We arrived at our hotel in a cold night of January after an intensive day visiting Brussels. We were staying in the city only for the weekend but the Belgian charm had taken us and we wanted to see a bit more of the country before leaving. Our flight departed the following day in the afternoon, so we had sufficient time to go somewhere from Brussels. We thought about potential destinations and found out that Antwerp was quite well connected with the Zaventem airport. We had not planned to visit Antwerp in that trip, but Google told us that there were certain hotspots there. So the next day, under a light morning snow, we walked to the train station and bought our tickets to Antwerp, where we arrived shortly.
We did not even have to leave the train station to get impressed by Antwerp. We found so much beauty inside Antwerpen-Centraal, the main railway station in the city, built between 1895 and 1905 and mostly designed by the Bruges architect Louis Delacenserie. After our visit we knew that Antwerpen-Centraal was regarded as one of the most beautiful train stations in the world. And we got there by chance!
Like a fiord in the heart of Europe with its alpine waters and green hillsides, Königssee deserves its name. In our travel to Austria and after visiting the lovely Salzburg we went south, crossing the border with Germany, in order to have a trip to the tallest waterfall in Europe (470 m): the Röthbachfall. The only way to get to this waterfall is by crossing all the Königssee from one side to the other using electric boats and then walking for more than one hour, crossing another lake, the Obersee.
If you are reading this blog it may be because you love traveling, you have that feeling deep inside that tells you constantly, as a whisper, “move, fly, go to see things you haven’t seen, go to experience situations you haven’t experienced yet, go to know other ways of living, escape and forget about your little world in order to feel the entire world through your eyes, your skin… go somewhere where your 5 senses are put out of the comfort zone because all of them experience new feelings at the same time”. If you need these kinds of experiences, you are one of us, you want to read this post, follow this blog and know about the experience we had in Koyasan (Japan). Because only in those places where it is difficult to get, those places that are sacred for the locals, those places where you don’t have other option than doing the same as the local people do, only in those places you are able to put down that whisper. Welcome to Mapping The Map, welcome to Koyasan!
We got up early in the morning in Kyoto. The Tanaka-Ya ryokan was a small but comfortable place to sleep in the middle of the ancient Gion quarter in Kyoto. The old, smiley landlady, that opened the door 2 days before and offered us tea and cookies, said goodbye and whished us a nice trip to the foggy and sacred mountains of Koya.
Mapmaking has been an integral part of the human history for thousands of years. From cave paintings to ancient maps of Babylon, Greece and Asia, through the Age of Exploration, first explorers used to map their steps through the land and their miles through the seacoast; they painted their progress in a two dimensional surface, creating patterns of symbols in order to be able to come back at some point or ease others their way to newly discovered places.
We share the same passion of those first explorers. We aim to reach every corner of the planet and discover its mysteries, know local people and learn new ways of understanding culture and daily life. Mapping the Map is the blog where you will be able to follow the steps of two explorers of 21st century.
Although we share those old feelings and aims, as 21st century human beings we use the most advanced technologies to plan, perform and record our journeys through this little blue planet. We start always by using Google Earth, looking at the planet from the space, navigating from one place to another in order to decide our next travel project. We use our camera to catch up every emotion we experience during our journey and we will use this blog to share our discoveries with you.
Travels, experiences, photography, philosophy, happiness, open minds, gastronomy… let’s discover the planet together. Let’s walk through an existing map in order to create our own map of emotions, feelings and thoughts, and put them together to know who we really are.
"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