Countdown to Christmas: 9th of December

Only 16 days left until Christmas! The holiday season might be a little bit weird for a lot of people around the world this year due to the pandemic, but hopefully better days are ahead of us. I decided for this very special period to do my own sort of Advent calendar, with a series of six short articles published every four days… and a surprise for Christmas Day! Here’s the third one: a throwback to 2020 in twelve pictures.

🇫🇷 Cliquez ici pour lire cet article en français.

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Have also a look at the other articles from my Advent calendar: 1st of December5th of December13th of December17th of December21st of December

January

What else than the symbolic of a sunrise to begin the year? One morning in January, more precisely on the 20th, I got up earlier than usually to take a picture of the sun rising over the harbour of Saint-Nazaire. This day was actually the “Blue Monday”, which is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year. Well, I can definitely guarantee that there were many others much more depressing days than this one in 2020…

saint-nazaire-sunrise-blue-monday

February

February was the month of my last travel before the pandemic. I went to Naples and its surroundings for a week, and it was fantastic. It was hard to pick only one picture: I hesitated for a long time between a photo of the gorgeous island of Procida, the ruins of Pompeii, or the landscapes of the Amalfi coast, but I eventually chose this photo of the Quartieri Spagnoli of Naples, the former Spanish Districts. Yes, the streets there were noisy, sometimes dirty, and I got almost knocked over by a scooter or a Vespa many times; but they were at the same time so colourful and extraordinarily alive. Beautiful landscapes and stunning architecture can be found in many places; but the vibe of the Quartieri Spagnoli is unique.

Naples, Quartieri Spagnoli, lane

March

The beginning of the first 2-month lockdown in France, and a view I would get really used to after a few weeks: the view from my bedroom at my parents’ house in Saint-Nazaire on the Atlantic coast. At least as you can see, they have a garden, and as the sun was often shining we enjoyed it a lot.

saint-nazaire-garden-view

April

Still in lockdown, and still in our garden! The weather was again really nice during the entire month, which lead to a gorgeous spring: flowers were blooming everywhere, and I spent a lot of time admiring bees gathering pollen from them. And it was so quiet… No traffic, no planes, no noise at all sometimes: there was some sort of peace during this period that we might never enjoy again with such a high intensity during our entire lives.

saint-nazaire-flower-bee

May

After two entire months stuck at home with strong movement restrictions (not further than 1km and no longer than one hour per day), the first thing I did when the lockdown eased was hiking. I walked on many different trails around my hometown, including my all-time favourite, the coastal path. This alignment of fishing cabins close to a lovely little beach has always been the part I loved the most, and it was a pleasure to finally be able to go there again.

Saint-Nazaire, Trébézy, fishing cabins

June

My first post-lockdown travel, with a few days in Switzerland for a wedding. It was also the occasion to catch up with my best friend and spend an evening together in Lausanne, a city I always liked a lot and where we always used to go to for partying when I lived in Neuchâtel. This is the only picture in this list that wasn’t taken during the past 12 months, but back in 2012; unfortunately, I didn’t take a single picture during this short trip (or at least not a single picture that I would want to share here!).

July

In July, we had the privilege to observe the comet Neowise shining in our night sky. This picture reminds me of a warm summer night trying to photograph it and enjoying the beauty of this astronomical phenomenon.

saint-nazaire-neowise-comet

August

Another short trip but this time to Paris to catch up with many friends I hadn’t seen since before the lockdown. I also spent some time wandering on my own around the city, so quiet at this time of the year: many Parisians were on holidays, and the usual hordes of tourists weren’t here. I think that it was the first time for a while that I really enjoyed visiting Paris.

paris-conciergerie

September

Second holidays of the year for me. Once again I decided to go to Italy, this time for a road trip in the north of the country. It was also very difficult to select just one picture, especially considering the many gorgeous places I visited (Venice, the Cinque Terre, Pisa, the Dolomites…), but I eventually picked this photo of Verona, because I met a lot of people there, because I had an amazing time with them, and because all of that reminded me why I love travelling so much.

Verona, Piazza delle Erbe

October

To be honest, nothing really special happened to me in October. I spent a couple of hours one afternoon in the lovely village of Le Croisic close to Saint-Nazaire where I took this picture, and that’s pretty much everything I can say about it.

le-croisic-harbour

November

The long-awaited (not really) comeback of the lockdown! With the same movement restrictions as during spring, but this time I stayed in my own little apartment closer to the sea which means that during the one hour I was allowed to go outside I could go to the harbour. Don’t tell anyone, but the day I took this picture, the weather was so beautiful that I actually stayed outside for almost two hours…

saint-nazaire-harbour-fishing-boats-2

Anecdote: the red fishing boat to the right on this picture was victim of a hole in the hull a few days ago, but luckily the two sailors that were on board were rescued.

December

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… I walked around the centre of Saint-Nazaire during the last few days, and with the shops open and the Christmas lights illuminating the city, it didn’t feel like we were under lockdown anymore. A shiny break through a dark period, or a promise for better days? Future will tell us…

saint-nazaire-christmas-lights

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Have also a look at the other articles from my Advent calendar: 1st of December9th of December13th of December17th of December21st of December

6 thoughts on “Countdown to Christmas: 9th of December

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