A lifestyle expat travel blog about culture, history, Brexit, the Royal Family, travels around the world, Europe, and being British in Berlin!
It’s Summer Time.
What a scorcher we’ve been having!
Now by that, I mean in the UK.
I mean, buildings are melting to pieces in Glasgow, people are sweltering on the London Tube, and due to the intense heat, there are fears that train rails might buckle!
Global Warming at it’s best!
In Germany, we had all of that.
So here are my plans for the summer. And the rest of the year!
The summer is pretty exciting ‘cos in a fortnight, I’ll be doing a quick weekend away to the Czech Republic, a quick weekend away to Osnabrück in North Germany, and then just a mere one (1) day after, I’ll be travelling to Sweden, Estonia & Latvia!
There’ll be lots of train travel and a few flights!
And no, sadly, I won’t be at the TBEX Conference Europe this year, but I will be in the Czech Republic quite a few times!
So let’s see where I’ll be going:
Firstly, I’ll be spending two days at a destination very close to Dresden, and very close to Prague!
I’ll be visiting a little place called Kutná Hora!
Kutná Hora otherwise known as Hory Kutné or Kuttenberg is a city in Bohemia.
It is not the Bohemian Rhapsody, but a historical town, in the Czech Republic!
You may notice that Kutná Hora has a variety of names. This is because at certain times in history, the town belonged to different countries.
Kutná Hora was first recorded in roughly 1142. By 1260, the town became known as Kuttenberg, not only because of it’s famous Sedlec Abbey – which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also because of it’s silver mines which brought the town enormous prosperity in the 13th century.
By 1526, Kutná Hora, along with the rest of Bohemia, became a part of the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria until it became a part of Czechoslovakia 1918. Sadly, during 1935 – 1945, it became a forced division and a Protectorate of Nazi Germany, before being given back to Czechoslovakia after WWII, and then into it’s peaceful dissolution into the two separate nations of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, in 1993.
I will also be travelling to:
They need no introduction because I written extensively about them before, but if you’re here for the very first time or simply need a reminder, here are the articles I wrote previously.
Well, you all know how I love going to the ITB Berlin – the international tourism trade fair, otherwise known as the Internationale Tourismus-Börse!
And for those of you who don’t know, the ITB Berlin represents B2B, hotels, tourists boards, tour operators and providers, airlines, transport operators, responsible travel organisers, information technology experts, social media bloggers, and anybody else interested in travel and tourism.
It’s also the world’s leading travel industry think tank, in which the convention trade fair establishes itself as the industry’s main knowledge platform, with top-notch presentations on global trends, travel innovations and path-breaking events for the entire tourism industry!
It’s one of the highlights of my year, and one of the places that I tend to meet contacts and plan where I’m going to travel to during that year, or the following one.
In fact, my first media trip ever, was sent to me by the virtue that I was chatting to a media person from Atout France – the France Tourism Development Agency!
I didn’t know that at the time, but she was so impressed, that she sent me a FAM Trip invitation to Nord-Pas de Calais.
I thought I was going to Normandy!
I was the only press / blogger person there.
And well as the only British person too!
I had a fantastic time!
A year after, I met another contact who invited me to use their sailing cruises. I didn’t have the time to sail extensively, but I did use the services of TALLINK SLJA LINE to cross from Estonia to Finland.
A year later, that very same person invited me to fly to Sweden and do a couple more cruises. I still wasn’t able to go since the timing wasn’t right, but she introduced me to a contact from Visit Stockholm instead, and before you knew it, both The Tall Young Gentleman and I were in Stockholm for the very first time!
I also met the PR person from Hamburg about a year ago, and when a window opened, I contacted her, and she invited me to a weekend in Hamburg for their Christmas Market / Holy Hamburg / Winter Event.
I had a great time!
In fact, it was at the ITB Berlin, and wandering through the Poland Stands, that some of the Polish staff recognised me from an article that I wrote all of four (4) years ago, they were so excited, and the word soon spread, that that blogger was actually there!
Apparently. In Poland, I’m a bit of a notorious star!
Is it any wonder that this year, someone else reached out and invited me to a very interesting event, so interesting in fact, that how could I refuse?
The event in question is called Explore Hansa!
Explore Hansa is a partner project consisting of nine (9) small and enchanting Hanseatic cities from Sweden, Estonia and Latvia!
All of these countries are enormously rich in heritage and tradition, and have developed active and culinary tourism that offers visitors a chance to explore nature, authentic history, and exciting local food!
One of the ways that these lovely cities want to do that is by inviting influencers and media representatives, of which I am one, to experience what these HANSA cities have to offer, feel the charm of tiny Hanseatic cities, immerse ourselves in nature, and to spread the word!
I’m certainly going to do that!
There are two (2) trips being organised:
You all know how I am with bicycles!
Ha! Ha! Ha! Haaaaaaaaaa!
You can guess which one I chose!
They’ll be lots of stuff going on, but one of the activities I’m most interested in the annual Medieval Week or Medeltidsveckan event taking place in Sweden.
For one week only!
Medieval Week is a paradise for all who like jousting, markets, church concerts, street theater, fire shows, storytelling, walks, lectures and more.
It takes place mainly in Visby’s medieval fairytale environments, but also on the rural island of Gotland.
You get to see knights and maidens, people jousting and battling, locals dressed up as grand nobles, poor peasants and minstrels, medieval street markets, street theatre, fireshows, storytelling, and a medieval tournament to remember!
It’ll take place from August 5th to August 12th, 2018 and I’ll be there to see some of it for myself!
And of course, if I’m there, you can go there too!
And at the end of the year, I’ll be travelling to:
THE CZECH REPUBLIC:
I’ll be going to the Czech Republic ‘cos I’m going to celebrate my birthday there!
Prague is one of my favourite cities, so I’ve invited my family to come join me in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
I really can’t think of anywhere better!
Here’s what I wrote previously:
I’ve been to India before.
Thirteen (13) years ago!
And I have to tell you.
I’ve got mixed feelings about it!
I travelled solo and I was there for a month.
I went to North India and I really liked it and enjoyed it enormously.
But I didn’t love it!
And if I don’t like a place, I’m certainly going to tell you!!
I went to Rajasthan and saw tigers on safari at the Ranthambore National Park, adored the beautiful lakes at Udaipur, chuckled at the wedding cake cinema at Jaipur, licked and tasted camel ice-cream in Pushkar, rode elephants in Jodhpur, went camel-riding in the sandy desert of Jaisalmer, danced to the music of Bollywood, delighted in the openness of the local people, licked my fingers at authentic Indian food, and marvelled at the wonderful amazing-ness of the Taj Mahal.
It was awesome!
However, road traffic was mad and over-whelming, the noise was deafening, the dirt and grime was disgusting, the River Ganges at Varanasi was not only filthy, but I actually saw a bloated dead body being dragged across the water by a dog!
The beggar children were heart-breaking, the overnight train was horrific that I couldn’t sleep a wink, and the food- poisoning that I caught from stale / under-cooked eggs at a 5-star hotel restaurant was so awful, that my skin colour actually turned grey!
That isn’t good news!
In fact, I was so exhausted by the shopkeepers and city of Delhi that for the only time in my life, I actually wanted to go home!
I stuck it out though, but was thrilled to be able to fly away, and leave it all behind me.
So how is it that I’m going back to India.
And to some of the very same places too!
Well, thirteen (13) years ago is a long time, and perhaps India has changed.
I know I have.
I’ll be going to Rajasthan again but focusing only on Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Pushkar, Udaipur and Mumbai.
I’ll also personally be doing all the planning and organising.
And this time I won’t be backpacking.
I won’t be taking any bumpy buses.
I won’t be going as cheap as chips.
I won’t be visiting Varanasi.
And I won’t be taking the over-night Indian train!
Who doesn’t like an exciting adventure?
Well, follow me over the next few months, and find out!
This article is not sponsored, and all opinions and the thrilling summer that I’m obviously going to have, are my very own!
That’s it for now.
See you next week!
Watch this space!
Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.
I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!
Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!
A win-win for all!
Thanks a million!
Test Comment. Come and join me!
Victoria hello! maybe it’s a Mac thing but it is still doing it. My comp is frozen for minutes as it performs “TLS handshake with tweeter” and then brings me to your gravatar page. Plans sound great and l look forward to reading all about them. I won’t be at TBEX either this year. I’ve had my fill of the Czech Republic 🙂
Thanks very much for your comment! Yep! I’m awfully excited for the year ahead.
Sadly, I won’t be going to the #TBEXEurope Conference this year either. But I smell a story. Do share! 😀
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I hope all the summer travel were off the chain fun!.I do hope India offers you a better all around experiences. I look forward to reading your candid reflections on the trip.
Thanks so much Kim!
Me too! I’m sure it’s going to be another exciting period. When is it not?
I can’t wait! 😀
Oh wow you have quite a busy few months ahead of you. Didn’t realize that you had been to India before, however I completely share you sentiments. India can be beautiful and fun and inspiring, but it can also make you hate your fellow man more than any other country on earth. I’ve taken many a trip there but my longest was for 6 months. During that time I not only also saw a dead body, but I saw more d**k in Delhi on a daily basis than I’ve ever seen in all my years of sports locker rooms. People throughout the country use the street as a trash can and the sidewalk as a toilet throughout the country. It’s so disgusting. In order to survive six months there I had to turn off my senses — stop smelling the crap and body odor of crowds pressed against me, ignore the insistent horns 24/7, turn off my eyes to stop seeing all the trash, and learn to ignore being touched by constant hordes of people, be it touts or old grandmas pushing past me to make it on the bus/train before me. What was left after that? Only my sense of taste, and delicious as Indian food is, after six months of it I had most certainly had enough. In conclusion, India is great for short trips or fancy all-encompassing resorts / tour packages, but in order to survive India you have to become an Indian. And that is hard for people who grew up in a country that knows how to queue and use trash cans and toilets like a responsible human being. Anyway, sorry for rambling……have fun on all your upcoming adventures!! 😀
Thanks so much Derek! Ramble away!
Yep! It’s going to be crazy! 😀
Yeah, as much as I enjoyed my time in India, 30 days was quite enough. It wasn’t like Hong Kong when after just 1 night, I knew that I wouldn’t mind living there! Ha! I don’t think I’d want to live in India anytime soon either. Visit India in small doses certainly, but no more! 😀
I’m the type of person who tries as much as possible to do only the things that I want to do or not do, regardless of what other people think! India would be difficult ‘cos you wouldn’t really have a choice and MUST go with the flow. Life is so short, I just don’t want to. I’m stubborn!
It’s so disappointing as India could be so much more. I was chatting with a lady professor outside the Lotus Temple in Delhi, and she unwrapped something from her handbag and simply threw it on the floor. Even though the dustbin was right next to her! And don’t get me started on bodily functions. I once saw a man stop a taxi and pee at the same time, as well as a woman walk down the street and then suddenly crouch down and poo! Right there under her sari! I mean, what can you say to that?
Well, I must be mad, as I’m going there again, and taking an unsuspecting husband and teenaged son. Gulp! 😉
“Hope you have tissues” is all I would say 😂 Glad you enjoy rambles….me too! And no need to apologize, India just does that to people. There’s nothing you can say that will change the way locals behave, unfortunately. Even the college educated ones still love to litter or shatter their beer bottle on the sidewalk because, and I quote, “it’s just easier.” I wrote a post after my experiences entitled “How Traveling India Made Me Worse Of A Person” but to this day it remains in draft form…..just don’t have the heart to click that publish button because no matter how well-written it is, it will undoubtedly hurt my Indian friends. I sent a copy of it to my dear friend Mariellen of BreatheDreamGo and while she saw my point, she also said that the last thing Indian people want is another white person telling them what to do (given their history as a British colony). Additionally, my web host pointed out that if I ever do publish it, warn him first so he can set up extra security on my site because there are so many Indian hackers who will work for peanuts 😂 Oh India…..no other country can compare.
Yeah, I thought about that, but quite frankly, firstly, I’ve tried to be balanced. And I AM always utterly fair if people will only finish reading… And secondly, I don’t really care! My response is usually, if you’re unhappy about what I’ve written, write your own blog! 😀
p.s. I know of Mariellen of BreatheDreamGo and read many a piece from her blog, but we have never met.
I try to be balanced too, however the hard part is getting those irritated people to finish reading instead of simply scrolling down to leave a nasty comment. My anti-Vietnam post was balanced in every sense of the word — including examples, tips to avoid my same issues, solutions should you encounter said issues, tourism statistics to back up my claims, even links to other blogs that cited the same thing I did. Didn’t matter. A few of the veteran 10+ year bloggers (who shale remain nameless) have hated me since — but to this day that article still is one of my best performing and countless Vietnamese have since reinforced all of my claims. But what can you do at the end of the day, right? Except respond as you have already pointed out hahaha 😉 BTW if you ever do get a chance to meet Mariellen, go for it. We’ve worked together on a couple of projects and she even helped used her India influence when I got arrested in Khajuraho. One day you and have to cross paths in real life as well 🙂
‘The story of my life! And sorry to say it, but bloggers can be the worst for that type of thing. And they really should know better, but there’s always a lot of “I know better than you” and “Do what I say” posts circulating quite often, and causing an uproar every now and then. When I first started blogging, I approached one of the huge German bloggers at the time, and that person was so horrid to me, I was really upset. That person was the very first blogger I ever had contact with. Ever! A few months later, I met the huge American/British ones who came to Berlin, and since I knew that, I had offered to show them around, etc. They were so nice, humble, and awfully kind. And I never forgot how they treated me with such politeness. We’re still friends today.
However, I know what you mean, but personally, I’m not swayed about what I should or shouldn’t do. One popular blogger once asked me what my blog really was about. In the sense of what’s my niche? I said it was about me!
Shocking news! 😀
I hope we do meet. I’m sure we’ll get on just fine.
p.s. Do send me that link!
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