I’m guilty of escaping the European winter in favour of warmer climates but Europe actually has some amazing destinations that are great for a winter city break! For the sake of this post, we’ll consider winter to be from November to March/April, generally when the weather is still a little on the chilly side! These are all European cities that I have personally visited during the off peak season!
In December, me and some of my Midwest Travel Blogging buddies were invited to Red Cedar Lodge in Charles City Iowa, for a winter glamping girlfriend getaway in their beautiful cabins along the Cedar River!
So I’ve noticed a trend in the Midwest, lots of people head south for the winter because it gets so. damn. COLD! I found flights from Chicago to Miami for $130 return and treated myself to a weekend in the sun for my birthday. Yes, it was time to tick the Florida Keys off my bucket list and I headed down to Key West in December!
There’s no denying that everyone loves a good nose at what people pack in their suitcases and now I’m going to give you a look into mine. This is a look at what was on my Australia packing list for a 2 week trip during winter! Typically when the Northern Hemisphere gets their school breaks, the Southern Hemisphere is just coming into winter. So while I’ve been used to temperatures reaching between 30c – 40c (high 80fs to 90s), I traded them in for temperatures a bit of a jump lower than that!
One thing that surprised me the most when I moved to Iowa, was that there was actually a ski resort! I’m sure I’m not the only one that would assume that Iowa equalled flat and all corn fields…how wrong was I! Skiing in Iowa is most definitely a thing! Sundown Mountain Resort Dubuque has 21 ski runs (green, blue and black diamond) and 2 terrain parks. When it doesn’t snow, the resort is maintained by 150 snow guns (believe me, it’s cold enough for the snow not to melt once it is there!) and the runs are groomed daily!
For AGES, the adrenaline activity that was right at the top of my bucket list was to be a passenger in a bobsleigh. I love the Cool Runnings Disney film, I visited the Whistler (Canada) track in the summer, and I watch the Bobsleigh World Cup every winter (I was a huge Steve Holcomb fan…RIP). In 2013 I finally ticked it off the bucket list and it didn’t disappoint, I was like a kid at Christmas! I even kissed my hard boiled egg at breakfast, just like Sanka in Cool Runnings! Here’s a look at my Sigulda bobsleigh experience!