I was supposed to start the year with the roadtrip to the countryside of Czech Republic. But at that time the weather was really bad there (even with small hurricanes) so me and my friends decided to head to a completely different direction and spend a long weekend in north-west of Poland, with a day trip to Berlin. I’ve never really seen Szczecin properly, only changed trains there so it was a good opportunity to see this city – and I must say I loved it! Also seaside in the winter time is pretty spectacular! As for Berlin – do I really have to repeat myself how much I love this city, how much I’d love to live there again and how much I enjoy every minute spent ther ;) ?
I went for a weekend to Budapest with my two friends from work (they always make a fun travel company) – well, they’ve stayed only for a day and I spend another one with my Hungarian friend just wandering around and visiting nice teashops. Also, the way back was pretty nightmare-ish as it was -20C outside but the heating in the train wasn’t working so I was sleeping with all my clothes on, covered with 3 blankets – but what a good sleep I had!
The month started with a nice solo weekend trip to England where I explored Liverpool (loved it!), Chester (loved it!) and Manchester (not really liked it…) as well as went for a shopping spree (UK never fails in that!). Two weeks later I went with friends for the weekend to Bulgaria. We stayed in Sofia (in one of the coolest hostels ever with free beer and free breakfast and dinner!) but also visited Plovdiv. Bulgaria might not be one of the most exciting countries ever but I wouldn’t mind returning there to explore more of a countryside!
Another weekend trip, this time to Kiev, Ukraine. Funny thing, Ukraine is the closest country from where I live yet I haven’t been there before! But better late than never! I loved it so much there that I’m sure it wasn’t my one and only visit there. Kiev has everything I could wish for: delicious food, so many amazing sights to explore, golden dome churches, enormous Soviet buildings and a huge Mother Ukraine statue.
At the end of April I also set off for my trip to Iceland. One week of exploring this amazing country was what I was looking for the most in the first half of 2012!
And Iceland surely was amazing! Reykjavik is such a cool capital city, so small, charming, easy-going – a perfect place to start the Icelandic adventure! But Iceland is so much more than that: volcanoes, black beaches, lava fields, waterfalls, lagoons, glaciers, geysirs, horses, volcanic areas – everything is there! Also in Iceland I’ve experienced the scariest flight of my life (and I’m not afraid of flying, that needs to be said!) but let’s not talk about it ;) On the way back from Iceland I had a longer stopover in Luton, England so obviously I went to see this average city (but the shopping center was nice;))
June was a busy month for me with all the mess at EURO2012 Football Championships – I worked every single day, having 3 jobs at the same time… but in July I could explore some new far away places – I went for 4 days to Armenia. Since my fascination with post Soviet countries rises more and more I obviously loved my time there. Yerevan may not be the most beautiful city but it surely has a great atmosphere to soak in and a wonderful cafe life to enjoy! And the countryside of Armenia is so beautiful, with a lot of beautiful monasteries and ancient sites to explore!
Again, August was a month with no trips but I hardly ever travel in the summer time. I had a lot of trips planned for September but for various reasons I went only to two: a daytrip to Berlin with friends and a solo trip to the Balkans. It’s been my dream for couple of years and I finally managed to go there. What an amazing area it is! Sadly I didn’t have that much time to explore it so I only visited main places such as Belgrade, Bar, Stari Bar, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Mostar and Sarajevo. But oh my, how much I loved every single place there! I’ll surely come back there, sooner than later! Oh, and did I mention I also ate lots and lots of delicious burek there?!
The big trip of the year has come, I took off for the 2 weeks in China! But before I went I spent couple of hours in Budapest, just hanging around with my Hungarian friend. I must confess I didn’t like my time in China all that much. It was interesting and I’m glad I went and explored it a little bit but overall I had a hard time there, mostly because of annoying Chinese people everywhere… From the whole trip the most I enjoyed my layover in Doha, and especially the amazing Museum of Islamic Art – I guess that explains something…
First I spent a lovely weekend in the triangle between Poland, Germany and Czech Republic. In only 2 days I crossed the Polish border 10 times! It’s such an interesting area and I’m so glad I finally managed to explore it a little deeper! But at some point it was pretty confusing in which country I am and which language I’m supposed to speak
At the end of the month I went for 5 days to Cyprus. When the weather in Poland wasn’t all that good I was swimming in the sea, spending a day or two relaxing with a book on the beach or exploring ancient ruins. But the best place I’ve visited there was Northern Cyprus – it felt like a totally different world and crossing a border in the middle of the city was quite an experience!
I ended the year with a pre-Christmas trip to my all time favourite city – Prague. I haven’t been there for over a year and that’s really long! I spent my days exploring off the beaten path places, such as Divoka Sarka, visiting hospodas and my new favourite cafe – Slavia and trying to speak as much Czech as possible. And of course I fell for the city even more…
In 2012 I:
* traveled around 62.000 kms
* took 21 flights
* spend a lot of hours in trains
* visited 10 new countries (and I was secretly hoping for 4!)
* has been 22 times abroad
* took probably around 20.000 pictures
* had so much fun!
Besides travelling there were couple of other highlights of 2012:
* I volunteered for UEFA during football championships and I had a blast! I didn’t expect it’s gonna be so much fun and will lead to so many great friendships!
* after football matches in Warsaw I announced trains in English, German and Czech – so good I didn’t know that Czech fans applauded when they heard that, I’d have freaked out for sure
* I finally started learning Russian (and it’s for free thanks to EU!) – I enjoy it so much even if I kind of suck at it so far
* I saw some really good concerts, including Metallica, Limp Bizkit or Nightwish
* and last but not least – I started this blog and enjoy working on it so much!
Now I truly hope 2012 will be even half as good as 2012. I have some cool plans for the first half of the year but I’m looking for some inspirations where to go in autumn. So here is to an amazing 2013!
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