28. November 2019 • Katja Laurien
Karimunjawa was the unexpected highlight of my trip to Java. Actually it was not part of my itinerary, but ended up being the place I spent most of my time on Java. This tiny island in the north of central Java is a true paradise! I actually only wanted to stay a couple of days but ended up staying more than a week and I could have easily stayed another week, just enjoying the pristine beaches, soaking up the relaxed atmosphere and chit chatting with the friendly locals.
9. November 2019 • Katja Laurien
For many people Borobudur is the main highlight of their trip to Java. It’s the biggest Buddhist temple built around 750-850, about 40 km from Yogyakarta. The temple can be visited anywhere between sunset and sunrise, but watching the sunrise is what most people do. The entrance fee of 350 000 IDR is already pretty hefty for Indonesian standards, but be prepared to pay an extra 125 000 just to see the sunset (which does include a pretty big breakfast buffet).
2. November 2019 • Katja Laurien
One of the things I enjoy most about travelling is the fact that it makes me value my own country a lot more. As a nature lover I always used to consider myself to be very unfortunate to be born in the Netherlands. It’s one of the few countries people would definitely not travel to just for the nature. We don’t have the azure blue waters of the Mediterranean countries, we don’t even come close to the mountains the Alps (let alone any mountain) and our forests have nothing more to offer than any other European forest.
12. September 2019 • Katja Laurien
For many, the Simplon Pass is no more than just a beautiful gateway between Switzerland and Italy, but there’s more to it. The pass actually has many hiking trails to offer. Finding a suitable day hike was not as easy, due to the huge choice. Eventually, I did get to make my decision: The round-way up to Spitzhörli (2737 m) it was going to be! The hike takes about 4.5 hours without breaks and leads up to the top of the Spitzhörli from where you can enjoy a wonderful view.
30. August 2019 • Katja Laurien
Most people know the Swiss canton Valais for the Matterhorn, but believe me, there is so much more out there. One of my favourite highlights is the Aletsch Glacier. It’s the largest glacier in the Alps which of course promises some spectacular views! It’s 23 km long, situated partially in the canton of Bern, the other side being in Valais. In Bern you can see the glacier from the Jungfraujoch. I’ve seen the glacier from both sides, but to be honest with you, I much preferred the Valais view.
17. August 2019 • Katja Laurien
Today I want to introduce to you the hike between Ernen and Mühlebach. In fact, it’s only a short 30 min walk (one way), but it has quite a bit to offer: wonderful mountain views, two charming authentic Swiss villages and a suspension bridge.
The suspension bridge between Mühlebach and Fürgangen Ernen and Mühlebach are both two picturesque villages which make you feel like travelling back in time. Take your time to marvel at the rustic, wooden houses which are surrounded by colourful flowers and vegetable gardens against the backdrop of the Swiss mountains.
10. August 2019 • Katja Laurien
If you ever have to travel between the Swiss cantons Bern and Valais, consider not taking the “quick” car transport at Lötschberg, but the slightly longer, ever so beautiful route over the Grimselpass. Not only can you enjoy the wonderful view, but you might even decide to take a detour and hike around while you’re already there.
View from the top of the Grimsel pass I can highly recommend hiking to the Oberaar glacier (Oberaargletscher).
3. August 2019 • Katja Laurien
Who says a beautiful hike with breathtaking views has to be difficult? Sure, in most cases hard work gets rewarded with the best views, but there are some exceptions, such as the loop walk from Fafleralp in the Lötschen valley (Lötschental).
The hike takes about 3-4 hours with a minimal elevation of around 300 m. Most parts of the hike are straight and very easily accessible. There is a possibility to continue the hike to the Anenhütte, which we didn’t do as we had a 2-year old hiking along with us (I guess that’s proof enough how easy the hike actually is).
30. July 2019 • Katja Laurien
The Binn valley in the Swiss canton Valais is beautiful but rather unknown. But only because the crowds don’t flock into the valley doesn’t mean it’s not a wonderful place which offers some great hikes - especially if you’re a fan of rivers, streams and waterfalls.
One of the many streams you'll pass on the way to the Mässersee The most common hike is the one to the Binntalhütte. But because I’m such a huge fan of water, I decided to hike to the Mässersee (Lake Mässer), a beautiful lake at 2130 meters above sea level.
3. July 2019 • Katja Laurien
Skadar Lake is one of Montenegro’s five national parks and only 30 minutes away from the capital Podgorica. Many people come for a day trip to the lake, do a boat trip, walk around the tiny village and go back again. In my opinion, the lake has more to offer. It’s worth spending a couple of days around the lake to explore more of it. You can take Virpazar as starting point, as it’s easiest to reach and has most of the tourist facilities (but please, don’t expect too much, it’s tiny).