Celebrating the publishing of my new travelogue Planes Trains & Sinking Boats I am continuing my countdown of top 100 list of places I want (and wanted) to see when I was a student. The world has changed quite a bit in that time and there are plenty of places that I could go to before which I can’t practically do at the moment, I”m talking Iraq and the Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan amongst others. However, Eastern Europe is now entirely visit-able and there are entirely new places which didn’t really exist as a tourist attraction such as Dubai. Other places were dangerous then and dangerous now such as South Africa, obviously I mean wondering around on my own off the beaten track and not visiting Table Mountain. If you missed the countdown so far you can click on the links to read 100-91, 90-81 80-71 here 70-61 here and 60-51 here.
50 Malta. The ancient historic island in the Med full of things to see. My favourites were the UN protected old city of Medina (home of Game of Thrones) and the nearby underground cave where St. Paul once preached.
49 Budapest. The Second City of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and sat on the banks of the Danube River. I’ve seen it at night from the air and by its great buildings, I instantly knew where I was. Hopefully I will get to see it on the ground one day.
48 The Menim Gate. Located in beautiful Ypres, Belgium is the scene of a daily ceremony commemorating the fallen of WW1. Surrounded by the old WW1 battlefields and cemeteries this was the first foreign visit I made on my own and in its own way, none have been more memorable.
47 Bruges. Similar in many ways to Amsterdam but with a touch of York about it. Bruges has more sites to see than most visitors have chance to see but the main central square dominated by the old clock tower shouldn’t be missed. Climb up the steps and witness the amazing performance at midday. Also take a wonder down the narrow streets, visit the lace shops, chocolate shops and try some chips and mayo.
46 St. Michaels Mount – Near the tip of Cornwall with its palm fringed beaches and gardens. Connected to the mainland until a huge storm millennia ago, you can walk to the mount at low tide but you have to get a boat back at high tide!
45 Moscow. Still in many ways an unknown quantity to regular travellers, perhaps because the Russian government is still not the friendliest in the world. However, Red Square, St. Basils Cathedral , the Kremlin and all of the museums and galleries mean that Moscow is definitely a place I want to see one day.
44 The Grand Canyon and Monument Valley. I like deserts and I’ve seen the top of the African Rift valley in Jordan which was amazing but The Grand Canyon though not as wide has better cliff definition. If I can combine it with a trip to the giant asteroid crater in Arizona then so much the better.
43 Mongolia. I spent several years studying and reading about The Mongols. As they were mostly nomads, there isn’t that much to see history wise. What there is a lot of is space. About the size of Western Europe and the population of Wales. Stay in a Yurt, ride horses and be thousands of miles away from anyone. Nice!
42 Teotihuacan. This Aztec city is located just 30 miles north of present day Mexico-City. Having seen step pyramids in Egypt, it would be great to see this bigger and better preserved complex than the one at Saqqarra and see some of the great marvels of the Americas before the Europeans arrived. Chichen Itza and Cancun. A few hundred miles from the great Aztec centre lays one of the centres of another major American civilisation, The Maya. Home to more pyramids and ruins but it’s what I like to see.
41 The Forbidden City at the heart of Beijing was for 500 years the Imperial centre of China. Comprising of 980 wooden buildings this huge ancient complex is the epitome of old China that interests me so much more than glass towers bedecked in neon lights ever could.
Remember, I am running a competition to win a copy of my new travelogue Planes, Trains & Sinking Boats. The book is available on Kindle from all the Amazon UK USA sites and will very shortly be available on the Apple iTunes iBookshelf for use with iPhones, iPod Touch and iPads. A paperback edition is for sale at Lulu and on Amazon USA and Amazon UK and worldwide.
The reader who can guess what is number 1 on my list will receive a free signed paperback copy of Planes, Trains and Sinking Boats. If no-one can guess number 1 then the person whose guess is highest on my list will receive a free e-book. Send me an email with your guess or leave a guess in the comments below.
For the next 100 days anyone who follows my blog and purchases either Let Me Help or Planes, Trains and Sinking Boats on Amazon Kindle or in E-book format from Lulu or iTunes iBooks then I will send you a free E-book of the other title, just email me a screen dump proof of purchase.
Also, anyone who purchases a paperback copy of Let Me Help in the next 100 days and sends me proof of purchase I will send a free e-book format book to you. I would ask that if you buy Let Me Help, you buy it from either Lulu or the more expensive copy on Amazon as the cheaper copy provides me with no royalties as the Publisher has now closed.