Suppose I were allowed to re-visit just one previous holiday destination only. Where would it be?

Here for starters is a listing of all the countries – large or small -that I’ve previously visited outside the UK, organized roughly north to south where Europe and Africa are concerned.

1. Finland (inc. Ivalo, 200 miles north of Arctic Circle)
2. Sweden (to verbally examine a PhD candidate’s thesis in public!)
3. Denmark (Copenhagen – somewhat disappointing)
4. Germany (Berlin especially memorable)
5. Netherlands
6. Belgium (Bruges highly memorable).
7. France (8 years full-time residence in historic port-town of Antibes on the Riviera, approx halfway between Cannes and Nice).

Antibes, 2011, 10 min walk from our apartment in Old Town

Historic country, vast array of scenery, but something lacking tourist-wise – lack of communication, joie de vivre?).

8. Jersey (Channel island, Crown dependency, not part of UK) – honeymoon destination.

9. Monaco (tiny but spectacular location)
10. Luxembourg (Ardennes uplands esp. attractive).
11. Spain (inc Majorca, Ceuta on Morocco coast)
12. Gibraltar (3 month sojourn – memorable)
13. Portugal (including 6 of the 9 remote mid-Atlantic Azores islands – crater-strewn Flores esp. interesting plus Sete Citades caldera on western end of San Miguel island. )
14. Italy (inc independent Vatican City, plus Sicily, Sardinia) – shame about its adoption of the euro- arguably killing Italian economy stone-dead…
15. Austria (Krems on the Danube a relaxed and scenically-attractive holiday spot)
16. Switzerland. (But never ever been skiiing!)
17. Slovenia (Lake Bled truly magnificent)
18. Hungary (the Lake Balaton resort of Tihany especially historic and interesting)
19. Slovakia (several trips to Bratislava and neighbouring locations to look after a friend’s cats!)
20. Poland (Krakow especially memorable – wide river, magnificent castle, main city square and environs)
21. Czech Republic (esp. Prague, plus Brno to south and Karlovy Vary in the north)
22. Croatia (coastal Opatija of interest)
23. Greece (inc Corfu, Santorini). Corfu has many hidden/not-so-hidden gems.
24. Turkey (inc neighbouring Greek island of Kastelorizo, main sheltered port especially?).
25. Cyprus (Paphos in west having entirely different character from Larnaca in east, latter with a memorable Syrian restaurant).
26. Georgia, eastern Europe (ex-Soviet capitalist outpost of Tbilisi especially interesting)
27 Ukraine (fly-over back from Georgia with brief stop at Kiev airport)
28. Morocco (inc. over-rated Marrakesh, over-touristy)
29. Tunisia (esp. the populated Matmata caves and tunnels that featured in a Star Wars film)
30. Ghana (2 year teaching stint in Accra capital with wander round interesting sub-Saharan far north – medically punctuated by early “glandular fever” (or was it cat-scratch fever?) , bacterial dysentery, late-stage malaria!)
31. Togo (capital Lome, missing French acute symbol over the ‘e’) – memento to French colonial status.
32 USA (2 year research stint at Univ of Pennsylvania Hospital Medical School, inc side-trips to NY, Chicago, Georgia)
33. Chile (4 locations: Santiago (capital), foothills of Andes, Algarroba ( unspectacular Pacific seaside resort bar those out-of-area resident self-herding Humbold penguins on neighbouring island), Valparaiso.

Near top of favourites : : Ronda in Spain, plus northerly bay town of Kassiopi on Corfu, plus Azores, plus Andes foothills in Chile, plus Togo capital (Lome) ) etc etc.

Favourite resort/choice for single return visit?
Nope, not a foreign destination – not in the above list!! My shortlist has a mass of UK choices: Devon, Cornwall, Stratford-on-Avon, Snowdonia , Lake District, Yorkshire etc etc. Top of list?

Answer: wait for it… Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh (Royal Mile especially – albeit highly touristy – but outdoor cafe-chat friendly!). (Went up there with Sheona to see both sons competing in same marathon, nipping to one or other vantage point at different stages of the race.

Edinburgh (charismatic castle in distance perched on volcanic outcrop)

Second and third choice re Scottish destinations? Spoiled for choice – wouldn’t know where to start!

Edinburgh High St (2 mins from Royal Mile)

Sorry to end on what some here may regard as a misleadingly flagged-up favourite destination locale – home based! .

Glaswegian/Aberdonian-raised Sheona may differ re my own personal top choice of Edinburgh!

(Apols for having posted this initially as a comment Bearsy : I had overlooked the “Write” command in the top hand corner of your site’s Home Page on my laptop screen!)

Postscript: a comment has just appeared from Gazoopi. His favourite destination, he says, if away from home, is where he and his wife spent their honeymoon (Sterzing, aka Vipiteno in the S.Tyrol).

Yes, it’s a good looking spot, Gazoopi, but a teeny bit derivative, wouldn’t you say, of the, er, Royal Mile in, er, Edinburgh, (esp. as the Sterzing church lost its original spire in a fire we’re told!)? 😉

Sterzing (left); Royal Mile (Edinburgh) right – both piccies from other websites.

PPS: here’s another comparison of two piccies. They have been chosen to concentrate the mind on the specific feature highlighted in this posting: choosing a SINGLE destination, one that scores over all the others one has encountered previously.

On the left is a piccy of a spectacular Norwegian fjord. On the right is one taken in the North Yorkshire moors of England. Yes, the latter is gentler, less spectacular. But does it have compensating features. If so, what?

Which of the two would you return to if having been to both. More to the point: WHY?

Answers/preferences invited…

Third postscript: Hello again Sipu. I’ll be back later re your extensive and highly impressive travelogue by transatlantic yacht etc. etc. For now, could I insert a corrective? “Ped” is not me.

Here’s a piccy of Ped I took way back in 2007 (at a Telegraph Open Day in London).

Ped was quietly very impressive. Sadly the two of us have lost contact (probably coinciding with the demise of My Telegraph). Does anyone have news of Ped, many years after I took the above picture?

Late addition: Tue Jan 5, 2021

Well, I’ve been through several of my photo albums – admittedly not all – but as soon as my eye alighted on holiday pix I took in 1989. I thought: “Yes, that’s it – Kastellorizo!

It’s the most easterly of Greece’s Mediterranean islands, , highly mountainous, hugging the Turkish shoreline, accessible from nearby Kas by tourist boats.

Kastellorizo got a brief mention in my posting above, notably for its charming 3-sided harbour. Here’s a piccy of the same, taken from the island’s main website:

And here’s a dual piccy from my album, with the elder of my two sons in the foreground (who celebrated his 45th late last month, father of two grandsons!).

Kastellorizzo, 1989

See the wiki entry

But be warned: Kastellorizo has a complex history, up to and including the 2nd World War. It’s twinned with Perth, Australia. Indeed a number of the harbourside bars were owned and run by expatriate Australians who had returned from the Land of Oz back to their family roots, giving the place additional exotic character, in addition to its more obvious admixture of Greek, Anatolian (and Italian!) inputs

Author: Colin Berry

Retired science bod, previous research interests: phototherapy of neonatal jaundice, membrane influences on microsomal UDP-glucuronyltransferase, defective bilirubin and xenobiotic conjugation and hepatic excretion, dietary fibre and resistant starch.

23 thoughts on “Suppose I were allowed to re-visit just one previous holiday destination only. Where would it be?”

  1. This is a bit of a tough call.
    I have been to many countries, all over the world, but mostly in Europe.
    Maybe it is a mindset characteristic, but I have enjoyed all of them, each in its own way.
    A quick list off the top of my head includes, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Belgium, Holland, France (many times), Germany (all over many times), Spain (all over many times) Switzerland, Austria (many times), Italy (many times), Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Luxembourg, Malta, Thailand, Malaysia, Andorra (many times), Costa Rica, Mexico, America (all over many times) Greece.
    Morocco, South Africa and Portugal are on the todo list. A few years ago big trips to New Zealand, Australia and South America were on our todo list, but age, budget and covid have reduced their appeal for us.
    Regarding one last holiday, it is difficult.
    We chose the best place for retirement, out of that long list, which is Spain. Northern Spain has almost everything for retirement, mountains ( one hour to the pyrenees), sun and excellent climate, inexpensive lifestyle of good quality, very relaxed society, life mostly outdoors.
    So, were I not living in Spain, it would be top of the list for a last holiday. As were are here, I would probably choose South Tirol, partly due to the beauty of the mountains, the high standards of living and the nostalgia. For us Sudtirol was where we took our many early skiing holidays, endless mountain treks and our honeymoon in Sterzing (Vipiteno)
    Wow, you have got me going. As soon as covid allows, I will book the honeymoon suite and relive some wonderful times.

  2. Thanks for the comment, gazoopi.

    I decided to respond to it informally via a PS on the end of my posting. It carries a photographic comparison of your favoured prime destination side-by-side with my own. Compare and -if you must- contrast. 😉

  3. You ask the question what ‘one previous holiday destination’ would I return to – so I’ll answer that – later!

    Most of my ‘holidays’ from Oz have been to the U.K. for research or family reasons – so I guess I have to ignore them – although I have tried to ‘catch up’ on places that I didn’t visit when I lived there.

    I have visited Edinburgh on a number of occasions – and I really do love the city – but I suspect that part of the reason is that it has always been warm when I visited – with lots of street entertainment.

    I understand that Glasgow is a good place to visit – but, unfortunately, my only experience of that city was a transfer from a Milton Keynes coach journey to Aberdeen when it was around minus 17 degrees and nothing was open in the Glasgow bus station when I got there. From Glasgow I got on a coach with no heating. it took forever to reach Aberdeen because we bullied the coach driver to stop at every service station so that we could warm up! A memorable journey – if not for the right reasons! Maybe, I’ll manage a visit to Glasgow if and when things get back to normal.

    So where else have I been in my life?

    Not as many places, I suspect, as others on this site.

    Paris – a few times – I’ve never got over my first impressions of it being a rather dirty city populated with English-haters. I thoroughly enjoyed responding to a Frenchman who assumed that I did not understand his particularly rude comment in French about the English – in French. I will never forget his face!

    I did enjoy a trip to Rheims – so very different. However, France would not be top of my list to re-visit – unless I manage to get to Carcassonne and Bayeux. Alas, Covid seems to have taken those off my bucket-list. But, I live in hope!

    As most of you know, history is my ‘passion’ – so Rome and Florence I loved – no one really believes that I had the patience to wait four hours to visit the Uffizi.

    Greece – again a long time ago – and loved it. Not quite a ‘Shirley Valentine’ visit – but I suspect it would not be the same after it joined the E.U. Santorini was amazing.

    I’d better speed up – or I’ll be here for ever!

    Israel was fascinating – I had no idea just how small it is. Seeing Masada and the Dead Sea Scrolls was a highlight of that trip. But, I think, not a place to revisit at this moment.

    A trip down the Nile was good – but I really didn’t feel safe on-shore – whereas I’ve never felt so personally safe as on my various trips to Indonesia. Going to some of the less visited islands there really opened my eyes as to just how privileged we in the West really are.

    Singapore was amazing – although I would warn anyone not to have more than a couple of Singapore Slings in Rafferty’s Bar! I’d definitely take a stop-over there again – when things get back to some sort of normality.

    I fell in love with China when I went just before they held the Olympics – from what I have heard from later visitors it is not the same – and with how China is treating Australia at the moment – I won’t be spending money there again.

    I loved Bucharest – and definitely would love to return there – if I can – along with a number of other German cities, although I’d rather give Nuremburg a miss – and I was not that impressed with Amsterdam .

    I didn’t like Japan. I may be odd – but I do like my food cooked! The technology in the museums I visited was utterly amazing – if one understood Japanese. I felt far too often that I was only ‘tolerated’ as a tourist – but not actually welcomed.

    So what is my ‘top’ country to revisit?

    India – my daughter and I visited North India in October 2019 and I really hope we can get to South India next year…

  4. We too enjoyed Santorini very much, Boadicea. We were greeted on arrival at our hotel by a proprietor who was very anti-EU and its treatment of Greece. In fact there were quite a lot of anti-EU posters all over the place. Certainly the EU’s treatment of both Greece and Italy with forcible removal of democratically elected governments and installation of Eurocratic yes-men was despicable. Reminiscent of Nazi occupation. Thank God we’re out, though we still have idiots like Adonis and Heseltine who want to start movements to get the UK back in. I won’t say too much about Sturgeon since I consider her an embarrassment to Scotland. Although the original intent was good the Common Market rapidly deteriorated, particularly since most member states sent their Z-list politicians as representatives. The UK didn’t help – we sent Kinnock! One thing we learned on Santorini was that the tourist islands were still doing well economically. Other parts of Greece were suffering badly with mass unemployment, especially among young people. The EU and the euro have ruined the careers of hundreds of thousands of young people particularly in Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain.

    But I don’t think Santorini would be my chosen destination to revisit. I’m still thinking about that. Strasbourg? Cinque Terre? Krems an der Donau? all with excellent local wines!

  5. Hi Ped, happy new year to you and Sheona. Here is my list. In 1986, I sailed a yacht from Cape Town to Dartmouth. It took the two of us to Namibia, St Helena, Ascension Islands, Cape Verde (Emergency detour to drop off the other two members of the crew who had panic attacks.) and the Azores (Peter’s Cafe plus a caldera on Horta). Hong Kong was pre hand-over. I confess that Lichtenstein, Luxembourg and Slovakia were ‘drive throughs’ rather than proper visits.
    1 Andorra
    2 Ascension Island
    3 Australia
    4 Austria 
    5 Bahamas
    6 Barbados
    7 Belgium 
    8 Botswana 
    9 Canada
    10 Cape Verde 
    11 Croatia 
    12 Finland 
    13 France (including Cap d’Antibes, Nice, Cannes etc.)
    14 Germany 
    15 Greece 
    16 Hong Kong
    17 Hungary 
    18 Ireland (Republic)
    19 Italy (inc independent Vatican City,
    20 Jamaica
    21 Japan
    22 Jersey 
    23 Kenya 
    24 Lesotho
    25 Lichtenstein  
    26 Luxembourg 
    27 Malawi 
    28 Monaco 
    29 Mozambique 
    30 Namibia 
    31 Netherlands
    32 New Zealand
    33 Norway 
    34 Portugal (Including Azores islands)
    35 Singapore
    36 Slovakia 
    37 South Africa
    38 South Korea
    39 Spain (inc Majorca, Menorca)
    40 St Helena
    41 Swaziland 
    42 Sweden 
    43 Switzerland
    44 Taiwan
    45 Tanzania (Inc Zanzibar),
    46 Thailand
    47 Turkey 
    48 USA  (Including 35 states. I lived in Atlanta for a number of years and travelled extensively on business)
    49 Zambia 
    50 Zimbabwe

    I have not included countries where I did not leave the airport.

    I would love to go to Argentina, Chile, Cuba and Mexico and to India, Russia and Vietnam. I do not know Spain as well as I should and, based on what Gaz says, perhaps that is a place to consider retiring if the proverbial hits the fan here. Either there or Portugal. But so far Zim is still the place I choose to live.

    To answer your question, I think Italy would be the one country that I would choose to revisit if it were the only holiday destination left to me.

  6. Sipu, you have reminded me that I have forgotten to wish a happy or at least happier New Year to all Charioteers. I remember Peter’s cafe, that rendezvous point for trans-Atlantic yachties. Here in the UK we are just waiting to learn how much worse it will get as regards lockdown, though the grandchildren are going back to school tomorrow, all of them being primary age. I hope things get no worse in Zimbabwe such that you might feel driven out.

  7. Oh, to travel… Being stuck in one town is really wearing on me. I long to travel, to move, to breathe. It isn’t only the destination. I crave movement, dynamic, shifting landscapes.

    At this point I don’t see the point in looking back. Whatever was was, but no longer is and no longer can be. There’s only one direction and that’s forward. There are some things that I would really like to see… In no particular order…

    St Petersburg, Moscow, Odessa, Taos, Santa Fe, Monument Valley, Forth Worth, San Antonio, San Diego, Taitung, a few places in Vietnam, Pingtung, Savannah, southern Louisiana, Quebec, Nova Scotia, a few places in Italy, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, a few places in Poland. I’d still like to see southern Africa (Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Eswatini), Mexico, Peru/Bolivia… This year, I will probably visit Istanbul for the first time on my way to Fort Worth and San Antonio. Travelling at the moment isn’t a lot of fun. Not only is it the uncertainty of what things will be open when, what will be allowed when, etc. Having developed severe asthma, restricted breathing isn’t something that’s a lot of fun to deal with.

    Boadicea: Japan is very different when you can speak Japanese. The catch is that it’s a lot of work and unless you have a particular need or interest, it’s essentially pointless. You might want to visit Taiwan. Chinese civilisation, but very Australia-friendly and a higher standard on all fronts.

  8. Thanks for the comments folks. I’ll hold off responding to your specific points till I’ve had time to consider the multitude of preferred destinations.

    In the meantime, I’ve added the following copy/paste as text:

    PPS: Here’s another comparison of two piccies. They have been chosen to concentrate the mind on the specific feature highlighted in this posting: choosing a SINGLE destination, one that scores over all the others one has encountered previously.

    On the left is a piccy of a spectacular Norwegian fjord. On the right is one taken in the North Yorkshire moors of England. Yes, the latter is gentler, less spectacular. But does it have compensating features. Is so, what? Which of the two would you return to if having been to both. More to the point: WHY?

  9. I left out Russia and Poland… thanks for reminding me Christopher! I think returning to Russia would be a close run-up to India.

  10. Hi Ped. Aerial views are one thing, but one’s actual presence on the ground is another. I am often struck by how beautiful views of south sea coral islands can appear when looking down from a plane, but I know full well that once one is at ground level, all one can see are a forest of coconut trees in one direction and a flat sea in another. It tends to be rather dull. So, with that in mind, I suspect that the more pastoral English view is likely to be more pleasing from more locations than the Norwegian view which is only striking from a few spots, principally from a distance. But I could be wrong.

  11. Hello Sipu

    Brief correction: I’m not Ped. Yes, I too remember the splendid Ped from many years ago, and have inserted a piccy that I took of him in the flesh, so to speak, way back in 2007 (see the third and latest postscript on my posting).

    I myself began blogging early on under the pseudonym “sciencebod” who I discover appears in early 2010 comments on this very site, along with wife Sheona. Later, I switched to using my real name when registering with WordPress for reporting on specific research topics (Shroud of Turin, Stonehenge etc)..

  12. My apologies. I am not sure when the confusion set in, but for a long while, I thought the two of you were one and the same. Goodness, MyT, 13 years ago!

  13. Thanks for the quickie reply Sipu.

    Your comment re aerial views v those taken closer to hand struck a chord or two while I was looking through my photo albums (finally tracking down Ped’s picture).

    There was page after page of photo-captures of some magnificent holiday resorts, seen at close quarters. But few if any would be selected for that “single return visit”. (Your focus on near v distant perspective providing one particular useful insight).

    OK, so I’ve focused on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, basically because it supplies not just scenery but much extra in the way of ‘creature comforts’, plus ancillary eye-appeal etc etc of one kind or another.

    But that risks maybe talking down much of what the rest of our vast and magnificent tourist world – across the length and breadth of Planet Earth – has to offer.

    So, to complete this posting, I shall adopt the following strategy.

    I shall shortly start to go through all my photo albums ( a few score!) and seek out one , yes, JUST ONE particular piccy of a non-Edinburgh location that rings the maximum number of favourable bells for a RETURN VISIT.

    (I invite other site visitors to do likewise, and would be happy – and indeed feel privileged- to post your own favourite selected pictures too- whether on the end of this posting – or maybe a new one should Boadicea and Bearsy approve).

  14. Whilst I have puked my way round Europe in the past I have always stalwartly avoided any travel for which I was not being paid!
    I HATE travel, it does not agree with my body in any way shape or form. Which is a bit bloody peculiar since I have lived in the USA half my adult life.

    I would like to go home permanently, to Wales and never bother to poke my nose beyond the limits of Carmarthenshire again. Unfortunately the medicine there is not good enough, doubt I’d last more than three months! Plus the taxes!!! So, one is doomed to stay in the dear old USA.

    Having said that, by US standards we do live in God’s little acre here, it is incredibly beautiful, mountains, forests, decent agriculture and wonderful fresh mussels and salmon. And, and, very little crime, no porch pirates, shootings, muggings, wogs or other assorted malefactors and no evidence of LGBQT or whatever the perverts are calling themselves this week! They all go to Seattle, total hellhole. I never go there, disgusting place.

    I have to admit I never even think of places I have been, I have virtually no pictures, never bothered to take any. Couldn’t care less and certainly don’t want to visit again, or even a first time. If we want a change of scene we take a picnic and go and sit 5000 feet up Mt. Baker and study the glaciers and ice fields and examine the flora and fauna, that will do!
    Meanwhile one has to understand that the contents of one’s greenhouse is a foreign land and that will do just nicely!

  15. I’ve been to a few places, mostly in Latin America, on business. There are many more places I’ve wanted to visit on my own time, but something (e.g., wiping out my vacation time when changing jobs) always got in the way of such excursions.

    These days, I’m more likely to park myself in front of the TV and watch videos of all those interesting places I’ve never been. Apart from the Coronavirus damn pennick, I’m certainly not likely to go anywhere now. The reason lies in one word: people. It seems that everyplace I have once wanted to visit is now awash in what passes for humanity today. In a recent TViewing of the Piazza San Marco in Venice, I swear that people outnumbered even the pigeons.

    I don’t like crowds, never have and never will, and so must insist upon staying well clear of them, remaining home as the old curmudgeon I now am. I’m more than content to stay at home with my dear wifeperson, only occasionally venturing to either mountains or shore – both of which are quite convenient to us.

  16. Christina, I call such confused people the ABCDs, then it doesn’t matter what they are currently calling themselves.

  17. Hi Sheona. Zimbabwe is still tolerable though we have just gone into another lockdown, which brings with it problems that possibly are not so prevalent in the 1st world, i.e. opportunities for police bribery. I was going to say “and corruption” but I think the PPE and other scandals in the UK and elsewhere have demonstrated that corruption is a worldwide phenomenon. Be that as it may, according to today’s paper, “Since November 1, cases have almost doubled from 8 374 to 15 829 as of yesterday with 29 deaths being recorded in the past week bringing the total number of fatalities to 384.” The population of Zim is about 15 million, so we have not exactly reached Black Death numbers! On an encouraging note, my nephew and his wife who currently live in Kenya have decided that they want to come back to this country with their 3 kids. Given their backgrounds, they could emigrate to any number of countries, so it is a vote of confidence that they want to come here.

    Colin, in thinking about your question I was reminded of a previous life. I used to be a safari guide on the Zambezi. I would take groups of 7 or 8 passengers, sometimes more down the river in 2-man Canadian canoes. It was the early 80s and our resources were extremely limited so accommodation was extremely basic. We would camp out in the open under the trees, which left us vulnerable to marauding animals, including crocodiles, lions, hyaenas, hippos, buffalo and elephants, not to mention malaria mosquitos and invading Zambian tribesmen, which is a polite way of describing them. I suppose youth made one invincible and I am pleased to say that nobody suffered any real harm under my watch, though accidents and even deaths occurred over the years. I confess that the last time I parked my canoes and my clients all stepped out, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I had become increasingly aware of just how dangerous our adventures were.

    But there was one particular spot on the banks of the Zambezi that was spectacular and which, for a while, was my favourite place in all the world. There was a large acacia albida that overlooked a stretch of river and afforded a wonderful view both up and down stream. Herds of buffalo would come and drink; massive flocks of quelea would fly up the river, turning the sky dark through sheer numbers. Before coming into roost they would dive down to grab a sip of water only to be snapped at by ever patient crocodiles. Elephants would wander into camp as we lay in our sleeping bags and would gently munch at the acacia pods on the ground or which hung from the branches. I was last at that site in about 1986.

    A couple of months ago I was invited to spend a couple of days at one of the most luxurious safari camps on the Zambezi, upstream from the Victoria Falls. It was very unlike my experience as a guide and I have no problem admitting it was nothing like as enjoyable despite the excellent food and magnificent accommodation. There was certainly vast amounts of game and massive herds of elephants and other animals lurked everywhere. But I suddenly realised that I did not care if I never saw another of those creatures. As a very cynical friend once pointed out to me, elephants all tend to look pretty much the same. It put me in mind of that Monty Python travel documentary. Attached. Go to 9:15 to see what I mean, though ideally watch the whole thing. I am eternally grateful for the wide ranging experiences that life has afforded me but I have come to realise that they do not all need to be repeated.

  18. Regarding ABCDs, a friend of mine recently used to refer to a brand of people, of whom he had a less than flattering opinion, as Australians. After all he reasoned, nobody could be accused of being a bigot for using such a term. But then, a year ago, never before having visited the country, he actually went to Australia and so much enjoyed the place and more importantly the people that he had to find a new epithet.

  19. Thanks Sipu

    As I realized at an early age (post my prematurely-deceased mother followed by her welcome stand-in guardian – grandmotherly – with her imposed Sunday school .

    The world in which we live has two competing elements where our insidiously- targeted minds are concerned – natural v supernatural. One -guess which? tries its utmost to blur (or blot out) the latter .

    If I had to name one hugely-regressive intrusion on our world – past and present – it would be the R word – in all its multiple manifestations whether mono- or poly-inclined

    I’m pleased to see that your narrative re tourist guidance into risky natural-world-intruded regions gives precedence to one – yes – the NATURAL evolved world – over the other of the two rival inputs!

    Yes. We need to focus on our relationship with the natural world – risky though it can be as regards aggressive fellow- pecies, viruses currently, climate, geology etc.

    “Love” from On High is keeping a low profile right now, and has arguably been doing so for the best part of 2000 years (and more).

    First thing this religious sceptic did on entering University in ’63 was help found a Humanist Group ( Chairman a year later!).

    It was probably the echoes of a late-development (post 19 year-old) humanist phase that inspired this current off-beat posting!

    We need to realize that our world can be alternately friendly or hostile.

    Tourism can provide a valuable insight. (Not surprising that so many – on this posting included- have turned their backs on tourism – with its seemingly offbeat or indeed alien encounters. Tourism is an encounter with the REAL world – which is why a re-visit on my part would be fairly close to home -less than 400 miles north- while still offering something new and different.

    PS: I’ve added a further PS to my posting, giving my second-place (non-UK) tourist preference, albeit just slightly ahead of any number of rival destinations …

  20. Success, strangely enough. That is the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, circa May 1986. Chernobyl had or was about to blow its top. I think I would love to go back to the middle of the ocean.

    Sea Fever
    John Masefield
    I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
    And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
    And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
    And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking,

    I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
    Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
    And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
    And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

    I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
    To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
    And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
    And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

  21. Yes, sailing into the unknown, Sipu.

    (Good choice of graphic, might I add – summarizing the nature of the true world in which we – as late-evolution, over-developed additions to Planet Earth- currently find ourselves).

    But those brains of ours can assist in prolonging our survival – without needing to colonize the Moon or Mars as retreat alternatives.

    Human-optimism should take precedence over our inborn pessimism!

    Human spirit beats anything developed by those competing wild animal species – attractive though the latter may be to human camera-assisted inquisitiveness, the splendid David Attenborough included …

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