a Blog About Adventure Travel for Kite-Surfing and Cycling with a Custom Built Van
Travel Highlights of 2023
Travel Highlights of 2023

Travel Highlights of 2023

Travel Highlights of 2023

The year 2023 has flown by. To celebrate the end of the year for KiteBikeVan, we wanted to do a quick recap of our travel highlights of 2023. We traveled to many places together and separate, for work, for sport, and for fun.

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Travel Highlights of 2023
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Along the way, there were a few interesting places and some festivals that created lasting memories.

Dachau Concentration Camp [Munich, Germany]

In March 2023, I traveled with my students to Germany for the first time. On a whirlwind, nine-day tour around Germany and Switzerland, we spent a lot of time on a bus and walking from place to place.

As a German teacher, I have been to Germany many times, but it was a really great experience to see it for the first time through my students’ and colleagues’ eyes. For many of them it was the first time to travel long distance on an airplane!

Travel Highlights of 2022 - Munich
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While visiting M√ľnchen (Munich), we spent one rainy morning visiting Dachau. Although, I have visited Sachsenhausen in the past, Dachau was an entirely new experience and worth the visit. Seeing the devastation that the camp had on so many lives left an imprint on myself and my students.

Dachau
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It was an eye-opening experience for many of them to learn about the history and the branching networks of camps and ghettos throughout Germany and Poland. Many of my students didn’t realize how early in the 1930s that the camps had really began. The camps started in Germany long before World War II even began. Dachau opened its gates on March 22nd, 1933.

Even if you are not that interested in history, a visit to Dachau is a worthwhile experience.

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Mount Rigi [Lucerne, Switzerland]

Switzerland is always beautiful, but traveling to the top of Mount Rigi just outside of Lucerne was a really great experience. From Lucerne, we traveled by boat and then by train to the top of the mountain.

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Many of my students had never been at such a high elevation before (Mount Rigi is at 5,897 feet). It was relatively high compared to the flat farmlands of the Midwest. They were amazed at the difference in weather at the top of the mountain compared to the city below.

Although it was extremely windy, cloudy, and cold at the peak, we decided to stick around for an hour to wait for the clouds to clear out. It was worth the wait!

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When we got a glimpse of the country side, it was spectacular. Note that any time you climb high enough into the clouds, there is the possibility that the view will be obscured. Generally, if you wait long enough and have enough patience, you will get a few clear minutes of a gorgeous view.

Often you end up appreciating the climb up that much more. It reminded me a lot of climbing Mount Scenery in Saba or hiking up Conical Hill on the Routeburn Track in New Zealand.

Travel Highlights of 2023 - Lucerne
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If you have the opportunity to climb to a high lookout, especially from a mountain-top, I highly recommend the effort. It always takes my breath away and brings me so much joy!

Festival of Fools [Burlington, Vermont]

After a week of work in Burlington, Vermont, it was so much fun to celebrate at the Festival of Fools. Bands and musicians from all over the country were there to perform. In addition to the musicians, there were a variety of acrobatic acts and circus-like shows. As you wander from one end of Church Street to the other, various performances are starting and stopping throughout the evening.

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In addition to the great entertainment, Burlington has many delicious restaurants to choose from. We had a fantastic dinner at The Farmhouse Tap and Grill followed by dessert at Lake Champlain Chocolates.

Travel Highlights of 2023 - Festival of Fools
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If you are looking for a great long weekend away in August, I definitely recommend the Festival of Fools!

Festival of the Book [Harbor Springs, Michigan]

My favorite weekend every year is the Festival of the Book in Harbor Springs, Michigan. A girls weekend away to enjoy friendship and literature. What more could you ask for?

If you haven’t been to a book festival before, you have to visit this festival. The organizers do a fantastic job of bringing in authors of all genres and age groups. In addition to the keynote speaker and panel sessions, you have the opportunity to personally meet many great authors.

Lake Michigan

This beautiful, salt-free body of water is America’s true third coast. Whenever we have the opportunity to visit Lake Michigan‘s sandy shores, we make a trip of it.

Whether we are walking the beach, kiteboarding in the wind or enjoying the views, Lake Michigan never disappoints. From the southern tip to the Mackinac Bridge, the shoreline is breath taking and magical.

Lake Michigan
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Spend a summer week on the dunes of Lake Michigan and you will want to return year after year.

Final Thoughts on 2023

As 2023 draws to an end, we are looking forward to winter travels to warm destinations. Look for a post in January about our December adventures! Hopefully it will involve more palm trees and less snow.

Please share some of your favorite travel locations of the year. We are always looking for exciting new places to explore!

Thanks for reading about our adventures this year! ~KiteBikeVan

Travel Highlights of 2022
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