Ankor på vift

A freedom-oriented travel blog

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Liveaboard – Diving in the Andaman Sea part II: Similan Islands

Part II of our liveaboard adventure begins when we entered the waters of the Similan National Park, a very famous dive area with a lot of dive sites and beautiful Islands. Part I was all about the Surin Islands and Richelieu rock, a more remote location where most boats that come there are dive boats. Now in the Similan islands we would encounter a lot more tourists and people snorkeling near the beaches. We were here in the beginning of March, so the high season for tourists were over so there weren’t to many people here. However, we can imagine crowded beaches here during the peak of the season.  


Del II av vårt liveaboard-äventyr börjar när vi kom in i Similan Nationalpark, ett välkänt dykområde med många dykplatser och med vackra öar. Del I handlade om Surinöarna och Richelieu rock, ett mer avlägset område där de flesta båtar som kom dit är dykbåtar. Nu på Similanöarna skulle vi möta många fler turister och människor som snorklar nära stränderna. Vi var här i början av mars, så högsäsongen för turister var över och då var det inte alltför många människor där, men vi kunde föreställa oss hur trångt det skulle kunna vara på stränderna här under toppen av högsäsongen.

Day 2 of diving we entered the Similan National Park, which consists of 11 islands. Similan means nine (in Yawi) and from the beginning the park consisted of nine islands making up an archipelago, but in 1998 two more islands were included in the National park, Koh Tachai and Koh Bon.

We reached Koh Tachai, the most northern island and latest added to the Similan National park list of islands, around lunch on dive day 2. Some information about Koh Tachai: Original name Koh Bua after the unique Lotus flower that used to grow on the island. The 2004 tsunami wiped away all flowers so the island was renamed after one of the first fishermen who came to the island after the tsunami: Uncle Chai (TaChai).

Our dive number 8 on this trip was scheduled during the sunset so we didn’t bring our gopro for this dive.
More information about Koh Tachai: The island is located between the Surin Islands and the main Similan Archipelago, quite close to the Richelieu rock where we dived previously that day (dive day 2). Whale sharks and Manta rays can be seen here, but luck wasn’t on our side on this trip.

Next day, dive day 3, we had traveled to Koh Bon for dives number 9 and 10. Koh Bon has two main dive areas, the ridge/bay and the Pinnacle, which is deep and prone to currents. The first dive for us here was next to the ridge.

Our tenth dive on this trip was north of the ridge and it was here that we got to see our first Guitarfish, which we first thought was a shark, but it belongs to the family of rays.

Then it was time to travel down to the main Similan archipelago, the original nine islands which have given this part of the world its name. We did our last dive of the day here, before it was barbecue time with our dive companions and the dive crew.

We did only three dives this day, so our barbecue party could start early.

Erica, Vita and Shing while waiting for dinner. We had good times together on the boat.

The sunset on dive day 3. The morning after would be our last dive day with the Sea dragon’s liveaboard.

Dive day 4 and we would have our last two dives on the West side of the archipelago. We also had time to visit Koh Similan, the largest island out of the nine islands in the archipelago.

We headed up on the “mountain” on Koh Similan to get a better view over the island.

It is an easy and short hike up a human-made trail, so shoes are not needed. The white powder on our feet are sand from the beach.

The view over the bay, Ao Kuerk, on Koh Similan. We don’t have a lot of pictures with us together so we took the opportunity to be in the same picture together.

The water is crystal clear so to jump from the rocks was amazing.

We found a strange looking dead creature near the beach. More pictures from Koh Similan can be found in the slide show below. Then it was time for our two last dives on the trip.

 

We had all three dives in the archipelago on the West side, which is known for its huge boulders and swim-throughs. Diving on the East side is said to be different with gently sloping coral reefs and sandy patches.

Then it was time to get back to the mainland and for us that meant to get back to Khao Lak and waiting for our friends to arrive.

Our first time in Berlin

From Dubrovnik to Berlin, in a month we had managed to travel south to north across Europe and our focus was to visit old and new friends. Berlin wasn’t in our plans from the beginning, but a certain sport retailer had us convinced that we wanted to go here. Why not try to see some of the historical grounds here in Berlin while we stayed here, we said to each other, so here are some pictures from Berlin! 


Från Dubrovnik till Berlin, under en månads tid hade vi lyckats resa från söder till norr genom Europa och vårt fokus var att besöka gamla och nya vänner. Berlin var inte i våra planer från början, men en viss sportaffär hade övertygat oss om att vi ville åka hit. Varför inte försöka se några av de historiska platserna här i Berlin under vår vistelse sa vi till varandra, så här är några bilder från Berlin!

Our purpose in Berlin was not to explore the historical sites of the city, but we couldn’t resist to walk around one day and see some of the historical areas and Die Mauer was one of them. More about this day later.

First, it  was time to upgrade our gear and we went to Berlin solely for the purpose of visiting a Decathlon outlet.

They sell everything from outdoor gear and ballet clothes, to scuba equipment, sailing and horse stuff, so this is the biggest sports goods retailer that we have visited.

Pontus shoes needed to be upgraded, so say hell to a new pair of cheap, but qualitative, Kalenji sneakers.

The Decathlon store we went to is located at Alexanderplatz, a large transport hub in Berlin.

You get a good view of the Fernsehturm, a communistic propaganda building constructed between 1965 and 1969. The Ferneshturm was intended to be a symbol of communist power and of Berlin.

Fika-time at Alexanderplatz.

and waffles that got our sugar levels spiking.

There is a construction company in this part of Europe that has an interesting company name Porr (Porn in Swedish) with the Swedish flag colors.

We lived in Friedrichshain, a part of Germany that was severely damaged during the second world war, because of the Allies heavy bombings on industrial buildings that were located in Friedrichshain. After the war, the Stalinallee was built in this neighborhood and  Friedrichshain was the cultural center of East Berlin.

After the Wall fell, a lot of apartments stood suddenly empty here in Friedrichshain and this attracted the attention of squatters, which can still be found here today,

There are a lot of vegan alternatives in this part of Berlin, so it was special to find a non-vegan place.

The last day we had gathered enough energy to spend a day walking around to different historical places and look at the architecture in the city.

We walked past the Berlin Cathedral or the other name for it: Supreme Parish and Collegiate Church. The church standing here today stood finished 1905, but the Supreme Parish and Collegiate Church and its community dates back to 1450’s.

We walked down the historical parade street Unter den Linden, which was constructed by Elector John George of Brandenburg in the 16th century so he could reach his hunting grounds in the Tiergarten.

Unter den Linden starts at the Berlin Palace, a place that dates back to the 1450’s.

Brandenburger Tor, another historical monument that has meant a lot for both monarchs, Napoleon and the Nazi’s.

We visited Tiergarten, the big park in the middle of Berlin. This was the royal families private hunting grounds. In 1742 the fences around the park was torn down by Frederick II and the park was now open for the public.

A short stop looking at the German Reichstag, which was constructed after the unification of Germany in 1871.

We passed the Holocaust Memorial.

Potsdamer Platz, named after the city Potsdamer and the area marks the point where the old road from Potsdamer passed through the city wall of Berlin. This was a No-mans land during the cold war and Potsdamer Platz became one of the earliest points where the Berlin Wall was breached in 1989.

You’ll find Checkpoint Charlie, the most famous of border crossing checkpoints between East and West Berlin, near Potsdamer Platz, The Berlin Wall was built because of the heavy brain drain from East to West, between 1949 and 1961, over 2½ million East Germans fled to the West. This was so damaging to the political credibility and economic viability of East Germany., so they started to construct the Wall in 1961.

A standoff occurred between U.S. and Soviet tanks at Checkpoint Charlie soon after the Berlin Wall was built. The dispute was about if East German guards were authorized to examine the travel documents of a U.S. diplomat. 10 Soviet and 10 American tanks stood 100 yards apart on either side of the checkpoint for more than 24 hours. The standoff ended peacefully.

Love the placement of McDonald’s.

Pontus and Die Mauer – Next to Checkpoint Charlie lies a Wall museum where you can see a piece of the Wall, together with a lot of pictures and historical descriptions surrounding the history of the Wall. From the construction of the Wall and histories about both fatal and successful escape attempts, to the days when the Wall was torn down.

We found beautiful street art about this historical place around checkpoint Charlie, so it was nice just to randomly walk around here. Then it was time for us to leave Germany.

Liveaboard – Diving in the Andaman Sea part I

Finally, Ulrika has taken the time to go through all our movies and photos from our Liveaboard adventure in Thailand so this will be a throwback to the end of February when we went out with Sea dragon, a Khao Lak based dive center that  has its own boats traveling up and down the west coast of Thailand taking divers out for adventures in the Andaman Sea. We choose to do a 4 days/4 nights liveaboard going from the Surin Islands down to the Similan Islands with a total of 13 dives during the days (and nights) out on the sea. The crew and dive masters where awesome and the food served was really good, so we had a great time with the Sea dragons that we will remember forever.


Äntligen har Ulrika tagit sig tid att gå igenom alla våra filmer och bilder från vårt Liveaboard-äventyr i Thailand så detta blir en tillbakablick till slutet av februari när vi åkte ut med Sea Dragon, ett Khao Lak-baserat dykcenter som har sina egna båtar som färdas upp och ner vid Thailands västkust och tar dykare ut på äventyr i Andamansjön. Vi valde att göra en 4 dagars/4 nätters liveaboard som gick från Surinöarna ner till Similanöarna med totalt 13 dyk under dessa dagar (och nätter) ute på havet. Besättningen och dykinstruktörerna var fantastiska och maten som serverades ombord var riktigt bra. Vi hade en underbar upplevelse med Sea Dragons som vi kommer att minnas för alltid.

Our first stop was the Surin Islands where we would do our first four dives. We had traveled to these Islands during the night, so we could do our first dive early in the morning on day 1.

Mu Ko Surin National Park is an archipelago of five islands 60 km from the mainland and only a few kilometers from the Thai-Burmese oceanic border. The ethnic Moken minority, known as “chao lay” or “sea gypsies”, are the only humans living on the Surin islands.

We got a chance to walk on the main Surin Island and explore a small part of the national park. The park is closed during rainy season, 1 May-31 October, so during that time no dive boats go to this part of Thailand.

We brought our masks so we could do some snorkeling, but there wasn’t much to see under the water here. It was more things to see looking out from the beach. We then went out on our second dive before lunch.

We went out with the M/V Andaman boat and it was our Liveaboard-home for a few days. So we could relax on the sun deck reading a book or lay down under the roof listening to a podcast between dives. We have put together a slide show with pictures of the boat if you want to see how a Liveaboard boat could look like.

 

We could also talk with the other Liveaboard people on the boat. Siim and Kajsa were our dive companions, sharing the same dive master, so we did all of our dives together. Siim and Kajsa are working in the Finnish/Estonian film industry and Siim had become a bit famous after his last movie ( Mother, 2016) so some Estonian people on vacation in Thailand had recognized him.

Emil was our Swedish dive master who took us out on the under water adventures! Thanks Emil for our days with the Sea Dragon Liveaboard, you made it an awesome time for us.

It was encouraging to see the number of dives the people on our boat had done. We were one of the least experienced with only 48 dives during this trip, some of the divers had done several thousands of dives up to this point.

Our fourth dive was a night dive around the Surin Islands, so we waited for the sun to set before we jumped into the water. We didn’t film during this dive, but it was a really nice dive.

On dive day 2, the M/V Andaman took us to Richelieu Rock, a famous dive site 18 km east of the Surin Islands. Richelieu Rock is known for its purple corals and the diverse marine life found there. You even have a chance of seeing whale sharks around this underwater rock mountain if you’re lucky (we weren’t that lucky).

The dive master, there were five of them taking care of different dive groups, held a dive briefing before each dive and told us what we could expect to see on different dive sites. We did our dives no 5 and 6 around this dive site. The coral is pink and purple, so Scorpion fishes here have amazing color pattern trying to disguise themselves among the corals.

Richelieu Rock became a dive site when diving pioneer, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, with the help of local fishermen, discovered it. It is a horse-shoe shaped pinnacle that rises 50 meter from the sea bottom and touches the surface during low tide. After our two dives at Richelieu rock, we had lunch on the boat while it took us  south to the island Koh Tachai. More about that in part II.

Visiting our friend Michi in Bamberg

Back on track and we can finally give a short explanation of why we ended up in Bamberg, a small town in the middle of Germany. We were here to visit our friend Michi, who we got to know during our three months stay in Acapulco during the 2016 version of Anarchapulco. It was just by pure spontaneous travel, a trait that we are known for by now, we happened to step of a bus in Bamberg. We had a lot to catch up with our friend since our good bye in Acapulco in 2016, so Bamberg just had to be our next destination.  
Originally, we were thinking of going to Paris, Amsterdam or Slovakia when Ulrika remembered that Michi should be somewhere in the southern parts of Germany. One message later and we had set our travel compass towards Bamberg. Little did we know that we would come to a lovely small town with a lot of history. 


Tillbaka på rätt spår och vi kan slutligen ge er en kort förklaring till varför vi hamnade i Bamberg, en liten stad i mitten av Tyskland. Vi var här för att besöka vår vän Michi, som vi lärde känna under våra tre månader i Acapulco när vi närvarade vid 2016-års version av Anarchapulco. Det var bara en ren spontanresa, en egenskap som vi är kända för i nuläget, att vi hoppade på en buss till Bamberg. Vi hade mycket att prata om med vår vän sedan vårt adjö i Acapulco 2016, så Bamberg var vi bara tvungna att ha som vår nästa destination.
Vår ursprungliga plan var att åka till Paris, Amsterdam eller Slovakien, när Ulrika kom ihåg att Michi borde befinna sig någonstans i de södra delarna av Tyskland. Ett ivägskickat meddelande senare och vi hade satt vår resekompass mot Bamberg. Lite visste vi att vi skulle sätta fötterna i en förtjusande liten stad med mycket historia.

Awesome to meet Michi again and to explore his hometown Bamberg!

Michi took us to the old town of Bamberg, which is on the UNESCO’s world heritage list because it has kept its medieval appearance.

You enter old town by crossing the Obere Brücke (a bridge built in 1455) and walk through the town hall of Bamberg, the town hall dates back to the 16th century and has cool exterior painting.

Michi and Pontus on the streets of old town Bamberg. Michi showed us around different parts of Bamberg during the few days we spent with him and his family and friends.

Bamberg was first mentioned in 902 and has been a town since the first millennium. The town was heavily involved in the witch hunt during the 15th century and approximately 1000 people were sentenced to death during a 5-year period. This was one of the largest witch trials in history.

Everywhere you go, you’ll find lovely houses with interesting exterior that you want to check out further.

Schlenkerla is one out of nine old, famous pubs that brews the famous Bamburg Rauchbier – a
beer which has a distinctive, smoky aroma and flavor.

Rauchbier is almost pitch black and has an interesting taste. We liked it, but felt it was enough drinking one.

Another nice thing here is that people are standing outside on the street, having a beer and having conversation with people passing the pub. It is a joyful atmosphere!

We continued our walk through the old town and found more medieval houses.

We walked, but old town also have a tourist sightseeing bus tour. We ended up at the “little Venice of Bamberg where we recorded a short video, which can be seen below.

The old town of Bamberg also has its own cathedral and it is under the administration of the Roman Catholic Church. The original cathedral was founded in 1002 by King Heinrich II, but the first two cathedrals burned down in the 11th and 12th centuries, so the current one has been standing here since the 13th century.

The Neue Residenz, the palace that was the bishops residence from 1602 to 1803.

Behind the bishop palace, there is a beautiful rose garden to enjoy.

Wikipedia claims that the rose garden has over 4500 roses in different colors.

Michi likes to climb, so he took us to the local boulder room  (Block Helden) to get our muscles working again.

They accept bitcoin, so we really like this place! Notice that you’re not allowed to pay with bitcoin if you’re a drug dealer 😂

Michi showing different problems in the boulder room.

Pontus warming up on an easy route.

Ulrika feeling out the bolted holds once more.

Michi’s cousin is an experienced climber, so he showed us more difficult routes in the boulder room.

Michi also took us out on the countryside to taste the local famous food and beers around Bamberg. Hölzlein is one of the guest houses famous for their brewery and food.

We had the chance to spend time with Michi’s friend Andreas talking a lot about the German school system.

A proper German dinner – some kind of meat, sauerkraut, sauce and potatoes!

Grießnockerlsuppe, Semolina dumpling soup, was a new kind of soup that we haven’t tasted before coming to Bamberg. It was delicious!

A random art project we found while exploring the town. Loved it!

We also took a walk to Hain park, which is next to the old town and it is an easy walk to discover more beautiful surroundings here in Bamberg.

An old bridge in Hain park.

Here you’ll find the botanical garden!

More photos from Hain park.

Andreas joined us on the walk and we really appreciate the conversations and the the explorations we had with you guys. Thanks for letting us spontaneously come visit you!

And thanks for letting us stay with you! Next stop for us was Berlin!

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.

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