2023: Where we were!
Chalkmarks: Sea sky, Madeira, Portugal, December 2023

Good morning. This is where we travelled in 2023!

IT’S that time of year when we look back at where we travelled … since you’re asking 2023 will go down as a vintage year when we explored Europe … It’s been a real treat … Looking back brings back all the feels … We started in February visiting the isle of Ibiza to see what goes on when the clubs are closed … It was bliss … We could rave about it all day … If this was winter sun we’ll be back … In May we veered north to Amsterdam for a long weekend … It had a very distinctive smell, if you know what we mean … It wasn’t tulips! … We then set ourselves the challenge of reaching the UK’s favourite holiday hotspot, Spain, without taking a plane … We caught the ferry from Plymouth and arrived 20 hours later in Santander … We quickly moved on to Bilbao … This is a handsome city on the River Nervión filled with art, architecture and the famous Seven Streets … From there we caught an early morning train to Benidorm … The weather will be great, they said … Well, it rained! … But it is full of caffs serving a pint with a full English … The following month in June we headed back north to spend a few days sightseeing in Santander … This is a port city on the Bay of Biscay … It’s not just named after a bank … Santander is packed with history and curvy beaches … Oh, and great shopping … Our trip in July was the year’s highlight cos’ we had friends join us on tour in Bari, Italy … The 2,000 year old city has aged well … It’s beautiful … Although it was flaming hot at 40C most days … By September we were in Albania … The country was all over TikTok in the summer and sliding into the travel sections of national newspapers with headlines that read: “The Caribbean of Europe” … And, the “Maldives of Europe” … In December we took a last cheeky trip to Madeira … The volcanic archipelago is a wowzer (see pic above) … It’s filled with stories of its colonial past and that means there’s plenty of booze … We walked the Levadas and trekked the highest mountain route Pico a Pico … We saw dolphins and humpback whales … Don’t wait your entire life to get out here … Grab your sunglasses, get out of the cold and into the warm … Madeira is Christmas in a glass … And while we’re here, we’d like to make a toast: to all those who supported and read Chalkmarks in 2023, thank you … An extra big thank you to our editor-in-chief MH … Just knowing he’s there in the background gives us great peace of mind … It’s been quite the year … Here are some of our favourite pix of 2023!

Wish you were there!

Chalkmarks: Old Town, Ibiza, Balearic Islands, Spain
February: Old Town, Ibiza, Balearic Islands, Spain
May: Amsterdam, Netherlands
June: Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain
May: Levante Beach, Benidorm, Alicante, Spain

Have you seen our pictures: Our fantastic travel photos, which capture some of our favourite destinations around the world, are now available for sale on Alamy. Woohoo!

Chalkmarks: El Sardinero, Santander, Spain
June: El Sardinero, Santander, Spain
Chalkmarks: Polignano a Mare, Puglia, Italy
July: Polignano a Mare, Puglia, Italy
Chalkmarks: Ksamil, Albania, September 2023
September: Ksamil, Albania
Chalkmarks: Madeira, Portugal, December 2023
December: Madeira, Portugal

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A whole new world!

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