A lifestyle expat travel blog about culture, history, Brexit, the Royal Family, travels around the world, Europe, and being British in Berlin!
And just where has the time gone?
I simply don’t know.
Well, I for one, have been extremely busy.
I went to Sweden, Estonia AND Latvia!
Quite frankly, they really need no introduction because I have written extensively about them before, but if you insist, 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 an awesome 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!
And the title of said piece: Going to Poland: 10 reasons not to go!
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 was called Explore Hansa!
Explore Hansa is a partner project consisting of nine (9) small and enchanting Hanseatic cities from Sweden (Visby), Estonia (Pernau and Viljandi) and Latvia (Cēsis, Koknese, Kuldīga, Limbaži, Straupe and Valmiera), but due to a lack of time, we were only able to visit five (5)!
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 were two (2) trips organised:
You all know how I am with bicycles!
Ha! Ha! Ha! Haaaaaaaaaa!
You can guess which one I chose!
There was lots of stuff going on, but one of the activities I was most interested in, was the annual Medieval Week or Medeltidsveckan event taking place in Sweden.
For one week only!
What an event!
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.
In fact, we got to see knights and maidens, people jousting and battling, locals dressed up as grand nobles, poor peasants and minstrels, medieval street markets, street theatre, fire-shows, storytelling, and a medieval tournament to remember!
It took place from August 5th to August 12th, 2018 and I’ll be telling you all about it in the next few weeks!
Are you ready to Explore Hansa?
Find out more in the following weeks!
This article is not sponsored, and all opinions and the exciting time that I had in the HANSA cities, are my very own!
That’s it for now.
See you next week!
Watch this space!
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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!
So what are you waiting for?
Thanks a million!
See you in Berlin.
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Lovely pictures and interesting experiences. A must read for everyone planning a trip to Hansa.
Thanks very much Pawan.
I’m awfully pleased that you liked it. 😀
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