22-26 January 13 present and former colleagues from NNE spent at Saalbach-Hinterglem, Austria, for some days of skiing. The trip was planned for taking place last year but cancelled due to a virus. We were all looking forward to the trip but there was some uncertainty and anxiety up to the days before departure. The Danes needed a negative PCR-test (max 42 hours old). It was enough with a third booster shoot for the Swede but needed proof, train ticket, that I just arrived from Malmö the same day.
We travelled with Northlander and stayed at Skinetworks Hotel Pinzgauerhof in Hinterglem. Perfectly located close to the lift Reiterkogelbahn, ski rent Heil’s and after ski Goaßstall.
Friday and Saturday before arrival it was snowing. Sunday it was a little bit cloudy, Monday-Wednesday it was Kaiserwetter!!
14-21 of October, Mickey and I visited the small beach resort Agia Marina, Crete, not far from Chania. We travelled with TUI and stayed at Atlantica Caldera Village, room no. 212 with a great view from the balcony, overlooking the village, sea and the island Agioi Theodoroi, a nature reserve inhabited by the Kri-Kri goat.
Here follow some stories and pictures of what we did during our stay, enjoy.
Beach walk Agia Marina – Palatinas, 8 km.
Hill walk Agia Marina – Cave Nerospilia, 8 km. (the cave was closed)
Beach walk Agia Marina – Chania, 11 km.
Chania is the capital of the Chania regional unit. It lies along the north west coast and consists of the city itself and several nearby villages.
On the way we had a break at Iguana Beach and passed Abandoned Graffiti House,
In Chania we walked along the Venetian Port, where we had lunch. We took the bus back to Agia Marina.
Bus day to Elafonisi:
Monday we went on a bus trip to the beach Elafonisi. The trip went via the gorge Topolia and a stop at Cave Agia Sofia (Wisdom of God) before we reached Elefonisi.
Here we spent a couple of hours walking around, swimming and relax on the beach. Elafonisi is an island when the tide is high and famous for it’s pink “sand”, that actually is seashells. Since many tourists have taken the sand with them home, there isn’t much left. The authorities have strengthen the rules and set high penalty for removing the sand.
Many thanks to our guide Joanna, who told many good stories about the culture of Crete and the scenery we passed through.
Beach walk at Elafonisi, 2 km.
Wednesday we rented a VW Up from a local travel agency, Beyond Travel, on the main street in Agia Marina.
The journey: Agia Mariana – Gorge of Imbros – Hora Sfakion – Frangokastello – Giorgioupoli – Kourna Lake – Agia Marina.
The gorge of Imbros is the second most popular gorge, after Samaria. for walkers on Crete. The gorge of Imbros was the main route through which Allied Forces evacuated Crete in late May 1941 after losing the Battle of Crete. Close to 20.000 troops (mainly New Zealanders, Australians and Brits) headed from the North of the island through the gorge of Imbros to Komitades and Hora Sfakion where they were due to be picked up by ships and taken to Egypt. About 13.000 made it onto ships. The rest were made prisoners by the Germans or escaped to the hills. There is a monument in Hora Sfakion commemorating these events.
Hora Sfakion is a small village with a main harbour front of tavernas, two minimarkets, a butcher, and a bakery. There is a quiet local beach immediately west of the village, and several pebbly beaches nearby. Hóra Sfakíon has a variety of tourist accommodations: rooms, studios, and apartments. The local economy is based on tourism, fishing, olive-oil production, and sheep and goat herding.
28 May – 1 June, 1941, British and Australian forces was evacuated from this bay after passing the the gorge of Imbros.
Frangokastello is a castle and scattered settlement on the south coast of Crete. The castle was built by the Venetians in 1371–1374 as a garrison to impose order on the rebellious Sfakia region, to deter pirates, and to protect Venetian nobles and their properties.
Returning to the north coast, Mickey found an alternative way on Google Maps. A small winding road with around 25 hairpin turns. I admit I was little nervous driving up this road. Very steep, narrow, no crash barrier, parts of the road broken and fallen off on one side, stones and rocks fallen on to the road on the other. Glad we didn’t meet any cars…
Due to the narrow road and suffering from a little bit anxiety, I “forgot” to take photos of the beautiful scenery. Found this picture on Google Maps.
Credit: Wolfgang Johannes
Formerly a small fishing village, Georgioupolis is more of tourist town now. The town square is surrounded by outdoor seating. The 9 km beach is the main attraction of the area with the church of Agios Nikolaos on the islet with the same name. Here you also find a small harbor at Turtle River, where you can rent different kind of boats to go up the river or out on the sea.
Nearby Kourna Lake is a popular excursion.
Kourna Lake is the only natural freshwater lake on Crete. It covers an area of 579 acres and maximum depth reaches 22 meters. The lake is a protected area as an important wetland with many species like moorhens, ducks, eels, snakes and a rare two-color turtle and occasionally herons.
A day spent at Gorgona Beach Club with sun, backgammon and bodysurfing in the quite big waves. Thanks to Director Alex and staff, for friendly and good service (and for use of your backgammon).
Restaurants Agia Marina:
These are the restaurants we tried. Dessert and raki served was the custom when paying the bill. “Raki is like Ouzo, but worse” – statement from a waitress.
Botonis – Grilled pork chops. The wood fired “globe grill” was standing in the restaurant
Neraida – Mixed grill, more than enough for two (got doggie bag for lunch next day)
Nostos – Ingo: Moussaka, Mickey: chicken gyros
Olivi – Both had very nice beef steaks with great “potato salad” (potato mixed with garlic, lemon and parsley)
16 – 20 December 2019 I had the pleasure of joining the Munk family, Birgitte, Morten and Andreas, on a ski trip to Davos, Switzerland. We stayed at the very nice Sunstar Hotel close to Davos Platz.
SAS flight to Zürich – train from the airport to Davos with change at Zürich HB and Landquart. Approx. 2,5 hours.
Tip: Save some money on the return ticket by using the ski pass to Kloster and buy the train ticket starting from here. Disadvantage – you need to change train one more time in Kloster.
During the week it was only Parsenn and Jakobshorn that was open and quite a few lifts and pistes at these areas was closed. Don’t know if the reason was early in the season, lack of people, lack of snow (I think there was ok with the white stuff) or due to strong winds sometimes – maybe a combo… anyways, we got some really nice runs during the stay, both on and off the piste.
Conversation day one, after arriving at the top of Jakobshorn:
Ingo – “Note that I haven’ been skiing at all this year, I have an injured knee, still in rehab mode, I have rented skis I haven’t tried yet. Let’s take it easy the first couple of runs, on the piste.”
Morten – “No problem, we do that.”
After approx 300 m down a transport run…
Morten (stops looking over the edge, off piste) – “This looks nice, let’s try!”
Ingo – “What!!”
Morten – “Looks fine, let’s try. No problem, we take it easy…”
Ingo – “Ok, let’s try it but it’s against my will ;-)”
…and off we go. It was fun, went well but I admit, I was “a bit” nervous…
Flight CPH – Madrid with a friend of Norwegian. Limited service on board. Good we bought a Joe and the Juice spicy tuna sandwich to go as “on-flight-meal”.
Metro #10 from airport, change to #8 to Tribunal.
Checked in at Rentalis Gran Via Fuencarral, an Airbnb flat (didn’t know booking.com have airbnb). Small, nice and clean with fantastic location. It was a challenge finding the entrance since the notification from Booking.com didn’t have a street number. Called the host, José, that guided and greeted us. José liked Madrid very much and he wanted the guests to do the same :-). He explained and marked all the sights in Madrid on a map.
It was raining so limited walkabout. Dinner at the local Delisko.
Monday – walkabout theme “Getting High”, 16 km
Sunny and chilly. 4-8 degrees in the early morning! Mickey comment, “like being at a ski resort – clear blue sky, sun and cold”.
The host José marked some viewpoints on the map.
Started with Mimosa (Cava + orange juice) brunch at Brunch club – great brunch salad, Mickey Slamon wrap
First viewpoint – El Cortes Ingles – view to Schweppes building
Second viewpoint Endifico Espana – 360 Rooftop bar where Stephani served us rosado, birthday version :-).
Passing Templo de Debod on the way to third viewpoint, Teleferico de Madrid
Walked through Parque del Teleferico and passing Lago Casa de Campo on the way to Palacio Real and Catedral de la Almudena for viewpoint #four. Arrived too late, It closed at 14:30.
Dinner at restaurant La Cabana Argentina Mickey’s birthday gift to me 🙂
Mickey invited to cocktail bar – 1862 Dry Bar
Saturday: This year we tried the concept, Gladpack. All the participants in the pack should start and finish with the same time. We didn’t decide what time. We should start and finish all at a line next to each other (spontaneously, we did the same trick at the ½ marathon) . Everybody was rolling together as one group, helping each other – “GAP!!! – CONTACT!!!. We ended up being 9 participants and we all started in group “F”.
While waiting for the start, it started to pour down!!! The start was postponed 10 minutes.
The streets was VERY slippery. We managed to finish as planned and even picked up some other MCS members on the way. Personally, I enjoyed the race,even if the weather conditions was bad and I had promised myself never roll to this race when wet roads! It was a great Gladpack that did very well and thanks to everybody to make it great!
Saturday dinner at Glashaus. After skate party at Kosmos.
Thursday Departure 21 September together with Patrik, Lotta, Stefan and Robert. Gedser – Rostock ferry 17:00. Playing MIG where Robert is the unbeatable champ of knowledge. After checked in at Acama Kreuzberg, where most members of the Malmö City Skaters group stayed, we went for a drink at an Ethiopian bar/restaurant close by.
The Berlin Marathon Expo is located at Station, just down the road from the hostel, opened 11:00. Got the race gear, bib, chip etc and did some shopping.
After lunch at Parlamento Degli Angeli, a few of us went for a sightseeing trip on inlines where we passed The Wall and an Oktoberfest at Alexanderplatz, among other places.
Friday evening I booked table at Schildkröte for MCS to have some Schweinehaxe. Tasted very good but was quite huge portions and lot of protein. probably enough for at least two people.
Race day. I got the pleasure to have a ride in Timo’s Mustang for some shopping. MCS lunch at Amici Amici, Scampi sallad and a glas of white wine, perfect prep.
After the traditional photo session in the courtyard at the hostel, we rolled to the starting area at Tiergarten. Another MCS group photo and deposit the bag. This year they had moved drop off location for the “luggage”.
As usual it’s great atmosphere and feeling at the start, AC/DC Hells Bells and count down. Started in group E with Stefan, Per, Sigal and Søren. The race this year was a fantastic feel good roll from start to finish, even had energy to sprint at the end. Stefan and I helped each other from start to the finish line.
Just after we finished, it started to rain. Most of the club members took public transport back to the hostel, Timo and I rolled back. It was VERY slippery and it was lucky it didn’t rain during the race.
After skate dinner at Amrit/Mirchi, very nice Indian food – Bombay mule cocktail and Sizzling plate with lamb and Tandoori chicken.
After dinner some of us went to Kosmos for after skate party and we met, among others, Bart Swings, the winner of the Inline Marathon for the last five years or so. Asked him to join on a group photo…(it’s the guy in the middle with white T-shirt).
Also had the great pleasure to meet the one and only Sebastian Baumgartner that was instructor at MCS inline camp this summer…
Looked a little bit on the runners and finally got the chans to try the famous Mustafas gemüse kebab (usally always a VERY long line) before we went home…
Thanks to all participants that makes it such a great trip 🙂
25 members of Malmö City Skaters went on tour the 15 – 18 June to Paris to join a Pari Roller Friday Night Skate 16 June.
One group flew with Easy jet in the afternoon and were picked up by two cars that drove us to the 3 Ducks hostel. On the way to city I noticed a lot of people on three wheel motorbikes with warning light on driving like crazy between the cars on the highway.
After checking in we had some rosé and food at a local bistro.
Took a walkabout to and around the Eiffel tower.
Some of us walked to the Arch de triumph where we should meet for a surprise lunch, and what a surprise!! Boarding a Bustronome double decker bus where we had a gourmet lunch with a wine meny. Multitasking taking to a new level – eating, drinking, looking at the beautiful views, listen to the interactive guide and talking with the company… A fantastic experience and many thanks to Patrik and Stefan for arranging it (and the other things).
In the evening, before the Pari Roller event, it was wining and dining at A La Tour de Eiffel, next to the hostel. After dinner it was time for the main event – Friday Night Skate/Pari roller. We meet outside the hostel and rolled to the starting point next to the Montparnasse tower. When we arrived, we were more or less the only ones there and thought maybe they moved the starting point or cancelled the event… Finally we met one that told us they started just around the corner.
The tour was about 30 km and took about 3 hours with an 8 min break 10 km from the end. It was a fun and exciting challenge with quite high speed between the many stops. The road quality was limited, at the best. Many parts with paving stone, bad asphalt, many hills (also with paving stone). The reputation said that there could be up to 20.000 participants back in the good old days. This evening we were around 500. As often at these kind of occasions, there were a couple of “show offs” that like to show how cool and good they were, even if it a risk for them that don’t skate that well. We were escorted by two polic men on Vespas in the front and a big ambulance at the back. When the the back blockers and the ambulance were ready, it gave a “symphony” of what all it had in sound and light, fun and loud 🙂
After skate at a local bar next to the hostel.
Paris has a good “rent-a-bike-system”, Velib, where you pick up and return the bike at several places. Gisle, Kicki Anders and me biked to Montmatre were we had lunch at a nice and tasty “hole in the wall” Asian restaurant. We walked up to Sacre ceur and had some rosé breaks on the way. Anders and I decided to walk back to city via Forum des halles and Pompidou center.
Evening dinner at restaurant Café De L’Industrie and finishing with after dinner drink at a bar close by, with “people whatching”…
5 people joined the Sunday tour that I planned should go along the Seine since it was quite warm and I thought along the water it was a little bit cooler and parts of the roads along the river is closed for traffic on Sundays. The Tour de Seine started at the Statue of Liberty and at Bd Peripherique we turned and went back, A few challenges on the way with walking down hill on cobble stone, but most of the time, very good asphalt and parts even with silky smooth concrete.
The plan was to join a Paris afternoon tour but it was cancelled due to an election. That’s why had decided to go home on Monday. The rest of the crowd left in Sunday afternoon. I got a new room and went out for dinner at the very nice Persian restaurant Mazeh, near the hostel, that was recommended by the receptionist at the hostel.
Early home bound with metro + bus to the airport…
28 August 2016 I had the pleasure of hiking The Caminito del Rey together with Mar, Andreea, Renny and Peter.
Caminito del Rey is located approx. one hour drive from Malaga.
After the drive from Benalamadena, we had a very nice lunch at El Mirador. The restaurant has a fantastic view over the lake. Bring swimming clothes for a dip in the lake, before or/and after the walk.
The total length of El Caminito del Rey is 7.7 km. It’s divided into a 4.8 km long access way and a 2.9 km long walkway that you need a ticket to visit.
The walkway of Caminito del Rey, called El Hoyo, is of spectacular natural beauty, breathtaking and fantastic. The path is more than just a walk in the hills. Parts of the walkway is a hanging footbridge that rises over 100 metres above the river below with steep walls, that can make you feel dizzy. The path is “hazardous” because of the heights and its narrow parts. It was rebuilt so it could be used for active tourism in the natural surroundings. It requires certain level of physical effort and skilfulness. You are not risking your life at all, but be aware of the strong impressions this place might have on you. That’s why this path is so spectacular.
It’s a good idea to book in advance to access the walkway. They let in 50 persons every ½ hour.
Note!The Caminito del Rey is linear, not circular. You need to make sure to come back to the start on your own. There are coaches between the northern access (Ardales) and the southern one (El Chorro), which go in both directions.
The walkway was originally built to provide workers at the hydroelectric power plants at Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls with a means to cross between them, to provide for transport of materials, and to facilitate inspection and maintenance of the channel.
The construction began in 1901 and was finished in 1905. The original path was constructed of concrete and rested on steel rails supported by stanchions built at around 45 degrees into the rock face. An extra benefit with the path was that it created great joy for the locals that experienced easier access between the neighboring villages.
According to a local guide (that also was in the construction team for the new version) told us that approx. 200 persons died during the construction of the original walkway (the number of casualties was zero, building the new one).
King Alfonso XIII crossed the walkway in 1921 for the inauguration of the dam Conde del Guadalhorce and it became known by its present name – “The Kings Pathway“.
The old walkway deteriorated over the years and there were numerous sections where parts or all of the concrete top had collapsed. The result was large gaps bridged only by narrow steel beams or other supports. Few of the original handrails existed although a safety wire ran along the path. Several people lost their lives on the walkway and after two fatal accidents in 1999 and 2000, the local government closed both entrances. Even so, in the 4 years to 2013, four people died attempting to climb the gorge. It was known as the “The most dangerous walkway in the world”.
In March 2014, the cornerstone of the rehabilitation project was laid by specialized alpinists. The new walkway reopened on 29 March 2015.
Arrived JFK – Airtrain to Jamaica – MetroCard – Took subway E to Rockefeller, changed to B “express” – Missed to get of at Columbus Sq. and ended up at 112 st. where we changed and returned to 59 st./Columbus Sq. – Walked 5 min. to 63 st. – Checked in at West Side YMCA.
Circle Line Landmark Cruise and Battery Park day. Sunshine and warm.
Walked down to Hudson River, booked the Circle Line – Landmark cruise at 11.00. Had a cup of coffee/water. Learned that one reason for long lines could be the taking of photos against a green screen for “tacky” backgrounds… – Lunch at Landmark Tavern, recommended by the guide on the boat. Nice place – Walked 47 st. with lots of small restaurants – Subway from 42nd str. to World Trade Center Station – One World Observatory – “Ground Zero” – Irish Hunger Memorial – Battery Park (Pier A, East Coast Memorial, American Merchant Mariners’ Memorial) – Wall Street – Charging Bull – Visit to a local liquor store. Mickey was told “don’t touch!!!” the bottles, the 21 year syndrome!! – Testing burger at Shake Shack on Murray Street – subway from Chamber st. “home” (59 st.).
After Centrapark drink @ the “Y”, Gin & Lemon/Lime juice (no admission and no ID required in the room, don’t tell anyone) – Walked Down 8th Avenue to Thai restaurant, Chai Thai – Times Square by night – Soft ice Dessert @ MacD
19 June, DAY #4
Brooklyn Heights day. Sunshine and warm
Subway to High Street st, Brooklyn – Walk Henry St. to Joralemon St. – Breakfast at Pier 6, a fruit bowl, $11 + coffee, same price as 4 big muffins!! …Burgers and fries cheaper… “It’s more expensive to be healthy…” – Walked along Brooklyn Heights Promenade to Brooklyn Bridge (another highlight of the trip and can be recommended) – Lunch at Pier 1, under the tent. Beer (for me), water (for Mickey, 21!!) and fries, “Alcohol consumed under the tent. ID required” – Manhattan Bridge – DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) – Jane’s Carousel – Sunday Flea Market – Brooklyn Bridge – Supreme Court – Chinatown, Mott st.- Little Italy – Pizza at Lombardi’s, first pizzeria in NYC, 1905 – Spring St. – Subway “home”.
“After walk drink”, nice gin/lemon/lime in the room – 6th, Avenue of the Americas, to Empire State Building (did you know it was built in 13 months!!) – Museum at 80th floor – Looong line to the elevator to the top at 86th floor. Walked. Clear sky with stars and full moon, TOTALLY MAGIC!!! Did several laps around the deck (another high light of the trip and can be recommended) – Walked back “home” on Broadway.
Luggage label challenge. Label machine no work, WHAT TO DO!!! “Stupid tourist who suggest a solution”… (Mickey overheard conversation between the staff…) – Smoothie at Starbucks (again) – Talked to a girl from Vice magazine about New York music: New York – by John Lennon and what to spend the last ticket on, suggestion was visit the Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum – We spent over 3 hours there + at a Navy school ship + in USS Growler submarine. Very interesting visit – Testing burger at Island Burgers and Shakes – Walkabout in Hell’s Kitchen – Coffee break at Bryant Park – Time’s Square, talked to some “bus boys”, salary 20% commission – 7th st “home”
Collect luggage – Subway “A” to Herman Beach, $2.75 x 2 – Air train to JFK Terminal 1 $5 x 2! “Who said free terminal shuttle?” – Mickey liked to get some special sorts of alcohol, e.g. Tito’s Vodka, St Germain… – For some reason we managed to get “Premium Check In” and “First Class Security Line” – Flight departure was 2 hours+ late and not with a Norwegian flight but with Hi Fly, Portuguese low budget flight. No safety instructions, no information, no inflight entertainment, “nothing!!!”, they served “food”…it was NOT Norwegian standard…
I bought New York Explorer Pass ($77) with 3 tickets (x 2), that we used on Circle Lines Landmark Cruise, Empire State Observatory and Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum