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My Travelling 2014

Sitting here and looking back at my travels in 2014, I wonder how I also managed to fit in working and moving house.

I only visited one new country this year, but I visited several new towns and cities and rediscovered some others.

BRUSSELS
This was my first trip of 2014, though I was back again several times in the year.  I enjoyed the beer (as always) and discovered some wonderful art nouveau buildings.  I really need a bit more spare time and some bright weather on these trips so that I can explore this aspect of the city some more.
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ST PETERSBURG, Florida
I had never been to this part of Florida before, and I was missing a treat.  I revelled in a spot of February sun, took some long walks, discovered the glass art of Chihuly and adored the Dali Museum – the exhibits and the building itself.
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ISTANBUL
February was a busy, busy month. No sooner had I returned from sunny Florida, than I was in a wet, grey Istanbul. But what a delight it was! I joined a couple of excellent walking tours which were a good way to discover the city in limited time and had a whole day entirely to myself, during which I walked non-stop (apart from a very tasty cake and coffee break) and fell in love with the place – so much so that I’m returning in April 2015.
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MADRID
I was in Madrid twice in March and again in November.  I am proof that it’s possible to love Barcelona and Madrid in equal measure, even if my football preferences are rather more biased. It is a very walkable place and has everything you could want in a city – great food and wine, museums, art galleries, parks, stunning architecture, quirky shops and good hotels in which to rest your weary feet.
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AMSTERDAM AND THE HAGUE
In April, I was in The Hague for the first time – I thought it might be a boring place full of official government buildings, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.  I found good food, welcoming people, historic buildings and a beautiful, but windswept, seaside resort at Scheveningen.
aDSC00924En route, I managed a few hours in a damp Amsterdam and gatecrashed a photo shoot for the Eurovision winner-to-be.
aDSC00724c2VENICE
May took me to Venice, for a holiday this time not business.  I joined a dawn photography workshop, learned new skills, met new friends, ate wonderful food and in my free time I walked and walked and walked.  This was an amazing rediscovery of a place I had been to twice before; it takes time to get beneath the tourist veneer of this marvellous watery city; I am keen to get back there soon as there were many areas I didn’t see at all.
aaDSC04773cDUBLIN
A visit to this fair city always means fun.  The sun shone on my spare afternoon and I had time to walk along the river and visit the castle for the first time. And then, of course, there’s the Guinness!
aDSC06810MARSEILLE
Years and years and years ago I used to visit Marseille regularly on business, but I hadn’t been for a long time until a conference took me there in 2013. Then, I discovered a revitalised city, a city that has been cleaned up a bit, had had life and culture injected into the old dock areas, but still had grit and a real edge to it. So with a few days to spare in September 2014 I took my daughter there for a short break before Uni started back.  It really is perfect for a long weekend, with interesting exhibitions and glorious views on hand at the new Mucem, great restaurants, one-off shops in Le Panier and ready access to the beautiful and rugged coastline.
aDSC09543LJUBLJANA
I booked this one on a bit if a whim.  I had a free weekend in October and I wanted to go somewhere different.  Ljubljana looked perfect for the limited amount of time I had: it is small enough to get around in a few days and the flight times worked well for me.
From the minute I arrived in my hotel, opened the windows and looked out on the river and its many bridges, I knew I had chosen well.  It is an unbelievably beautiful place.  My only mistake was misjudging the weather; it was glorious and I hadn’t packed for summer.  It’s a lively, friendly place with so much to do and see.  As ever, I walked miles that weekend – up to the castle, across to the Tivoli Park, up and down the river, zigzagging across the bridges.  The food was excellent, ranging from the food market that greeted me on my first morning, through tasty tapas to posh restaurants.  I packed a lot into my three days and I really must finish writing abut it soon!
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In addition to all of the above, I was in Paris a few times, Utrecht twice, and Cologne and Frankfurt on a flying visit.  Closer to home I had an all too brief stay in Torquay (must get back there for longer this summer), the same in Bristol and had several trips to a couple of my favourite UK cities, Edinburgh and Manchester.

Enough looking back though; I took a break from writing this to book my first trip of 2015 – I’m off to Amsterdam to see the light festival and the Vivian Maier exhibition before they both finish.

Whether your travels this year will be real, or virtual, courtesy of this amazing blogging world, I hope you have a wonderful 2015.

15 replies »

  1. A great travelling year! Chihuly is showing up everywhere, I have a post on his work in a few weeks from Las Vegas.

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