Goodbye to travel in 2019... Hello to travel in 2020!

We travel with flying with our brands in pride of place

2019 is over, and in its place comes a new year full of new travel plans. For the BMC Travel & Promoviatges team, travel is a necessity. The desire to carry on discovering the world is an imperious part of our DNA. And we love doing it with our brands in pride of place. Today we’re going to tell you about some of the trips we’ve made this year. Perhaps they’ll give you some travel ideas for 2020?

Portugal, the cradle of Fado

Silvia Arroyo, Marketing and Communication
I have always been attracted by countries with their own character, a strong culture and, why not, a certain air of decadence. Portugal brings these three things together and this summer I decided it was time to discover the land of ceramic tiles and fado. I travelled from cold Oporto to the hot and touristy Algarve, passing through old Lisbon, with its yellow trams and the steepest streets I’ve ever seen. I took a boat trip on the Duero under the Portuguese midday heat, I wandered the narrow alleys of the old Ribeira fishing quarter, and I drank the sweetest glasses of port. I felt like I was in a fairy tale in the Pena Palace in Sintra, I sensed the thrill of being just a few metres away from a live fado show in the district of Alfama and swam in the cold Atlantic waters for the first time ever, amid the rocky formations of Ponta de Piedade. The Portuguese people are friendly and hospitable, and as I visited their country I enjoyed the many things they have in common with my own culture, but most of all the things that make us different. I even learned a new language - Spanuguese!

Biking in the Dolomites

Esther Fidalgo, Business Travel Consultant
This summer we went on a 10-day cycling tour, starting and finishing in Verona. We crossed the Dolomites through scenery that I would recommend to anyone who likes hiking and climbing. We went through towns like Bassano di Grapa and the spectacularly glamorous Cortina d’Ampezzo. From the Alps we descended to the Austrian border to head south across the Tyrol to Lake Garda, where we got to visit lovely towns like Villabassa, Bolzano and Trento. I was impressed by Italian infrastructures and the importance given to bike lanes. We also got to witness the e-bike revolution, with older people enjoying cycling without needing to be particularly fit. We were the odd ones out riding normal bikes!

Marseille, a wonderful cocktail

Marta Rodríguez, Business Travel Consultant
Marseille is a surprising city. It’s so close that we barely notice it, but it’s actually a wonderful place to go for a weekend break. Its smells, and its colours with changing hues of the sea in the background, and the boats coming in and out of the harbour create a magical atmosphere in this Mediterranean hub. The blend of modern and ancient takes visitors by surprise, and craftsmanship is one of its biggest attractions: traditional locally made soap, artisanal essences and amazing olive oil are all sold in its streets. And the final touch to Marseille is undoubtedly the spectacular view from atop the 154 metre high “La Garde” mountain, historically the lookout point from which Marseille was protected from Charles V’s armies. Marseille is a wonderful cocktail that I got to discover this summer with my family.

The colours and vitality of Guanajuato

Carina Salcedo, Marketing and Communication Manager
Guanajuato is unquestionably one of my favourite Mexican cities. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is right in the middle of the country and offers everything I like when I travel. Ultra-colourful architectural jewels and the festive atmosphere that is so typical of university cities with such vibrant cultural life. A day in Guanajuato is about wandering the streets marvelling at Mexican crafts, listening to mariachis as you drink a chilled michelada in any bar, and ending the morning with delicious enchiladas mineras. It’s also very close to other gorgeous colonial cities like San Miguel de Allende and Dolores Hidalgo. But what I like best is the warmth and friendliness of the Mexican people. I first visited Guanajuato four years ago and I swore I’d return, and this summer I came back home once again dreaming of seeing it again soon.

Indonesia and its religious beliefs

Carla Segura, Human Resources Manager
From the tiny part of Indonesia I got to see, what surprised me the most is how so many religions live side-by-side in the same region. During my trip I was immersed in a spectacle of temples, and worship of different gods and cults with a host of peculiarities.

In Bali, for example, the people make offerings to the gods as they eat. In almost all streets and homes there is a small space dedicated to some deity. The Tana Toraja region has an especially surprising culture, they live with death by burying their dead in a stone wall. But what I liked most about Indonesia are the imposing temples of Java, the paddy fields and the colourful fish and coral in Lombok.

Xiexie, China. Thank you, China.

Marina Tienda, Account Manager
- China... We’re going to China? I’ve found a return flight for €500, flying into Beijing and back from Shanghai, and the dates suit us perfect!
It feels like yesterday when I was saying that to my partner. And I must say I am lucky because he 100% trusts my judgement as a travel agent and lets me make and unmake plans as I choose. So, China! I buy the tickets, leave work with a special smile and go straight to the bookshop, and spend day after day coming to realise that this trip is going to be very, very, very cool indeed. The China we found was not the China we expected. It was all very clean, well-organised and even with the language barrier the people were fun, friendly and curious. We felt at home. China makes you feel small. Every trip takes hours and every station is a labyrinth with 50 different tracks. I’ll never forget trekking along the Great Wall, getting away from the most crowded parts. We went to Jinshanling and Gubeikou, walking almost alone and waiting for the sunset. We also went on an amazing hike through Huáshan, and saw the Terracotta Army and Leshan Giant Buddha. One of the things we most enjoyed was sailing along the River Li in Xingping. Ah, and rafting with a group of Chinese. I don’t think we have ever laughed as much. Not forgetting Zhangjiaji, a place that simply must be seen once in a lifetime, and Shanghai, the most futuristic city I have been in. There are so many things we didn’t get to see, and I’m sure we’ll be going back.