This year has been characterized with travels for me. I have gone on 6 trips and have visited 6 new countries. The trips have been a real mix of travels as well. I’ve gone on a city weekend with a friend, spent a week at an Italian castle with friends, hiked in the Swedish mountains, explored Cuba and gone on 3 solo trips within Europe. Wow, what a year! I feel really lucky to have the possibility to travel as much as I do.
So, to the trips then, starting from the beginning…
Cuba (and the US)
On the 3rd of January me and my friend headed to Miami. This was my first time visiting the US, and it was only a quick stop before we continued to Cuba. We stayed here for two nights and only had time for a bus tour and some time at the beach. It was a bit cold though so the beach time wasn’t that enjoyable. The bus tour wasn’t the best either, the most “interesting” we learned on that tour was where Justin Bieber apparently rented the car he was driving when he got arrested for drunk driving… Well, I’ve heard many good things about Miami so maybe I’ll give it another chance some other time…
Cuba then. Never before have I studied so much before a trip and learned so much during it. It was a great experience to visit Cuba and see how people are living there. We visited Havana, the capital of Cuba that is a big and lively city filled with colorful cars. And everywhere there was music, loud music!
From Havana we moved on to Viñales. It was fun to see that the small country town is expanding really fast. It has in a short time become a very popular tourist spot because of the surrounding beautiful nature and tobacco fields. One of the highlights of the trip was when we went horseback riding in the Viñales valley.
The last stop on Cuba was the colorful Trinidad. Here we went on a small hike in a nearby forest and spent some time at the beach.
We had a good time in Cuba although we encountered some small troubles and got to experience the laid back attitude “mañana mañana”. Blog posts about Cuba will come.
Solo trip to Málaga
After a spring that was quite hectic on work I had the chance to go on a holiday for a few days. This was in the beginning of June and I wanted to go somewhere warm with a beach to relax but still with some things to do. I decided to go to Málaga in southern Spain since I hadn’t been in that part of Spain, wanted to practice my Spanish and because I could do a day trip to Gibraltar. It was a calm and quiet vacation. I spent my time relaxing on the beach reading books and eating good tapas.
On a very hot day I took a day trip to Granada.
Okay, so does Gibraltar count as a country? Let’s leave that discussion for another time, but on my list it is.
From Málaga I took a day trip to Gibraltar. I was really looking forward to explore this British overseas territory, but was a bit disappointed. The inner city is cute and all, but the main attraction which is the Gibraltar Rock wasn’t what I expected. The view was good though, even though it was a bit misty.
Castle life in Italy
The first week of July I spent with a couple of friends at a castle in Italy. We were there to celebrate a friend’s 30th birthday and had a really nice time. Except for day trips to Verona and Venice, we spent the days by the pool and ate good food. It was really hot at the end of the week so the pool was the only option. Really great week, need to do this again some time.
After the week at the castle I continued traveling solo in Italy for about a week. My first stop was San Marino, and another country to check off my list. I really liked San Marino and its old town and castles. The view was amazing from the towers where you could see all the way to the sea. On the first day in San Marino I slipped on some steps and hurt my ass. The bruise got bigger and bigger everyday and it continued to hurt for the rest of the trip.
I had brought my small tripod and played around with it and took some night photos.
After San Marino I headed to Florence, Cinque Terre and Pisa. It was fun to see these famous spots in Italy, but, it was too hot to spend so many days in Florence! Never again will I visit a southern European city in the middle of summer…
Cinque Terre was great though, it was really nice to be by the water and the five small villages are all very picturesque. I hiked between some of the villages over the terraced vineyards that is overlooking the ocean.
Finally I got to see the famous leaning tower of Pisa. From the hotel terrace I had this view of the tower with the mountains in the background.
In the beginning of September me and my friend went on a three-day hike in the Swedish mountains. It was really nice to explore the Swedish beautiful nature and spend time with my friend that I rarely see nowadays. Even though we had some bad weather the first days the trip was really good and it ended really well with sunny days. We saw many reindeer and enjoyed being in the mountains a lot. This has left me wanting to explore my beautiful home country a lot more. Maybe I’ll stay in Sweden next summer, it will definitely not be as hot as in Italy. 🙂
Weekend in Dublin
After my 30th birthday a friend and I took a spontaneous short weekend trip to Dublin. It was really nice to get away and spend some time in the Irish pubs. We were here for a short time but had time to do a whiskey tasting and visit the Guinness storehouse.
And so, the last trip of the year. In November I spent a week in Portugal, 3 days in Porto and 4 in Lisbon. It was nice to get away from a Sweden that was getting cold and collect some vitamin D before the long dark winter would move in.
In Porto I visited a port wine cellar, took a small boat trip, went to the bookstore Livraria Lello and of course visited many of the view points for a nice view over the city.
In Lisbon I strolled up and down the hills to the sound of the trams rushing through the city. I visited many of the view points and learned about its interesting history.
One of the days I took a day trip to the historic town of Sintra where I visited some castles.
And that was that, pretty good travel year. I don’t think next year will contain as many trips, but we’ll see, I already have three travels more or less planned.