Where has the year gone. 2014 seems to have disappeared quicker than ever before!

The first three months of the year were spent at Rottnest, Western Australia’s island in the sun that is only twenty kilometres from the coast. With clear blue waters, white sand and fresh lobster to be caught and eaten, it was the perfect break after eight months on the road in Europe.

Marjorie Bay, Rottnest Island
Marjorie Bay, Rottnest Island

But it wasn’t long before we were off again……

London
Our travels started in London with a few days spent there to recover from the jet lag, drop off our winter clothes and catch up with friends.

London in summer is a dream….the flowers are out and the city looks fabulous! We walked along London’s Regent’s Canal and tried some of London’s new restaurants.

Summer in London

 

Croatia
Istria
was one of the few parts of Croatia that had escaped us on our previous visit. Surprising as it seems, seven weeks in this wonderful country was not long enough to include this part of the Croatia. It’s actually a little world of its own and we’re glad we could spend ten days there. It’s not the beach escape that visiting the islands in the south is, but more a place to head to in autumn and spring. The small towns dotted over the area are full of history……and good food! Rovinj was favourite……

Rovinj, Croatia
Rovinj

We then returned to Vis, our favourite island in Croatia. A week relaxing in the sun, returning to beautiful beach bays and eating fresh seafood.

Vis Island, Collage
Scenes from a fun filled week on Vis

 

Greece
One of the highlights of this trip was spending a month in the Greek Islands. It’s hard to pick a favourite island as those we visited all offered something different. We loved the beaches and their bars on Spetses, lazy days on the car free island of Hydra, the local character of Folegandros and the different personalities of Mykonos.

Greek Islands
We loved the Greek Islands!

 

Turkey
From Mykonos we started to make our way to Turkey arriving in the port town of Kusadasi after an overnight stop on the island of Samos.

Turkey is one of our favourite countries. Our road trip through Turkey last year did not include the west coast so from Kusadasi we headed to Tire, Sirinice and Ephesus before spending five nights in one of my new favourite towns, Alacati.

Turkey
Turkey Highlights

With the centenary of Gallipoli next year, we felt that we should stop here and pay our respects before heading to Istanbul. This, our Anzac Day visit to Villers-Bretonneux last year and our recent visit to the war memorial in Albany have opened our eyes to the part our brave Australians played in history.

Two weeks in Istanbul flew by but I now have more things to do to add to my list of 36 things to do in Istanbul. In the middle of this we flew to Gaziantep for a fabulous three day food tour which I’ll be writing about in the New Year.

 

Italy
Oh Venice…why had we left it so long to come back?
Quite a few years ago we used to visit Venice every year…we loved it but as the crowds got bigger we found new places to explore.

Of course, we fell in love again….what’s not to love about Venice

Venice
Venice

 
Walks of Italy Boat Tour
Exploring the canals with Walks of Italy

We looked at Venice through the eyes of a first time visitor.. we took a fabulous boat tour through the canals, walked and walked and lost ourselves in the backstreets….

 

Piemonte
Piemonte is a special place in Italy for us….our favourite area
!

October is white truffle season and we had timed our visit perfectly. We couldn’t stop eating these delicacies at every glorious meal we had. Did I mention that Piemonte has the best food and wine in Italy?

We went truffle hunting, visited the truffle fair, drank beautiful local wines and, as I mentioned, ate and ate. I really do love Piemonte and still dream about living in Monforte d’Alba.

Piemonte
Good food and wine in Piemonte

 

Athens
I hadn’t been to Athens since the 70s so it was great to be back….thanks to TBEX, a blogging conference!
Athens has changed of course…..

It’s all ways been a bustling city but now there are cafés on every corner, fabulous food to be had and an awakening of the city after the global financial crisis.

One of the highlights was meeting one of my facebook readers. Eleni was a charming hostess and showed us corners of the city we may never have found. She happens to be a foodie, a cooking teacher and runs culinary tours so we had a lot to talk about!

Athens

 

London
It was now time to start heading back to Australia…but not without a few more days in London.

The highlight was seeing the Remembrance Day Memorial at the Tower of London called ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ where a sea of 888,246 red poppies covered the moat representing each British death in World War 1. It was a very moving installation.

London's Remembrance Day Memorial
The red poppies flow over the bridge to the Tower of London

 

Paris
Paris is always a good idea! If only I could have stayed a month….

Frank Gehry is one of my favourite architects so there was no way we were going to miss seeing his latest venture, The Foundation Louis Vuitton which has just opened.The contemporary art on display is interesting but it is the magnificent building with its curved sails of glass covering the white walls and wooden and steel beams that is the star. Don’t miss it when you next visit Paris!

Foundation Louis Vuitton
The entrance to the Foundation Louis Vuitton

 
The Louvre at night
The Louvre at Night

 

Melbourne
Not quite home but back to our ‘second’ home in Melbourne.
Our eldest daughter lives in Melbourne so we spend quite a bit of time here catching up with friends, trying the new restaurants and seeing what’s happening. There’s always something on in Melbourne. This time it was the Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition. For those of you that remember the ‘enfant terrible’ of the fashion world and for those that don’t, it is a superbly curated exhibition. It’s been on a world tour and on January 8th heads to Paris.

Jean-Paul Gaultier Exhibition
Remember these?

 

Perth
With Christmas looming, it was time to head home!

What a year it’s been…what an incredible 20 months.

This week we have been moving back into our home. You may recall that we rented our house so we could travel freely for this time. This was a fantastic idea that worked for us….the packing and unpacking of a few household goods was definitely worth it.

Apart from an unexpected longer stay in Perth at the beginning of this year, we have been on the road….living out of a suitcase and taking in all the world has to offer.

I’m probably looking forward to hiding that suitcase for a little while but don’t worry…I’m busy planning our next trip! It may not be for as long but we’ll never stop travelling!

Thank you for joining us on our travels be it here or on Facebook and Instagram. I love connecting with you all and sharing our travels.
I’d like to wish you all the best for a fabulous, fun filled year in 2015.

Other articles you may enjoy:
An Introduction to Istanbul for the First Time Visitor
Postcards from the Kimberleys
The Secret of Finding the Best Turkish Small Hotel
Where to go in Jordan