outdoor

Autumn high in the Alps – Skiers paradise (6 photos)

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Sunshine, some fresh snow in the beginning of the week and some things to do in Innsbruck in its end made it a great reason to start the ski season. 1 meter of snow combined with over 15 open lifts and slopes resulted in a perfect start.

Mid-October might not be exactly the high season for skiing, but warm sunny afternoons, rich gear tests and a little crazy atmosphere created by the most fanatic skiers and boarders chilling together compensate for everything else.

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Vilnius from above – Touristing at home (12 photos)

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Fresh look, another point of view and new perception of the usual. Being a tourist at home makes everything a little different: attention gets drawn to completely different things and understanding of “interesting” gets a whole new meaning. However, observing the city from a hot air balloon adds a completely new dimension to everything.

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Underwater exhibition – Dive into another world

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Once upon a time I won a “try-out scuba dive” in “Aqualangas” photocontest and it was high time to use the prize. Got to the lake, signed some papers and met the instructor who was already preparing equipent on the shore. Few short instructions, a deep breath and here we go. Straight into another world.

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Rügen – Cycling around Jasmund

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White sandy beaches, dense tree canopy and massive chalk cliffs. Loved by Bismark and Einstein, Rügen has all a tourist needs as well as a good deal of quiet corners to hide from the crowd.

Arriving by train to Lietzow was a great idea and it was a good place to start heading north towards a little beach-town Glowe next morning. As it would have been boring otherwise, cycling the narrow, curvy and hilly coastal hiking trail to Lohme was simply a must. It would be difficult to find a more bike-unfriendly path on the island, but carrying a thin tired citybike (with two backpacks duct-taped to its back) up and down the stairs spiced up the trip. Actually, it surprised other hikers even less than an ordinary pasta cooking process on the bench at Victoriasicht, a spectacular viewpoint facing the highest and the most famous chalk cliff in the area – Königsstuhl.

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Heading south – Melloblocco

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While mountaineers kept fighting at inconceivable altitudes in Himalayas, a colourful crowd of boulderers kept chilling in Val di Mello. Year after year thousands of climbers from all over the continent gather in world’s most important bouldering meeting Melloblocco on the first weekend of May. This spring was not exceptional too. Like minded people all around, absence of stress and the overall simplicity is what makes it so charming. Beginners and experts, everyone with different abilities, aims and projects, yet everyone in love with the mountains.

Bouldering, sport or trad climbing. For its huge variety of short as well as multi-pitch routes sometimes called Europe’s Yosemite valley, Val di Mello has something for everyone. These offers combined with climbing and creative competitions, movie screenings and concerts make an event where it is always great to come back.

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Heading south – Ending the ski season

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After a slow Tuesday’s morning in Berlin, everything was finally packed (quite some things to take when planning to climb, boulder, camp and ski during the same trip) and it was time to head south, towards Italy.

Like always, it’s been great to reach Bolzano and have another look at it. City itself does not really change: same buildings, same sunshine, same beggar imitating convulsions… It is the point of view that changes: streets start to look narrow, houses get to seem rather small and the whole city begin to resemble a tiny town packed with tourists.

A nice evening meeting friends, a rather impatient night, and we are on the way to Schnalstal, a local ski area in South Tyrol. Weather was not the best, but not all slopes were in the clouds too and it started to rain/snow only in the late afternoon. Anyways, it was good to touch the snow again, as moving from Bolzano to Berlin also meant shortening the ski season from six months to a few weekends per year.

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The holiday feeling – Kite landboarding 101

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Week started with a sunshine, 23 degree temperature and a kite landboarding lesson. New experiences including walking with a t-shirt through Berlin, relaxed people around and packed street cafés made Monday’s morning look a bit surreal. It felt so like holiday, and it was so hard to get back to everyday work in the afternoon…

But before doing that I got to understand why so many people get into kiting. Instructed by a decent hippie who came with his camper-van to Tempelhofer Feld, I found kiting to be cooler than I thought, less scary than I expected and a bit faster to learn than one would think.

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Climbing in the flats – Löbejün

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I haven’t been getting up early on a weekend (earlier than during the week) already for quite a while and I haven’t been properly climbing for quite some time too. Well, it was just about time to get out. This time to Löbejün.

Located in a former quarry near Halle/Leipzig, this is one of the closest climbing areas from Berlin. It may not be the perfect crag, but it has more than 150 routes facing all directions and is less than two hours away, what makes it a great location for a day-trip.

Löbejün near Berlin, is a bit like Sarentino near Bolzano – nice and relaxed atmosphere, good grip and a rather good accessibility. Actually, Berlin is not that bad for climbing in the end!
 

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