HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!
My. What a year we’ve had.
2015 was fabulous for me and 2016 is going to be even more spectacular!
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 WordPress annual report, over 69,000 people have read my blog in the last year from 171 countries. 69,000 people!! To think this little blog is but two (2) years old. Isn’t that brilliant?
The three (3) top countries were:
- USA – 13,000 readers.
- Germany – 10,000 readers.
- UK – 9,500 readers.
With the lovely Latvia right behind – 9,300 readers.
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 11 COUNTRIES THAT I WENT TO LAST YEAR WERE:
- The Czech Republic
Last year I went to Bristol and I was extremely honoured to be invited as a guest of Visit Bristol. While I was there, I decided to drop into the city of Bath too but I haven’t actually written it about it yet, but you’ll get that post soon enough lol!
- If you’re interested in knowing what it’s like to go on a press trip, read this: My second glorious press trip to England. Yes, I’m going to Bristol & Bath. Yippee!
- I loved going to Bristol, it’s such a cool place so I wrote about what you could do there: 10 amazing reasons why you should visit Bristol.
- As most of you are professionals like myself, there is a need to get creative using as much holiday time and weekends as possible, in that wise, telling you how to do a city destination within a few days is most crucial so here it is: 48 hours in Bristol – 48 things to do!
- There’s no point in going to England if you’re not going to have a taste of English food. Now, I know a few of you might laugh here as typically, English food is known to be quite bland but not if you go for the more quality stuff and here, I tell you how: Let’s eat & drink ’till the cows come home!
Not bad at all!
- I have a great husband and every now and then I get a free weekend. It was January and I hadn’t been to Holland in nine (9) years so I decided to go on a solo weekend to Amsterdam and this is what I did: I went to a sex-show!!!
THE CZECH REPUBLIC:
Not only did I visit one of my favourite countries ever. But in 2015, I actually went twice!
- First of all we went skiing in a little Czech village. It’s extremely cheap but a little complicated to get there, so I tell you how: I went skiing in a little Czech village in the middle of no-where: Introducing Rokytnice nad Jizerou!
- I’m not the best skiier but I nevertheless, love skiing until I fell off the ski lift and almost broke my legs! Here’s what happened: The time that I fell off the ski lift in the Czech Republic!
- Do you want to know what Czech food is like? If it’s good enough for Katy Perry, it’s good enough for you ‘cos she said so on Twitter! Here it is: I didn’t kiss a girl but I ate fried cheese in the Czech Republic. And I liked it!
And then I went to Prague.
- If you look on the About Me page, you’ll see that I used to live in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia as an expat. A long, long time ago! Here’s how I found myself there: How I came to live in Prague once upon a time – Wonderful Prague!
- I know Prague like the back of my hand. Almost like I do Berlin.
You haven’t yet been?
- Don’t argue! Follow my instructions: 4 Days in Prague – 40 Things to Do!
- Oh, and if you live in Europe, the cheapest way to get to Prague is by train. Here’s how: I’m going to Budapest & Prague AND taking the train. Yay!
- Now, to be clear, Prague is in Eastern – Central Europe, but it ‘aint cheap so I tell you how to save those pennies using public transport and eating where the menu is in Czech and the punters look dodgy and intimidating: Prague is just one of those perfect places!
Hungary was on the map this year but for all the wrong reasons. Sadly, rather than the lovely goulash and paprika soup, it became far more known for the dismal handling of refugees running for their lives. Lest we forget, as far as the common man in Europe is concerned, #refugeesarewelcome.
- Having said that, we found Hungarians to be warm and welcoming, so if you want to visit Budapest, here how to do so: I’m going to Budapest & Prague AND taking the train. Yay!
- But why go to Budapest? In. Eastern Europe. Oh God! Here’s why: Budapest is a classical city of awe! 10 amazing ways to see it!
- So you know how I always tell you that Eastern Europe is as cheap as chips. It is! But you can also avail yourself of absolute utter luxury and it won’t kill you. Boy! It was wonderful! Here’s how: What no one tells you about Budapest, ‘cos the views are breathtaking and the water is magical!
- Back to Hungarian street food and more luxury. Yuuuummy! Read this: The food in Hungary is stodgy but surprisingly nice!
THE BALTIC STATES:
I travel a lot and as much as I love travelling to my favourite regions of the world over and over again (Hello Tuscany!), one of the most interesting things about the Baltic Region is that I had never been there before so I decided to make a family trip out of it.
My husband gulped when I told him that not only were we going to the “other” Eastern Europe otherwise known as The Baltics, but we were going by long-distance coach-bus from country to country! I’m a determined woman and so with the part-sponsorship of an Estonian company called Lux Express, we went by road and back again!
- But why do something that crazy: I’m really going to Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia & Finland, so don’t look at me like that. I’m not mad!
- An introduction to Lithuania: I survived a 26 hour coach-bus adventure and I didn’t die!
- Lithuanian food is rustic, weird and very, very cheap: We had a pig’s ear in Lithuania and it was chewy!
- Why travel to Latvia. In Eastern Europe : Oh, the Baltics. If you haven’t been. You’re so last year!
- Rustic Latvian food and very delicious desserts although the drink was quite revolting. Here’s why: The magic drink of Latvia is Balsam and I drank it!
- I found Riga quite enchanting! And so did everyone else as this piece has become my most popular post. The people of Latvia were astonishing and really came out and supported my blog on the following post: : Gosh! Riga in Latvia is gorgeous: 10 reasons to go there right now! This post shockingly went VIRAL and I received 56 comments and up to 26,000 hits in my social media feed!
Twenty six thousand (26,000) views, hits and shares!
Thank you Latvia!!
- Eeeestonia! What’s it all about then: Oh, the Baltics. If you haven’t been. You’re so last year!
- An introduction to Tallinn and a rather wonderful Russian luxury hotel: How I went to Tallinn in Estonia, a Medieval Old Town surrounded by Danish Castles. How utterly charming!
- Estonia is a little more glam than Latvia, and Lithuania but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get down to earth good old Estonian peasant food because, you can! Here’s why: A simple guide to Estonian food and Russian beer!
- Why travel to the Nordic – Baltic State in the first place? Notice that I called it Nordic! Here’s why: Oh, the Baltics. If you haven’t been. You’re so last year!
- Helsinki can be horribly expensive. Here’s what to do to keep the cost low: The smart guide to travelling to Helsinki.
- Finnish food is seafood and seafood and seafood. Or is it! Find out why: Helsinki is the capital of Art Design so how was it that I went to Finland, and ended up with sushi!
For many people, Poland is an unknown country somewhere in an obscure part of Eastern Europe. If you do want to venture there, not to worry as I’ve been going there for almost twenty (20) years, so I’ve got tips to help you plan your way!
- Even though I actually wrote this post two (2) years ago, I still get a lot of traffic from it and it’s my second mot popular post with about 11,000 hits, 85 comments and lots of haters and trolls! Here’s why: Going to Poland: 10 reasons not to go!
- Nevertheless, in 2015, I decided to visit Poland’s capital – Warsaw – and I was awfully impressed so here’s: A 5 minute introduction to Warsaw.
- It was my first time in Warsaw so I really wanted to spend some quality time there – four (4) days to be exact so: Don’t just stand there – 23 Reasons to Do It in Warsaw!
- But why Warsaw I hear you ask? Isn’t it boring and ugly? And why do I seem to have a thing for Poland of all places? Read on: I’m going to Warsaw – It’s going to be astonishing and quite wacky!
I love Spain and for the first time, I decided to attend the TBEX conference which is the holy grail of the travel blogging world and stands for Travel Blog Exchange.
I decided to stay closer to home and attend TBEX EUROPE. In previous years, the bloggers conference had been in Dublin and Athens but in 2015, it was in Costa Brava, Catalunya. In Lloret de Mar to be specific. Near the beach. Olé!
But is it just me or does disaster follow me around like a bad smell? Firstly, my flight out from Berlin to Barcelona was delayed, and was so late coming in, that I had to stay at Barcelona Airport all night! And secondly, my return flight was also delayed, ten (10) hours behind schedule! Ten (10) hours!
- I was not annoyed. I was pissed off! Find out why: How I went to TBEX EUROPE, got abandoned at Barcelona Airport & what I learnt!
- Thankfully, even with all the drama, I managed to squeeze in 24 hours in Barcelona. I’ve been to Barcelona about five (5) times now and the fact is, Spain is a great country to go to and Barcelona is just a thrill. I loooove Barcelona and don’t want last year’s post to spoil the good time that I DID have in Spain and here’s why: 10 reasons to go to Barcelona – And it’s not only for tapas and sangria, but you know, I’ll take it anyway!
OTHER PARTS OF GERMANY:
- The most popular post about Germany is still actually the very first post, that I ever wrote on my blog. Isn’t that funny! The title was: Germany is Boring. Ooops! Yeah, I got insults and abuse for this post. Mainly from people who never read it.
Ah well, I’m famous now. Right. Right?!
- I was so busy gallivanting all over the world that I only managed to go to one other German region in 2015 and that was in a region called Lower-Saxony. In North-West Germany – Osnabrück or in English Osnabrueck – A quaint little town, enveloped in medieval history, quite German-like in nature, pretty to look at, and once known as the happiest place in Germany! What not to like! Yep! Osnabrück – a medieval town in a German valley – the hometown of my German husband!
MORE NEXT WEEK!
Blogging is a lone game and a solo art and in 2015, many more experienced bloggers struggled to maintain momentum or to overcome exhaustion. I’m lucky. 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.
Thank you so much for your support everyone. 2015 was a lovely year. Here’s to the next. Bottoms up!
This post is not sponsored and I can’t wait to hear from you!
If you have any questions about Berlin, Germany or anywhere in Europe, don’t be shy, I’m an expert! Go ahead and ask me!
I have so much to share with you so next week I will be writing about some of my travel destinations for 2016 with you.
It”s a New Year. Hip! Hip! Hurrah!
If you’re not in Berlin in January, then where the hell are you?
January is going to be splendid!
Watch this space!