As 2015 draws to a close, it’s time to look back on the year and prepare for the next one. Since my phone is overloaded with photos I’ve taken during the year, I decided to clean it up to make space for next year’s adventures, but in the process ended up browsing through my old Instagram photos and thinking about the year that has passed. For those of you who don’t know Instagram, it’s a phone application that allows you to edit your photos easily and share them with others. The instant filters are fun to use and sometimes help capture the feeling of a place better than the original photo, since when you’re taking photos the light isn’t always ideal. So without further ado, here’s a look back on 2015 with the help of some Instagrams. I’ll split it into two parts as it’s a lot to go through!
The first snow fell of the season fell on 26 December 2014, and as we were in Czech over the Christmas/New Year’s holidays, we headed off to the slopes to enjoy some skiing.
As well as some skiing, we also visited some nearby places in Czech republic such as Kutna Hora and Třebechovice, before heading to Pec pod Sněžkou for New Year’s eve, where we hiked up the snowy forested mountain Sněžka, before spending the next two days skiing.
January was all about skiing, and we were not back in Berlin long before we headed off to Val Thorens for our annual skiing holiday with a group of friends. (Hang in there, I promise the snow photos will end soon!)
At the end of January I also had a meeting in IJmuiden in the Netherlands – the idea was to isolate us and they did it well since this seaside area was completely deserted in the middle of winter! But it’s always good to see the sea. A nature reserve in the area has some interesting sand dunes.
Although there was plenty of snow further afield, this year there was hardly any snow in Berlin, but there were still some nice sunny days for winter walks and the first signs of spring appeared early.
At the end of February / beginning of March, J and I went to South Africa (my home) for a great holiday that included sightseeing in Cape Town, a trip to Kruger national park, and a road trip on the garden route. I mostly took photos on my camera of this, so not many Instagrams, but here are a few of Cape Town.
By the time we arrived back to Berlin, spring had fully arrived. As soon as the sun comes back to Berlin, people emerge from hibernating in their apartments to flood the street cafes and parks.
A walk around San Souci in Potsdam on a cloudy day provided some nice photo opportunities. These former palaces are dramatic all year round.
Over the Easter weekend we took a trip to Vienna and Slovenia. Again most of my photos were on the camera, so not many Instagrams. We flew to Vienna from Berlin, spent some time there enjoying the Easter markets and city, and then drove in a rental car to Slovenia where we visited Piran, Postojna Cave, Ljubljana, Lake Bled, and Vintgar gorge. And – the year flew by so quickly that I still haven’t had a chance to write about this! Slovenia is truly a beautiful country with friendly, kind people and well worth visiting.
During spring, we also visited the farm in Czech again over a weekend. It was beautiful, sunny and filled with blossoms, probably one of the loveliest weekends of the year. We also visited the castle Kunětická Hora.
Spring also means the Blossom festival in nearby Werder an der Havel, where people flock to the town and surrounding farms to try a myriad of fruit wines made from fruits as various as quince, blueberry, blackcurrant, plum, cherry, peach, and many others. There are so many berries in Germany that I don’t even know all the names of them in English. For more about the festival, see here.
With the return of nice weather, people start organizing a lot more activities in Berlin, so as summer began we started going to barbecues, taking long bike rides, kayaking, swimming and much more. There are also lots of festivals at this time of the year, and as midsummer approaches the days get longer and longer.
Since we are now apart half way through the year, I’ll save the rest for part 2 – the second part of summer with trips to the Ostsee, Spain and Croatia, autumn and the beginning of winter! Some of these events feel like just yesterday; it’s hard to believe that 2015 is almost over.
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