My travels 2019
Time goes by so quickly, it’s already the end of 2019. When I wrote the summary of my travels 2018 I was sitting on Dubai airport and on the plane to Bangkok the days after Christmas. I looked back on a very good travel year with many new countries and experiences. At the same time I was looking forward to begin 2019 with a trip. More than that trip to Thailand and Cambodia I didn’t have any other plans for 2019 at that time. So now, let’s see how 2019 turned out.
This was my second visit to Thailand. I went to the eastern parts of the country and visited Koh Chang, Koh Kood and Koh Samet, an area I hadn’t been to before. I started in Koh Chang which was a very nice island with beautiful beaches and a lot of jungle. I visited the western part of the island and almost all of the bigger beaches there. I think my favorite beach was the northern parts of White sand beach, but Klong Kloi beach was pretty nice too.
From here I went to Cambodia (see later in this post) and then back to Thailand and Koh Kood. I stayed on Siam beach which felt like paradise. It was so very calm and beautiful and I just spent the days by my beach hut listening to the waves, walking on the soft sand and swimming in the cristal clear water. It was really postcard pretty here with the palm trees and the color of the ocean. I remember I thought it was a little hard to understand I was there, but tried to enjoy it as much as I could.
I still have the photo below as the background on my phone, so I see and dream about this place everyday…
Then I went to Koh Samet, a touristy island with a whole other vibe than the previous. I mostly decided to go here cause it was a little closer to Bangkok (and the plane home). I had read very different reviews about it and decided to see for myself. And it was okey I guess, but so far not the best island I’ve been to in Thailand and not anywhere I would return to.
I have wanted to go to Angkor Wat and Cambodia for a while now and finally it was time. On paper it’s a perfect combination with a visit to Angkor Wat from the eastern islands of Thailand. But, it didn’t go so smooth for me. From Koh Chang where I was staying to Siem Reap there are organised trips that take a whole day. I get a little upset now when I think about how my trip went to and from Siem Reap though, all the hustling and so on from some bad companies! I will never ever do this again and not recommend it to anyone! I will not get in to details, but we were tricked to change money and I was left in the middle of nowhere by a taxi…
Moving on… Siem Reap is a very big city and it was fun to see something more than just beaches. There are many markets in the center that I went through several times on my days there.
I visited Angkor Wat on one day on a guided tour. We saw it during sunrise and then visited other temples here too. So much history here and it was really interesting to see and hear about it.
I also went to the floating city Kompong Phluk…
After my trip to Thailand I got sick for several weeks, like the rest of Sweden I think. And after that I was a bit tired, so it lasted three months before I went on another trip…
San Sebastián, Spain
Another place I have wanted to visit for ages is San Sebastián. Ever since 2005 or so when I first heard of it I have wanted to visit this place. I went here in late April for a couple of days and stayed in the middle of the old town. I thought the city was very nice with a nice mix of modern and old. The highlights of my trips are usually all the beautiful views I try to see, but on this I think I have to say it was the food tour. San Sebastián and the Basque country is famous for its cuisine so it was a given to take a food tour and try different pintxos.
Lake Como, Italy
And so it was time for summer. I started my vacation in Italy and Lake Cómo with my mom. You rarely get disappointed of Italy, and this was no exception. We had some really nice days seeing the famous towns of Varenna, Bellagio and Menaggio. The lake is really beautiful and the towns are really cute. A very nice relaxing vacation.
The Hardangerfjord, Norway
After about a week home in Sweden it was time for a roadtrip to Norway. We drove around the Hardangerfjord and did the epic and popular hike to The Trolltunga cliff. We had such beautiful weather the whole trip and Norway really showed its best sides. We also did some very nice hikes to Vöringsfossen and to Bondhusvatnet.
After the roadtrip with my friend I continued alone a bit further north in Norway and got to see Trollstigen, Litlefjellet and the Geiranger fjord.
The variety and the beauty of the Norwegian nature, oh my god!
Salzburg and Zell am see, Austria
Austria, that empty spot on ”my map”. Ten years ago I went by train through the country and it was so beautiful. I didn’t feel I got the real Austrian-experience though so I planned a trip here around my birthday this year. I flew to Vienna and then took the train to Salzburg. I did all the usual things in this city, visiting the Mozart museum, Festung Hohensalzburg, Schloss Mirabell and so on. I really liked it!
After Salzburg I wanted to see the mountains. I had spent a lot of time researching which place to visit, and finally I ended up going to Zell am see. It is a very popular town by a lake and surrounded by mountains of course. It was really beautiful here with many hikes on different levels. It’s also a really popular place as a winter destination.
I went to Kitzsteinhorn. I was planning on hiking down from here, but there was too much fog along the trail.
When I was ”done” with Austria I took a small detour to Bratislava in Slovakia. It’s really close to the Vienna airport from Bratislava so why not? Here I took a free walking tour in the old parts of the city. A very nice thing to do when you’re short on time and want to see a lot and also learn about the town. I really liked Bratislava a lot. The old town had beautiful houses just like many old towns in Europe, and at the same time it felt modern. It really succeeded my expectations.
Over a short weekend a friend and I went to Tallinn. It was in October and the weather was really grey. It was raining the whole time! But we still had a nice time of course. We visited the museum Kiek in the Kök and the tunnels which was really interesting. We also visited the café Maiasmokk and had a nice fika break. Oh, and yes, this was my 40th country to visit. :)
And so on the very last days before Christmas me and a friend took the ferry to Poland. I really liked the concept with going by ferry during the night. Early in the morning you arrive in Gdynia and then take the train to Gdańsk. You then have the whole day to explore before the ferry leaves again. We were really lucky with the weather, the sun was shining all day long and we had a really nice day. Gdańsk took me by surprise actually, I can really see myself going back there someday. The old town was beautiful and much bigger than I thought, and the walk by the river was really nice too. The ferry home was delayed for 4,5 hours though, and we didn’t board until 02:15 am, and at that time we were pretty tired…
A year ago I wrote ”Maybe this will be the year I finally go to Gotland and Oslo? Who knows…”, and I can say that I went to Norway, but not Oslo, and Gotland is still on my list. I was thinking of going there in June but the weather wasn’t that good. Well, I’m happy, it has been a very good year! New countries visited are: Cambodia, Austria, Slovakia and Estonia.
And next year? Maybe more ferry trips to the countries around the Baltic sea? And hopefully a long trip to Australia! So excited for what 2020 brings!