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 2021-05-02:, On the north-western side of the Peneda-Gerês National Park, in Portugal on the slopes of the Serra da Peneda, time seems to have stood still for the past 800 years in these two tiny villages of "Branda da Aveleira" and "Branda de Santo António"
I am instantly embraced by a feeling of calm and tranquility when stroling leisurely around in this place, a village that is lost in time and forgotten by many. Considered by some as a village from the time of "Asterix and Obelix" and, by others, as the Portuguese Hobbit village. And when you look at the photo, you can imagine why.
What originally was planned as a short stop on route, turned into a long leasurely walk. We took our time to sit down and reflect for a while: appreciate the stillness, and listen to the silence. I was so glad that we did. We were here for only a few hours, but I could have stayed here so much longer. Lost in time, finding tranquility.
Update 2021-04-05:, In todays blog I am off to a beautiful stretch of coastline called "Rotsidan". And this is one of the favourite spots I visited during our week-long exploration of the High Coast of Sweden in 2020.
Rotsidan is a 4 kilometers long irresistible strip of coastline. It starts off with a short 500 metres leasurely walk through the woods. And then, all off a sudden, the landscape opens up and you are at the coastline. In front of you is the glistening blue Bothnian Sea and a long and low-lying coastline, with beautiful flat diabase slabs, framed by windswept coastal pines and dwarf spruces. The power of the sea is evident here; even on a calm sunny day like today. The flat diabase slabs are sometimes beautifully polished, sometimes heavily weathered. Huge tree trunks are scattered around like small matchsticks that some giant decided to randomly throw around at the top of the shoreline. In short: a beautiful spot to visit!
Update 2021-03-07:"Be welcome dear you, to Carl Larsson and his wife!" These are the words written above the entrance to Carl and Karin Larsson’s beloved 'Lilla Hyttnäs' house in Sundborn, Sweden, just outside Falun. And this little line of words gives a hint of the quirkiness and character of the interior of this house.
To be honest, I didn't have any high expectations at all for this visit to Sundborn and Lilla Hyttnäs, home to these two famous Swedish artists. Åke really wanted to go. But myself, not orginally being from Sweden, had no real attachement to these artists and their history. But as soon as I walked through this door it all changed; what an amazing and surprising place! And the story of their lives really touched me deeply.
Update 2021-03-07: Time for the second blog post in my new series of pages called "My world of...". The thought is to show a bit of my little corner of the world as seen through my eyes. And this new page is called My World of Spring Flowers.
The winters in Sweden are long, far tooo long for me. Even after almost 20 years living in Sweden I am not a friend with these long winters. And by the time we get to the month of March I really am longing for some spring sunshine and warmth. And of course some spring colours!
So since a few years back I have started to go "ALL-IN" with the spring garden, planting hundreds and hundreds of bulbs, especially in the front garden, giving a magical display of happy colours during the spring. Creating my own happy world of Spring Flowers 😊
Update 2021-02-27: Today is our very last day in Iceland and very early tomorrow morning we will be on the plane on our way home. But we are not leaving before making a tour around the beautiful Snaefellsnes peninsula! Something I have been looking forward to so much.
And this very last day is treating us well, we are having some glimpses of sunshine and blue sky. And well, of course combined with the occassional shower. It is a cold day however, just above freezing, brrr it feels cold outside! The mountain got a fresh coat of snow last night, and the autumn colours get deeper and deeper for each day that has passed. And that is actually perfect weather for a stop at the black church of Búðir, Iceland, as this is maybe not so much as a destination, but more of a photo stop.
Update 2021-02-27: Sometimes life time dreams do come true, and of mine was to visit to the Galápagos Islands!! And Bartolomé Island is our first real excursion on the Galápagos. An island that is known for offering some of the most beautiful landscapes in the archipelago. It is only 1,2 km2 in size, but despite its small size it consists of an extinct volcano and a variety of colourful volcanic formations.
And one of the animals to welcome us to the island is the funny Sally Lightfoot Crab. I just love watching these brightly coloured crabs, dancing erratically along the rocks. The contrast of the bright red-orange shells against the black lava rocks is striking, and making them irresistible objects to photograph for many visitors, me included :-)
Update 2021-01-23: Today I started with a new series of pages called "My world of..." And the first one is "My World of Snow and Ice".
The thought is to show a bit of my little corner of the world as seen through my eyes. It is an off the beaten path place where I live, at the shore of Lake Mälaren in Sweden, called Sundbyholm. But a lovely place to be.
I was inspired by my regular walks towards the lake and the surrounding area to write this page. Especially in mid winter, when it often gets below freezing and we have some snow and ice, the landscape transforms. And during a sunny day it is such a joy to go out with my camera and capture the feeling of winter. While slowly the days get longer, the small wintery details that nature treats us with, are a pure joy to the eye.
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.