Posted by: debrakolkka | December 30, 2010

My favourite places in 2010

This year has been full of wonderful travel.  I started the year with a trip to Italy via Hong Kong, Helsinki, Paris and London.

Hong Kong from my friends' window


snowy Helsinki in February

it was cold, but very beautiful

I went back to Helsinki in spring and met some Finnish relatives for the first time, which was wonderful, and again in autumn to absolutely perfect weather.  I am yet to experience Finland in high summer – one day. 

Paris was also freezing - but wonderful

We arrived in London just after the death of Alexander Mc Queen.  It was very sad to stand in front of his shop.

Alexander McQueen's window

Paul is attacked by a giant pink snail in Milan.

lucky to be alive

I went with my friend Di to Lake Como in March and liked it so much I went back in April with Jim, Laurie and Liz.

looking at the Alps from Bellagio

beautiful gardens in Varenna - Lake Como

I love Bologna.  I did the walking tour for the second time and loved it – again.

Via Drapperie - my favourite food markets in Italy

We drove through the Chianti area inTuscany in spring, stopping in GreveRadda and along the road to Asciano.  It really is just like the postcards, only better.  We have done this several times now, in all seasons, and it is always spectacular.

spring in Chianti

We went to Ravenna for the first time to see the incredible mosiacs

the incredible mosiacs in San Vitale, Ravenna

I got my Italian drivers’ licence and drove to Siena by myself for the first time, almost incident free.

looking through the buildings to the Campo in Siena

I climbed the tower in Pisa for the first time.  Why did I wait so long?

the view from the top of the tower

I took the overnight train from Florence to visit friends in beautiful Bavaria.

the beautiful little castle in Erlangen

I had a couple of visits to Rome – always fabulous.

Spanish steps late afternoon

Liz, Laurie and I went to Torino for Salone del Gusto.

threading tomatoes at salone del Gusto

There were a few trips to the gorgeous Italian coast – Portovenere, Portofino, Cinque Terre.

along the coast near Portofino

There were some very memorable meals along the way.  One of our absolute favourite restaurants is Il Fortino in Forte dei Marmi.

branzino ravioli with scampi at Il Fortino in Forte dei Marmi

lunch at the Armani cafe in Milan

Lunch at the Armani Cafe in Milan is always fun.   If you don’t have time for lunch, at least call in for a coffee and some excellent people watching.

how could I leave out the erotic salad at Paris Boheme in Lucca?

We love our newly discovered Paris Boheme in Lucca.  Luis and David are waiting for you.

I don’t have any pictures of Marco’s famous brick chicken or his fabulous pizzas, but thank you Marco for your friendly face and great food.

And, of course, I spent lots of time in perfect Ponte a Serraglio, with regular visits to lovely Lucca and fabulous Florence.

our very pretty village

I love my time in Australia – the best of both worlds really.  I love coming home to Brisbane and heading to the beach occasionally.

early morning at Main Beach

 My sister’s vineyard, Curly Flat is a beautiful place to visit, not least because they produce an excellent chardonnay and pinot noir.

Curly Flat - my sister's vineyard

We went to Adelaide to visit lovely relatives, and flew in a light plane over Lake Eyre, full of water, and visited some iconic outback towns, Maree, Coober Pedy and Birdsville – what fun! 

outback Australia

I think I can safely say 2010 was a very good year.  Here’s to 2011.  Happy New Year everyone!

If you have time, go back through the archives, or click on the highlighted words, for more information about the places I visited.


  1. you are soooo lucky! Auguri for tomorrow!!!!

    • Tante auguri a te!

  2. I have to say your trip to Hong Kong is my favorite… and the scenery from your village..
    Happy New Year Deb!

  3. I really like Finland, but it is hard to pick a favourite. Have a great New Year!

  4. Memories. Memories. We visited Bellagio and took some photos. One was from the road running along the forshore up a narrow stepped street between the shops. When I got back here I was going through a photo album an aunt had compiled after a trip in 1924. There was the same photo, only hers was black and white. I unknowingly stood on the same spot as she did 86 years and a World War later. Creapy!

    • I think that is great! What a coincidence. It is one of the most beautiful places in Italy. I have to go back.

  5. Beautiful pictures Deb. Makes me want to go back to Italy and I have only been back from there 3 months!!! Happy New Year.

    • You should go back! Happy New Year to you too.

  6. What a great year Debra! So many wonderful places you’ve been to. Can’t wait to see what you get up to next year.
    Happy 2011!

    • I’m going back to Italy at the end of January via Dubai. I thinking of driving to a few places in Italy I haven’t been to and revisiting a few favourites. We are planning a trip to Spain n April.

  7. Spectacular blog Deb, love love it all. Thanks for so much entertainment during the year. x

  8. What a wonderful year! I must say that I’m a bit jealous but look forward to visiting some of your suggestions in the spring.

    • Have a Happy New Year. See you in Lucca.

  9. Fabulous blog, love popping by. Think my favourite out of all these…. is Lake Como followed closely by Portofino. Wonderful year you’ve had Happy New Year 🙂

    • Thank you! I can’t wait to get back to Bagni di Lucca (in about 4 weeks) to see what has been happening while I have been away. Happy New Year!

  10. Happy new year Deb. We can’t wait for the next 8 months to pass when we begin our return trip to Bagne di Lucca. And other exciting places……..

    • Happy New Year! Hopefully I will have lots more places for you to visit in September.

  11. Earlie Morning at MAIN BEACH is my favourite, DEB

    Always will be except Northcliffe and North Burleigh.

    • I completely understand. The beaches along the Gold Coast are pretty hard to beat. I am sure we have left many layers of skin behind on those sunny beaches.

  12. Happy New year! As someone that has only experienced Finland in the Summer, I’d have to say that it is truly amazing!

    • I can’t wait to try it.

  13. Happy New Year, Debra!

    • Same to you, see you in February.

  14. And you say I get around – wow! Happy New Year, and may 2011 bring everyone a lot of wonderful travel!

    • Travel broadens the mind – and thins the wallet.

  15. Just the most wonderful post, Deb, thank you! All the best for 2011, look forward to more wonderful virtual travel with you! xxx

    • Thank you! Have a great New Year.

  16. Grazie mille! For sharing the journey with us!

  17. Wow! Great travel list!! and wonderful pictures!

    • Thank you! I’m off in a few weeks for the next trip to lovely Italy, via Dubai, so there will be lots more coming up.

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