I'm Kurt, nearly 40 years old and living in Belgium.
I always wanted to see the world and explore other countries. Until now I've done a few -rather small- journeys. But to my feeling there are still a lot to places to explore ;-) I'm the kind of traveller that has done a different kind of trips: in group, alone, with some friends, with my wife (and kids), multiple day trekking in the mountains, city-trips, cultural trips, lazy vacations,...
For the moment, my kids are too young to take them far abroad. That's why -in 2011- I decided to write down some of my travel-experiences in a travelblog. In that way it feels like reviving the experience ;-) Unfortunately I don't have everything documented when I was on the road, so I hope the memories comes back when I try to write down my old trips.
December 15th 2012
Besides visiting the Christmas Markets, having a good sleep (now that we could, without the kids...), spending some money at the shopping streets, we also strolled around in Cologne and did a little sightseeing... First, we visited the Cathedral and its environment. We crossed the Rhine at the Hohenzollern Bridge. The bridge itself was full with love padlocks, symbolizing the everlasting love . After a walk to the Chocolate museum, we tasted there the delicious chocolate cake in the adjacent Chocolate Grand Cafe. We also went to the Rudolfplatz and saw the home of "Eau de Cologne 4711" I especially liked the fact that there are so many outdoor shops in Cologne. One of them was four floors high. In the basement you could even test canoes... in the water...... read more
December 14th 2012
It's almost impossible not noticing the Christmas markets in Cologne (Köln). There are six of them ... Each with its own character. Cologne is known for its Christmas markets. Though not our main reason for visiting the city, we definitely wanted to visit them. And, I have to admit it (though I am not that keen on Christmas markets), it was much better than expected! The one that impressed us the most was "Heimat der Heinzel" (Home of the elves). The market is located in the heart of the Old Town and was full with beautiful stalls. We were impressed by the variety of colours and the hidden "Heinzelmännchen" (the gnomes who are said to do the work of the people of Cologne at night). The "Weihnachtsmarkt am Kölner Dom" is located just beside the Cologne ... read more
June 7th 2012
During our vacation, we spent a short visit to Laon. Laon is the capital city of the Aisne department. The city itself is located upon a hill, which made it strategically important. You can still see the fortified walls around the old city-center. There are several medieval buildings to see, including the cathedral Notre-Dame of Laon, Church of St Martin, ... From the hill you have a distant view over the valley. Though we didn't see it, the town has a cablecar system between the medieval town uphill and the railway station downhill.... read more
June 5th 2012
La Voie Verte de l'Ailette (the greenway of the Ailette) is an 8km walk near the lake Ailette. During the walk you can discover different themes alongside the road. If you complete the walk you'll reach the remainings of Abbaye de Vauclair (abbey of Vauclair). Originally we did not intend to do the complete walk. But since the kids didn't get tired when time (and kilometers) passed bye, we decide to walk until the end. At that time we didn't thought at the fact that we had to walk the whole way back ;-) The first village we passed bye was Neuville-sur-Aillette. Apparently, there is a museum over there. But since we were heading for a walk, we didn't stop there. At the lake there were several cabins, where you can discreetly watch the birds and ... read more
June 4th 2012
It's not always easy to convince our kids to discover some culture. Since they're so young, they would rather spend their time on playgrounds ;-) But when we told them we were going to visit Merlin's Castle, they were very excited. And when we mentioned the rumors of a dragon inside the castle, they definitely wanted to search the dragon! The official name of the castle is "Château de Pierrefonds" (Castle of Pierrefonds). But it is better known as Merlin's Castle because it served as Camelot for the BBC series Merlin. Some say it's the most beautiful fortified castle in France. Pierrefonds itself is a rather small village of which the main attraction is the castle itself. It has a nice center where we strolled around and eat a little bit. In this way we were ... read more
December 10th 2011
The first thing that took our attention when arriving at Lille was the big wheel at the city center. It was even hard to miss :-) Besides the big wheel there was a huge Christmas tree. There were a lot people in the city centre. We heard a lot of dutch-speaking people, sounds logical with the Belgian border so close-by. The Christmas Market was bigger than expected. It was nice, with the usual things that you can typically find at those markets. We bought some presents, and I took a few pictures of nice decorated market stalls (or is it rather kitsch...). We visited the city on foot, but it is also possible to rent bikes. The style of the houses looked very Flemish to me. There are a lot of nice shops, we especially remember ... read more
April 5th 2010
The last day in Iceland, I woke up very early, took a quick breakfast at the hotel and waited for the bus to take us to the Keflavik airport. There was a kind of bus tour that went by every hotel to take travellers to the airport (if you didn't forget to inform the reception the day before :-) ). The bus took us to a central bus station, and from there we had to take another bus to the airport. Though I expected to be it very organised, it felt much like disorder. People had to go on and then again off buses, everyone rushing and pushing to get on the same bus... Needless to say, I was happy to arrive right on time at the airport. The airport itself seemed to be very organised. ... read more
April 4th 2010
On our way back to Reykjavik, Haukur decided to do some tricks with the superjeep when passing a little river, as you can see on the photos. First we went to see a beautiful waterfall. Luckily we had the superjeep, since I don't think it would have been reachable with an non four-wheel drive. Afterwards we stopped at some basalt cliffs when we were heading for Dyrhólaey. This rocky plateau is known for his rich bird life and is closed for visit during the nesting season. At the top there is a lighthouse. The view from there is really fantastic (if you there is good weather, like we had during most of our trip). The more we approached Reykjavik, the more we saw the smoke coming from the Eyjafjallajokull. As you can read in another blog, ... read more
April 4th 2010
When we were driving back to Reykjavik, Haukur had arranged the possibility for us -who wanted- to do a helicopter flight over the Eyjafjallajökkull volcano. We had to decide very quick if we wanted to participate or not. After a little bit hesitating, a quick call to my family, I decided to give it a try.. Since it was the first time that I was in a helicopter, I didn't know what to except. But I can tell you this: it's not reassuring if you have to complete a document before departure with a name and telephone-number of someone who they can reach "if there should occur a problem". Not necessary to say that I was nervous about it! It took us about ten minutes to reach the vulcano. In the meantime we saw lots of ... read more
April 3rd 2010
For the most of our travel companions, it was the first time that we were in wintertime at northern latitudes. So we were very keen to see the northern light. At one night, we were finally able to see it. Very impressive but also strange. It's one of those experiences that make you feel that you're alive! For me, those moments are also a reason for travelling, to see, feel and explore things that I wouldn't have experienced if I just stayed at home. I thought the light would be moving all the time. Apparently, it did, but at a slower tempo. Luckily, Haukur is a professional photographer, so he took some pictures of it. Watch the red shine on the pole at the left, amazing what you can do with the stop-light of a car. ... read more