The first time I traveled to Denmark, Lars showed me this beautiful spot. Møns refers to the name of the island, Møn, whereas Klint means cliff. Given the fact that Denmark is quite flat, these cliffs are quite impressive.
Møns Klint is not one cliff: it’s a 6 kilometer stretch of chalk cliffs, some of which are more than 120 meters high. These belong to some of the highest points of the country.
The cliffs are easy to find because there are many road signs to them. Once you arrive there, more than 100 steps await you to take you to the top. It’s a bit of an exercise, but you will be rewarded with stunning views! Even when the weather isn’t so nice…
If you are in really good physical condition, you can take about 500 steps down to go to the beach – and back up!
Right next to the cliffs is GeoCenter, a museum devoted to natural history and especially the geological history of Denmark. We didn’t visit it, but you can check its website.
Tomorrow we are back with a post about our transition to Phase 1 here in the province of Granada and its impact on travelers. Hasta luego!
During 10 years of traveling together, you are bound to run into something unusual or even unique. For us, that’s the Berca Mud Volcanoes, located in southeast Romania.
But first of all, what are mud volcanoes? Wikipedia defines them as
small volcano-shaped structures typically a few metres high caused by the eruption of mud and natural gases.
And more in detail:
As the gases erupt from 3000 metres deep towards the surface, through the underground layers of clay and water, they push up underground salty water and mud, so that they overflow through the mouths of the volcanoes, while the gas emerges as bubbles. The mud dries off at the surface, creating a relatively solid conical structure resembling a real volcano. The mud expelled by them is cold, as it comes from inside the Earth’s continental crust layers, and not from the mantle.
In Romania, you can only find mud volcanoes not far from Berca. Elsewhere in Europe, you can visit them in Ukraine, Russia, Italy, and especially in Azerbaijan.
How to get there? You will need a car, preferably with a GPS. Program it for Berca or, even better, Scortoasa. The latter is a small municipality, however; if it doesn’t show up on your GPS, put it on Berca anyway. From there, you will see roadsigns saying “Vulcanii Noroioși”. When you follow these, you will automatically arrive at the right spot.
As you can see on the pictures, there is no vegetation around the mud volcanoes. That is because the soil is too salty.
You need to pay a very small entrance fee.
What you also need to know:
You cannot visit the mud volcanoes during rainy weather.
Wear appropriate shoes! No flipflops!
Even when wearing the right shoes, do not walk in the mud itself. You will ruin your shoes beyond repair. Just ask Lars…
Looking for accomodation? The nearest town is Buzau. It’s the easiest option. In some of the surrounding villages, however, you can find some really picturesque hotels as well.
This weekend, I will publish another part of the Lockdown Diary. Changes are finally coming! Next week, we will take you to other corners of Europe!
When I saw the prompt of today, I had to think about the many curvy roads all over Europe on which Lars and I have driven. By the way, if you are new to this site, welcome! I am Ingrid and together with my Danish travel buddy (Lars), I like to explore and photograph off the beaten path destinations in Europe.
Mountain roads can have lots of curves and the one that I chose for today belongs to the Sierras of Tejeda, Almijara and Almara Natural Park. This mountainous region spreads over part of the province of Malaga and of Granada and is a paradise for hikers and climbers. It’s also home to some exquisite white villages, some dating from Moorish times. And finally, the area attracts people like us, who like to drive on mountain roads. It has actually become one of our favorite routes here in Andalucia.
I will publish more information, pictures, and a video in the near future. For those of you who are familiar with some of the famous roads in Europe: the area feels like a combination of the Dolomites (Italy) and the Transfăgărășan (Romania).
If you are unfamiliar with this website and its author, allow me to introduce myself! I am a Belgian writer, blogger, and photographer, currently living in Spain with my Danish travel buddy, Lars. On this website, I publish old and new travel memories, from all over Europe, mainly about off the beaten path destinations. And after 10 years of traveling, we have a lot to share with you.
Anyway, Spain takes the lockdown very seriously and you can hardly blame them, given the high number of contaminated people (more than 100.000 now). We are in our 3rd week of lockdown now and since the beginning of the isolation, I have not been outside, apart from being on the terrace of our apartment. If you want to know how we experience all this, have a look at our Lockdown Diary – Part 1 and Part 2.
Although Lars and I can keep ourselves busy, we, of course, miss traveling! Before the lockdown, we had started exploring the province of Granada, which has a lot more to offer than its famous capital. One of the places that we have discovered is this lake.
I think this place beautifully represents the wide-open space Ben Huberman talks about in his prompt of today. Lars and I used to come here regularly, mainly because the lake changes during different moments of the day, weather conditions, and seasons. Anyway, the reason why we haven’t published anything about it, is very simple. We still need to explore and photograph two small towns around the lake. Once we have done that, we will write about it!
Every time my travel buddy and I drive to the coast, we pass the small town of El Padul. From a distance, I could always see something that resembled a lake, yet it was unclear to me how to get there… I was disappointed since I love to photograph waterscapes so much. So, it was time to do some research.
El Padul lies about 13 kilometers to the south of the beautiful city of Granada. The name comes from the Latin word palus-paludis, which means wetland. In other words, the body of water that you can see from a distance is actually not a lake but a bog; it is actually one of the most important wetlands in the south of Spain.
El Padul Laguna is home to a lot of rare species of animals. But there is another reason why this bog is so important. Researchers have found lots of traces of different prehistoric periods. You can actually see a tusk of a mammoth in the Park of Sciences in Granada. Scientists have also discovered tools and vessels.
How to find this beautiful lagoon? When you come from Granada on the A-44, take the exit towards El Padul. You are now on the N323a. Keep on driving on this road, passing the center of El Padul. On your right, you will see a restaurant called Montesol. When you park your car, you will notice a path going down. You have now almost reached your destination.
Keep on following this path; some magnificent views are waiting for you!
It is also worth following the path called Ruta del Mamut.
How much time can you spend at the Laguna? That depends… If you are there to admire and photograph the beautiful landscapes, you can easily stay there for 2 hours. In case you want to observe the local fauna and flora, it will probably be a whole morning or afternoon.
Afterwards, you can have a drink and/or a meal at Montesol. Take into account that you can only pay cash.
Keep on following this website and join us for another journey soon somewhere in Europe!
It is more than 20 years ago since I first drove to Cape St. Vincent (Cabo São Vicente in Portuguese), but I still remember it as if it was only yesterday. There was a strong chilly wind that almost blew me away when I made pictures of the scenery. And there were fewer tourists then, so you could take in the magnificent landscape at ease.
Nowadays, lots and lots of people want to photograph the southwesternmost point of Portugal and of mainland Europe. And eat the last hotdog before you reach America… I am not making this up; there is such a food stand and it is very successful!
Anyway, before the discovery of America, this location was indeed the end of the world. Legend has it that you could hear the sun hiss in the ocean during sunset…
Granted, this is a remarkable landscape! Moreover, it has been the scene of many naval battles and pirates plundered the area around the cape numerous times…
By the way, in the first picture, you can clearly see the fort and the lighthouse, which was built in the 19th century on the remains of a monastery and is one of the most powerful in Europe. And that is not a coincidence since there is a lot of naval traffic in this area.
Between the nearby village of Sagres – which is very touristic, by the way – and the cape, there are a couple of restaurants. We had dinner in one of them; it was nice and quite cheap, but not splendid. Funny anecdote: a group of Italian tourists were very shocked when their mixed salad was served without mozzarella!
Join us next time on a trip in another corner of Europe!
Every year, during 2 – 3 weeks in the months of April and May, thousands of people (Belgians and foreigners alike) flock to a forest not far from Brussels to witness something unique and beautiful: the return of the bluebells.
This is the Hallerbos (Dutch for Halle forest), which covers a surface of 552 ha (1,360 acres), near the municipality of Halle. It was first mentioned in official documents in the 7th century, yet this is a relatively young forest. During World War I, the Germans destroyed most of it, so the forest was replanted during 1930 – 1950.
You can easily reach the forest by car, but if you want to see the bluebell carpet in spring, it’s better to take the train to Halle and then a free bus. The parking space is simply not big enough to welcome all the tourists!
Upon arrival, volunteers greet you and provide you with a map indicating all the paths. These will all take you along the bluebells, they just differ in length. At regular intervals, there are benches and picnic areas.
The forest is big enough so that it never feels crowded. 2 or 3 days before our arrival (in May 2018), heavy rains had tormented the Hallerbos, and the beauty of the bluebells had unfortunately started to fade.
You can easily spend a whole morning or afternoon in this fairytale-like environment…
In spring, you better check the website of the Belgian railways, for more information about the train and bus ticket. It is cheap and – again – the best way to go to the Hallerbos.
Join us for a trip to another corner of Europe in the next post!
You may think that I am taking you to a very exotic location for this post, like Hawaii or Australia, but we actually stay in Europe. Introducing Nazaré in Portugal, home to the biggest waves in the world. As a teenager, I used to bodysurf – I know, hard to believe when you see me nowadays – and I can still be amazed by the skills and courage of surfers trying to tackle huge waves.
Located in the province of Estremadura, Nazaré has 3 neighborhoods: Praia (beach), Sitio (old village, located on a cliff) and Pederneira (another old village, located on top of a hill). From a fishing village, it has developed into a very popular resort; tourists come here for the beaches in summer and the (in)famous waves in winter.
As the name suggests, Nazaré is indeed linked to Nazareth through a local legend. In the 4th century, a monk brought a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary from Nazareth to Spain. 7 centuries later, another monk and a Portuguese king transferred the same statue to Nazaré. Nowadays, you can admire it in the baroque Sanctuary of Our Lady of Nazaré, located in Sitio.
The presence of the huge waves is due to the underwater Nazaré Canyon, which is about 5 kilometers deep and 230 kilometers long.
The next video explains where these high waves exactly come from.
As I have said before, the highest waves usually occur during the winter season.
The waves can become between 20 and 30 meters high (60 and 90 feet). Have a look at the next videos.
Our Visit in Summer
In summer there are no such high waves, but you can still enjoy some really impressive views. When Lars and I arrived in Nazaré, we followed the signs towards Sitio and afterward to Farol (lighthouse). In winter, most people gather at this lighthouse to have a good look at the waves.
This is the magnificent south beach, home of sunbathers and swimmers.
The last picture features the Praia de Norte, where those magnificent waves occur.
It is our dream to return to Nazaré in winter. I am not sure if we are going to make it this year, but we’ll see. I would love to see these huge waves for myself (of course) and photograph them, visit the church where they keep the legendary statue of the Virgin Mary and have a closer look at the 3 neighborhoods.
Although Belgium is small and is densely populated, there are still rural areas where you can find peace and quiet and where you will hardly meet a tourist. Such an area is Meetjesland, situated in the northwest of the province of East Flanders. The town of Eeklo is its (non-official) capital.
But where does the name Meetjesland come from? This is what Wikipedia has to say about it:
There are many legends surrounding the origin of the name. The most known is the one of Emperor Charles V (Charles V) who was known for his sexual appetite. The story goes that when he traveled through the region people hid their daughters and their attractive young women, making emperor Charles think this region was full of old women (meetjes).
In the summer of 2017, Lars and I spent a whole day driving around in this region, which is characterized by forests, canals, polders, and creeks. If you like landscapes we highly recommend a visit to Meetjesland.
This is a small village with about 1.000 inhabitants. Most of them, however, live in nearby Bentille; in Sint-Jan-in-Eremo itself there are merely a handful of houses. We mainly came here to photograph the biggest creek in this area, called the Boerekreek.
There is also a canal, called the Leopoldkanaal, the scene of heavy fights during World War I and II.
Do you like mussels? Then you really have to go to this small town, which is known for its many mussel restaurants. Assenede has a rural character, probably because it is quite isolated, due to the lack of public transport connections with Ghent and Brussels. Nevertheless, it has a rich cultural life.
Around Assenede you will find creeks and polders.
And now for something completely different: the “Kasteel van Wippelgem”, which stands for “Castle of Wippelgem”. Its original name is “Goed ten Hulle”; the castle dates from late medieval times and was reconstructed in the 19th century. The domain is open to the public and the castle serves as a location for weddings and other festivities.
Although it was very cloudy, it was actually quite hot, so Lars and I were in desperate need of a beer. Luckily for us, there was a cafe/restaurant on the domain.
The official address is Kramershoek 4, 9940 Evergem. (Wippelgem is part of Evergem).
Our next stop was at Zomergem. We were not in the village itself but at the nearby Schipdonkkanaal.
This canal runs from the town of Deinze to the North Sea.
Because of its strategic position, some heavy fights took place at the Schipdonkkanaal during both World Wars.
Near the small village of Bellem is a beautiful fishing pond, called Kraenepoel. It originates from the 13th century and is home to a lot of fauna and flora.
As usual, I will soon post the other pictures on our sister website, The Cosy Traveler. And here is a map with the locations mentioned in this post.
Our next post is something really special! The building and domain are not open to the general public, they served as a movie location and are also part of our urbex project, Creepy Travels.
About 18 months ago Lars and I left Belgium and moved to Spain. Both of us had dreamed of living in the south of Europe for a long time. And since neither of us is getting any younger and since I felt that on a professional level I had nothing to offer to Belgium anymore, we decided that it was time to go.
For the first 6 months, we called Torrox in the Costa del Sol our home. Lars and I quickly felt at home in our small house with the enormous roof terrace, where we spent the evenings grilling meat and fish on the BBQ and watching the sun go down. Life was perfect.
As soon as Lars got a car again, we started exploring the beautiful region where we lived, which is the province of Malaga. We could spend hours driving on the N-340, the coastal road connecting the towns and cities that attract so many tourists every year. One of these is Nerja, situated 50 kilometres to the east of Malaga.
In the beginning, though, we never stopped at Nerja. We blatantly misjudged it as another coastal town that had nothing special to offer and kept on passing it in favour of smaller places at the sea. It was only when we had moved to Churriana de la Vega (near Granada) and accidentally became stranded in Nerja (of all places!) that we took time to explore this town.
More than 20.000 people call Nerja their home, a third of which are ex-pats. You can hardly blame them… Sure, there are some high-rise buildings, but Nerja has been able to keep most of its charm. And the centre of the old town is right next to the sea. If you don’t have much time, make sure to explore those narrow streets and eat some tapas.
Moreover, follow the locals and the tourists and end up at the magnificent Balcon de Europa, a viewpoint located on a high cliff…
I took these pictures in the first half of April when it was about 23 degrees. You could easily distinguish the tourists from the locals, even when you could not hear them talking. Tourists were clad in T-shirts whereas the local population were still wearing winter clothes…
If you want to see more pictures of Nerja, check out our Instagram feed!