Welcome to thewanderers.net

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!

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4th of July Celebrations

4th of July, American Independence day, is a big summer holiday in the United States commemorating the declaration of Independence of the United States on July 4th, 1776. The holiday is celebrated in many different ways, but fireworks are pretty much always part of the celebrations.

This year, we had an opportunity to celebrate the holiday by visiting the “Living History Day” at Washington Crossing historic park in Pennsylvania. Washington Crossing is a very appropriate location as it is where George Washington crossed the Delaware River on the night of December 25-26, 1776 in the American revolutionary war. This led to victory at the Battle of Trenton and is considered one of the turning points in the war for independence. The “Living History Day” celebrated Independence day at this historic site by reenactments, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, the shooting of a cannon and living historians demonstrating crafts. In the evening, we had an opportunity to go to Quakertown, PA, to see the fireworks.

You can find some photos of the Washington crossing celebrations and the fireworks below:

Experience the shooting of the cannon by visiting this 360 panorama here:

You can also look at the wide version of the panorama here:

We also took a few videos of some of the activities, including the music, the shooting of the cannon and the reading of the declaration of independence. Have a look at the video to experience attending the event:

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Fall panoramas in Pennsylvania

Fall panoramas in Pennsylvania

October has arrived, which is beautiful time of the year in Pennsylvania. The trees change color resulting in some of the most beautiful displays of color in the USA. I have previously posted fall pictures. I wanted to complement this with a number of 360s I have taken over the last year in October.

The first one is of Lumberville footbridge. Lumberville is a small town along the Delaware in Pennsylvania. There is footbridge connecting Lumberville with Bull’s island, a beautiful park along the Delaware in New Jersey. This picture was taken from relatively high above the bridge and gives you a good view of the bridge, the river and the trees changing colors.

Lumberville Footbridge

You can explore the panorama interactively here:

The second panorama is along the Delaware canal path, a beautiful hiking path between the Delaware and a disused canal. On this specific panorama you can see a ruin, the canal as well as the trees changing colors.

Ruin and fall colors along the Delaware Canal Path

Again, you can explore the panorama interactively here:

Finally, this panorama is taken in the woods along the Delaware and gives you a good sense for some of the color display in the trees.

Fall colors in woods along the Delaware river

You can explore the panorama interactively here:

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Between Stockton and New Hope

The weather got a bit cooler and we had an opportunity to make a walk from Stockton to New Hope along the Delaware river, up on the New Jersey site and back on the Pennsylvania site, a walk of about 7.2 miles/11.6 km. It was beautiful walk and below some of the photos.

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South African National Arts Festival … virtually

One of our highlights when we lived in South Africa, now more than 10 years ago, was to attend the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, which has now been renamed to Makhanda. The arts festival is an 11 day celebration of performing and visual arts with some amazing music, theater, comedy and dance. As South Africa is such a diverse country with many different cultures and attracts international talent, there were always many amazing performances to see. We attended the festival for five days in 2006 and attended the full 11 days the following year.

Although we love attending the festival, we have not been able to return since we moved away from South Africa as it was a very long trip. This year however, the world around us has changed significantly due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and South Africa is no exception. Due to the pandemic, for the first time in its 46-year history, the National Arts Festival was held entirely online from 25 June to 5 July 2020.

Although it is not the same as attending in person, we did take the opportunity to attend the festival virtually this year from our home in the US. We saw some great music (especially Jazz), a variety of different African dances, some interesting plays and participated in some great virtual digital experiences.

For example, Digital Rise brought a performance called Mechanical Souls which involved all the participants being onboarded in a fictitious human droid company. As part of our “onboarding” , we were invited to watch a VR movie of a wedding including some droids the company made. However there is a twist in that every participant sees a different version of the movie. We then jointly discovered the full story by discussing what we saw as a group. It was a great, interactive, performance and a great use of different digital media.

Another example of a digital experience was “Human Study #1 from a distance” which was brought by a Belgian Artist, Patrick Tresset who built a performative installation using robotic agents drawing participants, similar to an artist looking at their subject and drawing it. The experience involved posing for 20 minutes in a Zoom session while the robots made their drawings using different algorthims. You can find some of the photos of the experience as well as the final drawings below.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable experience and it was great to be able to attend this unique arts festival virtually. Attending in person is obviously a much better experience, but it was impressive what the festival managed to achieve in a virtual environment and we appreciated being able to attend this amazing event in these unprecedented times

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New Orleans

We had an opportunity to visit New Orleans over the New Years break, including celebrating the 2019 New Year celebrations in the city. The weather wasn’t great with rain and grey weather every day, but regardless we enjoyed our stay at this very unique city.  New Orleans is a great place to walk around and experience the atmosphere. It also has a great music scene with live Jazz, and other styles of music, in many bars and restaurants across the city.  People are friendly and accessible regardless of race or background and there is a great tram system with historical trams across the city.

In 2018, New Orleans existed 300 years. Amongst others, the occasion was celebrated with four different fireworks across the city on December 31st.

We also visited a nearby swamp, which was another great experience. Due to the colder weather, there was less wildlife than usual, but we did manage to see an alligator, wild pigs, raccoons, snakes and birds.

As usual, we took a bunch of photos, which you can find by clicking on the album below:

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Streets of Philadelphia

The closest city to where we live is Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  It is an important city in the context of American history as it is where the United States was founded. The city also served as capital before it was moved to Washington, DC. Recently, we had the opportunity to visit the historic district, society hill and Penn’s landing during the fall which provided the opportunity to take some beautiful photographs.

The historic district is where the deceleration of independence, constitution and bill of rights were negotiated and drafted between the founding states. It is also where the first US parliament met for a few years. Society Hill is next to these historic buildings and is a beautiful area with old historic streets and buildings.  Penn’s landing is a harbor area along the Delaware river with some great walking opportunities, some historic ships, museums and just a pleasant place to hang out along the water.

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Fall colors in Pennsylvania

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.

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Beautiful Michigan

Beautiful Michigan

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:

Sleeping Bear Lakeshore

Sleeping Bear Lakeshore

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:

Seagulls by Traverse City Beach

Seagulls by Traverse City Beach

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.

Charlevoix Harbor and Round Lake

Charlevoix Harbor and Round Lake

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:

Sunset over Mackinac bridge

Sunset over 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:

Moonrise in Mackinaw City at Dusk

Moonrise in Mackinaw City at Dusk

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.

Stairs to Oval Beach

Stairs to Oval Beach

Have a closer look here:

The beach you reach on the other side is a lovely sandy beach along Lake Michigan:

Oval Beach

Oval Beach

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:

Lighthouse in Muskegon

Lighthouse in Muskegon

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.

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Swiss panorama featured in Belgian online magazine

Swiss panorama featured in Belgian online magazine

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 featured 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.

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Central Switzerland from 3,000m/10,000ft

Central Switzerland from 3,000m/10,000ft

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.

Titlis bottom station

Titlis bottom station

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.

Titlis Cliff Walk

Titlis Cliff Walk

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:

Dusk on Titlis

Dusk on Titlis

Experience being in the mountains right after sunset in this interactive panorama:

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