We had a few free days last week for a short road trip getaway into the unknown or somewhere I´ve not been for a long time. In the end, we made our decision based on the weather prediction which was looking much more optimistic for the Eastern parts of Slovenia. So, we drove off from Ljubljana towards Trbovlje along the old road and took a turn to Podkum, continued through Sevnica, Brestanico, Sremič and Krško and finally reached the hilly Bizeljsko. I was one time here already and I have nice memories, so it was fun to re-visit the vineyards, castles and other interesting sights around here. More about these in this new blog post – if you are looking for lesser-known places in Slovenia as an international tourist, this is a great choice!
We could hardly wished for better weather and relaxed atmosphere for our recent September short road trip in the Upper Savinja valley or Zgornja Savinjska dolina as it is called in Slovenia. I believe we used our luxury of being able to explore my tiny home country during the week while everybody is in school or at work very good and really got to know this parts of Slovenia in just 5 days time. From Ljubljana, the capital city, we first drove to Velika Planina which is simply lovely at any time of the year and continued towards Luče and Solčava, drove up to the mountains at the border with Austria, took the beautiful Solčava Panoramic Road, hiked on the top of Golte ski place and continued along Savinja river pass Mozirje, Nazarje, Ljubno pri Savinji and other smaller towns all the way down to Celje. We also made a little detour to Velenje to visit friends and see Sloveniá youngest city. Based on our experiences I made this post, presenting 20+ ideas, activities places to visit and things to do in the Upper Savinja Valley. If you are looking for (still) less internationally known places in Slovenia this is a good place to come to.
Sylt. The island of the rich and the famous. Also the northernmost German and the largest of the North Frisian islands group in Wadden sea. An island which, if we look at its geographical position, is almost in Denmark. An island with a very distinguished shape, which is often seen as a sticker on German cars. An island which people visit to be seen and show off their cars. Especially if they own a Porsche. Or a Defender. We have honestly never seen so many Defenders in such a small place. So, despite not being rich, we kind of felt we are in a good place. A place where in the end, there is something for everyone, regardless of the size of your wallet. As always, our priorities are in untouched nature and lonesome places. In peaceful beaches and tasty food. Watching sunsets with a glass of wine, barefoot and with wind in our hair. And yes, we found lots of such places on Sylt. And we fell in love with it. It´s definitely my favourite German island and in my humble opinion also one of the best in Europe. It just has something special. It might be difficult to understand until you actually visit it, but maybe I can inspire some of you with this post.
After our recent, now already my third, visit to the largest national park in the German state Mecklenburg Vorpommern, it is really about time to post somehting about these beautiful places on the Baltic coast. For most of you these are probably less-known spots with names you can´t pronounce out loud, but trust me, these enchanting forests, wild lonely beaches, mighty cliffs and dreamy sand dunes will leave you speechless once you are here. I´d highly recommend this place for every nature lover, especially if you like bird-watching, long walks on the beach and cycling. Plus, there are quite some interesting culinary experiences as well.
Visiting the second largest German island was a big wish of mine since a long time, but there was somehow never the right opportunity. All up to this summer when all other plans fell apart and we decided to do a longer road trip on the German Baltic and northern coast. The point was really to visit all of those places I haven´t seen yet since I moved to the country almost 10 years ago. Usedom, a popular beach destination amongst Germans, was our first stop at the coast – it is a great choice for everybody who enjoys long walks on sandy beaches, bicycle rides, boutique hotels and interesting culinary experiences, but also for those who like to visit different theme parks and museums.
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.