Eibsee, Germany

The Eibsee Loop Trail is only 4.3 miles (6.9 kilometers) long. There’s barely any elevation gains.

But it took me nearly 3 hours to walk it.

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Algarve, Portugal

You know you are with the right travel companions when after a trip, no only you still talk to one another, your friendship strengthens.

To be honest our week-long trip to the Algarve and Alentejo wasn’t entirely incident free – First, on the day of the departure, our Airbnb host cancelled our accommondation; Then we smoked the clutch on our manual rental car at one of the longest bridges in Europe; Thirdly we encountered a wildfire outburst, as soon as we reached the Algarve, near Monchique, it burned all night long, even spread to Portimão; Finally, just as we thought it wouldn’t get any worse, we scratched the side of our car making a tight turn in the medieval street of Estremoz Castle – Thank you American Express Platnium card!

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Summer Palace, Beijing Part 1

“Yiheyuan” 颐和园 (Summer Palace of Beijing)  is an imperial garden from the Qing Dynasty. Built in 1764 as “Qingyiyuan” 清漪园 during the reign of the Emperor Qianlong. It was burned down towards the end of the Second Opium War by the Anglo-French troops and was reconstructed in 1888 by the Guanxu Emperor to celebrate the 60th birthday of Empress Dowager Cixi, adopting its present name. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognized for “its harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value”.

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Autumn in Beijing

Last month I went back to Beijing. While I was there working half of the time on a project, I did get to visit some of the sights around the city.

The morning after my arrival,  I took a stroll in the neighbourhood Yuyuantan Park 玉渊潭公园.

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Douro Valley, Portugal

At the Porto airport, a Sixt rental agent was trying to upsell us a Mercedes-Benz. It’s only 42€/day she claimed – 18€ more than the Smart car we booked off Expedia – and it would come in handy when you drive those mountain roads. She almost had us, that is, until we reviewed the total amount and realized that, contrary to our understanding, the daily rate had now jumped to 66€ (almost tripled the amount we had initially signed up for) and we were going to be driving for 9 days. We politely declined her offer and kept our Smart.

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