2018 draws to an end, so let’s have a look at some of the highlights I experienced this year in terms of travel, food and lifestyle. Luckily this year has been filled with amazing experiences and I’ve decided to divide my highlights into two or even more blog posts. Read on to find out more about my personal TRAVEL HIGHLIGHTS 2018
My first trip of 2018 happened in March and took me to my homeland Germany. Visiting my family in Munich is a highlight on its own of course, but I got ‘lucky’ enough to experience a good amount of snow and icy temperatures like -15°. I haven’t been home in winter for a while, so this was very exciting for me and took me back to my childhood. At the same time I once again realised that I’m not made for winter and prefer the weather conditions in Cape Town.
The main reason for my visit to Germany was to attend the biggest tourism show in the world – ITB Berlin. Arriving in the German capital, I finally got to meet ‘online-friend’ Rakesh from Nepal, who owns an ethical tour company in Kathmandu http://mystikmountains.com/. This had to be celebrated with some traditional Gluhwein, before checking in at our spacious AirBnB. It was the first time for me staying at an AirBnB and a pleasant experience. Our place was in a nice area, close to shops, restaurants and trains. It was easy to find a favourite breakfast spot just steps from our apartment called Spreegold – https://www.spreegold.com/. If you ever happen to be in Berlin, go and try their vegan breakfasts. Yes, Berlin is a vegan mecca, but I loved the vibes and food at Spreegold. I believe they have a few outlets across Berlin, so just check their website for locations. Food wasn’t the reason for the Berlin trip in this case, but attending ITB was exciting, educational and successful. The best part of course was being reunited with my long-term blogger friend Elena from Creativelena. Since her dad is in the travel industry as well, I got to attend press conferences and met amazing people along the way. There’s NO way to put ITB into words really, but it was a great feeling to be present at such an important travel show as a travel blogger. Elli and Rakesh, I cannot thank you both enough for this experience and highlight of 2018. I’m definitely planning to go back to ITB in March 2019 and connect with more bloggers, tourism boards and see friends from across the globe. Not forgetting a vegan food tour with Vegan Tours Berlin http://vegantoursberlin.com/
DUBAI & ABU DHABI
It’s no secret, that I’m a huge fan of Dubai and it was a highlight to be back in this vibrant city for a 3-day stop-over on the way to Munich in June. I booked a room at one of my favourite hotels in Dubai, the Sheraton Jumeirah Hotel. I wrote a blog post on this hotel a while back – you can read it here: http://www.theveganrainbow.com/travel/the-sheraton-jumeirah-beach-resort-dubai/
If you are interested in Dubai or what to do during a 3 day stop-over, then definitely check out my previous blog post: http://www.theveganrainbow.com/travel/3-days-in-dubai-experience-the-magic/ The few days in Dubai were an absolute highlight and it was amazing to be back in the heat, browsing the glamourous malls, going up Burj Khalifa for breath-taking views and to enjoy the delicious vegan options from the breakfast buffet at the Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort.
I think one of my personal highlights of the year, was a day-trip to Abu Dhabi. Visiting the beautiful Sheikh Zayed Mosque was just incredible and touring the new Louvre Abu Dhabi an educational experience. Not forgetting the 50° around lunch-time.. a highlight on its own for sure.
My home town Munich is always a big highlight of course. I should do a whole blog post on my beautiful city and will most probably do so next year. During my visit to Munich in March, I got to know an amazing vegan-friendly hotel, the Relexa Hotel Munich https://www.relexa-hotel-muenchen.de/en and fell in love with their delicious breakfast. If you ever plan to visit the Bavarian capital, this should be your address. It’s centrally located and the staff is beyond fantastic. The hotel even offers a “ladies’ executive floor”. I hope to visit them again in March 2019. If you’d like to find out more about their vegan offering, you can read it all here: http://www.theveganrainbow.com/allgemein/vegan-friendly-hotel-tip-relexa-hotel-munich/
LAKE EIBSEE (Germany)
Looking back at my life in Munich, I now regret that I haven’t visited this place sooner. Not even a 2hrs drive from Munich and you find yourself in the Alps and at breath-taking Lake Eibsee, from where you can get stunning views of Germany’s highest Mountain the Zugspitze. The cable car station is also next to the lake, in case you want to stand on top of this enormous mountain and enjoy endless views. My mom and I spent some time by the lake and tucked into a lunch at a terrace restaurant right by the lake. To my big surprise they even had a vegan dish on the menu. It was delicious and this day definitely counts as a highlight of 2018.
EMIRATES BUSINESS CLASS (Airline)
Who doesn’t dream of flying business class? For me it has always been a dream, so you can imagine my face, when I got upgraded from Economy to Business Class on an Emirates flight from Munich to Dubai in March. This was a wonderful surprise and probably the best 5 hours on a plane of my life. Emirates is operating the Munich-Dubai route on the A380 and the business class is located on the upper deck. The service, food and experience was just WOW.
It was my first time sleeping in a bed on a plane and I could definitely get used to that. Well, I did it again in July, when I flew from Munich to Dubai en-route to Cape Town. This time around I upgraded myself as I just got my Silver Status with Emirates. Since I mostly use Emirates, I’m a Skywards member. About three days before my flight, they sent an email with an amazing upgrade offer.. I simply couldn’t resist and enjoyed a relaxing 5 hours in business class again. On arrival at Dubai Airport, I spent some time checking out the business class lounge. There’s nothing better than having a relaxing journey on a long-haul trip.
MOSSEL BAY (South Africa)
Last but not least a big highlight of 2018 has to be Mossel Bay, a hidden gem along South Africa’s Garden Route. This small town and its warming people got a special place in my heart and I’m grateful, that Mossel Bay Tourism & Riaan Jordaan gave me the opportunity to explore this wonderful place on earth. It turned out that Mossel Bay is a vegan foodie heaven and I still have lots of content to share on my time there. You can read previous blog posts here and always remember: #MosselBayHasMore
Vegan Eats Mossel Bay: http://www.theveganrainbow.com/africa/south-africa/vegan-eats-mossel-bay/
Day trip to Oudtshoorn & Surval Hotel: http://www.theveganrainbow.com/africa/south-africa/oudtshoorn-day-trip-surval-olive-estate/
Every trip is unique and a highlight, so I could go on forever. Here’s to more travel adventures in 2019. Some local trips are already in the pipeline and perhaps even a press trip to Nepal is on the cards. I’m excited for what 2019 will have in store and now it’s your turn: what was your personal travel highlight of 2018?
Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful Christmas 🎄🎁
Disclaimer: I was invited to try the vegan breakfast at the Relexa Hotel Munich / The Mossel Bay trip was sponsored by Mossel Bay Tourism. All other destinations / activities mention in this article is unpaid advertisement / not a collaboration of any sorts.