Travel Inspirations – Roads Less Traveled

Is TRAVEL part of your goals in 2018? Do you intend to tick-off as many places as you can in your bucket list this year? Are you adventurous enough to explore places less traveled? Whatever your travel goals are, let’s claim and believe that 2018 will be a great year for travel. So LET’S GO!

To start up your 2018, here’s a first dose of travel inspirations. Below are 7 places that are not overrun with tourist but will surely fuel your inner wanderlust.

Graz, Austria

Clock TowerGraz famous landmark  is the  Uhrturm (a centuries old clock tower) standing on the Castle Hill (Schlossberg).

Graz is the second largest city in Austria, however it is not as popular as Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck. Visitors of this city would find historic places that were judged as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites in 1999.  One thing I love about the city is the mixture of Renaissance and Baroque architectures found in the Medieval Old Town Square. Climb up to the Schlossberg to see the amazing views of the city and take time to explore the historic clock tower.

Interesting Facts

  • Following the defeat of Austria by Napoleonic forces at the Battle of Wagram in 1809, the fortifications were demolished using explosives, as stipulated in the Peace of Schönbrunn of the same year. The bell-tower was spared after the people of Graz paid a ransom for its preservation.
  • It is the birthplace of Arnold Schwarzenegger

Signaghi, Georgia

Signaghi 4Sitting at the top of a hill, overlooking the Alazani Valley, is the town of Sighnaghi. A fortified city located in the Kakheti region of Georgia. Travelers to this town would surely find picturesque landscapes, spectacular views of Caucasus Mountains, pastel -colored houses and cobblestone narrow streets which are sights to behold. Take time to enjoy the laid-back atmosphere with a glass of wine and authentic Georgian food.

Interesting Facts

  • The town is fortified with walls to protect it from marauders during the 17th century. Now, the walls are still intact and tourist can walk on it.
  • Sighnaghi is known as the City of Love in Georgia. It is the place where couples can get married any time of the day. The wedding hall is open 24 hours daily and 7 days a week.

Meteora, Greece

Meteora 1Meteora is located near the vicinity of Kalambaka, Greece. The magical rock formations and the monasteries built on top of these rock formations are its main tourist attractions. If you love trekking, Meteora has hiking trails that will surely satiate your adventurous side while you enjoy its unique landscape at the same time.

In a region of almost inaccessible sandstone peaks, monks settled on these ‘columns of the sky’ from the 11th century onwards. Twenty-four of these monasteries were built, despite incredible difficulties, at the time of the great revival of the eremetic ideal in the 15th century. Their 16th-century frescoes mark a key stage in the development of post-Byzantine painting. – UNESCO

Interesting Facts

  • Meteora used to have 24 active monasteries. Unfortunately, as the increase in tourism affected the monastic lifestyle, there are only 6 active monasteries left with 20 monks and 4 nuns.
  • It was used as its backdrop for the Eyrie castle in the sky in the popular TV series, Game of Thrones. This is the castle above the clouds where Tyrion was imprisoned.
  • Meteora first appeared in the James Bond movie – For your eyes only.

Banská Bystrica, Slovakia

Banska Bystrica 7Pronounced as ‘Banska Bistritsa’, this charming city of central Slovakia isn’t as popular when compared to other cities in Eastern Europe. However the mixture of Renaissance and Baroque architectures found in the main square are quite impressive. Most of the historical buildings and monuments are concentrated in the SNP Square (Slovak National Uprising Square). The square has a vibrant atmosphere lined with several luxury shops, cafe’s and restaurant.

Interesting Facts

  • As a historical city with an easy access to the surrounding mountains, Banská Bystrica is a popular winter and summer tourist destination
  • Because of its location, rich history and medieval relics, Banská Bystrica became one of the most important and most beautiful cities in Slovakia.

Chiemsee, Germany

Chiemsee LakeLocated in South Germany, Chiemsee is the largest lake in the country and is also known as the ‘Bavarian Sea’.  Aside from its unparalleled beauty, Chiemsee is also the home of King Ludwig II’s unfinished palace that resembles the Chateau de Versailles in Paris.

Interesting Facts

  • Chiemsee has 3 main islands, the Herreninsel (Gentleman’s Island), Fraueninsel (Lady’s Island) and uninhabited Krautinsel.
  •  Its Herren Insel is home to the unfinished Herrenchiemsee Palace, built by King Ludwig II.

Krakow, Poland

KrakowKrakow is known for its well preserved Medieval charms and Jewish quarters. The city was just lucky to be spared from the devastation brought about by the 2nd World War. Now the entire Medieval Old Town was among the first sites chosen for UNESCO’s original World Heritage List. The Renaissance Clothing Hall and St. Mary’s Basilica, a 14th-century Gothic church, are two interesting sites found in Old Town Market Square.

Interesting Facts

  • Stephen Spielberg’s famous movie Schindler’s List was shot in one of Kraków’s Jewish quarters, called Kazimierz.
  • Leonardo Da Vinci’s original piece ‘Lady with an Ermine’ is Poland’s national treasure and can be seen in National Museum of Krakow.

Bled, Slovenia

Bled ChurchBled is a famous tourist destination because of its glacial lake. This town is located northwest of Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana. Lake Bled and Bled Castle, which overlooks the lake, are two of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. It is truly a sight coming straight out of a fairy-tale.

Interesting Facts

  • Lake Bled was nominated to be one of the new seven natural wonders of the world.
  • The town is also known in Slovenia for its tasty vanilla and cream pastry.

Of the 7 places mentioned above, which one you would like to add on your list? Share your travel goals this year and the places you’ll be visiting soon by commenting below. I would love to hear all your travel stories. Happy travels!

Note: Some information mentioned above are taken from Wikipedia.

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