Martin's personal blog – Travel

Blog content

Latest posts

Active categories:

More tags ...

By date:

    (No recent posts)

Blog calendar

February 2020
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
 << Jan Mar >>
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29

Umbrella hiking

posted by Martin Rubli at 16:53

On our long list of things to do during Chinese New Year was a trip to 太平山 (Tai ping mountain), one of the most popular destinations in Taiwan. Everything was planned out well with the exception of the one thing you can never plan: the weather.

Of course the little cold and rain wouldn't stop us from hiking, so here are a few photos from our umbrella hike. One day we're going back there and we'll return with a myriad of beautiful photos of mountain and ocean views, sunrises, sunsets, and seas of clouds!

The entrance to the 台灣山毛櫸國家步道 (Taiwan Beech National Trail) in 太平山 (Tai ping mountain).

The entrance to the 台灣山毛櫸國家步道 (Taiwan Beech National Trail) in 太平山 (Tai ping mountain).

Parts of the trail have these funny little stepping stones, apparently a tribute to the wet weather conditions in the area.

Parts of the trail have these funny little stepping stones, apparently a tribute to the wet weather conditions in the area.

Hiking the 太平山 台灣山毛櫸國家步道 (Taiwan Beech National Trail in Tai ping mountain) by rain.

Hiking the 太平山 台灣山毛櫸國家步道 (Taiwan Beech National Trail in Tai ping mountain) by rain.

The 太平山莊服務站 (Tai Ping Mountain Villa Service Station), a refuge from the cold and wet that day.

The 太平山莊服務站 (Tai Ping Mountain Villa Service Station), a refuge from the cold and wet that day.

One of the huge riverbeds in 宜蘭 (Yilan). During really bad weather they can actually flood but in drier times they are used to grow watermelons.

One of the huge riverbeds in 宜蘭 (Yilan). During really bad weather they can actually flood but in drier times they are used to grow watermelons.

A field of famous San Xing spring onions (三星蔥). Legend has it that if you steal spring onion from there you're going to find a good husband. (It doesn't say anything about good wives, so I only took the photo, not the actual spring onion. ;-)

A field of famous San Xing spring onions (三星蔥). Legend has it that if you steal spring onion from there you're going to find a good husband. (It doesn't say anything about good wives, so I only took the photo, not the actual spring onion. ;-)

Link to the full album


More Switzerland photos

posted by Martin Rubli at 16:58

Now that we're already vaguely planning our next trip it's about time I uploaded the final batch of last summer's Switzerland photos! This one is from an easy and rather short hike that took us from Arosa to the Schwelisee and finally to the Aelplisee. Despite the easiness the scenery is beautiful!

You can find the GPS track over at GPSies and there's a link to more photos from that trip at the bottom.

The Schwelisee is the first of two lakes along this hiking trail.
Impressive mountains.
Panorama at the Aelplisee.
Taking a rest at the Alplisee.
A typical fountain that can be found everywhere in the Swiss mountains. And the best part is that it's almost always drinking water, so carrying water is pretty much unnecessary.
Two typical Swiss chalets.

Link to the full album


Butterflies and bees

posted by Martin Rubli at 15:30

Now that I'm slowly getting the hang of Lightroom I'm reducing the backlog on my travel photos slowly but steadily.

This little collection is still from my shameful "DSLR in auto mode" days, but then again travel preparations are hard enough without learning to use your new toys. Anyway, as part of my experiments I was chasing helpless butterflies and even more helpless flowers around the house and pushing the macro end of my kit lens. While some of the photos got surprisingly good let me apologize in advance for any oversaturation caused by auto mode. :-)

It also gives me a chance to try the latest feature of my blog software: inserting the content of an entire gallery album with a simple line of markup text. I'm still working on the layout part, but while I'm doing that you can enjoy these little photos.

(untitled)
(untitled)
(untitled)
(untitled)
(untitled)
(untitled)
(untitled)
(untitled)
Could there be anything more Swiss than this cow? Yes, cause this is actually some sort of Scottish high mountain cow. :-)

Could there be anything more Swiss than this cow? Yes, cause this is actually some sort of Scottish high mountain cow. :-)

The biggest (edible) mushroom we found

The biggest (edible) mushroom we found

Our mushroom dinner

Our mushroom dinner

(untitled)

Okinawa pictures

posted by Martin Rubli at 14:51

It's a long time ago and the memory of my last vacation has already faded, let alone the feeling of relaxation, but some three weeks after returning from Okinawa the photos are finally ready.

Okinawa is a relatively small island in the south of Japan and inhabited by a little more than 1.3 million people. Actually, the whole prefecture includes hundreds of little islands, the Ryukyu Islands, but we only visited the main one. We spent two days in Naha, the prefecture's capital, and southern area before heading up to the center and eastern part.

Some of the views are breathtaking and so is driving on the left side for the first time in your life. Apart from the occasional struggle with the GPS (strictly Japanese and only workable with the handbrake pulled - learn the hard way!) it went fine, though, and we enjoyed five relaxing days in the sun.

The pictures, complete with GPS coordinates, thanks to my trusted and always present "Easy Showily" GPS logger:

Okinawa (Days 1 and 2)
Okinawa (Days 3 to 5)


Climbing the turtle

posted by Martin Rubli at 03:46

All good things come to an end. This is especially and unfortunately true for vacations.

If you think that vacations are relaxing then you should try coming back from one of my vacations. Hundreds of photos and dozens of GPS traces are waiting to be combined and put online.

Luckily, I finally found a working program that does this job quite well: Geotag. It loads pictures from different directories and multiple GPS tracks and with a little bit of magic you'll have coordinates in your pictures in no time. The result of this can be seen here:

Turtle Island album

Turtle Island (龜山島, Gui shan dao) is a small, uninhabited island on the west coast of Taiwan. Unfortunately it's still under military control and visiting involves going with a rather large tour group or a lot of paperwork (If you have the choice, go with the paperwork! :-), but it's worthwile in spite of that. See for yourself.

Oh, and pictures from Okinawa are coming up soon. At least some of them; turns out my camera is allergic to water. ;-)