Joined April 2015 Message
  • Jun21

    Jerebica - Cima del Lago

    June 21, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

    The two names given in the title - the first in Slovenian, the second in Italian - describe the peak of a mountain just above the village of Log Pod Mangartom. Our hike up there took a little over three hours, with some quite steep and balancy sections in between. Both Julia and I were surprised that she went all the way up, seeing as she has so far always refused to try a via ferrata (in my opinion, some of the sections up Jerebica were by far more sketchy). Maybe it was because Miha made it all look so easy that we called him mountain goat.
    At the peak we met our friends Matej and Mare, who had first pretended to have other plans only to get up even earlier than us and surprise us when we got there (and yeah ok, the sunrise pictures they took also look pretty cool). We were really lucky to still get a good view of Predil lake and the surrounding mountains before everything was hidden in the clouds a few minutes later. Even so, we took our time, had a picnic, a little nap and only then started our way back down.
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    sieht nach einer richtig, richtig geilen Wanderung aus


    War es!

  • Jun16

    Close culture shocks

    June 16, 2022 in Austria ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    So Bovec (in the Soča valley, Slovenia) is calling again. Since it will be Julia's and my fifth time in the same place doing the same thing I am figuring I will not be posting a lot. Let's see though, I might still change my mind and open another designated trip after all 😁

    At least one thing is new: instead of taking the train down to Ulm (southern Germany) and go the remaining 6+ hours together with Julia by car, this time we meet all the way down in Villach, an Austrian town just a one-hour border crossing via Predel pass from our destination. I am currently switching trains in Salzburg and a little stunned by two (seen from outside potentially minor) things:
    1. All of my six trains (counting also the trams in Cologne and Munich) were one time or delayed by at most three minutes. Even with my heavy luggage - carrying equipment not only for kayaking, but also for climbing - I reached all my connecting trains. While as a non-German stereotypes may lead you to think of this as obvious ("German punctuality" and so on), this is indeed highly irregular. Turns out that in international comparison our trains are among the top-ranking regarding delays. And even when they are not delayed, they may change the schedule to an earlier departure and not even notify the train staff.
    2. My way to Austria and towards Slovenia took me through Bavaria - the most strict German state regarding Covid rules. Consequently, when using public transportation you are not only required to wear a face mask, but one of FFP2 standard. So in Salzburg, I boarded my final train, still wearing the FFP2 mask, only to discover that I was the only one. Apparently, without the outside world realizing, Austria has abolished masks altogether. I'm choosing to consider this a good sign indicating that we are finally about to put Covid behind us.

    In summary, my trip definitely starts with some little joys 🌞
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  • Test your limits

    September 21, 2021 in Slovenia ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    ... literally.

    Have you ever done three consecutive days of advanced kayak school? With some more kayaking and hiking in between? Now try adding a rock climbing session on the morning of your third day.

    In summary, today was pretty intense. Of course, all of this was voluntary. I had even excluded the option of going climbing this morning, not only because the activity level these days had been twice as much as I'm used to already, but also because it was Julia's birthday and I wanted to spend time with her instead of going off to some rocks on the other side of the border. BUT for climbing I usually don't need a lot of convincing. So I booked a morning trip to Sasso Camet on the Italian side of the Predel pass, together with Renska, a Canadian-Dutch girl I had met at the hostel, and our guide Roli. We were actually colder than we would later be in the water, seeing as the rock was in a forest and every time we tried a route we would not feel our fingers anymore - not ideal for climbing. Thanks to Rolis daredevil driving we even made it back just in time for Renska's bus to Bled.
    After a quick lunch, Julia and I went for our last kayak class (for now). Like the day before, we were joined by Boti and our guide Marci. These two hungarians, who work at one of our favorite outdoor company, have become our friends already on prior trips, so it has been a lot of fun to paddle with them. Marci even got us some special treatment today: we went the double of our usual distance! That is, we started one section further upstream then we had done on the prior days, on the level III/IV section Bunkerj (which was by far the hardest we had paddled so far; two days earlier Matej had predicted that we might do that section in about three years!). It starts with two really tricky rapids. Sadly I flipped on both, as my energy levels were so low that I did not even manage to empty my kayak by myself once I had swom out of the water. After a granola bar it became a little better though.

    Since we had to carry our kayaks in between (some parts are just too dangerous if you don't know how to do the eskimo roll) we got to the lower entry point Vodenca at 6.30 p.m. Although after 6 p.m. you are supposed to leave the river at the first official exit, we still went on all the way to Čezsoča. After the last rapid, we opened our drinks and had a little birthday brindis to Julia - Soča style.
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  • Can't get enough

    September 20, 2021 in Slovenia ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    As usual, things did not go as planned this afternoon. And as usual, we were lucky they didn't. After our morning kayak school, Julia and I thought to get in some hiking to the mountain lake Krnska Jezero. Upon suggesting Matej to join us, he proposed to do some chill flat water kayaking from lake Most na Soči a small piece along a smoother section of Soča river and the much warmer Idrijca river. Of course we were in!

    On our way there Matej stopped at (or rather - passed and then went back to) Trnovo, a little village halfway to Tolmin. He told us that he wanted to show me something and that Julia should stay in the car. Only when he brought me to a tiny little outdoor shop I realized that he had remembered me saying that I wanted to get Julia a present for her birthday the next day, but had no idea how to do so without her noticing. We then picked up some kayaks from a friend of Matej's (after crossing the narrowest bridge I have ever seen with his van - there were like 5 cm of room to each side).

    Once in Most na Soči, we only had to do a little "jump" into the lake and on we went to a nice and chill paddling afternoon. We even found some awesome deep water solo spots that I definitely want to try out at some point!
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  • Lots and lots of kayaking

    September 19, 2021 in Slovenia ⋅ 🌧 16 °C

    So, you may have noticed what today is not within the "scope" of this trip. Well, that's because we were still not done with Bovec! So after having gotten back to Germany and our jobs we managed barely a month before the urge to spent a few more days in this beautiful, calming, active and simple incredible place became too big. Hence Julia threw her plans to spend her birthday in Barcelona overboard, I decided that work could do a few more days without me and back we are. One might argue that spending all in all two days in a car / bus to be on vacation for just three days is not worth it. I would tell them: meet Bovec!

    After this veeeery long intro now I finally get to the point: enjoy our kayaking pictures! There will be more to come
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  • Day11


    August 17, 2021 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    We were planning for another day at the beach, but unfortunately high season again put a spoke in our wheel. The beach in town was entirely full(!), our 1.5 hour hike up to San Rocco and then down to Punta Chiappa only lead us to some kind of dam made up by huge stones, but there was no comfy place to lie down. Also going into the water was complicated without water shoes, as the rocks down there were sharp and full of mussels. Then again we did not plan this very well, so what did we expect.Read more

  • Day10

    Portofino vibes

    August 16, 2021 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Another day trip, though we have learned by now not to drive anywhere in Italy by car (parking spots can be almost impossible to find). Hence we took a 1 hour train to Santa Margherita and from there walked to the famous "fisher's village" (nowadays rather a chicky micky hub), on our way getting a glance of the impressive yachts, each worth several tens of millions of euros. At one point we witnessed an entire boat staff waiting for the owner in order to get him to shore. But we were disappointed: no George Clooney anywhere.
    It's easy to see why all the rich and famous like to hang out here. The combination of the crystal clear sea and a colourful village carved into the surrounding hills makes for a beautiful chillout spot. For us normal people without our private yacht, however, the slightly calmer but still gorgeous village of Santa Margherita was a little more worthwhile. We enjoyed a great dinner work Aperitivo, ligurian pasta with genovese pesto, bufalla pizza, tiramisù and espresso - or in short: enjoyed the dolce vita.
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  • Day9

    Noli beach

    August 15, 2021 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    I think I've mentioned it before: until I depend on school holidays I will from now on do my very best to avoid taking vacation in August. Our day in the village of Noli, close to Savona, confirmed this even more. Seeing the beach plastered by chairs and sunshades (rentable for 45€ 😵) was like Julia's and my worst nightmare.
    Luckily at least here walking a little paid off: we found a nice (free) spot next to a hill, providing us even shade. Still, during the next day we would discover that sometimes you had can even walk for two hours and still not find even a little corner for your towel on these crowded Italian beaches.
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  • Day8

    Favorite place

    August 14, 2021 in Slovenia ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    It's always hard to leave Bovec. The first time Julia and I were here, two nights turned into a week. Even now that we have great Italian food, coffee and beautiful lakes and beaches ahead of us we feel like we'd rather stay in our favorite Slovenian town. We have already extended our stay by two nights - always last minute, after having stalled so long that we wouldn't have gotten to Italy in time anyways - and thrown out our plans to go to lake Garda all together. We do not feel even a little bit sorry for having paid the hostel in Garda for nothing. Bovec and the people here just have a quality to them that makes you want to stay forever. It makes you feel like home with your best friends. It's really hard to describe, but I think that fact that almost everyone tries to stay longer than planned speaks for itself.Read more

  • Day8

    Old & new friends

    August 14, 2021 in Slovenia ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    One of the things that make Bovec so addictive are the people. As it is a place that is perfect for nothing but outdoor activities - ranging from water sports over canyoning, climbing and alpinism all the way to skydiving - most of the people that come here are very much like-minded. They prefer adrenalin and physical activity over big city life and beaches. Moreover, Bovec is so small that you may accidentally bump into your friends three times a day.
    Thus it happened that within only a few hours after our arrival, we met both our first ever kayak guide Sebastian, who now owns a white water stand-up paddling school and our kayak instructor from last year: Marci. With him and his friend Boti we hung out almost every night, we even went down to the river bank one evening and had a beautiful time watching shooting stars and learning Hungarian childhood songs at the campfire. They may have gotten a little bit tired of us after the fifth goodbye (we kept bumping into each other in town and on the river), but I'm sure we'll meet again in Cologne, Budapest or if we actually do go back to Bovec this September.
    At the hostel we seemed zu be a dutch kann's magnet. At some point we were a group of ten people - all but Julia and me from the Netherlands. This group was another reason to stay in Bovec longer than planned. Just when we had finally (almost) convinced ourselves to leave, I received a text from Tom (he and Joey and already left to Bled), saying they were coming back. Lucky for us, Cille and Veerle had rented an apartment with several spare rooms. So in the end we spent our last night in Bovec all together like a big family, after entertaining all the guests at Nono's pizza place.
    And then there is Miha, who used to pick us up every day for kayak classes. Unfortunately we didn't get to know him that well on these short drives, but at the end of our last night he ran into us and we could at least still have a beer with him.
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