5 Cities on My Travels That Won My Heart
It's been a while since I've shared a travel post and since I'm currently exploring gorgeous Bulgaria, I feel inspired and thought it would be the perfect time to do so!
My husband and and I have been nomads for around 3 years now and this has taken us to countries and cities I never in my wildest dreams thought I would visit.
Here are 5 cities on my travels that have absolutely won my heart.
Since I'm in Bulgaria, it only seems fitting to mention Sofia first. Having just left Bulgaria's beautiful capital last night for Plovdiv (another lovely city in Bulgaria) I can honestly say I can't help but miss it already.
My husband and I stayed in Sofia last autumn and even though it rained almost every day for the 10 days we were there, we loved it. We loved it so much that we decided we had to spend more time there this summer.
Food is delicious and not pricey at all, the people are so friendly which is something that always makes a difference for me and the Alexander Nevsky cathedral (pictured above) is one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture I've ever laid eyes on.
Also...if you're a curry monster like me, although not Bulgarian cuisine, the Taj Mahal Indian restaurant is well worth a visit, it's the best curry I have ever had! If it is the true Bulgarian food experience you're after (trust me it's some of the most delicious food I've ever eaten) I highly recommend Sofia's free food tour called 'Balkan Bites'. Not only will you be introduced to some amazing traditional food and restaurants but you'll also learn the fascinating history of Bulgarian food.
Latvia is a country I would never have thought to visit before I became a nomad and I'm so glad I did because of all the cities I have travelled to, Riga is one of my absolute favourites.
What I particularly loved about Riga was it's contrast of old and new. Walking through a breathtaking pedestrian-only medieval old town you could see gorgeous gothic and art nouveau architecture co-existing with night clubs and modern bars and restaurants.
Boasting a very rich history and a very obvious love of cats, it was difficult for me not to fall in love with Latvia's capital. I got a serious cat-love vibe in Riga, there was a building with a cat atop it, clothing and novelty items with cats on them (I got a fluffy hat with cat ears on it) and even a cat cafe. If you love cats (and I know that's a lot of my fellow bloggers), Riga is the place of your dreams!
I've written about and shared pictures from my visits to Macedonia's capital city here on the blog before, but I'm mentioning it again because it truly is one of my favourite cities in the world.
Skopje was one of the first places we stayed when we became nomads, we stayed throughout the whole of August and loved every bit of it. When my husband was looking on Sky Scanner for cheap flights out of London, Skopje was one of the first on the list and I have to admit at that time I hadn't travelled much and had never heard of Skopje. Even though I was aware that Macedonia was a country, it's not one I immediately would have added to my travel bucket list. I was missing out!
The weather was gorgeous (sometimes a bit too hot admittedly), the food is amazing, which is something I always look for as a foodie, and it is home to such a rich and fascinating history. Skopje is home to Mother Teresa, the biggest preserved bazaar in the Balkans- The Old Bazaar and Kale Fortress. Just a 45 minute bus ride will also take you to one of the most beautiful sites you will ever see- Matka Canyon.
We've been to Skopje twice in total and the 2nd time round we even took my husband's parents and brother and they adored it just as much!
I've never met anyone who hasn't visited the loud, colourful streets of Bangkok and not had the time of their lives. I LOVE Bangkok.
Bangkok has to have been the biggest culture shock for me. Beforehand I had been travelling mostly around Europe which of course was different culturally to the UK but not on as large a scale as Bangkok.
Thailand's capital was such a sensual experience. Everything smelled different, it was bursting with colour and sound, the flavours of the foods were wonderfully different and everyone was smiling!
On top of all of that the temples around the city, the emerald Buddha and the Grand Palace were some of the most stunning things I'd ever seen.
Last December I had the pleasure of staying in Malta for 3 whole months. Malta has always been a place I wanted to visit because my mum said it reminded her of the Island she grew up on (St Helena). It's of course a favourite holiday destination for us Brits and the weather, even at it's worst, is nowhere near as bad as it gets in Britain. I've never met anyone who hasn't enjoyed Malta.
While I fell in love with the entire island, Mdina is the Maltese town that won my heart- of course the fact that I'm a massive Game of Thrones fan and King's Landing was filmed there in season 1 contributes greatly to that. It was so much more though.
Known as the Silent City, Mdina, Malta's old capital makes you feel as though you are walking through the past with it's narrow, long-winding streets and medieval and baroque honeycomb buildings.
Becoming a nomad has truly opened my eyes to some beautiful places I'd probably have never seen if I'd never took that chance 3 years ago and quit my retail job for a life of adventure. I'd never change it now for anything even if it means never having a constant home, washing my clothes by hand and fitting everything I need into a 30L backpack.
What cities have won a special place in your heart?