My favorite pictures of 2019

So to summarize my 2019  in just a few words, I would say  – exciting, challenging, feeling of self-worthlessness hitting sometimes, failures and a broken ankle. Totally memorable but nothing too bad either, with some learning, experiencing and a mixed package of everything. I tried and failed not only once but twice, but I succeeded as a mother and as a daughter. I had a couple of things in mind to achieve, but honestly, I never tried too seriously for my goal.

So here I am back after a long gap with the last post of this year. Although I began the year with some ideas of what I hoped to put into words in this blog but the year had its own surprises. 2019 was a roller coaster ride, I can’t figure out how fast months passed.

We as a family managed to do some good trips this year. Both the trips went exactly the way we planned and now by the end of the year, I have tons of photographs to find just a few to put here as my favorite. So here it goes

During the summer of 2019, we did our first trip to the east coast, it was short but did manage to visit all the places we planed and had some really good family time.

So let’s begin with my long list-

“The Oculus” also known as World Trade Center station is a well-known masterpiece in lower Manhattan. This gigantic structure is an amazing mixture of geometric patterns and elements.

If you are in New York, this national monument of freedom is impossible to miss. Fun fact is – during our 2018 France trip we came to know that Statue of Liberty is actually made by a French sculptor Bartholdi and they have exactly the same but a mini replica of Lady Liberty situated in the city of Colmar in the Alsace region of France.
Don’t miss this gorgeous skyline of Manhattan is visible from the Liberty Island.

Right in the middle of Manhattan City, Central Park is a completely different landscape with lots of opportunities for photography. After seeing this place in so many movies and TV series I was excited to be there for real. We almost walked there for the entire day still couldn’t get enough of it.

Night scene of New York’s iconic Times square. Amazing city experience. The hustle and bustle are contagious and the energy on the streets is fun to be a part of. It’s just plain fun to stand on the street and observe the lights and sounds of  New York. I doubt there’s anywhere in the USA like it…

Another view of this gorgeous skyline of lower Manhattan and Brooklyn bridge in the foreground. I have been seeing this view all over for long and always wanted to be there. But unfortunately couldn’t stand there for even 5 minutes, why? It was a burning summer afternoon and its too hot to stand without any shade.
This Manhattan Bridge overlooking from Brooklyn’s signature “Redbrick” Street buildings. This place is now a part of the “do not miss” itinerary of everyone visiting New York, having said that be prepared to get tons of people in your pictures and selfies.

Washington DC was a rush-rush visit for us, we didn’t get much time to visit the galleries and museums. But at least we managed to get enough time for our night photography routine. This scene is clicked from the Lincoln Memorial looking at the George Washington memorial.
Washington DC was a rush-rush visit for us, we didn’t get much time to visit the galleries and museums. But at least we managed to get enough time for our night photography routine. This scene is clicked from the Lincoln Memorial looking at the George Washington memorial.

Here come my favorites from the Spain and Portugal trip, this was one of the long-awaited trip and not sure since how long we were planning to visit Spain. When you are in Europe you expect to see historical monuments, nature or a movie like small villages, but no one would imagine a modern architecture could be so mesmerizing. This place is called a Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias which means Arts and Science museum(I guess!). We visited on a sunny day in November. Huge place to walk around and take pictures. We did not go inside to see any exhibits, as it is already enough to see it from outside.
We came back again to Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias at night to see how this place looks like in the night. Honestly, it wasn’t like the way we expected but still, we were able to capture some good shots.
This place came up like a surprise for us, and it is still the best memory of our trip. We were driving from Valencia to Granada and had some stops on the day as a part of our driving itinerary. We started navigating to our first spot and ended into some orange orchard, by the time we discovered that we already passed the first destination. Now we were already late with this unexpected detour and considering less ess daylight in the month of November we hardly had time left to visit any place. I started googling to find someplace on the way to stop have snacks and roam for some time to take a break from a long boring drive.
Caravaca de la Cruz – when we finally reached there it wasn’t looked like something of our interest at first appearance. We just parked our car and started walking and then…. This place opened itself like a surprise package of the day. Narrow streets lit like gold in the evening light, the quaint church building and view of the city from the top. The moment I walked in there it felt like a movie being in a movie set, too far from the tourist crowd I wished if I could stay there for some more time. Every picture of this place we clicked is my favorite and here I am adding two pictures on this place in my last blog of 2019.
Another one from Caravaca de la Cruz

This might look like an ordinary market street at a first appearance but there is a very interesting story behind this place and here it goes: We booked an apartment hotel in Granada and description says it is centrally located in old gothic quarters of the city. It looked pretty normal as it has everything we need and it is close to all the major tourist attractions. It never clicked us that, what it is to be like driving in old gothic quarters until we took a turn and started climbing on a dark sloppy road paved with slippery pabbles and narrow enough to just fit our mid-size SUV. As we were getting deeper the roads were getting narrower and finally when we reached, we were worried that after two days how we will take out our car from here.
Every place you visit, every picture you click has a little story behind it. Some memories make it special for you. All I can say is – travel is a combination of good and bad memories, not sure if it all makes sense but I can summarise it in a well-written quote from someone unknown
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”
Some places look unbelievable – sometimes because of their geographical location sometimes the amount of effort you put to reach there, etc. etc. Gibraltar is one of such locations till the day we were supposed to drive there;  weren’t sure if we should go there/not. Finally, we settled to see it from one good vista point and turned back from there and view of the rock on a clear day didn’t disappoint us.

Pictures from here on have very different place in my heart, why? Because I was there in those places but still wasn’t there. Yah that sounds crazy but we can leave that story for later blogs. Cadiz is one of the most beautiful little towns in southern Spain. It has everything you need for a perfect beach vacation, although we were there on a stormy day and it rained all night when we reached there. The next day we got lucky to get some good clicks in the little sunshine.
Seville is one of the busy and biggest cities in Spain. It has a lot to do depending on your interest. We wanted to do relax visit with some night photography. This is one of my favorites from the place called Plaza Espana.
Lisbon is one of the hottest trends in Europe. We knew that we are going to need a good amount of time to spend in Portugal but wasn’t sure spare it from Spain’s trip or do it separately. Whatever you do that lack of time feeling never goes away, but overall we did well in Lisbon. This city is known for its gorgeous bright red rooftops, I am not sure how they manage to achieve it but all rooftops match the same shade of red. All you need is a good spot to get the aerial shot.
During our stay in Lisbon, we tried to do something different than our routine(night photography), We tried a night photography tour and hired a local guide. That person took us to different places and gave some good suggestions for street photography. Here are some of my picks from Lisbon’s folder.
Signature trams of Lisbon during night
Streets of Lisbon during night

This Disney like the colorful castle is actually a palace of Portugal’s royal family. Now it is one of the must-do tourist attraction when you are in Lisbon. Sintra is one of the suburbs in an hour’s drive from Lisbon. Pina palace has a lot to do and see from inside but it depends on your interest and schedule. We had a long drive till Porto ahead of us so we decided to leave in half-day here and this is the only attraction we visited in Sintra.
Porto is one of the beautiful places in Portugal, but somehow we weren’t lucky that day. It was raining continuously and all the Porto Ribeira was covered in thick fog. We waited till noon to get some break from the rain and managed to get some good clicks meanwhile.    
Another one from Porto
Northern Portugal and Spain is a hidden gem full of beautiful landscapes, all shades fall colors and quaint coastal towns. We met some amazing people during our stay. It always amazes me how people put effort to connect with you in spite of long barrier of language, culture, locations, etc. Some of these places can only be achieved by car but if you can drive it won’t disappoint you.
From one of the coastal towns from Northern Spain

At the beginning of the year 2019, my life was like, waiting for something interesting to happen. A constant struggle to find something. I had spend hours just to find and find because I wanted to work hard I wanted to suffer. I am starting this new year with the same thoughts, hopes, and wishes. With all my previous resolutions passing into this year I wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year.  

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