A day trip to Liege – cautious traveling during corona

Liege guillemins train station abstract

Since the lockdown in Belgium started almost six months ago, I did not travel anymore. I made an occasional trip to nature reserves in Belgium and visited my brother in The Netherlands. I don’t want to travel. Well, not really. But it’s impossible to deny there is an itch to scratch. So my girlfriend and I went on a day trip to Liege to scratch that itch.

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The best 2020 travel destinations (according to these Travel Bloggers)

with 2020 approaching fast, it is time to maybe look at the best travel destination options you have for the coming year. For that reason, I asked a couple of my fellow travel bloggers what their recommendations are.

And the votes are in…

Cape Tribulation: where the rainforest meets the reef by Curious Campers

Cape Tribulation is one of the few places where you can visit two world heritage listed natural wonders in the same day. The Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest are both less than 30 minutes from the Far North Queensland town. There is no better place to base yourself to explore the beauty of the reef and the rainforest.

The great thing about exploring the Great Barrier Reef from here is that it is so close to the mainland. There are no day-long trips on crowded boats here. Instead, it is a 25-minute blast out to the reef on a rubber duck style boat with around 20 other people. Before you know it, you will be snorkeling over beautiful coral and amazing marine life.

The Daintree covers a large area but a great place to start is the Daintree Discovery Centre. Here you can take a self-guided tour on boardwalks and aerial walkways. As well as the beautiful forest vegetation, there is an incredible range of wildlife. Look out for everything from cassowaries to colorful butterflies. There are also many guided tour options that will take you to more remote parts of the forest.

Cape Tribulation is 150 kilometers north of Cairns and there are a range of accommodation options available. Sure, getting there is an adventure, but it will be an experience you’ll never forget!

Corfu island in Greece by Iva Says

This summer, I visited the Ionian gem Corfu Island in Greece. I had a wonderful time and was stunned by the beautiful nature of the island. It has everything for everyone. If you want a good nightlife, visit Kavos for partying 24/7 or the stunning Corfu Town to do some shopping and visit fortresses.

Corfu is a large island with lots of cultural, architectural, and religious attractions. So, this won’t be your usual vacation. Instead, you will be exploring all kinds of charming Greek villages and tasting delicious local food. Yet, this doesn’t mean that swimming and sunbathing are off the table. On the contrary, Corfu has many fantastic sandy beaches that must be on your bucket list too. Be sure to visit the famous Issos and Paleokastritsa beaches where James Bond’s movie “For Your Eyes Only” was filmed in Corfu.

You can get to Corfu by plane or ferry. To explore the island properly, I would suggest renting a car, a motorbike, or a quad to get around the narrow dirt roads. If you want to make a budget-friendly trip, make sure to catch the late mid-September season. It’s still warm and sunny, while the prices have gone down and it’s not as crowded.

Osaka in Japan for the 2020 Olympics by enSquaredAired

In 2020, Japan is going to take the world stage thanks to the Summer Olympics. If you’re lucky enough to be in Japan for that occasion, I highly recommend spending some time outside of Tokyo to visit Osaka.

Osaka is a great place to visit thanks to its vibrant nightlife and crazy food scene. Osaka is often referred to as the food capital of Japan because of its incredible street food, cheap eats, and sushi joints.

As well, Osaka is a great place to use as a base to visit different towns and cities in one day, thanks to its central location in the Kansai region. Whether it’s visiting the friendly deer in Nara or eating the world-famous beef in Kobe, you can visit many neighboring cities by train in less than two hours from Osaka

The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro by John Rodgers

I could write a whole bucket list of places that you just have to visit in 2020 but those are already on 1000s of lists and you have probably seen them all. I would rather concentrate on one of the best events we have ever been privileged to see which is “The Carnival” in Rio de Janerio.  The parades are like nothing you have ever seen before and this is coming from a person who lived in New Orleans for years. We have been to Superbowls, the Indy and Daytona 500 and run with the bulls in Pamplona and none of them is in the class of Carnival. The 2020 Carnival is from February 21st through 26th

The parades took place in the streets for many years but now they take place in the Sambadome. The floats just kept getting bigger and bigger until they were simply too tall to be pushed down the city streets by hand. Oh yes! These 4 story tall huge floats are all pushed down the entire parade route by hand. They have now created a one-half mile long parade ground with grandstands on each side that seat 90,000 people and the tickets usually only available through a tour group.  The event takes place two nights in a row and the best group of dancers and floats wins first prize.  That is the most coveted trophy in Brazil except perhaps the Soccer World Cup. This is so popular that it is broadcast on all television channels throughout the entire country.

Go see it, you will be happy that you did. The colors and music are indescribable. If possible spend some time in Brazil and visit the Amazon as well. This is an event and a country that you can’t afford to miss.

Bologna as a foodie paradise by Luggage and Life

Bologna should be on your 2020 travel list for a few reasons. The first is that it’s not super popular among tourists, who mostly stick to the Rome – Florence – Venice route. The second is that it has a fun, youthful vibe thanks to its university, which means there’s no short supply of music, art, performances, concerts, and other events. The third is that there’s a lot to see, and because the city is small, all the main sights are pretty easy to get to. And the last (and maybe most important one) is the food!

Many of Italy’s most famous foodstuffs were born in Emilia Romagna, the region that Bologna is in. Lasagna? Check. Prosciutto? Check. Parmigiano? Check. Mortadella? Check. Balsamic vinegar? Check! Tortellini?! Check!!! If you’re a foodie, wander down Via delle Pescherie Vecchie. Shop for fresh produce, cheeses, cold cuts, meat or fish, or stop and sample some of Bologna’s best at one of the many salumerie on the street (Simoni is my personal favorite). Book a table for dinner at Trattoria della Santa, a spectacular little spot just outside the bustling city center (bonus – it’s also easy on the wallet). Don’t miss the city’s many markets, like Mercato di Mezzo and Mercato delle Erbe. Still hungry for more? Hop on the bus and head to FICO Eataly world, a massive park dedicated to Italy’s amazing food culture.

In between meals, be sure to head up to the Santuario della Madonna di San Luca, where you’ll get beautiful views of the city. The walk is pretty grueling, but there’s a little train that goes from Piazza Maggiore if you want a ride up or down. Speaking of the city’s main piazza, be sure to check out all is has to offer, from the Fountain of Neptune to the Basilica di San Petronio. Don’t miss the archway of Palazzo Podestà (the building across from San Petronio), where you can whisper into the corner and communicate with someone on the other side of the archway. Climb the Asinelli Tower for another great view of the city, and explore the Sette Chiese at the Basilica di Santo Stefano. Whatever you’re into – whether it’s food, music, art, architecture, or awesome nightlife (for that, head to Via del Pratello) – Bologna’s got it all.

A Porto city trip by Stories by Soumya

Porto, the second-largest city in Portugal and an upcoming cultural hot spot is my top recommendation for the best places to visit in 2020.

There are tons of things to do in Porto including river cruises, wine tastings, lovely views, and art sampling. You can easily jump on one of the many cruises on the Douro River or take a day to admire the rolling hills of the Douro Valley. Climb the Clérigos Tower to get some stunning views of the city. Be dumbstruck by the opulence of Palácio da Bolsa. Or try some great wine in Porto Gaia.

If you are a culture lover, take an Azulejo trail through Porto. Numerous churches and official buildings in Porto are adorned with these beautiful blue tiles. Igreja de Carmo and Capela de Almas are two popular churches where you can view azulejos in all their glory. The Sao Bento train station is another unlikely but gorgeous addition.

The best way to explore Porto is on foot. You never know what treasures you may find here while getting lost in the narrow alleyways. You can even get on an antique tram and whizz past quaint shops and adorable houses. Porto will never cease to surprise you.

The city of Porto has something for every traveler. That is why it is such a great place to add to your Portugal itinerary.

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2-week adventure in Botswana: My wildlife and camping adventure Itinerary

Before I booked the trip with a local Belgian agency, I didn’t really know too much about Botswana. I knew it was located in Southern Africa, that it’s home of the Okavango Delta, and that’s about it. During two weeks, I learned and experienced Botswana. And you can discover it here with me!

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What to pack for a hostel: A man’s printable checklist to the essential things to bring for a stay in a hostel

Having a hostel checklist is always handy! There are things you should bring to a hostel which other types of stay don’t require. Don’t worry though, all the items are easy to find and probably already in your possession. Let’s get started with what to pack when staying in a hostel!

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8 things to do in Gothenburg

Recently I went on a road trip around Sweden’s lake Vänern. On that trip, I spend a day in Göteborg / Gothenburg. In Göteborg there are plenty of things to do and see. I only spend a day there, so this list is not complete at all. These are just the ones I did.

1. Eat a burger and enjoy the best beer collection at 2112

Eat a burger and enjoy the best beer collection at 2112
I always forget to take a photo before I eat!

2112 is a cozy little rock café in the city center of Göteborg. There is plenty of room to sit, but I chose to sit at the bar. You can order great hamburgers there. I had the bacon & cheese as that is my favorite kind of burger. 

On top of that, they have a large beer collection. Ranging from their local microbreweries to Belgian beers like Duvel. I tried the ‘Brutal Bulldog Double IPA’ and ‘If You Want IPA (You’ve Got It)’. Both IPA’s I can recommend.

2. Enjoy a view over the city at Masthuggetskyrkan

Enjoy a view over the city at Masthuggetskyrkan

Looking over the city to see all the things you’ve seen in one image. That’s what you get at the Masthuggetskyrkan. It’s a large church on top of a hill. The hill provides a view over the city center and the harbor. 

I’ve been there during the day, but I can imagine it being even better during sunrise (over the city) or sunset (over the harbor).

By the way, if you want to walk around town with other tourists and a knowledgeable guide, book a 3-hour small-group tour!

3. Watch wildlife in Älghägnet

Watch wildlife in Älghägnet
A cute little caribou

In the park, you can find several fun things to do. There is a children’s farm, beautiful paths to walk on, and a free little zoo. You won’t find lions or elephants there. Only local wildlife like deer, elk, sheep, goats, and caribou. 

It might not be too easy to always spot the animals right away since they have large habitats. Especially for children, this is one of the fun things to do in Gothenburg.

4. Walk around at Slottskogen

The rest of the park is beautiful as well. You can see different kinds of birds fly. Walk under the beautiful (and sometimes ancient) trees. There is room to lay in the sun for some vitamin D. It’s a very big park, especially if you consider it’s near the city center.

5. Learn about plants in the Botaniska Trädgården

Learn about plants in the Botaniska Trädgården

This is the only paying activity on this list. And even the 20kr they ask are voluntary. There is a possibility to deposit the coins at the entrance of the park. They use it to maintain the nature reserve you are walking through. 

It’s a huge botanical garden. They have several sections like rock gardens, European gardens, Japanese gardens, greenhouses, … the list goes on. I suggest going to the rock garden, climbing one of the steep paths and enjoying yet another view over the city.

6. Watch the (military) ships in the harbor

Watch the (military) ships in the harbor of goteborg

The city of Göteborg is located near a river. This means that going to the riverside will result in seeing loads of ships. Some of them are there for preservation reasons, others are there for a couple of days before the captain takes off again. You can see some old military ships, old sailboats, sea ships, …. It is not possible to enter most of the ships, unfortunately.

Gothenburg is a fairly large city, so consider exploring it with a Hop-On Hop-Off bus.

7. Stroll around Haga

Stroll around Haga

It’s kind of the hipster part of town. Here you can find shops and restaurants. It’s a cozy-looking neighborhood to walk around. So definitely a must if you don’t know what to do for an hour.

8. Kungsparken

This park south of the city center runs along one of the side-rivers and has many bridges to the city center. Here you can find a bit of peace and quiet. During the morning hours, the light falls beautifully on the buildings around the park, so it’s the perfect place for your morning walk or jog. Or to think about what to do in Gothenburg in the coming days. 

Disclaimer: In this article are some affiliate links. This means that, if you buy or book something, I get a small percentage of the fee. This comes with no extra cost to you but helps me run this website.

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