I was nominated to participate in the Best of Travel 2011 by Ben from Adventures with Ben. 2011 was such a busy year that I’m still getting caught up! Here are my answers to the 7 questions:
Best Travel Destination
Salzburg – and I say that without even having done the Sound of Music tour – yet. I loved Salzburg so much that I went there twice. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a fortress guards the city from a strategic hilltop location and the mysterious Church Caves of Salzburg leave visitors with more questions than answers. And don’t even get me started on Salzburg’s Christmas markets that run from the end of November to December each year….
Best Travel Experience
My best travel experience was going back to Canada and getting married in Banff in the Canadian Rockies. It was an incredible day and we were so grateful to share it with family and friends – even the wildlife was cooperative for photo opps!
Best International Destination
Winchester, England. I’ve been to London before, but a weekend visit to this charming city south of London reminded me that often the most interesting places are outside of the big cities (see 7 Interesting Things to Do in Winchester). The locals captivated me with their charm and the historic setting was incredibly romantic. Winchester is a perfect romantic getaway weekend or a great base for following in Jane Austen’s footsteps.
Worst Travel Experience
My worst travel experience was a result of poor planning on my part and on my honeymoon of all places. My husband and I wanted to go diving in Port Hardy on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Everything I had read indicated it was THE place for cold water diving. Internet searches came up empty, and I got busy and just assumed there would be several dive shops we could book once we got there. There weren’t. There was only one nearby resort and only all inclusive packages were offered and we had already paid for our accommodation. We were incredibly disappointed but tried to remain positive and looked into hiking opportunities. Unfortunately most of the hiking was along forestry roads where our rental car was not covered so we weren’t able to hike. And it remained the entire time we were there wishing we were staying in one of those chic Paris apartments instead.
Most Embarrassing Travel Moment
Can’t think of one. I think I’m getting so used to making a fool out of myself from my attempts to speak German that my embarrassment threshold has gone waaaaay up.
Best Domestic Travel Destination
There are so many places in Germany that I love, but the one that took my breath away was the Höllentalklamm (Hell Valley Gorge) in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The gorge is 150m deep in places and a path takes hikers through tunnels along the deafening roar of the water, while feeling tranquil simultaneously. I was so inspired by the landscape, that I’ve done my bathroom in shades of blue and grey inspired by the Höllentalklamm and have photos of the gorge prominently displayed in my bathroom.
Best Travel Lesson
Push yourself out of your comfort zone. I joined a German hiking club, despite only speaking intermediate German. I was soooo nervous, but forced myself to start conversations in German knowing that I probably sounded something like “Weather is today good. Me like hiking. You too?” While not everyone has been receptive, many people have been and have been very patient, speaking slowly and checking to see if I understand. As a result my German is improving and I’m on my way to making more German friends who also like hiking. I was thrilled when I organized a Glühwein (mulled wine) get-to-together before Christmas with some people from the hiking club and everyone I invited came!
The Best of Travel 2011 closes tomorrow, so I’m not going to nominate anyone, but if you would like to be nominated let me know. See The Best of Travel Rules for more info.
2012 has already started off well travel wise with trips to the Alps, Prague and upcoming trips to Catalonia, Majorca, Vienna, Malta, Italy and Canada planned and hopefully Paris as well. I would love to stay in one of those fabulous apartments in Paris. What was memorable about your travels of 2011?