Doing this travel photo year in review piece has really brought home how incredibly fortunate I was to be able to explore so many wonderful locations near and far this year. Each place I visited I was also very lucky to share the experience with those near and dear to my heart! I am so grateful for everything and I really want thank everyone who has followed along since I started this blog a few months ago. It’s been tremendously fun and rewarding for me. Below are 25 outstanding places we visited in 2015, in chronological order! All the way at the bottom you will find my latest photo from our wonderfully relaxing beachside Christmas getaway to Ucluelet. I wish everyone reading this the very best of the Holidays as well as good health in 2016.
1) Mystic Beach
This was a January day trip hike in to Mystic Beach in the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, Vancouver Island.
2) Sandcut Beach
Taken at Sandcut Beach on Valentine’s Day 2015 during my favourite Uncle’s winter visit to Victoria from chilly Northwestern Ontario. Totally didn’t notice the heart-shapped rock in the foreground of the shot until I looked at the photos on the computer. Strange…
3) Kayaking in the Chatham Islands
Taking a break from civilization on a day kayak trip to in the Chatham Islands in early March. It’s only a short paddle from Victoria but it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere with the beach all to ourselves for the afternoon.
4) Crescent Beach, Washington State
Low tide at Crescent Beach allowed us to get up close to this beautiful sea stack. Located at Salt Creek Recreation Area, Washington State where we camped over the Easter weekend.
5) Basseterre, Saint Kitts
My Sister joined me on a Caribbean Cruise in late April where we enjoyed this view from the balcony of our stateroom as we pulled out of port at Saint Kitts.
6) Sombrio Beach
Itching to get some camping in, we backpacked in to Sombrio beach in early May for a quick over-nighter. I’ve visited this hidden waterfall a number of times but it never ceases to inspire.
7) Galiano Island
Our good friends taking in the sunset at our camp ground on May Long. Montague Harbour, Galiano Island, BC.
8) Kwai Lake, Strathcona Provincial Park
I had an amazing adventure with my patner-in-crime and his daughter backpacking in Strathcona Park at the end of May. All the campers at Kwai Lake must have gone to bed early as I had the lake to myself for 40 minutes after the sun had set and the clouds started doing their magic. Just me, a glass of wine, a piece of chocolate and this beautiful scene was the perfect end to the day’s adventures.
9) Fairy Lake Fir Tree, Port Renfrew
My two nephews helped me make this shot during their summer visit to the Island. While stopped on the side of the road taking photos, a car slowed to a stop beside us. The driver rolled his window down and said this amazing little bonsai fir tree was growing out of the abandoned tree stump when he came to the area 40 years ago. How amazing is that? You can chop a tree down and cast it aside but allow enough light and rain at it and boom, it grows again!
10) The Gnarliest Tree in Canada, Port Renfrew
My nephew Dylan stands in awe, dwarfed by Canada’s Gnarliest Tree. Avatar Grove, Port Renfrew, BC.
11) Milky Way over Fairy Lake, Port Renfrew
My nephew Davis checking out the Milky Way at Fairy Lake. Managed to catch a meteor and some sweet looking mist on the lake too. Oh and we were serenaded by a very loud Barred Owl while making this shot. Definitely worth getting out of our tents at 2:00am.
12) Brady’s Beach, Bamfield
Just the two of us enjoyed the entire Brady’s Beach in Bamfield to ourselves for one night of camping during our summer holiday. Bamfield was stop number one on our ambitious week-long tour of Vancouver Island.
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13) Campbell Lake
Mid way through our VanIsle tour we stopped in for a couple nights of camping with family at Loveland Bay where we enjoyed this lovely full moon.
14) Amor Lake
Next stop on the VanIsle tour was our favourite, Amor Lake. This was the view one morning at our beach campsite.
15) San Josef Bay, Cape Scott Provincial Park
The grand finale of our VanIsle tour was the spectacular San Josef Bay on the northern tip of Vancouver Island. In between First and Second Beaches at San Josef Bay you will find a magical world where dwarfed trees reach for the sky atop ancient stacks carved out by the sea. We spent hours exploring here.
16) Skogafoss, Iceland
One of the many stunning waterfalls we visited on our 10 day tour around Iceland in September. Exploring Iceland was a “bucket-list” trip I was so excited for and it did not disappoint. In case you missed it, check out the top 10 Iceland waterfalls we visited.
17) Aurora Borealis, Blonduous, Iceland
We were so excited when Lady Aurora paid us a visit while camping at Blonduous, Iceland. Please visit my Iceland Photo Gallery for more images from Iceland.
18) Icelandic Horses, West Fjords, Iceland
When you sneak into a wild Icelandic horse pasture to take a shot and they notice you…get the full story of what happened next here.
19) Dynjandi, West Fjords, Iceland
We spent a night camping at the base of this most epic of waterfalls in the West Fjords of Iceland.
20) Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland
From Iceland we travelled to the Isle of Lewis, Scotland to reconnect with relatives whom I had not seen since my last trip there 30 years ago, before my Mum’s passing. Thanks to the overwhelmingly generous welcome we received it felt like going home and was the absolute highlight of my entire year. Pictured below is the view of Stornoway from the top of Gallows Hill in the Lews Castle Grounds.
21) Butt of Lewis, Isle of Lewis, Scotland
One the many dramatic coastline scenes we took in while driving around Lewis and Harris. For more photos from Lewis, please visit my Isle of Lewis photo gallery.
22) Callanish Stones, Isle of Lewis, Scotland
I had visited the Standing Stones of Callanish with my parents several times as a kid and was eager to return to this ancient ceremonial site. I was also wanting to research an old folklore tale my Mum had told us the last time we were all there together. If you missed it, in an earlier post I relayed the legend of the scorched stone at Callanish and the outcome of my quest to verify the tale.
23) River Creed, Lews Castle Grounds, Stornoway, Scotland
We enjoyed a personalized tour of the Lews Castle Grounds courtesy of my cousin’s husband who knew so much of the history as well as many of the old tales about the place which certainly enhanced our experience there. We loved how the peat-stained River Creed flowed like Guiness from the tap! (wishful thinking)
24) Uig, Isle of Lewis, Scotland
Stunning coastal scene somewhere between Uig and Breanish on the west coast of Lewis, Scotland.
25) Christmas in Ucluelet, Vancouver Island
This year we decided to “opt out” of the usual Christmas fan-fare and escape to a beachside cabin in Ucluelet with two of our favourite family members for a low-key commercial-free getaway. Rather than exchanging physical presents we shared the gift of time, and instead of turkey et al we dined on Salt Spring Mussels, Alaskan King Crab, caesar salad, steak and salmon. Experience gifts are my very favourite 🙂 On Christmas Day we took advantage of the beautiful warm weather to do some exploring along the Wild Pacific Trail leading to the Amphitrite Lighthouse, pictured below. Not a bad way to wind down one incredible year.
Thanks for looking at my 2015 Travel Photo Review!
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