Last year I finally got back into my travelling mode. Here are the twelve places that I visited that really stand out in my memory, and to which I come back often in these grey winter days in Belgrade. Thankfully this year I also discovered how easy it is to edit and post videos on TikTok so I can revisit them often :p
The hype is justified. Sils Maria is a stupendous village and no wonder Nietzsche loved spending time there. The museum itself is okay, but it is the whole area that feels otherworldly. The Post Hotel restaurant and a little bar by the bus stop are great places to grab a bite or a beer.
For a long time, I unfairly wrote off Mallorca as a tourist hellhole. While certain parts of the city and the island are indeed overrun, but Palma maintains its charm especially off season. The area around St Nicholas’s church is especially amazing, however there is nothing that compares to visiting its massive Cathedral in the morning, as the sunlight is pouring through its huge stained glass window.
I’ve dreamt of visiting Mont-Saint-Michel for ages and it is well worth the trip. I managed to see it in both the morning and the evening, and being able to bike there from my hotel was an added bonus as the route took me around very nice fields of Normandy. While the abbey is stunning, the experience is a bit ruined by the touristification of everything around it. Nevertheless, you forget it all when you see its sandstone bathed in the colours of the Sun setting over the English channel.
Villa Kerylos, Beaulieu sur Mer
Another long time obsession of mine, this villa was conceived by a French Jewish Nietzschean polymath as an homage to Ancient Greece . It is a testament of the ambition of pre-WWII intellectuals and their smart blending of ancient and modern worlds (the villa next door belonged to none other than Gustave Eiffel), which was supplaned by the Modernity’s obsession with progress and ahistoricism.
Chipperfield extension of Kunsthaus Zurich
David Chipperfield is my favourite contemporary architect and Zurich’s Kunsthaus is one of my favorurite museums, both for its collection and its layout. The long awaited extension, which opened in 2020, is amazing and the story of its (infamous) benefactor Emil Georg Bührle really does give one an insight into the funny interplay between money, industry, politics and the art world.
Zagreb’s food scene grew massively in the past few years, however given my love of trad cooking (vs more ambitious haute cuisine), Ficlek is the place that completely blew me away. Truely everything on the menu is amazing (bloodsausage and strudel are stand outs) and the decor is superb.
The only thing better than being wowed by a place that you long yearned to see, is being blown away by something that you never knew existed and that you stumbled upon randomly. The charming village of Aubterre sur Dronne, and its impressive underground church which is a sort-of copy of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, were certainly places I knew nothing about that had me floored.
Little gem of a town that you can enjoy even if you have no interest in wine. The catacombs and its underground church are worth a visit as they show how France developed and how the many discontinuities in its history (the Hundred Years war, Reformation, the Revolution) shaped its provincial cities.
Another long time obssesion. The beers at the bar are good, and the view is next to none.
My long time favourite haunt in Chelsea. No better place for a pint and a burger.
Les Tartes de Francoise, Sablon Brussels
The whole area around Sablon is very cute, but I never had a better lemon tart in my life.
Another great little town in Mallorca. The old school train ride from Palma is great, while there is plenty to see and do, from chilling on the nice main square to checking out great pieces of Mallorcan Art Nouveau, such as the Can Prunera museum. Make sure you get the lemon and orange jams to take home.