For me, 2017 was a weird year in a lot of ways. It was the year where Donald Trump became president, and I even wrote an article about trying to help people move away from him. It was, also, the year that Marcela and I split up and we had to think about what should we do with Fotostrasse. We decided to keep it and run it together as we did before. But this article is focused on my favorite trips of 2017.
From Brazil to Estonia, going to the North of Portugal for the first time and exploring Kaliningrad and Gdansk. Fotostrasse traveled a lot in 2017, and I even managed to see places with new eyes like London and Paris. Cities that I first visited when I came from Brazil to Europe back in 2010. Coming back there this year made everything better and somehow different.
Now, let’s go straight to the point and start with my favorite trips of 2017.
5 – Tallinn, Estonia
In January, after exploring Helsinki with NBE Finland, I took a ferry and went to the other side of the Gulf of Finland to see Estonia for the first time. And I have to say that Tallinn looks impressive even in the winter cold. There I managed to explore a cemetery of Soviet statues where I saw my first Stalin bust. Something that you don’t see every day!
Too bad I didn’t stay in Tallinn enough to take a look around town. But, during the three days that I was there, I managed to eat some of the best food I ever had, and I still have to find some time to write about it. Yeah, I still have to find some time to write about a lot of the things I saw and did there. Let’s hope it happens soon.
4 – Hamburg, Germany
In early October, I took a bus from Berlin to Hamburg to see Nick Cave. Since I was there, I decided to explore this northern German town that I never had the time to visit it properly. And if it weren’t for the terrible weather on the first day there, Hamburg would be higher on this list.
In Hamburg, I managed to see the city from the St Nicholas church, a memorial to everything that happens in the town during the Second World War. I visited one of the unique museums I have ever been: German Food Additives Museum. Also, I had the pleasure of staying at the Prizeotel Hamburg-City and Superbude, a design hostel at Hamburg St. Pauli.
3 – Rota do Peixe in the North of Portugal
In February I went to Portugal for the first time. I always had this weird issue with Portugal, and I didn’t care much about the country. Everything changed when I arrived in Porto and took a short car ride into Matosinhos. The first meal I had, there was one of the reasons why my heart changed, and Portugal got a place in there.
Rota do Peixe is a tour of the cities in the North of Portugal that have the best culinary delicacies in that part of the country. Matosinhos and Espinho were my favorite stops on this route, but everything was exceptional somehow. But, again, I still have to write about a lot of the things I saw there. Let’s see if 2018 gives me the time to do that and travel even more.
2 – Kaliningrad, Russia
Since I first learned about Kaliningrad, I knew I had to find my way into the city. And I managed to do it in late October. I had some days off of work, and I decided it was time to explore this Russian exclave that used to be an essential part of Germany until the Second World War.
But arriving there wasn’t easy and exploring the city was as complicated. I took a bus from Berlin to Gdansk, in Poland. From there I took another bus at arrived in Kaliningrad in the middle of the night. Nobody spoke anything besides Russian around me, and I had to find my way into my hostel. This was just the beginning of my time there and, even though it wasn’t simple, it was one of my favorite trips of 2017.
1 – Paris, France
Back in 2010, on my first trip to Europe ever, I managed to fall in love with Paris. I was there for just a couple of days, and I decided to get lost in the city during this short time. This is what I did, and this is how I fell in love with it. I visited Paris a few more times through the years but the last time that I was there was in 2014. I decided to use my days off during my Christmas break, and there I went.
My plan for Paris was to explore the places I overlooked before and try to visit unusual places that most people don’t even know it exists. After some lengthy research and a lot of walking, I managed to do pretty much everything I wanted to do in Paris. But, since I visited Paris only a couple of weeks ago, I still organizing the pictures and the articles so you will have to wait a little longer to read about them. It will be worth the wait, I’m sure.
Bonus Round: London, United Kingdom
Personally, I have this weird relationship with London. I have been there a few times, but London was never a city that I wanted to explore and enjoy. I’m not sure about why but this is how I used to feel about London. I still believe it has something to do with how famous the city is with Brazilian travelers and the prize of everything there but… I’m not sure.
In 2017, I had to travel to London two times due to work reasons, and I managed to get some time off to explore the city and see some places that I never had the time to go to. This is how I went to pay my respects to the most famous clown ever, Joseph Grimaldi. I also visited the first public water fountain in the world and the only Lenin statue in London. I had a lot of fun there, and it changed how I feel about the city.
Maybe, I will be traveling to London a couple of times more in 2018, and I can continue with my weird relationship with the city.
Gdansk, Helsinki, São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Poznan, Düsseldorf, Maastricht, Liege, Porto were the other places I visited in 2017, and they deserve to be mentioned here. May 2018 be as great as 2018 was when it comes to travel.