P is for Pompeii – Places I Dream of Seeing!

P  Today we jump from Orlando to Pompeii and the two could not be more different in terms of the reasons for their existence.19752-004-F056403C

While one is a place of fun and laughter the other is a solemn reminder of just how cruel mother nature can be when she unleashes her fury.  While we can never really full visualise the sheer terror of those who lost their loves convinced the Gods had turned against them and condemned them, modern technology does give us an idea of what it may have looked like as Vesuvius blow her top.Pompeii

I have long been fascinated by the remains of this vast city that was decimated by the blasts of ash and lava, before we move on to the human remains I want to look first at the buildings. pompeii-day-trip-from-rome-in-rome-42924

The same process which preserved the remains of the inhabitants also preserved many of the buildings and gives us a unique insight into day to day living.  Roads remain in place openings into courtyards and buildings, murals and wall decorations remain in place so both the professional and tourist historian can get a sense of what it was like to walk those streets in the exact same way as they would have prior to eruption day.RTEmagicC_ercolano_03.jpg

There are of course other places in Italy that have history preserved but it is the very destruction of this city which makes it such a special place for those who lost their lives here were never laid to rest, even had they not been buried beneath the ash for hundreds of years there would have been no one left to bury them.2548564568_1dbb3307d7

It could be viewed as a little macabre that the bodies lay on display but if course it is not flesh and blood we see before us, it is stone and that somehow makes it more acceptable, I recently watched a programme where the looked at why the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum fared so differently, only skeletons remained in the latter, and if was all to do with how the eruption differed in the directions and I am not scientifically gifted enough to explain it here.  Sadly the programme made by the BBC is not on You-tube I did go look to try to share a link. One thing the programme did do though was create a very different ‘face’ to the devastation.54c86dfc5a2cf3d0aa8807a8b881ced4

The Bella Donna was recreated if I remember correctly from one of the skulls found at Herculaneum, it is a reminder that though we long to visit these places we must be respectful of the fact these were real people not just characters in a dreadful tale. Many tourists visit every year and a small proportion do not treat the place with the respect it deserves, but also the very fact it has been opened to the elements by the very act of uncovering it also is leading to erosion, I read at one point of plans to build a glass dome over the whole site, et that was not deemed practical.

The one thing that is can never be protected from is the brooding giant who looms on the horizon, for now mother nature sleeps but should she lose her temper again it is possible Vesuvius could once more reclaim Pompeii as her own.


O is for Orlando – Places I Dream of Seeing!

O I am going to keep this really short partly because as I write this I am shattered and secondly because what is there really to say.GJ6cRnibvKObFZhOaM042GPaz8j14J39rZ18b1Su

While realistically I could consider a trip to Disneyland Paris, doing the full blown Disney experience in Orlando would be a lottery win only situation. If I were going to do this trip I would want to make the most of every minute we had there and stay in the resort itself. Disneyland hotel

I was actually recently discussing the prices for this with a friend and on after a quick Google established it would cost between £4,500 and £6,000 for me and the monster the stay for 7 nights in a Disney Hotel and have access to the park.  Now while it would probably be possible to find a cheaper offer by doing some serious searching, it is worth noting that we Brits are now constrained as to when we can take our kids off in that it has to be during school holidays or we get fined.  Of course holiday companies know this so the price goes up so unless those 6 numbers come up it remains a dream.tbd_wizardingbusiness062014_13350774_8col

Obviously there are loads of rides and attractions but I decided to just pick one part that would be the biggest attraction for me.  Harry Potter! Do I need to say more? Bring on the butter beer!


N is for New Orleans – Places I Dream of Seeing

N This location is one inspired by my love of a certain series of books and the places I want to visit here are all related to this.index

The New Orleans of my dreams is that featured in the work of Anne Rice in both her Mayfair witches series and more importantly the Vampire Chronicle.  So where to begin…47510194-Anne-Rice-Homes-of-Writers

Maybe given we are taking about places inspired by a writer we should begin with her abode. Though as far as I know she no longer lives there or owns the house any longer this is the house that she lived in while writing many of the books for which she is now famous.  It is also the house which many of the houses she has written about, primarily the home of the Mayfair witches, is based upon down to the tree in the garden. It remains a definite must see for fans visiting New Orleans.6846064119_d4472529cf_z

Next up is the Lafayette Cemetery, now what I am about to confess will make me seem a complete cow but when I heard Hurricane Katrina was ripping the city to bits a very selfish part of me had the first thought of I hope the cemetery is okay.  Yup, I am a bad person. However the history contained in the graveyard is worthy of a trip to New Orleans alone and to lose it would be a tragedy and for the families of those buried there even more painful. frenchQuarter_lg

Moving on from there I think the next area I would visit would be the French Quarter, once more the history contained in this area is amazing and also so brilliantly brought alive on the pages of Anne Rice’s books that even to walk there today one would easily be able to imagine the same streets two hundred years ago, the cooking smells drifting from the Creole cooking in the kitchens. The exotic mix of cultures, and though of course I know many were poor and of dubious birth, what have been described often as very beautiful people in terms of looks.  9838329

But we cannot linger so much still to see from here lets take a trip out into the raw natural beauty of the swamp.  For you and I of course it would be a nice safe trip in a boat but I would want to take time to imagine the darker side of the swamp.  The lives claimed as slaves attempted to flee to freedom only to find that mother nature does not care, the bodies disposed of after meeting a foul end on the road.g4q4jndy

But from here we move once more though the next thing was brought with the slaves, their religion, their only hope of justice. For those who have only just joined us here on my blog through A – Z this may come as a little bit of a shock for those who have been around a while you know I am a sick puppy! So of course I am going to go look at shrunken heads.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All belief systems work in the same way, there is a bargaining.  Act a certain way, do certain things and you will be rewarded, if you don’t then consequences await.  The savagery of religion generally diminishes as scientific knowledge increases, while we condemn the slicing of the calves throat or removal of the chickens head it is only because the religions we are brought up with have moved away from that practise.  But we must always bear in mind the soil upon which we stand has been fed through sacrifice and not only animal, only education and an understanding of science will change the views for those who believe that their Voodoo works.

But for today that is almost it for the places in this glorious city that I wish to visit except for one final event…quiroz-susie-ARVB

Hands up if you thought I was going to say the Mardi Gras! Well as tempting as that is this comes higher. Every year the Anne Rice Fan Club hold an amazing costume ball with the author herself in attendance most years.  Now as you all know I love dressing up, in fact any excuse to dress up especially Halloween so for me this would just be the ultimate opportunity to go all out Vamp.index2

If I ever do get there you know my camera is going to need so many batteries lol and I might need an extra suitcase for the dress and wig I would want to wear.


M is for Machu Picchu – Places I Dream of Seeing.

M  Now given my other choices I know this is pretty obvious so it will be a fairly short post.imagesm

Of course M has to be Machu Picchu in Peru.  Now obviously the main attraction here are the Llamas, only joking lol though of course they are adorable.  Once more it is the remains of an ancient civilisation, now once more before I could even begin to think of undertaking a trip like this I would have to get fit and invest in some serious hiking boots.machu-picchu-wider-view

The views are spectacular as is the history of the ruin complex.  It seems incredible that a city could be built here amongst the clouds but then again if you believe in the Gods you would want to be as close to them as possible.uccelli_machu_picchu_16

I think one of the things that I do find so fascinating is how intact the building are given the time elapsed since their construction and the fact they are so exposed to the elements.  One thing I would want to do if I was lucky enough to make this trip is to do it properly and include the Inca Trail.inca-trail-map

First thing I would need to do after getting fit enough is cure my fear of heights but then again I do fair slightly better with natural heights rather than man made ones but it would really be something to manage the full hike and see these amazing places.


L is for Leicester – Places I Dream of Seeing

L First let me say I have no excuse for why I have never actually done this one even though it is probably is the one that is most close to my heart.imagesl

My grandma who recently passed away was born in Leicester, I have family who still live there. I have places I long to see, from doing the family tree I know the church where family were christened, confirmed, married and buried.  I know the street my great great grandfather worked as apprentice to a butcher.

41237737_640Many of the factories the family worked in are gone but some of the streets remain, it ma even be possible to trace their footsteps from one location to another.

Even without the personal connection it has a rich historyLeicester_Town_Hall and is well worth a visit in its own right.  It is also now the final resting place of King Richard III although I personally don’t think much to the monument they are putting up for his tomb but that is my personal taste.great great grandma callis

I ask myself why I have never gone but the truth is you always think there will be a tomorrow, I have been reminded though by my recent loss that time does not stand still, this is one location I intend to make a reality sooner rather than later.


K is for Kenya – Places I Dream of Seeing!

K There are many places I want to visit but feel conflicted about because of politics and poverty, in some ways this is another but there is hope.index

Kenya suffered the same fate as many other African countries, we came we conquered, made a mess and didn’t take all our litter with us.  But of all the countries I have mentioned so far Kenya is the one I hold out most hope for if the right people get control of the country.homebannerimg2

The opportunities for this country to truly profit from tourism are enormous and their national identity seems strong enough to not be destroyed by it. The Masai Warriors may very well be the perfect people to lead this country to wipe out poverty and suffering. k

They have managed to keep their identities while embracing tourism, even playing up to it and have adapted their own lifestyles not for financial profit but to protect the wildlife, where once they would automatically kill animals that threatened their livestock and crops they have learnt to work with the conservation agencies, to appreciate the benefits of having the animals present and find other methods for deterrents.  How many endangered species around the world would be saved if we could persuade others there is more profit from people shooting with camera’s than guns.kenya8

I know I make it all sound so simplistic but take politics out of it and it is.  Like other places the poorest people need to profit from tourism in ways that do not mean they resort to crime to feed their families while the rich drive past ignoring them.  In an ideal world I would wait for the world to be an equal place before visiting these places but this one I might just make an exception to if I win the lottery.Wildebeest-Sunset4

After all how could I turn down sunsets like these.


J is for Java – Places I Dream of Seeing!

J  I am starting to see a theme in the places I want to go so far at least half the places have the potential to be deadly, today’s included. java-island

Java as you know is an Indonesian island and you have my sister to thank (blame) for this one. She went out to Indonesia as part of her studies when she was at uni but this is my dream not hers, you can guess my struggle picking one place in the area to visit, Sumatra has Tigers, Borneo has Orang-utans and Bali the beaches and temples but Java has all of those and of course Volcanos. j

As part of the ring of fire it has some of the most active volcanos in the world today, I can pretty much guarantee this would be one place I could theoretically look down into the crater at the top and see the lava bubbling, though I think flying over would be a better idea than climbing these.The Island of Java tourism destinations

There are of course the temples which are as beautiful and elaborate any others I have featured, I have wondered as I write these posts if there is a direct link between the harshness of life and the beauty of the temple.  It seems in some ways crazy to expend so much energy building something nature could so easily destroy but they seem to survive so maybe mother nature appreciates the vision if not always the builders.

Java-Island_YB1-PD1SA_DX-NewsWhen you look back at the places of worship built when life was harder they tended to be bigger and grander, now we could easily build giant structures we just build big boxes with no personality.  Possibly it is because we no longer hold religion in such high esteem, maybe it is we no longer believe in spending the money on buildings but given how many gorgeous old churches are turned into cafes and bars I think we should fix up the existing ones rather than build any more.

The final attraction for me on Java is the wildlife. imagesj

There is a Wildlife Reserve where there is the possibility of seeing various endangered species in their natural habitat, while I would love a world where zoos only existed to care and display the injured and abandoned creatures we share the planet with, they are a necessary evil for many species killed for profit in the wild.  It is tragic that we the supposedly most intelligent species cannot work out that every other species is as precious and worthy of existence as us.

The only thing really stopping this trip at the minute is money but maybe if I get really lucky one day I will get there and if I am really really lucky the Tigers and Rhinos will still be there.


I is for Iceland – Places I Dream of Seeing!

I Now this one is going to surprise a lot of people who know me well as they know I generally don’t do cold but for a view like this I can make an exception.

Photos Via Google Images

Photos Via Google Images

There are quite a few attractions the Iceland holds for me most of which I know you guys will share.  The first goes back to my F choice of Mount Fuji and that is the volcanos.

Photos Via Google Images

Photos Via Google Images

Iceland has a few and although I might not be up to climbing them I believe there are flights over them so that might be an option assuming I have my fact right on that.

Now being a cold place there is ice and that means glaciers and even though I am shivering just thinking about it I think I could manage to put on enough layers to look at sights like this, especially before they all melt as a result of Global Warming,

Photos Via Google Images

Photos Via Google Images

There are some areas of the world that are so beautiful they are worth getting out of our comfort zones for, and believe me there are not many I would consider shivering for.

There is of course and added bonus to heading out on a boat in this area and that is the chance of this…

Photos Via Google Images

Photos Via Google Images

Seeing whales in the wild. A lifetime ago on a boat trip in Tenerife I was lucky enough to see Dolphins in the wild and it was something I would describe as an almost spiritual experience.  It was a brief encounter and before the days of digital cameras and certainly something I wish everyone in the world could experience, I seriously believe if they did they world would be a better place.

My final reason for picking Iceland is also the most temperamental one and is of course the Northern Lights.

Photos Via Google Images

Photos Via Google Images

This is one problem with arranging a trip to Iceland the thing you are mainly going to see may not always show up, it depends on so many weather and astrological conditions, in an ideal world you would be able to plan ahead with the Met Office and make sure you were in for an amazing light show but that is not always the case, the best you can do is keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best and if you cannot afford to just stay until you see them then it may take more than one trip.