Another different year
A whole year in Europe.
That’s a first for our “Year in Travel”-series.
Blaming the pandemic somehow doesn’t even seem fair anymore even though Covid-19 is still shaping our lives in unpredictable ways.
In Sardinia, we put on blinders to the whole situation deliberately for most of the time. Whenever we were back in civilisation, though, that became much more difficult – and as we travelled back up through Europe and back to Copenhagen, it became increasingly clear to us that this is something we’ll (probably) have to live with in some shape or form for a long time to come.
Pandemic or not, we have had a marvellous year.
Our time in Sardinia will always have a special place in our hearts. Northern Italy, Austria’s Tyrol region and Garmisch-Partenkirchen have shown us the hospitality (and beauty) of the Alps. And Copenhagen is our home.
Read on to hear all about where we went and what we did in 2021.
Table of contents
- A new year in Sardinia
- East Sardinian adventures
- From Firenze with love
- Lake views in Lago di Ledro
- A return to LA VIMEA
- A Dolomiti paradise
- More Tyrol (Wilder Kaiser & Wipptal)
- Back in Germany’s mountain capital
- Dear Copenhagen
- Visiting Victoria’s sister in London
- A week in the Mallorcan sun
- A trip to Germany’s Harz Mountains
- Christmas time in London
- Another city break in Malmö
- Christmas and New Year’s in Copenhagen
- Next year
A new year in Sardinia
2021 started exactly where we left 2020: In Chia, Sardinia.
Italy’s (and the Mediterranean’s) second largest island had been our home for about two months when 2021 rolled about, and little did we know at the time that we wouldn’t leave Sardinia before the middle of June.
By the second half of January, we felt like a change of scenery. So we moved from the south-west to the south-east to the small, sleepy town of Solanas.
Just like in Chia, nothing much happens here (except in summer). That meant we had the beach (and whole area, really!) virtually to ourselves into May.
Alex ran and biked the hilly countryside, we watched the sunset from the beach daily, ate lots of pasta and simply enjoyed life.
The pace was slow and many days looked alike. With such a gorgeous view we couldn’t complain.
Check out our Danish travel guide to Southern Sardinia for all the best beaches, areas and things to do (you can always use Google Translate or just look at the photos for inspiration).
East Sardinian adventures
After so long in South Sardinia, we were stoked to see a new part of the island before travelling on. We had been eyeing breathtaking photos of East Sardinia for some time, so that’s where we went in the beginning of June.
East Sardinia did not disappoint. On the contrary, it blew us away even more than we could have predicted from the photos.
This part of the island is rugged and jagged like nothing else, and the contrast between the dramatic peaks and the paradisical waters instantly put East Sardinia in category with the best of the best.
We left for the Italian mainland on June 9, meaning we had spent a little more than 7 months in Sardinia – by far the longest we’ve ever been in one place outside of Copenhagen!
In our Danish travel guide to Eastern Sardinia, you can see all of the best things to do and lots of photos of the amazing landscapes!
From Firenze with love
Having spent more than half a year in the countryside of Sardinia with nothing more than sporadic visits to Cagliari (which is a big city by Sardinian standards but not really compared to Florence), visiting Firenze, as it’s called in Italian, felt like a welcome change of pace.
Sure, cars (and art!) everywhere felt a bit overwhelming, but it also made us feel alive and we had such a great time wandering the UNESCO-listed historic centre trying to soak it all in – while eating as much gelato and pizza as we possibly could, of course.
Lake views in Lago di Ledro
After a few days of the hectic but romantic Italian city life, it felt really good to be back in nature at the beautiful Lago di Ledro – a kind of secret oasis tucked away between the mountains very close to the much bigger Lago di Garda in Northern Italy.
We had no plans here and just chilled by the lake, hiked in the mountains and sneaked in a visit to Riva del Garda where we had delicious vegan food at Officina Verde.
A return to LA VIMEA
After that short, magical stop, we revisited the incredible vegan hotel LA VIMEA, which we had previously visited in September of 2019.
This time around, the food was possibly even better.
“Vegan bliss” sums up the whole experience of staying here nicely!
A Dolomiti paradise
Right after our stay at LA VIMEA, we visited Hotel Paradiso Pure.Living – which is very awesomely located directly on the Seiser Alm / Alpe di Siusi plateau.
If you’re not super familiar with the Dolomites (yet!), that means the hotel is located on a plateau on a mountain with mountains all around it. Big yes.
This particular plateau is the largest high plateau in Europe and it’s the most wonderful place for hiking in summer (as we did) and for skiing in winter.
More Tyrol (Wilder Kaiser & Wipptal)
As we were making our way south from Copenhagen to Sardinia in October of 2020, we spent 12 beautiful autumn days in Austria.
Now we were back – this time in summer.
Back in Germany’s mountain capital
Garmisch-Partenkirchen was for sure our favourite stop in Germany on our way south in 2020, so revisiting this gem of a mountain town felt like a no-brainer going back north.
It’s interesting seeing the same place twice in different seasons, and we loved our summer days in GaPa.
As we hiked around the stunning Lake Eibsee back in October when it was barely above freezing, we talked about how perfect it must be in the summer to be able to cool down here.
Little did we think that future Alex and Victoria would do exactly so. Bathing in the shadow of Germany’s tallest mountain was a privileged experience.
9 months is the longest we’ve ever been away from our friends and family so returning to Copenhagen in July and seeing them all again was amazing.
Summer in Copenhagen is lovely. The sun barely sets, temperatures are pleasant and the whole atmosphere in the city screams “summer”.
We moved into our small apartment in Nørrebro, fixed it up and prioritised catching up with our favourite people over working or stressing about the future. It felt nice, and though we have never really doubted it, returning to Copenhagen really put in stone that this is our city.
We may not always want to live in a city, but Copenhagen will always be the city for us.
Visiting Victoria’s sister in London
Victoria’s sister Juliane lives in London with her boyfriend, and in the middle of September, we finally got around to visiting her.
London in late summer is perfect with balmy weather and (mostly) clear skies. We visited the usual tourist suspects, ate a plethora of vegan food and generally just had a wonderful time.
A week in the Mallorcan sun
We visited Mallorca for a week at the end of September/start of October and were blown away by the Balearic island’s natural beauty.
Mallorca is generally mostly known in Denmark as the go-to packaged holiday destination from the ’80s but in our experience, it’s clearly so much more than that.
Super pretty beaches, dramatically varied mountains with uniquely charming villages and a laid-back island vibe very conducive to relaxing made it the ideal late-summer escape.
A trip to Germany’s Harz Mountains
Kind of like Mallorca, the Harz Mountains in Germany are semi-known in Denmark as a place mostly older people like to go.
But that image is changing. Because both destinations definitely cater to all travellers – including us!
The Harz Mountains are Germany’s northernmost mountains making them the most easily reachable mountains from Denmark.
About 8 hours of train riding took us from our home in Copenhagen to Goslar, marking the beginning of four full days of adventure in the region.
Working with the local tourist board, we got to experience some of the highlights of the Harz – all in pretty autumn colours.
Christmas time in London
Victoria spent a few days at the end of November and beginning of December visiting her sister in London (again).
Christmas markets had just opened and they spent much of their time walking around the city enjoying the decorations and lights. Thankfully, there was also plenty of cosy sofa time watching Harry Potter.
Another city break in Malmö
We visited Malmö twice in the last quarter of 2021.
First time, we mainly went shopping (and eating) on our own accord on a day trip, and the second time we worked with Malmö Tourism to promote Malmö as a lovely Christmas destination – which it most definitely is!
Christmas and New Year’s in Copenhagen
Last time we celebrated Christmas with our families in Copenhagen was in 2018, so it felt very right to stay home in December this year.
Both of our parents are divorced and have new partners, so we get 4 Christmasses! We feel very grateful.
Between Christmas and New Year’s, we spent two nights at a hotel in Copenhagen to relax and reflect on 2021.
We talked about all of our best memories and successes from the past year as well as our dreams and plans for 2022. We can’t wait to see what it has in store for us!
So far, we don’t have any specific plans for the new year. We hope to go on both short and long trips but we’ll wait and see what’s possible along the road.
What about you?
Did you go on any adventures – in your own country or abroad – in this crazy year? And do you have any plans for 2022?
Let us know in the comments. We would love to know.
Thanks for reading this far and we wish you all the very best in the coming year!