Filip H.A. Claeys

Trekking in Mountainous and Subarctic Regions


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Iceland 2019: Report

After 6 prior trips to Iceland between ’98 and ’18 (mainly for trekking), I take the rest of the family on a sightseeing and hiking tour of the island around Easter. The trip has a dramatic start, which forces us to throw plans around entirely and opt for an alternative scenario. This alternative however turns out beautifully, and we are able to enjoy an incredible variety of landscapes under good conditions, while the country slowly awakes from the dark and cold winter months.

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Eifel: Monschau & Vogelsang

A short trip to the Eifel region in Germany, including a stay in the historic town of Monschau, and a 10 km hike around the former nazi & (Belgian) military training facilities of Vogelsang. Especially beautiful this time of year are the extensive colorful deciduous forests in the area.

Parkplatz Walberhof – Wollseifen – Vogelsang – Kickley viewpoint – Modelhübel viewpoint – Parkplatz Walberhof

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Scandinavia 2016: Turku Archipelago

When taking a westbound night ferry from Turku (Finland) to Stockholm (Sweden) one has the chance – under good conditions – to enjoy the scenery of the Turku Archipelago. By some definitions this archipelago is the largest in the world by the number of islands.

While taking the Turku-Stockholm ferry in July 2016 we were lucky to experience marvelous conditions: little wind, excellent visibility and a mesmerizing display of color during sunset.

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Scandinavia 2016: Stockholm Archipelago

The ferry from Stockholm (Sweden) to Turku (Finland) passes through no less than 3 archipelagos, each of which consist of thousands of islands and skerries. When taking a night ferry eastbound, one first sails through the Stockholm Archipelago for hours until the sun sets. In the middle of the night the Åland Archipelago is reached (Swedish-speaking, but Finnish territory), and by early morning one enters the Turku Archipelago.

Below are some pictures from our journey through the Stockholm Archipelago in July 2016. Weather was excellent and I hence stayed on the upper deck enjoying the spectacle until the sun disappeared below the horizon.

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Scandinavia 2016: Lake Vättern

Lake Vättern is Sweden’s second largest lake and has a surface area of almost 2000 km2. It’s as deep as 120 m in places and its waters are crystal clear.

In July 2016 we camped close to the eastern shore of the lake and in the evening were able to enjoy a colorful sunset over the magically still lake. The next day the weather was perfectly sunny and warm, and we hence took a dive into the frigid waters of one of the lake’s many secluded coves.

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Scandinavia 2016: Gothenburg Archipelago

Among the many pleasures of travelling through Scandinavia are the ferry crossings, which – when conditions are good – often feel like a mini cruise.

When travelling from Denmark to Sweden in July 2016 we took a ferry from Fredrikshavn to Gothenburg. Before sailing into the harbour of Gothenburg under the Älvsborg bridge, we had nice views towards some of the islands of the Gothenburg Archipelago.

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