Work in progress…
Perfect destinations for fun family travel
I’ve been busy conducting a survey in the family… it’s ready but it’s not definite and I have the feeling it’ll keep growing as time goes by! I am finally writing our travel bucket-list, and I believe it is going to be a never ending work in progress…
Agreeing on destinations was easier than agreeing on activities. Some of us prefer relaxing on the beach, others would rather do so only after visiting a museum.
There was a lot of talking going on here after dinner… so far we came up with this list. Rest assured: more stuff will be added…
We divided our lists by continents, but each continent has preferred countries. We are giving those countries some priority. Links are accomplished dreams, you can read about those experiences.
Some options have reminders.This is an area under permanent brainstorming. Not to be considered incomplete. We are just thinking about how to fill the spaces better in some rooms, so…
Welcome home, but forgive the mess.
It was kind of obvious, at least for me, this would be on top. However, being the fourth largest country in the World, it’s difficult to agree on what to do. The king of trips should come first, of course, but this inventory would be more than alive… or else we shall move to China.
Visit the Jiuzhaigou Natural Reserve.
– Photograph the Temple of Heaven.
– Visit the Leshan Giant Buddha, the tallest stone Buddha Statue in the World.
- Wander around the irrigation system of Dujiangyan.
– Visit Xi’an and see the Terracotta Army.
- Walk up the Great Wall of China, but go down via slide-way, Mutianyu.
- Visit the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet.
- Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn).
- Do some trashy shopping in the Chatuchak and eat coconut ice-cream.
- Visit Ayutthaya and some of its temples. Return to Bangkok by boat sailing the Chao Phraya river.
- Take a picture of the head of Buddha in Wat Mahathat.
- Travel to the North to visit the Thai side of the Golden triangle (Burma, Laos and Thailand).
- Take a bus to Chiang Rai to photograph the white temple Wat Rong Khun.
- Ride on a night train from Bangkok to the south (Chumphon or Surat Thani).
- Spend some time island-hopping in the Gulf of Thailand. Visit Koh Tao, Koh Panghan and Koh Samui.
- Visit some of the Thai markets. Focus on Chatuchak.
The next three points do not apply to all the family. Children might be a bit reluctant to try everything (me as well).
Thai food to try: well, that famous banana pancake, of course, but also as much tropical fruit as possible (I still have doubts about the durian, though), khao niao mamuang (mango and sticky rice) for breakfast, that khai (which is similar to the Portuguese pastel de nata), and all sweet that might pass me by.
For dinner: khao mok kai (rice and chicken curry), khao mok nuea (rice and beef curry), khao nuea op (rice with beef and spicy chili). Just rice, no noodles, no soup, thank you. And I’d try pork cooked with honey too.
MOM LOVES GREECE!
The Aegean sea can count over 5000 islands, most of them being Greek, only a few more than a hundred of them inhabited. We could say it’s really work in progress on this part of the planet. This is going to be the long est never-ending travel bucket-list ever.
- Photograph a sunset in Oia and visit la Caldera, Santorini.
- Enjoy a sunset in Mykonos (I might even applaud when the sun goes down, just as everyone else).
- Island-hopping between Naxos, Paros and Antiparos.
- Spend a few days in Ierapetra.
- Take a day trip to Chrysi island.
- Make a stop in Myrtos on the way to Matala.
- Overcome the fear of heights on my way to Elafonisi.
- Get lost in the Palace of Knossos.
- Enjoy Elafonisi, Balos and Falassarna. Make up my mind, which is best?
- Visit the old town of Rethymno and reach Arkadi Monastery.
- Visit the caves of Matala.
- Have a pause from our trip in any mountain or seaside lost town.
- Moving to Crete, as in… for ever!
- Rhodes is an island to be done “on the road”… so rent a car and get to know many of its different landmarks at your own pace.
- Spend a week in Kos, doing totally nothing… I might cross to the Turkish coast, just for the fun of it.
- Relax on the beaches of the North of Karpathos.
- Out of the Seven Islands or Heptanese, travel to Zante and take a boat to Navagio beach.
- Travel to Corfu and get lost in the old town.
- Cruising the Ionian,seeing the blue waters islands of Paxos and Antipaxos.
- Visit the fishing town of Benitses.
- Relax at Kalamitsi beach in Lefkada
- Sunbath on the world-famous Myrtos beach in Kephalonia.
- Enjoy the sunrise in Athens, they say that “When the sun hits the Acropolis’ high, stony hill, many other cities are left in the shade”.
- Stroll through Anafiokita, a 19th century neighborhood nested above Plaka and old bazaar. Make a stop at Monastiraki flea market.
- Have a glass of Mythos (Greek beer) in the district of Plakas, Athens.
- See the city from Mount Lycabettus.
Rest of Continental Greece:
- Make it to the great monastery complex of Meteora.
- Visit the Church of Agios Demetrios and the Metropolitan Church of Saint Gregory Palamas.
- Walk about the Walls of Thessaloniki.
WE KEEP DREAMING TURKEY
I guess Turkey is a good place to rent a car and travelfreely around the country, no schedules, just a map.
- As far as buildings, Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque are, as you can see, top of the list.
- Shop for Nazars (love them!) inside the Grand Bazaar, have a sweet Turkish tea.Get sick eating tons of Turkish delight.
- Travel down the country by car, passing by and visiting Ephesus paying a visit to the Library of Celsus – and inner small towns.
- Fly on a hot air balloon in Cappadocia early in the morning, visit the rest of the Cappadocia on foot during the next few days.
- Follow the tradition: three cups of tea.
EUROPE ON THE GO
Scotland has been on this list for a while, “The Kelpies” is one of the reasons, but it’s not the only one.
Germany. Cross the Old Main Bridge in Würzburg
Actually visit Madrid. We’ve been to Madrid several times, but we’ve never really been there. It was our must stop to board planes crossing the Atlantic, so we know the airport very well and all nearby hotels too… too many delayed flights. But we never really explored the city. It is definitely a must do.
Jewish Amsterdam is on this list too. Anne Frank’s house is something I want my children to experience. And more words are useless here.
Enjoy a marionette show at Gabriadze Theater, in the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi. Once there, also see the Cathedral of Sameba.
WHAT ABOUT MOROCCO?
- Spend the night in the Merzouga desert after riding a camel. Watch the stars before going to bed, get up early and see the sunrise.
- Visit Fez and take the same pictures every single tourist takes… but with my camera.
- Visit a Hamman.
- Go to the beach in Essaouira.
- Take a photo safari in the blue city of Chefchaouen.
- Bargain in Marrakech, followed by a local dinner made of tajine and cous cous.
WHERE MY HEART STILL BELONGS
Going back to Argentina is one of my biggest challenges. I’ve got to do it. It is a must do list inside my list. Backpack the Patagonia, travel the little towns in the outer areas of the Province of Buenos Aires, see the Iguazú Falls, see my dear capital city, my neighborhood. I’ll be back. It’s a promise I make. To myself.
- Take a flight to Rarotonga and spend a week or two there. Or even the rest of my life.
- Visit Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora and the island of Taha’a.
- Spend some time on Tikehau, Tuamotus islands.
- Ride a cable car in Wellington all the way to the Botanic Gardens.
- See the wood carvings at the Te Papa museum.
- Reach the top of Mount Eden, and the top of the Sky Tower as well.
- Have some serious bacon tasting from the Otara Markets in South Auckland.
RANDOM ITCHES WE JUST HAVE TO SCRATCH
HONG KONG, MON AMOUR
Attraction for Asia began long ago. The history of Hong Kong is a buzz in my ears since I was a child, my dad used to talk to me about this country with a fascination that I obviously inherited. Then I met Hernán, I edited his book, and fascination turned into need. What would I do there?
- Ride a tram to Victoria Peak and see the park too.
- Visit Po Lin Monastery.
- Visit the Temple of the Thousand Buddhas.
- Stand in front of the Bank of China Tower and take a good look at its controversial architecture.
- See the Man Mo Temple and the incense coils decorating the interior of the building.
- Pass under the gate of the Wong Tai Sin Temple. (This list really goes on.)
INDIA IS CALLING… IT’S DARJEELING
- Visit the Darjeeling, West Bengal.
- Ride the Toy Train of Darjeeling.
I started enjoying tea a few years ago, and little by little I became a fan. So, there’s a tea trail I would like to design for myself, and I would like it to start with the Champagne of Teas: Darjeeling.
- Shop for teas in local tea gardens in Darjeeling, India.
- Taste a few cups of Pu-erh, if possible in the Province of Yunnan, China.
- Visit the Six Great Tea Mountains in Yunnan, and try different teas along the way.
- Drink some typical varieties of Ceylon tea, in Sri Lanka, some of them full-bodied, others delicate and fresh.
NEW YORK ONCE AGAIN
I was there over twenty years ago, my first really long solo trip… mind-blowing. I was eighteen and from then on, I have lived with the feeling I can never have enough New York. This is one of those destinations your mind urges you to visit again and again…
MAD ABOUT MARKETS
Well, yes, call it compulsory shopping, r-therapy, whatever. Markets are my thing. I could spend days walking inside all kinds of markets, and don’t realize time passing by. Children’s tiredness and husband’s common sense prevent me from doing so. But I’d be more than happy if I could.
Bookstores markets and libraries. I want to visit places where they sell, buy, lend and borrow books, but also were books are kept, exchanged, restored, repaired, sewn, and so on… books, and maps, magazines, journals.
- Leaf through books in Libreria El Ateneo, Buenos Aires (I’ve been to this bookstore a hundred times, but I adore it).
- Stadtbibliothek Stuttgart, Germany: the public library of Stuttgart, an amazing building with an astonishing square and white architecture I really long to see.
- Take a look at Libreria Acqua Alta in Sestiere Castello, Venice, Italy.
- Pay a visit to the Livraria Lello & Irmão in central Porto, one of the oldest bookstores in Portugal. I would also visit the Livraria Bertrand do Chiado, the oldest bookstore in the world. It opened its doors in Lisbon in 1732.
- Library of the Klementinum, Prague, Czech Republic (pictures are not allowed).
- National Library of the Celk Abbey Library, in Austria.
- Vancouver Public Library, in Canada.
- Library Sandro Penna, in Perugia, Italy.
- Trinity College Library, Dublin, Ireland.
- National Library of China, in Beijing.
- National Library of Canada, in Ottawa.
- The British Library, in London.
- The Harvard University Library.
- Vernadsky National Scientific Library, in Kiev, Ukraine.
What is there in your travel wish list? What have you managed to see and which is your next destination?