April 12, 2022: 2021 Travel Recap. The skies are blue, and the weather is warming again in Charlotte. We can hear joyous kids in the park and live music playing as we pack for our 2022 trip. More on that later, but first, I thought I’d share a summary recap of 2021 travels.
Ready, Set… Go?
Traveling in Europe has been our goal for decades. But, a year ago, we weren’t sure if we could get there. Italy was still reeling from massive pandemic issues. Germany and France were in lockdown. The UK was leading the world in vaccinations but still closed. So, we explored locally, biding our time.
Then finally, Croatia and Greece opened to vaccinated travelers. So we booked a one-way flight, took a PCR test, donned our masks, and were off. Before we returned home, it was six months, 12 countries, nearly 100 cities, 20,000 photos, and four pairs of worn-out shoes. Our last stop was Barbados, where we didn’t need shoes anyway! I didn’t post as nearly much as I’d intended to during the trip, so without further ado, here is a short 2021 travel recap.
Prior to departure, we had Croatia + Bosnia, Greece, and Egypt + Jordan planned. We made up the rest as we went along, guided by interest and COVID restrictions. To the initial plan we added Albania, Austria + Bavaria, Slovakia, the German and French Rhineland, southwest England and Barbados. Interestingly, Barbados parted ways with Britain and became a fully autonomous country while we were there. Prince Charles and Rhianna, home-town girl that she is, shared the stage for the ceremony.
People always ask “what was your favorite” place? Bol in Croatia is our second-favorite place (after Charlotte). A surprise, as we had never heard of it until just a few years ago. We are going back in 2022 – for nearly a month!
There are so many new finds to add to the next edition of Jean’s cookbook, Confident in the Kitchen. We had wonderful “food adventures”… wine on the Rhine, burek in Bosnia, oysters straight from the sea in Ston, Cheddar Cheese in Cheddar England, Greek Coffee in Greece, Octoberfest beer in Munich, milk and honey in the Holy Land (Jordan), Black Forest Cake in the Black Forest, Tea with Bedouins, and truffles in Istria. Our favorite part was meeting up with friends old and new in Hvar, Athens, Thessaloniki, Katokolo, Nafplio, Munich, Cairo, Wadi Rum, and Brixton.
I was able to run in 52 different cities during the 52 weeks of 2021, and wore out my shoes. I bought new NB 1080’s this week as I hope to repeat that feat (feet?) in 2022.
These are too numerous to recount. Hiking Mount Olympus, Sailing on a Felucca on the Nile, driving the Nürburgring, hot air balloons over Valley of the Kings, climbing in a pyramid, crossing the original finish line at Olympia, washing in the Jordan River, and stargazing in Wadi Rum. Stonehenge! Plitvice National Park. Mozart in Salzburg, baths in Bath, the Oracle at Delphi, truffle hunting. Dancing in the Nubian Village. Banksy’s art in Bristol.
I had intended to write posts on all of these and more… but well, we were busy enjoying the journey. Maybe at some point when we have a lull, I will catch up. But right now we are getting ready for the 2022 trip… more on that soon!