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My most beautiful pictures of the year 2021

The year is slowly coming to an end, a good time for a year in review. Michael from Explore the World has called for a photo parade. I would like to participate in this action. It is my first photographic travel review. 2021 was a difficult year for most of us! My pictures are a small selection to reflect my year.

Until September, my husband and I did not travel. We explored our picturesque region, the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. Day trips took us to Filsen, Kamp-Bornhofen, Bacharach, Sankt Goar or Bingen, where I followed in the footsteps of Victor Hugo and tried Urban Sketching. There were also short hikes to beautiful vantage points.

The photo parade and its topics

Michael from Explore the World invites since the year 2015 to an annual photo parade (#FopaNet). He gives some topics to think about. In 2021 these are:

  • Light and shadow
  • Animal
  • Waters
  • View
  • High up
  • Black and white

Those who like may voluntarily work on additional tasks.

  • blossomed
  • narrow
  • impact
  • red
  • minimalistic
  • pure nature

My travel year 2021

From the beginning of the year until September we were well-behaved at home. The phase between spring and autumn is the most beautiful travel time to explore the Rhine. If the weather plays along, great trips can be made. In September we spent a few days on the Mosel and in early October we explored Braunschweig and the surrounding area. We didn’t have a real vacation until October. And now it’s time for the photo parade!

In bloom

I was so happy when spring came. Finally out into the open and into nature. The first rays of sunshine warm the skin and everything blossoms. One feels in the departure to something new. This year we hiked the cherry trail in Filsen. The small village is located on the other side of the Rhine, virtually opposite Boppard. Along the path, regional cherry trees have been planted to preserve the biodiversity along the Rhine.

It is April, the cherry trees in Filsen are in bloom.

The cherry trail runs a short distance along the Rheinsteig, which offers a fabulous view of Boppard and the Rhine.

Light and shadow

In Rüdesheim, we not only visited the famous Drosselgasse in the summer, we also took the little cable car to the Niederwalddenkmal. Our cabin cast this shadow over the vines while we were there, which I had to capture on camera. The hike along the Oststein path leads to numerous viewpoints. Be sure to plan time for this!

Photo parade light and shadow – the cable car casts shadows

In summer, the pandemic actually looked quite good. Unfortunately not for the gastronomy and hotel industry. Not only Rüdesheim lacked international guests, the Drosselgasse was quite empty compared to before. Nevertheless, I still had hope that we would soon be out of the woods with the ongoing vaccinations.


As a child, I liked to visit the Remstecken near Koblenz, because you could ride ponies there. There are no longer any horses there today. Nevertheless, the excursion destination is still very popular, and not just with families. A free walk takes you past wildThe park is surrounded by wild boar, red deer, fallow deer and sika deer, as these enchanting animals with white spots are called. There is also a duck pond and an excursion pub. Children can play in the forest playground.

Animal, a grazing sika

Circular hiking trails lead through the shady forest all around. Separate paths are offered for jogging and Nordic walking. The recreation area on the Hunsrück is located only 5 kilometers from Koblenz.


I love living next to a river. In the summer months, my husband and I enthusiastically went up and down the river on excursion boats. Up from the sundeck, the view sweeps far across the countryside. Every few kilometers we see castles and small wine villages. The Upper Middle Rhine Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the summer half of the year, I basically miss nothing here. I usually vacationed more in the winter.

Waters – the Rhine near Boppard

In this picture we are coming back from a boat trip to Koblenz. The ship of the Köln-Düsseldorfer is just passing through the big loop of the Rhine. On the left you can see the church of Filsen, on the right is the beautiful Boppard.


Oh beautiful views I like very much! From the mountain heights along the Rhine you can enjoy spectacular views from many vantage points. One of my favorite places is the Gedeonseck in Boppard. You look down on the largest loop of the Rhine from here. To the left is the wine-growing area of Bopparder Hamm. You can get to Gedeonseck on foot or by taking the Boppard cable car. Daredevils hike over the Mittelrhein-Klettersteig. Once you have reached the top, you can relax in the excursion restaurant.

View from Gedeonseck to the Rhine bend near Boppard

The Moselle also offers many romantic river bends. One of them is located near Leiwen. You can get there on foot or by car. The associated excursion restaurant was unfortunately closed during my visit in September 21.

The most beautiful wine view from the Zummethöhe in Leiwen

High up

High up it went with an island tour on La Gomera. Yes, you read that right, drive. I am not so the mountain hiker. The Canary Island La Gomera is rightly very popular with hikers. You should bring a bit of fitness and sure-footedness. Often it goes steeply uphill. The view from the Mirador de Los Roques is breathtaking.

High up – Los Roques on La Gomera

The three rocks (Roques) consist of petrified lava. They formed 12 million years ago when lava solidified in the volcanic vent. Not so far from La Gomera on the island of La Palma, nature shows us its power. The volcano is still spewing lava. We would have actually traveled back to Santa Cruz de la Palma. Unfortunately this was not possible. Hopefully the volcano will calm down soon. It has already done enough damage!

Black and white

The weather sometimes makes the best pictures. What looks like a drawing here is simply the mountain ranges on the Canary Island of La Gomera. Clouds and shadows show the mountain ranges in a black and white light. I have not changed anything in the picture. It looks to me like some watercolors, you painted many years ago.

Black and white mountain silhouettes


Tightly nestles the small white rock church on a mountain slope above the half-timberinghouses of Idar-Oberstein. The town’s landmark is over 500 years old. You have to cross a tunnel cut into the rock and climb up some steps to get to the church.

Close to the steep wall, the rock church Idar-Oberstein.

We visited the small town, known for its delicious spit roast and gemstone industry, in September. Just a few days after that, a gas station employee who was just 20 years old was murdered by a masked refusenik. This just leaves me stunned!


I struggled a bit with this posed task. There were quite a few impacts in 2021, none of which would fit the photo parade for me. The summer was rather wet and cool, which encouraged me to cook and bake more. New recipes were tried, like this rhubarb cheesecake. The many food has then settled as a roll around the hips. Even if the cake looks more like a volcano crater, it tastes very good!

Rhubarb Cheesecake

The biggest impact for me was the flood disaster on July 14 / 15, 2021, when the Ahr Valley was hit by a tidal wave. The region is not far from us, about 75 kilometers. Houses, entire bridges, roads and cars were swept away. Around 133 people died. Slowly rising floods are also known on the Rhine, but this is a new terrible experience!


The color red belongs next to blue to my favorite colors. The juicy cherries shine red when they are harvested. An artist dedicated this beautiful cherry bench to them.

The red cherry bank in Filsen

We could observe a deep evening red more often in summer. The sky becomes most dramatic when the weather is not clear and clouds are present. Shortly after sunset the clouds are then illuminated from below. Then you have to be quick to take pictures. After only a few minutes the natural spectacle can be over again. This photo is representative for the many sunsets I photographed this year.

Red – clouds in the evening sky


Minimalist in the figurative sense was my round birthday, which came off without a celebration thanks to Omikron. My husband and I just took a walk along the Rhine and drank mulled wine. Many Christmas markets and other events were also cancelled.

Christmas decoration instead of Christmas market

Meanwhile, I am happy about decorated houses and Christmas lights. If then the sun can be seen at least from time to time, the world looks a little different. I just need light and colors!

Pure nature

We find pure nature in the laurel forest on La Gomera. Mosses and lichens cover the laurel trees and give the forest something magical. Trade winds bring a lot of moisture, which often hangs as haze clouds in the forest. It is much fresher here than down on the coast.

Pure nature – the lichens on the tree

The Garajonay National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it is the oldest virgin forest in Europe.

Most beautiful photo of the year 2021 in the photo parade

It is very difficult to choose the one photo that should be the most beautiful. My photo is representative for the review of the year. On the one hand, we are looking back at 2021, a year that we

r were also able to wrest beautiful moments. On the other hand, we are looking ahead. We hope that 2022 will be better. It would be too nice if life could return to normal.

Most beautiful photo

Other participants of the photo parade

You can still participate in the photo parade until 15.01.22! Maybe the following contributions of other participants will inspire you. Gina and Marcus from were on the road with their van more often. They also caught a particularly rare animal species, the Elwetritschen, which only exist in the Palatinate.

I have been following the ReiseEule Liane for a very long time. Not only does she bake sensational cakes, she’s also been around the Rhine region a lot. The cruise author Brina Stein was in 2021 much in Hesse and Schleswig-Holstein on tour. I would love to see the sand sculpture exhibition in Travemünde.

Kathleen from Immer auf Reisen shows this year how beautiful it is in Germany. I share with her the feeling that the longing for travel still remains. You can also find impressive photos at Danielle and Andreas from Reiswut. Most of them I would hang on my wall immediately.

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