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Old 08-23-2018   #41
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Thanks Mark. I am waiting for my wife to tell me her preference for a February trip. After we get back from Scotland on 1 October, she heads to Anchorage for three months. Her family is there and we are going to literally see if we can go home again.

I love the North and although light is limited in the Arctic in February it really has a certain quality.
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Old 08-23-2018   #42
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I'll say it again, Madagascar.
I did two weeks in Madagascar, it was awesome. I think i'd still choose Patagonia over Madagascar, though. I need to scan all the film from this trip.

Just gonna say it again: Patagonia
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Old 08-23-2018   #43
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In that case (since your a pilot I can assume you don't mind flying - unlike me) go to Finland. I've been to Japan, Spain, most of Europe, North America and my favorite was Finland. Travel time by air from East Coast to Helsinki is about the same as Tokyo so I doubt I'll ever go again. But Finland in Jan is amazing.
+1 for Finland. I've spent quite a bit of time there (my brother lives outside Helsinki) and it's massively underrated as a travel destination. It doesn't have the big landscape 'features' of some of the other Nordic countries (I'm thinking of the Swedish mountains and Norwegian mountains/fjords), but the forests, lakes and coastline are beautiful, and there's trails absolutely everywhere.
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Old 08-23-2018   #44
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+1 for Finland. I've spent quite a bit of time there (my brother lives outside Helsinki) and it's massively underrated as a travel destination. It doesn't have the big landscape 'features' of some of the other Nordic countries (I'm thinking of the Swedish mountains and Norwegian mountains/fjords), but the forests, lakes and coastline are beautiful, and there's trails absolutely everywhere.

And the people are the greatest. The language is a bit of a killer though.
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Old 08-23-2018   #45
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So, is english common in Finland as it is in Iceland or Norway? Those place names in Iceland were some real tongue twisters.
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Old 08-23-2018   #46
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So, is english common in Finland as it is in Iceland or Norway? Those place names in Iceland were some real tongue twisters.
Yes, you wouldn't have any issues at all travelling with only English.

The odd thing about Finnish is that its a very isolated language (it shares vague roots with Estonian and Hungarian but that's it), so you won't see or hear words which sound familiar (as is usually the case in places like France). So in practice, it's unlikely you'll see a sign and be able to puzzle out what it means
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Old 08-23-2018   #47
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+1 for Finland. I've spent quite a bit of time there (my brother lives outside Helsinki) and it's massively underrated as a travel destination. It doesn't have the big landscape 'features' of some of the other Nordic countries (I'm thinking of the Swedish mountains and Norwegian mountains/fjords), but the forests, lakes and coastline are beautiful, and there's trails absolutely everywhere.


+1 for Finland.
We’ve only visited Helsinki but very scenic/photogenic, easy to navigate, everyone spoke English. At least they use the mostly same character set to English so you can become familiar with common words and signage. They don’t see many North American tourists outside Helskinki so I’m sure you will be welcomed.
Plus, Russia is a close neighbour - St Petersburg is only 3.5 hours from Helsinki on a modern train.

We had a wonderful time in 2013 with our almost 4 year old on a 3+ week DIY trip Helsinki-St Petersburg-Helsinki-Stockholm-Copenhagen.
There is a berthed overnight cruise from Helsinki to Stockholm that I would recommend over flying.

However, I think the OP is considering winter travel. So this area/route may not be his first choice.

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Old 09-27-2018   #48
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Should travel to some Southest Asian countries like Thailand or Philippines.

The scenes, street food ... are amazing!
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Old 09-27-2018   #49
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I've been to Finland in 2006 for 10 days, when it was still cold there.
Now, with global warming it's tropic.

I've studied Finnish for one year in evening class too. Really nice and funny language to learn.
However, my life got too busy the day I met my wife, and didn't finnish the Finnish class later on...
These days, I had some coworkers from Finland and I liked to hang out with them in my breaks to drink a coffee. But after saying hello in Finnish, I always switched to English.

I'd like to share my photos here, took with a Nikon F401, to get you warm already:
https://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1902113

I'd like to go back one day to Finland. PRKL !!
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Old 09-27-2018   #50
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The odd thing about Finnish is ...
Finland is number 1 coffee consuming nation:
https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/...g-nations.html

In Finland the heaviest-drinking 20% of the population drink almost 66% of all alcohol.

Finland is has the highest amount of metal bands per capita:
https://jakubmarian.com/number-of-me...ita-in-europe/

... you'll soon discover other cool rarities when you travel there
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Old 09-27-2018   #51
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I live in both places, but can anyone only recommend to come to Northern Norway and Georgia (Caucasus).
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Old 09-27-2018   #52
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One place?

Indonesia.
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Old 09-27-2018   #53
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Italy, Sardinia: not the coast but the interior. And not during summer.
or the small vulcanic Aeolian Islands, a few miles north of Sicily. Avoiding touristic times. But they are small, not place for long hiking
again a small island in the south of Italy: Pantelleria

Very different from the nordic places you have already been!

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PS: but a trip in Alaska is in my dreams...perhaps and day...
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Old 12-10-2018   #54
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Had a great time hiking around Loch Ness in September and it appears we may be moving from the US/Mexican border to Anchorage, Ak this coming year (wife's home). She has been there since 1 October and is coming home at the end of the week.

I am actually searching for a travel destination for February or March, 2019. I have been home taking care of pets and the house and now my wife is ready to stay in El Paso for awhile and I am ready to go. It may be someplace warm so thought I would revive this thread.
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Old 12-10-2018   #55
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Visit Sri Lanka

And if you decide to do, pm me and i'll give you all the info you need
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Old 12-10-2018   #56
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I recommend New Zealand, but not from firsthand experience (yet).

I used to let my outdoor activities influence my travel destinations. Caving and climbing has prompted travel to eastern Europe and Russia (mostly Bulgaria), northern Mexico, several states in the U.S. (lincl. Alaska), British Columbia, Wales and England, Ireland (my wife's "homeland"), and Baja (for whale sharks). All wonderful trips to wonderful locations

Next is New Zealand to cave, climb, and photograph with friends.

Also on the list: Argentina, Chile, Spain, and Sweden (visit family). I also dream of visiting Kyrgyzstan, Bhutan, western Australia, Lake Baikal, and Wetzlar, Germany.

I need to retire first. Then the travel can begin in earnest. Right?
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Old 12-10-2018   #57
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I'll suggest Sheffield in England, but make sure it's a really wet, miserable day.

You'll only need to spend a day there but it'll feel like a month.
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Old 12-10-2018   #58
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We did Madagascar a few years ago, very interesting place. There's a lot of sights you won't see anywhere else.
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Old 12-10-2018   #59
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Southeast Asia. Still one (of very few) places in a tourist-dollar-mad world where you get the best value for your travel dollar.

Climbing Everest can be fun (not for me!) when you are 30, but after 65 those snowy hills can be a burden to climb. India is crazy. Pakistan and Bangladesh are no-go's just now. Myanmar too volatile.

Many tourist destinations in SEA are everywhere, and most are truly beautiful, but the costs, wow.

Bangforthebuck places abound in SEA if you think laterally and take the time to do some proper research. Google everything and everywhere.

Now for the important question - where would I go? Whee I go often. Malaysia. To be geographically precise, Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah. Well serviced, civilized cultures, people and comforts. Enough cultural diversity and travel adventures to keep anyone young at heart. Good bus services let you wander around and visit places I would have found difficult in the 1970s when I was younger, fitter, and more prone to wandering about with only a backpack.

When one is 60 or older, good comforts become more important. I use the Ibis and Novotel chain of hotels when I travel and find their rates are pleasantly affordable with a (free for the asking) membership - I'm not a shareholder, just a satisfied guest. Last month I was in Kuala Lumpur and coughed up A$45 for room and breakfast, A$37 in Melaka, Ipoh A$40, Kuching A$50 (hotels cost a little more in Sarawak) - 1980s US prices.

I've been here six times since 2014 and I'll be going back with my partner and friends in March 2019. We'll get around by bus and occasionally hire a car or a river boat for forays to more isolated areas. No orang-outans, that's now too travel-tour touristy for us. Treks, visits to isolated villages, lazy days spent traveling up rivers. Enjoyable and still quite affordable.

Fly to Kuching (the capital city of Sarawak) and explore for a few days. Prepare an itinerary and then wander around Sarawak by bus.

Whether you want to cuddle orang-outans or visit museums and art galleries, Sarawak will satisfy. Brunei is great for an overnight stay and to visit mosques, good food also but no alcohol. Sabah is a small paradise as yet largely undiscovered by the global hordes.

New Zealand is stunningly beautiful but has become tourist-cash-grabby, also overpriced for what's on offer. Australia is gorgeous, travel distances are vast (2500+ miles from Sydney to Perth, east to west coasts) and accommodation costs can be high - in our country town in Tasmania the two local motels are distinctly ordinary and want A$125 a night for their second-tier rooms. Otherwise, very friendly people, eye-melting scenery, excellent food and a brain-boggling array of good wines. Sydney is every US city rolled into one with a stunning harbor. Melbourne every country in Europe linked by trams (streetcars to you).

Wherever you decide to go, when one is retired with good health and a reasonable budget for travel, the world is your oyster. Make the best of it. I am!

Wherever you go, bon voyage.
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Old 12-10-2018   #60
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I've long wanted to go Russia, Germany, Japan and Italy.

For Russia its the facination with the Former Soviet Union and the Cold war, I'm not old enough to have experianced it but still it intrigues me.

Germany and Japan, its the history, the tech, the automotive sides and in Germanys case the beer and in both cases the food.

Italy its the driving roads, alongside photography a good hard drive is what I use to calm me down and I also love italian food and wine.

I'd also like to go back to London and Edinburgh at somepoint, London is easy for me as its only 30 miles its just a case of funds, Edinburgh I could get happliey lost in, I'd pick a hotel at the bottom of the mile and start at the distllery at the top by the Castle and observe the gradual increased blurryness of my photos as I get to the bottom.
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Old 12-29-2018   #61
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I am still looking for a destination in February or March of 2019. The wife does not want to go as she has only been home two weeks in four months. I am thinking about Asia again with special attention to Japan or India.

Now I lived on Okinawa for a year back in the 1970's (Marines) and I spent a month in Nepal about six years ago so I am not a total newbie to either part of that world. India is so big and diverse I am thinking of a Roads Scholar guided tour (never done a group trip) but also feel India is either a country one loves or hates. Am not sure what I would do in Japan but would like to spend a couple days camera shopping.

Other options are motorcycle trip down to Panama or even TDF, a long walk somewhere warm (Malta, Greece, Italy, New Zealand), or the Galapagos.

So, just about anything is on the table but I do prefer a warmer climate as March is kind of marginal.
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Old 01-08-2019   #62
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Well, after talking with my wife I think we will head toward the Lake District and York the first two weeks of April. I did the C2C solo a year and a half ago and was stunned by the scenery in the Lake District but I don't want to do the 93 mile loop described on the Absolute Escape webpage.

I am thinking five or six days in the Lake District and two or three in York. So, I still need advice on interesting destinations around England to round out a two week trip. The trains make travel in England SO easy.
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Old 01-08-2019   #63
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Well, after talking with my wife I think we will head toward the Lake District and York the first two weeks of April. I did the C2C solo a year and a half ago and was stunned by the scenery in the Lake District but I don't want to do the 93 mile loop described on the Absolute Escape webpage.

I am thinking five or six days in the Lake District and two or three in York. So, I still need advice on interesting destinations around England to round out a two week trip. The trains make travel in England SO easy.
I love York, but I’d say a couple of days would be enough. Time to visit the cathedral, railway museum and generally wander around the place.

How about the Norfolk Broads?

https://www.visitnorfolk.co.uk/explore/Broads.aspx

The North Norfolk coast is also meant to be lovely, though I haven’t been myself, so can’t offer any specific places.
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Old 01-08-2019   #64
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So, I still need advice on interesting destinations around England to round out a two week trip. The trains make travel in England SO easy.
How about a trip on the Channel Tunnel? You could board a train in London. You could also board it near Folkestone, England.

A high school friend of mine, who now lives in London, and who I saw at our high school reunion, told me that people go to Paris for dinner and then return that evening! The Channel Tunnel makes it possible to do this.

So, I am basically saying you could do this for the experience of riding the train across the English Channel. And, it would be an interesting destination around England.
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Old 01-08-2019   #65
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Looks like you've settled on a destination, but my top three choices would be:
  1. South Africa (my wife and I have a family friend who lives there)
  2. Japan
  3. Iceland
I'm sure each one would be an enjoyable trip.
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Old 01-08-2019   #66
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Even though I'm quite happy here in the Southwest desert, I do remember traveling to the US Virgin Islands once. It was a memorable experience. We landed on St Thomas on a "runway" that looked no bigger than a Safeway parking lot. Didn't care for the US islands, so we took a ferry to Tortola in the BVI. They had the most pristine beaches I had ever seen, and many could only be accessed by water.

The locals were friendly, and it was all very low key. They don't get mobbed by the cruise ship crowd on that island. You found accommodations by simply driving around and going up to people's houses and asking if they had a room to rent, w/ or w/o meals. The water was incredible. It was this warm, clean, turquoise/bluish colour. I wanted to move there badly, but no go. You could only stay 6 mos even if you were a British citizen and then they booted you off. The only scheme that would keep you there was if you started a business that did not compete w/ anyone else there, and you hired only local help.

One thing I remember about St Thomas was that you could go out in the water and see and feel where the Caribbean ocean met the Atlantic. The Caribbean was warm and gentle, while the Atlantic was cooler and had a more insistent tug to it. At least I think it was on St Thomas. It's been a long time. Beautiful part of the world. Much more to my liking than the Hawaii islands.

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Old 01-08-2019   #67
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Not sure if I said this already. But I have something of an interest in experiencing what little remains of traditional Japan. The place the appeals to me specifically in Japan is the Nakasendo Trail one of the old feudal foot highways between Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto. Which strikes me as being something like stepping back in time.





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Old 01-09-2019   #68
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Thanks for the replies. I will give serious thought to the tunnel idea. As for the Virgin Islands, we lived in Puerto Rico for four years. I spent a lot of time in the Virgin Islands combating drug smuggling and often had my wife and daughter along on the governments dime.

One of my best memories was a high speed boat chase from St Thomas to BVI and while the smuggler's boat was smaller and faster then the US Customs go-fast (could not go through the yacht anchorage at 50kts although the smuggler did), we went ashore at BVI, described the boat to British authorities and they immediately seized the vessel. It turns out the owner/operator was standing trial for smuggling even as he continued to smuggle. Sometimes the good guys do win. And the reason it is such an outstanding memory is that I was usually overhead in the cockpit of an aircraft and rarely got to participate in the "fun" stufff.

And the photos from Japan are beautiful and inspiring.
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Old 01-09-2019   #69
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February? I'm thinking Cuba. Ned Sublette's culture and music tour. Weather should be good. And it's surely sufficiently photogenic.

Otherwise, Japan.
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Old 01-09-2019   #70
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Well, I am thinking early April for the Lake District. And, I wonder if Cuba is not too similar to Puerto Rico.
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Old 01-09-2019   #71
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Well, I am thinking early April for the Lake District. And, I wonder if Cuba is not too similar to Puerto Rico.
Hi,

April might be difficult in England this year; Easter is late and the week leading up to Easter and the week after are usually taken as holidays by schools. This puts pressure on accommodation.

I'd aim for mid May and will add that the 27th May is a Public Holiday and that, again, the schools will be shut for that week and all the world and his wife and dog will be out and about that week...

Regards, David

Last edited by David Hughes : 01-10-2019 at 02:04. Reason: Finger trouble...
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Old 01-10-2019   #72
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Dave, maybe school vacations are longer in UK but my calendar shows Easter as 21 April. My dates for UK would probably be last week of March and first week of April. Do you really think stuff would book that early? I plan on being back in the US by 15 April (Income Tax Deadline).
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Old 01-10-2019   #73
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Well, I am thinking early April for the Lake District. And, I wonder if Cuba is not too similar to Puerto Rico.
Right, at least in general.

Lake District in April sounds really fine.

Madagascar, well now, that looks pretty enticing ...

Great thread!
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Old 01-10-2019   #74
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Dave, maybe school vacations are longer in UK but my calendar shows Easter as 21 April. My dates for UK would probably be last week of March and first week of April. Do you really think stuff would book that early? I plan on being back in the US by 15 April (Income Tax Deadline).
Would you believe that I specifically wanted to take a short break/long weekend to include the 21st April and the three places on my short list were already booked before Christmas?

In general terms school holidays in the UK are the week before and the week after Christmas and Easter, but the New Year's Day holiday makes it vary a bit*. There's a mid term or half term holiday in the Spring, late May/early June (based on Whit Monday the last Monday in May) and a week vaguely late-ish October. The long vac or summer holiday is usually the last two weeks in July to the first Tuesday or Wednesday in September.

It's now illegal to take kids away from school for holidays without official permission (usually refused) and that puts pressure on those weeks.

I'll think of you on the 15th April as that's when I'll start looking for cancellations...

Regards, David

* These days it's all a bit vague, some went back to school on the 3rd and one, exceptionally, will go back on the 14th...
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Old 01-11-2019   #75
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Well, I just got an email from Absolute Escapes in Edinburgh and they proposed a five day/50 mile walk in the Lake District. I had told them that I did not want to do the 93 mile hike on their website as I want to try and do some other things while in England besides walking.

So, it looks like a 50 mile loop from Ambleside to Keswick. I think two/three days in York and must investigate crossing the Channel by train for a couple nights in France as suggested earlier. April 8 is my thirty year anniversary so Paris?
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Old 01-11-2019   #76
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Oaxaca, Mexico.
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Old 01-14-2019   #77
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I agree with Maggieo.
Ok, I am Italian and it can be a "partial" advice: but if you are looking for history - arts - good food - fine weather - photographic opportunities, i would suggest you to consider Rome and Pompeii
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Old 01-14-2019   #78
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Both my wife and I have done several trips to Italy-loved Florence. And Mexico is about two miles from my house and I get down there at least yearly.

If anyone is looking for an amazing geological vista, might I recommend Copper Canyon. It is 400 miles south of El Paso and larger then the Grand Canyon, and a train runs through it.
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Old 01-14-2019   #79
giganova
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmrider View Post
We have traveled extensively through Europe and North America. She has never been to Asia or South America.
That should narrow it down quite a bit! I suggest going to Argentina, its an amazing country!
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