annwfyn: (Mood - unicorn)
[personal profile] annwfyn
And, since I just got back from Morocco and my mind is filled with travel, have five “top fives” that no one asked for but you’re getting anyway.

Five worst airports to be stuck in.

1) London Luton. Oh, how I hate thee. You torment me with your pretence at being a proper airport.
2) Amman Airport. Let me be honest here. I hate you because 16 years ago you didn’t believe in proper screens to display the gate on and instead just made a series of tannoy announcements in a language I didn’t speak moving my gate around constantly and I nearly went insane.
3) Cologne Airport. You are a glass box filled with despair. And one power socket I could plug my phone in, which I achieved by sitting on the floor, with my face pressed against a vending machine. I hate you. Now and forever.
4) Dallas/Fort Worth International. I mostly hate you because you have the most actively obnoxious airport staff of any airport known to mankind. Also, I have dyed black hair. That doesn’t mean I don’t speak English.
5) Cardiff. I want to like you. I do. I really do. But for some reason you only have one evening flight from Glasgow to Cardiff which lands after every possible form of public transport from Cardiff has stopped running and the car hire companies have all shut up shop. This makes you useless. Please be aware.

Five most glorious hotels to pretend you’re some kind of romance novel aristocrat in.

1) Riad Due – Marrakech. We had a walk in bath. It was amazing. I remain in awe.
2) Hotel Jardin des Douars – Essaouira. There’s a theme here. Morocco offers amazing hotels at affordable prices. We had our own private roof garden there. Amazing.
3) Galle Face Hotel – Colombo. It’s like the Raj never ended. My mother had swimming lessons here in the 1950s and as far as I can tell, it hasn’t changed since then. It’s wonderful.
4) Hotel Americano – Trujillio. This is the other kind of romance novel aristocrat. I stayed here in 2003. There was a decaying chandelier and strange sounds. I expected to be eaten by ghosts. Glorious.
5) Hotel American – Venice. Mostly memorable as I stayed here when I was about 13. I had a room overlooking the canal and bought my amazing Venetian mask from a tiny shop around the corner which made masks for Carnivale. One day I shall return.

Five best destinations for city breaks.

1) Rome. It’s an incredible city with this phenomenal history everywhere and walking around there can make me cry.
2) Marrakech. Four hours from the UK, but like a different world. It’s colourful and noisy and busy and you can afford the most amazing riads for not that much money.
3) Seattle. It’s a bit far for a weekend, I grant you, but it’s still one of my favourite cities on the planet. I dream of sitting in Pike’s Place Market, looking out over the bay.
4) Oslo. I think I mention this largely because I have such good memories of my weekend there with Rhona. They have lovely parks, some nice markets, and an entire island of museum. I’d go back in a heartbeat.
5) Bruges. I haven’t been in years, but I still remember how beautiful it was. Like Venice, but with better chocolate and a fabulous collection of Flemish Old Masters. Bruegel improves everything.

Five best destinations for wilderness.

1) Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia. Salt flats with an endless expanse of unexpected colours – white plains, then emerald and ruby lakes which change colour as the wind blows. Like nowhere on this earth.
2) Atlas Mountains, Morocco. They are huge and wild and wonderful and also contain Aït Benhaddou which is an old village that looks like something from Arabian Nights.
3) Amazon river, Peru. It goes other places, but I’ve only been down it in Peru and it is incredible. Even if the piranhas don’t really eat your travelling companion when you throw them in.
4) Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. There are rhinos there. This is all I need to say.
5) Bodmin Moor, Cornwall. I have no idea why I love this place so much but I do. I’ve not been to Cornwall in ages and I miss it so much.

Five best ways of travelling.

1) Train. If I could, I would get trains everywhere. Ideally, huge Amtrak trains with gigantic comfortable seats to watch the world from as you amble through the world.
2) Horse. I love horse trekking. You amble through the middle of nowhere, going places no one normally goes, getting to know your equine as you go. I would love to do this again, but jez is allergic. I am thwarted.
3) Jeep. Ideally with driver as I am essentially lazy. But I quite like the freedom of being able to go off road through hills and vale.
4) First class on Virgin Atlantic. This has happened once to me, due to the mysteries of upgrades and overcrowded flights. It’s like flying in a palace. But everyone else looked at me very funny.
5) Sleeper train. This is a special extra addition – having your own little cabin as you trundle through the night, drifting off and waking up somewhere new is like teleportation. 
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