My Second Year in Europe

my second year in europe
During the recap of year one living in Europe, I talked about how it all began and the journey making it to Bavaria.  I talked about my worries about having to make new friends, a new job, adjust to a new country and starting graduate school.  As today marks my second year living in Europe and more specifically Germany, I am happy to report that year two was even more enjoyable and productive that year one.  I'm still with my current job but have been promoted a few times, I've made a good little group of friends, though it's still hard to fine a lot of good ones and expats come and go, and I finished grad school which seemed to have just blown right by. 
 
Now I've been more serious about my blog with a new design and have begun really getting into freelance righting with a lot of other side project hopes.  Year two in Europe has been amazing and I want to recap all of the travel I've done in the past year, mostly to reflect on for myself, but also to highlight some of the trips that readers may have missed.
 
Germany

I live in Germany and do get a lot of travel around Bavaria.  But the downside is that since I do live here, I tend to plan trips elsewhere because I know that I can always do the last minute stuff here.  That's probably why I haven't been to Berlin yet.  But I am going to try to make plans to take care of that this year.  Here are some of the main highlights of my trips in Germany.
 
1) Oktoberfest (second year)- Last year at Oktoberfest was a lot of fun.  I'm going again in a few weeks and I will be posting a lot of Oktoberfest inspired posts throughout the month of September.
   
2) Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival- I really liked this festival.  I love pumpkin everything and the food at this festival was amazing! Hope I can go again this year.
 
3) Wiesbaden Christmas Market- Wiesbaden is such a nice upscale area to visit and the Christmas Market was pretty awesome.
 
4) Heidelberg-  I really liked Heidelberg because there is so much to do here from the Castle to the Konigstuhl, to the Christmas Market and University.  Such a pretty and historical place to visit.
 
5) Helicopter Views over Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau Castles- Okay so I technically wasn't here for this one although I have seen both castles.  These aerial images are ones that my husband took in a helicopter, I just had to share them again because I think it was a unique opportunity for him.
 
6) Passau Christmas Market- Passau is a nice town only about two hours from where I live. The Christmas Market was nice and we took Louis to this one.
 
7) Regensburg Christmas Market at the Thurn and Taxis- I'm in Regensburg pretty often, but this time I was here for the Christmas Market.  I would love to one day go inside the Thurn and Taxis and see the beautiful Rococo and Baroque interior.
 
8) Garmisch- Garmisch is another place that I've gone to several times and I know I'll go back.  There is so much to do here and I dubbed it the most Bavarian town in Germany.
 
9) Partnach Gorge- The Partnach Gorge is a place near Garmisch and it's a beautiful spot to get some photos.
 
10) Nurnberg Flea Market-  I frequent the Nurnberg Flea twice a year.  It disappointed me a bit when I went in May but I need to give it another chance.
 
11) Homburg Flea Market-  The Homburg Flea was a quick stop we made before my graduation ceremony in Ramstein.  I wish I had more time here because it looked like an awesome flea.
 
12) Nymphenburg Palace-  This palace is in Munich and it's where I took my friend Destiny to visit while she came to visit me in Germany.
 
germany travel
germany travel
Italy

I did some traveling in Italy last year when we B and I did our honeymoon cruise that included Venice and Bari.  But those weren't the experiences that I enjoyed most about Italy and since then I have done some solo travel in Southern Italy and I enjoyed it a lot more.
 
1) The Port of Naples- I went to Naples for a weeklong class and although The Port of Naples was a little rough and I had been advised not to visit alone, I thought it was fine.  I basically went to eat, because come on it's Naples.
 
2) Capri- Capri was another trip I did while taking my class for grad school. I did this with a group tour because I had to take a ferry over to get there. Capri was by far my favorite stop on my trip.  It's beautiful.
 
3) AnaCapri- AnaCapri is on the same island as Capri and I enjoyed a short cable car ride to the top of the mountain.
 
4) Pompeii- I loved traveling to Pompeii, especially on my own.  I got lost quite literally walking around the ancient city and it was a lot of fun.
 
5) Sorrento- In Sorrento I happened upon a Dali Exhibit that I just had to see.
 
6) Downtown Naples- During my last night in Naples, a nice classmate of mine and her friends took me to downtown Naples where I had some amazing food.
 
7) Milan- Milan is a place I'd traveled to more recently this July with my friend Destiny.  I wasn't a huge fan of Milan, but I did enjoy seeing The Last Supper and getting lost with my friend.
 
italy travel
italy travel
England

I loved England!  It is actually in my top three favorite places I've visited and I hope to go again because I have so many other places just in London that I'd love to see.
 
1) London- I visited London over New Year's and also to see my friends Danielle and Alexa.  London was so much more fun that I thought it would be and I hope to visit again next year.
 
2) Windsor Castle- Windsor Castle was part of a day tour that I took and I enjoyed being able to get away from the city and explore the countryside as well.
 
3) Stonehenge- Though it was very rainy and windy that day, I was so glad I got to see the iconic Stonehenge.
 
4) The Roman Baths in Bath, England- Bath was the last stop on my day tour in England and I wish I had some more time to explore Bath.  This post is about The Roman Baths.
 
england travel
Slovakia

1) Bratislava- Bratislava was a short day trip that I had taken with some friends.  I wrote about 10 things you can do in Bratislava and my favorite thing was The Blue Church and eating the National Dish.
 
slovakia travel
France

I've been to France already during my first year in Europe, specifically Paris and Strasbourg, but this time I wanted to see more of the German/France border so I went to Metz and Colmar.

1) Metz- Metz was a trip I took for my birthday with B.  I mainly went to go to the Metz Flea Market and it is one of my favorite fleas now.
 
2) Colmar- Colmar is a trip I took with my mother and aunt and I absolutely love this town.  It's my favorite place in France so far and I think you can see why if you take a look at my post.
 
france travel
Spain

Spain has been a dream of mine since taking Spanish since 5th grade. I finally got to go to Spain this year and three different times at that. I particularly loved Southern Spain and Mallorca.  I hope to take B somewhere in Spain next year.

1) Madrid-  I had a 10 hour layover in Madrid and although Madrid is landlocked it's a lovely place to visit. I even considered teaching English in Madrid, but unfortunately I don't think that is going to happen.  I went to Madrid, Cadiz, and Seville as part of a weeklong class I was taking for grad school.
 
2) Cadiz- Cadiz was a surprise gem that I found during my trip for school. I even got to stay with a host family along with my classmate, Aubrey.  Our host family gave us a private tour of Cadiz.
 
3) Seville-  I took a train for the day in Seville and although Seville is really to big to only see in a day, I think we got to see some of it by taking a hop on hop off tour that I usually wouldn't otherwise have taken.  The tapas and The Plaza de Espana were my favorites.
 
4) Barcelona- I went to Barcelona in July with my mother and aunt and loved seeing all of the Gaudi influence. Although Barcelona was a little crowded for my taste I did have a good time there and I loved La Boqueria.
 
5) Palma de Mallorca- I went to Palma de Mallorca with my friend Destiny and it was probably my favorite place in Spain.  The nightlife and food was amazing and we had such a fun girl's trip.
 
6) Soller, Mallorca- Soller was a day trip my friend and I took on the last day of our girl's trip to Mallorca and we took a vintage train ride to this little gem.
 
spain travel
Switzerland

1) Zurich- Zurich was part of a 5 hour layover I had while traveling with my mother and aunt. Zurich is beautiful and clean, but I'm glad we didn't spend too long there because it was really expensive.
 
switzerland travel
Czech Republic

I love The Czech Republic, especially since it's such a good surprise.  I've also been to Karlovy Vary and Kutna Hora and this year hopefully I will make it to Cesky Krumlov.

1) Prague- I've already been to Prague last year, but I knew I'd be back.  This time I played tour guide for my mother and aunt on a day trip.  
 
prague travel
Iceland

Iceland was my dream trip and I finally made it for my two year wedding anniversary.  It was the most expensive place I've been to, but so so worth it.  I guess now I need to find a new dream destination.
 
1) Gardur- Gardur was as small seaside town B and I stayed in on the first night of our arrival to Iceland.
 
2) Puffins- I had to see the Puffins in Iceland and I got that opportunity!
 
3) Reykjavik- Reykjavik is the big city in Iceland and I had so much fun here!
 
4) The Golden Circle- I really wanted to do The Golden Circle drive by car on our own and in this post I outline how you can do that.  Such a good tour of the Iceland countryside.
 
5) The Blue Lagoon- The Blue Lagoon was a perfect way to end our trip in Iceland and it's right by the Keflavik Airport.
 
6) Snorkeling Between the Tectonic Plates in Silfra-What a cool experience!  And in freezing cold water!
 
iceland travel
Ireland

1) Dublin, Penn State Game, Wicklow Mountains- I did this trip with B, his parents, and my friend, Danielle.  Dublin is a good time and there are so many more things I would have loved to do there.
 
ireland travel
 
I cannot believe again, how much traveling I did this year, but I hope that my last year in Europe is just as productive and fun-filled.  If you'd like to read about my first year in Europe you can click here.
 
Have you been to any of these places this year or are they on your travel bucket list?



visited 20 states (8.88%)
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Linking up at:

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http://bonnieroseblog.co.uk/2014/11/travel-tuesday-cohosts-august-october.html
 

29 comments :

  1. Looks like you had an amazing year! :) I really want to visit Colmar and I'm excited to see your posts about Oktoberfest - it's on my bucketlist of festivals to attend. :)

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    1. Colmar is lovely and I'll be writing several posts about Oktoberfest over the next couple of weeks.

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  2. Such beautiful photos. What app/tool do you use to edit them, if you don't mind me asking. Thanks!

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    1. I only do light editing with Photoshop. I like to get good pics straight out of the camera and then do minimal editing. I would like to do some experimenting with Lightroom at some point too.

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  3. I can't wait to go and pick out a pumpkin! I love your flea market finds! I must go and spend more time in flea markets myself.

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  4. great places!! if you are interesting in knowing more about Spain & Portugal, don't miss my blog, sweetale.es, We show you many lovely places to visit. sweetale.es

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    1. I'm hoping to go to Portugal this year so that would be great!

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  5. Wow. These photos look so amazing. I'm so jealous of you! :) And look at that food! YUM!

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week!

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  6. Wonderful photos. You sure visited many places. Great!

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  7. impressive list of destinations. it seems so easy to hop into another country when you live in europe. i enjoyed the narrative as well as the photos.

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    1. Yes, living in Germany is perfect for travel!

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  8. Wow you've done so much in a year! I love that every time I read your blog it really takes me somewhere!

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  9. You accomplished and saw a lot last year. Congrats! Enjoy this year

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  10. Congrats, you've had a busy and beautiful travel year!

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  11. That is an amazing amount of travel in one year. Is it really easy to get to places like Spain from Germany? You went 3 times, so I suspect that it is. Wishing you another fab year of travel and expat life.

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    1. Depending on what part of Spain, you are going to it's only a few hours. Plus, I've gotten great deals on plane tickets through RyanAir.

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  12. Happy two years abroad! I just celebrated my two years abroad as well a couple weeks ago. It definitely feels like a milestone, even if it's only two! We're faced now with the choice of moving back to the States after our wedding next June but I think we're leaning towards buying a round-trip ticket and coming back :)
    But I digress-- looks like you've visited many wonderful places! I visited Passau last autumn and was really surprised at how much I enjoyed it, for such an unassuming German city. I bet the Christmas markets there were lovely :)

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    1. Yes, the Christmas Markets all over Germany are lovely. I'd definitely stay longer if I could!

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  13. Brittany Ruth, It sounds like you are really getting around. Living in Bavaria, I still haven't been back to Regensburg, and I need to get there this Xmas market! You've been to some great places...keep having fun!

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    1. I really love Regensburg. I go at least once a month!

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  14. Happy Happy 2nd year in Bavaria Brittany! :) You have visited some fantastic places! So pleased to hear you liked London too! ;)

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  15. Happy 2nd year, you've covered so much ground! I'm jealous. Definitely make it up to Berlin, it's a great city :)

    I looooove Oktoberfest :)

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    1. I'm really hoping to go to Berlin next month. Fingers crossed!

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  16. Wow - you've really seen a lot of Europe! France is my favourite place, but Spain is wonderful too. There's so much to see! Hope you carry on enjoying your time here :)

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  17. Wow! You've been to so many places in just a year. It's incredible how easy travel is in Europe isn't it? Hopefully you get to do a lot more in the upcoming year. You should definitely go to my home base (when I was living in Europe) of Budapest.

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  18. Hi it's Christa, host of the Sunday Traveler, I just wanted to pop in and say thanks for joining in on the fun! I love all your highlights. You've been to some amazing places in a year, I love how easy Europe is to travel and take in so much history and sightseeing.

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  19. Germany is such a cool country, one of my favourites in Europe, so lucky you for living there. I would 100% recommend going to the Ludwigsburg Christmas Market this year if you get the opportunity, it's smaller than some of the big famous ones but oh so magical. Happy travelling!
    Claire xx

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I love to hear from readers! Questions and comments welcome. I try to respond to everyone (I respond back to your comments on the comments page so check back for a response). Thanks for reading!

-Brittany Ruth