The year of 2013 was filled up with countless number of new discoveries. When I am counting countries, where I’ve been, that appears as quite a number: Italy, including Sicily, San Marino, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Romania, United Kingdom, Norway, Malta, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, France and Morocco. That actually is a bit more than one fourth of the whole Europe. But mainly all destinations were not new for me. Despite this fact I touched the ground of San Marino, Denmark, Norway, Malta, Morocco and Italian island of Sicily for the very first times in my life.
Getting on some volcanoes, seeing collisions of a few seas, swimming in the open waters with more than 20 meters of depth, participating in an international wedding, tasting out various new cuisines… I could continue and continue. But what was the most thrilling of all during 2013?
Start running Ladyvoyage.com. This aspect I think is one of the biggest steps I’ve taken during 2013. After lots of thinking, I finally decided to cross over some personal borders and try to show my own idea of travelling. The main aim for 2014 – to grow up as much as that is possible.
Visiting Oxford, UK. I was so many times in the United Kingdom, but mainly – in London or Liverpool. However, when in June I again landed in one of London’s airports I knew that this time I will definitely widen my British horizon. And my choice was Oxford – absolutely amazing city. And I would dare to say that it appeared for me as one of the most beautiful and charming that I’ve ever seen in my life. There I was feeling like in one huge fairytale: architecture, inner yards of Colleges, huge libraries, secret stories, traditions and a bit magical atmosphere. The same British, but not that overcrowded as London. Never been in Oxford before? So pack your bag and go for it! Falling in love with this town, in my opinion, should be guaranteed for everyone!
Getting tattooed again. I am a big fan of paintings on the body. And, this year was very important from this point of view: I’ve got my first international ink. That happened in Bucharest, Romania. I was in a huge research of the best professionals and I think I’ve really found an amazing tattoo artist. If you want any recommendations – get me in contact and I will share the contacts.
Buying carpet in Morocco. And there was a moment, when we asked one souk seller the direction of the street, what finished with huge black plastic bag in my hands. Scenario, easy to imagine: we were getting invited to visit his shop, the exhibit of local carpets done, amazing colours and patterns seen, mint Moroccan tea offered, wallet opened and … OMG, here I’ve bought a carpet, despite the fact of flying back home with hand luggage. I was negotiating and I negotiated a lot, but at the end – anyway I paid too many times more than my carpet was really worth.
Getting on the Etna volcano. When you reach 2500 meters of altitude, the world changes. The regular Sicilian summer heat is being changed by chilly wind and much lower temperature, green vegetation – by the black volcanic surface. Nearly all the time while I was on top heavy clouds were surrounding everything so panoramic view of Sicily and sea was not visible. But you could feel that air had much less oxygen and your eyes were capturing views, not seen before, resembling some images of different planet.
Driving nearly 1700 km by car. I reached many new destinations by planes, trains and buses, but getting somewhere abroad with our own car – was new for me. So in August we made a very nice roadtrip from Kaunas (Lithuania) to Aarhus (Denmark), on the way crossing Poland and Germany. Our main aim was to reach the final destination as quick as possible, so on the way no stops for sightseeing were made. But impressions were not lacking: from changing landscapes and different tastes of coffee bought in gas stations to getting lost around Warsaw and sleeping in the roadside parking lot somewhere not far from Berlin. 3 borders crossed, nearly 1700 km done, around 19 hours driven, 1 military tank speeding like a sports car in German highway seen. Nice experience, which could voluntarily be repeated again.
Finding out Malta as British paradise. Left side traffic, British brands, goods and clothing stores, Fish & Chips restaurants, pubs, even English language everywhere around. If you adore British culture you don’t necessarily need to be heading to the UK. Like life of Mediterranean? So pack to Malta! I just fell in love with this contrast, when could enjoy sea, mild climate, holidayish atmosphere and at the same time face nearly everything, what can be found in London.
Climbing up to Poienari castle in Transylvania. Finally, my dream came true and in April I visited Transylvania. My main aim of this trip to Romania was to follow the footsteps of Dracula, so very naturally I reached Poienari fortress – castle, where Vlad the Impaler, so well known for his bloody passion, was really living.
Visiting Vigeland sculpture park in Oslo. This place is simply magical. There you can find more than 200 bronze sculptures. All these clothless figures really got involved me. If I lived in the capital of Norway, I am sure that it would be my most frequently visited place.
Travelling to Pienza in Tuscany. I am living in this Italian region, which is famous for its wine and idyllic small towns. Neat hills, elegant cypress trees, tiny streets, small houses with lots of flowers at the windows, colourful bicycles parked at the door… This is the postcard, which is known probably for everyone. But non of other towns in Tuscany surprised me that much as Pienza did: the most beautiful I’ve ever seen there and definitely worth visiting for everybody. By the way this place is named as one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.