My year in travels
January – February – March
In January, we visited Amsterdam with friends. Although living so close to the Netherlands, it was the first time we visited Amsterdam. We enjoyed some very good food and did some very touristy stuff: did a boat tour, visit the Anne Frank house, soaked up some culture at the Rijksmuseum and wander the streets and canals of Amsterdam.
At the beginning of February, we went to Brussels for the weekend. It was the perfect time to visit Cantillon brewery where they brew kriek and gueuze beers. We also enjoyed a delicious dinner at Pillows Grand Hotel Place.
Mid February, there was Aalst carnival. Being born and raised in Aalst, it really is a tradition to watch the parade on Sunday. This year, some of my pictures made it into a photo book of the carnival.
February is the month we go to Egypt each year. This year we stayed in Hurghada at Serenity Makadi Beach. It was a beautiful hotel to enjoy the much needed sun. We also went to Cairo to see the pyramids and the Egyptian museum.
April – May – June
April is the period that the Hallerbos in Halle becomes fairylike: a beautiful carpet of bluebells appears. We combined it with a visit to the best beer bar in the world: In de verzekering tegen de grote dorst.
At the beginning of May, we went to the Côte d’Opale in France with our friends and their kids. We explored the beautiful nature of Cap Gris Nez and Cap Blanc Nez and learned more about the wonderful world of the oceans at Nausicaa.
During the Pentecost weekend, we visited the small country of Luxembourg. Because it is so small, it is easy to do a lot of different things during a short period of time. We explored the capital city, tasted wine and crémant, and hiked in the Müllerthal.
In June, I went to Ostend for 2 days for work. Every year, we have a meeting about the new visions and goals for the coming months.
Again for work, I went to Frankfurt. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see anything from the city, but we organized a very successful meeting. We stayed at the beautiful SAKS Urban Design Hotel.
July – August – September
In Ghent, there are always the 10 days of Ghent in July and it is tradition to go for one day. Also tradition is to eat a spit burger and an ice cream.
In September, we finally did our ‘big’ holiday of the year: an Italian road trip. We drove from Belgium through Luzern to Cinque Terre, Tuscany, Venice, the Italian Dolomites and back to Belgium. It was one of the best trips we did thus far: a nice mix of culture, nature, sun and delicious food. Because Italian ice cream and pasta every day! Still need to write all of it :).
October – November – December
One of the goals was to visit more places in Belgium. Because it was a beautiful fall day, we went to the Kalmthouse Heide to enjoy the beautiful nature.
At the beginning of December, in Antwerp, our company celebrated its 20 year anniversary. We had an international colloquium at the Zoo followed by dinner at The Jane. This was my culinary highlight of 2018.
This year, I really wanted to visit a German Christmas market and we ended up in Düsseldorf for the weekend where we stayed at Innside by Mélia Düsseldorf Seestern. Christmas markets are all about food, and we had a lot of it.
In total, I visited 9 countries in 2018 of which only 2 were new to me (Ukraine and Luxembourg).
2018 was actually quit a busy travel year, not so much in long big trips but more shorter trips within Europe. We also did more exploring within Belgium. This is something we plan on doing more often in 2019.
Our road trip around Italy was one of the best road trips we did thus far, the perfect mix between cities and nature. Camping was also much more enjoyable than in Iceland, probably because it was a lot warmer.
What was your favorite trip this year?