Wow, how time flies! 25 years ago Andrzej and I celebrated our first New Year's together, and it was at that point we decided to embark on our Crazy Trails journey. Since then, between the 2 of us, we have visited 84 countries, taken countless photos, and Andrzej has climbed a crazy number of mountains. And we're not done! We both still have places on our bucket list, and goals to accomplish.

I hope you all have enjoyed our content and that you stay with us to see where we go next! Happy New Year and wishing everyone health and prosperity for 2024.

Shona & Andrzej


A few pictures of Gibraltar and the coast of Morocco, as seen from the hills above Alcaidesa. We will never get tired of this incredible view.



Solitude ...she sings, she dances, she plays, she loves, she lives.
Now is her time to reflect, to ponder, to muse, to rest. Solitude.

Stillness ...she sees herself, she listens to her heart, she reminds herself
of her worth, her beauty, her passion. She loves who she is. Stillness.

Serenity ...she inhales, she exhales, she closes her eyes. She waits.
She opens her eyes, ready to face life once more. Serenity.



A few days ago, I managed to finally finish a project that I have been occupied with for several years, called “Three-thousanders of the Sierra Nevada Mountains", in Spain. The list includes 38 peaks with a height of over 3,000 meters above sea level, with Mulhacen being the highest at 3479 meters.

All summits are accessible to experienced hikers, although several provide significant scrambling sections, and some are located in remote parts of the Sierra Nevada, quite difficult to access. Considering that the trails in these mountains are not marked, navigation in these less frequented areas can be tricky.

The project was rather tiring and time consuming but I’m glad I did it. I’m looking forward to my next challenge.

More about the project here.



Well ...finally ...we made it to Paris! We decided the time was right, as we recently celebrated 25 years together. We had always wanted to go with Felix to get a picture of him in front of the Eiffel Tower and, though that never happened, he was there with us in spirit. It was a short visit but we managed to see everything we wanted to see. Hopefully we'll get a chance to go again and spend more time just wandering around enjoying the city's amazing vibe.

More pictures from Paris.



Caceres, a city in the autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain, was declared a World Heritage City by UNESCO in 1986, for it's blend of Roman, Moorish, Northern Gothic and Italian Renaissance architecture. Thirty towers from the Islamic period still stand, of which the Torre del Bujaco is the most famous. The Old Town (Parte Antigua) still has its ancient walls containing a medieval town setting with no outward signs of modernity, which is why many television shows and films have been shot there (from Wiki).



The last mountain-related stop on my journey south was in the Pyrenees. First in Andorra, where, despite the insane temperature of +35C and an elevation gain of 1400 m,  I managed to reach the summit of Pic de Medecourbe (2912 m). After that excruciating experience, I crossed the border to France and spent some time doing some easy hiking/sightseeing around the beautiful Lac de Cap-de-Long area and the Neouvielle Nature Reserve.



From the Dolomites I moved on to the Alps, to the famous Aosta Valley in northwestern Italy. Specifically, to the village of Breuil-Cervinia, which lies in the shadow of the iconic Matterhorn. The main reason for this visit was to see the prominent mountain with my own eyes. In order to have a better look, I summited the neighboring Breithorn West (4164 m), a mountain very popular with alpinists. The views of Matterhorn and the Monte Rosa Massif, are absolutely spectacular.



My trip back home was all about mountains. The Dolomites, in northeastern Italy were my first target, where I managed to reach the top of a few interesting summits, including Tofana di Rozes (3225 m) in the Tofane group and Piz Boe (3152 m), the highest mountain of the Sella group.

More pictures from Dolomites.



A weekend in Prague, in July! Well... not my best idea, lol. Insanely hot (plus 36 C) and insanely crowded. Stay away from the Old Town Square or the Charles Bridge.

The main goal of my trip was the Franz Kafka Museum, opened in 2005, as Kafka is one of, if not my favorite author. The exhibition, first displayed in Barcelona in 1999, features copies of manuscripts as well as photographs and personal documents. Worth a visit? Well, probably only for Kafka fans, lol.



The Cathedral of St Barbara in Kutna Hora, Czechia is one of the most famous Gothic churches in central Europe and it is a UNESCO world heritage site. St Barbara is the patron saint of miners (among others), which was highly appropriate for a town whose wealth was based entirely upon its silver mines.

Construction began in 1388 but because work on the cathedral was interrupted several times, it was not completed until 1905. The original design was for a much larger church, perhaps twice the size of the present building. Construction, however, depended on the prosperity of the town's silver mines, which became much less productive over the time (from Wiki).



Southern Alberta never fails to surprise and entertain! I thoroughly enjoyed doing some exploring with my mom, brother, and Andrzej. I had seen a photo of Dorothy, AB, on Instagram, and decided that was my destination of choice for this visit. A tiny little hamlet with plenty to keep the shutter busy. Beyond that just lots of random exploring. My mom absolutely loves just driving around, she never cares if she gets lost or if she has to turn around, so much fun to go out with her. Precious memories that will stay with me forever.

More pictures from Canada.



Recently I managed to add a couple of runs to my list: another 5k parkrun in Jelenia Góra, Poland, and the IX Night Half-marathon in Wrocław, also in Poland.

The Wrocław Night Half-marathon is a hugely popular running event in Poland. In 2022 it was the second most popular run (after the 10k Independence Day Run in Warsaw), and the most popular half-marathon in the country. This year over 8 thousand runners participated, so if you are not used to such big crowds (ME!!!), it can be a little bit intimidating. It was not the best running day for me, not even sure why (one of those days, I guess, lol). My time: 02h, 08m, 13s.



Nuremberg is the largest city, and the unofficial capital of Franconia (part of the German state of Bavaria). The main tourist attractions are the Imperial Castle, St. Lorenz Church, and the Nazi Trial grounds. The city also offers 54 different museums for arts and culture, history, science and technology, family and children, and more niche categories, where visitors can see the world's oldest globe (built in 1492), a 500-year-old Madonna, and Renaissance-era German art.



Driving through Germany is always a pleasure, not only because of the excellent (and FREE) highways but also because of the abundance of interesting tourist attractions, where you can take a break from your travels. Castles are always popular amongst tourists, and there are a lot of them. This time I managed to visit two, both on the list of top ten castles in Germany: Sigmaringen Castle and Hohenzollern Castle.

Sigmaringen Castle was the princely castle and seat of government for the Princes of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. The castle was rebuilt following a fire in 1893, and only the towers of the earlier medieval fortress remain. Sigmaringen Castle was a family estate of the Swabian Hohenzollern, a cadet branch of the Hohenzollern family, from which the German Emperors and kings of Prussia came. During the closing months of World War II, the castle was briefly the seat of the Vichy French Government after France was liberated by the Allies (from Wiki).

Hohenzollern Castle is the ancestral seat of the imperial House of Hohenzollern. The third, and current, castle was built between 1846 and 1867 as a family memorial by Hohenzollern scion King Frederick William IV of Prussia. Architect Friedrich August Stuler based his design on English Gothic Revival architecture and the Chateaux of the Loire Valley. No member of the Hohenzollern family was in permanent or regular residence when it was completed. In 1945 it briefly became the home of the former Crown Prince Wilhelm of Germany, son of the last Hohenzollern monarch, Kaiser Wilhelm II (from Wiki).



With over a hundred cathedrals dominating its cityscapes, France is a very interesting place for architecture and religious art enthusiasts. Below are pictures of a few spectacular examples (not even top ten) I managed to stumble upon. Too bad they didn’t spend that money on schools and hospitals, eh?



From Segovia I continued north, with short stops at the Castle of Coca, and Burgos, to see the famous cathedral.

The castle in Coca was constructed in the 15th century and has been considered to be one of the best examples of Spanish Mudejar brickwork which incorporates Moorish Muslim design and construction with Gothic architecture.

The Cathedral of Saint Mary of Burgos (according to Wiki) was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on October 31, 1984. It is the only Spanish cathedral that has this distinction independently, without being joined to the historic center of a city (as in Salamanca, Santiago de Compostela, Avila, Cordoba, Toledo, Alcala de Henares or Cuenca) or in union with other buildings, as in Seville.



We barely managed to get some rest after our visit to Canada and it's already time for my annual road trip north-east. 3 and a half thousand km, man!

My first stop was the spectacular city of Segovia. The city is famous for its historic buildings including three main landmarks: its Roman aqueduct, its cathedral (one of the last ones to be built in Europe in a Gothic style), and the medieval castle, which served as one of the templates for Walt Disney's Cinderella Castle. The city center was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.



What a nice Sunday afternoon stroll through downtown Calgary. It was a beautiful, sunny spring day, so the patios were full of locals tired of the 10-month long winter, hahaha.

The city has changed immensely over the 33 years since I saw it the first time. The countless parking lots surrounding downtown are gone, replaced by residential towers. More bars, restaurants, and a whole bunch of new, very modern and interesting architectural projects (ex, National Music Centre, Central Library or The Bow Tower). Streets look more colorful and (surprise, surprise) are full of people, on Sunday!, downtown!. Unheard of even 20 years ago, hahaha.

Thank you Shona for a fun day.



Another short visit to Gibraltar. As always, the noisy and chaotic streets were packed with tourists, so we tried to explore some less visited places on the outskirts of the popular zone. The great day was topped off with a lunch of fish&chips and amazing cronuts from a bakery called chöc for dessert.



We decided it was high time we went out for a day trip, so we visited a couple more of the famouse White Villages of Andalusia, Zahara and Grazalema. Zahara de la Sierra is a stunning mountaintop village, with whitewashed houses clinging to the rocks. From the top of the village, visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, including the Zahara-El Gastor reservoir. It's also nice to cross the reservoir and get photos of the town from that side.

Grazalema, on the other hand, is situated in a lush green valley and is renowned for its stunning natural beauty. With its charming streets and whitewashed houses adorned with colorful flowers, the village is a delightful place to explore on foot. The surrounding countryside is a paradise for hikers, with rugged mountain trails and stunning vistas.

We ended the day in Ronda, just to get some photos of the famous Puente Nuevo bridge, from below. Spanning a deep gorge, the bridge is an engineering marvel and is one of the most iconic landmarks in Andalusia.



I ran my 30th half-marathon yesterday, yay. The 8th Media Maraton Ciudad de Algeciras in (of course) Algeciras. One of the smaller running event in Spain, around 250 participants only. The weather was good, the route not overly complicated.
My time: 02h, 03m, 52s.



Recently we visited another two places on the long list of Pueblos Blancos (White Villages) in Andalusia - Vejer de la Frontera and Medina Sidonia.

The town of Vejer de la Frontera occupies a hill overlooking the Straits of Gibraltar and is surrounded by orchards and orange groves. There are several ancient churches and convents, and the architecture of many of its houses dates back to the period of Moorish rule, which lasted from 711 until the town was captured by Saint Ferdinand of Castile in 1248.

Medina Sidonia, considered by some to be the oldest city in Europe, was conquered in 712 by the Muslim commander Musa ibn Nusayr, and became the capital of the province of Sidonia in the emirate of Spain. It returned to Christian hands with Alfonso X of Castile, in 1264, becoming a stronghold along the frontier with the last Muslim country in the Iberian Peninsula, the Kingdom of Granada.



I've always enjoyed taking photos but it's only been the last few years where I've really taken it seriously. I finally bought myself a good DSL camera with some different lenses, and I've been working on various types of photography. I'm interested in most of the genres but I've been specifically focusing on closeup and long exposure shots, as well as improving my overall understanding of the technical side of things. I do love black and white but I don't want to limit myself to that so I just go with my gut on each image. I'm truly enjoying the experimentation and the learning process, I hope you like what I've created!



I know, kind of weird to choose to go to Oslo in January but ...hey, cheap flights, lol. And ...drum roll, please ...Andrzej finally managed to knock off his 100th country! So the first part of his 3x100 challenge completed. We actually loved the city, the people were super friendly and it has a really laid-back vibe. Not many tourists in January so that might be why they were so welcoming but I found it to be a much nicer experience than visiting Bergen.

We visited their new National Museum, which houses The Scream by Edvard Munch, and the Astrup Fearnly Modern Art Museum. Both are a must if you're an art lover visiting Oslo. We also had a couple of nice, sunny days (still cold, though, brrr!) and enjoyed wandering around taking photos of the architecture and numerous outdoor sculptures. I like getting to a city from time to time so I can get some street photography shots, as well. All in all it was a great trip!

More pictures from Oslo.



Finally, three years later than planned (due to the paranoia and the shit the world has fallen into), I managed to visit my 100th country - Norway.



We will never get tired of this view …a dream come true!



Good start to the new year, one of my pictures from the Spanish Sierra Nevada mountains made it into the 2023 calendar published by the Sudecki Mountaineering Club in Jelenia Góra. Sweet!