The Bucket List

Having a “bucket list” could seem a bit silly, too much like “1000 Places to See Before You Die”. It is also far too sobering, when you realize you have a rather long list and maybe not enough years to work your way through it. On the other hand, one may as well be optimistic.

The Current List, as of 21 February 2021:

More national parks in the US! Still to be visited: Rocky Mountain NP, Death Valley NP, a return to Yosemite…not to mention monuments, memorials, and historic sites.

Normandy: Yes, *that* Normandy. Must see the beach. Robert would probably prefer to go to the south of France, birding in the Camargue.  Can we do both?

Montenegro: That’s Crna Gora to you. Another ex-Yugoslav country to see.

Botswana: Liza is probably overly influenced by reading the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, but on the other hand, the Okavango Delta sounds fabulous. Tried to include this in the planned South Africa trip but it doesn’t quite work, so…another time.

Morocco: “Round up the usual suspects!” Yes, Liza wants to go to Casablanca. So what if it bears no resemblance to the movie. We saw Morocco across the Strait of Gibraltar, and plans are afoot to go with Wild Andalucía (Álvaro Peral) in 2023.

Turkey: It’s Istanbul, not Constantinople … why did Constantinople get the works? It’s nobody’s business but the Turks. Ok, more seriously … Istanbul, the bazaar, the Hagia Sophia. Maybe even Troy (purported). On the other hand, it doesn’t seem as safe as it might once have been.

Ireland: Maybe a cycling trip. Although it would be pretty wet most of the time. There’s a reason why Ireland is so green.

Australia: We’ve been in Queensland, and the southeast (Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra). Next up: Northern Territory, Red Center, and Tasmania – November 2021!

Trinidad & Tobago: A name we tend only to see at track & field events, but some excellent birding awaits, March 2021!

So…where do you want to go

Checked off since first published in 2014:

Southern Spain: Wonderful trip that focused solely on Andalucía, Sept 2021, for cycling with Bike Spain Tours, and birding with Wild Andalucía (Álvaro Peral) and Doñana Wings (Vicent Esteller). Birded the Strait of Gibraltar, and saw Morocco (closer than ever!) but didn’t get there.

More National Parks: Knocked off Canyonlands, Arches, and Capitol Reef, Oct 2019.

Scotland: Part of a larger trip that included Iceland and Germany, June 2019. Great fun birding with Dave of Birding Ecosse in the highlands!

South Africa: Awesome birding tour in February 2019 with Birding Africa, from Cape Town to Kruger National Park.

Germany, cycling from Berlin to Dresden: We had looked at a VBT cycling trip but it didn’t quite do what we wanted, so we went with Mecklenburger Radtour in June 2018. Self-guided 9 day trip from Dresden to Magdeburg along the Elbe, lovely, with a visit to Berlin afterwards.

Norway: Went here following our cycling along the Elbe, June 2018. No cycling (well, one day in Ulvik), and we rode the Bergen-Oslo train.

Iceland: Flew through Reykjavik going to Germany for cycling in 2018, and returned through here from Norway. Stayed a couple of days in Reykjavik and saw the south coast. Went to see if it was worth going back, and it is!

Uruguay: Got to both Colonia del Sacramento and Montevideo following birding in Argentina, Nov 2017.

Chile, redux: Yes, we went in 2014, but we saw a very small part of the country (around Santiago). We went back in Jan 2017, cycling this time with Bicycle Adventures, bracketed by birding tours. Didn’t get to Torres del Paine, but we did get to Chiloe Island and Puerto Montt (but liked Puerto Varas better).

South Dakota & the Badlands: Another movie-inspired trip (North by Northwest, if you have to ask). Must see Mount Rushmore, but we promise not to try to climb down their faces. Enjoyed a Bicycle Adventures tour there in Sept 2015. Over 250 miles and 18000 ft of climbing in 6 days of riding!

Chile & Argentina: Wine and birds! and more wine! Oct/Nov 2014. Read about it here.

Slovenia, Croatia (Istria)…been there, done that. Gorgeous! June/July 2014.

Cleveland: Don’t laugh, folks. Not only does Cleveland have the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but it is also home to the largest population of Slovenians outside Slovenia, and you can get authentic kranjska klobasa there. Not to mention Case Western Reserve University, and a terrific art museum. Made it there in May 2015!

Bhutan: Birds, spectacular scenery, and a measure of Gross National Happiness. Read about it here. Apr/May 2015.