My solo travel trips in 2019 – highlights and new places

2019 was definitely a busy year!

If you’ve kept up with my travels in my travel diary, you’ll know that I pulled together my travel bucket list for 2019  at the start of  last year.  The question is… did I end up going to any of the places I had in mind?  Let’s take a look at my solo travel trips in 2019 – highlights, changes and new places.

A cool year of travel

2019 was definitely a busy year.   If you’ve kept up with my travels from my travel diary, you’ll know that at the end of 2018 I pulled together my travel bucket list for 2019.   The question is… did I end up getting to any of the places I had in mind for 2019..? Well, let’s take a look at my solo travel trips in 2019 – highlights, changes and new places.

My 2019 travel bucket list of countries consisted of:

  • Croatia
  • Meteora and Greece
  • Budapest
  • Cinque Terra
  • Milan
  • Cotswold / Lake District
  • Faro or Lisbon
  • Slovenia
  • Norway
  • Brighton

I can tell you that out of this list of 12, I made it to four countries; Croatia, Meteora, Lisbon and Brighton.

But that wasn’t everywhere I went last year…

Instead of Budapest I headed to Stockholm.  I ended up in Formentera instead of Cinque Terra, Munich instead of Milan and Salzburg rather than Slovenia.  I also spent a weekend in Berlin again.  A quick count brings the total of solo travel trips for 2019 to 9!

I also went to Belgium with family* and visited Brussels, Bruges, Ghent.

Things like timing, budgets and work commitments were some of reasons for a few of the changes of places, but despite that, all of the countries I ended up visiting were already on my larger wanderlust list.  Win, win!

So, how did some of my trips turn out…?

The highlight

This was a tricky one to pick for because there are two holidays that really stood out. Either could easily take joint place, but if I had to choose, the highlight trip would be Croatia.  It had been a trip in the making.  There was so much to take in, learn and experience across three different locations in the country. 

Beach Mekićevica - Hvar
Beach Mekićevica - Hvar
Omis Split
Omis, Split
Cabana view - BOWA Restaurant
View from the cabana at BOWA Restaurant
Hvar Harbour side
Hvar harbour side

During my time there I stayed in Dubrovnik, Hvar and Split, as well taking a trip to Bosnia!  I met so many interesting people and learnt about the history of Croatia and Bosnia as well as more about the Croatia War of Independence.

Check out some of my posts like how to get around Hvar or how I spent a day on Šipan island at BOWA Restaurant. More Croatia posts to come soon so keep checking back.

Most memorable trip

The other place that had me split but still a highlight as well as hands down being the most memorable had to be visiting Meteora, Halkidiki and Thessaloniki in Greece.  If you didn’t already know, I have a love for Greece – following my first solo trip to Santorini

Meteora was absolutely amazing and an almost out of this world experience.  I look at the pictures even now and I’m still amazed because its is so beautiful.   With another chance to learn about my surroundings, Meteora opened my eyes up to the monastic community that live there and how they built the beautiful monasteries many decades ago that are still there today.

Meteora Kalabaka
Meteora Kalabaka
Beautiful Holy Meteora - Kalabaka
Beautiful Holy Meteora
St. Nicholas Anapafsas Monastery_Holy Meteora
St. Nicholas Anapafsas Monastery_Holy Meteora

I also enjoyed visiting one of Greece’s main cities, Thessaloniki.  I spent time cruising around the harbour, eating out and climbing its famous White Tower.  Deciding to relax a little more, I finished off my trip to Greece by chilling in Sithonia, one of Halkidiki’s leg.  While there, I met some fantastic people when I stayed and chilled out in the town of Neos Marmaras.  It was great and I even hired a car and ventured out to see some of the area’s beaches.  

Find out more about 5 of the beautiful beaches you must visit while there.

Holy Meteora view - RiA Vistas
Holy Meteora

A tale of two cities

A trip to Munich gave me the opportunity to not only explore this Bavarian city but I was also able to spend some time in Salzburg.  It was definitely a tale of two very different cities and the best part was that they are only 45 minutes apart by train.

Old Town Hall - Munich
Old Town Hall - Munich
Glokenspiel Munich
Glokenspiel in Munich city centre

Munich is buzzing and I wandered around a local beer festival and ventured into it’s technology and design museums – Deutsches and BMW and chow down on some tasty grub at Hofbräuhaus.  While in Salzburg, I toured the city’s hot spots like Mozart’s birthplace, Hellbrunn Palace and Hohensalzburg Fortress.

Salzburg - Austria_RiA Vistas
Salzburg - Austria
Mozartplatz - Mozart statue
Mozartplatz - Mozart statue

An icy adventure

Rewind and the start of the year saw me skate on a frozen lake, ski for the first time (and right in a city centre) and find my way in the snow across neighbouring islands.  That’s right all in my trip to Stockholm!  

Stockholm City
Stockholm City
Iceskating in Stockholm
Iceskating in Stockholm

It was certainly a cool trip and I would love to go back at some point.  I enjoyed so many elements of the trip regardless of the snowy weather.  It made it all the more interesting.

Hellasgården - RiA ready to skate
Hellasgården - RiA's ready to skate
Hammarbybacken - first ski slope
Hammarbybacken - first ski slope

I also enjoyed tucking into some Swedish treats – how could I visit and not try some Swedish meatballs and cinnamon buns?! Check out my post to find out 4 cool places to stop for a snack in Stockholm.

Fika at Café Saturnus in Stockholm
My Fika at Café Saturnus
Meatball dinner Nomad Swedish Food & Bar in Stockholm
Meatball dinner Nomad Swedish Food & Bar

2019 was a great year of travel and guess what…? I’ve already started planning my trips for this year!

Stay tuned to hear what’s on my solo travel list for 2020!

RiA
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