Yesterday you heard from the Starry-Eyed Writers; today it’s the turn of a few of the readers. Since you’re reading this, you’re also one of the gang, so add your comments below!
The Starry-Eyed Travellers:
Iain:Iain Mallory: The legend that is Mallory On Travel.
Kate O’Grady: The Accidental Pilgrim falling in love with South Korea
Krista Bjorn: The Rambling Tart building a beautiful life.
Nerea Prieto de Apraiz: The Spanish chocolate connoisseur supreme.
1. What was your best travel moment this year?
Krista: Being adopted by the owners of a bed and breakfast I stayed at on the island of Gozo.
Kate T: Going to Switzerland for lunch with the lovely Travel Belles ladies was a definite highlight – it was my first time in Switzerland, and I never thought I’d be able to say I’d popped over to another country just for lunch! The best part was the journey though: a slow climb through the mountains by train, and a leisurely journey back to Italy by boat – with the bonus of great company.
Iain: Visiting Meteora was very special for me, as I have always wanted to visit, but my first-ever press trip which was to the French Midi-Pyrenees probably tops the lot.
Nerea: There were beautiful moments during my trip to Perú. One of the most moving was talking to Andrés, a 12 year old orphan kid, in the lodging we stayed in the Valle del Colca. He was living with the owner´s family and had plans to study to be a guide.
2. Where do you hope to go next year?
Kate O: I’m hoping to spend Western New Year in Seoul, South Korea, then Asian New Year (end of Jan) in Nagasaki, Japan. Then what I’m really looking forward to is my trip home to Ireland next August. It will be my first time home in 17 months!
Iain: I am hoping for and expecting some big things this year, but one destination I really want to visit before it changes too much is Cuba.
Kate T: In February I’ll finally be visiting Istanbul, a city that’s appealed to me for many years now. I can’t wait to finally explore the Blue Mosque, wander the souks and sip Turkish apple tea. I’m also hoping that 2012 will be the year I finally make it to South America.
Krista: Tasmania and Bulgaria
3. What simple pleasure are you looking forward to at Christmas?
Iain: Staying with a vegetarian makes this one easy – a good turkey dinner probably. I’m also looking forward to spending sometime at a German Christmas market, which I haven’t done in years.
Nerea: Enjoying my family. My niece and my nephew (4 year olds) and going to the mountains a couple of days with my friends, if possible.
Krista: Watching beloved Christmas movies with my guy, hot buttered popcorn, spiced wine.
Kate O: Good food and good wine with good friends at a little shindig we’re planning for Christmas Eve. Then on Christmas Day, my sister and I will be playing with some utterly gorgeous kiddies at a local orphanage for a Christmas party run by T-HOPE Asia.
4. Where will you be this Christmas?
Kate T: With family in Lancashire. For me, that’s what Christmas is all about.
Kate O: I will be in Ulsan, South Korea………pining for my Dad’s roast Turkey!
Iain:I have two trips to Lucerne and Cologne planned, but will be back in Salford for Christmas.
Nerea:In Vitoria (Basque Country)
5. If you could spend Christmas in any country in the world, which would you choose?
Nerea: Anywhere with my family. In a warm climate, not to hot, for a change. If I daydream, in a beautiful tropical island.
Kate T: I do love the build-up to Christmas in Spain, with the smell of roasted chestnuts in the street and the nativity scenes everywhere, but I think I’d quite like to spend it somewhere snowy one year – maybe Switzerland.
Kate O: Hmmm, let’s see….anywhere in the world, eh? Well, assuming that money is also no object, I’d have to go for a chalet in the Swiss Alps, in the Engadin to be precise. This is the place where ‘Heidi’ was filmed. Add to that ‘DeDe’s Delicatessen’ with its 13 page menu of crepes and the place becomes heaven on earth!
Christmas Quick-Fire Questions
Fine dining or homely cooking?
Unanimous vote for Homely Cooking, though Kate O claims her version IS fine dining!
Christmas Day or Christmas Eve?
Kate T chose Christmas Day; Nerea & Krista opted for Christmas Eve; and, feeling contrary, Iain and Kate O said Boxing Day!