My favorite travel images of 2013, Travel Photo Mondays #26

Travel Photo Monday

Travel Photo Mondays

It’s Monday morning, time to enjoy some gorgeous travel photography and inspiration from around the world. Let’s banish those Monday blues by sharing gorgeous imagery and story telling.


My Favorite travel images of 2013


The year has gone by so quickly and as I reflect on some of my travels locally and in far away places during the year.  I love to take the time to enjoy some of the beautiful images that bring up wonderful memories of the places that I visited on my travels from years past.

Here are some highlights of this years blog posts that stand out in terms of my personal experiences that truly show a sense of place and my own interpretation of these amazing and photogenic places around the world. They may not be the most stunning of my images, but more-so, they tell a personal side, imparting some of the joy and wonderful experiences I had visiting these special places, even where I live in East Hawaii on the Big Island. I hope you enjoy the tour of my 2013 year in travels!



I love visiting parades, it really shows you the community and all the unique and quirky aspects of each area. The local Xmas parade in East Hawaii, is just that strange, funny and truly one of a kind in Hawaii, here our local ukulele marchers really love to ham it up to the audience.


Japanese street food or yatai

Night time festivities at the fall harvest


Visiting a fall harvest in Takayama Japan and trying various local street food is a feast for the eyes and tummy, it’s one of the most colorful harvest festivals in Japan to experience and worth making an effort to visiting durin the fall or even spring season when the festival occurs twice yearly.


Beautiful gardens of Kyoto

Black and white image of Ginkaku-Ji


Historic Kyoto is filled with so many amazing temples and national monuments that are Unesco world heritage sites.  One of my favorites is Ginkaku-ji – the temple of the silver pavilion in a gorgeous setting with a stunning temple, here is the temple presented in black and white.



A month celebration of Aloha Festivals in Hawaii

Beautiful hula smiles

The Queen Liliuokalani day festivities are held in the park that bears her name in Hilo, HI. It features many of the hula halau (hula schools) around the island that dance in unison for the official tribute along with many special performances during the day long celebration.




Sailing around Hilo bay and Hamakua coast

Sailing around Hilo bay and Hamakua coast


Spending any time on the water in Hawaii is magical especially during the twilight hours before sunset – it really is a wonderful experience to partake in if you visit any island in Hawaii.




Sonoma Wine country

Sonoma Wine country


In early December to February season, the wine country in Sonoma and Napa counties are filled with golden blooms of the mustard flowers and the scenic landscape is transformed from mostly green vineyards to this dazzling yellow landscape…the drive along Highway 12 through the Valley of the Moon to Sonoma is amazing to experience along with having a delicious lunch in the city of Sonoma, California.


Russian Expansion to America

Church and trade center


Did you know that Russia once had settlements in Northern California during the Spanish rule of Alta California. One of the main trade centers is at Fort Ross along the rugged Sonoma coastline, the drive along wild and dramatic coast of the Pacific highway up to the fort is worth the drive alone, but do visit the fort to learn more about the Russian history in California.


Yosemite Photos - key attractions and landscapes

Early morning light on Yosemite Valley



Yosemite is one of my favorite places to visit on a regular basis when I go back to California. It changes with every season and shows so many different facets to the changing landscape and natural wonders. Early morning or dusk is my favorite time to explore and capture some gorgeous light and scenery like the view above of the entire valley with the first light hitting the rim of the canyon.





Palau de la Musica, Barcelona

Palau de la Musica, Barcelona


Barcelona is an amazing city, filled with colorful street life, architecture and food. Night scenes and just walking the streets is an eye-opening experience especially with magnificent buildings lit up like the Palau de la Musica in the historic district.


La Sagrada Familia

Altar of La Sagrada Familia

Gaudi’s work is everywhere in Barcelona and his spiritual masterpiece of La Sagrada Familia is an amazing experience both indoor and out. Here the altar of the basilica is so light and airy – as if you were being transformed and connecting directly to a spiritual presence which is exactly how Gaudi wanted you to experience this amazing space.


Donkeys and pink walls

Donkeys and pink walls

Morocco especially Marrakesh is an unexpected experience of not knowing what is just around the corner and experiencing things you’ve never had anywhere. It is a visual paradise for the photographer and I practically took pictures at every turn. I would have loved exploring more of the entre country if I had the time.


San Francisco images in black and white, Golden Gate bridge

San Francisco images in black and white, Golden Gate bridge


San Francisco, my second home, I love going back every time, especially for walks along the coastal trails and quiet parts of the city away from the maddening crowds – here it’s just you, nature and stunning views of the Golden Gate.

I hope that you enjoyed viewing some of my favorite images of 2013 with Travel Photo Discovery. Thanks for coming to visit and even comment regularly on the site – I truly appreciate it. Have a fantastic and wonderful New Years celebration and I hope the new year is a good one for you!

Please do visit some of these amazing bloggers and photographers sharing Travel Photo Monday around the world today.
[inlinkz_linkup id=354902]

, , , ,

19 Responses to My favorite travel images of 2013, Travel Photo Mondays #26

  1. Neva Fels January 4, 2014 at 11:15 am #

    My son’s wife is from Russia and live in San Jose. I’m eager to check out Fort Ross on one of our visits.

  2. Suzanne Fluhr January 3, 2014 at 6:31 am #

    Noel, your photos always make me feel very inadequate — but in a good way. They are inspiring. I’m sitting here not wanting to venture outside into the minus 1 degree Fahrenheit wind chill. The good news is that we leave for Thailand on Tuesday and arrive in your state on February 6th for 3 months.

  3. Samantha December 31, 2013 at 11:00 am #

    Love all these photos! I’m normally drawn more towards nature and landscape photography but the alter picture is beautiful. Loving your photography as always and thanks for sharing your wonderful photos Noel!

  4. Merete Brown December 31, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    Awesome group of photos! Happy New Year!

  5. Katherine Belarmino December 30, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    Gorgeous photos. I love the ones from Fort Ross and Barcelona the best.

  6. Jesh StG December 30, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    Love the first pic – what a great memory, Noel! Wishing you and yours a great year in 2014:)

    • Noel December 30, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

      Thank you I wish all the best for a wonderful travel year ahead for 2014

  7. Jamie December 30, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    Loving the photos, especially the one taken in Morocco.

  8. Annette December 30, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    Such a great diversity of images in different cultures. I especially enjoyed the donkey with blue and pink contrasts, but also the buildings in Barcelona.

  9. travelnwrite December 30, 2013 at 5:49 am #

    It has been great getting to ‘know you’ through the blogosphere this year Noel. Your photo retrospective is fantastic. Wishes for a Happy New Year and Happy Travels to you – hopefully much ‘aloha’ as well!!

  10. muzachan December 30, 2013 at 5:38 am #

    Great photos 🙂

  11. Dawn @ We Call It Junkin December 30, 2013 at 1:21 am #

    I think they’re stunning photos, Noel! I really enjoyed seeing these wonderful images, thanks for sharing. I’m sharing with StumbleUpon, lots more folks need to see these! Happy New Year – Dawn @ We Call It

    • Noel December 30, 2013 at 8:23 am #

      Thanks so much for your comment and sharing Dawn, have a fantastic New Years!

  12. Marisol@TravelingSolemates December 29, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    HI Noel, thanks for shaing your wonderful travel moments with us. It was a pleasure knowing you through the blogoshere this year and to follow you wonderful photos and travels. Looking forward to see more of your travel and works in 2014. Thank you for putting together this great travel forum.

  13. Life Images by Jill December 29, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

    so difficult to pin down a few favourite images from an entire year of photography.Wishing you a happy and productive 2014. Thank you for hosting Travel Photo Mondays in 2013.

  14. Mary {The World Is A Book} December 29, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    What a great year of travel photos and memories you had, Noel. It was a pleasure virtually traveling with you and I look forward to where 2014 takes you. Always love these year-end recaps. Your Japan and Yosemite pictures were very memorable. Great selection of your favorite photos. Happy New Year!

    • Noel December 29, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

      Thanks Mary for commenting and taking a look at the images, appreciate your thoughts.


  1. Carrieres de Lumieres: Dazzling sound and light show in Les Baux-de-Provence - More Time to Travel - April 6, 2016

    […] This post is part of a travel linkup on Noel Morata’s  Travel Photo Mondays. […]

  2. Iceland: Exploring the Lava Tube Cave of Leidarendi | Traveling Solemates - December 29, 2013

    […] Linking to Noel Morata’s Travel Photo Discovery. […]

I look forward to hearing from you and continuing our discussion with any comment you would like to add

%d bloggers like this: