We are used to travel on the weekend or while our (never enough) holidays and thus we try to make the most of our trips with lots of planning and less room for improvisation. But last summer, in Portugal, we had the three things that any traveler needs to decide the destinations along the way: a car, a camping tent and a travel guide.
We had travelled through central Portugal from Lisboa to the medieval jewel of Guimarães and our next stop in our way back home was fixed at Burgos (Spain), a city dominated by its amazing Word Heritage cathedral. But we still had one night and some hours driving to reach Burgos, so we decided to open the guide and look for hotspots in the way back to Barcelona. We had heard about Miranda do Douro, a Portuguese town, belonging to the Braganza district, located in the border with Spain and next to which environmental cruises depart to sail through the international natural park of the Douro river. Moreover, the town has a municipal camping site, so we couldn’t ask for more!
We hadn’t planned it. It was 2014 and we were visiting Dublin for 4 days during Easter. We discovered the fantastic capital of Ireland and also had time to do a 1-day trip out of the city. We wanted to see some cliffs, the Irish coast and a fishing town. And we discovered that there is one place that you can reach in less than one hour from Dublin city centre with all of these characteristics: Howth. In this post we explain what we saw in Howth, our nice walk through the cliffs towards the lighthouse and how we found ourselves in the middle of an epic Viking battle in the afternoon!
Summer is coming and, when it arrives, all Catalans use to go and bath in the Costa Brava –in our opinion, one of the finest landscapes of Catalonia. It may not be the typical exotic coast, but it has the incomparable Mediterranean charm of its cliffs and its plant life. The Costa Brava, which literally means “rugged coast”, is the scenery of our summer childhood memories. The coast follows the Catalan counties (comarques) of La Selva, Baix Empordà and Alt Empordà, all of them within the province of Girona, whose inhabitants have seen how fishing has been replaced by tourism as the main business of the area.
Those who follow this blog may already know that we are used to plan our travels using satellite images. We don’t use travel agencies and reduce to the minimum the expenses behind the planning of a trip. In this post we speak for the first time about our next travel destination: Namibia!
How did we decide to go to Namibia?
Last year we crossed the Iberian Peninsula from Barcelona to Portugal and did a road trip through a fantastic country, visiting Alentejo, Lisbon, Porto… and Sintra. I say this because it was in Sintra, maybe one of the most beautiful places in Europe, where we realized that the beauty cannot be properly explored among thousands of people. Some places which can be fascinating when isolated may loose their magic when thousands of people are looking at it.
When we came back home and being in that period between the last trip and the need to plan a new one, we saw a documentary in TV about a Catalan family, also the two kids, doing a round trip around the World. One of the places they went to was Namibia and there they did free camping in some of the dreamiest landscapes in the planet. They also planned a strategy to find the desert elephant which can only be seen in some places in that country.
Sometimes the way to our travel destination can give us the gift of visiting places that had been in our wish list for a long time. That’s what happened when we travelled to Tokyo via Moscow. When we booked our Aeroflot flights I was so happy since I finally had the chance to visit the capital of Russia, the heart of one of the most powerful countries in the world and the home to many historical events. In particular, we were going to spend some day hours in the city during our travel to Tokyo and a night there when going back to Barcelona. So we made all the paperwork to get our visas and waited for the day when we were to land in Russia for the first time.