I browsed through JA’s weekly featured photos to pick 12 of my favorite travel images from 2012. You can download all of them as desktop backgrounds.
Photo of the Week – or POTW, as I call it – is the first feature I had in mind when starting Jetting Around. As much as I enjoy writing, I also love taking photos – often times at night and from towers or bridges. Since I don’t travel (or leave home) without my camera, I have plenty of opportunities to shoot cities and then share my finds with you.
Here is my selection of photos from the past 12 months, grouped into views from above and other favorites. I chose the images either because of the view or a travel moment they remind me of.
Are any of the cities on your 2013 travel list?
VIEWS FROM ABOVE
Waiting in a long line to go up the Eiffel Tower was quickly forgotten once I got to see Paris from above. I stood there for several minutes, admiring the street layout – not symmetrical, yet harmonious.
Seville - View from the Giralda Tower
I spent a lot of time on the street level in Seville’s historic neighborhood – enjoying afternoon siestas in local tabernas – but seeing the city from the top of the Giralda Tower was equally fun. Once I caught my breath after climbing it, that is…
Barcelona – View from Park Güell
I wasn’t immediately smitten with Catalonia’s capital, but it started to change when I visited Park Güell. Designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, this charming public space features stone and mosaic buildings, a spacious terrace, and lots of vegetation. The picture was taken from the terrace and features two buildings at the entrance to the park.
San Francisco – Rooftops
Thanks to a friend and former San Francisco resident, who took me to the rooftop terrace of the San Francisco Art Institute, I was able to view the city from a new angle. One familiar structure was the spiky skyscraper on the left side. It’s the Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco’s tallest building.
Chicago – The Skydeck
Walking over a city on a glass balcony suspended 1,543 ft/412 m above ground sounds like fun to me – and is less scary than I expected. You can experience it from the Skydeck on the 103rd floor of the Willis (Sears) tower in Chicago. The views are worth dealing with crowds and waiting in a long line for the elevator.
Paris - A café at Place des Vosges
My first solo trip to Paris was my third overall, and at that point I was quite familiar with the city and knew which places I wanted to revisit. One of them was the lovely Place des Vosges, a tree-lined square surrounded by red brick buildings with white stone detail. If I hadn’t already had coffee that day, I would have loved to stop at the cafe pictured here.
London – Tower Bridge
With only two days in London, I wanted to make the most of my time there – see several major landmarks and somehow find time to explore beyond the city center. On the way to a birthday party at a traditional English pub, I walked by the River Thames to take pictures of the famed Tower Bridge. It was rainy and a bit cold, but luckily there was no fog. The bridge looked stunning that night.
San Diego - Boats in the San Diego Harbor
After visiting several big cities in California, a trip to San Diego was in order. When I arrived there, I was immediately taken with the San Diego Harbor, set against gentle hills north of downtown. The next day I took a boat tour of the harbor and enjoyed the views – and South California’s beautiful weather – from the water.
Boulder – View of the Flatirons
My trip to Boulder – located 30 miles northwest of Denver, Colorado – was the first time I went hiking since my teenage years. It didn’t take long for me to recall what I used to love about it – views, exercise (I’ll take hiking over going to the gym any day), and fresh air. The Flatirons are a witness to the resolution I made that day – that I would hike more often.
Chicago – John Hancock Center
The wedge-shaped, dark steel John Hancock Center is one of my favorite buildings in Chicago. I can’t walk past it without looking up, just like the day I took this picture.
Chicago – “The Bean”
One of the city’s most popular attractions – and one of the newer ones – is the bean-shaped Cloud Gate, a mirror-surfaced sculpture in Millennium Park. Since its completion in 2004, it’s been a draw for many visitors and locals, who can look at themselves and a reflection of the skyline from a variety of angles. You can see me in the middle of the photo, holding a camera.
Krakow – Main Square
The city’s biggest plaza used to be my favorite hangout when I lived in Krakow. Nowadays, it’s the first place I go to whenever I’m back in the city. I could spend hours in outdoor cafés, browse selections at small bookstores in historic buildings, or look for amber jewelry inside Sukiennice, a Renaissance merchants’ hall in the middle of the square.
Have you been to any of these cities? Are they on your travel list? Let me know in the comments below!