Posts Tagged With: Art

Dolomites, Alpe di Siusi (Seiser Alm)

After a nutritious breakfast…

… we leave beautiful Villanders to drive further into the Dolomites, hoping to start a 5 day trek.

Here’s a photo of where about the Dolomites are (the lower white end in Northern Italy).

And our Camping spot with beautiful views over the Dolomites…

On our discovery route, we drive through Kastelruth (or Castelrotto) and get to enjoy fantastic views at the Alpe di Siusi (or Seiser Alm). Kastelruth is a lovely Tyrollean village with mural art on the buildings. During winter this is a snow resort town and during summer the gateway to an adventure land full of activities like mountain climbing, hiking, running or cycling.


Driving up to the Seiser Alm, an amazing plateau, we have to discover that there is no way we can possibly spend the night here. Cars are only allowed to a certain point and there is only one car park which is monitored by rangers regularly. We return to the village “Seis” at the bottom of the Seiser Alm and try to gather some information on possible hiking trails for the next days. Here we find out that the refuge huts are still closed and that there is still snow in the higher parts of the hiking trails. Our planned 5-Day walking track will not happen but we are still quite happy to go for a day-trek tomorrow.

For today we decide to just go for a walk from our campsite in Seis to a lake we found on the map.
It is a rather cool but sunny day (with clouds) and I’m struggling with a light headache caused by the cold winds, so I end up wearing a beanie.
We first walk through dense forest and just when I’m reminded of my childhood stories of witches and dwarfs, I discover a large rock in the middle of the woods with a sign telling a myth about a pastor who was once killed here by witches. Soon after, we come to an open alpine pasture with dozens of cows and bulls roaming freely. The cow bells are ringing everywhere and one cow curiously walks right up to me, smelling me and my hand. I think I have never been so close and vulnerable to a cow before but even though we were both slightly afraid of each other, I felt very close to this lovely creature. The soft nose touched my hand and the big eyes looked at me with curiosity. I think I really fell in love with cows and I’m glad that these ones here have such a wonderful live. They all were very active, running around, jumping and moo-ing loudly.

Not far and we arrive at a lake surrounded by forest. We walk around it once and then return to Seis via a different route.




This different route leads us past a restaurant and we can’t resist but follow our noses…


So after having filled our stomachs with Schnitzel and fries, Logan got stylish for his run.
Here, a photo of the 2012 sport’s outfit:

Logan actually ended up running all the way up to the Seiser Alm and back, he’s just that crazy guy from Down Under who can’t get enough!

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28/11/11 Manila, City of Chaos and Insanity

Pinatubo, the volcano 3 hours out of Manila, is currently closed, so we have to fill our buffer day here else-wise. I check the internet for the best things to do in the capital of the Philippines and decide, I’d like to see the markets! I’m hoping to find a bit of real Philippino culture  and art.

We are getting into a taxi and once we tell the driver where we would like to go, he suddenly stops again, opens our doors and gestures us to leave. Logan and I are confused. The second time we ask the taxi driver first. He is okay with driving us to the markets but insists on dropping us off a few hundred meters before. Should I be worried?
Manila traffic is – as always – chaotic. Jeepneys, tricycles, cars, buses and motorbikes clog up the streets. Beeping horns and engines everywhere. Somehow we arrive safely at the Divisoria district and walk right into an even bigger chaos of cheap textiles, clothes, plastic toys, wigs, thongs, fruit, umbrellas and Philippino people. I don’t see any tourists, only locals and lady boys. There are so many stands basically selling cheap rubbish, I completely loose the overview. In addition to the visually overwhelming mess and the heat, we have to deal with a strong stench of feces. We quickly have enough and try to find the way out of the mayhem. We get past the river and canals that are full with rubbish and smell like untreated toilet waste flows into them. Manila is a dirty place in many ways, it is very sickening. The locals still stare at us, no one aware of how we may feel about this place and its people.

Exhausted we sit down in the church in the centre of Divisoria and listen to the prayers. It probably is the only clean looking and rich place in all of Manila. People in the Philippines are very religious and even though it is Monday, there are quite a few people in here with us and they all drop money into the collection baskets.

After going through traffic again in Manila rush hour (which seems to be 24/7) we are back in Malate trying to organise our flight from London to Berlin since our flight carrier has (without reason) cancelled the one we booked. After 4 used telephone cards and an hour in a phone cell, we seem to have successfully booked our new flight.

Tomorrow we are finally leaving this place of insanity, I’m looking forward to a change.

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