Trip to Colesdalen from Longyearbyen

We had been looking forward to our 11-hour speed boat trip to Ny-Ålesund ever since we started looking into booking a trip to Spitsbergen. It was supposed to be the highlight of our weekend stay. The linear distance is only 114km, but only government, scientists and emergency services are permitted to do inland flights (even though you can buy unfilled seats on scientists’ flight connections for large amounts of money), which is why boat is the only option. This means that the actual distance travelled one-way is roughly 200km.       You pass by some decent whale spotting locations (including 45m long blue whales), a giant walrus colony, and, if going from Longyearbyen by boat at this time of year: your best chance of seeing a polar bear, unless you’re happy with the stuffed variety in the local museum. We had booked our trip with Better Moments, the highest-ranking Spitsbergen […]

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Rock-climbing, off-roading and a visit to a Roman gold mine (from Porto)

My Greenway Tours, run by Eduardo Mata together with a business associate, and which, on Tripadvisor, ranks #21 out of 133 tours to do in Porto (the other ones mainly being about food/wine, or tours of the town), invited BSqB to come with them on a one-day outdoor adventure tour while I was visiting Porto (Portugal) last week. My wife, who is writing this blog with me, only joined the following day, so I was accompanied by an old German friend of mine, who spent the whole week with me as my fellow blogger and as part of our customary boyz-only annual celebration of madness. I grew up in a small town at the doorstep of the Bavarian Alps and have done my fair share of outdoor adventures in the mountains, but this was an absolute blast! Eduardo also grew up in the mountains, and clearly was more serious about […]

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Douro Valley Tour

While I was spending last week in Porto, CoolTour Oporto invited me to check out their famous Douro Valley Tour (#7 of 133 Tours in Porto, Certificate of Excellence on Tripadvisor). Many people visit Porto mainly with the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Douro valley region in mind, famous for its port wine production (they are the only region that is officially allowed to call their wine port wine, even though some Australians do not seem to have taken notice yet). A bit harsh on the beautiful seaside city of Porto, but once you’ve done this tour you’ll understand the enthusiasm.       An old friend from Germany, who was spending the week with me in Porto, and I were picked up at our hotel at 9:30am. The only other guests were a gentleman in his 50ies from Portland, Oregon, who owned shares in a vineyard and a restaurant that had just […]

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