A review of our year
Now, this is not a self-indulgent look back on how much we've achieved, this is not about us. It's about the trips we took, the lessons we learnt, and hopefully, inspire you for your travels.
Gullfoss with Ice and snow, Iceland
We start close to home.
One of the things we have taken on-board is to see your world through the eye of a tourist, therefore you don't need to go a million miles to explore a whole new world.
The view over Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
So let's get started
It starts with our city - London
The show was the brilliant, 'Glengarry Glen Ross' with a star-studded cast, purchased through 'LoveTheatre', but that was just the one highlight of the weekend.
Glengarry Glen Ross at the Playhouse Theatre
We love exploring London; its history is so often in plain sight. Take for example the Inns of Court, when practising law was banished to outside the walls of the City of London. More of that in 'From the Bar to the Temple'
Inside Middle Temple - just outside the City of London boundary
While strolling the streets of London, you may notice blue plaques on the wall noting famous people - Actually, they're not all blue, but there's a story there though.
Why not check out 'The Round Blue Plaques of London'
Who knew?, Blue Plaques tell a story
We were lucky that in 2018 the capital was celebrating the 2nd Lumiere light festival, so we headed out after dark to discover 'The Lighting of London'. It brought a bit of sparkle to the winter nights.
The Hedgehog family in Lumiere London - 2018
It may have been cold, wintery, with sleet in the air, but that didn't temper Janis's enthusiasm for a cemetery. So before we left the city, we headed to one of London’s “Magnificent Seven”, Brompton Cemetery.
It took us a while to locate the last resting place of the suffragette - Emmeline Pankhurst, but we were not going to leave before we had.
The Main Avenue, Brompton Cemetery, London
Boy was it cold that day, but it was nothing compared to the next trip - the Land of Fire & Ice.
Iceland, a return for unfinished business.
I'd long wanted to return to Iceland, but this time with the hope of seeing the Northern Lights.
Just outside Breiðdalsvík, Iceland
However, you have to be realistic, there are no guarantees on seeing the phenomenon, so the plan was to build a road trip to see as much of the country in just under two weeks.
A boat moored up in Hjalteyri harbour
It was fair to say it was one fabulous trip - you can read more about our epic road trip if you'd like.
Janis driving Etta in Iceland
Oh, we got lucky too.
The Northern Lights outside Reykjahlíð
Now we needed a bit of warmth - next stop Portugal.
Our Portuguese Road Trip
After our trip to Lisbon in 2016, we wanted more of Portugal.
The stairway at Ponta da Piedade, Algarve
There were the obvious places that made the list such as Porto and the Algarve, but we wanted to discover more.
Largo da Oliveira at night, Guimarães
So our Portuguese Road Trip turned into a nine-stop whirlwind tour, where we explored as much of the country as we could in 2 weeks.
The view from the bottom, Bom Jesus do Monte
As we had caught the ferry and driven through Spain to get there, we wanted to include one stop on the way back in a country we had come to love, and we chose León.
Youre in León
A gathering in Rotterdam
A blogging conference took us to our next destination, and one we had discounted over the years - Rotterdam.
The Cube Houses, Rotterdam
We thought it's a bit too industrial, maybe a bit too urban: We were wrong!
It's a fabulous city, and we loved learning its history, soaking up its culture and diving into the chic side of the city.
Inside the Market Hall
Looking for an alternative to Amsterdam? You really should consider Rotterdam, it makes a great mini-break.
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Ypres, and the road to Remembrance
Always part of our plans for 2018, and on the 100th anniversary of the Armistice at the end of the 'Great War'.
The Menin Gate, Ypres
Hill 60, Belgium
An emotional trip, but we were so pleased we undertook it.
The Cross of Sacrifice on top of the Tyne Cot
Following on from Ypres we headed across along the Somme, to the capital of the Picardy region, Amiens.
The Quai Bélu at dusk
We love France; it's history, culture and its flavours.
Amiens was a perfect end to a trip that started in Rotterdam, and of course, we had to end with the ultimate traveller - Jules Verne.
The Dewailly clock
An English Road Trip
We love our country, but we are guilty of not exploring enough of it. Since we started blogging, we decided to put that right, and this year was no different. A friend's birthday placed us west of London, so we thought let's explore a little more.
The Angel across the Thames, Henley-on-Thames
The first stop, on the way to the historical city of Oxford, was Henley-on-Thames, just a week before the Royal Regatta.
The Radcliffe camera, Oxford
The Street, Castle Combe in the Cotswolds, Wiltshire
The river Avon, with the Holy Trinity church in the background, Stratford-upon-Avon
In the summer of 2018, which will go down on record as being just perfect, this was Britain at its finest.
Another British Summer, another trip to Wimbledon. Janis and her mother escape for another jaunt to SW19 to take in the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.
Pimms and Lemonade at Wimbledon
The inner walls of Dover Castle
Then a short drive along the white cliffs and you come across Capel-le-Ferne and the Battle of Britain Memorial. This site is dedicated to those of Fighter Command who kept the enemy at bay during World War II.
Looking out over the White Cliffs, Battle of Britain Memorial, Capel-le-Ferne
The French Road Trip
September 2018 marked 30 years since Janis & I met at a concert. So to celebrate we decided to return to a trip we first undertook in 2012 and headed back to the south of France.
A lttle restaurant in Place Favier, St Remy-de-Provence
This 2018 Tour de France mixed up some old favourites with some new locations, and it didn't disappoint.
Moored on the Lake, Annecy
A French day trip
A trip that came a little out of the blue. Eurotunnel had an offer on, a mid-week day trip crossing for £25. Too good to be true.
But where to go? Then we hit on an idea.
It was close to the 100th year of the ending of World War I.
We live in a small village in Kent, as with all towns & villages in Britain there's a war memorial.
Ours has 33 names of those who fell in the 'Great War'.
We did a little research, and located the memorials for those in France and set about tracking them down.
The Eccles War Memorial and Clock
The cross of sacrifice in , Loos Memorial
The German Christmas markets
Our final trip of the year was a return to Germany and the Christmas Markets.
The tree in front of the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
We planned this early on in 2018, as we always do with the Christmas markets, we wanted to drive, and we wanted to go to Berlin.
The little Ferris-wheel, Bremen
An entrance to Rathaus Market, Hamburg
A view over the Dom Market in Cologne
As always it didn't disappoint, although we haven't put together our plans for 2019 - yet!
So that's it
It has been a fabulous year, and when we write this review, it just reminds us of how good it is to travel.
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