Category Archives: Holidays

Holiday in Cornwall

After a trip to Wales earlier this year Silke and I visited Cornwall, another beautiful part of Britain, in the past week. Silke had rented us a nice cottage in the hills near the south coast.

Considering that it was early November we actually had very good weather. We took advantage of that and went on long walks with our dog Vader. He loved all the new locations full of exciting smells. He was constantly running up and down the hills and must have made at least twice our mileage.

We also visited the fishing ports in Polperro (very nice fish and chips in The Wheelhouse) and Looe (excellent Cornish Pasties in The Pasty Shop).

Back in our Cottage we enjoyed relaxing evenings in front of the fireplace.

Our week in Cornwall seemed to go by much too quickly. But at least we returned home happy and very relaxed.

Holiday on Madeira

On our quest to explore sunny islands in the Atlantic Silke and I have already visited Tenerife and Gran Canaria. Our latest exploratory trip took us to Funchal on the Portuguese island Madeira. We were welcomed by sunshine, blue skies and a gentle breeze which was a relief after the dreadful autumn weather in England.

On the way to the hotel we noticed that Madeira is very mountainous and features much more luscious vegetation than the Canary Islands.

Vegetation on Madeira

This is due to the rainy climate in the mountains which provides ample water that is distributed over the island via levadas.

After relaxing in Funchal for two days Silke and I finally went on our first tour of the island. We decided to drive to Ribeiro Frio to visit the Laurisilva forest. When we arrived up there we gained first hand experience with the humid climate in Madeira’s mountains.

Clouds in Madeira's Mountains

When we got sufficiently wet we drove to Ponta de São Lourenço, the east end of Madeira. There at sea level the weather was much nicer. The view on the Atlantic Ocean was splendid.

Atlantic Ocean at Ponta de São Lourenço

Two days later we had forgotten about the rains in the mountains and went on another tour, this time to Rabaçal. When we arrived there the weather was allright and the view was stunning.

Mountains near Rabacal

But while we were walking down into the valley it started to rain lightly. We carried on nevertheless and decided to follow the path to the 25 Fountains, it was only 2.5km after all. But the path was narrow, steep and muddy and slippery from the rain. It tooks over an hour of effort to finally get there. But the spectacle at the destination was well worth it.

25 Fountains on Madeira

After enjoying the view for a few minutes we set off on the laborious way back to our car. When we finally arrived there we were happy to get out of the rain and being able to sit down.

On our last day on Madeira Silke and I took it easy. We granted our sore legs a day with little activities and a massage to loosen the stiff muscles. We felt slightly sad when we had to leave the island the day after. We really liked it on Madeira and are considering to come back outside the rainy season to explore the rest of the island.

Home And Real life

Silke and I had a really good time at HAR2009. Except for the freezing temperatures during the first night the weather was marvellous: a lot of sunshine, a cool breeze and not a single drop of rain. Our cunning plan to get warmer nights by investing in an additional cozy sleeping bag paid off nicely by the way 😉

I attended a presentation about the Native IPv6 deployment at XS4ALL and Silke learned how to brew beer. We even found time to leave the camping site and visited the nearby towns Vierhouten and Nunspeet. We especially liked the Pannkoekehuis Likkepot in Vierhouten where you can get an astonishing wide range of sweet and savoury pancakes. Those we tried were delicious. The rest of time we mostly hung out in the BSD tent, …

BSD Tent at the HAR 2009

… talked to people and even got a bit of hacking done.

The four days spun away and on Sunday morning it was time to take down our tent and carry all our belongings back to the car. After a final meal of tasty pancakes we drove back to Hoek van Holland to catch the ferry back to England. We arrived in Cambridge the next morning, a bit tired but relaxed and in good humour.

Unfortunately the daily grind caught up us with very quickly. We had a rough week and were very happy when we made it to the weekend. But after a refreshing sunday afternoon tea at Peacocks Tearoom and a nice walk along the river Great Ouse things look much better now.