I feel like there’s a stigma attached to visiting the same place more than once.
Perhaps that’s just in the world of travel blogging, or it may even be something I’ve fabricated myself, but what with all these ’50 places to see before you die/turn 30′ lists, there seems to be a pressure to tick it all off in some sort of mad panic. Revisiting somewhere is purely time-wasting.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m unlikely to go back to the same city year in year out, stay in the same hostel and retrace my exact footsteps, but some locations demand more than one weekend of your life. Maybe you didn’t factor in enough time, or you didn’t realise quite how much you’d love it. What if you returned home, inspired by your visit, read up on the history and culture, and need to return back with new eyes, with the background of all that you’ve learned. This has definitely happened to me before. I’ve been to Stockholm three times, had visited Berlin three times before I moved here, and every time I visit London I find something new to do and see. In fact, a number of things on my to-visit list are places I’ve visited before. Sure, I hope to see plenty of new places in 2015, but if time and money are on my side I will more than happily re-explore the following. And I will not be ashamed one little bit!
This is part one, Thassos and Copenhagen – parts two and three coming soon!
If I were to choose a beach holiday destination, Greece would win every time. With beautiful weather, relaxed and friendly locals, feta cheese, and a perfectly rugged coastline (think Mamma Mia), the Greek islands are by far the best I’ve visited in Europe. Having been to Corfu a couple of times with friends, as well as Zakynthos, my favourite by far is Thassos. Situated in the Aegean Sea, as opposed to the Ionian like the others, Thassos is authentically Greek, famed for its honey; there are tourists, sure, but no party resorts, and plenty of locals too. It also differs from many other Greek islands geographically; it’s round, without many bays or peninsulas, and its terrain is mountainous, with a 1,200m high peak in the centre. The towns are pretty much exclusively along the coast. The airport that serves it is on the mainland, so it’s not as accessible as its Ionian counterparts either, though a short boat ride on a hot summer day is nothing to complain about.
Staying in Potos, a town in the south, we found everything we wanted within walking distance; beaches, bars and restaurants, rocky footpaths and the harbour. Since my family are pretty active, we rented bikes and walked along the coast, also taking a boat trip out to some of the less accessible beaches and swimming a little further off shore.
Visited: August 2011
Have I mentioned that Stockholm and Berlin are two of my favourite cities? Yes, perhaps I have. The first is ‘the capital of Scandinavia’ and a water-y city, spread across a number of islands on the edge of the Baltic Sea, with buildings dating from the 13th century and a royal family among its residents. The second, my home of three months, is a metropolitical playground for adults, a city of sin with a shaky past. In many ways, Copenhagen fits perfectly between the two.
There’s no doubt that it’s a Scandinavian city – the brightly coloured townhouses at Nyhavn reflect those at Gamla Stan, Stockholm perfectly, and it too has a close relationship with the Baltic Sea. However, it has a more relaxed approach to alcohol and marijuana and seems to have a far younger crowd, with almost 100,000 students. On my European road trip in the summer of 2013, Copenhagen was one of my favourite destinations. The weather was on my side, that’s for sure, and I stayed in a fabulous hostel (see link below) but renting a bike and cycling along the waterfront was a true highlight of my trip.
What do you think about going back to see somewhere for a second time?