If you read our post about Dinant, you know that not every trip or excursion is successful. To be honest, our visit to Dinant was not a huge success due to bad planning from my side and simple bad luck. Well, a lot of bad luck.
On New Year’s Day, Lars and I first decided to sleep in. We got up around 11am and had brunch. Since 1 January is a public holiday, we had limited options for an excursion. A visit to a museum for example was therefore out of the question. Since we stayed close to the Greater and Little Wannsee, we thought it would be a nice idea to go to one of the beaches.
Our hotel was located right next to the Berlin-Wannsee train station and the nearest beach was just one stop away. How convenient! And according to our travel guide, the beach was located quite close to the station. Dark clouds had gathered above Berlin though and when we arrived in the Nikolassee station, it started to rain. A lot.
Our first reaction was to wait. After 10 minutes, curiosity took over and we ventured outside. And after less than 5 minutes in the pouring rain, we were completely soaked. Moreover, the beach was a lot further away than mentioned in our guide. We turned around and took the first train back. Of course, when we were back at the hotel the rain stopped.
After Lars and I had changed clothes, we decided to go to the nearby small harbour. Not exactly the same thing as a beach, but still a great place to photograph waterscapes. When we arrived there, we noticed that the ground was littered with empty bottles and used firecrackers and fireworks. The whole scene looked gloomy and desolate.
And after the last picture… the rain was back. I think it was a sign from above telling us that it was time to have a nice beer. Which is exactly what we did.
Most hotels in Berchtesgaden offer their guests a free card, which allows them to take most of the regional busses for free. One notable exception is the bus to Salzburg, which requires a return ticket of five euros per person. Anyway, one sunny morning Lars and I took the bus to the Königssee, which is often called the most beautiful alpine lake. We were curious to see if this place was really worth it.
The bus ride took about 15 minutes and drove through the cozy and pretty village of Schönau. After you get off at the bus stop, expect a walk of about 10 minutes through a very touristic street:
I was surprised to see that the water of the lake isn’t blue, but green. The Königssee is also very narrow, like a fjord. It is about 8 kilometres long and used to be one of the favourite places of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun. When I was there, a bit of mist was still floating on it. I have to admit that the lake is indeed breathtaking:
A lot of people take a boat to visit the rest of the lake. We didn’t, because we don’t like crowds. I wonder if there is a road around the Königssee; if so, we would like to come back and see more of it.
Finally, the first picture of our winter trip! My camera was stolen during our train trip and it took me some time to buy a new one. Anyway, this is the Konigssee, one of the biggest lakes of the Bavaria area.
I think it’s safe to say that after 5 years of traveling together, Ingrid and I have pretty much seen most of Funen’s coast. It was about time to explore other regions of the island. The best thing you can do first is to go to some of the biggest tourist information offices and ask for advice. Here are some of the gems that we found.
If your GPS can’t find this place, program it for Morud.
Morud is the name of the village, whereas Langesø is the name of the manor. It was built in the late 18th century, but is not open for the public. Langesø also refers to the lake next to it; in Danish the name means “long lake”. You can hike in this area – which is very picturesque with forest surrounding the lake -, but if you want to cycle, you need a special license.
Nearby, we found a small cemetery.
Let’s face it: Stige itself has little to offer (even if you are an off the beaten path traveler). But venture a little outside the town and you will discover the world’s smallest ferry, that takes you to an uninhabited island. It used to be a junkyard, but now in the high season the local population go to it for a picnic.
Another beautiful manor. If you can find it with your GPS, program it for Søndersø. Anyway, this manor was built between the 16th and the 19th century and now functions as a rehabilitation center for cancer patients. The surrounding grounds and lake are accessible for the general public.
Close to Dallund Slot, you will find something more ancient…
We are referring to a huge thermal lake – one of the biggest of the world – surrounded by cozy pavilions. Lars and I have been here before, but we never took pictures. The place is open the whole year around. Finding it is easy, go to the center of town and just follow the masses of people heading towards it.
You can find more information about Heviz and all the places that we visited in the local tourist information office: Rákóczi str. 2. Open all year, from Monday to Saturday, during summer also on Sunday.
Lars and I left the Czech Republic the day afterwards and arrived in Keszthely, not far from the Balaton Lake.
We had been here before, but something told us that we still could discover a lot in this region. On the other hand, after all the beautiful stuff we had already seen in the Czech Republic, would we be able to see something more magnificent?
Anyway, we started with one of the very few places we hadn’t seen yet in Keszthely: the beach. It wasn’t officially open yet, which means that we could go there for a walk, but all the facilities were closed. Workers were making sure everything would be ready for the summer season.
Earlier this year Lars and I had seen a road movie, called Move On. It’s not the best movie – the story sucks, but we were captivated by some of the locations where it was made. And one of them was the Bay of Kotor. Yep, we made a big detour to see a place that we had seen in a bad movie…
When we reached the lake, we were however disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, it really is a beautiful place: blue lake surrounded by cliffs and mountains. But it is also very touristic. A lot more than we had thought. Too many people, too many cars.
Anyway, without further ado, here are our first impressions:
Photographing the backroads of Europe, exploring beauty and enjoying life at our own pace