Crazy Spring Break Trip in the Pyrenees, France

     Once upon a time, a friend called and told me we should do something for Spring Break. I was under high pressure with the thesis I had to write for graduation. A few days away wouldn’t be of any harm. So, we organized a four day trip to the Pyrenees, in an area right next to the border to Spain. We were five people : two Czech friends, one Moroccan, one German and I. Continue reading

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An Unforgettable Day on the Isle of Skye, Scotland

Classic Scottish scenery. Rainfalls over Kirkibost.     After a pretty rainy Saturday on the Cuillin ridge, only a few of us wanted to go climbing again on Sunday. The forecast wasn’t positive, but we wanted to fully enjoy our trip on the Isle of Skye. We left the inn in the early morning, and with the mini van of the Strathclyde University Mountaineering Club we drove to the South of the island. We separated into two groups. One group was going hiking along the shore in the Strathaird area, while the other one was going to climb the mountain of Bla Bheinn (982m/3045ft). I was on the second team, with my two mates from France, and my friends from Czech Republic and Greece. Continue reading

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The Country of Baguettes From a Romanian Perspective

eiffel tower dusk parisLadies and gents, let me please introduce you a Romanian friend who wrote this brilliant article on her experience in France. Orel.

     As I am slowly but steadily approaching the end of my stay in France, I’ve decided to write something about my experience in here in order to treasure this memory in another way than just in my head and my heart

I’m a Romanian Erasmus student in Nantes, France, and I only came here for the second semester, so that left me with 4 months of constantly struggling to keep up with everything that goes on, with all of the changes in my life. Continue reading

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Backpacking in Europe : Oslo

Oslo Harbor at night

The harbor of Oslo at night from the fortress.

     Oslo was a great adventure. The journey is memorable, because we almost didn’t make it to the airport. The city was nice and the people welcoming. The weather was ideal although it was already cold in October. Surviving three days in the most expensive city on Earth was a hell of a challenge, but an interesting experience! Continue reading

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From Canada to the United States of America

     I am in Montreal, Quebec. It’s a Saturday, it’s 8pm, and it’s crazy hot outside. There’s a big festival in town and the streets are packed. My brother and I arrive at the station, which looks more like a nightclub right now. The music coming from the scene set up in the park nearby fills the air and the melody invades every corner of the station. It’s hard to think that we’ll be so far away from this place in a few hours. Around us people are chilling and dancing and laughing. Everybody’s having a good time and so are we. But something weird is happening to me. My body is here, but my mind’s already gone. And I also have this feeling, which I like, of having nothing but my daypack in my possession. I feel free, and at the same time very vulnerable. It’s just awesome. Continue reading

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Paragliding Anecdote, French Alps

     We were in the minivan, driving up the mountain to the launching site. The group was enthusiastic and we were hoping that the incoming darkish clouds would go away.

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Wandering Around Tyndrum: Ben Lui and Ben Oss

Wonderful colors over Loch Fyne (or is it Loch Long? I'm not sure)     After our trek from Glencoe to Fort William, we wanted to go camping again in the Highlands, before the beginning of the winter. We found the perfect location for a two days trek: Tyndrum. Tyndrum is  a small Scottish village that lies in between three little mountains, at the end of the Strath Fillian valley and the beginning of the Valley of Glen Lochy. Not far from the village, behind the woods and the hills, an adventurous hiker will discover fascinating places. One of these places is the mysterious mountain of Ben Lui, and its surrounding munros, Ben Oss and Beinn Dubhchraig. Continue reading

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Hiking in the Loch Awe Region : The Dalmally Horseshoe

Highland cow posing in front of the horseshoe ridge of Stob Diamh     Until this hike, we had always chosen our hikes in the same area. So this time, we decided to explore another place. Our plan was to do the Dalmally Horseshoe. The route included the ascent of Stob Diamh, a Munro located North of Loch Awe and south of Loch Etive. We were four people on the trip: my Slovakian neighbor and friend, my hiking buddy from Sweden and my mate from the French military. We met at the Buchanan Bus Station of Glasgow, and caught the first bus to Oban, around 7am. Today was going to be a good day! Continue reading

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Caving Trip in Lozère, France

          Caves are weird! They seem to be the opposite of Cave abyssthe open air: dark and austere. They scare and fascinate us at the same time, and are often used in literature and cinema to evoke anguish and fear. But what are they really like? Two friends and I took a trip underground, to see what’s going on down there.

We started our journey with an early walk in the mountains. Our guide brought us to a big crag. It wasn’t raining, but we could hear rumbles of thunder now and again. We put our suits and harnesses on and rappelled the entrance shaft. We spent six hours in the cave. Continue reading

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Climbing Ben Nevis from the Nevis Gorge (Giubhsachan Valley)

The valley of Allt Coire Giubhsachan, South-East of Ben Nevis

The valley of Allt Coire Giubhsachan, southeast of Ben Nevis

The sun hadn’t risen yet but the sky was clear. The surroundings were lit up by a particularly powerful moonbeam. The frosty grass was crackling under my feet as I walked to the Giubhsachan river. The place was intensely quiet. I looked up at the mountains. The Ben Nevis wasn’t in sight, hidden by the Meall Cumhann hill. Today was going to be a long day.

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A Day in the Mamore Mountains

Sunset from our campsite in Glen Nevis

Sunset from our campsite in Glen Nevis. We settled in a field of ruins. The area was so quiet, the atmosphere magical…

    This is the second day of my first trek through the Highlands. We were supposed to follow the West Highland Way from Kinlochleven to Fort William, but for some reason we chose to cut through the Mamores.  After our day on the Aonach Eagch, we stopped at Kinlochleven to buy some food at the grocery store. Then, left the village and made our way  along the Bà river until Stob a’ Chairn. From there to the Nevis valley, it took us a few hours. The path was interesting and the landscape incredible. Continue reading

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What the Aonach Eagach Ridge Taught Me

Meall Dearg (953), most exposed section of the ridge, most of all when you have no rope.

Meall Dearg (953m), exposed section of the ridge, especially with 12kg bakpacks

      It was my first trip to the Scottish Highlands and I didn’t really know what to expect. We hadn’t meticulously studied the maps, we just knew we’d have three days to get to the train station of Fort William from the village of Glencoe. Our first idea was to get to Kinlochleven on the first day, and then safely follow the West Highland Way.

I can tell you now that we didn’t follow the plan at all. We thought it’d be faster and more fun to cut straight through the mountains instead of trekking in the valleys. So, we ended up crossing the famous Aonach Eagach ridge on the first day, making our way through the Mamores on the second day, and climbing Ben Nevis straight from the Southern valley on the third day. Continue reading

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