Tag Archives: Nature

South of France

South of France in June 2017 was hot. Luckily June is still off season and I choose hot weather over crowds of tourists any day. Our trip to France included wandering in nature as well as getting to know more of the amazing history and heritage of the region. Below are couple of pictures from our trip beginning with pictures from a day out in the nature just outside of Gruissan in Marais du Castelou. Next there are pictures from the amazing closter called Abbaye de Fontfroide also close by Gruissan followed by pictures from a cave not far from Carcassonne called Grotte de Limousis. Next pictures are from Nimes. Nimes is a beautiful little city with many Roman buildings and landmarks. After that is a panorama shot from the bridge in Le Grau du Roi. Last but not least are two panoramas from the amazing Aigues Mortes city known of the crusades.

It’s worth a note that the restaurant at Abbaye de Fontfroide offers excellent value for money. The food there was one of the best we had during our whole stay in France. For more information on the restaurant and table reservations go to http://www.fontfroide.com/restaurant-la-table-de-fontfroide/ .

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The bird sanctuary

The bird sanctuary in Pont De Gau

This place is a zoo, yet it is not a zoo at all. The birds come and go there voluntarily. There are no fences or cages other than for the birds rescued waiting to be released back to the nature. In many ways it’s an awesome place to get close view of the birds. You can get as close as a meter from the Flamingoes and couple of meters from the Herons. The birds come to the park because there is food served regularly. It cost under 10€ per person and the ticket is valid for the day.
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Visiting The Marais du Vigueirat Nature Reserve

How to get there. Credits: http://www.arlestourisme.com/

This nature reserve is located between Camargue and Crau in the South of France. It’s a private owned reserve open for everyone from February to December (10-17). The Reserve is split into two sections; a smaller area open to visitors and a larger area only accessible with a guide. For a proper visit to the park, a guide is a must. However the park only allows two guided groups per day so be sure to book your tour well in advance. For an English speaking guide contact Frédéric (contact (at) guide-nature.fr), it’s well worth it. With the company of a guide you get access to the secrets of the park. Frédéric can tell you everything about the reserve’s geology, fauna and flora. Our walk lasted for 7 hours so good quality walking gear and some food and water is a must. Our visit was timed off season and therefore our hopes of seeing massive amounts of wildlife was not the highest. That said, we saw plenty of wildlife, birds mostly of course. The day was hot yet windy and shooting with a longer end of a tele was somewhat problematic due to the heatwaves. We saw 6 different types of herons, one sitting on the top of a Camargue horse, a lot of bee-eaters, a Kingfisher,  Stilts, a Turtle dove, Grebes, Wildfowl, cuckoos, Warblers, Long tailed tits to name some and of course many Coypus. Because of the windy day the sun did not feel that hot and the infamous mosquitos did not bother us during our stay.
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Ebro Delta revisited

Breaking the rules

Back in Ebro Delta again. It has been one year since the last visit but this time we focused on Barcelona and spent only one day in Ebro Delta wetlands. It is well suited for a day-trip from Barcelona and takes about 1 1/2 hours one way by car using the toll-highway (autopista AP-7, €20-30 one way). There is an option for those that have more time and are looking to save some money by taking the “scenery-route” along the coast. This will take 30-60 minutes longer but you end up saving the highway tolls. As mentioned this time our hub was located in the outskirts of Barcelona, Castelldefels. We rented a car that we used to get around and the first day we spent at Delta Ebro, 150 km south from Barcelona.
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Day trip to Liesjärvi National Park

A day trip to beautiful Liesjärvi National Park located between Karkkila and Forssa in Southern Finland. The park is large so we decided to go for a 5k walking trip called Pohjantikka (blue route). There is a parking area close to the Korteniemi heritage farm from where the track begins. The heritage farm is also worthwhile a closer look and the entry is free of charge. At the farm there are chickens, cows, sheep and horses to mention a few. At the heritage farm we encountered a couple of people, but in the path, there was only one elderly couple that crossed our path. We started our walk at around 10AM, so we were not that early on. Comparing to Nuuksio for example, this is a peaceful journey thru the beautiful forest scenery surrounded by lakes. Our trip took roughly around 3-4 hours, mainly because of the blueberries we stopped to pick. From Pitkäkärki, that is about halfway of the blue route you can see the island group called Isotsaaret. In one of them there is a nesting couple of ospreys. We also encountered a great spotted woodpecker, black-throated loons, eurasian curlews, common sandpipers and barn swallows.

For more information of the Liesjärvi National Park, please visit Metsähallitus web pages called www.nationalparks.fi

Here are a couple of shots from the trip.