Hey - what's something you did or somewhere you went that stands out above all the rest - that you'll never forget and you remember as one of your favourite places or moments?
I'm just looking for some interesting idea's and stories, preferably off the touristy track, to muse over.
(I'm in Irish Land at the moment, but I'd be interested to hear stuff about anywhere in the world, close or far).
my coolest experience is watching the sunset at the grand canyon. there was a forest fire on the north rim and the smoke from it made for the best sunset!
I was near denver on a country dirt road and I could see planes landing and taking off to the left, a lightning storm straight ahead and the sun setting over the mountains to the right.
Getting arrested by US army troops in Baghdad, Iraq for taking photo's of military vihicles without consent. They almost shot me, whicked. They held me for 3 hours and let me.
It was a "you had to be there" moment.
The best story I have is getting altitude sickness in La Paz, deciding to leave the country only to have a civil war break out and all transportation being grounded.
But really, that's not what sticks out for me when I think back on my travels. There is one moment that really shines through whenever I think of travelling, and that was early morning in Punta Arenas, Chile. I walked out from my hotel to a bright sunny day (of which they had been few in Patagonia since I had gotten there).
I was suddenly struck by how happy I was. I was in a place as far as I had ever been from home. Everything was at the same time both so familiar and so alien. Everything that was worrying me back home was completely and totally off my shoulders. I was totally free to not worry about anything except walking around and checking out the town. It was a moment of complete and total freedom. And the sun was shining.
Of course, that doesn't make as cool as story as gunmen and bodily peril. But when I am feeling low, I think back to that moment in Punta Arenas, and it always makes me smile.
About 3 years ago I saw this awesome picture of a lighthouse on the top of a hill. In the background the beautiful blue sea, sparkling in the sunlight.
From that moment on I wanted to go to there, to New Zealand and specially to this lighthouse- Nugget Point.
When I went down South (by Bus) I looked at the map and found out, that I would never get there, because it was just too far away from the main road and I wouldnt have the time, to get off the bus and hitchhike or walk there.
Then, about a week on the South Isl., we stopped at a cafe and I saw photos of 'Nugget Point' there. I got excited and said to the lady behind the counter 'I've always wanted to go there! It must be soo beautiful!"
And I couldnt belive it, when she said 'As far as I know, u guys will go there today. Ur bus always goes there!"
A few hours later we got there. I couldnt believe my luck and I enjoyed every step I had to take to get out to the lighthouse.
Moreover it was just a very beautiful day, blue sky, sunshine...
like the photo I saw 3 years ago.
I will never forget the moment, when I was standing there, looking at this great scenery and tears running down my face, because I was so happy...
It's hard to pin-point the coolest, but...
Running my fingers between the cracks of the stones inside the cathedral in Seville, realizing that someone put them there so long ago, standing in that very same spot.
Or realizing the Eiffel tower was brown, and not black (and buying a phone card to call my mother because, for some reason, I just had to share that with someone).
But it's probably just sitting in a cafe, watching the world go by, alone on vacation for the first time and far from home. It was a strange mix of pride, satisfaction, happiness, excitement, anticipation, and calm, calm, calm... If there's such a thing as a traveller's high, that was it.
Tway said, "Or realizing the Eiffel tower was brown, and not black..."
I had the same thing happen when I went to St. Louis - I was amazed to learn that the Arch is actually silvery and metallic. It always looked white and concert when watching football and baseball games on TV.
Pictures never really seem to capture things, do they? I've given up taking pictures of mountains - they always look lame when I get home.
well, can't really say there is a "coolest ever" experience, but the collest this year was this:
i went to paris with a friend and the second day got really rainy. so we said to ourselves "hey, lets do something inside today, so we won't get too wet". we decided to go to the louvre and see if it wouldnt strangle our budget for the day. when we got there we realized that it wouldnt strangle our budget (though it wasnt cheap either), but would probably strangle our patience, as it seemed like EVERYONE that was visiting paris that day had the same idea. it was so crowed, i've never seen anything like that before.
totally frustrated by all the tourists ruining "our" day we decided to get on the train and just go somewhere. we jumped of at some station in the north and just walked around for a while. we landed in the indian quarter. very cool place where everything seems to be indian, sign, ads, everything. that was also the time we kinda got hungry so we decided to check out one of the indian restaurants. we went in said "we don't speak indian, and don't really speak french as well, we don't know what all this stuff is, so please give us something thats not too expensive (everyone who has been to paris knows what i mean) and you think is good...!"
what we got was amazing indian pancakes with curry/something vegetables to put on top and ( i think) rice with a tea (with lots of milk and sugar) afterwards. everything tasted really... uhmmm... different (never had anything like that before). and the price was great! EUR 3,50/per person. probably the cheapest meal you can get in paris. as we ate there was a TV running in the restaurant showing indian music videos just great.
my coolest experience is chilling out in africa, ghana at a place called akuma village. cultural programs and very cheap stuff. check it out at www.akumavillage.com