Top travel moments in 2016

2016 was a really busy year for me with several exciting trips to Europe and the US. In this blog I have tried to document some travel experiences because it is always fun to share some travel tips.

Here are my top travel moments and travel destinations of the year, in no particular order.

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

The Giant’s Causeway north of Belfast is a true natural wonder. It is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. The area is located by the sea about an 1-1,5 hour drive from Belfast and I promise you will be amazed by these peculiar octagon shaped stones and the surrounding magnificent cliffs.

Giants Causeway

 

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Plitvice Lakes in Croatia is a unique natural park with 16 terraced crystal clear lakes and some 90 waterfalls. We visited the park during the summer and despite spending several hours walking the area, we probably didn’t even cover half of it. The park is a beautiful travel destination near the Adriatic Coast and if you plan to visit, don’t miss the climb up to the vantage point next to the largest water fall “Veliki slap”.

plitvicelakes0868

 

City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia

If you like modern architecture, I can really recommend a trip to Valencia, which is a new favourite of mine. Tourism in the city is on the rise and I think it is an excellent alternative to the more crowded Barcelona nearby.

In the dried river bed that runs through Valencia, a number of astonishing buildings have been built in recent years. The City of Arts and Sciences, or Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències, is a complex of spectacular buildings, many of them designed by the famous architect Santiago Calatrava who was born in Valencia.

Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe
Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe

 

Naples, Florida

Like most people, I’m a big fan of white sandy beaches and sunsets, and few places are better positioned for this than the west coast of Florida. During our latest trip to Florida, we combined a few days on Miami Beach with a week in Naples. It was a cosy town with beautiful beaches and dolphins swam round the Pier all day, which was a fun sight.

Naples Pier, Florida

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Barcelona and London are probably the foreign cities I’ve visited most times. The Catalan capital is a favourite destination and the pinnacle of a visit is of course a tour of Gaudí ‘s La Sagrada Familia. The church is moving closer to being finished and don’t miss the walk up one of the towers. The view is quite spectacular.

lasagradafamilia2016

Thanks for following the blog during 2016. Looking forward to new travel experiences in 2017.

Valencia – The City of Beautiful Architecture

Bridge above City of Arts and Sciences Valencia
Bridges above the City of Arts and Sciences

You have to give it to the people of Valencia, they sure know how to dream big. Home to the architectural genius of Santiago Calatrava, Spain’s third largest city hosts a range of buildings and bridges that are among the most spectacular you can find anywhere in Europe.

Already in the 1960’s, the city of Valencia made some big decisions in that the river Turia was diverted away from the city centre to the outskirts of the city. This was done in order to avoid further serious floodings. The remaining old riverbed was later on turned into a sunken park, Turia Gardens, that now stretches about 9 km through the city, giving locals and visitors large areas for recreation, walking, running or biking.

l'hemisferic valencia
L’Hemisfèric

Striking architecture
The old riverbed also houses the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences (Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències), a huge cultural and architectural complex designed by Calatrava and Félix Candela. This complex was one of the main reasons why we chose to go to Valencia in the first place. It’s made up of several spectacular buildings like the giant eye L’Hemisfèric which includes an IMAX cinema and a planetarium, the open-air oceanographic park L’Oceanogràfic and the El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia opera house and performing arts cente and much more.

Shallow pools of water are placed in front of many of the structures which gives a magnificent mirror effect, especially at night when the buildings are lit up. It is simply one of the coolest places I have ever visited and a great place to take some stunning photographs.

City of Arts and Sciences Valencia
El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe

Travelling to Valencia from Sweden takes a bit longer than to some of the most popular tourists destinations in Spain, since there are no direct flights. We went from Stockholm with Lufthansa and SAS via Frankfurt which took between six and seven hours including transfer. But it is absolutely worth it.

L’Hemisfèric
L’Hemisfèric

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