About three months ago I announced I was going to start travel blogging as well, in an effort to cover every single corner of the blogging market (or, you know, the more variety of things to write about the less likely I am to get bored). Unfortunately only one travel post ever actually materialized. Mostly because I don’t get to travel half as much as I’d like.
Time to rectify that with some hypothetical travel blogging, the ten places I have to see before I die. Some are highly cultured; some are the travel equivalent of a guilty pleasure. Some are realistic; some would cost more than I care to spend on a holiday. But none are beyond the realms of possibility.
1. TRAIN BETWEEN MOSCOW AND ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
I used to want to go on the Trans-Siberian Railway but thanks to some not very good reviews and the realisation that once you get to Vladivostok there’s not really a whole lot to do I’ve scaled down my ideas to just the train from St Petersburg to Moscow. Not only are these two cities that I’m keen to visit but there is no more perfect place to read Anna Karenina.
2. PLITVICE LAKES, CROATIA
This is the most recent addition to the list – I actually only discovered its existence a few weeks ago – but my friend who told me about it says it’s the best place she’s been in Europe (and she has been to a lot of places). And it just looks so pretty.
3. POMPEII, ITALY
Absolutely the only lasting impression that four years of Geography lessons had on me was a desire to visit Pompeii. I went to Ostia Antica last year which is a similar Roman town (but was preserved by a river rising rather than a volcanic explosion) and that’s just made me even more determined to make it to Pompeii before it’s closed to the public.
4. HOBBITON, NEW ZEALAND
If I could live in any fictional world it would be Hobbiton. It just seems like the quaintest English countryside where nothing would ever go wrong. Unfortunately, it is fictional, so the second best thing is to visit the movie set.
5. THE GREAT SPHINX, EGYPT
I’d like to see the pyramids too, but the sphinx especially. It’s just mindboggling to consider how old these things are. I don’t think my mind would be able to process it even standing in front of it.
6. ATLANTIS PARADISE ISLAND, THE BAHAMAS
Embarrassingly I first started longing to visit The Bahamas aged about 11 after watching the Mary-Kate and Ashley film Holiday in the Sun. But it just looked incredible and like no place I’d ever been before. And the image of this hotel has stuck in my head as a place I just have to go to.
7.ALHAMBRA PALACE, SPAIN
Another book-inspired entry on this list – it was reading about the early life of Catherine of Aragon in The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory growing up in Alhambra Palace. And the descriptions of it have made me really want to see it for myself. It’s one of the more realistic entries on this list – at only an hour’s drive from the Costa del Sol it wouldn’t even be that much hassle to get to.
I’ve actually been to Iceland before… for a half a day. We were supposed to have a whole day as a stopover on our way from Vancouver to London but the plane was delayed, we missed our tour and suddenly we had 4 hours to kill in Reykjavik. And I’m sure I’m destroying my hipster credentials by saying this as it seems to be the city to visit at the moment but I’ve never been anywhere more dull. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t put up with it for a chance to actually see some of the scenery of Iceland. And walk around pretending to be north of the Wall.
9. COLORADO RIVER, ARIZONA
I’ve been to the top of the Grand Canyon and it was plenty impressive but now I want to go one step further and white water raft down the middle of it.
10. DISNEYWORLD, FLORIDA
I went to Disneyland Paris as a child but my parents aren’t really Orlando holiday kind of people so I never got to experience the joy of a week of theme parks. I’ve since been to Disneyland California but I don’t think my life will be complete until I’ve watched the fireworks over Cinderella Castle.