Whenever I travel, I always try to do as much walking as I can. With the exception of getting from and to airports, I rarely take public transportation unless I have to. I mostly do this because you see so much more when you walk around, wether it is with a purpose or just aimlessly filling up some time. I definitely enjoy the guided tours offered in most cities, as they show you the highlights, and more interesting, provide the back story behind them. But, as much as I appreciate a good walking tour, I could never go without walking around on my own, and see all the things the tours don’t show.
This blog post is a small collection of some of the things I encountered on my trips. Not everything might be fully unknown, but each of the following locations are places I most likely wouldn’t have spotted if I had stuck to the program and would’ve went were everyone else goes.
From left to right, this collage shows:
Sausalito – I visited this little city across the San Francisco Bay randomly when on one of my trips I walked into the ferry building and realise actual ferries were running. I hopped on the first ferry out and ended up in Sausalito. The city itself isn’t too exciting, but it does offer some pretty nice views of the San Francisco skyline.
Windmill – A little reminder of home, a windmill near the beach at Lands End
Little green alleyways – When walking around Little Italy I spotted some green strips going uphill between the apartment buildings. Branching off were little alleys that went behind the houses and definitely made me feel like I was away from the city.
On the left, a nice little market in Barcelona, tucked away in the Gothic area. On the right a mural in Madrid with the cities slogan: “Fui sobre aqua edificada, mis muros de fuego son.” (On water I was built, my walls are made of fire).
Brussels, Los Angeles and London
The painting of Tin Tin is one of many murals found scattered around the Brussels city center. This one was located in a side street near the famous “Manneken Pis”. In the middle, a little street with a strong Mexican vibe in the middle of downtown Los Angeles. Almost feels like you’ve entered Mexico. Lots of little shopping stalls and restaurants with questionable but tasty food. On the right, a walk alongside a little river through Camden Town. I’m honestly not sure how I ended up there, but it was a nice way to get to the Camden Town market from nearby Regent’s Park.
Don’t stick to the tourist guides
These are just a few examples of the many sites I’ve visited on my trips. Of course, where ever I go I see the well known landmarks and tourist hot spots as well, but my trips wouldn’t be the same without also seeing these lesser known places. Every now and then people ask me for tips when they’re traveling, and sure, I will tell them to see the Empire State Building in New York, the Golden Gate in San Fransisco or the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, but the most important thing on everyones list of todo’s should be to at least once just leave the hotel with no plans whatsoever – and just start walking.