Once again, a year has passed and it is semi-mandatory to look back into what on earth happened in the last 365 days. How odd we people are.
So, as I don’t want to rebel and do this in April, here we are. The moments to remember from the year 2017 in the lives of Veera and Waffle:
We started the year off by visiting Cyprus in the midwinter. We often like to break the winter with a little bit of summer. Cyprus was a destination from which neither of us really expected much, but it turned out to be a fairly positive surprise! We indulged on the rugged coastal line and tried to find some turtles.
Lesson learned; travel with an open mind, where ever the ticket in your hand is taking you!
It was pretty quickly after Cyprus that we headed for Terceira island in the Azores. It had been my dream to visit these islands, and since Waffle is very keen on spoiling me (my inner strong and independent woman screams at him for this), he bought us tickets to go there for my birthday!
Oh my. I was gobsmacked! From the very beginning the island sprouting from the volcanic core of the earth was taking my breath away. From the starlit skies, to raging ocean to the green jungles I felt like I was in a paradise! The air is so fresh you taste it in the cheese they produce!
So far I think it is the most rewarding travel experience we have had. So far so, that we are traveling to the islands again, very soon!
Lesson learned; Fish of the day on an island in the middle of the storming Atlantic is not going to happen…
One of the best moments in the spring time was having my dear dear friend over from Finland! I wiped off the dust of my girlier side and we took a train to Paris. Spend there a day running around the city like mad men, enjoying the slowly awakening spring. Waffle came to rescue in the evening and took us to the seaside, to jump on the rocky shore of Ambleteuse.
How grateful I am for having such a friend, whose eyes see your soul and with whom you can connect with no matter the time or space in between!
Lesson learned; A freshly made chocolate fondant in France is a perfectly justified breakfast!
Easter and Normandy. We can’t seem to get rid of that duo. Normandy was probably the first landscape I really fell in love with in France, I am always eager to return there. This Easter too, it was as pretty and serene as always. We brought friends along, hiked the coast and the meadows, enjoyed the tender spring sunshine and aired out our brains!
Lesson learned; Sea is well able to eat away the white cliffs, so be careful when camping on top of one. Also, if you are looking to surf, go further.
The half marathon project. The venture where Waffle soared and I tumbled down with my knee problems. Not much of a happy experience, giving up never really is. But I was happy to start trying, in any case, and I still am running, at least to get in better shape, maybe eventually aiming for some speeds at 10 km. Maybe.
Lesson learned; Patience. Patience in letting your body get a hang of jogging. I am not 20 anymore. Sadly.
Oh, the biggest accident we have yet had in our lovely little relationship. Buying a cottage in Finland. I say accident, because that’s was it really was. We rolled the thought of it on the table for 3 days before sending our final offer and receiving the keys.
Such excitement I have not felt too many times in my life. I actually had acquired a piece of my childhood and one of the prettiest landscapes in Finland! I could return to my family more often now. My my, so very happy about this!
Oh, and the sauna in that cottage – marvelous!
Lesson learned; 4 trips to Ikea in a week is definitely enough!
For a while now, we have been inspired to travel to the Eastern Europe. For 2017 the destination was Bulgaria and the Pirin mountains. It was not a disappointment. The country is pretty and the mountains with all the lakes scattered around make it a unique surrounding for hiking.
Spending the night high up there under the stars, in freezing cold at the lakeside was a memorable experience. A night slept outdoors is never quite like the other.
Lesson learned; Taking a smelly cheese up to a mountain with bear population, might make you nervous…
The home extension project is finally hovering above the finish line! What a thrilling feeling to see the work of your own actually get realized and exceed your hopes! Every little bit is there, just some moderation, improvements and finishing touches need to happen, as we gain experience in using this little house!
A more detailed post will follow, once I have time to put my thoughts into words and online.
Lesson learned; With a project like this, it is a winning lottery ticket to have an actual carpenter in the family.
Israel. Double feelings. It was a pain in the back side to get this holiday starting. First to make our way out of the airport, then get a car, and lastly get going through the desert. But once the starting hiccups were over the country treated us with beauty and bizarre flotation experiences.
The part where we left the country was even bigger pain in the derriere, making us thinking whether we will ever be back. What would bring us back, is the magnificent camping facilities Israel has to offer, plus we would still like to see the northern Israel.
Lesson learned; Salt from the dead sea tastes bad. Also, try not to piss off an Israeli customer servant.
The year ended for us with another Christmas road trip. Once more, we headed south, to the space between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean in France. And then we camped. Our small home proved to be just what we needed; a shelter from wind and rain and a functional living room, kitchen and bedroom combo.
We had gathered a bunch of special people around us and the atmosphere was, if not Christmassy, at least warm and welcoming around the slightly too big campfire. The weather was not on our side when it came to hiking the mountains, so beach life was what needed to entertain us.
Lesson learned; Putting a bunch a relatively crazy people around a campfire with little social supervision can result in inappropriate songs.
That was 2017. 2018 is here with us and it is looking promising. The travel year starts with Azores, we have a bit of Finland in the planning too (Waffle’s parents first visit!), and who knows which other places Waffle comes up with. Hope you’ll hang along too!
Oh! aand the pictures, once again, here: Flickr!