As far as the impressions and memories are concerned, the outgoing 2016 was a good year.
We started it with a snowshoeing hike in Yosemite on January 1, and were rewarded by the famous Tunnel View of the Valley with some icing on the cake:
Our favorite place on Earth, the Union Pub in Volcano, was always hospitable to us, summer or winter:
And after several year of drought we had a fabulous skiing season in Kirkwood:
We were lucky to see some unique art, like Rafael’s Lady With a Unicorn at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco:
and took a backstage tour of San Francisco Symphony Hall:
In the spring we climbed the Red Lake Peak for the first time, and the views could make Switzerland jealous:
A weekend trip to Mexico City was above all hour expectations, and we fell in love with its history, architecture, art and of course food!
and were impressed by the Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico, featured in James Bond movie Skyfall:
The ancient pyramid city of Teotihuacan left us speechless:
The murals by Diego Rivera in the Presidential Palace are a must see.
We found a few new trails around Carson Pass and Mokelumne Wilderness, such as Tanglefoot Canyon trail
and climbed Lassen Peak in Lassen Volcanic National Park.
A brief stay in the City of Prague rewarded us by superb views, loads of European history and excellent beer.
The otherwise sleepy Bayreuth wakes up in August for its annual Wagner Opera festival, a part of which we were lucky to see this year
The well preserved medieval city of Regensburg and the Danube river presented some photo opportunities.
And the historic architecture of meticulously restored Nuremberg was truly impressive.
Munich was cozy and hospitable as ever, even on a stormy day.
Yosemite in early September provided a perfect hiking weather
And the granite-clad lakes around Carson Pass were great for swimming
Salt Springs Reservoir had way more water in it that in the previous years:
And the Red Lake near Carson Pass looked way different from the new vantage point:
Our luck with weather ran out by that time, and Panama City greeted us with the storms caused by Hurricane Otto in the Caribbean:
Hurricane or not, the Panama Canal kept functioning:
but Costa Rican hiking trails turned into wet muddy mess
However once the Hurricane was over, Costa Rica allowed us a couple of days of good weather for wildlife watching and beach walking
I took up bicycling. It turns out there are some nice trails and places one can reach by a mountain bike from where we live. Still have to figure out how transport my photo equipment on a bicycle.
On the last morning of the outgoing year we went to Dali17 – the recently opened Salvador Dali Gallery in Monterey. It is a large, interesting and very non-typical collection of Dali’s works:
On this surreal note, Happy New Year everyone!!!