3900 meter i oväder var inte det lättaste :)! We did it! Take a selfie at 3900 meters in a storm was not easy :)!

Vulkanen San Pedro / The volcano San Pedro

(Please scroll down to the orange text for the English version)

Vill man få en häftig utsikt över Atitlansjön och alla vulkaner är Indiannäsan ett jättebra förslag, men vill man känna på högre höjder och vandra upp på en vulkan, så är vulkanen San Pedro en jätteskön dagstur att ta sig an. Vi ville upp högre än vad vi någonsin varit och se hur vi reagerade på höjd, så vi valde att ta en av dagarna i San Pedro och försöka oss på den vandringen. Vårt mål är att ta oss upp på Acatenango på Pontus födelsedag och vi ville få lite höjdträning innan vi tog steget närmare 4000 meter.

Vår vän Donald valde att stanna kvar en extra dag i San Pedro för att bestiga vulkanen, så vi bestämde oss för att göra det ihop, och det enklaste sättet att ta sig upp på vulkanen visade sig vara att bara ta en tuk-tuk för 10 Quetzales (11 Sek) till parkingången och betala parkavgiften på 100 Quetzales ( 110 Sek). En guide som tar dig up till toppen är inkluderat i det priset , så du behöver inte ordna med någon “travel agency” innan.

Det var första gången som vi  fick känna på hur hjärtat rusade för minsta ansträngning och rejäl andfåddhet, vilket nog berodde helt på att vi tog oss 1200 höjdmeter på 2.5 timmar, en vandring som normalt tar 3 timmar. Vi kom dock upp på toppen på 3020 meter och det var en skön känsla att få slå vårt höjdrekord på en vulkan i Guatemala.


If you want to get a cool view of Lake Atitlan and all the volcanoes, then the Indian nose is a great suggestion, but if you want to feel higher altitudes and hike up a volcano, then the volcano San Pedro is a really nice day hike to do. We wanted up higher than we’ve ever been before and see how we reacted to the altitude, so we chose to take one of the days in San Pedro and try us on that trek. Our goal is to hike up the volcano Acatenango on Pontus birthday and we wanted to get some altitude training before we took the plunge to nearly 4,000 meters.

Our friend Donald chose to stay an extra day in San Pedro to climb the volcano, so we decided to do it together, and the easiest way to get up on the volcano is to just take a tuk-tuk for 10 Quetzales (1.2 Euro) to the park entrance and pay the park fee of 100 Quetzales (12 Euro). A guide that takes you up to the top is included in the price, so you don’t have to use a travel agency in town for this hike.

It was the first time that we got to know how the heart rushed for the smallest effort and hefty breathlessness, which depended entirely on that we managed to climb 1200 meters of altitude in just 2.5 hours, a hike that normally takes 3 hours. However, we managed to reach the summit at 3020 meters and it was a nice feeling to beat our previous altitude record on a volcano in Guatemala.IMG_3285

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Det hade hunnit bildas dis över vattnet, så vi hade inte den bästa utsikten denna dag, men vandringen var otroligt fin ändå! A haze had been formed over the water, so we did not have the best view this day, but the hike was incredibly nice anyway!

Det hade hunnit bildas dis över vattnet, så vi hade inte den bästa utsikten denna dag, men vandringen var otroligt fin ändå! A haze had been formed over the water, so we did not have the best view this day, but the hike was incredibly nice anyway!

Dagens bästa foto är tagen av Ulrika på toppen av vulkanen San Pedro! The best photo of the day is taken by Ulrika on top of the volcano San Pedro!

Dagens bästa foto är taget av Ulrika på toppen av vulkanen San Pedro! The best photo of the day is taken by Ulrika on top of the volcano San Pedro!

Det var den här lilla krabaten som gillade Donalds skrev :) It was this little fellow who likes Donald groin :)

Det var den här lilla krabaten som gillade Donalds skrev 🙂 It was this little fellow who liked Donald’s groin 🙂

 

 

 

Vandring och den heliga staden Kandy / Hiking and the holy city of Kandy

(Please scroll down to the orange text for the English version)

Kandy är Sri Lankas näst största stad efter huvudstaden Colombo, men den är också uppsatt på Unescos världsarvslista sedan 1988 och är en av de viktigaste heligaste platserna för buddishmen, då enligt sägnen en av buddhas tänder finns här i tandtemplet (vi valde dock inte att besöka det denna gång). Förutom tandtemplet så finns det även andra viktiga tempel inom buddhismen här som vi dock besökte. Det är viktigt att veta att Sri Lanka en gång i tiden har varit ett kungarike som hade sitt huvudsäte i Kandy och det är dessa kungar som låtit uppföra flera speciella tempel i området. Vi gjorde två vandringar i områdena runt Kandy. Den första var en kortare tur på 4 km i Udawatta Kele skogen som är en naturpark ovanför det kungliga palatset i Kandy. Här finns en rik fauna och flertalet djur. Vi såg både apor, ormar och en armé av iglar när vi gick runt där. Vi fick också se jättelianerna som växer i området!

Vår andra vandring i Kandy gjordes med vår vän Nuwan som guide och han tog oss förbi risfält, genom skog, upp för berg och trappor för att se intressanta buddhistiska tempel som stod färdiga för 700 år sedan. Denna dag vandrade vi 12 km om man räknar med de sista två km som vi gjorde inne i staden Kandy! Det första stoppet var vid Gadaladeniya templet och detta tempel som byggdes år 1344 har tydliga influenser av hinduismen. Det andra templet vi besökte var Lankathilakatemplet som en av öns kungar lät bygga åt sin indiska fru. Det var vanligt att kungarna tog sig fruar från södra indien för undvika dåliga relationer med grannen i nordväst. Det kan också vara därför som buddhismen i Sri Lanka har vissa gudar gemensamma med hinduismen, bland annat Vishnu, Ganesha och Shiva, men de har också egna gudar som Saman vilken är beskyddaren av Sri Lanka och buddhismen i landet. Det tredje templet som vi besökte var Embekke som byggdes under samma århundrade som de tidigare och detta tempel är byggt i trä med en mängd utskurna motiv! Det är också helt byggt utan spikar och visar på en avancerad ingenjörskonst från 1300-talet.

Därefter tog vi bussen till Kandy och promenerade runt sjön i Kandy för att komma till kulturcentrumet där det visades Kandyansk dans på kvällen. Väldigt häftig upplevelse där vi fick se allt från att balansera roterande plattor på pinnar, eldslukning, volter och vandring på glödande och häftigt brinnande kol.

Kandy is Sri Lanka’s second largest city after the capital Colombo. It is also on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1988, and is one of the most important holy places for buddhism, where according to legend, one of Buddha’s teeth is preserved in the temple of tooth (we chose not to visit it this time). Beside the temple of tooth, there are also other important old temples here that we visited. Sri Lanka was once a kingdom which had its headquarters in Kandy and it is the kings who built (or ordered to build) several special temples in the area. We did two hikes in the areas around Kandy. The first was a short walk of 4 km in Udawatta Kele forest which is a nature sanctuary above the royal palace in Kandy. It has a rich fauna and numerous animals. We saw monkeys, snakes and an army of leeches when we walked around. We also got to see the giant liana that grow in the area !

Our second hike in Kandy was with our friend Nuwan as a guide and he took us past rice fields, through woods, and up hills and stairs to see interesting Buddhist temples that was finished 700 years ago. This day we walked 12 km if we count the last 2 km we walked inside the city of Kandy! The first stop was at Gadaladeniya temple, and this temple built in 1344 has clear influences of Hinduism. The second temple we visited was the Lankathilaka temple that one of the island’s kings had built for his Indian wife. It was common that the kings took their wives from South India to avoid bad relations with the neighbors to the northwest. This may also be why Buddhism in Sri Lanka has some gods in common with Hinduism, including Vishnu, Ganesha and Shiva, but they also have their own god Saman which is the protector of Sri Lanka and Buddhism in the country. The third temple we visited was Embekke built in the same century as the others, and this temple is built of wood with a variety of cut-out motifs! It is also built entirely without nails and show advanced engineering from the 1300s.

Then we took the bus to Kandy and walked around the lake in Kandy to get to the cultural center where we wathed a Kandy dance show in the evening. Very cool experience where we got to see everything from balancing rotating plates on sticks, fire-eating, somersaults and walking on glowing and also fiercely burning, coal.

Kandysjön! Lake Kandy!

Kandysjön! Lake Kandy!

Vattenvaraner finns vid Kandysjön! Vatten monitor lizards can be found at Lake Kandy!

Stora vattenvaraner finns vid Kandysjön! Huge water monitor lizards can be found at Lake Kandy!

En gata i Kandy! A street in Kandy!

En gata i Kandy! A street in Kandy!

Kandy!

Kandy!

Vi hittade jättebambuträd i Udawatta Kele-skogen! We found giant bamboo trees in the Udawatta Kele Forest!

Vi hittade jättebambu i Udawatta Kele-skogen! We found giant bamboo in the Udawatta Kele Forest!

Utsikt över Kandy stad som ligger i ett hav av härlig grönska! Views of Kandy town located in a sea of beautiful greenery!

Utsikt över Kandy stad som ligger i ett hav av härlig grönska! View over Kandy town located in a sea of beautiful greenery!

Det finns apor i Udawatta Kele-skogen! There are monkeys in Udawatta Kele Forest!

Apor i Udawatta Kele-skogen! Monkeys in Udawatta Kele Forest!

Jättelian som sträcker sig många hundra meter i skogen. Ulrika för skala! A giant liana which extends several hundred meters into the forest. Ulrika for scale!

Jättelian som sträcker sig många hundra meter i skogen. Ulrika för skala! A giant liana which extends several hundred meters into the forest. Ulrika for scale!

Henawala järnvägsövergång! Henawala railway crossing!

Henawala järnvägsövergång! Henawala railway crossing!

Nuwan tar med oss på äventyr i skogen! Tack för att du visade oss runt Nuwan! Nuwan takes us on adventures in the forest! Thanks for showing us around Nuwan!

Nuwan tar med oss på äventyr i skogen! Tack för att du visade oss runt Nuwan! Nuwan takes us on adventures in the forest! Thanks for showing us around Nuwan!

Vårt första stopp för dagen var Gadaladeniyatemplet! Our first stop of the day was the Gadaladeniya temple!

Vårt första stopp för dagen var Gadaladeniyatemplet! Our first stop of the day was the Gadaladeniya temple!

Gadaladeniyateplet byggdes år 1344! The Gadaladeniya temple was built the year1344!

Gadaladeniyateplet byggdes år 1344! The Gadaladeniya temple was built year 1344!

Den upplysta buddha med ondskan som omringar honom! The enlightened Buddha with the evil that surrounds him!

Den upplysta buddha med ondskan som omringar honom! The enlightened Buddha with the evil that surrounds him!

Promenera bland risfälten! Stroll among the paddy fields!

Promenera bland risfälten! Stroll among the paddy fields!

VI gick förbi en liten skola med glada, lekande barn! We walked past a small school with happy children that were playing!

Vi gick förbi en liten skola med glada, lekande barn! We walked past a small school with happy children that were playing!

Hälsade på hos en oljelampstillverkare! Visited an oil lamp manufacturers!

Hälsade på hos en oljelampstillverkare! Visited an oil lamp manufacturer!

En elefant klädd i guld! An elephant dressed in gold!

En elefant klädd i guld! An elephant dressed in gold!

Vi hittade ett hus som fick oss att tänka på Karl Larsson-huset i Dalarna! We found a house that reminded us about the Karl Larsson house in Dalarna!

Vi hittade ett hus som fick oss att tänka på Karl Larsson-gården i Sundborn, Dalarna! We found a house that reminded us about the Karl Larsson house in Sundborn, Dalarna!

En man som ser om sitt ris! A man who looks after his rice!

En man som ser om sitt ris! A man who looks after his rice!

Många trappor för att komma till tempel nr 2 för dagen! Many stairs to climb to reach Temple No. 2 or the day!

Många trappor för att komma till tempel nr 2 för dagen! Many stairs to climb to reach Temple No. 2 for the day!

Utsikten från toppen! The view from the top!

Utsikten från toppen! The view from the top!

Lankathilakatemplet! The Lankathilaka temple!

Lankathilakatemplet! The Lankathilaka temple!

Lankathilakatemplet byggdes också år 1344! The Lankathilaka temple was also built the year 1344!

Lankathilakatemplet byggdes också år 1344! The Lankathilaka temple was also built year 1344!

Nuwan och Pontus! Nuwan and Pontus!

Nuwan och Pontus! Nuwan and Pontus!

Vi gick igenom en muslimsk by och mötte glad barn som var på väg hem från skolan! We went through a Muslim village and met happy children who were on their way home from school!

Vi gick igenom en muslimsk by och mötte glad barn som var på väg hem från skolan! We walked through a Muslim village and met happy children who were on their way home from school!

Tempelnummer 3 var Embekke som är byggt i trä helt utan några spikar och byggdes år 1371. Temple No. 3 was Embekke which is built with wood without using any nails and it was built in the year 1371.

Tempel nummer 3 var Embekke som är byggt i trä helt utan några spikar och byggdes år 1371. Temple No. 3 was Embekke which is built with wood without using any nails and it was built in the year 1371.

Embekketemplet har många fina träsniderier på pelarna! The Embekke temple has many fine carvings on the pillars!

Embekketemplet har många fina träsniderier på pelarna! The Embekke temple has many fine carvings on the pillars!

Templet är dedikerat till guden Kataragama (eller Skanda) som är en kraftfull beskyddare av Sri Lanka och är viktig del av den singalesiska buddhismen! The temple is dedicated to the god Kataragama (or Skanda), and he is a powerful patron of Sri Lanka and is important for the Sinhalese Buddhism!

Templet är dedikerat till guden Kataragama (eller Skanda) som är en kraftfull beskyddare av Sri Lanka och är viktig del av den singalesiska buddhismen! The temple is dedicated to the god Kataragama (or Skanda), and he is a powerful patron of Sri Lanka and is important for the Sinhalese Buddhism!

Den välkända och välbesökta Kandydansen! The well-known and frequently visited Kandyan dance!

Den välkända och välbesökta Kandydansen! The well-known and popular Kandyan dance!

Tandtemplet, som vi aldrig var inne i, där en av buddhas tänder sägs finnas! The temple of tooth, we never went in, where a tooth of Buddha is said to be kept!

Tandtemplet, som vi aldrig var inne i, där en av buddhas tänder sägs finnas! The temple of tooth, we never went in, where a tooth of Buddha is said to be kept!

Kandyansk dans / Kandyan dance:

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