And here we are, in the last days of 2016 and I just wanted to write a few words that I am thankful for this wonderful year and what it brought to us, especially in terms of traveling. Every year, besides traveling between Brussels where I work and Prague where my family is, I like to visit some places I have never been before. After November 2015, when my dream came true and we visited Peru and Bolivia, I have to say that 2016 was not really a year of big travels for me. During the first months of the year, I was unhappy in my job, decided to quit and search for a new challenge. Then I was so happy I started my new job so I did not really think about any longer holidays. But I still did some small interesting trips as well in order to see new places and take small breaks. I blogged about some, but those of you who follow me on Instagram, have probably seen something about all these places. Let’s have a look together on how I will remember 2016 in terms of travels. And who knows, maybe I will inspire you for your next holidays too? 😉
Les 3 Vallées, France
It all started in February when my dearest created a group of 4 and we left for a week of ski in the largest ski area in the world ‘Les 3 Vallées’. 1 ski pass allows you to ski in several resorts connected solely with ski lifts and slopes. We stayed in Les Meuniers from where we went skiing in one of the 3 resorts: either stay in Les Meunieres, or go to neighboring Val Thorens or Courchevel. Although we had some days snowing heavily with 0 visibility and freezing conditions, we enjoyed an amazing week of fun. Skiing and hiking, as well as playing cards, raclette and fondue evenings!
‘The Blue Forrest’, Belgium
This year I finally managed to see the popular ‘Blue Forrest’. Every year around mid-April, the Hallerbos / Bois de Hal changes into a mystic place with blue carpet created by flowering bluebells. We had a pleasant walk here and it was just a few minutes’ drive from Brussels. You can read more about the Blue Forest here.
By the end of May, one of the best friends of my boyfriend got married in the hometown of his wife – Valencia. We booked our stay in Valencia for several days in order to discover the city and we loved it! Beautiful center with majestic buildings, museums, markets, restaurants, shops, large green surface made of a river that was drained out and even a beach that is reachable by bike in half an hour or so. Valencia has a large pedestrian surface and is bike friendly! Btw, the marriage was amazing, something like in a fairytale!
Fondation Luis Vuitton in Paris, France
After few years this building has been the spot nr. 1 to check out in Bois de Boulogne, I finally managed to see it through my own eyes. Daniel Buren´s “Observatory of Light” is spectacular – the colorful glass sheathing projects colored lights on the white floor and walls of the interior terraces. In the interior, there was an exhibition of Chinese art which impressed me as well, especially the 9 channel video installation “Ten Thousand Waves” of Isaac Julien, see the short video here.
South Moravian Wine Region, Czech Republic
In August, we had the pleasure to visit South Moravia. After 2 days spent in Brno, we checked in Hustopece, from where we followed the wine bike trail direction to Mikulov. We went through Dolní Věstonice and Pavlov – villages where you can find wine cellars everywhere along the road. You can read more about our wine trip to South Moravia here.
Mikulov, Czech Republic
During our wine trip to South Moravia, we visited also Mikulov and its castle, did some local wine tasting and hiked up the hill Svatý Kopeček. Despite the bad weather, we had an amazing time in Mikulov! You can read more about Mikulov here.
Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape, Czech Republic
The last day in Moravia was dedicated to the visit of 2 remarkable castles, Lednice and Valtice. You can read more about it here.
Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain
In September, we took few days off and flew from Brussels to our beloved Barcelona. If you go to Barcelona, there are some places you just need to enter as otherwise, your visit of the city would be incomplete. One of such places is Sagrada Familia. I feel ashamed but I never managed to visit it before. This time I finally did it and it was amazing! Go there, it’s totally worth it!
Penedès Wine Region, Spain
In Barcelona, we rented a car and did a bit of enotourism again! Penedès is the wine region from where the cava (Spanish sparkling wine) is from. We visited Villafranca for last day of festivities, did some cava tasting in small village bars here and there and booked a guided tour in Codorníu, one of the largest and oldest cava producers. Their winery is beautiful and the story behind Codorníu as well. You can read more about this wine trip here.
After the cava, we managed to visit Montserrat, where we had an amazing hike. The place was as I have always imagined it. Except the crowds of tourists, we were looking for a parking spot for about an hour.
Flea Market in Saint-Ouen, Paris, France
Thanks to one of my dear friends and her other half, I could visit Le Salon du Chocolat which was held in Paris the last weekend of October. The day after, the two angels took me to Saint-Ouen to the largest flea market of this sort in the world. Even if you don’t wish to buy anything, it is always interesting to have a look what they sell there. And maybe once you have a “modest” residence, you can always come back to look for some nice door from Rajasthan from the end of 19th century, no? 😉
Christmas Market in Dresden, Germany
In December, I hit about 6 cities with Christmas markets! Besides Brussels, Aachen, and Prague where we go every year, I ended up in Monschau and Frankfurt as well this year. But I still had one more on my list since years – Dresden Christmas markets! As it is only 2 hours´ drive from Prague, I went there with my mom 2 days before the Christmas Eve and we had a very nice time, planning to go back in the summer to discover this city in details.
And now we are here, in the last week of 2016 and wondering about what 2017 will bring. Tell me how was your 2016 in terms of travel – what are the most interesting places your visited?
The New Year lies ahead
With books to be read,
And adventures to be led.
May you find fulfillment and joy
All year long!