What’s your dream tourist destination — either a place you’ve been and loved, or a place you’d love to visit? What about it speaks to you?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us VACATION.
This is me on vacation in Paris, and just to prove it the Eiffel Tower is in the background. Honestly it is not photo shop but me a few years younger – you can tell by the fashion.
I have been lucky being there and seeing places. I moved to Europe 46 years ago and since our holidays are mostly spent either in the Bernese Overland in Switzerland or in other European cities. Beach, sun and fun holidays are not really our thing, although we did go to Mallorca and Portugal. The furthest I have been is New York City. Mr. Swiss and I decided we should at least once put our feet on American territory; after all it was an English colony a few years ago. Otherwise we spend the summers at home; no stress, just lying in the sun in the garden or going on a car trip somewhere.
However the question is a dream tourist destination. Today the world has really shrunk, everywhere is within flying distance so it just lays at your feet. I have revisted Paris twice and there is still a lot of Germany I should visit. We were once in Vienna and that would definitely be worth a second visit.
I have just finished reading “Inferno” by Dan Brown, you know the author that features a professor who knows all about the old symbols of civilisation and created quite a furore with his book “The DaVinci Code” which was also filmed. Interesting in his books are the places where the events take place.
In the “Inferno” the towns of Florence, Venice and Istanbul play a main part. Now Florence I have visited, it is a fantastic place, like an open air art exhibition: all those old statues on every street corner and the famous sculptures by Michelangelo. It seems that Florence holds the statue phallus record for its exhibits. You can even do a phallus tour of Florence.
I was also once in Venice when I was single and fancy free, with a couple of colleagues. It was an Easter holiday and honestly I wish I had been in a more serious age at the time, but somehow you have to enjoy your teenage years. I did see St. Marks and I even went to the Lido. After reading Dan Brown’s book I wish I had paid attention to more details.
That leaves me with Istanbul. I have never been to Turkey but have read a lot about it. There is an author Orhan Pamuk, who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2006 and I read a couple of his books, one of which was “Istanbul: Memories and the City. At the time I was still a working woman and part of my job was guiding the apprentices in our department. My apprentice was a Turk and we had a few discussions about the books of Orhan Pamuk. He gave me the book about Istanbul to read and it was very interesting, from the point of view of someone that had grown up in the city.
Of course I know that the Hagia Sophia is in Istanbul, now a museum, but once a church and afterwards a mosque. Dan Brown describes it very well in his book as well as the Blue Mosque which stands opposite. I would love to visit those buildings. My neighbour had planned a trip to Istanbul this week, but had to call it off because of the riots they are currently having. She had been there some forty years ago and said it is a fantastic city.
At the moment I am in an Istanbul mood, seeing the Bosporus, its bridge separating Europe and Asia and that would definitely be the place I would like to visit. Whether it would ever happen I do not know. I do not really travel a lot today, just my annual trip to London to see my father, but Istanbul would be number one on my list. I must admit Turkish food is not my favourite, but I would not go there to eat, but to absorb the sites. You can find a Macdonalds on every street corner in the world – no problem.