Winter has arrived in the northern hemisphere. With less than eight hours of daylight, today was the shortest day of the year and the start of the astronomical winter. I thought this would be the perfect moment to reflect on the past year. At the same time, as the days will once again start to lengthen, the time has come to look forward to what 2017 will bring.
The last remnants of fog clung to the mountainside as I exited the forest. The sudden change in landscape was a breath-taking sight to behold in the morning light. After a dozen more hairpin turns, I found a safe spot to park the car. I took my time to admire the view. A local, on his way to the valley, passed me in an old Fiat Panda, as I got out of my car. The first thing I noticed was the temperature. Patches of slowly melting snow lay comically on the side of the road, in between countless yellow and purple wildflowers.
This time of the year, when friends, relatives and colleagues go on holiday, I tend to get struck by nostalgia and develop a feeling of homesickness for all the places I’ve travelled to. The main reason for this is that I don’t usually go on holiday during the summer, and I haven’t planned my next trip yet. An easy way to make sure these feelings don’t turn into a bad case of the travel blues, is to keep myself busy with things involving my most recent trip, like writing a blog post or making a photo book. So when Saal Digital offered a free photo book in exchange for an honest review, I immediately signed up. The book arrived on Wednesday and I can honestly say I’m impressed and I’m not even saying that because I got a free book.
I love panoramic views. Whenever I make plans to visit a city, I research the most popular places with a good view. Whether it’s from a hill or a tall building, I love having a bird’s eye view of a city. There’s something mesmerising about searching for the most iconic buildings of the city and taking your time to watch the traffic.
If anyone were to ask me about the best part of my recent trip to London, I wouldn’t hesitate before replying ‘muse’. The 11th of April, the day I went to their concert at the O2 arena was my absolute favourite day. The venue was amazing, the queue was actually quite fun and the concert was even better than it was in Amsterdam.
When my boss decided to treat me and my colleagues to a 3-day city break to Porto, I didn’t know what to expect from Portugal’s second largest city. Oddly, the country wasn’t ranking very high on my travel ‘wish list’, so I didn’t really know much about it when I received the invitation. Upon doing some research, Porto looked very promising to me. The historic city centre, the gorgeous views dominated by the Douro river and of course the Port wineries; what’s not to love?
Even before I ever went there, I have always been in love with London. When I finally set foot in the British capital, I was delighted to discover it was every bit as great as I could have hoped for. Despite the fact that my first trip was ill-planned, and far too short, London felt like home away from home, and I have been eager to return ever since. Now, four and a half years later, I find myself making plans to do just that.
The crowd goes mental as the last ethereal sounds of the Drones choir track die down, whilst twelve large balls of light slowly descend from their hiding place just under the roof, towards the stage in the centre of the arena. This series of Muse concerts is not called the Drones Tour for nothing. At the sound of the first chord from Matt Bellamy’s guitar, the entire venue is literally trembling with the earth-shaking energy from the crowd on the floor.
Anyone who knows me, knows I love music. At home, I often listen to music whilst I am working. During a road trip, my favourite music keeps the long days in the car interesting. The best way to enjoy your favourite music however, is attending a concert. In last year’s rant about writer’s block, I hinted at incredible concerts I had attended, but until now, I did not realise that I had not actually published that story yet. Better late than never?
Whenever someone asks me what the most memorable part of my trip to Israel was, I feel like I ought to tell them it was Jerusalem. Most people who have visited the Holy Land seem to agree on this point. Looking back at my trip now, almost five years later, as the details of the memories start to fade, I cannot help but think the city is somewhat overrated. The part of my week-long stay in Israel that stuck with me the most, consists of the days spent in the north of the country, after leaving the capital.