Travel

South Africa, March 2019: Addo Elephant National Park

Few experiences epitomize Africa more than a safari, and South Africa is one of the continent’s top safari destinations. Kruger is the jewel in the country’s national park crown, but we chose to spend our first safari experience at and around Addo Elephant National Park.

 South Africa, March 2019: Addo Elephant National Park

South Africa, March 2019: The Garden Route

The heartbreak of bidding farewell to Cape Town was assuaged by the excitement of what lay ahead between us and Addo, a route known as the Garden Route. Driving straight through to Addo on the quickest route would take about 9 hours, but we broke the drive up over 8 days, taking scenic detours when possible and spending some time by the beach and at other noteworthy destinations along the way.

South Africa, March 2019: The Garden Route

South Africa, March 2019: Cape Town

Africa evokes contrasting images: sun-drenched savannahs, stunning wildlife, and a captivating array of tribes, cultures, and traditions on the one hand and a dark colonial past, crushing poverty, pervasive corruption, and destructive wars on the other. It’s a massive continent that tends to dazzle travelers with the former and confront their preconceptions of the latter. After getting a taste of North Africa (a part of Africa very different from the Sub-Saharan) in Morocco last year, we wanted to see more of this immense and varied land; having started our African explorations at the northern end of the continent, we figured why not go next to the southern end?

South Africa, March 2019: Cape Town

Austria, January 2019: Skiing in Alpbach Video Moments

After spending time in Germany back in December to pick back up on our progress of learning how to ski, we decided to head back to Austria in January for a week-long trip. We started off slow on the small slope in town but by the end of the week, we were taking the cable car up into the mountains. We are still at the beginning of our journey on skis but are feeling good about the progress we made this season. Now the countdown is on for next winter!

Austria, January 2019: Skiing in Alpbach Video Moments

Austria, January 2019: Skiing In Alpbach

We arrived to Alpbach, Austria only a few weeks later, warmed up and ready to tackle a full week of skiing! Hotel Boglerhof played host for this third visit to the town and we picked up rentals once again from SkiCheck.

Austria, January 2019: Skiing In Alpbach

Austria & Germany, December 2018: Skiing Video Moments

For Christmas this year, we decided to head to the Alps to see if we still had our love of skiing in us. Basing ourselves in Mittenwald, we hopped between the small ski area in town and across the border to Seefeld in Austria. It was a relaxing, refreshing, and energizing way to spend time together as the year came to a close. Between wandering around in the fresh mountain air and getting up into the mountains for some skiing, it made for the perfect holiday.

Austria & Germany, December 2018: Skiing Video Moments

Austria & Germany, December 2018: Skiing In The Alps

We fell in love with skiing when we learned in January and March 2018 and had been looking forward to getting back on the mountain for winter 2018/19. Having only spent 4 total days on the slopes last winter, we were able to dedicate 9 total days to skiing across two trips: one to Mittenwald, Germany during Christmas (3 days of skiing out of a 5-day trip) and another back to Alpbach, Austria in January (6 days of skiing out of an 8-day trip).

Austria & Germany, December 2018: Skiing In The Alps

England, September 2018: Rye & East Sussex Video Moments

Back at the end of September we decided to escape the city for a weekend away on the south coast of England. Hopping in the car and driving down from London, we made stops in both Dungeness for the old lighthouse and Rye Harbour to wander through the nature reserve. Our final destination and home base for the weekend was the quaint town of Rye—a place that quickly became a favorite after our visit. Our days were full of weaving around the cobblestone streets, drinking hot chocolate, and shopping in the vintage stores. On the first evening we spent time strolling along Camber Sands catching golden hour and the sun setting over the ocean. It was hard to say goodbye after such peaceful moments!

England, September 2018: Rye & East Sussex Video Moments

England, September 2018: A Weekend In Rye & East Sussex

As part of a series of trips to see more of our adopted home, in late September we took a two-day trip to Rye. Train connections between London and Rye are plentiful and convenient, but we decided to drive from London because we wanted to see some things outside of the town. With beautiful fall weather and a full tank of gas, we set off!

England, September 2018: A Weekend In Rye & East Sussex

France & Monaco, September 2018: The French Riviera (Nice)

The Nice post from our first visit covers a lot, so we will only note things in this post that we didn’t do last time. Our home this time around was this stylish Airbnb on Rue du Marché.

We came to Nice primarily for beach time, so we set up camp at beach club Opéra Plage for most of our only full day. Between dips in the sea and naps in the sun, we ate lunch (caprese salad) and made friends with a very sociable Corgi (we named him Benoît). Sadly, our last swim of the day was also our last swim of the summer.

France & Monaco, September 2018: The French Riviera (Nice)

France & Monaco, September 2018: The French Riviera (Monaco)

With summer coming to a close, we wanted to have one last long weekend of sun and sea. Having visited Nice in 2015, it seemed a fitting place to host us, as we could focus on relaxing over sightseeing. That said, one regret from our visit a few years ago was not taking a day trip to Monaco. So with our Nice Airbnb check-in not until the late afternoon on our first day, we transferred directly from the airport to Monaco (using the 110 Express bus) to spend a few hours in the city-state.

France & Monaco, September 2018: The French Riviera (Monaco)

Sweden, August 2018: Stockholm & The Archipelago Video Moments

As we have been recapping, in early August we decided to head to Sweden for the first time for a four day weekend. While basing ourselves in Nacka in the Stockholm Archipelago, we explored the surrounding islands scattered along the coast as well as making time to venture into the city. The trip was relaxing, low key, and quietly shuffled its way into one of our favorite places we have ever been. Sweden now holds a very special place in our hearts and we hope to make it back there many times throughout our lives!

Sweden, August 2018: Stockholm & The Archipelago Video Moments

Sweden, August 2018: The Stockholm Archipelago

Stockholm’s rocky, forested archipelago (which reminded us a lot of coastal Maine) is an enchanting escape from the city. We stayed in a cottage on the water in Nacka, only a 20-minute drive to the city but with the whole archipelago at our fingertips. Ferries abound in this part of the country, but you can cover a lot of area with a car thanks to an interconnected system of bridges.

Sweden, August 2018: The Stockholm Archipelago

Sweden, August 2018: Stockholm

Britt’s ancestry is quite mixed, but she’s always identified most with her Swedish and Irish roots. After visiting Ireland for the first time last year, we thought we’d round it out by visiting Sweden this time around. Stockholm’s rocky and forested archipelago was our main target, but we bookended our visit with days in Sweden’s pristine capital.

Sweden, August 2018: Stockholm

Croatia, July 2018: Dubrovnik & Korcula Video Moments

It is not often that we return to places in our travels but when we decided to book a trip to spend time with Britt's family, we thought Dubrovnik would be the perfect spot to start our vacation together. Though we were there during a busier time and with Dubrovnik's popularity only growing each year, the city was still as beautiful as ever. With spots to swim—off the town or by the beach—and plenty of streets to get lost in while exploring, we were happy to show a place that we loved to our loved ones. It will be a trip we all remember forever!

Croatia, July 2018: Dubrovnik & Korcula Video Moments

Croatia, July 2018: The Island of Korcula

After four days in Dubrovnik, we picked up a car and set off for Korčula. We broke up the drive with a stop in Ston, a small town at the base of Croatia’s Pelješac Peninsula famous for its defensive walls that crawl up the surrounding hills. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to climb the walls, but we strolled the town and grabbed lunch at Stagnum (spaghetti Bolognese, cheese pizza).

Croatia, July 2018: The Island of Korcula

Croatia, July 2018: A Return To Dubrovnik

This summer brought us to Croatia for the fourth time in as many years, noteworthy this time for three reasons: (1) we were returning to a favorite spot (Dubrovnik, the focus of this post), (2) our visit happened to coincide with Croatia’s run to the World Cup final, and (3), most important of all, we were travelling with Britt’s parents and sister!

Croatia, July 2018: A Return To Dubrovnik

Italy, June 2018: Lake Como & Lake Garda Video Moments

For the second part of our nine day trip in Northern Italy, we made our way to Lake Como. After stopping in Limone Sul Garda along the way to get our first taste of the Italian lake life, we arrived in our home base of Varenna on Lake Como. Hiking up into the lake-side mountains and hopping around the coastal towns via the ferry, made for a peaceful and connected trip. And, we can't speak highly enough of Varenna. The small town offered us a serene setting and a quiet escape to come back to each day. Lake Como was everything we thought it would be and more!

Italy, June 2018: Lake Como & Lake Garda Video Moments

Italy, June 2018: The Dolomites Video Moments

Our time in the Dolomites kicked off our nine day trip to Northern Italy. Escaping to the mountains has become more important to us with each year we continue to live in a city. It is always a welcomed and needed—to slow down, unwind, and reflect. We enjoyed exploring a few of the towns—Kastelruth and Brixen—in between hiking up around the Seiser Alm. The rolling hills and wild flowers of the high alpine meadow added to the beauty of the landscape with the rock formations and mountains that makes this area famous. All together, it felt like the perfect June adventure. You can't seem to go wrong with Italy!

Italy, June 2018: The Dolomites Video Moments

Italy, June 2018: A Stop In Crema

With an afternoon to kill before our flight out of Milan and having recently watched and appreciated the setting of Call Me By Your Name, we decided to visit the city of Crema. We hadn’t heard of the city before the film, and after visiting we were surprised to find such limited tourism-related information about the place (it doesn’t even have a WikiVoyage page!).

Italy, June 2018: A Stop In Crema

Italy, June 2018: Lake Como (& Lake Garda)

To get ourselves in the lake life groove on our way from the Dolomites to Lake Como, we stopped at Limone Sul Garda on Lake Garda. The town is quite popular, but most visitors stick to the lakefront. After strolling the lakeside promenade and watching the boats bob in the waves in the busy old port, we escaped the crowds by walking into the hills. We took a breath (and enjoyed the views) with visits to Chiesa di San Rocco and La Limonaia del Castel (where we learned about the town’s namesake). Lunch at quiet Al Veccio Fontec (ravioli with sage and butter, tiramisu) was relaxing and included what may have been the best tiramisu we’ve ever tasted!

Italy, June 2018: Lake Como (& Lake Garda)

Italy, June 2018: The Dolomites

Over the last few summers, we have really appreciated time in the Alps to reconnect with nature, breathe fresh air, and hike. This time around we shipped off to the Austrian-flavored province of South Tyrol in Italy; South Tyrol was previously part of Austria but annexed by Italy in the aftermath of WWI. (Note that the area is bi—and in some areas, tri—lingual. Most place names have German and Italian versions. We will mostly refer to the German names.) The Dolomites are a relatively unknown and inexpensive corner of the Alps, popular mostly with Italians, Austrians, and Germans and served as our home base for the first four nights of our trip.

Italy, June 2018: The Dolomites

Louisiana, June 2018: A Glimpse of New Orleans

When a good friend’s wedding brought us to New Orleans, we knew we had to extend the trip and visit one of America’s most unique cities. Britt was in the wedding, so we had only bits of time here and there to do our own thing, but over the course of 5 days we got a good glimpse of the Big Easy. 

Louisiana, June 2018: A Glimpse of New Orleans

Estonia, May 2018: Tallinn & Tartu Video Moments

Tallinn was full of picturesque streets to wonder and enjoy. Our long weekend there was nothing short of incredible and one we look back on fondly. (And, who would have thought there would have been such a vegetarian scene!) From taking in the views from the many platforms to being fascinated by the Creative City, Tallinn showed us its many personalities and kept us interested. And, as we continue to believe, taking trips to smaller cities or towns outside of a capital in a country is so important. It helps widen the view of a place and gives a whole other perspective of what the culture, people, and the environment are like. Tartu gave us just that for this city weekend escape in Estonia! With its quirky neighborhood filled with streets named after soup ingredients and its leaning art museum, it was a great place to spend a day. Estonia is quiet, wonderful, and a place we won't forget!

Estonia, May 2018: Tallinn & Tartu Video Moments