I did try to whittle down our number of Top Travel Moments to 10, but it was just impossible to do. Therefore, we have listed our top 13, unlucky for some but not for us. It’s been a busy old year with 11 countries visited (5 new ones) and around 24,000 air miles travelled and too many road miles to calculate. So here it is, our top 13. The list is not in any order other than the order that we did them. Ranking them would have simply been too hard, they were all amazing experiences for different reasons.
1. Welcoming in the New Year in Berlin, Germany (January)
We started 2016 in Berlin, Germany with our best friends. We had a great few days exploring what this fantastic city has to offer – there is loads. We wandered round the Christmas markets, historic sites and of course enjoyed a stein or two at the Hofbräuhaus! We celebrated the clock striking midnight by watching an amazing firework display and drinking (a lot of) champagne.
2. Exploring Gothenburg, Sweden (February)
Having never been to Sweden, who were we to turn down £14 return flights to Gothenburg? Even though the sun shone the whole time we were there, boy was it cold! We walked for hours each day taking in our gorgeous surroundings including the opera house, fish market and Haga. We also took a day out of the city to sail the islands of the Southern Archipelago.
3. Visiting the fairytale setting of Lake Bled, Slovenia (April)
Lake Bled had been on our list of places to visit for so long, so when we visited Ljubljana it seemed like the perfect opportunity to visit as it was only a short distance away. Once there, we took a ride on a traditional Plenta wooden boat across to the island in the lake, followed by a trip up to Bled Castle which offered fantastic views of the lake below. It seriously looked like a page from a fairytale.
4. Eating our way around Ljubljana, Slovenia (April)
Ljubljana blew us away. It really is a great little city in Europe with lovely scenery and plenty of things to do. The best thing we did was to take a food walk with the very friendly and knowledgeable Iva from Lubljananjam, she took us on a great walking tour through the city, eating fantastic local cuisine as we went including boar, asparagus, cottage cheese and of course ice-cream. Yum.
5. Being at The Top of the Burj Khalifa, Dubai (May)
Visiting the Burj Khalifa – At The Top, was possibly the HIGHlight (see what I did there?) of our time in Dubai. Even though it was a little bit hazy the day we went up it, we still had an amazing view over the pool below and most of the city. Even though Mr ESLT is not great with heights, he made the vertical journey with me. What a great way to spend my birthday.
6. Hunting sculptures in Bratislava, Slovakia (June)
For our wedding anniversary we headed to Bratislava and it just reaffirmed that we love that part of Europe. We drank beer, we ate great food and we explored, all on foot, what the little city centre had to offer. Throughout the city there are many sculptures dotted about and on our trip we made an effort to find each and every one of them. Mr ESLT especially liked this one!
7. Visiting the Bernabau Stadium in Madrid, Spain (September)
For Mr ESLT’s (belated) birthday we headed to Madrid, Spain. As he is a massive football lover I arranged tickets to the Bernabau Stadium where Real Madrid play. This, of course, meant nothing to me, although apparently, it’s quite a big deal. Even though I have no interest in football whatsoever, I must admit once there the time flew past and I did enjoy it and Mr ESLT loved it, which was the main thing.
8. The open-air museum that is Split, Croatia (September)
When my best friend Samm from The Inspiration Highway won a holiday to Split, Croatia I was over the moon that she asked me to go with her. We took a walking tour of this fascinating city, we relaxed on the beach, we enjoyed sampling the local wine and eating the local food. It has also sparked my love of Croatia and I can’t wait to return to either Split or another one of its cities.
9. Visiting the Acropolis of Lindos, Greece (September)
When we were invited to our friend’s wedding in Lindos, Rhodes we jumped at the chance. We spent a couple of days before the wedding exploring the cute little town. We ventured up to the Acropolis (here’s a tip – wear sensible shoes), it offered us some amazing views over the town, including the little chapel in the heart-shaped St Paul’s Bay where the wedding was to be held.
10. Sailing around the Maltese Islands (October)
With the weather turning Autumnal in England we headed to Malta for some late summer sun and we were not disappointed. Not only did we explore Malta but we also jumped on a boat and headed out to see the Maltese islands of Gozo and Comino. We enjoyed a day of relaxation on the boat, soaking up the rays and of course taking advantage of the open bar on board!
11. Driving through the snow-capped hills of Scotland (November)
In England the weather was relatively mild yet just a hop, skip and a jump over the border into Scotland it appeared that winter had well and truly arrived. As we made our way from Dumfries to Edinburgh we passed through some beautiful scenery and Wanlockhead – the highest village in Scotland. The roads at some points were quite scary but the views completely made up for it.
12. Relaxing in the geothermal waters of The Blue Lagoon, Iceland (November)
We’d been told that the Blue Lagoon is a tourist trap and yes it possibly is, but there was no way we were visiting Iceland and not finding out for ourselves. We were initially worried about public nudity – we are British after all. But we had nothing to worry about and we loved every second of being there. Just remember to book your admission tickets in advance so you don’t get turned away at the door.
13. Seeing the Northern Lights, Iceland (November)
Seeing the Northern Lights had been on my Bucket List since I could remember, aren’t they on everyone’s? So when we headed to Iceland in November I was keeping my fingers crossed that we would see them. Well within 3 hours of landing on Icelandic soil, there they were – dancing through the sky briefly. Unfortunately, we were not prepared but snapped what we could. Unfortunately, we did not see them again.
We had an amazing year travel wise and hopefully 2017 will be too. We hope you have had a great year – where in the world did you head and what were your top travel moments?