100 Places I Want To See Before I Die (20 – 11)

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.  If you missed the countdown so far you can click on the links to read 100-91, 90-81 , 80-71 here and 70-61 here.  60 – 51  50-41 here. Finally 40-31 here and 30-21 here.

So we are down to the Top 20.  It was very hard to separate many of these.  How can anyone separate Venice and Luxor, London and New York?  There do seem to be a handful of countries though that in my mind are just extra rich in history and culture and in absolutely no order at all these would be Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Great Britain and Iran.  If I could only visit 5 countries, these would be the ones that particularly suit my interests.  Of course if you just want to sit on a beach then there are probably closer and cheaper options!

20 New York.  I want to arrive in New York in the old-fashioned way, by boat from England.  Top of the list is the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building and The George Washington Bridge.  So much to see here and like most people, if I were to only see one place in the whole of North and South America, it would be New York.

New York

One of the undisputed Top 2 Cities of the World and the city that never sleeps.

19  Paris. Capital of France and home of The Eiffel Tour, Louvre Museum, Notre Damme and the Mona Lisa.  A beautiful but surprisingly very small city, at least for a capital and even more so for one of such great historic importance.  Not a place to go when on a diet, that’s for sure.  Also maybe surprisingly, the only place I have ever travelled where I have been physically threatened by criminals (as opposed to corrupt police and officials elsewhere) just outside Montmatre Cemetery (similar to London’s Highgate).

Paris

The Romantic Capital of the World.

18 Mount Sinai. The presumed location where Moses received the 10 Commandments from God.  A sunrise over the desert not to be missed plus of course the monastery within the walls of which lies The Burning Bush.  Just make sure you climb the right mountain which if you travel by yourself is not as obvious as you might think… I realised my mistake after just a few hundred feet 🙂

Sinai Sunrise

The most mystical and magical Sunrise in the world.

17 Kingdom of Northumbria from this beautiful and sparsely populated county of England has more in common with Scandinavia and Scotland than southern England.  The highlights include Alnwick Castle, Bamborough Castle, Holy Island, Cragside Hall, Hadrians Wall and that’s not including the wild countryside and desolate sandy beaches.  This is possibly my favourite place in the world.

Hadrians Wall

Crossing Britain at just about its narrowest point lies Hadrians Wall, the defined limit of The Roman Empire.

Bamburgh

Probably the best castle in Britain. Northumberland is full of castles and the Kingdom of Northumbria used to rule most of Britain. Bamburgh is reputed to be the home of Sir Lancelot of King Arthur fame.

Cragside

Northumbria has about the longest and most violent history in Britain with Romans, Vikings, home of Christianity, wars with Scotland and the first home powered by Hydroelectricity at Cragside Hall

Holy Island

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne, a tidal island just off the coast of Northumbria. This photo is copyright by Gary Waidson who is an excellent landscape photographer.  If you like this photo why not visit his website at www.waylaylandscape.co.uk

16 Venice.  Italy, like Britain is one of a handful of countries that is in another league when it comes to historic and cultural sites.  The most unique of which is Venice.  The city with canals instead of roads and largely decorated by booty stolen from the historic Constantinople, every trip to Italy has to include Venice.

Venice

Venice was originally built on a swamp by people fleeing marauding horsemen. Horses like cars aren’t much use in Venice.

15 Luxor. Home of the magnificent Temple of Karnak and just the other side of the Nile from the Valley of The Kings.  After spending a few days here, do like I did on the way to Abu Simbel and base yourself at Aswan another site which I just don’t have room for on my list but which hosts remains of the only Jewish temple built outside of Jerusalem.

Luxor

The Temple at Karnak is simply too huge and magnificent for words.

14 Armenia  Like Georgia, nestled between Russia and the Middle-East.  The country is so small that most of it can be seen easily from the capital Yerevan.  Journey out to explore this ancient and ruggedly beautiful country.  The Khor Virap monastery with its view of Mt Ararat and Monastery of Gegard are unmissable.

armenia Khor Virap monastery

The Khor Virap Monastery in Armenia overlooked my the massive Biblical Mount Ararat in Turkey. What a photo?!?!

13 London  Ok for many people this might be up in there top 2 or 3 but of course living just 20 miles from the city centre I have seen many though my no means all the sites to see.  London has it all with only New York as a true rival.  Beijing and Dubai might be getting more flash but it takes more than money and bad architecture to be truly cosmopolitan.  It’s all about the mix of people, the opportunities and the spirit that makes London come alive like a living organism.  If nothing else, its history, mix of peoples and standing in the world make it incomparable. In truth it would be easy to do a list of 100 places in London to see before you die.  As usual, one never really makes the most of the places close to your home so the chances are that you will see more of London before I get round to it.

If you want an amazing 360 degree view of London from the top of the New Shard building click here

London

Perhaps the greatest city in the world. Full of history, museums, art and architecture. No longer empire of the world but home to people from all corners of the world.

12 Yazd. Yazd is just one of several cities that I would like to visit in Iran but there isn’t room for all of them in my list.  There are so many things to see here, In especially want to see the Zoroastrian Fire Temple and the Towers of Silence, but the old city, fortress and gardens are just some of the other interesting attractions to see here.

Yazd Firetemple

The ancient Zoroastrian religion was largely replaced by Islam but it is still going strong in Iran and some fires are thousands of years old.

11 Shiraz and Persopolis  There is enough to see in Shiraz to keep any historian happy. Beautiful tombs and mausoleums and walled gardens with cooling waters and fountains being the basis of Paradise, an Iranian invention.  Shiraz is the city of Poets and Roses but if all this isn’t enough then nearby are the grand ruins of Persopolis, made thus when Alexander The Great oversaw their destruction thousands of years ago.  Nearby is the burial site of the legendary Xerxes and Darius.

Shiraz

The ancient capital of Persopolis in Iran destroyed by fire since a huge party held there by Alexander The Great

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.  There have been lots of good guesses so far!

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.

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About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including a #1 seller, I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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7 Responses to 100 Places I Want To See Before I Die (20 – 11)

  1. gyanfry says:

    Reblogged this on gefry777.

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  2. Francis says:

    I think your top place is Rome

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  3. lepirategunn says:

    I think I may already have mentioned Samarkhand, but could be the Nubian pyramids in Meroë, Sudan or Petra,or Herat. Interesting. The final 10 countdown might be contentious! India has generally been absent from the list so far…

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    • I have already listed the Nubian pyramids but two of the other places you mention are in the top 10.

      I agree the final 10 may be unexpected but thats why I thought I would make it clear that it is my personal list and isn’t a reflection on any of the countries.

      Yes India is a very unusual case on my list; it does have one listing but for its size and history could easily have many more. In every measurable term you’d think there would be more in India than the majority of countries but I guess I never really studied India.

      I also know I would enjoy Tibet or Nepal more than some places on my list but I don’t have any real urge to see them.

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  4. Donicia says:

    It’s a wild guess and prolly not even on the list or you haven’t heard it yet but in the spirit of hoping to get that copy here it is : Palawan or any island in the Philippines! 🙂

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    • Bless you, I like your spirit 🙂 I am sorry to say that when I did this list I did not know enough about the Philippines for it to make my list 😦 However if I were to make this list now, I would want to go to the Chocolate Hills.

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      • Donicia says:

        Thank you 🙂 and no apologies needed! I am sure your top 100 places especially the ones that belong to top 20 are amazing and if I were to do mine, most of them would land top 20 as well.
        Chocolate Hills is beautiful 🙂

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