Year in Review
What I remember from 2014
Twas the night before
Christmas New Year, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. As I’m sat here in this cosy apartment for New Year in Copenhagen, I’ve been thinking about the past year and all the amazing places I’ve been, seen and things I’ve done. I’ve spent around 3 months abroad over the year visiting 8 different countries and meeting many amazing people. Here’s a few of my highlights.
1. New Year in Paris
What better way to begin 2014, than seeing it in on the steps of Sacré-Cœur overlooking the wonderful city of Paris. I booked this impromptu trips only 2 weeks before and I spent six days in this city of dreams, visiting Notre Damn, going up the Eiffel Tower after queuing almost 2 hours in the rain and visiting the famous Louvre glass pyramid among other things. It was my best new year yet.
My favourite month is February – Why? Because it’s my birthday of course! I decided to visit Amsterdam to celebrate this year and found out that the nearby city of Utrecht was hosting one of the world’s biggest trance parties which I just had to visit. From early evening to early morning, 4 gigantic rooms with some of the top DJs. A truly amazing experience. Also on the cards was a trip on the canal, a visit to the dungeons and a night away in the modern city of Rotterdam.
3. La Gatoteca
It was raining on our last day in Madrid and we needed something indoors to fill in the time while we waited for our train back to Barcelona. The ever helpful TripAdvisor app came to the rescue and after looking through the top attractions, I stumbled across a listing with a photo of some cats with the title La Gatoeca. After further reading, I found out it was a cat café so off we went. As we entered lots of people were leaving with big professional cameras, it must have been some sort of photoshoot, perhaps for a CATalogue?! 😉 Anyway, we paid a few euros for a wristband which entitled us to free coffee and an hour with the cats, so much better than Starbucks and much more cute.
4. My name isn’t Jeremy
On the same trip as the cat café was another unique experience. I wanted to visit a similar place in Amsterdam, but never got around to it, so I just had to do this here. We locked all our possessions in a locker and were introduced to our blind waitress, formed a line with our hand on the person’s shoulder in front of us and was led into a pitch black dining room. We were seated and served our first course and wine. There wasn’t a menu so we had no idea what we were eating (mostly with our fingers) or drinking. The waitress kept calling me Jeremy for some reason which was quite funny. After 2 more courses and dirty fingers, we were led back outside (I was nearly left behind) and the menu was revealed and we had to guess which colour of wine we were drinking which I think we got wrong like most people.
The picture you see is real, it’s not broken or something I made in Photoshop! 😉 If you don’t believe me, checkout their web site: Dans Le Noir for a better description and photos. They have one in London too if you are in the UK.
After being made redundant due to a company liquidation a few years ago, I was working from home most of the time since as a freelance web developer. I decided it was about time to grow the business a little and get somewhere a little more permanent to base it. I decided to join the local co-working space, C4DI which I now work from 2 to 3 days per week and use as a base for meeting clients and giving presentations to potential new ones. They have quite good coffee too, come and try it if you’re interested in a web site for yourself or business!
6. Lazy Week in Majorca
Summer was here, so it was time for some fun in the sun in Magaluf, Majorca. All British people know the awful reputation of this resort, so I just had to go and investigate it for myself. To be honest, what the media said was just about all true, but I had a great time anyway. I went to DJ sets by 2 of the people I usually listen to on the radio, Dave Pearce and Danny Howard from Radio 1, got soaking wet in a late night foam party, had fun watching an adult-themed pirate show adventure and having screaming orgasms at the pirate after party (it’s a drink before you get any ideas!). I also went horse riding for the first time which was really nice just before sunset. This was also the subject of my first blog post, so be sure to give it a read.
7. Raining Indoors?!
In my first visit to Ukraine this year, my friend invited me to the Black Sea for a few days. I have to say it was one of the hardest places I’ve visited because I felt so lost. Absolutely nobody spoke English, no English menus in restaurants and not even a McDonald’s or any sign of western culture anywhere in sight. I did see something cool though, in one of the nightclubs we were dancing (or at least attempting too), it suddenly started raining. The only thing is the club was all inside, so it was all very strange, but so amazing to be dancing in the rain indoors with some cool music and beautiful Ukrainian girls. I also visited the capital city Kyiv in which I wrote my opinions about what had happened there over the past year.
8. Взаперти (Locked Up)
Just 2 months later I was back in Ukraine again, this time for a month taking Ukrainian languages courses and chilling out with my new friends. No, I didn’t get arrested or captured by Russian soldiers, the name Взаперти (Locked Up) gives itself to series of escape rooms. You are locked in a room and given 1 hour to escape. There are no instructions, you just need to find the puzzles and try and solve them by looking for items within the room and using them in the appropriate way. I didn’t tell my friend Uliana what we would be doing before we went, just gave her lots of vague hints, so it was a nice surprise for her and I think we made a good team, although not that good as we didn’t manage to solve the last puzzle in time! Maybe next time?
I’d already visited the most interesting parts of Ukraine before, so on the same trip I wanted to visit the one remaining place I always wanted to go, Chernobyl. It’s an unusual place to visit I have to admit, so eerie and quiet especially when you imagine what happened in this place, but I highly recommend a visit.
10. Christmas Markets
One of my friends I met last year whilst playing cards and making pizza in Poland invited me to Germany to visit for a few days. How could I resist considering the time of the year and what the country is famous for? My friends who know me think I’m crazy about Christmas markets after visiting them in Turin, Milan, Paris, Bremen and now Munich, but it’s just a myth, really! I have to say the best one was actually in the smallest city, Bremen. It had a much more traditional atmosphere and was filled with Christmas spirit. I also visited Munich which was nice as I got to skate which I love and have lunch in a noisy German beer house. A trip to remember.
As for the future, nobody knows what it will hold. I do have some dreams and ambitions which I should probably keep to myself until I work out how to achieve them. I know for sure I want to travel more and that I probably should write more about my work otherwise I should just rename my blog “Travel”.
If you read this far, I hope you’ve had a wonderful year too and I wish you all the best in 2015!
Locations in this Article
Published on December 31, 2014 in Travel by Jason and tagged with Amsterdam, ASOT, Barcelona, C4DI, Chernobyl, Germany, Magaluf, Majorca, Mallorca, Paris, Spain, Trance, Travel, Ukraine, Work, Year in Review.