Enchanting Middle Rhine Valley

Hey there, loves!

Yep, still alive. Even if you haven’t heard from me in a while.
My boyfriend vacayed on Bali… Which left plenty of time for me to explore my closer surroundings.

Since I live on Rheingau’s doorstep and just love white wine, I couldn’t resist a little day trip to Germany’s senior paradise. Yep, you’ll meet mostly older people here but that shouldn’t keep you from visiting the Rhine River valley from Walluf to Lorchhausen anyways. This region offers breathtaking views over green vineyards, the rhine river and numerous castles and ruins. Great spot for bikers, too! The Wispertalroute with its plenty curves and serpentines is within closest reach.

Middle Rhine Valley – My highlights:

1.Boppard: climb-walk and Vierseenblick (=four lake view)
The climb-walk may be a little bit of a challenge for those afraid of heights. To everyone else (who is quite a bit in shape) it offers an adventurous alternative to a common walking trail: the path leads along ladders and cliffs with inserted treads for easier feasability and provides the most beautiful views. Climbing harnesses can be borrowed at the gas station in town and are recommended for unsure-footed climbers.
We needed 3 hours for the whole route.
click here for more information on the climb-walk.
Sluggards (hey, sometimes you just don’t feel like moving, okay?!) can also take the chairlift uphill to enjoy the view from the restaurant.

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Geierlay – Germany’s Longest Rope Bridge

Hey, travellers and adventurers!

Little throwback to our day trip to Germany’s longest rope bridge in Mörsdorf, in the middle of the Hunsrück. Only built in October 2015 and therefore still pretty young, the bridge recently counted its 200.000th visitor.

Take the exit from the autobahn A61, continue another 12 to 15 miles towards Mörsdorf and follow the car-park routing system to easily park your car. It’s super simple – all parking lots are right off main street and they only charge €2 for 4 hours of parking. Not bad at all! We get a map (free of charge) and buy some drinks at the visitor center and finally get going.

We reach our destination after walking only 1 mile on a paved country road. The bridge is impressive. And even though it seems perfectly intact, and even though we know it was literally JUST built and is NOT likely to fall down, I get goose bumps when I set foot on it. People who are afraid of heights are likely to freak out! Wouldn’t be much fun for those who tend to get sea sick either because the bridge gently moves back and forth with the wind.

The view is great – almost feels like we are in Brazil or the jungles of Africa but it’s so much closer to our home.

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We take a 1.2 mile trail through the forest back to our car. It’s hot and we don’t feel like moving any more than we have to. But those who enjoy a nice little hike can follow the Geierlay-loop which consists of a number of trails. The whole loop is about 4 miles and even leads over the bridge.

 

So, who’s in for a road trip??

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Doctor, Doctor…

Hello there, adventurous people!

Every vacation can easily turn into a nightmare if you come completely unprepared.
In my case, there really wasn’t a lot I could do… I had twisted my ankle halway through Cambodia and had to have it checked by a doctor because it kept swelling and swelling. Or rather doctors… Plural. Yepp…

The first doctor I went to for medical advice was out of the office, talked to me on the phone and told his wife to give me antibiotics. Antibiotics because I tripped over? Uhmm, no thanks.
We headed over to Kampot’s little hospital but got there during lunch break. For real?! Lunch break in a hospital??
Okay, whatever. On to the next one (we were lucky to be in a city with quite a few doctors, I swear!). This third attempt to seek medical advice started off quite promising. At least, there was a man in a white coat and he had time to check on me. His diagnosis: a sprained ankle. “No walking, no running, no swimming, bed time for the next whole week at least.” He handed me some pills that would help the swelling to ebb off and that would prevent my foot from getting further infected. He also put a bandage around my foot to stabilize it. Very obviously this bandage was made for small asian legs – it wouldn’t even have fit my foot if it hadn’t been swollen to twice its size.

Needless to say that I took the bandage off later that night because it hurt more than the injury itself. Not walking/swimming/whatever was also not an option. So, I took my pills, put my foot up at night, and cooled it whenever I had the chance.

 

I recommend bringing:

Imodium (or a similiar anti-diarrheal product) x 2
Yeah, if you think you have enough, better take another pack!
anti-inflammatory drugs
painkillers
Aspirin
some tissues (not necessarily for your nose :))
your own syringes (available at your doctor’s office or the next Globetrotter)
standby malaria-prophylaxis
some bandages/bandaids
sanitizer
good sunscreen with a high sun protection factor!

Mosquito spray is unnecessary… The asian spray Off! is very aggressive and really all you need. You can buy it everywhere ($5-$8).

 

Before our trip we were vaccinated against:
and please be aware that some immunizations need a little while, so you might want to see your doctor about 6 months in advance.

rabies
hepatitis A + B (everyone who hasn’t been vaccinated against hepatits B may want to get the Twinrix)
japanese encephalitis
DPT vaccine (diphteria, pertussis, tetanus)
typhoid fever (not to be confused with typhus)

A norwegian doctor we met along the way told us that all these vaccinations aren’t even necessary and that european doctors just try to make money off our fear. Well, it worked. I wanted this vacation to add to my life, not end it. Therefore, I don’t regret the immunizations.

Just make sure your health insurance covers them. If not you may want to switch to a different insurance because you can indeed save a lot of money.

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Karwendel Mountains

Hey, loves!

Please, please check out the Karwendel Mountains! We for our part took the Karwendel cable car uphill (around €17 per Person one way, €27 if you want to take the cable car back down as well) and decided to hike down.
But first things first: we took the cable car and were quite aggravated by how many people they fit in there. I had some blonde girl’s ponytail in my face and a guy’s elbow constantly hitting the side of my head but it was really none of their fault. We were just packed in there like sardines in a can…
But when we finally got to the top, we got to enjoy a great view. First, we took the curvy, stairy H-Trail further up, stopped at the view point from where the mountaintop-trail continues, and took a few pictures. Then, we continued on our trail back to the mountaintop restaurant. Even crossed the border of Tirol and Bavaria.

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Austria

Leutaschklamm (ravine)

 

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Day Trip to Austria’s Leutaschklamm

I have a therapist. Her name is nature.

By now, you should know that I love the outdoors. Well, it’s a love-hate relationship because I’m not too fond of most other inhabitants that crawl or lurk around in the shadows. But when it comes to the weather (number one excuse for not going outdoors among Germans: “it’s too hot”, “it’s too cold”, “uhm, it’s raining?!”) – there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes!

That’s why my best friends Vany and Mike, my boyfriend Tristan, and I didn’t back down on our camping trip when we found out it would be raining for like a whole day straight. We set up our tents on the campingground Isarhorn in Mittenwald in Southern Germany right by the Isar River, collected wood for our bonfire later that night, and hit the road again to find the socalled Leutaschklamm, a ravine in Austria located just a few miles further south that had been recommended to us. Continue reading

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Koh Kong

Mangrove Forests and Jungle Trekking

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Koh Kong City. A TukTuk driver takes us to the Guest House of his choice: the Sunny Guesthouse. The room is clean ($10/night) and the Guest House even has a pool.
After all this time in elephant grass bungalows and tents, it feels so good to be sleeping in a real bed again!

The next day, we are picked up on time to join Mr. Rhitty on his tour to Koh Kong Island, the biggest still uninhabited island in Cambodia, and the mangrove forest. According to our travel guide Mr. Rhitty is the only one in the city who organizes trips like that.
DSC02010We wait a couple more minutes until everyone who previously signed up has arrived, then access a boat to finally get going. The water is low and the river floor covered in trash. After three weeks in Cambodia we should probably be used to the sight of trash and garbage just about everywhere but it’s still shocking and devastating. Abandoned beaches as on “Lost”? Nope. Beaches nowadays resemble more of dumps with all the plastic waste that was washed ashore – there’s flip flops, plastic bags and bottles,… I really do appreciate the well organized waste disposal in Germany after seeing how this problem is handled (or not handled) elsewhere.

It’s a group of approximately 20 people gathered on a boat that floats down the river, past an old ship wreck and countless fish farms, onto the open sea and finally to Mr. Rhitty’s bay on Koh Kong Island.
It’s a white sand beach, the water almost as clear as back on Koh Rong Samloem, and diving goggles and snorkles are already waiting for us.

DSC02031 Continue reading

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Koh Rong Samloem

8:30 a.m.: For only $5, a minivan takes us from Kampot to Sihanoukville. It’s not long of a drive and the minivan isn’t completely crowded for a change. In Sihanoukville, we buy tickets for the ferry to Koh Rong Samloem.
The speed boat needs 45 minutes ($20); the waves make me sea sick pretty soon. Tristan leans his head onto the seat in front of him and I think he’s about to throw up. At least, that’s what I feel like doing any minute. But then I realize that he’s ASLEEP! His head bouncing from left to the right with each wave we take. How can someone sleep like that??

As soon as I spot the 2.5 mile white sand Saracen Bay, I know I’d take that hell of a boat ride again any time… This must be paradise!

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Never have I seen water as crystal clear! Never have I seen a beach with such fine white sand. It feels like I’m walking on flour!

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Sihanouk Ville: Meeting Khmer Cops

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We get to Sihanouk Ville on a Saturday. Good for us because tonight is some kind of hippie-festival or -market or -gettogether. Whatever it is (<www.facebook.com/otres.market>), at a little lake are lots of little shops and stands where handmade clothes, jewelry and other things are sold. The place is packed with european hippies eating burgers, BBQ, waffles, and space cookies. Even a tattoo artist performs his work on several very brave tourists. I’ll pass on this one…
We take a look at everything, then sit down in front of the stage where Theresa sings her songs. I like her music a lot and am so in trance that I don’t notice right away how everybody else gets all stiff around me. A tarantula briskly crawls through the crowd. It takes about one minute until someone catches it and takes it away. Hopefully not into the next frying pan…
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When Theresa is done I buy her CS for $5 and we go back to our little Bungalow complex “Little Moorea” on the Otres Beach ($10/night for fan/mosquito net/shared shower).
Sihanouk Ville has several beaches; this one is located about 2 miles from downtown and, therefore, free of partying tourists. Nevertheless, it offers a lot. There’s plenty of bars and restaurants. One look into their menu tells us more than we need to know about Sihanouk Ville. This place doesn’t only have good food but the menu also offers mushroom shakes and happy pizza. “Add wheat grass to your shake for $2,50. Wheat grass strengthens mind and body“, it reads. Well, Sihanouk Ville is indeed famous for its parties. Our pancakes with Nutella taste good. Even though they are drug free. Continue reading

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Restaurant Recommendations

Hello there,

I already told you about the delicious fish and crabs at the Kep Crab Market.
So, you should definitely try that at least once while you are in the Kampot/Kep area!

But there’s a few really neat places in Kampot directly that are worth a visit, too:

We find the Rikitikitavi on a walk along the riverside. It’s mentioned in our travel guide and we feel like we should try it. Best decision in the world! It even is Happy Hour which means buy one get two cocktails. And they are really good! Just as our Fish Amok and the ice cream for dessert…
We watch the flying fish and how the sun sets behind the river and the elephant mountains.

I should really stop blogging about food. It makes me hungry…
How about y’all??
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