Rügen is Germany’s biggest island, geographically. We rented a car and went to explore it. As you can see, the round trip was approximately 700 km, just like when I go to Prague:
We started on the sand dunes of the eastern tip of Göhren, after passing Sellin and Baabe. It was in this area that Christopher Isherwood stayed. The Strand Hotel in Baabe is mentioned in the Rügen part in Goodbye to Berlin. You can rent the traditional little beach hut for a day (8 euro) or a week (48 euro), just like back then I suppose. It was too early and too cold for beach life now though – we just enjoyed a stroll.
After Göhren we went to Sassnitz, which had a rocky beach and is famous for its harbour – I think I’ve arrived there several times with the ferry from Trelleborg.
And after the city of Sassnitz, we continued further up north into the national park Jasmund, where we parked quite far away from the sea and then walked several kilometers to the famous cliff Königsstuhl.
After an adventurous day, we left Rügen and found a hotel in Stralsund, and a restaurant next door which still served food despite it was past eleven in the evening.
Next day: Sightseeing in Stralsund and then back to Berlin.
Our plan was to go skating on a nearby lake, but heavy snowfall made that impossible. We met a family who told us that the tractor that plows the skating area had broken through the ice yesterday. So instead we roamed around to some nearby villages.
Spittal an der Drau
Beautifully situated at an altitude of 560 meters, this small town of 12 000 inhabitants was extremely boring.
This village, home of Carinthia’s first monastery, was even more boring than Spittal an der Drau.
A little luxury resort with expensive hotels overlooking the lake Wörthersee. Probably more fun in any other weather.
Udine was bustling in the evening. Lots of people on the streets and many restaurants full. We found a wine bar where we had quite bad food to be honest, but the atmosphere was nice. Is it only me, or does sage (salvia) taste like meat? And when will I learn I hate gnocchi, the knödel of pasta.
Second time I’m in Venice – first time was in 2002. It’s hard not to take a photo of every single alley and canal!
We drove over the mountains; it’s amazing to start at Villach’s 500 meters altitude and -10 degrees and end up under sea level and several plus degrees only three hours later.
The only thing I can compare Venice with touristwise is the old town in Prague: the hordes of tourists on Karlova and the Charles Bridge. But just like in Prague, you just have to steer a hundred meters off the crowded areas, and you’ll find yourself completely alone in the maze of narrow alleys.
Best part of not driving: Being able to enjoy a Chinese beer on the way home!
Tarvisio is just over the mountains on the Italian side of the border, and before the highway toll starts. On the way there we stopped at the frozen lake Laghi di Fusine. Meter high banks of snow. Felt like Sweden!
It’s the first time I’m here, in this Austrian little gem in the state of Carinthia. Kärnten, that is. I took a direct flight from Berlin to Klagenfurt, then walked to a nearby S-bahn station where I bought a ticket from a machine and took the train to Villach. It’s a really beautiful little city. Only 60,000 inhabitant. Apparently famous for outdoor activities and hot springs. And everything is approximately twice as expensive as in Berlin.
Anyone know where I am? It’s not that hard to find out actually. More posts will follow.
Update: Well, there were several ways to find out – or at least I thought so.
I had switched on geotagging of the photos I take with my phone. So the exact location should be in the EXIF information. However, when checking now, I realize that the coordinates disappeared when the image was uploaded through the WordPress app and resaved as 2000 px wide.
I had also turned on a function in my phone where the location is included in the name of the image, so if viewing only the image, you would see that it’s titled “wpid-20150128_140346_draupromenade-2000×1125”. So I’m on Draupromenade, apparently.
Last of all, I chose to turn on geotagging for the post itself, but although various plugins can make use of this, I’m not sure where or if this information actually shows – I’ve searched the code without finding any coordinates. So let’s put in an Openstreetmap and see if it manages to automatically show the coordinates of the post:
(And no, it didn’t happen automatically. But since the coordinates, as registered by the GPS in the phone, were in the post when I edited it, I could add them manually. Oh, and another issue with the OSM plugin: It doesn’t show in the WordPress reader and post emails, and also cuts all content below it. I guess a workaround could be to include the OSM map in the end of the post, so that no other content is killed by it. I also don’t like that there is no padding under the map. Actually, I hate that. I made a temporary “br” workaround in the text editor, but such changes get lost next time you edit the post if you happen to be in the visual editor … Anyway, I’m in Villach!)