Where monsters live – Papierfabrik Wolfswinkel (20 photos)

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Colourful, fury and cute. They are called monsters and they live in and old abandoned paper factory in Eberswalde.

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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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Glimpse of the Alps – A hike up

Vytautas Serys, Alps, Austria, Farm

Few days for the Alps, OutDoor fair, to get there and back. Plan seemed to be simple and it was rather clear how to proceed – start with the mountains, end with the fair.

7 hours of driving, 3 hitch-hikers made happy, and here they were – Alps in Allgäu. Clock showed 9.15PM – exactly one minute after the sunset and, given the circumstances, it was a perfect time to start getting up. Well, it was Alps. Clearly marked paths and signs on every corner made navigation rather easy, even when hiking at night without a map.

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Iceland – Colours of the wild (22 photos)

Lush fjords, volcanic peaks, glittering icecaps and endless multicolour lava fields. Remote and natural. Sunny and warm (12°C). Such was Iceland in the beginning of July.

Couple of days in “must see” south to start. More time for severe highlands and completely forgotten by tourists yet amazingly charming Westfjords. Unpredictable Snæfellsnes and eclectic Reykjavík for the end.

This was the long story short. Photos will do the further talking.
 

Skogafoss waterfall, Iceland, Vytautas Serys
Skógafoss, one of the largest waterfalls in Iceland falling from a 62 meter cliff, a former shoreline. These rocks create a clear border between Highlands of Iceland and 5 km wide coastal lowlands that emerged when the coastline receded seaward.
 

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Eggs the Icelandic way – 3 steps

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Weather cools down, crowds disappear and colours change. Few lone photographers, couple of birds and silence of a bright summer night. Photographing geysers is fun, but sometimes gets tiring and there is no better cure than a warm meal. Luckily, getting one is rather simple here in Iceland.

 
Boiling an egg in the local way

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Learning a language – To speak or not to speak?

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Learning a language requires time. And practice. Use it all the time and results will be astonishing. Keep avoiding and it will take a while longer. As simple as that.

Is constant practice efficient? Definitely yes. Fun? Probably. It depends on how much control does one want to have over the conversation, where difficult topics and important clarifications happen to be avoided way too often.

Everyone can choose a strategy. Everyone can pick what works best. Personally, I find that decent conversations tend to improve the overall quality of life much more than would do a slight increase in the speed of language learning process.

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Hanging above – Inspiration

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It’s just been hanging there. Right above the channel. Right above the bridge.

Well, Amsterdam seemed to be kind of on the way to Düsseldorf-Weeze. And, unless travelling exclusively by land, Weeze is on the way to Vilnius. From Berlin. A short but nice dinner and overnight stop on the way.

Yes, heading to Vilnius. To catch up, to learn from the big guys in Forum One, and to get inspired. I always get inspired in Lithuania. It all starts with the airline magazine, which is a mix of texts from/about different countries all over the world. Comparing those little stories rocks almost as much as exploring the destinations map in the last pages!

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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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