Straight outta COVID (Best of 2022)

2022 – the year we left COVID behind, or so it appears. A year I found it hard to say no to any travel opportunity, near or far, work or play. And so I ended up doing silly things, like driving 800 km in a single day to enjoy a meal with extended family, or visiting the León mountains three times in two weeks, only to see my body give in on the way up Peña Ubiña. 

Still – the feeling was like when you hit a spring with plentiful cool drinking water after hours of walking under a scorching sun. Who could blame you for a bit of stomach ache after quenching your thirst.

B-Side Alf, taking notes in Sacalum, Yuc.

So here goes a selection of some of the many great travel moments, in no particular order of date or preference. 

7.- Belfast

I visited Belfast for a conference. Work was fine, but the stay allowed me to revisit The Troubles which, strangely, is one of my favourite topics in contemporary history. 

I’ve written about it here

6.- Paris

No more major European cities, I’d promised myself after spending a week in overcrowded Lisbon in August 2015. That is, stay away from the A-Sides: Rome, Paris, London and so on. 

But K., had never been to Paris; indeed it was her dream to visit it. Spring 2022 was perhaps last call before things got fully normal and overcrowded, so we went all in. A delightful four day trip packing in both touristy (boat cruise on the Seine, Louvre and so on) and some strolling in alternative neighborhoods such as Belleville or Menilmontant. (See the write up here).

Enjoyed a croissant or three and several meals at the same Japanese restaurant on Rue Ste-Anne.

Do yourself a favor and hop on the tourist boat!

5.- Santiago

It was priceless to surprise my daughter with an overnight trip to Santiago de Compostela, where I hadn’t set foot since the early 2000’s. (Disclaimer: zero interest in hiking the Camino from this Spanish hiker). 

Short as the trip was, it was sweet, including a three hour walking tour, empanadas and octopus, rain, baroque churches, more rain. We even managed to pack in a morning run amidst the greenest greenery in the country. 

4.- Berlin

Berlin is very close to my heart, as I wrote here. From now on, I hope it’s also close to my son’s, who enjoyed his much longed for first communion celebratory trip. 

Only for history buffs. 

3.- Mountains

No major surprises in the mountain camp, but some glorious moments around Riaño: Pico Gilbo, Tiatordos and an eventful, deer tick infested loop hike to Pico Jario with the young ‘uns. 

Alf on the summit of Gilbo, Riaño mountains

2.- Yucatán peninsula (México)

Playa Mia, Cozumel

Oh what a trip. An extended version of the Easter 2020 trip that we’d planned and that got canceled due to….yes, you guessed it. 

K and A in Mexico, finally. 

Turquoise-color waters, colonial towns, Mayan ruins, cenotes….the full deal. And some glorious moments driving on local roads, singing along to Mexican bands and almost being swallowed by downpour. 

Izamal and K. Pretty town, prettier girl.

You  may read about it in a bunch of articles on the blog

1.- Ibiza coastline walk

The Caps de Falcó roller coaster

2022 has been the year in which K and I attempted to complete the Ibiza coastline walk – not a trail proper, but a route which has been walked by different hikers and which can be found on wikiloc.com

A logistical feat more than a physical one, we devoted two weekend trips and two loger stays coinciding with Christmas holidays. 

And we almost made it – just missing one full stage and two half-stages. 

Along the way, some glorious coastline view, as might be expected. But much more: wildflowers around Santa Agnes, delightful walks on old trails in the forest, and some surprisingly gnarly stretches, notably in Caps de Falcó and on the way from Eivissa to Santa Eulária

See some of my writing on Ibiza here.

Spring in Pla de Corona, next to Santa Agnes

Will complete this thing in April 2023, God willing. 

 

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