My Travel Reflections on 2013

Fireworks at midnight,  New Year's Eve, Sydney, Australia

JANUARY:  I kicked off the year by fulfilling one of my long awaited “Bucket List” dreams – to see the New Year fireworks over Sydney Harbour, Australia!   If you want to see what I saw, click HERE!

View from Paku Hill, Tairua, New Zealand

FEBRUARY:  By now, I had moved on to New Zealand.  This is the view from Mt. Paku, a twin-coned volcanic peak dominating the head of Tairua Harbour on the east coast of the Coromandel peninsula, New Zealand.   See what I saw by clicking HERE.

In my shoes - by the Yarra River, Melbourne

MARCH:  If you had been in my shoes, you would have been in Melbourne, Australia, sitting by the Yarra River.  I was there for the opening race of the Formula One motor-racing season – well I am a petrol-head!  Join me for a look around beautiful Melbourne, HERE.

Cómpeta and Mount Maroma, Spain

APRIL: Time to head home to the white, mountain village of Cómpeta, east of Málaga.  Behind the village you can see the highest mountain in this part of the world, Mount Maroma.  Let me show you around the village, HERE.

Seville Cathedral, Spain

MAY:  My birthday treat was a few days away in Sevillethe fourth largest city in Spain and capital of Andalucía.  Seville is well known for religious festivals, flamenco, world-class tapas and sherry drinking, but did you know that the tomb of Christopher Columbus is inside Seville Cathedral?  See the city for yourself, HERE.

Calle Alta, Frigiliana, Spain

JUNE: Whenever we have visitors come to stay, I always take them to the pretty, white village of Frigiliana.  If you watch THIS VIDEO of the village, you can practice your Spanish, too!

Renaissance town of Baeza, Jaen, Spain

JULY:  Situated in Jaen province, Andalucía and crammed full of Renaissance architecture, the towns of Baeza and Úbeda celebrated the 10th anniversary of being granted UNESCO World Heritage status.  The towns offered a special accommodation deal over a ten day period of only 10 euros per person each night.  How could I resist?!  To see what you missed, look HERE.

Malaga Feria, Spain

AUGUST:  This is the month of the Málaga Fair – and OH BOY – the city sure knows how to party!  In the above photo you can see the elegant pedestrianised shopping street of Calle Marqués de Larios transformed into a huge party venue, full of people dressed up, dancing and having fun!  Watch the video and join in the fun HERE.

Looking east from the Balcon de Europa, Nerja

SEPTEMBER:  A trip to the nearby town of Nerja happens every month, and it’s always a pleasure to stroll along the scenic promenade adorned with palm trees and exotic plants to the Balcón de Europa.  Indeed, in a few days I will be seeing in the New Year 2014 in this very place.  If you want to see more of Nerja, click HERE.

One of Lisbon's iconic trams

OCTOBER:  Porto, the vineyards of the Douro Valley and Lisbon, Portugal were my destinations in October.  Even though the weather was showery for most of the time, there were plenty of places to get out of the way and enjoy the cakes!  Here you can see one of the iconic Lisbon trams.   There’s an introduction to Portugal, HERE.

Nuremberg Christmas market, Germany

NOVEMBER:  At the end of the month, I began a 16 day trip to the German Christmas markets (another Bucket List dream) as well as to Prague in the Czech Republic and Budapest, Hungary.  First stop was Nuremberg for the Christkindlesmarkt, the oldest of the German Christmas markets.  If you’d like a stroll around the market with me, click HERE.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

DECEMBER:  My final destination of the year allowed me to cross off my third Bucket List item this year – Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany.  As the train from Munich got nearer to Fussen, snow began to appear – making for a picture-perfect scene.  I couldn’t have wished for a more wonderful day!  I hope you will join me HERE to learn more about the structure on which Walt Disney modelled his fairy-tale castle.

Where have you been this year?  Where are you hoping to go in 2014? Do you have a “Bucket List”?

93 thoughts on “My Travel Reflections on 2013

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  6. What absolutely beautiful photography from your adventures. I loved seeing all of the places. One of my favorites is Bavaria. It has such a long and often sad history. What a beauty she is, though. This post was so very well presented! Easy access to all of your travelogues. Not only are you an expert traveler, you’re also a superb storyteller! I hope you have a wonderful New Year celebration in beautiful Nerja! Have a fun 2014, Marianne! 🙂

    • Thanks George for such a thoughtful and encouraging comment. Makes it all worthwhile 🙂

      Glad you enjoyed my post – I certainly had fun putting it together.

      I’m looking forward to the fireworks and huge party in Nerja tomorrow evening.

      Happy New Year and I hope 2014 brings you everything you wish for yourself 🙂

  7. What a year, a cracker! Sorry we missed you when you were passing by out here in Oz Marianne … maybe call in next time as you travel between Sydney and Melbourne 🙂 Your other destinations close to home will be helpful planning tools for us too … good timing … wishing you more happy travels in 2014 🙂

  8. Enjoy the Northern Lights!! Happy New Year – more adventures coming your way, I see!!

    I am looking forward to a New Year and am taking this quote by Rainer Maria Rilke, with me…

    “And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.”

  9. WOW! you sure did do a lot of travelling! oh to be retired and travel about Spain…or wherever. come on 2020! or 2019 (if I can’t wait until 2020…) and yep, I do know that Christopher Columbus’ tomb is in Sevilla’s catedral. you mean there are people that don’t know that? 😉 I need to go watch that video and practicar mi espanol 😉 here’s to another great year of travelling (for you) and living vicariously (for me) through your lovely, fabulous photos.

    • These days, I plan my life around travel, Toby! Often it’s just a day trip (like today into Malaga city for the Belénes, ice-skating rink, and Christmas lights) or a free walk around the street art in the city.

      As long as I’m out there seeing what’s going on, I’m happy 🙂

  10. Wow! You travel a lot! And wow, this post must have taken ages to put together. I’ve looked at NZ, Melbourne and Germany. I’ll get to the others after breakfast. Thanks for encouraging us to travel, Marianne.

    • I’ve really only introduced photos other than Spain in some of my CBBH posts photo challenge – but in truth, yes, I do travel quite a bit!

      It was fun putting the post together, Trish – the difficulty was choosing just ONE photo from each place 🙂

      I would encourage ANYONE to travel – and do so as often as I can. And, believe me, it’s not all about money. We have developed various ways of getting what we want for not much money – including housesitting 🙂

      What I do now is decide what I want to do – and then figure out how I’m going to achieve it!

      • I’ve just looked at a few more of your videos – I’m really interested in the towns of Baeza and Úbeda. Thanks too for the hint about housesitting – I visited some friends in Canberra this week who are doing just that. For free! I’ll look into it.
        I suppose I travel a bit myself. This year I went to France, Spain and New Zealand. Spent all my money. Will have to save for another three years before I can go again. Can’t wait.

        • I would absolutely recommend Baeza and Úbeda to you Trish – a photographer’s paradise 🙂

          I use an Australian website: – if that helps, and have found housesits in Australia and New Zealand through them.

          Don’t you think that planning a trip is half the fun though? I do!

  11. What an amazing year you have had! For me the past year included cycling in Slovenia, wandering abut Croatia, walking the beaches of Mexico, the west and east coast of Canada and a getaway to Arizona. Off the bucket list was ‘run a marathon’ which happened a few weeks ago in California. Next year…Jamaica and cycling in Tuscany Italy are on the list. Here’s to 2014!

    • That’s fantastic! WOW – you’ve run a marathon – well done! Did you run to raise money or charity?

      I picked up a cruise from Jamaica a few years ago – it’s a very pretty place – as is Tuscany.

      Safe travels and thanks for taking the time to share your experiences here 🙂

      • I have done quite a bit of fundraising with running in other shorter races but this one was just pure bucket list material. I will say it was one of the hardest thing I have ever done.

        Looking forward to swapping experiences in the year ahead!

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