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Wishlist – The Ten Places I would most like to see in my lifetime

For those that know me or regularly check back to this blog, you know that I love to travel. I have been to thirty five countries in my lifetime, which is a fair few in my short time on this Earth. But there is a lot more that I want to see, and so, here is a top ten of places I would really like to see before I die. From the impossible to reach to the high tourist footfall, here are the places that I have not yet visited that I really want to get to sometime in the near future.

10) Prague.

I thought I would start with a simple place. Even though I have been to the Czech Republic, the reality is that I drove through the country in the middle of the night. For me the Czech Republic provided toilet breaks, a small fine for not paying the motorway tolls and lots of crazy driving. I hope to rectify this in the not-too-distant future, and visit what is regarded as one of Europe’s prettiest capitals.

9) Bolivia.

In fact I would like to visit all of South America. I have never stepped foot on this continent and so anywhere on here would be great for me. But for me, Bolivia really stands out due to its combination of natural beauty and spectacular culture. In particular, I would really love to see Salar Uyuni, the largest salt flats on Earth.

8) Ethiopia.

Oldest civilisation on Earth after China, this is one of the world’s great cultural treasure troves. In fact the whole of the Horn of Africa is culturally rich. After all, humanity itself evolved here. Next door Somalia also holds a great allure, but that is not looking like a place I could visit anytime soon.

7) Ooty.

India is going to feature heavily on my list. Officially my new favourite country to visit, I have only been here for a few brief weeks and really only saw the North East. I would really love to see more, and Ooty has the combination of all that is magical. An old steam train puffing up the mountains, stunning scenery and a romantic edge that makes it popular with honeymooners the world over. Out of all the destinations on this list, this is probably the best combination of exotic and ease of travel.

(From Pratheept2000)

6) Tokyo.

What can I say. Cute gadgets, cute food and cute chicks. But behind all the cuteness, Tokyo really is one of the world’s great cities, and out of the ‘Big 4’ Global Cities, Tokyo is the only one I have not visited. It is big, crazy and expensive, but it is still worth a look in. One day…

5) Easter Island.

Well, the remotest place on Earth, one of the real outposts of civilisation with a fascinating Archaeological story. There is so much to learn from Easter Island, and so much tragedy too. The planet in a microcosm, and it shows on one small spot the great achievements of humanity and also the worst ravages of man. Expensive and hard to get to, but this is definitely one of the more likely destinations to reach.

4) Aksai Chin.

Yeah, right. The likelihood of getting here is about as good as me becoming a world class sprinter. At this moment in time, all entry is virtually impossible. But for me, it is the perfect combination of my two favourite types of scenery – desert and mountain. I have always been fascinated by the Himalaya, both from a scenic and cultural point of view. But, out of all the places on my list, I doubt I will see this place in my lifetime.

3) Istanbul.

Out of all the places on this list, Istanbul really should have been one that I should have arrived at sooner, but have so far been thwarted at every turn. I did once have a flight booked here, but, yeah, Easyjet changed the flight days, and so I plumped for the refund. Maybe I should have just jumped, but with my work being impossible to work around, it is one that is on my ‘to-do’ list.

2) Madagascar.

It may have been popularised by the cartoon, but for me, this island in the Indian Ocean really has it all. Exotic wildlife, a spectacular fusion of Polynesian and African culture and a landscape that is simply divine. For me, this destination is more about money and time rather than anything else.

(From Frank Vassen)

1) Arunachal Pradesh.

Again, this is one place I really should have visited sooner than I did. Arunachal Pradesh in India’s far North East is simply divine. Nestled in the slopes of the Himalaya, this is where the mighty Brahmaputra gets its power. All of India’s North East is fascinating, which is why on my two journeys to this great country, I focused my efforts here. Arunachal Pradesh would be the jewel in the crown, and it is just a case of getting round the bureaucracy. Unfortunately, it is Indian bureaucracy…grr…

(From Rajkumma1220)

So there you have it. Ten places in the world that I have not yet visited, but would so love to. What do you guys think, and have any of you been to anywhere on this list?

And what would be your wishlist of places to visit? And anything you think I should have included on this list but missed out (and trust me, it was hard to compile). Answers in the comments below!

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Easter TV

I do look forward to the whole Easter weekend when it comes to television. In between shifts, it is nice to sit down and watch one of those Ancient Bible Stories. You know, I want to see Charlton Heston riding a chariot or holding the Ten Commandments above his head. Hell, I want to see it all. The toppling of the Philistine’s temple, a heroic revolt . Hey, I will even take the non-Christian tales.

But where are those films? Those legendary bladder busters, relieved by the handy nearness of my own toilet. Nowhere! Check the TV schedules (do we still have them in this digitised/multichannel world), and it is filled with lousy programmes about someone’s upcoming wedding. Ugh…just leave them alone!

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Food at Easter!

If I was not this sick, normally I would be delighting my taste buds in a fiesta of food, being Easter. However, I am weakly sipping tea and cut lime in an effort to hold down food. So without much ado, here are my taste bud tickles for the Easter period, what I like, what I am not to big a fan of, what is big fat con and what typically delights me:

1) Currant Buns, or more to the point, Hot Cross Buns. Back in the Day, these delightful treats were only available in the last couple of weeks of Lent leading up to Easter. Now available virtually all year round, they have lost some of their appeal in terms of seasonality. Still, when you compare them with those awful sugary muffins, they are far nicer to the palette. Unlike mince pies which can be quickly tiresome, Hot Cross Buns are delightful no matter when they are consumed! Also, their very nature means it is very hard to gorge on these buns and so, you do not feel bloated unlike some other seasonal treats…

2) Easter Eggs, or more to the point, the ‘Cream’ filled eggs. Yuck. Just simply disgusting. Factory by-grade chocolate, over sugary filling thatdrips everywhere. Plus the countless bunny shaped pieces of brown confectionary dripping everywhere. An excuse to get rid of last year’s cocoa harvest. Revolting!

3) Spring Lamb. I like lamb, mutton, goat, in fact anything that is cute, furry and has four legs. Spring Lamb is a bit of a misnomer as if it is sold at Easter, than the Lamb was probably born in winter…hmm…still, it is all good!

4) Fish! Good Friday is traditionally a fast day in the Christian calenders and what better way to celebrate than with fish. Usually in my household this means going crazy on some funky tasting fish, from some tropical backwater that many people beyond the temperate zones have never heard of. And it is all good!!! All of you guys must know how much I love fish and so in and around Easter is a perfect time to spoil myself!

So there you have it. Tasty (and not so tasty) morsels from Easter. From a European point of view it is an optimistic time, but it really is also utilising the last of the winter stores. New produce do not kick in until June and so traditionally, May is a bit of a scarce month in terms of food as all the stores have vanished for the year. Just as well we are big importers of food in Britain, for now…

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