I have no heavy training... Barely Elementary School. Preferred the wilderness, it became my university, but I got muddy boots and experience instead of School knowledge so my English was therefore quite inadequate. This blog is a project to improve my skills in English language.
We all have our own universe, welcome to visit mine.
prefer wilderness in front of urban sites, there are some capitals that go
directly to my heart, Dublin is one of them. With its mild coastal climate, it
is a nice destination even in the winter. We were there a January week, a few
was a little worn, the bathroom door couldn't close, the view not directly
captivating and a ice-pail on the table next to our table, caught the
water dripping from the ceiling in the breakfast room ... Charming! The hotel
was simple but at the same time very affordable! There was nice reception and
central location. We loved it!
impossible to miss where the dark stout Guinness comes from, it characterizes
the whole city. Are ubiquitous. A heavenly kingdom for those who appreciate the
drink as the undersigned does. If you visit Dublin, you must not miss the Guinness Storehouse. A fantastic museum that tells
you everything you want to know about the iconic stout, at seven packed floors!
The city center
is no bigger than you can easily discover it on foot, but there are of course
several different companies with Hop on Hop of buses, if it is preferable. In
addition to museums, whiskey distilleries and other cultural events, there are
several fine parks. St. Stephens Green is one of them. A small oasis in the
middle of the city with lush greenery, statues, ponds and a rich bird life.
Fearless robins sing from bushes and fences.
Temple bar area is
another must. Charming district full of good pubs and restaurants. Many pubs
have live music in the evenings, an atmosphere of Ireland at its best.
Barentsburg (Баренцбург) is a Russian mining town, 55 km west of Longyearbyen
in Svalbard. The company town was founded as a Dutch mining town in the 1920s
but was sold in 1932 to the Soviet Union. Today, about 400 people live here,
most of them with roots from Ukraine.
is a mixture of old mining houses, industrial premises associated with the coal
mine, and much more modern buildings.
guide, who in English with clear Russian accent seems to enjoy scaring the shit
out of American tourists, is an otherwise happy and jovial person who with
great knowledge and empathy tells about life in the village. He is only forced
to silence at times, when a fully loaded mine truck with a deafening roar is
pounding by. The stories feel Russian, the atmosphere feels Russian. The house,
which was solemnly marked with 1958, was built in 1952 ... but the carpenters
did not find number two, so they took the figure that felt most like it, it had
to become an eight instead. Wonderfully!
Pub & Brewery is located on the main street in Barentsburg. For a long time,
it was the world's northernmost brewery, but when Longyearbyen opened its
brewery, they became, with very little margin, the world second-most
northernmost ... The brewery manufactures its beer on pure glacier water and
is, according to the guide, fantastic quality, a must try. If any of us were
craving for stronger drinks, the pub also had it, but he strongly advised not
to try their local special drink, called; "see you tomorrow"
We spent a
week in October at Malvarina Agriturismo, an organic farm that also has cozy
accommodation and a fantastic restaurant. The farm is run by a family and a few
employees; it is really genuine and breathes calm and peace. (No TV in the
room!) It is a wonderful oasis on the slopes of Monte Subasio, where a brisk
walk through olive groves takes you up to the Mt Subasio national park and a
wonderful panoramic view over Umbria.
offers genuine old-fashioned Italian diet, completely built on their own
organic products, adapted to the seasons and availability. Their prosciutto crudois heavenly, mouth watering just
thinking about it! And their freshly pressed olive oil, early pressing, emerald
green and smooth as velvet! An experience which should be on everyone's bucket
served at 20.00, then you eat and socialize, drink good local wine (the best
was the one who actually had no name), dish follows dish, one tastier than the
other. The meal lasts until towards midnight, when you rounded off with a cappuccino
and a little grappa. After a week of partying on the Mediterranean diet, I have
lost more than 1 kg! (Try to do so at a hamburger menu!)
week there were only two things that did not taste me, and it was not due to
the kitchen, it was because of me. I hate liver! It did not help that it was
cooked in a pear; it just tasted even more liver.
the thing with the snails. I love French snails in garlic but the herbs in the
Italian did not suit me. Or size, fully grown specimens, giant monsters who
must be forced out of the shells. As large recalcitrant arionidae, who must be
cut into slices to be swallowed. But this is like saying a parenthesis; Malvarina
is fantastic and well worth a visit. Try it!
We have stayed at
many peculiar places around the world, Mary-Ann's Polarrigg in Longyearbyen, is
definitely one of them. Old miners' barracks assembled into a small hotel, with
mining tools, coal and driftwood lying in the corners and images of half-naked
ladies on room doors. And with a polar bear in the corridor which reminds you
of the importance of being able to defend yourself in the Arctic.
rarely freeze ass off, neither this one. It has its rear end in a wonderful
conservatory, also the dining room, where you can have breakfast with the whole
nature panorama outside the window. (Maybe you will see a drooling arctic fox,
a glowering Svalbard reindeer or any other exciting thing ...)
If you suddenly
need a beer (Longyearbyen has the world's northernmost brewery) or any other
strengthening, the pub has open until 02:00. It's just tiptoe away in stocking
feet (No shoes indoors in this village!) sneak through the kitchen, say hello
to the chef if he is there, pass slugger bear and swish you're there.
The beer is very
good! The place is quite charming and the style really relaxed! Go there, be cool.
The chance or
risk, depending on how you see it, to encounter a polar bear near Longyearbyen
this time of year is probably as good as non-existent. But only almost! They
have four legs and like to hike, so you can never be absolutely sure, suddenly stand
exception there breathing down your neck. Therefore it is best to stay within
the safe range, at least without armament.
This year we
wanted to do something extra on the summer solstice, it became kayaking in the
Arctic. Only a small day trip, but still, pretty awesome! Advent fjord in
Longyearbyen is located at 78.13 degrees north, so it's a bit of traveling but
it was really worth it!
The landscape is
wild and enchanting beautiful. Northern Fulmars glide past on stiff wings, only
a few meters away from the kayak, eider and long-tailed ducks resting in the
coves and snow buntings sing intensive from the beach. A quite long and
enjoyable observation of an adult ivory gull, round off the day.
The beaches are
full of driftwood from Siberia, a lot of plastic waste from the world's oceans,
aircraft remnants from the war and rusty relics from abandoned coal mines.
Nothing to come before 1946 may be moved or removed, it counts as cultural
A fantastic day
trip with MS Langöysund gave, among other things, steep bird cliffs, bearded
seal, a large family of Beluga whale and not the least; a loud popping ancient
piece of glacier ice in the whiskey!
Svalbard reindeer, a separate subspecies of reindeer that overwintered the last
ice age in the islands, is a charming and quite fearless little chubby thing
that you suddenly can meet on the street, when you go to shop in the village.
supermarket provides gun cabinets directly inside the front door; they do not
want anyone carrying weapons in the store, civilized in any way ;-)
When the guide
locks the massive steel door behind me, I feel the claustrophobia creeping like
an iron band around the chest. It ceases, however, immediately when she
knowledgeable and committed invites us in an amazingly beautiful world with
stalagmites and stalactites from floor to ceiling. 13 km caverns and halls in
different levels and only one who has the key to the doors – I know who I will
hold in, if the light suddenly goes out!
We got during
our drive through southwest France the opportunity to visit the Grotte de
Villars, something that can really be recommended. It is an amazing and
unforgettable experience. There is forbidden to photograph, therefore I borrow
here some of the resort's image and hope for forgiveness, given how they are
more known caves, such as Lascaux, where the paintings are of a totally awesome
and unique quality. But if you are content with simpler paintings, so is the
Grotte de Villars a good option. Plus, you get to see the originals, at
Lascaux, you make do with copies. Because of e.g. fungal infestation are
caverns with paintings closed; only a few researchers are permitted to visit
them. The visitors are now referred to the caves with cave painting replicas.
after cave bears that once scratched out a sleeping place from the soft clay.
man painted with manganese oxide mixed with animal fat. Paintings, that still
remains 19,000 years later. With time, however, they will disappear because the
calcium deposits slowly covering them. In the Grotte de Villars is the famous
"man - bison" picture, one of the very rare pictures where man
depicted in pre historic art. (One of two sites in France) I have no good
picture of it so it got to be a small horse instead.
no photos available in the souvenir shop, which nearly describes the experience
that rests in my mind after our walk in the cave system. It must be
experienced. Both my wife and I agree the visit to the cave to one of our
absolute greatest experiences so far in life.
hungry for a little beach holiday now in the dark winter time, so we went to
Iceland, where it was even darker ... Hmm, but the bath was nice and warm. Blue
Lagoon is world famous for its hot water directly from the hot springs out of
the ground. It was blowing ice-needles, the water stung the skin and smelled a
bit like rotten eggs, but it was certainly an experience to savor.
It is said
that, what you lose in the blue lagoon, is lost forever. It is not always true.
You can retrieve an iPhone, but it requires endless hard work, desperately
swimming and advanced diving techniques to succeed. And yes, expensive
waterproof shell is waterproof, even when they have been chewed on by lava
We were in
Iceland just under a week and would like to travel light, no suitcases and
minimal hand luggage. No advanced photo and video equipment, just an iPhone and
a tiny action camera. It stung!
under four hours of daylight it was hard to get any sensible picture with so
faint equipment. The fact that it blew almost storm did not make things easier.
But it was infinitely beautiful and well worth experiencing. The blue light
just before dusk was the most amazing, magical light I've ever experienced! (The
above picture was taken at dawn, 11:03 am, and provides only a small taste of
the blue light)
is a great place; it has everything one could ask of a city. Wilderness
completely doorstep, where Glaucous Gull, Iceland Gull and Purple Sandpipers
huddle in the old harbor, there are outdoor shops in abundance, and not the
least; An abundance of great cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants! (And they have very
should also be mentioned that there are several universities, lots of museums,
galleries and other cultural buildings. And that there are an unusual number of
sculptures, you can reflect on.
Now have local politicians in Kraków got the idea to
move the monument of Dzok in favor of yet another monument to World War II, but
the resistance is massive, most people thinks that it´s better to place war
monument closer castle Wawel and let Dzok continue to wait for his master .
The dog Dzok became famous in the early 1990s when his
master got a stroke in his car on the busy Grunwald Roundabout (B- 7) and was
taken away in an ambulance. The man later died but the dog was still there and
waited faithfully for a whole year to his return (1990-1991). Eventually, Dzok
accepted to live with an elderly woman, who daily has provided him with food.
When she died 1998 he was sent to a home for dogs, from where he escaped after
two days in captivity but he got killed the same night, run over by a train.
Many city dwellers who daily seen the dog wait at the
roundabout were emotionally involved by his fate. 2001 erected a statue of the
faithful dog Dzok, at Petite Fleur Czerwinski, next to the River wisla and
Wavelhill . It is created by the sculptor Bronisław Chromy (who also created
the Wawel Dragon). Since then, the monument has become a popular tourist
attraction. A collection box in the sculpture’s plinth provides assistance to
other abandoned pets.
some lovely days in Krakòw and I must admit, it took at once a place in my
heart. What a city! Stare Miasto,
"the old city" had roots in the 1200s and was full of stunning
architecture and quaint alleyways.
Floriańska is the only
city gate, of the original eight built in the Middle Ages, that was not
dismantled during the 19th-century "modernization" of Kraków.
plenty of cosy cafes and restaurants where you can warm yourself for a moment
from the biting December wind.
facades in the Jewish quarter, Kazimierz!
Market Square, Rynek Glowny, one of
Europe's largest squares, stands a statue of a head symbolizing headless love. A natural place for tourist photographer!
As the cold and darkness increases, dreams begin to germinate about upcoming vacations. Nothing is decided yet for this winter; maybe we stay at home and edit all the old sins. Or it will be like before; that I happen to slip on the keyboard and woops ... a new journey is suddenly ordered!
Last time we ended up in Cuba. Absolutely amazing and totally unforgettable!
the computer for a while today, but did not get as much done. There is some
video footage from Cuba but nothing that has been edited yet. Eventually I
managed to cut a minute from a domestic flight to Cayo Largo, I think it
I suppose I´m some kind of caretaker for nature reserves (warden, ranger..?) who also works with environmental monitoring and endangered species. Tracker since the mid-eighties, mostly wolves and other predators, and assistant in various research projects with inventories and telemetry.