Into this recent road trip through northern Germany we have included many of those parts of the country that we wanted to visit while we are still living around here. One of these places were also the lakes on Mecklenburg lake plateau in on of the lesser developed German states called Mecklenburg – Vorpommern. I know, I know, again lots of weird names but this is how it is. The fact is that this part of the country, which used to be a part of Eastern Germany, is somehow less known amongst international tourists and it is even difficult to find useful information in English on the internet. Which was a very good sign for us actually, because this meant we are probably entering a zone with great hidden spots. And so it was. While kayaking, taking long walks, driving offroad and relaxing in hammocks reading books, we found piece and serenity in beautiful unspoilt nature. Just before our 3-night stop here we visited the city of Potsdam and later on we continued to island Usedom and drove all the way up to Denmark along the coast. Read this post to find out more about what we saw and did on and around the lakes around here.
All of you have probably heard of Berlin, right, and possibly many of you ho live in Europe have also visited the city as well. But did you know that there is another awesome city just a little over 30km from Berlin, where you can see lots of castles and palaces, gardens and charming neighbourhoods, lakes and water channels? It is also very easy to just take a short train ride form Berlin center and do a day trip to this place. It is called Potsdam and it is actually one of the nicest smaller cities I have been to in Germany. This was my third visit and I guess it is finally time to write a little bit about it.
Where can we even travel to this year? After weeks, or shall I better say months, of guessing and debating what, where, how and for how long we can even go in the summer, we ended up with this scenario – we´re going on a road trip through northern Germany. I´m not exactly jumping to the ceiling and beyond, but hey, it´s better than nothing. We´ve got 3 weeks time before we have to pick up Lu and we drive down to Slovenia together. It´s so weird to travel right now, especially since we´ve got 3 different passports (Slovenian, French and German), so I´m already super confused while checking all these charts, numbers and lists. You call the embassy and they say A, you call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and they say B, you hear from people actually crossing the border and they say C. Now go have a great holiday. It´s just a bit stressful, that´s also why we decided to stay in Germany and see the most of it while we are still here. So we´re driving to almost all if not all the corners I´ve been wanting to visit for a long time already. We expect masses of people, since all the 80mio Germans are mostly staying in the country and it´s the busiest 2 weeks, but hey, there´s no other way now. So, what´s our itinerary? Somehow like this.
I´ve been wanting to post this for a couple of weeks already. It has been one year since we drove off towards Denmark without a care in this world. With a loaded Defender, a loose itinerary and a good 5 weeks of time. With mixed feeling of great freedom but also a pinch of guilt. Still quite proud of myself to finally leave my job and take some time off. Time for me, time for us. For a longer visit to my homeland. For sports. For a healthier life. And of course for a longer holiday as well. And also for this blog. Time for everything I didn´t have so much time the last years. Time which seemed utterly necessary considering all that happened the last years. Because sometimes one just can´t take it anymore. Maybe it´s difficult to understand for many people. Especially for someone who has never lived abroad, never shared custody over the kids, never slept 3-4hrs a night for months and so on. At the end of 2019 I thought 2020 can only be better but boy I was wrong. I learned once again it can always be worse. That´s why I keep telling myself it´s OK right now. Because despite the weird situation it can most probably always be worse. In March everything escalated. Being stuck in a country that doesn´t feel like home and not being able to return is just weird. In a way, it does feel like jail. It made me think this is really not the place I want to live in, more than ever. And all of this happened exactly in the year that was supposed to be “my year”. The year where I will do all of these awesome stuff, spend more time with family and friends and so on. Ironically, I spend half of this year stuck in a place where I was running from in the first place. Somewhere in the middle of nowhere in northern Germany. In a 55m² apartment that never felt like home. Because home is not just a room with 4 walls, home is so much more.
Guess where I am? Home, in my dear Ljubljana. After making about 50 selfies with our Landy this morning, I´m relaxing in the garden, enjoying a cup of coffee with the sounds of water drops falling down on the grass. Finally. I´m not sure how many days have passed since the last time I was in Slovenia, but it is surely over 5 months. The longest I´ve been away is 9 months, but boy these 5 felt like an eternity. There are moments now when I feel as if it was August 2019, we´ve just returned from our Scandinavian trip and we´re enjoying summer holidays back home, just like every year. Unfortunately, it is already 2020 and I think it´s time to forget about the past months and look forward once again. More about this past year and what happens now is coming up in a new post soon, but first here is a little bit about what we´ve been up to in this 12th (yes, 12th!) month since I´ve left the office.
Hanseatic town of Lüneburg is only about 50km south-east from Hamburg which makes it a perfect choice as well as for a day trip or a stop on the way towards the north of the country. Since it is also not so far from our current home south of Hanover, I´ve been here on two different occasions too. Both times I left inspired by its stunning architecture and had a great time enjoying the city´s lively scene and great vibes. Lüneburg also has a rich history and important legacy as one of the most important salt mines in Germany. In this post, you can read more about what you can see and do there.
Besides Berlin, Hamburg is definitely my favourite German city. Maybe I´ve chosen these two because we live relatively close to both of the cities and I have visited them oh so many times. I´m not counting but I´ve probbaly been to Hamburg 15-20 times on different occasions and in different seasons. So I can say I know it quite well, at least for someone who has never lived in the city. The thing I love the most is the mixture between luxury, modern, posh buildings, restaurants, museums & bars and alternative, cult, artistic neighbourhoods. Being an important port city gives the place a special vibe as well, the vicinity of the sea makes it even more attractive, there are also surprisingly many green areas and parks to relax in nature. After so many visits I guess it is about time to finally write about it – so in this new post I´m presenting the most known attractions and sights of Hamburg. If you are headed to northern Europe soon, Hamburg is definitely a “must stop” on the way.
It´s almost June and we´re still in Germany. We´ve almost packed all our stuff already 3 times and wanted to drive to Slovenia to at least get our Landy, but we changed our minds every time, mostly due to the ridiculous amount of misleading information about crossing borders and quarantine times. It is just very frustrating because everybody tells you differently and you don´t even know whom to believe. Besides this, the rules are changing so quickly that the info you got 3 days ago at the embassy probably isn´t valid anymore. And then in the end it seems that everything depends on the person who is working on border control points. But anyhow, things are slowly getting more normal here where we live and as of end of May we are finally able to visit other German states also for touristic reasons. Sadly we still cannot camp with our tent everywhere because most states are not allowed to open the sanitary facilities. But we´re ready and waiting to make our first overnight trip soon, probably towards the coast.
True, travelling can be expensive. For some trips many have to save up months in advance and give up many other things along the way. But it´s also true that with a little ingenuity it is also very much possible to travel cheap. Read more about how to have the best experience for less money in this new post – everything from organising trips, to sleeping, transport, food, sightseeing and other.
Hopping European cities over the weekends, skiing in winter time, road trips and relaxing at the sea in the summer and a couple of trips overseas in between. People love to travel. Anytime, anywhere. Many who don´t, ask them selves, where the heck do they get the money from? Travelling for me is still a luxury and I don´t take it for granted. But it´s also a lifestyle. An exciting one. A lifestyle that sucks you in easily. It does need a lot of self-discipline and saying no to other things many times though. And I gladly do that in order to reach my goal, but everything has its borders – I strongly believe we should also know how to enjoy ourselves at home. Achieving a healthy balance is important. In my almost 20 year “travelling career” (from being a student to being a single mom and everything in between) I´ve learned a lot about priorities and money management, so here´s a post about to save up money for travelling.