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Oh wow! It’s hard to believe 2016 is almost over. How did it end so fast? To me, it feels like it barely started! Working 9 to 5, traveling, having a partner, family & and running a blog on top of that is not always easy. But then again, the past 12 months have been filled with lots of wonderful adventures and moments to make up for all that hardship. So why not join me on a little recap?

Arosa ski resort switzerland

My year started in Switzerland. I really hate my birthday, so each year I try to book a little trip abroad to celebrate that arbitrary day so many people make such a big fuss about (yes, I really don’t care about birthdays *grin*). Arosa is a wonderful and very charming little village in the Swiss alps. It is also home to a top class ski resort and quite a lot of excellent hotels.

me at the spa of the Tschuggen Grand hotel Arosa

I decided for the amazing Tschuggen Grand Hotel, as it offered a gigantic spa area and a lovely Michelin starred Restaurant. Is there a better way to forget you are already on the way to the big 4 than soaking away in a perfect pool?

The Castel Sant' Angelo in Rome seen from the banks of the Tiber River

In March I took my partner to Rome for our anniversary, where we had an exceptional 5 days fill with cultural highlights. I wrote quite an extensive guide on 20 amazing things to do in Rome, you might want to check out. Rome is one of my favorite cities in the world and March is really the perfect time to visit.

We stayed at the more than lovely Palazzo Dama, which only opened a couple of months before. The little luxury hotel is located right in the heart of the city and surprised me with its wonderful interior design. The staff was above friendly as well (read more about it here).

Gylen Castle ruin on Kerrerea Island near Oban Scotland

After Rome, I went on a road trip to Scotland with a couple of friends. It was my first trip to Scotland. We were all prepared for two weeks full of rain and damp weather. But the sun was shining constantly – so much that I even managed to get a sunburn, can you imagine?

The lighthouse at the Neist point on the Isle of Skye in Scotland

Of all the things we saw, the Isle of Skye surprised me the most. To me, it felt like a little piece of paradise. Wondering what to do on the Isle of Skye? Read my little guide on 10 amazing things to do there. I definitely plan to return soon!

Luxury travel in Uzbekistan on the Silk Road

In Summer, I spent a month in Central Asia. Visiting the wonders along the ancient Silk Road has always been a big dream of mine. A dream that finally came true. You’ll find my detailed itinerary here.

The Registan Ensemble in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, at night

The first stop was Uzbekistan. Much to my surprise, half of my friends and colleagues never really heard of the country. Which is quite the shame, because Uzbekistan is one of the most wonderful countries on this planet. Samarkand impressed me the most, which is why I wrote an extensive article about this breathtaking city along the Silk Road.

Me standing on a rock an Kyrgyzstan and contemplating my travels around the world

From Samarkand, I traveled onwards to Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan was just as amazing as Uzbekistan, but utterly different. While the latter boasts ancient architecture and culture, the first is all about nature and beautiful landscape. It’s hard to describe with words alone, just how beautiful it all was, but I hope my pictures will be able to give you a good impression.

Son-kul lake with two yurts standing near its shore in Kyrgyzstan

As researching my itinerary for Kyrgyzstan proofed to be quite difficult, I compiled a little list of my favorite things to do in Kyrgyzstan with lots of beautiful pictures to convince you to go. I also wrote a little packing guide, as there are just so many important things you might forget, but won’t be able to buy there. That being said, it was the trip of a lifetime and I can recommend Kyrgyzstan and it’s people from the bottom of my heart.

A waitress carrying a heavy load of beer mugs in a beer tent of oktoberfest

I came back to Munich in time for Oktoberfest. This year, a lot of tourists stayed away from the biggest beer festival in the world. I know, this sounds like a turn-off, but it was actually a wonderful thing to behold. Normally the beer tents and beer gardens on the festival grounds are so full of tourists that it’s super hard to find a seat. This year, there was actually some room to breathe, which felt like a very welcome change. (Don’t miss my insider’s survival guide to Oktoberfest, by the way).

Then, my uncle passed away in October. I combined the funeral with a trip to the Spreewald. As my uncle loved to travel as well (and actually had two cruised planned for the next months), I was sure he wouldn’t mind.

Me on a private boat tour through the spreewald forest near Lübbenau

Sad as the whole affair was, the Spreewald national park surprised me all the way. I still can’t fathom why I never visited it before, especially since it’s only a couple of hours away. Read all about my trip here.

The City of Dresden, Germany, seen from the banks of the river Elbe

I also visited Dresden this fall. My grandma is living there, so I really know the city like it was my own hometown. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to pen down my favorite places in Dresden, as there are not a lot of guides around the web to this beautiful, beautiful German city. As usual, I stayed at the Taschenbergpalais luxury hotel, right in the middle of the city.

At the end of the year, I went to Austria on a little skiing vacation with the company I work for. We spent a long weekend in famous Saalbach, where we had to most amazing skiing conditions ever. As it was the weekend before Christmas, there was hardly a soul around to disturb us on the slopes. Just perfect!

My beloved grandfather passed away 4 days before Christmas. It’s still very hard to accept the truth, even though he wanted me to cherish the future and not dwell overly long on things past. Either way, I didn’t spend Christmas abroad. Last year I went to Paris, and the year before I spent in Moscow, but this year, after two deaths in the family, I felt some quite time at home would be so much more appropriate.

The Christmas market and Christmas tree in Munich

Of course, I went to the Christmas market in Munich (well, before the tragic terror attack in Berlin, that is). I also didn’t miss the chance to dine at my favorite Michelin-Star Restaurant in Germany, though. It’s part of the fantastic Sonnenalp resort, which also has its own private ski lift, golf course, stables and so many other unusual amnesties making it worth a special trip. As you can imagine, the whole family didn’t feel all that festive, but we all agreed that life has to go on!

And now I am sitting here, counting the last hours of 2016. It has been an eventful year, with many joyful, but also a lot of sad moments. Life is not always easy. I sometimes wish it was.

I will be celebrating New Year’s Eve at home. I’ll cook a little (my secret hobby) and open up a bottle of my favorite champagne. Maybe we’ll have some truffles, maybe a little caviar and certainly some French cheese for desert. And you know what, if I feel tired before midnight, I might even retire early and call it a luxury!

My travel highlights 2016. Read about all my adventures in the past 12 months on the road. click for more.

Did you have any spectacular moments in 2016? I would love to hear about them in the comments below. Are you spending New Year’s at home or going out for a big party? Let me know!

 

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