Tuesday, 21 December 2010


Came to Rennes today. Paris in Christmas season was very busy. Many tourists from various countries. Paris was colder than I thought. Weather wasn't doing good either. Still, I had a good time visiting the famous sites and the museums.
I came to the west to visit Mont Saint Micheal. I have to take a bus from Rennes and it is tough to find a hostel which is open this time of the year. I hope I'll make it to Mont Saint Micheal and it's bay tomorrow.
picture: nighttime champs elysees.

Friday, 17 December 2010


Good day to visit Versailles, fine weather in Paris today.
Crossed Pont Neuf and caught a train near Notre Dame. About forty minutes train ride and I arrived at Versailles. The chateau and the vast garden was covered in thin layer of snow. Less tourist than I expected, didn't have to queue up for anything.
Painted ceilings, shining chandeliers, big empty rooms. How did it feel like living in such palace. I sure wouldn't feel comfortable. Very interesting though. The garden was like a book or something. If I could fold the garden in half in the middle, left page and the right page would match perfectly. Left is right and right is left, very symmetrical.
Got back to the city and pondered about. Food market was open near the hostel.pictures: above, inside of the chateau. below, exterior of it.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

onother day in Paris

Yesterday, my day started with a bit of snow. First place I walked to was Louvre. Huge. I only stayed there for like three hours (I guess that's not enough for such a big museum) but I saw many famous arts. Left the Louvre from the famous glass pyramid, I walked randomly and reached pompidou centre and then to Notre Dame. People were praying and lighting candles in Notre Dame. And then, after Nortre Dame, I walked to musee d'orsay. It was much smaller than Louvre. Many famous works were there too. Walked back to the hostel passing the night time Louvre and illuminated streets. very arty day it was.
Today, it was raining. I wanted to go to Versailles but thought it will be better without the rain so decided to walk around Paris. So, didn't enter any of the famous architectures but saw some old buildings and walked along avenue des champs elysees. The avenue was also lit up like the other streets but it kept raining all day.
I think I'll go to Versailles tomorrow if the weather isn't too bad.pictures: above, Eiffel tower. below, inside Notre Dame.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010


I arrived at Paris last night. Left Bern after staying longer than I thought, and I visited Geneva before coming to Paris. Maybe because of the wind, Paris feels colder than Bern. Geneva was sunny and warmer, busier than it's country's capital city. River runs through the city. I didn't do much other than walking but it was interesting still. I saw the fountain, city's icon, and the awesome snow capped mountains which surrounded the city.
Today, I walked to the Arc de Triomphe and climbed to the top, and also walked through parc de Monceau on the way. I think the park was mentioned in one of the class in my University. There are so many other parks and architectures in Paris of which I only heard the name. picture: above, from top of the Arc de Triomphe. below, Geneva.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010


Guess what, I'm still in Bern. Not only Sunday, I now know how Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday looks like.
I like Bern. It's a small city so it doesn't take long time to walk around the place but there are a lot in it. I enjoyed just to ponder around. I went to Einstein museum which is in historical museum of Bern. It was very interesting. It explained some of his inventions in a easy way and learned a few things about Einstein. Now I can spell his name. Other days, I went out walking and saw the markets and stuff.
I went to Interlaken today. It's an hour train trip from Bern and it's surrounded by lake. I tried to hike up a mountain to have a good view of the area but the forest rangers were using chainsaw so I couldn't enter. Instead, I walked along a river. It led me to one of the lake and it was amazing. Very quiet. The surface of the water was a bit wavy so the lake wasn't like a mirror, but it was awesome with the fog and tranquility. The water was as blue as the tarpaulin on the boats.
I think I'm leaving tomorrow but I found a place called "top of Europe". I heard the locals saying it's a must visit. So…we'll see…pictures: above, city of Bern. middle, train to Bern, I guess. below, at Interlaken

Saturday, 4 December 2010

shake, rattle and role

I came to Bern today. About an hour train trip from Zurich.
Arrived around midday and I found the streets busier than Zurich. Maybe it was Saturday thing, I don't know, but many shops and tourists flooded out onto the roads. One of the street entertainer was playing Elvis, singing "get out of that bed, wash your face and hands…" they had the hair like the king and they certainly made the place even more merrier.
I'll look around the city of Bern tomorrow. What would Sunday Bern be like.picture: above, chess, bigger. below, lamp shop. both in Zurich

Friday, 3 December 2010


I came to Zurich from Pontresina. I was thinking of visiting Liechtenstein before Zurich but all the hostels were closed for the season.
Much less snow in Zurich compared to Pontresina. Still quite cold though. I enjoyed walking in the town at nighttime, the place is full of illumination. Many tourist on the streets both nighttime and daytime.
picture: Zurich at night

Tuesday, 30 November 2010


Another fine day. I took a train to Preda today. I wasn't sure to visit the lake was a possibility but the answer to that came soon after getting off the train at Preda. Snow… I tried walking through it but I couldn't walk much. If I had a ski wear or something, I could have done it. But otherwise, walking through a meter high snow was a bit too tough for me.
Decided it isn't possible, I took the train back to Pontresina. Stopped at a station called Samedan for lunch on the way.
I think I'll explore the forest near Pontresina tomorrow.

Monday, 29 November 2010


Although the hostel I'm staying at is pretty big and clean, I'm the only one here. If there is such thing as a high season and low season, now is definitely the low season.
I had breakfast and left the hostel around nine. My plan for today was to hike to a town called Surlej. I arrived there around two. I was walking very slowly and stopping sometimes, my eyes and ears censored for any kind of animal encounter. Creatures I saw was only some squirrels and birds which I couldn't identify. Spotted some deer foot prints but that was it. The walk started off with snow but around mid day the sun appeared. Today was another day to prove my boots are the best! Five hours walk in the snow and dry feet, Super.
From Surlej, there is a cable car station which will take me up to Mt Corvatsch, 3303 meters high. Mt Fuji, Japan's highest mountain, is 3776 meters high. I cheated by taking the cable car but I was almost as high as the highest point in Japan.
The summit was freezing. I think it was somewhere between -15 and -20 centigrade. I went out to take some pictures but my nostril started to freeze (at least it felt like so) and my hands were numb. The view was so beautiful with the blue sky and wind blowing up the dust like snow but I couldn't stay out no longer than five minutes. Maybe less than that. My super boots couldn't endure such condition, my feet were freezing too.
Came down and took the bus to the town I'm staying, Pontresina. I might walk to a lake tomorrow but maybe it is frozen. Since the ones I saw today were frozen. picture: above, evening sun hitting a mountain summit. middle, me. below, from 3303m high.

Saturday, 27 November 2010


From Lucarno, I stopped at Andermatt for one night and moved to Chur.
Andermatt was beyond my imagination. Everything was covered with snow. First thing I did was to find somewhere to stay for the night. There is a hostel in Andermatt but it is closed this time of the year. I found a cozy b&b instead. The town was busy with decorating the streets with Christmas illumination. I like snow, it feels like the town is quieter and smaller. And you can see a lot with only moonlight.
I came to Chur today. I didn't ride the Glacier express but the train I took rode the same route. Stunning view. Absolutely beautiful. I don't know how to describe it but I can say that it is amazing. White mountain with shadow and snow covered trees, small villages in a valley, frozen lakes. I'm going to do some more train ride tomorrow and it seems like it's going to be even better! yikes!!
picture: taken from the train

Thursday, 25 November 2010


I left the farm I stayed for three weeks on Monday. I had a great, great time there.
I stayed at a city called Chiasso and moved to Lucarno. Switzerland is colder than I imagined.
From Lucarno I visited Bellinzona, a city famous for it's three castles which is one of the world heritage. It was a very quiet and peaceful place. I had a walk in the castle like I owned the place.
Day by day, snow is working it's way down from top of the mountains and soon it will come to town. It feels like autumn and winter came together.picture: above, afternoon Lucarno. below, city of Bellinzona from incide of the castle.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Pisa, Lucca

I went to Pisa and Lucca on my last weekend at the farm.
First, I visited Pisa. It was a rainy Saturday as usual. The first impression of the leaning tower was that it looked smaller than I imagined. oops… And it didn't look so old. Everything looked rebuilt. Although, I guess it was necessary to do the maintenance or otherwise it wouldn't be leaning no more. But it was very interesting place to visit.
Lucca was much more quite compared to Pisa. Less tourist. Lucca has a old town which is surrounded by wall. Fun to walk around inside the wall. It was also interesting to see the Saturday market at the piazza. Most of them were antic markets.picture: above, the leaning tower of Pisa. below, book store at the market

Thursday, 18 November 2010

rainy tuscany

I am in a town near Florence and doing HelpX. I've been here for two weeks and this is my last week.
The farm I'm staying at has about 600 olive trees and my job here is to prune them and to pick the olives. It's been a wonderful stay and I learned many things. Working with other helpXers was also great. I guess I came in the rainy season, most of the days were rainy and sometimes stormy. Still, it was nice to see the coloring leaves and misty mountains. There are many tiny towns in the mountains. Buildings are very close to each other
and it feels strange to walk around it.
I went to Florence one weekend. Climbed up the stairs of the Duomo and crossed ponte vecchio. Panorama view from the Duomo was great with sun light leaking through the cloud.
Tomorrow will be the last working day. I'll spend the weekend here and move to Switzerland.
picture: above, city of Firenze. below, goat at the farm.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

roam around rome

Another fine day in Rome. I headed for Vatican in the morning but it was already queuing. Instead, I walked around the area. I had lunch and headed back to the hostel. After siesta, I went out again to see an evening look of Rome. There were less people on the streets but many cars. It's quite dark around seven in Rome. I passed night version of Colosseo and walked to Pantheon. The exterior is under construction now but there is no difficulty for entering the temple. Every visitors are forced to gaze up as they enter. I, of course, did the same. The hole or the Oculus to be precise. I saw nothing but a darkening sky through the window. Though it wasn't just a sky, it didn't bore me staring at it. Oculus means a circular window and it also means eye in Latin. Eye would be more appropriate than a window is what I felt.
I had a light dinner and headed back towards the hostel again. One last peek at the Colosseo on the way back but the place was almost empty by then. Few people taking pictures of Colosseo in light-up or guys selling souvenirs on the street.
I had a good time in Rome. Many things to see but it is easy because the famous things are so famous that I don't have to do research for "what to see", just go.
I will leave Rome tomorrow.picture: above, Vatican and it's queue. below, entering the pantheon.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010


I came to Rome yesterday. Bus to Napoli from Agerola and train from Napoli.
I walked all day today and saw a lot of famous things. Started with Colosseo and moved to Fontana de Trevi, Panthenon, Castel S. Angelo, and Vatican city. Also other famous piazzas. As you can see in the pictures, the weather was fine. Colosseo and Vatican was super busy with tourist and I couldn't be bothered to wait in the queue. The queue for Vatican was so long that I didn't even think about waiting for it.
It's not close to each other but the famous sites in Rome isn't a non-walking distance. Maybe it's easier to walk because it's like connecting the dots by walking.
I saw the major places today so I might go to a park tomorrow and maybe, if the queue is not too bad, I'll enter Vatican.
picture: above, Colosseo. below, Arco di Costantino, next to Colosseo

Sunday, 24 October 2010


I moved to Naples from Ravenna and from Naples to Amalfi.
The bus drivers around Amalfi are amazing. To drive a bus on a narrow, steep, winding roads would be a nightmare for me. But the super drivers here aren't scared of it. They know the roads, they'll turn and backup and do everything to reach the destination.
I'm staying at a hostel in Agerola, few kilometers away from Amalfi. I walked to Amalfi today by taking a hiking shortcut route. It's called the path of gods and it has 2700steps(I didn't count it). Going down the steps weren't that much of a trouble. I reached Amalfi around mid day and had lunch. I did a short sightseeing and started the hike back because it started to rain. The rain soon cleared up and the sun shined on Amalfi again. It was hot. Going up the stairs in the afternoon isn't the best time.
Amalfi was very unique. Nothing like the places I've been. I will walk around Agerola tomorrow.
picture: above, part of Amalfi. below, tornado. there is a tiny spot on the right half of the picture where the tornado is touching the surface of the sea. (I think)

Thursday, 21 October 2010


I am staying at a town called Ravenna. I came here to see the sea and to see some world heritage buildings.
I thought the ocean was just around the corner from the hostel but I found out that I was wrong since it took me almost two hours to reach it. It was kind of hot so it wasn't a bad walk but it was more exercise than I imagined. The coast was very quiet and nice. Calm waves and the atmosphere was saying that the summer is over. Folded parasols and empty cafes. I sat there and watched the waves.
I walked back to the city and did short sightseeing.
I'll catch a train tomorrow and move further south.
picture: above, taken at the city center, forgot the name. below, gentle wave.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010


One step out of the station and there were gondolas and the floating looking houses on Canal Grande.
I think Venice was one of the most touristy place I've visited so far. It felt like all the people on the street were tourist. People with cameras, shopping bags, and backpacks. It was strange to see doors with no road in front of it. People who are living there would simply hop on a boat from it.
It was fun just walking through a narrow street and walking over many bridges. One thing bothered me was that things were a bit pricey. Other than that, it was okay. Piazza San Marco was just like I saw it in movies or photograph.
I'm now off to grab a pizza.
picture: taken from Ponte di Rialto

Saturday, 16 October 2010


I walked to Austria and got on a bus just after the border. I changed to train and went to a city called Innsbruck. The city was surrounded by mountains and forest. I took the train yesterday to Verona, Italy. There were many grape fields so I could guess that I entered Italy.
Also in Verona I could feel the difference between Germany or Austria, many vespas on the street and pizza restaurant everywhere.
I didn't spend long time in Austria but I'll visit the east part later on my trip. I'll be moving to Venice tomorrow and might work a little bit near Florence.
picture: taken from the train.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


Fussen is a small peaceful town located five kilometers from the Austrian border. The town is famous for the beautiful castle, Neuschwanstein castle.
To the castle from Fussen is about one hour walk. I had a bad feeling from the beginning of the walk, this area is so misty that it's like walking through a cloud. As I expected, the fog was so thick that I couldn't see the top of the castle. Shame. But walking back to the town was very nice with the coloring leaves and a calm lake. Autumn had come and gone and now the winter is on it's way.
I came to a town called Schwangau yesterday, only one hour walk from Fussen. I went up a mountain by a cable car, which was absolutely breathtaking. The weather was like the usual, thick cloud and very heavy air. Couple of minutes on the cable car, we were in the cloud. White was everything outside of the window. After a minute or less, we were out of the cloud. Sun. Sea of cloud and layers of mountain for miles and miles. It felt like the starting point of the cable car was another world. I had a walk at the top and enjoyed the sun. Coming back down again was strange. Welcome back to the real world.
I had a very good time here. My recent stops were big cities and I was starting to miss the peaceful countryside. Although the air was dumpy and a bit chilly, I enjoyed my stay. I like winter too.
Since the border is so close, I'm thinking of entering Austria on foot tomorrow.picture: all from top of the mountain (mt. Branderschr.)

Friday, 8 October 2010


I felt like some kind of fugitive or something coming from Dresden. Twice I got asked by the police to show my passport. When they came the second time (different police from the first ones), I said I just showed it to the other police ten minutes ago. They didn't speak English but a kind man talked to them for me. I could understand if they were checking all of us but it was only me. I guess it was one of those days when you look like a criminal.
Never mind about that, I arrived at Munich around four. Cloudy and dark, not a fine welcome. I walked around the town today. It wasn't a "walk through the park" weather but I went to English garden, one of the largest urban parks in the world. I also went up to the top of Frauenkirche.
Many churches and buildings in Munich. Also many cars on the street. I would say it's a busy city.
I'm moving on again tomorrow. Two hours train trip to a place called Fussen. I'm going to visit a castle there.

picture: taken from top of

Wednesday, 6 October 2010


Many historic buildings in Dresden. I read that the city of Dresden was bombed very hard during the second world war so that most of the buildings I saw today were rebuilt. I don't know the name of the music the street players were playing but walking through the old buildings with classical music on the back was nice. It was also good because there weren't many tourist.
I'm very close to Czech now but I'll visit there later on my trip. My next destination is Munich. About five hours trip on train from Dresden.
picture: forgot the name… in very center of the city

Monday, 4 October 2010


The first thing what surprised me entering Germany was that the train from Denmark boarded the ferry like a car would do so. The railway went through into the ferry. I was sitting in the train which was in the ferry, how odd is that. I wasn't expecting that.
When I hear the word "Berlin", the first thing which would come to mind is the wall. Parts are still kept and the visitors can see the remains of it. It has an atmosphere of it's own. I felt it was very quiet.
Berlin is a city where people live. Just ten minutes or so walk from the city center and there would be an apartment block, many of them. Another thing I noticed was that there are many ways to get around inside Berlin. Most unique one is segway I would say. I saw an advert maybe in San Francisco, but I haven't seen someone actually using it for sightseeing. Nice. Good weather, flat roads, I think those who rode them had a good time.
I'm leaving Berlin tomorrow, not yet sure where to go next but somewhere south. Where I can see some big castle.
picture: remains of the wall

Friday, 1 October 2010


Big city after the comfortable little farm felt a bit busy, but no need to be uncomfortable, Copenhagen was a very tourist welcome city. Many big parks and surrounded by water like other Scandinavian cities. I had a fine day today but I could feel the season changing, the temperature is lower and the wind is colder.

It was a short stay in Copenhagen but I had a good time. I was amazed by the number of the cyclist.
I'm taking a train to Germany tomorrow.
picture: above, colorful houses somewhere in city central. below, swan in a pond.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

on a farm

Ten days at the farm went by in a flash. Hard working days and good foods were so good. Each night the dream world came as soon as I hit the sack. Yes, I had a fine time.
The thing I did is called HelpX, helpers help a host and they'll help the helpers by giving food and accommodation. Lots of helping going around.
There are always things to do on a farm. Take care the cattle, cultivate the field, chopping some wood, grass cutting, and hunting for some berries or mushrooms into the forest… Good times. Most of the foods I ate there were produced at the farm. The food only traveled a few meters, only one or two human contact and it was already on my plate. Groovy!
I learned a lot and made me think a lot. And that's what I wanted. And also since I was missing my dog, I had a very good time with the dogs at the farm. There was a very handsome rottweiler who loved to play. Tackling and pulling ropes, he was a tough one.
My next destination is Copenhagen. Germany will be the next after that.
picture: above, rottweiler. below, his only son. he has the energy just like his father

Thursday, 16 September 2010


From Gotland, I took bus and train to Goteborg, my last stop in Sweden.
The city is like Stockholm, surrounded by water and the buildings has some history. There are many parks, small one to big one, all near from the city central. Easy access to green, nice roads to walk, I like Goteborg. There were many tourists but it didn't feel so crowded. I enjoyed walking in the park or even in the busy streets where the tourists and the shoppers were. One thing it wasn't so great was the weather. I had some sunshine in the morning, but it rained everyday.
I took the ferry today from Goteborg to Frederikshavn, Denmark. I'll stay here for two days and then going to work for ten days at a farm. I'm very excited, I hope I'll learn a lot.
picture: ducks at Slottskogen park

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Cycling day five

I rented my bike for five days so today is the last day. I'm having a day off today and am now off to return the bike. I'll leave Gotland tomorrow and my next destination is Goteborg. From Goteborg, I will enter Denmark.
picture: waiting for the glue to dry. puncture on day one.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Cycling day four

In the morning, the same atmosphere was still there. It was like being in an empty amusement park or living in a mansion alone. I don't know how to describe it but there was very unusual, kind of sad feeling in the air.
Today, I had to ride almost 65km. Well, I didn't have to but I wanted to.
It rained sometimes, but like at the Hoga Kusten, my rain gear saved me from being wet. I rode quite smoothly without no problem till I saw the sign seven kilometers to Visby. There, I rested for a bit to go the last distance. As I resumed my last ride, I felt the bad feeling again… rear tire was punctured. I thought about ignoring it for a bit, but there was the bump again. I stopped and investigated but I couldn't find the puncture. The rain was washing away my concentration too. So, after all, I continued to ride the punctured bumpy bike for another hour.
Although with some difficulties, I reached Visby earlier than I planned.
I was so pleased when I saw the ruins from the distance.
picture: stone path. visby

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Cycling day three

Around mid day, I reached the ferry port. Faro island is only a kilometer away from Gotland. Just few minutes ride and I was on Faro island. I followed the main road to find somewhere to stay for the night. I also wanted to ask a good place to visit. About ten kilometers from the port, there was an hostel. Luckily it was open and I got a bed. I also got an information for a good road to ride.
From the hostel, the popular coastline was only seven kilometers or so and was an easy ride. The major sight is a natural curved rocks. But I was more happy to see the golden eagle. It was a bit too far but I could see it's yellow beak and the big body. It was gliding smoothly in the clear blue sky.
I rode along the coastline and went to supermarket. Got back to the hostel around five. The hostel was even worth than the campsite! Nobody…I felt more alone than I did at the campsite. The lights were all gone and the buzzing sound of fridge and the rustling sound of the pine trees were the only noise I could hear. As it got dark, I noticed. I picked the wrong place to stay. To avoid the eerieness, I went to bed around nine.
picture: above, stacked stone. below, golden eagle in the distance

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Cycling day two

I woke up around seven. I wouldn't say I slept good. At night, the campsite had an eerie atmosphere. I woke up sometimes hearing a weird animal scream or a galloping sound just outside my tent. It was a quite big campsite with many cottage and fields, but I think I was the only one there. I don't know but the humanness was gone. It was like a movie set or something, I never felt so alone.
So glad to see the sun, I got up, had breakfast, packed my tent and started to repair the puncture. Since it was making a mysterious bump, I decided to change the tube. Took the wheel off and taking off the tire, I found the cause of the bump. The tube was bundled up and making a ball. I took out the tube and realized that tube was far too big for the wheel. I don't ride a bike usually so I don't know too much about bicycle, but it was unmistakably big. There was a spare tube in the kit so I changed it. The spare one was 35 inch and a bit big, the one it was in before was 40 inch… I think that ain't right. I changed the tube, and the bike was set for another ride. Since the bike was now in a good condition, I tried to load my backpack on the back again. I used the rope for my tent and it worked. It wasn't super steady but at least it's on and no need for me to carry it on my back. Feeling mighty and confident, I started cycling. Fine weather again.
Riding along a beautiful coastline, I reached a town called Larbro. Stayed at a hostel for a night.
picture: ruin in Visby