Posted 30 Sep 2014. Tagged: hiking and travel

The southern Kungsleden runs from Storlien to Sälen, in close proximity to the Swedish-Norwegian border. It is far less traveled than its northern counterpart, but is said to offer equally stunning landscapes and vistas - and stunning they were.

Starting out A view of the Reva

We spent 12 days hiking from Storlien to Grövelsjön and another 4 days exploring the Norwegian Fjäll west of Grövelsjön. Overall, we hiked close to 300km. You can find some impressions on Flickr.

We were incredibly lucky with the weather. The worst we encountered was a short-lived drizzle; even the mosquitoes seemed to leave us alone most of the time!

It has only been one week since, but I could already return for another round of hiking. The Fjäll has been different from all my previous hiking experiences, with the Allemansrätten offering a hitherto unexperienced kind of freedom. Additionally, the Swedes were incredibly friendly and even in the remotest corners everyone spoke fluent English. Surprisingly, a number of Swedes we met also spoke German.

Most of the people we encountered were regulars and, after our experiences, it is easy to see why. Next time, and there will be a next time, I aim to head further north into even more remote areas.

Posted 29 May 2014. Tagged: hiking and travel

I wrote the following ‘on the road’, after the first day of a hike around the Königssee. As it turned out, the trek that we picked was a little more challenging and the weather a little worse than expected. It meant that we didn’t touch the laptops for the remainder of the hike. I still believe that the concept of code-hiking is very enticing, but requires more meticulous planing. If you have ever done something similar, I would love to hear about it!

Code-hiking, as its name implies, combines hiking and coding. In my case, it leverages the amazing infrastructure available throughout southern Germany and the Alps to spend the days scaling the mountains, enjoying the breath-taking views and fresh air and spending the evenings hacking on projects.

The DAV (only available in German) maintains shelters and refuges throughout the alps. These let you charge your laptop over night. They also provide a certain level of comfort that sleeping in a tent just cannot. After a strenuous day spent hiking the hacking sessions end up being rather short - so far we managed about 1-2 hours during the evening - but are incredibly productive.

The hiking provides plenty of time to discuss, and mull over, challenges and problems regarding the project(s) at hand. And after a well-deserved dinner following the hiking, it’s time to find a power socket and a place to hunker down for good, old-fashioned coding. There are none of the traditional distractions, no HN or reddit, no TV.

While you are rarely alone in the shelters on weekends, quite the contrary, you can usually find a secluded spot. If it is crowded, people will still respect your desire for privacy. Next comes the easy part, open up your local copy of the documentation along with your favorite editor and get coding. Once the exhaustion finally does set in, it’s time for a final cup of tea and some reading/talking with the fellow hikers.

Code-hiking is very flexible: in the alps you can schedule anything ranging from 15 to 30km across terrain of varying difficulty between refuges. This allows for pacing according to your focus: hiking or coding. It also comes with the additional benefit of being relatively cheap in terms of accommodation and travel costs.

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