It’s more than a little embarrassing that the actual first time I ever went to Amsterdam was only ten days ago. I never intentionally avoided it, but I never really went for it either, however, finally everything fell into place and I had the most wonderful weekend in this unbelievably pretty city: the weather was perfect, the city was bright and clean and awaking from winter, the crowds were big and annoying, but there are ways to deal with that in NL. Food seems to be as big a topic over there as it is here in Berlin, and while I really did enjoy getting that 2,- kaassoufflé at Febo’s wall of food (you just have to try it once, or thrice), there was plenty of more elaborate stuff to munch on.
Disclaimer: I was invited on this trip by MeetMerano & MGM, the local tourism agency.
Nope, no intention to torture you with this article and its accompanying pictures. Just a simple reminder that to escape the icy wind and cold, it can be a good idea to mentally travel back to your past summer vacation, and subsequently plan the next one! Because Vorfreude ist die schönste Freude. It’s also a reminder to clean and grease your hiking boots, because you’ll need them for your next trip to the southern edge of the Alps, where palm trees and rough peaks co-exist and every Knödel is better than the last.
Any longtime Berliner knows that winters are for two things: Netflix and fleeing the city. We all have our own escape routes, some heading to Thailand or Mauritius, others sticking a little closer and leaving for Lisbon or Crete. And then there is that special kind of person, the wintersports enthusiast. These men and women actually seek out the colder spots in Europe, pleased as punch to get up early, spend several sunny hours on the slopes, and then zip down for an ungodly combination of carbs, booze, and Volksmusik called après-ski. Wanting absolutely none of that, but seeing the appeal of some time spent amidst majestic snowy peaks, we took up an invitation from the Jungfrau region and headed to Switzerland to see if we could not ski.
Last month, I fell in love with Lisboa. Being there for the first time ever (first time in Portugal even!), I was overly excited to try as many Portuguese dishes as I could: From oven cooked octopus to freshly grilled sardines, from dozens of Pasteis de Belém to ice cold Mazagran (coffee with lemon and sugar), I ate my way through this lovely city, walking up and down the hills, enjoying the many different districts and just having the best of times (seriously, I loved it). Staying in a lovely AirBnB apartment just off Jardim do Príncipe Real (very recommendable location, you can walk almost anywhere and there are a plenty of cafés, eateries and shops around.) I was lucky enough to have local guides leading me to the nicest places and of course can’t wait to share my eating experiences with you, just in case you ever find yourself in the city and don’t know where to eat.
When we disembarked the small plane that brought us from Istanbul to Bodrum, in the South-West of Turkey, the question with whom we’d spend the next seven days came to my mind for the first time. Or if we’d have a bathroom for ourselves, or if the bed would be only 40cm wide, if at all. We were on transfer from the airport when I felt a slight nervousness rising in me, was it a good idea to agree to a seven day sailing cruise with complete strangers in the Turkish Aegean?
A couple of minutes later it’s clear that this was the best idea ever. All doubts were washed away when we entered the small bay close to Ortakent – an impressive all-wooden sailboat lay at anchor in the quiet waters, two masts reaching up high into the sky, a big dining table on top of the deck, soft couches at the stern and white sunbeds on deck. As if out of a dream.