Recently I spent 2 weeks traveling from the South to the Northern reaches of Jordan. I must say it’s not an easy country to visit – especially for a solo, independent, female traveler. Luckily I met a fellow solo, independent, male traveler from Germany with a rental car so we had an impromptu road trip together for a few days.
The public transportation in Jordan only connects Aqaba and Petra in the South with Amman and Madaba in the North. Access to the other beautiful historical sites can only be gained with a private car, taxi or a tour bus.
Turkey – a country filled with diverse citizens. They are Curious, Friendly, Unique.
(The title of this post was inspired by the infamous Humans of New York – Thanks Brandon!)
Turkish children in Rize, Turkey having fun
A small town in the area of the Kaçkar Mountains in Turkey reminded me of the beauty of the Swiss Alps – without the exorbitant prices. It is within the Kaçkar Dağları Milli Parkı so park fees are charged to each vehicle entering the area.
The Kaçkar Mountains are unlike anything I have seen so far in other parts of Turkey. It is in the north east part of Turkey close to the Black Sea. Due to the higher elevation, the temperature is much cooler. I actually had to put on a jacket!
Ayder is quaint, friendly, mountainous, affordable thermal bath, lush forests, hiking trails and plenty of waterfalls.
Van is an urban city in southeastern Anatolia, Turkey. Sitting on the east coastline of Van Gölü (Lake Van).
It is only approximately 200 km from the Iranian border.
The surrounding area offers much history for those interested in Kalesi (castles) and Türbesi (tombs).
One Urartu castle, Çavuştepe is guarded by Mehmet Kuşman who is one of 25 people in the world who can read, write and speak Urartian. He makes souvenirs with Urartian inscriptions.
If you are in Spain and want to see a beautiful coastline with history to boast – try visiting Finisterre or “End of the Earth”.
Galicia is a beautiful region. It’s home to the founder of clothing store Zara.
Pilgrims from around the world arrive in Finisterre to complete their walk on the St. James Way.
This is a pivotal location for many people’s lives. It has affected me even though I did not walk the Camino. Continue reading
Vineyards and glacial river seen from train to Zermatt, Switzerland
The top of Gornergrat is at 3135m (10285 ft) above sea level. This is the location which many tourists and locals travel to for a perfect view of the famous Matterhorn (Monte Cervino) with peaks at 4478m (14691 ft). This is also one of countless places in Switzerland which locals enjoy hiking and mountain biking on gorgeous summer days.
On this day in August, I considered the dreary weather report and hoped for the best. Left my friend’s home before 8am with my day pack and a sense of adventure. Inside the day pack was a lunch, snacks, water, prayer flags from Nepal, fleece, rain jacket, gloves, sunscreen, sunglasses, camera, phone, money and my Swiss Flexi Pass. I just brought the basics but enough in case I decide to hike a bit.
The ride to the top was beautiful. I forgot what city life is like with pollution and traffic noise. Glimpses of hidden waterfalls. Watching the train bank a corner to reveal another valley, another village. Little wooden chalets in the distance. Cows eating grass, ringing the cow bell around their necks. I felt like a little city girl, giddy and jolly – fascinated with what nature has to offer. A couple of times, I wanted to turn to the person beside me and say “Did you SEE that!?!”
Glimpse of waterfalls from SBB train
After my visit to Mt Rigi, I took a scenic cruise on Lake Lucerne. The rain clouds began moving in over the lake. The wind in my hair. It was a relaxing and enjoyable end to a perfect day of exploration.
I boarded the paddle wheel boat at Vitznau and on the way to Lucerne, Switzerland, there was many beautiful landscapes to enjoy and countless lake front homes. Some lake front homes are humble while others make a clear statement of the owner`s status in society.
The paddle wheel cruise served 2 main purposes; one as a touristic cruise along Lake Lucerne, the other purpose was to help local residents move from one town to another. Though I believe we all enjoyed the beautiful views on the way to our destination. Continue reading