Photo Essay | My 2017 Travel Review

This post was most recently updated on September 18th, 2018

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2017 is only a few days from being over, which is crazy to me. Didn’t the year just start? Apparently not. Despite living in Ireland the whole year I didn’t travel a lot around Ireland, but I did go to a few places. In this post I’m sharing a brief month by month overview of my 2017 travels. I haven’t written about all of these destinations yet, but that’s not because I didn’t like them. It’s more because I got too busy. I’ll be sharing more about these travels on future blog posts, but for now here is a quick recap of where I went in 2017.

January

I started the year off by getting a new job, so I didn’t get to travel this month. That’s okay though. Living in Dublin, there are a lot of local places to explore.

Dublin, Ireland.

The Samuel Beckett Bridge over the Liffey River in Dublin.

February

I celebrated my new job by booking a quick 2-day getaway to Galway. Unfortunately, the weather was cold and rainy during my time in Galway. However, I took a day trip and visited Connemara National Park, Kylemore Abbey, and Ross Errilly Friary.

Killary Harbour, Ireland.

Killary Harbour in Connemara National Park. You can’t tell here, but there are mountains behind me. This makes Killary Harbour the only fjord in Ireland.

March

A few months prior I won an apartment stay in London. So in March, I visited London for the third time, which is all right with me. I saw a couple of shows and went to some museums I hadn’t visited before including the Victoria and Alberta Museum, and the Natural History Museum.

London, UK.

Somehow I always end up at Trafalgar Square (and the National Portrait Gallery) when I’m in London. On this trip, my visit to Trafalgar Square was quite solemn because I was in London when the Westminster Attacks took place (though I wasn’t anywhere near the attacks when they happened). I happened to be in Trafalgar Square when a vigil was being held for the victims.

April

In April I took the train to Belfast for a night and visited Northern Ireland for the first time. One reason I went was to visit the Titanic Belfast on the anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking. I also went on a day trip to the Giants Causeway, which included a stop at the Dark Hedges and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.

Northern Ireland, UK.

People are walking to the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge in County Antrim in Northern Ireland. I didn’t take any pictures while on the bridge because it was too dangerous and windy.

May

My parents came to visit me in May, so I got to show them around Dublin. We visited some local attractions like Dublinia (a Viking Museum), The Brazenhead (the oldest pub in Ireland), and Phoenix Park (where we saw some of the deer that live in the park). We also visited some spots outside Dublin including Malahide Castle and Gardens, the Neolithic passage grave of Knowth, and Trim Castle. At the end of the month, I also went on a day trip to the medieval city of Kilkenny.

Kilkenny, Ireland.

This is Kilkenny Castle in Kilkenny. Ireland. Kilkenny is only a couple hours from Dublin by train and makes a great day trip to take from Dublin. You can read more about great day trips from Dublin on my guest post for Wandertooth Travel Blog.

June

In June I finally got around to visiting mainland Europe since moving to Ireland. I spent a few days in Brussels, Belgium. I went on a walking tour, ate lots of waffles, drank lots of beer, and went to the fabulous Musical Instrument Museum. I also took a day trip that went out to the Rock of Cashel and Blarney Castle (as well as to Cork for an hour).

Brussels, Belgium.

These are some of the beautiful buildings in the square of Grand Place or Grote Markt in Brussels, Belgium. I enjoyed visiting Brussels (and experiencing some lovely summer temperatures). Any city with lots of waffles and delicious beers is good with me.

July

I had plans to go to Cork for a few days for my birthday (July 23, in case you want to send gifts 😀). Unfortunately, at the end of June, I got a notice that I needed to move from where I was living and would need to be out by July 31. I spent the first few weeks of July frantically looking for a place to live (which can be very hard in Dublin). Luckily I found a place to live that’s closer to where I work. Unluckily for me, I had to use the time off I booked for my birthday trip to move to my new place. I actually moved to my new home on my birthday (really…it was not fun). The most exotic place I visited in July was Donabate Beach in County Dublin.

Donabate Beach, Ireland.

After I finished moving my stuff  I bought a lemon cake and went to the beach. I’ve never been to the beach for my birthday before.

August

Being from Edmonton, Canada (with the 2nd largest Fringe Festival in the world) I’ve always wanted to visit Edinburgh for The Fringe Festival (the largest in the world). In August I went to Edinburgh for four days. I  saw a few shows, visited some museums (including Edinburgh Castle), and went on a grand walking tour. I wrote about my experience and a budget breakdown for this trip on a post for Why Wait to See the World.

Edinburgh, UK.

The Royal Mile in Edinburgh during the morning had a few people. A couple hours later this street was packed with people and buskers at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I loved visiting Edinburgh while The Fringe was on. I might be tempted to go back for a visit next August.

September

September was a low-key travel month. I spent some time exploring Dublin, including taking a fascinating street art tour with Instagramers Dublin. As well I went on a day trip out to the Wicklow Mountains and the monastic village of Glendalough. The tour also stopped at Powerscourt Gardens, which were terrific. I have definitely come to love gardens since moving to Ireland.

Powerscourt Gardens, Ireland.

These are the Japanese Gardens at Powerscourt Gardens in County Wicklow. Powerscourt Gardens were voted one of the top three gardens in the world. I wish I could have spent all day here.

October

October saw me taking a trip to Berlin, Germany. I stayed at a hostel in the borough of Prenzlauer Berg. I went on a food walking tour with Bitemojo and did a walking tour of some of Berlin’s historical sites. I found Berlin to be a really fascinating city, and I wish I had more than a couple of days here.

Berlin, Germany.

Berlin Cathedral on Museum Island in the Mitte borough of Berlin. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go inside because I got here when the cathedral was closed. It sure looks beautiful on the outside.

November

In November I went to Denmark, the only new country I visited in 2017. I spent a few days in Copenhagen visiting the Christmas Market at Tivoli Gardens (one of the oldest amusement parks in the world), taking a walking tour of Copenhagen’s historic sites and visiting the unque neighbourhood of Christiana. While it was cold and rainy in Copenhagen, I found the city beautiful and would love to go back here again.

Copenhagen, Denmark.

This is Nyhavn or New Harbour in Copenhagen, Denmark. I loved the colourful buildings here. There was also a small Christmas Market happening when I visited in November.

December

Back in October Ryanair had a flight sale, so I booked a quick one night trip to Birmingham for €10 round trip.I visited the German-style Christmas Market in Birmingham and went to a couple of museums including one about metal works for coffins. Just a couple days ago I also just went on a quick day tour to the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. As my final trip of the year, it was pretty sweet.

Birmingham, UK.

While parts of Ireland did get some snow in December, none really stuck around in Dublin. So in Birmingham, I got to experience snow, something I hadn’t since leaving Canada.

When I first moved to Dublin, I told myself I’d travel somewhere new every week. Well, I learned when you have to work (and move residence several times) that isn’t possible. For the most part, I was able to travel somewhere outside of Dublin each month. Aside from my visit to London (one of my favourite places to visit) all of the cities I went to were ones I hadn’t visited before. I got to visit a few new destinations in Ireland, but I’m looking forward to visiting more places in Ireland 2018.

2018 Travels

And about 2018 where am I going? Well in February I’m going to London again. The musical Hamilton is opening on the West End, and I got tickets for myself and a couple of my friends (who are coming over from Canada). I am going to conference in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in May. I’ve visited Amsterdam before, but not Rotterdam, so I’m looking forward to this visit. I’ll be living in Ireland for a few more months, so I’m going to try to visit a few more places in Ireland while I’m here. In mid-August, my Ireland visa expires, so I’ll be going back home to Canada. Before then I’m hoping to take a few more trips around Europe.

Overall 2017 didn’t play out how I expected. There were some hurdles (like moving for the 3rd time since moving to Dublin), but overall the year has been pretty good. I look forward to more travels and joy in 2018.

How was your 2017? Where did you visit this past year? Where are you going to in 2018? Feel free to share your experience in the comments below. 

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