2013 – My year of travels

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I have started entertaining this blog three years ago, it means for the internet a long time! I sometimes thought about stopping to write but somehow always made the right decision to keep on posting. Today with about 150 reviews I think it is the good moment to write about what happened in the year, make conclusions and express my expectations for the future.

Review of 2012: Living in Lithuania, France and Estonia

Review of 2011: When everything begin!

I will start with the three destinations that have marked me the most and that I cannot forget, then the rest will be presented without any specific order, there is no ‘least interesting’ destination.

And to be sure of being clear, the list only concern 2013, previous trips are not included and my wishes for 2014 are shown on the left column of the blog 😉

Italy (new)

What would have been a perfect trip in the north of Italy has became a horrible and long journey. A week of problems where a bad preparation has nearly ruined what I imagined to be small holidays far from the wintry Estonia. Since April I have cooled down and nightmares no longer hunt me, I actually learnt from it and think only about the bright side of my first Italian trip. I am supposed to go again to the north of Italy, surely Milano, probably much more.

Milano, Stressa

Milano's cathedral Duomo

Milano’s cathedral Duomo

Hungary (new)

Budapest! The city from which I was expecting the most for this summer and maybe for the year! Thinking and wanting to go to Hungary since my Erasmus… two years ago, I can’t be more satisfied. After a teasing in Slovakia, the warm weather gave me plenty of joy to fully enjoy my stay. In three days I met with two people, walked hundred of kilometres, and probably saw every monuments of the capital. Sadly, I just missed the Hungarian baths, reported to my next visit :)

Budapest

Hungarian Parliament

Hungarian Parliament

Slovakia (new)

Sweet Slovakia, a little country I expected to see long time ago but I never managed to visit. When in last days of 2012 I saw 2013 approaching closer than ever I was without any plan. A friend from Slovakia offered me to come and spend couple of days in to attend the New Year’s eve. I immediately said yes, organized my trip and left to Žilina and Bratislava, starting 2013 in a good manner. Fully satisfied of this first experience I went again six months later to see those cities in August on my way to Budapest. It was here also a big satisfaction and now I can confirmed my love of Slovakia.

Bratislava (and Devín), , Žilina

Old market square in Žilina

Old market square in Žilina

In addition to these three special ones I was in each of the following countries:

Poland

I have seen a lot from Poland during this year and like a drug, or chocolate, I need more. Starting in the first days of 2013 with my crazy winter trip through Krakòw and Warsaw where I experimented coach-surfing and night train. This summer I had a longer experience in Silesia with my Erasmus student. A little week drinking my favourite Polish beer, meeting the gnomes of Wrocław and being guide in relatively small but charming cities of the Southern Poland set the country as my top favourite destination. 2014 must see me having a big tour there to the North and West…

Bielsko-BiałaCzeski CieszynKatowiceKrakòwPszczyna, Warsaw, Wrocław, Żywiec

The old town square seen from Saint Elisabeth church

The old town square seen from Saint Elisabeth church

Sweden

Two times in Stockholm, one time after winter left and the other just before it came. I had my first visit in the spring semester with the Crazy & Famous ESN Sea Battle cruise and the second in the first week of September. If the first cruise was booked long time in advance it hasn’t been the case of the other: an old friend offered me to join him and two other people for a super low price. Both trips let me saw the city gently (to not say slowly), I didn’t discovered so much new things but I have been in more many districts and parks. I know Stockholm is beautiful, but it is honestly too clean for me.

Stockholm

Street in the old town

Street in the old town

Czech Republic

I was thinking to put or not Czech in my list since I have only been in two of the smallest cities at the Polish border, but it was part of a bigger trip and I met with a friend there. Třinec and Český Těšín (in Czech) are different. I was litteraly running in Czeski Cieszyn (in Polish) to not miss my train correspondence and had to ask for my way to many different locals who gave me as many different answers… while running I watched a bit of the architecture and appreciates it in its centre, not sure I will come back to make a real opinion of it. I was in Třinec with my friend I spend New Year’s eve in Žilina. We didn’t do many things: I mostly had a nape and sleep before and after small walk down the hill and and in the river.

Třinec

Green face of Třinec

Green face of Třinec

Lithuania

It love this pretty and lovely little country (it even has a hearth shape!). I reduced the amount of travel to and from Vilnius this year. I had less time and have already seen a lot in 2011 and 2012. Then I can stay longer and have less exhausting journey, taking my time and meeting my friends. When my flight was cancelled in the summer I was forced to stay a week in Vilnius, the sun was present and I didn’t complain about it. I visited the fourth largest city, Šiaulai, and the world famous Hill of Crosses. I recommend this last destination to anyone who want travel to the countryside and not afraid to get lost on the way.

Šiauliai, Trakai, Vilnius

Gedimino castle in Vilnius

Gedimino castle in Vilnius

Estonia

Leaving currently in Estland I barely can consider it as a « destination » in a travel way. I have there my room, my friends and my life.I spend many time in Tallinn to discover and learn about the city. More than ever I tried to see the hidden sides of the city as well as its tourist side. The old industrial port or the Japanese garden? I choose both! Spring and summer were literally incredible and full of hotness and friendly visits with my students and friends to gardens, concerts and beaches. After summer I spend most of my time alone I didn’t hesitated to walk where I couldn’t think to bring anyone with me. Estonia isn’t totally Tallinn, I was in Tartu two times and also in the winter Capital of Estonia Otepää. I feel that someday will organize again a crazy weekend around the country to see what changed in Narva and Parnu.

LahemaaOtepaa, Tallinn, Tartu

Tallinn at dust

Tallinn at dust

Austria

Linz and Vienna, the two inseparables of my Austrian pilgrimage. I always take a day to see one of them when I am supposed to visit the other. In the Christmas period I was visiting my best Asutrian friend in Linz and realised there, thanks to her flatmate, that I miss planed my trip and got bonus day between Linz and Kraków. Day when I went to Vienna to enjoy the greyness of the imperial city. I promised myself that it will be my last time there until I saw Graz and …

Linz, Vienna

Saint Charles church in Vienna

Saint Charles church in Vienna

France

Before this year I’ve never specially visited my country, except Paris I was not thinking of the beauty of France. What a mistake! 2013 have seen me being filled with wonder of such cities like Beauvais, Senlis and the latest Rouen. Usually staying near Chantilly I know quite a lot of my region and when my friends are visiting me I become a good guide and show them the jewels of Picardy and the Parisian region. I haven’t spend enough time to see all I wanted and stay sorry for not having created the opportunity to explore the North and/or Strasbourg. Both are delayed to 2014!

Beauvais, Chantilly, Compiègne, Cramoisy, Creil, Mello, Paris, Pierrefonds, Rouen, Saint Leu d’Esserent, Senlis, Versailles, Vincennes

Castle of Pierrefond

Castle of Pierrefond

Latvia

As always Latvia did not disappointed me. I enjoyed Riga as I never did before with friends in winter, or during the Staro Riga festival but also I could visited the Latvian nearest resort of Jurmala in the beginning of the summer! A weekend off for my birthday during Latvian national celebration :)

Jurmala, Riga

Town Hall square at night

Town Hall square at night

 

Guillaume Speurt

Guillaume Speurt

French settled in Estonia, I have spent my last years in the Baltic States. I love photography and travelling in Eastern and Central Europe, I write this blog to relate my experiences.
Guillaume Speurt

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