My travels around the world

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

Barsta Chapel

Vallby Open Air Museum

Ballooning over Bagan
Hooker Valley Trail
Clay Cliffs of Omarama


    Vienna, Kirche am Steinhof
Czech Republic
    Schloss Stolzenfels
    Budir's Black Church
    Glaumbaer turf farmhouse
    Hverir geothermal area
    Seljalandsfoss waterfall
    Cinque Terre(Slideshow)
    Rondane National Park
    Åndalsnes and Trollstigen
    Krakow (blog)
    Branda d'Aveleira
    Medina Azahara
  Southern Sweden
  West Coast
  The Big Lakes
    Tiveden National Park
  East Coast & Kingdom of Glass
    Gotska Sandön
  Lake Mälaren
    Häljesta Rock Carvings
    Vallby Open Air Museum
    Garphyttan Nationalpark (blog)
  Stockholm area
    Haga Park
      Etnografiska Museum
      Historiska Museum
    Tyresta National Park
    Ängsö National Park
  Central part of Sweden
    Färnebofjärden National Park
    Fulufallen, a great short hike
    Hackås; murals from the 1200s
    Nipfjället, surrounded by reindeers
    Nämforsen Rock Carvings
    Sundborn, Carl Larsson Gården
    Vålådalen, hike Blanktjärnsrundan
    Åre, 3 waterfalls
    The High Coast area
      Barsta, Chapel from the 1700s
      Fåberget, a hike to the top
      Högklinten, a hike to the top
      Norrfällsviken, endless shingle fields
      Omneberget, a hike to the top
      Rotsidan, a beautiful stretch of coast
      Skuleberget, a hike towards the top
      Skuleskogen NP, a walk in the woods
      Skuleskogen NP, Slåttdalskrevan
      Ytterlännäs old church from 1200s
  Northern Sweden
    Unna Allakas
    Padjelanta Hiking Trip:
      Kvikkjokk to Njunjes
      Njunjes to Tarrekaise
      Tarrekaise to Sommarlappa
      Sommarlappa to Tarraluoppal
      Tarraluoppal to Tuottar
      Tuottar to Staloluokta
    Hoiganvaggi Hiking Trip:
      Katterjåkk to Stuor-Kärpel
  Madagascar (blog)
  Ait Ben Haddou
South Africa
  Cape Peninsula
  Golden Gate National Park (Slideshow)
  Vulture Restaurant
  Royal Natal National Park (Slideshow)
  Stellenbosch (Slideshow)
  Imfolozi National Park (Slideshow)
  iSimangaliso Wetland (Slideshow)
  the Temples of Angkor
    Bayon - temple of the many mystic smiles
  Luang Prabang
  Mount Kinabalu
  Poring Hot Springs
  Going to Sukau
  Libaran Island
  Selingan Island
  Ballooning over Bagan
  Myanmar (blog)
Sri Lanka
  Sri Lanka (blog)
New Zealand
  Clay Cliffs of Omarama
  Hooker Valley Trail
  Takahē birds at Te Anau
  Tongariro National Park
North America
  Glacier National Park
      Glacier - Lake Sherburne
      Glacier - Grinnell Lake
      Glacier - Garden Wall
  Goblin Valley State Park
  Grand Canyon, North Rim
  Roosevelt NP
  Vermilion Cliffs, Utah
  Geysers Yellowstone NP
Central America
Costa Rica, Guatemala, Belize
  Central America (blog)
South America

UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  UNESCO Canada
  UNESCO Italy
  UNESCO Morocco
  UNESCO Spain
  UNESCO Sri Lanka
  UNESCO Sweden
National Parks
  National Parks in Sweden
Background info
  Life in the Fjällen ;-)
  Sami People
  The right of public access
  Small animals



Overview of travels per year

2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
2005 2004 2003    


Update 2020-08-09: Barsta Chapel 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 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 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 2020-06-20: Häljesta, Sweden: is the largest known rock carving area in Västmanland and also one of the largest in the Mälaren area. On these two rocks you can see around 550 figures, including ships, human figures, ring figures, animal figures, grids and 239 cup and ring mark. The rock carvings originate from the Bronze Age (1500 - 500 Before Christ).

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 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: Clay Cliffs of Omarama, New Zealand: A detour that 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!

Update 2019-11-10: Strängnäs, Sweden: is a quiet little town in the beautiful lake area of the Mälaren, west of Stockholm. It's not really a tourist destination, but some parts of the city are nice to visit. The history of Strängnäs dates back to the Viking era.

Update 2019-10-26: I was literally living in between the most amazing rock formations Vermilion Cliffs, Utah, USA.Rocks flowing and curving in bands of colours ranging from pink, to yellow, to orange, to red. The flow of the colourful stripes over the huge rocks is so breathtaking and unreal.

Update 2019-10-20: Going totally off the beaten path in the area around Mälaren, Sweden with a visit to the colourful Fiholm Manor

Update 2019-10-10: On this page you will find a photo impression taken during some of my visits to the Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm. It never bores me to go here though, as there is always something that captures my attention and fascination!

Update 2019-10-02: One of Sweden's most remarkable ancient monuments Anundshög; a royal tomb from the 6th century, the largest of its kind in Sweden.

Update 2019-09-29: I write a lot about my travels, but I guess, never so much about the place where I live! So today I’ve changed that, with an impression in mainly photos, in and around Sundbyholm, my home. A visual story of my hometown throughout the seasons. There is not much to do here, and then again, there is in a way. There is the Sundbyholm Castle, and the famous Sigurdsristningen. The little harbour, and a beach on the lake side. And we have Europe’s northernmost beech forests, a place which I especially love during spring and autumn.

Update 2019-09-28: Right on my doorstep is one of Swedens most famous Viking Monuments called Sigurdsristningen.

Update 2019-09-28: One of the places that I really enjoy visiting in my area is the cute little village of Mariefred, Sweden.

Update 2019-08-10: Some of my favourite memories of visiting National Parks are from Glacier National Park. And on this day we did the Hike to Grinnell Lake, Glacier NP, USA.

Update 2019-08-04: It was breathtaking and very surrealistic to see this intricate full-sized sandcastle-like structure: the Ksar of Ksar of Aït Ben Haddou, Morocco



It would be great to hear from you!
So please leave a comment or a question.
:-) Simone


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