Here’s a few that I’ve been to – and highly recommend:
I ended up in Bilbao, Spain visiting the Guggenheim Museum when a planned bus trip to Barcelona was full and Bilbao was next on the ticket list. One of my favorite travel blunders with the most spectacular results! Same trip that landed me in Saint Jean de Luz. Lucky girl, I am, in all my terrible planning.
The Chicago Architecture Foundation boat tour is gold. I’ve been on it multiple times as a local to the city and still learned something new every time. The walking tour is also worth a look if you can.
While I haven’t attended the Cherry Blossom festival in Japan, I’ll happy add a visit to Japan as a top recommendation any day! If you do visit, try to visit Lake Biwa’s stellar freshwater aquarium (say hi to the massive salamanders for me!) and then checkout the Birdman Rally. Students from the polytechnic colleges build flying machines and they are incredible. This isn’t like Red Bull’s Flutag where silly machines launch off a platform. This is real science and its inspirational!
I’m going to spend the evening dreaming about my favorites on this travel wishlist. Tell me which are your favorites? Have you been to any of these places?
I spent one wonderful day in St. Jean de Luz in the Basque region of France three years ago, and since that day, I can’t get the place out of my head. When a place speaks to one’s heart so loudly, it should be added to the re-visit list, right?
While traveling in the Basque region of Spain, we took a bus up the coast and into France and landed here. Accidentally, and luckily, our stop was during the festival of Saint Jean, the patron saint of the city. A magical experience indeed as the entire city dresses exclusively in black and red, parades through the town and celebrates its history with a full band playing music. Had we not been wearing black dresses, we would’ve stuck out as being as lost as we were.
Visit the town in early June (check for exact dates at the Saint Jean de Luz tourism site) and spend a few days enjoying the calm pace of life, wonderful music, and kind shop owners. Be sure to enjoy the light sea food dishes which blend traditional French cuisine with that of a fishing port town. Stroll up and down the streets with little planning for the best experience, but be sure to spend a few hours on the luxurious beaches to truly experience a bit of a European vacation.
In my 26 short years, I’ve been blessed. Incredibly so. I’ve breathed in the air of three continents. Attempted (and graciously failed) to speak four languages with local people. Countless traditions and holidays. But most of all, I’ve been hit with a long-standing case of wanderlust. A few places I’ve been are below. Enjoy.