Part 2 of my Anekdotique Travel Retrospective of 2014 brings back some good memories from the month of May to August. From diving into the world of Persia to eating my way though Barcelona, Chicago and New York. From traveling with my parents and grandparents to my sisters wedding all the way from Germany to New Jersey, to the hell of a ride all across the Balkans together with my travel mate Steve where we’ve visited 7 countries in 4 weeks.
May – Hola España & Merhaba Türkiye!
Oh, the beautiful travel month of may … how can someone not use those fabulous weeks with mild pre-summer temperatures to go and see the world? And that was exactly what I planed to do!
From Bar to Bar in Barcelona
I did it! In May 14 I finally managed to visit Barcelona, where as a kid I only had passed by a couple of times without ever making a proper stop in the city of Gaudí, cava and tapas. And that was exactly the first thing I was looking for when I jumped off the plane in pleasantly warm Barcelona where you always have a mild wind in your hair when walking along the promenade in the neighborhood of La Barceloneta.
And what to do after a day at the beach? That’s right, you look for the best Xampanyeria of the city, where you get delicious Bocadillos and sparkling Cava. Want to now where I found the very best? Check it out in my ultimate Champagne Bar Test.
One more picturesque side of Turkey
Back in Hamburg I immediately jumped on a plane again to visit the Southern region of Turkey at the Aegean Sea. What I found there was anything but only a crowded tourist spot like Marmaris.
On the contrary, the area around this popular tourist destination was perfect for relaxing on the one hand and for enjoying the outdoors on the other. I was invited to a yacht trip on the Aegean, went geo-caching in the mountains and discovered centuries-old rock tombs and turtles at the beach … Teşekkür ederim Turkey for that lovely days! Güle güle!
June – On the road to Iran, Austria and the Balkans
June came up with an absolute travel dream of mine, with some surprising highlights and the beginning of a loooong road trip. Namely through 7 countries of the Balkans in Eastern Europe. But first … Persia!
Iran, you had me at ‘salaam’!
There it was, the absolut highlight of 2014: IRAN! Where others get goosebumps when thinking about a country that is so often falsely connected to terror in world media, I get goosebumps when thinking back to those weeks I spend in such fabulous places like Isfahan, Shiraz or Bam. With people so hospitable, mosques and palaces so magnificent and salt deserts so picturesque. Iran, you had me at salaam!
We went from Tehran all the way down to Kashan, Yazd and Isfahan to the city of Shiraz, made some new friends (and I really mean friends), got a free guided tour of one of the most important mosques of Islam by an old, over-friendly man and simply got hooked by the charme of old Persia.
Visiting Iran was one the best decisions I ever made when it comes to travels. And it definitely won’t be my last visit. If you wanna know why, don’t miss my favorite Sights and Places in Iran – Highlights from 1001 nights. In case that you are planning a trip to Iran as a woman check out the post As a Western Woman in Iran. And don’t forget to check out may Backpacking Guide to Iran with everything you need to know.
From Big Persia to Little Walser Valley
Guess what you really miss as a German when in Iran? Good bread, cheese and sausage. And where do you get some of the best bread, cheese and sausage? That’s right, in Austria. So I guess you can understand why there was absolutely no question about whether I should accept an invitation to Kleinwalstertal or not.
Mid June I flew all the way down to Austria to spend some days hiking and mountain-biking in this outdoor heaven. Oh and eating and drinking my way through the Austrian cuisine, of course. What a yummy idea!
The big Balkans road trip – #BalkanStattBalkonien
Summer came early in 2014. Time to made my way to Eastern Europe in June, or to be precise: to 7 countries of the Balkans. My road trip together with my buddy Steve from back-packer.org was filled with Rakia and laughter, as we both had the same idea of a great summer road trip.
We started with a one-week trip along the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast (funnily enough I was on the exact other side of the sea in March, as you might remember) and made our way to Skopje in Macedonia and Tirana in Albania before finally reaching the Adriatic Sea in Montenegro.
I guess this was the place where the idyllic part of our trip began. With the beautiful cities of Budva and Kotor at the sea, with some action days and fun nights. But better have a look at the photos yourself!
July – Traveling on through the Balkans (and winning the World Cup!!)
We soon made our way to amazing places: Dubrovnik in Croatia and Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina. While the first one was probably the most picturesque place on our whole trip where we had loads of fun walking the old City Walls, the city of Sarajevo overwhelmed us with a big portion of sad, sad war history that still quite visible and very sensible around the place.
Later one we spent three unforgettable days at the Exit Festival in Novi Sad, Serbia, had an great Rakia tasting in Belgrade and went crazy when Germany finally won the World Cup final against Argentina. I still can see Steve and me running down the cobblestone streets with a beer in the hand, singing loudly and dancing through the night: “So gehen die Deutschen, die Deutschen die gehen so!” What a great night to remember!
Austria deluxe at Achensee
July ended with a stay in the amazing Reiter’s Posthotel Achenkirch, a great wellness hotel that was the perfect place to relax and calm down after the big trip though Eastern Europe, chilling in the pool & SPA area and having some tasty food. It came out that the Achensee Lake is also great for taking a mountain-bike tour.
August – The Sehis going to the US for my sis’s wedding
I was back in Germany for two weeks when packing my stuff again to get myself over to New York. The reasons was my sisters wedding that took place in New Jersey. But before I spend some very nice days together with my family in New York showing my parents and grandparents around the place, visiting the all-new WTC 1 for the very first time and having some proper burgers. Oh how I’m still dreaming of those burgers …
New York – Chicago – New Jersey
Before flying over to Philadelphia I even had the time to spend some days in the windy city Chicago. I really enjoyed my very visit to the place, although I have the feeling that it was just a glimpse of what it has to offer. The whole lake region looks very interesting to me and needs to be explored a bit more soon!
And then there was my sister’s wedding on a beautiful farm close to Lambertville in New Jersey, that became the most beautiful wedding day, or rather week, one could ever imagine.
Back to Germany – and straight to hospital
Well, and hardly back in Germany I found myself in an ambulance to the hospital … true story. Let me tell you more about what happened and what I learned about all this in the last part of my Anekdotique travel retrospective of 2014. Online soon!
Missed part 1 of my 2014 Travel Retrospective? Check it out right here! And don’t miss Part 3!
More Articles on 2014 Travel:
• The ultimate Guide to Cava and Tapas Bars in Barcelona
• Turkish Aegean: Mecca for nature lovers
• Backpacking Iran: the ultimate Guide to individual Travel in Iran
• Female Solo Travel in Iran: Dos and Donts
• 15 facts proving that Bulgaria is more than just a place to get wasted
• Discover Montenegro, a country like a photo mural
• Dubrovnik Travel Guide: The Pearl of the Adriatic
• A walk in the Walls of Dubrovnik
• New York Instagram Diary