29 May 2010

Hong Kong

Greetings from Asia! I made it safely to Hong Kong, stayed there for four hot and humid days and took loads of photos. Currently I'm in China where access to blogspot is blocked, but thanks to my friend Andrej I'm able to log onto my blog and upload (albeit very slowly!) a few photos. The travel report is not written yet, but give me a yell if you want to receive it and I'll add you to my mailing list.

Hong Kong is huge. Countless skyscrapers everywhere you look. I didn't have time to venture far from the center as there is so much to explore here. Maybe these pictures will give you an idea.

Phew, uploading and posting these took forever. Keep your fingers crossed this gets easier (=faster).

14 May 2010

Asia, here I come!

I've been attacked by the travel bug again. Well, it's a chronic condition actually. :) I love the fact that I worked hard to have a very flexible job now which allows me to combine traveling and working. In a couple of days I'm leaving for Hong Kong, and then my travel destinations will include southwest China (7 weeks), Myanmar (4 weeks), and a bit of Thailand (2 weeks) at the end. The flight back from Bangkok will bring me home in mid August. Yes, I'll be gone for three full months! :)

Map: CIA

I'm going alone, leaving my significant other at home, but my good friends Dominika and Igor, whom I met five years ago in Iran, will be waiting for me in Yangshuo in early June, and from there on it's going to be girls' party! Igor will be staying in Yangshuo while Dominika and I are going to explore the area around Kunming and all the way up to Shangri-la and Deqin close to the Tibetan border. Then Myanmar, hopefully crossing the border overland, although that's not always feasible. One month in that wonderful country will take us to Mandalay, to the north and back down again sailing the Irrawaddy River with the locals, exploring magical Bagan and remote villages, possibly Ngapali beach on the western coast, weather permitting, and finally making it to Yangon, the capital, to fly to Bangkok. I'll be on my own again in Thailand, where I've been before, so my stay there will be mostly about diving, but I won't make steadfast plans yet - I'd also like to visit the far north. I'll see when I'm there.

Supposedly 'blogspot' is blocked in China, so I'm not sure how often, if at all, I will be able to post here. Myanmar is even worse as the internet is more or less an unknown term there. However, I'll try to email travel reports every two or three weeks, and if you'd like to receive them, drop me a line.

Three months seem like a lot, but with so many places to cover and one book to translate while I'm there chances are I'll run out of time! :)

13 May 2010

Velika planina in crocuses

Our mixed volleyball team spent a weekend in one of the huts on Velika planina on May 1st. We had a great time - mostly partying, yes ;) - but Jaka and I did manage to get up at 5.30 one morning to catch the sunrise. It wasn't as colorful as I had hoped but the patches of snow and crocuses made for nice photo ops.

The path from Zeleni rob was still very deep in snow.

Jaka in first sun rays.

Sweet morning light over Velika planina.

And crocuses everywhere! They were still closed after a cold night though.

I love the combination of snow patches and bright green grass.

Backlit trees.

Planjava and Ojstrica.

On the ridge.

A green path towards Ojstrica.

And then we were off to some more partying. ;)
More photos here.