Thursday, March 15, 2007

New places that I simply have to visit

I have been thinking this past winter about places that I need to visit.

Of course there are a large number of places where I would love to return. It is interesting and sometimes shocking to see the changes and meet old friends again. There are many other places where I could drop by and enjoy discovering.

Today though I wanted to write about the small number of places that I have not seen but I simply must visit before I get too old to travel.

I have decided that this must-see visit list can be broken down to three areas:

(1) Angkor Wat
When I left Vancouver in 1974 I had a one way ticket that lead across the Pacific to Australia and Thailand. I planned a few weeks in Australia and a few days in Indonesia. My ticket ended in Bangkok but included a side trip to Siem Reap in Cambodia.

I ended up spending at least two months in Australia and two months sailing from Bali to Singapore. While I was sailing the South China sea we listened on our shortwave radio. We heard the news about the fall of Saigon and I ended up canceling my trip to Cambodia.

This past winter I have been reading a lot about travel in Cambodia. It seems that now is the time to go. There have been some great bargains on travel to Bangkok recently; and improving roads and tourist facilities have made the overland travel seem possible and interesting. At the same time, it looks like intense foreign investment is poised to turn the Cambodian coast into the next huge Cancun or Phuket in the next few years.

(2) Florence and Rome, Italy
I have seen a bit of Italy but only a few hours in the far north. In the summer of 1975 I hitchhiked from Greece to France. I got the best ride of my life but it involved a 48 hour drive across Yugoslavia, Italy and Southern France. I clearly remember driving down tree lined secondary highways in an evening drive past the turnoff to Venice. I did not turn off. Many years, in 2000, I did a one night side trip to Milan.

So I hope one day to return and taste some of the artisitc and historic wonders of Italy. As visitors to my web pages know, I have enjoyed visiting many art galleries and seeing some fine art. I understand that Florence has some of the best. And Rome of course is the home of so much of what we consider high culture.

(3) Giza and the Pyramids
What can I say. Doesn't every tourist want to see the pyramids and visit King Tut's tomb?
I must say though I was somewhat dissapointed to recently discover that you can no longer climb on the Pyramids. I understand the reason but somehow that seemed the best reason to visit. I imagine climbing to the top and seeing the sun set over Cairo would be wonderful.

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