We travelled to some pretty awesome destinations, stayed at extraordinary hotels, travelled along most scenic routes and experienced some pretty amazing activities, museums or other things to do. Here’s the best of 2019.
Best train ride
For Danny: crossing the Black Forest in Germany. “The route constantly changes from a hillier inland routing to travelling right along the lake coast, thus offering different views on the way. “
For Timothy: “You expect it to be Switzerland and it is Switzerland. The GoldenPass route all the way from Montreux to Zweisimmen, Interlaken and Lucerne. The views, the train, the food.”
For Timothy: “I could praise Brussels Airlines‘ ‘Boutique Hotel‘ business class product but I wasn’t convinced enough, so I won’t. For economy I nominate Washington National to LaGuardia with American Eagle for its great views of Manhattan. Can’t beat that.”
For Danny: “The best lounge I visited was the old Turkish Airlines lounge in the old Istanbul Ataturk Airport, as in the meantime the new airport and lounge opened we should go back to try out the new one.”
For Timothy: the Lufthansa Senator Lounge at JFK.
For Danny: “I first nominated the InterContinental in Ljubljana for its allround service. But the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac in Quebec was just incredible. Such an irreproachable service.”
For Timothy: The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. Its southern hospitality, its facilities and historic decor stand out.
For Danny: “For me the best museum this year goes to the combination of the Canadian History Museum and the Canadian War museum in Ottawa, they both give an immersive and comprehensive view of the Canadian history.”
For Timothy: “A very tough choice as I visited many museums, including the literally impressive National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York. But I nominate the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History in Brussels with specifically the ‘Historic Hall’ for being outdated and thus historic in approach. The museum is a museum in its own right.”
Food experience of the year
For Danny: dinner at Agape in Avignon.
For Timothy: afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason in London.
News of the year
It’s impossible not to mention the return of sleeper trains in Belgium, with the ÖBB Nightjet coming to Brussels from January 2020.
For Danny: Ottawa in Canada. “It was much nicer and welcoming than I expected it to be”
For Timothy: The Tren dels Llacs in Spain. “It almost didn’t happen, but thankfully Oriol could make it happen. This heritage railway in Catalonia is worth a detour.”
Surprise of the year
For Danny: the Niagara Falls in Canada. “They where even more impressive than I expected.”
For Timothy: Richmond in the United States. “It was literally a surprise from my uncle and ant and Richmond charmed me. Definitely – for Europeans – a not obvious destination in the US which won me over.”
Best of Belgium 2019
For Danny: “A visit to Planckendael, bringing back childhood memories.”
For Timothy: the one-time introduction of a royal train for King Philippe and Queen Mathilde. “As for activity you can do yourself: come visit our hometown Antwerp. Finally some construction works and renovations are coming to fruition.”
See you in 2020!