As the year is coming to an end, I feel the need to make a sentimental post to summarise it. I have many reasons to feel sentimental about it. It has been one of the happiest years of my life. With a great new job and more money I finally could do what I always wanted – travel. Since I graduated university I have been daydreaming about travelling around Europe and savouring all its cultural riches, but it took me some years to step on my feet and finally be able to give in to my wanderlust. In 2015 I travelled to Spain, Italy, Ireland, Germany and Austria and as it turns out I did it all in the right order since I was very lucky with the weather and photo opportunities, which did not go without planning and consideration beforehand.
I visited Barcelona for my birthday at the end of February and I fell in love with it. It was the most incredible trip I’ve ever been on and the best birthday ever. Barcelona is beautiful and exotic even at that time of year, but it is not packed with tourists or tormented by heat. To me it is the perfect place to escape from the European winter. It turned out that I was born compatible with Spanish and Catalan culture. I have a need to live in endless summer and I crave art and good food so I discovered that Barcelona is the ideal place for me and my new favourite city in the entire world.
This year I finally was able to take two weeks off work during the summer for a proper holiday. Holiday was in Ireland, but why not see something extra on the way? I booked a flight with a long stop over in Rome and made the shortest, most dehydrating photo trip through the Eternal City. It was just a taste of Rome, but more than enough to hook me for a future trip. As for the heat – travel there in August at your own risk. I do not regret it, but 40 degrees in the shade is not fun. Thankfully the Pantheon turned out to be very cool inside, the Romans had it all figured out long before we invented the air conditioner.
Since the first time I set foot in Ireland last summer, I knew I found my muse. So I had to dedicate more time to explore it this summer. By August I was tired of work and the heat in Sofia and I was ready to go to 15 degrees and sea breeze. Living in Southeast Europe makes you want to vacation in Northern Europe – not only the reverse is true! My two weeks in Ireland were dedicated to stress-free travel, away from tourist traps and far from the city. Who is not in love with the Irish countryside? It is magical, romantic and not very populated, it is like a dream for every photographer.
My last trip for this year was in autumn. I visited a friend of mine from Germany. Several years ago we met during a student exchange program in Maine, USA and back then we did a road trip in New England during the fall semester. This October we did it over again in the Bavarian Alps. I think I could not pick better time to visit Germany. Waking up in a Bavarian house with a view of the Alps and travelling to picturesque German towns was just so wonderful! We even drove to Mozart’s birth city of Salzburg in Austria.