A little over a year ago, I decided to join in with a challenge inviting bloggers to take one trip every month for 12 months. If you’ve been paying close attention to my blog for the past year, you may have noticed that my trip to Weinheim in September was, in fact, my 12th trip! (Don’t worry, I don’t expect anyone to actually have noticed 😉 ). This fact seemed to call for some kind of roundup/recap of my 12 months of trip taking, just to bring things to a nice neat conclusion… or something like that.
I started the challenge with a day trip to Triberg im Schwarzwald in October 2013. I had actually taken this trip shortly before learning about Take 12 Trips and decided to make it my first one rather than waiting until the following month to get started. In Clare’s original post inviting people to join the challenge, she told us to “Do anything – trip big, or trip tiny”. The point was to go somewhere new, perhaps even somewhere local that you’d been meaning to try out but never had. So a visit to somewhere in the Black Forest, which is basically on my doorstep, seemed like a fitting first trip.
November 2013 saw me returning to Feldkirch in Austria for the first time since I lived there in 2005/2006. It was nice to see the place again, and also lovely to pay a visit to some friends from when I lived there and meet their baby son! After Feldkirch, we spent a night in Garmisch-Patenkirchen (famous for skiing!), then on the way back we stopped at Schloss Neuschwanstein (the famous fairy-tale castle in Bavaria) and in Augsburg. Not bad for a single long weekend!
I live in Germany, so obviously my December trip had to be to a Christmas market! I chose a local one, the Mediaeval Christmas market in Durlach, which is a district of Karlsruhe. The market includes a fire show (pictured above) and, aside from the usual Glühwein (mulled wine), hot mead is also on offer. At the end of the month, I went home to England for Christmas, but I don’t count that as a real trip 😉
Part of my January 2014 trip was actually in December – Jan and I went to Madeira for New Year! I absolutely loved this trip and would go back in a heartbeat – Madeira is beautiful! And it was nice to actually spend New Year somewhere warm for a change.
As the end of February approached with no trip planned (and me not wanting my February “trip” to be the week I spent in England by my dying grandpa’s bedside), I spontaneously decided to take a train to Bruchsal. I had been to the castle before, but never into the town and it was about time that was remedied! Sadly, it turned out that Bruchsal as a town isn’t all that interesting. I found a few pretty buildings, but after only 45 minutes I found myself at the castle with nowhere else to go. I also discovered that day that I find day trips by myself pretty boring (although who knows, maybe I would have fared better in a more interesting town?). Oh well, onwards and upwards as they say!
In March 2014, I finally did something I’ve been meaning to for about 4 years – visited the Saturday market on Gutenbergplatz in Karlsruhe. Thanks Take 12 Trips for the inspiration! I also went to Colmar, France in March, although I didn’t write a post about it til April.
April saw Jan, K and I on a day trip to Amnéville Zoo in France. It was the second visit for Jan and I, and it was just as amazing as the first time. The falconry display especially is well worth the three hour drive!
Also in April (although not counted towards the challenge), I went to my first ever bloggers’ meetup when I joined some fellow Germany-based bloggers in Heidelberg.
In May, I managed to persuade Jan to come with me to the Historisches Museum der Pfalz in Speyer to see an exhibition celebrating 40 years of Playmobil. What can I say… at heart, I’m a 5 year old 😉 The exhibition was overrun with kids, of course, but I enjoyed it anyway. And the rest of the museum was interesting too!
Roughly a week later I was in England for a funeral (not the best trip!) then at the end of the month Jan and I had a mini-break in Konstanz, since it was a long weekend.
For our ten-year anniversary(!) I had bought Jan tickets to see Pear Jam in Vienna, so that’s where our June trip took us. Apart from the concert, we visited the National Library, my favourite part being the Globe Museum, I ate Marillenknödel, crossing off another item on my 35 before 35 list, and we visited the UN headquarters then went to the Donauinselfest, a huge free music festival! We also took a day trip to Bratislava in Slovakia. My favourite thing there was the blue church, pictured above.
In July, my brother came to stay with us for a week. The trip I officially counted for the challenge was to Basel, but we also visited Strasbourg, the Black Forest and Frankfurt. Phew! I was exhausted by the time he went home!
I’m sure by now all of you know where I went for my August trip – I’ve bored you with enough posts on it 😉 Yes, it was Taiwan! My first visit to Asia was amazing! We saw so many fantastic sights, ate some great food (and also some truly awful stuff *cough* oyster omelette *cough*). Taiwan is a fascinating and beautiful country and I would recommend anyone to go.
It would have been nice to finish the challenge with Taiwan, but alas I still had one more trip to go! Finishing the challenge with another day trip within the local area provided some nice symmetry though. This time we headed in the other direction to Weinheim, which is in the Odenwald rather than the Black Forest. It was a beautiful autumn day and the perfect way to finish my 12 trips!
Earlier in September, I also spent the day in Bad Dürkheim at the Wurstmarkt, the world’s biggest wine festival, making it another multi-trip month.
Altogether, that makes 12 (plus) trips, seven countries (count them!) and a million memories! Thank you Clare for coming up with this challenge!
So, what now?
Just because my 12 trips are over doesn’t mean I’m going to stop travelling any time soon! In October 2014, I was in Bad Bergzabern (post to follow) and then spent Halloween Paris for a Night Vale live show, and I’m hoping that this month and next month will involve one or two Christmas markets. Then there’s the annual New Year’s trip that Jan and I always take (no destination confirmed yet). As for next year, so far only a trip to England in October for the Rugby World Cup is planned, but I’m sure there will be other opportunities to travel before then. There probably won’t be any big trips until the end of the year, but a few day trips will definitely be on the cards! Stay tuned…
32 thoughts on “Take 12 Trips: A Roundup”
Perhaps a day trip to Cologne 🙂
What a year you’ve had! Nice one!
We’ll see if we can manage to get something organised between us all 😉
Yeah, could be a challenge! Hopefully we’ll figure something out – it would be great to finally meet!
We managed it last time, so I’m sure at least some of us will make it again.
Wow 7 countries ! That is pretty impressive. I think the challenge really did encourage me to visit new places and itobviously did you too.x
Wow all those trips look so amazing and what an awesome idea I love challenges like this 🙂 Do you know if this challenge is happening again ? What was your favourite trip out of the 12 ? x
The challenge started a bit over a year ago, but I know some people started later so maybe you could jump on the bandwagon now? Or start your own and get other people to join in.
Jealous, jealous, jealous!
What a great idea! You’ve done so much!
Yes, writing it all out like this made me realise just how much it actually was.
Sounds like an epic year – I’d love to try the challenge too 🙂
Thanks! I know some people started the challenge later so mabye you still can?
You have been around! I am so jealous! Looks like you’ve had a fantastic 12 trips (in under 12 months too!)
Love the idea of doing a trip every month!! Your blog really makes me crave further exploration of Germany – I don’t even live that far but I’ve only been twice … shameful!
Well I love Germany so obviously I’m pleased if I can inspire someone to come for a visit 😀
Congratulations on completing the challenge! I’ve finishing mine in December and have really enjoyed doing it – it’s a good reminder to get out there and see things locally even when you don’t have any ‘big’ trips planned. Hopefully can carry it on into 2015 too – look forward to seeing where you head off to next!
Thanks! I’ve really enjoyed it as well – it’s certainly encouraged me to get out and travel more, which I felt was lacking in 2013!
We’re currently discussing where to go for New Year and as of right now Iceland is looking like the favourite!
Iceland would be great! I went years ago and would love to go back.
Sounds like a great year full of trips! Congratulations! So many great memories. And I am in love with that globe in the Vienna picture.
I want the globe and the library!
oh my goodness, so ridiculously jealous. i am in love with the library in Vienna.
It’s amazing isn’t it? I posted photos on Facebook and my dad commented “Can I have that library?”. I think he’d have to join a long queue!
What a fantastic challenge encouraging you to have 12 fantastic experiences!
It really was a fantastic challenge!
This is a really cool challenge! I enjoyed reading about all of your trips and seeing your pictures. 🙂
Thank you. I’m glad I stumbled across this challenge.
What an amazing year and such a great challenge!
It has definitely been an epic year! I hope I manage to fit in even half as many trips next year, although it might be difficult to take bigs ones at least for the first part of the year.
That’s a lot of trips! You have packed a lot into the last 12 months. With December coming up, I am reminded that a Christmas market is something I’ve always wanted to go to, but have always left it too late to book something. This year is no different. ;(