Testing new gear on Kynnefjäll - Sweden

Kynnefjäll is a wildmark - one of the more southern wild area of Sweden. Kynnefjäll is partially preserved within a Nature protected area. The woodland is dense and the paths are uneasy, especially in the wet ground. But the quietness is wonderful!

Some information on the trail is available at the Youth Hostel on Kynnefjäll.

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The colors of Al-Mafraq, heading north to the syrian border - Jordan.

Heading north from Amman to the small city of Al-Mafraq - by whom is Zaatari, the second biggest refugee camp of the world! - I discovered the light of the desert and the colors of a neglected mid-size city of the arab world

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Paddling on one of the most beautiful fresh water system - Dalsland - Sweden

Paddling in Dalsland is a unique experience for beginners as for experienced paddlers. The canal system between the lakes allows to paddle from lake to lake for miles. The Dalslands-Nordmarkland (DANO) has arranged wind shelters on various places of the system. But the best thing is still to find a quiet place where to settle the tent as it's allowed to overnight almost everywhere in Sweden.

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More information on Dalsland on the West Swedish tourist page.

A feeling of island - Zeeland - The Netherlands

Crossing bridges or drive over locks instead of taking a boat or a ferry to the multiple islands of Zeeland: The distaster of the 1953 flooding has led the authorities of The Netherlands to build one the greatest dam in the world to protect the low lands. The islands are now connected to the land but the feeling is safe.

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Where to stay ? In Veere during a quiet night in one of the houses of The Campveerse Toren.

Where to have a drink? The best Appeltaart in Zeeland at Suster Anna In Veere.

The colors of Oxford - far away from the colleges - England

Most of the visitors come to Oxford to have an exepensive look at the famous colleges and libraries that shaped the british and international elite. Others are  desesperatly looking for the Harry Potter's Hogwart's Hall.

But Oxford is also a nice bike friendly city to cycle around. The streets with small houses - where You would imagine some presidents ou primes ministers spent their young age - are full of colours.

So: take a bike and try to get a different look at Oxford.

Need a place to fix Your bike or purchase one of this marvellous british Pashley bike: the bike zone looks to be THE place.

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Llyn Cau at spring: another world below Cader Idris - Wales

Spring isn't always as You would expect but it doesn't mean You should stay at home.
If the highest peaks are still frozen and their access might be hazardous, very nice walks with a real moutain feeling lead You to the glaciation time high lakes.

Just below the ridges of Cadair Idris, Llyn Cau is a wonderfull place in a sort of hanging valley. The famous Foxes Path comes just on its shore before the last descent to the valley.

The walk is energic but suitable to all age.

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the autumn with Cader Idris - Wales

The best places to spend the autumn are certainly not the sunny beaches but rather the rainy, cloudy and wet valleys of Wales.
The ever changing light over the landscapes of the Snowdonia National Park will amaze You by the varity of its greens. Wild areas of moorland, lakes, pastures and peaks should be the perfect playground for nature lovers. Tough walks over rough terrain will lead You to remoted places full of legends, old beliefs and natural wonders. The walks are indeed accessible to children (used to moutain walks).

A good place to start a walk over Cader Idris - 2nd highest peak of Snodownia NP - is Dolgellau - a cosy and friendly little town. 

a place to have a cream tea

Coming back from the mountains - wet and exhausted - have a cream tea (tea, scones and clotted cream) at TH Roberts coffee house (Glyndwr Str.): an old victorian shop transformed in a nice café. 

a place to stay?

Need a cosy home to come back to: Under the Thatch! You'll find an original, pretty cottage to stay, for sure!

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heading south from Dhakâ by boat - Bangladesh

Once in Dhakâ, the only thing You wish is to get out of this crowdy, noisy city. With more than 16 millions of inhabitants, the city has one of the most dense population. Leaving the capital, You will have to drive hours in the traffic jams and even more hours on dangerous roads. 

on the moor with kids - Dartmoor - England

Walking the moorland of Dartmoor, feeling the cold rain, the damp soil, the strong wind and the loneliness of the landscape.

This wouldn't sound very funny -especially for kids- unless the wilderness of the place. If the walks can be demanding, they are nevertheless easily accessible. Be prepared! A good equipment is needed to enjoy the walks until the end.

As the sun goes down, the best way to celebrate and enjoy the rest after the walk is to have a traditionnally Devon "cream tea" (tea, scones, jam and clotted cream) at the Two-Bridges Hotel. Comfortably seated on the leather sofas by the open fire, under a portrait of Prince Charles, it's time or never to read again "The Hound of the Baskerville's".

A cosy place to stay nearby? Boyton farmhouse in the middle of the fields and sheeps at the step of the moor!

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the old-believers at the confines of Poland

At the eastern confines of Poland, a tiny community of "old believers" - starowiercy: orthodox still refusing a XVIIth century religious reform and things seen as "secular" - is still living in small countryside villages.

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Interview with François Struzik:

scouting: camping for a better world - Belgium

 Every year, thousands of young people - boys and girls- settle their campsite close to the nature: away from their parents, video games and confortable habits, they'll follow the steps of Baden-Powell.

"Ask the boys" would BP say. They have to find solutions by themselves, stick together to achieve their challenges, overpass their own boundaries in order .... to grow up!

Before travelling far, children should  learn to appreciate the nature that surrounds them.

Scouting is also learning to be useful and help others and - most of all - smile and whistle under all difficulties.

World Organization of the Scout movement.

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a treehouse out of Paris - France

At less than two hours of the noisy and enervating capital of France, You will find a small area of quietness. Situated in a private forestry "domaine", 13 wooden huts are expecting You. The quieter will appreciate how remoted the treehouses are located, while the more "adventurous" will greatly enjoy some of the access to one night's nest: ladder, zip, stairways,... each one has its particularity.

The treehouses have no facilities (electricity, water,...) except a dry toilet.... but that's why it's worth to stay.

To accomplish Your treehouse hike, You should definitely have a ride with one of the local horse: Percheron. You will be more thant welcome at the equestrial center "Ecuries des Landes". The owner are really nice, friendly and professionnal with their horses and You will definitly enjoy Your ride on one of their cart in the near by forest.

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Leh: stairway to heaven - Ladakh / India

Before starting Your trek in the Indian Himalayas, You may have to stay a few days in Leh - Ladakh in order to acclimate Yourself to the high altitude (3600 m). If You are lucky enough to enjoy the capital of Ladakh without the massive presence of trekkers and retarded post-hippies, You will appreciate the quietness of a multisecurial city and its discreet stupas, the narrow streets, the gardens of the Old Town and - more than all - the extreme kindness of its inhabitants.

tips and facts:

+ where to stay:

You will find plenty of guest-houses in Leh but none of them is like Greenland: a family run guest-house on Changspa Road, surrounded by an ecological garden. Friendly, clean, ... one of my prefered place on earth! Changspa Road + 91-1982-253 156

+ Having a coffee at Lala's café in the historical center of Leh. The building has been restored by the Tibet Heritage Fund and is the starting point of walks discovering Leh. Sankar House. +91-1981-250175

+ Don't buy bottles of water but fill Your can with clean water at Dzomsa on the Main Bazaar or on Changspa Road. These shops provide also more ecological solutions and products (washing, soap, juices,...) and are run by a local women comitee. +91-1982-250699

+ Try to reduce the environemental footprint of Your stay on the fragile ecosystem of the Himalayas by using public transport, prefering homestay using solar energy, bringing home Your segregated wastes (batteries, plastic,...), reducing the consumption of clean water.

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