Tricia asked me the same question that I have asked so many people over the years, but I was stumped, I did not have a ready answer. We of course talk about travel often, that is like breathing and eating for us, but she asked specifically, “Where do you most want to travel when things open up?” I babbled on about loving to travel and would go anyplace, but realized I did not have a top-ten sort of list.
It is true that I would go most anyplace and would throughly enjoy it. We of course are serious francophiles so France is most always on our itineraries, and there is the North Coast 500 trip in the north of Scotland that I have wanted to take ever since learning of it, but beyond that I drew a blank. She suggested places: Portugal, Greece, Spain. Yes they all sounded great but did not fit the Bucket List kind of thing. So she got me thinking, what is it that makes me want to travel?
What I realize is that it is not specific countries, it is three things: Villages, Castles, and Cuisine. Any country that produces two of the three and I am in, all three and it is high on the list. (Though for some reason Germany and Russia are low on the list, go figure.)
Yes I do love the big towns, Paris, Edinburgh, Barcelona, Melbourne, etc., but after a day or two in them I am ready to hit the countryside and visit Gordes, Bonnieux, Golspie – the small villages with a history, and the countrysides that surround them – mountains more desirable than oceans.
Castles, and their close relative chateaux, captivate my sketchers eye, cathedrals would also fit well into this grouping. The tiny chapel in Gordes is the best part of that popular village.
And of course cuisine – food. We live to eat, the highlight of most everyday at home is cooking and eating, and the highlight of every day of traveling is finding an intriguing place to eat, then lingering over the meal – we reminisce about meals long after we have returned home.
So I think I have an answer to Tricia’s question: “I want villages, castles, and cuisine.” Anyplace that has all three, put it on my bucket list. So the places she mentioned do have a place on my list: Portugal, Spain, Greece, Viet Nam, Tokyo, all those places in The Alps… BUT now I know why.
So with that in mind I found a good place to start, or at least hit early: The Castle of Almourol in Portugal. Located on the islet of Almourol in the middle of the Tagus River in a mountainous part of Portugal. This one hits all three, so lets get packing.
Be sure to check out Tricia’s blog Travels Through My Lens