While in Europe spring is finally bringing the first warm days, here on the Southern hemisphere, autumn has arrived. Even though we got much more sun here than we would during an average summer in Belgium, the days are shortening fast and at night the temperatures fall quickly. The colours in the woods are amazing and on the top of the mountains the first snow has arrived. By half May a lot of roads will start to close due to snow or avalanche danger. By June the skiing season will be kicked off all around the country. Everybody is now preparing for winter. For us it was a very strange feeling. We noticed that we also started to mentally prepare for winter, cold and darkness. We started thinking about and planning those activities (like skiing) that make winter a bit more bearable, only to realize that we will soon be in Europe again for summer. It really messes with your head
When people used to ask me what my favourite country was I always told them that I love different places for different reasons but that the most beautiful country is New Zealand. But as memories faded and new places (Himalaya, Patagonia, etc.) were visited, Kiwi land got some serious competition. But in just 3 weeks NZ managed to claim back its spot at the top hands down. The variety of different landscapes in this country is really incredible. From pristine beaches and bays, lush green hills, desert like plateaus to volcanoes, glaciers, fjords and other alpine scenery; NZ has it all on such a small surface. It seems like mother nature has combined all her forces on the land to make it look as beautiful as possible; volcanic activity on the North Island to create volcanoes and geysers; tectonics to push up mountain ranges on the South Island; the full forces of the ocean from all sides to form bays and beaches; and a couple of ice ages to build glaciers that would carve out the fjords. Continue reading
Nearly seven years ago I visited New Zealand for the first time. In a bit less than a month I travelled all around the country on both North and South Islands. A month may seem like a long time but it is not nearly long enough to see the whole of New Zealand (NZ). To everyone planning to go there, I would suggest to foresee at least 1,5 month: three weeks for the North and four weeks for the South Island. If not you will probably end up like me rushing through the country and constantly making mental notes “I have to come back here to do this and there to do that”. The reason why I chose to come back to NZ on this trip was precisely that: filling in the gaps, doing those things I didn’t get to do last time. With only 3 weeks and a pretty long list we would need to be quick and flexible.