Road trip: Into the Arctic

VOMAC2008_209sI have long been a Volvo fan. My first car was a Volvo (343) and I have had several Volvo’s over the past decades. Volvo is proudly Swedish. So when I got an invite from the Swedish Volvo Owners Club to join one of their events in the Arctic I only hesitated shortly. I asked my father to join me and together we registered for a 4 day Arctic driving experience. To add some more Scandinavian fun, we decided to drive up to Northern Sweden via Denmark and Sweden, but return via Finland, after crossing the frozen Gulf of Bothnia by ferry. We would visit the cities of Vaasa and Helsinki and return by another ferry over the Baltic Sea. An epic European road trip in the Arctic winter! So here it goes: Continue reading

Road trip: From Amsterdam to Dakar and beyond

Dakar2008_0342sAdmit it, participating in the Dakar Rally is on your bucket list! Well, it was on mine, but of course I am not a professional rally driver. Fortunately there are several alternative rallies for the less professional  driver. When talking to a friend about my vague desire to once cross the Sahara Desert in my own car in 2007 he indicated he had the same dream. Instead of drinking to our common dream and leaving it with that, we committed to participate. A few months later we registered for the Amsterdam Dakar Challenge charity rally and bought a cheap (that’s a Challenge rule) four wheel drive car. Another few months later we departed cold Amsterdam towards unknown Africa! The ultimate road trip! As you will understand, the rest is history: Continue reading

The best 5 road trips in the world

MGLive09_065sThis post was not entirely my own idea. I was totally inspired by a short blog post by fellow travel blogger We Are Travellers, who wrote about ‘the five coolest cars for a road trip‘ recently. Her post immediately reminded me of the many very cool road trips that I have done over the past years. It even made me realize for the first time that I am actually a real road trip travel addict. Many of my most epic trips were road trips and I still prefer taking the car wherever I can… or can’t… Let these road trip ideas inspire you: Continue reading

Summer holiday fun in winter: #Vakantiebeurs

0265-VKB-Banner-250x250pxFor many people the first weeks of the year are the time to think about trips to make in the year ahead. This is also the time of the biggest annual holiday convention in the Netherlands. For me the ‘Vakantiebeurs’ has become synonymous with the beginning of a new travel season. In the past I always attended as a visitor, collecting brochures. Nowadays I also attend as a travel blogger, including the two professional travel conference days that precede the convention for the general public. So what will Vakantiebeurs 2015 have in store? Continue reading

Washington DC with Kids

USA_Oct2014_0078sWashington DC is a great destination to visit with kids. With dozens of historic sights it is a perfect place for a citytrip, or to build into an East Coast itinerary. I visited the city several times over the past years, most recently (October 2014) as part of a father-son road trip. Please travel along with me and my 12 year old son to my very subjective top-5 family travel sights to visit in the US capital. Continue reading

A space tourist on Earth

SpaceBucketList_27Earlier today I published the space bucket list, containing all flown manned spaceflight vehicles on public display around the world. Reason for compiling this list was ongoing debate about specific spacecraft locations and people (including me) questioning the authenticity of certain spacecraft on display in museums. I visited a record number of spacecraft in museums in 2014. This blog post is an attempt to describe a specific (geeky?) travel theme and the diversity of destinations this covers, rather than a story about a destination. Join me on a virtual tour of Europe, Russia, Kazakhstan and the United States, all visited in 2014. Continue reading

The ultimate space bucket list

SpaceBucketList_30Space inspires. Space unites. Every kid wants to be an astronaut. Space is humanity’s final frontier. The people flying into space are modern explorers, their space ships the exploration vessels. Visiting these space ships is an awesome experience. The great story of human space exploration really comes to life when seeing these impressive machines. Very worth taking your children to see and help them imagine the long way we have to go before we become an interplanetary species. Check out the ultimate space bucket list: Continue reading

The McDonnell-Douglas MD-11 – end of an era

KLM MD-11On October 25, 2014 KLM will operate the last commercial flight of the MD-11 passenger jet. KLM has been the only operator of the last large passenger trijet since 2012, with four of its former MD-11 fleet of eleven planes still flying. All four MD-11’s are currently exclusively operating the Amsterdam-Montreal and Amsterdam-Toronto routes. Although once a pretty common sight at any major airport, only 200 MD-11 planes have ever been built, 53 of which in an all-cargo configuration. Continue reading

Space City Baikonur – a travel guide

Baikonur_City_47There are a handful of places in the world that are on top of every space enthusiast’s bucket list. For the true space historian Baikonur has the top spot. This is the town where human’s voyage into space truly began, with the launch of the world’s first satellite, Sputnik 1 in 1957, quickly followed by the launch of the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin in 1961. If these two historic facts are not enough to make you want to visit, then the fact that this is the only place in the world (apart from China) where humans are being launched into space today, should convince you. Baikonur embodies the great past of spaceflight, but still counts as the most important space port in the world today, 59 years after construction began. Continue reading

Flying the Lucky Tupolev

Airlinereporter-comRussia is a great destination for aviation history fans. Where airlines all over the world nowadays operate the same ‘boring’ Boeing and Airbus jets, many Russian airlines still operate some more ‘exotic’ planes. Similarly, many Russian airports boast interesting aircraft ‘graveyards’, showing planes that totally belong in aircraft musea. Taking a flight in Russia can lead to interesting surprises, like my story here: Continue reading