BREXIT: The UK’s EU referendum – Real facts you should know!

BREXIT: The UK's EU referendum - Real facts you should know! @Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
BREXIT: The UK’s EU referendum – Real facts you should know!
@Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

In less than a week, we (British people) are going to vote in a most important election that will not only affect the United Kingdom, but that of its neighbours’ – members of the European Union (the EU) too.

If you’re a British expat living abroad within the last 15 years, you should have registered as an overseas elector. This entitles you to vote in the UK Parliamentary General Elections, UK – wide referendums, and European Parliamentary elections. The deadline for registering to vote in the EU referendum on 23 June has passed.

For more information on overseas voting, please go here.

Myself and Andrea Vannahme having High Tea on the rbb Abendshow LIVE! © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
Myself and Andrea Vannahme having High Tea on the rbb Abendshow LIVE!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

As The British Berliner and therefore, a British expat myself, I have been invited by various press and media organisations, to make comment on my views, and what it means.

Indeed, as the local British expert on socio-political things topics concerning Britain and the UK, I  have been regularly solicited. In fact, this week, I was so booked-up, I even had to turn down a few requests!

I was asked to participate in a short TV report on the 5th wedding anniversary of William & Kate for the European Culture Euromaxx programme of Deutsche Welle TV. I talked about the image of the monarchy and their role as a modern couple.  Deutsche Welle (DW) TV is a bit like the BBC, but made to promote German culture instead!

They really liked my part and sent me the link, but it was a busy time in my office so I hadn’t realized that it would only be available for a week, before it disappeared!

Sadly, I haven’t got a record of it and I was wearing my pink polka-dotted trench coat too!

We're not leaving! We're European too!
We’re not leaving. We’re European too!

Not long after, one of the Editors of FOCUS Magazin contacted me. She had seen my blog, and wanted to get my views on how British people living in Germany were feeling about the referendum.

The Magazine is based in Munich, so she interviewed me over the phone.

I was contacted by a reporter from the German Radio Station rbb Inforadio (ARD), who was doing a report about the Brexit discussion leading up to the referendum.

I had worked with the rbb station before so I was very happy to work with them again.

Berlin - very British - rbb
Berlin – very British – rbb

She wanted to meet me in person to do the interview and in fact, used to live in my Berlin gentrified neighbourhood!

We went to a French restaurant nearby, and over a few glasses of red wine, she whipped out her microphone and interviewed me!

Last week, I was contacted by many other media organisations but I was only able to accept a few because….drum roll pleeeeeease!

I'm going to be on radioeins - Radio 1! Die radioeins Morgenshow
I’m going to be on radioeins – Radio 1!
Die radioeins Morgenshow

I’m going to be on radioeins (Die radioeins Morgenshow) or in English – ‪‎on the Radio1‬ Morning Show with Stefan Rupp and Christoph Azone on Der schöne Morgen!

It’s a very busy time right now, so they’re going to ring me at home, and you’ll be able to hear me (pretty much LIVE), and speaking in German!

It’ll be broadcast on Monday morning (20.06.16) at 09:35!

Huge Gulp!

I'm a very happy British lifestyle, expat, travel blogger. Right here in the beautiful city of Berlin - © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
I’m a very happy British lifestyle, expat, travel blogger. Right here in the beautiful city of Berlin –
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

But the most exciting biggest news of all, is that I was invited to join in a documentary‬ by a well-known British‬ ‪‎standup‬ / comedian,‬ for a famous‬ British TV station‬!

I can’t say more than that, except that I’m really thrilled!

I’ll be talking about Brexit‬ and how it affects ‪‎British expats‬ living in ‪‎Germany‬ and ‪‎Europe‬.

Marvellous stuff!

Now that I’ve told you what I’ve been up to, let’s get down to the serious stuff:

BREXIT: THE UK’s EU REFERENDUM – REAL FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW!

BREXIT: The UK's EU referendum - Real facts you should know! ©Alamy
BREXIT: The UK’s EU referendum – Real facts you should know!
©Alamy

WHAT IS BREXIT ALL ABOUT?
Brexit is a shorthand way of referring to a possible British exit from the EU. It is a word that merges “Britain” and “Exit” thus creating “Brexit” similar to the term “Grexit,” which was used to refer to the possibility that Greece might leave the Eurozone.

WHAT IS A REFERENDUM?
A referendum is a vote in which anyone of voting age can take part, normally giving a “Yes” or “No” answer to a question. Whichever side gets more than half of all votes cast, is considered to have won.

WHY ARE WE HAVING A BREXIT REFERENDUM IN THE FIRST PLACE?
David Cameron – the British Prime Minister – promised to make this happen if he won the 2015 general election.

He did!

This act was in a response to the “European question in British politics,” reduced influence in European rules and regulations, and agitated calls from members of his own political party – the Conservatives – and the UK Independence Party (UKIP), who argued that Britain had not had a real say about issues since 1975, when it voted to stay in the EU, in a referendum at the time!

BREXIT: The UK's EU referendum - Real facts you should know!
BREXIT: The UK’s EU referendum – Real facts you should know!

WHEN IS THE EU REFERENDUM TAKING PLACE?
Thursday, June 23rd, 2016.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF THE UK VOTES FOR BREXIT?
It’s difficult to say as nobody seems to know the details!

No nation state has ever left the EU. Except for Greenland - an overseas territory of Denmark!
No nation-state has ever left the EU.
Except for Greenland – an overseas territory of Denmark!

HAS ANY MEMBER STATE EVER LEFT THE EU?
No nation-state has ever left the EU. Except for Greenland – an overseas territory of Denmark!

WHAT DO THE EXPERTS THINK?
Most Economists believe that leaving the EU would be a fatal damaging step for the British economy.

However, some experts think that technically, it would be possible for Britain to leave the EU, thus removing the right for the free movement of EU citizens, whilst at the same time retaining access to the EU single trade market. Other experts believe that the UK could follow the Norwegian initiative which is not to be a member state of the European Union (EU), but to have a close association through membership in the European Economic Area (EEA), or like Switzerland, which is not a member state of the European Union either! In this case, relations between Switzerland and the European Union are framed by a series of bilateral treaties that allow Switzerland to participate in trading agreements.

In short, having our cake and eating it!

Athletes at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, running for their country.
Athletes at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, running for their country.

WHO CAN VOTE IN THE UK’s EU REFERENDUM?
Anybody who is a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen (including Australia, Canada, India, and 48 other Commonwealth nations who are living in the UK), citizens of British overseas territories, such as the Falkland Islands, Bermuda or Gibraltar, and “special” EU citizens from Ireland, Malta and Cyprus, over the age of 18 and resident in the UK. Expat British people can also vote, if they are UK nationals who have lived abroad for less than 15 years.

HOW DO YOU VOTE?
If you have registered to vote, you’ll be sent a card telling you when voting takes place and where you should go to vote on June 23rd. On that day, when you go to the polling station you will be given a piece of paper with the referendum question on it. You then go to a booth, which will have a pencil in it for your use. You then put a X in the box which reflects your choice, and put the paper into a ballot box. Alternatively, you would have been able to opt to vote by post.

BREXIT: The UK's EU referendum. Real facts you should know!
BREXIT: The UK’s EU referendum.
Real facts you should know!

WHY SHOULD BRITAIN STAY IN THE EU?
Britain is important. What we do or don’t do, matters.

Moreover, being a part of the EU gives Britain a boost in almost every way. We’re able to do business in the “single market,” we would be able to attract the best minds all over the world, who complement our economic prosperity, as well as our social future in the guise of helping to pay and provide for public services. To stay in the EU is to receive a big boost in reciprocal membership.

It’s simple really.

If we’re in the European Union, we have a say on what goes on within – economically, socially, and politically. We’ll be a secure part of one of the best clubs in the world – a 28-nation club exclusively set up to protect and look out for each other.

At a time of extreme danger to our way of life, and an increase in terrorism, we  need the EU.

If we opt to leave the Union, then as an island nation. We’ll be out. Alone.

And really isolated from the rest of the Continent.

The United Kingdom is an island nation. We'll be out. Alone.
The United Kingdom is an island nation.
We’ll be out. Alone.

WHY SHOULD BRITAIN LEAVE THE EU?
According to the latest opinion polls, the British public are fairly evenly split.

Some people believe that Britain is being held back by the EU, which they say imposes too many rules on business, and charges huge amounts of money, for little in return. They also want Britain to take back full control of its borders, and reduce the number of people coming to live and/or work, as one of the main principles of EU membership is free movement within member or associated member states. They also don’t like the idea of an “ever closer union,” and what they see as the beginning of a movement towards the creation of a “United States of Europe.”

WHAT ABOUT BUSINESS?
Business is generally in favour of Britain staying within the EU, due to the ease and flexibility to move people, products, and finance structures, around the world.

On the other hand, there are some business agencies who favour negotiating trade deals with individual countries, “rather than being one of 28 nations.” Many small and medium-sized firms would also welcome a cut in red tape and “petty regulations.”

SO WHO’S CAMPAIGNING?

BREXIT: The UK's EU referendum - Real facts you should know!
BREXIT: The UK’s EU referendum – Real facts you should know!

BRITAIN STRONGER IN EUROPE: The main cross-party group campaigning for Britain to remain in the EU is headed by former Marks and Spencer (M&S) Chairman Lord Rose. Influential backing also includes Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor George Osborne, the Lib Democrats, Plaid Cymru, the Alliance party, the SDLP in Northern Ireland, and the Green Party.

LABOUR IN FOR BRITAIN: Headed by the party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Alan Johnson, and supported by most Labour MPs.

REMAIN: The Scottish National Party (SNP) is running its own Remain campaign in Scotland, as it does not want to share a platform with the Conservatives. Several smaller groups have also registered to campaign.

VOTE LEAVE: A cross-party campaign that has the backing of senior Conservatives such as Michael Gove and Boris Johnson, plus a handful of Labour MPs, including Gisela Stuart and Graham Stringer, the UKIP’s Douglas Carswell and Suzanne Evans, and the DUP in Northern Ireland. Former Tory chancellor Lord Lawson and SDP founder Lord Owen, are also involved.

The UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage is not part of Vote Leave, but his party is running its own campaign.

OUT: The Trade Union and Socialist Coalition is also running its own out campaign.

FARMERS FOR BRITAIN

MUSLIMS FOR BRITAIN

OUT and PROUD.

All three are affiliated groups that are anti – EU.

BREXIT: The UK's EU referendum - Real facts you should know!
BREXIT: The UK’s EU referendum – Real facts you should know!

IF THE UK LEFT THE EU, WOULD UK CITIZENS NEED SPECIAL PERMITS TO WORK IN THE EU?
It depends!

If the UK remained within the single market, it would almost certainly retain free movement rights allowing UK citizens to work in the EU, and vice versa. If the government opted to impose work permit restrictions, then other countries could reciprocate, meaning British people would have to apply for visas in order to work in Europe.

IF THE UK LEFT THE EU, HOW WOULD THIS AFFECT EU NATIONALS WHO WANT TO WORK IN THE UK?
Again, it depends!

If the UK government decided to introduce a work permit system of the kind that currently applies to non-EU citizens, limiting entry to skilled workers in professions where there are shortages, then EU nations would most likely reciprocate, and do the same.

HOW LONG WOULD ALL THE PAPERWORK TAKE?
The minimum period after a vote to leave, would be two years.

During that time Britain would continue to abide by EU treaties and laws, but not take part in any decision-making. In practice it would probably take longer than two years, depending on how negotiations would go.

BREXIT: The UK's EU referendum - Real facts you should know!
BREXIT: The UK’s EU referendum – Real facts you should know!

IF THE UK LEFT THE EU, WOULD IT BE ABLE TO REJOIN IN THE FUTURE?
Yes!

The UK would have to start from scratch with no rebate, and enter in to accession talks with the EU, and every member state would have to agree to the UK re-joining! However, the issue of UK demands which Britain has now, would not be put into consideration.

WHEN DID THE UK JOIN THE EU?
The UK joined the European Economic Community (the forerunner of the EU), on January 1st, 1973.

WHAT IS THE EUROPEAN UNION?
The European Union – otherwise known as the EU – is an economic and political partnership involving twenty-eight (28) European countries!

The idea of fostering economic co-operation, began with the Second World War notion that countries that trade together, are more likely to avoid going to war with one another!

Since then, the EU has grown to become a “single market” allowing goods and people to move around, as if the member states were one country. The EU has its own currency – the euro – which is used by nineteen (19) of the member countries, its own parliament, and it’s own laws, rules and regulations. With a GDP of more than $18,000 billion, and a population of more than 500m, the EU is the largest economy in the world!

The free movement of goods, services, money, and people within the European Union, is good for business.
The free movement of goods, services, money, and people within the European Union, is good for business.

WHAT IS THE SINGLE MARKET?
The European Union single market, developed in 1992, allows the free movement of goods, services, money, and people, within the European Union, as if it were a single country.

The idea was to boost trade, create jobs, and lower prices. However, it requires a common law to ensure products are made to the same technical standards and level of quality and expectation. Critics say it generates too many petty regulations, and robs members of control over their own nations. Other critics state mass migration (free movement) as having been abused by poorer East European countries who flock to wealthier West European nations.

SO WOULD BRITAIN BE BETTER IN OR OUT?

I think you know my answer to that, and I’ll be in the German media throughout the week discussing it!

Would Britain be better In the EU or Out of the EU? ©Philippe Huguen
Would Britain be better In the EU or Out of the EU?
©Philippe Huguen

This article is not sponsored, and all opinions connected to this most important referendum, are my very own!

From June 28th – July 2nd, I’ll be at Berlin Fashion Week.

Save the Date!

June is going to be outrageous darling!

I’ll be there. Will you?

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & Facebook!

If you’re not in Berlin in June, you must be out of your mind!

Watch this space!

BREXIT: The UK's EU referendum - Real facts you should know!
BREXIT: The UK’s EU referendum – Real facts you should know!

Would Britain be better In the EU or Out of the EU? Have your say?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or 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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Surprise! I’m travelling to England, Spain & Portugal. Olé!

Cricket and a spot of lunch!
Cricket and a spot of lunch!

They tell me it’s Spring.

Ha! Ha! That’s awfully funny ‘cos we haven’t actually had a winter.

Golly!

It’s going to be March in a few days so officially, that is the beginning of the Spring season. The travelling season.

Yeah!

In March and April, I’ll be travelling to England, Portugal and Spain. And here’s why!

ENGLAND.

Shakespeare in Love!

England needs no introduction. It’s my home-country of course, and the land of Hope and Glory, Rule Britannia n’ all that.

England has been in the news a lot recently, well, Britain has!

If you’re a British expat living abroad and have been registered to vote in the UK within the last 15 years, you can register as an overseas elector, which entitles you to vote in the UK Parliamentary General Elections, UK-wide referendums, and European Parliamentary elections. Even though the date of the EU referendum is still unknown, you can already register to vote and you can register to vote online here.

For more information for overseas voters, please go here.

©AFP PHOTO / STRINGER
©AFP PHOTO / STRINGER

My blog isn’t about political issues but if you want to discuss the heavier stuff, you can find me on Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn where we can “talk” if you like, but just to be clear, my vote will always be for Britain to stay WITH-IN the European Union. There. I’ve said it!

Back to the issue at hand.

England, otherwise known as Old Blighty!

WHERE WILL VICTORIA BE GOING TO EXACTLY?

Chester castle agricola tower hero

Well, I’ll be going to Chester and Cheshire.

WHY?

I’ll be attending the dignified graduation ceremony for my MA Degree.

GRADUATION WHAT?

My graduation ceremony!

Trumpeters at the University of Chester!
Trumpeters at the University of Chester!

If you look on the About Me page, you would see that I was obtaining an M.A. in Education Leadership and Management at the University of Chester in England.

I finished it!

My first degree was obtained at an elite university abroad, with a BSc. honours degree in Political Science! I then did a Masters Degree at Durham University which is the 3rd oldest university in England!

All of this was yonks ago of course and after a while, your mind starts to get mushy and a thirst for more learning develops.

The entrance to my campus - Riverside - University of Chester.
The entrance to my campus – Riverside – University of Chester.

I must be a sucker somewhat, ‘cos I decided to do a second Masters Degree. At the University of Chester!

I’ll write more about that in a couple of weeks!

WHAT ELSE WILL I BE DOING?

Chester.
Chester.

I’ll be going to Chester.

Chester is a small city in the county of Cheshire and is very close to the tiny country of Wales!

It’s a very old Roman city founded in AD79 in the Roman province of Britannia (see what I mean!), over-flowing with history, glory and rich archaeological and architectural treasures from the era of Roman occupation. Not only was Chester an old Roman fort, but it was one of the last cities to fall to the French Normans and also boast of one of the best  preserved walled cities in Britain.

In fact, part of that old Roman wall is just outside my Faculty window!

Chester has an effortless combination of history and heritage so that there is plenty to explore and lots of things to do.

It has a population of 120,622 people.

ANYTHING ELSE?

Cheshire's Peak District.
Cheshire’s Peak District.

I’ll also be going to Cheshire.

Chester is actually a part of Cheshire, but Cheshire is the county (a bit like a State).

I grew up in Cheadle, a suburban village in what was then known as Greater Manchester, and when my brother and I went to university, my family moved to Cheshire.

Cheshire is an Anglo-Saxon settlement first thought to have been created by King Edward (Edward the Elder) in AD920. The county is in the country (the country-side) and is mostly rural with small towns and villages supporting the local agriculture and industry, and so we have horses not far from the home of one of my brothers!

In beautiful Wales.
In beautiful Wales.

Cheshire is also very close to Wales, sometimes having both Welsh and English names, in various parts of the county!

It has a population of about 1 million people.

I won’t really have much time to do stuff since this fleeting visit is really a family affair, but as English Tourism Week will take place in March, I might stretch a few hours to:

Chester City Wall.
Chester City Wall.

  • Jump into a lambing weekend where you can actually see new lambs being born!
  • Go for a Snowdrop Sunday Stroll at Adlington Hall and experience the showcase of snowdrops within the wilderness of Adlington’s Gardens.
  • Ramble along to a Spring Bird Walk at Hare Hill which is a tranquil woodland garden, surrounded by parkland an a delightful walled garden.
  • Join a local bird watching expert for an informative two-hour walk through the garden and parkland at Hare Hill so that I can learn to identify birdsong and discover more about bird activity at this time of year.
  • Or if I’m feeling particularly energetic, I might join the Rangers at that very same Hare Hill to gain an insight into Ranger life and learn about the day-to-day running of the park, and the life of a National Trust Ranger.

It’ll be difficult coming back home to Berlin!

WHY SPAIN & PORTUGAL?

Spain & Portugal!
Spain & Portugal!

Why not?

No seriously. Why not?

They’re in the South of Europe, have long magnificent histories, fascinating cultures, and a gastronomy to die for.

And the dancing. Oh, the dancing…!

SPAIN

Paella for lunch at TBEX in Lloret de Mar - Spain. Yum!
Paella for lunch at TBEX in Lloret de Mar – Spain.
Yum!

Spain, officially known as the Kingdom of Spain, Iberia or España is located in South-Western Europe, and on several territories known as the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, and the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the African coast. It has two (2) archipelagos islands, two (2) major exclaves in continental North Africa, and the islands and peñones or rocks of Alborán, Alhucemas, Chafarinas, and Vélez de la Gomera.

The mainland is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary – Gibraltar – which is British! Bordered by France, Andorra, the Bay of Biscay, France, Morocco and Portugal, it is one of the only three countries in the world to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines and also lies on the 1,214 km (Portugal–Spain border), which is the longest uninterrupted border within the European Union!

Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, and the fourth largest country in Europe, with a population of a little over 46 million people.

WHERE WILL VICTORIA BE GOING TO EXACTLY?

Parque de María Luisa in Sevilla.
Parque de María Luisa in Sevilla.

I know Spain quite well.

I usually prefer Barcelona but it’s been over thirteen (13) years since I last went to Madrid and after last years’ nightmare experience, it’s clearly time to go back again.

I’ll be going to Madrid and Seville.

WHAT ELSE WILL I BE DOING?

Madrid is still a little up in the air but I’ll be staying in the historic zone which has one of the most beautiful urban landscapes as well antique buildings. It’s a unique neighbourhood rich in history, architecture, food, bars and restaurants, and is livened up by the local people and local art.

ANYTHING ELSE?

I’ll be staying with a blogger friend and her husband, in Seville.

We’ll be staying with an expat local, and getting to grips with the fact that we’ll be in the beautiful city of Seville with it’s Moorish influences and Arabic architecture coupled, with beautiful weather (I hope) and fabulous food!

It’s going to be awesome!

PORTUGAL

Portugal.
Portugal.

Portugal, officially known as the Portuguese Republic, is a country on the Iberian Peninsula, in the South West of Europe. The republic also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira.

I’ve been to Portugal before and let me tell you, it is indeed the most western point country in the whole of mainland Europe, and I have a certificate to prove it!

Portugal is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and Spain and as I wrote above, the Portugal–Spain border – 1,214 km or 754 miles – is considered to be the longest uninterrupted border within the European Union!

Portugal  has a population of almost 10.5 million people!

Portrait of King John I of Portugal (1357-1433).
Portrait of King John I of Portugal (1357-1433).

It’s one of the first global empire countries and had great influence across the world in the 15th and 16th century but sadly after the independence of Brazil in 1822, and the end of the longest-lived European colonial empire, with the handing over of Macau to China in 1999, hardly anybody speaks it’s language and most tourists are reluctant to visit. Preferring instead, it’s neighbour and colonial rival – Spain!

Strange really, when there over 250 million people who speak Portuguese world-wide, it has left a most profound cultural and architectural influence across the globe, has an advanced economy, and a higher living standard than France, Spain and Italy!

I’m going to try and change it’s image!

WHERE WILL VICTORIA BE GOING TO EXACTLY?

Tram 28 in Lisbon. © Dr.G.Schmitz
Tram 28 in Lisbon.
© Dr.G.Schmitz

I’ll be going to the Algarve, Lisbon and Porto

WHAT ELSE WILL I BE DOING?

We’ll be staying at a hotel apartment in the Old Town of Albufeira, which is an old fisherman’s village and very near to the sea in Lagos. We’ll also be going to Lisbon and staying at the StayInn Lisbon Hostel which is a hostel located a few minutes walk from many historic and tourist attractions, right in the heart of Lisbon’s Bohemia nightlife! And we’ll be staying at the trendy luxury artistic family-run Gallery Hostel in Porto!

Perfect for trendy parents with a young teenager!

ANYTHING ELSE?

There’ll be seafood galore!

I love seafood.

I just don’t know if I can wait!

Seafood Galore!
Seafood Galore!

This article is isn’t sponsored and the academic Masters Degree that I’m going to collect, is my very own!

In March and April, I’ll be going to England, Portugal and Spain!

I’ll be attending the Spring Reception for the British Community, at the British Embassy on March 2nd.

On March 3rd, I’ll pop into the Berlin Alternative Fashion Week (BAFW) Network in Fashion Launch Party  at LNFA, Bikini in Berlin.

On March 8th, I’ll be at the ITB Berlin Opening Party taking place at Urban Spree. It’s always a lot of fun, so if you’re in town, come and join us.

To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, I’ve joined the Berlin Travel Massive campaign which is hosting an OPEN CALL for the best photos of awesome WOMEN IN TRAVEL.  You can share your pictures using the hashtag #WomenInTravel & #travelmassive until March 4th where photos will be featured at Travel Massive’s biggest night of the year – the Opening Party at ITB Berlin on March 8th: To RSVP go here!

The best pictures will also be published on the platform of Travel Massive & featured by Lonely Planet, on Twitter!

The world’s leading travel trade show –  ITB Berlin – will be taking place from 09.03.16 – 13.03.16.

I’ll be there. Will you?

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & FB!

If you’re not in Berlin in March, I haven’t a clue where else you’re going to be!

March is going to be busy!

Watch this space!

Which of these historical places would you choose to visit? Have you ever been?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or 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

Please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

How I went to 11 marvellous countries, & taught the Germans about the Queen in 2015. If I can do it, so can you!

Original photo © Belén de Benito
Original photo © Belén de Benito

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:

  1. USA – 13,000 readers.
  2. Germany – 10,000 readers.
  3. UK – 9,500 readers.

With the lovely Latvia right behind – 9,300 readers.

Amaaaazing!

Thank 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 11 COUNTRIES THAT I WENT TO LAST YEAR WERE:

  • England
  • Holland
  • The Czech Republic
  • Hungary
  • Lithuania
  • Latvia
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Poland
  • Spain
  • Germany

ENGLAND:

Oysters and stout on a wooden table outside a pub, England UK - ©VisitBritain Daniel Bosworth
Oysters and stout on a wooden table outside a pub, England UK –
©VisitBritain Daniel Bosworth

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!

Not bad at all!

HOLLAND:

In the Red Light District, Amsterdam.
In the Red Light District, Amsterdam.
  • 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:

"The Tall Young Gentleman" surrounded by teenaged girls at Rokytnice nad Jizerou!
“The Tall Young Gentleman” surrounded by teenaged girls at Rokytnice nad Jizerou!

Not only did I visit one of my favourite countries ever. But in 2015, I actually went twice!

And then I went to Prague.

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

What?

You haven’t yet been?

Incredible!

HUNGARY:

Chess players in the Széchenyi Thermal Bath and Swimming Pool - Budapest.
Chess players in the Széchenyi Thermal Bath and Swimming Pool – Budapest.

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.

THE BALTIC STATES:

A map of the Baltic Sea.
A map of the Baltic Sea.

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!

LITHUANIA:

Vilnius B&B in Lithuania.

LATVIA:

Riga Black Balsam.

Twenty six thousand (26,000) views, hits and shares!

Absolutely Outstanding!

Thank you Latvia!!

ESTONIA:

Estonian Young Folk.
Estonian Young Folk.

FINLAND:

Helsinki Monument, Finland. @VisitFinland
Helsinki Monument, Finland.
@VisitFinland

POLAND:

Jesus in Warsaw.
Jesus in Warsaw.

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!

SPAIN:

Paella for lunch at TBEX in Lloret de Mar - Spain. Yum!
Paella for lunch at TBEX in Lloret de Mar – Spain.
Yum!

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 mean.

Come on!!

OTHER PARTS OF GERMANY:

Roman cohorts at the Varus Battle in Osnabrück. © Tourismusverband Osnabrücker Land e.V.
Roman cohorts at the Varus Battle in Osnabrück.
© Tourismusverband Osnabrücker Land e.V.
  • 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?!

MORE NEXT WEEK!

The Black Kilts and my British-German family! © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
The Black Kilts and my British-German family!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

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!

I'm a very happy British lifestyle, expat, travel blogger. Right here in the beautiful city of Berlin - © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
I’m a very happy British lifestyle, expat, travel blogger. Right here in the beautiful city of Berlin –
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

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!

We love my blog!

Where did you travel to last year? Any achievements that you would like to share?

If you like this post or 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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