Happy Birthday Mapping The Map!

One year ago we decided to start a common project: to create a travel blog that focuses on the experiences that everybody can have in different parts of the world. We didn’t want to create the typical tips blog that explains you how to do and how to plan everything to repeat the travel that others did.

We understand travelling as an exploration, a way of being kids in somewhere new. For this reason, although we also give some tips this is not the base of our blog. We try to focus on experiences and describe them, we try to be as original as possible and write not only about the most common destinations but also undiscovered places. An example of this is our travel to Namibia last summer.

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Laura climbing the tallest dune in the world: the Big Daddy in Sossusvlei

When we started this blog we already had booked our flights to Windhoek. Namibia was a destination which is difficult to plan by yourselves. But we wanted to prove that it is possible to travel to Africa with no travel agencies, everything planned by yourself and by half of the price! We did it and we could see as much as the double as travel agencies offer for the same period of time: 14 days!

In the above video you have a resume of the best of our travel but if you want a better description just read the post about the roadtrip. A roadtrip without roads because it was extremely difficult to drive in Namibia, it was really dangerous. However, if you consider our tips in this post, nothing should happen to you. Planning it by ourselves gave us a lot of freedom and this allowed us to live an unforgettable day in Sossusvlei. Definitely what we did there, what we saw there will be with us all our lives.

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Dead Vlei in Sossusvlei

In Namibia we also had many adventure activities, like the jet flight above the Namib desert or the 4×4 dune ride where the sea meets the oldest desert in the world. We explained it in one post about Sandwich Harbour, a place only suitable for adventurers.

And Namibia, as the 2nd less dense country in the world has a lot of abandoned places. We travelled to the far south, the driest place in the country where you can find the 2nd biggest canyon in the world: the Fish River Canyon, but also the ghost town of Kolmanskop. We explained the history of this place in the middle of the Namib desert, where dunes have broken into the houses.

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A house in Kolmanskop

And we also did a safari, but alone! With our own car we drove to find the lions, zebras, elephants, giraffes… and we succeeded! Another experience, not common but which almost everyone could do.

We still need to write a lot about Namibia, because more videos like this one can be uploaded to this page:

Although Namibia has been the most important travel this year, the blog has showed more. We have written a lot about our previous travel to Japan and our sensitive experience in Koyasan, a place commonly out of tourist tours which gave us a deeper understanding of Japan, Japanese people and its culture. It was in the biggest cemetery in Japan while a thunderstorm broke the sky above us in the middle of a sequoia forest. And thousands of candles guided us towards the Kobo Daishi mausoleum where mantras were sung. This is already an experience that can only be lived if you go there for the Obon, in mid August.

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Graves in Okuno-in cemetery in Koyasan

We also created a tips post for Kyoto, where there are more than 1000 shrines. Which one would you visit? We explained 7 of them that will give you a good overview of all of them (maybe, the most spectacular ones).

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More than 1000 tories in Inari Tasha shrine (Kyoto)

And if you travel to Japan, would you go to the south to climb a mountain in the Miyajima island? If you never heard about it before, check our post about the island of Gods and discover why it is something you cannot miss in Japan.

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Floating tori in Miyajima, the island of Gods

And Tokyo, Osaka… there have been more posts about Japan during this year and it is not possible to talk about all of them here. We invite you to navigate through our blog to find the stories and unique discoveries that we did.

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The best views of Tokyo tower at night from Roppongi Hills

We also wrote about our roadtrip to Portugal. We discovered Alentejo, a region full of history and empty of tourists. We went to Lisbon, to Porto and visited many World Heritage sites that astonished us.

But this year we have also been in Venice! Maybe the most beautiful city in the world, we discovered its colors in a foggy and winter day, we went to the most important viewpoints, ate in the streets, sailed in a gondola, and walked through 4 different islands in the lagoon. And we did it on a budget.

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Venice from a viewpoint

As per our previous trips, in New Zealand Dídac found blue ice and could hike through it after flying by an helicopter to the Franz Joseph Glacier.

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Blue Ice in New Zealand

In autumn 2017, in London, Laura discovered a free viewpoint: the Sky Garden. A fantastic place to have a brunch, for example. And you won’t be able to enjoy those views if you don’t follow Laura’s tips 🙂

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Sky Garden in London

We also went to Andorra for Christmas time and took the opportunity to visit the sole Romanesque cathedral in Catalonia. It was in La Seu d’Urgell in a weekend full of snow.

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Views from Roc del Quer viewpoint in Andorra

And because we are proud Catalans we also use this blog to show you unknown treasures of our country. And if we write about the most known places such as Barcelona, Girona or Montserrat we always give you tips to watch them with different eyes. Do you remember for example the wine region of Priorat and what happened to the Moorish queen in Siurana?

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Siurana and Montsant mountains

And what about Tossa de Mar, the medieval small village in Costa Brava? Have you seen the photos and have not found a strong desire to be there now? We don’t believe you.

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Tossa de Mar seen from Camí de Ronda

And the biggest river that crosses Catalonia is the Ebre. It has the biggest wetland in south Europe at its end: the Delta de l’Ebre. This is a place full of rice fields and palm trees where you can feel like being in Thailand for example.

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Delta de l’Ebre scenery

But we have also written about Ireland, Belgium, Tuscany, France, Spain, Austria, Germany, Russia… Just be curious and explore our blog 🙂

Two Traveling Texans

 

15 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Mapping The Map!”

  1. Happy Birthday! Wow what a year. I especially enjoyed reading about your adventures in Namibia and looking forward to seeing what you guys are up to next! Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

    Liked by 1 person

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