2016: Looking Back on My Travels
Hi hi and welcome to the first ranga adventures post of 2017 and also the first one in a very long time!
I’ve decided to kick off with a bit of review of my travels from last year as I reckon that 2016 was a pretty great travel year for me. Despite working full time (and a lot of overtime!), I managed to get out and visit 10 different countries, 6 of which were brand new places that I’d never been to before.
Now, this is a post very much focused on my travels rather than travel tips, but if you fancy knowing what I got up to this past year then read on!
Reunited in London
If you know me well, you’ll know that JS and I only get to see each other a few times a year because there’s a pretty big ocean in between the two countries we live in. So for our first 5 month reunion we decided to take a mini winter Eurotour starting in London. And what better way to kick things off than with a glass of champagne at the top of the tallest building in the UK overlooking London?
(Okay so technically this was right at the end of 2015 but it ties in with the overall trip, so who’s judging?)
Bringing in the New Year in Paris
Unfortunately the timing of our trip came straight after Paris had experienced some terror attacks so understandably everywhere was on high alert and there was a lot of security in all of the places that we went to. However, we didn’t let this ruin our plans too much and still saw everything that we wanted to. I even got to relive a few places from a school trip I took back when I was 11!
Admiring the amazing architecture in Bruges
Bruges was a city that I had wanted to visit for forever and I’m so glad that JS agreed to drive from Paris to Bruges to fit it in with our itinerary! Forever grateful to be able to explore this beautiful place and sample some great Belgian beers along the way.
Tucking into Belgian waffles in Brussels
Because you can’t go to Belgium with trying one, right? These were covered in fresh cream and strawberries and definitely didn’t disappoint! Oh, and I suppose the architecture in Brussels is alright too… I’m kidding – it’s amazing! Go see it for sure. But definitely get a waffle.
‘Czeching’ out the views in Prague
Oh what a pun. Bet you haven’t heard that one before. But still, pretty nice views huh? I’d wanted to visit Prague for so so long and I’m so glad I finally made it with my aunt and sister in tow. I’ll make it back to this city one day for sure.
Reunited in Canada
Another reunion with JS but this time for a mini road trip in Canada! This was my first visit to Quebec, having only been to Ontario on my last trip. Quebec City and Montreal were both on the cards before heading back to the very beautiful Ottawa.
Sampling the finest Port in Porto
Second trip of the year with the middle sis! This time exploring the beautiful Porto and drinking Port cocktails in the sun.
Lisbon is full of so much amazing architecture and colour that we just spent days wandering round this beautiful city. Another city that I would love to return to one day – although maybe not when the temperature is in it’s thirties!
And then back to Canada for a wedding
In July JS and I were invited to the wedding of his cousin over in Windor in Canada and so I was back on a plane! It was a lovely ceremony on a lovely day with a lovely family and we also got to see a bit more of Ontario along the way, including catching a Blue Jays game in Toronto!
First trip with the littlest sis completed in Amsterdam
So my youngest sister finally turned eighteen and as a treat I organised a trip to Amsterdam for us. And amazingly, we didn’t kill each other! I kid… we do get on and now who knows what future travel trips we will take? ‘Any involving pancakes or waffles’, I am sure she will tell you.
Exploring the Christmas markets in snowy Krakow
Reunited with JS once more, this time for some exploring in Poland. We learnt a lot of history, did a lot of walking, drank a lot of hot chocolate with Baileys and ate way too many Pierogi. Wait no, you can never have too many Pierogi – I take that back!
Checking out the views in Bratislava
Slovakia was not a country that was high up on my list to visit until I realised how easy it would be to squeeze into this trip. So off we went on an overnight sleeper train from Krakow to Bratislava to explore the unexpectedly beautiful old town of Bratislava, usually from super high vantage points.
Soaking in the spas of Budapest
Another city that I’d wanted to visit for forever and it definitely didn’t disappoint. I couldn’t get enough of Budapest and would love love love to return there someday. Because who can resist those thermal baths?
So there it is – my 2016 travel adventures. As you can tell, I want to revisit the majority of these places but if I could give you just 3 places to add to your ‘must-visit list’ right now, it would be Budapest, Lisbon and Bruges. Mainly because of the architecture but in the case of Bruges, also because of the beer.
Last year I also somehow unknowingly completed the ‘Take 12 Trips Challenge‘, something that I was unaware of before stumbling across Lucy’s post over at World This Weekend. But I think it’s a pretty great travel challenge so I figured I’d include it and hopefully inspire you to take on the challenge this year! The beauty of it is that your trips don’t need to be big or exotic or expensive to count – you can simply visit a new place or a place you haven’t been in a while and tick it off your list.
My 2016 ‘Take 12 Trips Challenge’ destinations went to: Paris, Bruges, Brussels, Prague, Quebec City, Montreal, Porto, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Krakow, Bratislava and Budapest.
So what do you think? Will you take on the challenge this year?