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5 great alternative winter sports

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Overcrowded slopes, skis constantly getting crossed up, or trauma from that skiing course in kindergarten – there are plenty of reasons not to like skiing. But for anyone who would still like to swish around through the snow and ice, we have found five alternative winter sports for you!

 

1. Ice Climbing

Climbing up a frozen waterfall: Granted, it’s not a sport for the faint of heart. But the person who dares will probably experience a unique combination of sport and nature. As a paradise for ice climbing in Europe, Norway, due to the low temperatures, has countless frozen waterfalls because freeze has many different climbing routes of varying difficulties for interested parties.

 
Foto: flickr, gego2605

Foto: flickr, gego2605

 
Foto: flickr, gego2605

Foto: flickr, gego2605

 
Foto: flickr, subflux

Foto: flickr, subflux

 
Foto: flickr, subflux

Foto: flickr, subflux

 

Also, ice climbing is possible in some other parts of Europe like Austria – here you will find some useful advice.

 

2. Snowshoes

Walking through the snow with two gizmos that look like tennis rackets on your feet. The practice we remember from old movies about mountain climbing has now become fashionable again: what’s great about snowshoeing is that you can walk through the winter landscape independently of trails or cross-country tracks. But before going out on a snowshoe adventure, you should definitely find out about the area, because animals may under no circumstances be disturbed, and on isolated routes you have to pay attention to the possibility of avalanches! One popular area for snowshoeing is the Bavarian Forest.

 
Foto: flickr, Bad Kleinkirchkeim

Foto: flickr, Bad Kleinkirchkeim

 
Foto: flickr, Giò

Foto: flickr, Giò

 
Foto: flickr, Joannie Dennis

Foto: flickr, Joannie Dennis

 

3. Snowkiting

As the name suggests, two sports are combined in this sport: snowboarding (or perhaps skiing) and kiting, that is, flying a kite. Speeds of 45 mph or more can be achieved – and you can ride the mountain in all directions. Experienced participants make an impression with complex jumps. Here you can find some advice on where to snowkite in Europe or the US.

 
Foto: flickr, a4gpa

Foto: flickr, a4gpa

 
Foto: flickr, a4gpa

Foto: flickr, a4gpa

 
Foto: flickr, Henning Leweke

Foto: flickr, Henning Leweke

 

4. Dog sled rides

Dog sleds: In Alaska, Greenland, or the Arctic they are a means of transportation, but they are also used for specialized races. City dwellers can even try special introductory courses in this nostalgic vehicle. Riding with excited, playful Siberian Huskies through Lapland, being pulled through the Canadian hinterland, sweating in the sauna afterwards – definitely a more comfortable alternative to the snowmobile!

 
Foto: flickr, Jamie In Bytown

Foto: flickr, Jamie In Bytown

 
Foto: flickr, Christine Zenino

Foto: flickr, Christine Zenino

 
Foto: flickr, star5112

Foto: flickr, star5112

 
Foto: flickr, m.prinke

Foto: flickr, m.prinke

 

5. Snow bikes

It sounds like the perfect sport for cyclists: snow biking. What the snow bike, also called snow bob, doesn’t have is pedals made, but it does have a saddle and a handlebar. For the curious, an introductory course is recommended: You will learn not only how to ride the bike, to use the brakes and to accelerate, but also how to get the thing onto a ski lift without hurting yourself.

 
Foto: wikimedia commons,  Bernd Brenter.

Foto: wikimedia commons, Bernd Brenter.

 
Foto: wikimedia commons,  Bernd Brenter.

Foto: wikimedia commons, Bernd Brenter.

 
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10 of the most impressive bridges in the world

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They allow us to cross rivers safely and without getting wet, to pass from one district to another, or even to enter a different country altogether. But in many cases they not only fulfill such practical purposes but are architectural masterworks in their own right. Let’s pause for a moment, and marvel at ten of the most impressive bridges worldwide that simply take our breath away.

1. The Helix Bridge in Singapore

Photo: flickr, Jeffery Wong.

Opened as recently as in 2012, the Helix Bridge in Singapore is the first and youngest on our list. Visitors can cross the 918ft (280m) long bridge and gaze at Singapore’s skyline from five different viewing platforms.
The design of the bridge is based on the strands of human DNA – the Double Helix Model – which is most obvious at night, when the bridge is radiant in different colors. This is when you will also see the illuminated letters c, g, a, and t, the initals representing the components of human DNA (cytosine, guanine, adenine, and thymine). Read More »

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5 gigantic monuments

Filed under Culture, Curiosities
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They will stand firmly in place for many decades, perhaps centuries, and turn the people in their shadows into awesome dwarves. Apparently the only thing that is life-size about the following five oversized and imposing monuments is their creators – monuments given the difficult task of anchoring in global memory heroes, milestones, and ideologies.

Now we can admit it: these unique items chosen by us do not necessarily fall in the same size range. In one way or another, however, each stands out, each tells a special story of its people.

 

1. The Equestrian Statue of Genghis Khan

At about 131 feet high, the statue of Genghis Khan (including the nearly 33-foot-high edifice on which it stands) is the largest equestrian statue in the world. It was built a few miles southeast of the Mongolian capital, Ulan Bator. At this location the commander Genghis Khan, according to legend, found the golden whip that his steely likeness proudly holds in his hand.

 
Photo: flickr, Michel Heininger.

Photo: flickr, Michel Heininger.

 
Photo: flickr, Ludovic Hirlimann.

Photo: flickr, Ludovic Hirlimann.

 

At about 98 feet above the ground, you can enjoy a breathtaking view from the head of Genghis Khan’s horse, and without too much trouble, as an elevator and a staircase will lead visitors to the viewing platform.

The Great Khan was immortalized for good reason: it was he who conquered vast territories in Asia and finally united the Mongol Empire. You may have heard that according to genetic research, one out of every 200 men in the world shares genetic material with the legendary womanizer. Read More »

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5 spooky places in Europe

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Apropos, through 10/31 you can get the whole Europe Package for only 19.99 EUR in the tripwolf app!

 

Halloween is knocking on the door, and in a few days you will be confronted by witches, vampires, and killer clowns. Doesn’t matter whether your costume is a white sheet with holes cut out or Freddy Krueger with an elaborate mask — you can experience the liberating pleasure of being terrified (well, a least a little).

The following places in Europe do not restrict their goosebumps potential to Halloween but will run a shiver down your spine all year long.

 

1. The Sanatorium of Beelitz (Brandenburg, Germany)

More than 100 years ago, the construction of military hospital in Beelitz began; until the fall of the Iron Curtain pulmonary tuberculosis patients stayed here. The buildings were also used as a military hospital during both world wars. Despite the advancing decay of the complex (or perhaps because of it), the sanatorium today has the typical morbid atmosphere that is the norm for abandoned hospitals and institutions and thus attracts many adventurers for guided tours. Visitors often suppose to hear echoing throughout the halls the cries of the patients who had to undergo operations without anesthesia, due to a shortness of medication.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/happy_peanuts/6379682475

Photo: flickr, Thomas Geersing

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How to make the most of a rainy trip

Filed under general, Travel Tips
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Guest article by Elisabeth Magesacher (translated from German).

 

Wet socks, cabin fever, not to mention the vain battle you and your umbrella fight against the wind in order not to take off like Mary Poppins. Rain during your vacation can really give you the blues. But that’s no reason to give up hope! Here are five recommendations on how to make the most of a rainy trip.

 
Rainy New York - a special play of colors. Photo: flickr, Sarah Alaica.

Rainy New York – a special play of colors. Photo: flickr, Sarah Alaica.

 

1. Try something new

Rain during your trip is the ideal opportunity to start a new activity, maybe something you normally wouldn’t have considered doing. For example: visit a cooking class! Cooking classes are the ideal way of getting to know a country through its culinary culture, and you can meet like-minded travelers and learn new recipes to impress future dinner guests with back at home. And as you can feast on your homemade exotic meal at the end of class, you save yourself looking for an restaurant for the eveneing in the rain! Read More »

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5 surreal underwater places

Filed under Adventure
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Sightseeing usually takes place on the surface, on solid ground and with sufficient air to breathe. However, those who have the license and the know-how to breathe compressed air out of a scuba tank have a completely different range of possibilities when it comes to choosing sights to visit. Under the surface of the water everything appears in a different light – the following 5 underwater sites will not only fascinate those who scuba dive and snorkel, but everyone who loves unusual places!

 

1. Chuuk Lagoon (Micronesia)

Lying as it does midway between Hawaii and the Philippines, the Chuuk Atoll has its strategic location to thank for the fact that it has been passed around among different nations throughout history. Here, the Japanese built a well-equipped marine base with a massive fleet that was bombed in 1944 with the loss of a large number of aircraft and ships to the sea. The ghost ships and planes now lie about 20 meters under the surface in the Micronesian Pacific and have created an eerie and unusual underwater world. Wreck divers can experience history preserved there and explore the remains surrounded by rich marine life.

 

Photo: flickr, mattkieffer

Sunken wrecks at the Chuuk Atoll. Photo: flickr, mattkieffer

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Autumn Leaves: 5 travel destinations

Filed under general, Guest articles
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Guest post by Elisabeth Magesacher.

 

It’s undeniable. Whether it’s promenades through colorful autumn forests, city trips or a late seaside vacation during the off-season: autumn is a great time for traveling! These 5 destinations are especially attractive even late in the year.

 

Tours (France)

Half-timbered houses, little boutiques, narrow alleyways, cafés and boulangeries – the charming little French city of Tours always is an attractive spot to visit. In autumn, though, this area is especially lively when all the students return to revive the scene and the city’s cultural offerings resurrect. Situated alongside the Loire, Tours is also the ideal homebase for trips to its rich surroundings, for example the Châteaus of the Loire valley. Most of them are preserved pretty well and impressive both on the outside and the inside. After visiting the noble château, how about some recreation time and a picknick in the palace garden? Très français.

 

Der gemütliche Place Plumereau in Tours. Foto: flickr, Roger Wollstadt.

The cosy Place Plumereau in Tours. Foto: flickr, Roger Wollstadt.

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It’s tapped! The Oktoberfest Survival Guide 2014

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Munich in autumn isn’t all beer, pretzels and short dirndl dresses – in order for you to enjoy your time outside of beer tents as well, you can now download the tripwolf Munich guide for free until the end of the Oktoberfest! Have fun!

On September 20th, the (in-)famous Oktoberfest festivities begin in Munich – new Mayor Dieter Reiter will give the beer tap a mighty blow at noon precisely and announce, “It’s tapped!” for the 181st annual celebration. Together with the guys behind the MyWiesn Secrets app in Munich, we have once more created the most up-to-date Oktoberfest Survival Guide 2014 so you can enjoy the Oktoberfest adventure to the fullest.

Each year, 6 million people come from all over the world and guzzle millions of pints of beer and over 500,000 roast chickens. Any “Zuagroaste” (as residents of Munich lovingly call newcomers) standing at the gate of the Theresienwiese for the first time might be forgiven for asking: “How the hell do I find my way through this sea of intoxicated people, tents, beer gardens and sausage stands?”

 

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Answer: The tripwolf Oktoberfest 2014 Survival Guide

 

What to wear? The right outfit

The gentleman slips into his Kracherte (leather pants) and Haferlschuhe (Bavarian rugged shoes), while the lady opts for a dirndl – ranging from the traditional long cotton dirndl to sexy couture. Read More »

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Five travel health myths and what’s actually true – expert information from travel doctors

Filed under Health
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The main travel season is upon us, and everywhere backpackers, city trippers and entire families are setting off on their summer holidays. Wherever their trip takes them, their health should be an issue they always pay attention to. While some may choose to neglect this topic, others might be unsettled by health myths. In order to bring some light into the mix of rumors and half-truths, we met with experts in the field of travel health and asked them about health myths on the road. To keep you well-informed from the start of your vacation, Dr. Ursula Hollenstein and Dr. Georg Stühlinger of the “Traveldoc” travel health center in Vienna, share their insights into five of the most persistent myths on travel health.

 
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Photo: flickr, Erik (HASH) Hersman

 

Travel myths are widespread. Everyone who likes to travel has come across one or other of them. The increasing flood of information on health and illness from the internet offers instant access to an amount of data that, if not explained properly, can be too much for or misleading for the lay reader. Moreover, travel stories from friends and acquaintances who have heard rumors or had individual experiences themselves, can often not be generalized and should be met with caution. Finally, myths and wrong information can be spread by self-proclaimed experts at the destination. Unfortunately, this information can point people in the wrong direction and is potentially dangerous. While well-trained medical professionals in a trustworthy health care system can usually give reliable advice about the health situation in a country, this is less the case for ex-pats living there or even locals without well-founded medical knowledge, and even less so for one-time travelers with a lack of experience. Here are some of the most persistent rumors about travel health. Read More »

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Treasures and secrets in Copenhagen

Filed under Copenhagen, Denmark
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A city like Copenhagen can be comfortably sailed throughout its neighborhoods, and be admired from a genuine perspective.
Can you imagine contemplating the Little Mermaid from the water, while she stares at you from the rocks? It is ironic, but a recommended experience!

The famous Little Mermaid, as seen on many a touristy  Copenhagen photos -- Alex Dantart

The famous Little Mermaid, as seen on many a touristy Copenhagen photos. Photo: Alex Dantart

This famous sculpture’s position is very different depending on the season: at high tide, as in winter, she looks like a small dark figurine surrounded by waves. In summer, the sculpture seems to come closer, becoming more accessible at low tide. As she can be reached from the pedestrian promenade, many people can not resist the temptation to touch it, or even climb it… The Little Mermaid literally lost her head twice! Read More »

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