The surreal photos that show how Covid has changed travel

(CNN) — It’s been a surreal year for travel as the Covid-19 pandemic brought aviation to a halt, museums and hotels shuttered their doors and once bustling tourist destinations from Paris to Phuket became ghost towns.

Who can forget seeing eerie photos of Italy’s piazzas being blasted with disinfectant as the country became one of the first European nations to lockdown?

Or what about those aerial shots of airplanes grounded at airports that once teamed with activity?

Then there were the images of the world gradually reopening last summer — customers wearing hats adorned with swimming pool noodles at a German cafe to help maintain social distancing and masked visitors lining up to see the Mona Lisa.

Later, there were the tourist attractions that sprang directly from the pandemic — flights to nowhere that swept over Australian landmarks before turning back round again, or the boat tours that took passengers out to admire the hulking ships anchored, inactive, off England’s south coast.

While recent vaccine news brings hope that international vacations will safely recommence sometime soon, travel has been totally transformed by the pandemic, and, for now, is still largely at a standstill.

As we look forward to how travel might look in the future, we’re taking the time to look back.

Check out the gallery above for some of the defining photos from a surreal year in travel.