Well, 2016 eh? That was an interesting year! It was like a party guest that stays just a little too long; the longer it stayed the more awkward it got and more things happened that just can’t unhappen. The death of heroes. Brexit. Trump. BBC losing Great British Bake Off…
Yet here we are; all those bad things are SOOOOoooo 2016 and its time to look forward to 2017.
In 2016 I visited six countries (ok, I’m no longer counting Bosnia); four of them new (Denmark, Sweden, Croatia and Montenegro) and revisited Spain and Portugal. I spent weekends away here in England, in Bristol and in Scarborough. I explored my home city, both as a local and through the eyes of a tourist. It’s been all about Europe the last couple of years so maybe it’s time to go a bit further afield in 2017…
Unusually, there’s no definite travel plans made yet for 2017 (hopefully something will be booked by the end of January!). Ironically, now I have a permanent job I have a steady income, but less annual leave days so a bit of creative time management may be required!
Here’s what’s on the 2017 wanderlust wishlist so far: Germany: The Romantic Road
I’m currently looking at routes which will allow us to see the best of the famous Romantic Road in just a long weekend doing a circular route for more cost effective flights and car rental costs. Must sees en route include Neuschwanstein Castle just west of Munich, Bamburg and Rothenburg ob Der Tauber. We can fly to Frankfurt from Birmingham, so we could spend a night in Heidelberg before a long drive to the southern end of the Romantic Road. Or we can fly to Stuttgart and head north to Wurzburg. Decisions, decisions!
Neuschwanstein Castle All pics from Lonelyplanet.com
Rothenburg All pics from Lonelyplanet.com
Dinkelsbuhl All pics from Lonelyplanet.com
North Wales: Snowdonia National Park
10 years ago this March Mr Fletche and I had our first official date so it’s only right we do something vomit-inducingly romantic to celebrate. Currently looking at cottages and guesthouses in beautiful Snowdonia for the weekend. Will I have calves and lungs strong enough by then to tackle a climb up Mount Snowdon itself? Or should we go for the adrenaline of the longest zip line in Europe?
Climb Mount Snowdon? All pics from Lonelyplanet.com
Scramble over rocks at Tryfan? All pics from Lonelyplanet.com
Europe’s longest zipline? All pics from Lonelyplanet.com
Canada: Vancouver and the Rockies
If planning the Germany trip is giving me a slight headache, this one is on killer migraine level. With it being a birthday with a whole new digit at the start, I’d love to tick off a big “bucket list” item. And for me, a trip on the Rocky Mountaineer train is that item. But it’s not cheap. Oh no. And I’ve found a tour company that can do the trip from the UK including flights, accommodation and the train for a decent price, but then we lose some of the freedom of planning our own itinerary, driving at leisure, and spending time at some of western Canada’s spectacular national parks (free admission too next year to celebrate the 150th birthday of confederation). To sacrifice the train or not sacrifice the train…that is the big question! I’m doing the sums and looking at all the possible alternatives so hopefully it’ll all come together soon.
Rocky Mountaineer: All pics from Lonelyplanet.com
Lake Louise: All pics from Lonelyplanet.com
Capilano Suspension Bridge: All pics from Lonelyplanet.com
Aside from these, it would be nice to get away for a couple of long weekends in the summer. I’ve also been incredibly jealous this year of all the people who’ve been lucky enough to spend the festive season away; with my Christmas break at work extending well into January it might be nice to think about a Bewixtmas or New Year break next year.
Closer to home…how about more street food, more visits to new bars and restaurants in Brum, more walking (I’ll never cross climbing Snowden off my bucket list otherwise), more dancing, more live bands, more hula-hooping, more blogging!