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It’s that time again, when I look back at my year in travel. It’s been another good year – I met my new granddaughter, travelled in three continents and achieved a lifelong ambition to visit Liechtenstein. Read on for more…

Sea lions in San Francisco

Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco is home to a colony of sea lions

The first trip, in February, was to New Zealand, stopping in San Francisco on the way. San Fran has become one of my favourite cities in the world – among other things on this trip we explored the Japanese history of the city, rode the cable cars and ate lots of wonderful meals.

Family in New Zealand

We meet the granddaughter, but she doesn’t look very impressed!

Then on to New Zealand where I finally met my granddaughter, already a month old by the time we arrived. We got to travel about a bit as well, including trips to Napier and to the Waiotapu Thermal Park.

Central Park, New York

It was snowing in New York, but at least Central Park looks pretty in the snow

We came home via Los Angeles (where we explored Mexican/Spanish history) and New York. I finally got to see the Cloisters Museum but the temperature changed suddenly and we were surrounded by snow. Well, I suppose it prepared us for our return to a British winter…

Cardiff Castle

In the grounds of Cardiff Castle

April saw us travelling to the Cotswolds and Devon, before heading to Cardiff where I attended the Traverse blogging conference for the first time. I learnt a lot, caught up with some old friends and met lots of new people. And I had a bit of time to explore this beautiful city with so much green space.

Alkborough maze

The turf maze at Alkborough, North Lincolshire

I continued my quest to see all of England’s ancient turf mazes, with visits to Alkborough and Dalby in May. (I got to the final one – Somerton in Oxfordshire – later in the year).

Vaduz

The aptly named Red House in Vaduz, with a vineyard in the foreground

But one of the highlights of the year was the visit to Liechtenstein in June. I’d been wanting to take this trip for a long time, following in the footsteps of a journey my grandfather made in 1930. Getting to Liechtenstein meant an overland journey from Switzerland, but the extra few days in Zurich were no hardship!

Old houses in Sodermalm, Stockholm

Old houses in Sodermalm, Stockholm

And in July it was off to Sweden for this year’s TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange) conference in Stockholm. I had a wonderful time exploring the city, and then taking a trip north to Luleå, on the edge of Swedish Lapland.

Brecon Beacons

An early morning view of the Brecon Beacons

Staying more local in August, we had a few days in Wales. I loved waking up to this view of the Brecon Beacons in the morning.

Drottningholm Palace

The formal gardens of Drottningholm Palace, Stockholm

September was a busy month, starting with a trip to Oxford for the Historical Novel Society Conference. Then it was back to Sweden – to see some of the things I’d missed in Stockholm, and then to visit the island of Gotland where we explored stone labyrinths, boat shaped graves, and more…

Thames Path, London

Sculpture on the South Bank of the River Thames

We stayed at home in October, just planning and consolidating. But in November we were in London for the annual World Travel Market. We had time to walk a couple of sections of the Thames Path, very pleasant at this time of year.

View from the Ponte Sisto, Rome

An autumnal view from the Ponte Sisto, Rome

We managed to fit in a few days in Rome in December. This proved to be the ideal time of year to visit – it was warm, but not too hot, and the usual crowds of tourists were much reduced. Posts about what we saw and did in Rome will appear in the next few weeks.

So now it’s time to look ahead to 2017. I’ll be back to New Zealand in February but who knows what else the year will bring… What was your highlight of 2016? And where do you hope to travel in 2017? Let me know in the comments below.

And, finally, a very Happy New Year to all my readers!

 

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