• Walter Ponce

Best moments of 2021

The annual end of year travel and blogging review will be a new tradition – a look back at the places I’ve visited and the best moments of the last 12 months on the road.


When 2021 started, I had a lot of hope for the year and it didn't disappoint me at all. It ended up being a tough year in some ways, but it also turned out to be one of the best years for me.


Of course with Covid around was not easy but the travel industry is starting to pick up though, with borders opening and people making travel plans again. So fingers crossed for more of the same over 2022.


Let's start from the beginning!

Dubai

The year started the best way, visiting the UAE for 9 days and spending time with good friends in Dubai. I planned my trip in January so Covid was hitting hard at that time and most of the countries were closed. Luckily UAE had less restrictions and just with a PCR was enough to enter in the country (same to come back to Switzerland).


During my stay I spent my days chilling by the pool, eating in amazing restaurants and enjoying great weather with good company.


Regarding my hotel selection I stayed at:

  • Dukes the Palm

  • Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Waterfront

Both hotels were great in terms of service, room decoration and hotel amenities. Good pricing for hotels good located.


It was my 3rd time in Dubai so I did not explored much the city, instead, I enjoyed good restaurants and beach clubs chilling with my friends. You can find my recommendations on what to do in Dubai here: https://www.waltermitas.com/post/5-places-to-visit-in-dubai


Of course the highlight of the trip was the Safari Desert trip. You can find more information on my post here:

Ticino

Unfortunately, the situation in the world was not good so traveling was very restrictive again... I thought it was the perfect moment for me to keep exploring Switzerland and enjoy its magical landscapes.


One of the highlights was my trip to Ticino around March. Moving myself all the time with public transport (which btw is excellent in Switzerland) I managed to visit most of the cities located in the Italian region of the country.


Some of the places I recommend you visiting:

  • Lugano

  • Locarno

  • Calle Maggia

  • Verzaska Valley

  • Sentiero dell'ollivo

  • Morcote

  • Ascona

  • Cardada

I visited all these places in 2 days and I really enjoyed it. The weather in March was excellent and I had sunny days with an average temperature of 15 degrees.


Food there is cheaper than in other regions in Switzerland and I really encourage you to eat Italian food (specially pizza :P)

Barcelona

It was time to go back home and spend some time with family and friends. I did this trip during May and by that time I was dating someone so we went together.


The first days I spent time by the beach at Castelldefels (where my father lives) and I enjoyed the ocean and good food.


The rest of the days I went to the city and spent time near the centre. In terms of food I would like to highlight my favourite restaurant L'Olive. Every time I visit the Catalan city I go there. I wrote some lines about it here: https://www.waltermitas.com/post/restaurant-l-olive-barcelona


In terms of touristic attractions, I visited:

  • La Sagrada Familia

  • The bunkers of Carmel

  • Plaza Catalunya

  • Arc the triumph

Mykonos

I had this destination in my mind since long time! I always wanted to go to Greece and visit Mykonos. Again visiting the island with my previous partner we spent 7 days in the Greek island.


The flights were not cheap but I had a good collaboration with Edelweiss in 2019 so I managed to get my tickets for free.


In terms of hotels I decided to go to different locations in order to taste different experiences:

You can find my favourite attractions in Mykonos here:

https://www.waltermitas.com/mykonos


One of the highlights of course was the food. In terms of quality and scenery it's in another level. I really encourage you to visit these restaurants:

The overall trip was great, it was what I expected? Not really. I believe that the island is beautiful, but at the same time its very pricy. It became a tourist trap and the prices became ridiculous.

Italy

Having this country so nearby, was a no brainer to visit it. Unfortunately, I did not had the chance to visit all the country yet so I was very excited to go with a local and visit some cities near Milano.


In a 3 days trip we visited:

  • Como

  • Milano

  • Monza

It was a lovely weekend trip were we spend the time eating amazing food and enjoying the lovely landscapes that the region offer. Como and Monza are very charming and vibrant. Very recommendable if you are around the region.


Of course Milano is unique. We spent just 1 day visiting the city and basically eating and drinking (what else you want).

New York

I always wanted to celebrate my Birthday in good company and in a big city. I had in mind in 2019 to celebrate it in NYC but it was not possible... but finally my dream came true and together with a friend we went to the city for almost 2 days. Yeah you read it well... we travelled a bunch of hours just to spend not even 2 days in New York City. Let me tell you something... WAS WORTH IT!


In less than 48h we managed to visit:

  • Brooklyng Bridge

  • Chinatown

  • Soho

  • The High Line

  • Chelsea

  • 5th avenue

The highlight was to party in a rooftop till late and being drunk as F*.

I still don't know how I managed to arrive to the hotel safe :D


We had an amazing time and we may probably repeat in 2022. Maybe a new tradition?

More details on a 48h trip in NYC here: https://www.waltermitas.com/post/how-to-spend-48-hours-in-new-york-city

Bangkok

Last trip of the year and the most recent. It was too long since my last trip to Asia so I was really looking forward to go back and enjoy Thailand. I have been in this lovely country already 7 times! But I cannot get enough...


I spent around 9 days in the Thai capital and again in terms of restrictions I did not had much problems. The flight was with one stop in Singapore and the whole duration (door to door) was around 24h. Long trip but worth it.


This time I had the pleasure to visit the city with locals and this changed the game completely. The list of places I visited is long but my favourites are:

  • Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market

  • Wat Paknam

  • King Power Mahankhon

  • Wat Mahathat

  • Wat Arun

  • The Royal grand Palace

  • Wat Saket

  • Wat Phra

  • Temple of the Emerald Buddha

You can get more details here: https://www.waltermitas.com/bangkok


In terms of hotels I decided to go for:

  • W hotel Bangkok

  • Marriott Surawongse

Not much to say about these hotels... The Marriott group is my favourite and every time I visit one of them I fall in love even more.


I really enjoyed this trip to be honest and its one of the highlights of the year. People were so nice and kind with me.... the city is so alive and makes you feel like you cannot rest for a second!

As stated at the beginning, in terms of travel. 2021 was not bad. Manged to visit quite a lot of countries and escaped the restrictions quite easily. What 2022 will bring? Don't know yet but what I am sure is that I will try to enjoy every second as I always do! Cheers for a new year full of adventures!

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