2018/2019 – Baden-Baden, Berlin, Colmar, Freiburg, Helsinki, Kyiv, Porto, Strasbourg, Vienna, York
Now we’re back from France thoughts inevitably turn to where we might go next, because with just 25 week days to play with in a year, planning is essential.
Actually, the next trip is a small UK one, as we’re off to York shortly, a city I know well but haven’t visited properly in a very long time. I used to go quite often in my childhood years, sometime on school trips, sometimes with my parents, or – once I could drive – on my own, so I’m looking forward to this one. It’s just two nights but we’ll be taking in the pop-up Rose theatre (and a performance of Richard III), a trip to Skosh for dinner, and the Jorvik Viking Centre, and I’m sure there’ll be other things we will want to do as well.
There’s a work trip to Kyiv but I’m guessing that won’t involve any free time at all, and apparently we’re going to all be bussed to somewhere in the countryside about 160k away…
Next up – provided I can get the logistics to work – will be a long weekend in Porto. Spain and Portugal are very much blank canvases to us as we’ve only really ever been to a couple of places, mostly around motorsport trips. So we know something of Lisbon, Faro, and Portimao, and that’s it for Portugal. Given our obsessive interest in wine, Porto seems like a good choice. I doubt we’ll be able to stay in The Yeatman, but I’m sure we can find somewhere nice that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and I suspect a Winerist tour may also be on the cards. Add to the wine, the fact that it’s yet another city on the UNESCO World Heritage list and I’m only surprised we haven’t thought about it before. An article in the independent said: “This isn’t a destination for those who want up-to-the-minute cool – this is the spot for long, seafood dinners, slow strolls through sleepy streets and a white port and tonic as the sun sets. It’s traditional Portugal at its finest, without the crowds of Lisbon or the tackiness of the Algarve.” What’s not to like, and also in September or October, sunshine…
The final one for this year is going to be a trip to Helsinki (yes, again), in December, on the grounds that having been in June, July and August, we’ve seen spring, summer and autumn in the capital and we need to find out what it’s like in winter! There are still museums to visit, Christmas lights to admire, the inevitable Christmas market, the harbour swimming complex to try out, and hopefully if it’s finally managed to get off the ground by then, Helsinki parkrun, and we’ve found sensibly priced rooms at the hotel Klaus K, which we like very much.
In January I have a significant birthday, so I’m hoping we’ll be in Berlin for that, because we didn’t manage to do more than scratch the surface when we went last. There’s so much more to see (including the things we missed the first time round, because somehow we always ended up in places other than the ones we’d planned to get to) and I’d like to have another go at getting round and seeing as much as possible.
The next big holiday will definitely be to Alsace and the Black Forest, probably in the autumn, when the wine racks will likely need topping up again (always assuming we can still import wine without being hit by duties by then), with no doubt time spent in Strasbourg, Colmar, Baden-Baden and Freiburg. There will likely be others but we’re not sure where yet as I’m only in the “vaguely thinking about it” stage right now.
If we go to Alsace and the Black Forest in autumn then spring may contain a trip to Spain, probably using Brittany Ferries to get us there – or vice versa if we have our long holiday in the spring. It’s up there with Portugal in the “we don’t know anywhere near as much as we should” category.
And to finish off the year, it may well be Vienna. Because.
All suggestions as to what we might like to make sure we don’t miss would be very welcome!