Morning, sun wakes us up and the sky is clear! Great! Other travelers arrived in the night - six new participants.
When returned to the hostel we were decided to get up early, get on the roof and start the day with a look at Suzhou in the morning 苏州. Right with the alarm clock ringing we started cursing the idea. Because we did not want to be lame in front one of another we get from warm duvets, and headed to the roof.
A place great for relax and sports is at the edge of the city of Martin. Its Jedlovina Urban Forest, longtime place for relax, business meetings, tourism, or just hike in nature. We decided to visit it as well.
At the end of the year, we managed to visit Kötschach-Mauthen, a picturesque mountain town in the district of Hermagor. What we loved about this place, and what it offers its visitors is the content of this very article!
I step off the bus in a small surfers’ village of Midigama. Right next to me is a deserted beach and beautiful waves rising up to the sky. I feel like I got in the paradise. I am gifted a welcome coconut. The owner bargains the price (12 dollar a night seems too much for her, so I will have a dinner included). On the garden, a hammock is there waiting form me and private beach behind a fence with coral sand. It is clear to me that I stand there more than two nights I planned originally. This IS paradise.
Unlike in the 1990s, we don’t see very often some objects or reservations in the Czech Republic to be included to UNESCO’s World Heritage list. This rare occasion is about to happen again. The “Mining Culture Landscape of Erzgebirge/Krusnohori" applies to be part of the list. Czech and German (Saxon) officials have sent the application. If the land will become the part of UNESCO should be decided in the following year.
The night was quiet. It doesn’t rain in the morning so we have a quick breakfast, pack our tents, and set off to the Kotagil gorge after 8 a.m.
After all the information we gathered from our friends and teachers about Suzhou 苏州, everybody would look forward to see it! “Up is paradise, below are Suzhou, and Su Chang and Hangzhou" (in Chinese hang you tiantang, xia you Su-Hang 上有天堂，下有苏杭) we heard when we were mounting green city bikes, and rode through narrow streets near our hotel. The streets were crowded with various stands that lured us to stop (many of them at least). But we didn’t want to miss delicacies of Suzhou.
For the third time, we go visit Japan and one of its largest castles. In Matsumoto, Nagano prefecture, the castle which is called Crow Castle is located. Unusually though, it doesn’t stand on a hill, isn’t surrounded with rivers, instead it is on a flat land. It was built in the middle of the 16th century, the era when Osaka catle was built. Hideoshi Toyotomi also played an important role in its history.
The Eastern Alps is a massive mountain formation rich on fascinating natural phenomena such as high peaks covered with snow, water falls buzzing in narrow gorges, or lakes in deep valleys between mountains. Schafberg Mountain, Austria is an attractive tourist resort, it is located in the Salzkammergut mountains.
Traveling by train in mountains among tea plantations is one of the greatest experiences in Sri Lanka I have. After a short break, I stepped in a blue train in Kandy. It was only 20 minutes and took me to the town of Ella in the southern part of local mountains. The ride took it more than 6 hours at average speed of 15 km/h. But it is worth it. The rails go up to 1900 meters. Along both sides you can enjoy wonderful views of the local landscape.
"Working" with the elves worked out pretty well. We have a nice sunny day, although it is bit cold. Skútustaðir is one of the few towns at Mývatn lake. Our goal is a walk near pseudocraters. Local name for these strange hills, about twenty of them, is skútustaðagígar.
It wasn’t bad in Beijing. Yet sometimes a time comes that one just want to go somewhere else. Anywhere. The break of the first May was coming and we had already forgotten how crazy it is to travel in China, especially when even others have holidays. But this time we were bit smarter. We learned how to buy train tickets on the Internet.
We stay on the other side of our planet this week. We will see another monumental Japanese castle.
On a sunny day, we took a short walk in the capital of Slovakia, Bratislava. We chose to visit one of its landmarks, the memorial on Slavin.
Austria is a typical mountain country mostly consisting of the Eastern Alps. Austrian Alpine terrain is typical for vast mountain ranges divided by deep valleys and mountains steeply declining to valleys.
Chaos, noise, endless crowds, and couple of confused tourists. There is something to sale everywhere, people bargain to get the best prices. Tey try to rip you off as a wealthy foreigner. I try to get across the downtown as quickly as possible and reach the lake built near his mansion by the last king of Sri Lanka. I hope it will be more peaceful over there...
We moved to the rhyolite hill on the opposite side. It is what remained of Leirhnjúkur crater. The land is really strange yet beautiful.
Christmas is the time of remembrance. One remembers passed year, how and with who she spent Christmas and how it was. I couldn’t help myself from such assessment when I saw grey snowless streets. It remined me of my first Christmas outside home, Christmas in Chengdu 成都.
Long time ago, we published an article about one of Japan’s largest cities, Osaka. At the end of it, we mentioned its castle that is only slightly smaller than Prague Castle.
The town of Vrutky is located on the meeting point of the Turiec and Vah rivers. Vrutky is not a large town but there is lot to do for tourists and it has also rich history. Lets join us to explore the town at the edge of Turcianska basin.
We were excited about one of the largest museums in the world. We let ourselves go with the crowd in Louvre. It took us to the most visited and the most mysterious painting in the world - Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci.
It is one the most popular exotic destinations. And its popularity is raising fast. You can get the cheapest flight tickets there compared to other destinations, moreover you can stopover in Dubai or Maldives. Even the prices are affordable. It is also one of the most safest countries in the tropics, together with small island states. We land on Sri Lanka, a tropic paradise you will refuse to leave!
I wake up at 7.20 a.m. in a shock. I burst out of sleeping bag heading to washroom. Fortunately, I remembered the time of departure. It is an hour later so when I get it back together I start preparing for the departure. The weather is not very good today, it is a bit foggy.
Spring was coming soon which lured us to the nature outside Beijing. “Why don’t you go to the Sidu river 十渡?“ one teacher–friend told us. The description suggested it is beautiful there: allegedly „Guilin桂林 of the north“. It is a vast karst area covering 300 km² in north China. This area was formed by the Tu-ma river. Sidu literally means “ten fords”. Today the fords are replaced with modern bridges yet they say the place has still some magic in it.
Information and warnings on travelling abroad is to be found HERE.