Wörthersee – Austria

It’s been few months since I decided it’s time for me to leave “the ship life” and stay on land again. So far, I must say, I’m extremely happy with my decision and I’m enjoying summer as much as I can. Since I came back home I fell in love with SUP-ing (stand up paddling), so I’m still trying to stay as close to the water as possible.

My friend and I decided to visit a neighboring country for few days, Austria. Since I love adventures so much, we decided to go camping by the lake. It’s been a long time since the last time I slept in a tent and I really missed it, so I was super excited about it. We found a camp right next to Wörthersee Lake. Honestly, to me it was somehow new to actually be on vacation, to have all this free time, no schedule, no rush, I forgot how that is.

We used our first day there to explore Klagenfurt a little bit and to set up our camp spot. Towards the evening we went to the beach to relax and swim in the lake. And this night we were told there will be a party in the sky – one of the biggest meteor showers. So we grabbed few beers (and some rum), sat on a beach and watched the sky. Well, the sky show didn’t really reach our expectations, but there were still quite a lot of shooting stars, more than I’ve ever seen in one night. Wish upon a star they say… I had a chance to wish a lot of things that night.

In the morning we didn’t bother with an alarm clock. We woke up when we felt like. After late breakfast, we went for a short hike to a nearby hill. Luckily we had some random map of the area with us, but somehow we still managed to miss some path and made it all the way to the other side of the hill. Our plan was to hike for about two hours, it turned out to be four hours. But it didn’t matter, it was a nice walk through beautiful nature. After we had pasta for lunch, again, we finally put my SUP board in the water and paddled around for a while. We had to prepare for our big day…

So… the third day. Well, this is the highlight of the whole trip – we paddled on my SUP all the way to the other side of the lake and back again. Locals said we’re crazy and we won’t be able to do it. Watch us… Just watch us… Haha! Our plan was to rent another board, but the rent center opened too late, so we just shared one board. That turned out to actually be a better option in the end – yes, we were heavier, our board was much lower in the water, we were slower, but we had an option to switch positions, so each person had a chance to rest. We started our trip 8:15 in the morning. During the day we made quite a few stops along the coast, took time for a drink, for a snack, even for a pre-cooked pasta at lunchtime. Luckily we were very well prepared for a whole day trip. The other side of the lake was much harder to paddle. There were more boats, so the waves got bigger and from all sides and I still have no idea how the hell we managed to stand on board after all that. It was crazy and absolutely hilarious. I wish I could see us from some other perspective, I think I’d die laughing (well, my eyes were full of tears of laughter anyway). 🙂 Anyway, we had a bit longer stop at Velden, the town on the other side of the lake. After we got some energy back and got a cold beer at a nearby store, we were able to start our journey back. This was the hardest part of the whole trip – the waves were still high and now even the wind was our enemy, blowing towards us. Most of our way back I was just laughing. Maybe I was going a bit extra crazy because I was already tired, or maybe it was actually funny. My fight with a bee probably made it even funnier, since I was just saying that if I’ll ever fall in the water, it’s going to be because of these stupid bees flying around my head. It wasn’t even 5 minutes later when I flipped the board over and we fell in the water. When I looked around me my friend was still under water, but hey, he saved the beer can! Priorities… 😀

Despite nobody believing we’ll be able to cross the lake and come back to the starting point in one day, we did it. The whole lake is 18km long, so that made 36km of paddling. I think I paddled around 16km and my friend around 20km. We were tired, but we felt proud that we did it. I mean come on, it’s my first season SUP-ing and my friend actually stood on a SUP for the third time in his life… 😀

We were absolutely exhausted at the end of the day. We made it back to our camping spot around 7 pm, tired, hungry… The next day we had to pack up and we were still too tired to do anything special. We made a short stop in a nice canyon in Slovenia, but only to sit down in a shade for a bit and have a beer. We just needed to get home and get some sleep. Well, this was definitely one of the best adventures this summer. I think I’m getting used to this life on land quite well and I hope it will continue like this. 😀

Dramatic effect at the sea side

So I’ve been to the sea side in Croatia for the weekend. I made a lot of photos, some at the beach, some inland, some in Croatia and some in Slovenia. I took both of my cameras with me, Canon EOS 60d and my Olympus Tough 620. Since the weather was quite unstable I decided to play with my Olympus a bit more, but then it turned out that when I took this camera with me the sun started to shine and I didn’t have my Canon with me… But that’s ok, I enjoyed just playing with this camera, I tried some effects and for a change I didn’t have to think about shutter speed and aperture. I admit, sometimes it feels good just to forget about it and enjoy the simplicity of digital camera. =)
Since my Olympus offers some special effects I decided to play with them and because of the clouds in the sky and all the contrasts I used the one named “dramatic effect” the most. Photos look like HDR or like they have been edited to totally surreal feeling, but at that momement this just felt the right effect and I think it looks quite interesting. =) I also used some other effects just to try them out, to see what kind of feeling they create and so on. So here are some “effected” photos I did. =)
I must admit, I really love the ones with reflection in the water. I have no idea how I came up with this idea, but I just tried it and when I saw how cool it looks with the effect, the visibilty of the water ground and the reflection… well I just kept on playing with it for the next few minutes. =D

Baking potica (day 95)

Day 95 – Sunday, 23.12.2012
Well I spent most of the morning on my computer, but after lunch I started my mission for the day. I decided to bake potica – Slovenian traditional dish. Because I’m vegan I had to find a suitable recipe. I did bake potica before, though I always had some help from my mom, but I never baked vegan potica. Well I found some recipe and I started with the filling, that wasn’t made from walnuts but with almonds, and then I started to work on dough. I had some problems with that because it was all sticky, but Damir helped me and at the end I got quite nice result. When I started to use a glass bottle as a rolling pin it worked well, but the dough became a bit sticky again, even though I put flour under it… Oh well, in the end it turned out ok, so I put the filling on flattened dough and I started to roll it. I had some sticky problems again, but I did it. We put the potica in the oven and waited.
Yay! I made it! My first vegan potica and it turned out to be well baked and actually really good! I feel sLOVEnian now! =D Hahaha! I think I’ll be baking it more often now! =D

My first vegan potica!
My first vegan potica!

After my baking was done, Damir occupied the kitchen with his cookie mission. Not one, but I think two types of cookies were in his plan. I kept him company for most of the time. I kept on asking him if I can help him with something, but obviously he had everything under control and he insisted on doing everything by himself. Oh well, it was nice to just hang out and chat.
Oh, and I have to say that today we had really beautiful cloudscape again and I just had to take some photos. The colours were amazing and so surreal!

Cloudscape these days (day 94)

Day 94 – Saturday, 22.12.2012
So we’re back to grey cloudy days as it seems. But it was still quite warm, though a bit windy most of the day. Well, I decided to do some laundry, because you can’t be sure about the weather here, even if you think you are… =) I was lucky and it didn’t rain today, but my clothes still didn’t totally dry until the end of the day, so I had to move them indoors.
Ok, enough of these unimportant things that nobody wants to really know… Well I spent most of my day just searching over the internet for some photographers or other artists that worked in area of my final diploma project. I found some really amazing artists and maybe their work can’t help me with diploma, but the amount of inspiration I got from that was totally worth it. From all that I found, I must say these two are one of most inspiring and I recommend you to check them out. Cole Rise and Niki Feijen.
Beside all that I also took some time to think about staying here in Portugal for second semester or staying at home. I admit, I was totally stressed about it for few hours and I was all messed up because of it. I just can’t get this thoughts out of my mind and really, lately I’m more and more sure I’ll be going home and stay there, even though I was so sure about staying before. There is so many positive and as many negative things in each decision, but I just have this feeling that this amazing experience of the whole Portugal kind of needs to end. I’m truly grateful for this opportunity and I’m really happy that I was able to be one of Erasmus students, but I think that I kind of got all that I needed to get from the whole experience. Oh well, I still have some time to change my mind, but at the moment, this is where I stand. =)
After all the thinking I really needed to get out, so I went to the shop and Damir was so kind to keep me company. I’m always happy when I don’t have to go to shop by myself. I just love to have someone around to talk with. =) It looks like all of the lying in bed and waiting for my knee really paid off, since today I was already able to walk totally normal and I barely noticed any pain in my knee. I dare to say my knee is healed. =) I dare to say my knee is healed. =) Yay!
Ok, so maybe we picked the wrong day and time to be in a shop, because it was really crowded. You know, Christmas is coming up and it’s weekend, but oh well, I needed some ingredients for my baking mission tomorrow. I’m planning to make vegan potica (Slovenian typical dish), but instead of walnuts I’ll fill it with almonds. We’ll see if it will be as tasty as it is with walnuts. =)
Even though I did get out of the house today, I didn’t make any new photos, but I did edit some from few days before, so here it is, the cloudscape. =)

Window as my canvas (day 52)

Day 52 – Saturday, 10.11.2012
So there we have it again, Portuguese weather. It just keeps on changing, few minutes of rain, then we get some sun and just when you start enjoying it there it starts to rain again. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to that.
I have no idea what is going on with me, but since the class yesterday I don’t feel so good. It’s like my head hurts a bit and my stomach feel like someone would punch me in it. But what’s the most interesting thing is that Gaja feels almost the same too. I hope we didn’t catch some virus or anything like that. I’m staying optimistic for now, but something obviously isn’t right. So I stayed at home for the whole day, just surfed on the internet, watched the New Girl, then I started to watch Friends, because I never watched them from first to last episode. I guess I’m in the mood for funny movies and series these days. =)
Well if I didn’t go out or do anything very productive, I at least took some photos at home. Today I was quite fascinated by the sky, but I wanted to be creative, so I took some photos of my window and reflections in it. I must say I didn’t expect that I will actually really like the result. I think photos turned out quite interesting!