A brief list of my travels

Travels. My primary passion. Yet the travels section of this blog looks awkwardly empty, so it is about time I did something about it. The subject is way too big to cover in details in just one post, so more posts will come with details, and for now, since this is the first true post about travels, I will give a very brief summary of where I have been and how did it go.

I come from a family filled with explorers: mum that travelled Europe-wide, sister that spent her time in China, aunt that travels to India, and her mum that travelled to Mongolia, cousins that have been to USA and to Africa. Most of us “ran around the globe”, to calque a Polish expression, and it is no wonder I had my share of inspiration too.

List

  1. 2004. Czech republic
  2. 2005. Slovakia
  3. 2006. Italy (Ravenna, Bologna, Venice)
  4. Russia (2007. Moscow, 2008. Novosibirsk, 2008 Irkutsk)
  5. 2009. China (Beijing, Wuhan)
  6. Ukraine (2010. Crimea, 2011. Lvov, 2012. Kiev, 2013. Kamenec Podolski, Chernivtsi, Khotyn, 2016. Odessa)
  7. 2014. Hungary (Budapest, Badacsonytomaj on Balaton)
  8. 2015. Spain (Madrid, Toledo, Segovia)
  9. 2015. Georgia (Kutaisi and surroundings, Mestia, Batumi, Tbilisi)
  10. 2017. Romania (Bucuresti, Busteni)
  11. 2018. Kazakhstan (Astana, Almaty)
  12. 2019. Montenegro (Kotor, Zabljak, Virpazar)

I assume the commentary on year 2020 is not necessary.

Commentary

A few words of commentary about key trips. I visited Russia in 2007, when I was in high school at age 16, for a summer language course in Moscow’s Pushkin’s institute. This was a two weeks course.

In 2008 I had the chance to take part in an expedition to Russian Siberian capital city Novosibirsk to witness the total solar eclipse in there. I had the opportunity to take the transsibirian and to also visit Irkutsk and the Baikal lake. This voyage changed my life and set my mentality forever.

In 2009, a year later, I returned to Asia to hop onto the transsiberian once more, this time on my way to China, taking a week in a train until I reached Beijing. Travel’s destination was a place predicted to be good to witness another total solar eclipse in the city of Wuhan. Yes – the Wuhan city, exactly a decade before the pandemic! From that place, we also crossed the Yangtze river through the Three Gorges Dam towards Chongqing, from which a train took us to Beijing, where a flight to Berlin was awaiting us and then one more train to go back home in Poland.

Since then, I planned to go back to Asia to visit Kazakhstan. For many years, I could find no time, or no money, and definitely no companions to join me on a route like this. Finally, in 2018, a decade after the memorable trip to Siberia, stars aligned and I travelled alone to Astana and then to Almaty. Near the latter I spent a few nights in a gorgeous mountain hotel located at 2750 metres above sea level, with a telescope bought for that travel, and watched the stars over a night unhindered with light.

These three travels were what I today call the astronomical triad, and they changed my life. I hope to make a trip like that again some time.

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