Lake Iseo: traveling in the Covid period

Lake Iseo, also known as Sebino, is the fourth largest lake in the north of Italy, fed by the Oglio river. Lake Iseo retains its natural beauty, with its lush green mountains surrounding the crystal clear lake. Several medieval towns around the lake could be charming to visit and reachable by car or, if you want a particular experience, by a self-drive boat ride or with a regular ferry service.

In the middle of the lake there are Montisola island (the biggest European lakeside island) and the two private island of Loreto and San Paolo

From where I live, in the north of Italy near Milan, it’s only 1 hour and a half drive, most of all on the highway and only the last but suggestive part on a provincial road: “The Franciacorta Wine Road”.

I left my home quite early in the morning and reach my hotel on the lake almost at midday. The check-in at the Rivalago Hotel has been fast and, also, each operation concerned with the Covid Security has been quick and straightforward. Don’t forget your mask: you will wear it only in the common part of the hotel if you can’t attend 1 meter of distance between you and the other guests. There are also sanitizing gels everywhere in the hotel and the staff is very attentive at your security.

The overall experience at the Rivalago Hotel is fantastic. The atmosphere is delightful, the room is spacious and the view from your junior suite terrace is impressive. And what about drinking at sunset a glass of Franciacorta wine?

In this region you can enjoy a lot of experiences, hiking, sunbathing, swimming…I choose to drive a boat for 2 days to explore the lake: on Sunday there were lots of people but on Monday, yes I decided to retake the boat, we had almost all the lake for us. I took some pictures and drone videos in front of the island of Loreto during the golden hour. So fabulous there, almost alone, fully immersed into the nature, the fresh water, the gentle breeze, the warm sun. This spot was perfect to feel inside the power of the weekend.

Hardergrat Trail – an epic hike

It’s not just a trail. It’s a thrilling journey where you will have mental ups and downs, especially when you see all that stretches out ahead of you. It looks impossible, but it’s not, it’s just very, very long. There, at the first stop on the ridge, I rested with that extreme view over the mirror lake. Amazing.

The trail starts quickly to be narrow and scary and the fatigue rises. It’s only at the end, when it’s over, that you will feel the best sensations of freedom and immensity. This is something that will stay with you forever.

It’s 25km long, about 18km are spent on a sharply outlined grassy ridge, with prominent drops on both sides. It’s not for those afraid of exposure, and should never be attempted when wet.

The route is not an official trail, but the path stays on the ridge the entire length. However, the steepest section is unprotected and is a downclimb if you are going west to east.

Don’t underestimate this route! An early start is required from Interlaken to make the Brienzer Rothorn’s last train down to Brienz.

The trail is very long and people can take up to 10 or more hours to finish.

Take enough water with you. There isn’t any on the ridge from the Harderkulm station to the Brienzer Rothorn and during summer time it could be scorching when you are hiking the steepest part of the trail.

Do you want to know the story that stays behind my personal experience on the Hardergrat trail? Let’s go on reading…

In 2017 I was in Hawaii for the Honeymoon. In those mountains, I found one of the most dangerous hikes in the world. I was not ready to attempt it but it became an obsession! I promised myself that I would have hiked the Moanalua when I would have been prepared for it. So I came back and started studying for any hike that looked similar to the Moanalua and found the Hardergrat trail. I couldn’t wait to attempt it. I was so excited. I planned my three days trip to Interlaken almost one year later. It was July 2018 when I hiked the Hardergrat the first time. I started at 4:30 am to hike the first section from Interlaken to the Harder Kulm. I started the real trail at 7:30 from the Harder Kulm station to the Augstmatthorn and ended it at 8 pm when I throw the backpack on my room’s moquette so enthusiast for my effort and leave me to rest on the sofa, notably tired but very happy. It has been a weird experience. I did it again in 2019. It so magical up there when the wind blows, hitting your face and moving your hair in that immense place full of freedom.

The abandoned hotel in Switzerland “revives” today on social networks … with some thrills

Italian Article on press journal “Il Messaggero

The Photographer Luca Oliveri shared with his followers a clip about this abandoned hotel in Switzerland «This hotel was built in 1882 and is now abandoned. Its charm scares me and seduces me at the same time. Would you spend a night here alone?

The hotel in question is the Belvédère Hotel and is located in the Furka Pass. Here has been shot the famous scene of 007 – Goldfinger, with James Bond (Sean Connery) on a secret mission in these enchanted places …

Since the end of the 19th century, when the Furka Pass road was built, tourists have flocked to the hotel for its panoramic views over the icy landscape. The glacier was once only a 600-foot walk from the hotel and a 300-foot long grotto carved into the glacier allowed guests to journey inside.

As the glacier moves farther away from the pass, fewer people visit and the hotel closed indefinitely. Drivers still stop to take pictures of the building and its mountainous backdrop. The building now sits with its doors and windows boarded up, a testament to the passage of time and climate change. 

So Would you spend a night here alone?

Laos – Conscious tourism

Laos is an enigmatic and vivid experience for the adventurous.
It is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the region, reflecting its geographic location as a crossroads of Asia.

Dark and dreamy jungle, bright rice fields and tea leaves that cover the mountains: the landscape romantically changes shades of green.

When it comes to ecotourism, Laos is leading the way. Protected areas are in many of the more remote zones of the country, and community-based trekking initiatives combine these thrilling natural attractions with the chance to encounter the ‘real Laos’ with a village homestay, helping in this way to contribute to the local community and preserve the environment.

Do you know what ”mahout” means?
👨🏽‍🌾🐘
They are who works with elephants. It’s a truly symbiotic life because it’s a work that usually is passed down from father to son and because this boy is accompanied to his elephant since both are adolescents, to grow up together.

During my stay in Laos I visited a farm where I met 13 elephants, all rescued from an exhausting life in logging or other kind of illegal works. The visit contributes to the socialization and reproduction programmes focusing on elephants welfare and interaction. I learned the story, the behavior and relationships with other elephants of Makun🐘 a 45 yo male elephant I played and took pictures with during a nice walk into the laotian jungle.

I thought that this was a good way to support the project and make responsible tourism.

For wild elephants, instead, the main problem is logging because elephants are nomads and they need forest to eat and stay together. Logging transform a big forest into some small distant forest where elephants are confined with lack of food and where they can’t mate if not only into their own family with resulting genetic problems.
Please let’s travel all over the world but trying to make a ethical and conscious tourism 🙏🏻❤️

Kalalau Trail – Kauai

Oi kau ka lau, E hana I ola HonuaLive your life while the sun is still shining: the wind behind, the ocean beyond, sometimes the rainbows above and mountains and cliffs and Nature next to you. Thank you for making me feel tiny, humble and inspired all at once.

The Kalalau Trail is a truly life experience along Nā Pali Coast of the hawaian island of Kauai. The trail runs approximately 11 miles (18 km) along the island’s north shore from Keʻe Beach to the Kalalau Valley and then to the Kalalau Beach. It’s one of the most beautiful, and dangerous, hikes in the world.

The first section of the trail is a two-mile (3 km) stretch from Keʻe Beach to Hanakapiai stream and beach. Here is where everything begins and from where you need to obtain a camping permit from the Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources. The next section connects Hanakapiai stream to Hanakoa Valley, untile mile six (9 km) and then continues on to Kalalau Valley, a large, flat-bottomed valley almost a mile across. After hiking down Red Hill, it is about a half mile to Kalalau Beach. That last part is amazing, it’s like the most perfect part of the Earth. Plants, flowers, sounds, sea, wind, everything…that last part to the beach it’s the “Garden of Eden”

The narrow trail, three major stream crossings that can rapidly rise when raining, and falling rocks…this is why it’s so dangerous.

But curiosity spurs us to venture further and further and go deep into the wild. And it’s not only a trail, it’s a journey and you need so much time, also after you came back, to understand what you had lived.

When you go after the last part and you “dive” into the Kalalau Beach, you find a surreal world. Many travelers believe that a place can leave an everlasting mark on your heart and soul. Like this beach does! Here is where the spectrum of emotions you’ll go through, when experiencing one more amazing sunset, makes you understand that once you’ve had it, you’ll always want it. Wait for it! You will discover, I hope, the most beautiful thing that my eyes have ever seen on Earth. The most peaceful, energetic, exciting place.

The perfection of the Planet explodes while I am amazed to admire this immense, surreal beauty.

I felt lost in a land where there is neither space nor time as we know it, but that wraps the continuous evolving of things with a magic bubble.

Devastating! Unpredictable!

It’s like living in the time machine, you go back to the past and relive it with the awareness of the present, you return to the present in a temporal connection with the past to live it with enthusiasm and love. You have no mental or human boundaries over there. You feel inside this magic bubble or inside another unreal planet. Laws, physics, human beings are different when you find the fairness of the Eden.

Thank you Matt Kievlan

Overwhelmed by the perfection of this beach, embedded in an ancient casket, bordered by sacred peaks. The glow of the sun’s rays, shortly after dawn, gradually affects the color on the sharpest ridges, setting them on fire with green, brown, orange, yellow and perfumes that, like gold, inebriate the senses. And the chirping of birds everywhere. And the ocean waves at least three meters high. The waterfall, the palm trees, the campfire. The human smile of unknown friends.

And then just the chills down my spine for something I can’t forget.