Where to next?
Some clues are in there…
Yes, we’re still going to head back to Portugal at some point in the future, largely because we missed out on a fair bit of what Porto had to offer because of the storms and a feeling that we should have spent more time along the Douro.
There are a few clues as to where we’d like to be heading over the next two or three years, especially as both of us have significant birthdays coming up that may provide a good excuse for journeys to places a bit further afield (travel funds permitting of course!).
We’ve already talked about heading back to a couple of areas we’ve already visited here in the UK over the last six years that have a connection with a popular drink made from apples. Yes, it’s cider time again and we’ve already got the Cider Route map for Herefordshire and have printed off some details of what’s on offer in Somerset too.
One or two museums may also be visited – the National Cycle Museum for instance and at least one film location – Lyme Regis – has been discussed (if only for Caroline to do her best Meryl Streep impression on The Cobb).
Andalucia is on the agenda, as are a couple of countries that we’ve discussed over the last week or so. Will television choices being so poor, we’ve fed the DVD player with a couple of travelogues featuring Francesco da Mosto – Italy Top To Toe and Francesco’s Mediterranean Voyage.
Which have led to a few ideas being bandered about…
The first is one or two explorations of Italy by train (and no, we’re not going all Michael Portillo with this idea!) and a potential visit to Sicily too (but not to Vigata as it is a made-up for TV drama location).
The second is to possibly take a package deal to one of the Greek Islands and explore whichever that destination is either on foot, by public transport or by an organised trip such as the one we had in the Troodos mountains of Cyprus a few years ago.
Favourite for this one at the moment is Rhodes Old Town on Rhodes. Yes, there will be the likes of tour buses to contend with or those coming off cruise ships, but there should also be the opportunity to explore in quieter surroundings once the buses have gone and the cruise ship passengers have gone back onboard to further partake in their tin can bubble experience.
The third is to do some island hopping – have bag, will travel style. Get a plane, get a ferry, find some digs, explore, roll the dice and then move on to our next stop. Yes, it’s seen as a young person’s style of travelling, but why shouldn’t a couple of fiftysomethings do the same?
We’ve met quite a few people on our travels who have taken the safe and easy option of going on escorted coach tours looking at art, historical sites or doing the foodie thing.
Or taking to the high seas on unimpressively large cruise ships and having to dress for dinner rather than hitting a less pretentious eating place in either a t-shirt and trousers or in the lower end of the smart casual dress scale.
The fourth is Istanbul and off the beaten track Turkey. Yes, the country has had problems recently and these may impact on what can and can’t be done in the future, but I’ve met people who have been going over for years and are about to do so again.
The mix of eastern and western cultures interests me and that’s why I’d bought a couple of books on Istanbul long before the recent alleged coup attempt or the targeting of tourist spots.
Morocco still fascinates, as does the thought of return trips to Iceland and Norway or two weeks in a tent in Switzerland with a view of the Alps freely available every morning when you open the tent door. Then there’s India, France and Cuba plus a coast to coast rail trip from west to east in the USA.
Some places don’t appeal though – Rome, Athens, Las Vegas, NYC, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and China haven’t really been on our radar and I somehow suspect that they will never appear on it.
Especially as I still haven’t been to Northern Ireland, Isle of Man or Malta/Gozo – yet!