Travelbunny Highlights 2013

Travelbunny Highlights 2013

What started out looking to be a lean year travel-wise has somehow turned out to be totally epic!  As well as travel highs there were personal highs too – Mister and I had a wonderful day with family and friends when we married in October – and we’re still on cloud nine :)

Travelbunny Highlights 2013

So where did 2013 take me?  There were moments of discovery with visits to three new countries; Amsterdam in The Netherlands, San Marino as part of the Blogville project and finally Bruges, Belgium.  Ten countries, seven capital cities and eleven cities I’d never encountered before.  I’ve pretty much eaten Italy, taken thousands of photos and made some wonderful memories to treasure.

The first trip of the year in February was to Paris for a work trade show but I managed to squeeze in a couple of hours to check out St Gemain’s chocolatiers. Yum!  February brought a trip to The Shard in London on opening day and a stay at the historical Renaissance St Pancras hotel for Mister’s birthday – Marriott points well spent!

St Pancras Renaissance Hotel

St Pancras Renaissance Hotel

March saw a cheeky week in Agadir for some sunshine, flying goats and a visit to the Tighanimine Womens Fairtrade Argan Oil Co-operative.   This post was one of my most popular of the year and I’ve put the co-operative in touch with a few people wishing to buy the oil commercially – I hope something positive has come out of this.

In April I went to Belfast on a work trip and got sent to jail!  The Crumlin Road Gaol can be hired for conferences and adds a whole new meaning to ‘breakout’ rooms! We visited the Titanic Exhibition and stayed at the Lough Erne Hotel in Fermanagh where the G8 conference was held the following month.  Colin Farrell was sat at the next table to me at breakfast (!!!) and I even got to experience my first trip in a float plane.

Lough Erne and Float Plane

May arrived and with it another work trip where I was tour leader to a group of 30 incentive winners on a trip to Sorrento.  We spent a day in picture perfect Positano and soaked up all Sorrento had to offer including the beautiful sunshine.

June – my first new country of the year and a trip with a girlfriend to Amsterdam where we laughed for three days solid, explored Amsterdam’s Canal Life, learned about the gabled buildings and Alison was reprimanded by a prostitute…

I Amsterdam Sign

July and August were spent at home enjoying a fantastic British summer and a week’s dog-sitting saw us exploring our local countryside and the gorgeous Seven Sisters Country Park.  There was also a wedding to plan…

The Coastguard Cottages at Seven Sisters, East Sussex

September saw me back in Italy for Blogville based in beautiful Bologna.  I learned how gelato is made at The Gelato University, took a pit-stop at Casa Museo Enzo Ferrari in Modena, gasped at the stunning views of San Marino and was amazed by the mosaics in Ravenna.  Lots more yet to share with you from this year’s Blogville…

Ravenna's Mosaics

Ravenna’s Mosaics

October and a very special wedding day was followed by a month jam-packed with travel.   I was overwhelmed by the beauty of Venice even though it was wetter than we expected and we waded through water.

Venice Canal

Venice Canal

Cambodia and Angkor Wat entranced and the Khmer food was as impressive as ever.  The bustle of Bangkok left us ready for the clear waters of Krabi and some much-needed relaxation.

Monks at Tonle Sap Lake

Monks at Tonle Sap Lake

November came and so did my first cruise with Celebrity Cruises as a #destinationblogger visiting Kotor and Budva in Montenegro, Matera in Italy, Corfu and Valletta in Malta.  The ship, Silhouette, was a destination in herself and warranted a thorough exploration especially where the cuisine was concerned.  A diet ensued.

December and a work conference for 300 saw us back in Morocco but this time Marrakech and barely time to step outside the hotel.  Such a tease! Another work trip, this time to Bruges and a chance to explore a little; chocolate shops and Christmas markets fuelled a festive feeling.

So what’s in store for 2014?  The annual ski trip is brought forward to January this year and we’ll pack the car at the weekend and head for our friends’ place in The Alps.

Ski Lift Portes du Soleil

Ski Lift Portes du Soleil

At the end of January I’m heading for Iceland which has long been top of my travel hotlist and I’m excited beyond words…!  I don’t even dare hope for a glimpse of those lights.    Iceland is followed by a work trip escorting 18 incentive prize-winners to Lanzarote and hopefully a chance to thaw out.  In March I have a ‘big’ birthday.  Nuff said.  July we’re off to France again to our friends near Poitier so lots of exciting times to look forward to.

I’m incredibly grateful for your support and friendship and would like to end this post by saying a huge thank you to all you readers and fellow travel enthusiasts.  Every view, comment and like is much appreciated.   I hope you’ve had an amazing year and that 2014 brings health, happiness and fun times. So what travel plans do you have in the coming year? Come on spill the beans…

51 Comments

  1. An epic year indeed. Many congratulations to you and mister on your recent marriage and I wish you every happiness. Happy New Year. ;)

    Reply
    • Thank you so much :) Wishing you health, happiness and a very stylish year!

      Reply
  2. An Ab Fab year, and isn’t it strange that for me the standout photo is the Seven Sisters out of all those amazing places and shots. I’ve loved seeing your year unfold, Suze. :)
    When is Traverse? I don’t keep up with these things but it sounds like it might be an opportunity to meet you and Lucy at the same time!
    Do be careful on that skiing trip. I’m mindful of Schumie. One risk too many!
    Have a spectacular 2014, but mostly, health and happiness to you :)

    Reply
    • Thanks Jo I love that shot too – such lovely colours. Traverse is 21-23 Feb http://www.traverse-events.com/newcastle/
      I still not sure about going as its nearly 6 hours on the train… but tempting to meet up with some on-line friends.
      Never fear I don’t take any risks skiing – far too much of a scaredy cat! Hope he pulls though. Wishing you too health, happiness and lots of laughter in 2014 :)

      Reply
      • You can get to Brussels in that time, huh? Thanks for the details. Have a good night :)

  3. You clearly had an amazing year Suzanne – I chuckled when I read that you “got sent to jail” in Belfast. Glad to see that they’ve opened the hotel at St. Pancras, last time I was there work was still being done. It’s hands down my favourite train station in all of Britain.

    Morocco has been on my wishlist for some time now… and you’re going to Iceland as well, lucky you! Happy New Year and a (very) belated congratulations on your wedding!

    Reply
    • Thank you James! The jail was very creepy and St Pancras stunning – they’ve done a remarkable job. I love the station too.
      Wishing you many happy travels next year and Happy New Year :)

      Reply
  4. Where to start? Maybe I should start with Congratulations on your wedding! And on your trips! For the new year I wish you to eat well, travel often and be happy. :) Happy 2014 Suze!

    Reply
    • Thank you Elisa – wishing you the same for a very happy year in 2014 :)

      Reply
  5. What a fantastic year! Look forward to seeing where 2014 takes you (I think first wedding anniversary trips are a must!) – have a great new year and a happy and healthy year to come.

    Reply
    • Thanks Lucy – I agree about anniversary trips and funnily enough we shall be celebrating in Cornwall! Happy times to you in 2014 too, hopefully I’ll get to meet you at some point WTM maybe :)

      Reply
      • Yes hope we can finally manage it in 2014! Hope to be at WTM and also Traverse in Newcastle. Cornwall sounds lovely – will have to get planning our anniversary trip!

      • Umming and ahhing about Traverse so might decide at the last minute. We’re going to a wedding in Cornwall on our first anniversary! Don’t you need to book a honeymoon before an anniversary trip….! ;)

      • Good point, some news to come on that front later this week!

  6. Wow! What a wonderful year Suzanne! I am now a very unbecoming shade of green. I want your job!! I look forward to travelling vicariously with you next year – I have no firm plans as yet, but hope to go a bit further next year than I did this :)
    All the best for 2014
    Jude xx

    Reply
    • Thanks Jude – I’m very aware how lucky I am to be able to travel with my job. I look forward to seeing what unfolds for you next year – have a happy, healthy fun year in 2014 :)

      Reply
  7. You have had a great year, Suzanne! Iceland sounds amazing and has also been on my list for some time. I’m hoping for a visit there later in the year so will be anxiously awaiting your tips! Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2014!

    Reply
    • Thank you ‘B’ :) I never dared hope that I’d get to Iceland so am so excited and I’ll be sure to let you know all about it.
      Hope 2014 is a great for you too.

      Reply
  8. What an exciting travel year you had … glad that you have visit Belfast, my old home town – that I still crave for. Seven Sisters … walked there a couple of times during my years living in Brighton, such a beautiful sport. Bruges one of my top gems … so romantic.
    And you start of big with Iceland in the new year – very extraordinary place, people don’t come out in the evening until nearly midnight – very dark … this time of year, but you will love it. And the alps …. a bit envy.
    Suzanne, thanks for a fantastic and enjoyable year … here in your online world. I wish you both only the best for 2014.
    Thanks for a terrific post again.

    Reply
    • Ahh Viveka it’s been a fabulous year in more ways than one. Looking forward to seeing sunrises and sunsets in Iceland without having to get up at ouch o’clock! That’s the good thing about visiting in winter :) Looking forward to more from you next year too – so glad to have discovered you this year :) Wishing you happy times in 2014 x

      Reply
  9. What an amazing year you’ve had Suzanne. You certainly travelled to some interesting places. Congratulations on the year’s highlight…your marriage. Best wishes for travel filled 2014.

    Reply
    • Thanks Jenny, I’ve loved following your Turkish travels this year which brought back lots of lovely memories.
      Here’s hoping 2014 is happy, healthy and another great year for travel although I think 2013 will be hard to top!

      Reply
  10. Suzanne, what an incredible year you’ve had – sounds like the perfect travel year! We’ve really enjoyed getting to know you this year and wish you all the best in 2014. ~Terri and James

    Reply
    • Thank you both and also for your inspired posts this year which I’ve so enjoyed – looking forward to more in 2014. Suzanne

      Reply
  11. Iceland is amazing at any time of year, but you should have a really good chance of seeing the Northern Lights in January which will make it extra special. Have a great New Year, and a fantastic time away.

    Reply
    • Thanks Vicky – I think Iceland will be incredible with or without the Northern Lights :) Wishing you a happy, healthy and fun-filled year in 2014 and looking forward to keeping up with your adventures…

      Reply
  12. Wow… Your year of travel is what my dreams are made of! Congratulations on the wedding and wishing you more inspiring adventures in 2014…
    I am hoping to visit Santorini this year… Fingers crossed!

    Reply
    • Thanks Shikha – I can’t quite believe how amazing his year has been! I’ve seen some amazing photographs of Santorini and it looks beautiful – I hope your plans work out and I’ll be looking out for tales of your trip. Happy New Year :)

      Reply
  13. What a great year – I am looking forward to following your travels in 2014!

    Reply
    • Thanks Andrew – looking forward to seeing where 2014 takes you too :)

      Reply
  14. Happy new year, Suzanne. It was a travel-filled 2013 for you and thanks for sharing your adventures! Looking forward to 2014!

    Reply
    • Wishing you a happy, healthy and travel-filled year in 2014 too :)

      Reply
  15. Seems like you had a busy and exciting year in terms of traveling! Wish you an even better year ahead!

    Reply
    • Thank you – it’ll be hard to keep up with this year. Looking forward to seeing more of your wonderful photography, hope 2014 is a happy year for you.

      Reply
  16. Wonderful post and amazing list of travels, all in just one year – how do you manage it all?! happy new year to you!

    Reply
    • Thank you – it helps that I travel for work otherwise I’d not have the time or the money to see so much of the world. I do appreciate how lucky I am. Hope 2014 is full of happy travels for you too :)

      Reply
  17. What an amazing year you’ve had! I enjoyed our week in Italy and wish I could have joined you for some of these other trips too. Have a fabulous 2014 (I’m very jealous of your trip to Iceland) and enjoy your ‘big’ birthday! Happy travels :-)

    Reply
    • Thanks Kathryn – wasn’t Italy amazing this year. Still so much to write about! Wishing you a happy, healthy year in 2014 with lots of fun-filled travels and hope to catch up again soon :)

      Reply
  18. Wonderful recap! So happy to have found your blog in 2013. Blessings and safe travels for 2014 plus lots of new stories! You inspire me to keep working on my little blog!

    Reply
    • Oh Deirde thank you. I’ve ‘met’ some lovely people via my blog and there have been times when I’ve been close to giving up with mine as life can be so busy but comments like yours make me glad I’ve carried on. Have a happy, healthy year to come :)

      Reply
  19. Most people would not have done that in forty years. Bravo!

    Reply
    • Thanks Michael – I realise I’m very fortunate to have visited so many wonderful places. Best wishes to you for 2014 :)

      Reply
  20. incredible 2013, waiting for more on 2014

    Reply
  21. Wishing you a Happy New Year full of love, laughter & happines (and you’re first as the Mrs)

    Reply
    • Thank you. Wishing you and yours a healthy, happy year with lots of laughter :)

      Reply
    • congratulations on your wedding and happy new year! look forward to reading more about your travels in 2014!

      Reply
      • Thank you on both counts – looking forward to keeping up with your travel tales too. Wishing you a very happy year in 2014

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