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A few weeks ago, I wrote about how much I love Instagram. I had stopped using my phone for photos prior to Instagram; I just didn’t see the point when I usually had a better camera with me to record the moment. Now I have thousands of photos stored on my little memory card, many of which have never been posted (although they may see the light of day if I ever manage to sort my backlog of photos, ha ha).
In my previous post, I covered my first three months on Instagram, which took me to New Zealand, Sydney, and many places in between. In the last three months, I’ve been further afield and have visited quite a few new places that I now can’t wait to get back to. Of the 63 photos I’ve posted from July onwards, I’ve included 35 of my favourites here.
Macaron baking — how fun was this?! You can ask anyone I know and they will tell you that I am not a cook. I just don’t enjoy it and I never have. However, I took it as a personal challenge when Adriano Zumbo released his cookbook last year. So many people had suffered at his hand on Masterchef, so why shouldn’t I to try to bake one of my favourite desserts?
These pictures were taken when my friend Suzanne, who is a much better cook than I, kindly offered her kitchen and joined me in a four-hour baking marathon. The result? Amazing salted butter caramel macarons.
I love being able to capture different angles on moments from daily life. Both of these photos were taken on commutes — the time of day that many people feel is wasted while they get to and from work. The first was taken while waiting for my train in Central Station; the other was taken while sitting in traffic on Coronation Drive next to the Brisbane River. That’s the bluest I’ve ever seen the river look!
When my friend Johanna, who I met in New Zealand, told me that she would be in Australia for her 25th birthday and that she wanted to spend it on the Barrier Reef, there was no way I could say no. That’s how I ended up spending a stunning day in early August snorkeling the reefs at Fitzroy Island and enjoying strawberry daiquiris at a bar with a view of the water.
The next day, we went on a whirlwind tour of the Atherton Tablelands. We spent the day visiting plenty of waterfalls (including the DEVIL’S POOOOOL) and wildlife spotting. Even though we weren’t lucky enough to see a croc (from afar, of course), we did get to see a wild platypus and plenty of little turtles!
These are two of my favourite places to spend time in Brisbane. It’s always relaxing to go out cruising on the Brisbane River, whether we’re wakeboarding or just cruising to the Brekky Creek Hotel. The other is a park full of jacarandas near the St. Lucia golf course, which turns brilliant yellow in August and then purple as the jacarandas bloom in October.
I’m a Travel Massive regular. I love being able to meet new people in the travel industry in some of the best bars in Brisbane. This one was at Spicers Balfour in New Farm. The rooftop bar had a brilliant view of the Story Bridge — it would be a great place to watch Riverfire!
Oh, Madrid Airport. So many…interesting memories. My flight arrived late so I missed the train I’d booked, so I had to go back the next morning and try to get a flight to Porto. It turns out that RyanAir would have been the easier option than the one I took, which involved watching a pilot kicking the landing gear on a tiny plane and then chatting to a Communist while waiting for our new flight.
I loved the city of Porto! It was such an interesting and visually stunning place. I could have spent days just taking photos…and trying each individual port cellar on the waterfront at Villa Nova de Gaia! And as for the sandwich? That’s a Francesinha, a local “delicacy” that’s pretty much a sandwich stuffed with meat, smothered in cheese, and then smothered again in a barbeque style sauce. It was good, but heart attack-inducing. I finished about half!
After TBU Porto, all of the bloggers went on post-conference trips organised by Turismo Portugal. I went on the ‘Grapes and Sailors’ tour, which took us to the Douro Valley and then to many of the historical towns of Minho. Northern Portugal is a very scenic place full of history, but two days definitely wasn’t enough to take it all in!
In between the two weeks of madness that were the travel blogging conferences, I went to England to visit my grandparents. Cleethorpes is a great place to decompress and have a few relaxing days, and that’s exactly what I did. When I got out of the house, it was mostly to my grandparents’ garden, although I did make it as far as the boating lakes once.
I really enjoyed my visit to Catalonia but I had far too little time there! One day in Barcelona wasn’t enough at all, and I didn’t even make it to the Sagrada Familia — although I did gawk at my share of Gaudí when I visited Casa Batlló. Girona was one of the most colourful cities I’ve seen and I fell in love with it almost immediately. I loved that I felt comfortable enough there to explore all the random little alleys.
And the food in Spain — wow! Even though I did feel like I’d eaten a year’s worth of ham, I had so many other amazing meals too. Paella and gelato were some of the few that I actually managed to take a photo of before digging into!
When I got back to Brisbane, the Brisbane Festival was in full swing. Along with hosting a twice-daily laser light show that seemed designed solely to annoy photographers, South Bank was transformed into a beautiful lantern garden.
Yeah, that’s my cat again. Sometimes he can be too cute not to include in photo roundups. That is, when he’s not biting me after I go swimming because he hates me the smell of chlorine.
There’s been some stunning sunsets in the last few months, and I even made it to Burleigh Beach for a 5.20am sunrise!
Of all of these photos, which is your favourite?