• berlin,  citytrip,  europe,  germany,  GL,  unesco world heritage

    The Pergamon museum: a wonder to behold!

    In the final week of 2014, we went citytripping in Berlin. For me, personally, it certainly was one of the most memorable citytrips, and one I truly enjoyed from beginning to end. It was the combination of culture (e.g. the Museuminsel), history (Berlin Wall and WWII memorial sites, and a wide array of associated musea), street art (esp. work from ROA, a well-known street artist from Ghent, Belgium) and general cosiness (e.g. at the christmas markets) that made this work for me. The very first day, we split up: while Annick and Febe went to the Berlin Aquarium, I visited the Pergamon museum, one of a number of fine musea…

  • africa,  antarctica,  capetown,  citytrip,  south africa

    Antarctica (1): getting there

    “Here I am, at the Big Blue Backpackers Hotel, in my little room. Alone. But it’s quiet here and I’m relieved: the journey went smoothly except for the 1-hour customs delay at Cape Town International. Because I’m going to the South Pole for 2.5 months, I cannot afford to loose any luggage at this time!” This is how the diary I wrote during my first Antarctica Expedition starts. I used to be a marine biologist, working on seaworms (nematodes) from the deep sea and coral reefs. In my last years as a scientist (I’m a teacher now), I worked on a project (BIANZO II) dealing with the poles and global…

  • europe,  GL,  italy,  unesco world heritage

    Stumbling upon the Etruscan necropole of Tarquinia…

    We visited the Italian island of Sardegna (Sardinia) in the summer of 2013, and we still regard this holiday as one of our favorites. It was the ideal mix of relaxation, culture, nature and excellent food. We did consider to fly to Sardinia, but after comparing the costs we decided to go by car. This means we could add a roadtrip to our holiday, taking in a lot of culture and experiencing the couleur locale through couchsurfing. It turned out to be a perfect combination, and we ended up with a number of unforgettable memories. Maybe the most remarkable story is about how we came across Tarquinia. It was on…

  • africa,  asia,  egypt,  israel

    The vast emptyness of deserts

    An open door to the desert – by @SinbadsOPG       It all started with this picture I saw on twitter yesterday. Deserts. I’ve always had a thing for them…I travelled ‘through’ a desert twice. The first time, I sailed the Nile from Luxor to Aswan and back. From the boat, you could see the desert creeping up on the river. Sometimes hidden behind a green curtain of palmtrees, other times right in full view. In Aswan we took a little trip inside it, rode a camels back for a couple of hours. My first encounter with the desert. I wasn’t nearly enough protected for it (the sunblock 50…

  • asia,  israel

    Jaffa

    Today I saw a tweet from @Wanderingtradr about the city of Jaffa, near the centre of Tel Aviv in Israel. He mentioned the fact that it is thought to be one of the oldest cities in the world. As I mentioned on our website – it somewhat surprised me that the old city of Jaffa, is not considered UNESCO World Heritage, while the modern architecture of the city is. The old Jaffa is really beautiful, aligned next to the sea, with views of splendid water, glinstering in the sunlight through the old buildings. A little blogpost to take you there… Just one of the many reasons to visit this country,…

  • africa,  citytrip,  marrakech,  morocco,  unesco world heritage

    Marrakesh highlights part 2

    There have been several weeks between this blogpost and the former one. This is due to both of us working in education: the final month is a hectic one and there’s simply no time whatsoever to write. But hey, we’re back. Back to report about, and share memories of, our trip to Morocco in April of this year. Today: our 4th day… On our 4th day, we went back to the medina of Marrakesh. You must understand that we are traveling with a 3-year-old. She’s just the perfect travel companion, but traveling with 3 also means finding a compromise between each of our wish lists. Playing in the swimming pool…

  • europe,  GL,  italy,  unesco world heritage

    Impressions of Firenze.

    I wasn’t sure what title to give this account of our one-day walk through Firenze (Florence) in July 2013. We were merely passing by on our way back home (after visiting Sardegna) and the scorching heat (temperatures around 45°C, that’s around 113 degrees Fahrenheit) wasn’t really motivating us for long walks and intensive visits. We were also traveling with our (then) 3-year old daughter, Febe, so we didn’t visit any musea either. Instead, we decided on a walk through the city centre, followed by a visit to the Boboli gardens for some peace and quiet (and because it was then just declared UNESCO world heritage). The city was completely overcrowded…

  • africa,  citytrip,  marrakech,  morocco

    Welcome to Marrakesh – entering the doors and gates

    Marrakesh is a welcoming city with hospitable inhabitants and a definite focus on gate and door architecture. This became obvious to us even after a few hours in the city, and although we didn’t plan to write a separate blog post about this subject, we just had to photograph them because of their intricate beauty. And so this post only focuses on doors and gates in the Marrakesh medina. Gates. The medina of Marrakesh is completely walled. The ramparts are 19km long and interrupted by 19 gates only. Both the walls and the gates date back to the 12th century. The most beautiful gate is the Bab Agnaou, a triumphal…

  • africa,  morocco,  unesco world heritage

    Of seaguls and roasted fish: getting some fresh air at Essaouira

    During our stay in Morocco, we only once hired a car to go driving ourselves. Not that driving here is dangerous in any way, but we mostly took the shuttle bus to Marrakesh or had a private driver on our trips with www.saharadesertkingdom.com. Going to Essaouira, however, was just easiest and most comfortable with a hired car. We didn’t want to pay a lot of dirhams to go on a guided tour where you aren’t allowed to do things at your own pace. And traveling with a toddler, taking your time is just the only way to go. Moreover, the road from Marrakesh to Essaouira is straight, well-indicated and well-maintained. The…

  • africa,  citytrip,  marrakech,  morocco

    Fashion, colour and photograpy: the Majorelle garden

    During the 1920s and 1930s, the French painter Jacques Majorelle designed and constructed an extraordinary botanical garden just outside of the centre of Marrakesh, with the help of a local ethnobotanist. The result is stunning! The son of an Art Nouveau artist, Jacques was fascinated by colours such as the very strong cobalt blue, which he used extensively on buildings, walls and tiles in the garden. Relaxing amidst the cobalt blue Majorelle’s garden itself is a walled garden of Eden, with a focus on palm trees, bamboo, cacti and a selection of flowering plants to add even more bright colours (e.g. giant pink, red and white Bougainvillea). Personalised bamboo Red…