Sink into Dune du Pilat

Golden, powdery sand as far as the eye can see. In front of me, behind, above, and below. There’s good reason why Dune du Pilat is officially Europe’s tallest sand dune. In fact, I’m going to let the dune show off a little: Dune du Pilat isn’t stationary. It’s actually moving slowly inwards, eating up…

Mont-Saint-Michel, and why it’s no longer an island at high tide

Mont-Saint-Michel can be seen rising out of the sea from miles away – a Gothic apparition, pulling visitors off the highway to a time gone by. The mount has been beckoning pilgrims since the 8th century – calling them to cross a treacherous bay, with some of the fastest rising tides in the world. But…

China’s Avatar Mountains -Awesome Zhangjiajie

It’s not every day that you can step into an animated film. But Zhangjiajie was the inspiration for the floating mountains in Avatar, and David Cameron lifted them so exactly that its easy to expect my very own flying mountain banshee to be waiting at the top. Being there is kind of like being Mike…

Mývatn – No Other Place Like it on Earth

Mývatn is a place that’s like no other in the world. And that’s not my opinion – it’s a UNESCO fact. Only two locations are considered somewhat similar – oceanside Hawaii and Mars! So what makes it so special? Lake Mývatn is full of islands that formed in a very unique way. About 2000 years…

Namafjall Hverir – a Trip to Mars

One thousand rotting eggs – that’s what Námafjall Hverir smells like. The smell seeps into the car with the windows still up, whilst we’re still about half a kilometre away. Námafjall Hverir is a hotspot of geothermal activity, and its smell comes from hydrogen sulfide gas that’s constantly being released from its hot springs and…

Iceland’s Best Waterfalls

  ‘Foss’ was the first word I learnt in Icelandic.  Thanks to my waterfall-loving husband, it was dotted all over the map for our Iceland road trip before we even set foot in the country.  Iceland is heaven for waterfall fans: it literally overflows with them, thanks to a happy combination of climate, geology and…

Rafting the Li River, Guilin

  Rafts to my left,  rafts to my right, and countless stretch ahead and behind me. I’m setting off as part of a pirate armada, or at least that’s what it feels like. Though here on the Li River, it’s less Jack Sparrow and more Ching Shih. I may be floating on top of the…

Beijng’s Forbidden City

  A hundred years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to set foot in this place.  Only royalty, concubines and eunuchs could wander about the Forbidden City. It’s from here that China’s emperors ruled, set law, and lived for 500 years until the abdication of the last emperor, Puyi. He was forcefully evicted from his…

Guilin’s Reed Flute Cave

  I know nature is the world’s best artist, but sometimes I need a little reminder. Guilin had reminders dripping from the sky, and nowhere was this more literal than at its Reed Flute Cave. Formed over millions of years, the stalactites and stalagmites here could make Michelangelo green with envy, as they show off…

Beijing’s Cherry Blossoms

  A man’s rice noodles dribble out of his mouth as I walk past. His mouth remains agape – my appearance has made him forget that he’s eating. He’s not the only one. A few metres away, a group of girls giggle and point in my direction. Two middle-aged women angle their mobiles to take…

One day in Heimaey

  Heimaey is off the typical tourist track in Iceland, but well worth the detour. It’s an island that forms part of Vestmannaeyjar (the Westman Islands), about an hour ferry ride off the mainland.  The island is only 13.4km² so its main sights can be easily seen in a day, which makes it a perfect spot…

Discovering baby dragons in Postojna

Each time I watch a horror movie, scenes tend to remain trapped in my mind for ages, resurfacing when I least expect them. So upon visting Postojna in Slovenia, I couldn’t help but picture The Descent. The film follows six unsuspecting cave explorers who get trapped in an unmapped cave system, where they’re pursued by…

Time travelling into Einstein’s house in Bern

Today, a red plaque on the building’s facade proudly announces ‘Einstein-haus’. But, in 1905, there would have been nothing  to distinguish this tiny flat from all the other similar blocks along Kamgrasse in Bern. Yet, behind the curtains, no ordinary home life was going on. This is the home in which Einstein came up with his theory…

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  Hello! I’m Tessa – a scientist, writer and science communicator. Read about my blog here and click on the social media buttons below, or subscribe via email, to follow my journey!  

Glacier hiking in Norway

I’m holding an ice pick, sharp crampons, and a jumble of loops that will somehow turn into a climbing harness; staring up at a wall of ice. I don’t need to formulate the thought as my travel partner turns to me, “What on earth did you sign us up for?” Most people come up with…

Inside an ancient alchemy laboratory

In August 2002, Prague was flooded by heavy rains. The results were catastrophic; billions of Czech korunas’ worth of damage, seventeen dead, and forty thousand people evacuated from their homes. In the aftermath, the resilient residents dusted themselves off and started to pick up the pieces. The owner of house number 1, on Haštalská street…