2016 Travel Recap. What did 2016 bring?

StefanoBudget travel, Europe, Stories1 Comment

2016 is finally coming to an end. I hope it’s been a wonderful year for you and your travels. I feel the need to recap everything I did this year, thus here’s my 2016 Travel Recap.
I’ve spent most of my 2016 in Germany, thanks to an Erasmus scholarship – I basically did my Master’s Thesis. Wonderful country, I must say. At least in Italy, we have many wrong preconceptions against Germans (in reality it’s just envy), like that they are much more serious than us and they do not know how to have fun.
A basic principle of life: there are many ways to do things, including having fun.
(Same principle applies to an Indian trying to cook pasta. It’s not a wrong way, it just is a different way).
I have traveled a lot, using Bremen as a fulcrum. Berlin, Hannover, Lubeck, Gottingen, Frankfurt, Hamburg. Considering I was working 5 days a week many hours a day, I’m pretty satisfied. Furthermore, I explored Bremen in deep, even though 7 months couldn’t be enough!
Biking around the lake

Biking around the lake

From Bremen, I took a Flixbus to Brussels to visit Michelino, a friend of mine. I just visited the capital city and I was pretty impressed. One thing I asked myself after a couple of days there was: Where are Belgians? It’s such a multiethnic city that it’s very difficult to recognize a local.
Talking about food, I’ve eaten here one of the best sandwich of my life at Ton Ton Garby and I finally tasted the famous French Belgian fries! Plus, the beer is awesome. Commercial brands like Heineken and beck’s will taste of pee after a weekend in Belgium.
I decided it was time to visit Saimon, a friend of mine studying in Zurich. When I first arrived and realized a bus ticket cost 4,6€ one run, I understood that it would have been a tough stay for a backpacker. Unexpectedly, it ended I spent less than 60 euros for 5 days (accommodation was an ultra-comfortable couch in Saimon’s living room, and most of our meals were very low quality sandwiches), focusing on all the free things I could do in this town. Nailed it.
WIth Saimon in Frankfurt

WIth Saimon in Frankfurt

My first time in Bulgaria was memorable! With Ivano, fellow backpacker, we went to Sofia, then moved with a night train to Burgas, went inland to Plovdiv and came back to Sofia. It was a wonderful trip and we splurged a lot of money on food just because it is unbelievably cheap (here’s an infographic from Matador Network, indicating Sofia as the cheapest European city to visit in 2017).
The whole trip cost less than 200€, sleeping in hostels (tip: go to hostel Mostel, they are all around the country) but eating as there was no tomorrow. 16€ return flight with Ryanair included! =)
In this trip, I also decided the name of the blog, The Travel Bakery.
Bratislava was another surprise. After watching Eurotrip and Hostel (just found out it was shot in Český Krumlov, a lovely village in Czech Republic) I didn’t know what to expect…Kidding, come on. Furthermore, the Christmas atmosphere gave the city a wonderful, merry look, with the Christmas markets and food stalls all over the city center. We made also a couple of half-day trips to Rusovce and Devin Castle.
I also tried a lot of Slovak food: Bratislava’s roll, langos, garlic and beans soups, and a lot more. And of course, mulled wine and grog to warm up a bit!
Slovenia was more a hit-and-run from Trieste, which is very close. Here I spent a sunny summer day of July with my family in Piran and Izola, two fairy-tale villages on the Slovenian coast. Don’t miss them if you’re heading down from Italy to Croatia! Similarly to Slovakia, prices are quite low in comparison to European average.
Before leaving for Germany, I was in Trieste, NE Italy to get done with exams. In the few days I came back in summer I also got the PADI scuba diving license! I can’t wait to put it into practice. Once back from Germany, I went backpacking in some cities taking the chance to visit some friends.
That was the itinerary: Cuneo –> Turin –> Trieste –> Ancona –> Rome –> Back home.
I came back to Trieste in December to get graduated, and finally, I’m here in the little town where my family lives in Piedmont, Cuneo.
So here I’m spending the last days of these years which brought a lot of traveling, cool people (short list: Carlota, Vanni, Vicente, Mister Edinson, my German flatmates, my Italian short-term flatmates and few others), many – too many – ideas, a ticket to Chile early next year and an incredibly long list of books I want to read.
I wish you a wonderful 2017, may it bring us closer to our life goals. Where have you actually been this year? Where would you like to go in 2017? Let me know in the comments below!
Happy new year!
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