It’s been a while and I have LOADS to catch up on, lets just say life got in the way. I’m pleased to introduce our Cuban coverage starting in Havana!
The first morning in any new place is always a little bit daunting, especially when you don’t really speak the language and you’re staying in someone’s home! Despite this we had to get up and get going as we’d agreed for breakfast at our casa that morning, so after a small lie in we appeared not really sure what to expect.
I’d read a lot before travelling to Cuba about the cuisine – or lack of – so wasn’t sure what to expect. To be honest and fair it was okay as breakfasts go, better than the one we had in Brussels a few weeks earlier! Mainly consisting of eggs, fruit, very crunchy cold toast and a ham & cheese toastie it was pleasant. The coffee was good as was the fresh guava juice. The overall experience was a little strange as there were two Slovenian (or Russians as the casa host explained) who spoke some English and zero Spanish plus looked to be a tad worse for wear!!
The plan for our first proper day in Cuba was a half day walking tour of Havana Viejas, followed by a classic car trip and mojito making lesson however this wasn’t booked until the afternoon. This left us with a block of time and nothing to do! I’d assumed we would have been more jet lagged then we were so hadn’t really planned anything. We opted to head out towards to Malecon for a wander into the city.
It’s taken some time to feel ready to write anything about Tanzania. I think some of it was I didn’t know how I felt about it once we returned home and some of it I just wanted to keep it all to myself. I also didn’t write notes, which was stupid. But, now is the time, so here are my 7 top experiences from 7 days on an African Safari.
KatiKati Camp – two nights under canvas in the middle of the Serengeti.
Definitely the best experience we had in Tanzania and perhaps of my life if we’re being honest. Part of our Hemingway Tour from SafariHub we had 2 nights in the Serengeti KatiKati camp, a series of posh canvas tents right in the thick of the park. There are no fences, no barriers and no guns. You are one step away from immense nature.
It’s been a bit quiet round here again recently hasn’t it!? I guess the lack of motivation hit me for longer than I hoped. The winter is always difficult for me, I find the lack of sunlight, ability to go outside and general warmth hard to deal with. It affects my mood and makes me particularly prone to being a bit apathetic.
I’ve invested in a daylight lamp, I’ve also recently just got back from Cuba so I’m feeling a bit more on a level playing field. Hopefully that will kick the writing back into shape which I’m looking forward too!!
I’m also picking my twitter feed back up so go and have a follow if you’re around! @nonbackpacker, or follow me on Instagram @amyisabella12!
It’s funny isn’t it when you say to yourself that you’ll get back on top of blogging, you enjoy writing, you enjoy reliving your trips and you fear you will start forgetting those moments and then you don’t get back on top of it.
I’m not sure why, perhaps it’s the miserable weather.
Here’s hoping I get the flow back soon!
We did a lot in 2017 and boy can I feel it now. It’s probably the first year I haven’t got frustrated about where we are going next or have time for the wanderlust bug to really hit as there was always something around the corner. Which I appreciate makes us very very lucky!! I’ve still got some content to come around our amazing safari in Tanzania as well!
It’s been hard to narrow down our favourites of this year but after much deliberation I’ve managed it!
2017 Top Experiences:
Seeing Northern Lights – This was one of the most spectacular things we did this year, the aurora is incredible. We prayed and hoped that we would get to witness them, especially after our failed attempt in Iceland. Standing out in the cold was well worth it!
I thought it only fair while I’m still digesting our trip to Tanzania to show you some photo’s first. It was a real once in a lifetime trip (although, you know if I get the chance to head to Botswana I probably will!) and the photo opportunities were aplenty!
Here are a few of my favourite snaps!
One thing I really loved about Stuttgart was it’s accessibleness. You could get anywhere really easily, either by walking or the S & U bahns. It meant we could easily get out to Ludwigsburg within half an hour and back into town in no amount of time. I love German transport and Stuttgart really makes the most of it.
One of the draws of heading to Stuttgart, other than the beer festival, was a squash festival. As in, pumpkins. Yup, you read that right, a pumpkin festival. The annual event is held at the Palace of Ludwigsburg and this years theme was Romans.
Every year wooden structures are built and are then adorned with hundreds of pumpkins. All different shapes, sizes and colours. There were also large pumpkins and a showcase of lots of different squashes.
Other than a work out at Wasen our weekend in Stuttgart was filled with a museum, a squash festival and a walk around the town.
First up was the Mercedes Benz Museum. Stuttgart is home to two car giants, Mercedes and Porsche, both have museums in the city but we opted for Mercedes as it was closer to the beer festival site.
Carl Benz’s first car built in 1886 is what the museum is celebrating with more than 160 vehicles on display. They range from some of the oldest built cars to new futuristic ones. There was a good supply of buses, trucks, cars and F1 cars to keep everyone happy.
When the world thinks of beer festivals they think of the obvious choice Oktoberfest…but if you’re after a slightly less crazy but equally awesome option head a little further south to Stuttgart, Germany. Stuttgart is the home of Cannstatter Volksfest, or Wasen. A large beer fuelled festival that runs at the same time as Oktoberfest.
I’d say that Wasen has a slightly more family feel to the event, less stag do’s and more work parties. We saw everyone from teenagers to pensioners in the traditional clothing, stein in hand. The event is HUGE, with at least 7 beer tents seating approximately 5000 people per tent (based on some slightly tipsy calculations) and a fun fair to boot.
No matter who you are or how far you go, you’ll always be in someone’s heart. The world can seem vast and expansive but at the end of the day we are all the same. We all want to be loved and cared for. Your family may be far away or you may feel far from your friends but there is always someone who cares.
I travel because I don’t want to be scared of the world, of the unknown. I want understand that someone from the UK, Uzbekistan and Canada can all relate and interact with each other. We might not speak the same language or have the same beliefs but human interaction is a diverse and wonderful thing.
It might seem soppy or make me seem like a bit of a dreamer but what’s life without a bit of dreaming!?? *reopens closed tabs about Antarctic cruises*