2013 – A year in review

Dear 2013,

I am sorry that I have to write this. But I will be honest and straight up with you – I think it’s time we went our separate ways. It’s time for me to let you go. It’s not you, it’s me. You probably don’t believe me when I say letting go will be difficult. It has been an amazing year, so much has happened.

I started off in January with lots of good intentions… more hiking, less meat and sugar in my diet, fresh fruit and vegetable juice almost every day and generally just living a healthier life style. I bought my slow juicer and discovered some great recipes, finished the Lantau Trail hike with Monica…

Lantau Trail Stage 12-5 View

and kicked-off the MacLehose Trail.

MacLehose Trail Stage 2-1

February was cold – not just in Hong Kong, but also in Germany and Austria, where I went to see my family and friends. Chinese New Year was spent skiing in Austria, before I went to see a good friend and her family in the heart of Germany.

March. Back in Hong Kong. I went back on the hiking trail and experienced my first Poon Choi in Lai Chi Wo.

Poon Choi in Lai Chi Wo 5

Poon Choi in Lai Chi Wo 7

I also enjoyed my first street photography workshop with Eric Kim and Gary Tyson.

Streetphotograhy Course

People of Temple Street 8

People of Temple Street 12

The photography skills were especially useful as I went with my family on a two-week trip to Japan in April. Starting with cherry blossoms and Geishas in Kyoto we then went to the snow-topped mountains in the North.

Sakura in Gion Kyoto 3

Fushimi Inari Kyoto 10

Yasaka Shrine in Gion Kyoto 3

We explored the ancient houses of Shirakawa-go, drank sake at one of the many breweries in Takayama and visited the famous Matsumoto castle.

Shirakawa-go Japan

10 - Shirakawago

Tokyo blew me away with the Tsukiji fish market

Tuna at Tsukiji FIsh Market 10

Tuna at Tsukiji FIsh Market 5

Tsukiji Fish Market Friendly Trade 2

…and all the temples in Kamakura – I could have stayed much longer.

Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū Kamakura 2

Kenchoji Temple Kamakura 1

Back to Hong Kong and more explorations. This time to Shau Kei Wan (temples and the fantastic Defence Museum) and the Maritime Museum. Clearly the sight of boats must have triggered some stimulus as Patrick and I signed up for a four-day sailing course in Hong Kong.

We quickly headed to Taipei to eat more dumplings, drink tea and explore the fantastic sights…

Taipei 101 at night 1

… before we came back in May to Hong Kong, to welcome our newest family member. Sam our British Shorthair cat joined us as a small kitten.

Sam 5. May 2

Sam 16.6 after vet

Sam sleeping with Max 8.9

He has since then grown into a purrfect adult cat, who is gentle and playful but also very sleepy!

With our newest addition keeping us busy, Patrick and I only made it to Phuket for a quick long weekend in May. But that was fine, Sam greeted us already back at home, so we did not mind that we did not travel much that month. In June I was back in Europe, attending a wonderful wedding in a castle in the Czech Republic, before I spent the whole summer in Hong Kong.

This meant much more hiking for me, but instead of exploring the MacLehose Trail I became an Assistant Organiser of the Hong Kong Hiking MeetUp group and explored trails on Lantau and lead my own night hikes from Quarry Bay to Tin Hau.

Sunny Bay to Disney Hike MeetUp Hong Kong 3

10 DB to Mui Wo Hike

Shek Pik to Tai O Lantau Hike Hong Kong 1

Buffalo Hike Hong Kong 7

3 Peaks to Buddha Hike 15 Lantau Peak

3 Peaks to Buddha Hike 16 Lantau Peak

August saw a quick trip to Bangkok – just to eat more amazing Thai food and hang out with friends. We went to the markets, did some shopping but most of the time just ate fantastic food and Magnum ice cream.

Magnum Black in Singapore 3

A work trip also brought me to Singapore, after I’ve only been once in 1993. It has changed so much and was great fun.

Arab Quarter in Singapore 12 Masjid Sultan

I loved the Arab Quarter and Little India and just had a great time with work colleagues and Patrick who joined me for the weekend.

Marina Bay Sands Singapore 9

In September I explored new areas of Hong Kong through the Foodie Tour and organised more night hikes.

Man Cheung Po infinity pool Tai O Lantau 2

It was also my first visit to the famous Tai O infinity pool and I just wished I had gone earlier in the year, when it was really hot and sunny. In August I also started wearing my Fitbit Flex, a fun little gadget to track and compare my activity levels with friends.

Another quick trip to Khao Lak in Thailand in September , before I was off to a business trip to Germany and the UK in October I came back in time for the Moontrekker race and a fun Halloween hike.

Moontrekker 2013-14

Halloween Group Hike 2013 1

I also joined the HK Hunter for my first treasure hunt in Hong Kong and had great fun.

Treasure Hunt Sai Kung 7

Treasure Hunt Fortress Hill 4

The best local event that I witnessed this year was the fire dragon dance in Tin Hau, what a great tradition to keep alive.

Fire Dragon 2013 Tin Hau Hong Kong 10

November saw my first photography workshop abroad, and an amazing trip to New Delhi, Jaipur and Pushkar.

Jaipur Amer Fort 4 Elephants

Jaipur 8 Shop

Jaipur 0 Lady walking

Words are not enough to describe the beautiful sights I’ve seen in India and the fun I had with our photography group. It was one of the best trips (together with my family visit to Japan) this year.

India Workshop BTS 2 Ajmer train station group shot in colour

In November I also decided to learn Cantonese (again), so let’s see how long I can keep going. Finally, to end the year, a final quick trip to Seoul in December to see one of my best friends and then my parents arrived to celebrate Christmas and New Year in Hong Kong and Macau. And here we are… getting ready for an exciting near year!

What a busy year and so many travel destinations… it really has been a fantastic year, thank you 2013. But now it’s time to part. And we both saw this coming. I have met someone new. Let’s get ready for 2014…

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5 responses to “2013 – A year in review

    • I’ve got some exciting travelling coming up for the first months of 2014: Singapore, Thailand and India. I can’t wait to go to new places and take some pictures (plus meet you for coffee!). However, Sam is not the greatest traveller – so he’ll guard our flat.

      • Ah, I see. Wow, lots of travel ahead; cool! About heading out and Sam…was misunderstanding. Thought you were moving out from HK to another country;-). Hence the question, cause no, didn’t expect you to bring Sam along while traveling…hahaha

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