Long shot… write the bucket…

I don’t know why, but for some reason, the subject of bucket lists appear to have come to the fore over the last week or so.

There’s been comments on various websites about them, there’s a listing on the Kindle store for The Unique Travel Bucket List by Danielle Renner (just bought it at lunch time and am a few ‘pages’ into the book at the moment) and there’s even been a mention of bucket lists on a repeat episode of NCIS too.

Do I have a bucket list? Kind of, but it’s not as long as it used to be, largely because so many things have been ticked off over the years that just happened and were never planned too far in advance.

I’ve managed bands, I’ve photographed a few rock acts and have interviewed a few singers, musicians, actors, writers and comedians for a variety of magazines.

Heck, I’ve even met a few mountaineers, politicians and Radio One Dj’s too – and sang live on the Radio One Breakfast Show (thankfully as part of a crowd, rather than solo!) and chatted with Cy Grant, a singer and musician that may be better known to those of a certain age as the voice of Lt. Green in the original version of Captain Scarlet…

I’ve been filmed photographing Madness, reviewed films in print and on TV (thankfully that show is not on You Tube – I’ve checked!), I’ve been seen on The Tube watching The Smiths during their last appearance on that show and been deafened for four days by a certain metal band who shot a video whilst playing at Newcastle City Hall (you’d need some pretty good software to find and see me).

As far as travel goes, I’ve got to most of the places that I’ve wanted to get to. I’ve had to rule a couple of places out for health reasons though as I can’t go diving after having a collapsed lung a few years ago and suspect that heading to the Himalayas may cause problems too after that collapsed lung and stroke ten years ago.

I’ve headed to Norway a few times now (11 to be precise) in the Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. I’ve seen The Northern Lights over a stave church at Lillehammer, looked down over Bergen harbour after dark from the top of the Floibanen and headed out on cross country skis around Geilo, Trysil, Beitostolen and Lillehammer.

Yet I still want to go back there. Plans to take a Reliant Robin up to Nord Kapp came to nothing about twenty years ago (don’t ask!), but I want to show Caroline what Norway’s like in the winter months. I also want to get up to Trondheim and above as we didn’t get up there last time we were over there. And I’d also like to head up the coast on the Hurtigruten service at some point too.

I’ve been to Iceland and want to head back there as well. It’s a while since I last visited, but there’s unfinished business across there. Two weeks wasn’t enough to explore that country properly, even though I had a hire car at the time. Places were missed or left behind after too short a stay, so I’d like to spend a month over there from mid-September onwards.

Why then? Because of the light, the colours and how quiet everything is. It’s an amazing country and I want to do it justice this time. It can be cold, there may be snow, but to honest, I don’t care. I may not get into the interior, but again, that doesn’t really bother me, because I could go back there earlier in the year to do that…

Plans are already afoot to go back to Portugal. Not for an activity holiday, but to relax, unwind and explore. We spent a fortnight over there in September 2013 and were quite relaxed, chilled and contented as we sat on the terrace seats of a bar overlooking Lisbon just 24 hours after I’d done my last shift for the employers I’d fired a couple of weeks beforehand.

We’d like to head over to Switzerland too, but do it by train rather than by air. Idea is to put a tent up at Interlaken and then explore from there. I did this in the 1980’s, but want to do it again, just for the hell of it.

The combination of scenery, cities and the Swiss railway system make it all possible – even if the journey through the Eiger is still one of the most expensive rail journeys in Europe. I suspect that I did it before Michael Portillo (I stand to be corrected on this!), but hey, it’s worth doing it again, even though my wings have been clipped a bit.

Other destinations to revisit include Cyprus, the Jura, Andalucia, Ireland and Austria. Some destinations are worth being a tourist for, others as a walker. Orkney in good weather would be another one on the list too as it poured down the last time we were up there.

New ones on the list would be crossing the States by train and then spending some time in New England in the fall (corny I know, but one to try out), journeying to the Greek Islands, cycling in the Netherlands, touring Italy and taking a week or two to explore Sicily.

Yes, the last ones are inspired by TV programmes – Francesco Da Mosca‘s journey by Alfa Romeo and Inspector Montalbano respectively – but they fairly and squarely hit the spot. And after all, it wouldn’t be the first time that we’ve travelled after television provided the inspiration.

We watched Julia Bradbury’s Icelandic Walk programme one Saturday night and discussed it the following day. Whilst we couldn’t afford to hit Iceland on the break that we had six weeks later, we did a bit of probing and got reasonably priced flights to Oslo instead.

The ten days in Norway were great and we thoroughly enjoyed travelling by bus, train and hydrofoil. By the time we got home we were nicely chilled and relaxed, but one week later, we were pleased that we’d travelled when we did as all hell had broken loose in Oslo just a few hundred metres from where we had been staying…

Would we go back again? We’d have got the next plane out if we’d had the money and the time off – only problem was that we’d spent up on our ten days over there. £8 for a beer and £43 for two pizzas and two soft drinks in a place in Oslo kind of hit our combined spending power somewhat!

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About Keith Rickaby

Fiftysomething writer and occasional photographer who has worked in the tailoring trade and the outdoor/travel clothing, equipment and footwear game. Past lives include working as an outdoor instructor, managing three bands and doing PR work through an agency or my own contacts. Was a student in the mid-90s and whilst I'm originally from the North East, I'm now firmly based in't Yorkshire...
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