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2019: A Year in Photos

by Roberto
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2019 was one of my most prolific years of travel yet, visiting eight countries over the course of the year. With the year drawing to a close it’s a good time to share a review of the year that was 2019. This is 2019 in photos; the ones that defined the year for me. I can only hope 2020 brings the same amount of great travels as 2019 did.

2019 in Photos

Belgium – January 2019

The year began with a visit to the twin Belgian cities of Brussels and Bruges. Brussels was somewhat dull in terms of weather and activities, and felt as though it had a hangover from Christmas. Something I’m well used to coming from Ireland. January hangovers are common place. And yet that dullness was lifted, first by its friendly kinfolk, then by its comic book street art and finally by the grandeur of its Grand Place. This was my Brussels adventure.

The ornate Grand Place of Brussels
2019 in photos
Street art of Brussels

Bruges on the other hand was anything but dull. It certainly wouldn’t be the only fairytale city of 2019 that would rouse my heart, but was the first. The buildings are as if plucked from fiction, and the canals are the definition of calm, and as if that isn’t enough there’s chocolatiers, waffle shops and delicious frites to satisfy your palate. I was enamoured and shared more in my Bruges blog.

2019 in photos
2019 in photos
2019 in photos
Chocolate Beer? Yes please.
2019 in photos
How cute is this?
Bruges Canals
Bruges’ oldest canals
Houses of Bruges
Christmas Houses of Bruges- as I call them
Rozenhoedkaii Bruges
Rozenhoedkaii Bruges
Rozenhoedkaii Bruges
More of those Rozenhoedkaii reflections
Bruges at night
Bruges is amazing for night photography
Belfry Bruges
Bruges Belfry
2019 in photos
My favourite photo from Bruges
2019 in photos
Church of our lady of Bruges
2019 in photos
Gingerbread houses for sure
2019 in photos
ending on a canal

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Budapest January: 2019 in Photos

I completed a trio of cities that started with the letter B in January. I had long planned to delve deep into the attractions of this fine city, and a necessary and convenient visit to a dentist brought it. It didn’t disappoint. From the baths, to the parliament, to its churches and castles, the city is scintillating. The unexpected surprise of its sunsets were the perfect finish to cultural and relaxing trip. Besides those hours spent in the dentists chair. It was also the first trip that saved me money. I also finally felt worthy of writing about Budapest.

Budapest Parliamnet
Budapest Parliament
2019 in photos
Look at that stairs
Matthias fountain Budapest
King Matthias Fountain
Budapest Parliament
The Parliament is incredible at night
2019 in photos
The Danube at night
Gellert Baths
Gellert baths- great place to forget about a dental trip
2019 in photos
Sunset on Gellert Hill
2019 in photos
The city from Gellert Hill
2019 in photos
More of that sunset please
Vajdajunyad Castle
Skating by Vajdahunyad Castle
2019 in photos
The castle was built to mark the Hungarian millenium
2019 in photos
Street art from Budapest

Hungary April: 2019 in Photos

After a long three months without travelling, once again Hungary was our destination. After a brief time in Budapest, the country to the east was again our focus, travelling the towns and villages there. We unearthed surprises in the small Hatvan and Nyirbator, and the elegant Andrassy Palace. But the focus of our trip was the Easter celebrations in the mountain town of Holloko. Here Hungarian tradition is upheld, and recognized by UNESCO, in the form of the practice of sprinkling. It’s a lot more fun than the pics suggest, as described here.

New York Palace Cafe
The incredible New York Palace Cafe in Budapest
Andrassy Castle
Andrassy Castle in the middle of nowhere
Andrassy castle
It’s very cool stairs
2019 in photos
An unusual church tower in Nyirbator
2019 in photos
The quite unusual Kristaly Kastely in Hatvan
Holloko
Traditional wear of the ladies of Holloko
Sprinkling in Holloko
Sprinkling in Holloko- More like soaking
2019 in photos

Romania April: 2019 in Photos

A road trip took us across the border into Romania, and my first trip to the nation. Judging by this the first of many. We only had time to visit Oradea, a border city. Its secession architecture was incredible, and its churches and monasteries were Byzantine beauties.

2019 in photos
Across the river to Oradea
2019 in photos
Aerial view from the town hall
2019 in photos
Interior of the Moon Church Oradea
2019 in photos
Painted church of the Holy Cross Monastery
Oradea Fortress

Switzerland June: 2019 in Photos

Without a doubt the highlight of the year was our Switzerland trip. Looking back its still hard to believe that a land so beautiful exists. The urban surroundings of Bern were charming, but as soon as we breached the borders of the Alps we were in mountain paradise. Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen and our favourite Grindelwald were all a photographers dream. Point and shoot were all that was required.

2019 in photos
Rooftops of Bern
2019 in photos
View over River Aare in Bern
Thun
First glimpse of the Alps from Thun Castle
2019 in photos
The beauty of Lauterbrunnen
Staubachfall
Staubbachfall in Lauterbrunnen
2019 in photos
2019 in photos
Landscapes of Lauterbrunnen
2019 in photos
Oberhofen Castle on Lake Thun
2019 in photos
Our hotel view in Grindelwald
The Eiger
The Eiger in all its glory over Grindelwald
2019 in photos
sometimes gondolas give the best views
Grindelwald
The wooden chalets of the town of Grindelwald
Harder Klum
Harder Klum over Interlaken

France June: 2019 in Photos

We traded the raw power of Switzerland’s nature for the more cultivated lands of the Alsace in France at the end of the trip. Once again it was a joy to see the fairytale houses of the city of Colmar, and the villages of Kaysersberg and Eguisheim. Does a more delightful region exist in France? I have my doubts.

Colmar
The star t of Little Venice in Colmar
Shots from Little Venice
Colmar
Horses with hats- what more do you need
Colmar
The award for the cutest house goes to…
Kaysersberg
Kaysersberg
The river Weiss adds to Kaysersberg’s beauty
Kaysersberg
love this house
Eguisheim
The beautiful village of Eguisheim
Eguisheim
Le Pigeonnier Eguisheim

Greece September: 2019 in Photos

A solo trip to Greece had the primary focus of visiting Meteora, a location which had hovered at the top of my bucket list for some time. Need i explain why? 6 monasteries sitting atop huge rocky outcrops in rural Greece, built by monks who only had ropes, pulleys and nets at their disposal is why. Throw in amazing views and spectacular sunsets. The trip also featured visits to Thessaloniki and the Vikos gorge, the world’s deepest relative to its width.

Meteora
Meteora’s rocks are a stunning sight
Meteora
And a crazy place to build a monastery
Meteora
but damn they look good
Meteora
And the sunsets are mind blowing

U.K. October 2019

In an effort to surprise the huge Harry Potter fan in the family, we took off to the UK and the Warner Bros Studio Tour. The tour was quite brilliant, and exceeded expectations. That dragon was a stunning sight. Naturally I squeezed some culture in from the cities of St Albans and Cambridge.

Warner Bros Studio Tour
The huge dragon that greets you to the Warner Bros Studio Tour
Warner Bros Studio Tour
And then burns down Gringotts Bank
St Albans Cathedral
St Albans Cathedral
King George's Chapel Cambridge
Overlooking King George’s Chapel in Cambridge
King George's Chapel Cambridge
The interior of the Chapel

Vienna November 2019

Winter brought with it Vienna, and the first christmas market that we had the pleasure of visiting. I’m happy to say we started with one of the best, Vienna really rises to the festive season and pulls out all the stops. The city is a polished one too, dominated by the palaces of the Hapsburgs.

2019 in photos
Schonbrunn Palace all lit for the Christmas
Belvedere Palace
The reflection of the Belvedere Palace is magnificent
Hofburg Library
The incredible ceiling of the Hapsburg Library

All in all 2019 hasn’t been a bad years travelling, and I’ve seen a few worthy sights along the way. If you have a favourite among this collection, please let me know in the comments.

Thank you for your support during the year 2019, and as ever I would appreciate a pin or share. Wishing you all a very prosperous 2020.

2019 A Year in Photos

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