Sunday, December 31, 2006

Beyond Airports

It is New Year’s Eve, and time for 2007 Travel Resolutions and Destinations. Here are mine:

2007 European Travel Resolution – Boycott Airports and Airplanes

Airports Suck. Flying Sucks. Not nice language but, hey, neither is the experience. I will remember 2006 as the year that every time I went to an airport, it was like Dante’s third circle of Hell. Weather delays. Security delays. Confusion. Cancellations. Chaos.

I love to travel and I even used to love to fly but this love affair is so over. For 2007, I’m going to think car, boat, train, horse, feet, anything but plane and if you think that will limit how far I can get for a weekend, consider this. I can catch the Friday 3pm Eurostar from London to Paris (£59 return), catch the 8:32 pm over night to Barcelona (£143 round trip with private cabin) which will get me into Barcelona on 8:24am Saturday morning. Return travel is equally civilised departing Barcelona at 9:20pm on Sunday arriving back in London on 11:55am on Monday. Et voila, a great weekend in one of Europe’s hippest and happening cities minus the horrible airport bit. When you consider that for £202 you get travel plus two nights accommodations, the economics work as well. If you’re interested, you can book this and other rail travel on

2007 European Travel Destinations

Bearing in mind my 2007 Travel Resolution, here are the destinations I have on my radar for the next year that I can get to without an airplance with a short explanation of why they interest me.

Islands - Harder to get to and better off for it

Ile de Re – France’s version of Nantucket (my friend Claude says nearby Ile d’Oleron and Ile d’Yeu are less crowded and even better)

Fano – Denmark’s version of plush primitive, stay at Sonderho, Denmark’s oldest inn

Sylt – Germany’s version of the wild but well bred retreat

Herm – 3 miles off the coast of Guernsey, family owned and only a mile and a half long

Ponza – Capri-like but less crowded

Ile de Porquerolles – the Cote d’Azur without the hoi polloi

Isle of Wight – to scratch my itch for an old fashioned holiday plus Osborne House

Corsica – France’s “mountain in the sea”, untamed and un-Gallic with great long distance hiking


Paris – because I can’t get enough
Rome – for the trattatorias and the churches

Venice – an off season gem

Vienna – music, history, whipped cream

Budapest - ditto

Berlin – hip, happening and relatively inexpensive
Salzburg – perfectly proportioned
Copenhagen – for Eloise (Mermaid, Tivoli)

The Great Outdoors

The Lake District – Landscape and literature

Maishofen – So I can hike from my favourite Austrian hotel, Landgasthof Schloss Kammer

Cornwall – to see what all the buzz is about

Hadrian’s Wall – all 78 miles of it

Slovenia – like Austria but less crowded and expensive

So there you have it, a short list of places I'd like to see in 2007. As you think about your own travel plans for this year, I encourage you to take the advice of my favourite philosoper, Yogi Berra:

"When you get to the fork in the road, take it."

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