2012 in 12 photos

Posted on 21. Dec, 2012 by in Blog, Photo Posts

Celebrating the new French President

I don’t know about you, but in my case, 2012 was definitely the year of travel.

How fitting for a travel blogger, you say. I just thought that if the end of the world really did happened in December, then dammit I ought to at least see as much of it as possible.

And I kind of did. In Europe at least. 3 new countries. 7 revisited countries. 51 new cities in total. Thousands of kilometers on the road, and many more crossed by plane. 2012, was, very busy, and quite frankly, exhausting. And because I like torturing myself with impossible decisions, I decided to pick 12 photos of the roughly 10,000 I took during the year, and share my highlights with you - just to see if you’ll agree.

The fjords of Norway

Picturesque streets of Bergen

I really, completely, genuinely fell in love with Norway, for so many different reasons.

I found a little bit of my beloved Canadian weather - I know, I’m weird - there. The wooden cabins and houses, painted in shades of reds, yellows and blues were quite lovely. The coffeeshop culture really got to me. And the Norwegians were SO nice to me. I really loved how urban Oslo is, and yet the rest of the country is rugged, focused on its natural striking beauty. Expect many more posts about Norway next year!

Malmö, Sweden

I still can’t find the right words to describe the two weeks I spent in Sweden. If I’m honest, I think I was a bit disappointed - mind you, it was entirely my fault. I set the bar so high, my expectations skyrocketed, and quickly I realized that no, Alexander Skarsgård was not going to sweep me away, nor would I spent my whole time in coffeeshops watching trendy Swedes going about their daily business, daydreaming about how I could move there. Sweden was cold, Sweden was expensive, and coming in the country from Norway, I realized that Sweden isn’t all that pretty, scenery-wise. More on that later!

The Carlsberg brewery in Copenhagen

Maybe I’m over-traveled, or maybe I’m just a grumpy bitch. But I didn’t find Copenhagen, nor Denmark, to be extraordinary. I think its reputation is far too exaggerated!  However, the city will always have a special meaning to me. Being a frequent traveler means I’m more often than not away from home, away from my husband - and my Eurail.com blogtrip took that notion to extremes when I left for almost 6 weeks in a row, my longest stretch ever. And for one all-too-short weekend, my husband joined me in Copenhagen, where we both walked around, relatively unimpressed but so happy to be together. And even though I’m not a big fan of beer, we visited the Carlsberg brewery, simply to be together. I may have even enjoyed the taste of my beer…!

The land of bicycles.

Turns out, people haven’t been lying - Scandinavia and Holland really are the land of bicycles. And since I’m the kind of clumsy girl whose daily life is an adventure, you can imagine how stressful it was to be on, and around, other cyclists. I’m never doing this again, I’ll tell you that!

Catalonia

I was lucky enough to kick start my travel year with a press trip with Catalonia, a region of Spain I had yet to visit. And I loved it! As a Québécoise, I felt very strongly towards their need for independence, and their individual culture. Plus, the seaside villages are just too cute to resist. Later in the year, I gave Barcelona another chance, three years after I had sworn I would never set foot there again. And surprisingly, this time around did the charm.

The Troubles

Again with the independence feeling - Northern Ireland. I traveled through the whole island of Ireland in June, discovered charming villages, met with genuine locals and saw some of the planet’s most striking landscapes, and yet, what tickled me the most was The Troubles in Belfast and Derry. It just goes beyond my understanding that a city would, in 2012, still have a thick steel door separating two neighborhoods, because despite relatively peaceful appearances  these two communities can’t get along in this day and age.

Not that I blame them - far from it. It’s simply that my pacifist nature would wish for everyone to just eat chocolate cookies together and dance in the field on a sunny day. But I guess that’s a bit optimistic.

France, from one coast to the other. From the northern coast…

… to the southern coast.

Being the good little Canadian that I am, I decided to take our national motto, Ad mare usque ad mare, and apply it to my expat life in France. The result? Hours and hours in the car, driving from Normandy to Paris to Bordeaux to Aix-en-Provence to Nice, in the space of just a few months. I feel we rounded up quite nicely the main sights of France, and that is not a minor thing to say, because there is SO much to see. And yet, I still have a few destinations in mind for next year!

Chocolate goodness

Also, Belgium just so happened to be on my itinerary. Needless to say I was very sad at the idea of eating SO much chocolate, and seeing SO many great cities. Who am I kidding. I was the happiest freakin’ girl on the planet - and also possibly the fattest - at the simple thought of all that chocolaty goodness. It was also a bonus that cities like Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp were as charming as their reputation predicted.

The Christmas Market of Esslinden

My latest assignment took me to every corner of Germany to explore the Christmas Markets - something I’d been wanting to do forever, but never got around to. So far my favorites have been Dresden and Esslingen - both smaller places that chose to focus on quality rather than quantity. Stay tuned for more Christmassy goodness!

Tears for London

And last but not least, my dear, dear London. If you’ve read this post, you know how I feel about the city now. I love it so much it hurts - and the nature of my job being what it is, I can never escape the city for too long. Even though I know that I had the chance to live there once, and that I should move on and open my heart to new cities and opportunities, I’m being this irrational girl who checks her ex’s updates on Facebook and relinquishes the good memories. I can’t help it! I love London, and I don’t think it will ever fade away.

What were the highlights of your year 2012? What destination are you looking forward to read about next year?

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4 Responses to “2012 in 12 photos”

  1. Laura @Travelocafe

    21. Dec, 2012

    For us too 2012 was the year of travel. 52 destinations in 16 countries from Europe and Asia and over 40,000 photos. Yes, that’s right, I’m obsessed with my (not so) new (anymore) DSLR. Just finished writing a similar post, to be published soon :) So what’s your first destination in 2013?

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  2. Sonja

    21. Dec, 2012

    So I’m actually considering Scandinavia for our next trip and now I’m curious what you have to say about it. I’ve been to Denmark and also found Copenhagen kind of meh, and I am excited about Norway. Looking forward to more of your blogging on it.

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  3. Andrea

    23. Dec, 2012

    Looks like you had an amazing year! I’m so glad we got to meet in Catalonia and then catch up again in London. Can’t wait to see what 2013 brings. :)

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  4. cheryl

    23. Dec, 2012

    Congrats on a great year of travel! Merry Christmas and all the best in 2013 - can’t wait to read more about your experiences. :)

    Reply to this comment

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