2019 was a busy travel year for me! I was lucky enough to visit amazing new places and return to a couple of my favorite cities. As potentially my last full year abroad, I wanted to make the most of my time in Europe and I definitely accomplished that goal this year.
I tried to be as present in the moment as I could; mindfulness has always been a struggle for me–I’m always on to the next thing–but I am getting better at taking time to enjoy just being here.
In Classic Ashlyn style, I wanted my travel post to include all my favorites: new and old places, landscapes wandered, and the best libraries I visited in 2019. I also had AMAZING experiences including traveling in Warsaw during the 75th anniversary of the Uprising, petting reindeer above the Arctic Circle, and attending a World Cup match in Paris.
Here’s a (mostly photo) overview of AllTheThings2019: travel, libraries, sports, experiences, and of course, dogs.
Bran Castle, Romania:
Peleș Castle, Romania:
I’m so thankful for everything I had the opportunity to see and do last year.
Egészségedre to making 2020 all you hope it to be!
Currently: Listening Moon: The Original Soundtrack (Clint Mansell)
This spring a couple of friends and I traveled to the Hungarian city of Esztergom. Known for its history and beautiful architecture, we had a fun afternoon exploring the old buildings and enjoying delicious food.
Esztergom is known for its Basilica, which is both the largest church and tallest building in Hungary; this last piece of information was unbeknownst to me when I enthusiastically agreed to a mid-week adventure.
Here’s the thing: my fear of heights has caused me to bail many a staircase in Europe.
While there were a couple of tricky, anxiety-inducing moments, I not only climbed the Basilica, but even completed the outdoor walkway around the dome–a huge accomplishment for me! It helps to have supportive friends encouraging you to work through your fears.
That being said, I literally never want to be that high, walking around a huge dome on a narrow, outdoor path, absolutely ever again.
Esztergom is a lovely city with beautiful views of the Danube. We only visited for a couple of hours–plenty of time to walk through the Basilica, castle ruins, and grab lunch– but you could definitely spend the whole day exploring this city, one of the oldest in Hungary.
Where are we?
Settlements in the area have been dated back to the end of the Ice Age (!!!), about 20,000 years ago. In 901, the Magyars conquered the Pannonian Basin and the (mostly Slavic) people who lived there. The ruling prince of the Hungarians then named Esztergom his chosen home. Esztergom Castle was built and became the only royal palace in Hungary until the Mongol siege of the city in 1241. During this time, Esztergom was the center for the Hungarian state and religion. Over time the ruling of this area changed hands, although the city remained an important place for commerce and Catholicism.
Basilica of Esztergom:
Mária Valéria Bridge & Víziváros:
Esztergomi Prímási Pincerendszer:
This was a lovely trip to see more of Hungary and I’m so glad we had a chance to visit before Kristin and Casey moved back the US.
Read more about Casey’s amazing travel adventures here. Kristin’s beautiful photography portfolio can be seen on her site. Stay tuned for the Heather and Ashlyn podcast coming soon 😉
Reading: Shut Up You’re Pretty (Tea Mutonji) Watching: Unbelievable (Netflix) Listening: Buried Truths Season 2 (WABE Atlanta)