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Must See Places, What Are Yours?
Old 09-19-2010, 10:57 AM   #1
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Must See Places, What Are Yours?

Inspired by the destination disappointments thread, how about the flip side. IMO there are places that have to be seen in person, no pictures can do them justice, often due to size/scale. The two that come to mind immediately are the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls. I've never been to Yosemite, but I gather it's that kind of place too.

Examples of events, DW and I sat front and center at a Sheryl Crow concert (3rd row), then a Sting concert (3rd row) and finally the play Wicked (4th row). Tickets were expensive and hard to get, but if you like music, everyone should have the experience at least once IMO. It's completely different than sitting in the crowd, but I'm not suggesting a steady diet of it.

Another for us was a balloon ride on a beautiful Fall day in the Napa Valley. Wouldn't pay for do it twice, but everyone should do it once IMO.

What are the places, events, etc. - natural or manmade - that you think must be witnessed in person to appreciate? Something for all our bucket lists...
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:12 AM   #2
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Paris. It's a beautiful city with so much history. There's a special feeling I get in Paris, especially in the evenings.
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:13 AM   #3
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galapagos
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:16 AM   #4
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Iguazu Falls (see video in the other thread)
Great Wall of China
Paris
Rome
Rocky Mountains
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:19 AM   #5
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I would have to say as regards cultures/communities, we are always amazed & never grow tired of the beautiful native people of the FIJI Islands. They have nothing in their pocket but are the happiest peeps on this earth (maybe its the KAVA....). We particularly enjoy staying at Benqa Lagoon Island Beqa Lagoon Resort (Marlin Bay) - Resort- but there are many other equally delightful places to stay & the Islands of FIJI are spread out vastly.

For Scuba Diving - our Global favorite so far is the BLUE CORNER dive site in PALAU (never get tired of it & dove it 6-7 times) followed by the BLUE HOLE in Belize and the Shark Dive in Benqa Lagoon, FIJI. In our bucket list for scuba still are Great Barrier Reef Australia & the Galapagos Islands & swimming with Whale Sharks (Mexico or Roatan). Hope to do these when we both FIRE.

Land Based: we like Switzerland hiking, Zermatt (Matterhorn) & Grindelwald (Eiger).
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:21 AM   #6
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Haleakala Crater would have been difficult to appreciate on video, especially the scale of the landscape. However by day three of our four-day hike through there it became apparent that hypothermia and sprains were a real threat to one's life in an environment where a helicopter couldn't make it and a horse would still need half a day. Each way. Daylight only.

Preparations, training, precautions, safety gear, blah blah blah, sure, no problems. But that's not much comfort in during your sixth mile uphill at altitude in the seventh hour of rainfall. Anything you couldn't control had a fairly binary outcome, and "luck" had better be on your side.

I've generally lived my life on the premise of "What if?" If I think I'm going to spend years beating myself up over a missed opportunity then I'll try to seize it. But perhaps the consequences of that philosophy start getting a lot more serious by the fourth or fifth decade. I know the price of admission has already gone up significantly...

Moving on to a more cheerful destination, I've tremendously enjoyed snorkeling the inlets & tidepools of Pahoa on the Big Island. Subterranean lava flows warm the water with an inverse temperature gradient (78 degrees on the surface, 90 degrees 10 feet down) and the tropical critters love it. You can actually see the water shimmer as the thermal layers mix and flow.

I also think that surfing is best experienced in person. I always enjoy exploring a break that's new to me. Watching a surfing video just makes me restless.
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:30 AM   #7
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Redwoods in northern California.

I've been around the world several times and they are more inspiriting than any man made structure.
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:31 AM   #8
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:49 AM   #9
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My top 3 destinations are

Angel Falls
Great Wall of China
Grand Canyon

The place I had multiple opportunities to visit and didn't - Galapagos Islands.
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:08 PM   #10
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Within the US, I would have to say Alaska (esp Denali) and the Grand Canyon (yes, it's a hole - but it's a BIG hole) are the two places that we have been to that I want to see again. We haven't been to Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Yosemite, etc yet, but they are on our retirement list and I expect them to rank high. For some reason I have always had this fascination with Lake Superior, so I am sure we will go there some day - but I am not sure it is a "must see".

We have St Petersburg, Russia on our list, as part of the Northern Europe cruise we want to take. And our reach goals would be the Great Wall of China and the Terra Cotta Warrirors.
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:34 PM   #11
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I really want to see the Northern Lights sometime in my life. And it would be great to see polar bears in their natural habitat, although that might be pretty tough given that I live on the east coast and don't want to fly.
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:49 PM   #12
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... Grand Canyon ... Wicked (4th row)....
In the first eleven posts, I've surprised I've experienced ten of them.

Had a decent seat for “Die Walküre” recently and can’t remember the last time my attention span lasted a full five hours. It’s a new production, fantastic new staging. Looking forward to seeing/hearing the full Ring Cycle production in June; ‘tis a journey.

Angel Island because it reminds me of Capri and is just a day trip away. Capri because it is the only place I’ve felt a connection with my ancestors and because they treat it like it’s the Garden of Eden. Oh, and because it looks like this:
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Old 09-19-2010, 01:00 PM   #13
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The northeast states during the autumn. I would love to take a drive along the coast, stopping at the quaint towns and chatting with the natives. Maybe we would go inland and meander through Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

Yes, the redwoods are my idea of a cathedral. I spent much of my childhood playing amongst those trees.
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Old 09-19-2010, 02:19 PM   #14
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A kelp forest, 30' down off the coast of CA.

Cloudbreak at 2x overhead.

A definite second to Las Cataratas, Iguazu.
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Old 09-19-2010, 03:58 PM   #15
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Paris
London
Grand Canyon
Fall in New England
A broadway show on Broadway
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:25 PM   #16
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Paris
London
Grand Canyon
Fall in New England
A broadway show on Broadway
Check, check, check, check, & check.

Here's two more (from our personal "special places" collection - Santorini & Venice):
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Old 09-19-2010, 07:11 PM   #17
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I really want to see the Northern Lights sometime in my life. And it would be great to see polar bears in their natural habitat, although that might be pretty tough given that I live on the east coast and don't want to fly.
That's a great one, I've seen Northern Lights twice, both times on Lake Michigan in the middle of the night (away from all the light pollution on land) - one of the most awe inspiring sights of all. You'd swear it isn't real when you see it, but my last experience went on for at least 15 minutes and about 10 of us witnessed it (we woke up the off watch to see it too). Spectacular...and not something a video or picture can capture effectively.
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:11 AM   #18
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Yellowstone, southeastern Utah, Grand Canyon, and Alaska in the USA. Have never been to Europe, so 1-2 trips there. Otherwise, I'm good hanging about anywhere with a beach or some mountains for scenery.
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:29 AM   #19
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My favorites-

Outside the US:

1.Hwaseong Fortress, Suwon, S.Korea
2.Ascension Island, South Atlantic
3.Arashiyama, Kyoto, Japan
4.Vienna, Austria Christmas markets
5.Montreal Cathedral (I don't remember the name but they said it was the oldest in NA)

Inside the US:

1. Hawaiian Islands (All of them are beautiful)
2. Redwoods
3. Chiricahua Mountains, SE Arizona
4. Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, OR
5. Manhattan, NY
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Old 09-20-2010, 08:26 PM   #20
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I would have to say as regards cultures/communities, we are always amazed & never grow tired of the beautiful native people of the FIJI Islands. They have nothing in their pocket but are the happiest peeps on this earth (maybe its the KAVA....). We particularly enjoy staying at Benqa Lagoon Island Beqa Lagoon Resort (Marlin Bay) - Resort- but there are many other equally delightful places to stay & the Islands of FIJI are spread out vastly.

For Scuba Diving - our Global favorite so far is the BLUE CORNER dive site in PALAU (never get tired of it & dove it 6-7 times) followed by the BLUE HOLE in Belize and the Shark Dive in Benqa Lagoon, FIJI. In our bucket list for scuba still are Great Barrier Reef Australia & the Galapagos Islands & swimming with Whale Sharks (Mexico or Roatan). Hope to do these when we both FIRE.

Land Based: we like Switzerland hiking, Zermatt (Matterhorn) & Grindelwald (Eiger).
I would like to add Wakatobi, Indonesia and Little Cayman, Bloody bay wall, and Truk Lagoon to this scuba diving list. My avatar pic comes from Wakatobi. Those clownfish are so cool.

Bruce
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