Please sign in to post.

Traveling through the Alphabet

Rules:
In order through the alphabet, please use the letter after the previous...

Can be a place name or a country name...

Can you tell us anything about the place and something about an experience you had there or would like to have there...

Just a little fun for a late spring, early summer weekend - heck something for the week too

....
Needing to edit the early notes to fit the 1000 char. limit

7th of June::

I find it very soothing after a hard or hard to take day. Reminds me of many places I have been to and will return to, and gives me insight into places I would like to go and others I will likely never see. Thanks to all the contributors...

22nd of July 2020 on the 14th run through the alphabet, this most improbable thread has reached the milestone of 500 posts in 53 days. How in blazes did that happen?

Thanks, heartfelt thanks to all the participants.

A number of folks have commented on or wondered about the history of this thread. If you drop down to the end of July you'll be able to see at a glance what had been contributed up to then.

Some have wondered how we got here, so once we started to get a critical mass I started to keep track.

So, for each run through here is how fast we got there and the post number that took us into the next run through:
.
round 9 - Jun 20
avg 2.33 days per round
4 days
round 10 - Jun 24
5 days
round 11 - Jun 29
6 days
round 12 - Jul 5
7 days
round 13 - Jul 12, post 450
8 days
round 14 - Jul 20, post 478
6 days
round 15 - Jul 26, post 520
4 days
round 16 - Jul 30, post 570
3 days
round 17 - Aug 3, post 596
4 days
round 18 - Aug 7, post 624
5 days
round 19 - Aug 12, post 653
7 days
and now round 20!!! Aug 19, post 687
7 days
Now an adult!!
round 21 - Aug 26, post 727, so not only an adult but a very popular jet
5 days
round 22 - Aug 31, post 763
5 days
round 23 - Sep 5, post 799
9 days, the longest so far...
round 24 - Sep 14, post 836
6 days, back to the average
round 25 - Sep 20, post 867
8 days
round 26 - Sep 28, post 901
9 days
round 27 - Oct 7, post 926
just 3 days
round 28 - Oct 10, post 964
just 4 days
round 29 - Oct 14, post 992

1000 on 14th of Oct. Just 4 months now to Valentines Day
only 2 ** days - a new record
**ROUND 30
- Oct 16, post 1039
barely 3 days
round 31 - Oct 19, post 1074
just 3 days
round 32 - Oct 22, post 1102
4 days
round 33 - Oct 26, post 1135
3 days
round 34 - Oct 29, post 1163

5 days, plus an updated INDEX
round 35 - Nov 3, post 1203 (a tie for the first time)

6 days
round 36 - Nov 9, post 1236

4 days
round 37 - Nov 13, post 1266

4 days
round 38 - Nov 17, post 1294

6 days
round 39 - Nov 23, post 1331

2 days - tied for the record from way back in the middle of October when the odometer ticked over 1,000

round 40 whistles and bells please ladies and gents - November 25 (day before Thanksgiving), post 1361

7 days
round 41 - Dec 2, post 1397

6 days
round 42 - Dec 8, post 1424

9 days, our slowest so far
round 43 - Dec 17, post 1458

9 days again, perhaps we have reached the bottom of the hill? Or maybe everybody is caught up in Christmas or planning - that's a result
round 44 - Boxing Day, 26th of Dec, post 1487

13 days, now by far our slowest run through, but there's been a lot going on - vaccinations, politics, weddings,
round 45 - Jan 8 2021, post 1526
this round contains the monthly post count table

13 days, now the slowest
round 46 Jan 21, post 1557

16 days, a little slower
round 47 Feb 6, post 1587

15 days
round 48 Feb 21, post 1616

27 days
round 49 Mar 20, post 1650

9 days
YOU did IT!!!!! 50 rounds March 29th at post 1681 - who'd-a thunk it!

20 days
round 51 Apr 18, post 1717

we have now exceeded the available space in this OP area for my comments so we continue below in post number one

Posted by
25720 posts

Because the OP is now 100% full because of you wonderful people pushing this thread along, I have had to commandeer the first post in the thread for bookkeeping. Hope nobody minds.

so...

13 days
round 52 April 30 (by the skin of her teeth), post 1754

18 days
round 53 May 18th, post 1785

by the way, 12 days from that date is May 30th

Special Announcement - exactly one year later we are up to post 1786 thanks to a lovely note from MariaF

45 days
round 54 July 1st (posting time zone), post 1828

you can really tell that people have started travelling from the US and Canada - it has been more than a full calendar month
45 days from the 18th of May until the 1st of July

41 days
round 55 August 10, post 1857

just 21 days, 3 weeks!
round 56 September the First, post 1887

25 days
Round 57 September 25th, at post number 1,953

15 days
Round 58 October 10th (10/10 both sides of the pond), at post number 1,985

1985/58/25-10(15)/pumpkin/3.14159/cdn

for what it's worth

Nigel

End of introduction



First Post:

I'll start it off:

A

Albania

A small country a bit down and to the right. OK, a fair bit down and a fair bit to the right of me.

I've never visited there, but I spent hours as a teenager listening to the shortwave service of the Albanian national radio. A strict communist government who held a tight leash on the citizenry and had a very strident version of the news and the world. Very military martial music between and during the shows.

I didn't understand much of what was said but it was fun to listen. They must have had a lot of power in their transmitter,

I have a friend living just a few miles away from the border in Macedonia now. Nice lake and sunsets.

Posted by
18862 posts

Fun idea, Nigel

A

Andorra: Approached from Latour de Carol in France or La Seu d'Urgell in Spain, the country has lovely scenery. Unfortunately, the capital city, Andorra-la-Vella, is not a great destination itself, being known more for tax-free shopping than anything else.

Oops--you posted again!

B

Bayonne: Very nice small city in the French Basque Country graced with an expansive, river-spanning historic district, a worthwhile art museum and a chocolate museum with a very generous tasting room. I liked it much, much better than Biarritz.

Posted by
25720 posts

C

Calais

A town on the French coast across the Channel from Dover.

Pretty similar to Dover - both dumps. Calais does have the Burghers of Calais, a sculpture by Rodin. And a strange town hall tower, visible for miles.

I have the "thrill" of passing through, and sometimes stopping at a hotel overnight, every time I drive to the Continent, and back.

Has three good hypermarches.

Posted by
3199 posts

D
Djibouti
A small country on the Horn of Africa bordering the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. There was nothing redeeming about it. It is very poor and produces nothing. However, in the dozen or so nights I spent there, there was something likable about it and the old run-down colonial style buildings in the main square.

Posted by
6332 posts

E

Edinburgh, Scotland

The capital of Scotland and a wonderful city to visit. We climbed Arthur's Seat for a sunset view of the city; visited the Edinburgh Castle; walked the Royal Mile from the castle to Holyrood Palace; saw the statue of Greyfriar's Bobby; listened to bagpipers playing on the streets of the old city; and visited several pubs for a pint or two. Also makes a great base for visiting other places in the area including Rosslyn Chapel.

Posted by
4604 posts

F

France-
An amazing country in Western Europe with many beautiful cities, towns and medieval villages.

Wonderful art noted in its cathedrals, buildings, bridges, museums and nature itself.

Have had the opportunity to visit 3 times.
First time as a young adult back in the early 1980’s when there were no lines to go into any of the museums or up to the Eiffel Tower.

Second time, on my first mother/ daughter trip with my mother as we traveled across the South of France from the Spanish border all the way to Italy.
My mother had wanted to take the night train and I convinced her other wise.
I didn’t want to miss all the beautiful scenery along the way! We ended up visiting Avignon and Nice on that trip.

Third trip was with my daughter 4 years ago. We traveled to beautiful Chamonix, Annecy, Provence, The Loire Valley, and Paris.

And now... I can’t wait to go back!

Posted by
4945 posts

G
Glanum - among many surviving archaeological sites from the Ancient Roman Empire, this one, just south of the town of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in southern France, is a delight. It’s small enough to visit in part of a day, but features many things - a remarkable monument with fine carving, a triumphal arch, foundations of houses, remains of the public baths, and a narrow entrance gateway that indicates that access to the town could be controlled, for protection. Roman cities share much of the same layout, drainage systems, and other elements present in modern settlements. I wonder if evidence of our cities will remain 2,000 years from now, short of bits of plastic that could take forever to degrade?

Posted by
1857 posts

H

Honfleur, France. I've never been there but when I've been researching Northern France for a future trip I thought it may be worth an overnight stop.

Posted by
3523 posts

Iraklion, the major city on Crete. I've been twice. The first time was in 1978 and the second was in 2014. Need I say that it, the main things to see and where I stayed changed dramatically in those 36 years?

The Palace of Knossos, the primary reason for the first visit, has become a major tourist destination. I think that is mostly a good thing, primarily because it's easier to get around the buildings and see them now.

I don't remember seeing the wonderful Archeological Museum on my first trip. I think it's worth the maximum amount of time you can devote to it.

Posted by
4945 posts

Honfleur has an amazing bridge. We didn’t stay there, and were just passing through, on the way from Belgium to Brittany. But crossing the mouth of the Seine River, the suspension bridge went way, way up, extremely high over the water. Driving the bridge was like being on an amusement park ride - a little scary, but what views!

J

Josselin - a town in Brittany, France. Its medieval castle is still lived in, but can also be visited. The banner-festooned castle and the town’s half-timbered houses seem like a fairytale setting, but it’s not a theme park, just a beautiful, picturesque town, in a wonderful, maybe less-visited part of France. We were driving through here, too, but stopped for a short visit. It’s on the agenda for a stay, if we make it back to Brittany again!

Posted by
4945 posts

K
Kortrijk - A town in Belgium, also known as Courtrai by French-speakers. This was a big flax-growing region, so its linen industry was huge, and supplied much of Europe. It’s a great place for a bicycle tour, and like many towns in Flanders, western Belgium, it has a Begijnhof, a particular settlement for women that dates to the middle ages, that can be visited.

We had dinner two nights in the same restaurant, with fries as part of the meal, as seemingly with everywhere in Belgium, and the young lady who waited on us mentioned how much American sitcoms made up the TV offerings there. She had seen a lot of the show Frasier.

Posted by
427 posts

K

Kitzbuhel, Austria - We stayed and skied here for a week several years ago. It's a very pleasant town with lots of restaurants and both large and small hotels and gasthaus' . It is a medieval town situated in the Kitzbühel Alps along the river Kitzbüheler Ache in Tyrol, Austria, about 100 kilometers (62 mi) east of the state capital Innsbruck. The ski area is huge - covering several kilometers of runs and lifts. There is quite a diverse selection of easy, intermediate and expert runs. Although we were only there in the winter, I'm sure stays in other seasons would be very pleasant as well.

Edit - oops, there's two K's. That's what happens when you wander away from your draft for a few minutes.........

Posted by
4945 posts

Sorry, Susan E. If there’s room for two K’s (why not, unless it truly violates Nigel’s Rules?), I’ll leave mine in. Belgium’s a great place, but the downhill skiing’s not great. Austria has it beat, totally. So . . .

L

Luxembourg. To the east of Belgium, it’s relatively small, and I’ve never been. So it’s mysterious and intriguing. So is Lithuania and Latvia. All still part of Travel Dreams.

Posted by
1238 posts

Since there's two Ks can there be two Ls?

L is for Liverpool. Beautiful waterfront, great museums (especially Museum of Liverpool), two cathedrals, and very friendly locals.

Home of the Beatles. And the best football team in the land!

Posted by
647 posts

Montenegro

A small country we visited last September. Kotor is beautiful, especially at night when all the cruise tourists are gone. We hiked for 3 days in Lovcen National Park, hardly anyone there, peaceful and gorgeous scenery. The hike down into the bay of Kotor was brutal but so worth it.

Posted by
4594 posts

Milan. I know a lot of people say Milan is not worth an overnight stay, but we stayed for about 4 nights after our Village Italy tour in 2017, loved it, and didn't manage to see half the things we wanted to see.

Sure, there's the Cathedral and the Last Supper, but there is so much more! We enjoyed a number of churches, mostly for the art, several museums, and the Sforzesco Castle, which itself is worth a full day. Lovely parks, great restaurants, the canal district... The renovated Duomo museum is fantastic.

We had a lovely time, and when I find myself yearning for Italy, I remember our lovely time in Milan.

Edit to add: Oops, someone sneaked in another M while I was typing!

Posted by
25720 posts

why not, unless it truly violates Nigel’s Rules?

Nigel's Rules inventor here...

Why not indeed? I nearly popped in a B earlier, for Bath, but saw that B was already taken.

Make yourself at home... 2 is fine, 3 ok from posters posting at the same time, not sure about more than that....

Thanks for asking...

back to your regularly scheduled programming...

Posted by
25720 posts

and do remember that when we reach Z, we loop around and start at A again...

Posted by
1579 posts

Naples - count me in the camp that loves this city. The grit didn’t bother me, the people were friendly and one of the few places where the cab we used gave us a receipt like they’re supposed to. The Archeological Museum is wonderful without crushing crowds, Spaccanapoli which has crushing crowds but great things to see and eat, Capella Sensevero, ....and, we got stuck in the middle of a political demonstration and the police kindly let us through the barricades to get out of the way. I hope we get back some day.

Posted by
4737 posts

Oleron in France, where I was due to be this weekend. Great cycling, oyster beds, fantastic beaches and markets.

Posted by
2785 posts

Orvieto-when my husband saw my photos of the cathedral(he was in Switzerland at the time), he said "Wow".

Nigel, I went to Albania last Sept. It was very interesting and the tourist infrastructure was better than I expected. And it was nice to go somewhere that openly admits that they like the United States because of aid we have given them in the past.

Posted by
4945 posts

So when we get there, if there are two U’s, does that count as a W ?

Actually, in Spanish that “W” is considered to be a double-V.

Posted by
4945 posts

P

Pisa, Italy. I’ve been in the general region, but not to that city. It’s got one famous sight, which apparently draws crowds. Not sure that I’m leaning towards seeing it in person. Anyone else?

Posted by
56 posts

N is for Nice....
The Cote D’Azur in the middle of winter like it was meant to be enjoyed in the Belle Époque area. Strolling the Promenade d’Anglais without the crowds, enjoying Carnival in February, exploring quiet alleys and the walls of St. Paul de Venice snapping pictures with no other tourist in sight, no reservation needed for lunch on the square in Antibes, sunshine and mid 60’s, perfection.
I can imagine Nice would not be my cup of tea during summer, nor shoulder season for me. I don’t like the crowds or the heat. I first visited Nice 27years ago on a whim standing on the platform in the Gare de Lyon in Paris, Eurail pass clutched in my hand on my first head spinning trip to Europe back in the heady days of travel sans hotel reservations, plans or advanced study. Awaking in my couchette the next morning, I remember vividly my first glimpse of the Côte d’Azur, breathtaking. Nice is a dream in January and February. Sunny days in the mid sixties make it perfect hiking weather and often you’ll find villages to yourself.

My worst mistake was to not visit Ventimiglia, Italy until my most recent trip just a few months ago in January. I had always discounted it for a variety of reasons and not ventured the 30 minute train ride from Nice. Big mistake. Awesome daily market (much better than Antibes) the ancient hilltop village with really cool albeit gritty vibe reminds me of the Cinque Terre 20 years ago. Mix up your “oui’s” and “si’s” ordering pasta on the beach while you contemplate the undeniable differences a 20 mile train ride can have.

It was only 4 months ago but seems like an eternity....sigh. N is for Nice.

Posted by
2207 posts

O

Olite, Spain

Located in the northern region of Navarra, the walled medieval town of Olite is dominated by the Royal Palace of Olite, the former seat of the Kings of Navarra. You park on the outside of the walled part of town and walk in. The town walls are quite impressive and are incorporated with the Royal Palace, more a medieval castle then a grand palace. Walking through the winding lanes of the old town is a delight and 95% of the tourists we meet are Spaniards. We have a quick stop for a taste of the local traditional Sidra (hard-cider), before touring the Royal Palace.

The exteriors of the palace are magnificent and the views of the surrounding countryside are fantastic. The interior on the other hand is sparse and lacking of furnishings, this was due to fire damage during the Napoleonic war, the exteriors were restored but the interiors were yet to be brought back to their original state, which were described as gilded and sumptuous back in the day. Here's a link of some of the my photos from my time in Olite during a road trip of mine across northern-central Spain: https://photos.app.goo.gl/eGELNBMmMJXRVfpy5

Posted by
3199 posts

Q - Quito

Capital of Ecuador. Splendid old Spanish colonial buildings and some amazing churches. Take the teleferico to the top of the mountain, or take day trips to the Mitad Del Mundo to stand on the equator, or to Otavalo to shop at the Indian handicrafts market. If you enjoy shopping, Quicentro mall was a nice visit. The historic center is easily walkable. Be careful at night since there is a lot of petty crime.

Posted by
1939 posts

R-

Well, Rome, of course! Doesn't everybody know something about Rome? I have visited several times although not lately. We have been in all seasons and actually experienced snow one late March. It was magical, seeing familiar places in the coating of snowflakes. Experiences:wonderful food tours with Eating Italy, a visit to the Scavi under the Vatican, Nero's house with some Italian architecture students. (no, we didn't understand the guide but we really didn't need to). The roof caved in shortly after our visit and it was closed for a while. I think now re-opened? The cat sanctuary was unique, there among the ruins. I could return a dozen more times and still see new things and have new experiences!

Posted by
865 posts

Q
Quechee, Vermont.
Quechee is an unincorporated village famous for a covered bridge with mill and the Quechee Gorge. I have been twice, both more than 20 years ago. Once for a conference and the second time as a family hiking getaway with our young son (a colleague owned a house there). The little town was filled with shops selling artisan products like pottery and jewelry. The scenery is beautiful, especially during autumn due to the sugar maple trees.

(Did it really take me 8 minutes to type that??)

Posted by
18862 posts

R: Reus

Reus is Antoni Gaudi's birthplace. There's no Gaudi building in town, but there is, naturally, a Gaudi Center or some such. I very much enjoyed visiting two modernista buildings designed by another architect, Domenech i Muntaner--l’Institut Pere Mata and Casa Navas--and walking around the town. It's a very worthwhile day-trip or overnight stop for fans of modernisme.

Reus is close to Tarragona and not terribly far from Barcelona.

Posted by
5627 posts

Rome
Capital of Italy. Known as the eternal city.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Colosseum is there with the Arch of Titus nearby
By appointment only tours of the Attica Pharmacia Della Scala
Palazzo Farnese tour
Casa Portico d’Ottavia on Villa Della Reginella
Ponentino Pizzeria
Osteria del Oegno
Giardino Romano
Cat sanctuary
Basilica de San Clemente

Posted by
153 posts

Terri, innUmbria. Found it with our daughter during our first trip to Europe. We put 7,500 km on our rental car during our month over there

Posted by
80 posts

T
Thailand

I have visited this fantastic country twice 3 and 4 decades ago. The Buddhist temples were beautiful, the canals were full of life, the young men usually spent 2 years as monks so you could see them everywhere in their saffron robes, the food was spicy and delicious, and the people were some of the warmest that I've met. I don't know how much it has changed.

Posted by
10344 posts

U, an easy one: United Kingdom.
Literally hundreds of memorable places.
London is an obvious one, the traveler could spend a month, or a lifetime, exploring this city. Just one of hundreds of London unforgettable places would be The British Museum.

Posted by
6332 posts

V

Vinga, a small island off the coast of Gothenburg Sweden. We went there to see the historic lighthouse and had a wonderful visit with one of the few locals. Fortunately we were on a tour and had a Swedish speaking guide to translate for us.

Posted by
1857 posts

W

Warwick. I loved castles when I was a boy and so coming to Warwick Castle brought out the 8 year old boy in me. Running along the ramparts and climbing the steps inside the towers was a highlight of our 2 week adventure in England a couple of years ago.

I'm also a big fan of Bernard Cornwell's Last Kingdom series and so seeing the plaque about Aethelfaed was memorable.

Posted by
18862 posts

I bet someone can do Xi'an. I haven't been there. Or to the floating gardens of Xochimilco outside Mexico City.

Posted by
2207 posts

X

Xàtiva Castle in Valencia, passed by it once. The ancestral home of the notorious Borgia family, of Renaissance fame ;-)

Posted by
4604 posts

Y
Yucatán Peninsula, México. Famous for it’s impressive Mayan Pyramids and ruins, such as Chichen-Itzá, Uxmal, and Tulum, and it’s beautiful coastal resort, Cancún.
I haven’t been there since our honeymoon in 1987!

I’m sure Cancún has become highly touristy and crowded.

Posted by
4604 posts

Z
Zaragoza, the 5th largest city in Spain.
Located in the northeast of Spain roughly halfway between Madrid and Barcelona. About a 90 minute high-speed train ride from Madrid.

I’ve read that Zaragoza has two magnificent cathedrals and a beautiful Moorish palace, the ALJAFERÍA PALACE, an 11th-century Arab palace with amazing architecture consisting of ornate arches and intricate lace-like mudéjar decorations.

You’ll also find some great museums and an ancient Roman theater.
And the food is supposed to be absolutely delicious.

Zaragoza is on my bucket list ; )

Posted by
2207 posts

Fantastic choice Priscilla! Zaragoza is my pick for one of the most underrated cities in Spain, like how Barcelona was 30-40 years ago, in terms of foreign tourism.

Posted by
4945 posts

A
thenosbigs already said Aix, another Provençal city worth visiting.

But to start the second round, how about a double “A” city, Aarhus, Denmark (aka Århus, if that counts). Our big Scandinavian trip in July/August has now been postponed, so Aarhus and Denmark are still on the bucket list. Still waiting for a reply from the Copenhagen-Oslo ferry company about our unusable reservations. We’ll see when, and how, Aarhus is reached in the future.

Posted by
23 posts

I'll stay in the US for:

Bok Tower Gardens, in Lake Wales, FL. It's a giant garden and bird sanctuary showcased by the 200+ foot tall tower/carillon. The gardens were designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, who also assisted with the National Mall and the landscaping around the Jefferson Memorial and the White House. It's a great place to go and enjoy nature.

Posted by
1882 posts

For C, Carrick on Shannon Ireland. Went with my son for an overnight to stay with my friend's daughter and left five days later. It has what I think is the second smallest church in the world a fantastic story about the tiny church. Told my son it is the custom to buy a round in the pub and gave him a fair amount of money. The next day when I asked for money back he had none. I think it was 100 pounds.. he bought a round for the entire pub. The next day in the same pub I can still remember walking past the bar and a couple of gentlemen said you just be Rob's mom oh what a fine lad he is! Sure is with my money!

Posted by
6332 posts

C

Staying in the US for Chicago, Chicago, it's my kind of town. :)

I love Chicago and have been there several times and just can't get enough. The best museums, the coolest neighborhoods, Navy Pier and the wonderful lakefront, Grant Park - gardens, fountains, summer concerts. Great architecture, great food. What else can I say. If I could afford to live there I probably would.

Posted by
4945 posts

Nancy, there’s probably someone living in Chicago who’s longing to live in Corvallis! C-town people might think alike, kind-of.

Posted by
427 posts

D
Devizes in Wiltshire, England. We stayed here for 3 nights on our canal boat a few years ago. It's a market town with a great weekly market. The Wiltshire Museum is well worth the visit. It is full of ancient pre-historical finds from Stonehenge era - very well organized and highly recommended. Wadsworth beer is brewed here - the brewery has tours and tastings.

Posted by
4945 posts

E
Estonia, another Baltic country I’ve not visited. Maybe when we can fit in another Finland trip, or maybe with the Lithuania and/or Latvia mentioned earlier. Wow, even if borders and travel access options were wide open, there are a lot of places to go, and so little time and money to reach them all! One place at a time . . .

Posted by
9766 posts

F for Firenze, birthplace of the Renaissance and delightful city especially in Winter. Medicis, Michelangelo, and Bramante.

Posted by
10344 posts

@Lauren: yes, Firenze is right up there on my list of most architecture/art/culture/history per square foot of any city in Europe.

Posted by
3766 posts

G is for Gelato shop! One of my favorites is Buon Gusto in tiny Pienza, Italy.

This shop wasn’t open when others had customers, so I was afraid he was closed that day. I enjoyed the town, ate a delicious lunch and returned in the afternoon to find out the shop was open! Delicious flavors - Peanut Butter/Himalayan salt and a very friendly shop owner.

Posted by
1138 posts

H for Hallstatt, which I know Nigel really liked. Or was it me who liked it?

Posted by
4604 posts

I
Italy!
There’s so much to love about Italy!
The people, the history, the art, the food, the beautiful countryside ( Tuscany & Umbria), and... the gelato!

I can’t wait to go back!

Posted by
1288 posts

J comes before K and was skipped so I’ll do J for Johannesburg. I didn’t care for the little bit I saw. We drove from the airport north to Kruger Park and enjoyed our stay. We took a few safari excursions to nearby parks but drove ourselves in Kruger.

Posted by
117 posts

Lyon

I will never forget the fabulous lunch at Paul Bocuse's restaurant. The white asparagus was served and my husband said it's going to be tough----It was super fat. It cut like butter!

Posted by
5627 posts

H
Because it’s been a sleepiness night following the insane rioting here in LA, I’m awake and going to add HAVANA

Due to an invitation to speak at the Havana Film School was privileged to travel to Cuba in December of 2012.

Fabulous city. Spotlessly clean, friendly people, inexpensive food, wonderful weather and the diversity in the architecture was amazing. My most favorite travel experience ever!

Dream of returning to the island to stay in a casa particular and meander with my camera.

Viva!

Posted by
14323 posts

L is for

Lisbon. The capital of Portugal, built on hills, offers beautiful views . . . and trolleys when your legs give out. She has a rich, multi-cultural history, the only European capital older is Athens . . . Celts, Romans, Moors, the Golden Age of Exploration. The food is good, the wine is even better.

I was there almost exactly a year ago (June 2-6) at the end of a 3-week self-tour of the country. I highly recommend it to one and all.

Posted by
14323 posts

Nancy - I'm very pleased you enjoy my hometown, but trust me, you wouldn't want to live there . . . I don't know how hot or muggy it gets in summer in Corvallis, but I am darn sure your winters are much shorter and a lot milder than those in the Windy City (even though the nickname has nothing to do with the weather).

Posted by
648 posts

M is for Monti--a very small town in Chianti region of Tuscany. The lovely B&B Borgo Argenina is a few kilometers away and the town is the home of a truffle hunter and chef with the most amazing 4 course truffle dinner with Chianti wine. The chef also has an owl which he brings out to dinner to the delight of my family and friends. The little grocery store in Monti is a fun place to shop and get a glass of wine with the locals.

Posted by
25720 posts

N

N is for Nigel, Nigel Avenue in Northfield in Birmingham, England, that is. A bit of a sneaky way to get to 3 places all nearby each other and all 3 with strong associations for.

That's a bit sneaky - can I do that?

From south to north on the Cross City rail line in Birmingham, three nearly adjacent stations - Longbridge, Northfield, and Bournville.

Quite a few years ago I both worked trains on and managed conductors on the Cross City, and there are many experiences on that line burned deep into my memories.

Longbridge used to be the home of Rover cars. Trains taking workers to and from there used to be packed. Not now. Nothing left. Investors sold the company lock stock and barrel to a foreign government controlled company which closed both the assembly plant and the brand name down. Some of the designs are being used for cars produced for their domestic market. Nothing left in the UK except brick dust.

Northfield is one stop up the line. Memorable for me because the platforms are up in the air so that when all the other stations are safe for walking the ones at Northfield would get icy and frosty. I've gone over a couple of times as have many passengers. I had to go with a mate and a snow shovel one year when we had a particularly heavy snow fall. Pushing snow onto the track my mate went flying and was a very amusing sight. He was much better after a cup of tea.

Bournville is two stops further up the line. It is a true tourist attraction as well as a magnet for chocolate lovers. It is where the Cadbury family of Quakers established a famous chocolate factory on the canal and railway line, and built a town for the workers. Very progressive and very scenic, and the station is painted in Cadbury purple.

Posted by
1238 posts

O is for Orkney. We only went because our travel companions wanted to go to Highland Park Distillery. It was the highlight of the trip! Three nights not enough. Maes Howe, the Italian Chapel, Scapa Flow, Tomb of the Eagles, Ring of Brodgar.... it goes on and on. All on an easily driveable, beautiful island(s).

The kind of place where the car rental guy told us to leave the car, with the keys in it, in the parking lot of the airport.

Posted by
3199 posts

P - Peru
Lima, Cusco, Saqsaywamam, Pisac, Urubamba, Machu Picchu, etc. beautiful country. Went on an unforgettable trip there, the highlight of which was climbing up Waynapicchu at Machu Picchu.

Posted by
4604 posts

P
Portugal!

Portugal is an amazing country with friendly people, beautiful churches, antique universities, impressive facades of buildings and churches decorated with magnificent colorful ceramic tiles, great museums, a fairytale castle (Pena Palace in Sintra), and delicious seafood!

My daughter and I spent 3 wonderful weeks exploring this great country at this time last year!

Hard to believe it was a year ago...

Thanks Nigel for starting this post!
I’ve enjoyed reading all the replies! 😉

Posted by
4945 posts

Q
Quimper, another fantastic small city in Brittany. As with so much English vs. Celtic, it also goes by another name, “Kemper“ in Breton. We were there for its annual Cornouaille Festival in July, featuring music and dancing with Breton/Celtic flair. A horn that’s somewhat annoying, with a tinny sound, is one of the key instruments, but it’s unique, and essential to the region, so it fits in with everything else. A big dance under the tent one night, followed by a big parade the next day with locals in traditional costumes, all added to the fun. Half-timbered buildings and a charming old town make this a place worth staying, even if the festival’s not going on.

The Les Halles indoor market is another essential experience in Quimper. Two meat vendors, just across from each other, do brisk business. They’re clearly very proud of their quality, and seem to each have their own devout customers. People must have their reasons to go to one or the other, but they stick with that supplier. And Brittany’s superior baked product, Kouign Amann, sort of a cinnamon roll on steroids, is not to be missed!

Posted by
2207 posts

R

Reccopolis - the long-lost Visigothic city rediscovered in the high central plains of Spain. Located an hour east of Madrid, Reccopolis, built in 578, was the only new city to be founded in Western Europe during the Dark Ages. It was in 1893, while visiting the deserted interior of La Mancha, that archaeologist García López stumbled upon the remains of Reccopolis, and its palatial complex, built by King Liuvigild, the most important of the Spanish Visigothic monarchs.

Reccopolis was a Royal City, comparable to a Visigothic version of Versailles, complete with palaces – one of them two stories tall, with workshops, nobles’ dwellings, artisan stores with window displays, an aqueduct and a two-kilometer long wall. Today, Reccopolis has been preserved as an open-air archaeological park. Parque Arqueológico Recópolis, makes for a great albeit lesser-known day trip from Madrid.

Posted by
1138 posts

S San Quirico d'Orcia, a tiny hilltown in Tuscany with nice streets, a small park, good eateries and a nice view over the Val d'Orcia.

Posted by
2918 posts

T

T is for TOKYO, one of the most fascinating, mind boggling cities we've ever visited. It has everything- an ancient culture so different from our own, temples and museums, fabulous public gardens, every kind of food imaginable, and some of the most courteous and helpful people you'd ever want to meet.

Posted by
2918 posts

U
U is for Upper Slaughter, a little village in the Cotswolds, and an easy 25 min stroll from Lower Slaughter, where we spent an idyllic week in a rented cottage some years ago. Pretty as a picture and perfect for a few quiet days. Lots if walking or hiking opportunities and if you have a car, then you can easily fill your days tripping to other towns, catching a play in Stratford Upon Avon, or visiting some of the world famous gardens.

Posted by
4945 posts

V

Victoria and Albert Museum in London. From the Dale Chihuli glass chandelier that greets you in the entrance, to room after room after room of assorted displays, it has, probably, the most varied collection of interesting displays anywhere. Plan on a full day, and you’ll still just scratch the surface.

Posted by
1882 posts

Wells, England. We had toured the town and the Cathedral during the day and driving back later that evening by the church we saw quite a lot of people entering through the side door and stopped to ask if there was a church service going on. We were told the choir was practicing and we were welcome to come in as their guests. We sat in the individual pews right up by the altar and had a truly front row seat to an awesome choir. As a side note, we only went to Wells because we had seen it in a Rick Steve's video!

Posted by
1288 posts

Xi’an China has the famous Bingmayong (Terra Cotta Army), thousands of life-size, hand-molded figures buried with China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang.

We visited in 1982. Awesome!

Posted by
8219 posts

Thanks for starting this Nigel.

Y

Yosemite. A beautiful national park that has more to offer than the valley, which is where most visitors go. I am fortunate enough to live fairly close, though I discovered the hard way that going as a day trip from home is a bit ambitious.

Posted by
134 posts

Z

Zabolotiv, the town in Western Ukraine where my father was born. I first visited in 1993 and met my uncle (my father's brother) and other relatives that I knew only from letters and pictures. A truly moving and unforgettable experience.

Posted by
25720 posts

and back to A again

Augsburg, a medium sized town in southern Germany which was the home of the Fuggers and also Martin Luther for a time.

Interesting WW2 bunker and air raid shelter in the garden of the Fuggerei, which also does (did) a decent al fresco lunch.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augsburg

Posted by
2207 posts

Z

Zamora, Spain - one of the most important ancient cites of the medieval Kingdom of León. Zamora is best known these days for its spectacular Semana Santa (Holy Week) Processions, they are some of the oldest ongoing processions in Spain, dating back to the 1200s. They certainly have a more "medieval" ambiance, in the day the processions are accompanied by their own Gregorian chants and music, which contrasts with the powerful Procesión del Silencio at night in which no one speaks a word.

Edit: oops too slow on the draw haha I'll do the next one then:

B

Bar Celta Pulperia. My go-to tapas bar when I'm back in my hometown of Barcelona, it's a Galician style seafood bar that specializes in Galician Octopus (Pulpo a la Gallega). Another specialty is their Pimientos de Padron, which are apparently one of Rick Steves' favorite tapas (mine too!). They are sauteed green peppers that are usually mild, but every so often you get a spicy pepper. Bar Celta is a little more old school than the newer tapas bars, but it is still pretty popular with locals. They have two locations now, one in the Barrio Gotico and in El Born.

Posted by
860 posts

C is for Cap Ferret

This area is a hidden gem in my opinion (unless you are French or German tourist which seemed to be the majority here). Lots of good food, beaches, working villages, etc, etc. Great place to unwind and enjoy life.

DJ

Posted by
6332 posts

D is for

Dunedin, New Zealand

Loved this town in New Zealand. It has some wonderful architecture, including a fantastic railroad station in a very eclectic style with amazing floor mosaics in the main hall and a lovely clock tower. We took a wildlife viewing boat cruise around the Otago Peninsula to see the Tairoa lighthouse on Tairoa Head and saw penguins, sea lions, an albatross colony and some gorgeous scenery. One of the highlights of our NZ tour.

Posted by
1857 posts

How about Dunedin, Florida? Spring Training home for the Toronto Blue Jays. I haven't been yet, but a month along the Florida Coast for Spring Training is a Bucket List item. Would have been done long ago, but the wife doesn't share my passion. She might need to be replaced...

Posted by
2798 posts

C is for The Cook Islands
A number of years ago we visited Rarotonga & a day trip to Aitutaki. It was truly “Heaven on Earth.” It was comparable to what Hawaii was 50+ years ago. Uncrowded and stunning beaches for snorkeling. The culture, cuisine and people made it a memorable experience.

This is a such a positive thread! Thanks.

Posted by
1288 posts

E is for Ephesus! A fantastic place to visit! The communal latrine was quite interesting and just off the main drag.

Posted by
1634 posts

hey hey nigel
thanks for this fun topic
A for annecy in france. cute village on lake annecy with shops, restaurants and gorgeous views. first weekend of october the villagers have a parade bringing the animals, all "dressed up with flowers and bells" down from the hills (alpine pastures festival)
B for bardolino on lake garda in northern italy. fabulous views of the lake, small village with shops and restuarants, stop for ferry to cruise the lake. end of september/first week of october is their annual wine festival. eat drink and be merry, fun times.
C for corfu. loved this island, on a private tour (5 hours) from our cruise, excellent driver and guide, panoramic drive of important areas, villages, kumquat liquer distillery (yummy) and olive oil farm. stopping a locals home for tasting wine, ouzo, snacks, photo ops of the bay, old corfu town, and other important sightseeing. loved this island more than santorini.
aloha

Posted by
1288 posts

F was to have been next. The Faroe Islands. Very kind people! One home owner offers us a beer as we hiked past. We used her bathroom and passed on the beer because we had no idea where we would find another rest stop opportunity.

Posted by
1634 posts

@diane
oops, forgot to press add reply. better late than never, we call that "hawaiian time" thanks
aloha

Posted by
2798 posts

G is for Gubbio
A charming ancient Umbrian city dating back to the Estruscan period. In the 2nd Century BC, the Romans took control of the city and built the second-largest surviving Roman Theatre in the world. In addition the Palazzio dei Console is one of the most iconic medieval buildings in Gubbio. The highlight of our visit was visiting the Palace with our guide. We were treated to a delicious pasta lunch that included the famous truffles and wine from the region.

Posted by
1857 posts

G for Granum, Alberta, Canada close to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump. https://headsmashedin.ca/

If you're ever in Alberta and tired of the mountains, this is a fun daytrip from Calgary. My Mom grew up in the area and as a boy when we were down there visiting my Grandparents we used to walk over to another buffalo jump nearby and we'd dig up old buffalo bones and arrowheads.

Posted by
1634 posts

H for hawaii
every island known for something
oahu "the gathering place" honolulu, waikiki, crowds, traffic, diamond head, pearl harbor, north shore and surfing
maui "the valley isle" beaches, haleakala volcano, hana hiway, condos condos condos, lush countryside of makawao and kula, lahaina wailuku, eating mom and pop store, local food and music
hawaii "the big island" all islands will fit with this island. volcano and lava flows, black sand beach, capt cook, kailua kona, waimea and cowboy ranches, rocky coastlines, tex drive inn home to the malasadas, mauna kea has the telescopes and snow when cold enough, forests and waterfalls, hawaiian food
kauai "the garden island" oldest of the islands, sleeping giant, hanalei, lush green areas, poipu and it's beaches, tv and movie backdrops, wailua river and fern gtrotto, koke'e state park and kalalau lookout, hawaiian food, music. was slow and quiet to visit but word got out,
nice to visit all islands to see the difference they offer. enjoy
aloha

Posted by
10344 posts

This is a great topic: to help us remember what Europe travel has meant to us (mostly American) international travelers.

Posted by
4945 posts

I

Istria - a large peninsula in the Adriatic. It includes parts of Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia. One coastal town, Piran, is known for being very windy. I don’t know about that personally, but it’s got scenic sunsets and wonderful people. We had one night there, and more would’ve been nice. Maybe there’ll be a next time . . .

Posted by
1634 posts

I for ile de orleans
an island about 10 miles from quebec city. rented car for day and drove around the island. farmers, wineries, chocolate making stores, local artists along the river, old historical and heritage homes, lots of areas for photo ops. stopped at a deli to pick up picnic goodies, found a bench to enjoy a picnic. stopped at artisan shops for local made goods, drive back across river bridge to montmercy falls, sainte ann's de beaupre church along saint lawrence river, then to canyon sainte anne. took walk around the canyon crossing suspension bridges, deep gorges, back to quebec city. a wonderful day trip. went first of october and town is decorated in halloween/fall style for their canada thanksgiving. absolutely gorgeous and a fun vacation.
aloha

Posted by
1778 posts

J
Jamaica
Stopped at the Falmouth port for the day on a cruise. Did a walking tour of the town and learned about the island history.

Posted by
1857 posts

K for Kansas City, home of the Negro League Baseball Museum. I've never been, but one of my travel bucket list items is to visit every MLB stadium. I love baseball history and so when I do make it to KC for a game, a must-see stop will be this Hall of Fame. https://nlbm.com/

Posted by
1857 posts

I wanted to save this for V, but sadly the post is running out if steam and may not make it;

L is for Loire Valley.

I was on the RS Loire to the South of France tour in May last year and days 4 and 5 were in the Loire Valley. My favourite chateau was Villandry. It’s famous for its French style gardens. We didn’t have enough time to really tour the interior of the chateau, but it is the gardens that are the show-stopper. Unfortunately, it was the 3rd week of May and so the gardens weren’t in full bloom yet, but still spectacular. My favourite moment was in a garden well away from the chateau, I heard this buzzing and I was looking around for the source, it almost sounded like there were power lines above. Finally realized it was bees. Hundreds of bees hanging out in the flowers. I’m not usually the type to get all philosophical about something like that, but it was so cool just to stand there quietly and listen.

Posted by
1247 posts

M is for Mongrassano, a tiny village in Cosenza province in Calabria. My husband's grandparents were from there. It had to be on the itinerary during my sister-in-law's and my trip to Italy last year. I thought I planned the visit for her. But in all honesty, it was the highlight of my trip. We don't know if we met any far distant relatives but all the people were very kind, helpful and tolerant of our 15-word Italian vocabulary. Walking around town, past many derelict houses, we wondered where her grandfather was raised, where her grandmother was born and where they lived as newly-weds before coming to the US in 1909. The village is like a slice of Italian life from an era long past.

Posted by
444 posts

M for Malta! The Grand Harbour's fantastic golden-stone fortifications, all the medieval & Knights of St. John history & edifices, staggering Cathedral with huge paintings by huge-persona'd Caravaggio, blazing July sun but Valetta's streets so narrow you're shaded, elegant gardens & palazzi, World War II secret Allied headquarters, Hagar Qim's pre-historic megalithic ruins.

Posted by
1579 posts

Monterosso al Mare Walking into a dark hotel room, opening the shutters and absorbing the breath-taking view of the Mediterranean is still on my top list of “wow” moments.

Posted by
1939 posts

N
Naples-from what I have read posted on the forum, it's an either much loved or much disliked city. I am on the side of much loved. It's the third largest city in Italy after Rome and Milan. For me, the highlights included the fabulous National Archaeological Museum (some original decor from Pompeii), the awesome "Deception" and "Veiled Christ" sculptures found in the small Capella Sansevero and not necessarily for awesomeness but just for fun, a tour of Napoli Sotteranea or underground Naples. Fun and enlightening. I loved the food, not just the pizza but everything else, too!

Posted by
4945 posts

O

Obidos, a town in Portugal. My second trip to Portugal, I didn’t expect to go there again, but it was going to be getting dark, and we didn’t have any room reservation anywhere, so we stopped and got one. Another great night in Portugal.

So, planned or not, every trip to Portugal has included at least one night in Obidos!

Posted by
6332 posts

P

Puerto Rico

Visited before the most recent hurricane and it was one of the loveliest places I've been. Beautiful beaches, especially when you get away from the traffic jam that is the San Juan area; interesting natural places - bioluminescent bay, El Junque rain forest, Islands of Culebrita and Isla Caja de Muertos, Rio Camuy Caves; and the most interesting Arecibo Radio Telescope. Old San Juan was a joy to walk around to see the old churches and the old cemetery. There is just so much to see there and it is a tropical island after all so how can you go wrong.

Posted by
2876 posts

Q
Quedlinburg, Germany in the Harz region. We have visited this city of the 800 half timbered houses three times over the years for 1 day to a month at a time. If you get the chance to travel in Saxony-Anhalt please spend some time seeing this UNESCO gem and its beautiful neighboring cities and towns.

Posted by
4945 posts

R

Reims, France. Pronounced “Rahnsss,” Champagne country. Notable cathedral, in a country with a lot of cathedrals. Pop a cork in Reims.

Posted by
1288 posts

S Shigatse, Tibet
We visited in the early 80s. It wasn’t a resort area by any means but it was fascinating to experience the culture and customs. The roads were treacherous, tourist facilities were nonexistent except for mediocre hotels.

Posted by
14323 posts

T

There are half a dozen places that spring to mind immediately . . . Thailand, Turkey, Tallinn, Toledo (Spain) . , ,

But I have to go with Tel Aviv, 100 years ago it was mostly sand dunes on the Mediterranean shore north of the ancient seaport of Jaffa. Today it's a vibrant city with great beaches, museums, , pubs and restaurants, a world-class symphony and a treasure of Bauhaus architecture. It's a 1-2 drive to Roman, Crusader, and Ottoman sites, fascinating Jerusalem, and the Dead Sea. And for some of our European neighbors, we are beginning to open up to tourism again.

Posted by
2 posts

N New York- USA
I had visited there many times before I finally moved there. As what many people would say was the busiest city with the rudest people, I think that New York and the people there have come to challenge those prior misconceptions.

I remember when I had first settled into my boiling hot, exposed brick, and empty apartment in the middle of summer, I had wondered if New York was it for me. However, a quick trip uptown to Central Park soothed my sweaty arms and doubtful mind.

Posted by
4945 posts

That’s a tough one to follow, Chani!

(Edit: Well, so’s New York)

And at the risk of jumping in ahead of Ufkak on this forum, who might have posted Ufkakistan:

U

Umbria - the region of Italy between Tuscany and Rome. This September’s trip was maybe going to include the Umbrian towns of Spoleto or Perugia, but those will now have to wait a bit longer. The pasta and truffles will hopefully wait for us to get there.

Posted by
4945 posts

V

Made it to V, despite Allan’s concerns from yesterday. This doesn’t yet get us all the way to “Z” again, but:

Valence, France. A great city with great people, and a great layout. It’s between Lyon and Nice, great for a stopover or a few nights. The Tour de France passes through frequently, so the locals expect to see the race come through their hometown every few years. It’s also where the superb Michelin 3-starred Maison Pic can be found. Have lunch there for less than dinner costs, still a fantastic meal, and Chef Sophie Pic herself will check on how you’re enjoying it.

Posted by
7469 posts

Yellowstone National Park

Does it really need a descriptive comment?

Posted by
2 posts

Cyn! Umbria sounds amazing, I'm definitely putting that in my travel wishlist!

Posted by
2139 posts

Zeeland, the smallest province of the Netherlands that is often overlooked, but a great place to see a bit of the Netherlands without the crowds of Amsterdam. And if you are visiting in the summer there are some great beaches!

Posted by
345 posts

W

Wörthersee

Great spot. Lovely Lake. Stayed in Krumpendorf and in Portschach.

Posted by
2876 posts

W
I’ll add a W. Wernigerode, Germany. It’s another beautiful small city in the Harz area close to the above mentioned Quedlinburg. Wernigerode has hundreds of beautiful half-timbered buildings too, a stunning castle on the hill and is the terminus for the historic steam train that takes passengers up (and over) to the top of northern Germany’s highest, the Brocken. And just a few miles away is another stunning, historic small city, Goslar.

Posted by
1857 posts

X is for making a fool of myself.

This is a stretch, but to get X in...my first trip to Europe was in 2014 and while in Rome I went to the Team Store of the local soccer team A.S. Roma. As a sports fan I wanted to get a souvenir, so I was looking at shirts with the team's logo. Back home I wear a large so I picked one out, but the friendly clerk told me that it was never going to fit. I told her I'm definitely a large, and she looked at me like I had two heads and I looked back at her like she had 2 heads. I had no idea that clothing sizes were different from home, but apparently my wife did and was enjoying watching me make a fool of myself as I tried putting the shirt on. Turns out in Italy my shirt size is XXXL.

There, now we can get back to A.

Posted by
416 posts

A

Andorra la Vella is the capital of the Principality of Andorra

Posted by
6332 posts

B

Beijing, China. A great city with so much to see and do. Of course the Great Wall is a main attraction although the section that's easily reached from Beijing is also the most crowded and most touristy. But there's also the Forbidden City, Lake Kunming and the Summer Palace, taking a tour of the Hutongs - the narrow streets and alleys of old Beijing, especially by rickshaw tour, and the many temples and gardens. It's a fascinating city.

Posted by
834 posts

C

I have two

Champagne - wasn't sure I would like but I LOVED it. Visited in May 2019

Chioggia - a small town we visited on our Bike and Barge in Veneto. It had an amazing fish market. Visited September 2017 my 60th bday trip.

Posted by
4945 posts

Allan, good to hear back from you, and thanks for the post. So what size does a really big, say 150 kilogram person in Italy wear? Or do they just not wear a jersey?

Nadine, Gracias!

Nancy, I guess that every restaurant in Beijing is a Chinese restaurant, even if they serve Italian, Greek, or French cuisine?
.
Donna, we did a Champagne Pedal bike tour, a honeymoon trip, long ago. Biking the region is fabulous! That’s when we went to Reims.

Posted by
4945 posts

D

Denver, Colorado, USA. Named after a governor of Kansas, it’s nicknamed “The Mile High City.” In fact, much of it isn’t quite 5,280 feet in elevation, but some of it truly is. The airport started offering lots of flights to/from Europe in the past 20 years.

And it’s the gateway to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, which are much, much higher than one mile. You pass through Wheat Ridge on the way to the mountains, via Interstate 70.

Posted by
2798 posts

D for Dordogne
Ah, the Dordogne River Valley. Fond memories of canoeing down the river and taking in the scenic landscape of riverside castles & villages. In addition, visiting the areas prehistoric cave paintings. And best of all enjoying the wonderful markets for the delicious delicacies of the region.

Posted by
2207 posts

E for Empúries or μπόριον (in ancient Greek)

Located north of Barcelona, Empúries sits right on the Costa Brava, it's the site of the ancient ruins of a Greek colony from the 6th–3rd century BC. Empúries soon became a powerful sea-trading Greek citystate in the western Mediterranean. It's quite unique as the ruins are literally right on the Costa Brava overlooking the sea. The area is also the site of an ancient Roman town called Emporiæ from the 2nd century BC - 6th century AD. There is a pretty good museum on-site containing artifacts and mosaics of the Roman and Greek periods called the Museu d'Arqueologia de Catalunya - Empúries.

Posted by
4320 posts

E for Elimina Castle in Elmina, Ghana.

Constructed by the Portuguese in 1482, Elmina Castle witnessed more than 30,000 Africans trafficked to America as slaves over several centuries through the castle's doors of no return. The castle today is flanked by a beautiful beach and harbor with colorful boats, boasting a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. A visit to this town and site will evoke tears, but emotions are somewhat assuaged by a cold local Club beer from a friendly spot with a view of palm trees swaying while hip-life is playing, as always.

Posted by
1939 posts

F
Fatima (Portugal) just last October. We were there on the Sunday specifically dedicated to celebrate the family and it was packed. I say "happily" crowded as everyone there was smiling and happy, in spite of the rain. We stayed for part of the outdoor Mass celebration and then peeked into the Chapels and the shrine to the three children who reportedly were visited by a vision of the Virgin Mary. It is said to be one of Christianity's most important pilgrimage sites.

Posted by
3199 posts

G - Getaria

Small fishing village on Spain’s Basque north coast. Filming location for Spanish Affair/Ocho Apellidos Vascos. Not a lot to do there, but a nice place to spend a couple hours.

Posted by
2139 posts

G for Gotland, the largest island in the Baltic sea.

Gotland is a bit of a "hidden gem", while it sees a lot of visitors in the summer it is mostly Scandinavians and Germans. Others seem to not have discovered the island yet. The limestone bedrock and maritime climate has created a very characteristic barren landscape that has a certain kind of beauty. A landscape Ingmar Bergman used in several films. And the main town, Visby, has a well preserved medieval city centre with a mostly intact city wall. Also known as "the city of roses and ruins" due to a couple of church ruins (left standing since the large city fire in 1525) and quite a lot of roses it is also on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1995.

Posted by
1882 posts

Haarlem it really exceeded our expectations. Particularly the Ten Boom house and we loved the Cathedral and awesome square outside. Maybe because we were there on a picture perfect day in the fall with friends having a glass of wine in the square and just being in The Netherlands which fulfilled a life time dream vacation.

Posted by
1138 posts

I Iphofen. Lovely village in Franconia with attractive streets and buildings, a town wall of sorts, vineyard walks, a couple of cafes and a few restaurants (including the excellent Deutscher Hof). Popular with locals, will never be overrun by us North Americans (hardly any shops).

Posted by
1247 posts

Gundersen, so funny. I glanced at your town name and saw Ibuprofen. Yep, can’t get along without my Advil, especially walking 10 miles per day in Italy.

Posted by
416 posts

I - Istanbul (source: Rick Steves)

Istanbul is one of the world’s great cities, period. For millennia, this point where Europe meets Asia has been the crossroads of civilization. Few places on earth have seen more history than this sprawling metropolis on the Bosphorus. Once called Byzantium, then Constantinople, Istanbul boasts the opulent trappings of an epic past — from the Byzantine emperors and the Ottoman sultans of distant ages, to the modern Republic-builders and "Eurocrats" of our own time. And, as the biggest city of a moderate Muslim nation, Istanbul also offers the inquisitive traveler a unique opportunity to grapple with the rich and inspiring Islamic faith: Hear the eerie wail of the call to prayer echo across the rooftops, poke into a neighborhood mosque, and watch a dervish whirl in prayer. Set sail on the Golden Horn, and take in a spine-tingling skyline bristling with minarets.

(**where I should have visited in 2020 but now hoping for 2021)

Posted by
1857 posts

J for Jórvík

What York was called in the 9th and 10th centuries during Danish Rule. I am supposed to spend a few days there in September as I follow my Viking roots. 3/4 of my Grandparents came from the UK and the 4th came from Denmark but all have blue eyes, so maybe I'm 100% Viking.

Posted by
444 posts

K for the Temple of Karnak. Jaw-dropping monumentality & detail & antiquity & &. (Also K for crowds last Dec., but we were so happy for Egypt's recovering tourism-based economy. And now...)

Plus K for kudos for Nigel for starting this excellent thread. Thank you, Nigel! And everybody; this is great.

Posted by
7907 posts

"L" is for Leon in Spain. The cathedral is stunning, with the most beautiful collection of stained glass windows you may ever see. It was part of my Camino and I hope to return there again, on my next Camino

Posted by
427 posts

L

Linderhoff - as in Schloss Linderhoff. It is located in southwest Bavaria near Ettal Abbey. It is the smallest of the three palaces built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria and the only one which he lived to see completed. It is an amazing location to visit. The gardens are wonderful and the small castle is incredibly opulent.

Posted by
5627 posts

M

Morro Bay, CA about a 3.5 hour driveway up Hwy 101 from LA and nearly equidistance travel time from San Francisco. Drive time is a bit longer each way on Hwy 1, the Pacific Coast Hwy.

Morro Bay is famous for the large Morro Bay Rock which is an actual volcanic plug that has emerged in the Pacific Ocean. There are also often a contingent of adorable sea otters in the harbor.

MB has a huge beach to stroll along and the Main Street of town is filled with restaurants, cafes and shops. There is also the fabulous Garden Gallery and nursery ( not the one with kids but a garden nursery where you buy plants) .

Lastly, there is also the nearby serene Montana Del Oro State Park complete with a coastal hiking trail, sand dunes, beach access, camp grounds and a trail up to Valencia Peak.

M is for Montana Del Oro State Park a lesser known CA State Park.

Posted by
416 posts

M - Muerren

Charming village nestled on the ridge of the magnificent Lauterbrunnen Valley. Quiet evenings, scenic hiking trails and
wonderful views of the mountains. Nowhere like it. Be prepared to lose your heart.
Heaven on earth.
I've been there 4 times and want to go again every time I think of it.

Posted by
707 posts

N for Nida in Lithuania. It’s at the southern end of the Lithuanian part of the Curonian Spit (a sandy peninsula that starts in Russian Kaliningrad and heads north). Nida is on the lagoon side but it’s a short walk to the Baltic coast.

We were there last summer. Coolish, sunny days, perfect for walks along the beach made more fun by seeing Cyrillic letters indicating my cell phone was picking up a signal from a Russian cell tower. Not a lot to do there, but it was totally relaxing and my favorite stop in Lithuania.

Posted by
427 posts

O
Oberammergau, Germany = is a municipality in the district of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in Bavaria, Germany. The small town on the Ammer River is known for its woodcarvers and woodcarvings, for its NATO School, and across the world for its 380-year tradition of mounting Passion Plays.

My husband and I stayed here for 3 nights a few years ago. It's a lovely small town with a number of restaurants and accommodation choices. We used this as a base to explore parts of southern Bavaria and the town. In addition to the Passion Play and woodcarving, the town is close to skiing, Linderhof Castle, Ettal Abbey, and Garmisch-Partenkirchen . We went up a gondola to the top of Ammergauer Alpen which overlooks GP to the south and the Ammergau valley to the north. Lovely spot to explore parts of southern Bavaria.

Posted by
6332 posts

P

Passau, Bavaria, Germany. A lovely city on the Danube, Inn, and Ilz Rivers, it's also known as Three Rivers City. I only had 1/2 day there but it was well worth the visit. I especially enjoyed visiting St Stephen's Cathedral as it's so different from most of the others, a very eastern vibe with it's onion domes. It has a marvelous organ with over 17,000 pipes. The old part of Passau is know for it's baroque architecture. When I was there I took a stroll along the river watching the boats and envying the people who live in the lovely homes that line the river.

Posted by
3766 posts

Q is for Queens, NY: area where the JFK airport is located. Definitely not my favorite airport, but we have one great memory of Queens.

We were supposed to fly back home from Rome to Amsterdam to Seattle. When we arrived at the Rome airport, our flight had been cancelled. We were switched to Alitalia to transfer thru JFK. At JFK, we were assigned the last row seats instead of our Comfort Plus.

The flight was overbooked; they finally offered $1000 Amex cards and free hotel night to anyone willing to bump a day. Whew! We were eligible because we had no checked luggage! And our hotel at Queens was decent with nice staff. The $2000 was a great reward for traveling light and spending a night in Queens.

Posted by
834 posts

R

Rasteau - France .... we did an amazing wine "walk" through the vineyards and trees in May 2018 called the Escapade des Gourmets. I believe we were the only US Citizens and non French speakers at the event. Thankfully a couple from Canada took pity on us and helped us check in. I think we walked 5 miles tasted about 20 wines (you could have tasted like 50 different wines) and ate at 6 food "tables"

My hubby found it on line in February 2018and we tried to reserve a space but it sells out in minutes once it's announced. We contacted our bed and breakfast host and she got us on the waiting list and within a week we had our reservation and time slot (noon) it started at 10 with 50 people going in groups every 15 minutes. Needless to say bottlenecks (no pun intended) began at the first wine tasting stand.

Posted by
1238 posts

S is for Salzburg. Such a charming town in a pretty setting. Loved the Christmas Shop and the Kirsch. And we met nice fellow travellers there that we ended up spending the whole day with.

Posted by
1857 posts

T for Tower of London.

It's a toss up if the Tower or Hampton Court Palace was my favourite place visited while I was in London. We spent about 6 hours there one day and can't wait to go back. One of the more memorable facts I recall from our Beefeater tour was a door near the river that we were shown where Henry VIII used to sneak in his mistresses. I don't know if its true or just a good story we were told but I love how tidbits of information like that can get my imagination running wild.

Posted by
5661 posts

V for VIENNA. New Year's Eve waltzing in the street near St. Stephen's. Schnitzel at Schnitzelwirt. Riding the tram around the Ringstrasse. Touring the Opera. Coffee and Sachertorte. Klimt pictures at the Belvedere.

Posted by
427 posts

V

Vent, Tirol, Austria. This small hamlet is located at the end of the Oetz Valley, just west of Innsbruck. There are a couple of small ski resorts nearby. We were there in late September and used the chair lift to do some alpine hiking. This location is very close to the Italian border with amazing views in all directions. Otzi Iceman was found close by and there are a number of neolithic sites with sign-boards describing where shepherds and hunters from Italy and Austria lived and grazed their animals during the summer months.

Posted by
1138 posts

W is for Wrexham, Wales (two W's for the price of one). A nondescript town where, as a very young man, I was tossed through a car showroom window like a rugby ball in the early hours of a Saturday morning. You should have seen the state of the other guys.

Posted by
17976 posts

I just tried the alphabet game for myself for the names of places I have actually been to in Europe.

Alpirsbach, Braunlage, Cochem, Düsseldorf, Ettlingen, Fischen, Gernsbach, Herrenberg, Immenstadt, Jenbach, AT, Konstanz, Lohr, Mainz, Nördlingen, Oberammergau, Pfronten, Rothenburg, Sigmaringen, Treis-Karden, Ulm, Vilshofen, Würzburg, Zwiesel

Actually, almost all were in Germany. I found places for 23 letters, 22 in Germany. I haven't been to places starting with J, Q, X, and Y in Germany, although I was once to Jenbach, Austria, if only to change trains.

There apparently is only one town, Xanten, in Germany, that starts with an X, and no town in Germany that starts with a Y, so I can't feel bad about missing those letters. I was once only about 15 miles from Quedlinburg; I wish I had known then that I was missing 'Q', I might have gone there.

Of the other 23, I stepped foot in all of them, didn't just pass through on a train, although admittedly in 3, Jenbach, Ettlingen, and Gernsbach, I only walked a short distance to the next conveyance. I never spent a night in Cochem or Ulm, but I did spend a number of hours in both places, looked around, had a meal, etc. Of the other 18 letters, I have spent one or more nights in at least one town, often many more, that started with that letter.

Posted by
4945 posts

Bravo, Lee!!!

For us less well-travelled within Deutschland 😉,

Y
Ypres, Belgium. Also known a Ieper (starting with an “I” as in Incredible) by the Flemish, this town was at the heart of much of the WW I conflict. The Flanders Fields were just outside of the city, and the city received a lot of damage. It’s been restored, is beautiful, features arguably the world’s best chocolate, beer, and deep-fried potatoes, and an unquestionably excellent war/peace museum. It has moving, thought-provoking displays covering “The War to End All Wars,” with a context that reflects the world about a hundred years ago, as well as now. We also experienced the Last Post, a nightly ceremony honoring war dead - they are still remembered, after so long ago.

Posted by
4945 posts

Well, maybe others are already catching some Z’s on a Friday night, but with no other posts in the past two hours:

Z
Zermatt, Switzerland. In the shadow of the iconic Matterhorn peak, this wonderful alpine town has fancy hotels, affordable B&B’s, and historic, contrasting farm buildings right alongside. I understand it’s a summer mountain destination for many, but my visit was in March, to a ski nirvana. An apres-ski place up on the mountain, a log cabin with outdoor tables and a backcountry vibe, was displaying an Alaskan flag on a pole. It was upside down! I politely informed them that, as an American, I knew the Big Dipper was supposed to be upright, with the North Star at the top. Not sure if they fixed that Alaskan flag, but a Swiss flag looks the same, right-side-up or upside-down! 🇨🇭

Posted by
138 posts

A

A is for the magnificent Alps! Still working on hitting the Alps in each country; five down, three to go, and then begin again. I dream of hiking the Via Alpina ... someday

Posted by
7469 posts

Buenos Aires

The malbec wine and Italian restaurants were wonderful.

A short excursion up the river was a great way to spend an afternoon before heading to the airport

Posted by
14323 posts

C

Cordoba, my favorite Spanish city. There is a continual back and forth on the forum whether it rates more than a few hours as a day trip. Those who think a short visit is enough simply haven't spent more time there. I've found new delights on each of my 3 (all too short) visits. The Mezquita is exquisite (in spite of the cathedral in its midsection) and unique, the Juderia is among the most well-preserved medieval centers in the country, there are quite a few small museums well worth an hour or two, and it's absolutely romantic in the evenings.

Posted by
14323 posts

D

Dresden is about halfway between Berlin and Prague both geographically and culturally. It was "spite" bombed to rubble at the end of WWII and since the reunification has been meticulously rebuilt, using mostly the original stones. If you want to know why I fell in love with it, see my pix here (worth so much more than my poor words).

Thanks for letting me "double dip" on this round.

Posted by
2785 posts

A shoutout to Cyn for her shoutout to Ypres. I don't think most Americans know much about the "war to end all wars'. We went to Ypres to see the cat parade, but its WW I history really opened our eyes to this part of history. It's also not far from Dunkirk. A few day's after our visit to Ypres, we were in the graveyard of a small town in England and saw the headstone of one of the thousands of men who died at Ypres.

Posted by
25720 posts

Another thanks for Ypres.

The town and the surrounding area are important to me and I remember them well.

My mother's family lost a special man when the hospital in Ypres where he was recovering from injuries received in the Third Battle of Ypres (known as the Battle of Passchendaele) was shelled into nothingness just after Christmas in 1917. He was never found.

Posted by
6332 posts

E

Etretat, France.

A small town on the north coast of France not far from Honfleur. It's in a very scenic area with amazing rock formations along the white cliffs. I spent a nice couple of hours there on my way to Bayeux. Climbed the cliffs for a short 1 hour hike and some amazing photo ops, visited the chapel on top of one of the cliffs, and stopped in the market for a quick take-away lunch. Actually wished I had more time there to explore more but it was a great rest stop.

Thanks Nigel for starting this thread. I'll bet you never thought it would make it into the 4th alphabet.

Posted by
2876 posts

F Figeac, France. This is a beautiful town in the Lot region. It was on the well traveled Way of St. James pilgrimage route.

Posted by
427 posts

G

Gap of Dunloe, Republic of Ireland. We were here last fall - it seems so long ago! We took a back road from the south, near Molls Gap. It was early morning, so there was very little traffic. Amazing views and quite the narrow and windy road! At the bottom of the very steep and windy section there was an amusing warning sign of things to be careful of. Every thing imaginable was posted on the sign board - tractors, cars, bicycles, deer, cattle, steep grade, narrow turns, horses, walkers, etc, etc. When you get to top there are amazing views toward the city of Killarney and Killarney National Park.

Posted by
7907 posts

"H" for Heidelberg!!!!

Especially because Rick says not to bother with visiting here when the town and castle are simply charming. The student prison is my favorite thing to see here, but also enjoy the Apotheke Museum, the bombed-out tower, the Castle aflame show is stunning, and the Jesuit church is magnificent in its cool, serene lines and colors.

Posted by
685 posts

I

Iguazú Falls or Iguaçu Falls on the border of Argentina and Brazil. It is vast and larger than Niagara. We visited the falls a couple times when in Brazil. (Hope a non-European site is ok.)

Posted by
5627 posts

J

Jericho.

In Palestine. One if the oldest cities in the world.

Posted by
4945 posts

K
Kazanluk, Bulgaria. Located in the Valley of the Roses, it stages an annual Rose Festival, which would be going on right now, if not for the pandemic. A Rose Queen is crowned. We stopped, and a giant copper rose distilling drum, which hadn’t been used in a long time, still possessed the essence of rose, one of the best fragrances in the world. We missed the festival, but I got some wonderful rose-scented lotion. Next time we’re on that side of the Shipka Pass, we need to visit Kazanluk again!

Posted by
2876 posts

L Leipzig, Germany. We’ve been to Leipzig twice, once in the winter of 1990 and the next time in 2019. Wow, what a change. I loved seeing the direction most of the restoration work has taken. Beautiful art deco facades, fountains and arcades/passages. I’d love to go back again for more than a day trip to dig more deeply in this important city.

Posted by
4320 posts

Maasai Mara, Kenya. See the big five and go glamping. I got to see the wildebeest migration. Spectacular at sunrise.

Posted by
4945 posts

Emily, what are the big five in Kenya? Animal species, specific sites or sights? It sounds intriguing, either way, but please tell us a bit more. Thanks!

Posted by
4945 posts

N
Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Start, or as we did, end your Hadrian’s Wall trek here. Ancient Roman sights nearby. A great city in northeastern England, with a truly outstanding Indian restaurant downtown.

And no need to carry any coals.

Posted by
2798 posts

N for Naxos
Amazing Greek Island in the Cyclades. Our favorite memories: The Portara- also called the Temple of Apollo. An unfinished temple constructed in 530 BC. Chora- the capital. Naxos is filled with great restaurants.

Kastro- a medieval citadel built by a Venetian Emperor in 1207. Apiranthos- charming village with marble-paved streets & Venetian architecture. Staying on St. George Beach and enjoying the vibe including windsurfing & kitesurfing. Easy ferry ride from Athens and other nearby Cyclade Islands.

Posted by
2918 posts

Cyn: "what are the big five in Kenya? "

According to Google, the big five ( all animals) are: elephant, lion, leopard, Cape buffalo, and rhinoceros

Posted by
1857 posts

O for Oradour-sur-Glane, France.

We stopped here last year on our RS Loire to the South of France tour. On June 10th, 1944 the Germans rounded up the citizens and murdered them; 642 men, women and children and then burned it to the ground. The town has been left as it is as a monument and museum and the new town was built next to it. There is a cemetery with 2 and 3 generations of family buried together after the slaughter, and as you leave there is a tunnel lined with photos of almost all of the victims. It's eerily quiet when you walk through the town and while I've never been to a Concentration Camp, I have to imagine the emotions and anger I was feeling would be similar.

https://www.oradour.info/

Posted by
17976 posts

Does Mt. Everest count for 'M' (mountain is not very specific) or for 'E' (does Mt. Everest start with 'E'?)?

Posted by
4945 posts

Thank you, CJean! So I suppose an Elephant Tick (yuck!), Ant Lion, Leopard Moth, Buffalo Gnat, and Rhinoceros Beetle, could make up the Small 5?

Posted by
5627 posts

N

Nebraska

Located in the Great Plains of the Mid Western United States. Nicknamed the Cornhusker State.
Admitted to the Union in 1867. 37th state. Capital is Lincoln.

State slogan: “ Welcome to NEBRASKAland where the West begins.

Famous Nebraskans: Crazy Horse, Marlon Brando, Johnny Carson, Henry Fonda, Willa Cather, Dick Cavett, President Gerald Ford, and Warren Buffet to name a few.

Posted by
4945 posts

Claudia and Lee, while I wasn’t truly knowledgeable about African animals, I could mention that the Nepali name for Everest is Sagarmatha, one word, although an “S” word. Tibetans also have their own name. Kind of like where Mount McKinley is “Denali” to locals and many in the climbing community. Awesome peaks, either way.

Posted by
25720 posts

I'm thrilled - two different references to Karnac/Carnac in this thread. First the destination in Egypt and now the mention of Johnny Carson. Who would have thought?

I guess you have to be a person of a certain age to get that reference... sorry to all the kids

Posted by
2798 posts

Nigel,
I got that reference to Carnac. Ed McMahon would introduce Johnny- “And now, the great seer, soothsayer, and sage, Carnac the Magnificent.” Nice reminder of brilliant comedy.
I need to watch it again on YouTube.

Posted by
4945 posts

Nigel, “Who would have thought?” Carnac, of course, would have predicted it!

It’ll be harder to get a place name reference linked with the sleezy, slick-haired salesman character Art Fern.

Posted by
1288 posts

O is for Olympos on Karpathos.

Olympos is a village and a former self-governing community on the island of Karpathos, in the Dodecanese, Greece

It’s a beautiful town up in the hills with breathtaking views. I stayed on the island for 5 days with three girlfriends. Definitely not a place I’d go back to though the island had beautiful spots.

Posted by
3766 posts

P is for Parma, Italy. My favorite cathedral in Europe (so far) after 11 trips is the Parma Cathedral interior. The fresco colors have a warm tone to them, making them so personable. Also, I loved the Bible verses written in several languages on the altar furniture.

We stayed two nights at Palazzo Dalla Rosa Prati, located next door to the Cathedral & Baptistry. The hotel contacted me to offer a private Food Tasting in their small restaurant of all of their local foods – prosciutto, culatello, sausages, sweet tangy balsamic vinegar the consistency of molasses, and of course parmesan cheese. We both really enjoyed this event, and the food was amazing.

Posted by
58 posts

Q is for Quebec ... learned to ski (sorta) in my teen years while on a ski trip to Gray Rocks / Mt Tremblant, also visited Montreal on two other short trips. Don't remember too much about the Montreal trips but i remember vividly the ski trip. Since it was my first time skiing, I did not have all of the traditional ski attire so I wore jeans like many of the other newbies. After a few trips down the bunny slopes with the ski class learning the basics, the instructor took us to the top of the mountain for the final exam ... make it down without killing yourself or anyone else and you pass. Armed with the over-confidence gained from the bunny slope training, I started down the easiest green they had with the rest of the class ... and after going 0-60 faster than my friends 1970 Dodge Challenger 440 Magnum, I proceeded to take an out-of-control tumble, splitting my pants from front to back. My long ski jacket covered some of the obvious problem and, thankfully, the long johns survived the fall or I would have looked even sillier try to ski and not fall down that mountain with my coat wrapped around my waist. Some good came of that unfortunate incident however ... the cutest girl in the class (who was right behind me when I fell) skied down with me the rest of the way and, although still laughing uncontrollably for just about the rest of the evening as she relayed my mishap to others on the trip, felt sorry for me apres ski ;-)

Posted by
7907 posts

"R" is for Roncesvalles.
This is an ancient abbey where 100's of people stay overnight after crossing over the Pyrenees into Spain from France. This is a long, difficult walk and is usually either the 1st or 2nd day for many people on doing the Camino Frances, that have started in St. Jean Pied de Port. Camaraderie and close friendships are forming and many of us have very fond memories of making it to this stop. You can see it from km away and you think you will never make it there.
http://www.roncesvalles.es/bienvenido.php?idB=1

Posted by
1857 posts

S for San Simeon, California.

We've stopped in the area many times when driving the Pacific Coast Highway. We always enjoy a visit to Hearst Castle, but last September our highlight was a stop at an Elephant Seal viewing area. The docent pointed out a seal that had been attacked by a shark and lived to tell his friends about it. It had a massive bite scar and the docent pointed out some rocks in the ocean in the distance and told us that beyond those rocks was a great white shark freeway where the seal likely got attacked.

Posted by
444 posts

T for Tibet. Wondrous, heartbreaking, beautiful, austere, humane, harsh - the Himalayas, Buddhism, the Chinese takeover, juxtapositions in every possible aspect.

Posted by
5627 posts

S
San Francisco
Or as the noted San Francisco Chronicle newspaper columnist Herb Caen deemed it “ The City By The Bay.” He also referred to it as “Baghdad By The Bay.”

For someone who grew up an hours drive south it was always called The City in my household.

Originally a Spanish Pueblo then maritime harbor it became a city of interest and notoriety during the 1847 Gold Rush. Survived the devastating 1906 earthquake and another in 1989 ( I was at the Baseball World Series game 3 at Candlestick Park when it struck. Sec 43 ( right field) Row 21 Seat 14)

Remember thinking what’s it going to feel like when this gives way and we fall backwards to the pavement below.

San Francisco gained renown in the 60’s for
being the home the hippie movement in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood. 🎶 It’s The Dawning of the Age of Aquarius 🎼

4th most populated city in the state and home to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, the TransAmerica building, Coit Tower, Cable Cars, Fisherman’s Wharf and Alcatraz. The latter a former prison on an island in San Francisco Bay.

The Presidio, now a National Park, was an enclave for Spanish, the state of Mexico and American military protecting the harbor.

It’s home to my favorite sport team the SF Giants baseball team. Growing up was privileged to see the greatest baseball player of my generation, Willie Mays play. My favorite player though was 1st Baseman Orlando Cepeda.

At present, 2020, the City’s football team the 49ers no longer play in the City . Instead and with the infusion of Silicon Valley money ( or as I know it from growing up in it in the 50’s when it was nothing but apricot and cherry orchards, the Santa Clara Valley) the Niners now call Levi Stadium home. It is located in Santa Clara, 45 miles South of SF.

And IMHO anyone referencing San Francisco as Frisco should be ashamed.

Lastly, San Francisco also became famous via Tony Bennett’s vocal salute “ I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”

San Francisco, my City, always will be!

Posted by
2876 posts

U Überlingen, Germany. One of my favorite towns on Bodensee/Lake Constance. We’ve spent more than a month in this delightful small city. There’s a beautiful promenade along the lake stretching for miles in both directions. There are seven medieval towers and parts of the old wall you can walk on. There are ferries, good train service and peaceful roads to other Baden-Wittenberg destinations. Bicyclist love this region. Did I mention that there are nesting storks nearby, wine villages and a world famous hops area. We love sunny Überlingen! On a sad note. They have been planning and constructing for several years to get ready to host the Landesgartenshau which was affected by the coronavirus closings. I’m not sure what they were able to salvage. https://www.bodensee.de/en/experience/highlights/landesgartenschau-ueberlingen-2020

Posted by
1857 posts

Claudia, I never get tired of San Francisco, but they need to stop making those hills steeper. My first visit was with my wife the early 90's and we were in our late 20's and the hills were steep, but manageable. Fast forward to 2018 and my friend and I-in our mid-50's were in town to catch the Blue Jays/A's series and I swear those hills had been made steeper. Is it the city's solution to overtourism???

Anyway, V for Ventura, California. Another stop on our Pacific Coast Highway drive last Fall. Probably the biggest surprise of the trip, we weren't expecting much except for it being a place for an overnight stay on our way to Los Angeles. We stayed in a campground/trailer park that was near the water that has renovated classic trailers to stay in. Best beer I had in California was at a craft brewercalled MadeWest Brewing located on the pier . The beer was called Prospect and when I look back at the website, it's described as a Vanilla Coffee Porter.

Posted by
1247 posts

W for 'Where are we'? I was never so lost as in Italy. Learned to deal with the adventure very quickly and enjoyed every minute of it.

Posted by
5627 posts

W

Washington D.C.

Capital of the USA. Located on the Potomac River and home to the White House, US Capitol Building, the Supreme Court, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, WW2 Memorial, Martin Luther King Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, The Holocaust Museum, Korean War Memorial. Also such Smithsonian Museums as the National Museum of African History and Culture, National Air and Space Museum, Natural History Museum, The Spy Museum, National Museum of the American Indian, and National Portrait Gallery. There’s also the Library of Congress, National Zoo and the Kennedy Center.

Across the Potomac River is Arlington Cemetary where the graves of President John Kennedy and his brother Senator Robert Kennedy are located along with the final resting places of 400,000. The majority military men and woman.

It is also home to the vibrant GeorgeTown waterfront a National Park.

Posted by
444 posts

I really wanted an X to appear, impatient to give the wonderful Yorkshire Sculpture Park for Y, so I ended up in my old mini-encyclopedia, where there's this lovely entry:
Xochimilco, "suburb of Mexico City. Famous for its canals lined with poplars and flowers. Rafts which Indians [this was published umpteen decades ago, pre-PC} had covered with soil and floated on a shallow lake became islands which continue to supply the city with vegetables and flowers. Boating on the canals in a popular diversion."
Anyone been there? Sounds lovely.

And the YSP, in England, ahh, one of our favorite surprises. Vast expanse of green fields (& daffodils & mud in April) & a sparkling small river, dotted with huge creations by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, others, & grazing sheep& wading cows! Excellent visitor center & cafeteria, too.

Posted by
5965 posts

Ok finally caught the Zs. Z for Zakopane, Poland. Its not exactly unknown or un-touristed, being a well-known winter/summer resort area in the mountains for many decades. Still its got a lot of local color and great hiking opportunities. But the most interesting thing we saw there was the cemetery on the road into town. Hard to describe but worth a google.

Posted by
1634 posts

hey hey
B for Branson missouri
after our mom passed 20 years ago, my sister and i took trip here since mom loved it, plus dad was from the state.
absolutely loved the area, the shows, the food, table rock lake, the people.
yes it’s been many years but i would go again in a minute.
rented car, drove to different small towns on our way to eureka springs. stopped at blueberry farm, picked a bit plus BBQ sauce, walked some fields. next day road trip to saint louis 2 days, dad grew up on the mississippi river, to new florence, thru small towns to springfield, overnite stay near airport, for flight back to hawaii.
had a fabulous time.
aloha

Posted by
4945 posts

C
Canal du Midi. This engineering marvel was dug across southwestern France, to link the Mediterranean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. In 2003, we “cruised” part of the canal on a rented British narrowboat, with a tiny diesel engine and very cosy space onboard for 3 people. This was slow travel, with a close connection to the countryside just beyond the edge of the canal, viewed from our boat that barely stuck out above the water.

We were passed each day by countless big boats flying Netherlands flags from their sterns; apparently folks had motored from their home ports to France, and this was just part of their maritime route. The day we picked up the boat from Minervois Cruisers, they advised us that a lock worker strike (“greve” in French) had just begun, so when we reached a lock, to make our way from one water level to another along the way, we’d need to get through it ourselves, without a professional operating it. We never reached any locks at our slow pace, and eventually did a U-turn to make it back to our point of origin, at Le Somali.

We’d originally planned to make our way to Carcassone before turning around, but never made it that far by boat. One evening, just before dinnertime, there was an unexpected cacophony of ringing. Looking off the port side, for probably 10 minutes, a thundering herd of galloping sheep, hundreds if not thousands of them, ran alongside the canal in an incredible parade. Many must’ve been wearing bells. Their drovers brought them right by us, following the canal, in what seemed was a never-ending population of running sheep! This was like an agricultural race, a wooly Marathon with a record turnout. You had to be there. . . nobody sitting at a cafe table on a square in any French city or village could have witnessed it. There are other canals in France, and in Europe, but the Canal du Midi holds a special place in my memory. But it seems I still need to make it through a lock sometime, for the full experience. Allez!

Posted by
14323 posts

D

Dublin, especially its famous doors. The capital of Ireland is a very walkable city with some excellent museums, 2 cathedrals, a university, parks, 2 theatres and one or two pubs. The people are friendly and welcoming, and it's never too hot.

Posted by
2798 posts

E for Epidaurus
Ancient Epidaurus in Greece is one of the most important archaeological sites of the country. It is famous for the Ancient Theater with amazing acoustics. In summer, the theater still hosts performances of ancient Greek drama.

My dream came true being able to sing a song when visiting in 2017. It was an experience of a lifetime. And yes, it’s true about the acoustics! The sound was heard at the top of the theater. Incredible.

Edited to add I meant to mention another meaning of the ancient site. It was developed around the sanctuary of Asclepius, the healing god.

Posted by
6332 posts

G

Ghent, Belgium. I enjoyed all the cities I visited in Belgium but Ghent was my favorite. Bruges was wonderful but I found Ghent to have a younger more vibrant vibe rather than the touristy Bruges. But it still had the old city feel about it and the lovely canals that compared well with those of Bruges. I stayed in Brussels and really enjoyed it as a base but if I was to return to Belgium in the future I would make Ghent my base.

Posted by
1634 posts

G: for Grand Tetons
took a 10 day road trip from bay area to yellowstone few years back. what gorgeous country and scenery.
first stop jackpot, nevada on our way to driggs idaho. stayed at teton valley cabins, one of my favorite places to stay. log cabin deco, enjoyed hot tub with a glass of wine.
next morning driving over the teton range, with snow still atop, was a site to see. at bottom saw two bigger than what i expected moose. leaves that memory in my mind forever.
continue on to jackson hole and the cowboy saddle bar for a cocktail and the park outside with the arches made of antlers. driving around parts of park to our next stop of west yellowstone in an old "dolphin" motorhome rv on earthquake lake for 3 nights.
fun times and my understanding of why montana is called "big sky country. LOL
continuing on to coeur d' alene, spokane, hood river, portland, tillamook down the oregon coast then back home. another one of my favorite vacations, so many to choose from.
aloha

Posted by
1857 posts

H for Hampton Court Palace

Henry VIII's house. It's a tossup if it was this or the Tower of London was my favourite site I visited. When I talk about this day I always tell my friends the story behind this painting hung on a wall outside the banquet hall, https://www.rct.uk/collection/405748/a-protestant-allegory in the palace. If I remember the story told on the audio guide correctly, Henry was so mad when the pope wouldn't grant his divorce that he had this painting commissioned depicting the Pope being stoned to death.

Posted by
4945 posts

I
Iceland. An island about the size of Colorado, with with 1/20 the population. It offers beaches, mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes, craters, hot springs, Northern Lights, whales just offshore, puffins at the right time of year, and friendly people. Icelandair has offered the chance to stop in Iceland for up to a week, on your way someplace else, as part of your overall flight. The tectonic plates for North America and Europe actually meet in Iceland, so you could argue it’s the the most easternly part of N. Amer. and the westernmost part of Europe. Dried cod is a specialty, born from centuries of needing to keep food over long, harsh winters. We brought some of that home for snacks. We passed on the rotted shark, another Icelandic food for hardy souls.

Posted by
14323 posts

J

Jerash, ancient Roman/Byzantine city and the best sight in all of Jordan. Everyone knows Petra, Wadi Rum is beautiful and the sea at Aqaba (and neighboring Eilat) is amazing, deep, clear water with colorful fish and coral, but Jerash is the jewel of the country.

Posted by
416 posts

Jungfrau Region
A place I never tire of visiting and look forward to every visit with the same anticipation and excitement.

What is the Jungfrau region?

The Jungfrau region begins in Interlaken, the largest town in the region. Interlaken is easy to reach by train and car. The Jungfrau region stretches out to the Jungfrau mountain range in the south, which is Unesco World Heritage. There's a lot of beautiful alpine nature and several little villages. Many people consider the Jungfrau region as a "must see" in Switzerland (source: My swissalps.com).

Posted by
2785 posts

Kruja, Albania. Ethnographic Museum and enjoyable hillside location.

Posted by
3789 posts

Lake Titicaca. High in the Peruvian/Bolivian Andes. Known for the floating islands of Uros reachable form Puno. Uros pretty much seems to survive on tourism these days, though there is still an elementary school and a doctor motors out every week. Quite a fascinating visit. The other, non-floating islands, are also interesting though rocky and quite precipitous. Lots of sheep and goats.

Posted by
444 posts

Malvern Hills, England. The town's church is another just- your-usual medieval gem, with painted floor tiles that've survived & blew me away, there's a charming tea room run by the church or another charity, I forget, with perfect scones & happy little old ladies up for a chat (hah, they were probably the age I am now), & the stiff hike up thru greengreen woods to the panorama of three? shires. Roman times, maybe earlier, the hilltop was part of the cross-country bonfires communication network. We parked not quite legally at its base, sheepishly found the police station in town later holding our ticket, & the grinning greeting was, "Ah, she gets everybody!"

Posted by
1939 posts

Moab, Utah

My husband and I used to spend weekends here biking the most wonderful trails. It's within striking distance of the glorious Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and Dead Horse Point (pretty but sad story). Moab also offers challenging (for me, anyway!) river rafting, as it's the confluence of the Colorado and the Green Rivers. We always visited either in May (a biking festival) or late fall. Frankly, for me it is way too hot to spend any time there in the summer. Moab is located just across the state border of Colorado into Utah.

Posted by
834 posts

L
Lille, France..... we visited as a lunch break on our way from Epernay to Belgium. It was raining that day but it was a vital inner city with a nice central square. I'd revisit on a sunny day.

Posted by
5627 posts

M

Monterey, CA
Founded in the 1700’s ruled by both Spain and Mexico. During the Mexican American War the US flag was flown. A harbor town it its named after Monterey Bay.

Famous for Cannery Row, The Monterey Bay Aquarium and the world renown Monterey Jazz Festival.

Personal aside, my aunt used to live in the 2 story house that now houses the Monterey Peninsula Arts Foundation. She had an art gallery downstairs and she lived above.

Many great memories there before the redevelopment happened. At the opposite end of Cannery Row there was the Outrigger Hawaiian restaurant and every time we visited we’d walk down there to eat.

Haven’t back been there since the opening of the Aquarium.

Posted by
5661 posts

N for Nice -- more specifically the Chagall Museum. Wonderful !!! At least if you love Chagall. Room after room of fanciful, colorful paintings. I reorganized my trip to be in Nice on a day the museum was open.
(P.S. if you get a chance, there are amazing Chagall stained glass windows in Jerusalem.)

Nice also for strolling along the beach-side promenade lined with Belle Epoque buildings with the azure sea on the other side. Life is good!

Posted by
3766 posts

O is for Orangerie

The Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris is a delightful smaller art museum which I have focused on when I had less time in Paris. The huge Water Lilies murals by Claude Monet are the highlight, but the lower level also has many wonderful impressionist and post-impressionist paintings.

The lines are usually shorter, so it’s handier to purchase a combo art museum ticket (this one & the D’Orsay) at this location.

Posted by
4945 posts

P
Provence! This region in southern France is full of wonderful villages and some amazing cities. Food, wine, and wonderful living in Avignon, amazing museums in Arles, opera at the ancient Roman theater in Orange, fountains in Aix, cherries in Rousillon, Cavaillon melons, sunflowers, lavender ... these are some of the wonders Provence offers. You need some time to experience all these, and to discover so much more. Mount Ventoux, an awesome peak that sees grueling Tour de France stages on a regular basis, looks over part of one of the most wonderful places in France, and on Earth. we’ve been there in the summer (can get really hot), and winter (cold, with Le Mistral wind), but variety is the spice of Provençal life!

Posted by
3789 posts

Reggio-Emilia province of Italy. Not on the first visit list for many, but for foodies, it would make sense to do a focus trip to this area. Accessible from Milan airport by train or road, it is convenient for day trips to Parma, Bologna, Modena and on to the coast. You can eat your way through ham, cheese, and vinegar and when tired of that, book the option to drive a Ferrari. It goes without saying there will be ruins, churches and art.

Posted by
1288 posts

S Shanghai
Visited in the early 80s. I wore a sundress with large yellow polka dots. In those days the Chinese had not seen Americans in person. One man circled me, and if looks could kill, I would be dead. My husband was a few feet away and not paying attention until I called for help. But many Chinese came up to me and wanted to practice their English and were very friendly. One young man insisted he take me on a private tour in a museum we visited. Again hubby wasn’t paying attention. I walked with this man and enjoyed my private tour.

Posted by
801 posts

S is for South West Coast Path

My daughter and I did a week’s walking in Dorset a few years ago , and the South West Coast Path from Charmouth to West Bay was by far the best day. Two things helped make it that way: the path was very well marked so we did not get lost, unlike many other paths we tried to follow during that week. And the weather was spectacular – sunny and breezy. The hike up Golden Cap was challenging, but we made it and enjoyed the wonderful views from the top. The next day brought us to Chesil Bank, one of my least favorite parts of the trip. Struggling along the shingle beach for more than a mile was all we could take; when we finally came to a road we walked along it till we found a place to have tea and call a taxi. Someday I would love to go back and walk other stretches of that path - just not the parts along a shingle beach.

Posted by
2798 posts

T for Toledo
A short train or bus ride from Madrid. It’s Spain’s old Capital. Toledo takes you back in time about 500 years. We enjoyed walking the winding medieval streets in the early am. Highlights were Toledo’s beautiful cathedral, the historic Sinagoga Del Tránsito, and El Greco’s Burial of the Count of Orgaz in Santo Tomé Chapel. We stopped for a delicious lunch before heading back to Madrid.

Posted by
3789 posts

T is for Tanzania I will confess this is my heart home. It is a complicated wonderful frustrating country, but the Serengeti is where I have felt the most peace. Most people think about what is called 'the Northern Circuit' for safari. Start in Arusha and head west visiting Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater and then the Serengeti. Tanzania is home to the highest number of animals participating in the 'Great Migration' and holds most of the natural plains that make up the Serengeti to the south and Masai Mara to the north (in Kenya). There is a southern circuit through parks that are better done as fly in camps, so the instead of private bespoke car and driver/guide as in the North, you fly in and share vehicles and drives with other camp members. New guide every camp. Further to the south west are even more remote parks and the focus moves to primates and perhaps Lake Tanganyika for ciclids (if you are into aquarium fish). Then there are those who go to clime Mount Kilimanjaro.
I tend to keep to the north but last trip was about the birds, so my guide and I drove from Arusha to Uganda. We visited less touristed areas south of the main parks, through the Serengeti then west to Speke Bay in Lake Victoria. Then south to Mwanza with its interesting rounded rock formations in the bay. A very decrepid ferry takes you across the Mwanza gulf and onwards north to Bukoba on Lake Victoria's western shore. Due west again through Kyaka - the area that was invaded by Idi Amin. The burned and shelled bridge stands as the reminder. Finally to the Uganda border.
(I see I double posted)
U is for Uganda Uganda lends itself better to self driving safaris and even walking in some of the national parks. The roads are well paved and it is of a size that reduces the great distances of Tanzania. Also, since the cat population was almost entirely decimated during Amin period, there are less chances of becoming a meal if you walk or bike in a park. Hippos are still a warning and some of the camp areas require you to stay in your tent after dark as the hippos graze around you. Uganda is more about primate - gorillas come to mind of most - but one park boasts 6 different primates, and it is possible to spend time with chimps and baboons.

Posted by
416 posts

V - Victoria, capital of British Columbia- Canada
I enjoyed a spring time visit there many years ago and had a great time though it did rain a lot :-)
Butchart Gardens was the highlight of my trip.

Posted by
1247 posts

W is for Waterford Ireland. We enjoyed touring Waterford Crystal. This was many years ago when the crystal was still blown and cut there. Looking down on the sea of crystal chandeliers from the gift shop mezzanine was a sight to remember. I hang my Waterford Christmas sock on the living room tree (instead of any of the other six trees) every year as a reminder of my great trip to Ireland.

When leaving Waterford Crystal, we saw a sign for Ambassador Crystal. Pulling into the parking lot in front of a small garage, the only vehicles were Harleys. Walking into the shop, the owners looked like my brother -- long hair in leather jackets. Seeing their Waterford presentation bowls, we knew they were master cutters. Turns out blowers and cutters they were laid off Waterford employees who formed their own company. They took us on a tour of their studio and explained much more than Waterford did about cutting and blowing. Sadly Ambassador Crystal is no longer in business, but we each have crystal to remember them.

Posted by
10344 posts

Ok, who can come up with another destination that starts with an "x", and to make it more challenging, a destination that isn't in China (where most of the cities starting with "x" are located).

Or do we just skip to destinations starting with Y?

Posted by
25720 posts

Kent, would you like

Xeuilley which is in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in north-eastern France. It is in Lorraine, in what is now over-puffedly officially called Le Grand Est - The big East.

Pah. What an overly grand name for the region - comments my own.

The engraver Jacques Callot's family owned property in Xeuilley, and he depicted it in some of his work

Posted by
6332 posts

X

There are four states in the US with cities/towns/villages named Xenia - Ohio has the largest Xenia, but there are also smaller Xenias in Illinois, Kansas, and Iowa (2). All are very small and I have never been to any of them.

There you go Kent, two X's.

Posted by
7469 posts

Yosemite

Even the best photos fail to capture the grandeur.

Didn't get to do as much walking of the trails there as planned as our grade school age daughter had, what the Ranger 1st aid station surmised, was an allergic reaction to some sort of bug bite. The meds made her drowsy.

Posted by
4945 posts

Z
Zentrum, the Downtown “Center” of any German city. If you’re visiting, spend some time in der Zentrum.

Posted by
4945 posts

A
Atlantis. Based on a Travel Forum post last year, that got a lot of responses (probably not as many, though, as this one), it’s in the Schengen Zone, but makes for a wonderful vacation destination. Many people claim to have visited this “lost continent,” and some were very enthusiastic about their recommendations for things to see and do, but others’ responses were somewhat watered-down. I wonder if the Covid19 pandemic has spread to undersea locations?!?

Posted by
1238 posts

B is for my Backyard. That's as far as I'm getting this year. Thankful for a lovely green space!

Posted by
4945 posts

Andrea, “There’s no place like home!” Stay well . . . travel will wait, as long as we all are still here!

Posted by
1882 posts

Had to do it Y is for Yardville. That is where we are this year so far. Great plans went by the wayside but we were very lucky we had not booked anything yet. The first time I heard that expression I thought it was a town but learned it is right out my back door. I imagine most of us are spending time there this year so it must be crowded !!

Posted by
1288 posts

C
Cuenca is the third largest city in Ecuador and lies at around 2,500 meters above sea level. It is best known for the stunning colonial architecture in the city center. It has also been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.Jul 17, 2013

A beautiful city to visit. We stayed three days after a Galapagos cruise. We had a private tour and it was wonderful visiting the countryside.
One evening we were looking for a place for dinner when we heard a lady yelling at us. She was on the second floor leaning out a window wan us to come to her restaurant. We are glad we did.

Posted by
5627 posts

C

Cuba

Grateful that during the Obama Whitehouse years and via an invitation from the Havana Film School that I was able to travel to Cuba.

An island with such an interesting history.

People are friendly, the architecture diverse. One of my most memorable trips.

Loved strolling along the Malecon, having dinner at La Guarida, and visiting Vinales.

Surprised by the spotlessness of Havana. No garbage anywhere. Bemused that if your bus didn’t arrive it wasn’t coming and you simply waited for it the next day.

Appreciated the fabulous grin I received outside Callejon de Hamell from a young boy dressed in school attire when I gave him some old baseball cards. https://locationmanagers.org/location-manager-claudia-eastman-in-the-la-times/

I’d go back to Cuba in a nano second to further explore the island!

Posted by
3789 posts

D is for Delft in the Netherlands. A pretty town between The Hague and Rotterdam. Known for canals, Vermeer, blue and white pottery and being the birthplace of Microbiology. The last notible item isn't very touristic, but everyone needs a useless fact a day, in my opinion.

Posted by
1857 posts

D for Disneyland.

The first time I'd been to a different country, in fact the first time I'd been more than a 10 hour drive from home. My parents didn't have much money when I was growing up but they tried their best to make things seem normal for me-I actually didn't know how much they struggled until I was in High School. But in 1979, as a 13 year old I was off with my teammates to play in a hockey tournament in Orange County. My parents-with some help got the money together and also came. We stayed at a motel near Disneyland and I was in heaven. Attractions like Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion were beyond my expectations and my imagination of what Disneyland was. I was thinking about that trip this week while cleaning out my son's room as he recently moved out. On the wall is a poster of a map of Disneyland that I bought that trip. My wife had it framed years ago and I'd forgotten about it. I know the Disney parks are huffed at by some on this forum, but that was a special trip for a boy who had never been anywhere.

Posted by
4945 posts

Had to do it Y is for Yardville. That is where we are this year so far . . . it is right out my back door. I imagine most of us are spending time there this year so it must be crowded!!

Gail, No Place Like Home. But in a lot of the world using the metric system, do they call it Meterville?

Posted by
2876 posts

E Évian-les-Bains, FR. Yes this is the source of the spring for Évian water and you can visit the little museum. It happens to be in a pretty little town on Lac Leman/Lake Geneva across the lake from Lausanne. A fun day trip is to take the ferry across the lake and back or on to Geneva.

Posted by
7907 posts

"F" has to be for FRANKFURT!

I talk enough about this city, its history, its markets, its museums, its participation and importance in German history, so won't add any more. So happy to live here.

Posted by
416 posts

The Grossglockner
Austria’s highest mountain and centrepiece of the High Tauern National Park.
Not to be missed: The Grossglockner High Alpine Road.
The scenery was amazing and the road itself quite a driving experience. I played safe and took the bus from Zell am See :-)

Posted by
4945 posts

H
Hadrian’s Wall, England. We spent more than a week walking its length 3 years ago. The Roman emperor Hadrian had a wall built nearly 1,900 years ago, back when a border wall was physically effective. Now it’s a historical attraction. The ancient Roman Empire stretched northward through what is now England, but Romans found the Picts in what is now Scotland to be difficult people to deal with. Rather than push any farther north, Romans constructed this wall, which stretched across from east to west, from sea to sea, with guarded mileposts and numerous forts to patrol and monitor the border. There were gates to allow access and Roman Empire entry/exit, so it wasn’t a completely static, faceless barrier. Many of the stones used to construct the wall were subsequently removed, and used by locals for new buildings, so the well-cut Roman stone blocks served a useful purpose when the Roman Empire collapsed, and the wall no longer served as a barricade.

Walking the remains of the wall affords a chance to absorb the countryside of Cumbria and Northumbria in England, to meet great people people along the way, to stop in a few excellent small museums, and to see the remains of many sections of the wall and mileposts and forts, including another “H,” Housteads Fort. The city of Carlisle is near the western end of the wall route, and Newcastle is near the eastern end. B&B’s and the occasional rental house line the route, so it’s possible to have a comfortable room at the end of each day of trekking. A shuttle service takes your bags to the next place, so it doesn’t require hefting a big backpack the whole time to hike the length of Hadrian’s Wall. The wall is a significant remnant of the past. It runs a little south of the present border of Scotland, so it can easily be included with a visit to Scotland and/or other parts of England.

Posted by
1138 posts

I Insel Mainau on Bodensee. Spent the better part of a day there about ten years ago and hope to return.

Posted by
4945 posts

J
Jakarta, Indonesia, on the island of Java.

First, Nigel, and maybe I’m wrong, but I thought you’d initially made this a “places in Europe” post. Maybe you edited your original set of rules to include anywhere people had been, or thought about going. Or maybe this was always open to anyplace, as destinations far and wide have been posted - to the benefit of all.

So, second, I haven’t been there (yet), but its name, along with its far-flung location, seemed so exotic that it’s been a must-see, must-go destination for a long time, just because of a curiosity factor, if nothing else. A 1960’s Saturday morning cartoon show, *Jonny Quest, *where the title character was a kid who travelled the world in a sort-of junior James Bond role, along with sidekick turban-wearing kid Hadji, had an episode in Jakarta. If it was good for enough for an animated character 50 years ago, then everybody had to go there, right? It’s probably a lot different now, 50+ years later, and Americans might not be the most welcome visitors (?), but it’s still on the list of possibilities. When can we go, and how do we get there?

Side note, typing the name “Indonesia” into my phone, the flag of the country popped up. I see now it’s an upside-down Polish flag, another place I’ve not been. National flags often have a similar design, using one or more colors shared by others. Only so much you can do with panels of the same colors, flipping them or alternating their order. Side side note: today’s Flag Day in the USA - June 14!

Posted by
25720 posts

nope, didn't change the rules. The rules in the OP are not changed bar my comment at the end.

I never said Europe only.

nominate away... the more the merrier

In C19 days travel is travel...

Posted by
2798 posts

K for Korcula
Our favorite Croatian Island in the Adriatic Sea. Known as “Little Dubrovnik,” but nowhere near as crowded as Dubrovnik. It boasts Venetian architecture, peaceful squares, churches and palaces. The historical center is very small and you can see it in a few hours. Much of Korcula’s economy is devoted to producing olive oil and wine. We were delighted to visit in the autumn for harvest. To go along with the wines is the wonderful cuisine, especially Italian. It rivaled the meals we’ve experienced in Italy.

Posted by
4945 posts

Great, Nigel ... waiting for “A” to come up again, and then can stick in the Andromeda Galaxy!

Posted by
4945 posts

L
Loveland, Colorado.

This one’s a little complex. The city of Loveland, named after railroad magnate William Loveland, is situated almost an hour north of Denver. It now boasts a number of excellent microbreweries. Every year, with Valentine’s Day approaching, the local post office offers a custom postmark for Valentine’s Day cards (or ordinary mail, too) with a new love-themed poem and love-inspired artwork. Volunteers hand-cancel each envelope.

Quite some distance from the city is Loveland Ski Area, an independent set of slopes that are often the earliest to open each fall, and one of the last to close, offering a long, long ski season. It’s not a resort by any means, with no hotels or shopping (other than the equipment shop at the base - great place to pick up boots on sale at the end of the season), but outstanding powder at a very high altitude. They have a Valentine’s Day observance, too. A mass wedding (or Renewal of Vows) ceremony, followed by a mass ski-down, with some skiers in a wedding dresses or tux, along with a parka. Instead if a veil, how about a ski helmet and goggles? Oh to have been able to ski The Ridge at Loveland this March or April!!!

The ski area is at the base of legendary Loveland Pass, with a road that is frequently closed due to bad weather and road conditions. Its twisty, no-guardrail route is not for the faint of hearted - don't look over the edge! Still, the Pass is the route often required by commercial rigs hauling hazardous chemicals and other materials - trucks not allowed to bypass the Pass by driving thru the Eisenhower-Johnson memorial tunnels on the Continental Divide.

Posted by
5661 posts

K for Kauai
Known for the background of the movie version of "South Pacific" ... my version of Paradise. My first trip was marked by Hurricane Eva in 1982 -- we did get a view of the eye of the hurricane from ground level -- but we returned many times for the tropical beauty, friendly people, gentle beaches.

Posted by
21 posts

F for Fucking, Austria

en.m.wikipedia.org /Fucking,_Austria
Wait, don't excoriate me yet!

The  amazing dichotomy between two languages-- English and Deutsch (German) --that sometimes led to interesting events.

There is a place in Austria about 30 KM from Salzburg called Fucking.. . a small village with less than 200 inhabitants.
The village gained notoriety after American service men took pictures in front of the sign in WWII.

This [posting] is not aimed at sabotaging the decorum that is upheld by well-meaning members. . .rather-- increasing our knowledge if we consider ourselves informed travelers.

If anyone happens to be in Salzburg, there is a tour bus that take tourists to the village. At first, the villagers did not like tourists intruding their space but they kind of appreciate the euros that tourists spend in their lovable idyllic place.

Most visitors come from English-speaking countries.

For more funny and serious stories about the place. . .click on the  above URL.

Posted by
4945 posts

Hmmm . . . that bus tour must attract a slightly different crowd than a Sound of Music Tour bus, or maybe not. The Austrian Hills Are Alive, With the Sound of . . .

Posted by
21 posts

Z. For Zzyzx

There is small town in California on the edges of the Mojave Desert--near the dusty home town of Rick Steves. . town of Barstow
If you drive towards Las Vegas, and as you approach the arid no-vegetation, and no services in town, a sign that says: Zzyzx can be seen prominently on the side road.
There is a study center for Desert Studies in the area.
Not an ideal place to visit in the middle of August--too hot.

Posted by
4945 posts

Well, the alphabetical sequence has gotten a bit off track, and I’ve been waiting since I just missed out on “N” in the last round, so to get things back in order:

M
Manitoba, Canada. Hope to visit sometime. Among its attributes, it’s from where the rock band The Guess Who came.

Posted by
4945 posts

And now,

N
Norway! Scandinavian country famous for fjords, skiing (originally Nordic, but now also Alpine), and lutefisk. We were going to finally make a trip there next month, but conditions have put that on hold. We hope to make it to Norway when travel is again doable. Keep the lefse warm until we get there!

Posted by
1634 posts

O: oahu hawaii
so much to see and do.
walk waikiki beach from one end to another, either beach side or kalakaua.
stop at royal hawaiian "the pink hotel" and have a mai tai at the mai tai bar on the beach
shops along the way, hearing local hawaiian music in the air
international market place
take a ride up kapahulu avenue at the zoo, have great 'tonkatsu" (japanese pork cutlet) at tonkatsu tamafuji, leonards bakey for portuguese malasadas, turn onto waialae at kim chee#2 for korean food,
continue on kalanianaole to halona blowhole, sandy beach or makapuu beach, stop and wiggle your toes in the water,
onward to kailua and kaneohe. follow kamehameha hiway along the bays onto north shore. stop at one of the shrimp trucks, giovanni's, hono's, fumi's.
stop somewhere you are able to park and watch the waves and surfers, matsumoto's for shave ice, drive thru dole plantation pineapple fields, onto old sugar plantation towns. lots of construction of homes, condos, townhouses within military bases to house people, back thru pearl harbor, airport and honolulu harbor, aloha stadium for swap meet, old mom and pop stores along the way for "plate lunches", downtown thru chinatown, iolani palace and royalty, back to waikiki.
it's a long day for around the island road trip, liliha bakery, old style bakery/diner (70 years) sitting at counter watching things being made has "famous coco puffs and dobash". another local style restaurant is zippy's. sit down restaurant with local food, oxtail soup, saimin (japanese noodle soup), napples (coconut or apple turnovers).
when you're in hawaii, talk a walk or ride on the "local" side enjoy
aloha

Posted by
416 posts

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
Land of steelpan and calypso.

Posted by
3789 posts

Qatar A country on the Persian Gulf and the richest country in the world. Islamic heritage with shiny modern industrial cities. Perhaps, like Dubai, it is easiest to visit as a stop over to somewhere else.

Posted by
5627 posts

R

Riverside, CA

Famous for the Mission Inn, a historic landmark hotel. Financed by railroad baron Henry Huntington the property owner, Frank Augustus Miller hired architect Arthur Benton and the first wing of the inn opened in 1903. Having visited Europe and Asia Benton incorporated the architectural trends he discovered during his travels. A main focus was Mission Revival Architecure.

The building went through hard times and at one point in the 70’s had to be saved from the wrecking ball.

In 1977 was designated a National Historical Monument. In the early 90’s after a huge and costly
refurbishment it opened as the Mission Inn Hotel and Spa. Not a cheap place to rest ones head but a gorgeous example of Mission Revival Architecture.

https://www.missioninn.com/about-en.html

Posted by
444 posts

Somes, Maine, home of a true fjord, rare in N. America. On Mount Desert Island, along with the 40,000 acres of Acadia National Park, one of God's best creations. Ahh, DownEast Maine!

Posted by
2798 posts

S for St. Lucia
Saint Lucia is an Eastern Caribbean island nation with a pair of dramatically tapered mountains, the Pitons. We sailed on a 50 ft. sailboat, anchored overnight between the Pitons prior to sailing through St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Islands along the way- St. Vincent, Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Petit St. Vincent, Palm Island, Mayreau, Tobago Cays, Union Is. (best croissants we've ever eaten!). We ended in Grenada. Wonderful cuisine along the way. Smooth sailing, but that said we returned on the Atlantic side to St. Lucia and experienced 12 foot swells. It was an adventure of a lifetime.

Posted by
6332 posts

T

Tillamook, Oregon, USA. One of my favorite places to visit in Oregon, especially on a hot summer day. The Tillamook cheese factory has tours of the facility and serves some of the best ice cream around, with wonderful Oregon flavors like Marionberry Cheese Cake and Salted Caramel Hazelnut.

They are also home to the Tillamook Air Museum,, an aviation museum housed in a former US Navy blimp hangar, called "hangar B", which is the largest clear-span wooden structure in the world. The beams were made using 'old growth' trees. The museum houses several aircraft and some rare wartime and aviation-themed artifacts.

Tillamook is also home to the Blue Heron Wine and Cheese company, that has wine, cheese, and condiment tastings - always a fun thing to do. It has one of the best gift shops around and I love browsing there.

Posted by
14323 posts

Taliesin Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio in southern Wisconsin about 35 miles west of Madison. Wright continually rebuilt (fires), added and changed the buildings. The furniture is almost all of his own design as well. Simply stunning.

If you don't want to go that far to see some of his creations, spend a morning in Oak Park, about a 30 minute el ride from Chicago's Loop to see his first home/studio and take a walking tour of the neighborhood to see more of his designs and as well as those of his contemporaries. You can also go to Hyde Park in Chicago to see other homes he built, even tour one of them, Robie House. If you're already there, walk across the street and enter the lovely University of Chicago campus.

Posted by
3789 posts

U is for Usa River, Tanzania.....not U S A River. (Pronounced 'OO-sa') A small town between the Airport and Arusha. Some nice hotels, so you can stay there before safari instead of right in Arusha. Also at the crossroads to Arusha National Park. Not a common one on the safari route, but easy to do as a day trip from Arusha or Moshi as an add on to your Mt. Kilimanjaro trek.

A common source of amusement to the locals when pronounced by a muzungu (traveler).

Posted by
2876 posts

V Viktualienmarkt in Munich. This is one of my favorite outdoor markets. We always stay in a hotel nearby so we can stroll over to the produce, flower, craft stalls and beer/food seating areas any time of the day. Love the color and vibe of this market In all seasons, rain or shine!

Posted by
3789 posts

W is for Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada aka 'Winterpeg'. The corner of Portage and Main is touted to be the windiest corner in Canada, and even first week of September benefits for a wool coat for the cold and the wind. It might be worth a stop driving across the country, but I cannot find much to endear itself....though I have tried.

Posted by
1238 posts

MariaF my dad was born in Winnipeg and I still haven't had the urge to go. In fact neither does he!

I once knew an air traffic controller who went to Mexico and came back engaged to a Mexican hotel worker. He brought her to Ontario, married her, and promptly transferred to Winnipeg. Wonder if the fledgling romance survived?

Posted by
4945 posts

X

“X” marks the spot! Take a map, put an “X” over a destination, or your current location, or possibly where you’ve just buried a treasure chest. With the”X” identifying the location, there you go!

Posted by
2918 posts

Ah Winnipeg. Where they need baseball bats to smack the mosquitos in summer, and block heaters in the cars in winter so you can start them in the morning. Lived there for 2 years (felt longer), then moved to California.

Posted by
1857 posts

Just in case my Manitoba born wife is reading this; it may get cold but Manitoba produces the hottest women in the world.

Posted by
3789 posts

Allen, that should earn you some brownie points. ;-)

Y is for Yukon. A Canadian Territory. Another place where you require a baseball bat for the mosquitos, but a chance to experience the northern spirit, wonderful nature and fantastic Northern Lights.

Posted by
4945 posts

Z

Zoo. Your nearest zoological garden. Denver’s just reopened, first just to members, and now to the general public, with a limited number of people admitted at a time. Two awesome new baby lions, with their awesome mother, are now part of the residents. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is also open, with advance-ordered tickets required. The Denver area also has a Butterfly Pavilion, with laudable insects. We’re not making a trip there yet, but zoos are an essential part of modern society. London’s zoo also just reopened, after being closed for months. Animals throughout the world have still needed feeding and care, which has had to be challenging for zoos not taking in entrance fees. News from one German zoo a couple of months ago suggested that they might have to start feeding some animals to others, to survive this pandemic!

We cruised along part of the London zoo in early March, on the Regent’s Canal, but didn’t really see or hear anything. After disembarking, and walking through the park, we could see the zoo in the near distance. Still, didn’t have the opportunity to go in. Regent’s Park did, however, have a lot of waterfowl, including many ducks and swans. People were walking their dogs, too, so we share this world with other animals, in or out of zoos.

Apparently, zoos once were primarily animals in metal cages, on display without much concern for their welfare. Many zoos now have carefully organized breeding programs. They’re housing creatures that aren’t roaming wild, but are saving endangered species. And people are hopefully gaining an understanding and respect for animals and their (and our) place in the world.

A description of crazy, hectic, crowded places where humans gather is sometimes saying it’s a “zoo.” That’s a disservice to a real zoo. One day, we’ll go back to see the animals. In the meantime, zoos continue to keep animals safe and comfortable, and donations and memberships are welcome.

Posted by
1288 posts

A is for Amazonas.
We took a paddlewheel from Iquitos, Peru to Leticia, Columbia. River life was fascinating. Canoes with children under ten with a toddler would often be seen paddling on the river without an adult aboard or nearby. Of course they weren’t wearing life vests either.

At one of our stops a several little girls followed me everywhere I went. They took my hand and played with my fingers. It seems they were intrigued with my nail polish. I bought a bottle because I needed to redo my nails.
The next morning I woke early to find we were tied to a tree. In the tree were a lot of cute little kids from the area. The little girls came on deck and went right to my fingers. I spent the next hour painting all of their nails!

We held cayman in our laps, had flying fish hit us in our heads, saw giant lily pads, caught piranha ( hubby did), I traded my blouse for a handmade purse, had a military escort for a brief portion (was a scary surprise to all of us), and found a way to refuse the drinking from the communal passing of the homemade maniac beer during a village visit. Its made by the women chewing maniac root And spitting it into a wooden container to ferment. Late in the ceremony, three young British women joined us. They missed the lesson on how it was made and took a huge drink, as we all yelled not to drink it. It was a great experience.

Posted by
14323 posts

B

Staying close to home, I choose Bethlehem, not much over an hour's drive from my home, but neither I nor my car are allowed to cross the checkpoint. When I first came to Israel, I lived in the southern part of Jerusalem and my first trip outside the city was a walk to Bethlehem, about 3 kms. It was my first experience of being in an "eastern" church - nothing at all like the Protestant and Catholic churches I was familiar with in the US. . . . dimly lit, air heavy with incense, Byzantine-style chandeliers and candlesticks crowding each other.

C

Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. It is the oddest church I think I've ever been to. Parts of it date to the Byzantines of the 6th-7th c. Can't write more now - guest just arrived for a day of Scrabble.

Posted by
1538 posts

One step back in the alphabet Bruges needs for most no introduction but yesterday with hardly any tourists, no boats and horsedrawn carriages touring around, most "visitors" were the locals chatting in their typical "Brugs" dialect I had the idea being back in time, not the Middle Ages but a few decades ago before the crowds took possession of the place.

Posted by
17 posts

D is for Dessau, Germany

Dessau is home of the Bauhaus school during the 1920's and '30, the northeastern German city still contains the school's pioneering (and UNESCO listed) Bauhaus Building, the Gropius-designed Master Houses, and the Prellerhaus studio building.

Posted by
770 posts

E is for Erlangen, just north on Nuremberg, a great city that rarely sees a tourist. It's a university town, with excellent bike paths, a botanical garden, and a river (the Pegnitz) running thru the old city center. When in my 20's I preferred it over Bamberg as a place to meet and make friends.

Posted by
2798 posts

C for Cat Island

Located in the Central Bahamas. The island may have been named after Arthur Catt, a pirate. An economic crop is Croton eluteria, which is gathered and shipped to Italy where it becomes the main ingredient in medicines, scents and Campari. (who knew?). It was thought to be the first island Christopher Columbus arrived at in the Americas. Also the childhood home of Sidney Poitier.

We stayed at Ferdandez Bay Resort. It was the most relaxing 4 nights on our journey of the out islands of the Bahama's. We enjoyed the ambience of the cottages, warm hospitality, gourmet meals and meeting people from all over the world. And one last thing- they have an "honor bar.."

Posted by
14323 posts

Back to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. It is the oddest church I think I've ever been to. Parts of it date to the Byzantines of the 6th-7th c. There have been additions through the centuries and today it's a labyrinth of chapels, nooks, crannies, some 2-3 stories below ground (including burial caves from the time of Jesus), some 2-3 levels above ground. Every inch is zealously guarded by the Christian sect who has the "rights" to it. Many parts are shared by two or more, each having specific dates and times for its use. Since they can't all agree on any changes, none have been made for well over a century. There is one entrance and the key is held by alternately by two Muslim families since no Christian sect would allow any other to control access to the church!

Posted by
4945 posts

F
Fourteeners. This is a Colorado, USA thing, mountains that exceed the height of 14,000 feet, and Colorado has 53 of them, or 54 if you count a summit that some don’t consider to be distinct enough to count as a separate mountain. Using meters or some other unit of measurement eliminates the significance of a “magic” 14,000, and over time, the peaks will erode to a smaller height, so right now is the time where these mountains, and their heights all just above 14,000’ are remarkable.

Climbing them has become a popular activity in the past 30 years, and some have now seen hundreds of climbers on busy summer weekends. Some are considered relatively easy “walk-ups,” while others are technical, with exposure, loose rock, or other dangers, and climbing gear and experience are needed to make it up and down safely. Anyone attempting a summit should have the 10 essentials, including enough water and adequate clothing. Be prepared for sudden changes in weather, and lightning can often be a threat. You can drive to (or near) the tops of two, but the others require more effort. There’s just something about the accomplishment of reaching a summit, and views from the top are fantastic. Some people have climbed all of them (many more than once), and for a while, there seemed to be contests to see who could climb them all in the shortest time. Making this into a competition is unfortunate, because visiting a mountain, including one lower than a Fourteener, can involve more than just checking something off of a list of accomplishments.

None are the highest summit in the lower 48 states, and Alaska has a lot more much higher, but Colorado has the most of any state, and it’s surprising that so many exceed 14,000 feet, but not 15,000 or higher. Colorado has the highest average elevation of any US state, and it’s said that if you ironed Colorado flat, it would cover more ground than Texas.

Posted by
1857 posts

Flin Flon, Manitoba. Never been there and likely will never go there, but always loved the name. I remember hockey games from when I was a boy between the Flin Flon Bombers and the Calgary Centennials. Filadelphia Flyers Hall of Famer Bobby Clarke played for Flin Flon.

Posted by
5627 posts

G

Gilroy, CA

Home to the Gilroy Garlic festival in the part of California that the majority of the world never considers, the agricultural part.

It is located in the southern part of Santa Clara County which most of the universe now calls Silicon Valley. It’s the only agricultural part left. No more apricot, cherry and prune orchards.

The demise from my perspective having grown up in the Santa Clara Valley began when IBM set up shop in Morgan Hill. Then the expansion of Hewlit Packard, then Apple and boom bye bye Valley of the Hearts Delight. Hello Silicon Valley!

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Clara_Valley

Posted by
416 posts

H
The Hague, the Netherlands:
The Hague is the only big city with a beach directly on the North Sea coast. The city boasts many monuments, chic hotels, and a political heart. The government of Holland is run from the historic Binnenhof and the King’s office palace can be found on the Noordeinde. You can visit beautiful art museums and a day of high-end shopping. The tram will convey you from the city center to Scheveningen and Kijkduin in just twenty minutes, where you can enjoy the sun, beach and sea.
The city is also home to the U.N.’s International Court of Justice, headquartered in the Peace Palace, and the International Criminal Court.
A visit to the Netherlands is always a good idea especially in spring.
It's a country I have visited two times and enjoyed very much.
We did a half day visit in the Hague and it was interesting seeing the many buildings of institutions based there.
https://www.holland.com/global/tourism/destinations/the-hague.htm

Posted by
770 posts

I is for Idar-Oberstein, between Trier and Wiesbaden, a medieval city built into a valley that was once the primary gem market in Europe. Still a great place for custom jewelry, it's Felsenkirche is a spectacular church built into a hole in one of the cliff walls overlooking the town. Another place mostly overlooked by non-German tourists, the old city is a great place to walk around; it even has a picturesque castle ruin.

Posted by
4320 posts

J for Jaffa, Israel - ancient port city and home of Jonah (as in Jonah and the whale). Great marina-side restaurants with excellent views of the sea and Tel Aviv. Great area to bike.

Posted by
14323 posts

K

Kadarka, a wonderful wine bar in the heart of beautiful Budapest. Thank you, James E for the recommendation. And the excellent chocolate souffle is almost as good as the wines.

Also, a big thank you to Nigel for this thread. I look forward to it every day, sometimes reliving past visits, sometimes learning about new places, always interesting.

Posted by
4945 posts

L
Lerwick, capital of Shetland, Scotland, U.K. Our visit to Shetland was brief, 2 days and 1 night, and we came screaming into Lerwick in our rental car, left it it at the dock, and hopped the ferry just before scheduled departure to our next destination, Kirkwall, Orkney. Lerwick needed more time, and we didn’t have it that trip. Next time . . .

Hopefully the rental car was in good enough shape - we never heard anything to the contrary, even though return parking space wasn’t exactly plentiful. The car park was as small as a Shetland Pony.

Postcards featured ponies (a local indigenous species) wearing sweaters (a local specialty). None of the shops, however, seemed to be selling Pony Sweaters, just human-sized ones.

Our B&B hostess (in Sandness, a decent drive from Lerwick) told us about one night where the Northern Lights flashed all night long, with lots of reds. Locals sat outside on blankets with a bottle of wine, and stayed up all night, enjoying the public show. Lerwick, next time . . .

Posted by
416 posts

La Paz, Bolivia.
La Paz, in Bolivia, is the highest administrative capital in the world, resting on the Andes’ Altiplano plateau at more than 3,500m above sea level.
I spent a very exciting week there several years ago, including a side trip to Lake Titicaca and a
tour on El Camino a Los Yungas - The Yungas Road is a cycle route about 60 km long which links the city of La Paz and the Yungas region of Bolivia. Quite an experience and one I won't repeat :-)
In La Paz I stayed at Hotel Rosario which was right in the center of things.
I had no issues at all with the altitude so was able to decline all offers of coca leaves.
We enjoyed strolling around and admiring the old style churches and other buildings. The people are very warm and friendly and we had a great time.

Posted by
2798 posts

L for Ljubljana
The capital of Slovenia. There are theories how Ljubljana got it’s name. “Ljub” means to love or like. Our favorite city! Strolling the pedestrian-only streets along the river, open air market, historic squares, and some of the best restaurants and shops. Beautiful bridges adorned with dragons and sculptures. Not to forget the view from Ljubljana Castle. We spent 4 glorious nights and wished we stayed longer.

Unforgettable city.

Posted by
291 posts

J for Jesús.

It is a small town, pop. 3766, in Tarragona, on the Ebro river.

Posted by
41 posts

Moneglia - A beach town north of Cinqe Terre. We stayed there 4 years ago and rode the train down to CT to day hike. One of our best meal experience ever was in Moneglia was at Assirto. There was no menu - the owner talks to you about your likes and builds a several course meal. Each course had its own wine pairing. Google Moneglia and Forbes Best Meal of 2015.

Posted by
2798 posts

N is for Nevis
A small island in the Caribbean Sea in the West Indies. Nevis is roughly conical in shape with a volcano known as Nevis Peak. Nevis is of particular historical significance to Americans because it was the birthplace and early childhood home of Alexander Hamilton. For the British, Nevis is the place where Horatio Nelson was stationed as a young sea captain. We rented a car and explored the plantations, beaches, hiked, and enjoyed the Caribbean culture & cuisine.

Posted by
3789 posts

O is for Ottawa, OntarioCanada's Capital and chosen to be so as it is a backwater to the traffic and easier transits of the St. Lawrence River. Originally called Bytown, after Colonel By it was the beginning point for the extensive canal system joining Bytown on the Ottawa River to Kingston on the St. Lawerence. There are numerous lakes in between, so the Rideau Canal system links up these lakes. A great summer activity is to rent a houseboat and sail through the canals. There are numerous locks, still controlled by hand cranks. The waterway system is run by Parks Canada and is a UNESCO heritage site. Digging started in the 1830's, mostly hand dug by Irish immigrants. Malaria took a toll on their numbers as did drowning and the bitter cold.
In the winter, the canal freezes and becomes a 17km skateway. It flops back and forth as a Guiness World record for longest skateway. We love our festivals, so the year starts off in February with Winterlude. As well as the skating, there is an international ice sculpting competition.
Every weekend in summer sees a musical or cultural festival.
If inside activities are closed, the canal has pathways along side for rollerblading or strolls. Gardens abound and there are strategic restaurants with outdoor seating (which opened for service this week). The city is surrounded by a greenbelt of farm and parkland. There is a UNESCO site big with pathways and interpretation stops. It is not unknown to see moose and coyotes. Across the river is Quebec and the extensive Gatineau Park. The views from the wscarpmentnare lovely. There are driving routes and many bike or use the escarpment for rock climbing. Winter offers extensive cross country ski trails and competitions.
For some the challenge is the weather extreme. Summer is often over 30C with high humidex and winter can get stretches of wind chill days of -40C. Spring is mud season with a short bulb growing time but fall is a leaf pepper's bliss.
Tourist Ottawa is compact and walkable. Not cheap but not Toronto prices, and of course the US dollar is buying you 40% more these days.

Posted by
770 posts

P is for Port Townsend, WA. A town of approximately 9,000, and one of the prettiest places you'll ever visit. It sits on the narrow part of the Puget Sound, where Ft Worden (now a park) and Ft Casey, across the narrow strip of water, controlled the entrance to the Sound for over 100 years with their artillery emplacements. There's even an Artillery Museum to visit.

But it's old style houses, scenic water front, nice shops and open areas, good food, and fantastic view make this one of the places tourist who get out there never forget. It's a couple hours and a whole 'nother world from Seattle.

Posted by
1288 posts

Q Quakertown, PA.

Originally settled by the Religious Society of Friends known as Quakers, Quakertown has always been a hub of social activity in the Upper Bucks County area. In 1777, the Liberty Bell was hidden from the British here on its way to Allentown. The house of Richard Moore was an important Underground Railroad stop. Wikipedia.

Posted by
444 posts

R for Romainmotier, in western Switzerland. Little town that time just about forgot, at least last time we were there. Big medieval tall-hatted church with gone-to-heaven acoustics for us singers, sweet town festival in the summertime, meandering cobblestone lanes, flowers everywhere, a stream trickling thru town, a terrific patisserie...

Posted by
3789 posts

S is for Segovia A pleasant day trip from Madrid, Spain. I learned about the Roman acquaduct back at school in the 1970's and to finally see it for myself in 2017 was just one of those little emotional moments.
There are 2 train lines that get you there. A fast train from Chamartin station, but you still need to get to Chamartin. Or, take the slow train from Atocha Station. I took the slow route (though I returned on the fast train) and enjoyed the scenery. It was mid November, so as we climbed hikers would get off at different stations. You could see the unmanned stops were you had to call ahead to be picked up and the local communities. At times it was slow enough I could even birdwatch, but they were big birds so easy to ID with short views.
You have to catch a bus from either train station to 'down town', but you just follow the crowds.
As well as the aquaduct, which to be honest is a been there done that quick moment, there are numerous old Jewish buildings on the lower street. I tour focused on this aspect of the history would be an interesting walk. Distinctive plates have been mortared into the road edge. I can't call it sidewalk as there isn't always one. Cars are few.
The main attraction is their Alcazar at the far end of town. There are other buildings of interest that you can pop into along the way. As even in November, there were a lot of tourists, you may want to either go really early and start at the Alcazar working your way back, or go late after the tours have left. I took the lower road and though I had to wait a bit to gain entry, I beat the hordes and poked my way back to arrive in the restaurant area for a late lunch.
Segovia has a couple of culinary highlights - roast suckling pig(let) and ponche Segoviano - (a custardy cake). It is quite a meal and treated as a 'menu del dia' with several courses and in this case a jug of wine. Much more pricey than the Madrid menu del dia, but what a feast!

Posted by
4945 posts

T
Trotternish. This is a fantastic peninsula at the north end of the Isle of Skye, Scotland. All along the coast, driving a loop up and around the peninsula, there are rewarding panoramic views. Amazing rock formations present a variety of shapes, right a the edge of the land, and set inland from the shore. The Quiraing area in the middle of the peninsula offers great hiking, but bring your raincoat, n case you get a sudden storm, like we had.

The Trotternish peninsula is a surprising part of a surprising island off the coast of a surprising part of the U.K. Take a rental car, or perhaps catch a tour with someone else doing the driving, but don’t miss Trotternish!

Posted by
5627 posts

T

Tuscany

An lovely part of Italy where Florence and Siena are located. Pastoral hillsides, beaches and the Apennine Mountains. Also small villages like Fostinovo, Murlo and Pitigliano.

Still dream of my meal at the Cave in San Casiano de Bagni ....not sure what the place is called now as that trip was before 2000.

Dang I need to go back to Italy again!!!

Posted by
770 posts

U is for Ubehebe Crater, the hole on the north end of Death Valley caused by a volcanic eruption. One of my best travel memories is from when, as kid, we were just coming back up to the parking lot after hiking to the bottom. A car pulled up. and about half a dozen family members piled out. ran over to the edge, looked in, and one of the kids said, "That's it?" Dad replied that it had been a waste of a drive and they all piled back in because they still had a lot to see and they were staying in Las Vegas that night. It's still a joke with me and my brother. We'd already been over a week in the Valley alone.

If you go, try not to do it in July or August, always have a case or two of water, make sure you're car's in good condition, and be prepared for anything. I've seen it snow in June, flash floods from nowhere, and pets just left to die. Still one of the natural wonders often overlooked.

Posted by
4945 posts

V

Veliko Tarnivo, Bulgaria. The old capitol, before Sofia, this multi-layered city was charming, cleaner than its counterpart, and worth our extended stay. It made a great base for taking day trips. The remains of the Tsaravets fortress above town offered exploration, a view, and the flying of possibly the biggest flag, Bulgarian or otherwise, of all time. In 2004, we learned that a lot of Brits were buying up property there, and building second homes, apparently all with a pool, in a place otherwise devoid of swimming pools. Wonder if the place has changed much in 16 years?

Posted by
25720 posts

W

Waterloo

Two Waterloos.

One south of Brussels where Napoleon was finally defeated, although it was a closer run thing than many may have thought. The Lion Mound provides a vista.

The other Waterloo is the rail station on the south side of London which serves south and southwestern England. The ironic thing is that Waterloo was the London terminus of the Eurostar trains for Paris and Brussels for the first years of Eurostar before it moved to St Pancras International a few years ago.

That meant that all French and Belgian passengers were reminded of that battle every time they used the Eurostar trains for several years.

Posted by
5661 posts

X for Xochimilco, floating gardens park in Mexico City.
Haven't been, but I heard a lot about it in four years of high school Spanish classes.

Posted by
801 posts

Y is for Yellowknife, NWT

A few years ago I found out that a professional society I used to belong to was holding its annual meeting in Yellowknife. I figured this was a great opportunity to visit a city that I really didn’t know much about but was farther north than I had ever been.

Yellowknife is situated on the shore of Great Slave Lake and is built on the ancient igneous rock of the Canadian Shield. I always like to read about the places I’m going to visit; for Yellowknife I read The New North by Agnes Deans Cameron, describing a journey she took by train, canoe, and stagecoach from Chicago to the Arctic Circle. Her trip was in 1909, some decades before Yellowknife was founded, but I loved her description of the flora, fauna and scenery. For a more modern perspective, The Northern Heritage Center gave an excellent overview of the natural and human history of the area. I truly enjoyed my visit.

Posted by
2876 posts

Z is for Zamora, CA. This is a tiny little town near me. I just found out something interesting about it yesterday. While we pass through this hamlet on the way to our nearest winery I didn’t realize that the largest sheepdog trials in North America take place across the road from our winery at an enormous sheep farm on the outskirts of Zamora. If I can’t travel to Ireland for awhile perhaps I can attend the sheepdog trials in my own little part of California next spring. https://www.norcalsheepdog.org/trials

We learn all kinds of things when we are forced to take a closer look at home!

Posted by
4945 posts

A

Aeropoli, Greece. This small town is on the Mani Peninsula, which is at the southwestern end of the Peloponnese Peninsula. This region was once plagued by pirates, but now features fantastic little coves, reached by narrow, winding roads that go steeply up and down.

We were there on Good Friday a couple years ago, and a church bell tolled solemnly all day long, one single ring after another. Not very touristed, at least at Eastertime. It’s a stark land inland, and incredibly beautiful along the coasts.

Posted by
3789 posts

B is for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest With a name like that, who wouldn't be curious to go? My mother was a singer, good at languages and loved multi-syllable names, particularly hard to pronounce or melodic ones. Her imagination would conger up some romantic or mystical vision of the place. I am a chip off the block.
It is well named. This is where gorilla trekking happens in Uganda. Dense rainforest and tangled undergrowth adds to the challenge of trekking up and down these highlands. Toss in nettles and you want to dress appropriately. But oh, it is so worth it. Once found, to have an hour to watch them watching you and trying to go about their business is a treat. I had the R group that day. A large group with some young members. Watching them play and tease each other was like watching that pesky little brother always interrupting you. The older would play bite so that it must have tickled. The younger would smile and laugh. They are wuite a familiar group and will come close. One walked by a ranger and in passing used a back leg to playfully kick the ranger's leg. And though you do 't want to look a wild gorilla in the eyes, looking into the eyes of these group members, was to see their intellect and just how close they are to we humans. To me, these travel experiences are gifts to the heart. They remind me how complex Mother Nature is.

Posted by
345 posts

C

Castellabate on the
Cilento Coast in
Campania

Especially the lovely coastal towns of Santa Maria di Castellabate and San Marco. San Marco has a small harbour, super spot.

Lovely chilled Italy.

Posted by
2798 posts

C is for Chelan
Lake Chelan is located in Eastern WA. Charming town and just 175 miles from Seattle. Known for it’s Apple Orchards and Vineyards. Lovely get-away. We especially enjoy early fall as the foliage changes through the mountain pass.

Posted by
770 posts

D is for Dauphin Island, at the mouth of Mobile Bay, AL. Fantastic beaches, crazy view, taking to ferry over to Fort Morgan you pass right over the area where during the Civil War the phrase "Damn the Torpedoes, Full Steam Ahead!" was first given in Command as the Union Fleet forced it's way past the defenses. Grab some mud bugs or a po'boy for lunch, get some sand in your shoes, and live like a Jimmy Buffett song for a while.

Posted by
3789 posts

E is for Esquimalt, BC. Bedroom municipality to Victoria. It starts right over the Johnston St. Bridge from downtown, so there accommodation prices are high. Great views and either walk or take the little boat ferries across the harbor. Follow Esquimalt Rd and you end up at the Navy Base. Follow Craigflower Rd for more affordable hotels and motels. Public buses but many rent cars for an easy zip out to Sooke and the Island's west coast.

Posted by
1857 posts

F is for Fort Calgary

A museum in Calgary on the spot where the original fort was built in 1875. It was named by Colonel James MacLeod of the North West Mounted Police; later called the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He named it because of fond memories of Calgary Beach on the Isle of Mull in Scotland, which is where I was supposed to have been 2 weeks ago. A bucket-list item to go to the original Calgary.

Posted by
980 posts

Let’s keep it going! G is for Ghent, one of Belgium’s oldest cities. It’s a university town and I had the pleasure of a quick visit having gotten off the train on the way from Brussels to Brugges. We followed Rick’s walk through to the graffiti alley which seemed so incongruous against the medieval buildings and found lunch at a cozy restaurant next to the river. We enjoyed watching the young ‘uns learning to paddleboard on the river and felt so bad for the ones who tumbled in. It was mid April and they weren’t wearing wetsuits so I imagine the water would be freezing!

I’ll have to add H for my hometown of Huntington Beach. Our nickname is Surf City as it’s the proclaimed birthplace of surfing. There’s quite a rivalry between HB and Santa Cruz, the other proclaimed birthplace of surfing. We host one of the biggest surfing competitions in the world, the US Open every summer. We also have the oldest Fourth of July parade west of the Mississippi. The tradition started back in 1904. Unfortunately, the US Open is cancelled die to Covid. The parade is being modified by not using floats or bands that may “promote” large gatherings. More details to come on that.

Posted by
5661 posts

H also for Hawai'i (50th state), which might feel it had a prior claim to surfing ...
Many happy visits to Oahu, Maui, Kaua'i and the Big Island -- Lanai still on my bucket list. Nothing quite like singing Mele Kalikimake in December while lounging on the beach.

Posted by
980 posts

Laura B, I did mention it was the “proclaimed” birthplace of surfing. I’m sure trademarking the name “Surf City” further legitimized it 😉. I checked with good old Google and according to Wikipedia, surfing was brought over in 1885 to Santa Cruz by 3 Hawaiian princes going to border school nearby.

Posted by
3789 posts

I is for Ica, Peru A G Adventures tour of Peru in 2010 included so many interesting places other than Machu Picchu. We started from Lima following the PanAmericana Highway along the coast. On this particular day we drove into the extensive Atacama Desert that runs along the Pacific Coast for 1000 kilometres. We lunched at the Huachachina Oasis in the desert, watching sand boarders 'surf' the dunes. The dry environment means artifacts and mummies stay well preserved. It has a fascinating history. Now there is a Peru Hop On/Hop Off bus that gets you to some of the larger towns along that stretch of highway or do a self drive road trip.

Posted by
770 posts

J is for Juneau, AK, not the biggest city, but the seat of the Gov't. Mostly visited by tourist cruises, but it's on the ferry line too. Met Sarah Palin there (by accident), found a book I'd been looking for for years in a book shop, and had a fantastic time talking with a couple who make musical instruments (mandolins, lutes, etc) by hand. Nice place. And the food is good!

Posted by
2798 posts

K is for Kuranda
Kuranda is a picturesque town in far North Queensland, Australia. It's 25 kilometers from Cairns. We rented a car from Cairns. Kuranda is surrounded by the world's oldest living tropical rainforest. One of the main attractions is the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. A wonderful way to see the spectacular view. The colorful Parrots are incredible.

Koalas, Kangaroos are part of the wildlife attractions. The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary is the largest butterfly light aviary in Australia and the summer hemisphere. Love Australia!

Posted by
5627 posts

K

Kansas

Home to Dorothy, Toto, and Auntie Em.

“There’s no place like home!”

Posted by
980 posts

L is for London! I checked and no one has mentioned my favorite city in the world! Was supposed to have visited back in April and I sure can’t wait to return.

Posted by
1857 posts

London is also my favourite European city I've visited so far. If you're a James Bond fan check out the London Film Museum. It's a fun couple of hours looking at vehicles from Bond movies over the years.

Posted by
2798 posts

M is for Mostar
The town of Mostar is one of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s popular destinations. The town attracts thousands of visitors per year. The highlight is the Stari Most, the old bridge. In 1992 Bosnia & Herzegovina declared independence from Yugoslavia. In 1994 the the bridge was destroyed during the Croat-Bosnia conflict. In the late 1990’s the bridge was rebuilt. It was designated a world UNESCO World Heritage.

We had prepared our visit by reading the history. It wasn’t until our local guides told us their stories that made it reality. They were children during the war. Their family were in hiding for 2 years. Incomprehensible story. We were grateful to have had this cultural connection.

Posted by
770 posts

N is for Neu-Ulm, a overlooked city on the edge of Bavaria. Like Budapest, Ulm is devided into Ulm/Neu-Ulm; both of which are in different "counties". Ulm is in Baden-Wurttemberg, New-Ulm in Bavaria; divided by the Danube. An attractive city, you can find interesting modern architecture next to buildings hundreds of years older. Good parks, easy walking, and a lack of tourists make this a city I enjoy.

Posted by
3789 posts

O is for Olduvai Gorge Tanzania. this is one of the most important paleoanthropological sites in the world....but as a tourist site, well, it might depend on the day and which paleontologist you get doing the talk. This is the location that the Leakeys found evidence of the earliest human species back in the 50's. The site continues to be worked as an archeological site, but not much can really be seen from the main tourist parking. You can arrange to visit the monument placed where Mary found the key fossils, but it is a bumpy dusty ride and not a lot to see. We had a very monotone pedantic paleontologist give the theatre presentation and then talked to us at the monument. Add heat, and it was rather soporific. What bothered me more was that he wasn't averse to walking off with some fossil bone fragments that happened to be just lying around the monument site. Gasp! I had childhood dreams of being an archaeologist until the reality of the working conditions made me choose an inside career. But I couldn't believe how free and easy with his fragments he was.
I am not fully up to date about the museum, but I am hoping they expanded it. In 2012, it was small with narrow corridors and you pretty much had to keep moving given the number of people behind you. If you strike it right, it is very informative, however.
It is part of the vast Rift Valley that runs through so many African countries and was such a vital human corridor in our evolution. It can still be trekked in different areas where animal hazards are less than the plains and green parks. Further west is the Laetoli, another important archaeological site....with foot prints of early man in evidence. There had been discussion of moving the museum from Olduvai to this site and expanding on the Leakey work, but it doesn't seem to have happened. Regardless, it is a beautiful 'off the beaten path' route from Serengeti to Ngorongoro Crater through Maasai villages, the Flying Doctors compound, Laetoli and beautiful pastoral type land. Despite high or low season, chances are you'll never see another safari jeep for the 6 hour trip.

Posted by
345 posts

P
Pindaya Caves in Burma.

An incredible collection of Buddhas, of every shape and size crammed into a series of caves. Unique.

Posted by
2876 posts

Q is for Quimper in Brittany. This interesting city is on my bucket list for France. We’ve barely dipped into Brittany during our numerous visits to France and I have this city and it’s pottery heritage on my radar for a future visit I hope!

Posted by
1579 posts

R is for Ronda - a hill town in Spain. It perches above the El Tajo Canyon. Ernest Hemingway and Orion Welles spent summers here. It’s supposed to be the birthplace of modern bullfighting and still has a bullring.

Edit I need to spellcheck Spellcheck! When I tried to edit it today, it wanted to change it to “Olsen”. I did intend to type “Orson”.

Posted by
416 posts

S - Sintra, Portugal.
I did a wonderful day trip to Sintra from Lisbon a few years ago.
We had an interesting visit to the Pena Palace (love the yellow colour), and enjoyed the view of the countryside from the hill.
Portugal has always been on my travel list, and when I visited I was not disappointed.
I think I need to plan another trip there.

Posted by
2798 posts

S is for Sarlat-la-Canéda France
Sarlat is a beautiful town north of the River Dordogne. Perfect base to visit the area. Walkable town to visit all the highlights. As you walk the winding medieval cobbled streets their is wonderful architecture that makes this a unique experience. The Saturday Market was our favorite in France. Sarlat is a gastronomic centre well known for their truffles & foie gras and so much more...

Posted by
770 posts

T is for Tucumcari, NM. Usually just a place to blow thru on I 40, but well worth the stop. Old route 88 runs through the center of town, but if you're a dinosaur lover the place to stop is the Mesalands Dinosaur Museum; a fantastic collection not in the general public eye.

Posted by
345 posts

U

Uruguay.

I've not been there, nor anywhere in South America. But on the very long bucket list.

Posted by
1857 posts

We're finishing up round 9 through the alphabet and nobody has used Venice. Too obvious of a V? Made it there in October of 2017 and it confirmed to me that planning is my best friend. It can be crowded, it can be touristy, but it is unique. I'm a morning person, so I would have the place to myself for a few hours before everyone else showed up and by that time I was off to other areas that weren't so crowded.

Posted by
58 posts

W is for Wiscasset Maine ... went on a business trip to Boston years ago so went a day early, rented a car and made the 2.5 hour drive up I-95 / Route 1 so I could check off a bucket list item ... Red's Eats ... small takeout place with the best lobster roll anywhere ... parked myself at one of their picnic tables and enjoyed the sunny afternoon with my lobster roll and a cold Sam Adams ... still have the picture of the lobster roll pop-up as one of my computer screensavers.

Posted by
707 posts

X is for Xaghra which was mentioned before but without any details. Xaghra is on the island of Gozo in Malta. Gozo is a smaller, more rural island than the main island, Malta.

We were on Gozo for 4 nights in January. One day we just missed the hourly bus for Xaghra and unsuccessfully negotiated with a taxi driver (he wouldn’t come down in price), so we decided to walk to Xaghra (everything is pretty walkable on Gozo). We had to go up a big hill but it was a pleasant walk. Gozo is pretty quiet in January.

Xaghra has some nice restaurants on the town square but its big site are the Ggantija Temples which date back 5500 years! The site has an excellent museum as well. From Xaghra you can walk down to Marsalforn and on to the salt pans, but maybe I should save this, because I could use this for another X. Malta is a great source for the letter X!

Posted by
4945 posts

Y

Yampa Valley, in northwestern Colorado. The Yampa River flows between Wyoming and Utah, with Colorado in between. Its valley now includes the town of Steamboat Springs, which has a park that contains a variety of mineral springs. At the edge of the river, near the park, is a spring that at one time made a “chuffing” sound, which reminded French traders of a steamboat engine. Rocks were subsequently tossed into the spring by somebody during railroad development, and the rocks stopped the unique sound of the spring. The chuffing stopped, but the name remained.

Steamboat Springs now features two ski areas, a small one named in honor of Norwegian Carl Howelsen, who brought ski jumping and skiing to Colorado over 100 years ago, and Steamboat Resort, which brings skiers from around the world to the Yampa Valley.

Winter or summer, it’s said that if you ever go there, you WILL return.

Posted by
1247 posts

Y is for Yuma AZ, hot in the summer, filled to overflowing with snowbirds in the winter. Home of the former Arizona Territorial Prison. The Colorado River, or rather the trickle of its former self, forms the border between (Yuma) AZ and CA. The area grows 90% of the US’ winter lettuce.
I’ve been to Yuma a couple times years ago for business. No desire to ever go back.

Posted by
14323 posts

Z is for Zion

I'm sure there are many places with the name, I'll mention the two closest to my heart.

The first is the original Mount Zion, in modern Israel. It's a hill, actually, and the site on which Biblical King David established his city/kingdom of Jerusalem. (Scholars will dispute some of that . . . the existence of King David, who founded the city and when, but the names of these places, Zion and Jerusalem, are authentically ancient.

The second is Zion National Park in southwestern Utah and is my favorite place on earth. It has majestic kodachrome mountains, well worth visiting for a few days for hiking trails at all levels, breathtaking views, and magical sunsets, best enjoyed with a glass of wine and a slice of pie from the Bumbleberry cafe/bakery in Springdale at the main entrance to the park.

Posted by
2798 posts

A is for Anegada
Anegada is one of the British Virgin Islands. A lowlying coral island. The island is home to Flamingos, rock iguanas and rare plant species like sea lavender. It's the most sparsely populated of the main islands.

When we sailed through the BVI's the highlight was taking the dinghy one evening to enjoy the treasure of Anegada... The local favorite--huge Lobster! Fresh from the local fisherman. In addition we enjoyed the local dishes. We also enjoyed meeting a group of NZ Kiwi's. Ah, a memorable evening!

Posted by
2876 posts

B is for the Bayeux Tapestry Museum in Bayeux, France. It seems appropriate to tie the next two museums together. They are undergoing or about to undergo a major restoration and with future travels, due diligence is everything. I’ve been fortunate to see the Bayeux Tapestry 4 times in its current museum which I found to be adequate. I hope the tapestry doesn’t get overwhelmed in a new future space. https://www.bayeuxmuseum.com/en/actus/the-bayeux-tapestry-is-still-in-bayeux/

C is for the Courtauld Gallery, London. I love this private gallery on the Strand with the best of the best of a chronically sprawling, but compact collection. I see that it is still closed for a major renovation (reopens spring 2021). I hope they don’t get rid of the walking around in a private home feel that I loved. This is on my see again list for a return visit to London. https://courtauld.ac.uk/gallery/collection/paintings

Posted by
444 posts

B for Bhutan, the last Buddhist kingdom, in the Himalayas. Staggeringly beautiful & hopeful - this is the country focused on its people's GNH, Gross National Happiness, what a national policy! There's problems, natch, but there's vision & long-range thinking. Being there was life-changing. Victory to the gods.

Posted by
3789 posts

D is for DeauvilleFrance. Another quaint town in Normandy to add to your wanderings. It is a seaside resort town from the 19C with a casino, golf course and horse racing. Buildings are a tudor look of white stucco/plaster with dark timber insets. The beaches are expansive as the tide really goes out far. The shoreline offers a promenade and there is an interesting harbour.

Posted by
5627 posts

E

EALING

A London suburb where the famous Ealing Studios are located. Built in the early 1900’s some of the more well known productions have been The Lavender Hill Mob, The Imitation Game, and Downton Abbey. It’s the oldest filming production house in the world.

Ealing is home to my favorite neighborhood pub called The Haven Arms. Also the wonderful Vietnamese Restaurant, Pho Saigon. Another great spot to relax with a cup of coffee and an Almond Croissant is Ginger and Moore.

Pleasant neighborhood to stay in if you choose to stay outside London proper. Quick 10 minute train ride from Ealing Broadway station to Paddington and yes you can use your Oyster card for the excursion.

Posted by
770 posts

G is for Griffith Park. In L.A., this is a place most people don't realize has all the various attractions. It's been a set for more movies than anyone can keep track of. The Griffith Observatory, Travel Town (Train collection), Live Steamers (the model railroad started by Walt Disney), the Equestrian Center (Between horses and weddings it's always busy), the Gene Autry Museum (now part of the Smithsonian), two golf courses, the Merry-Go Round, the fantastic Zoo, the Greek Theater, the caves, the Hollywood sign, and, just outside the park, Disney, Universal, and Warner Bros. Studios and Forest Lawn. There's even more within a 5 mile radius, Glendale, Hollywood, etc.

Posted by
1138 posts

L Lüftlmalerei. Have quite a collection of photos from Bavaria and parts of Austria.

Posted by
5627 posts

H

Hollywood

It’s a misnomer. Although a real place it isn’t what is universally in people’s minds eye.

I live here.

Both Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard from Bronson to La Brea are dotted with crappy Souvenir shops, homeless encampments, and general malaise.

Only a few good spots to eat. In and Out burger ( Orange off of Sunset ), the venerable Mussos and Franks on Hollywood Blvd, Delancey Pizza on Sunset or Birds on Franklin. The latter directly across the street from the Scientology Celebrity Center.

Yes you can drive by and tour Paramount Studios or Sunset Gower Studios and occasionally you might see some filming take place ( look for large white 10 ton grip and camera trucks) but the Hollywood in people’s imagination isn’t a reality.

Either visit Larchmont village ( Sam’s bagels is a favorite) La Brea from Sunset South to Melrose or Los Feliz ( Vermont from Franklin Ave South to Hollywood Blvd.) Those are nice areas of Hollywood.

And to get a good snap of the Hollywood sign be sure to disturb the residents on Beachwood. They love all the traffic and trash.

Posted by
1857 posts

I for In tourist hell?? Just responding to the above H is for Hollywood. People complain about the crowds and tackiness of some tourist hot-spots in Europe but for me, Hollywood Blvd is the worst, most disappointing famous site I've ever been in the world. We love our trips to LA; Griffith Park Observatory is a gem, Paramount and Warner Brothers Studio Tours, Universal Studios, is the Academy Awards Museum open yet? Lots of movie related places to visit, but Hollywood Blvd, yuck.

Posted by
3789 posts

J is for Jodphur aka 'the Blue City'. Jodphur sits in the Thar Desert of NW India. A frequent addition to the tourist route due to the prevalence of blue on the building exteriors and the Meranghar Fort that sits high above the city.

Posted by
7907 posts

K is for Kronberg
This is a lovely little town about 30 min. by train north of Frankfurt. Located in the Taunus Mountains, and possessing an original Staufen Castle from the 1100's, it is worth either staying here for a day or two or visiting from Frankfurt.
They have a great Alt Stadt with lots of Fachwerk (hello Nigel), a beautiful old church with painted barrel vaulting, and was once an artist colony. The daughter of Queen Victoria and the mother of Kaiser Wilhelm II, had a huge estate built here which is now a fabulous hotel. Eisenhauer lived here after WWII and he was working out of Frankfurt. Tons of cute boutique stores and a wealthy resident base.

Posted by
444 posts

L for La Paz, Mexico, down near the foot of the Baja California peninsula. Coastal city with a real personality & genuine people, a.k.a. not tourist-driven. Beautiful miles-long Malecon, with good beaches, local fishing boats, better public art than San Diego's. We rented a house for two weeks, walked & biked all over, took out of town drives to Todos Santos & wild countryside, came home to the local supermarket where they'd grill outside whatever you'd just bought inside. Also the best tortillas of our lives, made with sour milk? by the ladies at the tiny shop around the corner. Tortillas for breakfast lunch & dinner! And the fruits, ohh. Very good restaurants & street food carts, artisans' shops, cathedral & lively plaza, a big cultural & performance center, scuba diving, good airport.

Posted by
770 posts

N is for Napa.

California's premier wine country, to my mind at its best in the early fall when the grapes are harvested (the "crush") and the whole valley smells of ripe fruit early in the mornings. The fog rolls back over Mt Veeder, folks staying in Calistoga start hunting breakfast, and a day of art and wine and good food commences.

One of my favorite memories is taking a picnic and a couple bottles and sitting with friends on the south end of town, in the small park beneath the statue of the winecrusher, and watching the sun go down and the traffic flow out towards Vallejo.

If you go know that Silverado Trail is the best way up and down the valley. That's the locals route, and frankly the best one for good vineyards.

Posted by
2798 posts

O is for Obidos, Portugal
Obidos is a charming medieval walled town in the Lisbon region. Historically, Obidos was presented to the Queen of Portugal on her wedding day. It is still a popular location for Weddings.

Obidos is popular for day-trips. Visitors come to walk the narrow-cobbled streets, shop for cork items and enjoy the famous Ginjinha d’Obidos, a sweet cherry liqueur, which is often served in a chocolate cup. One of the memorable sights was the beautiful tiled Porta da Villa, the main gateway into Obidos.

We stayed two nights there. One of those towns that is enjoyed early am and pm after the day-trippers leave. That said, Obidos is an enchanting town to visit on the way to Fatima, Batalha, Nazaré and beyond.

Posted by
1882 posts

Positano on the Amalfi Coast. Just the view alone was worth it. We were there for a destination wedding and the church the views the food was awesome. We stayed in a bed and breakfast and sitting there outside with the views over the water is something we will never forget although it took forever to get there. We counted eight different segments and thirteen hours. In Naples train station I literally hit a wall and wanted to just turn around and go home which wasn't really an option. First time I have ever almost given up and so glad it was not an option.

Posted by
4945 posts

Q

Queensland, the northeastern-most state of Australia. Many, many years ago, Qantas Airlines offered an incredible September offer, which included airfare, lodging, and car rental. This was going to allow visiting Queensland locations, including Brisbane, Cairns, and a trip to see the Great Barrier Reef. It didn’t work out to go - extremely long story - so Oz remains an unreached destination, although it remains on the wish list. Too bad the Qantas deal never was offered again. Maybe it didn’t work for them, or maybe it worked so well that they don’t need to promote themselves any further.

Maybe the grounds of Buckingham Palace, inside the gates, is also referred to as Queensland, by some.

Posted by
444 posts

Rangeley, Maine. Way inland from the glorious DownEast coast, but on a big lake, mountains to gaze at & ski in the winter, forests & bears & moose, nice people, a rustic-gracious turn-of-the-century hotel, & (years ago) a cafe sign in town proclaiming that Rangeley's latitude is halfway between the North Pole & the Equator.

Posted by
345 posts

St Petersburg

I want to spend more time there. So far, only a 2-day stop when on a cruise. So many highlights. Standout for me the Faberge Museum. But so much more.

Posted by
4945 posts

T

Tallinn, Estonia. While you’re in St. Petersburg, why not venture a bit southwest? I haven’t been to Estonia yet, and it might get combined with a Finland visit, or with other Baltic countries. Tallinn would seem to be a key part of the itinerary. Hope to get there some day!

Posted by
3789 posts

U is for Utopia(not the little towns in New Brunswick, Ontario, or Texas). The 'real' utopia lives in my brain every time I plan travel. Here, there is never bad weather, transport strikes or ATMs that eat my debit card. This is the city where every attraction I want to visit exceeds expectations, never has line ups and doesn't need prepurchased or timed tickets. Where no one refuses to seat a solo diner, and there is always a seat on the metro when I need to rest my feet. Though the reality of travel is somewhat less than perfect at times, every anticipation of upcoming travel means the next location is Utopia to me.

Posted by
2798 posts

V is for Virgin Gorda
While visiting the BVI’s we had the opportunity to stop at “The Baths” at picturesque Devil’s Bay Natural Park. The horseshoe shaped bay is a welcome sight at the end of the 15 minute hike through dry scrub vegetation. A second trail leads you through massive granite boulders, where hikers should be prepared to crawl, climb ladders and wade through water. Caution must be used at all times to avoid slipping or falling. What awaits you is a tranquil beach for swimming and snorkeling. Absolutely breathtaking!

It’s one of those experiences that you need a t-shirt that says, “I survived the Baths at Devil’s Bay!”

Posted by
2785 posts

W is for Wakanda. Someone else mentioned Atlantis and Wakanda looks beautiful in the movie.

Posted by
4945 posts

Edit Going back thru this on 8/25/21, I see there’s somehow a gap between the W post above and my Z post below. I sure would’ve thought I wouldn’t have skipped one, let alone two letters. I don't know whether any X or Y entries wound up getting subsequently deleted, or what happened here. Looking further, Nigel’s recap posted on 7/30/20 shows a “Xanthi” having been listed once, sometime over the first two months of this thread, but I first see Xanthi now on a post dated 12/1/20, so there does seem to be some conflict, without a complete explanation. This forum community has been good at providing make-up entries, where previous gaps occurred. If I truly jumped the alphabet, then I apologize, but as “X” has been a particularly challenging letter to fulfill as this post has continued, I’m not going to insert one now, this far after the fact. It’s strange, one way or the other, add it to the “X Files,” but …

Z
Zakros, Crete, Greece. In the southeastern corner of the large island of Crete, Zakros sits high above the ocean, at the top of cliffs. We had a fantastic time in the area last September.

Actually more inviting, and where we actually stayed for several nights, was Kato Zakros (“Little Zakros”), a small collection of tavernas for meals, a few places to stay, and remarkable Minoan ruins at the mouth of the scenic “Gorge of the Dead,” which offered a rewarding hike.

Posted by
630 posts

A is for the Åland Islands 🇦🇽 a wonderful group of tiny islands between Sweden and Finland. Linked by bridges and mini-ferries, a charming place for biking, hiking, and water sports. In late May and June, the May poles are everywhere. Little villages all have their unique character. I spent a week traveling from west to east, and would eagerly return.

Posted by
1857 posts

B is for where I am right now, Banff, Alberta, a 75 minute drive from my house. Named for Banff in Scotland and both have a Banff Springs Hotel, but it appears that the Canadian version of both the town and hotel are more world renowned.

Posted by
4945 posts

. . . not to mention the awesome Banff Festival of Mountain Films. Noting the poster this past weekend from the 1997 Festival that we have on our wall, I thought it would be worth adding Banff to this thread. But that was 2 days ago, and “B” came up, and I wasn’t there for it today. Thanks to you, Allan, for getting it done - worthwhile locations work out. And I hope you’re doing well there in Banff!

Posted by
4945 posts

C
Calanques. These are amazingly beautiful cliffs of white limestone, on the coast of Southern France, east of Marseille and west of Cassis. There are inlets and coves, creating a stunning variation of shoreline, as viewed from the water, by boat.

We’ve wanted to hike in the Calabques but they’re closed during the summer, because of wildfire danger. That’s ironic, since they’re right at the edge of the sea, against so much water. They’re now a national park. Maybe our next trip to the southern edge of Provence will be at a time that will allow exploring some of the Calanques area on foot - sans fire or pandemic!

Posted by
238 posts

Allan, how is it in Banff right now? We are your neighbours here in Sasky. This past weekend we did a motorcycle trip to Watertown and enjoyed the ride, so green and lush. Everyone was so good with social distancing yet we still had a wonderful time. I think the park is just opening up, hotel wise, etc but lots of day trippers from within Alberta. We are thinking of a ride to Banff, but unsure of the availability of resturants, hotels, etc. Can you provide some info, thanks in advance.

Posted by
1857 posts

Judy, restaurants and hotels are open, the only thing missing is people. I've never seen it so empty. Now I know how the residents in Venice are feeling. Mainly Alberta and BC license plates with a few from Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Posted by
1288 posts

D as in don’t go. US Citizens aren’t allowed anyway. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer but I’m disgusted with how we are dealing with this pandemic. I hope to live long enough to see the other side.

Posted by
4945 posts

So, Diane, for now, just dream travel instead?

Posted by
5627 posts

E

EUREKA.

As in “ Eureka I’ve Found it!,” purported to be shouted in celebration by Greek scientist and scholar Archimedes.

OR

Eureka, a city on the coast of California about 300 miles North of San Francisco. Known as a fishing port it is home to a populous of nearly 30,000. It’s history also entails being recognized as the “ timber capital” of California in the 1800’s.

It is one of a few areas of California that pays homage to its ornate and restored Victorian homes.
The most famous being the Carson Mansion.
https://www.ingomar.org/

Posted by
8219 posts

F
Ferndale, CA

Located just 20 miles from the above mentioned Eureka, it is a lovely small Victorian town. If you find your way to that area, in the heart of the Redwoods, it's worth a stop.

Posted by
3789 posts

G is for Granada Spain. I can't believe it hasn't made this list yet, perhaps it is too commonly visited.
I spent 5 nights here, partly to cope with the jetlag, and to ensure I see more than the one major attraction - the Alhambra. It is certainly worth visiting and I recommend going twice. I first visited at night. The shadows of the plaster work was interesting and really enhanced just how thick the details are. It was not very crowded (late October) and you had time to poke around. The Museum is often open in the evening as well, so worth checking out the central circular courtyard and walkways.
There are a few different ticket types, and sometimes the standard entry tickets sell out quickly. Consider one of the Dobla de Oro tickets instead. It is only 6E more but it guarantees a timed entrance to the Nazrid palace, as well as 3 days' entry to the other buildings in the city maintained by the patrons. You don't necessarily need the Dobla de Oro ticket to see these. Some are free at least on certain days, or a small fee; but I look at it as supporting the buildings that aren't quite as famous. Visiting these other buildings gives you a great work out and exploration of the city. Most are on the small bus system into the Albacin, but walking gives a more scenic root. Work in a plan to see the Albacin outlook and the nearby mosque. Albacin is hilly, so alternatively, take the bus to the topmost point and walk your way down if your knees will take it.

Posted by
1882 posts

Halifax in Nova Scotia. The scenery was great and the amazing history was something we knew little about and we were really surprised. So glad we went!! We loved the connection between Halifax and Boston that still exists.

Posted by
14323 posts

The mention of Waterton (I think that's what Judy meant) reminded me of my visit there and a stop at

H
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, which I would have stopped at just for its name. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and very interesting. The Blackfoot men would skillfully stampede bison to the edge of this cliff where the momentum of the herd would cause some of them to fall to the ground below, smashing in their heads. I guess later on the European firearms arrived and they had an easier way to provide for the tribe.

That was one of my best road trips, Salt Lake City, across the wagon ruts, to the Tetons, Yellowstone, a day in Helena (state capitals are always interesting), Glacier, Waterton, Calgary for a weekend with friends, Banff and Jaspar . . . 3 weeks, just me and my cat.

Posted by
1857 posts

Chani, my Mom grew up on a farm near Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump. That place got all the attention, but there were other buffalo jumps nearby and as a boy when we were visiting my Grandparents we'd play at the base of these jumps and we wouldn't have to dig far with our hands to find old bones and arrowheads.

Posted by
238 posts

Oops, yes darn SP, I do mean Waterton of course! Chani, we have done that same route you mentioned, a great trip through spectacular scenery!
Allan - thanks for the info on Banff. I have to say that over the years Banff was way off our radar, to expensive, to many people, and I mean waaaay to many, so we will go again this summer.

Posted by
427 posts

I
Iskut - situated on the Cassiar Highway, running between Watson Lake, Yukon, and Kitwanga, BC. The hamlet is situated east of Mt Edziza Provincial Park. This is a very wild part of BC with amazing views of the coastal mountains, lakes and small hamlets periodically appearing along the route. Recreational activities in the area include fishing at any of the lakes of the Iskut Chain Lakes, which include, moving south to north, Nadatadasleen Lake, Kinaskan Lake, Tattoga Lake, Eddontenajon Lake and Kluachon Lake. Iskut is located at the 407 km mark on Highway 37 and is approximately 6–7 hours from both Terrace and Smithers and within 9 hours drive from Whitehorse, Y.T. This is definitely a backdoor experience..... but not in Europe.

Posted by
5627 posts

J

JACKSON, WYOMING

Jackson is nestled in the Jackson Hole Valley of Wyoming. Popular during the winter months as 3 larger ski resorts are close by.

I visited in early May one year in order to see the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park.
It was a few years after the 1996 fires which had ravaged Yellowstone. Pre dawn drove in via the S Entrance and was the only vehicle on the road for miles and miles. Saw fox, moose, an eagle or two and some deer. Only 5 of us at Old Faithful. Beautiful hot springs and without hordes of tourists I throughly enjoyed the quiet. Allowed me to listen to and enjoy the sounds of the natural outdoors.

Returning to Jackson following a wonderful day of hiking and photography discovered I liked a Montana brewed beer known as Moose Drool.

Yellowstone is on my must return again list. It’s vast and needs more than a one day visit.

Posted by
427 posts

K

Krombach, Germany - home of Krombacher Brauerei. Krombacher pilsner beer is great, and you can even buy it sometimes in our local liquor stores in Prince George, BC. Krombach is close to Krueztal, a small town in the region of Westphalia. This is a lovely rural area of north western Germany. Lots of smaller towns, wooded areas with many hiking trails.

Posted by
3789 posts

L is for Leiden Netherlands. Leiden is home to the oldest University in the country as well as the botanical gardens where the tulip was introduced to Western Europe. Rembrandt was born here and the house is still a small museum. Leiden has many old buildings and It is SW of Amsterdam enroute to The Hague. As my sister was living there, oh, 30 years ago, we did more day trips to more touristy towns, but this offers its own interest in being an authentic workaday place.

Posted by
2798 posts

M is for Maratea Italy
Maratea is a town and commune of Basilicata in Southern Italy. It is the only commune on the exquisite Tyrrhenian Coast. Maratea is a picturesque hill village high above the sea. One of the highlights of this town of 44 churches is the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer, "Il Redentore" overlooking the town.

We spent three nights at Locanda delle Donne Monache. The building is an historic restored convent. It has a wonderful restaurant. We were on a culinary tour of Southern Italy and Sicily. Maratea was a perfect 3 night stop and base on our way to the Amalfi Coast & Sicily.

Posted by
4604 posts

M is for Matera

Matera is a city in the region of Basilicata in Southern Italy.

Matera was one of our dear late friend’s Zoe’s favorite places to visit.

Zoe described it best in her trip report. Here’s an excerpt:

In addition to the sassi, there are a couple of museums and other sights, mini-bus and golf cart tours to the sassi and the mountain ridge (Le Murgie) beyond them, a Matera underground walking tour, and lots of bars and restaurants. Matera is also famous for and proud of its bread, which is fabulous. A big loaf that looks like a Victorian sofa, it has a thick crust and chewy center. I think that the stronger the history of poverty, the better the bread is (thinking of that flavorless unsalted roll from Emilia-Romana in particular as a contrast).

Matera is on my growing list of places to visit! 😉

Posted by
4604 posts

M is for Most popular thread
on this forum in the past couple of months!

Thanks Nigel for starting this fun thread!
And... Thanks to everyone who has replied!

Posted by
21 posts

M is for Murwillumbah my home town in northern New South Wales ( a state of Australia )

30km south of the Queensland border - a state of Australia as is NSW ( New South Wales )

We have recently purchased a 3 bedroom unit at Tweed Heads which is about 20 metres from the border to Queensland - we move in approximately January next year when completed

Looking forward to travelling to the the UK next year when we both shall be retired ( my self and my wife of 40 years Kim )

Hope things return to “normal” for everyone

Regards
Phil

Posted by
770 posts

N is for Needles; smack on the Colorado where I40 crosses.

A place where you can drop your canoe in, and paddle thru Topock Gorge, past pictographs, wild horses, old Fort Mojave, and end up at Lake Havasu and the London Bridge.

50 years ago you could camp in the Gorge and it would be rare to see anyone. 30 years ago they stopped that because of trash and speedboats tearing up the natural ecology (although the dams did the same, more or less). Still, if you know where to look there's places and sights most will never visit, and it remains one of the most beautiful places you can imagine; right in the middle of the desert.

Posted by
4945 posts

O

ORD - the code for the Chicago, Illinois airport, the 2nd busiest in the USA. The code has always needed a moment to recall that it’s O’Hare International Airport, as the “ORD” somehow initially makes me think of the unusual name “Ordway,” which is a small town in southeastern Colorado.

Although I’ve seldom traveled from home to Europe via Chicago, it would be fantastic to be in a position to really be able to fly. Tomorrow’s when the big Scotland/Scandinavia trip was supposed to start, but it’s been delayed indefinitely.

Several years ago, I had a very long layover at ORD, but found a comfortable table where I could set up for the duration. In late afternoon, musicians started setting up at the edge of the table area, and then performed a set of great jazz. I’ve never been treated to live music at any other airport (the piano at London Gatwick for any passerby to bang on doesn’t count), and that was truly the best thing that could happen at an airport, short of departing! So cheers to Chicago and O’Hare ORD!

This is maybe closing on a negative note, but two connections at ORD have also included two of the most unpleasant, officious TSA people I’ve ever encountered. That’s really saying something, security screeners nastier than most.

Posted by
14323 posts

Cyn - ORD is for the original name of the place, Orchard. And though many just transfer through, the city is a great tourist destination.

Posted by
4945 posts

Hi Chani - Happy 4th! I discovered earlier today that the airport was begun in 1944 (during a World War!), named Orchard Field. They must’ve taken the first 2 letters, and the last, to get ORD.

O’Hayre was a WWII aviator, and the airport was renamed after him in 1949.

I’ve stayed in both Chicago and in Ordway, CO (pop. 1,000), and both have airports. Chicago has it over Ordway in every way, unless elevation counts.

Posted by
5661 posts

Seems obvious, but I didn't see it earlier --
P is for Paris
which is a required destination anytime I am within 500 miles. Missed Paris in December due to the French rail strikes -- looking forward to the time I can see how the repairs of Notre Dame are coming, walk along the Seine, grab a crepe from a sidewalk stand, drop in the Orangerie or Musee d'Orsay or Marmottan for a Monet fix....

Posted by
6332 posts

Q - is for Quartz Mountain Oregon. Actually there are two: Quartz Mountain is an unincorporated community located in Lake County OR and the actual Quartz Mountain which is in Douglas County OR. Quartz Mountain (the mountain) is a relatively low (5500 ft) peak in the southern Cascades range. Quartz Mountain (the town) is a mere spot in the road with not much to recommend it.

Posted by
707 posts

R is for Russia. I haven’t been but it is on my short list for post-coronavirus travel. There is so much I want to see in Russia — I think I will have to break it down to several trips. It’s a big country!

I might not have been to Russia, but I have been attempting to learn Russian for over a year now. Learning Russian has definitely kept me entertained during lockdown. The grammar is complicated so it gives my brain a good work out and the combinations of consonants give my brain a different kind of work out!

Nigel, this thread has been so much fun! Can you believe it’s up to 398 responses?

Posted by
2798 posts

S is for Syracuse Sicily
Syracuse is the historic city on the island of Sicily. The city is notable for its rich Greek and Roman history, culture, amphitheaters, architecture and as the birthplace of mathematician and engineer Archimedes.

We spent 5 nights in Ortygia a small island which is the historical centre of Syracuse. It's dotted with impressive church facades, outdoor restaurants, open market, & elegant piazzas. It is absolutely magical in the evening. It's our favorite city in Sicily. A great base to visit the baroque towns of Noto, Ragusa and Modica.

We were to revisit Sicily in September 2020 and enjoy Syracuse once again. We will look forward to a future visit...

Edited to add: Thanks Nigel for this incredible thread! It's been great to share, learn and reminisce about travel experiences.

Posted by
25720 posts

one of the wonderful things about this little game - dreamed up in about 10 seconds - is that it is positive and lets people be positive in an otherwise other than positive world; and even more important everybody is equal with no judging so that folks not often heard from can play along.

I'm thrilled it has stayed around for so long.

Thanks for the positive comments, and for all those expressing pleasure about this little game - you are most very very welcome

Posted by
427 posts

T

Tintagel Castle - is a medieval fortification located on the peninsula of Tintagel Island adjacent to the village of Tintagel (Travena), North Cornwall in the United Kingdom. The castle has a long association with legends related to King Arthur. It's located on a cliff, overlooking the ocean. Amazing location and outstanding views. On our first trip to England in the mid 80's, we drove into the town, not knowing about the castle, or it's legends. To this day our visit conjures up memories of exploring the fortifications and wondering about it's history and many legends.

Posted by
630 posts

U is for Uist both North and South

These are islands in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Balranald Nature Reserve is a happy memory during nesting season in May, when the birds keep you on the trails away from their nests. One can’t get lost when a diving and squawking bird sets you on the right course. 😊

Claddach-Kirkibost Café is one of several locally operated café and tearooms where the local women prepare the most delicious home cooking and baking...and then arrive to eat it themselves! A very local spot, with tourists welcome, too.

Further south are beautiful beaches on the west coast, and mountains to the east.

Posted by
444 posts

W for Worcester, England, "wusster," where we based (thank you, house-owning friend Pamela!) for a wonderful month (learning to drive on the right, eek). Perfect little city, on the lovely Severn River, very walkable, cricket fields with our first "tea hut," & the Cathedral's Creation window's Victorian designer snuck in a pink giraffe. Even a school regatta while we were there, with there-will-always-be-an-England straw boaters & flouncy hats. The Cathedral's library holds the 14th-century manuscript of a 3-voice Alleluia psallat motet that I'd sung professionally for years, what a thrill to see the vellum original.

Posted by
4945 posts

X

Xanadu - Inner Mongolia, and does it get any more exotic? A site north of the Great Wall, the remains of Kublai Khan’s capital city, designed by a Chinese advisor in 1256. From here, the Yuan dynasty ruled China for over a century. Have seen many ancient sights in Egypt, Mexico, and Europe - maybe I’ll get to Xanadu one day.

Posted by
980 posts

*Y is for YORK, ENGLAND
*

York is a city in England about 200 miles north of London. You can walk on top of its city walls and visit the famous York Minster. I attended my first Evensong there and it was an amazing experience. There’s a strong Viking influence in the city that’s reflected if you look at the city map. Streets are called gates, gates are called bars and bars are called what else but pubs!

Posted by
630 posts

Z is for Zakopane

A winter sports and hiking center at the entry to the Tatra mountains south of Krakow, Poland. The restored wooden architecture capitalizes on Art Nouveau and traditional Goral folk styles. Where my devotion to wooden folk architecture began, and continued into northern Romania and western Ukraine. Worth a stop on a road trip in Poland, add some local smoked cheeses to a picnic.

Edited to add:
Drat! I just saw that Stan got there ahead of me...great minds...

Posted by
4945 posts

Kicking off Round 10 - - Oops, actually Round 12 or 13, depending on how you’re counting, of this alphabetical travel extravaganza:

A

Avignon, a key city in Provence, in southern France, Avignon is a delight. Its ancient core is behind imposing walls. The Palais des Papes castle was the base for the French Pope, when there were 2 Popes in the 1300’s, and it housed the Pope challenging the one in Rome. Now it’s pretty much empty, but open to visitors.

Avignon has a half-bridge that extends only halfway across the Rhone River, a useless sight except for drawing tourists who can dance upon it, so it does serve a purpose after all. Much more useful are interesting and rewarding neighborhoods, like where I had an apartment a few years ago. Avignon is home to Robert Brunel, an extremely talented Chef, and I took classes from him in Boulder, Colorado, and again in Avignon. His restaurant Le Numéro 75 will give you one of the best dining experiences you will ever have, should you go.

The Les Halles indoor market is arguably the best in all of France, both for the quality and variety of products there, and for the tremendous scene - sweet macarons and a huge assortment of fresh fish being sold proudly under the same roof, with so much in-between.

Avignon also makes a great base for exploring other cities and towns in Provence, with their own museums, sights, and experiences. Take the TGV super train to Avignon, and your adventure awaits!

Posted by
6332 posts

You got behind Cyn, this is round 12. Unbelievable.

Posted by
4945 posts

Nancy, maybe you’re right, depending on how you look at the postings (see below), and I’ve modified my post above. Your message also encouraged me to count again, scrolling a long time thru my iPhone screen, looking carefully for each “Z,” to indicate the end of a round. Before I presented my Avignon entry, I scrolled two times thru the long string of posts, to try to ensure I had an accurate number. I hadn’t been keeping an actual tally, and by scrolling down, I counted “9” rounds both times. Missed things twice, somehow. That would maybe indicate to not count on me to keep count of a group of little kids, to make sure no one wanders off. Or maybe I’d be extra careful with kids, but flipping thru a mass of 406 posts on this thread, on a little phone screen, clearly I wasn’t so observant, and some Z’s and A’s slipped by, unnoticed.

If it’s any consolation, dedicated to following Nigel’s Rules, there have been some instances above, of folks not always following the A-thru-Z sequence, and I’ve sometimes mentioned when letters had been skipped. Helpful participants filled in those blanks, and so it did help to get things complete for that round, whatever number round it was. And some folks’ letters don’t always follow in strict alphabetical order - some maybe missed that letter’s episode of Sesame Street, just like some of us can’t count as well as Muppets 🐸.

And in scrolling thru the postings again, I was surprised to discover how many “Z’s” I actually posted myself! Four. Maybe I could change my moniker to “Zyn!”

Anyway, exactly a month ago, on 6/5/20, Lee of Lakewood, Colorado (a city immediately south of Wheat Ridge, with W. 32nd Ave. dividing the towns - but this doesn’t count as an “L” or “W” entry) posted his own A-Z in a single post, making a Round Unto Itself. So counting Lee’s post as a round, this thread has done 12 full A-to-Z’s, and #13 has started. If you count the extra postings for some letters, addressed more than once in a Round, this thread would have even more rounds, if 26 entries defined a round. It is fantastic!

Posted by
4945 posts

So, speaking of getting Behind, here’s a

B

Back Door. It’s a less-used, but often more rewarding way to get in someplace. Travel guru Rick Steves has encouraged seeing places, especially in Europe, using the “Back Door” philosophy, meaning don’t follow crowds to predictable places, doing a hit-and-run, and scurrying to the next place for a quick photo-op and a superficial visit.

Some locations themselves can also be considered Back Doors, based on Rick’s suggestions of them as being particularly special. After being promoted for decades, they’re hardly undiscovered now, but they remain significant places to see. The Cinque Terre in Italy, Bruges/Brugge in Belgium, and the island Hydra in Greece come to mind, along with many others.

By doing some planning for where you’re going, getting some insight to the history, culture, food, customs, and a more in-depth understanding of the places you go, you’ll experience a deeper, more satisfying visit. Learn at least a few words/phrases in that place’s language, to make yourself a bit more of a temporary Local; not everyone speaks English, even today.

If you stay in some place other than a 5-star hotel, you might have fewer creature comforts, but you’ll probably meet more people at your destination - a chance to mingle with people who can let you in on what’s happening there, sights that not everyone gets to see, places for a relaxing stop or a fantastic meal, and more of what makes the place tick. And you can learn about people who live there, not just people who go there on a short visit.

That is, try to interact with people, as if you’re coming to their home through their back door, like a welcome visitor or a local friend, more than an awkward person at their front door, looking for directions because you’re lost and want to get away from there as soon as possible. And if you’re staying at a B&B, the back door might actually be the way you get to your room! The world is your oyster, and the Back Door is the way to get it open. Slice of lemon, or horseradish at your option.

Posted by
14323 posts

C is for

Columbia River. I started at the end, where it flows into the Pacific, with a stunning panoramic view (lucky weather) of the mouth of this mighty waterway from the Astoria Column. After a long weekend in Portland, I drove the old road through the Columbia Gorge and its waterfalls, stopping of course at Multnomah for a climb up and some photos. Continuing upriver, there's the Bonneville Dam and Lock where you can watch salmon climbing the fish ladder to spawn (and expire) and Herman the Sturgeon is still around (he's big and ugly so he's probably gonna live a lot longer). As the elevation increases, the landscape changes from lush green to high desert. After The Dalles, cross the river to visit the Maryhill Museum with its fascinating exhibits - tsarist Russia, Rodin, French post-WWII couture. If you keep going you'll get to the point where the Snake River joins the Columbia. A trip up the Snake through Hell's Canyon . . . . oh dear, that's no longer a C so a good place to stop.

Posted by
1288 posts

E Is for Easter Island. I so want to go there. Hubby isn’t interested. Today it seems an impossible dream.

Posted by
3789 posts

We missed V last round. V is for ValenciaSpain. Valencia has more in common to Catalan history than Castellan as at times in history it was part of Catalonia. It has an interesting, compact 'Old Town' and a modern coastal region of interest to tourists. It is the home to paella with the preferred Bomba rice being harvested in the region. Their daily morning market is housed in a beautiful deco influenced building and is an outing on its own. Everything from seafood to tripe, saffron to a stall just specializing in beer (though not just local beer).
Planning to avoid strikes or protests in Barcelona Nov 2017, I skipped the Barcelona visit and went to Valencia instead. Comfortable 3 hour fast train from Madrid, and then a lovely scenic bus ride from Valencia right to the Barcelona airport. (I couldn't afford to change my return flight home from Barcelona).

Sadly my time in Valencia was marred by an apartment rental suffering from the Valencia 'stink'. The city filled in a river and made it a lovely green city park that runs around the city, but it seems to have messed with the ancient sewer system and sewage gas whether inside or from the street vents is a known liability of the city. Chose your accommodation wisely.

For those who enjoy slow travel within a smaller geographical area, a car trip between Barcelona and Valencia would offer a lovely scenic, back door adventure of coastal Spain.

Posted by
2876 posts

F is for the Firth of Forth in Edinburgh, Scotland. We took a drive to Scotland on our first trip to the U.K. back in the early 90s. We weren’t very prepared and were just winging it with lodging. That worked well for us until we hit Edinburgh and discovered that something called the Military Tattoo was just opening. We tried everywhere to get a hotel for the night. Finally we called a $$$$ hotel and were told they had one room left for the night at $$$$$. I wanted to stay so badly and see more of this stunning city that we said yes.

I remember going into our huge room and pulling back the heavy drapes to see the Firth of Forth in all of its glory just outside of our window. I was smitten and every $$$$$ was worth it. I have loved saying and thinking about the Firth of Forth ever since. Lesson learned however, check carefully for festivals before just showing up at a town or city!

Posted by
4945 posts

MariaF, good for you! Now Round 11 (or was it actually #12?) is fully complete.

Mona, have you not been to the Tattoo, then? It’s a performance/display of musical and military groups from Scotland and parts of the former British Empire, held just in front of the Edinburgh Castle. Different assortment of participants presented every year. It goes on nightly during its run in August, rain or shine. No umbrellas allowed in the stands. Dress accordingly. August is Festival time of n Edinburgh. We were supposed to be there right now, early July. Sigh.

Posted by
2876 posts

Cyn, thanks for asking. We ended up going to the Tattoo on that visit and have been back twice just so we could attend the Tattoo! Love it!

Posted by
1857 posts

G for Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame and Museum. I'm not a Packers fan, but my love of history extends to sports and I can't pass up a museum like this. I was in Green Bay on a business trip and I was expected to attend a reception one evening; something that the introvert in me never looks forward to. But to my delight, this reception was at the Packers Museum and simulated a tailgate party, only indoors since it was February. Wow, a reception designed for a sports fan and an introvert. I ate and then disappeared into the depths of the museum only to reappear when it was time to leave. Great evening.

Posted by
2798 posts

H is for Hell Grand Cayman, Is.
Yes, we went to Hell when visiting the Cayman Islands. Not much there, hotter than Hades. A post office where you can send a postcard from Hell, and not to mention a gift shop called Satan.

That said, we cooled off at 7 mile beach, fed the turtles, and did a guided tour to Stingray city to swim with the Stingrays.

It was a delightful week- we went to Hell & and survived the Stingrays. ;)

Posted by
3789 posts

H is for the Hoodoo Trail Alberta
https://www.travelalberta.com/ca/listings/hoodoos-and-hoodoo-trail-4517/
Hoodoos are sandstone pillars windswept and formed over thousands of years. (Or if a skier in Whistler, they are windswept snow covered trees created in a matter of hours, sometimes.)
The sandstone ones exist in a great rift area that is also important for dinosaur fossils. Drumheller has a great interactive dinosaur museum. I remember visiting a friend in Calgary from my sea level home on the West Coast. I might have been 11 or 12. The family did a road trip to Dinosaur National Park and I was awestruck to see this rift in the otherwise flat terrain that exposed the hoodoos and fossils. Being the daughter of a self taught geologist, I knew what we were looking at and was in heaven. Dinosaur Park is a UNESCO heritage site with plenty to see. There are camp grounds around, but it sure does get hot, so plan accordingly.

Posted by
4945 posts

Mona, glad you’ve been to more than a Tattoo or two! Just like the ink-and-needle type, the Military Tattoo makes a lasting impression!

Janis, so the next time someone says to Go To Hell, it’s a legitimate travel suggestion, not an insult! And while you avoided Stingrays, are you certain there weren’t Devil Rays?

Posted by
2798 posts

Cyn Good one! 😂 Our guide introduced us to “Sondra” the Stingray. I got to hold her. It was a slippery little “Devil!” All kidding aside Cayman has the clearest water we’ve ever seen. The best snorkeling view of amazing coral and fish. This was many years ago. Back then, the turtles would come near shore in the morning. You could walk out and feed them.

Posted by
6332 posts

I is for Italy. All of it. Every little corner of it. From the Dolomites to the boot and from Venice to Sicily and everything in between. Three trips to Italy and was never even the least little bit disappointed in any of the places we visited. Everything was wonderful - the cities, small towns, villages, wineries, scenery, food, excursions, hotels, transportation, and most of all the people. There isn't one place we went that I wouldn't be happy to revisit again. Luckily all three of those trips were before the more recent crush of tourists so, even when a bit crowded, it wasn't prohibitive to enjoying things.

EDIT: If Italy was posted for 'I' in a previous alphabet I missed it but I guess it doesn't hurt to throw it in again.

Posted by
58 posts

J is for Jenks Oklahoma ... small town just south of Tulsa ... lived in Tulsa for 11 years, would go to Jenks to the farmer's markets in the spring/summer for the fresh produce ... when the corn was ready for harvest, a farmer would pull up Saturday morning about 8:00 am in his tractor pulling a wagon load of merit corn picked that morning ... 10 cents an ear (and none of this GMO crap) ... I'd get about 20 ears and eat them all day until the next Saturday when I would go back for the next load ... also loved the fall when the new crop of pecans would come in ... they also have one of the best high school football (not soccer) teams in the country every year.

Posted by
3789 posts

K is for Kyrgyzstan one of the '5 Stans' often pooled together in travel tours. This region of Asia is certainly a back door adventure with the draw of Kyrgyzstan being more its majestic natural beauties than historical architecture or art. Steppes where the nomads play 'goat polo' or staying in a yurt with your travel companions and various local family members. Roads are gravel and very weather dependent. But the scenes conjure up Genghis Khan, the Moguls and the Silk Road.

Posted by
2798 posts

L is for Lopez Island San Juan Islands
Lopez is a pleasant 45 min. ferry ride from Anacortes in NW WA. A predominately rural island of rolling hills and flat pastureland, it’s a great place for bicyclists and travelers seeking a quiet retreat. Plenty of activities along the seashore and local kayaking. Lopez is known for it’s friendly people. Everyone waves as you pass by.

Lopez is home to natural attractions, including Spencer Spit State Park, a favorite spot for clamming & crabbing. A Farmer’s Market is held in the summer.

Yep, time to revisit this great get-away!

Posted by
5627 posts

L

London

As Nigel is well aware it’s my favorite city on the planet.

Will repeat what I’ve said about it before “always changing, always the same.”

I’ve been traveling and staying there since the 70’s. Never fails to make me happy on every trip. So many interesting museums, historical sights, easy walks along the Thames path, fabulous theatre ( saw Hamilton last year as well as Witness for the Prosecution), fun markets, beautiful parks, pubs, food options ( which have vastly improved over the decades) and all the pomp and circumstance. I also love British humor.

Moments:
Seeing the late Ian Holm strolling past the Round Pond in Hyde Park. We exchanged nods of recognition.
The fun and frivolity of the Lord’s Mayor Parade.
Christmas Eve mass at St Paul’s.
Watching a rugby match in the rain on the Heath and getting invited back to the team’s local afterwards to enjoy a pint with them.
Meeting up with Nigel and Carol.
Watching Tower Bridge being raised.
Watching the filming of An Honorable Woman late at night in Hyde Park in a scene where there’s a single gunfire discharge. Kept thinking I wonder if baby Prince George is getting awoken. We were at the Physical Energy Statue.
The Classical Spectacular at Royal Albert Hall
Orange Pekoe for tea and scones
Guinness Cake
Tour of Parliament
Brick Lane and Spitafields
Areas outside London proper like Chiswick, Ealing and Richmond.
Pho Saigon in Ealing
Wandering about Liberty during the Christmas season.
Santa Runs
The Hampstead Heath
Richmond Park
Winter Wonderland
Open air theatre Richmond Park
Highgate and Brompton Cemeteries.
Sunday roasts

Posted by
12319 posts

M...

Meißen, Germany....the birthplace/cradle of Saxony (die Wiege Sachsens), went there twice as day trips from and Berlin and Dresden. Still not enough, and would return for another visit.

Posted by
816 posts

N - Normandy Beaches.

2019 RS tour with our good friends. Very emotional and moving experience. Attended before the anniversary last year.

Kim

Posted by
3789 posts

O is for OrleansFrance. (though, I live in Orleans, Ontario) Orleans is in the Loire region of France and is a one of the possible locations when 'doing' the Loire Chateaux. It lies on the Loire river and has a history that goes back pre Roman Empire.
This area is on my bucket list. One of the times I might be willing to travel early or late summer. Rent some little cottage with a boulangerie down the street. Morning bagette or croissants with cafe au lait on the outside patio overlooking the river watching life wake up for the day. Head off to chateaux, and a repeat of breakfast (albeit with wine and cheese). My sort of bliss.

Posted by
1288 posts

P Papeete Capital of Tahiti

I visited the islands in mid 70s and in 2001.

All are beautiful. We arrived home on 9/9/2001. Two days later would have been a nightmare. The cruise company we used dumped its passengers to find rooms and hotels on their own.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papeete

Posted by
1238 posts

P is for Peterborough -- where I've lived full time since 1995.

Home to Trent University. Six in my family, including me, are alumni.

We have a giant liftlock, and a wonderful concert series, Musicfest in the summer (ptbomusicfest.ca) . They run concerts on the banks of Little Lake (Del Crary Park) twice per week. I've seen some really great acts there. We also have the Canadian Canoe Museum. I'm ashamed to admit I've never been!

Part of the Trent Severn waterway, boaters really love the area.

There's also the free Riverview Park and Zoo.

We enjoy a lot of independent restaurants here, and many are in the "cafe quarter" of downtown. I hope they survive.

There's also a great Lawn Bowling Club (I'm a member -- really!) -- occasionally tourists stop by and take photos of us while we bowl.

And I just looked online and saw so much more than mentioned above that I either forgot about or never knew about!

Posted by
25720 posts

Peterborough - the English one - isn't far from me.

The magnificent Peterborough Cathedral has the graves of -Two- great queens, Katherine of Aragon, Henry VIII's first wife (divorced), and Mary, Queen of Scots (imprisoned and beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle, not far away, and Fotheringhay church to this day remembers her; her body was removed from the Cathedral some time later when her son, King James I took it to London upon his becoming King. The Cathedral still marks the spot). The interior of the Cathedral is splendid. The painted wood ceiling, one of only 4 similar in Europe, dates from the early 1200s.

You have Trent Severn, we have Severn Trent (water). Named for the two great rivers, the Trent near Nottingham and the Severn to the west of the Cotswolds. The river flowing through Peterborough is the Nene, variously pronounced depending on what part of it you live near as the neen or the nen. Immediately east of Peterborough is the Fen Country leading all the way through East Anglia up to the Wash.

Posted by
1238 posts

Nigel, very interesting! I always find it so interesting how my province is named after so many places in England. I grew up in Oshawa, in Durham Region. In that area are Whitby, Newcastle, Sunderland, Pickering, Scarborough.

Posted by
770 posts

Q is for Lake Quinnault in Washington. A beautiful spot in the southwest of the Olympic Peninsula, at the same latitude as Seattle. Hwy 101 runs from there to the town of Queets on the Pacific Coast. Quinnault is very much a rainforest area, although much of the surrounding area has been extensively logged. the area around the lake is famous for it's resort and summer homes.

Posted by
444 posts

R for Ravenna, Italy, once upon a time major port & capital of the Byzantine part of the Roman Empire, & home of all those stunning, glittering mosaics.

Nigel, thank you again - this thread was inspired/is inspiring!

Posted by
2798 posts

S is for Saint Martin Island, West Indies (Leeward group of Lesser Antilles) You get the best of both worlds on this charming island. On the North side is French and South side (Sint Maarten) is administered by the Netherlands.

We chose to stay at Grand Case (French) to enjoy the beach lined restaurants. The cuisine takes you back to the French Cafes in Paris. We did a brief drive to the Dutch side. "Brief" due to the cruise ship crowds!

Posted by
1857 posts

T is for Todos Santos, Mexico.

Both times I've spent significant time in Mexico on vacation I've had a better time when I've left the seaside resorts and drove inland. The first time, my wife and I were staying in Cabo San Lucas and one day we rented a car and drove to Todo Santos which is about an hour north of Cabo. It's just a small village that we'd heard about because it's rumored that the hotel there-Hotel California was the inspiration for the Eagles song by the same name. I suspect though, that someone started the rumor to stir up business. In any case we had lunch at the Hotel and ordered this weird pizza on the menu-Pears with Gorgonzola cheese. Back home, my wife managed to recreate the recipe and to this day it's a staple menu item at our home a couple of times a month and everyone gets to hear the story of how my wife discovered the pizza in Todos Santos.

Posted by
1288 posts

T is for Tombstone, AZ

A nice journey off of I 10 in Arizona that is sure to delight. The town is nicely perserved with its saloons, brothels, stagecoach, OK Corral, and Wyatt Earp’s home. On the outskirts there is the imfamous Boothill! There you will find tombstones with hilarious inscriptions.

"Here lies George Johnson hanged by mistake 1882. He was right, we was wrong, but we strung him up and now he is gone”.

“ In Memory of Frank Bowles, born Aug 5, 1828 died 8/26/1880. As you pass by, remember that as you are so once was I, and as I am, you soon will be. Remember me”!

Posted by
12319 posts

U...the city of Ulm, which has one of Germany's most famous and largest cathedrals, also good as a day trip from Munich, Stuttgart or Tuebingen.

Posted by
1247 posts

W is for Weiser Idaho home of an annual fiddler’s contest. We were there for theIr 50th Anniversary performance in 2002 It was on my brother’s bucket list. The whole town celebrates, the high school sports field becomes the camp ground. After the scheduled performances, the camp ground becomes a cacophony of fiddles, guitars and even a bagpipe. Great time, great memories.
https://www.fiddlecontest.org/

Posted by
25720 posts

thanks for the compliment.

Unfortunately I despise your spam, tv person, and have asked the webmaster to remove it

Posted by
1857 posts

X is for Camp X.
During WW2 there was a Camp X on the shore of Lake Ontario near Whitby, Ontario. It was a top secret location where agents were trained to be parachuted behind enemy lines to work with the Underground. It was organized by Canadian Sir William Stevenson who Ian Fleming said was one of the people he used as inspiration for Agent 007 James Bond.

Posted by
1857 posts

Almost 24 hours without a contribution, are we nearing the end? I'll continue with my Canadian geography history lessons then. Y for Yukon Territories, home of Dawson City which is the site of the Klondike Gold Rush that started after gold was discovered in 1896. Dawson City is in the middle of nowhere which would have been even further in the middle of nowhere back then. While about a hundred thousand prospectors lured by gold attempted to get there, only about 30,000 made it. There is a very entertaining book called Klondike by Pierre Berton that tells about the adventures of the time.

Posted by
1238 posts

Allan, Camp X isn't far from where I grew up, about an hour from here. At work recently we had a Camp X scholar speak. He's spent his life researching the history. He has proven Ian Fleming was there; there was some question about that.

There's almost nothing left to see, unfortunately. There's a plaque, and a foundation.

Have you seen the TV spy show, Camp X? We loved it!

Edited to add, its called X Company.

Posted by
1857 posts

Andrea, I've never heard of that show, I'm going to Google it.

Posted by
5965 posts

OK here's a Z for Zihuatanego , a beach resort town on the Mexican Pacific Coast. I've never been there, but its presence in the best movie of all time, The Shawshank Redemption, makes it of interest.

Posted by
3789 posts

A is for Anywhere I don't think I am alone in considering 'Anywhere that requires a passport' would be a great destination about now.

Posted by
6332 posts

B is for Benton County Oregon. My home of Corvallis is the country seat of Benton Country with a lovely 19th c court house and it's the home of Oregon State University (2nd largest in the state). Benton county is home to many wineries, two of which (Benton-Lane winery and Tyee cellars winery) produce some wonderful award winning wines. It's basically a rural county with lots of agriculture, including cherry and hazelnut orchards, some of the largest mint fields, industrial hemp, among other usual crops. There's lots of outdoor activities in some beautiful and scenic areas including wetlands (Wm Finley NWR and Jackson-Frazier wetland), mountains (Mary's Peak is the highest in the Coast Range), waterfalls (Alsea Falls in extremely scenic), covered bridges, scenic drives especially between Corvallis and the coast, and places for wilderness hiking and camping in parts of the Siuslaw Nat'l Forest.

Posted by
2798 posts

A is for Anacapri
Anacapri is a comune on the island of Capri. It is located at a higher elevation than Capri, and is less crowded. The highlight in the village is the Villa San Michelle. The villa has exquisite gardens and picturesque views. Another tourist attraction is the chairlift with additional views. Fond memories of our visit 6 years ago.

Posted by
1247 posts

To go with Nancy’s Benton County, C is for Corvallis OR. It ‘s home to Oregon State University. When I was a child my grandmother lived a long block from the coliseum. She worked in the kitchen at Sackett Hall (women’s dorm) for many years. Her house is now a parking lot. I doubt if the museum is still in the basement of the coliseum but we went there almost every time we visited Grandma. Thanks to Grandma, my high school graduation present was a People-to-People tour of Europe (1969).

Posted by
128 posts

D

Durnstein, Austria on the Danube. Do I get double credit? Very quaint small village.

Posted by
25720 posts

Yes, Joy, I think that new contributors to the thread should get a welcome credit and 2 for the 2 "d"s. Thanks

Posted by
1288 posts

E is for Earth, the third rock from the sun, the blue marble with 195 countries orbiting the sun in 365 days.
Many beautiful, fascinating places to dream about visiting for the time being. Traveling through the alphabet has been a fun read.

Posted by
444 posts

F for Freeport, Maine. Not for Route 1's mind-boggling succession of big-name outlet stores, but there's the delightful mother ship of L. L. Bean's, with the world's largest? hiking boot sculpture out front. The town also gladdened hearts years back by allowing McDonald's in only by camouflaging itself in a New England clapboard. There's also some wicked good lobster shacks down the little side roads.

Posted by
770 posts

G is for Geyserrville, CA. Home to a number of Geysers (bet you didn't know they had them in California) and the crossroads between Healdsberg, Napa, and the Alexander Valley wine terriors. Hwy 128 from there to Albion is an old logging road that takes you across the crest into Mendocino and out to the coast just south of Ft Bragg. It's one of my favorite drives on a Sunday morning in a fast sports car, preferably with the top down. Fantastic scenery, and rarely used by anyone other than locals. Skaggs Springs Road is even better, and puts you on the coast near Sea Ranch.

Posted by
5627 posts

H

Healdsburg

Located in Sonoma County California it is a wine aficionados treasure trove. It is situated amongst three of the state’s well known wine producing regions ( Dry Creek, Alexander Valley and Russian River). The area is also very popular with cyclists and artists.

The actor Raymond Burr ( Perry Mason ) had a Home there.

If one travels in late May, early June and July a stop at Dry Creek Peach Farm is a must. Not cheap but some of the best organic peaches I’ve ever eaten.

Healdsburg is only a 10-20 minute drive to the aforementioned Geyserville.

Posted by
3789 posts

I is for Ireland I will confess, I haven't been yet. It always gets demoted when something more exotic comes along. But how can you fault the beauty of the Emerald Isles, music, history and the craic?

Posted by
14323 posts

J

Jordan River Okay, most folks would be shocked at seeing the Jordan (I was). While it's fairly long (~150 miles), it's neither wide nor deep nor navigable, but it sure is famous. Its sources are in the mountains of Lebanon and Syria, which join up near Israel's northern border. It flows south through a low-lying area (where half a billion birds stop every spring and fall on their migration) and into the Sea of Galilee, then through the Jordan rift valley where whatever's left of it (much is siphoned off for irrigation) to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on the planet.

Posted by
1857 posts

I was hoping to contribute for G, but snoozed and losed. So K for Kenya the home country of the Giraffe Manor. Of my top 10,000 bucket list items this would make the top 10. Who wouldn't want a giraffe sticking its head in the window and begging for a treat while I'm eating breakfast?

Posted by
3789 posts

Allen, friends report it is worth every cent of the experience and fills its reputation. Before you go, adopt an elephant orphan at the Sheldrick foundation and give them a visit when in Nairobi. Who doesn't like to watch baby ellies frolic in the mud? And they have done such good for that diminishing animal population.

Posted by
444 posts

L for Latvia & Lithuania, for so many reasons. When we can again, go!

And M for Mission Beach, our neck of San Diego, where the small courts (house-lined walkways, with drivable alleys in between), all named for towns & such on the world's waters, have something for everyone:

Aspin, Anacapa, Allerton, Asbury, Avalon, Balboa, Brighton, Capistrano, Cohasset, Coronado, Deal, Devon, Dover, Ensenada, Ventura, Island, Isthmus, Jamaica, Jersey, Kennebeck, Kingston, Lido, Liverpool, Manhattan, Monterey, Nahant, Nantucket, Niantic, Ormond, Ostend, Portsmouth, Pismo, Queenstown, Redondo, Rockaway, Salem, Seagirt, Sunset, Tangiers, Toulon, Vanitie, Venice, Verona, Whiting, Windemere, Yarmouth, York, Zanzibar!

Posted by
1882 posts

Niagara on the Lake. This post seems to be slowing down and I hope not because to me it has been so interesting as to the reasons a certain place has been mentioned.. I will add Niagara on the Lake. We had never heard of it and when we mentioned we were going to the falls a friend mentioned this absolutely lovely little town. I wish we had stayed an extra day. it was so much nicer than staying in Niagara itself as we found a lovely bed and breakfast on the water and could walk to the quaint village. Please keep on posting.

Posted by
2139 posts

P is for Palanga

A small Lithuanian resort town by the Baltic sea with an 18 km sandy beach.

Posted by
3789 posts

P is for Padua Italy. I think my first reference of Padua was Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen From Verona. The same year, it came up again in my high school Civilization course. I keep revisiting and redesigning a trip of several weeks to that region of Italy between Milan and Venice.

Palladian villas, the oldest apothecary garden, Giotto frescoes at the Scrovgni Chapel (book these ahead as short timed visit only.) It is also by the Brest Canal that links it to the sea. You can take a canal boat from Padua to Venice (or vice versa). This is an all day trip, but it stops at 2 Palladian villas. Approaching these from the water is how they were designed, so they make an impact. There are some locks you maneuver as well. Arriving in Venice by small boat from the mainland just strikes me as 'so right' though perhaps a romaticised concept.

Posted by
2876 posts

Q is for Quincy. I’ve been to 2 of the 4 towns called Quincy in the US, the beautiful Massachusetts town and the Mississippi River town in Illinois. Both of these Quincys are nice to visit for their famous citizens and historical homes. When moving to Northern California a few years ago I discovered a tiny gold rush town not too far from me, also called Quincy. I haven’t made it to this town yet, nor the one I believe is in Washington. It’s interesting that the two Quincys I am familiar with have different pronunciation of their names, in Massachusetts it’s Quin-zee and in Illinois it’s Quin-see.

Posted by
12319 posts

R... Rostock. This can be done easily as a day trip from Hamburg; Rostock is the site of the oldest university in North Germany, an interesting place historically and in WW2 history as well. I would prefer staying a couple of nights in the city instead of seeing a place as a day trip, which I did a bit in 2015.

R....Rüdesheim am Rhein...true that it is a tourist swamped place, which can be simply avoided, but it is historical if you're into that specific field, the Niederwalddenkmal is located there, one of the 5 big Prussian monuments in Germany.

Posted by
5627 posts

R

RICHMOND, ENGLAND

A town in South West London home to the expansive and gorgeous Richmond Park, the equally stellar Kew Gardens and Hampton Court Palace. Interesting High Street. Lovely riverside Thames walks. Easy access into central London. About a 30 minute ride via the tube on the District Line.

If you been to London before and seen the “must see” sights consider staying in Richmond on your next visit. Great atmosphere and food at the White Horse pub near the Thames, stellar coffee at Butter Beans, see elk in Richmond Park, lovely wander about in Petersham Meadows, and if you can get a ticket to whatever is happening at the Richmond Theatre do so. Great Victorian venue. Found wonderful Pho Vietnamese spots on the High Street.
Stayed at the Premiere Inn which I liked. 15-20 minute walk from the tube/train station.

Posted by
3789 posts

S is for Sevilla, Spain Seville is flat. In a country with so many hills and mountains, it is nice to have a tourist town that doesn't leave you breathless getting to the next block. But, the flatness and the ancient street designs mean getting lost or disoriented is easier thanmif you have higher view points to set your mental compass with. I don't use Google maps on my phone while walking streets. I still like the adventure of a paper map, or a pre-rehearsed mental route I can recall. Of course, neither is perfect (nor is Maps all the time), so it took my longer to feel familiar here than cities like Madrid, Toledo or Granada. I did enjoy the city, particularly from my penthouse short let deck with prime views of the Cathedral. Sunsets were lovely from there.
The city needs time. Often more time than afforded by many. The Parque de Maria Louisa was designed and opened over 100 years ago. In 1929 it was the sight of the Spanish-American Exhibition. The great Plaze de Espagna is still an interesting stroll for locals and tourist. Ventrure further into the green space and find little visited museums housed in some of the other Exhibition buildings. Eventually you land at the river. Cross a bridge and wander the back streets of Triana. Stop in some squares or walk the main road along the river with the restaurants. If You do this Sunday, by now on your route it is earoy afternoon. Families in the church duds are meeting for birthday celebrations, or post christening lunches. Time affords you the luxury of being a voyeur as local life unfolds around you. Build itminto your itinerary.

Posted by
4604 posts

T is for Tomar, Portugal

Tomar (aka Thomar, in English) is a beautiful medieval town in the center of Portugal known for its magnificent Convento do Cristo (Convent of Christ), a 6 Km aqueduct, various lovely churches, a historic synagogue, a beautiful park along the river with an enormous water wheel, and an incredible Match Book Museum housing thousands of matchbooks and match boxes from around the world. And...Huge portions of delicious food!

My daughter and I enjoyed our visit to this beautiful quiet town last Spring, and I’d love to go back and explore a bit more!

Posted by
4604 posts

T is for Time and Thankfulness

Time to travel back through time & think about treasured trips and be truly thankful!

I’m so thankful for this totally amazingly travel forum full of talented and thoughtful travelers!

Thanks everyone for all your helpful and inspiring thoughts throughout the years!

Posted by
770 posts

V is for Valdez, AK, one of the most beautiful places on earth. The deep bay with all manner of wildlife, the huge mountains, the crazy tide that changes 30+ feet every day, it's so majestic you almost overlook the oil tankers waiting to fill up and leave. Much more worthy of a visit than Skagway, or Ketchican, it's even got a glacier you can get up on. Fantastic fishing, and while I cannot recommend the flight in to those who have issues with very small runways that end at a cliff, the ferry ride from Anchorage is the best. Go in April or September if you're not into fishing.

Posted by
1288 posts

W is for the Wet Markets found in Asian countries.
I first experienced them in China in the 80s and was shocked at the conditions in which animals were kept, processed and sold. I watched patrons handling bug covered meat with bare hands then moving on to touching produce with bloody hands and then putting the produce back and not buy.
I saw eels beheaded on a tree stump with blood running onto the floor and left to coagulate. Want a chicken, no problem. The same stump was used for the chicken too.
Hand washing, what’s that? Did not exist!

Posted by
5661 posts

X is for ex- everything ... as in
Y is for Yesterday...love was such an easy game to play.
Going through the photos of past trips on my phone and being glad of the places I went and the people I traveled with. And the people on this board who have shared their own travels.

Posted by
25720 posts

Z

is for Zambia. I've never been to Africa but have wanted to for a long time. Friends of mine have lived in Zambia, and some teenagers have recently taken their gap year there. I think there is much to see and lovely people to be with.

Posted by
25720 posts

and now we can start the 14th run through the alphabet.

I would never have expected that!

Thanks everyone for participating and enjoying.... happy virtual travels

Posted by
2798 posts

A is for Anticipating round #14! Thanks Nigel and all contributors for continuing to share their love of travel!

Posted by
3789 posts

A is for Africa bigger than a city or country for this game, but a whole new place to explore. It fits Rick's philosophy of Back Door and traveling with an open mind. Each country has its own flavours. Not all had lengthy European control. There is a definite divide that is often referred to as 'south of the Sahara'. Even the birds are different above and below this line.
Most of us visit on a safari, but this means a bubble of a driver, maybe a guide, and lodgings. As anywhere, if you only meet people in the tourist trade, you are getting only a narrow exposure to the place. Take a little more time and money and add some time into outlying communities. Even if they are set up for tourists, it is a way to start to feel their community. Then after your safari, stay a few days and branch out on your own. I won't lie. It can be a major culture shock if you only know North America, Western Europe and the Carribbean, but by safari end it will be easier.
Some countries are easier to self drive than others. Those with a history of European occupation may be better organized for this. Namibia and South Africa has a a lot of self drive infrastructure and there are GPS programs designed just for this. Uganda has new road systems and as most of the more dangerous animals were killed off during Amin days, the parks are not as dangerous to self drive as say, the Serengeti. It is also smaller with more population, so not as remote. Maps are foreign even to safari drivers. They just pull up to a person and ask for directions. Many self drives include a vehicle with a roof tent. Be sure you are comfortable with that and remember many places are dark at 6:30 meaning meals are cooked in the dark. Scents draw animals. Better with 2 people. One to cook, another with the flashlight, lantern and a few throwing sticks.

Posted by
2876 posts

B is for Bassin de la Villette in Paris’s 19e. We often stay in this neighborhood with a house exchange or in a hotel. My favorite time of year is summer when the Paris Plage II is on both banks of the canal. This slightly larger canal flows from Canal St. Martin and is separated by locks, fun to watch. After the beautiful green iron lifting bridge, the canal continues on to the big green spaces of Citi de Science and various performance venues. The Bassin is a 10 minute walk from Parc Buttes des Chaumont.

Some recent pictures on a Paris blog a forum friend shared with me. All of the pictures are taken on the Bassin or within a 10 minute walk. https://www.facebook.com/488676334477695/posts/4311951232150167/

Posted by
5627 posts

B

BODIE STATE HISTORICAL PARK

Located in the Eastern Sierras of California Bodie is a ghost town. Bodie was home to lucrative gold and silver mines in the 1800’s. Nearly 10,000 residents lived and worked in Bodie during during its heyday. Under the town are hundreds of miles of tunnels which miners dug in their search for lucrative ore discovery.

There are nearly 100 preserved original buildings that line the dirt walkways of the historic park. Bodie provides a glimpse into California’s gold mining past.

Posted by
8219 posts

My great great uncle had a store in Bodie and died there.

Posted by
31289 posts

B

BUDAPEST

This was on the top of my list for my next trip to Europe, but unfortunately due to some medical and other issues, that trip hasn't occurred yet. Hopefully one day.....

Posted by
14323 posts

Hey Claudia - is the way to Bodie still a washboard dirt road? My trip there was one of the main factors I gave up my Camry for a Subaru Outback! Great place to visit, in spite of the terrible drive :-)

Posted by
427 posts

C

C is for Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg. This is located north of Colmar in the Alsace area of eastern France. We spent a very interesting day there exploring the huge medieval castle. Located in the Vosges mountains just west of Sélestat, situated in a strategic area on a rocky spur overlooking the Upper Rhine Plain, it was used by successive powers from the Middle Ages until the Thirty Years' War when it was abandoned. From 1900 to 1908 it was rebuilt at the behest of the German kaiser Wilhelm II.

If you're tired of sampling wine and touring the many vineyards scattered throughout the area, this is a great diversion and rich with history.

Posted by
1857 posts

D for Devils Tower, Wyoming. Most famous-at least to me for being where the spaceship showed up in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. My wife and I were driving from Sheridan, Wyoming to Deadwood, South Dakota in the early 90's and I saw a sign pointing to the highway to take us there. My wife doesn't share my nerdy fascinations with UFO's and so she wasn't interested in a 40 minute drive out of our way to see it. So, never seen it, and sadly, it likely means I've lost my chance to ever be picked up by aliens...

Posted by
3789 posts

E is for Ephesus Turkey (I don't think it has been referenced before).
I visited Ephesus in 1976 during my first international trip. I remember marveling at the size of it and how intact so much of it was. The Amphitheatre was impressive, as was the Library.

Walking down The Street of Curetes, paved in marble with the pillars on each side....one could just imagine walking those same stones over 2000 years before.
I think one of my lasting memories, though, was that it used to be a port city and the coast is now about 6 kilometers away. For a young woman living in Victoria BC where 'old' was 1863 AD, this just blew my mind.

Posted by
14323 posts

F for Foz Coa

Foz Coa is a little town in northern Portugal, near the Spanish border, with a valley (Vale do Coa) containing remarkable prehistoric rock art, there's also a well-designed museum. The rock art is best seen at night - you have to visit with a licensed guide. It's one of the many little known delights to be found in this small country.

Posted by
5627 posts

@Chani can’t say about the road to Bodie. Haven’t been there in years.

I felt the same way when I drove to Chaco Canyon in New Mexico a decade ago. I was in a 4 Runner but it was still a bumpy uncomfortable ride. However, having the whole area to myself to explore was fantastic! Sometimes the journey is worth the effort.

@Allan too bad you never got to visit the very unique and imposing Devil’s Tower. Tell your wife I think she would have enjoyed all the prairie dogs she’d seen in route.

Posted by
427 posts

G
Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse (High Alpine Road) in Austria. An amazing drive to a high alpine pass and with many viewpoints on the way to view the Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Hohne - a glacier and the largest mountain in Austria. The road has many pullouts with interesting sign-boards about the geology, natural history, development and construction of the road. It's twisty, turny journey, but well worth the time.

Posted by
1882 posts

Perhaps this has been asked and I missed it. Is this the longest post ever? Perhaps the webmaster knows the answer. Just curious. Also does anyone know how many different places have need named?

Posted by
6332 posts

Perhaps this has been asked and I missed it. Is this the longest post ever? Perhaps the webmaster knows the answer. Just curious. Also does anyone know how many different places have need named?

I can't say for sure, but it's the longest one I've ever seen - looks like it may hit 500 posts and I've never seen anything anywhere near that high.

As for the number of places mentioned, accounting for a few posts without actual places (comments on other posts, etc) and a couple of duplicates, I would say there are well over 450 places mentioned. Maybe someone with time on their hands would find it fun to go through and count them, but that would not be me.:)

Posted by
3789 posts

13 complete rounds of 26 letters is only 338. I actually scroll through to try and avoid duplicates, and there are at least two or for duplicate letters every round. Still doesn't quite add up to the current total though.

Posted by
5627 posts

As a math atheist I don’t need to know the number of places mentioned....all I care about is how the community responded.

Bravo Forum! Bravo and thanks Nigel for generating the interest and replies!!!

Posted by
5661 posts

H is for Hauptbahnhof -- Berlin is my favorite (big new, modern) But any rail station is wonderful because of the promise of trips to new places. Love trains!!!

Posted by
3789 posts

I is for Iberia a peninsula jutting from Europe that composes of Spain and Portugal. It has a rich history from its many conquerors - Greeks, Romans, Visagoths, Moors - just some. One needs repeated trips, focusing on regions to get an understanding of the diversity that shaped the regions and countries today. I was particularly taken by the history and sites of Andalusia with its Moorish influence.
I know less, of Portugal but a day trip from Lisbon showed a sneak peak of castles, seaside towns, forests of cork trees. Portugal offers a more budget friendly offering for travelers, and a different twist to similar heritage as Spain.

Posted by
1857 posts

J is for Jasper, Alberta and I for Icefields Parkway; the highway between Lake Louise and Jasper. Some have said they enjoyed Jasper more than Banff, likely because Jasper doesn't get nearly the crowds of tourists that Banff does- probably because of geography. I suspect if the towns were switched than many would say they enjoyed Banff more than Jasper. In any case, the Icefields parkway is the name of the highway between Lake Louise and Jasper and to me it's one of the most spectacular drives in the world. I'll put it up there with the Pacific Coast Highway in California and the Amalfi Coast in Italy. If I had to rank those three;

  1. Amalfi Coast
  2. Icefields Parkway
  3. PCH
Posted by
14323 posts

@Allan - I'd put the Icefields Parkway first. But even more beautiful for me was a backroad drive from Grand Junction Colorado to Moab Utah. I'd been to Colorado National Monument and was headed to Arches National Park. A local gave me a tip to detour from I-70 to Route 128 which for the most part is on the bank of the Colorado River. Absolutely stunning views through red rock country.

@Claudia - I was thinking about the road to Chaco Canyon while I was writing about Bodie! By then I was driving the Outback and knew the car could handle it, so while it must have been a lot longer, I bounced along worry-free.

Posted by
444 posts

K for Krakow, Poland. Didn't stay long enough, but loved the beautiful historic main square (yup, unique in Europe...), elegant Belle Epoch cafes, churches with capital-A Atmosphere. Wish I could pronounce its name in correct Polish! Auschwitz is nearby, never forget. But Krakow soothes, &, like a friend said, is the reality, & Auschwitz the aberration.

Edit - Nigel, ohmygosh, is this #500?! Thank you for starting this, & everyone for every day's enjoyment since then.

Posted by
14323 posts

K is for Ketchikan Alaska, the first stop on the way to Juneau, on the Alaska Marine Highway (aka Alaska State Ferry). Board the ferry in Bellingham WA and travel the inside passage for history, nature and stunning scenery.

While in Ketchikan (the amount of time you have in town depends on the tides, probably 2-3 hours) be sure to visit Dolly's House (of ill-repute) - a museum these days.

Posted by
25720 posts

Stewart&Vicki - please come to the reception desk to collect your official gold coloured special bonus prize, made from authentic wild-caught naugahide scraps

Posted by
1857 posts

I took my kids kayaking in Ketchikan one day in 2011, I remember watching a mama deer and two fawns swimming from mainland to an island about 500 meters from shore. I had no idea deer could swim, but all 3 made it.

Posted by
5627 posts

L

LODI

🎶Oh Lord I’m stuck into Lodi again.🎶

Creedence Clearwater Revival

It’s a real city in California’s Central Valley about 35 miles South of the State Capital, Sacramento.

Posted by
5965 posts

M for Makawao, Maui, Hawaii. A great upcountry "cowboy town" that makes a great change from the beach resort communities. Not much to do, but see some normal life, plus a wonderful bakery.

Posted by
444 posts

Nigel in Northamptonshire has naugas !?! (Irresistible deviation, apologies.)

Posted by
237 posts

Lodi is a unexpected big wine growing and tasting area in central California. My sister lives there so we enjoy the wines.

Posted by
3789 posts

O is for Odesa Now, of the Ukraine, but when I learned about it, it was Odessa, USSR. One of my favourite childhood board games was Pirate and Traveler (circa 1960s) (no wonder I love to travel). You roamed the world moving you 'man' on the city dots in far away places. My mom, a singer, was also good at languages and loved city names with interesting sounds. Gdansk, Vladivastock, Murmansk sounded so exotic when she said them. Odessa was somewhere in the middle of Europe/Asia continent and a way to get to 'better' places. It was a shame, as in real life it is said to be a interesting city and 'the Pearl of the Black Sea'. It is known for its beach and its 19Century architecture. Looking at photos, it has boulevards and buildings to even satisfy Baron Von Haussmann.

Posted by
2876 posts

P Pétanque is a game we first encountered in Provence. It is also known as boules in different regions of France and bocce in Italy. We would love to arrive in a hot dusty square or park and see groups of people, mostly men, playing with these heavy steel balls for hours. It is a very slow moving but very lively game, conversationally wise, at the same time. Love the sights and sounds of park/plaza games in Europe.

Posted by
1857 posts

Q is for the nickname the Queen City. At first I was thinking of using it as a way of getting past another Q as it is the nickname of Regina, Saskatchewan, the home of the much hated Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League (at least hated if you're a Calgary Stampeders fan). The Roughriders are the CFL's version of the Green Bay Packers. But as I googled Queen City I discovered it's the nickname for a lot of places around the world. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_City That Queen person is popular...

Posted by
685 posts

Rio de Janeiro - one of the world's beautiful cities due to its location, but also plagued with many problems.

Posted by
416 posts

Sulawesi - where I wish I could be right now.

Sulawesi, an Indonesian island east of Borneo, comprises several long peninsulas radiating from a mountainous center. It’s known for coral reefs and dive sites such as Bunaken National Park, the Togian Islands and Wakatobi National Park.
Its largest city is Makassar, home to Fort Rotterdam, a former Dutch fort now housing 2 museums.

Posted by
12319 posts

Back to "X" for a moment:

X.....Xanten, the only town that starts with that letter in Germany. In 1987 I went there as a day trip from Düsseldorf, interesting in the lower Rhine area. It was the primary objective by the Canadians when they crossed the border from Holland

Back to the alphabet, "T"....Besides the famous university of Tübingen, definitely worthy of one's time south of Stuttgart, there is also Torgau an der Elbe, ...doable as a day trip from Berlin, named after a march too. It was also the place where the US troops and the Soviets linked up in 1945.

Posted by
5627 posts

T

*Turlock, CA *

Where I went to a small state college; Stanislaus State.

Now a huge campus but when I went the college was nearly brand new and there were 3 buildings;
The Administration Bldg which had offices (Presidents, Deans, Health, Admissions and Records) the cafeteria and library on the second floor. Bldg 2 was the classroom building and the third Bldg was the field house where the Stanislaus Warrior basketball team played.

Turlock was ( is ) known for its agricultural and did have turkey farms. We used to say it was the 3rd stoplight on Highway 99 from Los Angeles.

Posted by
860 posts

Ulm

Famous for the Ulm Münster. An often over looks charming town in Germany.

DJ

Posted by
8219 posts

Verona

Oh how I love Verona! I've been twice and would happily go again. The historical center is very walkable and there is so much to see. It also makes a good base for day trips. We took a bus to Sirmione at Lake Garda and a train to Mantua/Mantova. A little advice - on Mondays many places are closed in Italy. It was definitely not the best day of the week to go to Mantua!

Posted by
2798 posts

W is for Walla Walla WA.
Walla Walla is located in the southeastern region of WA. It’s an agricultural community with vineyards and wineries. The Walla Walla Sweet Onion is another crop with a rich tradition. Over a century ago a French soldier brought over a sweet onion seed from Corsica to Walla Walla. The local Italian immigrants harvested the seed. The rest is history.

Along with over 140 wineries the town is filled with history, wonderful cuisine, B&B’s, Parks, and a college campus. Many of the wineries have received top scores in Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate.

It’s a great getaway and only 4.5 hrs from Seattle and 4 hours from Portland, Ore.

Posted by
14323 posts

Fred did an X a bit prematurely, but I accept it since that brings me to

Y for Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. Armenia is the oldest Christian country and has many beautiful churches and monasteries that date to the middle of the first millienium. Given that, it is odd that the first sight I visited (I was on a tour) in Yerevan was the beautiful Blue Mosque.

Posted by
62 posts

Z

Zurich - Not my favorite city in Europe as I found it too expensive and somewhat boring. However, home of the nicest train station and airport I have ever visited. Glad to be a participant in this historic thread.

Posted by
11 posts

One more time through...

A. Aachen Germany.
A significant historical city that was the location of the Holy Roman Empire, including the reign of Charlemagne, who was buried there. It was so impressive to see the bust of Charlemagne and his jeweled crown in the treasury of the Aachen Cathedral. The Cathedral itself is just so historic and meaningful.

Aachen’s location near Luxembourg and the Netherlands make it a good place to stay when exploring these other countries. We have only spent a day in the city and would very much like to go back and visit the city and region some more.

Posted by
500 posts

B, Berchtesgaden. A lovely place to use as a base for exploring this Bavarian region of Germany. We stayed four nights in 2007. We used local buses. Visited Documentation Center and Salt Mine ( Eagles Nest closed to to elevator fire the night before); day trip to Salzburg, Austria; a full day in Berchtesgaden National Park hiking, boat ride on the Lake, walk to waterfalls, great beer and food at town along the lake.... highly recommend this area to everyone.

Posted by
630 posts

C for Curonian Spit.

A post today about Kaliningrad reminded me of two lovely days spent among the dunes of Lithuania. Beaches, cycling, trails. Filled with holiday-makers in July, but a relaxing break from the museums and historic sights of a 3 week tour of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

Rumors abounded of rare pieces of amber washing up on the shore...none to be found on our walks though!

Posted by
56 posts

D is for Dublin!

Last October, and my last time in Europe before all this craziness started, I used Dublin as my springboard to explore the rest of Ireland on day trips. There were a few nice stops in Dublin but, I found the city not to my taste. I would describe Dublin as gritty with a good hipster scene. The city is very spread out so I found it easy to get around with the hop on hop off buses since there is no subway. If I smell the wool from my Irish sweater it takes me back!

Posted by
416 posts

E - The Engadin Region (Switzerland)

Without a doubt, those who travel to the Engadin will be smitten with its charms. The landscape in the midst of the glorious Grisons’s Alps is simply too lovely, too full of surprises, too multifaceted and just too beautiful to resist.

https://www.engadin.ch/en/

On my very first trip to Switzerland I took the Glacier Express to St. Moritz and spent about 4 days in the region.
It was breathtakingly beautiful and tranquil and I have been meaning to return to the Engadin region but have not.
One day soon, I hope.

Posted by
444 posts

F for Fez, in Morocco. Twisty-alley'd busy medina, heavy-laden donkeys to squeeze past, cobblers making pointy-toed leather slippers dyed pinkgreenyellowblue, boys delivering trays of steaming tea glasses held high overhead, vegetable stalls, cell phone stalls, chaos & delights, smells, sounds, &&. Possibly the oldest university in the world, one of Africa's largest mosques, & the tanneries! Honeycombs of open-air dye pits, each with a worker up to his knees in the, um, aromatic bright liquids, piles of cow hides waiting, & finished ones hanging from wall pegs. You're up on a leather goods store's terrace, (inadequate) mint sprig to your nose, with this landscape below, like the biggest possible set of watercolors. Vivid, medieval, photo-op!

Morocco was one of our best trips ever.

Posted by
25720 posts

Back several posts ago there was a question about how many unique places have been named.

If anybody else is indexing this thread please say so.

I've been working on it on and off for about a week and in a few days I'll have an answer. Stay tuned, and remember to take the foil off that TV Dinner before you try to eat it. Careful - it might be hot!

Posted by
3789 posts

Nigel, do they still use foil on TV Dinners in the UK? We have cling wrap so it can be microwaved. Boy I remember the days of the rare treat of a TV dinner, on a TV tray, in front of the TV. Looking back, most likely they were expensive and was beyond our food budget at the time.

Posted by
3789 posts

G is for Gaborone Botswana. The location of the 1st Ladies' Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith. First it was the books that described life there and painted vivid mental images of life in Botswana that wasn't a safari on the Okavango River. Then they made a TV series that allowed some visuals to support the descriptive writing. Regardless, I think most equate Botswana for its extensive game reserves and safari opportunities. It also is home to the Kalahari Desert and its bushmen made (in)famous in the 1980 movie, The Gods Must Be Crazy. To visit Gabarone or the Kalahari and retrace some of the locations in the book or movie would certainly be a 'back door' experience.

Posted by
416 posts

Holyrood, Scotland

Holyrood is an area in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, lying east of the city centre, at the foot of the Royal Mile.
The area originally took its name from Holyrood Abbey, which was the Church of the Holy Rude (Scots for 'Holy Cross').
Holyrood includes the following sites:
The modern Scottish Parliament Building
The Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of the monarch in Scotland.
The ruins of Holyrood Abbey
Holyrood Park, an expansive royal park to the south and east of the palace.
Dynamic Earth, visitor attraction and science centre which is Scotland's largest interactive museum.

I have not yet visited Scotland but hope to do so at some point.
Back in the day of pen-pals, when we wrote paper letters, I had a couple friends from Glasgow so I've always been interested in seeing some of the country. Sadly, I have lost touch with them but it would've been nice to see them on a visit.
And that would have been a good incentive to visit too. We were just teenagers then and it's been over 35 years.

Posted by
427 posts

I

Inchigeelagh - is a small village, townland and civil parish in County Cork, Ireland. It is also the home of my husband's ancestors who came to North America in the 1840's. We visited here in October of last year - wandered the grounds of the old ruined parish church where he was baptized and had a lovely lunch in the pub/hotel. The hotel was built in 1810 to serve the horse-drawn coaches of tourists travelling the Prince of Wales route to Kenmare and Killarney.

Posted by
12319 posts

"J"....Of course, Jena near Weimar. Jena where one can see the Zeitz Museum if you're interested in optics.

Historically, Jena is the site where the Prussians would prefer not to remember since it represents the massive military defeat suffered under Napoleon, just 20 years after the death of Frederick the Great, the battle that led to the rapid collapse of the Prussian state.

There is the battle field museum in Jena on that decisive battle, the "1806 Museum"...spent a day trip in Jena in 2017 from Berlin, much too little time and did not get out to the museum because of the lack of time, most definitely will make a return trip to Jena either as another day trip, this time staying in Weimar or Leipzig, or staying a couple of nights in the town itself

Posted by
46 posts

K
Kata Tjunta (aka the Olgas): Located in the southern part of Australia’s Northern Territory in the Red Centre. Kata Tjunta is about 16 miles from Uluru (aka Ayers Rock). Unlike the monolith that is Uluru, Kata Tjunta consists of 36 dome-shaped conglomerates of granite, basalt, and various sedimentary rocks all cemented together by sandstone. So, together apart. Its highest point is 3,497 ft—650 ft higher than Uluru. I was there in June (winter). As the sun set, the color of the rocks turned a vibrant brick-red for maybe 10 minutes, and in that brief time the air temperature dropped 23 degrees, the sky faded away, and Kata Tjunta’s darkened humps silhouetted against the flat desert terrain as far as my eyes could see.

Posted by
14323 posts

L

Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern California has drives and hiking trails that offer stunning scenic views, some familiar, some otherworldly. Check conditions before you go. My visit was in early July and even easy trails were challenging because of the snow and ice - spring comes late at altitudes of 5000-10000'.

Posted by
3789 posts

M is for Macedonia a large region of Greece and not to be confused with Northern Macedonia, once part of Yugoslavia made independent in 1991. It encompasses the Balkan peninsula of Greece and includes Thessaloniki. Historically, Macedonia was a larger region, but starting in the late 1800, lost battles and World Wars carved off areas and given to the victors.
Modern Macedonia comprises of 3 administrative region and interestingly, one autonomous monastic state - Mount Athos. Only males may enter.

Posted by
444 posts

N for Nantes, France. In the news recently for an arsonist's fire that severely damaged the cathedral, awful, but there's the city's completely amazing Machines de L'ile (probably misspelled, sorry), mad-scientist-creations of mobile metal creatures. Piece de resistance is the way bigger than life-sized elephant that goes for walks, & that you can ride with a dozen-ish of your closest friends.
Your inner child will have a great time, not to mention your mechanical engineer.
Sobering contrast is the city's acknowledgement of its major role as a shipping port in the centuries of the African slave trade, with memorials etc along the waterfront.

Posted by
1857 posts

O for Oia, Santorini. The place with the blue domes that everyone including me takes a photo of while there. We were there for a day while on a cruise and everything you've heard of it being wall to wall people is true. There were 3 cruise ships while we we there, but ours was the last to leave and so we had the place to ourselves for a few hours. It may be crowded, but we'll be back sometime to spend a few days, it's just too beautiful a location not to stay.

Posted by
2798 posts

P is for Paia, Maui
Paia Town is a lovely bohemian style town. One of the highlights we enjoy is visiting Ho'okipa Beach Park to watch the windsurfers and surfers. In addition Paia has wonderful cuisine. On the way is the famous Mama's Fish House. It is a plantation setting on the water. They are well known for fresh seafood. I did read they have been temporarily closed since March due to the pandemic. We missed our annual stay this past March.

Posted by
6585 posts

Q is for Quechee, VT, near the Connecticut River which divides Vermont from New Hampshire. Quechee is home to Simon Pearce, an Irish glassblower and the Quechee Gorge.

Posted by
1857 posts

R for the Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology in Drumheller, Alberta. Most visitors that fly into Calgary rent a car and head straight to Banff, but if they'd head 75 minutes northeast instead, they'd find a gem of museum. One exhibit is of a Nododsaur that was featured on the cover of National Geographic a few years ago. It's noted for being the best preserved dinosaur fossil of its size ever found. Even the stomach contents of its last meal was preserved.

Posted by
7469 posts

Sequim, WA.

Lavender Festival..... not necessary to travel to France to get a purple haze aroma fix

Posted by
25720 posts

I said that I'd have some information about how the contributions to this magic thread have gone over the last 2 months and what I've found is really interesting.

I'm of two minds about sharing all this. On the one hand I think it will be interesting to the reader - there are some interesting results.

On the other hand, thanks to the magnificent participants in these Forums, this thread has had a fabulous life and given dozens of folks happy entertainment, and I would hate if people thought I was bringing an end to the thread. NO, no, no. That's the last thing I want to do.

Please read and enjoy the information and summaries, but please please please keep contributing.

While we are housebound or unable to travel this is a little harmless way of enjoying armchair travel.

Keep the alphabet going...

Posted by
25720 posts

We have had 503 contributions of places.

Most people followed the rules and it made me happy that when we got off the rails the community gently guided us back on without any effort on my part. Such a confirmation of the goodness of people.

Some 24 places were duplicated but we did have 459 completely unique contributions. Wow.

In descending order, the duplicates are:

Nice –x 4
London –x 3
Ulm, Germany -x 3
Aix –x 2
Backyard (my) –x 2
Corvallis OR -x 2
Dublin -x 2
Ephesus, Turkey -x 2
France -x 2
Ghent –x 2
Hawaii –x 2
Honfleur, France –x 2
Italy -x 2
Naples -x 2
Oberammergau, Germany -x 2
Obidos, Portugal -x 2
Quechee, VT -x 2
Quimper in Brittany -x 2
Rome –x 2
Waterloo –x 2
Xanten -x 2
Xi'an –x 2
Yosemite -x 2
Zakopane, Poland -x 2

Did anybody else expect Nice to be the most duplicated?

Posted by
25720 posts

So, here is where we are at the moment.

Maybe this list can be a reference for folks going forward to try for unique.

Aachen 
Aarhus, Denmark aka Århus
Aeropoli, Greece
Africa 
Aix –x 2
Åland Islands, tiny islands between Sweden and Finland
Albania
Alpirsbach
Alps
Amazonas
Anacapri
Andorra
Andorra la Vella is the capital of the Principality of Andorra
Anegada, British Virgin Islands
Ankara, Turkey
annecy
Anticipating 
Anywhere 
Atlantis
Augsburg
Avignon

Posted by
25720 posts

Back Door
Backyard (my) –x 2
Banff, Alberta
Bar Celta Pulperia, Barcelona
bardolino
Bassin de la Villette in Paris

Bayeux Tapestry Museum in Bayeux, France
Bayonne
Beijing
Benton County Oregon
Berchtesgaden
Bethlehem
Bhutan
Bodie State Historical Park
Bok Tower Gardens, in Lake Wales, FL
Branson Missouri
Braunlage
Bruges
Budapest
Buenos Aires
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda 
Calais
Calanques
Camp X near Whitby, Ontario
Canal du Midi
Cap Ferret
Carrick on Shannon Ireland
Castellabate on the Cilento Coast in Campania
Cat Island
Champagne
Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg
Chelan (Lake Chelan) WA
Chicago
Chioggia
Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem
Cochem
Columbia River
Cook Islands
Cordoba
corfu
Corvallis OR -x 2
Courtauld Gallery, London
Cuba
Cuenca, Ecuador
Curonian Spit.

Posted by
25720 posts

Dauphin Island, AL
Deauville, France
Delft 
Denver
Dessau, Germany
Devils Tower, Wyoming
Devizes in Wiltshire, England
Disneyland
Djibouti
Don’t go
Dordogne
dream 
Dresden
Drvengrad, Serbia
Dublin -x 2
Dunedin, Florida
Dunedin, New Zealand
Durnstein, Austria 
Düsseldorf
Ealing, London
Earth

Easter Island
Edinburgh, Scotland
Elimina Castle in Elmina, Ghana
Empúries
Engadin Region, Switzerland
Ephesus, Turkey -x 2
Epidaurus
Erlangen, just north of Nuremberg
Esquimalt, BC
Estonia
Etar, outside of Veliko Tarnovo.
Etretat, France
Ettlingen
Eureka
Évian-les-Bains, FR

Posted by
25720 posts

Faroe Islands
Fatima (Portugal)
Ferndale, CA
Fez, Morocco
Figeac, France
Figueres 
Firenze
Firth of Forth
Fischen
Flin Flon, Manitoba
Fort Calgary
Fourteener, Colorado
Foz Coa, Portugal

France -x 2
Frankfurt, Germany
Freeport, Maine
Fucking, Austria (by Rob Brent)
Gaborone Botswana
Gap of Dunloe, Republic of Ireland
Gelato shop
Gernsbach
Getaria on Spain’s Basque north coast
Geyserville, CA
Ghent –x 2
Gilroy, CA
Glanum
Gotland
Granada Spain
Grand Tetons
Granum, Alberta
Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame and Museum
Griffith Park, L.A., CA
Grossglockner
Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse
Gubbio
Haarlem
Hadrian’s Wall, England
Hague (The Hague), the Netherlands:
Halifax in Nova Scotia
Hallstatt
Hampton Court Palace
Hauptbahnhof in Berlin
Havana
Hawaii –x 2
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
Healdsburg  
Heidelberg
Hell Grand Cayman, Is.
Herrenberg
Hollywood
Holyrood, Scotland
Honfleur, France –x 2
Hoodoo Trail Alberta
Huntington Beach

Posted by
25720 posts

Iberia 
Ica, Peru 
Icefields Parkway
Iceland
Idar-Oberstein
Iguazú Falls or Iguaçu Falls on the border of Argentina and Brazil
Ile de Orleans, PQ
Immenstadt
In tourist hell
Inchigeelagh, County Cork, Ireland
Insel Mainau on Bodensee
Iphofen
Iraklion, the major city on Crete
Ireland 
Iskut - situated on the Cassiar Highway, running between Watson Lake, Yukon, and Kitwanga, BC
Istanbul
Istria
Italy -x 2
Jackson, Wyoming
Jaffa, Israel 
Jakarta, Indonesia, on the island of Java.
Jamaica
Jasper, Alberta 
Jena near Weimar
Jenbach, Austria
Jenks, Oklahoma
Jerash, Jordan
Jericho
Jesús
Jodphur 
Johannesburg
Jordan River 
Jórvík (York)
Josselin - a town in Brittany, France
Juneau, AK
Jungfrau Region
Jura Mountains
Kadarka
Kansas
Kansas City
Karnak
Kastro
Kata Tjunta, Australia’s Northern Territory
Kauai
Kazanluk, Bulgaria
Kenya 
Ketchikan Alaska
Kitzbuhel
Kona
Konstanz
Korcula
Kortrijk, Belgium
Krakow, Poland
Krombach, Germany
Kronberg
Kruja, Albania
Kuranda, North Queensland, Australia
Kyrgyzstan 

Posted by
25720 posts

La Paz, Mexico
La Paz, Bolivia
Lake Quinnault, Washington
Lake Titicaca
Lassen Volcanic National Park 
Latvia
Latvia & Lithuania
Leiden Netherlands
Leipzig, Germany
Leon in Spain
Lerwick, capital of Shetland, Scotland
Lille
Linderhoff - as in Schloss Linderhoff
Lisbon
Lithuania
Liverpool
Ljubljana
Lodi
Lohr
Loire Valley
London –x 3
Lopez Island San Juan Islands
Loveland, Colorado.
Lüftlmalerei
Luxembourg
Lyon
Maasai Mara, Kenya
Macedonia 
Mainz
Makawao, Maui, Hawaii
Malta
Malvern Hills, England
Manitoba, Canada
Maratea Italy
Meißen, Germany
Milan
Miniatur Wunderland
Mission Beach, San Diego
Moab, Utah
Moneglia near Cinque Terre
Mongrassano, a tiny village in Cosenza province in Calabria
Montana Del Oro State Park, CA
Montenegro
Monterey, CA
Monterosso al Mare 
Monti
Morro Bay, CA
Most popular thread
Mostar
Mt. Everest (Sagarmatha)
Muerren
Murwillumbah, New South Wales
Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris

Posted by
25720 posts

Nantes, France
Napa
Naples -x 2
Naxos
Nebraska
Needles
Nepal
Neu-Ulm,Bavaria
Nevis
New York- USA
Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Niagara on the Lake
Nice –x 4
Nida in Lithuania
Nigel Avenue in Northfield in Birmingham, England
Nördlingen
Normandy Beaches
Northamptonshire 
Norway
oahu hawaii
Oberammergau, Germany -x 2
Obidos, Portugal -x 2
Odesa 
Oia, Santorini
Olduvai Gorge Tanzania
Oleron in France
Olite, Spain
Olympos on Karpathos
Oradour-sur-Glane, France.
ORD
Organ Pipe Wilderness, Arizona
Orkney
Orleans France
Orvieto
Ottawa
Padua, Italy
Paia, Maui
Palanga, Lithuania
Papeete, Tahiti
Paris
Parma, Italy
Passau, Bavaria, Germany
Peru
Pétanque
Peterborough, England
Peterborough, Ontario
Pfronten
Pindaya Caves, Burma.
Pisa, Italy
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
Port Townsend, WA
Portugal
Positano on the Amalfi Coast
Provence
Puerto Rico

Posted by
25720 posts

Q is for the nickname the Queen City
Qatar 
Qrendi in Malta
Quakertown, PA
Quartz Mountain Oregon
Quebec
Quechee, VT -x 2
Quedlinburg
Queens, NY
Queensland, the northeastern-most state of Australia
Quimper in Brittany -x 2
Quincy
Quito
Rangeley, Maine
Rasteau - France
Ravenna, Italy
Reccopolis
Reggio-Emilia province of Italy
Reims
Reus
Richmond, London
Rio de Janeiro 
Riverside, CA
Romainmotier, Switzerland
Rome –x 2
Roncesvalles
Ronda, Spain
Rostock
Rothenburg
Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology 
Rüdesheim am Rhein
Russia
Saint Martin Island, West Indies
Salzburg
San Francisco
San Quirico d'Orcia, Tuscany
San Simeon, California
Sarlat-la-Canéda France
Segovia 
Sequim, WA
Sevilla, Spain 
Shanghai
Shigatse, Tibet
Sigmaringen
Sintra, Portugal
Somes, Maine
South West Coast Path, Dorset
St Petersburg
St. Lucia
St. Malo, France
Sulawesi 
Syracuse Sicily

Posted by
25720 posts

Toledo
Taliesin, Wisconsin
Tallinn, Estonia
Tanzania 
Tel Aviv
Terri, in Umbria
Thailand
Tibet
Tillamook, Oregon
Time and Thankfulness
Tintagel Castle 
Todos Santos, Mexico.
Tokyo

Tomar, Portugal
Tombstone, AZ
Tower of London
Treis-Karden
Trotternish, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Trummelbach Falls
Tucumcari, NM
Turlock, CA
Tuscany
Ubeda, in Andalucia
Ubehebe Crater, Death Valley
Überlingen, Germany
Uganda 
Uist both North and South
Ulm, Germany -x 3
Umbria
United Kingdom
Upper Slaughter
Urubamba River
Uruguay
Usa River, Tanzania
Utopia, your brain
Valdez, AK
Valence, France
Valencia, Spain
Veliko Tarnivo, Bulgaria
Venice
Vent
Ventura, California
Verona
Victoria and Albert Museum in London
Victoria, British Columbia
Vienna
Viktualienmarkt in Munich
Vilshofen
Vinga, a small island off the coast of Gothenburg Sweden
Virgin Gorda, BVI

Posted by
25720 posts

Wakanda
Walla Walla WA.
Warwick
Washington D.C.
Waterford, Ireland
Waterloo –x 2
Weiser, Idaho 
Wells, England
Wernigerode, Germany
Wet Markets found in Asian countries
Where are we
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Wiscasset Maine
Worcester, England
Wörthersee
Wrexham, Wales
Würzburg
X marks the spot!
Xaghra, Malta
Xanadu - Inner Mongolia
Xanten -x 2
Xanthi
Xàtiva Castle in Valencia
Xenia, Ohio, Illinois, Kansas, Iowa (1), Iowa (2)
Xeuilley 
Xi'an –x 2
Xochimilco -x 3
Xrobb l-Għaġin
Yagodina, Bulgaria
Yampa Valley, Colorado
Yardville
Yellowknife, NWT
Yellowstone National Park
Yerevan
York, England
Yorkshire Sculpture Park 
Yosemite -x 2
Ypres, Belgium
Yucatán Peninsula, México
Yukon
Yukon Territories
Yuma AZ
Zabolotiv, the town in Western Ukraine
Zakopane, Poland -x 2
Zakros, Crete, Greece
Zambia
Zamora, CA
Zamora, Spain
Zaragoza
Zeeland
Zentrum, anywhere, Germany
Zermatt
Zihuatanego 
Zion
Zlatograd,
Zoo. Your nearest
Zurich
Zwiesel
Zzyzx, CA

Posted by
3789 posts

Well done Nigel!
Have you rested up after that endeavour? Because I have to wonder how we maintain it with the new additions. Isn't there a limit to how long we can edit our posts? :-(
For reference, the next letter is 'U'.

Posted by
3789 posts

U is for UcueletBritish Columbia. the west coast of Vancouver Island is known for its rainforest environment, and its extended Long Beach area of the Pacific Rim National Park. Ucuelet is at the south end of the peninsula that is home to Long Beach and Tofino is at the north end. In between are government campsites while the two towns have a range of lodgings - but mostly boutique or small resort types. My last visit to Ucuelet was over 40 years ago after a week's sailing from Victoria, along the west coast and through the 'Broken Islands' on a sail boat with another couple. It was an adventure with dead in the water fog for my night shift. I promptly fell asleep leaning on a guy pole and my husband got out and towed the sailboat from a rowboat. Or when the sail winch broke manouvering between rocks with depths of only inches below the keel depth....and winds. The boat owner was not as religious about maintaining the motor as well as the sails, so hubby spent a lot of time learning about engines and maintenance that trip :-( We did not sail with them again.
We pulled into Ucuelet to get dry and some solid ground under our feet. It is an interesting town with local crafts and a lively sailor/fisher population and tourism. With a population of under 2000, it is small, but an intrinsic part of that entire peninsula. Though arriving by water is so 'right', it isn't a practical approach. It can be reached from Victoria by car in (theoretically) 4 hours, but you want to make a day of it. Coombs is a touristy hippy hamlet with the goats on the green roof type of attraction. There is also Cathedral Grove - a maintained first growth forest where trees are so big that it takes 6 adults holding hands to span the circumference. It does rain 300 days a year there, so bring your wet weather gear, but as it is temperate, you can camp almost year around. It is particularly beautiful during storms with the Pacific's first landing being on this beach. Also whale and marine life watching, so don't forget your binoculars. It is just a little piece of natural heaven.

Posted by
416 posts

Uttar Pradesh India
(English translation: Northern Province) is a state in northern India. With roughly 200 million inhabitants, it is the most populous state in India as well as the most populous country subdivision in the world. It was created on 1 April 1937 as the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh during British rule, and was renamed Uttar Pradesh in 1950, giving the acronym UP.
The famous Taj Mahal is located in the city of Agra in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

The Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for being "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage". It is regarded by many as the best example of Mughal architecture and a symbol of India's rich history. The Taj Mahal attracts 7–8 million visitors a year and in 2007, it was declared a winner of the New 7 Wonders of the World (2000–2007) initiative.
India is a country I am undecided about visiting. I would love to see the Taj Mahal and other sites but for now Europe has my heart firmly in her grasp :-)

Posted by
1857 posts

Well done everyone and thanks to Nigel for the list. Nice was almost x5 but someone beat me to N. I've got a favourite restaurant in Nice that I've been meaning to tell a story about. I especially like the contributions that tell a brief story about a personal experience you've had at a location.

Posted by
8219 posts

Nigel, I can only imagine how long it took you to compile that list. Thanks for all your work on this record breaking thread!

Posted by
1538 posts

Veere, once an important seaport now a litlle lovely gem in Zeeland, the Netherlands

Posted by
1538 posts

You deserve a Week in one of those places to recover from this tour de force!

Posted by
444 posts

Bravo, Nigel! You win the labor of love award (a naugahyde heart, gently worn?) & can pick it up in San Diego on your next swing thru.

Pardon me, we'll spell it labour in the embossing.

Bravi, everyone! Wonderful stuff.

Posted by
860 posts

W is for Wasserburg am Inn

Wasserburg am Inn is an underrated day trip from Munich. The town is built on a sharp bend in the Inn River almost making it an island. When we lived in Munich we would visit by car. The town center is small enough to explore by foot and walking on the ridge across the river gives you great views. Definitely worth a visit if you are traveling by car between Munich and Salzburg and want to avoid the A8.

DJ

Posted by
1882 posts

I had asked the question a while ago about how many places were mentioned and never dreamed Nigel would list them!!!! Wow well done. It is so interesting to read each post and the reason the place is posted and like Nigel requested please keep it up. I look forward to each and every post. Thanks again.

Posted by
5965 posts

X

X seems to be the big hurdle, so I'll throw in Xinjiang province in China. A place I think would be hard to visit now, with some serious conflicts going on. Although I remember an interesting Paul Theroux book of riding across China to get there.

Posted by
7469 posts

Yachats

One of several scenic points along the Oregon coast

Posted by
5965 posts

Z

Z is for Zalipie, Poland another place I've not been to yet. I saw a magazine article about it describing it as the prettiest village in Poland, and read up on it. Every house and building in the village is painted in bright flowers inside and out. If it was something recent or fabricated as a tourist attraction, I would pass, but this has apparently been the local custom since the 19th century. Started as whitewashing to cover up soot from fires, but ended up a show of pride. Check it out online.

I wasn't sure we'd make it around the alphabet again, so was glad we got here in the daytime.

Posted by
416 posts

One more time around....

Antwerp, Belgium

Antwerp (Antwerpen in Dutch, Anvers in French) is Belgium's up-and-coming "second city" — and the de facto capital of Flanders, Belgium's Dutch-speaking region. Once Europe's most important trading city, and later the hometown of Peter Paul Rubens, Antwerp had a sluggish air of heavy industry for decades after its WWII bombing. But it's recently regained an edgy, creative spirit as a center for avant-garde fashion, while boasting a soaring cathedral and a collection of top-tier museums. And yet, Antwerp is equally enjoyable without a sightseeing agenda, offering fun-to-explore neighborhoods, abundant al fresco café tables, and an inviting main market square with a carillon that jingles the hour. (Source: Rick Steves).

I've only made it to Brussels some years ago but I had a good time. I really enjoyed having my fries with mayonnaise.
I would like to return and see more cities including Antwerp and Brugge.

Posted by
2798 posts

B is for Bilbao, Spain
Bilbao is an industrial port city in Northern Spain in the heart of Basque Country. It’s famed for the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. I am a huge fan of Gehry’s designs. I became a fan years ago when he designed the Music Museum (MoPop) in Seattle. Recently we saw the Dancing House in Prague. Bilbao is on our radar for a future visit. Looking forward to the cuisine as well!

Posted by
14323 posts

C is for

Canyon de Chelly, a National Monument (1) on the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona. The name is pronounced d' Shay, a European attempt at rendering the native name in writing. Stay in nearby Chinle (oh, another C) at least one night. There are drives with overlooks of the canyon, but the best way to see and experience it is by taking an organized tour with a Navajo guide. There are beautiful red rock formations and amazing cliff dwellings and interesting (and some very sad) stories of the Navajo.

I love Native American souvenirs and jewelry and I've never passed up the tables of colorful stuff that are ubiquitous throughout much of the Southwest, especially Arizona. I left all my valuables in my car for the day-long jaunt on an open truck bed, assuming there wouldn't be any need for money. At the first rest stop, sure enough there were tables laden with beautiful handiwork. I browsed happily, secure in the knowledge I wouldn't be able to buy anything. Sure enough there was a necklace that I would have bought, had I been able to. When I explained (with a suitably woeful countenance) I had no money, the answer was fast and simple - we'll meet you up at your car when the tour ends.

(1) There is a technical difference between US national monuments and national parks, but for tourists, it's the same thing.

Nigel - Thank you so much for the joy this thread continues to bring me. Just between us, it's the main reason I visit the Forum these days. It continues to amaze me how well-traveled our group is - mention any place on earth and it seems that at least a couple of us have been there.

Posted by
444 posts

Eggemoggin Reach, another 'cause it's fun to say name, but a seriously beautiful part of Downeast Maine (there is no ugly part). Lighthouse & island vistas, the tall pines down to the rocky shore, lobster boats, one lobster shack last time we were there, a marker "commemorating the 1778 Battle of Naskeag, when British soldiers came ashore from the sloop Gage, burned several buildings, and were run off by a ragtag band of local settlers" (Moon Handbook), go, Mainiacs.

Posted by
6332 posts

F is for Fougeres, France. One of my favorite stops when I was road-tripping through Brittany. Famous for the Chateau de Fougeres, a well preserved castle that is fun to visit. The town also boasts two wonderful churches worth visiting, both listed as historical monuments of France - Saint-Suplice and the Church of Saint-Leonard. When I was there it was market day and the market spread throughout the old center.

Posted by
3789 posts

G is for Gatineau Quebec Canada. Gatineau is just a bridge away from Ottawa, but if you play it right, it almost another world. When you walk the Alexandra Bridge from the National Gallery in Ottawa, towards the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau you will see store fronts and 3 floor walk ups very reminiscent to Montreal and European boroughs. Of course, Gatineau is a larger area than what you see from the Museum of History, but it is a little taste of local life. There are a few touristy bits, and some award winning restaurants, but there is little to compare to the tourist oriented Ottawa. The Museum of History needs its own little shout out. When I first arrived here in 1993, it was the Museum of Civilization. As often happens, the name has evolved. It also houses a very fun Kid's museum that does tend to focus on Civilization, as it has areas from around the globe. The Grand Hall is a wonderful introductions to our First Peoples. This area is often used for opening ceremonies to the new exhibits. Right now, many of the exhibit floors are closed, but there is outdoor demonstrations, dances and performances.

Posted by
1288 posts

H Is for Hazyview, South Africa. The gateway to Krueger Park. It’s a poor town so keep driving to the areas many wildlife hotels and preserves. I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant we ate dinner at in Hazyview. It was owned by a British fella! The drive to his place at night was a challenge. No street lights, totally dark until we saw a flashlight in the distance. It was the owner waiting for us to light our path to the restaurant.
We stayed at Kruger Park Lodge in a three bedroom/ bathroom chalet on the Sabi River. We did several safari trips to other parks, a night safari, and several days of driving ourselves through Kruger Park.

Posted by
444 posts

Inishmore, in Ireland's Aran Islands (did I miss a previous entry?) - gale-swept ancient Dun Aengus fortress at the edge of the world, endearing nearby Kilmurvy House B&B with owners Bert & Treasa (a while ago) - she bakes like a rockstar, talks like a tidal wave. Wonderful island for mostly gentle biking & silent, foggy evenings. I went for a walk along fields & scattered houses - me & a friendly kitty also just strolling, & a pastured horse nickered at us. Tiny wild orchids blooming on the fences. Felt like Brigadoon.

Comic relief - we'd biked from the ferry landing, got to a crossroads, I (Vicki, middle-aged not to mention hot & sweaty) went into the pub to ask directions, & was offered company by one of the patrons! "Sure and I've already got a handsome fella waiting on me outside, but thank'ee!" I grinned all the way to Treasa's.

Posted by
12319 posts

"J"....Jemappes. (Belgium), site of a major French victory against the Allies in 1792 in the War of the First Coalition, ie, here prior to Napoleon's appearance.

Posted by
345 posts

Krumpendorf

In Austria, on Lake Worth.

I was there in 1969, as a little kid, with my parents and brother. We stayed in a small hotel, about 20-25 rooms, nothing fancy, but in nice grounds and with what seemed like a large swimming pool.

I remember the year, because while we were there the first moon landings took place and many of the adults were in the lounge to watch them on TV - leaving all the kids pretty much unsupervised. We had a great time......

Our trip to Austria was organised by my dad, no travel agent or tour company involved - he took us across Europe by train. Starting in a small village in the North of England. I remember the compartment in the carriage in Europe and the bench seats on either side could be pulled to meet up in the middle, so we had a sort of flat bed to sleep on. And when we arrived in Klagenfurt (i think the end of the line) we got off and then dad had to organise accommodation/hotels. I cant now believe that with a reluctant wife and 2 small children in tow he decided to wing it like that. Anyway after a short discussion at some sort of tourist office, at the railway station I think, we ended up spending the first week of our holiday in Krumpendorf.

Posted by
1857 posts

I've been waiting to talk about Nice, but since it's been mentioned 4 times already I need to use L to talk about a restaurant in that city, L for Lu Fran Calin, a restaurant in that city. The best lasagna I've ever eaten was here. My wife makes an awesome lasagna and gave me a death stare when I told her that hers was now 2nd best. We went back to the same restaurant the next night and she tried it and conceded that she was no longer the queen of lasagna.

Posted by
3789 posts

M is for Madrid Spain. (I can't believe it didn't make the list yet) Regardless, it is a city I liked. I made the plan to stay a few blocks off the Paseo del Prado in a short let. I wanted to be close to the museums and Atocha train station so this suited to a 'T'. So much of the art I learned about is housed it Madrid, so I arrived with great anticipation of beautiful art for days. I arrived from Toledo on November 9 which is the regional saint day - Our Lady of Almudena. A local holiday, so after an early check in, I walked up to the main plaza to see the speeches and parades. It would seem different areas of tje region were represented as small groups would enter the plaza in regional dress. I used to collect dolls in regional dress, and still have a book of regional dress of Spain, so I was in my happy place. The saint statue was up on the dias. There were prayers, speeches, music. Then there was to be a full on parade to return her to her church (across the way from the Palace). However, weather was hat and gloves cold and beinging Spain, nothing moved fast. I went up to the Palace, which was ti eky, as it was very crowded with long lines as I left later that afternoon. The Church of Our Lady of Almudena starts to receive bouquets of flowers before the trip to the plaza so the area outside was covered with thousands of flowers. The church itself is a notable visit, but that day was not the day to play church tourist.
I did a day trip to Segovia from here. Come November one needs to watch the weather forecast as snow is not unexpected.
Another day was spent walking the long wide boulevards of the ritzy neighbourhoods enroute to Retiro Park. There is an massive old glass conservatory with art installations, great locals watching, an a great place to bring green back into your lopife and clean air into your lungs. A small botanical garden is right next to the Prado Museum and little visited despite several grenn houses of plants and blooms as well as lots of growth outside. To the east is a block of street book sellers a la Paris, but of course, in Spanish.
The best find was a last minute add on as I read in Tripadvisor at 4:30 one afternoon that the Mucha Fou dation had a display of Alphonse Mucha in town. Housed it a grand centuries old mansion (though still in need of extensive restoration) was a display of his advertising works, labeling and a good cross section of his life. The crowning glory was a video showing his Slave Epic. Close ups of the area on canvas depicting a historical event was zeroed in on and explained. Given the size of these canvasses, this was a managable way to actually see and understand the reason for the undertaking. Given the continued difficulty of ever finding a permanent home for it, and me getting to see it; this was an acceptable compromise.
If you go to Madrid, give it more time than 2 or 3 days. Use it as a jumping off point for other towns, stay outside the central core and wander. It isn't always a pretty city, but it is more interesting than many think.

Posted by
1288 posts

N Is for Narnia! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to escape this world for a few weeks and experience a fantasy world of magic, mythical beasts, and talking animals?

Posted by
2798 posts

O is for Orcas Island, San Juan Islands, WA
One of the highlights of Orcas Island is Mt. Constitution. It rises nearly a half a mile high above the San Juan Islands. Sitting on the crest is a stone replica of a Russian watch tower constructed in the Caucasus during the 12th century. From the tower visitors can observe a stunning 360 degree view of surrounding area including Mt. Baker, the North Cascades and other islands of the San Juan Archipeligo. Orcas is a magical mix of arts, culture, lush forests, pristine lakes, farm to table cuisine, and endless outdoor possibilities- hiking, kayaking, cycling, golf, etc. Orcas has been one of our favorite getaways for years.

Posted by
1247 posts

P is for Phoenix AZ it’s hot in the summer (It cooled down to 110* today) but we tolerate that for the rest of the nine months of the year. There is lots to do all year around: sports, golf, car shows, museums. Best tourist and snowbird season is October through April. January and February have the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, Barrett Jackson and other car auctions, Phoenix Open Golf. Some people come down in winter to just lay by the pool and escape the Midwest, Northwest, Canadian cold rain and snow. There’s hiking in the city mountains and desert hills. It’s also a good base for day trips around central Arizona.

Posted by
860 posts

R is for Regensburg

Regensburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its medieval buildings. It make a great day trip from or as a destination alternative to Munich. Recently a train connection direct from Munich Airport to Regensburg was added meaning you have the option of making this great, historic city an easy starting point for your German holiday!

Posted by
8219 posts

S is for Sacramento. My hometown. The capital of California, the most populous state in the U.S. with 40 million people and the 5th largest economy in the world. Located between the Sierra Nevada mountains and the Pacific Ocean. There are many day trip opportunities within 2 hours, including Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Gold Rush country and the Napa & Sonoma Valleys. We have many wineries in this area. With 2 rivers running through Sacramento, the American River and the Sacramento River, plus Folsom Lake and Lake Natoma there are plenty of places for water sports. Many people in the U.S. don’t realize that Sacramento is the capital of California, but when I’m in Europe and people ask where I’m from they always mention it to me.

Posted by
1857 posts

S for San Diego, California. If there is one city my wife and I can keep going back to it's San Diego. Thanks to cheap, quick flights from home, Southern California is our go-to getaway location for last minute trips. I like Los Angeles, but loooove San Diego. When I was trying to think of one specific part to write about in this post, I couldn't decide. Petco Park, a beautiful downtown ball stadium for the Padres, the museums at Balboa Park, the zoo, Old Town, Coronado....

Posted by
444 posts

Trieste, in Italy but feels...different. All its years as the Austro-Hungarian empire's seaport on the Adriatic left it with a showcase 19th-century harbor & elegant city square, & before that the Venetians, Romans, Celts, Illyrians... Everybody left their traces, church frescoes to stone ruins to every evening's passaggiatta con gelato. Evocative palazzo outside of town, seaside escape from Vienna of Prince/Duke somebody.

PS Allan, thank you for the thumbs-up to San Diego! Our long-since adopted hometown, pros & cons but gee, we haven't left yet :)

Posted by
908 posts

Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow), Alaska - the northern most community in the United States and a very interesting place. When I visited in 2015 I happened upon a subsistence whale harvest where the local Eskimos were engaged in butchering (using only traditional tools) and sharing the complete remains (nothing wasted) of a Bowhead Whale. Whaling is only allowed for a 3-4 week period annually and the locals were very informative and friendly. The Inupiat Heritage Center is worth a stop and houses a museum and workshop where local artisans produce beautiful pieces made from baleen, ivory and other natural materials. You will also want to see the Whale Bone Arch as well as the monument to Wiley Post and Will Rogers who died there in a place crash in 1935. The easiest way to visit is to fly from Anchorage with a brief stopover in Prudhoe Bay.

Posted by
5627 posts

U

Upland

A municipality in San Bernardino County about 40 miles East of Los Angeles.

You’ll find beautiful tree lined streets with well preserved adobe and California ranch style houses.
Charming Main Street ( Euclid Avenue) Located at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains it’s history is based on being part of the Old Spanish Trail. Was a supplier of citrus fruit. Home to the San Gabriel Mission. For me shows what rural Southern California was like. Even has an original McDonalds with the Golden Arches.

Very nice respite away from the ugliness of LA.

Posted by
3789 posts

V is for Volga River Russia. Ths is the longest river in Europe with extensive tributaries and related waterways. One can imagine it being a main transport line historically making the towns along it of historical interest to tourists. Most river cruises focus on the upper Volga and waterways joining St. Petersburg to Moscow, but time and a boat would offer a wonderful trip all the 2000+ miles of it. The delta leads to the Caspian Sea, an area not well touristy North Americans. Another back door opportunity.

Posted by
2798 posts

W is for Willamette Valley, Oregon
The Willamette Valley is a 150-mile long valley.
Throughout the 19th century it was a destination of choice for oxen-drawn wagon trains of emigrants who made the perilous journey along the Oregon Trail. Fast forward it is now considered synonymous with “Oregon Wine Country.” We enjoy visiting and have based ourselves at a B&B in Carleton. The neighboring towns have wonderful farm to table cuisine. A favorite stop is to visit the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in the charming town of McMinville.

Posted by
444 posts

In my small & dated desk encyclopedia, there's Xanthe in western Thrace, Greece - "major tobacco center, linked by road with Smolyna, Bulgaria, has large Moslem minority." Anybody been??

Posted by
11 posts

Y
Yverdon-les-Bain

Located in the Vaud Canton of Switzerland on the shores of Lac Neuchâtel is Yverdon. We stayed in a small town nearby for about a month in 2003. It is a lake town of course with a local wine industry plus the thermal baths. There are Roman ruins close by as well. It is about 50 miles to Geneva and to Biel. Lausanne is just 30 minutes away.

Z
Zug

Both a small city and lake in central Switzerland. We spent a month here several years ago and were able to easily get to many other wonderful locations in Switzerland. We were also here on Swiss National Day and could watch the fireworks going off in the towns near the lake from our home high above the city.

Posted by
908 posts

Visit the Zwinger museum complex in the heart of historic Dresden, Germany. You may recall that near the end of WWII the city was pretty well wiped out by firebombing; however, their beautiful baroque signature buildings have been reconstructed. Central Dresden is a delightful area along the Elbe River and very walkable. We spent 2 nights there in 2003 and even though some time has passed I'm confident you'll enjoy a stopover or day trip to see the museum and other landmarks.

Posted by
416 posts

Antalya, Turkey
Antalya is a Turkish resort city with a yacht-filled Old Harbor and beaches flanked by large hotels. It's a gateway to Turkey's southern Mediterranean region, known as the Turquoise Coast for its blue waters. Remnants remain from Antalya's time as a major Roman port. These include Hadrian’s Gate, built to honor the Roman emperor’s visit in 130 A.D and 2nd-century Hidirlik Tower, with harbor views.

I've just read James post on his intention/hope to visit this region and then I click on this post and it's at Z so I had a city ready to begin yet another round of the alphabet :-)
Last night I binge watched "the Rise of Empires -- the Ottoman" on Netflix and it was really well done and extremely interesting so I have Turkey on my mind.

I have plans to visit Istanbul and Capadocia late spring next year but now I'm thinking I might want to include Antalya.

Posted by
3789 posts

B is for Bratislava Slovakia. A few years ago it was touted as a good day trip from Vienna for a slightly gritty, more back door vibe. Cheap, some castles, easy 1 hour train trip there and back. Unfortunately, it has become popular as a hen and stag party city with numerous businesses to make it even easier. Maybe if you time it late enough in the morning to have had the streets cleaned, but early enough to do the castle rounds before the partiers wake up to start again, it might still be salvagable.....particularly if you plan to continue east to Budapest.

Posted by
1238 posts

** C is for Cayman Islands**

In 2011, we stopped for a day on a cruise, and had a good time. A few years ago, we were looking for somewhere to go to escape winter, not all-inclusive or a cruise, and decided to rent a condo on North Side.

One of our all time great holidays, along with escaping the cold, we drove all over that island, so really satisfied my desire to explore.

We got great response from locals when they heard we stayed on North Side, as opposed to the touristy west (7 Mile Beach). North and East are not nearly as built up.

We ate out almost every day. Our favourites were Tukka (Australian/Caribbean), Czech Inn (mostly BBQ, but the former hockey player Czech also did great schnitzel), and BBQ Under the Tree.

I wish we did scuba diving. We bought good quality snorkel gear and loved swimming with the turtles at Spott's Beach.

The grocery store was interesting. There were British products that we used to get in Canada but have disappeared here.

Met all kinds of young British guys... every one an accountant.

We have a deposit down to return to the same condo building in February 2021. Sigh.... pretty sure we will be canceling. (Another refund to fret over).

Oh! Almost forgot! I hesitate to say this but it is part of the experience. We were robbed. Accidentally left the patio door open, and the thief jumped up to our 2nd floor balcony and got in while we slept. Very creepy, but only took about $230 and half a bottle of wine. Left two iPads that were charging right beside the wine. When the police came they asked what was stolen. We said money and wine. He said what wine? We answered "Yellow Tail Shiraz". The officer replied "oh, very nice... peppery".

Posted by
2876 posts

Oh Andrea, definitely our laugh of the day 😀

Posted by
6332 posts

I'm doing D so I can get the 600th post - Woot woot.

D is for Dol-de-Bretagne, a small town in Brittany not far from St Malo. I made my base for that part of Brittany outside the small hamlet of Roz Landrieux a couple of miles from Dol. It made a great base for visiting Mont St Michel (as a day trip), St Malo, Dinan, Fougeres, and a portion of the coast. Dol has an interesting cathedral with a variety of architecture some of it dating from the 13th c. There is also an isolated standing stone (menhir) a few miles out of town - the tallest one in Brittany (probably in France).

Posted by
7907 posts

E is for Esslingen
Went here for their medieval Christmas market and thought it was one of the best ones I have ever been to. (and I have been to a LOT of Christmas markets)
Charming during the day and double charming at night. Lanterns, torches, and candles are the only lights. Medieval foods, crafts and rides for the kids complete the illusion that you have stepped back in time.
The city itself is a place I have wanted to return to at some point, as it is just a short ride on the train from Stuttgart. They have some amazing Fachwerk buildings and like Nigel, I do love old Fachwerk buildings.

Posted by
25720 posts

so that's the way it is !!! snooze and miss the start of the next alphabet....

Congrats for 600, Nancy.....

So here we are in the 17th alphabet...

Posted by
908 posts

Franschhoek, South Africa - a fabulous town in the wine region a little over an hour's drive from Cape Town. Surrounded by spectacular wine estates, some dating from the 1600's, and mountainous terrain, this place one great experience for those that love the wine scene. From beautiful views of Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsula from Tokara, to the historic Boschendal, to the park-like La Motte, tasting, touring, and eating at these world class facilities is truly a delight. And the bottle prices are shockingly low - although there are restrictions on the amount that can be shipped back to the U.S. We visited for 2 days in May 2019 and would love to return. For those that desire a somewhat larger community in which to base, Stellenbosch is just a short drive away.

Posted by
416 posts

Gruyères, Switzerland
Gruyères Storybook small town overlooking dreamy countryside; nearby sights give you a glimpse into folk culture and cheese- and chocolate-making. (RS)
Gruyères is a medieval town in the Fribourg canton of Switzerland. It's known for production of the cheese of the same name. The 13th-century Château de Gruyères is a hilltop fortress with a multimedia history show and ornate rooms. Inside the small St. Germain Castle, the H.R. Giger Museum shows artwork relating to the film “Alien.” The Tibet Museum displays Buddhist sculptures and ritual objects of the Himalayas.
I did a very long day trip from Muerren to this town some years ago, but I think 2 days would have been better for exploring the area (and a trip to the Cailler chocolate factory at Broc).
We took a walk up to the fortress and walked around in the shops sampling the delicious cheese.
It was long but well spent day. We got back to Muerren on the last gondola up!

Posted by
12319 posts

"H"....Hameln (Germany)….the well known town of the piped piper, the Rattenfänger von Hameln. Spent a couple of hours there a few years ago coming from Minden. It's town I should have visited during the Cold War years, when I had the chance time-wise while staying a few nights in Goettingen in the 1987 trip. The problem was it did not even occur to me then. It's a picturesque town like Minden with the Fachwerkhäuser. You can't miss seeing them.

H....Herford (Germany), a famous place for its famous beer, Herforder Pils, saw the place first in 1971 transferring from Hannover to Osnabrück, finally went back in 2014 for the 2nd time.

Posted by
908 posts

Inisheer - one of the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland near the spectacular Cliffs of Moher. Just a short but exciting ferry ride from the mainland, the island boasts beautiful beaches, Gaelic customs, a throwback rustic vibe, ruins, and a great little pub - Tigh Ned! Back in May 2018 we took a day trip out to the island from the small port in Doolin - where we based for 3 nights and enjoyed the pubs and trad music scene. While in the area you don't want to miss the spectacular Cliffs of Moher and nearby the fun little beach and surfing town of Lahinch.

Posted by
444 posts

J for Julian, California, small 19th-c. Gold Rush town in the mountains outside San Diego. Story is that two brothers tossed a coin for whose name their claim would get, & Homer (?) lost. Now an apple pie mecca, plus the pine forests & snow-sledding getaway when you're tired of the beach. San Diego County's huge, so much so that the local weather forecasters cover four climates - coastline, hotter inland valleys, 5,000' mountains, & the blazing Anza-Borrego Desert. This week there's a forty-plus degreeFahrenheit daytime range between the cloudy coast, stuck around 70, & the desert's highs of 110-120 with "there's isn't any" humidity. Julian's got 90's days, 60's nights.

Posted by
2798 posts

K is for Kula, Maui
Kula is in beautiful Upcountry Maui. It's on the way to Mt. Haleakala. Kula is known for it's rolling hills, sweeping views of Kihei, Wailea, and West Maui. When we visit in early spring the Jacaranda Trees are in full bloom with their vibrant Lavender flowers. Many of Maui's produce are grown in Kula. They grow Maui Onions, Kula Strawberries, Kula sweet corn, Protea flowers, Lavender, etc. One of our favorite hikes and views is on Thompson Road, home to Oprah Winfrey. Kula is a great escape for a day away from the busy tourism in the main areas. We also recommend the Kula Bistro for their seafood, or Italian cuisine.

Posted by
444 posts

L for Lhasa, Tibet. Many years since we were there (2004), & the Chinese presence was becoming stifling then, hate to think what it may be now. But being there was still a privilege, & magical - the ancient, majestic Potala Palace, home of the Dalai Lama until exile in India, the Buddhist temples with pilgrims approaching on their knees, the vastness of Tibet's landscape & history.
Much tragedy, much beauty.

Victory to the gods.

Posted by
14323 posts

M is for

Mekong River Delta. I took a private day tour from Saigon with 5 friends, one a Vietnam vet. It was beautiful, interesting, tasty. Though no mention was made of the war, it was impossible not to remember it and It was also unimaginably strange to envision the soldiers in this jungle wilderness (now serene and lovely) and the horrors they faced. No wonder so many came back scarred for life. (My vet friend was a helicopter pilot, so he never got on the ground in the jungle, though he did see plenty of action during his 2 stints.)

Posted by
345 posts

New Orleans

I haven't been there yet. I had a trip, with some friends - planned for April this year - to take in this area of the US. We were due to start in Nashville (where I have visited before - loved it), travel to Memphis, Graceland etc - all the usual tourist stuff. Was so looking forward to it.

Don't think reorganising for next April is a good idea, it may have to be 2022. +I have a long-time arranged month-long holiday for Australia in September 2021 and my travel buddies and I are starting to fret about that too.

Posted by
1942 posts

O is for Orvieto, Italy
I spent the day there and had a lovely lunch at a wine bar with some friends from the Rick Steves 17 Day Best of Italy tour. We were staying at a wine resort a few miles away. A wonderful cathedral and an Etruscan Museum were on my agenda and I was well rewarded!
Thanks, Nigel, lovely thread. I’m surprised we haven’t broken the website.

Posted by
908 posts

Porto Rafti, Greece is a nice little beach resort town less than a 30 minute drive (easy) from Athens airport. The main drag along the beach has a good selection of clubs and restaurants geared to Greek travelers. It's seasonal and when we were there in Spring 2016 they were just beginning to open up. It's a great place for a one-nighter rather than waste your last night in the Athens area at an airport hotel..

Posted by
3789 posts

Q is for Quaker Villages There are several in the US Northeast, Ohio, and Ontario, Canada. Quakers are part of the heritage, and their excellent self sufficiency has always been of interest to me. When on road trips, I have been known to vere off to follow the signs to one of the historical Quaker/Shaker Village 'museums' in the area. Round barns, beautifully crafted furniture, practical husbandry and farming advise provide me with a better understanding, and the renewal that comes from beautiful and practical things.

Posted by
1857 posts

R for Rockford, Illinois, or more specifically the Rockford Peaches of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. It was a real team and a real league that started in WW2 and lasted into the 1950's. One of my favourite sports movies-A League of their Own is based on the team and the league. I've actually passed through Rockford several times over the years when driving from Chicago to Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin and I've never realized it. Apparently the local museum has an exhibit about the Peaches, next time I'm making the drive I'm going to make a stop.

Posted by
908 posts

Suzdal, Russia - the highlight of our Golden Ring tour of cities featured beautifully restored churches and other very old buildings in a walkable area. We visited back in 1996 and took a guided van tour that also included Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Ivanovo, and Vladimir. These other communities each boasted some fabulous historical sites but otherwise appeared gritty and run down. There was also a lot of trash along the highways. Hopefully, things have changed for the better.

Posted by
6332 posts

U is for the Unterlinden museum in Colmar France. One of my favorite smaller museums in Europe. It's in a lovely 13th century convent and contains the famous Isenheim altarpiece by Matthias Grunewald. But in addition to that it has a really nice collection of artifacts from prehistoric to contemporary. I really enjoyed the pieces representing every day life in Alsace from different periods. It's really worth visiting if you're in Colmar.

Posted by
1882 posts

Vieques small island off the coast of Puerto Rico. It has a lovely luminiscent bay you could swim in and the water looked like little diamonds coming off your bathing suit at night. Not sure if you can still do that these days as I think it was bad for the ecology but years ago you could take a night time cruise and jump off the boat for a swim.

Posted by
25720 posts

Winchcombe in the English Cotswolds, a favourite haunt of mine as a child, just over Cleeve Hill (where we used to take the Dalmatian for runs) from Prestbury and Cheltenham in the very best part (IMHO, and that of my late father) of the Cotswolds and therefore all of England. (we might be slightly biased). A traditional market town, with lovely old stone buildings, an ancient burial mound, a castle, and narrow pavements which become slippery if you are rushing into the local barber - personal experience.

Very scenic.

I know at least one other Forumite from southern California (originally northern) who also likes the town.

Posted by
908 posts

XPF - the currency code for the Central Pacific Franc (CFP) used in French Polynesia (Tahiti, Bora Bora, etc.) and a few other French collectives. We have not yet visited but are planning a trip there next spring if the COVID restrictions continue to lift.

Posted by
908 posts

Ye Olde Mitre is a pub located in central London a short walk east of the Chancery Lane tube station. When we were there in 2009 they said it’s the second oldest continuously operating pub in the city and dates from 1547. It’s a very small building tucked into a small courtyard accessed by a narrow lane. Very cool atmosphere! In the opposite direction from the above-mentioned station is another historic pub dating from 1549 – The Ship Tavern. It served as our home away from home since we stayed in the hotel next door. While we’re pub crawling another great spot is Gordon’s Wine Bar above Victoria Embankment Gardens – one of our must stops when we’re in town. For you martini lovers there’s DUKE’s Bar on St. James Place where Ian Fleming supposedly drew his inspiration for James Bond’s shaken not stirred favorite. Cheers!

Posted by
2798 posts

Z is for Zagreb, Croatia
When we toured Croatia in 2018 we missed Zagreb. It was a brief layover after leaving Dubrovnik. From what I understand it has become a popular stay. The city has a number of beautiful Austro-Hungarian buildings, and a medieval town to wander around. It boasts a great cafe culture, museums, parks, and a bustling farmer's market. Yes, definitely worth a stay "next time."

Posted by
3789 posts

Start of round 18...
A is for Abergavenny Wales. 'Taking a trip up to Abergavenny, hoping the weather is fine.....' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cY-izX9PXI
Its a market town on the A40 promoted as the Gateway to Wales. Close to the Valleys and the Brecon Beacons National Park. Hikers must love it.

Posted by
12319 posts

"B"....Bonn, Germany where you can see the Beethoven Museum, went to Bonn the first time on the first trip to Germany, a nice peaceful town then. Also Bad Godesberg nearby if you want a history reference too.

There is also Bremen, which I saw the last time in 2018 as a day trip from Berlin.

Posted by
2619 posts

"C" is for Caernarfon, Wales and for Conwy, Wales. Both great castles and great small towns to visit.
Each castle has a medieval town that grew up at its base. Both overlook a body of water.
Caernarfon is on the Menai Strait.
Conwy is on the River Conwy.

Conwy has medieval town walls that you can walk atop.
Some medieval walls remain in Caernarfon.
We stayed in Conwy on our RS Best of England tour, and visited Caernarfon as a day trip.
We will return to both during some future trip.

Posted by
908 posts

Dachau in suburban Munich, Germany is home of the former concentration camp. If you're visiting the area it is a must see and was the first of the large prison/work camps. Be prepared for a sad and sobering experience while at the same time uplifting in a strange kind of way - how the human spirit and determination can overcome tremendous obstacles and still prevail. It was not an extermination camp but does have furnaces where the dead (who died primarily of illness or overwork) were cremated. My son and I visited in the summer of 2017 and still occasionally recall the experience.

Posted by
3789 posts

E is for El Dorado a mythical place of riches in South America. Sir Walter Raleigh and the Conquistadors may have been searching for a get rich scheme, but I think every trip is a search for a personal El Dorado. Our riches may be less tangible but are an enrichment of knowledge, soul and global outlook.

Posted by
444 posts

F for the Frauenkirche in Munich, built in the 1400's (in just 22 yrs, Rick says - brick was lots faster than stone). One of my favorite photo grabs is the snow-suit-bundled toddler gaping up at the kingly statue of Ludwig IV, another is patient hubby sitting in the pews, waiting for me to finish prowling the nave (tradition). Surprise of a plaque to former archbishop Joseph Ratzinger, oh, Pope Benedict!

Posted by
908 posts

Groznjan, Croatia - a cute, tiny little hill town loaded with art galleries and charisma in the extreme northwest part of the country. Only a short drive from the Adriatic coast, as well as Slovenia and even Venice, it was a great surprise to wander into following visits to Motovun and Livade earlier in the morning. We based in Rovinj for a couple of nights back in Summer 2017 and highly recommend it as well - very historical and quaint with a great vibe and beaches.

Posted by
444 posts

I for ice cream!, just about everybody's universal destination/experience/surprise. In Istanbul it's that weirdly gummy stuff that vendors can offer upside-down & play games with, it'll never fall out of the cone. But gelato, Ben&Jerry's, love the one you're with. Last summer in France I found rhubarb & ginger :)))

Posted by
908 posts

Jost Van Dyke, BVI - a beautiful and friendly island just a short ferry ride from St. Thomas via St. John. Jost (Yost) is a great place to relax, party, or both. We stayed right on the beach in Great Harbour at Ali Baba's and enjoyed the hospitality of owners Baba and Urinthia! This is the village area where the ferry comes in and the locals live. It offers a variety of restaurants and bars including Foxy's. Just over the mountain is the more party side - White Bay - which is attracts the boating crowd looking for beach related excitement. The famous Soggy Dollar Bar is on this side and everything is within a few miles walk or ride. Our trip was in 2017 a few months before Hurricane Irma devastated the island - but through determination and teamwork they're back. If you visit the Virgins put Jost (and St. John) on your list!

Posted by
860 posts

K is for Kloster Reutberg

Just south of Munich near Sachsenkam. It is like a mini Andechs but without the tour buses. The food at the Klosterbräustüberl is excellent and the views are excellent. Take a walk in the nearby countryside after your meal or drive to the nearby Kirchesee for a swim.

You will find a lot of info on Andechs in the forums but I always like Kloster Reutberg a bit better (easily reached by taxi or bus from the Holzkirchen S-Bahn station).

Posted by
5627 posts

K

Kearney, NE

Set dead center on I-80 ( Interstate 80) Kearney Nebraska is 3 hours from Omaha and 2 hours from Lincoln, the state Capital. Fort Kearney was an outpost on the Oregon Trail where settlers heading West would stop for supplies. Kearney is nearly dead center in the United States and adjacent to the Platte River where the Sandhill Crane migration in April is a site to behold.

There is a brick paved Main Street, the well done Museum of Nebraska art, the charming Palm Gardens Lounge bar, the Great Platte River Archway Monument, and is home to the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus.

My biggest memory of Kearney was walking outside one June evening to look and watch the night of the twisters that destroyed half of Grand Island 40 miles away. Mother Nature takes no prisoners!

Posted by
1247 posts

This L is for Lake Shasta CA we spent many happy weeks over many years houseboating with a great group of friends. Back then (in the 1980’s) from our front door and back the trip cost about $500pp inclusive of houseboat rental, gas for trucks and ski boats, food and lots of booze.
Living in the NW at the time, we couldn’t wait to see sun! We’d even drive down to Shasta Memorial Day weekend, leave Saturday after work (joy of retail) and drive the 400 miles back home on Monday.
One year we were really lucky. We had just headed south through Portland. It was 100*, hot for Portland. The Interstate Bridge went up to let a ship through. While up, the bridge expanded. They had to spray it with water from fire boats before it could be lowered.

Posted by
3789 posts

M is for Monreale Sicily, Italy. I have little recall of the village, but the Cathedral made a huge impression. At 19 I took a Med cruise. As I was on my own, I had to comply to my parents' one request which was to take ship's port tours only. In 1976, Sicily had a lot of garbage along the roadside, and I remember being saddened and a bit repulsed by it. We took a windy road from Palermo, and soon arrived at the Monreale Cathedral. As a non-Catholic, I always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with their past activities and this cruise was my first introduction to the very Catholic Europe. Having taken a 'Civilization' course at high school, that introduced me to history through art, I had a pretty good understanding of what I was seeing. I wasn't sure whether to praise or condemn that after WWII, the town put their money first to rebuild the cathedral rather than their town or homes...but that is what they chose to do. After walking in, I could appreciate why. The magnificant mosaics of Jesus in the apse was massive and astonishing. No matter where you walked, His eyes followed you. For me, it overshadowed any of the other beauty in the cathedral. Then I walked out into a small, but lovely cloister. Water tinkled, garden flowers bloomed, and I could was again fascinated - but the double pillars holding up the covered walkway roof. The stone carving down the pillars were each different, but every pedastal and capital was either doric, ionian, corinthian, repeat. After all these decades, I can still bring back the feelings these 2 aspects of the cathedral had for me. I have to thank that the Church was the mainstay of so many centuries of the art I hold so dear.

Posted by
1138 posts

Nantwich. I spent quite a bit of time in Chester around the late seventies/early eighties. Close by is the pleasant market town of Nantwich, which has an attractive core and canal walks close by.

Posted by
5661 posts

O for Osnsbrück, Germany -- where they used to build VW convertibles. Evidently they were built mainly for the export market, since when we parked our new car a mile from the factory (1969) to stop for lunch we came back to a number of locals looking it over as though it were a unique artifact. Great car -- had it for over 30 years but in an area where winters are mild. I probably still have the German plates.

Posted by
2798 posts

P is for Port Douglas, Australia
Port Douglas is surrounded by nature in a small village atmosphere for those wanting a relaxed laid back holiday. The location is a convenient base to visit the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Forest and Cape Tribulation.

The Great Barrier Reef was a dream come true. It's one of the planets most natural wonders.
It's the largest coral reef system and the only living organism that can be seen from space.

Posted by
14323 posts

Q is for

Qumran where the Dead Sea scrolls were found. They probably date to the first century b.c.e. It's about an an hour's drive from Jerusalem at the northern end of the Dead Sea. From there you can travel south along the shore another hour to Masada, where Herod built a desert fortress/palace. You can also have a float in the Dead Sea.

I'm starting to wonder if this thread is going to break the website. At least for me, it takes a long time (okay, couple of seconds, but that has never happened here before) to load.

Posted by
908 posts

Red Beach - accessible via a short and fun hike is a picturesque pebbly beach located up against a red hillside in the southern part of the Greek island of Santorini. Nearby is the Akrotiri Architectural Site, which legend has it was the inspiration for the lost continent of Atlantis. Coupled together these make for a great afternoon of exploration and relaxation. The black sand beach at Perissa is another worthwhile stop on the southeast side of the island. Back in 2016 we took the family and stayed 3 nights in a beautiful cave house (Zoe Aegeas) in Oia at the northern tip of the island and home to many white buildings with classic blue domes. We also enjoyed the company of our neighbor Colin, a Brit expat, who owned the place next door. Cruising in on the ferry through the sunken caldera with the beautiful villages along the edge of the crater was also a spectacular experience.

Posted by
416 posts

S
Sintra, Portugal

With its rippling mountains, dewy forests thick with ferns and lichen, exotic gardens and glittering palaces, Sintra is like a page torn from a fairy tale. Its Unesco World Heritage–listed centre, Sintra-Vila, is dotted with pastel-hued manors folded into luxuriant hills that roll down to the blue Atlantic.

https://www.travel-in-portugal.com/sintra

I spent a day visiting beautiful Sintra some years ago.
I think Portugal is probably one of my favourite countries, and I had wanted to visit for many years but kept going elsewhere.
I finally visited in 2015.
My cousin, who was traveling with me that year would have preferred Italy, but agreed to go with me
to Portugal. She later said that it was a great choice - maybe the very affordable and excellent wine had something to do with that :-).
And having waited for so long I was prepared to fall in love with everything, and so I did.

We did a guided tour of the Pena Palace and the Palace of Sintra and spent some hours walking around the town. I know we had lunch but can't remember the food; I am sure I enjoyed it, and then the dessert and wine.
But I do recall having a hard time deciding what piece of pottery I wanted to get as a souvenir :-)
A day or two there is time well spent, especially an overnight, as I am sure the town is lovely after we day trippers have left.

Posted by
2876 posts

S St. Kilda, Australia. We were delighted to find out that there was a nesting penguin colony just 20 minutes from where we were staying near Melbourne in February. We were dreading taking the 90 minute bus ride to the more we’ll known Philips Island but then we discovered that we had 5,000 Little Blue Penguins/Fairy Penguins near us. We spent a wonderful evening (they return at sunset) on the jetty with the skyline of Melbourne in the distance, waiting and watching for the adult penguins to swim back to their babies after a day of foraging. It was a travel highlight.

Posted by
406 posts

T is for Taiwan, a very under-rated travel destination! I will admit to being biased because I have lots of family there, but it offers:

  • Amazing food -- from night market snacks and nibbles, to Chinese food from all regions of the cuisine, to excellent Japanese food, and just plain good home cooking
  • Both big bustling cities (Taipei boasted the world's tallest building from 2004-2010 and great public transport) and nature opportunities (scuba diving off the eastern coast, hiking and vistas in Taroko Gorge, tropical beaches in Kenting, mountaineering and hiking opportunities in the mountains)
  • One of the world's great collections of Chinese art in the National Palace Museum north of Taipei
  • Friendly and welcoming people
  • And, if I may get a little bit political (so feel free to ignore this if it's not your cup of tea), a bit of an "alternate reality" vision of what a free Chinese-speaking society could be, that retains both strong traditional Chinese cultural influences but is also a fully functioning democracy with free elections and peaceful changes of power
Posted by
444 posts

T for Thann, Germany, in the Alsace. If you like Gothic church architecture, oh my. The Collegiale St-Thiebaut was built slowly, 1300's-early 1500's, getting more & more Flamboyant Gothic. The portal! the high nave! the acoustics! Thann was also where we discovered Flammekueche, the Alsatian (=French +German interwoven) open-faced onion etc wood-oven deliciousnesses, ooh ahh.

Whoops, Andrew, didn't mean to step on your T! Had to look up spellings - once a teacher...

Posted by
908 posts

Ungelt Jazz & Blues Club - it's located just off Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic behind Tyn Church. Back in 2003 yours truly stumbled into this wonderful place and heard some of the best jazz ever being played by Jazz Efterratt. Prague is a great city with a lot of fabulous sites such as the Castle/St. Vitus, the old Jewish Cemetery, Charles Bridge, and Wenceslas Square. It was one of the few major cities to experience much destruction during WWII so what you see is the real thing. BTW a day trip to Melnik to see the Chateau there is also enjoyable.

Posted by
860 posts

V is for V-Markt

My favorite big box store in Germany and one of the reasons Wal-mart could never get a foothold there. If you are like me and like to mix in a little modern-everyday-life into your travels a stop at V-Markt gives you a look at Germany that many tourists overlook. Where else can you get a ping-pong table, case of beer, fresh bread, light fixtures, an electric bike, a car battery, gasoline and Lederhosen? In Munich it is worth a stop for inexpensive souvenirs.

https://www.v-markt.de/aktuelles/angebote/muenchen

DJ

Posted by
908 posts

Xanterra - a travel company that is the authorized concessioner providing lodging and related services at several national parks in the western United States including Death Valley, Glacier, Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone, Zion, and Mount Rushmore National Monument. They are based in the Denver, Colorado area.

Posted by
3789 posts

Y is for Yangtze River China. The Yangtze is the longest river in Asia, and the third longest in the world, traveling almost 4000 miles from the Tibetan Plateaus to Shanghai on the coast. Along the way are mighty gorges, UNESCO protected areas and numerous national parks. Tourists often add a 3 day river cruise to a trip to China. In August 2019, a Welsh adventurer completed a year trek of the length of the river....a world's first.

Posted by
416 posts

Z
Zillertal - Tyrol, Austria

The holiday area Zillertal, located about 40 km in the east from Innsbruck, extends from Strass im Zillertal to Mayrhofen, where the valley branches out into the Tuxertal valley and the Zamser Grund, Stillupgrund and Zillergrund areas. This valley has not only become popular thanks to the wonderful world of mountains with the Tux Alps and the Zillertal Alps with its nature park, but also due to a local folk music group called “Zillertaler Schürzenjäger”, which is known far beyond borders.
https://www.tyrol.tl/en/tyrol/zillertal/
I have not been to this area but I have visited other parts of Austria including Vienna, Salzburg and the Salzkammergut region.
I purchased a RS Austria guidebook in the recent sale and I am hopeful of another visit to Austria for some walking and mild hiking among some beautiful Alpine trails.

Posted by
444 posts

A (again!) for the River Aare in Switzerland, which loops picturesquely thru the capital city of Bern. Summertimes you can swim or inner-tube (the briefcase-toting legislators must be envious), & then have a great fish dinner under the trees at one of the outdoor restaurants, looking up at the cathedral. With one of the terrific crisp white wines that don't get exported, the Swiss are no fools.
A for ahhh.

Posted by
1857 posts

C for Carcassonne, France. I'd never heard of it until an episode of The Amazing Race and right then, knew I wanted to go. Apparently everyone else that saw that episode thought the same thing. In his France guide, Rick says that Carcassonne is stuffed with tourists and tacky souvenir shops. He's right, but if you stay overnight you'll have the place to yourself in the evening and the morning. If you're a morning person, get up for sunrise against the east wall. Some of the best photos of my trip were on that morning.

Posted by
416 posts

C
The Cotswolds - known for its picturesque villages.

The Cotswolds covers a huge area – almost 800 square miles – and runs through five counties (Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire). One of the delights of visiting the Cotswolds is exploring the different areas, each with its own identity, yet all with those defining Cotswold features: golden stone and rolling hills, the ‘wolds’.
Explore quintessentially English villages of honey-coloured stone; take in splendid, lively market towns; visit some of the country’s greatest palaces, castles and country houses; marvel at the natural world in acclaimed reserves and at some of the most famous arboretas in Britain; walk through breath-taking landscapes along historic trails; or make a splash in our lake-land area with its own inland beach.
https://www.cotswolds.com/
Love the small art galleries, tea shops, cottages and beautiful gardens. One of my favourite places to visit.

Posted by
25720 posts

for those keeping track, we are now in the 19th run through the alphabet

Posted by
416 posts

Thank you, Nigel for this fun topic and for keeping count.

And another C: The Chelsea Flower Show

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show, formally known as the Great Spring Show, is a garden show held for five days in May by the Royal Horticultural Society in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in Chelsea, London.
I would love to attend but I understand the tickets are very hot items and go fast. Still, I am sure that with a little advance planning it's possible. It's on my travel list.

https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/virtual-chelsea

Posted by
25720 posts

I appreciate all the C entries - but bdon't spend them all in one place or you won't have any for the next round... ;-)

Anybody for "D"?

Posted by
3789 posts

Here you go Nigel. D is for Dijon France. Known for its mustard, it is also the capital of France's Burgundy region so you will find some wonderful wines to go with the mustard. It is less than 2 hours by train and can be part of any train travel to Switzerland or southern France. Autumn gastronomic fairs, as well as wine fairs would make it a great late season locale. Architecture runs from Gothic to Art Deco. Looks to be a very walkable town of interest.

Posted by
908 posts

Eguisheim, France - a beautiful little village along the Route des Vins d'Alsace (Alsace Wine Route) in the far eastern part of the country. Another nearby gem is Kaysersberg. We spent 5 nights based in the fabulous town of Colmar last December and enjoyed these 3 communities out of numerous choices. During this time of year the Christmas markets are in full swing including those in nearby Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany and Basel, Switzerland. Needless to say we made the rounds and driving was easy. Great time of year to experience this wonderful corner of France and its neighbors.

Posted by
1857 posts

D for Dubrovnik. Visited it for a day off of a cruise, and like my post a few back for Carcassonne, Dubrovnik can be a tourist nightmare when the daytrippers descend on it. Planning can be your best friend. We were up and off the ship at 7am, grabbed a cab and had the place to ourselves for a couple of hours. As soon as the Walls opened at 8am, we were the first up and were way ahead of the crowd. It was a good plan because back at the beginning after we'd walked the full perimeter, it was so crowded it was hard to move. Dubrovnik is definitely on the radar for a longer stay.