Miyajima, the Island of Gods

There is an island where you can feel in the middle point between the heaven and the underworld, a place that you can only reach by boat and where the shrines seem to float on water. A World Heritage Site, along with the virgin forest of Mount Misen and numerous preserved shrines, monuments and historical sites makes you realize you are in a unique place in the planet. The perfect harmony between human beings, nature and spirituality that Japanese people usually do so well can be felt in every corner of this island, Miyajima Island, the Island of Gods.

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From the boat we saw the floating Tori while approaching the island.

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The Douro, sailing between Spain and Portugal

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.

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On the road

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!

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Howth and the greatest Viking battle of Clontarf

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!

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Viking woman with beer in the horn for the warriors
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Tossa de Mar: Postcards from the Costa Brava

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.

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Typical landscape of the Costa Brava

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Planning: Full adventure in Namibia

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.

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Desert elephants
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"There is a thing that makes any trip unique. We know that where we walk around, where we eat, where we sleep, where we take a rest or where we laugh are places that probably we will not visit again. Places that we discover while knowing that some seconds later we will no longer be there, in an ephemeral manner, but with the same enthusiasm as two kids discovering the colors." Mapping The Map

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