The one-offs that make Edinburgh brilliant
"I knew Sicily was a pretty spectacular place when I visited earlier this year but didn't appreciate just how much there was to see, how great the food was and what a welcoming people lived there," says Tom Hall, editor of Lonelyplanet.com. "In a week I barely scratched the surface and can't wait to go back."
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Tunisia, I have to say PLEASE just don't go to Tunisia. When I went there I was spat at in the street and please don't misunderstand I'm a 40 plus woman who was respectfully dressed at all times but I was still spat at in the street. When walking from our hotel to the near by beach on a number of occasions there were dead animals just thrown on the side of the road. One evening we were in the hotel bar when a group of creepy men gathered around me and a friend and when my partner came over to see if we were ok he was set upon and then thrown in jail where he was beaten again only this time by the police ...... the guys who worked in our hotel were very kind and helped us so much when we had no where else to turn (the hotel rep was not interested in helping us) . Thankfully the barman at the hotel we were staying at went to the Tunisian police and explained that it was in fact the local guys who had set on my partner for no reason and helped us get him released ...I can say in all honesty I'm not sure what we would have done without him ......
If we had gone to Tunisia and NEVER left our hotel grounds we would have been fine but for us at least that's not a holiday its a fancy prison. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our bad experience in Tunisia and its not that we are not experienced travellers we have both travelled extensively since our teens and between us have been almost all over the world. I won't bore you with all the details I'll just say again PLEASE DON'T GO TO TUNISIA ....in our experience its not even safe !!!!!
Methinks MR.fogle is having a girrafe! London is filthy,overcrowded and overpriced.It's also about as welcoming as hades!
Wherever you go just enjoy your holiday, given time almost every venue will throw you a few suprises. In these hard pressed times a holiday is a real bonus and many of these places are beyond peoples budget, so even if its Southend on Sea or Argentina, giving yourself a break from lifes daily pressures is essential for your good health.
Myanmar is a worth exploration, and not just Yangoon the capital, taking the to the roads is an experence all on its own, and the road to Mandalay can be a lifetime adventure, but worth it. What ever you do, just give yourself time, don't rush it, allow life to happen, the journey is also part of the enjoyment.
Life is what you make it.... it won't just happen for you. You have to do something about it, so make it happen for you in 2012. I left the UK a few years ago with just a few hundred pounds in my pocket, and I've never been back since. My standard of living is much higher, I have more personal time than ever before, there is more time for friends and loved ones, enough work to live a quality life, a lot healther, and all the so called modern technology gagets and essentials one can have in the UK , plus its safe to walk the streets on your own at night.
Its an amazing world out there don't be fooled by politics and propaganda, people are mostly just like us wherever you go, we all have the same basic values. You can earn less but have more, where ever you go make your personal list of things essential to you, if you have that you can live anywhere...... don't get stuck in a rut, doing the same thing day after day, find yourself a better life
Got to agree with Tom (the muss) below.
Simon Calder (not for the first time - this is the guy who just endorsed the Cayman Islands on LBC without mentioning how much things cost out there, the fact that it resembles a building site or the crime issues) is talking out of his rear when it comes to Cuba.
Based on my recent visits it's a great place for cheap, all-inclusive holidays if you don't mind hotels full of Russians and the sort of UK tourists who did Ibiza when they were younger but the country is now very much into the 'all-mighty dollar' and that definitely ruins the experience. 20 years ago his comments might have been right but the influx of tourists from Europe, Canada and (mostly unofficially) from the USA has changed things. 12-15 years ago I could fly into Havana from one of the other Caribbean countries with a couple of mates and US$100 each a night would get us an apartment, fully serviced including female company, plus the full cultural experience but those days are definitely long gone.
As journalists are still subject to immigration controls (I was nearly arrested on arrival a couple of years ago) I'm not even sure where he got his opinion from - possibly out of the guide books? How friendly is Cuba? Well friends of mine had half their luggage stolen (all the expensive stuff) out there and the police didn't want to know. On my last trip I was charged £3 for a rum and coke that would cost a local about 20p, someone tried to steal the glasses I was wearing in Havana and everyone you dealt with seemed to expect a minimum $5 tip even if the service was rubbish. When the cruise ships and US tourists hit the place, probably in 2012, you can kiss whatever is left goodbye.
My advice if you want somewhere special, try Albania. I first went there in 1991 and it is still staggeringly unspoilt.
Egypt (the Red Sea/Sinai area) is also good right now. It's nothing like as unspoilt as it was 15 years ago but if you stay away from Sharm El Sheikh it's cheap with great scenery and no crowds.
Tbf, ive travelled allot, been to many a great place and many a bad one. I would like to add that within Europe it would have to be CALABRIA in southern Italy, Been there five times, Ryanair fly there direct from Stansted, cheap too, the place is untouched, people are great and accommodation cheap, beaches are empty, save for August when the North Italians invade. The beach where we go, "Santa fuime" is 40kms long clean and sandy and in may/june/july/sept, if you can see 30 people on it then your seeing it "Busy" Tropea, Pizzo, Roccella are all within an hour of the local Airport of Lamezia and you can be in Sicily within an hour via the ferry from Reggio.
Outside of Europe, well that i will have to say (along with another poster) would be "The Gambia", yes it might have a rep for the beach "Bods" hassling you, however a firm, "Go away" will soon have them leaving you be. Go inland a bit and the countryside is just breath taking. Also, pound for pound, cheap too. Simple enough to get to from Gatwick to Banjul with Thomson or Thomas Cook with three departures a week, they also fly out of Manchester i believe.
Where ever you got this year, have fun and as i was once told as a bit of advice and its served me well, once you are abroad, YOU are the foreigner, Just remember that and your laughing.
Looking at the pic of Buenos Aires (16) i wondered how the hell did the dancer get his foot in that position, somehow it doesn't look right......love the Argentinian Tango mind you !!
My wife and I have been abroad quite a lot over the last few years but as we are both disabled and getting no better we find all the hassle going through the airports is now too painful (the actual flights are quite enjoyable). We understand WHY the security has to be the way it is and would much rather have it in place than not, but it does prevent us from flying.
Now, to get to the point - being as we have no interest in either sports or large crowds (so making London a no-go area) is there NOWHERE in this country worth going to next year???