Year: 2015

Roadtripping the Pacific Northwest – Sea to Sky Highway, Canada

The biggest stroke of luck on our roadtrip? Coming across the Sea to Sky Highway in BC, Canada. It was quite a spontaneous idea to rent a car in Vancouver and get out of the city for a day. A little aimless at first, we soon found that special road that was to reveal all the magnificent gems of British Columbia. Our first destination was Lynn Creek after realising that Grouse Mount was a rather touristy place (and not the ideal one to hike with our light sneakers). Lynn Creek, however, was full of magic: turqouise lagoons, romantic coves, venturesome cliffs and beautiful woods. Driving in the direction of Whistler, Olympic city of 2010, we watched the mountains getting higher and higher. And had an excellent meal at The Southside Diner directly by the highway: a lentil veggie burger with homemade fries for me, pulled pork poutine, a popular Canadian fast food meal, for him. Invigorated by the yummy food, we took the way back to Vancouver still passing by some impressive mountains… … until …

Roadtripping the Pacific Northwest – 48 hours in Seattle

I was sleepless in Seattle with Meg Ryan when I was a kid. I went to see Frasier’s office quite often – via TV at least. And my favourite radio channel KEXP is based in Washington’s beauty. There are quite a few things that attracted me to come to Seattle. Yet it was not the easiest city to approach somehow. With almost intrusively open-minded (in the very best sense) Portland and a lot of peaceful nature adventures behind me on this roadtrip, Seattle was a bit of a challenge to grasp. Probably due to the lack of time I had here. Nevertheless, I saw some wonderful and surprising parts of the city. And – of course – was so unbelievably lucky with my third Airbnb apartment on this journey again. Based right in hip Capitol Hill, I used the first night of my arrival to see the sundown against Seattle’s skyline from Kerry Park. The term “park” is not exactly appropriate for this little grass verge but it is ever so popular with locals and …

Roadtripping the Pacific Northwest – Californian Redwoods

With Oregon still in my woody heart, we headed south to California to visit the Redwoods. And just when I thought hills filled with pine trees couldn’t be higher and thicker than those in Oregon, we crossed the border and saw the beauty of California’s north. The destination is not always my favourite spot while roadtripping. Sometimes it is simply the road itself. Driving a tight turn and being rewarded by a new fascinating view. Let me tell you that this route was teeming with such views. After a while we turned to Highway 101, one of – if not the one – most beautiful in the whole States. Instead of a clear-blue coast, though, dense fog was expecting us and it gave our car trip a somewhat mystical atmosphere. And suddenly streets began to curve between higher and higher trees. Sunlight was shielded and it felt as though we were entering an entirely different world. Stepping out of the car, we could instantly begin numberless hiking trails through the Redwoods. And we did. Coated …

Roadtripping the Pacific Northwest – Back in Portland

After roadtripping Oregon and some further parts of the west coast I’ll tell you more about on the blog soon, we returned back to lovely Portland. My last piece on America’s foodie, hippie and hipster city number 1 might have suggested that I had taken a great fancy to Portlandia. If not: I have honestly fallen for Portland’s dreaminess. Big time. With our new Airbnb accommodation even closer to hip Alberta Street, we strolled the area all day, enjoyed coffee at Vita Cafe just to have more iced teas afterwards so as to cool down from Oregon’s hot summer. And as luck would have it, our second stay in Portland was on a Saturday so we headed to the waterfront to discover local produce from farmers and artists at Portland Saturday Market. Back to Alberta, I started feeling a little bit at home here – not least due to great Alberta Cooperative Grocery. I think I visited that organic supermarket more often than any other place in Portland. Who can blame me, though, with their …

Roadtripping the Pacific Northwest – Crater Lake

After our lovely kick-off in Portland we would head south to discover Oregon’s natural beauty. Crater Lake National Park was our destination for two days and I can tell you: It was beautiful beyond words! As luck would have it, it was also my birthday and so we decided to get up at 4 am in the morning and watch the sun rise behind Mount Mazama. Cuddled up in our outdoor jackets, we were observing the still surface of Crater Lake and couldn’t help but wonder once the sun bathed our surroundings in amazing colours. A little warmed up by the rays of sunlight but still shivering, we hurried back to our cute little cabin in the woods of Union Creek Resort. And after a little nap and a hot shower there was, of course, this stack of huge, fluffy pancakes awaiting us… Once the sun stood high we returned to the lake as it is particularly famous for its royal blue colour deriving from its depth and extreme clarity. After our tour around whole …

Roadtripping the Pacific Northwest – First days in Portland

Discovering the Northwest, particularly Oregon, has always ranked high on my bucket list. On Saturday our trip through the area finally started – in lovely Portland. Our gorgeous Airbnb apartment was the perfect beginning of an incredible trip. After a little nap fighting the massive weariness of my 10-hour-flight it was time to discover the surroundings. And – by chance – the hip Alberta Arts District was only 15 minutes by foot away from our accommodation. The excellent coffee at Case Study supported the comfy mattress in making me fit again just perfectly. And wandering along Alberta Street made me really feel at home… On our second day in Portland we took the bus to downtown. One of Portland’s must-do things is Powell’s. A bookstore so huge you even need a map for it. I call it heaven. Moreover, it was beautiful to see that even Downtown was extremely relaxed and peaceful – just as the rest of the city is. Oh and look at all those cute colours! Another thing on my list was …

Weekend strolls through lovely Utrecht

When I first set foot on Utrecht some weeks ago I knew I would have to come back. Many more times. This time I didn’t exactly track down further hidden gems of the city but showed my parents around the spots I had already discovered last time. Muffled in the best summer weather, we walked the canal streets of my secret favourite city in the Netherlands (please don’t tell Amsterdam) and enjoyed the beautiful view of all those charming buildings. And as I love surrounding myself with greens, I always feel like walking a giant garden when passing by Utrecht’s back yards and house facades. Want to check out some of my favourite cafés, boutiques and places of Utrecht? Then head over to my little guide to Utrecht! Have a lovely Sunday afternoon! I enjoy some cups of coffee while scrolling through future travel destinations and looking out to the rainy sea…

Another sunny day at BLIJBURG, Amsterdam

Cooling down has come to be a real challenge in Amsterdam these days. But after months of tristesse on the little island I call my home, that very IJburg has smartened up the past few weeks. Dive into that freshening blue of Blijburg an Zee and discover the sunny and beachy side of the Netherland’s capital.

Minimal Sunday – A visual Story

I’m a lover of Sundays. That smell of freshly brewed coffee, the softness of your blankets, that view out to the calm sea. I remember how my parents used to convince me to play outside when I was younger. I, however, couldn’t resist finishing that certain suspenseful book. What they didn’t realise: I have always loved being outside. I just didn’t like sharing it too much. I find so much peace in simply standing at the shore in front of my apartment and watching the waves flowing. Maybe that is one reason why I live on a tiny island right now. Now and then, however, Amsterdam’s mainland brings me out of my shell and I suppose it’s all about the isles you create every day yourself anyway. On Sundays I tend to choose routine over variation and with pancakes, blackberries and coffee on my table that’s quite okay. Sometimes the view from my apartment feels better than any hotel room I have ever had. Well, if it were some degrees warmer at least… That sooting …

A little guide to little Haarlem

Moving to Amsterdam at the beginning of this year has had me explore some lovely parts of the Netherlands. And even though I’m thirsting for those big travels awaiting me at the end of July, I enjoy discovering my current adopted country so much as well. After going to Utrecht last week, it was – after so many recommendations and romanticization – time to go to see Haarlem, a late medieval city some 15 minutes away from busy Amsterdam. It’s funny that cities like Utrecht or Haarlem are only slightly smaller than Amsterdam. Still they exude this cozy small town charm. Little colourful town houses, lovely boutiques, idyllic landscapes and unruffled people. Speaking of boutiques: Ironically it has been in Utrecht and now Haarlem that I stumbled upon the cutest shops. I’m sure they’re out there in Amsterdam as well, but imagine hundreds of Amsterdamers plus two hundred tourists squashing in front of one slender mirror.  There you go. kloffie in Haarlem turned out to be a true gem storing pieces by Minimum, Nümph and others. I …