A Review of 2015: Our Year of Travel in Photographs

When it comes to travel, 2015 was another fantastic year for us, once more packed full of superlatives. In November we celebrated a milestone: our seven year travelversary. Yes, it really has been seven years since we moved to Kathmandu and began our nomadic lifestyle.

So do we have the ‘seven year travel itch? It seems not and although we managed to stick to our 2015 travel resolution of slowing things down, we still packed a lot in! We visited places that excited us, cultures that inspired us, and scenery that awed us. Nope, we’re not ready to hang up our backpacks just yet!

Assos Turkey | 2015 Review in Photographs | Kathmandu & BeyondIn Turkey

Not surprisingly, we’ve taken a LOT of photographs this year. However, in this post, we have resisted the urge to include one of every town, city and village we visited in 2015 and have selected of few of our favourites from each country and included links, if you’d like to see more. We’ve also been light on the words because, quite frankly, most people don’t have the time to read long posts at this time of the year!

So, here it is: Our 2015 in Photographs

This year, for the second year running, we began and are now ending our year in Chiang Mai. This time it’s only for a 10-day ‘mini break’, but there could be a message there somewhere!

In February, we left Chiang Mai and flew to Bangladesh where we spent almost a month backpacking around the country. It was some of the most challenging travelling we’ve done for a long time but, in many respects, some of the most rewarding. Travelling in Bangladesh is all about the experience; it doesn’t have many ‘must see’ sights to tick off and although it may be clichéd to cite a country’s people as making a destination, this really is the case with Bangladesh.

Dhaka Bangladesh (11)Dhaka traffic

Rice Market Banaripara Bangladesh (1)Rice Market in Banaripara Bangladesh

From being chased around paparazzi-style to have our photograph taken, to train journeys that took many hours longer than scheduled but resulted in friendships being formed out of casual meetings, and for hair-raising bus journeys, Bangladesh was truly memorable.

Kirtankhola River near Barisal Bangladesh | 2015 Travel Review in Photographs | Kathmandu & BeyondTravelling by Rocket Paddle Steamer in Bangladesh

Read more: Rickshaw Art in Bangladesh, Travelling by Rocket Paddle Steamer in BangladeshBangladesh Selfies and Are the People of Bangladesh the Friendliest in the World?

See more: Our Photographs of Bangladesh

We were in a bit of a dilemma about our post-Bangladesh travel plans but ultimately decided to head back to the UK to visit family and friends before heading into Europe. If 2014 was the year of rediscovering our backyard, 2015 would see us filling in some more blanks on our European map. Our first destination was Montenegro and whilst its capital Podgorica under-whelmed us (although it does have its own unique form of street art), we fell in love with the Bay of Kotor. For us, it was like the Croatian coastline, but without the crowds.

Read more: Street Art in PodgoricaCats in Kotor and Travel Shot: St. George Church on St. John Mountain in Kotor

See more: Our Photographs of Montenegro

Stari Grad (Old Town) Kotor Montenegro | 2015 Travel Review in Photographs | Kathmandu & BeyondLooking down on Kotor Old Town

Travelling overland into Albania, just over the border we visited Shkoder, before spending some time in Tirana.

See more: Our Photographs of Albania

Photographs of AlbaniaTirana, Albania

Our next stop was the disputed territory of Kosovo. A veritable melting pot of cultures, the highlight for us was Prizren, Kosovo’s picturesque second city.

Read MoreHow to Spend a Day in Pristina, Kosovo

See more: Our Photographs of Kosovo

The Stone Bridge Prizren Kosovo | 2015 Travel Review in Photographs | Kathmandu & BeyondThe Stone Bridge in Prizren

We then travelled to Macedonia, where the over-the-top architecture in the capital, Skopje, definitely made our jaws drop.

Public Prosecution Office and Financial Police building Skopje MacedoniaSkopje

As did scenic Lake Ohrid and elegant Bitola, albeit for different reasons!

Lake Ohrid Ohrid Macedonia | 2015 Travel Review in Photographs | Kathmandu & BeyondLake Ohrid

Read more: How to Spend a Few Days in Skopje and Discovering Bitola: Macedonia’s most underrated town?

See more: Our Photographs of Macedonia

We then border-hopped back into Albania, literally walking from one county to the next. Albania surprised us with its historical towns, gorgeous coastline and hospitable people. We loved Berat, but were completely charmed by Gjirokastra.

Gjirokastra Albania (1)Gjirokastra

From Sarande, we took the ferry across the Ionian Sea to Corfu Town, Greece. Corfu only ended up on our itinerary because the flight from there was a cheap way to get back to the UK for a family wedding, but we really enjoyed exploring the Old Town with its many pretty cobble streets.

Corfu Old Town Corfu Greece | 2015 Travel Review in Photographs | Kathmandu & BeyondCorfu Old Town

See more: Our Photographs of Corfu Town

Next, we undertook an epic two-month journey across Turkey, from Istanbul, via the Mediterranean coast, Cappadocia, Kurdistan and eastern Turkey, to Hopa on the Black Sea coast. We had the most amazing time in Turkey and have documented our route in more detail in a three-part post.

Theatre Kaunos Dalyan Turkey | 2015 Travel Review in Photographs | Kathmandu & BeyondThe Theatre of Kaunos near Dalyan

Selimiye Camii Konya Turkey | 2015 Travel Review in Photographs | Kathmandu & BeyondSelimiye Mosque in Konya

ishak Pasa Palace Dogubayazit Turkey | 2015 Travel Review in Photographs | Kathmandu & Beyondishak Pasa Palace in Dogubayazit

Read more:  Articles on Turkey

See more: Our Photographs of Turkey

From Turkey we crossed into Georgia and spent three weeks exploring the country and drinking the wine …

Old Town Tbilisi Georgia | 2015 Travel Review in Photographs | Kathmandu & BeyondTbilisi Old Town

Mestia Svaneti Georgia | 2015 Travel Review in Photographs | Kathmandu & BeyondSvaneti Georgia

… before crossing into Armenia and doing the same there.

Harichavank Monastery Gyumri Armenia (3)Harichavank Monastery near Gyumri

Odzun Church Debed Canyon Armenia (2)Odzun Church in the Debed Canyon

We then visited a country we can’t include in our countries-visited count, Nagorno-Karabakh where we had one of our most adrenaline-fuelled adventures for a long time.

Papik Tatik Stepanakert Nagorno-Karabakh Republic | 2015 Travel Review in Photographs | Kathmandu & BeyondPapik Tatik monument in Nagorno-Karabakh

Everyone who visits the Caucasus seems to rave about them and our experience was no different. From offbeat architecture to stark stone monasteries in dramatic locations to green rolling hills and snowy peaks, it’s a destination that deserves attention.

Read more: First Impression of ArmeniaPlaying Cat and Mouse in AgdamBeing Surprised by Batumi in GeorgiaTravel Shot | Ushguli Village in Upper Svaneti, GeorgiaTravel Shot | Geghard Monastery, Armenia and Socialist-era architecture in the Caucasus

See more: Our Photographs of GeorgiaArmenia and Nagorno-Karabakh

We had to back-track through Armenia and Georgia in order to take a flight from Tbilisi to Kiev in Ukraine. Ukraine was quite a spontaneous decision and we’re grateful we made it. One of Mark’s personal highlights of Kiev may have been the women but both of us were wowed by the colourful onion-domed cathedrals, eclectic architecture and low cost of living! It’s a city I feel we will return to! We also visited charming Lviv before crossing the border into …

St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery Kiev Ukraine | 2015 Travel Review in Photographs | Kathmandu & BeyondSt. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery, Kiev

Poland. Our time in Poland was briefer than we would have liked, and unfortunately we only managed to squeeze in visits to Warsaw, Krakow and Kielce. However, its proximity to the UK means we know we’ll be back one day soon.

Read more: Articles about Ukraine and Articles about Poland

See more: Our Photographs of Ukraine and Our Photographs of Poland

Castle Square Old Town Warsaw Poland | 2015 Travel Review in Photographs | Kathmandu & BeyondCastle Square in Warsaw

Following another brief visit to the UK, we were South East Asia-bound once again! Our first stop was Thailand, where we spent time in Bangkok and Phuket. Our main reason for visiting Phuket was to attend the Phuket Vegetarian Festival.

Read more: Articles about Thailand

See more: Our Photographs of Thailand

Vegetarian Festival Phuket Town Phuket Thailand | 2015 Travel Review in Photographs | Kathmandu & BeyondPhuket Vegetarian Festival

The final two months of 2015 were spent in Vietnam, based in Ho Chi Minh City to work on a travel consulting contract. It has given us the opportunity to unpack our bags, if only for a few weeks, and with the year almost up, we thought it was about time we did some honest work! After all, we need a bit of extra cash to fulfil our 2016 travel dreams!

Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Read more: Articles about Vietnam

See more: Our Photographs of Vietnam

So, what is in store for 2016? We’re kicking off with two months in Cambodia, which I am particularly excited about! After that? As usual, we’re still plotting and planning but you may find us heading off in a rather unexpected direction …

Watch this space and stalk us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to hear first! 😉

Thank you for following our journey. We hope you continue to do so in 2016 and beyond …

Route Map of our 2015 Travels:
Related Reading:

2016 in Photographs2014 in Photographs | 2013 in Photographs | 2012 in Photographs

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