Explore Hansa with me! 5 enchanting Hanseatic cities from Sweden, Estonia and Latvia!

Explore your taste buds & create an inspiring gastronomical experience on the HANSA Culinary Trip!

It’s September!

And just where has the time gone?

I simply don’t know.

Do you?

SUMMER TIME

Summer Loving & my travel plans for the rest of the year!

Well, I for one, have been extremely busy.

And why?

I went to Sweden, Estonia AND Latvia!

Phew!

Quite frankly, they really need no introduction because I have written extensively about them before, but if you insist, here are the articles I wrote previously.

SWEDEN:

A Swedish hotdog in Stockholm – Sweden!

ESTONIA:

Tallinn Medieval Days. Kristina Õllek @Tallinn City Tourist Office & Convention Bureau

LATVIA:

The most popular international post so far was….Latvia!

WHY DID VICTORIA GO TO SWEDEN, ESTONIA AND LATVIA?

A first time beginners’ guide to the ITB Berlin: 10 tips to help you prepare. Bam!

Well, you all know how I love going to the ITB Berlin – the international tourism trade fair, otherwise known as the Internationale Tourismus-Börse!

And for those of you who don’t know, the ITB Berlin represents B2B, hotels, tourists boards, tour operators and providers, airlines, transport operators, responsible travel organisers, information technology experts, social media bloggers, and anybody else interested in travel and tourism.

It’s also the world’s leading travel industry think tank, in which the convention trade fair establishes itself as the industry’s main knowledge platform, with top-notch presentations on global trends, travel innovations and path-breaking events for the entire tourism industry!

Happy bloggers at ITB Berlin – ©Natalie Deduck – Loveandroad.com

It’s one of the highlights of my year, and one of the places that I tend to meet contacts and plan where I’m going to travel to during that year, or the following one.

In fact, my first media trip ever, was sent to me by the virtue that I was chatting to a media person from Atout France – the France Tourism Development Agency!

My first press or FAM trip ever to Nord-Pas de Calais otherwise known as, Northern France!

I didn’t know that at the time, but she was so impressed, that she sent me a FAM Trip invitation to Nord-Pas de Calais.

I thought I was going to Normandy!

Haw! Haw!

I was the only press / blogger person there.

And well as the only British person too!

I had a fantastic time!

Myself on the M/S Star Tallink mini cruise from Tallinn to Helsinki.

A year after, I met another contact who invited me to use their sailing cruises. I didn’t have the time to sail extensively, but I did use the services of TALLINK SLJA LINE to cross from Estonia to Finland.

A year later, that very same person invited me to fly to Sweden and do a couple more cruises. I still wasn’t able to go since the timing wasn’t right, but she introduced me to a contact from Visit Stockholm instead, and before you knew it, both The Tall Young Gentleman and I were in Stockholm for the very first time!

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

I also met the PR person from Hamburg about a year ago, and when a window opened, I contacted her, and she invited me to a weekend in Hamburg for their Christmas Market / Holy Hamburg / Winter Event.

I had an awesome time!

In fact, it was at the ITB Berlin, and wandering through the Poland Stands, that some of the Polish staff recognised me from an article that I wrote all of four (4) years ago, they were so excited, and the word soon spread, that that blogger was actually there!

Apparently. In Poland, I’m a bit of a notorious star!

And the title of said piece: Going to Poland: 10 reasons not to go!

Apparently, in Poland I’m a bit of a notorious star!

Is it any wonder that this year, someone else reached out and invited me to a very interesting event, so interesting in fact, that how could I refuse?

The event in question was called Explore Hansa!

EXPLORE HANSA!

Explore HANSA

WHAT IS EXPLORE HANSA?

Explore Hansa with me!

Explore Hansa is a partner project consisting of nine (9) small and enchanting Hanseatic cities from Sweden (Visby), Estonia (Pernau and Viljandi) and Latvia (Cēsis, Koknese, Kuldīga, Limbaži, Straupe and Valmiera), but due to a lack of time, we were only able to visit five (5)!

All of these countries are enormously rich in heritage and tradition, and have developed active and culinary tourism that offers visitors a chance to explore nature, authentic history, and exciting local food!

One of the ways that these lovely cities want to do that is by inviting influencers and media representatives, of which I am one, to experience what these HANSA cities have to offer, feel the charm of tiny Hanseatic cities, immerse ourselves in nature, and to spread the word!

I’m certainly going to do that!

There were two (2) trips organised:

A level of fitness is expected for the HANSA Active trip!
  • THE ACTIVE TRIP route that went through Limbaži (Latvia) – Valmiera (Latvia) – Viljandi (Estonia) and Visby (Sweden), to explore the cobbled streets and cultural heritage of these small Hanseatic cities, as well as the beauty of nature, in which a level of fitness would be expected!

You all know how I am with bicycles!

Ha! Ha! Ha! Haaaaaaaaaa!

Explore HANSA at Pils krodziņš Pils Ķēķis in Valmiera – Latvia!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Latvia – August 2018
  • THE CULINARY TRIP route that will go through Viljandi (Estonia) – Valmiera (Latvia) – Cēsis (Latvia) – Koknese (Latvia) and Visby (Sweden), to explore one’s taste buds of seasonal local produce and create an inspiring gastronomical experience

Aha!

You can guess which one I chose!

I’m most interested in the annual Medieval Week or Medeltidsveckan taking place in Sweden!

There was lots of stuff going on, but one of the activities I was most interested in, was the annual Medieval Week or Medeltidsveckan event taking place in Sweden.

For one week only!

What an event!

Medieval Week is a paradise for all who like jousting, markets, church concerts, street theater, fire shows, storytelling, walks, lectures and more.

It takes place mainly in Visby’s medieval fairytale environments, but also on the rural island of Gotland.

Locals all dressed up & a Medieval Tournament to remember at the annual Medieval Week or Medeltidsveckan taking place in Sweden!

In fact, we got to see knights and maidens, people jousting and battling, locals dressed up as grand nobles, poor peasants and minstrels, medieval street markets, street theatre, fire-shows, storytelling, and a medieval tournament to remember!

It took place from August 5th to August 12th, 2018 and I’ll be telling you all about it in the next few weeks!

Exciting stuff!

Yeah!

Are you ready to Explore Hansa?

Find out more in the following weeks!

‘Rah! ‘Rah!

EXPLORE HANSA WITH ME! 5 ENCHANTING HANSEATIC CITIES FROM SWEDEN, ESTONIA AND LATVIA!

Explore HANSA with me on the island of Visby in Gotland for Medieval Week in Sweden!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Sweden – August 2018

This article is not sponsored, and all opinions and the exciting time that I had in the HANSA cities, are my very own!

Stay tuned.

Yay!

That’s it for now.

See you next week!

Explore Hansa with me in town – Sweden, Estonia & Latvia!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

Explore Hansa with me!
5 enchanting Hanseatic cities from Sweden, Estonia and Latvia!

Do you want to explore HANSA with me? Have you ever been to Latvia, Estonia or Sweden? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

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My fourth FAM / Press Trip to Hamburg – Holy Hamburg!

My fourth FAM / Press Trip to Hamburg – Holy Hamburg!

So Hamburg.

Yeah!

As you know, last week I told you about how I was invited to Hamburg, as a guest of Hamburg Marketing.

What you don’t know, are the details of my press trip!

BUT WHY HAMBURG?

There’s usually no time to dilly-dally in Hamburg. But this time, there was!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Why not?

The thing is, I’ve been to Hamburg many times, but I’ve never been to Hamburg as a tourist!

Not Ever!

Why is that, you might ask?

To be honest, I simply don’t know!

But I wanted to shake things up a little, and change!

Book your hotel here!

The Hamburg stand at ITB Berlin was very busy & here’s why – An artificially intelligent tourism robot!

If you recall, almost a year ago, I went to the International Trade Fair in Berlin, otherwise known as ITB Berlin, and met up with some of the marketing people of Hamburg.

You could say, that we actually met on Twitter, ‘cos a British blogger – Eat Shoot Sleep Travel asked me about the traditional Fish Market in Hamburg, and I didn’t know!

Cringe!

The fellows at Hamburg.com saw this, reached out and said,”Hey! Come to Hamburg. See for yourself!”

She wanted to know about the Fish Market in Hamburg. Ha! Ha! I still don’t know!

So I did!

Thanks so much Hamburg Marketing!

WHY GO TO HAMBURG?

HafenCity – Hamburg – Summer in Germany – Simply the Best!

Hamburg really isn’t that big, so follow my footsteps and don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk too!

A BRIEF PIECE OF HISTORY:

Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg!

Hamburg, otherwise known as the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, is the second-largest city in Germany, and has a population of about 1.8 million people!

Just so you know, Berlin, with a population of just 3.55 million people, is the federal capital, and the largest city in Germany!

And let me tell you, it doesn’t even feel like a city…!

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

Hamburg lies in a very strategic position with Continental Europe to the South and the Nordic States to the North. The North Sea is to the West and the Baltic Sea is to the North-East.

Hamburg stretches out on the River Elbe, has many small islands and lakes, and borders the states of Schleswig-Holstein with lovely places like Lübeck and Lower Saxony.

Hamburg is the type of city that I respect because like Berlin, Manchester and London, it’s a City State and has existed since the time of the Holy Roman Empire!

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History & Glory days at the Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg, Germany!

Hamburg is also a member of the medieval Hanseatic League, a World Heritage UNESCO site, with signs of wealth and glory all over the region. Of course, during the Great Fire of Hamburg, and during the Second World War, the importance of the harbour made it an important target, such that many parts of the city, was destroyed.

During the 13th – 16th century, Hamburg was considered second only to the port and city of Lübeck, as a central trading hub for sea-borne trade.

With the discovery of the Americas and the emerging transatlantic trade, Hamburg exceeded all other German ports, and became the main Central European hub for freight travel, transatlantic passengers and from 1871, the principal port of trade in Germany!

Wow!

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WHAT IS A PRESS OR FAM TRIP?

Me in the Philippines, but could this be a James Bond moment!
©Scott Herder – BoboandChiChi.com

A PRESS TRIP is normally described as a visit to a destination, country, city, hotel, venue etc, organised for media groups.

It usually introduces and presents the best bits of a particular itinerary and is usually for a small group of journalists or bloggers, or an organised private trip.

Although a press trip could be for a few hours, it usually refers to a trip of a few days.

Should I take the train in France or not? It’s obvious though isn’t it!

A familiarization trip, or FAM TRIP as it is better known, is similar to a press trip however, it usually includes a visit to a number of sights, venues, activities, accommodations, or restaurant spots, in one area or region.

It is typically organised for travel industry professionals, to give them a better understanding of the regions and products they are trying to sell to their clients.

Lots of different activities are included so that as much as possible can be experienced. Sometimes journalists might attend a FAM TRIP too.

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At the Milk Thistle in Bristol.
©The Milk Thistle.

In both instances your costs will usually be covered, though this will vary depending on the organiser.

I categorise official FAM / Press trips as different to customised press trips.

On official FAM / Press trips, pretty much everything is paid for. Including transport, hotels, food & entertainment such as the following:

FRANCE:

My first press or FAM trip ever to Nord-Pas de Calais otherwise known as, Northern France!

ENGLAND:

10 amazing reasons why you should Visit Bristol!

THE PHILIPPINES:

Is Manila a crime-ridden place or is it something completely different?

GERMANY:

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

However, once I confirmed it, a very important client also contacted me, so I ended up arriving one day earlier than the other participants, and leaving earlier too, so I paid for my own dinner and refreshments.

It would have been ideal, but my hotel had lost the press package that should have been waiting for me, and by the time I had contacted everyone to find out where it was, all the tourist sights had closed!

I never did find my press package, but that’s a story for another day!

Book your hotel here!

The horror of Christmas shopping – Get me out of here!

My visit to Hamburg was a press trip.

Once the Press trip officially started, we didn’t have to pay for a single thing!

Of course, if you suddenly fancied a spot of your finest whisky, Monsieur. Or felt that snacks and drinks from the minibar were perhaps included. You’d be wrong!

Your hefty bill and service charge, would be all on you!

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HOW DID I GET INVITED?

I absolutely love walking! ©Pascale Scerbo Sarro
I absolutely love walking!
©Pascale Scerbo Sarro

Well, my first big break came just five (5) months after I started writing as a blogger.

To be quite frank, I have been extremely lucky to be at the right place, at the right time.

In 2014, I happened to be at the Sony Centre in Berlin where I got chatting to a PR person who promised to put me on the guest list of the Berlin Music Video Awards. She did, and even though, I never saw her again, my pro-active activity coupled with an outgoing personality, and a genuine interest to get involved, opened the door to being invited into the VIP section, a glimpse into the media world, and a whole host of people who had a friendly eye, and were willing to help me in my quest for knowledge and information.

Press documentation for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week - Autumn/Winter 2016.
Press documentation for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week – Autumn/Winter 2016.

A press card and a TV documentary about me came about because of the simple matter that when I undergo to write a piece, I make a thorough job of it.

People really like my personality, so I’ve often been an invited guest of city-destinations in which trips have been organised and customised to my own personal requirements. This is the best type of press trip to have, so I consider myself extremely lucky and very honoured. You can read more about them here.

However, on every group FAM trip, I’m usually either the only blogger in vicinity, or the only European there!

You can imagine my  anxiety.

It's embarrassing. I had no idea who I would be meeting, I just knew that I would be going to France!
It’s embarrassing. I had no idea who I would be meeting, I just knew that I would be going to France!

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WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO BE DOING ON THE HAMBURG PRESS TRIP?

Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg!

The point of this PRESS trip was to introduce the region as not only an interesting place to visit, but a historical cultural one too. A destination that would hit all the right spots for someone like me.

And ultimately, someone like you!

This press trip was a three (3) day exploration, starting from Friday and finishing on Sunday.

I didn’t have any information as to who was going to be there, and what type of bloggers would be attending.

You tend to get a little anxious that you’re going to be too shy, people aren’t going to like you, you’re not going to like them, you end up being that blogger, or that you’re going to be completely out of your depth and thus, comfort zone.

I also felt a little nervous about the sleeping arrangements.

WOULD I GET MY OWN ROOM ON A PRESS TRIP?

Don’t laugh! Would I get my own room on a press trip?

Don’t laugh.

I always do of course, but still, I constantly worry, and it brings me out in a sweat since nobody actually tells you!

And because I arrived one day (1) day before the others, I was placed in a grown-up more corporate-like hotel called the Scandic Hamburg Emporio, while the others were in a young-ish boutique hotel called the Fritz im Pyjama Hotel.

Book your hotel here!

My bedroom at the Scandic Hamburg Emporio Hotel!
My delicious breakfast at the Scandic Hamburg Emporio Hotel!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

At first, I was a little disappointed not to be placed in the same hotel as everyone else, but when I saw my room at the Scandic Hamburg Emporio, I soon forgot all about it!

Yes, I know.

Silly isn’t it, but there you have it!

Book Scandic Hamburg Emporio, the Fritz im Pyjama Hotel, or your own Hamburg Hotel here!

WERE WE GIVEN ANY DETAILS AT ALL?

Marvellous news. I’m doing a radio programme with the BBC. And other stuff!

Yep!

The Host was Hamburg Marketing. They were highly organised and thoroughly fantastic.

On this press trip we were expected to be doing the following:

HAMBURG PRESS TRIP – HOLY HAMBURG!

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 12

DEPARTURE: December 1st

RETURN: December 3rd

A DESCRIPTION:

My fourth FAM / Press Trip to Hamburg – Holy Hamburg!

SPEICHERSTADT AND HAFENCITY: TRADITION AND MODERNITY

Located in the very heart of the city, the innovative architectural design of HafenCity on the waterfront, make it well worth exploring.

You will find the historic Speicherstadt warehouse district with its beautiful canals, red-brick facades, winding bridges and picturesque views, which together with the Kontorhaus district and Chilehaus, were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 2015.

Speicherstadt is the world’s largest coherent warehouse complex and includes a number of interesting museums and exciting exhibitions!

Hamburg is a city with a rich choice of top-class cultural events for all lovers of culture, renowned orchestras and theatres, a vibrant museum landscape with spectacular exhibitions, as well as experimental dance theatre and world-class ballet productions that reflect Hamburg’s great cultural diversity.

Hamburg has plenty to offer.

All are welcome in Hamburg. And depending on when you visit, not crowded at all!

Yep!

I was excited!

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MEDIA TRIP PROGRAMME:

DAY 1

My bottled beer at the Störtebeker Braumanufaktur – Elbphilharmonie
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Eek!

DAY 2

Our awesome Hamburg guide – Marc Müller –
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Phew!

I managed to join the group for a quick dinner, had a glass of champagne, then took off!

DAY 3

I wasn’t able to stay, but I did have sushi at Mikawa #2!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

‘Would have been:

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Free time

HAMBURG MARKETING RECOMMENDED ACTIVITIES:

I spent an evening at the famous Hanseatic Gänsemarkt Christmas Market! ©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

I didn’t have time to do any of these activities, but as I arrived a day earlier, I was able to make my own way around, and spent quite a pleasant afternoon (with sprinklings of snow) at the Hamburg HafenCity, the Speicherstadt or Warehouse District, the Altona-Altstadt or Old Town, the UNESCO Kontorhausviertel, and the Elbe Philharmonic Hall, otherwise known as the Elbphilharmonie!

The Christmas Market is not to be missed in Hamburg. Or anywhere else in Germany!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Since it was around Christmas when I went to Hamburg, I also managed to fit in the historical Roncalli Christmas Market, and the very famous Hanseatic Gänsemarkt Christmas Market, otherwise known as the Goose Market!

Mind you, I would have quite fancied going to the Hamburg Dungeon!

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SO HOW WAS IT?

I bet you wouldn’t mind calling this sexy hot German guy!

It was a pretty packed programme, but awesome!

As I write this, it’s February 10th, and so much has happened since!

ANY TIPS GOING ON A FAM TRIP FOR THE FIRST TIME?

Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner for Bild am Sonntag
©Christian Spreitz
  • Leave plenty of time for trips, tours and meet-ups both before, and after the conference
  • You don’t have to have a huge following to be accepted onto a FAM / Press trip
  • Improve your photography
  • Have great content
  • Educate yourself and if you don’t know, ask your fellow invites
  • Networking is key to putting a face to a name in the blogging / press community
  • Take your business cards
  • Try to get some sleep
  • Get comfy but smarten yourself up, if the venue demands it
  • Be punctual
  • Stay professional
  • Don’t whinge
  • Follow the programme
  • Be a team-player
  • Keep smiling
  • Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone
  • Don’t be stupid either
  • Be yourself
  • Write about your FAM trip and send it to the host or organiser
  • Thank the host or organiser
  • Have a great time

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VERDICT?

My fourth FAM / Press Trip to Hamburg – Holy Hamburg!

The staff of Hamburg Marketing (Jessica & her team), and awesome guide for the weekend –  Marc Müller – were all warm, welcoming, hilariously funny (you should hear the stories!!), but very professional.

They made sure that we were well-looked after, nobody got lost or forgot anything.  And nobody got left behind or ostracised.

There were moments of laughter, but most importantly, lots of smiling, laughing, and learning from each other.

We all got on extremely well!

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ANYTHING ELSE?

You can just about see some of the other bloggers, while we were at the Ottensen/Altona Christmas Market!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Yep!

We were a small group of just ten (10) bloggers (including myself) from five (5) international countries.

Our job for that weekend was to visit and see the region for ourselves and hopefully, discover the many interests and joys of Hamburg, so that other travellers and visitors are encouraged to come and visit themselves.

And we did!

Victoria’s Hamburger Labskaus, which I had at Altes Mädchen. Try it!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

By the way, a Hamburger Labskaus is a speciality usually only found in North Germany.

It’s a gripping combination of corn beef or cooked salted meat, beetroot, potatoes, pickled gherkins, onions, rollmop, and a fried egg plopped on top of it all!

Gulp!

Thanks guys!

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MY FOURTH FAM / PRESS TRIP TO HAMBURG – HOLY HAMBURG!

My fourth FAM / Press Trip to Hamburg – Holy Hamburg!

This article is part-sponsored, and even though I was invited on this trip as a guest of Hamburg Marketing, Visit Hamburg, Deutsche Bahn and the Scandic Hamburg Emporio Hotel, all opinions and the hearty markets that I visited in Hamburg, are my very own!

I’ll be continuing my last visit to the UK and telling you all about my visit to Belgium later in the season!

I’ll be at the UK Germany 2018 Launch Party on Valentine’s Day – on the 14th of February, 2018. Tickets are free of charge, so if you’re in Berlin, join the party!

I’ll be at Berlin’s most famous film festival – The 68th showing of the Berlin International Film Festival, otherwise known as the Berlinale, taking place between 15th – 25th February, 2018.  Everyone’s most excited! Tickets are on sale from 12.02.18.

I’ll be at the ITB Berlin or the Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin – the world’s leading travel trade show, taking place between 7th – 11th March, 2018. You can buy tickets here.

Save the Date!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in February, then move on!

February is going to be busy!

See you next week!

My fourth FAM / Press Trip to Hamburg – Holy Hamburg!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

My fourth FAM / Press Trip to Hamburg – Holy Hamburg!

What did you think of press trips? Would you choose sushi with a fried egg, rollmop with a fried egg, or both? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

How I went to 8 wonderful countries, got heaps of expat awards, was on radio with the BBC, & met Prince William in 2017!

How I went to 8 wonderful countries, got heaps of expat awards, was on radio with the BBC, & met Prince William in 2017!

Happy New Year everyone.

It’s officially 2018!!!!!

My goodness!

2017 was a mixed bag of a year, but that hasn’t stopped me from making plans to conquer the world. I’ll give you all the details next week!!

But first, let’s take a walk down memory lane of all the countries that I went to last year, and what I did. According to my statistics, over 100,000 people read my blog in some form or other, last year.

100,000 people!!

To think I only started this blog a little over four (4) years ago. Isn’t that marvellous?

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I would just like to thank some very important people – YOU!

Thank you so much for reading, making comment, and sticking with me. I love you all!

So let’s start with the country of my birth (England), and end with my new home-country (Germany). Here we go. Choose your poison….!

THE 8 COUNTRIES THAT I WENT TO LAST YEAR WERE:

  • England
  • Holland
  • The Czech Republic
  • Austria
  • Croatia
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • Germany

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BRITAIN:

Article 50 & Brexit in the UK. Everything you need to know!

Yeah, the issue of Brexit went from bad to worse!

Sadly, we British Europeans, and others like us who voted for #Remain in 2016, lost out. Having said that, I did quite a few academic debates and talks about it, as well as a few newspaper interviews!

The question of what is to become of Brits abroad and EU citizens in the UK, is a sore point right now, and I’m sure there will be lots more debates to come.

We’re not leaving!

I really enjoy talking about important political issues, as much as I enjoy travelling. I don’t tend to write much (Ha! Ha!) about the politics of the day, and that tends to lead to an impression that I’m quite frothy.

Until they hear me speak.

I have a BSc. Political Science, with a Major, in European Politics. As well as an MA in Leadership & Management.

I think I know what I’m talking about!

Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner for Bild am Sonntag
©Christian Spreitz

I believe that leaving the EU was a mistake.

I’m very, very sad about the awful outcome, but I’m still proud to be British.

Is it any wonder that when I got a letter in the post, summoning me to an “invitation only” event organised for Their Royal Highnesses William, The Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, that I was enormously proud, and very excited.

And honestly, when I met them, I almost fainted with nerves, and spent most of the evening with a huge grin on my face, a sweaty forehead, and shaky hands!

Prince William & Kate Middleton
©Getty Images

Here are the posts that I wrote about Britain, being a British expat, and the United Kingdom as a whole, or where I was featured:

Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Metro Magazine (Annual Body Issue) – April 2017 Edition – the Philippines!

I didn’t do too badly, me thinks!

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ENGLAND:

How I went to Liverpool, and I wasn’t robbed!
© Liverpool 360

I spent a considerable amount of time in England last year, and I did so because even though I’m a British European, I still love my original home-country that is England – the land of Hope and Glory n’ all that!

In fact, last year I must have been in and out, at least three times. Most of it was to visit family, but two (2) were connected to travel and one (1) was an invitation to BBC London!

I was featured on BBC Radio 4 which is a huge deal in the UK.

A HUGE deal!

BBC Radio 4 – Woman’s Hour – Late Night Woman’s Hour hosted by Lauren Laverne
©Phil Sharp

I was flown to London, fêted, and everything, and the recording can be heard on the podcast on the side panel.

When I go there, I did a radio magazine programme called Woman’s Hour. It’s a broadcast consisting of reports, interviews and debates on health, education, cultural and political topics aimed at women.

I was on the series called BBC Radio 4 – Woman’s Hour – Late Night Woman’s Hour, presented by Lauren Laverne. The series airs on a late night slot and each episode is on a single topic for discussion every month!

The topic for June 2017 was Travel and Adventure!

Gosh!

That was so awesome!

Here’s what I wrote:

24 hours in London: 24 things to do!
I haven’t been back to Manchester for quite some time!

Book your hotel here!

HOLLAND

Dutch children in traditional costume.

I love travelling with our son, and even though he’s 15 (gulp), it won’t be long until he’ll want to be travelling with his friends.

In Northern European countries that age tends to be between 16 and 17 years old, as young people are more independent, and their parents liberal, tolerant, and open-minded.

In that wise, I decided to go to Amsterdam and Zaandam, for the weekend, with our teenager in tow!

If you’re nervous about taking your children to Holland, don’t be, it’s a normal country just like any other, and many parents travel with their kids to Holland and to Amsterdam, with absolutely no issues at all. Here’s how to do it:

How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam – a Dutch traditional town with windmills!

Book your hotel here!

THE CZECH REPUBLIC:

Myself with ski leaders in Rokytnice nad Jizerou – Czech Republic

Every two years, we go skiing.

I’m a great fan of the Czech Republic, after all, once upon a time, I lived in Prague

So I usually like to ski there.

Even though I travel a lot, I’m a creature of habit as far as hotels and apartments are concerned. If I like the location, I usually go there again!

Last year, there was so much going on in January & February, that I forgot to write about it. Oops!

I did push out photos and videos on Facebook & Twitter. If you don’t want to miss out, follow me on Twitter here!

Here’s what I wrote previously…

Myself in Prague reading something and looking all serious, but not completely serious!

Book your hotel here!

AUSTRIA:

Having a hotdog and beer, on a rainy day in Vienna, is more exciting than you think!

Austria must be one of the loveliest countries in Europe.

When an opportunity to visit, came up, I didn’t hesitate.

That opportunity was to be the “0” birthday of my husbandThe Music Producer!

I wanted somewhere “nice” and not too far away.

And I wanted somewhere connected to music.

Vienna was just the place!

Voila!

Here’s what I wrote:

At the Vienna Opera Ball.
@ WienTourismus / Peter Rigaud/Couture Vivienne Westwood

Book your hotel here!

CROATIA:

How to visit the Balkans: Introducing Croatia – the dream of Game of Thrones!

Croatia was marvellous!

It was the first time that I had ever been to the Balkan States, my 62nd country, and the first (1st) new country for 2017!

I’m a strong supporter of Europe, and I have a weakness for tiny countries in the middle of beyond!

However, when I pitched Croatia to my husband – The Music Producer – he wasn’t initially convinced.

How to visit the Balkans: Introducing Croatia – the dream of Game of Thrones!

He thought that Croatia would be too far into Eastern Europe, leading into the throngs of Albania, Romania, and Bulgaria.

He wasn’t excited at all!

He soon changed his mind.

Because Game of Thrones.

Tell me the secrets. Pleeeeease!
@Game of Thrones star – Thomas Wlaschiha

I found it terribly exciting to recognise the exact locations where the popular fantasy series is filmed.

And not only that, but I even got to meet one of the major minor characters, a few months later – Tom Wlaschiha – otherwise known as Jaqen H’ghar – the handsome hero of the Faceless Men of Braavos, a feared Order of mysterious assassins with the ability to change their appearance at will…!

I must be one of the world’s biggest nerds, as I was one of the very few people who actually recognised him…

We liked Croatia so much, that within two months, we decided to go to it’s “sister country” Slovenia, too!

Here’s what I wrote:

How to visit the Balkans: Introducing Croatia – the dream of Game of Thrones!

Book your hotel here!

SLOVENIA:

At Ljubljana Castle – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

Slovenia was the third (3rd) new country for 2017, and an utter delight!

One of the reasons that I decided to go to their capital city is because I’m weird, and I like going to interesting exotic places!

Seriously though, the reason why I want to go to Slovenia is because I’ve heard such a lot of wonderful things from practically everyone! And remember, just two years ago, I hadn’t heard of any of the Baltic or Balkan States.

In fact, I couldn’t even pronounce them!

A delicious mug of cold beer in Ljubljana – Slovenia!

We had a lovely time, and this is what we did:

Book your hotel here!

SWEDEN:

A Swedish hotdog in Stockholm – Sweden!

Sweden was a completely new country, so we decided to visit Stockholm.

Not only that, but we were looking for an adventure.

And when I say we, obviously, I mean I, as The Tall Young Gentleman was exhausted!

You know me long enough to fear that I would never take the straight and easy path. It always has to be complicated, slightly weird and kooky to match!

Travelling with FlixBus to Sweden

So we travelled from Berlin – Stockholm – Berlin entirely by coach-bus!

Ha! Ha! Ha!

It was crazy, and I vowed never to do it again, and two weeks later, did exactly the same thing!

Read on to find out why:

Stockholm is a most fascinating city, that is why EVERYONE is here!

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GERMANY:

28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!

This blog.

My blog.

The British Berliner

Has been in existence for over four (4) years.

My first ever blog post was in late October 2013, and what a post!

I’m still getting comments and hate mail about it, and why is that so?

How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!
Claudia Schiffer – Paris 1989 – ©2017 Herb Ritts Foundation.

Well, check it out for yourself and tell me what you think.

In fact, why not make your own comment. And the title of said piece – Germany is Boring! 

Oops!

If only people would actually read things…

Ah well!

Best of Berlin – 4 years and counting!
An Affair with Chocolate – ©Sarah Robinson

The fact is, I’ve been living in Germany for over 15 years. Yes, 15 years!

Gulp!

Who would have thought that not only would I be living in this wonderful city – Berlin, but I would be married to a German bloke to boot!

If anyone had told me this years ago, I would have laughed in their face!

The Music Producer at Piccadilly Gardens – The Northern Quarter – Manchester

And even though I’m British, and I’ve been living here as an expat for years, it never gets old. In fact, I still feel as if I’ve only just got here!

So is it any wonder that I wrote the following posts about Germany:

Beer in Germany isn’t a joke.
How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!

Book your hotel here!

BERLIN CULTURE:

It’s all about the beer – Best of Berlin – 4 years and counting!

BERLIN:

Oh yeaaaah! Berlin baby! I’ve been living here as an expat for 15 years. I know Berlin that’s why I am The British Berliner! So without further delay, here are the lovely posts that I wrote in 2017 just for you:

OTHER STUFF!

2017 was a mixed bag of a year.

2017 was a mixed bag of a year.

In some ways, it went terribly bad, and in other ways it was fabulous.

But that year is over, so let’s look forward to another exciting outcome.

The work of a lifestyle, expat, travel blogger is never done, so I’ll leave with you with some of my most inspiring motivational posts!

How to start a blog in just a mere 10 minutes: A simple guide!
I pledge to travel and to share others how to do so too!
#ExploreMore2017
Happy bloggers at ITB Berlin – ©Natalie Deduck – Loveandroad.com
I’m a big advocate for smart travel and that includes safety and security.
TBEX @travellingcolognian.com
How I went to 8 wonderful countries, got heaps of expat awards, was on radio with the BBC, & met Prince William in 2017!

If you would like to do what I do or travel the way I do, you can click on any of the items on the side bar!

For how to start your own blog, click here, how to protect your family and possessions when you travel, click here, how to book hotels, hostels and apartments with reservations free of charge, click here.

If you need inspiration as to where to travel, click here. If you want to see my TV / media appearances, newspaper articles, and awards, click here.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, feel free to send me an Email in either English or German, right here.

For more in-depth information, or for detailed help on a journey or region in Europe, the UK, or Germany in either English or German, please click here.

The Adventure Begins

In short, I had a blast in 2017, and there’s many more exciting things about to start for me in 2018!

I love the life of the roving journalist and blogger about town.

I have a family and I have a life. Most importantly, I’ve already found my home-base – Berlin – and I’m extremely happy with where I am and who I am.

52 fantastic posts!

Thank you so much for your support everyone. 2017 was a great year. Here’s to the next.

Bottoms up!

I'm not really a beach person as I prefer mountains and rivers or beach destinations that have more than the sea to recommend them! Me at the Grotto in the Algarve!
I’m not really a beach person as I prefer mountains or beach destinations that have more than the sea to recommend them!

I have so much to say, so next week I will be sharing some of my travel destinations for 2018 with you.

It”s a New Year. Hip! Hip! Hurrah!

HOW I WENT TO 8 WONDERFUL COUNTRIES, GOT HEAPS OF EXPAT AWARDS, WAS ON RADIO WITH THE BBC, & MET PRINCE WILLIAM IN 2017!

How I went to 8 wonderful countries, got heaps of expat awards, was on radio with the BBC, & met Prince William in 2017!

This article is not sponsored, and the thrilling countries that I visited in 2017, were all my very own!

In January I’ll be making an announcement that will probably surprise you. Find out throughout January!

I went on a press trip to Hamburg. Watch out for the details!

I’ll be continuing my last visit to the UK later in the month!

In a few weeks, I’ll be visiting Belgium!

I’ll be at the British Shorts Film Festival taking place between 11th – 17th January. If you’re an aspiring film-maker submission is free of charge, so hurry!

I’ll be at the most famous burlesque-fantastic Berlin operetta – Frau Luna – Operette in zwei Akten, taking place at TIPI AM KANZLERAMT, between 11th January – 11th March. Everyone’s most excited!

I’ll be at Berlin Fashion Week taking place between 16th – 18th January.

I’ll be at the 33rd British Council Literature Seminar – #BritLitBerlin taking place between 25th – 27th January, 2018. If you want to attend or join in, registration is now open!

Save the Date!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in January, then where the hell are you?

January is going to be splendid!

See you next week!

How I went to 8 wonderful countries, got heaps of expat awards, was on radio with the BBC, & met Prince William in 2017!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

How I went to 8 wonderful countries, got heaps of expat awards, was on radio with the BBC, & met Prince William in 2017!

Where did you travel to last year? Are there any particular posts that you enjoyed? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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