Roman Malanke

Majestic Yosemite

Trips that are awful and trips that are awesome have one thing in common — it’s not easy to talk about them with others, either because there is too little good to even remember, or too much good to choose what to tell. Our Memorial Day trip to Yosemite was definetely of the second kind. It is such a beautiful place and we had so much fun there that even picking an illustration for this post or creating this photo album was a lot of hard work!

We travelled in a group of six friends plus one baby and we stayed in beautiful country house about one hour away from Yosemite that we rented on Airbnb. Believe it or not, this was my first time ever actually using Airbnb. Everything from the experience of using the app to make a reservation all the way to the amenities available in the house were fantastic. So now I know first-hand that all the hype around the sharing economy and the Airbnb service in particular is real.

The house itself had all one can wish for for a getaway like this. It was located in a serene countryside surrounded by large pine trees. It was perfectly quiet during the night and with the air so fresh that you want to just sit there and savor every breath. Luckily, a hot tub outside and a spacious terrace with a professional grill helped us not too spend all the time just in breathing meditations. The nearby town of Mariposa offered a nice grocery store and a decent selection of places to eat or have a drink. We particularly favorited a restaurant called “1850” where in a lively atmosphere we had some delicious burgers and good beers.

Two full days that we had during the trip we spent inside the Yosemite National Park. On the first day we went hiking up the Mist Trail into the hills towards Half Dome stopping at Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls. And on the second day we walked around Yosemite Valley and Yosemite Falls in a more relaxed mode. The first view of those amazing waterfalls makes an unforgettable impression. They are truly majestic creations of nature and I could hardly compare their beauty with anything else I’ve seen before, even the Grand Canyon. Luckily just before the trip I got my new iPhone SE, so like a little kid, I enjoyed taking lots of photos (including selfies!) and shooting videos every moment of the way. Some of those pictures are published here.

The only downside of the whole trip was the quantity of cars inside the Yosemite Valley. There were long jams on the way in and out and finding the parking spot felt almost like winning the jackpot. I almost got driven over by a crazy middle-aged couple from Britain who descended to the semi-civilized state after probably making hundreds of loops around the lot. So when we go next time, we will definitely avoid holidays and long weekends, and instead just take a couple of days off from work and go during weekdays.

As it happens with all trips of this kind, when the time came to head back home none of us wanted to leave. But we left all certain that we will come back to Yosemite many more times again — for longer hikes, for camping and, of course, to share the experience of Yosemite with our friends and relatives who will come to visit us here in California.