A day in Bilbao

I have still so much to tell you about our time in Basque Country. So today I will tell you more about our day trip to Bilbao. Since we were so close by, we decided we couldn’t pass on visiting this city.

We hadn’t planned anything on this trip, so visiting Bilbao wasn’t planned either. We were lucky to come across a lady at the campsite which had visited Bilbao that week and she was so kind to borrow us her guidebook to the city.

So the day before we looked into what the sights where in Bilbao and we asked some tips from the owners of the campsite.

One of the tips they gave us was not to take the train there, because it would take very long, but to drive up and park at the Bilbao Expedition Centre on the outskirts of the city. There is a metro station right there and when you take the metro into the city and you return to the parking lot, which is huge by the way, you insert your parking ticket along with your metro ticket in the meter and you will park an entire day for a couple of cents!

We bought metro tickets to Casco Viejo, Old Town. In Casco Viejo we started our walk around the city. First we strolled along the streets of Casco Viejo, where you will find lots of little restaurants and shops.

We continued our walk past the river towards the Guggenheim Museum, which is one of the 3 Guggenheim Museums around the world.

Bilbao is also famous for it’s bridges, which you will pass on your way to the Guggenheim.
Our neverending wanderlust Bilbao-7495
We didn’t visit the Guggenheim museum itself, but we did wander around the outside of the building. Where you will find the famous Maman from Bourgeois. Maman is a 9 meter high sculpture of a spider. You can stand underneath the spider, since it is situated on the sidewalk in front of the museum.

Along with the art you will find on the outside of the building, the building itself is also a piece of art, because the Guggenheim is an incredible piece of architecture.

If you love to read, Dan Browns new book, Origin, takes place inside the Guggenheim in Bilbao.

After the Guggenheim we continued our walk through Bilbao Centro, which is the new area of Bilbao, where you will find lots of shops and restaurants.

As always there comes an end to the day, so we took the metro back to the parking lot. There are a lot of metro stations situated thorough Bilbao.

We liked Bilbao, but unlike Donostia/San Sebastian we didn’t fall in love with the city. Have you ever been to Bilbao?

 

 

2017 a review

Since 2017 has almost come to an end, I decided it was time to look back on our year. It has been a crazy year, that is for sure, but an amazing one.

2017 was the year that we sold our house and bought a piece of land to build our own home.

It has also been the year were we had to cut back on travel due to work, but even though we had to cut back on travel we did get out and travel as much as we possibly could. Even if that meant staying closer to home.

It was also the year that I decided to become a tourist in my own country, The Netherlands, because there are so many places that I had never been and still haven´t  been.

It was the year we fell in love with the Basque coast and in particular with the beautiful city of Zumaia.

So let me tell you about our top 5 moments of 2017.

1. Selling our house
We listed our house for sale in 2016 and we finally sold it at the beginning of 2017. For us it was a huge step, because it was our first home as a couple. We decided to take a leap and buy a piece of land, so we could realise our dream of building our own home.

2. A two week roadtrip to the Basque coast
This year we went on a two week camping trip to the Basque coast. We were planning on moving around, but we fell in love with the area near Ixtaspe so much that we decided to stay there for our entire vacation. It was a choice I haven’t regretted. We enjoyed all the delicious food, went on some of the most incredible hikes, and we just relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful views.

3. A weekend get away to the Speulderbos

The last weekend of September we took a much needed trip to the beautiful Speulderbos in The Netherlands. Where I participated in a photography workshop about forest photography. The first day we were there we did a hike in the Speulderbos and the second day I had my photography workshop. We got so lucky this weekend, because the weather was so incredibly beautiful for the time of the year. We had sunshine, fog and no rain at all.

4. A day trip to Cap Blanc Nez and Cap Gris Nez in France
In November I went on a day trip to the Cap in France to photograph. The weather was incredible and the views and the food were amazing. I had never been here, even though it is only a two hour drive from where I live. Hence the fact I need to travel more in my own back yard.

 

5. All the trips to the forest
In 2016 I started with photography classes. I have loved to photograph ever since I was a child, but due to study and work I never had the time to take photography classes. After I had finished college in 2015 I decided in 2016 to finally take those photography classes I had always wanted to take.

Since I love to be outdoors and I love to go to the forest, I found my love for forest photography in 2017.  Which leaded to a lot of day trips to the forest in 2017 and even a photography workshop. Pretty much all my spare mornings were spend in the forest and I loved every minute of it. Most of the time I will head out by myself, because I am seriously no fun to go with when I photograph, but I love to be out there by myself, just taking in all the beautiful things the world has to offer.

I hope 2018 will be an equally amazing year as 2017. It will also be a crazy year, since we will start building our home. I hope we get to travel as much as possible, but we already have a three week roadtrip planned. So I can´t wait for all the beautiful things 2018 will bring us.

I hope your year has been as amazing as ours and I wish you a happy new year!

The Speulderbos

Like I told you a while ago we spend the last weekend of september on the Veluwe. I had signed up for a photography workshop that Sunday and since it started at 7 in the morning we decided to make it a weekend getaway.

Ourneverendingwanderlust Speulderbos-1935

We drove up to Garderen on Friday night after work. We stayed at the Bilderberg hotel Speulderbos, where we enjoyed the comforts of a hotel with the forest starting right at the front door.

We were extremely lucky with the weather that weekend, because we had fog in the morning, both on Saturday and Sunday, and a beautiful sunny afternoon. As a photographer I prefer to have some fog when I shoot in the forest.

The first day we didn’t get up super early, but we started the day a bit more relaxed with a breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast we drove up to Drie where we parked the car and hiked a 10km route through the Speulderbos.

We hiked through old forests and through fields of heather and we were lucky to run into the sepherd and his herd. We watched the sheep graze for a while.

Ourneverendingwanderlust Speulderbos-2003

The Speulderbos truly is a magical forest, I had never seen anything like it in The Netherlands.

Because we went in September it was also a great time to go and look for fungi, which is what we did during our hike. There are a lot of different varieties to be found in the Speulderbos and we were lucky to spot quite a few.

After our hike we returned to the parking lot at Boshuis Drie. We wanted to grab some lunch here, but unfortunately there was no free table left. If you want to have lunch here after your hike, make sure to make some reservations beforehand.

We drove back to the hotel to have a small lunch and just relax at the front lawn in the sun before we had dinner.

Have you ever visited the magical Speulderbos?

 

 

 

20 years UNESCO world heritage: Kinderdijk, the Netherlands

This year I decided to become a tourist in my own country, so on december 6th I visited Kinderdijk for the first time. On that day it was also the 20th anniversary of Kinderdijk. They have been an unesco world heritage site since 1997.

Kinderdijk is known for the 19 windmills. You can visit two of the mills, which both house a museum.

At the visitor centre you can also watch a movie about the history of Kinderdijk, there is a guided tour and you can see the windmills from the water.

Because it was the 20th Unesco anniversary of Kinderdijk all the museums were free, otherwise you will pay 8,50 euro for a ticket for both museums for an adult. I highly recommend visiting the mills, because it gives you an insight in how the mills work and what life was like in the mills.

We arrived early in the morning before sunrise, unfortunately it was overcast that day, so no beautiful sunrise pictures.


We did visit both museums though and watched the movie at the visitor centre and we hiked around all the windmills. It truly was a beautiful sight all those windmills lined up allong the water’s edge.

If you are ever closeby I would highly recommend to check out this unesco heritage site in the Netherlands.

Ourneverendingwanderlust Kinderdijk-5179

 

Cap Gris Nez France

Like I wrote in my blog on november 30th I went on a day trip to France to both the Cap Blanc Nez and the Cap Gris Nez at the end of November. We spend the day at Cap Blanc Nez and headed to Cap Gris Nez for sunset. And let me tell you, what and incredible sunset we got to witness there.

Ourneverendingwanderlust Cap Gris Nez-4383

 

Cap Gris Nez is situated only 50 meters above sea level, where as Cap Blanc Nez is situated at 134 meters above sea level. Here you will also find a lot of hiking trails, so this is an amazing place to visit if you like to hike.

There are three different view points up at the top and there is a light tower, so there is plenty to see. When the tide is low you can also go on the beach at the foot of Cap Gris Nez. When we got to Cap Gris Nez the tide was high though, so we couldn´t get on the beach anymore. Which means I have to go back another time, so I can go down to the beach.
Ourneverendingwanderlust Cap Gris Nez-4418
When we were here it was only 5 degrees Celsius out and it was wind, which is normal for the Cap Gris Nez. I seriously had trouble to hold my camera still, because it was so windy.

I would take a chilly and windy day everyday though if I get to spend it in a place like this, I mean look at these pictures.

 

 


At Cap Gris Nez the sun sets right in front of you over the sea. We got lucky with the sunset, because it was cloudy that day and the sun treated us to a spectacular sunset with sunrays. The sunset even lighted up the white Cliffs of Dover in the United Kingdom. The sun was reflected on the Cliffs, which turned them bright orange.

Do you ever take day trips?

Ourneverendingwanderlust Cap Gris Nez-4442

The bucketlist

I am sure you have read a million post like this already, but I wanted to write about my bucket list anyway.

Ever since I was little I have had the travel bug and every time we tick something of I will ad a new one to the list. So my list never gets shorter, but only longer.

Today I want to share with you 10 things that are on my bucket list:

1. New Zealand

This country has been on my bucket list for ages, for all the obvious reasons. I mean an outdoor enthusiast like me could never not want to go here.

2. Norway

Technicly I have been to Norway already, but since I won’t count flying out from Oslo, whilst going to Sweden it is still up on the bucketlist. One day I would love to take the Hurtigruten all the way North and travel back south by train.

3. Faroe Islands

a couple of years ago Floortje Dessing went to this island for the tv show ‘het einde van de wereld’ or the end of the world tv series. Ever since the Faroe Islands have been on my bucket list, because these Islands look incredible.

4. Japan

Japan is out of character on my list, but I have never been to Asia and for some reason I feel drawn to visit Japan one day. I would love to see the crazyness of Tokyo one day and emerge myself in history in Osaka. And ofcourse visit and hike mount Fuji.

5. Finland

I would love to visit Lapland during the winter. In Holland we don’t get very much snow and I would love to see a place like Finland covered in snow and watch the aurora.

6. Iceland

Who doesn’t have Iceland on his bucket list? It is one of those must visit places.

7. Washington State

This place has been on my list for a while now, but since one of my friends from Ohio will be moving here, I think I will see a whole lot of beautiful Washington State soon. I actually told her I would visit her there as soon as she moves there and she will have to put up with me every year as soon as she moves, because I will be going there at least one holiday a year. Good thing they love to have us over!

8. Canada

I have already been to Canada, but never to the west coast. Places like Banff, Whistler, Jasper, Vancouver Island all are on my list. I think I need a couple of months there to see all the things I want to see. Maybe I need to consider moving!

9. Scotland

Even though the United Kingdom is practicly around the corner I have never been there and one place that is high up on my list is Scotland. We were planning on going there this year, but then all of a sudden we sold our house after it had been listed for 6 months and we had only 6 weeks to find a rental property. This is crazy when it is just the two of you, but it is even more crazy when you add a dog in the mix. So we had to cancel our Scotland trip. Hoping to make it out there in the next year or two though, because I would love to hike part of the West Highland way and see the isle of Skye with my own eyes.

10. The Picos, Spain

And last but not least, the Picos in Spain. We were actually going there this year, but we really didnt plan our roadtrip and we loved the Basque coast so much that we stayed there longer then we planned. I am sure I will be able to tick this one of my list very soon.

Since 2017 is slowly drawing to a close. I will post a 2018 bucketlist, with different activities, so you can keep me accountable!

What does your bucketlist look like?

 

A day trip to Cap Blanc Nez France

 

This year I have vacation in November and December, because we are building a house and it is just just me, myself and I, we didn’t book a vacation. At least not yet. So instead of a big trip I have been planning all kinds of day trips. Cap Blanc Nez and Cap Gris Nez was one of those day trips. And let me tell you they didn’t disappoint as a day trip.

The past two years I have been taking photography classes and together with two other ladies from my photography class we headed to France. Cap Blanc Nez is only a two  hour drive from where I live, so we left early in the morning to head to the Caps.

Ourneverendingwanderlust Cap Blanc Nez-4148

The first thing we did when we got to France was have a breakfast at a little B&B. The breakfast ofcourse included a fresh baguettes and lots of French cheeses. I aboslutely love goat´s cheese, so that is what I had on a fresh baguette.

After breakfast we  headed to the Cliffs at Cap Blanc Nez. We were Lucky, since we could see across the Canal. From Cap Blanc Nez we had a beautiful view of the white Cliffs of Dover in the United Kingdom. The view of these Cliffs sparked the idea to head out to England for a day to!

We parked the car at the top of Cap Blanc Nez, where we walked around the top. There are a lot of hiking trails in this area, which you can easily start from the parking lot at Cap Blanc Nez. The hiking trails will take you in all directions. One of the trails will lead you from the top to the beach, but you can also take the car and park the car at the beach.

If you want to do both Cap Blanc Nez and Cap Gris  Nez in one day you can also hike from Cap Blanc Nez to Cap Gris Nez, which is 16 kilometers to the south. It is a 32 kilometers round trip. You can hike there along the beach and back over the Cliffs.
Ourneverendingwanderlust Cap Griz Nez-4058
The view from the top of Cap Blanc Nez was incredible. The top lays at 134 meters above sea level. In the surrounding hills you will find craters, whic hare caused by bombs in the Second World War.

After the top we headed to the beach. The Caps have a tide and when the tide is high you can´t go onto the beach, because the water will come up to the Cliffs. So make sure to check the tide before you head out there. While you are on the beach during low tide also keep an eye out on the tide, because you don´t want to get closed in by the tide.

We spent most of the morning photographing at the beack. The Cliffs towering over you are really impressive and there are so many photography opportunities.

In the afternoon we headed out for lunch. When you head out for lunch in France make sure you get there before 2 in the afternoon, because restaurants will be closed beween 2 and dinner time. I enjoyed the catch of the day at lunch, since we were so close to the sea it is impossible to not eat fish. You will find a lot of sea food restaurants in the surrounding villages, where you can get all kinds of fish, even crab.

After lunch we headed to Cap Gris Nez for the sunset, but more on that in a next blog.

Ourneverendingwanderlust Cap Blanc Nez-4162