• Queenstown
    Travel experiences

    Queenstown: 360° adrenaline

    Queenstown, ”the adventure capital of the world”, is known for its extreme adventure activities and adrenaline-filled experiences. Unlike the capital Wellington’s quirky vibe, this small town has the feeling of a mountain resort in the Northern Hemisphere despite that New Zealand is considered an exotic destination. A few streets cross the town center and the adrenaline rush is in the air. Most of the stores offer outdoors equipment, river jet boats depart the harbor, paragliders navigate the sky, and bungee jumpers scream of excitement (or fear). Extreme activities are not my cup of tea and most likely I  won’t do anything crazy to skyrocket my heartbeat. However, after admiring the…

  • Wellington
    Travel experiences

    Wellington: beware the strong winds

    We arrive in Wellington, the world’s windiest city, on a night bus. The bunk beds barely fit us; after a long hike the previous day, we sleep with the hiking clothes and shoes on. Like the rest of kiwis, Wellingtonians are masters of sincere small talk. They are not just polite, they really mean it. Cab drivers or hotel receptionists, nearly everyone you meet in Aotearoa, the ”land of the long white cloud”, is happy to talk to you for a few minutes, give you some local tips and recommendations. The wind power and lack of air pollution are some of the benefits of being ”Windy Wellington”. Hotel doors warn…

  • Arctic
    Travel experiences

    Chasing the Northern Lights in Arctic Norway

    This is my second try to see the  Northern Lights. The first, 10 years ago in Iceland, wasn’t planned. I happened to be there in December and booked a trip to chase the Green Fairy. It was raining and the tour was canceled without any refund or a free second attempt. Proper preparations, a lot of research, and luck are necessary to see Aurora Borealis, including when and where to go and how to photograph it. That’s why I was skeptical to go on a Northern Lights cruise from Kirkenes to Tromsø and to leave everything to a mere chance. Eventually, I decided to join a group of enthusiastic women…