Cote d’Azur

A romantic picture in a flyer of the Austrian post office was the reason why I’m here on the Cote d’Azur. The second time in the Provence within two years. The foto was from a place in Antibes with a short travel report.

I had already the guide book. The flight to Nice was booked rapid. Away from cold Vienna to the warm south. The weather forecast for Nice unfortunately, was not so well. But thanks god in this case the meteorologist go wrong.

In Nice I stay in a small studio apartment in the city centre, the last four days of my journey I stay in Vence.

An old house, red ocker coulored, french windows, balconies,bllue shutters
the famous Negresco

Eze – cactus with a stunning view

Eze-Village is in the mountains behind Nice. In the exotique garden not only the cactus enjoy the wunderful view over the Cote d ‚Azir and the Cap Ferrat.

In the front big cactus, behind the view on the sea with the peninsula of Cap Ferrat

Cap Ferrat

Where the most expensive villa of the world changed its owner several years ago. You can see it very well from the habour.

Villa Kerylos

There is a nice foothpath along the shore from the habour of Cap Ferrat to Beaulieu-sur-Mer where the Villa Kerylos is located. The Villa was built between 1902 and 1908 for Théodore Reinach an archaeologist. It is designed like a noble house of Delos, an Greek island.


The last trainstation before Italy is Menton. In this village are many villas with beautiful gardens. One of them is the botanical garden Val Rameh.

Villa Rameh

Menton looks very Italian and the restaurants are very Italian. With food like pizza, pasta and tiramisu including the Italian charme of its owner.



Here I want to snag a millionaire. Unfortunately, my fishing line is too short to reach the yachts down in the habour.

You look down to a habour with midle-size yachts. Behind the skiline of Monaco with multi-storey buildings.

Though Monaco is vaster as I thought it seems that the place is still not enough.

At the beginning of my walk I saw fences and barriers. I thought this is a building site. But at the end of my visit I know that’s the racecours.


The city of fragrance. The best noses (=perfumers) of the world were educated here. Therefore it’s a must to visit one of the factories who produce parfum. They offer free entrance, a guided tour and a small museum.

After the visit I walk through the old part of the city.

I have lunch in one of the restaurants before I walk over one kilometre to the garden of Villa Noailles.

A place with restaurants and plane treesbehind the skiline with old houses, french windows and blue shutters.

Above the roofs of Vence

My accommodation has a terrace where I look at the roofs of the houses nearby and the mountains behind. Vence is a medievale town in the back country of the Cote d’Azur ….

and my starting point to visit …

St. Paul-de-Vence

It has still an entire city wall.


a must see!

Unfortunately, it’s raining cats and dogs when I’m there. The advantage: nobody runs into my pictures.


It seems to be an insider’s tip. Though the sun is shining I’m the only tourist in the medieval town at 11 a.m.

Le Broc

There are also no visitors. It is noon and I’m looking for an open restaurant. I saw only an open bar and so I ask there if they have something to eat. The waiter lead me to his neighbour. It is a restaurant. But the tables and chairs on the terrace aren’t assembled and the door looks very dark, so I haven’t seen that the restaurant is open. That mistake you shouldn’t do. Indoor four tables, an one-man-show. The owner is chef and waiter in one person. The service is excellent and the lunch the best I have ever had in France.

Restaurant La Mangiuca, 27 place de la fontaine

Do you want to see more of the Provence:


Traditionel Socks

You think of visiting the Oktoberfest in Munich or the Wiener Wiesn (=Austria’s largest traditionel customs and folk music festival)? Than you should think about what to wear.

Maybe such wunderful socks? Self-knitted.

The patterns I designed from old, traditional embroidery patterns.

I mixed, changed and transformed them to new designs. And I adapted the patterns to the right size of the stitches.

Do you want to make such socks for the Wiesn? Begin early enough to design and knit. It needs time! But make fun.

Thailand – Part 4

„The beach“ without Leonardo

I go from Krabi to the island of Ko Phi Phi by ferry. It’s the time of leukatong, the light festival. People put their small boats with candles and wishes into the sea.

During the next days I enjoy the Paradies Beach and do a boat trip around the island and to the famous shark point. Thats a group of rocks under the water where the sharks sleep at night. As we arrive at this point all tourists of our boat jump into the water wearing masks, snorkels and fins. Unfortunately, the water is turbid and so I see only two sharks fleeing.

The pictures in the film „The Beach“ show the reality and therefore I stay ten days in paradise.

Viet Nam

Driving home for Christmas

In my case I should say: “Flying home for Christmas.“ After one week in Viet Nam I’m back in Bangkok.

After two month holiday I’m boring a little bit. Though I like the tropical climate I’m happy going back into the cold winter of Austria. Wearing my fur jacket and drinking punch at the Christmas market with my friends. I’m gooing home by plane at the 20th of December.

At the 26th of December Ko Phi Phi was destroied by the horrible tsunami of 2004. Three weeks after I left the island.

The beginn

Laos – Part 2

Trekking to the hilltribes

The mountains look not so high but the temperature of 32° Celcius and the high humidity let do the sweat run down. Every halt we use to drink water from our bottles.

The first stage is done. We have a wonderful view over green hills and valleys. We are sitting under a shelf to have our lunch. Cutlery? In Laos you eat with your fingers. And now it is clear why the rice is cooked so sticky.

We reach the village where we stay overnight in the late afternoon. What a big surprise. There is a river where we can take a bath for our refreshing. Ooh, is that pleasant.

On the second day we stroll along the riverside. Unfortunately, at noon it begins to rain. We are walking on mud and the ground gets more and more slippery. The path becomes a stream. On every footstep we are looking for dry stones to pass this stream. The giant trees of the jungle stretch against the sky on both sides of our way. Because of the thickness of the plants you see only the big fan-shaped roots.

Finally we reach the peak of the mountain and up to now we only walk downhill. On the path we meet sometimes inhabitants. They walk light-footed with their flip-flops between their villages and their fields through the rainforest.

After we passe the last village before our tour is ending a river stops us. There is no brigde and so we have to put off our shoes to walk through the water. Tired, sweatting and full with mud we return to the village where we stay. Our trekking ends with a rest drinking a cold beer, the first after two days.

Some days later my friends and I we go to the north border to Thailand where we separate us finally. My friends stay in Laos, I continue my journey in Thailand.

The beginning:

Laos – Part 1

Once upon a time ….

in the year 2004 I tramped trough Asia.

I have booked my flights in advance in a travel agency. From Vienna to Bangkok and another one from Bangkok to Vientiane, the capital of Laos.

The travel agency in Vienna gave me only the ticket for the first flight. „The ticket for the other flight you will get in the airline office directly on the airport.“ told me the clerk of the agency.

After one night in the plane I arrive at 8:30 in Thailand. I find very quickly the office of the Laos Airline but it opens not before 9 o’clock. Please wait! The clerk in the office tell me that the flight was booked but the Austrian agency hasn’t confirmed it, so it was cancelled by the airline. All what they can do for me is to put me on the waiting list. At 1 p.m. I should be at the airline counter.

I’m sleeping a little bit. After 1 p.m. I’m going three of four times to the counter and the always tell me:“Later, later.“ The flight should be at 3 p.m. A quarter before this time the clerk at the counter asks for my passport. Now I know:“I’m going to fly.“

High Noon in Vang Vieng

I met a German couple on my journey trough Vietnam one year ago. We are still in contact per email. Therefore I know that they are in Cambodia now and that they want to come to Laos approximately after four or five days. „We will meet us at a warung.“ we have arranged in our mails. In Asia the called the food stalls warung.

After some days I go further to Vang Vieng. As I think that my friends are still in Cambodia, I haven’t mailed with them since I arrived in Asia.

Vang Vieng is a long, streched village. The houses are placed like links on a chain along the main street. At noon I’m going on this street. It’s empty, only a couple comes along on the other side. My German friends! We are laughing and huging us. We have managed to meet us without an arrangement.

Luang Prabang

As my friends want to stay in Vang Vieng, I travel further alone to Luang Prabang. This is one of the cities in Laos were the Kings lived. The palace of the King as well as many pagodas situated on the peninsula between Nam Kham and Mekong River. After a couple of days I have seen all buildings and temples of interest but it’s not possible for me to go away. I meet some people here with the same „problem“. I think this is a place with a special energy and that’s the reason why the Kings palaces and so many temples were built here.

The calm and the slowness influence my life. In the morning I’m sitting on the main street eating crepes with fresh fruits like bananas, mangos or papayas and chocolate sauce and drinking coffee.

The houses are built in the colonial style, one-storied with terraces where the tables of the coffee shops stand.

At noon I’m sitting under the Bodhi tree of the Wat Xieng Thong, the eldest and most beautiful temple of Luang Prabang and waiting two hours until the sun illuminate the golden front of the boathouse so that I can take a perfect picture of it.

In the afternoon I walk along the riverside of the Mekong River where I find a shop with wunderful carvings. I fall in love with a snake. Unfortunately, the postboxes are to small for it. So I have to carry the snake the next six weeks with me trough Asia and than home to Europe.

Later this day I walk on a place where women are bussy to errect there stalls for a market. Than I see the orange ball of the sun behind a palm tree. I’m running to the bank of the Mekong to see a great sunset. The last red light of the sun reflect in the water until the ball disappear behind the mountains. A picturesce sunset on the end of a beautiful day. I hear the sound of gongs in the backround.

After one week it is possible for me to travel away from this magic place. At the bus station I meet my friends and we go together to the North to see the hilltribes of Laos.


After three weeks in Burma I’m know in Bangkok. I have almost one week left before my flight home. I want to go to Cambodia. But is it possible? Is it save enough? Or should I go to the seaside of Thailand? To a nice beach?

Fortunately, I meet two girls they just returned from Cambodia. They tell me it is peace and calm know there. So I book the flights to and in Cambodia. I get the visa at the airport in Phnom Penh.

At this time it is only possible to visit Phnom Penh and the area around Siem Reap. The other places are too dangerous because of the landmines.

In Phnom Penh I stay in a room with a new bathroom. But unfortunately, only less water comes out of the shower. Therefore in Siem Reap I take a room with an Aisan bathroom. The advantages: the accommodation is very cheap and I have enough water. I’m the only „longnose“ (non Asian) in this guesthouse.

The first time I stand in front of Angkor Wat I’m alone. Only three children are walking along.

On the next day are more people there.

In Siem Reap is just one restaurant. And it seems to be that I’m the only tourist there. The owner asks me to write some of the offered food in English.

On the second day I meet some French guys in the Bayon. They are working for an aid organisation.

All days in Cambodia I go with a driver on the rear seat of a moped. As I saw on my first day in Siem Reap a van with soldiers full armed I have sometimes an unpleasant feeling.

I also visit the Roluos-group which is a little bit offside. On the way to these temples five tanks are standing along the street. The temples are also interesting but smaller.

More impressions of the temples:

I was in Cambodia 1996. Two month after I’ve left the Khmer Rouge fighted again. Fortunately, the Khmer Rouge dissolved at the end of 1999. In Cambodia I saw also people without hands and feed, victims of landmines.

Hot in the city!

In Vienna we had 37 ° Celsius yesterday. And the temperature at your place?

On my balcony I have a marsh and two ponds but they are to small for me to swim. Creeping Jenny and dwarf cattail are growing in the marsh.

Water lettuce is swimming in one of the ponds. You should by only one plant of this because it increases itselfs.

The lucky frogs are swimming in the other pond. Lucky because they have enough place there. On garden markets I found swimming stones in orange, red and with roses. They are a kind of earthenware and look very nice between the green plants.

Snails also took up the ponds as their residence.

Thailand – 4.Teil

The Beach ohne Leonardo

Dort nehme ich die Fähre nach Ko Phi Phi. Ich komme gerade zu leukatong, dem Lichterfest auf die Insel. Die kleinen Boote sind mit Blumen und Kerzen geschmückt. Am Abend werden sie mit den Wünschen der Menschen auf das Meer hinausgeschickt.

In den nächsten Tagen genieße ich den Paradise Beach und buche eine Bootstour rund um die Insel und zum berühmten Shark Point. Das ist eine Gruppe von Felsen unter dem Wasser, wo die Haie des Nachts schlafen. Dort angekommen, stürzen sich alle mitfahrenden Touristen mit Masken und Flossen ins Wasser. Dieses ist noch dazu sehr trüb und so sehe ich nur zwei Haifische, die schnell die Flucht ergreifen.

Übrigens: die Bilder des Films entsprechen der Realität. Und so bleibe ich zehn Tage im Paradies.

Danach geht es noch eine Woche nach Vietnam.

Driving home for Christmas

In diesem Fall müsste es allerdings flying home for Christmas heißen. Nach einer Woche in Vietnam bin ich wieder zurück in Bangkok. Nach zwei Monaten „Urlaub“ ist mir schon ein bisschen langweilig. Und obwohl ich das tropische Klima liebe, freue ich mich auf Wintertemperaturen, meine Pelzjacke und Punsch am Christkindlmarkt mit meiner Freundin. Am 20. Dezember fliege ich nach Hause.

Am 26. Dezember wird Ko Phi Phi vom Tsunami zerstört. Drei Wochen nachdem ich die Insel verlassen habe.

Wie diese Reise begann: Laos 1. Teil


it’s showtime!

This year a little bit later because of the low temperature. But now they have started to bloom.

The red one is a shrub rose which I have inherited from my father.

The yellow one is new on my balcony. It is a climber.

The pink one is a breed of a miniature rose.

And the last one is a floribunda. Its blossom opened yesterday.

In April I always dung them with horse dung. As the blossoms came I found plant louses on my roses. In such case I mix a little bit of soft soap with water. Than I spray the roses with them. Fortunately, there are no more louses.