Our 60 Favorite Photos from 2016

Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

A couple of weeks ago I did a wrap-up of our favorite (and not-so-favorite) places visited in 2016. We took so many photos in 2016 that we decided to go through them and choose our favorites from the year.

“Favorite” photos doesn’t necessarily mean “best” photos. “Favorite” can mean a place that holds a special memory (like that dog lying at Lissette’s feet) or a place that was just overall a special place (Cape Town was for me “that special place”).

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Anyway, here goes: Our favorite photos of the year:

 

60. Bo Kaap neighborhood, Cape Town

I loved Cape Town and this neighborhood was really special. I look at this photo and I get nostalgic for South Africa, that’s how much I was crazy the place. More on Bo Kaap here.

Bo Kaap neighborhood, Cape Town

 

59. Heathrow Airport

I’m a fan of photos from a plane window. This one was taken taking off from London’s Heathrow airport on the way to Bucharest. Love the mist and all the planes below.

The photo was part of a very long 34 hours travelling Cape Town – London – Bucharest – Budapest including a 16 hour train ride from hell. I wrote about it here.

Heathrow Airport from the air, London

 

58. Prague, Czech Republic

This photo was taken in Prague where we spent the month of March (we like to get our dental work there, it costs about half of what it would in Canada). March is actually a great month to be in Prague and we found the city very photogenic this time of year. This was our 3rd time in Prague and I think we took some of our best photos of the city this time around.

swans in Prague, Czech Republic

 

57. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Mexico is the most colourful country in the world. This is San Miguel de Allende, in central Mexico. More here.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

 

56. Chain Bridge, Budapest

We spent the month on February in Budapest. Although it was never really cold (well, compared to Canada) it was often foggy and sometimes you couldn’t even see the other side of the Danube river. This is the Chain bridge covered in fog.

We’ve spent lots of time in Budapest. This post was written after spending 2 months there in 2015 and includes photos of the highlights of the city.

fog on the Chain Bridge, Budapest

 

55. Sevilla, Spain

This is a photo of the Metropol Parasol in Sevilla, Spain. We spent 2 months this summer in Sevilla and absolutely loved it. The Metropol Parasol is billed as the largest wooden structure in the world and you can take an elevator ride up top for great views over the city.

Sevilla is a place I miss. If you want to read more about it and the things to see in the city, I’ve got a post on it here.

Metropol Parasol in Sevilla, Spain

 

54. Skopje, Macedonia

This photo was taken in Skopje, the capital of the country of Macedonia (also known as FYROM, short for Former Yugoslav Republic Of Macedonia). Skopje is strange, where else would you see a pirate ship on a river in a land-locked country?

People like strange, I think it explains why our post on Skopje was our most popular among readers this year.

boat in Skopje, Macedonia

 

53. Over the Albania coast

Another ‘View from a Plane’ photo. This is the rugged coast of Albania, which we crossed flying Istanbul to Lisbon in late July.

Over the Albanian coast airplane view

 

52. Guanajuato, Mexico

This is a photo of Guanajuato. Most people don’t know about it because it is in Mexico. Gorgeous place. I chose this photo but honestly I could have chosen almost any other photo in this post.

colors of Guanajuato, Mexico

 

51. Mt. Biokovo, Croatia

This photo was taken after driving to the top of Mt. Biokovo, one of Croatia’s highest peaks. The road itself is the highest road in Croatia. The views are INCREDIBLE as you’ll see in the attached post. This photo was taken with Croatian friends Goran and Vedran.

Mt. Biokovo, Croatia

 

50. Prague

Lissette took this photo in Prague, one of our favorite cities. It’s not the most interesting of photos and wouldn’t have made it here if it wasn’t for the guy walking around in shorts. Love his confidence and the colour he adds to an otherwise monotone background. He’s the reason we love this photo.

charles bridge, Prague

 

49.  Cape Town, South Africa

Jacaranda tree in Cape Town. The Cape area of South Africa has the most plant diversity of any place on earth and you can see that walking around the city.

The best place to see Cape Town’s flora is at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, one of the top botanical gardens in the world. It also has a spectacular location at the base of Table Mountain. More here.

Jacaranda tree in Cape Town, South Africa

 

48. Split, Croatia

Split is going to be featured a few times in the list of our favorite photos of 2016. This one, of the bell tower of Saint Domnius, was taken by Lissette this summer. Split has a spectacular old town which I’ve written about here.

Split, Croatia

 

47. Bamberg, Germany

We were in Bamberg in March. It is a fairy tale town located in the Franconia region of Germany, about the most charming place we’ve been with THE best beer of any place in the world.

More about this town here.

Bamberg, Germany

 

46. Venice, Italy

We were in Italy for a month in April using Padova as a base in the Veneto region. One of the places we visited was Venice, our 2nd time there.

Venice is incredibly photogenic. This photo (again taken by Lissette) didn’t even make it on this post.  But I love it, it is so typically Venice.

Venice masks

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45. Patzcuaro, Mexico

Little girl on pony and proud father, Patzcuaro, Mexico.

Patzcuaro is a really pretty little town, one of Mexico’s “Pueblo Magicos”. More here.

Little girl on pony and proud father, Patzcuaro, Mexico.


44. Lisbon, Portugal

Steps in Lisbon, Portugal.

We spent August in Lisbon and really just didn’t connect with the city. My post on Lisbon was my most commented on post this year, many people weren’t happy with me.

Steps in Lisbon, Portugal

 

43. Rovinj, Croatia

We spent the month of May in Rovinj, up in northern Croatia. Really pretty place and a great spot to visit Istria. It also has great sunsets. More here.

sunset in Rovinj, Croatia

 

42. Tokyo, Japan

The two major highlights of Asakusa (Tokyo) in one photo: The Sensoji Temple and the Tokyo Skytree.

The Asakusa area ended up being our favorite area of Tokyo. More about that here.

The Sensoji Temple and the Tokyo Skytree, Asakusa, Tokyo

 

41. The Vatican, Rome

Lissette’s always wanted to see St. Peter’s Basilica. In May we had our first ever visit to Rome and saw the basilica firsthand (below is the fountain in St. Peter’s square with the basilica in the background)

A lot of people complain about Rome. We really enjoyed it, I think it’s just a question of planning. More.

The Vatican, Rome

 

40. Kyoto, Japan

Interesting streetlights and wires in Kyoto, Japan. Highlights of Kyoto.

streetlights and wires in Kyoto, Japan

 

39. Cape Town, South Africa

I love Cape Town and this photo includes many of the things I love about it: Table Mountain, magical sunsets, and a beautiful warm breeze blowing through that giant Palm tree across the street from where we stayed for 3 months.

Lissette liked South Africa but didn’t have the same love for it that I had. I summed up our feelings here.

Cape Town, South Africa

 

38. Somewhere in Romania

The desolate countryside of Romania taken on that 16 hr train ride from hell in January of 2016 (we were going from Bucharest to Budapest).

We only spent 12 hours in Romania but in many ways it was enough. I wrote about that on this newsletter.

Somewhere in Romania

 

37. Hvar, Croatia.

Lots of purple.

This photo was taken by Spanky when we visited the island of Hvar (Croatia), an hour’s ride by ferry from Split.

Hvar, Croatia

 

36. Kyoto, Japan.

Golden Pavillion in Kyoto, Japan. Also snapped by Spanky. Highlights of Kyoto.

Golden Pavillion in Kyoto, Japan

 

35. Budapest, Hungary

Fog in front of the Hungarian Parliament building (photo taken in February when we stayed in Budapest for a month)

Budapest, Hungary

 

34. Knysna, Garden Route, South Africa

Another spectacular place in South Africa. Over 2 weeks, we drove 2000 km and saw some of the most spectacular geography we’ve seen anywhere. More here.

Knysna, Garden Route, South Africa.

33. Prague, Czech Republic

Crazy Bastard with the good soldier Švejk at one of our favorite viewpoints in Prague.

We spent the month of March in Prague and it was as beautiful as ever.

Prague, Czech Republic

 

32. Split, Croatia

Split, Croatia in August. One of our favorite places anywhere.

Split, Croatia in August

 

31. Venice, Italy

There’s something I like about these waiters – this is at one of those overpriced cafes in Venice where they charge you for the music. I remember falling for it on our first trip to Venice back in 2008, paid about $40 for two cups of coffee.

We were back in Venice this year and it was as beautiful as ever. And this time we knew better about those cafes on St. Mark’s square.

Venice, Italy. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

 

30. Kyoto, Japan

Lady lighting candles at a temple in Kyoto. Snapped by Lissette (the last Venice photo was as well – she’s much better at taking photos of people than I am).

Kyoto, Japan. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

 

29. Hvar, Croatia

Harbor, Hvar town (Croatia).

Hvar, Croatia. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

 

28. Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje, Macedonia – one of the most interesting places we visited in 2016. Our post on Skopje also brought the most traffic to the blog last year.

Skopje, Macedonia. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

 

27. Rovinj, Croatia

Rovinj, Croatia – Lissette snapped this photo. Rovinj isn’t a big place, but it’s really pretty and incredibly colourful. We spent 5 weeks here in May of 2016. More here.

Rovinj, Croatia. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

 

26. Prague, Czech Republic

We spent the month of March. I’ve already posted a few photos of Prague – it has to be one of the most photogenic places anywhere. This (kind of weird) sunset photo features a tram and Prague castle in the background. Lots more photos of Prague in this post.

Prague sunset. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel.


25. Kyoto, Japan

The Kiyomizudera Temple in Kyoto was one of the most beautiful temples we saw in Japan and the views are especially stunning in Autumn. In the background you see the Kyoto Tower, which sits right across from the train station.

Kyoto, Japan. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel.


24. Cape Town, South Africa

The views of the 12 Apostles from Camps Bay, Cape Town, South Africa. Love, love, love these views of the 12 Apostles.

12 Apostles in Cape Town. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel.

23. Split, Croatia

A warm summer’s day in Split and a barbecue at a friend’s house. Lots of grilled meats, fish and vegetables along with Ožujsko beer and rakija (moonshine). Typical Croatian barbecue. Good times!

barbecue in Split. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

 

22. Belgrade, Serbia

Stunning sunset over Belgrade, Serbia in December. We didn’t know what to expect, but we really enjoyed Belgrade. More here.

Belgrade, Serbia. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel.


21. Kyoto, Japan

Photo taken by Lissette in Kyoto. She calls this one the “Kimono pileup”. I wrote a post about the love of selfies/photos in Japan here.

selfies in Japan. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

 

20. Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

Setting sun on Table Mountain in Cape Town taken from the veranda of the apartment where we stayed for 2 months. If you look really hard you’ll see the cable line for the funicular.

More photos of incredible Table Mountain here.

Table Mountain, Cape Town. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

 

19. Dog in Split 

Dog in Split, taken by Lissette. Why a dog on our favorite photos of 2016? Lissette is scared of dogs. In August she decided to take a walk up Marjan Hill – and this guy came out of nowhere and ran up to her. He just wanted to be her friend and, when she sat down on a bench, he just decided to lay there next to her. It (kind of) helped her get over her fear of dogs.

dog in Split. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

 

18. Koelbaai, South Africa

I’ve seen different versions of this photo, with the spot usually labelled as “Hermanus”. It’s not Hermanus however (Hermanus is further up the coast) but Koelbaai in the Overberg (about an hour’s drive northeast of Cape Town). It is an incredible beautiful, scenic spot.

South Africa. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

 

17. Prague, Czech Republic.

Yes, I know – I probably have too many photos of Prague. But we love Prague (it’s where we started travelling full-time almost 3 years ago) and this photo captures the atmosphere on a cool evening in March.

Prague Castle. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

 

16. View of Split, Croatia

It’s not the most exciting photo. So why is it here? We came up the bell tower of St. Domnius a few years ago and Lissette freaked. A lot of people freak out coming up this tower because of the ‘openness’ of the interior column of the tower. See here to understand what I’m talking about. So last year, while I was in Mexico, Lissette got up the courage and came back up here by herself. This photo is her memory of making it to the top.

Split, Croatia. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

 

15. Swartberg Pass, South Africa

This photo has special memories. That’s our rental car on the Swartberg Pass in South Africa. It is one of the most scenic and also scariest mountain passes we’ve ever gone over. But if you’re ever in the Klein Karoo region of South Africa you HAVE to experience this drive, it is spectacular. More.

Swartberg Pass. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

 

14. Skopje, Macedonia

Lissette’s photo – a hot summer’s night in Skopje, Macedonia. That statue of Alexander the Great is 22m high, the centerpiece in the “Skopje 2014” plan to spruce up the city. More.

Skopje, Macedonia. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

 

13. Split, Croatia

Roman guards in Split, posing with Crazy Bastard.

Lots of photos of Split’s incredible Diocletian’s palace here.

Roman guards in Split, Croatia. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

 

12. Marjan Hill views, Split, Croatia.

Views from Marjan Hill on a hot, humid day in July. Marjan Hill is one of our favorite spots in Split and there’s nothing better than coming here for the views and having a beer or coffee at the café right next to the lookout.

Split from Marjan hill. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

 

11. Tokyo, Japan.

The Sensoji Temple in Tokyo at night.

More on the Sensoji Temple here, one of Tokyo’s highlights.

Asakusa, Japan. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

 

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10. Table Mountain, Cape Town

One of the most incredible geographic highlights in the world. Seeing it for the first time we were blown away (almost literally, it was very windy on this day). I did several hikes up Table Mountain during our 3 months in Cape Town and it was always stunning.

I love this photo taken on that first visit.

Table mountain. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

 

 

9. Matsumoto Castle, Japan

View from Matsumoto Castle, Japan. Taken by Lissette. I love the effect of the roof…

Matsumoto Castle, Japan. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

 

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8. Guanajuato, Mexico

It’s an incredible place and the views over town from the Pipila statue viewpoint are spectacular. More. One of the most beautiful places I’ve been to.

Guanajuato, Mexico. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel.


7. Bamberg, Germany

The typical German town of Bamberg, home to what we think is the best beer in the world. We spent 2 weeks here in February and will be back someday. More on Bamberg.

Bamberg Germany. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

 

 

6. Mt. Biokovo, Croatia

My favorite photo from one of the most spectacular spots visited in 2016. This view is from Vošac lookout on Mt. Biokovo and the views are looking down the Central Dalmatian coast towards Split.

More on Mt. Biokovo, one of the highest peaks in Croatia (you can drive to St. Jure viewpoint which is the highest driveable peak in the country).

views from Mt. Biokovo. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

 

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5. Table Mountain, Cape Town

Views from the cable car station on table Mountain, Cape Town.

There’s a reason I put this photo right after the one featured in #6: How similar is the geography in South Africa to that in Croatia? I love the combination of sea and mountains in both. They are the two most scenic places we visited in 2016.

Table mountain views. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

 

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4. Sevilla, Spain

I love this photo because it just represents everything we experienced there: warm nights walking the old city, drinking wine, eating tapas and seeing lots of beautiful churches. Sevilla was a perfect base for slow travellers like us and we loved our time there. Our thoughts on Sevilla.

Seville, Spain. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel.


3. Split, Croatia

Technically it’s not the greatest photo (the bright lights on the Riva screwed with the lighting). But we love summer thunderstorms and we love Split. So it’s made it in our top 3.

Storm in Split. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

 

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2. Skopje, Macedonia

It was our first day in Skopje, Macedonia when Lissette spotted this couple having their wedding photos taken on the new “Bridge of Civilizations” (one of many weird new structures in Skopje). Lissette loves couples getting married and went closer to take a look. She asked if she could take their photo. They said yes. This is the result. What a beautiful, exotic-looking couple. And look at that dress. Just another reason why we always come back to the Balkans.

Wedding in Skopje. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

 

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1. Prague, Czech Republic
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OUR FAVORITE PHOTO OF THE YEAR.

I’ve always wanted to see Prague under a layer of snow. We were here for the month of March and I had almost given up – until one night it happened. It snowed. I ran to the window of our apartment and snapped this photo. That’s Prague castle in the distance.

March is actually a great time to visit Prague. The weather was variable, from a couple of wintery days to some spring-like days, we had some great sunsets, and we didn’t see the tourist hordes that we’ve encountered in other seasons. Prague is the kind of city that’s great to wander around and then stop for a beer or coffee. This was our 3rd time here and we seem to like it more every time.

Prague in Snow. Our Favorite Photos from a year of travel

 

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You can probably tell from the above that Split, Cape Town and Prague are some of the most photogenic places we visited in 2016.

Where’s the most photogenic place you’ve been?

 

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26 Comments

  1. Great photos! I’ve gotta go for the misty ones as my favourites (59, 56 and especially 35) but as for the photo that makes me want to visit, it has to be the one of Hvar – the place looks glorious!

    1. It must be your British blood missing that fog Mark!
      Hvar was beautiful – but I remember that day and how hot it was. The Balkans get really hot in July.

  2. Hi Frank and Lissette

    Great post. Love the photos and walk through 2016 with you. We love some of these spots also-Split, Seville, Mexico and it makes us yearn for others-South Africa and Macedonia. As beginner slow travelers ourselves- this April it will be the end of our first year away from the USA-we are happy to be able to experience Europe and now Morocco in the slow style.

    Hope our paths cross someday

    1. Hi Paula,
      I’m sure we’ll meet along the way, hopefully some time in Croatia which (it looks like) will be home for a little while. In a way I envy you guys – the first year is always the most exciting. We always love travelling but i’ll never forget that newfound freedom we felt back in 2014 when we first started off…
      Enjoy every second and I hope you guys enjoy Morocco. Look forward to hearing about it when we meet you 🙂
      Frank

    1. Thanks so much Christie. Yes, I think Cape Town has one of the most spectacular geographic locations anywhere on earth.

  3. One of our favorite places for photos was in Antigua, Guatemala (colonial homes, Lenten processions, traditional Mayan dresses) where we lived for 5 months and your photo of the jacaranda trees in Capetown reminded me of that. Awesome idea, Frank and I loved the mix of places and people! There are a lot of places that people rave about where we just don’t feel the charm, either but there’s also a huge difference between slow traveling (on a budget) and vacationing as well as the all-important issue of timing. And it makes the places we fall head-over-heels that much more special!

    1. “there’s also a huge difference between slow traveling (on a budget) and vacationing” – so right Anita. Sometimes I’ll get a message “Well, we loved our week in _________ !” and just want to tell them to screw off because they obviously didn’t read the post where I’m stating why we didn’t enjoy a place. Sure you can love a place when you’re on vacation, going from sight to sight and eating in restaurants every meal. You’ll like it a lot less if you’re there for a month and can’t find a grocery store, the locals are nasty, and everything is priced for short-term tourists…
      Anyway, you’re very right as always Anita.

      I’d like to explore more of Latin America including Guatemala. It honestly makes Lissette a little nervous and with her being Latina she sometimes worries about being judged (as happened way back in 2006 when we were in Colombia). Maybe one day. I personally love it and always enjoy my trips to Mexico when I visit my mom.

      Thanks for the comment Anita.

  4. Wow what an incredible collection! I do agree that favorite photos doesn’t always mean the best photos, because only the photographer knows the story behind. Last year I went to Split and went up the tower and wow, I’m not usually afraid of heights but I did feel a bit dizzy in that tower. Bravo for Lisette to get to the top by herself!
    I think the most photogenic place I visited in 2016 was the lake Leman in Switzerland. And well, I also love to take photos from the plane window!

  5. Wow! That’s a fabulous collection of photos. I think I have to go with #37 – Lots of purple, it just spoke to me. And, I’m pretty partial to Prague, so those are a given – and the bright colors from Mexico always catch my eye.

    That’s the thing I love about taking pictures when traveling. Sometimes you don’t realize you caught such an amazing moment until much later.

    Thanks for sharing and safe travels in 2017!

  6. Lots of amazing photos. Few of my favourites:

    San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato- Love the colours in this.
    Chain Bridge – amazing mood. I love the mist and it looks great in black and white
    Marjan Hill views, Split – Beautiful viewpoint and composition. I just want to be there! 🙂
    Bamberg – This town looks so cute. Adding to my list!
    Belgrade – Now that’s an amazing sunset, woww!

    I do of course love them all though. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Mike, appreciate that you took the time to list them. We’re probably too close to it so nice to hear the ones others like.

  7. Lovely images Frank. I might steal the idea. So many images that go unused.. I think for me, I would pick Budapest as the most photogenic. Split looks very beautiful indeed.

    1. Ah, I guess you like foggy photos! 🙂 Budapest was quite damp and foggy in February.
      I’ve seen other bloggers do posts about favorite Instagram photos. I don’t use Instagram and have no interest (they belong to Facebook and I have my own issues with them. No thanks). I figured I’d do the same without promoting Instagram/Facebook.

    1. Yes, Guanajuato. Incredible place…if you’re ever in Central Mexico you can’t miss it (an hour and a half from San Miguel de Allende which you can’t miss either)

  8. I love this collection! The photo’s have special meaning to you, can’t go wrong there. Great memories….It must have been a daunting task going through them all and limiting it to 60.

    1. We actually enjoyed going through them all. Some have appeared on other posts but weren’t relevant to a specific subject and didn’t.
      Thank you for your comment Paula 🙂

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