Sometimes, a place catches you by surprise. It might take your breath away with its beauty, draw you into a dance with its energy, or simply catch you unawares by showing you a side you hadn’t expected. I love it when this happens – and as I aim to travel with less expectations these days, I’m happy to say it happens more and more! Our prompt for Travel Tuesday this month is Unexpected Destinations, and as soon as Amy suggested it some of my recent trips instantly popped into my head. Do you have a story to add? Pop it in the link-up below!
I have to be honest – a big part of the reason I visited Budapest last year was because that was where my friend Kelly would be for the August bank holiday, as she was travelling around Europe at the time. But I’m so glad that’s where she was, as in our four days I got a great introduction to a city full of incredible stories, beautiful architecture, and an energy that captivated me. I’d never visited anywhere that had been behind the Iron Curtain before, and received a chilling and eye-opening introduction to some of the early history in the House of Terror museum. I also had a chance to survey the city from the stunning St Stephen’s Cathedral, see musical dancing fountains on the gorgeous Margit Island and experience one of the many thermal spas that Budapest is known for. Now I’m a big fan of Budapest – it was a great long weekend escape, and I know there is so much more to discover.
I can’t even remember quite how Lisbon was chosen as the destination of my October holiday – although I’m sure it had quite a bit to do with how warm it was predicted to be – and was! Once there I never regretted the decision for a second, as Lisbon charmed me with quirky architecture, including the beautiful azulejo tiles on every possible surface, and a multitude of different neighbourhoods, from the beachy cool of Cascais, to the stunning views from Castelo de Sao Jorge and Cristo Rei. I was also so grateful that we had enough time to make a day-trip to incredible Sintra, where castles and palaces seem to hide round every corner. And I could hardly forget the delicious pasteis de nata, which we made a point of sampling at least once a day… all in the interests of research, of course!
While bumping into elephants was without a doubt my most unexpected moment in Copenhagen, what also caught me by surprise was the many beautiful colours of the city, from the beautiful painted houses of Nyhavn to those of the fresh food delights, including my new favourite delicacy, smørrebrød.
Where are your unexpected destinations? Whether you ended up somewhere unplanned, or like me a city caught you by surprise, we’d love to hear your stories in Travel Tuesday!
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