This webpage contains the adventures of Johan and Karl, the worldwide wanderers. We hope you find the site easy to use. Read the latest news below, browse specific countries by going to the locations menu, have a look at our photos, interact with our latest panorama photos or dive into our high-definition gigapans. Be sure to click on images to get a full-page view and to interact with panoramas and gigapans. Read how on the help page. You can give us feedback in the About section of the page and if you want to stay up to date about our adventures, sign up for the newsletter on the right hand side of this page. Enjoy!
First off, we came to the realization that we have not updated our blog for way too long. To catch you up quickly on the last couple of years: we did move from Switzerland to the US, where we live in a rural area in Pennsylvania. As usual when moving, time ran a bit away from us and we did therefore not find the time to do much photography let alone update our blog. We do hope to post more in the future.
A good place to start is to share some photos of fall foliage in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania has one of the longest and most varied fall foliage seams in the world. Fall is a spectacular time to be here as the diversity of trees show a beautiful display of different colors. It is like an explosion of natural fireworks. The difficulty is to catch fall at the right moment. The weather heavily impacts when and how long the fall colors are stunning.
This year we had the longest and most beautiful fall we have seen yet. Coincidentally, a good friend from Belgium visited just as the fall colors were at it’s peak and with beautiful weather. We therefore had a awesome experience exploring the area and capturing the colors at their peak. Click on the album for a selection of photos, which also include some photo’s from the inside of Fonthill castle in Doylestown.
A couple of weeks ago, we had the opportunity to visit “up North” lower Michigan. We started in Grand Rapids, went up to Mackinaw City via Sleeping Bear, Traverse City and Charlevoix and returned back to Grand Rapids spending time in Muskegon, Saugatuck and Holland.
Michigan is beautiful in summer with beautiful sandy beaches and stunning sunsets. Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, the two large lakes we saw during this trip are part of the “Great Lakes”, a series of five huge interconnected lakes in North America. The lakes are so big that they have waves and dangerous weather just like an ocean. There are also large ships transporting goods on the lakes.
As usual, we took a number of 360 panoramas. You can find the full set of panoramas here. Below is a selection of panoramas to give you a flavour of Michigan.
Sleeping Bear is a beautiful National Lakeshore along Lake Michigan with large dunes. This panorama was taken close to sunset when people were gathering in the park. If you look closely you can see people climb the steep sides of the hill:
Explore this panorama by clicking on the image below:
In Traverse City there were a large number of Seagulls which were nice enough to pose for the photo:
Have a closer look by looking around this panorama:
Along the way, we stook a stop at Charlevoix, a pleasant town with a nice harbor and lake connecting Lake Charlevoix with Lake Michigan.
Have a closer look by looking around this panorama:
The sunsets in Michigan are amazing. We witnessed an example of such a stunning sunset in Mackinaw City, while looking at Mackinac bridge:
Experience the moment yourself by looking at the panorama here:
And as if that not enough, very soon after the sun had set, the moon rose on the other side of the straight, resulting in a beautiful combination of a moonrise on one side and the last sunlight on the other side:
Have a closer look by exploring the panorama:
There is also some exercise to be had. For example, when you climb these long stairs you end up on a sandy path that takes you to Oval Beach by Saugatuck over mount Baldhead.
Have a closer look here:
The beach you reach on the other side is a lovely sandy beach along Lake Michigan:
Have a closer look at this panorama here:
As with any large body of water, Lake Michigan has a number of lighthouses, including this one in Muskegon which we took a photo of at dusk:
Have a look around in the panorama here:
For more beautiful photo’s of Michigan you can find the full set of panoramas from our Michigan trip here.
As a Belgian living in Switzerland it is really great to see one of our Swiss panorama pictures from last year featured in a Belgian app magazine. The 2014 summer edition of the free VAB Magazine app features the panorama we posted last year on this blog of the cabrio lift going up Stanserhorn. The panorama features the first cabrio cable car in the world.
If you want to find out more about this lift or about Stanserhorn, make sure to check out our post from last year.
One of the highest mountains in Central Switzerland is Mount Titlis, a 3,238m high mountain that can be visited throughout the year – in summer, visiting the gletscher offers a great opportunity to be amongst the snow and provides fantastic views over the surrounding mountains. In winter, it is a good destination for skiing and the mountain provides one of the longest ski-seasons in Switzerland with skiing possible from October to May.
We have visited Titlis on a number of occasions both in winter and summer and, as usual, took some panoramas while we were there.
This first panorama is at the bottom of Titlis in the village of Engelberg and provides nice views of the surrounding mountains. As always, click on the image for a larger view or go directly to the interactive version below.
Have a look around this interactive panorama by clicking on the image below:
The top of Titlis at 3,238m provides stunning views of the surroundings and has a number of activities to offer, including a permanent ice-cave, the ability to take a chairlift over the glacier and the “Titlis Cliffwalk”, the the highest suspension bridge in Europe. This panorama was taken from that suspension bridge. Clouds rolled in during the day which made walking on the bridge a special experience where you feel in the clouds.
Have a look at the interactive panorama and feel on top of the world in the clouds:
We also had the opportunity to be on the mountain during the night. We stayed at a hotel about half-way up the mountain which also has a lake nearby. Walking around in a mountainous area after sunset was a special experience. This panorama captures some of that experience at dusk:
Experience being in the mountains right after sunset in this interactive panorama:
Cold, damp fog dominated Zug for days. But Zug has Zugerberg, and that is above the fog.
Here’s a sunset that’s really special. From the very spot where we took our Zugerberg panorama, (a few years ago) the sun sets on December 21st, behind Pilatus.
Luzern is a beautiful city close to where we live. When the conditions are clear, the sunsets over the lake are breathtaking. We had an opportunity to take some panoramas during one of those sunsets a few days ago while the city was decorated for Christmas. I let the pictures speak for themselves:
Sunset over Luzern
Click on the interactive version to have a look around:
Another sunset photo over Luzern
Have a look at the interactive version below:
Christmas lights across the city:
Interact with this panorama here:
Historical City center after sunset
Interact with this panorama here:
In September, we had a chance to to go the top of Stanserhorn, a mountain in Central Switzerland not too far from where we live, on a very clear day with beautiful weather. What makes the trip so unique, apart from the stunning views at the top of the mountain, is that you go to the top with the world’s first convertible-style cable car.
The double-decker cable car has an upper deck that is outside so that you can really enjoy the beautiful surroundings and feel the fresh mountain air as you go up the mountain. The photo below shows you how the cable car looks like from the outside:
As you can see in the photo, you can ride on top of the cable car. To give you an impression on what the experience is like, check out the interactive panorama below which I took during this trip. Click on the image for a larger version.
Check out the interactive version below by clicking on the photo:
Taking the panorama was very challenging as the cable car moves remarkably fast and in order to make the panorama, I need to take a series of four shots in all directions. This made the stiching of the photos difficult. I am, however, very happy with the result. The photo was selected as an “editors pick” on 360 cities and received over 2000 hits to date.
Once you reach the top, you can enjoy the beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. You can also go for some nice walks from short and easy ones to more challenging and difficult ones. Many people also use Stanserhorn as a base for paragliding and towards the end of the day, the cable car is full of paragliders.
This panorama was taken at a viewpoint right by the top station and shows you some of the stunning views. As always, click on the photo to see a bigger version:
Click on the interactive version if you want to have a look around in this fully immersive panorama. Have a look at the sign at the bottom for more information on the mountains you are seeing:
A very short walk away from the top station you can see a very different view of the surrounding mountains with views of Pilatus, Rigi, Titlis, lake Lucerne and lake Zug:
Of course, we took some regular photos as well. You can find a selection of the photos we took in the Album below:
Some of our panoramas are becoming famous. One of our Inside the Volcano panoramas was featured in a recent issue of travel + Escape magazine for iPad! The special issue about Iceland has an article about the Inside the Volcano trip we mentioned in a previous post and included one of the panoramas to show an immersive experience. Check out the free app in the App Store and the “Wild Weekends in Iceland” issue (1.99 USD)!
Another one of our panoramas is featured on a blog about James Bond. The blog describes Schilthorn where the James Bond movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” was set. We visited the mountain a couple of years ago in summer during clear weather and enjoyed the beautiful views of the surroundings, including views of Eiger, Mönch and Jungrau. As usual, we took the opportunity to take a panorama of the surroundings.
Have a look at the panorama here:
Or have a look at the interactive version here:
This year, we had an opportunity to visit the 10th annual Entlebucher Alpabfahrt (descent from the Alps) at the end of September 2013 in Schüpfheim, Switzerland.
Every year, farmer families take their cows into the mountains in spring and they return in the fall. Traditionally, different families came back at different dates depending on the weather and the pastures, but for the last 10 years, several families have co-ordinated when they return and the date is announced in advance so visitors can join in the festivities.
The custom of going up and down the mountains has always been filled with tradition. In the photos you can see some of the traditional clothing and decoration of the cows. The event is also very popular and crowded as you can see in the photos. And of course, there were lots of cows – about 200 in total! Not just any cows, this is where the Emmentaller cheese comes from (“Swiss cheese” to you Americans). These are some of those very cows. Give these ladies a toast with your next ham-n-Swiss.
As usual, we took some panorama photographs. Click on the photo to have a closer look:
Or look at the interactive version by clicking on the image below:
A second panorama:
Click on the image below to interact with the panorama:
The sound of the cows coming by is very loud due to the large cowbells they have around their necks. Have a look at the video below to get an impression about the sound:
At the event, we also saw a Jodling choir performance on street. Jodling is a specific type of singing that is typical for the Swiss and Austrian mountains. You can see a brief video of the choir singing here:
Of course, we also took tons of photos! Click on the link below to have a look at some selected photos from the day.
One of the amazing experiences you can have in Iceland is to actually go inside of a volcano. During this excursion, you go 120 meters down into a magna chamber of a volcano that erupted 4,000 years ago. Being in the magna chamber itself is breathtaking and the trip to the volcano is an equaly experience. To go down into the volcano, you first walk about 3km/2 miles across lava fields, an experience in its own right. You then descent into the volcano in an open lift with only 6 spaces similar to the ones used by window cleaners. The trip 120m down to the bottom of the volcano takes about 7-8 minutes.
Inside the volcano, I took this panorama which received over 3,000 views on 360cities.net within the first few weeks. The panorama was taken inside of the volcano and shows the beautiful colours inside the magna chamber and the size of the chamber. You can also see the hole where the lift comes down. If you look closely, you will also be able to see some water coming down, which is there permanently. Inside the cave, it is completely dry, though.
Click on the image below for the interactive version of the panorama so you experience the volcano for yourself:
This colourful panorama, which was also taken inside of the magna chamber, shows the colors even more clearly as in a painting and also shows lift coming down.
Do explore the interactive version below to have a closer look at all the colors, the lift and the individuals in the volcano:
In this next panorama, you can see the entrance of the volcano and a group of visitors coming up from the depths of the magna chamber. The entrance also provides a beautiful view of the surroundings, including lava fields, some snow and a view of Reykjavik in the distance. The red ground is also striking.
Explore the interactive version for a closer look:
The walk to the volcano itself is also a great experience as you are walking through lava field with out-of-this-worldly views. This panorama was taken along the walk to the volcano across a lava field and nature reserve. The gap between rocks are the tectonic plates between the American and European continent slowly moving away from each other. In addition to this meeting of tectonic plates, you can also see the surrounding hills, the lava fields and the surrounding area. The panorama also shows the path towards the volcano in which you go down.
Have a look at the interactive version of this panorama to better explore the area: