GoNOMAD Travels: Where We Went in 2011
GoNOMAD's writers are also extensive travelers. Hey, how else would we be able to create so much unique travel content if we sat in our offices and never left? Below is a compendium of the many travels our staff and regular contributors took during this year, we hope this inspires you to make your own fantastic journeys in 2012!
In 2011, I got back to my normal pace of
In June I joined 30,000 other bicyclists to ride the streets of Montreal; first during a 17 km night ride, and the next day 50 km with an even bigger throng. This city is very European and deserves its crown as a Canadian foodie
paradise. Later that month I discovered the gleaming wine-lovers capital of Bordeaux, and in the Aquitaine countryside, visited a Palombiere, or hunting lodge. Then I spent the weekend in a chateau in the Dordogne to survey the local gastronomy.
Then a trip to Wales provided a bunch of new culinary treats especially the morning spent foraging for porcini mushrooms. In November I visited Hana, Maui and the tiny island of Molokai, which couldn't be any more different. One island is a paradise, and another is remote and barely inhabited.
Associate Editor Stephen Hartshorne
Stephen and his daughter Sarah enjoyed a delightful trip to Squam Lakes in
Holderness, New Hampshire, where the movie 'On Golden Pond' was filmed. They saw a performance of the play on which the movie was based, directed by the author, Ernest Thomson. They also visited lots of galleries and craft studios, dined like royalty, and took a boat tour of the Lakes on a glorious Sunday afternoon.
He took a short trip to Williamsburg, Massachusetts to attend a three-day intensive welding workshop at Snow Farm, a local crafts education center where he fashioned a number of brilliant works of art from metal scraps he found in the welding workshop.
Stephen also took a tour of eleven cities in Germany. Beginning in Wittenburg, he visited many of the important places in the life of Martin Luther, and walking through the cobblestone streets of these medieval cities and visiting historic sites, he gained a sense of how important Luther is to the spirit of the German people, not just as the founder of a new religion, but as the founder of the German traditions of music and education.The second half of his tour took him to the fairy-tale palaces of the Rhine-Main Region. He visited Hanau, the home of the Brothers Grimm and the magnificent Philippsruhe Castle. He also visited the Johannes Gutenburg Museum in Mainz and learned about the invention of movable type and gambled at the casino in wiesbaden where Dostoyevsky lost all his dough.
While he was away in Germany, New England was blanketed with two feet of wet snow which knocked out the electricity for three days all over the Pioneer Valley. Fortunately the snow had all melted when he returned!
I started the year with a jaunt down to Rincon Puerto Rico, the Caribbean surfing capital with huge swells, great food and some of the most die-hard wave riders in the world. The lodging choices are all different and reasonable. At evening time, the knights of the board ensure a lively bar scene and love is in the air. An added plus is Puerto Rico's accessibility.
While exploring some of the best manor houses surrounding Dublin I managed to play the Bodhran (Irish Drum) after just one lesson, at Eric Clapton’s one-time Irish home. Thankfully the band was very patient. Meeting the best chefs on the country and even getting some pointers added up to one incredible trip. Every trip to Ireland is a pleasure but this one was extraordinary because of the sumptous accommodations…
I have always had my own thoughts on East Germany, mostly based on old spy movies. After a visit to Potsdam and the surrounding countryside it was out with the old ideas and in with the new. East Germany maintains its own identity even as it continues to meld into the unified Germany, it remains a bit different and wonderful. The pace is a slower and the food is hearty. We stayed in a variety of castles and manor homes.
This year I started a new GoNOMAD Blog called Checking In to share some of the world’s most unique and interesting lodgings I have stayed in over the years with readers . Guest bloggers will also share some great finds.
Tomorrow I end the year with a road trip to Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico, to revisit the spirit, culture and foods that make New Mexico the Land of Enchantment. As a follow up to my photo gallery of Vermont this Fall, three cameras are packed and ready to go. All in all a very good year of sharing what the world offers.
Travel Blogger Will McGough
Puerto Rico (February): I’m a big fan of the Latin culture, and exploring Old San Juan was a great experience. Zip-lining stole the show, though – flying like superman 800ft in the air.
Los Angeles (September): I went for the Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival (TASTE) and came back with a photo of myself and Giada. The food and booze was icing on the cake.
Punta Cana Dominican Republic (September): The pictures from the Catamaran ride pretty much tell the story – I can’t help but smile when I’m on the water.
Finger Lakes, New York (October): For the first time in my life, I came to understand why people miss the seasons. Something else I had never done: Wine tasting in the snow.
Bahamas (November): Two things I never thought I would do were accomplished on this trip: Swimming with wild pigs and feeding french fries to an endangered species.
Travel Writer Cindy Bigras
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