Have You been ?

A quick questions and answers session for forum members

Have You been ?

Postby Selby White » 30 Jun 2020, 12:18

Come across a list of 100 best cities so thought I'd post them here 10 at time every day or so.
Not my list so no complaints when your top spot doesn't appear (we can add others later)

From the lists -
1.Which have you been to ?
2. How do you rate it ?
3.Any stories from your visit(s) ?

Additional questions now the full list is available -

1. Of the places you have been on this list which are your 5 favourites and why (less if you've not done 5) ?
2. If you could choose another 5 from the list you have not yet been to, which would they be ?

Should get some decent reading especially for those of us that love travel.

Here goes (not in rated order that is a personal thing ) -
1. London
2. New York
3. Paris
4. Rome
5. Istanbul
6. Berlin
7. Moscow
8. Rio de Janeiro
9. Beijing
10. Singapore
11. Hong Kong
12. Tokyo
13. Madrid
14. Athens
15. Prague
16. Edinburgh
17. Seoul
18. Sydney
19. Shanghai
20. St Petersburg
21. Amsterdam
22. New Orleans
23. Vancouver
24. Auckland
25. Bangkok
26. Damascus
27. Jerusalem
28. Cape Town
29. Cairo
30. Marrakech
31. Galle, Sri lanka
32. Copenhagen
33. Mexico City
34. Santiago (Chile)
35. Buenos Aires
36. Helsinki
37. Stockholm
38. Reykjavik
39. Dublin
40. Las Vegas
41. Samarkand (Uzbekistan)
42. Odessa (Ukraine)
43. Barcelona
44. Porto
45. Kathmandu
46. Delhi
47. Ho Chi Min City
48. Casablanca
49. Cuzco (Peru)
50. La Paz
51. Saint Louis (Senegal)
52. Munich
53. Zurich
54. Chicago
55. San Francisco
56. Montreal
57. Irkutsk (Russia)
58. Ulan Bator (Mongolia)
59. Macao
60. Krakow
61. Durban
62. Johannasburg
63.Adis Adabba (Ethiopia)
64. Toronto
65. Christchurch
66. Kuala Lumper
67. Havana
68. Miami
69. York :thumbup:
70. Florence
71. Venice
72. Belgrade
73. Granada (Spain)
74. Fez (Morocco)
75. Antananarivo (Madagascar)
76.Pyongyang (North Korea)
77. Kabul
78. Beirut
79. Sofia
80. Budapest
81. Vienna
82. Oslo
83. Frankfurt
84. Lyon
85. Minsk
86. Yekaterinburg (Russia)
87. Islamabad
88. Muscat (Oman)
89. Dubai
90. Jeddah (Saudi Arabia)
91. Doha (Qatar)
92. Baghdad
93. Isfahan (Iran)
94. Tehran
95. Baku (Azerbaijan)
96. Almaty (Kazakstan)
97. Kinshasa (Congo)
98. Dubrovnik
99. Washington DC
100. Vladivostok

So come on folks tell us your stories about any of the above cities :thumbup:
Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.
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Re: Have You been ?

Postby NottinghamWhite » 30 Jun 2020, 12:34

My first are as follows :-

London
New York
Paris
Rome
Rio de Janeiro

As we approached Rio the stench from the flavelas was disgusting just raw sewerage it was unbelievable. We sat on Ipanema beach with just shorts etc on as the locals looked on wearing overcoats :lol: certain restaurants are fantastic buffets with everything you could imagine available. However at the check out they weigh your plate & that determines the cost of the meal. We were recommended a seafood restaurant by the concierge at the hotel & when we got there & sat down the lady on the next table looked familiar it was Bridget Bardot, who to her credit had had no “work” done. She did smile at us & wished us a goodnight as she left.
Unbelievably the best exchange rate US dollar for the Brazilian Real was from the porters at the airport
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Re: Have You been ?

Postby Selby White » 30 Jun 2020, 12:56

To start its 5 out of the first 10 for me (London, New York, Paris, Berlin & Beijing).

Have no intention of ever visiting Turkey for obvious reasons (RIP Chris & Kev) so Istanbul is out.
Been to Italy many times but surprisingly never Rome and not high on my bucket list to be honest.
Moscow is one of them I'd sort of like to go as have enjoyed many eastern European countries in recent years but its not imminent.
Rio - I love South America, arguably my fav continent and only been to 3 countries but not yet Brazil so its got a chance of a visit at some stage, hope so.
Singapore is one thats top of Mrs SW's bucket list and would say a strong possibility within two years of the lockdown given the all clear, watch this space.

Of the ones i have been to-
London - Well its ours and love a weekend there every so often, Mrs SW and myself are now doing a few walks in different areas we've found online on each of our trips rather than the usual tourist sights which we've seen many times. Last Walk was along the Thames footpath from Woolwich to Greenwhich taking in the Flood Barrier, Dome, Cutty Sark, etc.
Add to that a couple of nice meals on an evening a theatre show or a good old pub knees up London is a great spot to visit, wouldn't want to live there though.
Little story - On one of our visits we had a walk planned around the City banking district (lots of history) so decided to do it on a Sunday when everything was shut. Streets were quiet until walked passed a couple of security men who ignored us we turned a corner and there was lots of people just stood still. It was weird and i turned to Mrs SW and said "this looks like a film set if i didn't know better".
No sooner had the words left my mouth Lights, camera, action, everyone started moving, then "cut", and a loud voice "who are those two people over there ?"
We were asked to leave and to this day never did find out what they were filming.

Paris - Sorry not for me but suppose my first visit in May 1975 left too many scars. have visited since but still don't rate it.
Mrs SW wants to go :roll:

New York - Like London a great place to visit, have been twice and would go again. Like London though wouldn't live there.
Little story - 3 years in March Mrs SW and myself went over for my birthday and before we travelled she found our her son and his wife were there the week before us. Was gutted that we would cross in the air, us arriving while they were leaving.
Well the snows came flights were cancelled but we got lucky as our flight was one of the first to fly into JFK while theirs got cancelled and they got stuck in NY for 3 nights so were able to spend a good bit of time with them. She was delighted :thumbup:

Berlin - Love it want to go back as its one of my fav European cities.

Beijing - Toured China its a good but still not my fav place over there (Xian & Shang Hai are better IMHO). In fact finished our tour there and did enjoy a Peking Duck meal on our last night which was superb.
Highlight was visiting a park where all the locals hang out doing keep fit, amazing watching men who must have been in their 70's doing gymnastics, unbelievable isn't strong enough.
Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.
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Re: Have You been ?

Postby NottinghamWhite » 30 Jun 2020, 13:14

New York we had the opportunity to visit Staten Island on an extra trip which I decided was too expensive for what it was so decided we would do it independently. We were staying at The Roosevelt near to Grand Central station so made our down the stairs of this incredible station & asked where we bought tickets & this lady pointed out a window & said there. Queued for ages to be told we were at the wrong window & he came out & pointed us the right direction. Now with tickets in hand we tried to find the right platform, which took ages. We boarded a train & after a couple of minutes I asked the guy sat next to me how long would the journey take ? His reply was we were on the wrong train. So off we got & returned to GCS. Again we asked & were pointed in the right direction. Eventually we boarded a train & again asked how long the journey would take but several joined in & started arguing but at least we were heading to our destination. We did the ferry journey to the terminus & did the reverse journey which surprisingly went off with no problems. We had saved $8 by doing the trip on our own :lol:
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Re: Have You been ?

Postby NottinghamWhite » 30 Jun 2020, 13:26

I’m not keen on Paris never felt safe there. Rome absolutely loved it as I was heavily into Roman history at school. The Colosseum was disappointing I can’t believe Charlton Heston took so long to do a circuit in his chariot. However Rome airport is the worst we’ve been to, absolutely hated. In the terminal where our flight was departing they’d had a fire a few weeks before & there was hardly anywhere to buy a coffee let alone a beer or wine. The staff were very rude as well.
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Re: Have You been ?

Postby Selby White » 30 Jun 2020, 13:27

NottinghamWhite wrote:New York we had the opportunity to visit Staten Island on an extra trip which I decided was too expensive for what it was so decided we would do it independently. We were staying at The Roosevelt near to Grand Central station so made our down the stairs of this incredible station & asked where we bought tickets & this lady pointed out a window & said there. Queued for ages to be told we were at the wrong window & he came out & pointed us the right direction. Now with tickets in hand we tried to find the right platform, which took ages. We boarded a train & after a couple of minutes I asked the guy sat next to me how long would the journey take ? His reply was we were on the wrong train. So off we got & returned to GCS. Again we asked & were pointed in the right direction. Eventually we boarded a train & again asked how long the journey would take but several joined in & started arguing but at least we were heading to our destination. We did the ferry journey to the terminus & did the reverse journey which surprisingly went off with no problems. We had saved $8 by doing the trip on our own :lol:


Not always but we often do a lot of excursions on our own rather than organised tours, usually do the research before we go, actually enjoy reading up and planning.
First trip to New York stayed at The Park Central hotel which was on 7th Ave halfway between times square & central park.
The more recent trip we actually stayed in Queens (Long island city area just over the river) which was only 4 or 5 tube stops from Times square.
Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.
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Re: Have You been ?

Postby rigger » 30 Jun 2020, 13:35

I agree about Istanbul - I won't even go to the Turkish restaurant in town. It opened two years ago and won a national award for "world cuisine" a couple of months before lockdown. Jeanna suggested it and I explained why I wouldn't go.

1. London
Lived there for a couple of years and know it very well. I studied at Queen Mary's on the Mile End Road, worked in an Irish pub in the east of London and also on Oxford Street for Virgin. Loads of happy memories of Soho, nights out, music, etc.
I actually lived on both the east and west of the city and know it pretty well all told. If I was dumped anywhere in Zone 1 or 2 I think I'd know my way around. Like all the other places on this list, the best thing to do is just walk then it all falls into place. You don't see anything on the underground.
2. New York
Spent two days and nights there about twenty years ago and just walked the length of the island. We were staying on 96th and Broadway and I found the place fascinating. It was winter too, so cold - very cold. One night, I ended up sitting in a bar off Broadway as it was one of the few places you could actually smoke - a bylaw had been passed outlawing it on the street, actually "in public" - and I sat next to a ballerina who was in her 70s. My sister's a trained dance teacher and I took a couple of classes when I was younger myself, so we spent a very happy couple of hours talking about anything and everything, her loving my English accent and me her Brooklyn drawl.
3. Paris
Spent nine and a half years with a woman who was born there but have only been a couple of times. We actually took a bus tour - one where you could hop on and off - and it's as good a way as any to get around. The people are stunning. I've been to Milan a couple of times too, and they're the only ones who get close, but then only in the CBD : in Paris, everyone is cool.
I know Lille better as I've spent way more time there - it's a beautiful, very green city in the north, close to Belgium and it's also twinned with Leeds.
4. Rome
School trip when I was 11. Spent a few days wandering the ruins on what was ostensibly a Latin trip. We also went to Pompeii, staying in Sorrento. Beautiful place. Loved the communist grafitti, not just for the politics but also because it was never on any of the ancient buildings.
5. Istanbul
6. Berlin
I would move there in a heartbeat. Almost completely flat, loads of lakes and forestland, some stunning architecture, history, politics, sport, culture, music, clubs, art .. if it's good enough for Bowie, it's good enough for me. I actually really liked the east of the city - at Checkpoint Charlie you can literally see the two sides of the cold war. I find that period fascinating : the Stasi, the Wall, the people. I read a couple of books after visiting the city and I can't recommend it highly enough. I want to go back with a bike and ride everywhere next time. The Olympic Park is amazing today so I can't begin to imagine how it would've seemed to the world in the mid-30s. I've stood on that same platform where Hitler sat to watch Jesse Owens win the gold in the 100m in '36 .. and laughed out loud when I did :)
7. Moscow
Never been. I know only what I've seen or read in spy stories. The whole country is intriguing yet I find their views on race disturbing so I would be loathe to actually spend much time there.
8. Rio de Janeiro
Never been. If it's anything like Jo'burg, I would guess you need a local to experience it properly and without worrying so much about crime.
9. Beijing
Never been. Funnily enough, the only place I ever really wanted to visit in Asia was Japan .. till I met Jeanna. I now want to go to Malaysia with her and I also have a nephew living in Hong Kong so you never know.
10. Singapore
See #9
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Re: Have You been ?

Postby NottinghamWhite » 30 Jun 2020, 13:44

We went on a cruise where we were supposed to visit Istanbul but was changed at the last minute due to concern about ISIS. We did dock at another port, name eludes me & I refused to get off the ship. I visited Turkey many years ago though. In all fairness to Sue she knew how I felt about things & stayed onboard with me without saying or doing anything.
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Re: Have You been ?

Postby Selby White » 30 Jun 2020, 13:45

rigger wrote:9. Beijing
Never been. Funnily enough, the only place I ever really wanted to visit in Asia was Japan .. till I met Jeanna. I now want to go to Malaysia with her and I also have a nephew living in Hong Kong so you never know.
10. Singapore
See #9


Funnily enough one of the trips we have been planning is doing once lockdown is over is Thailand to Singapore through Malaysia using trains and buses (inspired after watching Race across the world series one).
Cathy loves Asia as a continent for me its South America as number one destination, saying that we are both happy to try most places.
Getting older we are going to get all our long haul dreams done in the next few years if we can.

Hong Kong was on our list before the troubles, have a sister in law from there (Cathy's brothers wife) so will get lots of tips if/when we do it.
Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.
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Re: Have You been ?

Postby NottinghamWhite » 30 Jun 2020, 14:02

Love these threads it takes me back to so many places. Rigger I’ve visited Malaysia just once doing a tour of Borneo. What an amazing country we went to Sepilok to see the Orangutans I spent my time in the cafe by the entrance as I don’t like zoos or places like that. We did see them in the wild though on several occasions. Our guide bought a Durian fruit one day & boy did it stink. We hiked up a large hill on a farm at a cost of $10 each to a Rafflesia plant which was one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen. We spent the night on a tiny island to see baby turtles coming out of the sand an amazing experience as they headed for the ocean. Next morning we realised we had been robbed the thief had left cameras, phones etc but taken a purse containing $200 only time we were ever robbed on our travels & it happened on this paradise island. Saw the best ever lightning storm one night near Mount Kinabalu. Wonderful country.
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