Memorable Travels of 2014
Year 2014 is near to end. I did travel this year as holiday and overall I enjoyed my break from the office routines. Those traveling days are now just memories and they are not forgotten. In this post, I would like to summarize the travels in 2014 and shared my favorite travel pictures that perhaps you have not seen yet.
I spent the first day of year 2014 by scuba diving in the waters surrounding Bangka Island, North Sulawesi (Indonesia). For the first time I saw a pink hairy squat lobster, would anyone believe that in this world actually exist a hairy lobster with pink color? And one of my favorite underwater pictures from Bangka Island includes a funny “jumping” shrimp with eggs on her head. Or maybe it was her brain…
Sadly some part of the island is now mined and the latest update I received from friends in Bangka Island, the mining’s soil sedimentation has entered the ocean, covering the corals and the sandy bottom. The waters surrounding of the island is now dark brown with no visibility. It is sad and frustrating to imagine what happens to a beautiful island with unique marine creatures. I still get emotional whenever thinking about the situation in the island. My article related to Bangka Island and its mining also available in Diveadvisor.
I did a stop over in Singapore and met a friend for a dinner at Marina Bay area. It was a pleasant reunion evening. My last visit to Singapore was twelve years ago and the island country has changed a lot. Marina Bay is certainly a new neighborhood for me. I will be gladly return to Singapore later this year.
In February 2014, I spent 36 hours in Lisbon (Portugal), got a cheap ticket from one of air-miles offers. I was lucky with February weather in Lisbon that was so nice and warm, just like a spring time! Padrão dos Descobrimentos and its surroundings were spectacular. Then I saw the map of Indonesia next to the monument, a proof that the Portuguese had traveled that far! Lisbon’s travel stories as you can read in this link.
Dutchie and I had our long break from office in June 2014, visiting my hometown, Jakarta (Indonesia). I would not lie; Jakarta’s traffic jams and pollution were awful. However, I still enjoyed our family visit with all great food in Jakarta. Plus I had great time spending time with my niece who loves to swim and snorkel.
After Jakarta, we visited Raja Ampat where we spent ten days sailing and scuba diving. We passed many uninhabited islands, no television, no internet, and no telephone networks plus we hardly spent more than 24 hours on the land in ten days! We experienced a mishap: no electricity in the middle of nowhere, on the ocean. It was still a great travel experience. The nature beauty of Raja Ampat below and above underwater was the winner. Did you need internet and television when the beauty of nature was right in front of you to enjoy? Raja Ampat posts are available in this link.
Then in October, we decided to visit Valencia, the third biggest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona. Luckily there was a direct flight from Rotterdam-The Hague Airport to Valencia. I have been admiring Santiago Calatrava’s architecture designs from pictures, so of course his masterpiece in Valencia, City of Arts and Science, was part of our visit. Glad that we made the trip because Valencia was amazing city! To read my posts on Valencia, please visit this link.
There will be another trip this year to end the travel adventure in 2014. I am so looking forward to dive in the blue water of the Visayan Sea, enjoying the street food at Lau Pa Sat and more over: meeting new and old friends along the way like we usually did. I am sure the next trip will be a memorable one as well. Just like Penelope Riley in her book had said, “It is not the destination where you end up but the mishaps and memories you create along the way.”