Allgemein, travel
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Travelling through the world and the cosmic space of my own four walls 2017

2017 has been a year full of travels for me. And that not so as to escape home. After all, I live in magnificent Barcelona and it has been my first full year in this city. I think it’s the constant need and lust to explore, to be surprised, to live deeper that has had me hop on airplanes and roads much more often than ever before.

So I’m putting together my travel highlights of this year and some plans for the next. Maybe there is some inspiration for your bucket list among them.

January – Budapest, Hungary

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My first city and solo trip this year would take me to -20ºC Budapest. I had always wanted to visit this place and was absolutely amazed by all its morbid beauty, coffee scene, fin de siecle architecture and ruin pubs.

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February – Palermo, Sicily

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Without a doubt my top destination this year! I imagine whole Sicily beautiful throughout summer season, but Palermo in winter was an unexpected highlight. Fresco-like architecture all around, gelato, arancini, street food, enchanting alleys and so much more that caught me completely off guard.

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March – Lanzarote, Spain

Lanzarote © Janine Juna Grafe

Many Spanish hop over to the Canary Islands in the colder season to accelerate spring or prolong summer. This year I did the same – especially given the ridiculously cheap flights from Barcelona. On Lanzarote, I convinced myself that the Canary Islands are not only about all-inclusive vacations. In fact, the island was full of wild nature. The only thing I could not find here was the hoped-for summer. But the heavy winds and stormy sea gave it even more of a wild feeling.

Teguise Lanzarote © Janine Juna Grafe

Punta Mujeres Lanzarote © Janine Juna Grafe

May – Mallorca, Spain

Valldemossa Mallorca © Janine Juna Grafe

So close and yet so different: Not even 50 minutes by plane from Barcelona you can indulge into that heavenly island feeling with good food, idyllic villages and mediterrean charm everywhere you go (except for that one infamous German beach maybe).

Valldemossa Mallorca © Janine Juna Grafe

Valldemossa Mallorca © Janine Juna Grafe

Valldemossa Mallorca © Janine Juna Grafe

June – Marrakech & Essaouira, Morocco

The Souks Marrakech © Janine Juna Grafe

My second solo travel this year took me to Morocco. I can’t imagine a single year anymore without heading over to that country. It was so wonderful to return to Marrakech and explore a new city at the same time: Essaouira. This 3-day-trip had everything: Getting lost in the medinas, 3-hour-bus rides through 40ºC nothingness, lots of tajine and some quiet hours in an empty rooftop pool to top it all off.

Riad Carina Marrakech © Janine Juna Grafe

Medina Essaouira © Janine Juna Grafe

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Riad Carina Marrakech © Janine Juna Grafe

July – Paris, France

Montmartre Paris © Janine Juna Grafe

I returned to Paris in summer for a wedding and made the most of the free time left here. Strolling Montmartre, shopping in Le Marais, falafel, coffee, brioche and rocking that French beret. This trip couldn’t have been more cliché and I enjoyed every minute of it!

Boot Café Paris © Janine Juna Grafe

Le Marais Paris © Janine Juna Grafe

Montmartre Paris © Janine Juna Grafe

July – Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon © Janine Juna Grafe

At the end of the month I did a little birthday trip to Lisbon to cool off from that Barcelona heat and induldge in pasteis de Belem, fish dishes, good wine and that easy coastal city feeling.

Reuse Lisbon © Janine Juna Grafe

Lisbon © Janine Juna Grafe

August – Córdoba & Granada, Spain

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When Lisbon meant cooling down from the Barcelona heat, then a trip to Andalucía meant exactly the opposite. Pleasant 43ºC were expecting me here and I finally learnt how to do siesta.

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October – Fez, Morocco

Fez Morocco © Janine Juna Grafe

When I said earlier that I can’t imagine a single year without travelling to Morocco anymore, what I actually meant was: I can’t even imagine not returning within one single year again. And so I headed to Fez in October and this place easily became my favourite destination so far in Morocco. Unbelievably welcoming people, an overwhelming medina, wonderful food and beautifully crafted products made this trip a true oasis of impressions.

Café Clock Fez Morocco © Janine Juna Grafe

Fez Morocco © Janine Juna Grafe

Fez Morocco © Janine Juna Grafe

Fez Morocco © Janine Juna Grafe

November – Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam in autumn © Janine Juna Grafe

I always feel a little uneasy returning as a tourist to a place I once called home. But Ámsterdam made it very easy – despite all the rain. Marvelling once anew at the lovely facades, seeing my best friend after far too long and cuddling up in that cosy Airbnb attic turned this trip into a beautiful escape at the end of the year I would not have wanted to miss.

Haarlem Attic Studio © Janine Juna Grafe

Amsterdam in autumn © Janine Juna Grafe

December – Berlin, Germany

Berlin Kreuzberg © Janine Juna Grafe

I love Berlin and I love it so much more in winter. The grey streets, the ice cold wind, the snow… what sounds so unpleasant, has quite some melancholically beautiful appeal to me. It was the perfect travel right before Christmas to shop some handcrafted gifts, enjoy all the German food I miss now and then in Barcelona and feel again what real winter is like.

Berlin Prenzlauer Berg © Janine Juna Grafe

The Barn Berlin © Janine Juna Grafe

Markthalle Neun Berlin © Janine Juna Grafe

All year round – Barcelona, Spain

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This has been my first full year living in Barcelona and I can’t imagine a better place to work, live, eat, dance, drink, have coffee, more ice cream, bravas, pan con tomate, long nights, sunny mornings and what not! Sometimes it feels as though I’m on a year-round city trip through my own city, which is – hands down – a pretty damn good feeling.

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And what’s in for 2018?

I guess I won’t be immune to the travel bug in 2018 either yet, so there is already three trips planned: Rome in January, Prague in February and Apulia in March. Otherwise I want to travel a bit slower and deeper this coming year and treat myself to one longer vacation instead of so many weekenders. Right now I’m flirting with renting a villa in Greece for one or two weeks but are open to any recommendations and travel bug bites along the way.

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