Wow, We started the year with only firm plans of a Germany trip in March, and a vague plan of visiting Canada to celebrate my birthday. And yet now, in December, I look back on five trips, six different airports and ten flights taken. It’s been another year of A Brummie Abroad – with Mr Fletche in tow (most of the time…)
Enticed by Pinterest images of fairy tale castles and colourful half-timbered buildings, we spent four days tracking the Romantic Road route from Wurzburg in Northern Bavaria down to Füssen in the Alps. We were totally charmed by the town of Rothenberg Ob Der Tauber with its all year round Christmas shop, cobbled streets and a myriad of narrow alleyways to disappear down, only to emerge between rainbow coloured buildings. Augsburg was a surprise, a vibrant university city with a town square just made for al fresco gathering. But for me, the highlight was that moment I first laid eyes on the majestic Neuschwanstein Castle, nestled in the foothills of the Alps. Thank you King Ludwig for having such a crazy and elaborate taste in architecture!
Germany photos taken by CPF Photography
I’m still not entirely sure what made us choose Luxembourg as a summer city break but that’s where we ended up in June. We were unlucky with the weather, with grey skies and rain on two out of three days. This wasn’t so bad on the second day, when we had a nice dry apartment to return to, but not so great on the final day when our flight wasn’t until the evening and we were homeless in Luxembourg. The capital city itself is compact and easily walkable, perfect for a one day flying visit. Our saving grace was the excellent value and efficiency of the public transport system which allowed us to get out and about and see some of the many magnificent castles that Luxembourg has to offer.
I went away with two of my “oldest” friends (as in length of time we’ve known each other, not as in age) for the first time in September, for an all too short weekend in Alicante to kick off the 12 months in which we would all turn 40. We laughed, we sang, we drank copious amounts of sangria, we brought enough food and wine from the local supermarket to last a week, and most of all, we can’t wait to do it all again soon – husbands, kids, dogs, jobs etc. permitting.
This was the trip we’d been planning all year, a big tick off the old travel wishlist. My 40th birthday seemed the perfect excuse to visit one of my dream destinations and to book an overnight train trip from Vancouver up to the Rocky Mountains. We had the most amazing two weeks from exploring the beautiful city of Vancouver – meeting up with my ex-pat cousin and taking out tourists with my bike in Stanley Park – to hiking around lakes and dodging deer in Jasper. We spotted bears (from a distance) in Banff and escaped the hordes of tourists at Lake Louise by hiking up to Lake Agnes. We walked on a glacier and I sat down in the snow on the way to Peyto Lake. We drove through mountain passes, arid grasslands and lush countryside. We posed with the Olympic Rings in Whistler and did accidentally long hikes… Oh Canada, we loved you lots.
Canada photos taken by CPF Photography
Our final trip of 2017 was a wedding anniversary trip to Vienna. It’s always nice to kick off the festive season this way and we knew all the Christmas markets would be in full swing in the Austrian capital. It’s such a stunning city with beautiful architecture and a fascinating history too. We ate and drank our way around the markets, took a walking tour, visited the Habsburgs summer palace, rode on a giant ferris wheel and visited the famous Vienna State Opera House! If you want to read more about our trip then the Vienna travel blog will be online early in 2018!
I hope you’ve enjoyed coming along on my adventures with me and reliving some wonderful memories! Here’s to 2018, hopefully with more exciting trips to come! What were your travel highlights of 2017?
I’m Emmalene, a 40 something with a passion for travel, theatre, food, drink and the occasional accidental hike! I’m a born-and-bred Birmingham native so expect lots of Brum content on here too…