Simone is my name; born in The Netherlands but since many years living in wonderful Sweden. My passion is travelling, and I have photography as a hobby. This means I am taking a lot of photos during my trips. On these travel pages I am compiling some of my photos and also write about the different destinations I've been to. One of my main passions is nature and you can find lots about that on these pages. So if you are a nature lover, you are at the right place!
But enjoying nature is not all I do. I also like to visit small out of the way places, go off the beaten path, visit historic places, picturesque villages, meet people, absorb different cultures and explore a city once in a while.
So why am I writing all these pages? The answer is simple: I love writing about my travels and share my stories and photos with others. It is also a great way for me to show my family and friends where I've been and what I've seen. But I also write these pages just for myself. It is my way to keep a sort of diary about all my trips around the world and relive my travels again and again :-))
Countries visited.... so far :-)
Featured / updated
Update 2020-10-04: Hverir, Iceland. I hop out of the car and in front of me unfolds a landscape of red barren earth. And directly below of me is one of the big mud pools that is bubbling away. The whole area is totally empty, hardly any vegetation is visible, no matter what direction I look in. Fumes are emitted from numurous cracks in the ground. And we are surrounded by loud hissing noises and the bubbling sounds of the mud pool below of me. And behind this spectacle rises the red-coloured Mt. Námafjall.
The Geothermical Area at Hverir reminds me a bit of Yellowstone, although this is much smaller. But at the same time it is much more "raw" and intimidating than Yellowstone. A unique place for sure!
Update 2020-10-01: Visiting Glaumbær, Iceland is like a warp back in time; here you can see a fine example of how large farmhouses historically were build in Iceland. With its turf walls and turf roof, it melts perfectly in the surrounding landscape of green coloured pastures and the dark imposing mountains in the far distance. For centuries turf was the main building material in Iceland, an architectural tradition that was brought to Iceland by the Vikings more than a thousand years ago.
Update 2020-08-09: Barsta Chapel, Sweden An absolute wonderful surprise. I had no idea about this little chapel located on the east coast of Sweden. From the outside quite modest, but on the inside.... wow! So unexpected and unique.
This picturesque little chapel dates back to 1665 and it is the only one in this area that has been preserved in its original condition. The most striking part are the paintings on the ceilings, made by Roland Johansson-Öberg born in Sörbyn on northern Ulvön. Simple but colourful against the white ceilings of the chapel. I almost skipped visiting the chapel as it was looking so bland on the outside. But a rainy day made us go here, and I am so happy that I did! One of the most fascinating chapels I have ever seen, absolutely worth a visit.
Update 2020-08-01: Nipfjället, Sweden located in the Idre area in Sweden. The "Round Nipfjället" hike is our aim for today, a very much longed after hike, where we get the chance to absorb some of that wonderful atmosphere of the Swedish Mountains.
And during our hike we spot some reindeers. And when you spot one reindeer, be prepared to see more; many many more! The reindeer were not only in the valley below us, but seemed to come from all directions, running past us in front and behind. Such a fun sight to see! So we just stood there for quite a while, taking in the surrounding landscape with its reindeer that consider these mountains as their home.
Update 2020-07-10: Strange isn't it how long it sometimes takes before you visit a place, especially when it is 'just around the corner'. I pass the Vallby Open Air Museum, Sweden almost daily while commuting to work. All I need to do is take a few exits earlier from the main road to get here. But, now don't laugh, it has taken me over 15 years before my first visit! But it certainly will not be the last :-)
It is one of Swedish biggest Open Air Museums and there are around 40 historical buildings here. It all started in 1921 when the museum was founded to present a picture of how life was like in the county of Västmanland in Sweden.
Update 2020-06-29:Ready to put your hiking shoes on? Ok, then let's go! Today we are off to an area a bit to the north of where I live in Sweden, in the country of Västmanland. It is a nature reserve called Stingsmossen, close to the town of Surahammar (about 25 km northwest of the city of Västerås). A spontaneous trip that turned out inte a gorgeous 12 km hike through an area with 200 year old pines, and passing two large marsh areas: Rövallsmossen and Stingsmossen.
Update 2020-02-01: It has been a long time since I wrote my latest travel blog. But finally another one done! :-)
And it was such a pleasure to write about my Ballooning trip over Bagan in Myanmar. While I was selecting the photos, memories of this day returned more and more vivid. And while writing and remeniscing, it was almost like I was up there in that hot air balloon one more time, enjoying these amazing views over the plains of Bagan, dotted with temples and pagodas of a 1000 year old, all arround us, and as far as the eyes could see. Hearing the sounds of daily life below slowly echoing to us above, breathing in the early morning air, the sound of the burners of the hot air balloon and feeling the warmth coming from the first sunbeams at sunrise..... they are truely memories for life for me.
Update 2019-12-23: I do love to hike, and when researching for hikes on the South Island, the Hooker Valley Trail, New Zealand is often mentioned as one of the top short hikes to do. So, without hesitating, I put it on our travel itinerary! And wow, I am so happy that I did. The return journey to the Hooker Lake is mind bogglingly beautiful! The hike took us through a landscape with glaciers, glacial lakes, lush valley meadows, and flowing rivers crossed by suspension bridges.
Update 2019-11-17: By accident really, I stumbled upon a photo of the Clay Cliffs of Omarama on South Island in New Zealand, while researching for my New Zealand trip. And as I do like my out-of-the-way places, this instantly intriged me. And although out of the way, it wasn't difficult to fit it into my itinerary, as it didn't require such a long detour to 'squeeze' in a visit to here. And the detour was so worth it! During this early morning, the sunlight is shining into the amphitheatre of the Clay Cliffs, lighting up its walls. Fog flaring around the rugged peaks; the walls of the cliffs shining up in hues of orange and golden. It is such a mesmerizing sight to see!
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