I’ve taken inspiration from one of my favourite bloggers and decided to create a travel bucket list for 2015. I love to travel and I always end the year feeling like I should and could have done more. Putting it down in words worked well for Lucy in 2014 and may well be the push I need to make a dream or two a reality.
My grandmother was from South Africa and my family tell me that there is a town east of Pretoria named after one of my ancestors, Carolina; this has always intrigued me. It looks like a fairly rural town but the chance to see where my ancestors once lived and their country is still important to me.
A stay at Singita Lebombo or Lion Sands Ivory Lodge in Kruger National Park, with a chance to spot the big five on safari, would be so exciting. I turn into a small child at the zoo so I hate to think how much I would regress if I saw a giraffe or lion in the wild.
It takes just over two hours to fly down to Cape Town and there’s so much I want to see in and around the city. South Africa produces some wonderful wines and a trip to Stellenbosch to the wineries is a given. An early morning balloon ride over the wineries followed by a tasting at Kanonkop, a traditional estate whose Pinotages have won many awards, and also Meerlust, another winery that produces great wines on a traditional estate, would make one hell of a day.
Every South African I know has a huge photo of Table Mountain hanging in their home, I’d like to see what all the fuss is about. You can take a cableway to the top of Table Mountain where it’s possible to view the whole of Cape Town. It’s also a great opportunity to check out all the beaches around Cape Town, I hear lots of the locals go to Llandudno and that Camp’s Bay is a good place for a sundowner.
Antigua is definitely going to happen this year, in February we’re going for our friends’ wedding. Given it’s so far and so beautiful we decided we should make the most of it and extend our stay beyond the wedding.
For such a small place there are so many things I want to do. Swimming with stingrays at Stingray City sounds incredible, they’re such majestic creatures and although a little scary this is something I’d love to do. Shirley Heights is the highest point on the island and every Sunday evening they have a barbecue and a steel drum band play. It sounds like the perfect spot to watch the sun go down, enjoy fresh lobster and maybe have a wiggle on the dance floor. Chilling out at the Hermitage Bay in the daytime looks exquisite with its sun loungers and plunge pools high on the hillside with breathtaking views. I’m also hoping we get to sail around the island on a beautiful catamaran.
Roll on February!
Argentina is huge and its landscape so varied, from the vineyard rich mountains in Mendoza, to the icy vistas of the Perito Moreno Glacier, the natural wonder of Iguzu Falls, to the bustling metropolis of Buenos Aires. And I want to do it all!
Meat is a big deal in Argentina and their barbecues are legendary, this is one place in the world where you can guarantee both a good steak and a good bottle of wine. Mendoza in particular is well known for its Malbecs and 1884 is the place to go to enjoy a glass or two with a special meal, it’s one of Argentina’s best restaurants and on the site of the Escorihuela Gascón winery.
There are some beautiful estançias in Argentina where you can stay and ride horses during the day. La Bamba de Areco, north-west of Buenos Aires is one-such place. The setting is stunning and the whole place is geared towards relaxation. There’s also a high chance you might get to see the international polo team practising or playing a game on their polo fields.
I’ve thought about spending a long weekend in Berlin for a long time, I think I was twenty when a friend told me they were going for New Year’s Eve and I think that’s what initially sowed the seed. Other friends have been since and told me I’d love it and recently another friend started working out there and told me that I should visit her; so this year I really must go.
The Neue Heimat looks like the place to head on a Friday night for cocktails (mixed by teams from bars across Berlin) there are also street food stands and trucks, and the night goes on til 4am. After a good night’s sleep breakfast at Oliv looks good, followed by a mid-morning coffee at The Barn (caffeine being a necessity after a late night). And then on to an exhibition, maybe at the recently opened C/O Berlin which shows cool photography and visual arts exhibitions, although being a die-hard Bauhaus fan I’d love to visit the Bauhaus Archiv
Voo Store is a minimalist fashion and homeware haven, the perfect place to buy a few “souvenirs” and then head to Type Hype for a few gifts for others. Projekt Klunkerkranich looks like a good spot to watch the sun go down and enjoy a drink or two, it’s on the roof of a shopping mall car park, a bit like Frank’s Café in London.
Like Berlin, Marrakech is another place I’ve planned to go for years. It sounds like a city that’s so alive and so beautiful. I’d love to stay in a traditional riad like the elegant Riad de Tarabel or the exquisite El Fenn, barter in the souks for rugs and leather goods, and get very clean in a hammam, maybe Les Bains de Marrakech.
Tea is the drink of choice for most Moroccans so it would be rude not to sip a pretty glass on a rooftop as the sun sets over the city. A visit to Jemaa el Fna after 6pm when all the food stalls set-up shop would be good for dinner one night or another night Le Tobsil for a huge feast of Moroccan specialities.
Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé took over the Jardin Majorelle in 1980, I’d love to visit the beautiful oasis they developed in Jacques Majorelle’s vision and the Saint Laurent memorial. And, if time allows, a trip out to the desert by horse to sit round a camp fire and sleep under the stars would be magical.
I came across photos of the Treehotel in Harads (Swedish Lapland) early in December when I was looking for interesting new architecture. Combining treehouses with modern architecture is a cool concept and the results are unusual pods that appear to hover in the trees, like spaceships. The idea came about when owners Britta and Kent Lindvall discovered that the beautiful land around them was being sold for logging, they contacted the landowner and offered to buy it from him. They then contacted architects they had met through Kent’s work as a fishing guide and the results are simply stunning.
I’ve fallen in love with the Mirrorcube, a reflective box that sleeps two high in the trees. There are no curtains as the reflective glass means they’re not necessary for privacy. However, this does raise one issue for me, when is the best time to go? In the middle of the summer the days are so long that the sun doesn’t go down. In the winter the temperature is so low that it can drop to -10°C but there’s also the chance of seeing the Northern Lights.
Photos: via Pinterest
This is the first post in my new travel section, I hope you like it!