Happy New Year from the Junes!
We’ve had the great fortune to enjoy some truly amazing adventures over the past twelve months. We visited 9 countries, including two new to both of us, and had the time of our lives with friends and family along the way. From some of our most beloved travel mainstays to new and exciting destinations, please enjoy our favorite journeys of 2017 (in no particular order)!
Verdun – France
One of our first journeys of the year was to the battlefields, trenches and cemeteries of Verdun-sur-Meuse, France. Between February 21 and December 18, 1916, nearly 715,000 French and German soldiers lost their lives here in a horrific battle of attrition, one of the largest and longest of World War I. Walking through these fields and forests – a landscape forever altered by war, scarred with deep shell craters and miles of twisted barbed wire and trenches – was an incredibly moving experience. We highly recommended this hauntingly beautiful region to anyone interested in Franco-German history or military history in general.
Cornwall – England
An April journey to England’s breathtaking Cornish coast was our first adventure outside of continental Europe in 2017. We were blessed with phenomenal weather as we explored the far-flung ruins of Tintagel Castle, hiked Bodmin Moor at sunrise, wandered through the mysterious Lost Gardens of Heligan, and sunbathed on the beaches of Kynance Cove. No trip to Cornwall would be complete, of course, without a stop for the region’s famed cream tea, an indulgence we greatly enjoyed – with the company of an ancient but curious orange tabby – in the beautiful seaside village of Mousehole.
Wasigenstein Castle hike – France
We embarked on our first family hike of the year – to the crumbling ruins of two French chateaux – in early May. Located between the charming communes of Obersteinbach and Neidersteinbach in the Bas-Rhin region of northeastern France, Wasigenstein and Petit-Arnsbourg offered spectacular countryside views and hours of memorable exploration. Griffey, as always, had a wonderful time scampering through the ruins and dozing in the shade while we enjoyed a picnic beside the trail. This adventure – only 90 minutes from our home – is one of our most treasured outings of the year.
Praia do Camilo – Portugal
We ventured back to the Algarve – one of our favorite destinations in Europe! – to celebrate the 6th anniversary of our first date there in late May. We based our adventures near the city of Lagos, spending countless hours along its famed rocky coastline, soaking in the sunshine and swimming in its clear turquoise waters. Our favorite beach, Praia do Camilo, is pictured below in all its breathtaking splendor. How we miss it, everyday!
Blue Lagoon – Malta
We celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary in early August by visiting the historic island nation of Malta. Our favorite moments were spent at a tiny cove beside the country’s famed Blue Lagoon, where an early morning arrival resulted in two blissful hours of uninterrupted privacy for swimming, snorkeling and cliff diving. Neither of us will ever forget the joy of swimming with the lagoon’s friendly schools of fish, or indulging in Comino’s famous pineapple cocktails (virgin for B. – she was 16 weeks pregnant on this adventure!).
Hallstatt – Austria
The journey to Austria’s stunning Lake Hallstatt – long on B.’s bucket list – was one of our last of the year. We were joined on this adventure – a road trip that also took in 12 Christmas markets across central Europe – by Griffey, T.’s mom and a family friend (who are, coincidentally, some of the best travel companions we’ve ever had!). Blanketed in fresh snow, this charming lakeside village – with its colorful cottages, winding pedestrian thoroughfares and spectacular views of surrounding alpine peaks – was nothing short of magical. What a way to wrap up another amazing year of travel and adventure!
Thank you for joining us on our favorite journeys of 2017! As we welcome our first child in the coming weeks, our adventures are certain to be greater, more varied and even more exciting in the new year. We hope you’ll continue to follow us and enjoy the wild ride! – T. & B. June
Next week’s journey: Partnach Gorge – Germany