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6 Things To Do In Galle, Sri Lanka

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 12:38:33 +0000

Video: Category: General information Galle is a jewel  within Sri Lanka. Since many tourists visit India instead of Sri Lanka, many people may overlook the splendor of Sri Lanka. The pearl of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka, offers many surprises that are shown in this video.   Here are 6 Things to Do in Galle, Sri Lanka: 1. Take a Local Train The train from Colombo to Galle only costs aroud $1.50 USD. The ride is scenic and quite an experience as well.   2. Unawatuna Beach The beach here is calm and filled with soft sand and warm waters. Only being around 10 nautical miles from the Equator, the beaches of Sri Lanka area are tropical paradises.    3. Eat Local Food and Drink  Sri Lankan curry is recommended as well as local coconut varieties. The food of Sri Lanka is distinct and on the whole mild and the people hospitable.    4. Visit Sea Turtles The Sea Turtle hatchery near Galle is only about $3.50 USD for entry. You get to touch and experience the sea turtles easily.    5. See Wild Monkeys Whether you are at the beach at Unawatuna or even in the colonial town of Galle, you will see wild monkeys. The monkeys may be climbing trees, scaling electricity lines, or just hanging out.   6. Jungle Beach A hidden beach tucked away in a more secluded destination. This beach offers a more overgrown and tropical feel and a local experience because the beach is not as well known as Unawatuna Beach. Also, the beach is appreciated by locals.   Galle is an exotic old trading port blessed with imposing Dutch-colonial buildings, ancient mosques and churches, grand mansions and museums. Take the time to wander its rambling lanes and get the true flavor of this town. Location:  6° 1' 57.396" N, 80° 13' 0.0588" E See map: Google Maps Tags: sri lankaGalle Sri Lankabeachesturtlesmonkeystrain ridegetting aroundCountry: South Sri Lanka[...]

Hanami: Celebrating Japans' Cherry Blossoms

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 12:14:49 +0000

Nature / Wildlife

Hanami is the Japanese tradition of viewing cherry blossoms.

The custom is centuries old, dating back to the Nara period around 710 AD.

In Japan, flowering cherry blossoms are called “sakura” and usually peak at the start of April. To celebrate and honor the short-lived sakura, the Japanese hold hanami parties by picnicking under the blooming trees from morning through evening.

The Japanese people continue the tradition of hanami, gathering in great numbers wherever the flowering trees are found. Thousands of people fill the parks to hold feasts under the flowering trees, and sometimes these parties go on until late at night. In more than half of Japan, the cherry blossoming days come at the same time as the beginning of school and work after vacation, and so welcoming parties are often opened with hanami. Usually, people go to the parks to keep the best places to celebrate hanami with friends, family, and company coworkers many hours or even days before.

35° 42' 44.4672" N, 139° 43' 24.3516" E

The Top 3 Activities to Do in Winter in Livigno, Italy

Mon, 05 Mar 2018 08:32:29 +0000

Video: Category: Activities In a fantastic recent trip to Livigno in the Italian Alps, we discovered everything you need to know about a winter break in the “Little Tibet” of Italy. Now it’s time to discuss in more detail three of the top activities we recommend you do whilst you’re there. Alongside the fantastic skiing, snowboarding, shopping, eating and drinking, below you’ll find our ‘must do’ activities. 1. Snow touring Livigno is famous for its off-piste opportunities, it has thousands of acres of ski-touring (or free-riding) opportunities within the untouched valleys. The snow here is almost guaranteed all season, so you can ski through winding trails, steep slopes or through the woods with complete freedom. However, before we start it’s important at this point to highlight some important safety guidelines; Saftey Guidlines 1.      It is always recommended to go ski touring with a guide, or at least someone who is experienced and has avalanche training. Never go alone. 2.      Take safety equipment and learn how to use it! It is mandatory to take avalanche safety equipment such as a shovel, probe and transceiver. 3.      Ski with caution and wear a protective helmet. 4.      Check the snowfall and local weather conditions and if in doubt don’t go! 5.      In an emergency, provide aid and call 112 immediately. It was my first time ski-touring, and doing anything other than a small off-piste run near the marked slopes, so I was quite nervous about it. We were up at the crack of dawn to meet our guide Davide from Mountain 360, who began by explaining how the safety equipment works. The transceiver which is on constantly and beeps when another is close by (to locate someone under the snow), the extending probe to prod someone under the snow, and a shovel, which I could figure out myself! Our guide also had an avalanche airbag. The next important piece of equipment are your skis. Ski-touring skis have unique bindings which allow your heel to release for walking uphill, and when it’s time to ski you secure it back in like a conventional ski. For snowboards, you can hire a ‘split board’, which is quite literally a short set of skis (for the uphill section) that you fix together as one, you turn the bindings and you’re ready to snowboard. That’s as technical as my explanation gets. The final piece of equipment are touring skins, that attach to the bottom of the ski, giving you surprisingly good grip. They’re then ripped off before the descent. The ski touring started at Trepalle, known as the highest village in the Alps. Legend has it the name was mistranslated from Travelle, which means three valleys, to Trepalle which means three balls. Either way we were about to traverse one of the valleys (or balls) at incredibly high altitude. The beginning of the climb wasn’t too bad, we’d pick our way left to right taking our time, capturing the view as we got higher over Trepalle. It was around an hour in, when I made a revelation, skis weren’t designed to go uphill, not at all. This was absolutely exhausting. A combination of the slow uphill climb and the altitude took your breath, the air was very thin, so this is not for the fainthearted. But then every time you’re struggling for breath, you just take in the view, take a rest and get a lung-full of fresh mountain air, appreciate the fact that you are the only people on the mountain, making tracks in perfect fresh powder, while watching the sun glisten in the snow like small crystals. It was a wonderful feeling, and we hadn’t even started the descent. At the top it was time to take it all in, at around 2,500 metres the views were unbelievable and there’s no greater feeling than earning a view, be it hiking, cycling or snow touring. We had certainly earnt this one. Then[...]

A Guide to a Winter Break in Livigno, Italy

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 12:24:34 +0000

Video: Category: Leisure & Adventure Hidden away in the Italian Alps, a stone’s throw from Switzerland you’ll find the beautiful town and ski resort of Livigno, where ‘the snow never ends’. In the province of Sondrio, Italy at 1816 metres above sea level, Livigno is a relatively new resort in a natural valley surrounded by untouched forests and stunning snow-capped mountains. This was to be our home for the next few days, experiencing the array of activities, soaking up the vibe and exploring the food and drink culture of Livigno.   Here is your Livigno Winter Guide: Getting there We flew into Zurich Airport, the most popular way to arrive if you travel by plane (book your flights into Zurich). We hired a car from the airport which we had for the duration of our trip, from Zurich it’s around a 3.5 hour drive (when all roads and tunnels are open). Whichever way you arrive, it’s worth checking the weather conditions before you travel, as heavy snowfall could result in road or tunnel closures, to prevent risk from avalanches, though usually the roads are fine. For arrival by plane other options include Innsbruck (Austria), around a 3 hour drive, or Milan which is 4-5 hours depending on the route you take. There is the option to travel by bus and train, however none of them are straightforward, and involve at least 2-3 changes but it is possible if you like to travel this way. Once you arrive in Livigno your ski pass entitles you to free travel on the regular buses around the resort, connecting you to each of the main gondola’s and popular attractions.   Skiing & Snowboarding As one of the highest ratings for snow probability, Livigno has some of the best skiing and snowboarding on offer. With over 115km of runs for all abilities (see the facts below) and even plenty of off-piste opportunities to explore, you’re spoiled for choice.    Mottolino The slopes are effectively split in two halves, the East and West. We started on the East slopes in the Mottolino area, using the Mottolino gondola which is the quickest and most popular way to get up the mountain. As an alternative there is the Teola Pianoni Bassi chairlift, which takes you directly to Camanel, where you’ll find Camanel de Planon, one of the best spots to take a break for lunch or a beer, with impressive views over Livigno. From here you can ski to the Valfin Monte Neve chairlift which takes you to the highest point, Mount Della Neve at 2785 metres, with incredible views over the back of the mountain and towards Bormio. I strongly recommend this area as a great place to start, especially if you’ve already got some ski experience, there’s a nice mix of blue, red and black runs to choose from. If that wasn’t enough Mottolino has its own Snow Park, regarded as the best snow park in Italy and one of the top three in Europe. There are 4 lines for different abilities stretching the 800 metre park, with 3 of them accessible to anyone, and only the harder ‘XL’ course reserved for professionals. You can expect to regularly see freestyle snowboarders, freeride skiers and amateurs grinding and jumping their way down the mountain. Click here for more information and a live webcam of the park.   Carosello 3000 & Costaccia On the West side of Livigno you’ll find the Carosello 3000 and Costaccia areas. Both offer beginner and ski school slopes at the bottom, a nice and easy way to practise and build your confidence. Once you make it further up you’ll find a perfect blend of long sweeping blue slopes, running almost parallel to more challenging reds. I love the way the runs and lifts in the area connect, in just one day you can explore the whole mountain, finding your way from Costaccia to Carosello 3000 or vice-versa. During our stay we were lucky enough to see the opening of a brand new, state-of-the-art gondola named Carosello 3000. The artistic opening perfo[...]

Ore Mountains: Steeped in History

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 10:09:01 +0000

Video: Category: General information Recently I travelled to the Ore Mountains in far eastern Germany on the border of the Czech Republic. The region is a lesser known area of Germany and from what I learned it is steeped in a rich and fascinating history. The Ore Mountains are aptly named as this geographic region consists of a low lying mountain range filled with natural resources which once extracted, have built empires. The area has formed a natural border between Saxony and Bohemia for centuries and still to this day divides the official land border between Germany and the Czech Republic. The highest peaks are the Keilberg which rises to 1,244 meters and the Fichtelberg at 1,215 meters above sea level. I travelled to the region in winter and with these peaks sitting just above one thousand meters there was plenty of snow and the Ore Mountains turned into a winter wonderland.   History: Let’s step back however to the 12th century. Almost 1000 years ago the Ore Mountains were slowly becoming settled, and with the erratic discoveries of tin and silver deposits, the settlements grew and the industry of mining developed. In the 16th century the Ore Mining deposits of tin, and especially silver used for coins and minting money, began to peak and the settlements grew rapidly. This expansion saw many industries develop such as forestry, glass making, salt trading, and the continued extraction of many different types of raw minerals from the Ore Mountain hills. All of this industry helped build the Saxon Empire with its capital in Dresden and also the Bohemian Empire with its capital in Prague. The riches mined in the Ore Mountains we’re used for centuries by the royals on both the Bohemian and Saxon side to help generate trade and economic stability, the build castles and fortresses and to fund wars and conflicts. All of this activity created a network of mining sites throughout the region steeped in hard work and industrial prowess. Mining has shaped the culture and traditions of the Ore Mountain region and still to this day the industry has a strong hold on the communities’ identities spread throughout the hills. An old saying developed here states that "everything comes from the mine” and it refers to the fact that this industry has shaped the region entirely. From its landscape, to its handicrafts, the living traditions and folk art. The visitor may recognize this immediately upon arrival in the Ore Mountains as from the normal everyday greeting, Glück Auf! This is an ancient term used by minors to express luck to each other for finding a new strain of valuable minerals in the rock.   Nowadays... The Ore Mountains are known especially in Germany and throughout Europe for their variety of customs during the Advent and Christmas season. This is epitomized by traditional Ore Mountain folk art in the form of Christmas pyramids, candle arches, nutcrackers, miners' and angels' toy figures, all of which are used as throughout the region as Christmas decorations. One of the most notable winter time traditions is seen with almost all houses decorating their windows with light candle arches in such a way that each village is transformed into a sea of light. It is truly spectacular site. The Ore Mountains have developed Christmas traditions in a way that creates a warm and inviting atmosphere that one would come to expect in a winter wonderland of endless rolling hills.   Things to do in the Ore Mountains My trip to the Ore Mountains was also a great eye opener into how many activities are possible in the winter season. From a professional bobsled and Luge track to family run ski resorts and boutique lodges, to international wood carving exhibitions and falcon raptor shows, to skiing on the highest peaks of the region and relaxing in a spa to finish the day. There is so much to see and do in “Erzgebirge” especially in the winter around the Christmas season. [...]

A Winter Vacation in the Ore Mountains

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 10:53:33 +0000

Video: Category: Road Trip ***For an introduction to the Ore Mountains and Reasons to Visit follow this link ***  Erzgebirge or the Ore Mountains are a part of rural Germany blessed with rolling hills and white powder snow. But there are several other reasons to visit in winter.   Here are Several Things to Enjoy in the Ore Mountains on a Winter Vacation Treat Yourself at the Elldus Resort and SPA This family-friendly mountain resort offers visitors the best of the best: A 2000qm area home to four different saunas (temperature variant), a steam room, cosmetic rooms, an indoor swimming-pool, and kid’s spa area. All of this makes the Elldus Spa and Resort in Oberwiesenthal a perfect location for a wellness weekend in the heart of the winter wonderland Erzgebirge. The Elldus Resort has a great location overlooking the ski piste of Oberwiesenthal and offers a restaurant on site as well as easy access to outdoor activities. Skiers and winter enthusiasts staying at the Elldus can look forward to a relaxing break after a full day spent exploring outside.  Day rates and opening hours can be found on the website and or booked via phone: +49 (0) 373-481-2661   Lauenstein Castle Falconry Show The Lauenstein Castle’s impressive history reaches all the way back to the 13th century and the building is still in impeccable condition to this day. It tells a lot of Saxony’s (and Erzgebirge’s) wealth in former medieval and renaissance times. As recently as 1979 the main building was reconstructed and turned into the Osterzgebirgsmuseum, where visitors not only learn interesting facts about the castle’s history, but also follow region’s geographic development and admire relevant regional art. But one of the true beauties of the village is the history of Falconry and the daily Falcon show that still happens there today. At 11am everyday there is a Raptor show lead by Henry Dydymski ( and it is amazing!! Especially great entertainment for kids the falcon show is interactive, informative, fun, and surprising. It’s run on the castle’s property and basically includes a tour of the castle ruins at the same time. It is a must see when exploring the Ore Mountains. Also one of the Lauenstein Castle’s larger rooms is often used for wedding ceremonies and different public events such as concerts and exhibitions. Check their schedule to see what’s happening next!! Opening Hous: Tuesday – Saturday, Sundays- and Public Holidays 10.00 am– 4.30pm Closed Mondays E-Mail:   Follow Your Nose at the Huss Incense Making Factory No matter what time of the year you come to visit the Ore Mounatins the smell of incense is in the air. However Christmas (and winter) is an especially magical time of year!! At Huss local incense making factory Christmas is in the air all year round. Their products are famous across Europe and people travel from throughout the continent to buy and learn to make the famous Erzgebirge incense candles. Visitors of all ages can take a courses on how to make their very own Christmas scenting candles at frequently organized workshops. Prices and more information can be found here. There are incense recipes for all seasons, fall, winter, spring, and summer.   Celebrate the Zwönitz’ Light's Off festival Erzgebirge’s charm is not only defined by beautiful landscapes and ancient history, but also by the region keeping important cultural traditions alive. The ‘Lights Off Festival’ is a spectacular annual event and definitely worth a winter time visit. On February 2nd, in various towns throughout the Ore Mountain region, the “Zwönitzer Lichtmess” is a symbolic highlight to officially end the Christmas season. Although it happens throughout the entire region, [...]

Why You Should Visit the German Ore Mountains

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 09:02:04 +0000

Video: Category: Road Trip Just recently the Travel Dudes team was told of a place of far reaching rolling hills and white powder snow. A winter wonderland in rural Germany. Curious by nature, we wanted to find out whether this was true and traveled to this place known as Erzgebirge or the Ore Mountains. People come to Erzgebirge from all over Germany and the rest of Europe, many for the same reasons, especially in winter. The vast variety of winter sport facilities is certainly one of the main reasons people visit from all over. Erzgebirge has many perfectly groomed downhill ski slopes, countless cross-country skiing trails, and a famous lightning-fast bobsleigh and luge track. The Erzgebirge is one of the lesser known winter destinations in Europe and people tend to overlook it until they meet someone who has been there. Word of mouth is often the best marketing tool and once you’ve heard some intriguing stories, you often want to visit yourself. Until you get that chance to visit the Ore Mountains, read here more inspiration and some very cool opportunities to explore.   This is Our List of Reasons to Visit the German Ore Mountains in Winter 1) Visit the Bobsleigh and Luge Capital, Altenberg For many years now, Germany has been a leading force in the Olympic Winter Game’s discipline of bob sledding and luge. In Altenberg (near Dresden) there is the DKB Eis Kanal, a famous bob and skeleton ice track, and when you see it you begin to understand why. The well maintained track is a training facility as well as a competition ground. Just last week the DKB Eis Kanal hosted the World Junior Luge Circuit competition drawing teams and spectators from all over the world. Visitors to the track can enter for free anytime except during scheduled competitive events. Opening hours and further information can be found online or via their DKB Eis Kanal Facebook Page, or of course can be found at the visitor center: Neuer Kohlgrundweg 1 01773 Altenberg Tel. +49 (0) 305-622-660 For those of you who are interested in seeing true professionals in action: In 2020 the Bob & Skeleton World Championship will be taking place in Altenberg!   2) Ski Like There is No Tomorrow When we said Erzgebirge has perfectly groomed downhill slopes we were not exaggerating. From bigger resorts like Oberwiesenthal to small family run resorts like Holzhau Skihof, there is something for everyone in the Ore Mounatins. You will need at least a couple days to explore the area around Oberwiesenthal, the skiing mecca of eastern Germany for decades. The area offers kilometers of cross-country runs as well as world class alpine and a brand new Snowpark Oberwiesenthal. Also at Holzhau Skihof there is the opportunity to explore the downhill slopes, rent equipment, have a hot cup of Glühwein, go on winter quad bike tours, or take the kids ice tubing!! Both ski resorts offer an array of fun and family friendly winter activities.   3) Get Cozy in the Boutique Mountain Lodge, Bergstraße 10 After a long and active day outside, there is nothing better than coming home to a warm fireplace and rich meal. That plus a wood burning private Sauna and outdoor hot tub will be waiting for you at the Boutique Lodge Bergstraße 10. As early as 1759 the hotel’s main building was constructed in the traditional Fachwerkhaus style, and after an incredible renovation the modern and stylish Bergstraße 10 now accommodates several apartments, mountain suites, and a restaurant serving delicious local cuisine.   4) Admire Wooden Art Masterpieces at Blockhausen The owner Erwin Strittmatter proudly calls his work ‘chainsaw art’, but what visitors get to see at Blockhausen requires far more Fingerspitzengefühl than this name would let on. What began with the construction of the forest hut in 1995 has now grown to an impressive o[...]

Two Weeks in Australia: Father and Son Trip

Mon, 29 Jan 2018 16:31:58 +0000

Video: Category: Road Trip My Father lived an adventurous life. In his younger years, he had done it all -- backpacking and making documentaries all over Europe, and Asia, even making it to Oceania a handful of times.  As he settled down, and had three kids, the traveling didn't stop, but it certainly slowed down. And although my family continued to travel to adventurous places, (including a three week trip to China when I was a baby) the itineraries became more and more focused on family friendly resorts and locations.  However, as my dad hit his sixties and his children we're beginning to move out, he took it to himself to take each one of his kids on an adventure trip before he got too old. This was both a great bonding opportunity, and an even greater opportunity for him to go on three amazing trips. The deal was: we get to pick the location, he gets to approve. First he took my brother to Peru, then my sister to Nepal and Tibet, and then me to Australia and Bali.    Two weeks in Australia Australia had always been somewhere of interest to me. I think it's because I had grown up watching cartoons where there were often stereotypical Australian characters that gave a glimpse into the culture. I remember as a young child being fascinated by photographs of the outback and kangaroos. The idea of visiting had always been in the back of my mind so when my father asked where I wanted to go, Australia was my initial reaction.  The country did not disappoint in any way. The breathtaking landscape of the outback paired with the unique wildlife made for a mesmerizing experience, especially for a young photographer/filmmaker myself. I was constantly in awe, and took it to myself to capture everything/anything. I could have stayed much longer and still not have been bored, as there was still much to see.  I hope this video conveys the vast beauty of Northern Australia as well as the memories I now have of my time with my Father. I'm a very lucky son and am truly grateful for this experience. Location:  12° 39' 11.2788" S, 131° 4' 37.182" E See map: Google Maps Tags: road tripaustraliaoutbackoutback australiawaterfallsCountry: North Australia[...]

Epic 3 Day Hike in the Beautiful Nikko National Park

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:40:18 +0000

Video: Category: Sights I’m Jacob Laukaitis, a 21-year-old digital nomad who’s already been to more than 35 countries in the last almost 3 years. I enjoy making travel videos and sharing them with the world. Here’s my newest one from my hike in Nikko, Japan. Nikko is located a few hundred kilometers north of Tokyo. It’s a town next to a national park that’s also called Nikko National Park. The national park is settled on a range of mountains, some of which reach higher than 2,000 m above sea level. The entrance to the national park is free, but some of the most famous temples and shrines do require you to pay entrance fee. There are many visitor centers where they will assist you on any questions you might have. As everywhere in Japan, they're incredibly hospitable and helpful. As most really nice places in Japan, the park is quite crowded especially during the season. The logistics of the park are really nice – there are walkways for people to enjoy the wonderful Nikko trekking trails and they're extremely beautiful and clean. The cultural significance of the historic buildings is major. Apparently Nikko has the most lavishly decorated shrine in all of Japan and the mausoleum of the Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate. When I visit sacred places I try to learn about the rituals and practices involved there. I remember when I started traveling around Asia 3 years ago, I would go to dozens of temples and sacred places and I'd learn everything I could about them. However, now I feel like I've seen so many temples that it doesn't look so interesting to learn more about each one's history or sacred rituals involved. My trip to Nikko lasted 3 days. I chose to stay at a hostel. It is actually a funny story, since I could only get a bed at my hostel for 2 days and the last day there were literally no hotel rooms available in the town and in the surrounding area (because it was a national holiday in Japan). So I ended up taking the train for 50 kilometers to a bigger city, slept there and woke up 5 am the next morning to continue my daily treks. I visited Nikko in November. The weather was getting colder day by day as the winter was approaching, but it was still decent during the day time and especially after trekking. At times it was rather hot!   Travel tip shared by Location:  36° 43' 19.5564" N, 139° 41' 28.1832" E See map: Google Maps Tags: national parkmountainshikingCountry: North Japan - Hokkaido[...]

Four Seasons Journey Throughout the State of Wisconsin

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:58:59 +0000

Video: Category: Landscape Here is my photographic journey throughout the State of Wisconsin. I love different seasons. Every one of them has something special to offer. Four seasons of Wisconsin Four seasons captured in thousands of pictures. All pictures taken between October and January. Hope you enjoy it! All seasons of amazing nature from my neighboring state. There is more to it and it is impossible to capture it all. Most of my pictures were taken in State Parks, State Forests and city of Milwaukee. I would love to add some more sequences from northern part of the state but that is my plan for next project. One of my best nights shooting was photographing perseids in Gov. Thompson State Park. In the summer when camping in the park lots of my night time lapses came out really bad because of changing temperature causing my lenses to fog. I traveled over four hours to get to the place with really small light pollution and ended up with basically couple of time lapses but witnessed amazing astronomical spectacle. Afraid of bears (we saw one a mile away from camp), wolfs howling, coyotes passing by I stayed all night watching meteor shower display. With almost 60 meteors visible per hour that is something you will never forget. Hot summers, early sunrises, frozen waterfalls, lakes, rivers, colorful trees in the fall, snowy and cold winters, beautiful sunsets, lots of wild life. All you can find in Badger State. Breathtaking views from Devils Lake State Park, Kettle Morain State Park, Kohler-Andrae State Park, city of Milwaukee, city of Sheboygan, Wausau and many more. Location:  40° 34' 50.106" N, 85° 46' 52.5" W See map: Google Maps Tags: Wisconsinnaturetimelapse videousaCountry: North of U.S. of America[...]