A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about ecotourism

Interlaken, Switzerland - in the Alps

sunny 25 °C
View Around the world ın 8 months on chrisvasil's travel map.

Interlaken, in the scenic Jungfrau region, is the first spot on our vacations where we really regretted not having extra time (our next hostel was already booked). We arrived in the evening to catch the end of a marching band parade - and with about 20 people watching, we were able to walk alongside them.

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Turning around, we can see the reflection of the sunset on the Alps. The green mountains have an altitude of about 1500m; the white one has an altitude of about 3500m.
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We spent most of our day there using the train/bus pass to go to hiking/walking spots from different towns. The best trails would have been 6 hours to hike, and would have taken us to places we might have had trouble getting back from, so we didn't take any trail more than a couple hours. We'd like to go back and do it properly.

Here are a couple views
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Our Amazing Race-style team picture...
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Sometimes signs were lacking or confusing - like this one, where all roads lead to Gsteigwiler
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A surprisingly comfortable bench, made of a few big logs. I'm also impressed with their continued neutrality.
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Wild berries, a cross between raspberry and blackberry
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The hostel was great - very clean, free laundry, free breakfast, common kitchen, free public transport including to neighboring towns, free swimming pools and minigolf, free 3 Euro Rolex spoon each... A bit expensive (20 euros per person per night), but great.

Posted by chrisvasil 12:56 Archived in Switzerland Tagged ecotourism Comments (0)

Luzern - I like Switzerland

sunny 20 °C

Switzerland is such a beautiful country. Luzern is cut in half by a river
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For this pic, taken on a covered bridge (hence the shadows) around 8am, a drunk teenager came up to us and asked if he could take our picture, assuring us he wouldn't steal the camera. Good people.
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Sue's not usually such a tree-hugger, but she has her moments
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The old town walls are largely intact, and we can go up some of the towers for great views
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A statue on one of the lookout towers
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The staircases tended to be narrow or spirally
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Off the side of the town walls was a farm where one of the cows had birthed a few hours prior... The brown one was the newborn, big but with the umbilical cord still dangling.
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One unique thing about Luzern is that a lot of the old squares have frescoed (fancily painted) buildings
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Another is the lion rock sculpture, which Mark Twain called the most touching and sad rock sculpture in the world (which I think means more touching and sad than Mount Rushmore). Beautifully carved, and over 200 years old.
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Posted by chrisvasil 12:57 Archived in Switzerland Tagged ecotourism Comments (0)

Nubian Village in Egypt

40 °C
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We had the opportunity to have dinner at a traditional Nubian home, which was interesting. This family keeps 3 crocodiles is a kind of a permenant fish tank next to one of their rooms (and relatedly eats crocodile once a year). There are a few inches of sand on their floors (which is quite comfortable, and which they change every few months). They have a rotation on bread-cooking, so that every family in the village cooks bread for the entire village once every few weeks, and everyone has bread every day.
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Posted by chrisvasil 00:05 Archived in Egypt Tagged ecotourism Comments (0)

Mount Sinai

sunny 8 °C
View Around the world ın 8 months on chrisvasil's travel map.

Going up Mount Sinai was a trek of biblical proportions. Well not really, but it took close to 3 hours to walk up (7km uphill plus 750 steps carved into the mountain) and over an hour to go down (3500 steps carved into the mountain). It was a long climb, and we were glad we didn't bring our big backpack like we were planning to. Less glad that we didn't take the camel up like we were planning to, but it could have been a rough ride and we managed fine without it (with help again from Sue's formidable level of fitness). Since we were early arriving at the peak (around midnight, a couple hours ahead of most tour groups) we got a choice of sleeping spots, and about 6 of us settled on top of a roof. The night was chilly but not as bad as we were expecting. After a few hours of sleep a few groups of teenagers arrived to see the sun rise at the point where moses is said to have recieved his ten commandments from god, and that woke us up in time to see the sunrise ourselves.

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Here are pics of the famed sunrise, taken every 5 min 5:20-6:15am

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Posted by chrisvasil 23:46 Archived in Egypt Tagged ecotourism Comments (0)

Scuba Diving in the Red Sea

sunny 40 °C
View Around the world ın 8 months on chrisvasil's travel map.

It was a 45-minute intro dive, and we went down just under 10 metres. The way it was structured was pretty easy: put on wetsuit, flippers and air tank, go in the water to practice breathing and clearing water from the mask and breathing tube, and then we were ready to go.

As we just started going down I was concerned I wouldn't be able to do it -- before my ears popped it was quite painful and the way they showed us to pop ears didn't work. But then they did and it was all smooth from there.

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Every pair of people stayed together (locked arms) and had a guide who did all the work: regulating the pressure on the tank to control the depth we were at, and pulling us to change our direction. All we had to do was keep arms locked together, kick a bit to move forward, and watch the aquatic life in all directions.

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It would have been hard to pick a better spot to have my first scuba diving experience - the fish were plentiful and tropical, and the coral was very nice as well. Sue and I went snorkelling the following day and she agreed that it was better than Cuba or Bermuda.

Posted by chrisvasil 23:18 Archived in Egypt Tagged ecotourism Comments (0)

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