Favorite travel memory...

Old Jan 20th, 2020, 04:14 PM
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Favorite travel memory...

In an attempt to escape reality I watched a travelogue on Egypt last nite. It wasn't very good. But it reminded me of my time in Abu Simbel. This was 20 years ago. I found myself alone in the temple with just a shaft of light and a bird flying around.

Another indelible memory is from my first trip to France... about 40 years ago. My husband and I arrived in Chartres too late for lunch. So we ducked into a simple bar for a glass of wine. When I asked about food the bar maid slapped ham between two pieces of bread. I thought, oh well, at least it's food. One of the best things I've ever eaten. Then we went outside and a vendor was selling apricot sorbet. One of my most memorable meals.

So try to keep the memories down to two -
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Old Jan 20th, 2020, 05:17 PM
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We stayed in Wengen mid October 1991. Beyond quiet in the evening. Just the sound of our foot steps. We walked down a paved path away from the village and above Lauterbrunnen valley. We came across a park bench. As we sat, the sun was setting. There we sat, surrounded, as if in the center of a bowl, by snow capped peaks, now glowing in array of yellows, oranges and purples. As the sun continued to set, lights across the valley in Muerren came on and began to twinkle, as did the lights in the valley far below us. We sat there, in total and utter silence, a silence broken only by the sound of distant cowbells. Absolutely magical. I’ll never forget that evening.
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Old Jan 20th, 2020, 05:27 PM
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2? Okay 😏

Mass, complete with the botafumerio swinging in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, after walking the Camino.

Iona at sunset.

(The Panoramaweg in Muerren would have been a close second but pja covered that...)
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Old Jan 20th, 2020, 05:29 PM
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The airport bus pulling up in front of the Forbidden City in Beijing. Never thought I’d make it there, let alone with three kids. Then walking a mile, eventually entering a hutong, to find our small hotel at the end of an alley.

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Old Jan 20th, 2020, 05:38 PM
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Mother’s Day in Venice.
I had never been to Italy, and was touring with my darling daughter, who had just finished her semester in Florence.
Our hotel room windows opened above the intersection of two small canals.
As we were getting up, and ready to go to brunch at La Calcina, a gondolier was singing Ave Maria under our balcony window.
Magical moments.
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Old Jan 20th, 2020, 05:56 PM
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Two related memories. Are they my favorites? Who knows. But they come to mind at the moment.

1. 1972. My friend Ellen and I are making our way through France and spend a couple of nights in Tours. It is hot and we think it would be nice to go swimming. So, having no knowledge of where we are going, we stick out our thumbs and are picked up by a priest. We ask where might be a good place to go swimming. He says he knows a place, “assez rustique”. He drops us off in front of a little church and says if we walk down the path next to the church we will find a little beach on a river. Which we do. We go swimming in the river. The way back is against the current, which is pretty strong.

Now it is time to go back to Tours. We go out to the road after snapping a picture of the little church and try to hitch back into town. It takes a long time to get a ride, so we start walking. There is a lot of boring, industrial stuff. Eventually we make it back to Tours. Young, stupid, and lucky.

2. 2005. My husband and I are driving through France. We are trying to find our way to our night’s lodging and have to pass through Tours. This is pre-GPS, and we are trying to navigate by following signs. We keep following the signs for “autres directions”, other directions, hoping they will eventually lead us around the city and out the other side. We pass a stretch of big box stores, but soon after we are on a country road that appears to be going our way.

We pass a sign saying “Larcay”. I spot a little church that looks familiar. Turn left, I say. There will be a little beach on the river. And there it is. There is a sign now that says the river is closed to swimming. There is a track for the TGV crossing the river here. Some kids are playing on a slip-and-slide. Some old folks are playing cards. The current still seems pretty fast, maybe even faster.

My husband isn’t nearly as impressed as he should be.
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Old Jan 20th, 2020, 06:00 PM
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Botswana, 2007. Driving along the Chobe River, we stopped to watch a some giraffes drinking in the golden light. A herd of ellies came to drink. They didn't stay long but another herd was coming. We ended up sitting there for hours until long after dark and listened to 500-700 elephants walk through the water. We were all completely silent listening and watching in the moonlight. And it's quite surprising how quiet 500 or 700 elephants can be. Some were as close as 10-15 feet away. I've thought of that evening many times through the years. Magical. Without a doubt.
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Old Jan 20th, 2020, 06:36 PM
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Seeing the temple of Aphaia on the Greek island of Aegina with only a very few other people around. It is a beautiful ruin standing on a hill with most of its pillars intact. That was the most clear feeling I've ever had of witnessing an example of a civilization "gone with the wind."

Driving in Edinburgh at night and seeing the lighted castle perched on its black rock with a full moon rising behind it.
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Old Jan 20th, 2020, 06:58 PM
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Arriving in Avignon for the first time, we walked around the town in the chill dark and came into the square where the Palais des Papes was all lit against the blackness.

As we took time to appreciate the hugeness and starkness of the Palais, a gentleman came along and began to sing opera. The acoustics of the place and the beauty of his voice was stunning. We listened for a long time because, when will this ever happen again? And in all our travels, with many fine moments, it has never happened again.
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Old Jan 20th, 2020, 07:01 PM
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In 1974 we were camping in the Sinai on the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba. We could see the red mountains of Saudi Arabia across the gulf with the green mountains of the Sinai behind us. Far down the beach 3 couples had set up a semi permanent camp using a sand dune as an anchoring back wall and hanging carpets to create rooms. They had been there for 3 months. Early every morning they would spear fish and then trade what they could not use for supplies at a Bedouin camp further in the Sinai. They told us of a restaurant a few miles down the shore run by a couple of Australians and located behind another Bedouin camp. We found the restaurant. It was completely outdoors, a grill and some tables and chairs. The menu was simple. Grilled fish - that was all. We ordered and the owners walked down to the shore, pulled in a net. What was in the net became our dinner. I recall the fish as sweet with blue bones. It was not only a delicious meal, but an adventure as well.

Another outstanding moment was our first visit to Venice and first view of the city as our boat turned on to the Grand Canal. It was breathtakingly beautiful.
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Old Jan 20th, 2020, 08:05 PM
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Mine is the week we were in London at Christmas, complete with snow and chestnuts roasting on an open fire.
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Old Jan 20th, 2020, 08:19 PM
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For the last six or seven years I get some continuing Ed classes at Big Sky, MT over Martin Luther King weekend. Sometimes our daughter joins us and sometimes we meet family and sometimes we meet friends.

Two years ago there was at least two feet of new snow, and it was just my husband and me. We skied the bowl all morning making six minute laps in thigh deep powder. Took a break for lunch and a “nap.” And then skied six laps on a two mile mogul run in the afternoon. It was just the perfect day of snow and fun.

Two years ago in Venice: quiet, full moon, wandering around and dead ending into walls and canals with nowhere else to be.
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Old Jan 20th, 2020, 08:20 PM
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Early 60’s, my first plane ride and trip to Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm. Loved the Matterhorn bobsleds, got sick on the teacup ride, enjoyed the chicken dinner at Knott's, great fun at 9 years old. Oh and got a coonskin hat like my idol Davy Crockett.
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Old Jan 20th, 2020, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by curiousgeo View Post
Early 60’s, my first trip to Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm. Loved the Matterhorn bobsleds, got sick on the teacup ride, enjoyed the chicken dinner at Knott's, great fun at 9 years old. Oh and got a coonskin hat like my idol Davy Crockett.

We took our daughter when she was seven (8! Years ago), and we rode the Matterhorn at least five times; her favorite along with the river ride in CA Adventures).
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Old Jan 20th, 2020, 08:34 PM
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Seeing Delicate Arch for the first time. It was the top of my bucket list for me.
Being the only ones at Delicate Arch. Magical.
Hiking on the trail with pockets of snow on it.
Sitting in the quietness and stillness, soaking everything in.
Laying on my back to get that "sun behind the arch" shot.
Not such a great memory = my feet slipping on the sandstone due to ice crystals in the rock. My first experience with panic, thinking I may slip and fall and imagining the slow slide down into the amphitheater.

I don't think I want to return and have to share Delicate Arch with other people.

kureiff's post reminds me of getting off the water taxi after a late night tour and walking into the fog, neither of us really knowing where we were. Followed footsteps and then the fog cleared a bit and we were in St Mark's square for the first time. Made even more special was it felt like the water taxi/ fog description goddesstogo had so beautifully written about.

My birthday morning on the Grand Canal. Standing at the window, eating a peach croissant that was brought to the room on a silver tray, and watching the early morning worker boat traffic. Truly a dream come true (the Grand Canal room also thanks to gtg's descriptions years before).

Last edited by starrs; Jan 20th, 2020 at 08:49 PM.
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Old Jan 21st, 2020, 12:28 AM
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1. Serengeti: Having left camp early and watched the hyenas playing (I love hyenas!) we continued with not a single sighting, not even a bird. We met another jeep and the driver guides chatted and agreed that area seemed to have nothing around at that time. We drove on a bit, intending to move to a different area when I saw movement, and we had three beautiful cheetah brothers to ourselves for maybe half an hour.
Watching a gnu give birth on another day, waking up to a lion in the camp in the night another day. So many great memories from that trip.

2. My first Hurtigruten trip. After lots of grey and snow we had a day of rare delight, starting with an amazing dawn as we sailed south toward the Lofoten. The sun staggered up eventually and we had the perfect weather for going through the islands. At the end of the day we had hours of northern lights display.

3. Seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time. Not only the beauty of it but enjoying the condors and the quiet. It was early March and had snowed frosting it all with white. No crowds that trip unlike later trips.
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Old Jan 21st, 2020, 02:41 AM
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Standing in front of the house in Abruzzo Italy where my grandfather was born (he was born in 1884 and I don't think the house has changed much in the interim). A clerk at the city hall personally escorted us there when we tried to locate it.

That first glimpse of Venice from a boat. This was our first trip to Europe with our sons and, mamma mia! Is there any other place in Europe that says to the same degree that you're not in Kansas (or, in our case, Pennsylvania) anymore?

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Old Jan 21st, 2020, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by hetismij2 View Post
It was early March and had snowed frosting it all with white. No crowds that trip unlike later trips.
I love all of yours and am jealous of #2, but the first time I saw the Grand Canyon was like you. In March. Snow was falling and fell for three days. Nothing like seeing the GC with snow on the layers and the quietness without the crowds around. We were young and stupid and had no idea we needed reservations. As we drove in, a steady stream of cars were leaving. They had heard the snow forecast and we were leaving. We had the time, no matter the weather and thanks to their exodus found a room on the rim. It was the same trip as the Delicate Arch stop.
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Old Jan 21st, 2020, 04:01 AM
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Riding an old train from Lausanne to Interlaken and as we gained elevation it started to snow big glorious flakes. By the time we got to Interlaken, it was Christmas card perfect.

It seems that that many of these memories involved snow but what is more magical?
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Old Jan 21st, 2020, 05:19 AM
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My best has always been, and now more than ever, our first trip to Paris, arriving Christmas Eve and going to Notre Dame for Christmas Eve mass. Walking across that plaza in the dark and cold to the cathedral, beautifully lit, the big bells tolling, people approaching from all directions—it was a very emotional moment for us both. Then leaving in the mass of bodies, worried I’d get separated from my husband and reaching behind me to take his hand. When we got to the edge of the immense crowd I turned to say something to him and realized I was holding the hand of an elderly woman...who just smiled wanly at me as I died a thousand deaths. . Happily my husband was still there too. I’ve told this a bajillion times, so my apologies to those who have heard it all before.
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