My Top Ten Places To Visit (10 – 6)

As you read this list, please keep in mind these are only the places I have visited. I have not yet been to Niagara Falls, The Grand Canyon, Egypt, India, or many other places. As I do, this list may change

10. Sarasota Florida

With some of the finest beaches in the world, Sarasota ranks as one of my favorite place to visit. We have family there so we go a lot. People travel from all over the globe for Florida’s west coast beaches and I live in Florida so you might think that a great beach is not such a big deal but we are talking about white sand. They are just beautiful. But great beaches is not all Sarasota has to offer. If you like the circus then a visit to Ringling Art Museum is a must. For those of you who get a bit freaked out by the clowns, there is the Mote Marine Aquarium, G-Whizz, a hands on museum for the kids, or Sarasota Jungle Gardens. After a busy day  having fun or relaxing at the beach, take a walk around St Armands Circle and browse the high end stores or stop by Hemmingways for a cool drink or watch ice cream being made at Kilwins ice cream shop. Fabulous beaches, fun things to do and a great place to people watch makes Sarasota my number Ten

9. Yorkshire Dales. England

Vast moors with rivers, brooks, waterfalls, limestone walls that never end. Gorgeous little villages with roads almost too narrow for one mini cooper. Cottages with thatched rooves and tiny front doors. Wonderful little pubs with a roaring fire in the hearth serving a great pint of beer and a generous plate of fish & chips. Down to earth folk who will still tip their cap as they see you coming and scenery that will knock your socks off. All of this makes The Yorkshire Dales a “must visit” on your next trip to the UK and ranks number nine on my list

8. Lugano, Switzerland

I spent a year here back in the early 80s and I know I was going to love it from the train ride from Bern. I remember looking out of the window at beautiful green hills, going through a tunnel, entering on the other side amidst nothing but white as far as I could see. A journey I will never forget. The town of Lugano it set on Lake Lugano which is a glacial lake and a border between Switzerland and Italy. The area surrounding Lugano is home to over 186 miles of mountain bike trails. Mt Bre has had a funicular that runs up the mountain since 1912. Monte Brè, (which is Switzerland’s sunniest spot) is also home to the village of Brè which is a fairly intact old village and if you ever visit, make sure to eat a delicious dish called “raclette” a Swiss dish consisting of cheese melted over a fire and then scraped onto bread, gherkins and tiny boiled potatoes. Enjoy a glass of wine and make sure to try their chocolate. You will think you died and went to heaven! For you culture cravers out there, you will find some beautiful 15th and 16th century churches and cathedrals as well as many museums and you can see the Orchestra Della Svizzera Italiana perform at the Palazzo dei Congressi. Beauty, history and great chocolate makes Lugano, Switzerland my number eight

7. Howarth. West Yorkshire, England

“Yesterday afternoon set in misty and cold. I had half a mind to spend it by my study fire, instead of wading through heath and mud to Wuthering Heights” A quote from the classic novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. One of three sisters who were raised in Howarth. The other famous sisters of course being Charlotte and Ann. Not forgetting their somewhat rogue brother Branwell.  Besides being famous for their literary daughters, Howarth is a lovely little village . You can get there by one of the few remaining steam trains operating in the UK. This experience alone is well worth the trip. The train runs from Keighley (My hometown) and the setting for the movie “The Railway Children” , to Oxenhope where there is a steam train museum. Howarth is the next to last stop. Main street is a steep cobbled road with quaint little tea shoppes and souvenir stores on either side. .If you are up for it, you can take a walk over the Yorkshire moors to Wuthering Heights and back and then stop at one of the many old fashioned pubs for a pint and a plate of pie and peas.. Literary history and a trip back in time aboard a steam train makes Howarth my number seven place to visit

6.Athens, Greece

One summer in the mid 80s, I decided to visit Athens and stay for a couple of months. I stayed seven years. That is the power of this historic city. Of course it could have also been the fact that the bars were open until 4am every night. Well either way, if you truly want to see the world, the Athens is an absolute must on your itinerary. The city itself is dirty, smoggy, crowded, loud and absolutely wonderful! When you walk around here with the constant bouzouki music in your ears, someone trying to sell you something at every turn, the delicious aroma of Greek coffee mixed with souvlaki turning on the spit, you truly do feel as though you have stepped into another world. Of course I don’t need to mention the Acropolis and the Parthenon, that is a given, but make sure to wander around the Plaka. On a Sunday morning, there is a open market where anyone can sell anything..and I mean shoe, a used bus ticket, a pebble from the beach or half a fork. The amazing thing is, people actually buy this stuff. It is fun to watch . Afterward take a walk over to the Parliament to watch the changing of the guards. I guarantee you have never seen anything like this.

In the evening you can visit one of the hundreds of tavernas and enjoy a delicious meal and don’t be surprised if as you sit enjoying your wine, some strange lady grabs your hand and pulls you up to dance around the room Greek style. Just go with it and if you are feeling even braver, grab a plate and smash it on the floor. OPA! Athens is number six.