It’s the end of the year, so it’s time to look upon the year that has passed. And I can’t seem to find the right words to describe my year 2019. It has been rather colourful and quite intense. I have had to travel a lot for work, but at the same time I had little time for myself. I had long-distance hiking projects that I just didn’t have time to realize, but I also spent some time in cities that I did not imagine visiting a year ago.
I think I’m just starting to realize how the hectic pace of the past few months has been a little dizzying. The holiday season was therefore the perfect opportunity to rest a little, but also to reflect on the last year that has passed. Sometimes, when everything is going too fast, we don’t take the time to fully appreciate everything we are going through, so I took a few minutes to reflect on my favourites of the year!
The most beautiful hike– Mount Ulia in San Sebastián, Spain
One of my favourite hikes of the year was Mount Ulia in San Sebastián. Which is rather surprising since it did not go as planned. I was spending two weeks in this small Basque town for work and on a day off, I had originally planned to follow the Camino del Norte (one of the Camino de Santiago routes) to the coastal village of Pasajes. But the rain, the fog and the lack of visibility along the coast forced me to change my plans, so I opted instead to make a loop passing by the summit of Mount Ulia. The gloomy weather made me feel like I was walking through an enchanted forest!
My favourite local hike – Parc des chutes de Denholm in the Outaouais area
Traveling is great, but I also like to explore beautiful places not too far from home. My favorite was probably the Parc des chutes de Denholm in the Outaouais area. Located north of Gatineau Park, the trail runs along a pretty fall, has some works of art and is rather quiet (I did not meet a single hiker on the trail when I was there).
The unexpectedly pretty hike – Nose Hill Park in Calgary
I spent a few days in Calgary for work last summer. My colleagues and I had a bit of time to spare before our return flight, so we decided to go for a walk in Nose Hill Park, an urban park in the north of the city, not far from the airport. I was amazed by the beauty of the landscape that we found there. We even encountered some deer on the trail, which is amazing considering that we were still in town.
My favourire city – Trinidad, Cuba
I think I went to Cuba just to be able to visit Trinidad. I had seen photos of this colourful colonial city, and I have been dreaming of seeing it with my own eyes for a long time. And I was not disappointed. Trinidad is as colorful and as pretty as I imagined. I was completely captivated by this quiet city, listed on the Unesco World Heritage List.
The must-see I have finally seen– the Capitol in Washington D.C.
Even though I usually prefer places that are a little less popular, there are some of these must-sees that you have to visit at least once in your life. For me this year, it was the Capitol in Washington D.C. There is something a little dizzying when you stand under the famous dome. And I admit that I felt a little over-excited when our guided tour took us past Nancy Pelosi’s office.
The place I want to go back to– Reims, France
I spent almost a month working in France last summer. I have traveled hundreds of kilometres across the country, from Montpellier to Paris, via Grenoble and the Alps, but I didn’t have much time to visit. Of all the cities I have been to, Reims was my favourite. Perhaps because of its magnificent cathedral and its charming little historic center. Perhaps also because the Via Francigena goes through the city and I dream of following this long trail one day. In short, Reims is on the list of places I want to return to one day (and with a little more time to explore it!).
My most popular blog post – Princess Louise Falls in Orleans
I’m always a little surprised when I see which articles are the most popular on my blog. The Princess Louise Falls in Orleans is not extraordinary, but the place is rather photogenic, so ideal for your next Instagram post. That’s probably the reason it’s the article you read the most this year on my blog, right?
Happy New Year to all! Looking forward to share my travel and hiking stories with you in 2020!