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Who are the Bates family

We are the guys behind 'Find us in the Alps and France'

Hi there everyone, we are the Bates family from Stevenage, UK and we love traveling. Who doesn’t? Welcome to our travel blog. Now we want to tell the world about our travels as well as showing you our top tips, travel guides and information. The way we see it is, the blog is here to help you plan your future travels as well as entertaining you. 

So who are the Bates family? Well, Daniel (Danik) is the daddy of the family. A keen runner and beer drinker (a good combination Daniel has been traveling the world since 1998 (but not full time), but has also been a blogger in the past with ‘Danik the Explorer’, which started out in 2007 and ceased in early 2021. After a short break, it was time to bring out a new travel blog, a fresh start, especially after tough times going through the Coronavirus pandemic. Traveling to 53 countries so far and numerous adventures around Europe and North America mainly, there is sure to be plenty of blog posts to keep our readers interested. 

In tow there is Olga, the mother of the family and of course Daniel’s wife. They have been married since 2010 after meeting up in the Latvian capital of Riga way back in 2006. After buying a house in the commuter town of Stevenage in Hertfordshire (35 miles north of London) two bouncing babies came their way. Amelie was born in 2016 and Isabella came along very late in 2019.


Why ‘Find us in the Alps’


After thinking long and hard about a new blog name, a niche and to get away from the ‘Danik the Explorer’ identity, we always say we love getting lost in the Alps, everytime we travel to this part of Europe, if it's by car, train or using our own two feet. Hence the name just came out of that. However this blog will focus a lot of our mountain adventures in this region of the world (including France) as well as other amazing destinations such as the Far East of Asia, the cities of North America, the islands of the oceans to name a few. 

If anyone is wondering where the Alps are, this is a mountain range in Western and Central Europe which starts from the Mediterranean Sea in Southern France (which also includes Monaco), and up through Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Northern Italy, Southern Germany, Austria and into Slovenia. This part of the world is truly amazing for its nature and views as well as the culture, the people and of course, the food. This area we always come back to and I hope our blog posts entice our readers to explore also. 

Where have we been?

As a family (since 2016)

2018 - Lithuania - Vilnius. 

2019 - Cyprus - Paphos.

           France - Paris. 

           Germany - Fussen, Ludvigsberg. 

           Italy - Venice, Rimini, Ferrara.

           San Marino. 

2020 - Road trip across Europe from UK to Poland, Estonia (Tallinn & Narva), Lithuania (Hill of Crosses, Vilnius), Latvia (Riga).                 France - Penestin, Vannes (Brittany).

2021 - Road trip across Europe from UK to Latvia then to Austria (Vienna) via Czechia & Poland then to Germany (Bavaria) &                   Luxembourg.

           France - Rouen and eastern Normandy region.

2022 - France - Lille. 

           USA - Maui (Hawaii) & San Francisco (California).


Daniel with Amelie 


2018 - France - Corse (Corsica). 

Daniel and Olga since meeting up way back in June 2006 in Riga, Latvia.


2006 - Estonia - Tallinn

           Finland - Nokia, Tampere.

           Latvia - Gauja National Park, Ventspils, Jurmala.


2007 - Belgium - Chareloi & Bruxelles.

           Estonia - Tallinn.

           Finland - Helsinki, Nokia, Tampere. 

           Italy - Roma.

           Lithuania - Vilnius


           Portugal - Aveiro, Braga, Guimaraes, Porto.

           Spain - Vigo. 

           Vatican City.


2008 - Albania - Sarande.


           Austria - Villach.

           Bulgaria - Sofia, Varna, Golden Sands.

           Estonia - Tartu

           France - Paris.

           Germany: Hamburg, Lubeck. 

           Greece - Thessaloniki, Athens, Corfu.

           Italy - Rimini, Forli, Bologna.

           Lithuania - Vilnius. 

           Netherlands: Amsterdam, Den Haag, Rotterdam.

           North Macedonia - Skopje

           San Marino.

           Serbia - Belgrade, 

           Slovenia - Bled, Ljubljana.

           Spain - Girona, Barcelona. . 

2009 - Andorra

           Austria - Bad Gastein, Bregenz, Grossglockner Hochalpenstraße, Krimml, Werfen, Zell-am-See. 

           Belgium - Brugge, Gent, Antwerpen, Ostend, Damme, De Panne.

           France - Cannes, Chamonix, Evian-les-Bains Lille, Nice, Villefranche-sur-mer.

           Germany - Friedrichshafen, Lindau, Neuschwanstein Castle. 

           Italy - Calabria region.



           Norway - Oslo, Tromso, Svalbard.

           Spain - Girona, Cadaqués, Figueres.

           Sweden - Stockholm.

           Switzerland - Aigle, Geneva, Grindelwald, Gryon, Interlaken, Lausanne, Montreux, Oberhofen, Rolle, Zermatt

2010 - Austria: Graz. 


           Ontario: Niagara Falls, Ottawa, Scarborough, Toronto.

           Quebec: Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Montreal, Parc Omega, Quebec Ville.

           France: Arles, Avignon, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Mt. Ventoux, Nimes, Pont du Gard, Orange.

           Italy: Bergamo, Bologna, Brescia, Florence, Lake Garda, Pisa, Siena, Venice, Verona.

           Poland: Krakow. 

           Slovenia: Maribor.


           Connecticut - Mystic.

           Maine - Augusta, Bangor, Millinocket. 

           Massachusetts - Boston, Brockton, Cape Cod, Plymouth.

           New Hampshire - Killington, Mt. Washington.

           New Jersey - Brick Church. Ellis Island, Liberty Island.

           New York: New York City. 

           Rhode Island - Providence. 

           Vermont - Waterbury.

           Washington D.C.

2011 - Denmark: Copehagen, Helsingor.

           France: Paris, Somme, Versailles.

           Iceland: Reykjavik.

           Ireland: Dublin.


           Portugal: Algarve. 

           Spain: Granda, Madrid, Malaga, Marbella, Nerja, Ronda, Torremolinos.       

           Sweden: Malmo. 

           United Kingdom Overseas Territory: Gibraltar.  

2012 - Belarus - Minsk.

           Belgium: Brugge, De Panne, Diksmuide, Ieper.

           Estonia - Tallinn.

           Finland - Helsinki.

           France - Amiens, Somme, 

           Germany: Bremen. 

           Latvia - Gauja National Park, Jurmala, Riga.

           Lithuania - Trakai, Vilnius.

           Netherlands: Amsterdam, Delft, Den Haag, Kinderdijk, Zeeland region. 

           Poland - Katowice, Zakopane.

           Portugal: Lisbon, Sintra. 

           Spain: Formentera, Ibiza.  


2013 - Belgium: Grottes du Han (Han-sur-Lesse).

           France: Paris.

           Germany: Trier.


           Netherlands: Den Bosch, Lieden, Nijmegen. 

           Switzerland: Geneva, Interlaken, Jungfrau, Lauterbrunnen Valley, Luzern. 

           Tunisia: El Jem, Sahara, Sousse, 


2014 - Cape Verde (Cabo Verde): Boa Vista. 

           France - Arras, Bethune, Chantilly, Coucy, Gerberoy, Hyeres, Nice, Pierrefonds, St Tropez.

           Germany: Cologne, Dusseldorf, Wuppertal. 


           UK - Scotland road trip inc. Edinburgh, Orkney Islands, Thurso, Wick, Highlands, Oban.


2015 - Canada:

           British Columbia: Fraser Valley (Mission, Harrison Hot Springs, Hope), Mt Robson, Vancouver, Victoria.

           Alberta: Banff, Calgary, Canmore, Drumheller, Edmonton, Jasper, Lake Louise.

           Saskatchewan: Regina, Rouleau.

           France: Boulogne-sur-mer, Le Treport,

           Germany: Berlin, Potsdam. 

           Ireland: Howth.

           Netherlands: Amsterdam.

           Spain: Gran Canaira. 


2016 - China: Hong Kong, Macao, Shenzhen.


2018 - Belgium - Brugge.

           France - Lille.

           Greece: Athens.

           Latvia: Riga (For Latvia's 100th birthday).


Danik (without Olga). 


1998 - Spain: Mallorca


1999 - Spain: Fuerteventura.


2000 - Belgium: Brugge. 

2002: France: Paris.


2003: Sweden: Stockholm.


2005: Latvia; Riga.


2006: Austria: Bregenz.

          Germany: Friedrichshafen, Lindau.

          Latvia: Jurmala, Riga.


2007: Austria: Bregenz, Linz, Vienna.

          Croatia: Pula. 

          Czechia: Brno, Kutna Hora, Prague. 

          Germany: Friedrichshafen, Lindau, Mainz. 

          Hungary: Budapest, Lake Balaton.

          Italy: Bergamo, Milan. 

          Slovakia: Bratislava. 

          Slovenia: Ljubljana, Postonja.

          Sweden: Gothenburg.  

          Switzerland: St Margrethen. 

2008: Belarus: Minsk.

          France: Nice, Vitrolles. 

          Germany: Berlin, Frankfurt un der Ober.



          Norway: Sandefjord. 

          Poland: Auschwitz, Krakow, Warsaw.

          Romania: Bucharest, Brasov, Bran, Rasnov.

          Russia: Moscow. 

          Sweden: Nykopping. 

2009: Austria: Bregenz, Linz, Austria.

          Denmark: Aarhus. 

          Germany: Friedrichshafen.


          Moldova: Chisnau.

          Poland: Gdansk. 

          Romania: Bucharest. 

          Switzerland: Buchs. 

          Ukraine: Kiev. 

2010: Germany: Frankfurt. 

          Israel: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv. 

          Palestine: Bethlehem.


2011: Poland: Zakopane.  

2012: Liechtenstein.

          Sweden: Stockholm. 

          Switzerland: Bern, Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen Valley, Luzern, Zurich,

2014: Hungary: Debrecen, Zahony. 

          Slovakia: Kosice. 

          Ukraine: Chop, Lviv, Muckachevo, Nevytsky, Uzhhorod, 

2015: Andorra. 

          Belgium: Antwerp, Diksmuide, Gent. 

          France: Paris. 

          Poland - Lublin, Warsaw, Zamosc.

          Spain: Lloret de Mar. Tossa de Mar.


2016: Czechia - Ostrava

          Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur. 

          Morocco: Chefchaouen, Fes. 

          Poland - Auschwitz, Higher Tatra Mountains, Krakow, Zakopane.

          Slovakia - Podnad, Lower Tatra Mountains.

          Switzerland - Lake Geneva, Zermatt.

2017: Australia - Melbourne.

          Belgium: Damme, Diksmuide, Ieper. 

          China - Beijing.

          Estonia - Tallinn. 

          Finland: Utsjoki. 

          France - Chamonix, Fontainebleau, Paris, Provins, Menton, Nice, St Tropez.           

          Ireland - Dublin, Killarney, Ring of Kerry, Limerick.

          Italy - Pigna, Turin, Ventimiglia.

          Latvia - Riga.  

          Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur. 


          Netherlands: Amsterdam, Kinderdijk, 

          Norway - Finnmark region, Oslo.

          Switzerland: Rhone Valley.  

          Ukraine - Kiev. 

          USA - San Francisco, San Jose (California). 

2018: Canada: Fraser Valley & Vancouver (British Columbia), Gros Morne National Park, St Johns, Rocky Harbor (Newfoundland).

          France: Boulogne-sur-mer, Lille, Paris, Menton, Somme, St Pierre et Miquelon.

          Latvia: Riga.

          Lithuania: Trakai. 


          Norway: Svalbard. 

          Poland: Gdansk.

          Spain: Valenica. 

          USA: O'ahu & Big Hawaii (Hawaii), Seattle (Washington). 


2019: Belarus: Minsk.

          Canada: Banff, Calgary, Jasper, Lethbridge (Alberta). 

          Poland: Lodz, Malbork Castle, Torun.

          Ukraine: Lviv.