The Trip of the Sunrises. Israel, Wadi Dragot

Wadi Dragot, probably the most challenging and spectacular canyon in the Judean Desert

Away from a bustling and never sleeping Tel Aviv and from the prayers rising to the sky from the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, deep in the Judean Desert, winding its way towards The Dead Sea, lies the most scenic and challenging canyon in Israel, Wadi Dragot or Wadi Darga. Nature was particularly generous with the deserts of Israel because for millennia was continuously carving deep hidden valleys, where rapid waterfalls were creating natural pools and high dry falls. Life was thriving in those places and even now a very rich flora and fauna can be found despite the dryness around.  Amazingly, this magnificent place is lesser known to travellers since most of Israel tourism is a religious one and not too many dare to search thoroughly the desert. Although lesser known to the foreign tourist seems to be popular among Israelis in search for some adrenaline rush because this particular trail is difficult and spectacular at the same time. I can’t say I knew about it either, but somehow, the choices I made during this trip took me right in the vicinity of this astonishing place.

The Trip of the Sunrises. Israel, Wadi Dragot

Roque Nublo, The Clouded Rock of Gran Canaria

Roque Nublo, the pillar of heaven and the most iconic landmark of Gran Canaria

 

The tallest standing rock, 80m, Roque Nublo defies gravity, seeming that it needs just a push to fall in one of the steep valleys around it. Probably one day it will. But till then, it will continue to guard over the island. Same as its brother Roque Bentayga, it is a volcanic plug made of basalt, a reminiscence of Caldera de Tejeda. It is the world biggest natural crags of volcanic origin and it stands at 1813m altitude.  After its conception, the forces of nature were constantly shaping and chiselling it for millions of years. The volcanic activity that gave birth to Roque Nublo happened 4,5 million years ago. Durig this period it was carved out from the bulk of the Island by the skilled hands of forces of nature while it was looking at this brother in pain Pico del Teide on the neighbouring Tenerife Island.

Roque Nublo, The Clouded Rock of Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria Island, probably one of the most spectacular Canary Islands

Another day, anther epic road on this stunning island

My second day on Gran Canaria Island begins early in the morning while sipping my coffee on the terrace. Our small casita rural was placed in Barranco Saint Bartolome the Tirajana 7 km from Maspalomas. It was rented with Airbnb and by far the best choice. I liked it more than a 4 stars hotel. Cosy and surrounded by silence gave me the perfect environment to enjoy my morning coffee. The air was crisp and I was drinking my coffee while Carlos Mendes the cat was still trying to jump on my lap. Since I did not want to accept downloading fleas from him I tried to ignore his cute glance that was following my moves. Somewhere, in the distance, a parrot was annoyingly trying to show that he can sing. I bet none told him that he should stick to his day job. Every sip of coffee was sending waves of heat through my body. I was waking up little by little. There was no wifi, therefore, I was disconnected from the rest of the world. The cup of coffee and I were sharing a moment…It was divine!

It was the second day and after doing the exploring in the first day we were thinking to hit the beach. The pleasures of the ocean were one of the reasons I came here in the middle of Winter after all.

The search for the less windy beach that day took us to the North of Gran Canaria Island, to Puerto de las Nieves.

Gran Canaria Island, probably one of the most spectacular Canary Islands

Epic trail. Masca Gorge, Tenerife Island

Rough, spectacular, wild…only a few attributes of this exhilarating  Pirates trail

I did some travelling since my visit to Tenerife and although I saw some beautiful places, Tenerife remains one of my favourite places. Sure, Portugal is also running for this place but Tenerife and Portugal are two different experiences…

There were many things which made me adore Tenerife but this time I will talk about the most spectacular trail I EVER DONE, Masca Gorge.

Masca Gorge is part of Teno Rural Park placed on the west of the island. It is one of the most sensational parts of the islands and if you happen to land at Tenerife Sur airport during the day you cant miss it. When approached  by car is not less spectacular, the road is winding through some scenic landscape. Indulge yourself with some adrenalin by crossing the park taking the road from Santiago del Teide to Buenavista del Nte. It will be worth it. If you add some fog , wind and twilight the fun is guaranteed. Proceed with cautious, though. The road is appealingly beautiful but none the less dangerous.

Epic trail. Masca Gorge, Tenerife Island

Lefkada again. Greece on the road.

Lefkada, a unique beauty with mesmerising blue waters washing its shores

It was those incredible blue waters that made me return to Lefkada. I could not stay away nor miss it. I could not have a road trip through Greece without going to Lefkada. I just couldn`t.

I left Corfu with no regrets. Two days are not enough for an island to visit, but it was enough for me. In my mind, I could already see myself wandering on the west coast Lefkada. From Igoumenitsa where the ferry left us after crossing the sea we took, the road E55. 135 km road to Lefkada is passing through some scenic landscape. Lefkada is an island connected to the mainland by a mobile bridge so it does not involve crossing the sea with a ferry. Be aware, thou, after you cross the mobile bridge you might encounter the “greeting committee“. This “greeting committee“ has the sole purpose to collect money for the budget so you might find yourself being fined without knowing why. Don`t worry they will find a reason. I am saying this because we had  the “pleasure “ of meeting this committee and our contribution to the budget was 40 euros.  The irony of the situation was that they accused Crina of speeding when she definitely was not. Don`t get me wrong, she is far from being a saint, speeding is her middle name. But that particularly moment she was not speeding at all.

Lefkada again. Greece on the road.

Greece on the Road. Parga

“There is a path in my garden which leads to my hidden place.
There is a place in my garden which is my secret space.
There is a space in my garden which is my little Heaven..Parga, Greece“  The Lonely Traveler

Parga…Parga, it is indeed my little piece of heaven…But wait…I forgot an essential thing.,What the hell is Parga!? I know. There aren`t may of you who know what Parga is so I should clarify this mystery.

Parga is a small town on the north-west coast of Greece in the region of Epirus. It is famous for its scenic beauty and the architectural style has French and Venetian influences. It was the only free village under the Ottoman Occupation and they fought along with the Venetians from Corfu Island against the Turks.

Greece on the Road. Parga

Greece. On the road series

Crossing Greece from Kavala on the East coast to Parga on the West coast. 495 km on Egnatia Odos Highway through mountainous regions of  Thrace and Epirus

Greece! YES!!! This time was going to happen and I could not wait to be again on the road. Packed as always more than I need it and we hit the road…If in Montenegro were three of us, this time, it was just Crina and I. Me as always being in charge of the navigation.

From Bucharest to Kavala are 569 km and to get there we had to cross Bulgaria where I discovered that besides navigation I had to do some camera spotting and traffic police spotting too in order to avoid getting any fine for speeding. This spotting business kept me alert and I did not realise when we crossed the border with  Greece at Makaza.

Greece. On the road series

Road trip to Portugal. Exploring Algarve

Driving 575 km from Porto to Lagos in Algarve. 575 km of pure delight for the sight, driving mostly on the coastal roads passing by such breathtaking and wild shoreline

The second stage of my trip took me from Porto to Lagos in Algarve or should I say south of the country.  Since I have done the 575 km in one day it felt like an intensive course about Portugal`s coastal area. It was not a trip carefully planned. All I knew were the hotels I was supposed to stay at and the dates, therefore, all the places I saw were just randomly picked following my inner compass. Needless to say that I am quite satisfied with it. I  love the ocean. All I wanted was to drive as much as possible on the coastal roads and to catch the sunset on my way to Algarve. Which…I did. Road trip to Portugal. Exploring Algarve

The road trip through Portugal. Porto

Three days of wandering on the roads of North of Portugal starting from Porto,  going along the Atlantic coastline, browsing Douro riverbanks and deepening  in the surprisingly beautiful and picturesque countryside

It is already a tradition for me to find a place where to escape  the winter. One of the main conditions is  the sea proximity. If last year I chose Tenerife, this year I was again at the Atlantic but, this time, I was watching it from the Portuguese shores. Exactly!!! Portugal was my playing ground this winter and I loved it! Every minute of it! Every mile of almost 3000km driven through this surprisingly beautiful country. Because I am telling you this, I was not expecting to be so impressed by its natural beauty!!!!

The road trip through Portugal. Porto

Tenerife, in my books, is number one travel destination for 2016

The forces of nature had to collide in order to bring to the surface this wonder of nature, Tenerife…

I have to admit, I had Tenerife in my mind for a while now. Most of been the Winter or maybe the fact that last year I was packing my bags, destination..Tenerifeee!!!

The general impression is that Tenerife is an island where one can sit on the beach and enjoy the holiday in some resort. For most people it probably is, but for me, Tenerife represents a fantastic island with the most stunning landscape I ever saw.

Might be its volcanic nature which make it so dangerously attractive to me, or maybe the fact that even while up in the air the volcano Pico del Teide looks like a lighthouse in a sea of clouds letting me know that there, in the vastness of Atlantic Ocean there is an island which has so much to reveal to me. Well.. I can continue blabbering and bore you to death, or I can go straight to the point.

Tenerife, in my books, is number one travel destination for 2016