Bad Hofgastein – this skiing paradise 1h from Salzburg sports the Eastern Alps’ longest slope

To me Bad Hofgastein is synonymous with winter fun. My parents first came here with four of my uncles and aunts and one of my grandmothers in the late 1960s. From the time my sister and I were born in the mid-1970s my parents took us to the same B&B for a week every winter. The owners’ son, who now runs the hotel with his wife and oldest kid, and I engaged in snowball fights and built snowmen 40 years ago. This year round, my parents met up with Ms B & me for just an extended weekend (4 days and 4 nights). While my parents brought all of their own gear, we borrowed ours at Ski-Verleih Service Irausek (pre-ordered via Alpinresorts.com, both of which I’d recommend, even though if you can get a decent deal for ski rental at Angertal valley station then go for that, as much more […]

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Kayaking with ‘New Forest Activities’ – Fair bit of exercise, fabulous fun, and you get to see jellyfish!

Last summer Ms B & I decided to venture to the New Forest again as it was the start of the pannage season when local farmers have permission for two months to let their pigs roam free around the woodlands. The idea is that the pigs eat all the acorns that are harmful for other animals like the free-roaming ponies, horses, and donkeys (in principle the acorns are harmful to pigs too, but these smart badasses simply spit out those bits). Anyhoooo.. didn’t see a single pig, so resorted to other activities. Besides horseback riding (post here), the most fun activity was our 3h kayaking trip with New Forest Activities (£39.90 per person). The starting point is at the beautiful Buckler’s Hard Maritime Museum (open air, admission included) on the banks of the Beaulieu river.     At the start of the 18th century a highly ambitious and (following his […]

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Deep Sea Fishing for Congers off Brighton with Grey Viking II

Ever since I first went fishing for gobies with my buddy Marcel as 7-year olds while we were camping next to the Adriatic Sea with our respective families, I am a fan of this sport, even though I hardly ever get a chance to practice it. It’s relatively relaxing, certainly doesn’t usually require enormous effort, you’re out in nature, enjoying the sun, and maybe best of all, you get yourself some nice dinner onto the table, what’s not to like. It’s got something archaic to it like hunting, mountain-climbing, boxing or foraging. While polo is perhaps best left in my view to the Camerons, Borises, and Rees-Moggs out there, surely fishing was for me, the common man (or equally the common woman, if she likes; Ms B is not very fond of it though). I’m saying this despite a horrific fishing incident outside Dallas, TX, in 1991, when I sat […]

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Runner’s MOT with We Run

I’ve been a passionate (yet unambitious) long-distance runner for as long as I can think. Until two years ago I went running 10km every day come hail or high water. Since then, mainly because I got older and lazier, but also because I do not want to over-exert myself, I usually run three to four times a week, and normally a distance of 6 to 8km, with only rarely a 10 or 12k thrown in for good measure. Four times a year Ms B & I take part in organised 10k’s and half-marathons. Five years ago Ms B gave me one of the coolest birthday gifts to date: a 4.5h one-on-one barefoot running training session with a running coach. Long story short, I started barefoot running, then switched back and forth between barefoot running and regular running. When I saw the We Run advertisement for the Runner’s MOT (£90 for […]

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Not ideal if scared of heights, but hell.. ton of fun: Canyoning near Porto

It’s been nearly three years since the Barbarians went on a one-day canyoning trip near Porto with Latitude41. Back then we had been involved in a number of collaborations with other providers of adventurous activities and we did not want to take any of the shine from them. However, now is the right time to start singing the praise for the good people of Latitude41. Considering that our blog is featuring plenty of activities involving height, including skydiving and rock-climbing, it feels silly to mention it again and again, but here we are: I’m terribly scared of heights. I’m not at all being cute or joking. If I’d have to pick one thing that scares me more than anything else it would definitely be heights. After more than ten years of happy marriage, Ms B, who is totally not scared of heights, still does not understand how I can be […]

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