by Bob Sparrow
For most of us the past two years have been the worst years for travel. Not so much that we went to uninteresting places or ran into people who thought of us as ugly Americans; no, Covid kept us from going anywhere at all. When I can’t travel, I think about traveling, more specifically, I think about places I’ve been, good and bad, and places I want to go.
So, in order to gather information, not just for me, but for all of our readers, you have a job:
Tell us where your best and worst travel destination have been and why they were best or worst. I’ll start by giving mine.
Best travel destination
I have to honestly say that I have two that are tied for best. South Africa in 2013 – Great tour of Cape Town, a visit to Ernie Els winery, the top of Table Mountain and to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 27 years imprisoned, and a story about how one woman made a difference with ‘tea bags’. The South African people were amazing – so nice and so friendly! We left Cape Town and went to Notten’s Bush Camp in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve in Kruger National Park, where we went on several safaris. We saw the ‘Big 5’ – elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and African buffalo on our first trip into the savanna. Then on to Zimbabwe to see one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World – Victoria Falls – Spectacular! If you are a new reader, or want to reread the blog that I wrote about that trip, you can access it by copying and pasting these links:
Part 1 https://fromabirdseyeview.com/?p=1702
Part 2 https://fromabirdseyeview.com/?p=1725
Part 3 https://fromabirdseyeview.com/?p=1751
Part 4 https://fromabirdseyeview.com/?p=1803
My other ‘best travel destination’ was to the Tuscany region of Italy – a trip we took in 2019 with a group of our neighbors, along with thirty-some-odd people from around the country. Our base was the great little town of Montecatini Terme, which is located between Florence and Pisa. Aside from visiting those two cities, we hit Siena, San Gemignani and Montecatini Alto – all unique in their own way. Our guide, Sergio, made the trip – he was informative and hilarious! After leaving Montecatini Terme, we spent several days in Cinque Terre – the beautiful Italian town that hangs on the cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean. Great people we went with, great people we met, great food, great wine and a great guide. If you want more information on that trip, access the links below:
Part 1 https://fromabirdseyeview.com/?p=8425
Part 2 https://fromabirdseyeview.com/?p=8438
Part 3 https://fromabirdseyeview.com/?p=8443
Part 4 https://fromabirdseyeview.com/?p=8461
Part 5 https://fromabirdseyeview.com/?p=8479
Worst travel destination
This one is easy. We were on a Mediterranean cruise in 2008 and made a stop in northern Africa to the city of Tunis in Tunisia. Off the ship we went to an open market where there were guards holding machine guns at the entrance and the exit of the market – I guess that’s in case you were planning of stealing something or a hostile takeover of the market! We then went to a rug maker, who tried to sell us an ugly ‘magic carpet’ that they promised to ship home for us. Yeah, right!! We decided to stop at a café for a beer, which we ordered and paid for, but when our order came, it was a ‘non-alcoholic beer’! We told our server we wanted (and paid for) real beer and he said that because it was Sunday, they didn’t serve alcohol – something he might have mentioned when we ordered. Couldn’t wait to get back on the ship and on to our next destination.
Fortunately, we weren’t blogging yet, so no links!
OK, it’s your turn to share your travel adventures and misadventures in the ‘comment box’ below, let us know what your BEST and WORST travel destinations are – you don’t have to write a story about them if you don’t want to, you can just list them. Hopefully we can learn about places that should be on our ‘bucket list’ and about places we should make sure to avoid.