Matka canyon

MACEDONIA
October 2008

Just outside Skopje lies this fantastic canyon. It is the most developed place for climbing in Macedonia. Hidden among the rocks are several ancient monasteries that you can hike to.

Matka lake – Sv. Nikola MONASTERY (2010-10-03)


The entrance to the Matka canyon


The Matka lake

Nice layers on the rocks to the left. Our plan was to walk a zig-zagging trail up the forested slope between the two rocky peaks, to Sv. Nikola monastery.


We took a short boat-ride to the other side of the lake, to reach the trail.


Cyclamen flowers along the steep zig-zagging trail.


The medieval church of Sv. Nikola. To the left are rocks where people were climbing.


We camped here. It was a tranquil, beautiful spot.
To the left in the background you can see the forest-covered mountains that gave the place a feeling of being in the middle of the wilderness.


Frescoes inside the church.


Sadly it was covered by “graffiti” from visitors.
Some of them were old, we found one from 1881.


We walked out on the rocks to get this view into the Matka canyon.


The view down to the restaurant at Matka lake.


Benjamin & Eva enjoying the view


Dinner at the little house behind the church

BOAT RIDE TO VRELO CAVE (September 2018)


Suddenly a woman started singing a Maceodnian song, very atmospheric!

Fagaras

ROMANIA
August 2018

Attempting the highest peak of Romania, with a start & finish at the Sambata monastery. We reached the Vistea refuge near Moldoveanu, but the zero visibility in the mist made a climb of the peak quite pointless. Still, a very nice hike in a superb mountain.

DAY 1: CABANA SAMBATA (2008-07-07)

The lower part of the valley from the Sambata monastery was not too exciting, with a dirt road and forest affected by forestry. However, the last couple of kilometers or so the scenery and nature was superb.


The northern slopes of Fagaras rises abruptly from the plains.

Upper part of the valley.

Cabana Simbata hut. Accommodation cost about 6 euro.

DAY 2: CABANA SAMBATA – Moldoveanu (2008-07-08)

Ascending to the ridge on the sunny morning. We saw a few marmots here.

On the ridge

First view of Moldoveanu peak, the highpoint of Romania (2544 m). Moldoveanu is the peak to the left of the twin-peaked mountain.

Me and Moldoveanu

View of the wilderness to the north. The rain is falling somewhere around Poienari castle, the stronghold of Vlad Tepes (Dracula).

The Vistea refuge

Having lunch in the Vistea refuge

Damn! The bad weather have reached Moldoveanu…

The bad weather got worse, and so we spent the night in the shelter, hoping for sunshine the next morning. More hikers arrived and in the end we were about 15 people, quite cramped.

DAY 3: MOLDOVEANU – SAMBATA MONASTERY (2008-07-08)

The weather started out pretty bad. But we took a chance and walked anyway. But soon the weather got worse, with rain and strong winds, so we aborted the climb of Moldoveanu. Safety first!

We returned to the Simbata valley. Now the mist started to disappear.

No time to go back to Moldoveanu now, so we descended into the Simbata valley.


Back at the Simbata hut the sun was shining again.

Walknig back through the lower Simbata valley towards Simbata monastery.


Sebastian showing off his redneck tan :)

West Highland Way

SCOTLAND
April 2007

Me and my brother walked here for 4 days. The trail is probably the most famous and popular in all of UK. Perhaps it doesn’t live up to the hype, but it is still a nice hike that passes the highest peak of the UK (Ben Nevis, 1344m) and the largest lake of the UK (Loch Lomond). We spend a bit too much time in some local pubs and had to skip the middle third of the hike with a bus ride.

DAY 1: Fort William – Inverbeg

We took the bus from Glasgow to Fort William. As the bus passed Glencoe we saw a large deer with huge antlers, only 20 meters from the road.


The first 10 km of the hike, which passes Ben Nevis, was not very exciting. But when we reached the Lairigmor valley the scenery became very beautiful.

We had a snack break in an old ruin. Until we realized that it was a favorite place for hikers to go to the loo…

Bwindi

UGANDA
January 2006

There are only about 600 wild gorillas left in the world. 300 of these live in Bwindi national park in Uganda. We trekked throug the “impenetrable forest” to find a gorilla family and spent 90 min with them. After that we did another trekk just to experience the rainforest. We saw some Columbus monkeys and heard Chimpansees.


On the way to Bwindi


The impenetrable forest. This is the view from our tent.


After an hour walking from the camp we encountered the gorillas.


Silverback


The young ones were very playful


A pregnant mother with a child clinging on to the back, while she swung herself between the trees.


Amazing rainforest

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