In 2017 I shared a post called 49 Countries and Counting and I realized this is the only time I mentioned my second Instagram account on the blog. I started solotraveldiary as a way to just share my travel photo shots and looking back my first post was 312 weeks ago (crazy) and I posted between July 2016 and October 2017. I was planning on starting it back up but sadly, I have been locked out. If I ever got locked out of my main account I would cry but this account, while upsetting, I decided to rebuild.
Names were hard but my 7th try was a success, Sparkles Travel Diary. I have described it as “Photos from travels around the world. The new page of @solotraveldiary.” and then I did not know where to start. After a few days of thinking and even a deleted post I made a plan:
Welcome to Sparkles Travel Diaries! I’m so happy you made it to my new page where I’ll be sharing snaps of my travels around the world – past and present!
There are so many photos I have from years travels that I’ll be sharing them in an the alphabet series. Having been to 70+ countries, countless cities, and even more attractions I have enough snaps to go through the alphabet a few times but tricky letters (J, X, Z) will be hard. This first go around the alphabet will start with cities and already, it’s been hard to choose!
Given there have been 350 posts with the tag “travel” here on Sparkles and Shoes it is safe to say I have quite a few photos for this pet project. To give you a sense, I am sharing the first ten. I thought about impending each of the posts but the way instagram does the code I find it often warms so I have copied over the captions and shared the images of each of the below. You can click on each photo to go directly to that post or find the full Sparkles Travel Diary profile here.
The Montazah Palace and Gardens is located in the city limits of Alexandria and a must see when in town. The palace was originally built by King Fuad I in 1932, as a summer palace but is now used by the President and is being renovated into an official presidential residence.
📍 Budapest, Hungary
The country’s magnificent parliament gilding sits on the banks of The Danube River. It runs not only through the middle of the country, making it Hungary’s largest river, but a river which extends nearly 1,800 miles and passes through 10 nations on its way to the Black Sea.
📍 Cinque Terre, Italy
Five of the prettiest villages I’ve ever been to. During the day we explored them all via The Sentiero Azzurro hiking trail that links the villages and by night, we saw them from the water.
📍 Dublin, Ireland
The Irish pub is more than just a place to quench your thirst. It is the epitome of Irish culture. A meeting point for friends and family, a place to gather in times of happiness and hardship.
📍 Esna, Egypt
While not as famous as it’s nearby neighbor of Luxor, Esna is a city of Egypt on the west bank of the Nile. The town is famous for its bridges, barges, and the once buried Templle of Esna. It is more than 2,300 years old and was a place for ancient Egyptians honored God Khnum and worshiped other ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses like God Horus and God Isis.
📍 Florence, Italy
One of the most picturesque viewpoints in all of Florence is from the Piazzale Michelangelo. The square piazza dates back to the 19th-century and boasts a bronze replica of Michelangelo’s David but the real star is the panoramic view over the city.
📍 Gili Islands, Indonesia
This photo was taken in Gili Trawangan, the largest of the three that make up the Gili Islands Archipelago. It is only a ferry ride off the coast of Bali and famous for their beaches, coral reefs, and sea turtles!
Helsinki is the coldest capital in the Nordic region but if you visit in Summer, it’s beautiful and quite warm! The rock church, sea fortress, and library were some of my favorite sites plus a traditional Finnish sauna of course! And did you know that in 2020, It Was Listed As The Happiest Country In The World? #helsinki #sandstravels
📍 Istanbul, Turkey
A long weekend in Instanbul was not nearly enough time to explore the ancient city but on the European side of the capital we visited a handful of mosques and the Suleymaniye Mosque, Süleymaniye Camii in Turkish, located in the Faith neighborhood was one of the most beautiful! This shot was taken from the roof terrace of the nearby Mihrişah Cafe Restaurant.
📍 Jerónimos, Madrid, Spain
It’s one of the smallest neighborhoods in the Spanish capital but Jerónimos is home to some of the city’s most famous sites. Parque de El Retiro, or Retiro Park, is always worth a visit but so is the Museo Nacional del Prado. Commonly referred to as just “the Prado” this art museum has pieces that date back to the 12th century. When I visited an art student was practicing by painting The Three Graces by Peter Paul Rubens.
Do you have any gueses on what cities will be next on Sparkles Travel Diary?