I have lived in three different countries this years for more than two months. Finishing my internship in Lithuania and beginning my master in Design in Estonia with a transition period where I was working in France. I didn’t travel as much as last year. I could barely see half of last years countries, but I have visited more deeply some I just past before. The best example being Paris that I literally re-discovered!
Since I didn’t visit any new country I won’t sort this list according to my preferences. I will just describe them as they came into my mid.
I was visiting Germany while driving to Vilnius in 2011 and I visited it again while driving back to France. This time I planed not one but two cities. I always wandered how Berlin could look and I was not disappointed. I saw it mostly by night when a man from Belgium met in my hostel offered to guide me in the capital. Kerstin my Erasmus friend who already showed me Stuttgart offered me home in Marburg and was again willing to be my guide. I enjoyed Marburg a lot, it is the most romantic cities I have ever seen, it is built on a hill and have many thousands stairs. « More in the old town that is all houses combined ».
I have had a long vacation in Warsaw because of my disorganization. While I was host by Elodie and her two Italian flatemates I forgot to take a plane and had to book another one some days later. I used this bonus time to explore more of Warsaw and also to get a train to Lodz… because I couldn’t get to Krakow due to a terrible accident on the Polish railway 🙁 Spring was in the air and the capital look far more prettier than in the darker time of the years. At the end of the year I started my big European New Year trip in Poland, landing in Katowice.
Lithuanian spring was very enjoyable. I saw Vilnius slowly transforming from an icy town into a flowered capital. I have lived several snow storm, survived very low temperature that challenged Estonian’s one and I attended the National Independence Day with Lithuanian. I was spending a lot of time with my Lithuanian relatives, who opened me their home, introduced me to their culture, food and folklore. In April when I came back to Vilnius to pick my car, Ona and me have used it to see Trakai and the Geographic midpoint of Europe (one of them…).
After Erasmus I am back to live in Estonia. I couldn’t travel around the country in the last months of 2012. Tallinn has enough interests for me to not get bored! I was trying to find some places from my Erasmus, souvenirs popping in my mind at almost every corner. I saw the winter coming rapidly to Estonia. The first snow, the first minus temperature, the first sledging in Lalluvaljaik… I had a great time and was happy with my decision to came back study and live in the Baltic.
Living in France I was never really interested in visiting it. Only after Tallinn semester where I became a very active traveler, I used my time working in Paris to explore deeply the capital. Everyday I was using the metro or my bike to go to a specific park or district. I thing to have seen all churches, bridges and squares. I realized how lucky I was to lived in such nice city when you forget about tourists, car and Parisians.
Our neighbor country is maybe little but has some great large cities to propose to people who like me want to see some typical Flemish style. For my second time in Belgium I brought with me two Lithuanian friends and Cedric who was doing an internship in Lille. All together we drove to Belgium. Ona and Milda were pleased with the city of Bruges and the northern sea side, and me too!
In autumn was my second time in Sweden, and again I took part to the huge ESN Sea Battle event to sail to Stockholm. That time I wasn’t accompanied with friends so I felt more free to explore the city. I was again lucky to not have rain and cold try my new camera for an international trip for the first time.
Again this year among Estonia and Lithuania I have been traveling in the middle Baltic States. I have been one weekend for the Staro Riga light festival. I have attended it last year by chance and wanted to see it a second time. It was better with still a lot of performances in the whole old town. Temperature were again low but I was this time prepared!