The vineyard of Herdade da Ajuda

The vineyard of Herdade da Ajuda
Wine production in Alentejo Portuguese province of Alentejo. A dark complexion, a little bit obese worker is arranging stacks of wine barrels. Drawn away from his work at the moment he reveals unconcealed enthusiasm and willingness to guide us through the vineyard. We are on the 21-hectare plantation in central Portugal. Not so long ago, ...

The land of Alentejo

The land of Alentejo
Windmill in Odeceixe The road north leads through a small fishing town Vale dos Homens. At the fish market we buy several doradas for dinner. This is a peaceful place, people rarely appear on the streets. We meet an old man sitting on a wooden bench in the shade of acacia lazily reading a newspaper. ...

Mussels and squid

Mussels and squid
Praia do Amado Cooking squid for not a skilled cook is kind of a challenge. Awkward incision makes intensely black ink  splatter around. I remove the squid’s float, looking indistinguishably like a part made of plastic. Everything around is stained with ink and definitely does not look like anything edible, not to mention being tasty. ...

Algarve tripping

Algarve tripping
Surfing time Early in the morning I say goodbye to southern Spain and cross the Portuguese border. My first stop is at the tourist information office. Courteous black girl, probably in the seventh month of pregnancy greets me with Portuguese “Bom dia!” and a smile on her face. I collect detailed information on the Algarve ...

Laid-back Andalusia

Laid-back Andalusia
Sometimes a road turns into the river Andalusia is considered the poorest and the least developed part of Spain. Take a look from another point of view. It is by far the most sunny part of Spain and time is running much slower compared to the other parts of Iberian peninsula. Our adventure begins as ...

Paella and snails

Paella and snails
Our feast in Tomatito bar, Tarifa During my stay on a surfing spot near the Valdavaqueros beach, one day I take my longboard for a ride to Tarifa. I visit my friend Polly, who is working for the summer in a bar called Tomatito. This is a very unusual place taking into account not only ...

A place for a grilled chicken

A place for a grilled chicken
El jardí de Sòl de Riu Cruising along a swerving coastal road we head south. Our intention is to skip the toll tunnel to see more of beautiful Catalonia. We stop at numerous viewpoints on our way and in the evening we arbitrarily choose a place to stay. A small village of Vinaròs is located ...

Longboard BCN

Longboard BCN
Barcelona is a longboarder’s paradise Last time I visited Barcelona I made a mistake and didn’t bring my longboard along. This time I finally got a chance to fix it. Now, my only concern is to park the yellow car in the center. This is not trivial issue, because by definition, you can’t move by ...

Sardinia

Sardinia
A place for snorkeling A night ferry from the Italian port Piombinio takes us to Olbia, a city on the north-eastern Sardinia. Still long before dawn we head towards the Isola de Gabbiani and Porto Pollo. It is getting bright and this is exactly the time and the place for a hearty breakfast and morning ...

A loop around Poland

A loop around Poland
A loop around Poland Enchanting trails of Bieszczady mountains First, we pick the most interesting places of Poland and then decide to spend around one month to follow the loop inside our country. We do our best to keep a safe distance of a hundred kilometers from the capital, as in order to stay a ...

Bialowieza National Park

Bialowieza National Park
Białowieża National Park King of the Białowieża Forest Poland’s journey from west to east takes thirteen hours and is getting longer every year. More cars imply increased traffic, while road surface of inferior quality needs constant repairs. The repairs are carried out in an absurd manner. This involves simultaneously digging up a dozen sections of ...

Segovia (Spain)

Segovia (Spain)
Segovia Roman aqueduct in Segovia Segovia is a small town located north of Madrid. Like Toledo, fits perfectly for a one day excursion off the capital. The first impression is formed shortly upon the arrival. It is a deserted city. No, that is not. It’s just a siesta time, giving an opportunity to see the ...

Gibraltar, a sunny rock filled with monkeys

Gibraltar, a sunny rock filled with monkeys
A sunny rock filled with monkeys Intrusive monkeys have no limits Gibraltar is a place of numerous disputes over the centuries. The territory once conquered and ruled by the Berbers in 711 A.D. had been waiting more than seven centuries to get back into the hands of the Spaniards. Not for long because in 1704 ...

Cadiz, the Europe’s oldest city

Cadiz, the Europe's oldest city
Cadiz, the Europe’s oldest city Low tide at the fortress in Cádiz A bit after six, still cold, however we decide to rest on a beach. Every fifteen minutes more sunlight timidly emerge from behind coastal high-rises. The next comes breakfast. We order churros in a nearby bar. These are disgustingly fat and excessively sweetened ...

A family in el Escorial

A family in el Escorial
A family in el Escorial A dinner with Patricia’s family in el Escorial Patricia invites me for a couple of days to visit her family in el Escorial near Madrid. That is an interesting possibility to get to know her hometown and see how a typical Spanish family lives. Our walk from a bus stop ...

Toledo (Spain)

Toledo (Spain)
Toledo Alcázar de Toledo Toledo is a small town located about an hour south of Madrid. While in the capital, it is also worth to spend some time out on a fresh provincial air around. Toledo is definitely one of the most interesting one-day excursions. Getting off at the bus station I see a rising ...

San Fermin Festival in Pamplona

San Fermin Festival in Pamplona
San Fermin Festival in Pamplona Bull chasing people in the streets of Pamplona San Fermín is an annual week-long festival taking place 6-14 July in Pamplona. The history of bull chasing goes back to the fourteenth century and since 1592 has been in the same form every year. I travel half of Spain for a ...

Spanish Corrida

Spanish Corrida
Capeador waiting for the enraged bull to charge Corrida at the Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas in Madrid brings the essence of Spanish tradition. A massive 65 meter diameter arena makes it one of the largest sites of that kind in the world. It has a simple design. Sandy area with a well-marked range, ...

The heart of Spain

The heart of Spain
In the middle of Spain Rabbit pate topped with walnuts and garlic butter with shrimp Spain is a voluptuous country. Not only because of the local Iberian cuisine. It is also a lack of haste and a slow pace of life. Its culture and casual people with their easy-going outlook on life which does not ...

Barcelona, the European theme park

Barcelona, the European theme park
Barcelona, the European theme park A view of Barcelona from Park Guell “A European theme park“, a guy from bike rental shop told me in Madrid. I asked him to describe Barcelona in one sentence. Some say that the capital of Catalonia has nothing to do with the real Spain. One thing is certain. Barcelona ...

Crossing Norwegian forests and lakes

Crossing Norwegian forests and lakes
Norwegian lakes are famous for clear water We take a tent, two backpacks, some food and fishing rods. The only necessary things to hole up for a week in Norwegian woods. The plan is to walk from one lake to another. This Scandinavian country is often associated with large amounts of fish, beautiful landscapes, short ...

Elbrus, the Europe’s freeriding Mecca

Elbrus, the Europe's freeriding Mecca
Panorama of the Caucasus, view from Elbrus North Caucasus. Elbrus and Cheget are the two mountains, which slopes are covered with hundreds of thousands tones of fresh powder every year. Such snow conditions make it a true paradise for snowboarders. The trip itself to this place takes three and a half days. We take the ...

Heading southeast to Ukraine

Heading southeast to Ukraine
Lvov Eaglets Cemetery I collect four of my friends to go to Ukraine. The train goes across Poland. It starts northwest to finish southeast, directly from Szczecin to Przemyśl, which is good as it stops in all our cities on the way. The ten hour journey to the Polish-Ukrainian border passes fairly quickly. All the ...

A rollercoaster accelerating to 200 km/h in 3.4 seconds

A rollercoaster accelerating to 200 km/h in 3.4 seconds
Six Flags amusement park, New Jersey. Two hour bus drive from New York. The main attraction is Kingda Ka, the recently opened rollercoaster. Application of the same mechanisms as those used to accelerate the fighter jet planes off the aircraft carriers (with limited runway length) succeeded in creating ultra fast and extraordinarily performing rollercoaster. Fully-loaded ...

Lithuania and Latvia

Lithuania and Latvia
Recreation center, around Vilnius I visit Eastern Poland quite often with my family. This time my dad thought of visiting his cousin which he haven’t seen for about forty years. That’s pretty long period of time, isn’t it? Mati, a friend of mine, joins us and we set off for the trip to Lithuania. Sometime ...

Snowboarding in the summer

Snowboarding in the summer
Traditional Austrian attire Snowboarding in the summer? Sure. You just have to find a bunch of guys who would rather take out the dusty snowboard from beneath their bed in the middle of summer rather than lie on the sunny beach.  The idea appeared to happen in mid-July, a period usually not identified with winter ...

Beskid Żywiecki by bike

Beskid Żywiecki by bike
Half-dried lake, Zywiec The idea of this journey is simple: ride bikes in Polish mountains. Everything else can be done without a plan. Our plan is to follow mountain trails and explore small towns on the  way. The trip is also an opportunity to incorporate a healthy lifestyle, keep up fit and enjoy the beauty ...

Prague and the land of cheap beer

Prague and the land of cheap beer
Idyllic views off the main road Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. Despite the recent emergence of hordes of tourists still quite an interesting place with varied historical architecture. However, it is a rich and extensive nightlife that makes every visitor to get to know two sides of the city. In the daylight the ...