Our Top 10 Travel Moments Of 2017 – From Poland To Pandora

At last, the annoying tones of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ have finally faded, along with the remnants of 2017. Not the best year, with most of the world repeatedly punching itself in the face we’re just relieved we scraped through it unscathed. Unlike my initial predictions, we can start 2018 on a positive note as we haven’t ended up foraging for food in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Hope you’re not too depressed, world news aside, personally we were lucky enough to have had quite a good 2017. We had the chance to visit many new and exciting (and not so exciting) destinations. So in no particular order, here are our top 10 favourite travel moments of 2017.

Hiking The Svínafellsjökull Glacier In Iceland

The Svínafellsjökull Glacier

Hiking the Svínafellsjökull Glacier

Iceland is a spectacular place and despite its popularity and increasing crowds, it doesn’t take long to get out of the city and feel completely alone amongst its rugged, volcanic landscape. About 4 hours out of Reykjavik is the Svínafellsjökull Glacier, it has been used in a number of films but recently as Dr Mann’s ice planet in Interstellar. So it was great to spend an afternoon hiking in the footsteps of Matt Damon but without the space suits.

Watch our first Icelandic  Glacier Hike.

Visiting Pandora, The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Orlando

Pandora – The World of Avatar

Looking a bit blue – Pandora, The World of Avatar

It took Disney long enough to build, but last summer Pandora, The World of Avatar finally opened at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The theming was amazing and despite the crowds and the 90-minute queue to get on the rides, it was actually enjoyable. It’s also good to visit somewhere in Disney which was not covered with the dreaded bug-eyed princesses from ‘Frozen‘.

Watch our trip to Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Lunch On The Shore Of Lake Como, Northern Italy

Lake Como Italy

Waiting for George Clooney to join us for lunch

It doesn’t get much better than taking a private boat across Lake Como, Italy to lunch at an exclusive lakeside restaurant. It makes a nice change from a pack of sandwiches and a dishwater cup of coffee in a plastic cup. During our lunch, a few other people arrived on their Riva Aquarama speedboats but alas no George Clooney and Amal.

Watch our boat trip from Bellagio across Lake Como.

A Winter City Break To Kraków, Poland


Winter in Kraków

It’s always good when you find a place that is quick and easy to get to, reasonably priced and far better than expected. Kraków, Poland last February was one of those destinations, cheap flights, really cool hotels and restaurants and a great city to explore on foot if you don’t mind the winter’s weather. Although, as so many people wear masks over their mouths in the winter,  everyone does end up looking like Tom Hardy’s ‘Bane‘ from Batman.

Watch our tour of the Old Town, Krakow.

Visiting Salem At Halloween, Massachusetts, USA


A Scary Clown

Halloween, Americans and a New England town where they used to hang witches, what could be a better combination for a bizarre and spooky day or two. Only a short train ride from Boston, Salem with its rich history is actually worth a visit any time of the year. Just don’t forget your broomstick.

Read more about Salem, Massachusetts.

Getting To Turn Left On The Plane

Virgin Atlantic

Relaxing at the front of the plane

Fed up with being crammed into economy class and always wondered what happened beyond that mysterious curtain we finally got upgraded on a long haul flight. What was good wasn’t really the extras but the lack of fuss, the personal check-in and the exclusive stress-free security. However, what isn’t so great is having to troop back to sardine class on the next flight!

Watch our trip to Boston with Virgin Upper Class.

A Birthday In Manhattan, New York

Empire State Building

Looking at the Empire State Building from a rooftop bar

Whatever people claim, there are only a handful of truly global cities which seem to stand alone, even from their own countries. Of course, one of these is New York with its classic skyline and vibrant soundtrack and atmosphere. When you visit for the first time, whatever the hipsters say, you must see these iconic attractions. After all, this is why the city is famous in the first place, you can leave all those generic coffee shops until later, most cities have enough bearded baristas.

So it was great to celebrate a birthday by having lunch at Gabriel Kreuther’s restaurant and ending the night in a rooftop bar watching the lights on the Empire State Building.

Watch our highlights of New York City.

Riding The Heathrow Pods For The First Time

Heathrow Pods

Riding the self-driving Heathrow Airport Pods

Not the most glamorous of locations – the Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 business car park ‘Pod Parking’ service. Getting to ride on these little driverless cars which transfer you from the business car park to the terminal building. The 10-minute trip still makes us a smile, it’s like being 5 again at your local funfair.

Watch us having a ride on the Heathrow Airport Pods.

Making Proper Paella In Castellón, Spain


Paella at Mas Dels Doblons

Exploring Castellón, a region of Spain which is often overlooked by UK visitors. While we were there we tried making traditional paella which was originally made by labourers from ingredients they had to hand including rabbit, chicken, rice, green and white beans, snails as well as saffron. Surprisingly, no seafood is used as this is a modern addition.

Read more about Castellón, Spain.

Glühwein And Brätwursts In Hamburg, Germany

Bratwurst in Hamburg

How not to eat a Bratwurst

What’s better than ending the year at a German Christmas market. Nothing says Christmas more than eating too many sausages washed down with warm, sweet alcohol. This was our second visit to Hamburg and we were surprised how much we enjoyed the place. It is definitely worth a visit in the spring or summer too.

Read more about our 48 hours in Hamburg.

So that was 2017, we still don’t really know where we will get to in 2018 but it will include Nice in France, Rotterdam in the Netherlands and a trip back to the USA.

Happy New Year from Mr & Mrs W.


Top 10 travel moments of 2017 from Poland to Pandora, #travel #review

Our Top 10 Travel Moments Of 2017 – Pin For Later

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  • Gabby
    January 6, 2018 at 11:58 am

    Ok, so I know the pods didn’t make the glamorous list, but those are really cool! And a big sign that we are so much closer to having driverless transport. I really like the idea of going to Salem – as an American I learned about it in school, and have always been curious about it with its very interesting and also sad history

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 6, 2018 at 10:09 pm

      We really enjoyed New England, being British we don’t get taught that much about its history, I wonder why?

  • Anu
    January 6, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    Wow, you had quite a traveling 2017. I was in Krakow during summers, its good to see it snowclad in winters. Heathrow airport pods look something to look forward to. Wish you another happy and traveling 2018.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 6, 2018 at 10:10 pm

      Thank you, we did really enjoy Krakow and will try and get back there soon.

  • Meg Jerrard
    January 7, 2018 at 11:56 am

    World news aside, sounds like you guys had a wonderful 2017! Iceland s one of my favorite countries of all time, though I didn’t get the opportunity to visit Svínafellsjökull Glacier,will have to get back! I enjoyed reading about your experiences in Salem over Halloween – what a fitting place for it! And congrats on that upgrade! Haha it is quite the double edged sword though isn’t it – we lust over the upgrades, but then it’s more difficult to go back to economy on the next flight 😀 Happy new year! Look forward to following your adventures in 2018.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 8, 2018 at 9:30 am

      Thanks for the comments, we can’t wait until getting away again next year. Although I think it may be back to the economy cabin.

  • Hannah
    January 7, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    A private boat across Lake Como and a fine lunch surrounded by the lake’s elite? Sounds like a wonderful moment! I never knew that proper Paella didn’t have seafood in it – that sounds nicer to me… and Castellón is a region I hadn’t heard of before. I’m still waiting for the day I’m upgraded on a plane – I did get upgraded once, but it was my sister upgrading me LOL. Looks like 2017 was wonderful for you.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 8, 2018 at 9:31 am

      Castellón is near Valencia in Spain, it’s popular as a tourist location for the Spanish themselves but it’s not visited so much by everyone else.

  • Medha Verma
    January 8, 2018 at 7:20 am

    What a brilliant year you’ve had. Starting with a dream destination – Iceland! And even Krakow, it’s on my bucket list for 2018, it’s a little offbeat I know but I’m sure you agree its worth visiting! And is there a better place to spend your birthday than Manhattan? 🙂

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 8, 2018 at 9:33 am

      The birthday in New York was definitely a highlight of the year although I’m not too happy about being another year older.

  • Indrani
    January 8, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Those are some interesting and memorable travel moments. I am awestruck by that huge pan of Paella 🙂 Your experiences in Salem over Halloween too is good. What a luck to get upgraded! Happy new year! Wish you more such moments in 2018!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 11, 2018 at 9:29 pm

      Thanks, hope you have a good 2018 too.

  • Mizhelle
    January 8, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    Looks like you had a fun year! The Iceland hike looks great, and mmm, give me paella anytime.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 11, 2018 at 9:30 pm

      The glacier hike was a great experience, it was an amazing place.

  • Lydia Smith
    January 8, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    ’17 was a blast, right? I also visited Iceland but couldn’t hike Svínafellsjökull Glacier, so happy to find it on your list. I wish I could do half of what you did. I’m also celebrating my birthday in NYC, a friend sold the location to me, so reading your post now gives me a reassurance. And I think almost everyone ends the year with the Christmas markets, it was splendid in Toronto here

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 11, 2018 at 9:31 pm

      It was a pretty good year. We are off to Toronto in 2018.

  • Paige
    January 10, 2018 at 12:30 am

    Sounds like a very full 2017! I love the variety of things you were able to do! The parking pod thing made me giggle! I would definitely be smiling all through that ride as well. I could really go for a wurst! I would never turn that down – great cap on the year!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 11, 2018 at 9:33 pm

      The parking pods liven up the trip from the car park to the airport terminal. More fun than a transfer bus.

  • Agness of a Tuk Tuk
    January 10, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    You definitely had an awesome year, Mr And Mrs W! I really hope that 2018 will be even better and you have more travel stories to share!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      January 11, 2018 at 9:34 pm

      Thanks, I’m sure it will be.