I can’t find only one word to define how 2019 was. But it came with some significant changes and challenges: we moved from Berlin to California, which involved a long process of figuring things out in our new place. Moving from one city to another might be difficult, but wait to see moving from one continent to another! Anyway, maybe challenging is how 2019 could be defined.
But be it long or complicated, 2019 also had some beautiful and some unexpected travels:
We visited Lone Pine and Bishop and wandered around Alabama Hills, with the majestic summit of Mount Whitney in the background. And we also returned to Mount Whitney Restaurant, our favorite place to eat in Lone Pine. If you ever find yourself there, go and try the mashed potatoes and gravy. They’re really the best!
Read more: WHAT TO DO IN AND AROUND LONE PINE
6 hours drive from San Francisco, Los Angeles has always been a tempting destination for a long weekend, especially when the summer gets moody and gray by the bay. We celebrated Independence Day in Los Angeles with not only two earthquakes, not-so-healthy but tasty burgers at In-N-Out Burger, and a relaxing day at Venice Beach. Foodie tip for LA: go and have a hot dog at Pink’s. I can tell you they’re famous for a reason!
It was one of those hot summer weekends when we decided to go for the first time to Sacramento. 3 hours a drive from San Francisco, a real summer, a lot of interesting museums, tasty burgers (again), and a train ride that got us back in Old Sacramento.
Before going to Hawaii, I had read so many things, and I was on a Wikipedia page, ready to give anybody all the information they would need about Oahu. I knew how crowded it was, I knew about the touristy spots I should avoid, I was afraid I wouldn’t like it or maybe that it was really overrated. But, yes, things are not like you plan them. I got there, and I blindly fell in love.
Read more: MY TOP 10 EXPERIENCES IN OAHU, HAWAII
South Lake Tahoe
There’s no season to speak more to my heart than fall does. And fall in the mountains, where you have all the golden-brown-yellow trees around you, is wonderful. It was a peaceful and recharging weekend in Tahoe, filled with good stuff to eat from Sno-Flake Drive-In. The chocolate Sundae is my favorite!
Read more: LOOKING FOR THE FALL IN NEVADA
Coming back from Tahoe, we wanted to explore more before returning home. I remembered I had read somewhere about an old mining city; I looked on the map and discovered Virginia City was only a 1-2 hours drive from Carson City, where we had our accommodation. The city welcomed us with freezing cold, but with such a well-preserved old town, beautiful buildings, and a tasty hot orange chocolate.
Since I left Europe, I have been missing snow deeply. But in Malmo, I finally had a bit of snow on one of the gray mornings. With the impressive Malmo Castle and the Contemporary Art Museum, you can spend a few days in Malmo without boredom. Tip: if you want to go to Copenhagen, in Denmark, take the train on the long bridge that connects Sweden to Denmark.
It was our second time visiting Copenhagen, but its nordic charm never disappointed us. A walk through Nyhavn, where the old wooden houses are lined up along the water, the fairy Christmas Markets, and a hearty portion of Smørrebrød – the traditional Scandinavian open-faced sandwich.
Read more: COPENHAGEN TRAVEL GUIDE
My one and only love, Berlin. After we lived there for 2 years, Berlin holds such a special place in my heart. Wandering through the streets of Prenzlauer Berg, my old neighborhood, and colorful Kreuzberg, visiting the Berliner Dome, and getting in the Christmas mood at my favorite Christmas market, Sophia’s Weinachtsmarkt, all these were pure joy. I plan to return more than once a year to Berlin and do a complete city guide.
Read more: 12 MUSEUMS TO VISIT IN BERLIN
Returning to my hometown and meeting with friends and family was indeed emotional. But above this, I’m happy we had the chance to do my favorite Bucharest tour, which included the Romanian Atheneum, and the Old Town, eating old Romanian cakes at Capsa, and visiting the History Museum. If you haven’t been to Bucharest yet, this city has great potential to amaze you.
READ MORE: Spring traditions from around the world
Back in the present, if there’s a thing I want most for 2020, is to get as many passport stamps as we can (and as many travel vaccinations as we need:)) ). If we have the chance, these are the places I would love to visit in 2020: Cuba, Tahiti, Maui, India, Alaska, and revisit New York and, of course, Berlin and Bucharest.
What about you, what places do you dream of visiting in 2020?